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Author Topic: Suicide bomber kills at least 7 in Jerusalem
Michelle
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posted 22 February 2004 05:51 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A suicide bomber blew himself up on a crowded Jerusalem bus Sunday morning, killing seven people and wounding more than 60, 11 of them seriously, police and rescue workers said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came just a day before the world court is to begin hearings on the West Bank security barrier that Israel says is crucial for keeping out bombers.


NY Times

Horrific.

And what I don't get is this - from a human point of view, it's really awful, but even from a strategic point of view, how is it that this could be considered a strategically sound move? Is this going to generate sympathy for the Palestinian cause at the world court hearing for the security barrier? Or is this a way of saying that the security barrier is useless anyhow because it doesn't keep out bombers and only achieves apartheid?

I honestly don't think a two-state solution is going to work. No matter where they set the borders, there will be anger on both sides over where they think the border SHOULD be, and it will still be segregation according to ethnicity. Until people stop thinking in terms of "this type of people over here, and that type of people over there", the hatred isn't going to end and neither will the violence.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 22 February 2004 06:21 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, the point's been made here in this forum that what most of the bombers' organizers want isn't sympathy for the Palestinian cause but a deepening and widening of the divisions that are at the heart of this conflict. So if anything, they want the fence to go up, much in the same way Sharon wants the fence to go up, to prolong the conflict so they/he can stay in power.
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Michelle
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posted 22 February 2004 06:30 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's true. I noticed in the article that the demand of Hamas is that every Isreali leave ALL of Israel, which doesn't exactly sound reasonable to me.

This is why I like the idea of a one-state solution, believe it or not. If people are separated from each other into xenophobic sections, that hatred will never abate. Whereas if everyone is treated equally under the law, and can live in the same country together, then sure, you're always going to have nutcases on both sides, but they won't be able to polarize the majority.


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4t2
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posted 22 February 2004 09:24 AM      Profile for 4t2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course when they are reported as saying "Israelis" they mean "Jews". Let's call a spade a spade.
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Michelle
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posted 22 February 2004 09:38 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, I know. I certainly didn't mean to gloss that over, or equate the two.
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lagatta
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posted 22 February 2004 09:42 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, they mean Israelis. The horrifying (and as Michelle says, counterproductive) practice of suicide bombings is a response to oppression by Israelis, not Jews in Outremont or Côte-St-Luc, North York, Villa Crespo and Once in Buenos Aires. If it were Japanese or Australians oppressing Palestinians, the response would be no different.

What is different, of course, is the continued plague of anti-semitism and how Jews abroad are targeted too as a result of this conflict, but that is a whole other story.

In any case, just like the recent IDF attacks that killed a lot of civilians in Gaza, it is a very depressing story.


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4t2
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posted 22 February 2004 09:50 AM      Profile for 4t2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh no, I wasn't talking about you, Michelle, I was talking about the NYT. Obviously I don't know what the original Hamas statement said - probably "Zionist aggressors" or something along those lines - but I doubt the meaning was "all persons holding Israeli passports", which is the common English meaning of "Israelis". I really don't think that this is what Hamas meant. I was responding to imprecise language rather than anything else...
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Michelle
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posted 22 February 2004 10:04 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is a good point, lagatta...

However, I have met a few people here in North America (for instance, some international students from various countries in the wider region of the Middle East) who dislike or at least distrust Jews in North America by extension of their dislike for Israeli policies and what they see as an unfair occupation, and their anger is not just focused on Israelis who politically support measures like the wall, but Jews in general. And these weren't Hamas members, or extremists, just people who felt comfortable enough around me (as an "honourary Iranian" due to my marriage) to express such thoughts openly. Also, I should say that this was not true of every person of Middle East origin that I've met, not by far, so don't take it that way. I'm just saying that the prejudice does exist, and it can be ugly.

Of course, we all have our prejudices. But I think it's safe to say that the sentiments of some of the more extreme factions on both sides cross mere political boundaries and become race hatred such as blaming "the Jews" for everything bad, or demonizing "the Arabs".


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 10:40 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And what I don't get is this - from a human point of view, it's really awful, but even from a strategic point of view, how is it that this could be considered a strategically sound move?

It is intended to draw attention to the serious nature of the issue. I think many Palestinians believe that no one would pay attention if they did not resist in this manner.

I think they feel they were good during the entire Oslo period and for that they got more settlements and Areil Sharon. Sympathy has not gotten them much in the past, really.

I don't think that it is intended, as aRounsed suggests, to heighten tentsion in order to pursue some far out plan to ensure the fence goes up. I mean really, think about, is Israel going to pay attention to the World Court? Israel has been repeatedly asked to leave the West Bank and never has. The World Court has no way of enforcing it's decision, which will doubtlessly favour the Palestinians.

As far as the Palestinians are concerned gaining the courts sympathies is irrelevant, because the court is irrelevant, except for propganda purposes. Sharon will get his fence. Simple.


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Michelle
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posted 22 February 2004 10:57 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So basically, just an existential scream in the dark?

I think you may have contradicted yourself there somewhat. You said that they want to draw attention to the serious nature of what is happening there, but then that they don't really care about gaining the sympathy of the outside world, because it's never gotten them anything in the past. Which kind of implies that they want the world's attention, but they don't care whether they get positive attention that might help their cause.

[ 22 February 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 11:09 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My point is that they would get zero attention if they didn't blow themselves up. I bet that if you did a survey counting the number of New York Times articles written during the Oslo period and then compared that to the number relating to the Palestinian issue during the Intifada, you would be shocked at the complete lack of attention given the issue.

It would be interesting to do such a survey.

As some media people like to say, any press is good press, as long as they spell the names right.

I was impressed recently a recent survey in the Globa and Mail, which estbalished that Globe readers 37% of Globe readers thought that aid to Israel should be cut off, while only 30% beleived that the Palestians should be cut off (14% thought both). I think this is a remarkable change in public opinion over the last ten years, especially within a 'liberal' readership.

Awarness of the issue, not the actions themselves, have brought understanding and therefore sympathy.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 22 February 2004 01:52 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It is intended to draw attention to the serious nature of the issue. I think many Palestinians believe that no one would pay attention if they did not resist in this manner.

How else have the Palestinians been acknowledged in the West these days?

Ironic huh?

One of the only ways by which they have been able to demonstrate their existence is by self-destruction.


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Stockholm
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posted 22 February 2004 01:57 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
One of the only ways by which they have been able to demonstrate their existence is by self-destruction.


Well then perhaps, they will just keep on demonstrating their existence until they run out of people and no longer have any existence. The fact that the world knows they exist isn't doing them any good. The situation for the Palestinian people seems to get worse and worse no matter how much the world knows of their existence. Maybe they should try the low profile approach for a change.


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 02:44 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Stockholm's post is a perfect example of my point. He is completely unaware the Palestinians have kept a low profile of over 27 years (1967-1987 and 1992-1999.) Those periods of passive resistance are absent from his memory. Instead, in his mind, passive resistance would be a "change," when in fact a 'low profile' has been the norm.

Awareness of the Palestinian issue, for the most part, only enters public discourse when the resitance is active and violent, Unfortunately.


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Stockholm
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posted 22 February 2004 03:00 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There were relentless terrorist attacks on Isreal during both of those periods. I remmber in the 70s you could barely open a newspaper without reading about the latest Palestinian terrorist atrocity against Israeli school children.

During the early 90s things were a bit calmer and lo and behold, Isreal made massive concesssions and the Palestinians were offered almost everything they ever wanted on a silver platter. They rejected it! That was a window of opportunity when Israelis were willing to "Give peace a chance". That window has now slammed shut and the only thing these relentless terrorist attacks accomplish is to harden Israeli resistence to any compromise.

Israeli USED to have a vibrant leftwing peace movement. That has totally collapsed in response to the suicide bombings. The only way there is ever going to be peace in Israel/Palestine is if Israeli public opinion turns around. Every terrorist attack is totally counter-proiductive to this.


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 03:21 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Exactly you only remember the 'terrorism.' In fact now you think, in the "70s you could barely open a newspaper without reading about the latest Palestinian terrorist atrocity against Israeli school children."

Totally hyperbolic.

When in fact the main thrust of Palestinian militancy was external to Israel, hijackings, the Munich Games, etc. There was very little activity in the West Bank and Gaza.


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Stockholm
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posted 22 February 2004 03:40 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What about Ma'alot in 1973? Palestinian gun men invaded an Israeli elementary school and machine gunned 21 children to death.
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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 03:47 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here is a list from the Isreali Minstry of Foreign Affairs

Between 1970 and 1999, the Israeli goverment lists a total of 704 killed. If you exclude the period of the first Intifada (89-91) to fit in with my previous example the number goes down to 530.

If you look at periods of 'low profile' activity, Palestinians killed about 35 Israeli's a year. Interestingly, it is number roughly half of the number of people murdered in Toronto each year.

This justifies the complete clampdown on the civil rights of Palestinians and occupation of their land?


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Stockholm
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posted 22 February 2004 03:50 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
This justifies the complete clampdown on the civil rights of Palestinians and occupation of their land?


and who knows how many Palestinian terrorist attacks were foiled by the Israelis during that period. There could easily have been 10 times that many deaths if the terrorists had been given free reign.


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 04:14 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another list

A very good point. The list above, which lists attack outside of Israel between 1968 and 1973, lists 60 terrorist operations. Of the 60 roughly half are listed as forstalled or abortive. We can conclude that if there is a 50% rate of successful pre-emption, then the number killed would be double to those listed.

That equates to the murder rate of the city of Toronto. Adjusting for population (Israel V Toronto) the rate of killing would be 1/4 of the murder rate of the city of Toronto.

This justifies the complete clampdown on the civil rights of Palestinians and occupation of their land?

In fact during the period of maximum security applied by the IDF (the last four years) the number of Israeli's killed has increased, to roughly 200 a year(from 35.) So it is would seem the present strategy is counter-productive in terms of its stated aim.

Is it possible that the stated aim is not the actual aim?


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Stockholm
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posted 22 February 2004 05:01 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A very good point. The list above, which lists attack outside of Israel between 1968 and 1973, lists 60 terrorist operations. Of the 60 roughly half are listed as forstalled or abortive. We can conclude that if there is a 50% rate of successful pre-emption, then the number killed would be double to those listed.

That equates to the murder rate of the city of Toronto. Adjusting for population (Israel V Toronto) the rate of killing would be 1/4 of the murder rate of the city of Toronto.


That makes sense. and if you take the number of Iraqi civilians estimated to have died in the invasion of Iraq and look at it in per capita tersm I'm sure it is way less than the murder rate in Wichita Kansas. and your point is???

For that matter if you add up all the Palestinians killed by the IDF it is a minute fraction of the number of Syrians Assad killed in 1982 in Hama. In fact in per capita terms, King Hussein of Jordan has killed was more Palestinans than Israel has. More Palestinians died when Jordan suppressed the PLO during Black September than all the Palestinians killed in conflict with Israel since 1948!

So, I guess we are all barking up the wrong tree and Jordan is the real culprit.


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 06:21 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I know, I know. Its time to talk about the bad Arabs. Lol.

quote:
That makes sense. and if you take the number of Iraqi civilians estimated to have died in the invasion of Iraq and look at it in per capita tersm I'm sure it is way less than the murder rate in Wichita Kansas. and your point is???

That by Israeli standards there should be a 6:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew, checkpoints (with full body searches) occasional raids by the military, rocket attacks to take out key mafia people and mass detainment of males under 30 in order to control the crime wave in the city of Toronto.

In any case, you have no evidence to show that it is true that:

quote:
(the Palestinians) should try the low profile approach for a change.

Its just an idea you have. In fact the IMFA statistics on Palestinian violence show that less violence does not equal less occupation.

In fact in 22 year period 1967 to 1988, Palestinain militants killed less that 30 IsraelisBa year. Over that period Israeli control, occupation and settlement of the West Bank increased, not the opposite, as your thesis would suggest.

Cheers.

[ 22 February 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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Stockholm
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posted 22 February 2004 07:00 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Its just an idea you have. In fact the IMFA statistics on Palestinian violence show that less violence does not equal less occupation.


But then we had the period from 1992-2000 when there was less violence and Israel withdrew from almost all the places in the occupied territories where anyone lived. To the great frustration of the leftwing Israeli peace movement, the result of Israel withdrawing was more terrorist attacks. To the Israeli masses the renewed violce of the last 4 years has vindicated the hardliners who get to point and say "see, we withdrew from the territories and now the Arabs just use the land as a base to launch more attacks on us" and now the pro-peace Israelis have nothing to retort with.

Ultimately, there will NEVER be any resolution in Israel until Israeli public opinion changes. There is no possible military solution that will lead to the Palestinians winning so they better give up on that. So far, if suicide bombings are supposed to soften up Israeli resistence, they are having the opposite effect.

Of course none of this had to happen at all. Imagine if in 1966, the Arabs had simply called up the Israeli PM and said, OK, we recognize Israel's right to exist, we have no further territorial claims and we will end all terrorist attacks once and for all. Israel would have said yes in an instant and today the Palestinians would have everything that they are now fighting tooth and nail to have just a fraction of. Can we agree that the biggest blunder of all time for the Palestinians was not making peace with Israel when they were in a position of greater strength pre-1967. But of course they didn't because they were barinwashed into thinking they could invade and pillage and "throw the Israelis into the sea".

Its too bad because Israel pre-1967 was actually a much more progressive society than what it turned into after 1967. It would have been better for everyone.


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Cueball
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posted 22 February 2004 07:59 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cheers.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged

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