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Comment: Re:"Issue on board" (Score 1) 751

by dotancohen (#47480925) Attached to: Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

You say it like it's a good thing.. a big country isolated, hated and full of unhappy people. What could go wrong? I live right next door to them, and I'd much rather see them happy and enjoying life, because that way they'd probably be lot less likely to start new conflicts.

I love this comment. This is exactly how myself and most other Israelis feel about Gaza. Too bad that Western media does not portray this about my area or any other conflict zone.

Comment: Re:Dumb dumb dumb advice... (Score 1) 278

by dotancohen (#47469149) Attached to: Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

KeePass. It has strong encryption options, it isn't tied to any site or service, the (encrypted) database can be synced however you want (such as with Dropbox) and used on any devices you want (including phones), it's got all sorts of options for generating passwords, automatically typing them, automatically expiring them, etc., and it's fairly light weight.

Or Lastpass, which doesn't have to be tied to the Lastpass site or service, but if you do opt to use the site or service then you get automatic syncing of the (encrypted) database on any decices you want (including phones).

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47455005) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Thank you for providing that viewpoint.

The short, short history as I know it. Of course, there is my side of the story, the Arab side of the story, and somewhere in the middle is the truth.

The Jewish people (race and religion, as they were more tightly coupled before Constantine) have lived our entire existence in the land of Judea (since about 1040 BC). We were mostly dispersed by the Romans in 70 AD, but having been trying to return ever since. In the mean time, lots of other peoples have settled here. Most have come and gone (Romans, Byzantine, etc) and as of 1900 AD there were about 94% Muslims, 5% Jews, and a few others in the area. That was the start of the modern Zionist movement, when a series of political events came together and the time was deemed right to stop yearning for a return to Judea and to pack up and go. Nobody really had a problem with this yet: the Ottomans tolerated us and the Europeans were happy to see us go! Arabs and Jews were for the most part friendly, the place was barely populated (well under one million people).

With the fall of the Ottoman empire all the differing groups wanted their own state. Jews were pouring in from Europe, especially after the second great war, and tensions flared between the Jews who considered the land their ancestral homeland and the Muslims who have been living there for as long as they remember. Both have a claim to the land: the Jews have considered the land "theirs" for millennia and in fact it was made clear to them that nowhere else is safe for them (See: holocaust), and the Arabs were already living there.

Both sides tried rewriting history and both committed atrocities. A bunch of disinterested foreigners (UN) split up the land between Jews and Arabs: the Jews said thank you and the Arabs said "War!": thus the war that is today known as the War of Independence to me and is known as The Catastrophe to the Arabs. The Jews won that war, and the one after it (1956, started by Britain and France to steal the Suez canal from Egypt) and the one after is (1967, started by Egypt to destroy Israel) and the one after it (1973, started by Egypt and Syria to destroy Israel) and so on.

Just as an aside, with specific regard to Gaza, that area fell from Egyptian hands in 1956 and when that war ended Egypt refused to have it back! There are those (Gazans themselves, mostly) who argue that Gaza was deliberately ignored by Egypt to fester a people of hate to be used as a weapon against Israel. It worked: we were stuck with Gaza which had seen no development for the seven years following the 1948 war. Just look at where it is geographically in Egypt, and understand that Egyptians (yes, I have been to Egypt more than once) don't consider even Sinai to be a part of Egypt Proper just like Americans don't see Guam as part of America Proper. The Egyptian government barely has any control over the area, even today. Gaza especially was completely ungoverned during that (1948-1956) time. Since then, it has only gotten worse.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47454885) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I'm really glad that you posted this. Thank you!

(a) Killing members of the group;

While I do not dispute that Gazans have been killed at the hands of Israelis, the only _targeted_ Gazans are the Hamas. Yes, we both know that innocents have been caught in the crossfire. That happens from both sides. About two weeks ago (just a few days before the current problems started) a four year old girl Gzan girl was killed when an errant missile fired at Israel didn't make it over the border and hit her house. I know that is not news for the West.

I argue that we kill less Gazans than the American government kills Americans, both per capita and percent. Not to talk about what America did to the Iraqis. However, our follies make the headlines and make people (rightly) angry, while those of other nations do not. If you want to (right) direct vitriol at the killing of innocents, then you have a lot of other nations to get through before you get to the level that Israel does it.

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

Bodily harm we don't do other than that discussed in the above section, so lets talk about mental harm. It is very clear from every perspective that the mental harm that Hamas does to the Gazans and to the Israelis far exceeds that done by the Israelis to the Gazans.

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

This is a terrific point to address, and I wish that I could expand on it more. The siege of Gaza is in fact designed to cause the destruction of Hamas. The population is in fact suffering because of that, even more than Hamas. There is much contention of this, especially since Hamas is successfully importing and improvising weapons despite the siege. I don't suppose that it was reported in the Western media when the Hamas confiscated tons of aid from the UN, such as blankets, some time back.

Many Gazans, and indeed the Israeli viewpoint, see the situation as Hamas spending resources on weapons instead of on their people. Just as a single example, for years concrete was banned as part of the siege due to the fear of Hamas building tunnels and bunkers. That restriction was lifted about two years ago, and within a few weeks Hamas had dug a tunnel into an Israeli schoolyard with the concrete. That's right: no new homes, kindergartens, or infrastructure was built with the concrete, only a kilometer-long tunnel to do whatever your imagination will to an Israeli schoolyard.

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

Nope.

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Nope.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47450469) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

The situation in Gaza has no direct relation to the kidnappings. Here is the indirect relation:

After the three bodies were found murdered, three to six idiots kidnapped an Arab teenager and burned him to death. This is widely seen (and I also believe it is) a revenge killing. Let me tell you something: I find those three to six people (who have been found) to be worse than the Hamas. They are as low as a human can go. When even Netanyahu condemns them, you know that they are scum!

After the revenge killing there were many riots. Even the Beduin, who usually try to distance themselves from the other Arabs in Israel and do _not_ call themselves Palestinian, were rioting. I myself was attacked in my vehicle on the way home from work, as I work near a Beduin settlement and in fact on my floor at work there is an office of Beduins and we are very friendly to one another.

In addition to the riots, Hamas stepped up the rocket attacks. Before the revenge killing, there were maybe a dozen rocket attacks per day on the towns near Gaza, such as Sderot. As the Israeli arrests in the West Bank mounted (I'm sure that you've heard: a few hundred arrests) so did the rocket attacks. After the revenge killing, Hamas went even further, using longer-range weapons against all major Israeli cities. Thus, the operations into Gaza to target Hamas.

Be there no mistake, there have been attacks on Hamas infrastructure in Gaza before the current mess. I don't know the numbers but at least a few rocket cells have been hit while deploying their wares on Sderot. That is why the situation is often called a "cycle of violence": X shoots at Y who retaliates who then retaliates who then retaliates ad infinitum. Are we (Israelis) perfect angles? No! I completely disagree with some of the Gazan targets, which seem to have been selected out of spite. However as objective as I try to be, I really do see that 90% of our actions target the proper targets and do so in a fashion that protects civilians. In the same sense, I see how the Hamas targets specifically our civilians.

As I'm typing this we just had an alarm. I counted one air burst (Iron Dome) and one ground hit. I don't know if the ground hit is inside or outside the city, it sounded close but not too close.

You should know that Israelis mourn Gazan casualties as well. We hate the Hamas, but certainly not the people of Gaza. They are, have been, and will continue to be our neighbours. The idea that we would even target civilians is so disgusting that if any politician or general tried it he would be lynched by the Israelis before the Arabs even got to him. The soldiers wouldn't even carry out the orders. And yes, I do know of artillery specifically that refused to fire on targets due to not being able to keep the minimum safe distance from civilians.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47447115) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Why not peace? What's wrong with it? As far as I know currently Israel is hindering the peace efforts. In fact, this round of violence was started by Israel, as a collective punishment for the alleged kidnapping and murdering of 3 Israelis. Unfortunately, there's little information about what happened to them. As far as we know, they might as well have died in a car crash.

Are you kidding? What you call "this round of violence" started when Hamas started shooting rockets at Israel, _before_ the kidnappings. I know that Western media does not report this. The bombings are never news until Israel shoots back.

So far as "what happened to them" the three Israelis were found with bullets in their heads outside Hebron. The brother of a close friend was with them when they were kidnapped.

As for Israel hindering peace efforts, the last time the peace-process was going, the Palestinians demanded that we stop building houses for them to even talk to us. We stopped building houses and stated that this stop is for nine months, to appease the Palestinians. After those nine months, during which the Palestinians did _not_ agree to talk about peace, we extended the no-build policy for another month. Only one week before the end of the extension did the Palestinians come to the negotiating table, and when we refused to extend the no-build policy further, the Western media condemned us for "building on Palestinian land" and not meeting the demand to stop building in order to negotiate. WTF?

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47443995) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I don't know how far back your living memory goes, but mine goes back to the time when my parents' parents' ... parents' were exiled from Jerusalem.

By your own reasoning, if we can "keep up the war" for another two generations, then it will be the Gazans who have no claim to the land. I'm of no illusions to their claims, in fact, I recognize that _both_ sides have a claim to the land.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47443959) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I once did have a mortar explode just a meter or two from me. Luckily, it was all HE and no shrapnel. I was out for a few minutes, or perhaps seconds, I don't even know. I think I remember the 'just before', but I'm not even sure of that.

How do I not go over there and smash them? I would just love if they would stop coming over here and smashing here (i.e. with rockets). Who would I go over and smash?

Comment: Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47443921) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Regarding Hamas bringing children to the buildings designated for destruction: you should realize that their values are different than yours and mine. We value life, they value heaven.

So you actually believe you are doing them a favour by killing their children? That's why you do it?

I've heard some low-grade racism in my time, but this takes the cake. I'd like to see you offer a source for this "Palestinians bringing children into buildings designated for destruction" that doesn't come from the IDF's propaganda division.

It was in Al Jazeera just a few days ago. The Al Jazeera journalist seems to be as disgusted with the practice of bringing neighbours (not specifically children) to the buildings warned for destruction as you and I am.

Comment: Re:Belief (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47443903) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Unguided missiles have no military value as they cannot be aimed at military targets, that is true.

Is that true? I recall several cases where Hamas rockets have hit the IDF bases around Sderot.

You are right, when we are talking about such a short range unguided projectiles are effective against military targets. I was referencing the longer range rockets, such as the ones which hit Beersheba and other large cities.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 368

by dotancohen (#47441567) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I understand that of the 120+ people killed in Gaza in the past week, about 20 were civilians (not militants).

No, 20 were children. The number of civilians is more like 53 according to this article: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israe...

Thank you for that link. I was going by the figures that Hamas provides, not by the Gaza ministry of health. I wonder if Hamas inflates its numbers to show that they being targetted, or if the ministry of health is unaware of some of the people being affiliated with Hamas.

Either way, it shows that there are statistics, and there is the truth!

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