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Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47515859) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

The only part of the Geneva convention that Israel has broken is about settlements in occupied territory which has nothing to do with original borders. At the end of many wars borders have changed.

Israel has also broken the part in the Geneva conventions that prohibit killing of civilians when there is no military necessity for doing so. B'Tselem and Amnesty International have documented thousands of cases.

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/...

773. At about 12.50 p.m., Khalid Abd Rabbo, his wife Kawthar, their three daughters, Souad (aged 9), Samar (aged 5) and Amal (aged 3), and his mother, Hajja Souad Abd Rabbo, stepped out of the house, all of them carrying white flags. Less than 10 metres from the door was a tank, turned towards their house. Two soldiers were sitting on top of it having a snack (one was eating chips, the other chocolate, according to one of the witnesses). The family stood still, waiting for orders from the soldiers as to what they should do, but none was given. Without warning, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started shooting at the three girls and then also at their grandmother. Several bullets hit Souad in the chest, Amal in the stomach and Samar in the back. Hajja Souad was hit in the lower back and in the left arm.

[The IDF refused to let an ambulance bring them to the hospital, so they walked. Amal and Souad died. Samar had a spinal injury and was left paraplegic for life. The Israeli government never investigated this event or prosecuted the soldier responsible.]

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47515765) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

My "side" is international law. I want to judge the situation by international law and let the chips fall where they may. I don't have any sympathy for people on either side who kill innocent civilians -- especially 3-year-old children. Members of Hamas who killed innocent Israeli civilians should be prosecuted and punished -- as long as Israelis who killed innocent Palestinian civilians are also prosecuted and punished.

1. What's the point of the Nicholas Rostow article? He goes through all the arguments for and against the illegality of the settlements (without mentioning Meron), and at the end says that we should ignore the issue of illegality and instead do whatever it takes to achieve peace.

So he's arguing that Israel doesn't have to follow the law.

Well, if Israel doesn't have to follow the law, why does Hamas have to follow the law?

2. After the publication of the Goldstone report, Goldstone received a huge amount of pressure and abuse, including death threats, from Israeli right-wing society and their supporters. This is more of the same.

When the Goldstone commission worked on their report, they asked the Israeli government to help them. The Israeli government refused. After the report, the Israeli government issued statements in their defense that they hadn't made before. That's what Goldstone meant when he said, “If I had known then what I know now.”

After the publication of the report, after all that pressure, Goldstone conceded one point. The report said that Israel had deliberately targeted civilians. When the Israelis released information that they didn't give the commission when the commission originally asked for it, Goldstone changed his position and said that there was no evidence that Israel deliberately targeted civilians. Since he never gave his supporting evidence, it's impossible to know why or whether it's true. That was his personal opinion, and the Goldstone Commission never officially made that change.

So what? It's still true that an Israeli soldier shot and killed a 3- and 5-year old child, while their grandmother was carrying a white flag, and the Israeli never investigated the incident or prosecuted the soldier. This was documented by investigators from many news and human rights organizations. There were about a dozen "white flag" incidents like this in the Goldstone report, and B'Tselem and Amnesty International have documented hundreds of murders like this during the occupation, without prosecution or even investigation by the Israeli government.

You're accusing Hamas of violating international law. Do you also accuse Israel of violating international law?

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47513341) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

The same international law that Theodore Meron, Israeli foreign ministry chief counsel, used in 1967. Which includes the Geneva Conventions.

One side usually follows the Geneva Conventions because the other side agrees to it. The Nazis didn't follow the Geneva Conventions on the Soviet front in WWII, and so neither did the Soviets. At Stalingrad, they didn't take prisoners.

If you don't follow the Geneva Conventions, don't complain about terrorists. You're a terrorist too.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 2) 450

by nbauman (#47512361) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

If you want to follow international law, Israel has to return to the 1967 borders. If they don't return to the 1967 borders, they're not following international law.

I support international law. If you don't support international law, don't complain when the other side commits massacres (like the ones the Israelis are committing on the Palestinians, even in the West Bank).

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47512213) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

You asked me where they said that. Their charter said they would eradicate Palestine, and they revised it.

Hamas also revised their Charter. Hamas is also open to accepting Israel and having peace with Israel, if you listen to what their spokesmen say. Israel has also assassinated Hamas leaders, like Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas's military wing, who were preparing peace overtures.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11...
Op-Ed Contributor
Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination
By GERSHON BASKIN
Published: November 16, 2012

Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.

Gershon Baskin is a co-chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47512075) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

I am not the only one who see Arima Hass as biased.

Andrea Levin, executive director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting said the newspaper was doing "damage to the truth" and sometimes making serious factual errors but not often correcting them. Earlier, in 2001, Levin criticized Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass for inaccurate reporting and said that Haaretz is fueling anti-Israel bias.

CAMERA believes that anyone who doesn't follow their right-wing party line is biased and anti-Israel, even Zionists like Hass and Levy who have spent their lives in Israel. The people who work for CAMERA, like Levin, have never worked as journalists, and they have no idea of what it's like to be out in the field eyewitnessing events, and getting both sides, as Hass and Levy do.

Amira Hass lives in the territories and sees what happens with her own eyes. Andrea Levin sits on her ass in Boston and says that Hass is lying. Who do you take seriously?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Commenting on the incident, Gershom Gorenberg, of the liberal magazine The American Prospect, stated "CAMERA is ready to exempt itself from the demands for accuracy that it aims at the media. And like others engaged in the narrative wars, it does not understand the difference between advocacy and accuracy."

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47511721) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

What is your solution? Should Israel just sit by while rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip?

They could have accepted (with negotiations) any of several peace offers, such as the Arab Peace Initiative https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... , or the offers of help from the South Africans like Bishop Tutu.

They refused, and the sticking point was the settlements. If you look at a map of Israel and the West Bank, with the settlements on them, you'll see why that's so unacceptable to the Palestinians. One of the Israeli negotiators said that he would not have accepted that deal if he was a Palestinian. The settlement Ariel is right in the middle of the narrowest part of the west bank, and cuts it in half.

It's understandable that the Israeli government wouldn't give up the settlements, given the political power of the settlers in Israel (and in the US), but they're clearly illegal under the Geneva Conventions. That was the opinion of Theodor Meron, Israel's own chief legal counsel in 1967, but Levi Eshkol went ahead and settled the west bank anyway. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... In order to prevent Israel from ever giving up the settlements, the settlers created more settlements, many of which were illegal even under Israeli law, in order to create "facts on the ground" (i.e.,if enough people break the law, the government won't be able to stop them). So when you let the settlers stay there, you're rewarding their illegal behavior and violence.

Israel's right and their supporters always claim that the Palestinians "Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity," but actually the Israelis have constantly been rejecting opportunities to make peace.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47511525) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Care to back that up with any references to recent statement about Israel not recognizing Palestine's right to exist? Here is evidence counter to that argument.

Oh, 5 years ago. I was wondering where you got that from. Yes, Bibi said he would accept the Palestinian state, subject to a long list of unacceptable conditions -- such as continuing to expand the settlements. Since that time, Palestine applied to the United Nations and the Israelis (through the US) prevented the UN from considering it.

The Guardian, Sunday 14 June 2009 16.22 EDT

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, last night said for the first time he would accept an independent Palestinian state, but only on condition it was demilitarised and that the Palestinians recognised Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

In a key policy speech intended to address growing US pressure for a move towards peace in the Middle East, Netanyahu defended Israel's position and said he wanted to make peace, but despite his mention of a Palestinian state he offered few substantial concessions.

He praised the Jewish settlers who live in east Jerusalem and on the occupied West Bank and refused US calls for a halt to all settlement growth. He also said Palestinian refugees, who were forced out or fled from their homes during the 1948 war, would not be allowed to return to what is today Israel. Jerusalem, he said, must remain united under Israeli control.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47508845) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

I'm not morally judging actions, I'm legally judging actions. Hamas is deliberately and systematically committing war crimes as defined by international law.

Great, you want to judge both sides impartially by international law, let's judge them by international law.

1. Settlements beyond the 1967 borders

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Legal opinion on settlements in the occupied territories

In the late 1960s, Meron was legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry and wrote a secret 1967 memo[17] [18] [19] for Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who was considering creating an Israeli settlement at Kfar Etzion. This was just after Israel's victory in the Six-Day War of June 1967. Meron's memo concluded that creating new settlements in the Occupied Territories would be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Eshkol went ahead to create the settlement anyway, and therefore set the conditions which began the Movement for Greater Israel and Israel's settlement enterprise.

2. Killing non-combatants

From the Goldstone Report:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/...

773. At about 12.50 p.m., Khalid Abd Rabbo, his wife Kawthar, their three daughters, Souad (aged 9), Samar (aged 5) and Amal (aged 3), and his mother, Hajja Souad Abd Rabbo, stepped out of the house, all of them carrying white flags. Less than 10 metres from the door was a tank, turned towards their house. Two soldiers were sitting on top of it having a snack (one was eating chips, the other chocolate, according to one of the witnesses). The family stood still, waiting for orders from the soldiers as to what they should do, but none was given. Without warning, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started shooting at the three girls and then also at their grandmother. Several bullets hit Souad in the chest, Amal in the stomach and Samar in the back. Hajja Souad was hit in the lower back and in the left arm.

[The IDF refused to let an ambulance bring them to the hospital, so they walked. Amal and Souad died. Samar had a spinal injury and was left paraplegic for life. The Israeli government never investigated this event or prosecuted the soldier responsible.]

After the first Gaza war, Israeli government lawyers warned top officials not to travel in certain parts of Europe, because they might be arrested for violating the Geneva Conventions. A lot of them were shooting their mouths off with customary Israeli arrogance about "making them suffer" because they had elected Hamas, and using "overwhelming force".

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47508655) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

If Israel is not willing to do the above, then don't complain when Hamas have to improvise just to have a fighting chance of defending themselves.

Two points: First, their improvisations are war crimes; second, Hamas are the aggressor. This is not particularly complicated.

Israel blockaded Gaza right after Hamas won the elections. A blockade is an act of war. It's an attack. Hamas is fighting back against Israel's attacks in one of the few, inadequate ways open to them. If you don't like it, stop the blockade.

The Nazis blockaded the Warsaw Ghetto. The ghetto militants also fought back with futile measures.

The Nazis said that for every German soldier murdered, they would kill 20 Jews. I read Ringelblum's Warsaw Ghetto diaries. The similarity to Gaza is striking.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 450

by nbauman (#47508407) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

How about the following;
1. Recognize Israel's right to exist

Obviously the most important one is the first one. There can be no peace when one side is still trying to destroy the other.

Well, since Israel doesn't recognize Palestine's right to exist, and is trying to destroy Hamas, there can be no peace as long as we continue to support Israel with its current policies.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 4, Insightful) 450

by nbauman (#47505423) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

I guess since I used to raise money for Israeli medical research and investments in Israeli industry, that would qualify me as an anti-Semite.

But let's look at what the real anti-Semites are saying -- the Jews who actually live there:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/di...
Reaping what we have sown in Gaza
Those who turned Gaza into an internment camp for 1.8 million people should not be surprised when they tunnel underneath the earth.
By Amira Hass
Jul. 21, 2014

A book on Israeli military psychology should have an entire chapter devoted to this sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy: A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.

In contrast to the common Israeli hasbara, Hamas isn’t forcing Gazans to remain in their homes, or to leave. It’s their decision. Where would they go?

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion...
What does Hamas really want?
Read the list of conditions published in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them.
By Gideon Levy
Jul. 20, 2014

we should stop for a moment and listen to Hamas; we may even be permitted to put ourselves in its shoes, perhaps even to appreciate the daring and resilience of this, our bitter enemy, under harsh conditions.
Read the list of demands and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them: withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops and allowing farmers to work their land up to the fence; release of all prisoners from the Gilad Shalit swap who have been rearrested; an end to the siege and opening of the crossings; opening of a port and airport under UN management; expansion of the fishing zone; international supervision of the Rafah crossing; an Israeli pledge to a 10-year cease-fire and closure of Gaza’s air space to Israeli aircraft; permits to Gaza residents to visit Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque; and an Israeli pledge not to interfere in internal Palestinian politics such as the unity government; opening Gaza’s industrial zone.

These conditions are civilian; the means of achieving them are military, violent and criminal. But the (bitter) truth is that when Gaza is not firing rockets at Israel, nobody cares about it. Look at the fate of the Palestinian leader who had had enough of violence. Israel did everything it could to destroy Mahmoud Abbas. The depressing conclusion? Only force works.

True, after Hamas started firing rockets, Israel had to respond. But as opposed to what Israeli propaganda tries to sell, the rockets didn’t fall out of the sky from nowhere. Go back a few months: the breakdown of negotiations by Israel; the war on Hamas in the West Bank following the murder of the three yeshiva students, which it is doubtful Hamas planned, including the false arrest of 500 of its activists; stopping payment of salaries to Hamas workers in Gaza and Israeli opposition to the unity government, which might have brought the organization into the political sphere.

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