An army is a blunt weapon. Send it into a populated area where the enemy doesn't wear a uniform and innocents are going to die. This is happening right now in Gaza. Many people are quick to blame Israel for these deaths, calling them "unnecessary" or even "war crimes."
Lately, Israel has had to endure unguided missiles raining down on its territory. Since they are unguided, the people launching them, Hamas soldiers, aren't conducting surgical strikes. In fact, it appears they would be happy if they hit schools, hospitals, markets, and other heavily-populated targets.
So, imagine you are Israel. Do you have another way of attempting to put a stop to the daily barrage of missiles?
This is not an invitation to criticize the creation of Israel after WW2. It's not an invitation to criticize policies you think led up to Hamas.
I'm only asking what's the alternative to sending in its troops to attempt to drive Hamas out of Gaza?
And, of course, Israel would be happy not to be at war with Hamas. They even have tolerated being the target for Hamas missiles, violent incursions, and terror strikes for a while before saying "enough is enough."
The idea that Israel's hands are clean and they did/do nothing to contribute to the cycle of violence is ludicrous.
The main one-sided thing is that one party, Hamas, has in its charter that Israel must be destroyed, and its rocket attacks, incursions by murder and assassination squads as well as suicide bombers, was intended to interrupt the peace. Whatever is happening, Hamas brought down upon Gaza.
Furthermore, I think associating ourselves with and aiding the Israelis in this situation is almost the same mistake as aiding the Taliban against the Ruskies back in the 80s and aiding the Iraqis against the Iranians.
The enemy of my enemy is NOT always my friend. We (the U.S.) would do well to learn that lesson, and we (atheists) would do well to learn it too.
The difference being that unlike the Taliban the Israelis simply want to live in peace. They don't want this war. Hamas is forcing it on them. Judaism is not an evangeical religion. It also does not exist with the stamping out of Islam and driving it out of the Middle East as one of its primary tenets.
The only way to view Israel and Hamas as moral equivalents is to have your head so far up your ass that you have double vision.
You are twisting what I said and misrepresenting it, like you do. I did not equate Israel and the Taliban in a moral or any other sense. I did say it is the same short-sighted mistake on our part: not choosing our friends very carefully, a mistake that has bitten us on the ass numerous times. So maybe my head is up there so I can at least see it coming.
My other point is that from an atheistic point of view, we should not get into bed with Israel (or xians for that matter) just because their methods are slightly less violent and indiscriminate than muslims. They all suffer from the same psychosis. They all have the delusional belief that they are the chosen ones and have some divine mandate from their imaginary friend. No matter who we support in that epic battle, the winner will come for us someday.
"So far, when a cease fire or other peace effort is made, it seems to be the Israelis who give it a chance."
I know right. Israel is offering them such a generous deal that I have no clue why they would rather die than accept it. After all all they need to do is accept being treated as second class citizens by a military invader and Israel will promise to stop using their state of the art military on them. And if we are to believe Pat Condell the Palestinians are not like us , sub human almost, and therefor Israel is justified in treating them however they please. Just be glad it is not happening to one of us "civilized" ( white) folks.
It is worse than many think. Israel claims ownership by divine right of the land between the Euphrates and Nile rivers
Noam Chomsky’s statement on Israel’s aggression in Gaza:
“The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace.
The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.
Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.
When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”
If that's the case, the Israelis truly suck at ethnic cleansing, especially considering that they could reduce the area to rubble with few survivors in hours with regular munitions, or to a radioactive wasteland in milliseconds with nuclear weapons.
A more interesting question is what Hamas hopes to achieve by sending rockets towards Israel when they are well acquainted with the consequences of that particular tactic.
They can't nuke Gaza without turning their own country into a radioactive wasteland; too close. The reason they don't reduce the area to rubble with conventional weapons is that there are too many journalists and video cameras watching. They would be seen as maniacs and outcast by most of the world; though they could still probably trade with China, Russia, and North Korea, and of course the U.S. - because of the whole bible thing. But Israel continues to push the envelope of what they can get away with.
Hamas hopes to continue goading Israel into taking actions that damage its image on the world stage and that drive young uneducated muslims toward extremism.
And around we go.
Well, the statement was that Israel wanted to ethnically cleanse Gaza, and if they did, they could. Additionally, that they take to account their standing in the world and attempt to minimize civilian casualties does not exactly speak to that statement, does it?
Hamas obviously wants dead Palestinians for propaganda purposes, otherwise what's the point of sending rockets, not building shelters, and import munitions instead of medicines? And Israel promptly obliges.
Yes, around and around we go.