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 cleanse Hamas out of Gaza?

Tags: Gaza, Hamas, Israel

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@Unseen

Calling Gazans hostages is a bit of a stretch...

YOU said Hamas will not let civilians get out of the way of Israeli attacks.  How do you define hostage?  Are the children complicit?

The Gazans made their bed and get to lay on it. Probably a lot of them wish they could take back their vote. The children are the responsibility of their parents, who made a bad choice.

Presumably, they voted Hamas in because they thought it'd be cool to fuck with Israel.

I just remember there being a presumption that since George W was elected by the American people (debatable, btw), ALL Americans must be in favor of the Bush Doctrine and in favor of an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq.  Also, considering the shenanigans that went down in the 2000 election here, I find it hard to believe an election in a place like Gaza could be strictly on the up and up.

Americans have had to live with the domestic results of the Bush doctrine, so what's your point?

At least some Gazan civilians are hostages.  You said so earlier when it suited you.  But now, fuck 'em, right?  And their kids.  And your presumption about Gazan civilians supporting Hamas is just as faulty as the presumption that all Americans supported W's policies.

My points?  Sorry, I thought that was clear.  1)  You changed positions when it suited you.  2)  Your presumption is faulty.

How do you think Israel should proceed? What tactics would both (a) be effective and (b) protect their own troops?

As I've said elsewhere, your purpose in war is to win it. Nothing trumps that.

Rules of war is kind of an absurd notion, like rules for a bar fight: 1) no sucker punching, 2) no kicking in the nuts; 3) no using your friends to gang up on your opponent.

Israel is a democracy, so it has to answer to its electorate. While Hamas got itself voted in, it's basically a dictatorship and doesn't give a shit about its own people. They are just pawns to be killed so they can cry about the body count.

Israel's form of democracy is quite different from ours.It's governing body, the Knesset elects it leadership from within, not by a general election. Representation is based on partisan demographics instead of geographic demographics. This means that the larger a party is, the more representation it gets. Voters get to choose the party, not individual candidates,

 Currently the Knesset represents 13 parties, 6 of the forming a right wing coalition, and the other 7 parties in opposition. The coalition has a 68 to 52 majority in the Knesset, dominated by the Likud party.  Many of the original Likud party members were formerly Tikun and Lehi terrorists.

 "As I've said elsewhere, your purpose in war is to win it. Nothing trumps that."

   Written like a true fascist.

   Winning anything requires an objective. The Likud party charter states as a major objective  extending Israels borders to include Gaza and the west bank exclusively for Jewish people.  Years ago, a Likud politician said "Kill them all and take their land" and others have stated an object of killing all the women and children to prevent future generations of resistance fighters from being born.

Unseen's original question:

"How should Israel deal with the missile onslaught?"

Forgetting the politics for a bit, I find myself wondering how I would handle my neighbor next door shooting RPG's at my house.

A few days ago, a man in Kentucky concealed broken pieces of razor blades in Canadian bacon, and threw them into his neighbor's backyard. He was bothered by the neighbor's dogs barking and admitted to the act as a way to silence the dogs... permanently.

One of the family pets took the bait and had to be put down to end its agony. In addition,if the dog owner's two year old grandson had found the razor blades, it would have been worse. The dog owner went to the authorities, the case was investigated and the neighbor was arrested and faces prison time. Had the dog owner confronted his neighbor with a shotgun, matters would have gotten much worse.

Th problem is one of proportional response.centuries of conflict teaches us that disproportionate response only leads to escalation of conflict. Israels use of the Dahiya Doctrine against Gaza in direct violation of international law is strategically designed to illicit a response which can then be used to rationalize more attacks against civilians.

@Gary:

A few points and questions.

1.)  In the Kentucky case the analogy is wrong.  Change the razor blades to RPG's and the injured dog to your two-year old grandson, and when you call the authorities they refuse to come stop the neighbor.  Do you just stand by and watch more RPG's rain down death and injury upon your other grandchildren or do you do something within your power to stop the crazy neighbor?

2.)  How much force on your part would you consider to be a proportionate response?  Will you base it in part on his willingness to stop launching RPG's at your house?

3.)  Now your other neighbors start calling and complaining about the noise telling you would be breaking the law if you use your own RPG's to stop your crazy neighbor shooting RPG's at your house.

4.) Is your responsibility to your grandchildren or to some law claimed to exist by neighbors whose grandchildren are not at risk of being killed?

From my POV I would fire 10 RPG's at his grandchildren for each 1 of his RPG's fired at my grandchildren until my crazy neighbor quit launching RPG's, or until my other neighbors went over his house and made him quit launching RPG's.  I'm calling it the Gregg Doctrine.

Your analogy doesn't stand either. If you were occupying your neighbours front and back lawn and at times annexing the garage of his house ... and destroying his olive tress and garden and you built your own structures on the land and then built a concrete fence wherever you pleased to divide your properties and at times cutting off any access from the outside world to his house ... then the analogy might stand. In that case ... wouldn't it be the most shockingest of surprises when he lobs a grenade at random at your house.

But then yeah...really all you want to do is live in peace with the guy and you just can't understand why they are so radically pissed off and wish nothing more than your destruction.

@Davis:

So ignore analogies.

What was the catalyst that expanded Israel's borders from their original locations?

Did the Jews from the Nazi Concentration Camps invade Palestine after WWII or did some other authority setup those borders?  Who moved across those borders first?

Regardless of opinions on whether or not the State of Israel should have been setup it was and the Israels have been defending themselves every since.

When I put myself in their shoes I'm empathic toward their position.

Both sides are held hostage to a minority of extremist forces. The Israeli's have their group of insane settlers who would blow up 10 square kilometres of Palestinian land (themselves included) rather than dismantle their illegal settlements. The most extreme Israeli parties have absolutely zero interest in reconciling any problems with the Palestinian occupied territories and are content with a dysfunctional and deadly status quo.

The Palestinians are held hostage by a minority of monstrous fundamentalist terrorists who want to wipe Israel off the face of the planet and use civilians as fodder pawns in their deranged politics.

The majority of people on both sides tacitly endorse this macabre situation while claiming they are the white knights facing an unstoppable evil enemy.

I have zero patience for anyone who claims Israel is simply protecting itself and wants to live in peace. I roll my eyes when people claim that Palestinians are helpless victims whose extremist factions are simply misunderstood and aren't as bad as they seem.

No analogy we could ever come up with could give justice to this fucked-up dysfunctional set of neighbours.

Maybe a Comet will come and reset the entire Middle-East, or a plague, short of that I think this will be an unending conflict.

Or we could move on and discuss and worry about other (far more deadly and far more concerning ) conflicts.

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