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Let the Punishment Be Equal to the Offence

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Israel has a legitimate right to respond to terror attacks on its citizens. But care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt  The ferocity of Israeli military operation in Beit Hanoun gives the impression that they are using excessive and disproportionate force, that their military operation is indiscriminate. The military badly failed to differentiate between combatants and civilians.

When the military operation started, the spokesman and Israeli Defense Minister said that the object of the operation was to destroy the rocket-launching infra structure. However, ravaged town of Beit Hanoun tells a different story.  The Israeli military left behind wrecked houses, toppled utility poles, broken pipes lines, and fifty seven corpses.

According to the Mayor of the city of Beit Hanoun, 40 houses were destroyed and 400
damaged during the operation of the Israeli forces, they also destroyed the 700-year-old an-Nasr Mosque.  The Israeli Prime has himself claimed that their forces have killed 300 Hamas operatives in three months.

In response to the Qassam missile attacks, Israel has been firing about 300 shells a day at Gaza at an estimated cost of more than £125,000 a day, according to the Israeli media. They have been firing shells close to Palestinian communities to stop militants from firing rockets at Israel. And the pattern of their shelling is indiscriminate. These types of indiscriminate attacks, if they are not directed at a specified target is forbidden under international law.

In 2006, only two Israeli were killed by the Qassam rocket attacks. Though many Israeli were critically injured. This incident occurred in Kibbutz Nachal Oz.

Any person with a good heart can easily discern that the Israeli response is disproportionate.  I wonder how these crude missiles can be threat to Israel, which maintains a world class professional army. These rockets are home-made weapons, which were developed by Adnan al-Ghul in 2001. It is a very crude weapon and roughly carries two pounds of explosive.

Yoram Schweitzer of Tel Aviv's Jaffee centre for strategic studies says "Qassams are very primitive missiles and their main effect on Israelis in the area is psychological torment – a kind of 'Chinese water torture'."   Despite that, Israel must show restraint in dealing with Palestinian militants. The way its army is handling the affairs will increase problems for the State of Israel.

During the recent operations, the army unnecessarily targeted and subjected to humiliation those Palestinians who were ordinary civilians and had nothing to do with the militants. They rounded up thousands of young man, many of them innocent, and subjected them to torture. This type of high-handedness will increase the anti-Semitism in the Palestinian and Muslim world, and humiliated young men will be easily prey for militants.  Israel's leaders should know that the world does not grow better by force or policeman club. 

It is said that wisdom comes from suffering. It looks that Palestinians never learn from anything. Wisdom consists of rising above madness and embracing common sense. It is madness if Hamas and other militants think that they can wipe out Israel with this crude weapon. This rash adventurism will only bring more misery to the Palestinian people.

They should ask their leaders how they can defeat a professional army with these crude weapons. Jean-Jacques Rousseau has rightly said, "To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will — at the most, an act of prudence."

Gazans got a golden opportunity to improve their condition in the fall of 2005, when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the bold decision to pull out from Gaza. Instead trying to improve their condition, the Gazans fell prey to the evil ideologists and started to conspire against the State of Israel.

In the end I can say only “God help the fools who count on death for gain."

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About munaeem

  • Richard J. Palmer

    Since personal attacks are not allowed, I will merely say that that policy should be followed by Israel regarding Gaza. The “personal” attacks have been going on for almost 40 years and the U.S. pretends not to notice.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Muaneem,

    At BC Magazine, there were two articles about the offensive in Beit Hanun, yours and another. Both pieces came out roughly on the same side in terms of criticizing Israel. But I can far easily respect what you say, as opposed to what the other fellow does.

    You recognize that the residents of Gaza have allowed themselves to fall victim to evil propagandists. You recognize that there was a trememdous opportunity for improving conditions for Arabs in Gaza that was destroyed with the destruction of the greenhouses there.

    I do not have to tell you that while indiscriminate shelling may be illegal under international law, the shelling of this country using Qassams has been most discriminate, targeting civilians, the terror attacks on buses and in restaurants and hotels has been most discriminate, targeting civilians, the use of hospitals in Arab controlled territory to store arms, and the use of ambulances and to transport them has been very intentional.

    It has been the INTENT of the Arab “resistance forces” in Israel to kill Jews. These are people who have fallen under the spell of evil propaganda. Their intent has been murder, and they have celebrated murder by handing out candies, firing rifles in the air and dancing in the streets, as though they were at a wedding. And they have dragged the civilian population in with them in this evil conspiracy, so that one can no longer distinguish between the innocent and the guilty. And now the civilians are reaping the results of ill considered choices.

    Now come the funeral processions.

    In an assassination or a murder, a bullet has the name of the victim written on it already. In war, the victim writes his name on the bullet that finds him when it finds him.

    The Arab “resistance” forces have asked for war, and they are getting what they asked for.

    There is a better way.

    I suggest to you the following scenario:

    1. The GOI (government of Israel) is just as criminal as the PA it has installed to oppress the Arabs in Israel. Both need to be eliminated.

    2. In all likelihood, the GOI will be eliminated by NATO forces who occupy this country to “bring peace.” Initially, The GOI will invite these forces in to do their dirty work of kicking Jews out of their homes in Judea and Samaria. They will fail as there will be a rebellion of Israelis/Jews against the foreign occupation. All this will occur in the environment of missile attacks against Israel from Iran or southern Lebanon. At that point, the NATO commanders or those above them will decide it is easier to rule the country themselves rather than rely on an unstable “Israeli” government.

    3. Arabs and Jews who truly want peace and reconciliation will need to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity that this event will present – the NATO occupation will not last long, and they will fail in their objectives…

    4. Arabs will need to be willing to get rid of the cancer in Islam – the Wahhabi and those aligned with them. Jews will need to be willing to establish a state that follows Jewish law.

    5. At this point, Jews and Arabs who see the opportunity for peace and reconciliation must meet around a table to advance the agreements reached in 1919 by Haim Weitzman and Sherif Feisal. In terms of secular documents, this will be the basis for a lasting and true peace in the region.

  • MAOZ

    Richard, would you also advocate that that policy should be followed by Arabs vis-a-vis Jews? Or does a Jew not count as a “person” in your lexicon?

  • Richard J. Palmer

    Dear Maoz,

    Of course, a Jew is just as much a person as any other but I do not believe that he is a “chosen” one nor that he has the right to behave worse than his Nazi oppressors during their awful regime. The Jews are no longer the weak and vulnerable. On the contrary, they are the strong ones. I believe the Lebanese had one plane as compared to hundreds of the Israelis. Do not imagine that I am attacking Jews individually. They are wonderful people and I love them. What I hate are the actions of the Sharons of the world. We have made the Israelis as much hated as we are in the world.

  • Richard J. Palmer

    Dear Maoz,

    Of course, a Jew is just as much a person as any other but I do not believe that he is a “chosen” one nor that he has the right to behave worse than his Nazi oppressors during their awful regime. The Jews are no longer the weak and vulnerable. On the contrary, they are the strong ones. I believe the Lebanese had one plane as compared to hundreds of the Israelis. Do not imagine that I am attacking Jews individually. They are wonderful people and I love them. What I hate are the actions of the Sharons of the world. We have made the Israelis as much hated as we are in the world.

  • http://heathlander.wordpress.com Jamie Stern-Weiner

    Thanks for the thoughtful argument Mohammad. A few points, though…

    “But care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt”

    I don’t think that adequately states the problem (presumably you wouldn’t, when talking about Palestinian terrorism, say that although Palestinians have a right to defend themselves, they should take care that the punishment does not exceed the guilt). In any event, officially at least, this is not about punishment. It’s about self-defence.
    Israel does indeed have a right (indeed, a responsibility) to defend its citizens from attack. But the methods it uses to do so have to be legal. A principle pillar of international humanitarian law is that of distinction between civilian and military targets. Israel has systematically and consistently failed to make this distinction.

    This is no less a crime than going out and blowing oneself up on a bus with the deliberate attempt to kill civilians. If a suicide bomber claimed in his defence that he was not trying to kill civilians, he was just trying to blow up the bus, people would laugh. Equally, if Israel goes around shelling or bombing crowded civilian areas, then the excuse that they only meant to kill a militant is, in Amnesty International’s words, “meaningless”.

    Laying seige to a town for almost a week and destroying 40 houses (damaging another 400) is simply an unacceptable response to Qassam missile firing. It is certainly an unacceptable method of “restoring deterrence power”, as the Reuters article you linked to quotes Israeli political commentators as saying.

    “The Israeli Prime has himself claimed that their forces have killed 300 Hamas operatives in three months.”

    Indeed, despite the fact that around half of those killed since June 25 have been civilians. This is evidence of the Israeli leadership’s complete failure to distinguish between civilians and militants.

  • Jamie Stern-Weiner

    Israeli military made incursion into Gaza to regain their lost glory, which they lost in Lebanon. It can be described in the words of Abraham Lincoln : “Military Glory – that attractive rainbow that rises in the showers of blood, that serpent’s eye that charms to destroy.”

    JPost.com reports ,that they whipped up the opion of the leaders and public about the “Hizbollization” of Gaza.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jamie,

    I see you came here to roost for a bit and muddy the waters with your irrelevant garbage…

    Truth is that you ignore consistently the problem that has created this – the ideology of the Wahhabi that has infected and stolen much of Islam away from its original ideas, and turned it into a nightmare of what it had been.

    From the Wahhabi cancer infection you get the following pathologies:

    –Saudi Arabia (stealing Arabia and Mecca and Medina)
    —–sub-pathology: Saudi funded madrassas throughout Dar al Islam spreading the poison of Wahhabi idea.
    –Moslem Brotherhood (perverting Islam in Egypt and pushing Jew-hatred and persecution of Christians)
    –Hamas (local branch office of the MNoslem Brotherhood)
    –Al Fatah and successors (Moslem Brotherhood with a secular cloak to “legitmize” the concept for non-religious Moslems)
    –Al Taliban (north Indian and Afghani branch of Wahhabi ideas).

    This cancer has led to the desire of local Arabs to oust us from our own land when the Qur’an grants us rule over it. This cancer led a Gaza imam to oppose Jews living in this country, and led to this imam evdentually morphing himself into the “grand mufti of Palestine” and fleeing to Germany, where he lobbied Hitler tro set up death camps to kill Jews.

    This cancer has lead to the impoverishment of much of the Arab world because the Wahhabi got their financial kick-start from the West and have had been sucking at the nipple of oil money for the last eight decades or so. None of the rulers who have ties to this nipple care abvout the natives in their land.

    This cancer in the Arab world must be eradicated for there to be a possibility of peace here.

    On the other side, the cancer of secular Hellenism that is the curse of the Jewish people must be eradicated so that Jews can stop acting like bent back kikes who need to conform to Christian standards ande who kiss Christian ass and start viewing themselves as the leading tribe of the Children of Israel – seeking reconciliation with the Children of Kedar, the Arabs.

    These are the real issues here. Pity you can’t see them and refuse to see them.

  • STM

    Ruvy: you are banging your head against a brick wall arguing with Jamie. He is the only one who is right. No one else’s opinion’s count, sadly.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Stan, thank you for the back-up. Arguing with Jamie is not the issue here at all. He buys into a failed “Palestine” matrix and won’t let go for dear life. That’s his problem. Mine is keeping a clear line open with the author of this piece, Muaneem. I have a much broader view of the world than does Jamie and a real vision for where the Jewish people must go. The idea of a real vision for the Jewish people is beyond Jamie altogether.

    We Jews have to stop viewing ourselves as “Jews” and start viewng ourselves according to the blessing of Jacob – the tribe from which the sword of leadership in Israel shall not depart. There are twelve tribes of us, Stan, and we Jews are just one tribe. We know the identity of the tribe of Levi – they self identify with us. But that leaves 10 other tibes to deal with and to find. A lot of these Israelites are under the spell of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and are known as Pushtun.

  • http://heathlander.wordpress.com Jamie Stern-Weiner

    Erm, several points:

    Comment #7 was not me. I didn’t write that; someone somewhere has decided to write it in my name. You’ll notice it doesn’t have a ‘URL’ notice next to it, as do all my comments.

    STM: What are you on about? Do you somehow think that by creating an imaginary character called ‘Jamie’ in your head and then insulting it you are engaging in debate? We all here have our opinions. A sign of a good debate is where we can see the points of disagreement. But in order for that to happen, you’ve got to stop saying meaningless things like,
    ‘He is the only one who is right. No one else’s opinion’s count, sadly.’

    Why? What good did you hope that sentence would achieve? If you have a contribution to the debate, then make it, like I have done.

    Ruvy: You have to wake up from your religious fantasy. This ain’t about religion and appealing to ancient dogma isn’t gonna solve anything.

  • Munaeem

    Religion has been used for centuries to control the masses.