The Alan Grayson Page

The Anthony Weiner Page

Guest Contributors


  • BN-Politics' administrators respect, but do not necessarily endorse, views expressed by our contributors. Our goal is to get the ideas out there. After that, they're on their own.
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2007

Blog Catalog

  • Liberalism Political Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory



« The Media's Role in the Obama Phenomenon as a Sign of a Deeper Trend | Main | High Prices at the Gas Pumps? All You Need is Straight Talk (& a Gas Tax Holiday) »

April 19, 2008



This story is so sad. It's eerily reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib story. I expect charges will be brought on these issues. The IDF is usually good about disciplining those who go over the line. The courts also rule against the IDF on matters like this fairly regularly. There's a saying that the only place an Arab can get a fair trial in the middle east is in an Israeli court.

Israel really needs to get out of these isolated settlements like the one in Hebron. There's a feeling by some in Israel that ANY withdrawal from settlements sends a message that the terrorist attacks work. This is mixed with a feeling by some that these settlements should be held on to until there is a serious peace negotiation, so that withdrawal can be seen as a concession in the process in stead of a preexisting condition. But the only people who really believe that these isolated settlements will always be there are the Jews who live there and the ultraorthodox faction which supports them. Kadima did withdraw from Gaza when they won the election, but they have still left a few settlements like this that really serve no constructive purpose.

(My "favorite" story about this - a couple years back when Israel withdrew from Gaza, some of the orthodox settlers living there were actually planning parties for a couple days after the announced final withdraw date. They were utterly convinced that a divine miracle would prevent them from being pulled from their homes, because surely such a thing could not occur. It's sort of impressive that someone in modern times could have such unshakable faith in an active God. But it also demonstrates that there are people in this conflict that are NEVER going to accept the things that need to happen to effect lasting peace.)

Unfortunately, the use of Palestinians Arabs to locate fighters has become fairly common practice. This is because the fighters tend to hide among civilians. It's a callous tactic, because the fighters know that either they will be safe, or the IDF will cause civillian casualties trying to root them out. Either way it's bad for the IDF.

For example, ambulances used to be able to pass through Israeli checkpoints quickly. Then terrorist cells started using ambulances to smuggle suicide bombers into Israel. Now ambulances are held up, which of course amplifies humanitarian concerns.

It's the same story with the border crossings into Gaza. Israel tightened them up because of the rocket attacks, leading to the breakdown on the Egyptian border. All the stories from the media at the time were about the lack of food/gas/supplies in Gaza, which is certainly a story that merited reporting. Gaza is achingly poor, after all. But the unreported story was that when that border crossing opened up, more rockets and weapons flooded through. For Hamas, it was win-win. Either the borders stay tight and they get lots of good press about suffering Palestinian Arabs, or the border restrictions relax and they can get more weapons in.

The comments to this entry are closed.