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Israel Gaza Conflict

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  • Israel Gaza Conflict

    I felt I needed to say something about this conflict and lay down my thoughts on it. This is partly because I am being bombarded by the media and people in social media to support the people of Gaza.

    As a member of the Knights Templar I am very concerned about the plight of Christians all over the world and as the editor of the Canadian Templar newsletter I find myself regularly reporting on their plight. For some reason the world seems to be totally ignoring them apart from the odd news report.

    Israel is in fact the only place in the Middle East that is a safe haven for Christians. In Gaza we find the people there have voted in a terrorist organisation to represent them. That organisation has clearly diverted huge amounts of aid money to purchase thousands of rockets and build sophisticated tunnels to attack a country that they don't recognise. The rocket placements are often held within the civil population. That means any attempt to remove them must cause civilian casualties.

    No-one can of course NOT be moved by the pictures of children being killed or maimed as a result of this conflict. I would however ask the question as to why the media has not given equal coverage to all the Christian children that have been bombed and maimed in Iraq, Syria, N. Africa, etc.

    President Obama and thus the US has consistently been against regimes where Christians were relatively safe. Like Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc. Now when Israel is under attack from this Gaze rocket barrage he calls for a cease fire which would of course allow the terrorist organisation time to bring in more rockets and prevent the discovery of more tunnels.

    Despite the carnage n Gaza it is my view that Israel has no choice but to pursue their current strategy although a better long term solution needs to be found. At the end of the day I can see no option other than for Israel to take over Gaza rather like Putin took over Crimea.

    I am not aware of any media outlet doing any major documentary report on the plight of Christians around the world and it's way past time this subject was tackled and examined. Right now mosques are bring built all over the Western world but Christians are not being allowed to build churches in their lands.

    I hope you might give some thought to this situation and help figure out some way in which Christians cam be better protected.


  • #2
    Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

    Time for some meat in International Law to bring war criminals to justice -

    Published on
    Thursday, July 24, 2014
    The Palestinians’ Right to Self-Defense
    Chris Hedges

    Israeli Defense Forces tank operating near the border of the Gaza Strip. (Photo: IDF via

    If Israel insists, as the Bosnian Serbs did in Sarajevo, on using the weapons of industrial warfare against a helpless civilian population then that population has an inherent right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The international community will have to either act to immediately halt Israeli attacks and lift the blockade of Gaza or acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to use weapons to defend themselves.

    No nation, including any in the Muslim world, appears willing to intervene to protect the Palestinians. No world body, including the United Nations, appears willing or able to pressure Israel through sanctions to conform to the norms of international law. And the longer we in the world community fail to act, the worse the spiral of violence will become.

    Israel does not have the right to drop 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs on Gaza. It does not have the right to pound Gaza with heavy artillery and with shells lobbed from gunboats. It does not have the right to send in mechanized ground units or to target hospitals, schools and mosques, along with Gaza’s water and electrical systems. It does not have the right to displace over 100,000 people from their homes. The entire occupation, under which Israel has nearly complete control of the sea, the air and the borders of Gaza, is illegal.

    Violence, even when employed in self-defense, is a curse. It empowers the ruthless and punishes the innocent. It leaves in its aftermath horrific emotional and physical scars. But, as I learned in Sarajevo during the 1990s Bosnian War, when forces bent on your annihilation attack you relentlessly, and when no one comes to your aid, you must aid yourself. When Sarajevo was being hit with 2,000 shells a day and under heavy sniper fire in the summer of 1995 no one among the suffering Bosnians spoke to me about wanting to mount nonviolent resistance. No one among them saw the U.N.-imposed arms embargo against the Bosnian government as rational, given the rain of sniper fire and the 90-millimeter tank rounds and 155-millimeter howitzer shells that were exploding day and night in the city. The Bosnians were reduced, like the Palestinians in Gaza, to smuggling in light weapons through clandestine tunnels. Their enemies, the Serbs—like the Israelis in the current conflict—were constantly trying to blow up tunnels. The Bosnian forces in Sarajevo, with their meager weapons, desperately attempted to hold the trench lines that circled the city. And it is much the same in Gaza. It was only repeated NATO airstrikes in the fall of 1995 that prevented the Bosnian-held areas from being overrun by advancing Serbian forces. The Palestinians cannot count on a similar intervention.

    The number of dead in Gaza resulting from the Israeli assault has topped 650, and about 80 percent have been civilians. The number of wounded Palestinians is over 4,000 and a substantial fraction of these victims are children. At what point do the numbers of dead and wounded justify self-defense? 5,000? 10,000? 20,000? At what point do Palestinians have the elemental right to protect their families and their homes?

    Article 51 does not answer these specific questions, but the International Court of Justice does in the case of Nicaragua v. United States. The court ruled in that case that a state must endure an armed attack before it can resort to self-defense. The definition of an armed attack, in addition to being “action by regular armed forces across an international border,” includes sending or sponsoring armed bands, mercenaries or irregulars that commit acts of force against another state. The court held that any state under attack must first request outside assistance before undertaking armed self-defense. According to U.N. Charter Article 51, a state’s right to self-defense ends when the Security Council meets the terms of the article by “tak[ing] the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

    The failure of the international community to respond has left the Palestinians with no choice. The United States, since Israel’s establishment in 1948, has vetoed in the U.N. Security Council more than 40 resolutions that sought to curb Israel’s lust for occupation and violence against the Palestinians. And it has ignored the few successful resolutions aimed at safeguarding Palestinian rights, such as Security Council Resolution 465, passed in 1980.

    Resolution 465 stated that the “Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem.” The resolution went on to warn Israel that “all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

    Israel, as an occupying power, is in direct violation of Article III of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. This convention lays out the minimum standards for the protection of civilians in a conflict that is not international in scope. Article 3(1) states that those who take no active role in hostilities must be treated humanely, without discrimination, regardless of racial, social, religious or economic distinctions. The article prohibits certain acts commonly carried out against noncombatants in regions of armed conflict, including murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture. It prohibits the taking of hostages as well as sentences given without adequate due process of law. Article 3(2) mandates care for the sick and wounded.

    Israel has not only violated the tenets of Article III but has amply fulfilled the conditions of an aggressor state as defined by Article 51. But for Israel, as for the United States, international law holds little importance. The U.S. ignored the verdict of the international court in Nicaragua v. United States and, along with Israel, does not accept the jurisdiction of the tribunal. It does not matter how many Palestinians are killed or wounded, how many Palestinian homes are demolished, how dire the poverty becomes in Gaza or the West Bank, how many years Gaza is under a blockade or how many settlements go up on Palestinian territory. Israel, with our protection, can act with impunity.

    The unanimous U.S. Senate vote in support of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the media’s slavish parroting of Israeli propaganda and the Obama administration’s mindless repetition of pro-Israeli clichés have turned us into cheerleaders for Israeli war crimes. We fund and abet these crimes with $3.1 billion a year in military aid to Israel. We are responsible for the slaughter. No one in the establishment, including our most liberal senator, Bernie Sanders, dares defy the Israel lobby. And since we refuse to act to make peace and justice possible we should not wonder why the Palestinians carry out armed resistance.

    The Palestinians will reject, as long as possible, any cease-fire that does not include a lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. They have lost hope that foreign governments will save them. They know their fate rests in their own hands. The revolt in Gaza is an act of solidarity with the world outside its walls. It is an attempt to assert in the face of overwhelming odds and barbaric conditions the humanity and agency of the Palestinian people. There is little in life that Palestinians can choose, but they can choose how to die. And many Palestinians, especially young men trapped in overcrowded hovels where they have no work and little dignity, will risk immediate death to defy the slow, humiliating death of occupation.

    I cannot blame them.


    • #3
      Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

      If your neighbour was a lot bigger & richer than you and had bullet proof glass on his windows, would you keep chucking stones at his windows?
      This is, in fact, what the Palestinians are doing to Israel.
      It's madness what they are doing.....they go on about Israel taking their land when originally it did belong to the Jews who were driven out many years before the Muslim religion was even founded (around the 8th century).



      • #4
        Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

        Well Alistair, you raise a very valid issue. I think the lack of reporting can be attributed to the disparity of truly independent reporting and that of those feeding at the trough of corporate media dominated by certain lobbies. Did you hear what happened to those Christians safely ensconced in Iraq prior to the invasion? Not much with the control of embedding reporters with the troops. And, probably the most dominant lobby in the Middle East is the fossil fuel industry. I wonder who will end up getting dibs on the massive wealth of natural gas along the Gaza shoreline.


        • #5
          Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

          I've actually been reporting on this with the Knights Templar community. I did the newsletter for the Priory of St James in Toronto for 3 years and now two years in doing the same for the Grand Priory of Canada. In every issue I've had something to say about Christians in the Middle East.

          I noted a video from Canon Andrew White the other day on the BBC and also have done a wee feature on him for the next newsletter. He has MS but despite that does an amazing job as the Vicar of Bagdad, The YouTube video can be watched at


          PS There are other videos by him on YouTube.


          • #6
            Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

            Try this one for another perspective,


            The Hamas trap: hidden labyrinth was wired for war

            Israeli security thought it had adequate intelligence about Gaza. It was in for a surprise. It was not just the labyrinth of tunnels discovered, much more extensive than expected, but the stockpiles: thousands of weapons, Russian anti-tank missiles, explosive devices, and large amounts of tranquillisers, handcuffs, syringes, ropes. The tools of capture on a large scale.

            Some of the tunnels are very deep, big enough to hold vehicles. They were dug with electric jackhammers, mostly about 20 metres below ground, and reinforced with concrete made on site, in workshops adjacent to the tunnels.

            The tunnels served as command centres, infiltration points into Israel, weapons stores, rocket-launcher hiding sites, and the means to move and conceal fighters during urban combat. The tunnels dug into Israel were created in parallel pairs, with multiple shafts to the surface for multiple entry points. Inside urban Gaza, the labyrinth could allow fighters to move unseen between homes and alleys.

            Gaza had been wired for war. On a scale more advanced than Israeli military intelligence realised, which is why the Israel Defence Forces lost more than 40 soldiers in the first phase of Operation Protective Edge.

            Areas of cities were laced with hundreds of booby-traps. The commander of the IDF Gaza Division, Brigadier-General Mickey Edelstein, said that in a single street in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, his soldiers had found booby-traps in 19 of 28 homes. Three Israeli soldiers were killed by an explosive device when they entered a building*. The IDF has conceded it was surprised by the scale of the bomb traps across Gaza.

            Israel is thus engaging in very limited ground combat in Gaza, given the whole area is a booby-trap of explosives, ambush and civilian targets. The largest known military control centre for Hamas was placed in the basement of a hospital.

            The IDF’s use of bombing has created a heavy civilian cost.

            ‘‘Hamas planned these tunnels for years, and planned to use them to kidnap soldiers,’’ chief spokesman for the IDF Brigadier-General Moti Almoz told a recent media briefing.

            Actually, since then it has emerged that Hamas had a much broader agenda. Kidnappings can deliver psychological blows to Israel but not strategic ones. Hamas wanted strategic blows. It wants jihad. Having devoted so much to war preparations, by some estimates 40 per cent of its budget, Hamas, with Iran, created the capacity for a major strike on Israel.

            Israeli intelligence is assembling evidence from the tunnel labyrinth and from captured Hamas members, that the scale of the effort was to have the capacity to launch a co-ordinated attack involving thousands of the approximately 15,000 fighters Hamas has trained in Gaza.

            Hamas had also doubled its rocket arsenal between 2012 and this year, with hundreds of missiles with the range to reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, according to head of IDF military intelligence research Brigadier-General Itai Brun. Bigger missiles had been on their way in March, supplied by Iran and sourced in Syria. But the cargo ship Klos-C, an Iranian vessel under a Panamanian flag, carrying a load of M-302 surface-to-surface missiles, was intercepted by Israeli Navy special forces in the Red Sea.

            With each revelation in recent weeks, the mood in Israel is that Operation Protective Edge has averted a catastrophe for the country, a mass terror attack, emerging from underground, incubated by the implacable hatred of Hamas.

            The sheer scale of the war infrastructure revealed guarantees that Israel is far from done with this operation. It does not yet know the full scale of what was built and it wants this springboard of war and attrition destroyed. Tunnels have also been discovered in the West Bank, some stocked with bomb-making materials.

            This is why the Israel government and public reacted with fury when US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested last week that Israel agree to a ceasefire which included a cessation of its operation to find and destroy tunnels. The proposal was deemed preposterous. (Numerous references to Kerry’s facelift reflected the scorn with which his intervention was held.) Even famously pacifist Israeli author Amos Oz has been moved to condemn Hamas for creating a web of warfare through the civilian population of Gaza. At the other end of the political spectrum Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of the nationalist Jewish Home party, said of the war preparations uncovered: ‘‘Without the ground operation, we would have woken up one day to an Israeli 9/11.’’

            Such is the nature of the Israel-Palestinian debate that many people regard all this as Israel reaping what it sows. Even as Israel strikes against a war machine, it is blamed for creating the conditions which created the threat. The result of this logic trap – and the differing standard applied to killings by Jews and killing by Muslims – is that more media coverage and outrage has been directed at Israel for the unintended deaths of children in Gaza than has been directed at the butchery of Muslims by Muslims, on a massive scale, in Iraq and elsewhere. In Syria alone, three years of war have seen between 120,000 and 170,000 people killed, including more than 11,000 children. This violence has spilled into Iraq, with atavistic massacres of prisoners by jihadis from Islamic State.

            The deep animosities which are the ultimate source of this bloody absolutism could even be heard on the streets of Sydney last week, in the chants of demonstrators, some waving the black flag of the Islamic State: ‘‘Palestine is Muslim land ... Jew and Christian will not stand ... From Lakemba to Gaza ... You can never stop Islam.’’

            Twitter: @Paul_Sheehan_

            * Clarification: An earlier version said a building in Gaza that was booby-trapped, killing three Israeli soldiers, was designated as a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. This was based on information provided by the Israel Defence Forces, which has since confirmed the building has not been used as a UNRWA facility for many years. The IDF said it regrets the error.


            Published on Aug 2, 2014

            This is not Kabul Afghanistan, or even Mosul, Iraq. This is the main street of Lakemba, Sydney.

            Jihadi flags, death chants and white pickup trucks.

            Philistine philistine (Arabic for Palestine),
            Allah hedik Israel (God destroy you Israel)
            Palestine is Muslim land
            With the Umma we will stand
            Palestine is Muslim land
            The solution is Jihad
            Palestine is Muslim land
            Your oppression will not stand
            You can never stop Islam
            From Australia to al Sham (Syria)
            One umma hand in hand
            From Lakemba to Gaza


            • #7
              Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

              Sorry for resurrecting this thread but i cant help myself and share my thought about this issue. I know this is very old and sensitive issue. but for all those years of conflict, why cant they find a long lasting and stable solution? I don't even see UN doing something about this. And even if! even if the UN will do something about this issue, hamas will not even listen and don't even give a fair fight. They used their citizen, hospital, kinder garten and mosques as shield against the Israelis. We all know who the bad guys are and lets not ignore the truth that hamas will not submit to peaceful talks but their only aim is to annihilate every Jew. What a selfish desire.


              • #8
                Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

                The moslem religion is actually against all other religions and it doesnt embrace tolerance which is the root cause of all the conflict.

                "Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the absolute and final word of Allah, without internal contradiction, absolutely perfect in every way and to be unquestioningly submitted to and followed. There are many so-called "Verses of the Sword" in that book, verses which command the faithful to convert all infidels and apostates or massacre them by war or by sneaking up on them, stabbing and beheading them. Though many apologist translations soften the insistence and violent intent of the Divine Will (quoted here from "Meaning of the Qur'an: The Last Testament and Final Revelation on Earth - Modern English Translation" by Abdullah Yusuf Ali; Al-Attique Publishers Inc., Scarborough, Ontario), the stark cruelty of the message is still quite plain and clear in the following verses:"

                Ther above is a quote from an article which will be appearing in the Canadian Templar Newsletter for October 2014.



                • #9
                  Re: Israel Gaza Conflict

                  I recently had a conversation with the owner/operator of my local foodstore (who is Muslem) on this subject, and he told me that if Islam ever came to power in this country, and if his superiors ordered him to kill me, he would have no hesitation in doing it. (He also assured me that it would be nothing personal, and would cause him much pain, which I found very comforting.:unimpressed:) So much for "moderate" Muslims.
                  N.B. I now shop elsewhere.