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What if Hamas fired rockets at Britain?

When Israeli spokesmen defend the IDF’s actions in Gaza by asking what you would do if rockets rained down on your home, the example of Northern Ireland can serve as one response. 

By John Jackson

Over the last weeks Israeli government spokesmen have provided cover across international TV and radio airspace for their military onslaught in Gaza. They’ve tried their best to respond proportionately, even when a small minority of irritating journalists insists on asking questions about the massacre of children.

However, there have been times when these spokesmen had no other choice but to wheel out the big gun, set piece question against the threatening fire of journalistic inquiry: “What would you do if rockets were being fired at you?” The question hits the target almost every time.

It’s a killer blow question when no journalist is armed with an answer. So, in the interest of promoting even greater proportionality in this ongoing war of words, I would like to offer the few brave anchormen and women out there a possible response.

Israelis check the scene in which a mortar shot from the Gaza Strip has directly hit a house, southern Israel, August 21, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

Israelis check the scene in which a mortar shot from the Gaza Strip had a direct hit a house, southern Israel, August 21, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

During the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland, civilian deaths were caused by the British Army, the Loyalists and Republican paramilitaries. But for the purpose of answering the Israeli question it is useful to look at the major bombing campaigns by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that took place across England. These campaigns were far more destructive than anything coming out of Gaza. There were approximately 10,000 bomb attacks during the conflict – about 16,000 if you include failed attempts. A significant proportion of them were on English soil.

A time bomb was detonated at Brighton’s Grand Hotel, where Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet were staying for the Conservative Party conference. Thatcher narrowly escaped death, five people were killed (including an MP) and 31 injured. The Queen’s cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, his grandson and three others were blown up while fishing off the coast of Ireland. In Manchester city center a 3,300-pound bomb caused £1.1 billion (today’s value) in damage and injured 212 people. The Bishopsgate bombing in the city of London cost £350 million to repair and injured 44 people. And, as those of us who lived through those times will remember, there were numerous bombs in pubs and shops, on high streets and shopping centers, in train stations and on the London underground. The thousands of rockets fired by Hamas over the last month have killed six civilians in Israel, along with 64 soldiers, while the IDF has killed 2,104 Palestinians, including at least 500 children.

Despite the effectiveness of the IRA campaign, it would have been politically inconceivable and morally unjustifiable for the Royal Air Force to bomb the streets and homes of the republican communities in North or West Belfast – the communities from which the IRA came and amongst which it lived. It would have been unacceptable in Britain and, indeed, to the U.S. government at the time. The British army and intelligence services did terrible things in Northern Ireland, but such a wholesale massacre of civilians would have been unconscionable. The answer to the question of what would you do? In Britain’s case at least, faced with a destructive bombing campaign, it did not respond by sending in warplanes to bomb schools, hospitals or terraced houses.

Mourners fill the mosque during the funeral for 24 members of the Abu Jame' family, who were killed the previous day during an Israeli attack over the Bani Suhaila neighborhood of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. Reports indicate that 15 of the 24 killed were children of the Abu Jame' family.

Mourners fill the mosque during the funeral for 24 members of the Abu Jame’ family, who were killed the previous day during an Israeli attack over the Bani Suhaila neighborhood of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. Reports indicate that 15 of the 24 killed were children of the Abu Jame’ family.

Why is it that Israel, the U.S. and the UK government don’t find the massacre of defenseless civilians, concentrated in a densely populated strip of land, by a hi-tech air force simply unacceptable? It could be that Catholics in Northern Ireland, despite a history of oppression, were not dehumanized in the late 20th century in the way Palestinians are today. They were integrated into the fabric of British society with significant communities in major cities and with a large proportion of British people claiming some Irish heritage. And U.S. governments, making domestic electoral calculations about the Irish-American vote, would have responded fiercely if such a slaughter took place. Similar calculations made by the Obama administration about the pro-Israeli vote and lobby result in a deafening silence on Gaza.

So, is the military onslaught really about the rockets from Gaza? The Palestinian West Bank suggests that it is not. Not a single rocket has been fired from that territory; yet, it is still subject to daily punishment from the Israeli military and settler communities. This includes encroachments on Palestinian land, mass detention without trial, the killing of children, the destruction of homes, the inability to move freely, the building of a wall that separates families, and the daily humiliation of an entire people. The message is clear to Palestinians when it comes to rockets: you’re damned if you do (use them) and you’re damned if you don’t. This, in effect, means that the choice offered to the people of Gaza is to remain docile in a suffocating ghetto or be destroyed.

When Israeli spokesmen like Mark Regev fly onto our TV and radio airspace and ask in Australian or American accents, “What would you do?” It is time to start answering them.

John Jackson is an author and commentator who has led major public campaigns on a range of international issues. He has a particular interest in strategic non-violent struggle, and co-authored Small Acts of Resistance, which explores the creative ways people have developed to challenge injustice. 

Read this article in Hebrew on Local Call.

Related:
The world is letting Israel get away with it again
Gaza deaths aren’t worth a mention in leading Israeli newspaper
Not even a ‘bump on the wing’ these days when killing Palestinians
COMIC: What if Mahmoud was named Jonah

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    COMMENTS

    1. Pedro X

      Good Grief, the British operated murder squads dressed in civilian clothing killing Catholics in Northern Ireland to terrorize them as the British had done to the Mau Mau in Kenya. The British also armed and trained members of the Protestant paramilitaries how to better kill Catholics.

      However, a real look at how the British would react to missiles is what happened when Germany sent missiles and dropped bombs on England. The British destroyed German cities from the air killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. So we do not have to guess how the British would react.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Because the cheapo bottle rockets Hamas farts out, only to mostly drop harmlessly in some empty field in Southern Israel, is exactly like the Blitz.

        You owe every living Londonite who survived through that time an apology.

        Reply to Comment
        • Guy

          Read your comment again. Doesn’t it embarrass you?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            You Zionists never explain anything. Explain to me why I should be embarassed.

            Reply to Comment
          • Guy L.

            I’ll tell why why you should be embarresed. Because my little brother was hospitalized with severe shrapnel injury when a teeny tiny rocket fell next to him, and I’m still partially deaf and carry a bit of scars because of one of those “harmless” little 8th grade experiments.

            You should be embaressed because you have no fucking idea about what you’re talking about, and because most chances are that you’ve never ever ever seen or heard a rocket fly past you, or explode anywhere near you.
            You should be embaressed because you probably never had to throw away your cloths because they were soaked with your and some random stranger’s blood because of a cute harmless little rocket. Awww, they’re so adorable- look at how they try!

            A rocket is a flying metal thing with explosives inside of it and when it goes boom it send out flying metal pieces. They sometimes engrave the metal in such a way that it will send out the maximum amount of shrapnel.
            It’s pretty fucking terrifying, I’ll tell you that, especially when you see what it does to people.

            Reply to Comment
        • JohnM

          Actually it would be every Londoner who owes that apology, but perhaps through no fault of their own. An article a while back talked about the people of Sderot in Southern Israel, where practically everyone knows someone who has been maimed or seriously injured by one of these small rockets. Children don’t sleep well at night and live in fear of the rockets winging overhead, with sirens going off regularly. Many families there are forced to sleep all in one room every night because it’s the only room in the house they can afford to have fortified. Mothers running their kids to school regularly have to dive into bomb shelters for an hour or more when sirens go off (school runtime and schools are favourite targets for Hamas). But all of this goes unreported in the press; only the response with its much higher loss of life the other side is reported. I can understand the reason for this — but there should be need to put some balance into the equation by showing cause and effect on both sides.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      “.., it would have been politically inconceivable and morally unjustifiable for the Royal Air Force to bomb the streets and homes of the republican communities in North or West Belfast”

      This is where this article lurched into idiocy. This is where I stopped reading it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Care to explain why? Or shall I assume you can’t?

        Reply to Comment
    3. Mark Matchen

      This is uncommonly stupid, and I happen to be very critical of Israel. It’s a good comparison but a terrible conclusion. England committed scores of war crimes in Northern Ireland. Their “justice” system for prisoners makes Israel’s for the Palestinians look progressive.

      In their case, the people they were fighting were practically family, so they didn’t bomb indiscriminately, but boy did they ever find their own ways of dealing death. And as someone else pointed out, in response to the Battle of Britain, they bombed the hell out of Dresden for no military advantage at all, just for pure revenge.

      Nice try, but total fail. There are better ways to respond to the “What would you do?” question. Such as, don’t use the British as your moral standard – that’s too low a bar.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Guatav

      “Despite the effectiveness of the IRA campaign, it would have been politically inconceivable and morally unjustifiable for the Royal Air Force to bomb the streets and homes of the republican communities in North or West Belfast”

      Stupid analogy.

      British forces could enter any house they wanted to in Republican areas to arrest perpetrators or other terrorists. Anytime they felt like it. So they did not need to bomb those neighborhoods.

      Compare that to Gaza which is a no go area for the IDF and the only way the IDF can enter it is by waging street to street fighting and urban warfare.

      Israel doesn’t respond with tanks and airplanes when it does not have to. Wanna dispute that? Just look at the West Bank since Abbas took over. When Israel occasionally needs to go in and arrest terrorists it goes in and does house to house searches without major resistance.

      So back to the question: what would Britain have done if they would have had rockets lobbed on them from Republican neighborhoods for 15 years, virtually non stop, and they would have met heavy resistance when they would try to enter those areas to try and stop the rocket fire? Mmmmmmmmmmm?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Gustav

      “Despite the effectiveness of the IRA campaign, it would have been politically inconceivable and morally unjustifiable for the Royal Air Force to bomb the streets and homes of the republican communities in North or West Belfast”

      Stupid analogy.

      British forces could enter any house they wanted to in Republican areas to arrest perpetrators or other terrorists, anytime they felt like it. So they did not need to bomb those neighborhoods.

      Compare that to Gaza which is a no go area for the IDF and the only way the IDF can enter it is by waging street to street fighting and urban warfare.

      Israel doesn’t respond with tanks and airplanes when it does not have to. Wanna dispute that? Just look at the West Bank since Abbas took over. When Israel occasionally needs to go in and arrest terrorists it goes in and does house to house searches without major resistance.

      So back to the original question: what would Britain have done if they would have had rockets lobbed on them from Republican neighborhoods for 15 years, virtually non stop, and they would have met heavy resistance when they would try to enter those areas to try and stop the rocket fire? Would the Brits just kept a stiff upper lip and tolerated it forever, mmmmmmmmmmm? Yea, right, like hell they would have …

      Reply to Comment
    6. Tomer

      Northern ireland was (and is) still INSIDE the UK at the time of the bombings. So obviously, the British could not bomb their own country.

      That is NOT the situation here in Israel where Aza is OUTSIDE the borders.

      That’s why this article is aload of BS

      Reply to Comment
    7. bor

      The author undermines his own silly argument by noting that Israel fights completely differently in Judea and Samaria.

      It’s really a simple matter. Assume that England was right next door to Germany and Germany began to launch rockets at English towns from across the border. How would the RAF respond?

      Right. End of discussion.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        The Brits didn’t bomb SOUTHERN Ireland (i.e. the Republic, where the IRA originated) either, so that shows what your rebuttal is worth.

        Reply to Comment
        • bor

          This article is specifically about Northern Ireland. The author even links to a Wikipedia article that is supposed to list 10,000 attacks and specifies IRA and Northern Ireland.

          He has no argument and your “defense” isn’t helping.

          Reply to Comment
          • Say that again?

            Ahem, Bor, it was **you** not Ray nor Jackson who argued a hypothetical.

            And since it was **you** who posed that question then it is perfectly valid for Ray to respond in the way that he did i.e. by pointing out that there is no need to pose a hypothetical because the Republic of Eire was, indeed, right next door to the United Kingdom.

            And the Republic of Eire was, indeed, where so many of those IRA acts of terror originated.

            Ray is quite correct to point out that the real-world example trumps **your** ludicrous hypothetical.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            Actually Ray, and you, are both totally incorrect.

            As Gustav says, unlike Hamas, the Republic of Eire cooperated with the British to stop terrorism from the territory of the Republic. Consequently, Britain did not need to bomb the Republic of Eire.

            On the other hand, Hamas not only lobs rockets itself onto Israeli civilians but allows other groups to do the same. And when Israel tries to stop the rockets, Hamas resists and fires on the IDF. Israel consequently Israel has every right to exercise it’s natural rights of defending it’s own citizens and do whatever it takes to stop attacks from Gaza.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Peter

      Hey, what’s the difference between a hasbarist and a stopped watch?

      The defenders of Israel’s horrific policies can quibble all they like about the details of the two situations, but the central fact is that there were deadly bombs going off in the mainland UK for decades and while the UK did a lot of evil things during the troubles, we never responded to attacks with the mass killing of 500 children or by creating a system of apartheid where the people of Northern Ireland were denied British citizenship and their rights to property and free movement.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Oh Peter, you are such champions. But you forgot to mention all the differences between the two conflicts. Here are just a few, in addition to the ones already mentioned by others here:

        1. All the IRA wanted was independece from Britain. It did not try to take over England. It did not advocate the death of all the English people or their expulsion from England.

        2. You did not have wave upon wave of mad Irish men, women and children donning suicide vests and blowing themselves up amongst English civilians just so they could kill the English.

        And even then, you Brits perpetrated some pretty awful things. Here is one:

        “Bogside Massacre[3]—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in which 26 civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army. Thirteen males, seven of whom were teenagers, died immediately or soon after, while the death of another man four-and-a-half months later was attributed to the injuries he received on that day. Two protesters were also injured when they were run down by army vehicles.[4]”

        Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones Peter.

        Reply to Comment
      • bor

        “The defenders of Israel’s horrific policies”

        Israel’s policies aren’t horrific.

        “can quibble all they like about the details of the two situations,”

        Nobody is quibbling. The people criticizing this article aren’t bothering with subtleties. We’re attacking it openly and clearly and mocking the silly responses.

        “but the central fact is that there were deadly bombs going off in the mainland UK for decades and while the UK did a lot of evil things during the troubles,”

        Yes you did. Scum.

        “we never responded to attacks with the mass killing of 500 children”

        Neither did Israel. First of all, we don’t know how many children were killed. As we’ve now seen, Hamas listed a “child” victim but it turned out to be a 26 year old fighter. Second, the numbers of victims all come from Hamas. The newspapers, the UN, NGOs, etc. are all reporting Hamas numbers. And Hamas issued a directive instructing anybody speaking to the media to refer to ALL victims as “innocent civilians.” Yeah, I know, it’s hard for you to address this because you want Israelis to be mass child murderers, but unfortunately your information is coming from Hamas’s propaganda arm.

        Second, all the Palestinians killed in this last operation were killed while Israel was responding and attacking those who were attacking it. If there were exceptions, they were accidental.

        Third, the British most certainly killed children during the Troubles.

        “or by creating a system of apartheid”

        There is no apartheid in Israel. Sorry.

        “where the people of Northern Ireland were denied British citizenship”

        Actually, it seems the people of Ireland don’t have British citizenship. Just looked it up on Wikipedia. “British nationality law and the Republic of Ireland”

        “and their rights to property and free movement.”

        Let me know when the Irish declare that they seek to destroy Britain and kill the British. In fact, I challenge you to find an Irish document resembling the Fatah charter (well, what we think it is, since it’s a secret) and the Hamas charter.

        This is so much fun, I can’t wait until next week’s 972 article on why Israel is like Soviet Russia, the following week’s on why Israel is like slavery-period USA, and the following week’s on why Israel’s leaders resemble Hitler and Ghengis Khan.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Gustav

      Duh

      The security forces of Southern Ireland fully cooperated with British MI5 to root out terrorists.

      Does Hamas cooperate with Israel to root out the rocket firing terrorists from Gaza?

      Err ummm, NO, Ray Baby. Next …

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Anyway, your argument shows how morally bankrupt you are: It’s OK to bomb OTHER country’s innocent civilians, but not our own. That makes it totally different. You’re grasping at straws to defend the unconscionable.

        I’d pick a different form of political meddling, couched as a “defense.” Guy Mollet’s insistence on overthrowing Gamal Abdel Nasser, by siccing your precious “defense force” on Egypt to provide a pretext for an “intervention” by France and the Brits, to get back the Suez Canal. And their attempt to invade Tunisia, just to get a few Algerian revolutionaries.

        It’s not about defense, so much as it’s about power, and making examples of those who challenge it by giving their oppressors a bloody nose once in a while.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Gustav

      “Anyway, your argument shows how morally bankrupt you are: It’s OK to bomb OTHER country’s innocent civilians,”

      Really? My argument showed that the analogy of the writer of this article was totally invalid.

      “but not our own. That makes it totally different. You’re grasping at straws to defend the unconscionable.”

      Really? Is that was what I said? Try this instead:

      I said that if a criminal organization like Hamas and their cronies fire at Israeli civilians and the only way to stop that is by street to street urban warfare, then you would find that not only Israel but all self respecting sovereign powers would react that way.

      A case in point: after 9/11, the US sent it’s forces half way around the world into Afghanistan to try and topple the bad guys who attacked US civilians.

      As for the rest of your post, I’ll ignore it this time because it is obvious that you are just trying to side track the conversation from the topic at hand because you know you are losing the argument, Ray.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Explain to me why, if “urban warfare” is what you think was necessary, the IDF’s first resort was bombing residential areas from the sky? Why not cordon-and-search tactics from the very start, to minimize civilian casualties, and be more efficient at finding targets? Other than homicidal rage, and desire to quench the public’s bloodlust.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Urban fighting is necessary if all else fails. Hamas and their cronies put up stiff resistance anytime the IDF sets foot in Gaza. And no doubt your kind encourages that.

          Cordon and search tactics are only possible when no head on resistance occurs when the army shows up. That is what happened in Ireland where the IRA never took on the British army head on. That’s why the British army never needed to bombard Irish neighbourhoods.

          Reply to Comment
    11. David

      You are completely missing the fact that the damage to Israel would far outweigh the damage inflicted by the IRA had Israel not invented the iron dome, constructed a security barrier and employs security staff at every public building! You can’t compare one conflict with another when one occurred 30 plus years ago and the circumstances were completely different. Since the IRA didn’t fire over 4000 rockets on English soil you cannot compare the response by the respective governments.

      Reply to Comment
      • Shannon Hall

        You can openly confess that you have no idea what the struggle of IRA was all about, cause you’re just too young and reading books exhaust your brain too much. No problem.
        But then just don’t comment on topics you know exactly nothing about.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        One IRA car bomb cost England more lives and property than a hundred Hamas rockets.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “One IRA car bomb cost England more lives and property than a hundred Hamas rockets.”

          It ain’t just the rockets buddy. Hamas murdered and maimed about 8000 Israeli civilians between 2000 and 2006.

          Why does one get the feeling from morons like you, Ray, that if only more Israeli civilians would die too, all would be forgiven?

          Granted, since Israel erected the security barrier, there are less Israeli civilian casualties. But then you complain about the security wall. And soon, you will contend that the use of the Iron Dome by Israel is a war crime because it only saves Israeli civilians.

          But wait, didn’t Navi Pillay, the exulted UN human rights commissioner already made such assertions?

          You guys are amazing, simply amazing, with the kinds of stupid accusations you come up with.

          Reply to Comment
    12. david

      It’s amazing – what happened to that magnificent nation who once ruled the planet? When did you become a nation who look for excuses when Muslim extremists kill a soldier with knifes in the middle of the street? When did you become such whimps?
      When hamas or the plo planted bombs on the ” high streets” of israel no one attacked them from the air. If the I.r.a would shoot mortar bombs or rockets on England the r.a.f would bomb them to hell – with neighborhoods and everything around it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        You remind me of this:

        “For the settler, going to the colony is not a rejection of the metropolis, but a way to claim his due as a member. Therefore, the settler is always trying to be more metropolitan than the metropolis. When the people of the metropolis baulk at the bloodbath the settler wants to usher in the name of their values, the settler accuses them of “growing soft,” and declares himself “the true metropolis.”

        http://electronicintifada.net/content/diagnosing-benny-morris-mind-european-settler/4967

        The Brits grew up and realized colonialism wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. We’re still waiting for Israel to follow suit.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “The Brits grew up and realized colonialism wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. We’re still waiting for Israel to follow suit.”

          Hey, far be it from me to criticize the Brits. They have their flaws, like all of us, but they are fundamentally a decent people.

          Having said that, they are not better than us. In Afghanistan, a war in which Britain plays a major role, 20,000 civilians died. Can you explain why, Ray?

          And look at how they are now reacting to home grown terrorists threats they perceive from ISIS. They are introducing new draconian laws to confiscate the passports of some Muslims.

          When Israel reacts that way to terrorist threats, you can’t stop whining about it. You accuse us of racism, apartheid and unfair profiling. Where is your outcry, Ray dear, about what the Brits have done in Afghanistan? About what they are doing against the threat of home grown terrorists? Just admit what a hypocrite you are Ray.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            I thought we on the Left had made our opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan, and Islamophobic legislation, clear in the past 10+ years. Apparently, we haven’t. Or maybe you’re just willfully ignorant.

            And please stop calling me “baby” or “dear.” It’s annoying. If you don’t, I will henceforth refer to you as “Gus Gus,” like the chubby mouse from Cinderella.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “I thought we on the Left had made our opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan,”

            No you did not. After 9/11 Most lefties too supported the invasion of Afghanistan. But if a small number of you were against it, you were awfully quiet. Maybe you just whispered it? Contrast that to the noise that you make about us!

            “and Islamophobic legislation,”

            Yes, on that score you guys were more visible. But nowhere near as noisy as in your accusations against us.

            “clear in the past 10+ years. Apparently, we haven’t. Or maybe you’re just willfully ignorant.”

            What about the 20,000 dead civilians in Afghanistan? Where were your daily demonstrations and demand for BDS for that? No, Ray, I am not willfully ignorant, nor am I deaf. Your silence about that, compared to the noise that you make about Israel is DEAFENING!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ok I take your point. A small number of you are consistent about your opposition to war. But can you then answer the following questions?

            1) Are going to say this about the NATO coalition countries who were involved in the war in Afghanistan, you know; Britain, the USA, Germany and many others who contributed to civilian deaths by being there … Are you going to say this about them?

            “As for “sorry.” Yeah, I hope one day the world makes those NATO countries very, very sorry.”

            If you want me to stop calling you a hypocrite then you should say about them what you said about Israel.

            2) If you are not a hypocrite, then I assume that you oppose going to war against the looming threat of ISIS, Ray?

            3) But here is the sixty four dollar question: if you are against war, then what is YOUR solution? Are you in favor of allowing evil to rise and flourish? Would you have opposed the war against Nazi Germany too?

            4) If on the other hand, I am wrong and you support SOME wars, then tell me this: how do you stop the deaths of innocent civilians, Ray? Because I can tell you from first hand experience which gives me no joy whatsoever, that it is impossible! War is a very messy business. I know of no war where innocent civilians have not paid the ultimate price. If you know of such wars, Ray then maybe you could point it out to me. The closest I can think of in modern times is the Falklands war but I am hoping that even you would admit that the Falkland war had nothing in common with the types of wars which Jihadis and Hamasniks wage.

            If you bother to answer me Ray, then please don’t just pick and choose. Answer all four of my questions.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            Well thank you for that small concession. I don’t see how it’s a “small” number, though. It doesn’t matter.

            1. I would say it, but there’s no need; the people in those countries have done so already, in spades, as the wikipedia page demonstrated. In Britain, which you and your friends demand we hold to account before you, the majority want to get their troops out as quickly as possible.

            “As for “sorry.” Yeah, I hope one day the world makes those NATO countries very, very sorry.”

            You and me both. And a whole lot of other people.

            As I said, more than enough has been said of those countries foreign policy, by their own people.

            2-3. Yes, I do oppose it, because it will entail our governments’ (and yours) favorite tactic: bombing residential areas, and thus innocent civilians, to smithereens. I also opposed “intervention” and “boots on the ground” in Syria. What many others (and eventually me as well), did support was support for the rebels: weapons (especially MANPADS to shoot down Assad’s barrel-bombing helicopters), medical supplies, food, and full diplomatic/moral backing. If we had done this, and not fretted about “Islamic extremists” (exactly what Assad wanted us to do) Assad’s regime (and ISIS) might have been history. In the case of Libya, the rebels asked for no-fly zones and more “personal” help, so we were obliged to do so.

            The same goes for ISIS. Supply and support the Kurdish the Peshmerga and Peoples Protection Units (Syrian kurdish militias), provide safe haven and escape routes for others who want to escape. Above all else, hold the Iraqi government accountable for its actions that led to ISIS’ success (treating Sunnis like second class citizens), assure those actions are not continued. If the people there request a humanitarian intervention, we will be morally obliged.

            The best remedy for “evil” is preventative; not to create or contribute to the conditions for it in the first place, to respect others’ rights and dignity, and to not be vindictive or self-serving at others’ expense. I.e. to do no harm, especially not in the name of “realpolitik” chessboard-mentality geopolitics. This is the lesson the world should have learned at the end of WWI, but because we had the exact same attitude then that we do now, it took us another world war to learn it, temporarily.

            4. Don’t give me that “we had no choice” BS. The fact that violence sometimes can’t be ignored shouldn’t give anyone carte blanche to endanger civilians whenever they find it “expedient.”

            Again, to me, the best way to avoid civilian deaths is to avoid creating the conditions for these situations to arise in the first place. Something Israel has taken no care to do. Instead of learning from mistakes and altering their attitude and behavior, Israelis and their government seem content to say it’s all the other party’s fault, and just forge ahead to the next catastrophe, just winging it. You don’t want terrorism, stop creating conditions for support for it to flourish. The rise of the Nazis, and WWII, were made possible because we were stupid and short-sighted, approached these problems the same way Israel does: without concern for long-term consequences or repercussions, or the rights and welfare of others. We insisted on going to war in the name of fighting “the Huns,” but really just so Britain and France could do some empire building, and then insisted on punishing and humiliating them when we won. Thus, people were given a reason to believe the Nazis when they said that Germany had been wronged, and should get back at those who had wronged it (using it as a pretext to engage in ethnic cleansing and political repression).

            Yes, sometimes there is no other option but to defend oneself or ones’ rights (or those of others) by force of arms. But if a country finds oneself having to do this constantly, they should leave time for some reflection and self-criticism, perhaps considering that their behavior might be a source of their misery.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ray, I will keep it relatively short.

            This sentence of yours sums up your attitude:

            “The best remedy for “evil” is preventative; not to create or contribute to the conditions for it in the first place”

            In other words, your world view is that if ever evil occurs then it has to have been because ‘WE’ contributed to it. It could not have possibly arose indepently of ‘US’.

            Are you serious? Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that there are no such things as psychopaths who cannot help themselves and that they are just wired wrongly? And don’t you believe that sometimes, groups of such individuals gain ascendancy in some places, sometimes in history? And that when they do, they perpetrate evil irrespective of what we may or may not have done?

            Note: when I speak of ‘WE’ and ‘US’ in the above context, I don’t mean us Israelis. I mean it generically, the proverbial WE or US wherever we are.

            The other question that I just have to ask you is regarding your following response:

            “Don’t give me that “we had no choice” BS. The fact that violence sometimes can’t be ignored shouldn’t give anyone carte blanche to endanger civilians whenever they find it “expedient.”

            That’s all very convenient to put it that way. It makes you feel noble and self righteous, doesn’t it?

            But seeing that you talk about our BS, let me suggest that unless you explain HOW to avoid civilian casualties in the types of wars which ISIS, Hamas and Jihadis wage, YOU are the one who is talking BS.

            Put up or shut up Ray. Unless you can tell us how to do it, avoid civilian casualties, you are the one who is talking BS.

            And don’t give me the BS that we shouldn’t create the conditions to have to fight the wars in the first place because by your own admission, some wars are unavoidable. You said this:

            “Yes, sometimes there is no other option but to defend oneself or ones’ rights (or those of others) by force of arms.”

            Also don’t give me the BS that if it happens too often then it is our fault. Obviously you mean Israel by that. But has it occurred to you that we are still fighting the war which the Arabs started 100 years ago? We never won that war, Ray. We won lot’s of battles but we never won the war.

            Do you know how the allies won WW2, Ray? They literally razed Germany to the ground (7 million civilian dead) and they dropped A-Bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki. And you complain about us? You want a comparison? Do you know that in 65 years of ALL the battles which we, Israel, had against ALL the Arabs, not just the Palestinian Arabs, no more than about 80,000 people died on BOTH sides combined.

            We, both us and the Arabs, are rank amateurs compared to you guys Ray. But the down side of it is that the war still has not ended whereas WW2 lasted how long ? Five years maybe?

            By the way, maybe the Arabs are not amateurish after all. When they have a free for all like in Syria, how many died in just 3 years? Answer: over 200,000 people.

            But we, Israel, are the bad guys Ray? If your answer to that is ‘yes’ then you are either a fool or a hater!

            Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          “The Brits grew up and realized colonialism wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. We’re still waiting for Israel to follow suit.”

          Jews are not colonists anywhere on the Land of Israel, anti-Zionist POS. We are the indigenes of this land; the Arabs are the colonists, no matter how much they’ve succeeded in convincing a gullible world otherwise. A just and viable peace will ensue once the Arab colonists evacuate the Land of Israel for the sake of the indigenous people of the land—the Jews. We’re still waiting, therefore, for the Arab nation to follow the British in realizing colonialism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

          Reply to Comment
          • Chaim

            Stop with the ignorance please. The jews are not the indiginous inhabitants of the land of Israel either. Many peoples lived there before Jews ever set on the soil of what is now Eretz Israel.

            Besides, the facts that Jews lived there prior to Palestinians, doesn’t mean you can trample all over these people’s rights, deporting and persecuting them and stealing their land like Israel does. Israel is no different than the European colonial projects in the Americas, Africa and Asia.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            When the Spaniards landed in the Americas they found thousands-year old documents written in Spanish?

            Reply to Comment
    13. Average American

      I hope everyone realizes that Israel was created by Zionists to control all of what they unilaterally defined as Eretz Israel. I hope everyone also realizes Eretz Israel is far bigger than the current Jewish State. Which makes Israel an expansionist state, but only for its own people, only for Jews. There is no comparison to this racial-based superior mindset except for the Nazi’s Aryan Race lebensraum.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “I hope everyone also realizes Eretz Israel is far bigger than the current Jewish State.”

        I hope that everyone realizes that since you are an Arab pretending to be an Average American, all your comments are motivated by malice and hatred against the Jewish state, topped up by ample doses of ignorance.

        Net result: normal people should ignore your ill motivated assertions. Haters can feast on it.

        Reply to Comment
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