Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Amnesty International Says The Obvious & Political Defeat.

Amnesty International released a report on the 34-day war between Hizballah and Israel. I know, I know... the web is going to be flooded with citations of this report, and used by thousands to argue for the decimation of Israel.

Nevertheless, I feel it important to quote some sections of Amnesty's summary; if for no other reason, than to point it out to some self-righteous Israeli commenters who visit this blog. The real victim of this war was and remains Lebanon.
Israel's destruction of thousands of homes, and strikes on numerous bridges and roads as well as water and fuel storage plants, was an integral part of Israel's military strategy in Lebanon, rather than “collateral damage” resulting from the lawful targeting of military objectives.
...
The Israeli government has argued that they were targeting Hizbullah positions and support facilities and that other damage done to civilian infrastructure was a result of Hizbullah using the civilian population as a "human shield".
...
"The pattern, scope and scale of the attacks makes Israel's claim that this was 'collateral damage', simply not credible..."
...
"Civilian victims on both sides of this conflict deserve justice. The serious nature of violations committed makes an investigation into the conduct of both parties urgent. There must be accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes and reparation for the victims.”
I have heard Israelis counter that if their Army faced a conventional adversary in an open battlefield similar to the wars fought in the Suez and Golan Heights, Lebanese would have been spared the civilian casualties and destruction of infrastructure. I have also heard arguments, which contend that Hizballah is inherently immoral because it is an organization that is intimately intertwined with the general (i.e. Shi'a) population. Therefore, placing its own constituents directly in harms way during times of war.

What? Am I supposed to take sides in this useless debate over the morality of the actions of either side of this conflict? No! To me, Both sides are equally immoral. Therefore, self righteousness from either is the worst kind of denial of reality that I can place a finger on.

Politically though, no such equivalence exists. Increasing numbers of articles published by writers much more credible and articulate than I am say so. The latest, published in the Washington Post was written by, Egyptian Democracy advocate, Saad Eddine Ibrahim, who was arrested by Mubarak for his activities. Ibrahim writes,
According to the preliminary results of a recent public opinion survey of 1,700 Egyptians by the Cairo-based Ibn Khaldun Center, Hezbollah's action garnered 75 percent approval, and Nasrallah led a list of 30 regional public figures ranked by perceived importance. He appears on 82 percent of responses, followed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (73 percent), Khaled Meshal of Hamas (60 percent), Osama bin Laden (52 percent) and Mohammed Mahdi Akef of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (45 percent).

The pattern here is clear, and it is Islamic. And among the few secular public figures who made it into the top 10 are Palestinian Marwan Barghouti (31 percent) and Egypt's Ayman Nour (29 percent), both of whom are prisoners of conscience in Israeli and Egyptian jails, respectively.

None of the current heads of Arab states made the list of the 10 most popular public figures.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the legitimacy of not only the current Arab political elite, but also the very secular states that they lead are being strained to the limit. The Israeli war on Lebanon, and the pathetic reaction of the Lebanese state to the calamity (compared to Hizballah's response) only serve to increase that strain. Two weeks ago, I wrote the following in an e-mail, concerning Hizballah in the regional context,

I think Hizballah is an organization that is very conscious that it is being watched by the Arab world and the world in general. They seek to present themselves to that audience as an Islamic organization capable of standing up the "American-Zionist" behemoth. But, I also think, that they wish to present themselves simply as an "effective Islamic organization" - as a viable alternative to the status-quo (i.e. a counter-elite). They wish to show everyone that an Islamic political system is not only feasible, but more capable than the secular political elite in not only a military but also a political and social sense.

Unfortunately, I think that they have succeeded, and are winning over the Arab public. Countries like Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia may have effective secular political elites and states, but the Arab world, has some of the most useless, limp, pathetic governments out there. Anything compared to the existing Arab political elite will shine in comparison. Hizballah knows that. Therefore, it presents itself as the alternative - and there is no better way to strut your stuff in the Middle East than to effectively challenge Israel (it's like proving your "manhood" when you enter a new school by challenging the bully - you do it to gain respect).

I am increasingly convinced that this trend towards legitimacy of Islamic movements at the expense of secular institutions is gradually turning into an unstopable current. Moreover, the only way to fix this problem, if at all, is through a final settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and a valiant effort on behalf of today's elite to salvage their political legitimacy through better governance and a healthier relationship between the state and society.

Something tells me I shouldn't hold my breath!


55 comments:

Lirun said...

hi raja

that is the exact story of the rise of hamas..

i am hoping for an effective secular reaction in the arab world..

but i am the first to admit that it is a long shot..

therefore we need peace..

whattroubles me just as much is a religious explosion in my country and in our countries as well..

many born agains of all sorts are appearing left right and centre..

i have NOTHING against religion.. but i dont like the recipe of politics and religion together..

while i dont think arab and israeli politics are to blame for this world trend.. the worsening situation certainly doesnt help.. stress tends to lead people to extreme solutions..

wishing us all peace withuot delay

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
ziggi marley: love is my religion..

Laury Haytayan said...

I will comment on the last part of this report.
For 58 years all the Arab regimes were using The Palestinian cause to enforce their dictatorships...This helped in the creation of Islamic movements under the surveillance of the regimes...and now these regimes are unable to control their own creations, the new religious monsters...

Dimitry said...

Ah, ok then. Amnesty's International military experts are indeed renowned for their practical approach for issues of collateral damage. Because, you know, they are good enough to analyse from the results what IDF was thinking and based on what information they were acting. And of course they could be trusted not to protest every single civilian casualty but only the unjustified ones, they're pragmatic this way.


Sorry, try again.


Like I said in the commentaries to another thread - IDF failed to supply his armor and infantry sufficient artillery and air support, because they didn't want to hurt many Lebanese civilians. Israeli soliders died because of that. No other army in the world would've done such a thing, and rightfully so. And the irony is that Israel is still being condemned. It would've been funny if it wasn't so sad.

Don Cox said...

There is one basic difference. Hezb'allah is fighting for land and power, and for the destruction of the Israelis. The Israelis are fighting for their lives. They had no desire to invade Lebanon or damage it.___Also, the Jews have real historical experience of pogroms and massacres, culminating in the Holocaust. They know that there are many people who really want to kill them. ____A cornered rat will bite.

Lirun said...

what happens when we all start behaving like cornered rats? do we then bask in this glorious excuse to bite?

or do we exercise our frequently nobel prize winning intellect and search for alternatives?

we are so smart.. everyday my colleagues amaze me with their intelligence and ingenuity.. why cant we solve this? what is really stopping us?

Ergotelina said...

So ..Israeli generals are in big trouble..

Amnesty and Ultra-Jews are chasing them......

the first because of the Collateral damages...

the second because they failed
to destroy HEZ....

Ergotelina said...

Good news for Lebanon...
:)

France disappointed Lebanese
by not sending many UN troops

so Lebanon basketball team
punished them

LIB vs FRA 74-73

Ergotelina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ergotelina said...

What about the israeli police...

Israeli activist heavily injured.

chuck said...

have u heard about the 2 fox news reporters kidnapped in gaza ?

the palestinians demand that the worlds attention will be back on them. they felt a bit left out all along this war in lebanon. i guess they realised that the only way to gain back the attention on them is by kidnapping people.

anthonyb said...

Would love a resolution to the Pal/Is conflict. But solving it won't stop the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

mikealpha said...

Attacks by Islamic fundamentalists on the west (in which I include Israel) and the east (india)predate Israels' existance by a thousand years. The religious duty incumbent upon fundamentalist muslims of warring against jews,christians, hindus and atheists is the word of God, no earthly treaty can alter it. Thus I wouldnt expect any israeli-palestinian agreement to acheive anything postive.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

I'm sure the gay peace activist was just holding hands with his arab boyfriend singing "Kumbaya" and the police started beating him.

What is it with leftists and their street theater? They act like a bunch of snotty children, demanding this and that, crying to the media about their causes, making the rest of us wish that they would just go awy if they hate where they live so bad.

chuck said...

ergo te lina,

i believe that police must keep it's power of intimidation, otherwis the police is worthless, people wont respect it's authority and there will be chaos.

however, this video shows that in this protest the police used an unneccesary force aginst those protestors and shooting rubber bullets directly into the crowed is obviously a criminal act, and that policman should be delt acordingly.

but look, i traveled around europe for a long time and i traveled inside Israel all over the country, and there is one thing that i learned from this: policemen r the same both in europe and in Israel. policemen r not the smartest people u will meet. in an understatment.

and i think people that go to protest illegali and provoke an already agitated angry policmen in a time when the whole country is at war and the poeple r already jumpy and in a combat atmosphere, should take that into concideration and think twice before they do that.

this protest, seems to me, was merely a provokation.

Rodolfo Poliak said...

IDIOTAS, LA GUERRA MATA GENTE, Y SIEMPRE TERMINAN PERDIENDO LOS MAS DEBILES.
(TRANSLATE)
ASSHOLES, WAR ALWAYS KILL PEOPLE, AND ALWAYS CIVILIANS ARE THE ONES WHO PAY THE BRAKE DISHES

Rodolfo Poliak said...

OPPS, SORRY, I MEAN, BROKEN DISHES

chuck said...

by the way, this video was already shown a few days ago in Israeli news channels, the same day it happened.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

But what happened before the video rolled?

For the few (the cops) to control the many(the mob), they have to react strongly to provocation.

liz_ra said...

Hi
mikealpha: "Attacks by Islamic fundamentalists on the west (in which I include Israel) and the east (india)predate Israels' existance by a thousand years"
I am not an expert on history but I still can't recall any "thousand years before Israel" attacks by Islamic fundamentalists. Can you elighten me on some such cases? especially since the best thing I can think of now are the crusades which, as most know, were attacks by "christian fundamentalists" on the east, and they didn't discriminate between muslims or eastern christians generally.

also, "The religious duty incumbent upon fundamentalist muslims of warring against jews,christians, hindus and atheists is the word of God"

The word of God for muslims, i.e. The Koran never says such a thing.
it's never religion that corrupts people but the other way around.
so dont blame Islam or the muslim population for the work of a few fundamentalists. these types exist in all kind of religions and evry century.
Being a maronite christian, I'm not an expert on this subject also, so I'd like any muslim blogger on this forum to correct me if I'm wrong.

Raja, I'm not holding my breat either.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

"It's never religion that corrupts people"?

Religion is when some people organize to tell other people how to relate to God, and what God wants.

The Koran has many edicts to kill non muslims, to enslave non-muslims.

And as far as "a few fundimentalists" go, even over 10% of British muslims support the attacks of 7/7. In muslim countries, that number goes way higher, often over half. Islam seems to generate a huge number of psychotics, and that we can blame on the religion itself. Or what would YOU blame it on? You cannot say poverty, as many terrorists are not near poor. You cannot blame gov't corruption, as the British born muslims demonstrate.

seeker said...

Ergo te Lina,

I liked you Basketball link, May all retaliation will be restricted to sports.

Regarding the demonstration.
Well consider youself + 4 other policemen against an entire village (several hundereds)
your orders are to keep the village quite and disperse any unlawfull demonstration.
Now nobody acutually listens to you.
What do you do.

Well that doesn't justifies shooting rubber at demonstrators at less than 30m (That's the law a distance were it hurts but can't cause damage) and the one resposible for that will surely get punished including his commander.

But also the jewish demonstrators are not justified in inciting the unlawful act (The policemen just want to finish their shift and go home, simple minded kinda guys.

And also the palestinans carried with the unlawfull act and not obeying the law officer (In the states you will be shoot for speeding if you don't listen to the law enforcer).

In short blame whoever you want all are guilty as hell, blame the situation, occupation, Olmart just pick as many as you want and blame.

Unfortantly blaming doesn't seem to solve much :(

Ergotelina said...

This was written when the country was at war..provokating?...
maybe this text inspired the
protesters..
Peace Now published in Haaretz

Lirun said...

im a proud jew.. but aspects of my religion deem other people to be of lesser value/purity/worthiness etc.. those who speak against my religion from within are false prophets who should be stoned and there are various other stupid rules that have long become obsolete..

the main religions were formed centuries ago and it is easy to focus on some out of date edict and treat the whole religion as aggressive or otherwise unfavourably..

that is so retarded..

you may as well rant on about how oxydising kills you and one should therefore not exercise and how sleeping numbs the brain and kills brain cells.. it is so prejudicial and narrow minded.. and lacks any healthy perspective.. nevertheless is typical of ethnocentric people who have never opened their eyes to the world and see it purely as revolving around their superfueled behinds..

so then you say.. "but listen to what there wise people say" and i say.. take five and listen to the crap that some of our people say..

if you want to generalise and blind yourself from what people have to offer you.. than that is self inflicted damage.. if you want to hurt large groups of people because you think that the stereotypes you subscribe to are "well researched" then i would like to remind you that similar people have based their hatred of subordinated subcultures on science before.. in one case they even murdered over 6 million of the "deficient" race in the name of that science.. its been tried before.. its old and stupid.. and history judges..

you can label us greenies.. lefties.. whatever.. someone above seemed to think that peaceful people are necessarily gay.. or perhaps provocative in nature.. this is amazing.. i cant believe the extent of the ignorance.. not only about people on the "other" side but also about people on the purportedly "supported" side..

oh well..

these people will always exist.. they are identical to their own worst enemies except for the direction in which they direct their poison.. but that is mere technicality.. i think its a genetic flaw.. they hate the very people with which they ideologically agree the most..

wishing peace and sound genetic composition to us all..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
i remind you that peaceful societies have maniacs as well.. dont be discouraged.

Ron said...

What do you expect from Hezbollamnesty? Lebanon attacked Israel and got hurt bad as a result(and I say Lebanon because Siniora et al. in the Leb govt seem to support Hez in everything they do; they are basically an arm of the Leb govt, right?). What's the problem with that?

And, as Hez rapidly rearms and Israel gets it act together, as they hadn't in the last battle, the next round, probably in a month or so, will be much worse for Lebanon (an not easy on Israel either, but really no comparison). You'll see much higher death tolls and far more destruction. I don't see why Israel would pull any punches the next time since trying to limit civilian casualties didn't earn them any good will.

So, when Hez attacks Israel again, as you and I and everyone knows it will, what should Israel do in response? Write a letter to Kofi Annan? Call the Chinless Opthamologist on the phone?

Avrum. said...

You cannot be objective about an aerial torpedo. And the horror we feel of these things has led to this conclusion: if someone drops a bomb on your mother, go and drop two bombs on his mother. The only apparent alternatives are to smash dwelling houses to powder, blow out human entrails and burn holes in children with thermite, or to be enslaved by people who are more ready to do these things than you are yourself; as yet no one has suggested a practicable way out.

—George Orwell, reviewing Arthur Koestler’s Spanish Testament

for the magazine Time and Tide, Feb. 5, 1938.


So next time what will Israel do? demolish whatever is left intact in Lebanon. If you don't like this prospect, talk to Nasralla.

root cause said...

I just read the following....Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted as saying he would consider such a deployment along the Lebanon-Syria border a "hostile" move toward his country.

"First, this means creating a hostile condition between Syria and Lebanon," Assad told Dubai Television, according to excerpts released by the TV station ahead of the broadcast. "Second, it is a hostile move toward Syria and naturally it will create problems."

Assad did not elaborate on that point in the excerpts. But Finland's foreign minister, after meeting with his Syrian counterpart, said Damascus threatened to close the frontier with Lebanon if U.N. peacekeepers were deployed there.

"They will close their borders for all traffic in case U.N. troops will be deployed along the Lebanon-Syria border," Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said after meeting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in Helsinki. Finland holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

"This closing of the border would certainly have negative consequences for the people living in the region," Tuomioja told reporters after his meeting with Moallem.

Is this not ridiculous?!?!? What a moron!! OK close the border down...that's what everyone wants anyway, to ensure HEZ is not re-armed. This guy's rants are beyond me!

still praying for peace, but the light continues to grow dim

Loli said...

No, Avrum. There is an alternative: dialogue. If you can't talk to Nasrallah, talk to someone who can talk to Nasrallah. If you can't talk to Israel, talk to someone who can talk to Israel. When I was 15 years old, a new student joined my class in Beirut. She was all dressed in black. She had fled her hometown in Northern Lebanon with her mother and sisters. Her father, uncle and brothers were killed in a series of vendettas. In her hometown, you honour the dead by killing a member of the family that inflicted the first death. The result? Shattered families, with no sense of life, and no sense at all. We should honour the fallen with peace, not death. There are always options, there are alwyas resources. It is up to us to see them and use them. Dialog is key and is not out of reach, unless we refuse to see it.

Zeabees said...

No Photos Without Hizballah Permit
A highly revealing sentence in the latest Kevin Sites post from Lebanon:

As I raise my camera, the shouting becomes louder. Finally, even the men acquiesce to the women’s protests. No pictures, I’m told — unless we get a letter from Hezbollah giving us permission.

Ron said...

loli: Sometimes there are no options. There was no possibilty of discussion with the Nazis; there is no possibilty of discussion with Nasarallah. There is no possibility of discussion with Iran. The only way to deal with these people and group is to eliminate them, whatever the cost. Don't forget: the cost of getting rid of the Nazis was about 60 million dead and massive continent-wide destruction. And yet, it was still a better deal.

Eventually Israel will eliminate Hezbollah but the cost will be great, especially to Lebanon, unless the Lebanese themselves get rid of it first (very doubtful). As for Iran, the sooner it is eliminated as a threat, the better.

And, as for your idea of "can't talk to Isreal": the only reason you can't talk to Israel is that Lebanon forbids it.

Must be one of the stupidest fucking countries in the world.

Lirun said...

ron i think you are wrong..

nazi germany was a hell infested monster.. however.. rarely does the world focus on what the "winners" of world war two did to germany between world war one and world war two.. not that it is any excuse for the atrocities.. nevertheless.. i think there were some clear mistakes leading up to erruption of our (the jewish people's and other groups) near anihilation.. think about it next time you tow a wheel barrow of notes to the super market to buy a loaf of bread just because your father was involved in a war that was lost.. just to find out that when you arrived at the super market your money was even more worthless than when you left home..

you do not need to to compare adversaries to the worse of regimes immediately and draw conclusions based only the furthest extremes..

wishing peace to us all

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
history does not contain every answer - but if we are to look back - lets do so with open eyes

Sherri said...

loli,

I agree with your comments about the critical and necessary need for dialogue. Dialogue and diplomacy is what all of the parties should be pursuing. This labelling of everyone as terrorists and not talking to them is insanity and just a recipe for more endless wars.

Concerning the post, I hope the war crimes issues are brought before an international court and a decision is handed down. The world needs a clear statement of what actions are not appropriate to take against civilian populations in a conflict.

And children are injured and dying daily from all of the cluster bombs Israel showered down on the villages in the south. I even heard Lebanese and Israeli soldiers suffered deaths in the past few days from the cluster bombs.

Avrum. said...

Sherri,

History's verdict has already been given. When you are bombed you fight back. The great majority of wars involve noncombatants and only the clueless think there's a way to avoid this.

Dimitry said...

Lirun

However stupid acts were done to bring Germany into the hands of the Nazis, after they were in control it was already too late. Only would could've saved Europe and the world, and the attempts to delay this war only made it worse in the end.

Sherri said...

avrum,

What do you mean, "History's verdict has already been given?"

The issue Amnesty addresses is whether Israel committed war crimes. The issue is whether there are international laws in our world that apply to all governments in this world. Are there rules in the world that protect the loss of civilians in wars, the loss of innocent lives?

Is there a rule of law in our world today or is it just whoever has the biggest gun wins?

We will only have a clear definitive answer to this question if investigations and the legal process are allowed to run their full course.

I want to see good come out of this most recent Israeli Lebanon conflict. I want to see a rule of law laid down by a world court that says civilians have rights in wars, other than just to suffer and die. It may take years for this issue to be put to rest. I just hope it is fully pursued.

Ron said...

Lirun: Seconding Dimitry. I was not discussing what lead to the rise of Hitler; and not what lead to the rise of Hezbollah. Both are (or were) facts; and same with Iran.

Jesus, Lirun, not everything is your fault. Sometimes there are truly evil people in the world. What kind of negotation would you do with North Korea? Mugabe? Idi Amin? The Saudis? Iran? The murderous beheaders in Iraq? These are irrational people and countries. Iran, the Saudis and Hez are determined to end Israel's existence (and kill as many Jews as possible). What would you say to them? Just kill half as many? The only solution is to eliminate these actors, if possible. The Saudis will probably implode one day; Iran could hang around a while, but is in serious need of carpet bombing; ditto Hezbollah.

Sherri said...

lirun and dimitry,

Why do we have to compare the current conflict to World War II and Hitler?

Why can't we just deal with today?

I care about the future and peace.

It's not about blame.

The war crimes issue needs to be pursued, to protect civilians in wars in the future. There were war crimes issues raised concerning both Israel and Hezbullah.

Let us strive for peace.

Sherri said...

ron,

Labelling all our enemies as evil and not talking to them serves no purpose. It benefits noone and is just a recipe for endless wars. It is all about dialogue and working with each other and learning how to live with each other in peace.

mikealpha said...

liz_ra,

How do you think Islam got to Lebanon and India and the Balkans and Spain? What sites are the mosques built upon? Who slaughtered the jats and built the mountains of skulls in india ? Why are there watch towers on all the mediteranean islands ? Why is the corsican flag a severed black head ? If jihad is a spiritual quest why does it exempt the lame and the blind ? What did the prophet receive 1/5 of ?

Read the Koran (and remember that the sura written in medina take precedence). Read a little history too. Islam spread by the sword. Eygypt was once an almost entirely coptic. Most of the middle east before the 8th century was christian & jewish. How do you think it changed ?

mikealpha said...

The moral priciples Amnesty International is appealing to, namely equivalent amounts and types of violence, are the foundations for blood feuds. These are codes for peoples with no objective code of justice and no superceeding authority to enforce such codes. A judeo-christian code of justice and strong state to enforce that code is perhaps the paramount necessity of western civilization. Those who reject such a code and the state which enforces it will inevitably reject the code of war which an objective moral code and a strong state inspire. The proposed never ending cycle of "equivalent" violence and barbarism is not an advance, it is a regression into a savage past. Look at the history and consequences of The Code of Lek√ę Dukagjini (Albanian blood feud code).
Is this this really preferable ?

Avrum. said...

Sherri,

When somebody tells me repeatedly that he wants to destroy my country there's no need to talk to him. I should destroy his country before he has the chance to destroy mine. Your unwillingness to appreciate this point can be explained by your ignorance of recent history. 50 million people were killed until Hitler was destroyed, and apparently that was the only way to do it. That couldn't be achieved by "talking". Apparently you seem to think that if something is distasteful to you it can always be avoided. This isn't so.

Solomon2 said...

(Sigh.) AI is engaging in a bit deceit here. Extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions only when civilians are classified as "protected persons" under the Geneva Conventions. As Hezbollah is Lebanese, not an occupying power, Lebanese civilians don't fall under that classification: Article 4: "Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals...nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons..."

Another whopper: AI's claim that "while the use of civilians to shield a combatant from attack is a war crime, under international humanitarian law such use does not release the opposing party from its obligations towards the protection of the civilian population." That's precisely the reverse of the meaning of Article 4 in the Geneva Conventions.

A critical reading of the AI report thus reveals that Amnesty International has not uncovered ANY violations by Israel of international war crimes laws. AI is aware of this and acknowledges that Israel does investigate such allegations but Lebanon never does. Therefore, at the end of this report, AI calls for an international investigation to uncover violations by both sides in the conflict.

Sherri said...

avrum,

When someone says they want to destroy my country, does this justify my country destroying them and their country?


This is the question you pose.

A government needs to address the true threat that the person or group is. I do not think it is appropriate to destroy anyone just based on a threat.

You compare Hezbullah, a group of 3000 or 4000 fighters, to Hitler. I do not think Hezbullah is as dangerous to Jewish people as Hitler. Is Hezbullah truly a threat to Israel's existence? And to destroy the entire country of Lebanon because 3000 or 4000 of its 4 million residents may wish (I say may wish because neither you nor I know what is in the minds of each of those individuals) to destroy Israel, I find ridiculous.

Dimitry said...

sherri

Silly me, I was under the distinct impression Lebanon is still around.

shittyzionz said...

dimitry,
yes,you are really silly! Lebanon isstill around whether you like it or not!!

Sherri,
thanks a lot for your posts!! really sane & objective! the others however, are more like pro Israelis & Israelis!!

Viva Lebanon

chuck said...

sherri,

don't exagerate. lebanon wasn't destroyed.

and if they were only 3 or 4 people,that have weapons of mass ditruction pointed at the US, would u not go searching house to house in order to find these people and not let them act ?
and if these people where firing at u while u search, or aim at u'r mother and father that were standing on the other side of the street, would u not try to hit them back even if they r standing behind their own mother and father ? who would u preffer getting hit. u'r parents, or their parents ?

chuck said...

sherri,
i don't know if u r being naive or simply ignor the facts.

hisballa is not, i repeat, IS NOT a humanitarian organisation. it clearly speaks of the "need"to get rid of Israel.
nasralla's speaches (which u must know, because u r so well informed about our situation in the middle east) speak about destroying Israel.
so i think i can guess what goes on in the mind of each and every one of hisballa fighters and activists.

i understand that u don't want to be objective here, u obviously take a side in this disscusion, but at least try to stick to the facts, thank u.

Avrum. said...

Sherri,

Hizballa isn't a threat to the existence of Israel, but it bombed an area in which a million Israelis live. Therefore the Israeli government was fully justified in bombing the hell out of them. Israel will not be attacked in this way and sit still. This is the message that anybody in the middle east should learn from this war.

shittyzionz said...

Actually Israel's been planning for this war ever since they got their arses kicked in 2000!! they took their soldiers as an exucuse to DESTROY MY COUNTRY!! Israel is a state of terror, theres no doubt about that, thank God the amnesty international was for the first time kinda "fair" because for the first time the terrorists & the civilian victims are equal! HA didnt target civilians while Isreal targetted civilians & their facilities!!
some people here said that HA targetted a place where 1 million people live, they forgot ( orignored ) the fact that Israel targetted places where more than 2 million people live, killing around 1500 civilians & wounding thousand others..double standards again, eh?!!!
HA rightfully stated so many times that Israel shouldnt exist ( because it was established at the expense of other people, and the land itself is not theirs!!) but then again, who doesnt in the Arab world? actually not only in the arab world but also so many people around the world believe that plaestinians should go back to their country. Back to the subject, HA "wish" or "want" or "dream" about that day when Israel disappear, but same goes with you, Israelis no? you dont want them to exist although they are loved & RESPECTED by the majority of Lebanese people & the Arabs, but that doesnt mean that you have the right to kill us, destroy our infrastructure, target our power & gas stations...ectyou have no goddamn right!!
People in the ME learnt that Israel is not that strong anymore, asonly a bunch of 4000 fighters made them look like fools by the ability launching missiles even with the merkavas, air force..ect "coverage" they planned it right, they fought with marvellous bravery & they werent afriad of death!! these elements were the key forthis victory & Israel will think twice before they launch a war on us on the future as, HA found a sloution for their tanks, in the future, they'll find another for the air force & only the north was targetted this time, next will be Tel Aviv!! so just back off & leave us alone or its gonna be a long & a bloody war which we people both dont wat, though you people might want it as HA never targetted you, but you on the other hand did target us!!

Viva Lebanon
Viva HA & Nassrallah

Natalie

chuck said...

shitty lebanese guy,

hey how r u, got up on the right side of the bed this morning ? or maybe not...

well, u see, i was concidering writing some kind of response to u, but hey, what for ?

u r not here for discussion, u simply need help, profesional help.

i wish u a good luck with u'r therapy.

come back to us soon.

Solomon2 said...

Dershowitz: AI Redefines "War Crimes"

There are two problems with the Amnesty report and conclusion. First, Amnesty is wrong about the law. Israel committed no war crimes by attacking parts of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon...

THE MORE troubling aspect of Amnesty's report is their inattention to Hizbullah. If Israel is guilty of war crimes for targeting civilian infrastructure, imagine how much greater is Hizbullah's moral responsibility for targeting civilians! But Amnesty shows little interest in condemning the terrorist organization that started the conflict...even al-Jazeera expressed surprise at the imbalance in the Amnesty report:

Sherri said...

solomom2,

Amnesty International issued a report in July that addresses potential war crimes issues presented by both Israel and Lebanon. (MDE150702006).

You state the war crimes issue involving Israel involves civilian infrastructure. This is not the only war crime identified. The most serious allegations are that Israel intentionally targeted the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects, to turn the Lebanese people against Hezbullah. The number of air strikes and missiles targeting civilian areas was so substantial, as was the numbers of cluster bomb strikes on those same civilian areas within the last three days before the cease fire. Over 400 sites, over 100,000 cluster bombs.

We desperately need legal proceedings to go forward, so we get final court determinations, so that this does not happen to anyone anywhere again.

I have read a lot of comments to the effect that Israel treated civilians much better then Syria or Jordan, in their prior wars. The problem Israel has is this particular war received so much worldwide media and news attention.

I have heard a case against Israel has already been filed in Canada.

chuck said...

did anyone hear about a war crimes investigation against hisballa ?
no ?
how come ??
is hisballa above international law ?
is hisballa not addressed because it's feared by international law ?
is hisballa being a "ressistance"
makes it imune to any international criticism ??

how come in u'r eyes, sherri, Israel is the only side that should be addressd concerning war crimes ??
because hisballa didn't kill enough people in Israel makes it a legitimate struggle for u ?

hisballa is not peacfull. it's methods r not peacfull and it doesn't call for negotiations and has no desire for ngotiations. it's purpose is to drive Israel away by force, no matter what.
Israel does no approve of such struggle. and no other state sees it as legitimate.

Sherri said...

chuck,

Victims of war crimes have a right to file court actions and there may be investigations and cases against Hezbullah.

And I have said already Amnesty International found evidence that Hezbullah also committed war crimes.

Concerning your comments about the nature of Hezbullah,throughout the conflict Lebanon and Hezbullah called for a cease fire and negotiations. Most information I have read indicates Hezbullah's goal is to resist occupation and aggression by Israel against Lebanon. Hezbullah is a Lebanese group, borne from the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. If the two countries would resolve their remaining issues, perhaps there could be peace. You say no other state sees Hezbullah as legitimate. This is not true. They are recognized as legitimate by many Arab countries and people.

Solomon2 said...

Sorry to take so long to get back to you, Sherri.

The most serious allegations are that Israel intentionally targeted the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects, to turn the Lebanese people against Hezbullah.

Read the Dershowitz article: destroying civilian infrastructure (or "objects") is not a war crime.

If Israel had targeted the civilian population, Lebanese fatalities would be in the tens of thousands.

Or are you are saying that it is a "war crime" to use force "to turn the Lebanese people against Hezbollah"?

As far as I can tell, Lebanese civilian casualties were a result of Hezbollah locating its facilities or operating its weapons in or near civilian structures. That negates their "civilian" status.

Hezbollah, however, made it a practice to target the Israeli civilian population exclusively, ignoring military bases. If intentionally and deliberately targeting civilians is considered a war crime, then Hezbollah is the only party clearly guilty of this. It seems unnecessary to launch any kind of investigation on Hezbollah's guilt, considering the televised threats to Haifa and Tel Aviv and the devastation of Kiryat Shmona.

This isn't a case of two parties being equally bad. This isn't a case of Israel being mostly bad. This is a case of Hezbollah being bad and Israel waging a war to the good. That young children must see their parents dying after an Israeli attack is war: Israel wielded the deadly instrument, but by pushing or establishing civilians into its path as "shields" Hezbollah is responsible.

As for Hezbollah itself, the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1559 in 2004 demanding its forcible disarmament, in line with the other Lebanese militias who willingly disarmed to resume normal political activities. Hezbollah's leaders have said Hezbollah exists to resist occupation in Lebanon and Palestine, which they define as all territory occupied by the State of Israel anywhere in the region. Thus they are not a "resistance" group at all, but are hell-bent on conquering a neighboring country as best as they may.

Sherri said...

solomon2,

I cannot address every statement Nasarallah has made, but I have looked over all of the speeches since this conflict and some prior speeches, and repeatedly read that the Resistance of Hezbullah is to the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and the Israeli aggression against Lebanon.

I do not believe that Alan Dershowitz is an expert in international war crimes. Correct me if I am wrong about this, and I promise to analyze his report fully.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are leading organizations in the field of identifying and analysing war crimes issues.

In the press release to its August 23 report, the findings of Amnesty International are summarized and states in part:

Amnesty International today published findings that point to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, which included war crimes, during the conflict.

...

The report exposes a pattern of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, which resulted in displacement of twenty-five percent of the civilian population. This pattern taken together with official statements, indicates that the attacks on infrastructure were deliberate, and not incidental to lawful military objectives.

In a prior July 26 report, Amnesty International addresses other war crimes issues by Israel: indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians; intentional direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects; failing to take appropriate precautions in attacks to protect the civilian population; intentionally directing attacks against humanitarian personnel, installations, material, units, and vehicles; making medical or religious personnel, medical units or medical transports the object of attack; using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including by wilfully impeding relief supplies; unlawful displacements of the civilian population; planting 400,000 landmines in southern Lebanon during the prior 18 year occupation, 75% of which are still there; using cluster bombs on civilians (we know from later information from UN Mines Officials that in the south there were over 100,000 cluster bombs in civilian areas in over 400 sites); using bunker busting bombs containining depleted uranium warheads; using incendiary wepons, such as white phosphorous, on civilians; and using vacuum bombs.
(MDE150702006)