Middle East Opinions - opinions about all aspects of the middle east region

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hamas kills more Palestinians than Israel

Over the weekend two events occurred in which Palestinians were killed:
  • Israel bombarded terrorist installations and strongholds in Gaza
  • Hamas detonated a Katyusha rocket by accident in a military parade
In the bombardment by Israel which was an attempt to stop missile attacks into Jewish areas (there were roughly 50 missiles launched over the weekend) 20 Palestinians were reported injured by Palestinian officials and 12 killed. The Palestinians killed by Israel were terrorists mostly from Hamas and Islamic Jihad including Jihad Islami commander Sheikh Muhammed Khalil.

Hamas in traditional fashion had a military parade where they fired off rounds and marched with the newly acquired Katyusha rockets in Gaza (these have not been publicly in Gaza before, longer range, more damage than Qassam rockets). During this parade a Katyusha rocket went off killing 19 Palestinians. This is not the first time that Hamas has been asked by Palestinian officials to stop their military parades.

These parades accomplish nothing productive for Palestinians (unless you call inciting violence and prancing around showing "power" productive). These military parades ultimately hurt the Palestinian cause and show the true colours of the Palestinian terrorist organisations like Hamas.

Perhaps one day soon we'll see Palestinian parades of accords signed, societal and infrastructural accomplishments and maybe even terrorist attacks halted or prevented! Please G-d this should be the case soon. It is obvious to me as an outsider that this "display of force" and "call to violence" are not helping either Palestinian or Israeli society.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hamas stops attacks from Gaza

I heard on the news that Hamas has announced that they will stop attacks on Israel for the rest of the year.

In isolation this seems like a positive step but many facts are missing from this. Upon investigation Hamas actually said that they will stop attacks on Israel from Gaza. What a concession! Amazing how the mainstream media seems to be reporting that Hamas will stop all attacks. Do they not have access to the statement or to choose to ignore the part that says Hamas is still free to mount attacks from any other area? Bear in mind that this decision was endorsed by Egypt. Out of context it seems like Egypt might be helping the Middle East peace process but in reality Egypt is endorsing the fact that Hamas can CONTINUE attacks from other areas. The only process they seem to be helping in this context is the process of the destruction of the state of Israel. This is not my opinion of what Hamas meant but actually a two-part statement where a piece seems to have been omitted by the media.

Now let's look at why Hamas may have decided on this "generous" act. Since Friday over the weekend almost 50 Qassam missiles were launched out of Gaza. Israel decided to stop this barrage of missiles and the Israeli Defense Forces were given the go-ahead to do anything necessary to stop the attacks without killing civilians. I think this statement also shows Israel's high level of morality and concern for civilians of all denominations. Hamas uses high-density civilian areas for its weapons factories and to launch attacks (what brave terrorists!). Despite being attacked constantly Israel still does everything in its power to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel bombarded Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist installations over the weekend killing 12 Palestinians including Jihad Islami commander Sheikh Muhammed Khalil. After the bombardment Hamas decide to stop Qassam attacks from Gaza. Could it be that they are afraid? Either of another attack or of losing face again?

Either way I think this response by Hamas in context of their response to the Gaza pullout says a lot about them as an organisation (other than being cowards). Israel pulls out of Gaza (giving them what they asked for) and Hamas call it a victory and vow to "continue until Jerusalem" and increase attacks. Israel bombards their missile installations and factories and they "decide" to stop attacks out of Gaza for a while! Join the dots on this one! This is who Hamas really are and this is why I believe giving in to their demands will never bring peace. This is an organisation that's objective and purpose is the destruction of the state of Israel; an organisation that only understands one language - violence. Sad but true.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Middle East Opinions

I've started a mailing list to alert people to new middle east opinions on this site. Every time I post a new middle east opinion I'll send you a quick mail to let you know (no SPAM!). Please subscribe to the alerts and you'll always know when there is a new article or opinion!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Gaza disengagement and Palestinian education

This is my first post on the Israeli pullout from Gaza. It has literally taken me months to make up my mind on this issue (usually I have an opinion immediately!), but I finally know where I stand; I am against it. This is a complex and heavily involved issue and it would be impossible to address all aspects of the disengagement in one Middle East Opinion post. So for my first post I choose to focus on the role that Palestinian education (or lack thereof) has played in creating the current Middle East situation.

I heard a speaker the other day compare the Gaza disengagement by Israel to the creation of a garbage dump. Instead of throwing out the trash from Gaza, Israel has chosen to pullout and close off the entire areas as one large garbage dump.

The speaker was Walid Shoebat, an ex-PLO-brainwashed Palestinian who started asking questions and came to realise that what the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) was feeding him was hateful propoganda. Check out his site here (I've also added a link on the right).

I think this comparison is very apt and obviously very scary too! Now as much as I understand most of the motivation for the disengagement I think that previous actions may have led Israel to the point where this seemed a necessity. I think that the fault lay in Palestinian education and a sooner addressing of the Palestinian education system (rather Palestinian propoganda system) would have been much more effective than pulling out of Gaza. Aside from obviously blaming the Palestinian leaders for the propoganda and brainwashing in Palestinian areas, I blame Israel for not addressing it. Already we can see the reactions from many Palestinians to the pullout; One of perceived victory and a renewed vigour to "continue pushing until Jerusalem". I fear that this may have served to greatly fuel the Islamic fundamentalist fire.

I think that Gaza disengagement was unfair to both Israelis and Palestinians and both groups will suffer as a result.

Israel:
  • What does this mean for the Jews (and other ISraelis) who have fought for (and many die for) the protection of Gaza?
  • Jews (and other ISraelis) have a right to live there. Regardless of what Palestinians say this is not a case of Jews "stealing" land for 38 years, but rather a case of 38 years back in land that they have struggled to return to for 2000 years.
  • Israelis now stand a greater chance of being attacked by terrorists from Gaza than ever before (and we have seen this beginning already).
  • Israel now has no say or control over what happens in Gaza in any regard including policy towards Israel.
Palestinians:
  • I think Israel is passively screwing the Palestinians over by leaving them to their own leaders and Muslim fundamentalists. Not that Israel has the responsibility to entirely correct the Palestinian fundamentalist issue in Gaza but the Palestinian leaders sure aren't going to!
  • There is now even less freedom in Gaza for Palestinians. At least when Israel was there, some Palestinian moderates could speak out without fear of being lynched. Now the militants are in charge.
  • The rule in Gaza is now more tyrannical and one-sided than ever before. It may suck to have tanks in your city but at least it allowed for some range of opposition and difference of opinion in Palestinian society.
  • There will be even more propoganda and Israel will know less about it. More propoganda means less chance for Palestinian children and more Palestinian terrorists.
Please remember that this is my opinion and I have looked at one aspect of one side of the argument. Please post your comments I would love to hear them!!!