Saturday, January 24, 2009

Give both sides a right of return--Arab and Jew

My response to a Washinton Post op-ed piece about the Gaza war by an Israeli novelist and peace activist:

And being a novelist makes one an expert on military strategy how?

I just finished reading a long article detailing the years of preparations and training the Israeli Defence Force carried out prior to this incursion. They build a huge training facility to ensure that both reservists and active military are knowledgeable about urban warfare. In particular the widespread use of UAVs (pilotless drones) and smart bombs (laser or optically guided, using GPS technology) has helped them kill the ones they want to kill (Hamas fighters and leaders) and avoid those they want to spare (everyone else).

Now of course Hamas' goal is as many Palestinian deaths as possible, preferable with cameras running, for publicity purposes. If the Israelis were the genocidal butchers the whirly-eyed letter writers on this thread purport them to be, they could easily exterminate everyone in Gaza.

Civilian deaths in war are inevitable. As General Tecumseh Sherman said, "War is hell." But Sherman didn't have smart bombs and UAVs. The Israeli's didn't hesitate to blow up houses housing Hamas leaders and groups of fighters, but it did extraordinarily well at avoiding hitting adjacent houses.

And can anyone deny that Hamas stores weapons and fighters and command centers in mosques, hospitals and schools? If the Israelis really were genocidal Hamas wouldn't do this. They do it because they know the Israelis don't want to strike such targets.

Not to mention Hamas fighters fleeing battle scenes in clearly marked ambulances. Very clever. But don't blame the IDF for shooting up ambulances leaving battle scenes in the future.

Odd that few of the letter writers here decry Hamas' use of civilians as human shields.

The face the whirly-eyes can't face is how hard the IDF worked to avoid civilian casualties and how hard Hamas worked to cause them.

The irony is that the IDF's technology used in killing Hamas fighters and leaders was so much better than Hamas anticipated that afterward Hamas ran around executing numerous innocent people suspected of being informers.

And of course if the Palestinian equivalent of this article's author had written a mirror image of this article declaring that Hamas should negotiate with Israel and learn to live with the know what would happen to him, don't you?

Actually you don't, because most Americans are ignorant about what Hamas and its ilk do to people before they murder them.

It's so very easy to decry violence when it isn't your town getting unguided bombs flying in daily with the only purpose being to kill civilians.

And it's so very hard to forget the footage of Palestians dancing in the streets with joy on 9/11 and handing out sweets. Even enemy countries like Iran mourned the event.

But you want constructive? Here's constructive: have the Arab nations accept as many Palestinians as the number of Jews they expelled in 1948--along with all of their descendants, of course. And compensate them for the land and businesses the Arabs stole from the Jews when they expelled them. In exchange the Israelis would grant any Palestinians left over full citizenship in an Israel that would include the current Palestinian lands.

Since that number is equal to or greater than the number of Palestinians who fled Israel it should be a wash.

Of course the Palestinians breed like rabbits, so you'd also need a one child per family rule like China has, applied to Israelis and Arabs alike. The ultra-Orthodox Jews would hate that with a fiery passion. so it would be a big compromise.

How's that for a solution?

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