The Personalisation of War

There was a time that wars were fought between countries. Whether military or economic, a country or a group of countries would battle other countries. In extreme cases, the wars would ensnare much of the world.

But in modern times, battles have moved to a personal level.

Non-State Actors

Non-state actors like Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Liberation Organization have been waging political terrorism for a long time. However in modern times (since 2011), terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram moved the goalposts considerably, by using social media as an active part of their war efforts. The groups used Facebook and Twitter to share videos of brutal murders to both instill fear in their enemies and to enlist new troops. Such efforts were so successful, that politicians made combating these groups online one of their priorities in defeating the terrorists.

While social media became a new fertile area for the recruitment of civilians, the war efforts were still overseen and directed by the leadership of the terrorist groups. The leaders either deployed the new recruits in active fields of battle such as Iraq and Syria, or instructed them to conduct terrorist attacks in western countries that were supporting the battle against the jihadist groups.

That formula began to evolve in 2014.

Armies of One

For most of mankind’s history, an individual was a local being without a voice. In dictatorships, people’s opinions were irrelevant. A person’s existence was to pay taxes and serve in the army to further the goals of the leader. Even in democracies in which an individual’s opinion mattered in shaping a government’s makeup and therefore its policies, the individual’s impact would be relegated to the voting booth. If people wanted to achieve a more direct impact on government foreign policy, the choices were being part of a massive protest or joining the army or government. However, in each of those cases, the ultimate arbiter of foreign policy remained at the government level.

Social media has started to change that dynamic. Not only could non-state actors reach civilians around the world as described above, civilians could share their opinions and express their anger and actually impact foreign policy in a number of ways.

Defamation: In the third Hamas war from Gaza against Israel in 2014, Palestinian Arabs took to Facebook and Twitter to describe their personal situation. As described in the new book “War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century,”  a teenage girl from Gaza posted live about her fear and suffering in the war, reaching hundreds of thousands of people around the world, punishing Israel’s image on a global level. According to the author of the book, “Israel lost the global information war because it did not ‘bleed’ enough, and as long as it maintains its military advantage, it never will.

Violence: By the 2014 war’s end, the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank felt that they had also not ‘bled’ enough, and began a car ramming and stabbing intifada against Israelis, both civilians and soldiers. The attacks were inspired – but not orchestrated – by Arab leadership from the West Bank Fatah party as well as the Gaza-based Hamas party.


Cartoon from Fatah website directing people to use cars to run over Jews
November 6, 2014


Palestinian girl discussing stabbing Jews
November 12, 2015

The deadly “lone wolf” attacks in the United States from 2015 to 2017 were similarly inspired by ISIS, but were not planned by the terrorist group’s leadership.

Economic: The personal war is not just being waged with violence and libel. It is economic as well.

In the past countries-war model, countries would use economic pressure against one another, such as after Egypt lost the Yom Kippur War to Israel in 1973, it engaged in an economic war against all of the countries that supported Israel including the US via an oil embargo. In today’s individual-war model, people engage in a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The BDS movement targets the government of Israel, professors at Israeli universities, Israeli companies and even individuals looking to perform in Israel. The latest victim was the pop singer Lorde, who cancelled her Israel concert in December 2017 after being barraged by threats from individuals.

This is a new phenomenon. Individuals are now attackers and individuals are now victims. The ties that bind both attacker and victim are no longer based on nationality and borders, but by identity. Jihadists fight anti-jihadists around the world, and anti-Zionists fight Zionists everywhere. The global economy and pervasiveness of social media have enabled the protagonists to organize.

In such a new format, is Israel worse off or better? The one Jewish State is outnumbered 57-to-1 by the number of Muslim countries, but by 100-to-1 in terms of Muslim-to-Jewish population (twice as small). In general, Israel is just a single country out of 193 countries at the United Nations, but is dwarfed by 900-to-1 in terms of the global population (five times as small).

In a new personalized-war model, the small country looks even smaller.

But the personalization of war also leads invariably to a personalization of defense, and therein lies an amazing opportunity.

There is only one Jewish State and only a limited number of Jews, so Israel will always be outnumbered on the world stage. But there are millions of pro-Zionists in the world. These people must be educated and prepared to counter the scourge of demonization that is being touted on social media. They should be marketed to as consumers of Israeli products to repel the efforts of BDS minions. And they should be called upon to defend Israel when individuals, groups and countries shout “from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” in efforts to destroy the one Jewish State.

Sign up to FirstOneThrough and other pro-Israel sites and share the articles and videos broadly on social media. The personalization of war has made everyone an active participant in the fight.

 


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The Big, Bad Lone Wolves of Terrorism

Stabbing the Palestinian “Right of Return”

The Current Intifada against Everyone

The New Salman Abedi High School for Boys in England and the Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Soccer Tournament in France

“Won’t you be my Neighbor?”

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

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The War Preferred

Summary: When a country prefers to use military force over financial pressure, what does that tell you about the party’s temperament and goals?

USA’s Financial Pressure First

Over the past decades, the United States of America has made efforts to contain the nuclear ambitions of rogue states like the Islamic Republic of Iran and North Korea. The USA viewed those state sponsors of terrorism as too dangerous to be the guardians of weapons of mass destruction. But in each case, the USA used economic means of combating Iran and North Korea as a preferred course to launching into a military war.

These were not unique situations.

The US has engaged in economic warfare several times. In situations like Cuba, the US never opted to attack the country militarily. However, in other situations like Libya, the US imposed economic warfare initially in February 2011, before deciding to use its military force some weeks later.

For the United States, the preferred course of engagement was to use economic means of achieving it’s aims, whether it was for a country to reverse course on a nuclear program, or to stop a war. The USA wanted to save lives – both of its own soldiers as well as in the country it attacked – so it delayed the use of force as long as possible.

Arabs’ Attack First

The Arabs in the Middle East have used the exact opposite approach.

When Israel announced its new state in 1948, five Arab countries invaded with an enormous military. Death was not only a means to an end but a goal: the destruction of the Jewish State.

In 1973, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Arab armies attacked Israel again. The Israeli army eventually repelled the invading forces of Egypt, Syria and Iraq, after incurring significant loss of life. In response to their loss, the Arab countries imposed an oil embargo on those countries that assisted Israel militarily during the battle. As summarized by the US State Department:

“During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military and to gain leverage in the post-war peace negotiations. Arab OPEC members also extended the embargo to other countries that supported Israel including the Netherlands, Portugal, and South Africa. The embargo both banned petroleum exports to the targeted nations and introduced cuts in oil production.”

The Arab countries were not concerned about the loss of life and rushed into battle to both destroy Israel having lost wars and land to Israel in 1948, 1956 and 1967. The Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said the following as it launched its attack on Israel on October 6, 1973:

“We have always felt the sympathy of the world but we would prefer the respect of the world to sympathy without respect.”

By 1973, the Arab goals’ had expanded to not only destroying Israel, but establishing a modicum of honor. As he conceded the war to the Israelis, Sadat said:

“We have been fighting Israel for the fifteenth day running. Israel fought us on its own in the first four days and its real position was exposed on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts; it [Israel] lost by its own admission, 800 tanks and more than 200 aircraft on both fronts. For the last 10 days, however, I have been fighting the United States on the Egyptian front, armed as she is with the most sophisticated weapons in her possession. I simply cannot fight the United States or bear the historical responsibility for having our armed forces destroyed once again.”

In launching the war, Egypt made clear that its honor was at stake, and in calling for a ceasefire, it opted to claim victory over Israel, but capitulation to the US. As the Arab state could not beat the United States militarily, it pivoted to an economic war, the Oil Embargo.

Palestinians’ Also Attack First

Like the other Arab countries, the Palestinian Arabs have opted to fight militarily as a first effort. However, lacking a standing army, the Palestinian Arabs have used terrorism against Israeli civilians and army alike.

After the formation of the Palestinian Authority in 1995 as a result of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians attacked Israelis throughout the 1990s. When the head of the PA, Yasser Arafat (fungus be upon him) failed to deliver a peace in September 2000, the PA launched a Second Intifada which claimed the lives of thousands of additional civilians. The end of the Intifada was brought about with the help of Israel’s establishing a security barrier which stemmed the flow of Palestinian terrorists into Israel, which propelled the Palestinians into a new war. The launch of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) effort in 2005 was designed to economically strangle Israel.

A Palestinian demonstrator raises a knife, during clashes with Israeli police, in Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The Palestinian Arabs – like the Arabs of the neighboring states – opted to use military force to try to destroy Israel. Only upon the failure of such efforts, did they switch to economic warfare.

  • Goals: The US took action to prevent the tremendous loss of life (rogue states with nuclear weapons), while the Arab goal was to kill and destroy.
  • Tactics. The US pursued economic pressure first to prevent the loss of life, whereas the Arab states immediately went to war.

The consistency of the goals and tactics of the United States and Arab world is a fabric of their world view: the US has a goal of preserving peace, so uses military force as a last resort. The Arab states have a goal of destroying Israel, so attack it first and only resort to a BDS campaign once they conclude that they cannot win militarily.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel and Wars

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

Paying to Murder Jews: From Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Palestinian Authority

What do you Recognize in the Palestinians?

I’m Offended, You’re Dead

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Muslim Anti-Semitism Anchored in Belief that Jews are Responsible for All Wars

There is no shortage of anti-Semitism in the world.

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) conducted polls in 2014 (somewhat updated in 2015) which showed that many people felt that Jews had too much control of the media and financial markets.  Some respondents believed that Jews were too pompous or were engaged in activities that made people hate them.

The Islamic countries were the most anti-Semitic by a far margin. The rankings:

  • West Bank & Gaza: 93% of the areas are anti-Semites
  • Iraq: 92%
  • Yemen: 88%
  • Libya: 87%
  • Algeria: 87%
  • Tunisia: 86%
  • Kuwait: 82%
  • Bahrain 81%
  • Jordan: 81%
  • Qatar: 80%
  • Morocco: 80%
  • UAE: 80%….

you get the idea.

These percentages dwarfed the non-Muslim countries like Japan 23%, Italy 20%, and Brazil 16%.

A further analysis revealed a split in the nature of the anti-Semitic feelings.  Even countries which showed an inclination for Jew-hatred, appreciated that Jews were not responsible for the wars in the world.  That was an opinion uniquely held by Muslims.

Consider Turkey and Greece.  The two neighboring countries have a long and strained relationship with each other, mostly over land and religious matters (Turkey is Muslim and Greece is Christian).  Interestingly, the countries have nearly identical negative feelings towards Jews, with Turkey and Greece having 70% and 67% anti-Semitic attitudes, respectively.  However, the underlying reasons behind the hatred in the two countries were quite different.

In 2015, 76% of Turks felt that Jews had too much power in the financial markets, while 85% of Greeks held that opinion (note that Greece had been going through dire financial problems). Roughly 63% of Turks felt that Jews had too much control over the global media, while 58% of Greeks felt the same. And 55% of Turks felt that Jews discussed the Holocaust too much, while 70% of Greeks felt the same.

Similar attitudes overall, and a trend that would suggest that Greeks were even more anti-Semitic than the Turks.

However, when the question was posed “Are Jews responsible for most of the world’s wars?” 53% of the people in Turkey responded yes, while only 33% of the people in Greece agreed. A wide margin of difference.

Outside of the Muslim world, very few countries believed that Jews were responsible for world wars, even among the anti-Semites.

  • In Poland, with 37% anti-Semites, only 14% believed Jews had anything to do with wars
  • In Ukraine (32% anti-Semitic), only 14% believed Jews were tied to wars
  • Spain, 29% anti-Semitic and 11% believed a Jewish connection to wars
  • Latvia, 28% anti-Semitic; 12% tied Jews to wars
  • Argentina, 24% anti-Semitic and 14% tied Jews to wars

The ADL started to segment the respondents of some European countries with a significant Muslim population. The Muslims were significantly more anti-Semitic than fellow citizens.

  • In France, only 4% and 6% of atheists and Christians, respectively, believed that Jews were responsible for wars. The percentage was 24% for Muslims in France
  • In the United Kingdom, 6% of both atheists and Christians believed that Jews were responsible for wars, but 34% of the Muslims in the UK held that view – over five times as many.
  • In Malaysia, 23% of Buddhists think that Jews are responsible for wars, but 78% of Muslims believe – over three times as many.

As the non-Muslim world sees the Muslim world at war with itself in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, it has concluded that Jews have nothing to do with the anarchy, death and destruction.  But the Islamic world turns to an old familiar scapegoat and blames the Jews.

Consider the most anti-Semitic regions of the world again. The Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Yemen and Libya top the list. There are fewer Jews in Iraq, Yemen and Libya COMBINED than there are in a New York City subway car. Yet those countries – at war – are the most anti-Semitic.

They believe that the cause of their misfortune is not their own inept governments or co-religionists. It is the Jews.

aleppo

Syrian security officers gather in front of destroyed buildings where triple bombs exploded at the Saadallah al-Jabri square, in Aleppo city, on October 3, 2012.
(AP Photo/SANA)

The terrorist Islamic group Hamas makes its thoughts clear in its charter, Article 22:

“For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

The world watches in horror the brutality of ISIS torturing and slaughtering anyone outside of their narrow Islamic view. The world is appalled at the destruction of Aleppo and the murder of civilians in Syria. And the world understands full well, that this is battle where the Jews have no part.

Except the Muslim world.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel and Wars

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

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The United Nations’ Adoption of Palestinians, Enables It to Only Find Fault With Israel

In the course of a war, there are often incidences where civilians are harmed. It is interesting to consider the United Nations responses to such attacks during recent battles.

  • Saudi Arabia killed 41 civilians on March 16, 2016. The UN condemned the airstrike, but not Saudi Arabia that carried out the attack.
  • Russia carried out attacks in Syria that killed 41 people, including 27 civilians on November 6, 2015. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon issued no statement.
  • The USA bombed a medical facility run by Doctors Without Borders, killing 22 people on October 3, 2015. The UN condemned the attack, but not the United States.
  • Israel attacked an UNRWA school, killing 10 people on August 3, 2014. The UN called out Israel for the “moral outrage and a criminal act.” Ban Ki Moon repeatedly stated that the Israelis responsibility was to protect Palestinian civilians, and made no mention of their actual responsibility to protect Israeli civilians.

Why can the UN Secretary General only recognize and call out an attacker in the case of Israel? Why are Palestinian civilians worthy of more protection and recognition than other civilians? Why is an attack on Palestinians uniquely a “moral outrage and criminal act?”

The Protector of One

The United Nations views itself as the guardians of the Palestinians uniquely; every other conflict in the world is between two independent warring parties.

The Palestinians have a unique definition of “refugee” and a unique relief agency (UNRWA) compared to every other actual refugee (UNHCR).  This enables the United Nations to funnel money and assume a parental role of 5 million people instead of the actual 30,000 current Palestinian refugees from the 1948-9 war they initiated.

Therefore, when Palestinians are attacked, the UN views itself as attacked.

The United Nations adopted the Palestinians.  They are the guardians of these Arab wards.

The UN’s outrage against Israel is unique in words, actions and intent.  The Palestinians are part of UN’s family.  As such, the UN is inherently an unqualified arbitrator in any dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

Ban Ki Moon
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon


 

UN Statement on Saudi Arabia killing of 41 civilians in Yemen. KSA is not mentioned:

“The Secretary-General condemns the airstrikes that hit al-Khamees market in Mastaba district in the Hajjah province of Yemen yesterday. This incident is one of the deadliest – reportedly killing and wounding scores of civilians, including women and children – since the start of the conflict. This is the second major incident of this kind in just over two weeks.

The Secretary-General underscores to all parties the utmost necessity to fully respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights laws, including the fundamental rules of distinction, proportionality and precaution. Attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects, including populated markets, are strictly prohibited. The Secretary-General stresses that any intentional attack against civilians or civilian objects is a serious violation of international humanitarian law. It is critical to carry out prompt, effective, independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of serious violations.

The Secretary-General continues to urge all parties to the conflict to cease all military activities and to start to resolve all differences and outstanding issues in a new round of peaceful negotiations facilitated by his Special Envoy for Yemen.

The Secretary-General expresses his sincere condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.”

 UN Statement on US killing 22 people in hospital. USA is not mentioned:

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the airstrikes in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that resulted in the death and injury of medical workers and patients at a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital on 3 October.

The Secretary-General recalls that hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law. He calls for a thorough and impartial investigation into the attack in order to ensure accountability.          Médecins Sans Frontières have been operating the only hospital in Kunduz under extremely trying conditions. The Secretary-General commends the courageous and dedicated staff of the organization and extends his deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and injured in this attack.”

UN statement on Israel’s killing of 10 people near an UNRWA school. Calls out Israel and highlights Palestinian civilians.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the killing today of at least 10 Palestinian civilians in shelling outside of an UNRWA school in Rafah providing shelter to thousands of civilians.  The attack is yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises, among other civilian facilities.

United Nations shelters must be safe zones not combat zones. The Israel Defence Forces have been repeatedly informed of the location of these sites.  This attack, along with other breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act.

The Secretary-General is profoundly dismayed over the appalling escalation of violence and loss of hundreds of Palestinian civilian lives since the breach of the humanitarian ceasefire on 1 August. The resurgence in fighting has only exacerbated the man-made humanitarian and health crisis wreaking havoc in Gaza.  Restoring calm can be achieved through resumption of the ceasefire and negotiations by the parties in Cairo to address the underlying issues.

The Secretary-General repeats his demand to the parties to immediately end the fighting and return to the path of peace.  This madness must stop.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

The United Nation’s Ban Ki Moon is Unqualified to Discuss the Question of Palestine

The United Nations’ Ban Ki Moon Exposes Israeli Civilians

The United Nations “Provocation”

The Hollowness of the United Nations’ “All”

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

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It’s the Democracy, Stupid

Skipping the Hamas Party ignores the Eight Year Palestinian War

Many pro-Israel people (myself included) have complained over the past several months that mainstream media’s coverage of Hamas neglected to refer to the group as “terrorists”, as the group is so labeled by: the United States; Canada; European Union; Japan; Israel; and Egypt. I believe that we have missed a more basic flaw in describing Hamas, namely that it is the majority democratically-elected party of the Palestinians.

In January, 2006, the Palestinian Authority held its last democratic elections. The Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza voted overwhelming for Hamas. The group secured 76 of 132 seats in the government, or 58% of the Palestinian Authority. By way of comparison:

  • In the United States (2012), the Democratic Party won 54% of the seats in the Senate;
  • In the United Kingdom (2010), the winning Conservative Party won 36% of the seats in the parliament; and
  • In Australia (2013), a coalition of four parties including the Liberal and Liberal National Party secured 53% of the seats

Hamas is the popular, mainstream political party that the Palestinians chose by an enormous margin (58% in a multi-party parliamentary system is a landslide; second place Fatah won 33% of the seats). When the Palestinians placed their votes, they all understood that Hamas was rabidly anti-Semitic, sought the murder of Jews and complete destruction of Israel, as it described clearly in its 1988 Charter and in repeated statements by its leadership. Further, Palestinians voted for this party knowing not just of Hamas’s positions, but of the world’s policy of isolating Hamas.

The media has not only ignored this, but has deliberately concealed this fact. Look at the adjectives used for Hamas: it is described as “Islamist” not “Palestinian”; it is described as a “faction”, not a “political party”; the group is described as having “seized” Gaza and does not convey that the people freely voted for the terrorist group.

  • New York Times: “Hamas, the Islamist faction that dominates the Gaza Strip.”
  • CNN: “Hamas, the militant Islamic group that runs Gaza,”
  • The Guardian: “Islamist organisation,”
  • Newsweek: “Hamas Islamist-dominated Gaza Strip”
  • Reuters: “Hamas, Gaza’s dominant Islamist group,”

Through the media’s – and world bodies’ – obfuscation of the Palestinian people’s complicity in the current situation, it dangerously absolves the Palestinians of responsibility. Palestinians have been artistically separated from their democratically-elected leaders who are carrying out the exact campaign promises that the Palestinian voters enthusiastically endorsed.

A reader of the photoshop-ed news is therefore led to conclude that Hamas is similar to ISIS in Iraq or Boko Haram in Nigeria or other declared terrorist groups. However, those groups are indeed “factions” and “Islamist organizations” that are apart from their respective governments. They were not elected by the people. In the West Bank and Gaza Hamas is the government and represents the Palestinians’ desires, irrespective of world leaders and the media pretending that acting-President Mahmoud Abbas (whose term expired way back in 2009) is an elected leader.

To further underscore the point, a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in August 2014 found that 61% of Palestinians would vote for Hamas. The breakdown was 53% for the terrorist party in Gaza and 66% in the West Bank.


The Palestinian people chose a path of war and continue to support an armed conflict today. They actively elected a group dedicated to jihad and the rejection of any and all negotiations with Israel in 2006, and back that same political terrorist party today.

By ignoring the role of the democratic process and the stated desires of the Palestinian people, the past eight years have been mischaracterized as a having three Israeli-Gaza wars, instead of an eight year Palestinian-Israeli war, in which Israel has responded with three defensive operations.

Or, more accurately based on the latest Palestinian poll, eight years and counting…


Source:

Hamas election 2006: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012600372.html

Hamas August 2014 poll: http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Hamas-Haniyeh-would-trounce-Abbas-if-elections-held-today-Palestinian-poll-says-374296

US Senate 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_2012

UK election 2010: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_2010

Australia election 2013: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_2013

Hamas Charter: http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-conflict.html?_r=0

CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/11/world/meast/mideast-crisis/

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/14/hamas-real-chance-gaza-agreement-israel-truce

Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/israel-warns-hamas-harsh-strikes-265100

Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/16/uk-mideast-gaza-hamas-talks-idUKKBN0GG0FJ20140816

Wall Street Journal: “The third major military clash between Israel and Hamas in less than six years” http://online.wsj.com/articles/israel-hamas-talks-over-gaza-deadlocked-1407920730

The Death of Civilians; the Three Shades of Sorrow

Every life is precious.

For many people, every life form is considered sacred, whether human or animal. In the United States alone there are an estimated 7 million people who restrict their diets to fruits and vegetables.

The vast majority of people around the world are not vegetarians. Still, there are limits to what they would consider eating. Domestic animals like dogs and cats are considered taboo in many cultures, and almost all 7 billion people on the planet avoid cannibalism. Even to those that do not consider eating meat to be immoral, there are limits.

The concept of the preciousness of life and limits of behavior extends beyond eating habits. Most of Europe has abolished the use of capital punishment.   The European Union considers the death penalty to be “cruel and inhuman”, even for heinous crimes.

However, 40+ countries still use capital punishment for a variety of offenses.  Each society decides the limits of acceptable and extreme behavior.  Even among countries that use capital punishment, the nature of the crime makes people assess the level of innocence of the person, the objection to the use of the death penalty, and sympathy for the accused. People may feel more upset when they hear about a homosexual who harmed no one, being stoned to death (in Mauritania, for example), than a mass murderer being executed (in the USA). There is a perceived range of innocence and guilt, and therefore associated gradations of grief.

This is true even among civilians who are killed during wartime. Some innocents are viewed as more “pure” than others and their unfortunate demise warrants more despair. Below are three categories of civilians from most to least innocent: Innocents; Targets; and Enablers.

  1. The Innocent
    A. Bystanders:
    In battles, passers-by may be attacked and killed without cause. These people have no part in the conflict and may not even be aware that one was taking place. An example would be the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines flight 17 that was shot over the border of Ukraine and Russia in July 2014. The 298 bystanders were killed without reason- the people had no role in the war. One can imagine that even the people that carried out the attack did it by mistake and regretted the action.B. Children: Children are innocent by definition: they lack knowledge and ability; they have no control of their situation; they neither vote nor fight. Still, almost every war has witnessed children killed. In the War between Gaza and Israel in the summer of 2014, hundreds of children were killed as the fighting took place in heavily populated areas.

    C. Slaughtered Citizens:
    Citizens of a country have every reason, right and expectation that their own government protects them. That protection is the primary basis for any government to exist. When a government reverses that course and turns its protective weaponry inwards to target its own population, it is a slaughter of innocents. Consider the millions of German Jews in the 1930s and 1940s who had every right to expect their government to protect them. When the Nazis specifically targeted these citizens, the Jews were left completely helpless. It was not a civil war of a division seeking independence; it was a slaughter of the defenseless by its own army.

2. The Targets

D. Initial Civilian Targets: Some civilians are attacked because of the actions of their government. The people going to work on September 11, 2001 in the USA were not military targets and were not part of the government. The attackers specifically targeted their places of work – America’s financial and military centers – as they were unhappy with America’s influence and presence in the Muslim world. The nearly 3,000 civilians were just going to work and had no role in, or understanding of the unhappiness of the attackers.

E. Civilians Targeted after Military Attack: The victims in Hiroshima and Nagaski were living in Japan when the US dropped an atomic bomb on them during the end of World War II in 1945. The Japanese initiated the war by attacking US military targets in Pearl Harbor four years earlier. As the war dragged on, the US concluded that it would end the war faster by obliterating entire cities which included both people involved in the war and uninvolved civilians who were part of the aggressor force. World reaction to the attack has been mixed, whether the action saved more lives by ending the war faster.

F. Civilians Targeted after Civilian Attack: The allies in WWII launched a bombing campaign on the German city of Dresden in February 1945. The Dresden attack was a reaction to the German-initiated war and attack on Great Britain. The further argument given to destroying the entire city was that it was an important center for the German war effort. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the British and US bombing campaign.

  1. The Enablers
    G.  Backers of War Policy: Civilians are defined as people who are not part of the armed forces. However, there are people who are technically not part of the armed forces but are directly involved in advancing a war. For example, Palestinians voted overwhelmingly for Hamas and its war campaign against Israel in 2006. Hamas has fought constantly against Israel and Israel has responded with three operations: in 2008 (Operation Cast Lead); 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defense); and 2014 (Operation Protective Edge). Many civilians (both those that voted for the war policy and those that didn’t) were killed in those wars.

The loss of any life is sad, but it is human nature to react to the particular circumstance of each death. In an extreme example, an 8-year old killed while riding a bicycle brings more sympathy than a convicted murderer getting the death penalty. As detailed in the article above, it is not surprising that even in the finer shades of gray among civilians killed during war, that people feel more horror for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, than for Palestinians who voted for war.


Sources:

http://costsofwar.org/article/civilians-killed-and-wounded

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II

EU human rights: http://eeas.europa.eu/human_rights/adp/index_en.htm

Death penalties worldwide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_country#Capital_punishment_in_the_world_.28by_country_not_by_population.29

Hamas victory: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012600372.html

Death sentence for homosexuality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aXPECeOilA

3shades

Israel and Wars

Human beings have been at war with each other for thousands of years.  The past 100 years have been particularly violent.

World War I began in 1914, and claimed roughly 16 million people (including 7 million civilians.) The years that followed saw repeated conflicts with some of the worst death tolls in human history: World War II (60+ million); Sino-Japanese war (20 million); Chinese Civil War (7.5 million); Russian Civil War (5 million); and on and on.

One hundred years on, in 2014, battles continue to rage in Syria, Ukraine and around Africa including: Somalia; Sudan; Libya; Guinea-Bissau and the Central Africa Republic. Many of these conflicts are a long way from being resolved.

There are many conspiracy theorists who believe Jews are behind all of the wars in the world. These anti-Semites have bought the lines and lies of Hamas, the democratically-elected Palestinian terrorist organization, which has stated their twisted thinking in their charter:

“The enemies have been scheming for a long time, and they have consolidated their schemes, in order to achieve what they have achieved. They took advantage of key elements in unfolding events, and accumulated a huge and influential material wealth which they put to the service of implementing their dream. This wealth [permitted them to] take over control of the world media such as news agencies, the press, publication houses, broadcasting and the like. [They also used this] wealth to stir revolutions in various parts of the globe in order to fulfill their interests and pick the fruits. They stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations. They also used the money to take over control of the Imperialist states and made them colonize many countries in order to exploit the wealth of those countries and spread their corruption therein. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate. They collected material gains and took control of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state. They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary. There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it” (Article 22)

Most wars have nothing to do with Israel.  Muslim countries and territories have been in roughly 50 wars since the founding of Israel in 1948 which have killed over 8.3 million people.  Wars involving Israel account for 1% of those fatalities.  By way of comparison, wars with world powers (US, Russia and France) against Muslim countries killed over 7 times as many people as wars involving Israel.

Over 90% of fatalities in wars with a Muslim country are in wars against other Muslims.

But is it easier to blame yourself or a scapegoat?

List of recent Muslim Wars:

  • 1983-2005 Sudan (Muslim)-South Sudan (Christian)- 1.8 million killed
  • 1980-1988 Iran (Muslim)-Iraq (Muslim) 1.5 million, including 200,000 Kurdish civilians, many from mustard gas
  • 1967-1970 Nigeria (Muslim) civil war – 1.2+ million
  • 1975-2002 Angola (Muslim) civil war 800,000+
  • 1955-1972 Sudan (Muslim/christian) civil war- 500,000 killed
  • 1991-2006 Somalia (Muslim) civil war 300,000+
  • 1971 Bangladesh (Muslim)-west Pakistan(Muslim) 300,000
  • 1974-1980 Ethiopian (Muslim) civil war 250,000+
  • 1954-1962 France-Algeria (Muslim) 250,000
  • 1976-1990 Lebanon civil war (Muslim/Christian fighting) 200,000+ killed
  • 2011-present Syria civil war (Muslim) 170,000+
  • 2003-2011 US-Iraq (Muslim) 160,000+ killed
  • 1962-1970 Yemen (Muslim) Civil War/Egypt(Muslim) 100,000+, including thousands of civilians from mustard gas
  • 1979-1988 USSR-Afghanistan (Muslim) 100,000 killed
  • 1992-1995 Bosnian War  100,000 killed; 1 million displaced
  • 1975-1990 Indonesia (Muslim)-East Timor(Christian) 100,000 killed, mostly Christians
  • 1994-1995 Russia- Chechnya (Muslim) 80,000
  • 1991-2002 Sierra Leone (Muslim) civil war 50,000+
  • 2001-present US-Afghanistan (Muslim) 47,000+
  • 1984-present Turkey (Muslim)-Kurds 44,000
  • 1999 Russia – Chechnya (Muslim) 40,000+
  • 1990-1991 US-Iraq (Muslim), Kuwait (Muslim) 35,000
  • 2006-2009 Somalia (Muslim)-Ethiopia 28,000
  • 1982-1983 Israel (Jewish)-Lebanon (Muslim) 27,000
  • 1982 Syria (Muslim) Hama uprising 20,000
  • 1948-1949 Israel(Jewish) – Egypt (Muslim), Syria(Muslim), Jordan(Muslim), Iraq(Muslim), Saudi Arabia (Muslim), Sudan(Muslim), Yemen(Muslim) 18,000
  • 1973 Israel(Jewish)-Egypt(Muslim); Syria(Muslim) 18,000
  • 1967 Israel(Jewish)-Egypt(Muslim); Jordan(Muslim); Syria(Muslim) 16,000
  • 1971 India (Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 13,000
  • 2011 Libya (Muslim) civil war 8000+
  • 1947-1948 India(Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 7,500
  • 1965 India (Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 6800
  • 2000-2008 Israel (Jewish)-Palestinians 6500
  • 2004- Shia Insurgency in Yemen 5000
  • 2009-present Somalia(Muslim) civil war 4000
  • 2001 AlQaeda (Muslim)- US 3000
  • 1999 India (Hindu)-Pakistan(Muslim) 2500
  • 1987-1993 Israel (Jewish)-Palestinians 2300
  • 2009-present south Yemen(Muslim) 1500
  • 2008 Israel(Jewish)-Hamas(Muslim) 1400
  • 2005-2010 Chad (Muslim/christian) civil war 1000+
  • 1990 Iraq (Muslim)-Kuwait(Muslim) 1000+ killed
  • 2006 Israel (Jewish)-Hezbollah(Muslim) 600
  • 1989-1991 Mauritania(Muslim)-Senegal(Muslim) 500
  • 1985 Mali (Muslim)- Burkina Faso (Muslim) 250
  • 2012 Israel (Jewish)- Hamas 200+
  • 1991-2001 Djibouti civil war 100+


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_by_death_toll

http://www.un.org/en/sc/meetings/records/2014.shtml

http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397