June 28, 2006

"Summer Showers"= "Self Defense"

It does not appear that things will calm down anytime soon in the Holy Land. Not that they've been calm for the past weeks, where dozens of Palestinians have been killed and injured by the IOF. Nevertheless, the situation has escalated after Palestinian resistance fighters attacked an Israeli army post killing three soldiers and capturing another. The IOF started the invasion of Gaza last night by destroying bridges and knocking out power to more than 1.4 million Palestinians in the Strip. As usual, Israel likes to flex its muscles and show off its fire and man power in the face of Palestinian resistance fighters. To add to the drama affect, Israel felt the need to cross the border into Syria as well.

Aljazeera is reporting that Israeli war planes hovered over a palace belonging to Syrian President Bashar Assad. An interview with an IOF spokesperson confirmed the news, saying that members of Hamas living in Syria will be targeted if the captured Israeli soldier is not released. AP also has the story.

The Syrian spokesperson said that their air defense forces scared the Israeli planes away:
"Two Israeli military planes circled with dawn at a low height, near our shore. The air defense forces opened fire at the planes and they split up and left the area." This was Syria's official version of the event, which was broadcast on Syrian television.

In the message, Syria denied any ties or responsibility to the kidnapping of soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza. "These aggressive operations form a provocation and are unjustified. If their goal is to place responsibility for the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier on the political leadership of Hamas (in Damascus – R.N.) – then Israel is making a scandalous mistake that is crossing the boundaries of logic," the source said.
Not wanting to catch anyone by surprise (god forbid), the White House had this to say:
Q: Does the United States support what Israel is doing in Gaza?

MR. SNOW: Let me be -- I'm going to be very precise on this, because, as you know, these things are reported carefully. The hostage-taking and the attacks by Hamas last weekend have precipitated the current events in Gaza. As we have said since the attack, Hamas should release and return the kidnapped Israeli soldier immediately. It's the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to stop all acts of violence and terror. Hamas has done the opposite: It's been complicit in perpetrating violence, terror and hostage-taking. Israel has the right to defend itself and the lives of its citizens. In any actions the government of Israel may undertake, the United States urges that it ensures that innocent civilians are not harmed, and also that it avoid the unnecessary destruction of property and infrastructure. All parties ought to take every measure to restore the security situation in Gaza.

Q: And do we think that the Israeli response has been appropriate and within the limits that you're talking about?

MR. SNOW: I'm not going to characterize further than what I've told you. There's your statement of position.

Q: But, Tony, the Israelis have bombed a power plant -- that harms innocent civilians. Haven't they, like, clearly gone beyond what you've just described here?

MR. SNOW: Again, I'm not going to get into operational details here. Let's just point out once again, you have the Israeli -- the Israeli forces are trying to reclaim somebody who is kidnapped and is being held hostage in Gaza, and they are doing what they can to return him. It would be a lot easier if the Palestinian Authority and if Hamas simply returned the kidnapped soldier. I am not going to get into rendering judgment on any of the operational details of what's going on there.

Q: Palestinian leaders have called this "collective punishment." Is it, or isn't it?

MR. SNOW: Again, I will just simply refer to it. I'm not going to get into the midst of the characterizations. I'll repeat, the Palestinian Authority could make this very simple -- they could return the kidnapped soldier. And the most important thing is to try to restore some semblance of security as rapidly as possible, and we hope both sides will cooperate in that.

Mr. Snow, it is very simple, like you said. The Israeli government could simply return the 9,000+ kidnapped Palestinians currently rotting in Israeli jails. Simple enough, right?

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At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, the solultion is for the arab world to be one nation. why this hasnt happened yet is beyond me 100 percent. if we were one voice. we would be loud as heck. louder than the UN. stop being weenies. your precious country rules and govenors can still hold. just be a nation! not a circus!

At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Alb Sayed said...

Outrageous. Simply outrageous. I cannot believe the American public does not see anything the least bit biased in Snow's responses.

Thanks for posting this, and keep it up. The mass media gives me a slight aneurism, so I avoid it at all cost. I wouldn't have heard this exchange if it wasn't for your post, so thank you.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous D.E. said...

good article, moi. Yesterday on BBC, the newsman was speaking to this Gazawi man who had evacuated his wife and children, but his mother had refused to move because she didn't want to leave her home. So then the newsreporter askes the Gazawi man: "wouldn't it just be easier if they returned the soldier?" In other words, he didnt think it was worth it what the palestinians were doing to themselves, and the man replied that: "THat's a good question, but let's not forget that Israel has killed alot of innocent people in the past." What I had hoped to hear was more of what you're mentioning here: ". The Israeli government could simply return the 9,000+ kidnapped Palestinians currently rotting in Israeli jails. Simple enough, right?"
I just don't understand why the news, even BBC, isn't elaborating on this issue too much.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger moi said...

Anon--I'm not sure if the solution is for the Arab world to unite, but at least they should speak out against the oppression of their fellow Arabs and Muslims.

Alb--"slight aneurism", hehe. I thought the evening news would start with "the US has said Israel has a right to defend itself after the IDF started an offensive in Gaza in response to a kidnapped solider" yata yata yata. But I know what you mean, reading what Snow had to say in full puts everything in perspective.

d.e.--I totally agree; the media appears to be ignoring the Palestinian requests for the release of the female and children detainees, at least. Norman Finkelstein pointed this out in his debate on Democracy Now(see the next post).

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Now we know how much one Arab terrorist costs: 1/1000th of a Jewish recruit. That's the price Arabs put. Don't complain then of "discrimination" and so on - you set your own value by yourself.


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