Terrorism in Gaza?

I’m just wondering. When Mumbai was under seige not too long ago, it was under “terrorist attacks”. It was called “terrorism”.

Now that Gaza is under seige, it is “self-defense”, claiming that the attack was “aimed at stopping rocket attacks that have traumatized southern Israel”.

Being curious, I checked my faithful dictionary for the meaning of “terrorism”, and I found this:

terrorism: the systematic and organized use of violence and intimidation to force a government, community, etc to act in a certain way or accept certain demands.

Quite frankly, if the Mumbai attacks were considered to be terrorist attacks, which the whole world seemed to agree it to be, then surely the attacks on Gaza by Israelis are also considered terrorist attacks.

Or is this a matter of perception?


30 Comments on “Terrorism in Gaza?”

  1. vinnan says:

    When was the last time India dropped bombs on civilian targets in Pakistan? Please be less bias.

  2. kk says:

    And please remember… during the so called cease fire, rockets were still being launched into Israel by Hamas.

  3. Crankster says:

    I think the Israelis are terrorists themselves, it’s just that they have the world superpowers backing them up.

  4. Drachen says:

    100% of Israel is ex-Palestinian land. Now some of the former land owners are locked in a cage called Gaza. Who is the real terrorist?

  5. Willy says:

    Since 2001, Hamas has rained more than 5000 rockets on Israel deliberately targeting civilians. What is an appropriate response from Israel?

    If some neighbour of ours fired a few or even just one rocket into Malaysia to kill civilians, how should our government respond? I would hope that our government would respond like Israels.

    If Palestinians in Gaza suffer more casualties, its because Israel provides its citizens with underground bunkers, Hamas hides its weapons underground i.e. under the Palestinians deliberately putting them in harms way.

  6. Paul Warren says:

    With Hamas, its almost like how it would be if, lets say, we want to get rid of the UMNO led BN government. Then, rather than doing it the legitimate way, we decide to stand on top of an over-head bridge near Chow Kit Road and start throwing stones at any vehicle traveling under.

    Well, we got objective. That objective is supported by many people. Somehow in our perverted minds we think we will soon take over the government by throwing stones at vehicles.

    What would we have proven of ourselves?

    Hamas has basically done just that. They may have a legitimate cause. It is not like as if they are being ignored. The Palestinian’s interests have now become legitimate in a sense. Legitimate because of the struggles since the 1970s that they do constitute a nation, separate and distinct from the rest of the Arab world. Obviously if that nationhood has to be extracted from another claimant you can only expect the other claimant to want to deny their existence to begin with. That the other claimant has for the past decade or so negotiated with and entered into agreements with them, there is acknowledgment of that nationhood even from the enemy.

    As a nation, now if you want to negotiate an acceptable position for yourself, you don’t do that by shooting rockets at your whims and fancies even while negotiating. You don’t threaten suicide bombers. You don’t threaten pushing your enemy into the sea. You don’t keep saying that you don’t recognise your enemy’s right to whatever they want to claim.

    Fact of the matter is, the Palestinians themselves as well as the rest of the Arab states did not see the Palestine of West Bank and Gaza, as a nation until well after the 1967 6 Day War. Until then these were Jordanian and Egyptian administered territory and woe be he who suggests otherwise.

    The Israeli nation began with acts of terrorism by groups such as Irgun and the Stern Group. The head of Irgun, Menahem Begin was a wanted man, dead or alive. But the moment nationhood was achieved in 1948, these terrorist organisations dissolved and everyone joined in the national effort. Begin of course was part of the “opposition” party then within the Israeli political entity. And he became Prime Minister of Israel sometime in the 1970s. And he was the one who signed the first peace agreement between Israel and Egypt in 1979 or so.

    Now, Anwar Sadat, who negotiated with Begin for that agreement could have maintained that he would not want to talk to a terrorist. But you see Begin was a politician and a statesmen by this time. His terrorist days were over.

    Fact is, with the agreements that were signed a decade ago or so with Arafat, the Palestinian nation has been recognised and acknowledged even by the enemy.

    But what has been happening? Suicide bombers, rockets and threats to throw the Israelis into the Mediterranean is all that you hear from Hamas.

    They want to conduct themselves as terrorists, just as Irgun would have, pre-1948, yet they want the honour of being politicians and administrators and leaders of part of a state.

    Throughout this time , while they shoot rockets into Israel, they continue to expect Israel to continue to be the main provider of jobs to Gazaans, the provider of oil for their cars and to power up their power generators, to provide for their food and to provide for emergency medical help. And Israel also provides them the shekels that they call money.

    Just like DAP had to very quickly change its opposition mentality to Government mentality in the states it governs, Hamas has to realise that it too has to turn in its guns to become administrators and politicians. But so long as they think that they can be a terrorist organisation while at the same time being a political party leading a nation, then it has to accept what is befalling them.

    With terrorists and terrorist activities, you don’t have at the same time the responsibility over lives you lead or over the lives you want to obliterate. Is that true of Israel’s conduct so far? Or is it true of Hamas’ conduct thus far?

  7. lostcritic says:

    To KK

    Yes my friend and also during the so called cease fire, Gaza was a Prison whereby supplies were blocked and even basic medicine to cure the ill and children were blocked. Palestinians were being starved and let to die from simple infections.

  8. […] لكنني حينما بحثت في بعض المدوّنات الماليزية وجدت تفاعلاً أسعدني وتولّدت في نفسي فكرة مغايرة عما كنت أظنه وأنهم فعلاً […]

  9. […] لكنني حينما بحثت في بعض المدوّنات الماليزية وجدت تفاعلاً أسعدني وتولّدت في نفسي فكرة مغايرة عما كنت أظنه وأنهم فعلاً […]

  10. Drachen says:

    Paul,

    Why did the Palestinians vote for Hamas?

  11. vinnan says:

    Desperation and stupidity

  12. Paul Warren says:

    Drachen,

    The same reason Malaysians have been voting the UMNO led BN for all these years. I am sure I can find somewhere out there, that the Iraqis too voted overwhelmingly for Saddam Hussein and that the Germans at one time gave overwhelming support to one Adolf Hitler.

    Does that overwhelming support make any of their agenda, their deeds, their intentions and their regime any more sanctified or legitimate?

  13. Drachen says:

    Paul,

    “Throughout this time , while they shoot rockets into Israel, they continue to expect Israel to continue to be the main provider of jobs to Gazaans, the provider of oil for their cars and to power up their power generators, to provide for their food and to provide for emergency medical help. And Israel also provides them the shekels that they call money.”

    So what were these guys doing in Palestine before the benevolent Israelis came along?

  14. Drachen says:

    Paul,

    “The same reason Malaysians have been voting the UMNO led BN for all these years.”

    You haven’t actually answered my question.

  15. ahmedsn says:

    I am ahmed from Saudi Arabia …
    thank you for this blog
    you know that the word (terrorism) is faced to Muslims only …. i mean when Muslim kill non-Muslim they will call him (terrorism) … but when non-Muslim kill Muslim they will call him (self-defense) !!!!!
    thanks again

  16. vinnan says:

    Ahmed, tell me the legal definition of a non-Muslim in Saudi Arabia and what are his legal rights compared to a Muslim.

  17. Drachen says:

    I really think it’s time to end that “You didn’t give a damn about me so I’m not going to give a sh!t about you” attitude that divides the world.

    Two wrongs doesn’t make a right. The people in Gaza are suffering for whatever reasons and they need help!

  18. Paul Warren says:

    Palestine? What Palestine? There was the Egyptian Controlled territory or the Jordanian controlled territory or it was a British Protectorate. Before the British, of course, there was the Turk speaking Ottoman Empire…now how far back are we supposed to go? As far as I know, from about the time the walls of Jericho fell, these lands have not been in the hands of those chaps who were there before that.

  19. Drachen says:

    In other words, the people who were “squating” on Palestine could be pushed out by the Israelis, just like the Australian Aborigines and Native Americans were pushed off the land they did not legally own?

  20. vinnan says:

    Drachen, the Jews were and still are one of the earliest inhabitants of palestine just like the Arabs. Comparing Palestinians to the North American Indian and Australian Aborigines is inaccurate.

  21. Paul Warren says:

    Its a never ending circus isn’t it? Except that claims from biblical stories and beyond make this a whole lot more complicated. Emotions alone is not going to gain for anyone their rights or their lands.

    For the moment it would seem, might is right. And until this might is brought down to its knees, the rule set out by might prevails on everyone.

    The Palestinians in Gaza may have a legitimate claim, and they can have the moral right to their frustration. Nevertheless, if they insist on shooting rockets like they did, it becomes incumbent on those in power in Israel to respond accordingly. And when you decide to shoot rocket from glass houses, you don’t expect Israel to be throwing cotton buds at you.

    With the Natives of America, Australia and New Zealand, what happened before happened. Nothing done now can make anything right. But if the natives decide to do it the Palestinian way now, I don’t expect there will be anything of them left soon enough. That, unfortunately, is the way of the world.

  22. Gadfly says:

    The Israeli military aggression and encirclement of the whole population of Gaza is both immoral and unjust. The bombing of an UN school killing 30 over children reveals the ugliness and cruelty of the state terrorism of the Israeli government.

    Military conflicts are to be confined only to military targets. When the entire population is collectively punished by the cutting off of electricity, essential supplies of food, clean water and medicine,leading to unnecesary deaths of the non-combatants of children,women, the sick and the wounded, this is not murder but crime against humanity, a war crime. It has the practical effects of genocide, if prolonged.(Refer Articles 3, 13, 33,48 and 147 of the Geneve Convention IV)

    The just war doctrine demands that the means must be proportional to the ends, otherwise it is an unjust war.(Google ‘Just war theory’). The siege of the 1.5 million Gaza population is not justified for the those rockets that have caused minimal damage. I am not saying that dropping of rockets on civilians is OK. In fact, I think Hamas has done a disservice to its cause by this strategic error, though they think that the rockets are cries of protest. The Israeli government is more interested to take revenge on the Gaza population rather than to resolve the conflicts politically.

    The Israeli ambassador to UN claims that 8,000 over rockets have been rained on the Israeli soil for the past 8 years. But why now make this military offensive? Perhaps,it may be due to the coming general election in Febtruary. But, war is a highly complex phenomenon. It cannot be explained and understood easily. Einstein once asked Sigmund Freud why people go to war, the latter replied that it is because human beings are what they are. This is too simplistic.

    War may be horrifying to many of us. But, the Israeli government seems to be addicted to military aggression. There must be some payoffs or rewards for engaging in bloody conflicts. The US and UK goverments are selling huge amounts of military hardwares to Israel at the expense of the suffering of Palestinian people.

    Israel has superior military hardwares, including nuclear weapons. But, why they still feel vulnerable and do not enjoy the peace and quiet that they seek? The fundamental reason, I think, is that they are the occupying power. The deep longing of the Palestine people to live with dignity cannot be quashed by military power.

    The language of peace and the language of war are vastly different. Good and evil are absolute categotries. There is only black and white, no grey areas. It is all your fault, even my mistakes are also because of you. Thinking becomes infantile. Men are fighting over an image. When the other is demonised and hence dehumanised , all means are justified. The mere label or image of the other as ‘terrorist organisation’ is sufficient to justify war, the civilians are disposables.

    The hurt that both the Israelis and the Palestians inflicted on each other has not been healed, which then mutates into anger and hostilities. Behind the anger, there is fear. There is no encounter of the I and You, the I becomes too fossilied to exchange into You because of ideological conditionings.

    Joseph Joffo,a French author of ‘A bag of marbles’, once remarked that Israel should help to develop Palestine economically instead of wasting millions in military hardwares. Men often do not choose their best interests, instead they make war inevitable.

  23. Drachen says:

    The US is competing in a one-country arms race. They have to find some use for the weapons they keep churning out. Consequently, the Americans (and Israelis) have poorly-developed diplomatic skills because they rely too much on violence to solve problems.

  24. Gadfly says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine

    My previous comment on the Israel-Palestine military conflict lack social-historical context. Systems theory avoids reductionist approach. I found the above article written by Avi Shlaim in the Guardian quite thought provoking.

    Avi Shlaim once served in the Israeli army. He is now an Oxford professor of international relations. He said that he never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. However, he strongly opposed the colonising idea of territorial expansionism and military domination by Israel on Palestinian land. We can see the bigger picture with this background knowledge instead of the deliberate narrow framing of issues by Israel government to firing of rockets by Hamas the terrorist organisation.

    The inhumane destruction of the Palestinian society- politically, economically and culturally- must have opened his eyes – the eye of someone who once served loyally in the army.

    I presume an Israeli citizen must be subjected to continous and heavy psychological conditioning of war propaganda as Israel goes to war so often. ‘My country – left or right’, George Orwell once said. When a country chooses to go to war, those people like conscience-objectors who oppose it shall be suspected or judged or arrested for ‘treason’.

    In a certain sense, Avi Shlaim is a conscience objector. This path must be a lonely one, at least in Israel.

    After millions were killed in the First and Second World War, the warring parties still needed to talk on the table. Sun Zi’s Art of War places huge emphasis on using diplomatic means to resolve conflicts while Clausewitz, the Western counterpart of Sun Zi, emphasises the use of great force or violence for winning in battles. There is a great difference in casualties.
    _________
    Thanks for the link Gadfly. It was interesting.

  25. What is happening in Gaza is just terrible. I hope the world steps in quick before things gets any worse than they already are. I also hope that intervention does not cause more harm than good and I dont need to mention any countries here.

  26. Thinker says:

    Is the world really worried about Hamas getting whacked? Sans Syria and Iran… and of course some halfway across the globe some Malaysians and Indonesians…

    The rate the Arab countries are dragging their feet in pushing for a ceasefire would probably give one the sense that the Arab world is in fact thankful to Israel for doing something that none wanted to do but wished to do. No?

  27. Drachen says:

    Strange. The Associated Press published this 3 days ago: “Arabs push UN resolution demanding Gaza cease-fire”

  28. Drachen says:

    Michelle,

    Here’s an article from Robert Fisk that is worth reading: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-do-they-hate-the-west-so-much-we-will-ask-1230046.html
    ________
    Thanks for the link. Am loading it now.

  29. Neoh says:

    It was a surprise and a delight to find so many calm and insightful comments on such a hot topic. I surmise it was because it was discussed within your blog Michelle. I don’t think the grown-ups here want to be seen mud-slinging in front of a nice 20 year old girl. They wouldn’t be setting a good example now, would they?

    Hmm, I wonder if we could use this theory and translate it to the wider arena. We can “peace” talks chaired by the young of this world. Now, wouldn’t that be something?
    ________
    That sounds like an idea. 😉


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