Gaza response

…and a quick response from David to all the Gaza talk going on in the comments from Blood On The Rooftops.


Gabe, I’m sorry. It was totally remiss of me not to comment on Hamas, and to assume that you (out there on the web) should know what I think of terrorism. Living in London in the seventies and eighties, I grew up in a society that feared going out socially – visiting city centre pubs, for instance – because we were likely to be blown to bits by IRA bombs.  All we learned from that was that terrorism achieves nothing.

Put simply, I have no time for Hamas. However, what I think or feel about Hamas does not stop young Arab men from joining the ‘cause’.  Quite the opposite, in fact. What Israel are doing in Gaza is making it easier for Hamas to recruit more and yet willing young men. Martyrs to the cause. Just as the IRA did during the Troubles.

A hard line is not what is called for here. Like Kaneda, I really do think that a policy of restraint would achieve far more for Israel. It would get the western world on its side, for a start. But things will never change if current policies are maintained. They will just escalate, year by year. Added to which, the provocative measure of taking over Palestinian land and building new settlements really, really does not help.

Reading through Kaneda’s comments, I cannot but agree with him. I’m sorry, Gabe, but I think Netanyahu’s got it wrong. That said, it’s no excuse for some of the anti-semitic behaviour that has broken out. A bit of reasoned thought is what we need, and a lot more understanding… of both sides of this argument.

That’s it for now.

David  22 August 2014

7 thoughts on “Gaza response”

  1. Thanks for responding to what i said, David. And please don’t apologize, i appreciate your opinion just as i appreciate Kaneda’s.

    I cannot relate to what it must have been like to live in fear of being bombed, and i feel lucky for that. What I am understanding is that you hate terrorism just as much as i do. While there is no concrete consensus on the definition of “terrorism,” i define terrorism as an act of violence that deliberately targets civilians to achieve a political goal. However, does terrorism really achieve “nothing?” What about when that plane was hijacked during the Regan administration in the early 1980’s? Didn’t that get many Lebanese terrorists freed from Israeli prisons?

    I am also understanding that you agree with Kaneda in his belief that Israel should not do anything about terrorist acts against its civilians. I keep hearing this demand about lifting the “blockade.” Do you think Israel should give in to this demand? Do you think that Israel should do nothing about explosives that could be imported into Gaza that will be used in the bombing of Israeli civilians?

    As for your policy of “restraint”…there is an estimated 8.1 million people currently living in Israel. How far should the restraint go? How many millions of israelis should we allow Hamas to kill in order to “get the western world on [Israel’s] side?” Half (4 million)? Is that the choice you’re giving to Netanyahu? – “allow your civilians to be killed so that you can get us on your side.” You, like Kaneda, seem to believe that terrorist attacks against Israel would stop if Israel did nothing in response. Again, i disagree with you both.

    I think i’ve been remiss in failing to respond to you and Kaneda about the Israeli settlements. Is this “taking over Palestinian land?” There are many Palestinians and other Arabs that live in Israel. Are they “taking over” Israeli land? I personally have no problem with an Arabic community in Israel that lives peacefully with it’s neighbors.

    Anyway, I hope you don’t think this entire debate has made me resentful, David. I was angered by what you said only because of my own personal feelings on the matter. When you really think about it, though…you, I, and Kaneda all want the same thing. We want that violence to stop. I tell you the truth, it has broken my heart to see the suffering of the Palestinian people caught in the middle of all of this.

    But once again, the problem is Hamas, not Israel. The only thing that would make it hard for Hamas to recruit is the attainment of their goal – the destruction of Israel. You’ve already stated your opinion on this and so as Kaneda and so have I, so i think it’s best if we just drop it for now.

    Once again, thanks for responding to my comments, David, i appreciate your honesty as much as i appreciate Kaneda’s.

    By the way, your mention of RR Martin reminds me of a fantasy series that you were going to write before. Are you still going forward with your plans on that?


    1. Hi Gabe,

      sorry, but first you sound all “understanding” and “appreciating” to an opposing opinion, but then one sentence later you go on complete hyperbole like “complete dismantling of Israeli forces” or even “half a million Israeli deaths”. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t Palestinians, including innocent women and children, dying in far higher numbers than Israelis? So how does that help a discussion?
      Topping that, the comparison of Arabs living in Israel and the illegal settlements really leaves me speechless. Maybe you want to read up on the Geneva convention there.
      And yes, Hamas wants to eradicate Israel…but it will never be able to, as Israel has the mightiest military anywhere around there, not mentioning their nuclear weapons. So always drawing up the worst case horror scenario of the destruction of Israel comes closer to fear-mongering than actually having an argument for the sake of finding a solution. Even worse, you are strengthening Hamas position and their “arguments”…
      Also I did not call Israel “trigger happy cowboys”, that is plainly annoying to twist my words like that.

      As long as people thing the problem is “only Hamas” or “only Israel”, there will be no solution. Eradicating (does that word sound familiar?) Hamas will bring up another form of hate, another form of revenge, as eradicating them apparently costs endless innocent civilian lives. How can that be acceptable for you? Or a solution at all? What gives you the illusion that it will stop with the end of Hamas? How about their sponsors, i.e. Iran? Should we eradicate them as well? Where does this go?

      Everybody is responsible for their actions, and so are the Israelis and the Palestinians (who are not only Hamas by the way). The death tolls alone should end any debate, sadly they don’t.
      This discussion is going no where, so yes, let’s drop it for now.

  2. Is it bad of me to think that the successful completion of Chung Kuo is more important than the endless pushme-pullyou problem that is the Israel/Palestinian issue?
    Or am I just a Wingrove fanatic?

  3. Well, excuse me, gentlemen, but is it bad of someone else to talk about current events here also? Yes, Chung Kuo and David’s other literary works are the focus of this website, but does that make it wrong for David to share his take on things happening in the world right now and for others to respond to what he says?

    1. Agreed. And I would even take it a step further in saying that current events have huge impact on the works produced by authors. Hearing David’s thoughts on issues (past, present, and future) gives us little glimpses into his thought processes and moods as he is writing these stories that we will hopefully be reading in the near future.

      That said, my read on Son of Devore’s comment was that he was attempting to bring some levity to a discussion that has gone in some quite dark directions over the last week or so. And that is something that I can appreciate.

      It’s Friday. Lets all relax a little, finish up our work for the week, and go grab a pint! If any of ya’ll are ever in the Seattle area, first round is on me.



  4. I feel a need to weigh in on this and give people some details about the Israeli occupation of Palestine which are generally kept out of all the news cycles, including the so-called “trusted” and “reliable” and “unbiased” sources like NPR and Al Jazeera.

    I think these things aren;t reported on because they’re SO difficult to digest as factual that even the more liberal media outlets shy away from sticking their neck out to tell the truth about the situation.

    Gaza is only a small part of the problem.

    The larger problem is the way the IDF conducts itself overall, in all illegally occupied areas.

    I say illegally occupied because UN Resolutions 242 and 338 make it clear that the occupation of Palestine is illegal according to international law, and this is only in dispute by two nations… Israel and the United States.

    I was in Palestine in November 2001, shooting a documentary on the occupation.

    I was in Jerusalem, and Ramallah, and Kiryat Arba, and Tal Romeda, and Hebron’s H2 area where the extremist Jewish Settlers had planted roots.

    I have archived video footage backing up every single thing I say so if you want to call me a liar, you’re going to have some serious egg on your face. It was ALL documented.

    I witnessed a non-violent Palestinian demonstration in Ramallah on a Friday being attacked with CS Gas grenades, flashbang grenades, and an endless hail of rubber bullets by the IDF. The response by the Palestinians, who are used to this sort of treatment, was to throw stones and pick up the gas grenades and try to throw them back at the IDF soldiers.

    This gas is nothing like the crowd control tear gas they used on the streets in the west. This is very nasty military grade stuff that makes your lungs seize up and your eyes explode with tears just being in proximity to the actual visible smoke… it’s deadly even at very low concentrations.

    I watched these IDF punk kids charge the unarmed civilian crowd in their humvee, opening up full automatic rifle fire of rubber bullets and lobbing flashbangs at people nonstop as they approached.

    I thought they were trying to break up the demonstration.

    They weren’t.

    They were just charging up so they could grab a Hamas flag flying over a tiny wooden shack so they could take it home as a souvenir.

    In doing so, the give the perception that Hamas is a power on par with the IDF whose flag needs to be captured by the army of a nation state. They EMPOWER Hamas, and give them elevated status where they have none, with this type of action.

    They do it because they WANT Palestinians joining Hamas, because Hamas’ actions give Israel an excuse to act without restraint against Palestinian civilians.

    In H2, before walking the road, I was told by my Christian Peacemaker Team escort not to react or respond no matter what the Jewish Settler kids did to me. Not for any reason.

    I was told that the strategy used by the settlers is to get their kids to provoke you into responding, in order to give the adults an excuse to get involved and attack you, in hopes that you’ll respond in self defense, which will give the IDF soldiers an excuse to shoot you dead… the soldiers mandate is to protect the settlers, period.

    They’ll stand there and watch you get beat down, but if you try and defend yourself, they’ll shoot you down for harming an Israeli.

    I was skeptical. But when we start to move, I saw a group of settler kids playing on the road, and they proceeded to yell things at us which I couldn’t understand, and then starting spitting at us and throwing rocks. A little ways down the road, around the corner we saw a group of adult Jewish settlers standing around. They had wooden planks and a couple of baseball bats laying around, but no baseballs, and no mitts lol.

    In Ramallah, branching out in all directions outward from the city you see a policy of road demolition by the IDF designed to make travel by non-Blue Card holding Palestinians difficult if not impossible. A journey that takes an Israeli 30-40 minutes takes 3-4 hours for a Palestinian because they’re not allowed on the IDF controlled roads, and anytime that they sufficiently repair their own roads to speed up travel, the IDF moves in and plants bomb charges and moves tanks in to mess up the roadwork and make large sections of road impassable once again.

    People are denied passage to and from Ramallah by the IDF basically at random, without rhyme or reason, by the more mean spirited soldiers. Not all are like this, but a lot are. They find themselves unable to show up for work, lose their jobs, and the cycle is endlessly repeated.

    And then the Israelis use “lazy Palestinians who dont bother showing up for work” as an excuse to bring in migrant Chinese workers to take the small handful of jobs which help put bread on the table of Palestinian families.

    In Hebron, you see Jewish Settler Grafitti on the walls which I had translated when I got home…

    Death to the Arabs.

    All Arabs must die.

    Hebron is all ours.

    Eretz Israel is ours. (greater Israel – the entirety of the Holy Land)

    You get the idea.

    It bears mentioning that the occupation itself, until the arrival of the huge wave of Russian immigrants that Ariel Sharon brought in to change the face of occupation, consisted 80% of New York Jews from a 36 square block area of Brooklyn.

    These statistics are the findings of a Jewish Israeli NGO whose name escapes me at the moment, and were presented to me by the Palestinian NGO Al Haq whose name means Law In the Service of Man.

    I would borrow from America’s founding fathers to point out that when you reduce a people under absolute despotism, the end result is inevitably violent revolution. There is no other choice. The human spirit demands it after a certain amount of time.

    Israel has NO ONE to blame but itself for acts of terrorism, because they are engaged in an illegal occupation, and have refused to allow the creation of a Palestinian state as ordained by UN Resolution 181 which called for the formation of both an Israeli and Palestinian state in the region by 1948.

    Until they comply with international law, every Israeli death from an act of terrorism is a self inflicted wound, and an act of resistance against an occupying army which is a legitimate act of war according to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids the transfer of a civilian population into occupied territory. It effectively characterizes any civilians transferred into an occupied area as being enemy combatants. So once again, the Israelis bring it all on themselves.

    You have a situation where a kid is walking to school each morning, and each morning a bully punches them in the face and knocks them down. And then when the kid finally reaches his limit and his back, and punches the bully, the bully cries foul and declares the act of self defense to be an act of terrorism.

    I’ve seen what’s going on with my own eyes, on the ground, in the worst areas.

    And believe me when I say that there really isn’t two valid points of view here… there’s an illegal occupation, and legitimate resistance to an illegal occupation.

    It really is that simple.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.