• EdinburghEye

    Sadly, you’re right. I read B’Tselem – the record of casualties in the internal war – and the number of children killed by the IDF is now larger than the total number of Israeli civilian casualties. The disregard of the IDF for civilian lives is only matched by the hypocrisy of the media reporting which regards hundreds of Palestinians killed as no news but one Israeli killed as a tragedy.

    I was once a supporter of the “two-state solution”. I’ve since come to the conclusion that the only possible long-term solution, given the Israeli government’s clear lack of interest in any equitable division of land, is the one-state solution: Israel’s defacto borders include the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, therefore all inhabitants must become Israeli citizens, with all the rights of Israeli citizenship, including the obligation – and benefits – of joining the military.

    This would be a revolution as huge as South Africa’s in 1994 – but it is Israel’s choice if they go for a democratic revolution in which the people they have despised and slaughtered become full citizens, or if they continue the lethal apartheid policies that bring shame on them as a nation.

    • http://twitter.com/mendingtheworld Cranky Notions

      Ah, but the breakdown of the civilian/combatant deaths is a contentious subject. However, you may be interested in this overview of the casualties of the Second Intifada, which indicates that 95% of the Arab casualties in the conflict were male, the good majority in their late teens/early twenties, so we can assume fewer civilians were killed on their side as opposed to Israel’s, where the gender ratio is around 60:40. The image the Human Rights Industry, the media,and academia like to promote – of the IDF killing women and children willy-nilly – is in fact a false one.

      On the ‘one-state solution’: erm… has anything gotten better in South Africa since the ANC took power? Post-Apartheid South Africa is an utter basket case. Why do people keep promoting it as a good example? Is it political correctness?

      Anybody who keeps claiming South Africa is a success has to explain why they like the fact that 10% of Boer farmers have been murdered, one on five whites have left, unemployment is twice as high as it used to be, and black life expectancy is down.

      The notion of placing two national groups under one state in the name of humanitarianism is quite possibly the most stupid idea around. The ‘one-state solution’ appears to have failed even in highly-developed countries like Belgium. It may fail in the United Kingdom with the process of ‘devolution’. That approach seems to be swimming against the tide of history. See, for example, the breakup of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, etc.

      • EdinburghEye

        “has anything gotten better in South Africa since the ANC took power?”

        Yes. Several things. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is widely acknowledged as an inspirational success in dealing with decades of brutal injustice.

        South Africa is the only country in Africa, and one of only 11 in the world, which has equal marriage.

        And most important of all, poverty and inequality have gone down in South Africa since 1993. Not as much as people hoped and wanted. But in the right direction since apartheid came to an end.

        • http://twitter.com/mendingtheworld Cranky Notions

          For some reason, I doubt you have ever set foot in South Africa or know a thing about the country.

          The Truth and Reconciliation Commission? The one that forgave the perpetrators of the Saint James Church massacre? The one that forgave ANC bombers but kept the assassins of ANC bomber Chris Hani in jail?

          On the economy: Unemployment is twice as high in South Africa as it was at the end of apartheid. Black life expectancy has actually fallen. The Johannesberg Stock Exchange, once the tenth largest in the world, has actually left the Central Business District for the safer suburb of Sandtown. This is an embarrassment. The country’s main synagogue, by the way, also once sat proudly in the centre of Johannesberg. Now its in a gated suburb for safety, and the Jewish population has declined by almost half since 1994.

          Today, interest groups in South Africa are fighting viciously and desperately for a bigger slice of a constantly shrinking pie. This is what leads to tragic events such as the killings at the Lonmin mine strike.

          The South African economy is chugging along at less than 2% growth (if you believe the official figures, and I doubt them). There are places elsewhere in Africa nearing double percentage-point growth.

          But that’s O.K., at least they have equal marriage.

          • EdinburghEye

            “For some reason, I doubt you have ever set foot in South Africa or know a thing about the country.”

            And you are a 23-year-old law student living in London whose international expertise comes from … er… you read the Drudge Report?

  • Christopher Stewart

    Gareth, i am not quite sure where to begin and unfortunately i dont have too much time at teh momnet. You have taken time and effort in your piece, which is commendable

    The IDF is a national army fighting terrorists. Whilst the army may use at times tactics that are just wrong and disgusting they use far more restraint than you have acknowledged. It has been proven ( even the UN admit it) that Hamas and Hezbollah fire rockets from schools and Mosques knowing that the IDF will retaliate eventually. They do this knowing the world outcry and how it will even sway a reasonable peron liek yourself into believing what they want you to believe. Let us not Forget that All the Arab brother of the Palestinian have rarely ever lifted a finger to help them. As you know until 67 Gaza was Egyptian and the West Bank was rued by the British installed state of Jordan. Why do Egypt still close the border to Gaza and block the tunnels> Because they are pro Israeli? I Thought not. Hamas train up children and indoctrinate youngsters that Jews are evil. The Hamas Charter states that Israel must be destroyed. We have a country that loves life fighting against a movement that love death. It was the Palestinians and Arab Nation that rejected UN resolution 242 not ISRAEL. Israel wanted to swap the land they gained in 67 for peace. That didn’t happen. There are over 1 million Arabs living freely in Israel, who can vote,drink, become politicians and be successful.FREEDOM they are not entitled to under Hamas. No i am not suggesting the IDF have not committed some major crimes but they are far less than those perpetrated by Hamas and previously Fatah. I mean it is nearly impossible to get the two main Palestinian factions to agree on anything. Hundreds of Palestinians have killed themselves on buses, in hotels etc in the name of Allah.. yet they are perceived as heroes?? How does on tackle this.. apparently not very well hence the IDF cannot be perfect all the time and sometimes the outcome (To them) justifies the means. It is all very easy to point fingers at the IDF but when you fail to explain all the other methods they have tried, what they are up against and the many failures of the other side, it is a bit of a rant more than a scholarly article.

    • EdinburghEye

      “The IDF is a national army fighting terrorists.”

      You could begin by explaining how this justifies, in your view, soldiers of the IDF killing unarmed Palestinian children.

      • Christopher Stewart

        The IDF do not target innocents directly. On the other hand Hamas and Hezbollah do target innocent Israelis. Hamas encourage children to kill themselves in the name of Allah., whilst killing as many Jews as possible. You seem to be living in denial and I suggest you read some factual books for a change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.hoffman2 Stephen Hoffman

    If you want to check out the other side of the argument have a read of my blog in response to Gareth here: http://thebackbencher.co.uk/its-absurd-to-call-israel-a-terrorist-state/.