Israel and the Gaza strip

  john bunyan 19:00 19 Nov 2012

This seems an intractable problem. The Israelis will not allow ships etc to go to Gaza as they fear smuggling of arms and rockets. Hamas responds by smuggling through tunnels from Egypt.The whole Palestinian embryo State has been seeking statehood for years but even they cannot show a united front. The Israelis continue to build in disputed land. Iran stirs it up in the background. The Israeli response to rocket attacks is disproportionate. The whole thing could get out of hand. Talks seem a waste of time as each side loathes the other. How depressing; there seems little hope for peace in our time.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:14 19 Nov 2012

The Israeli response to rocket attacks is disproportionate.

that depends on your point of view -

the Israeli point of view is slam it down hard before it gets worse, we will not be overcome again.

this from friends in Israel.

I have spent time there, its a beautiful country and I feel sorry there is so much conflict - quite unsettling to be scanned for guns and knives just when entering a shop.

in some parts Arabs and Israelis work and live together peacefully - in others "never the twain shall meet".

Peace in our time? There has not been any point in my lifetime where this has happened - there has always been a war happening somewhere on the planet.

Acording to Andrew Marr History of the World, we live in much more peaceful times than any of our ancestors.

  john bunyan 20:17 19 Nov 2012

forum member

I agree - mine was a very brief summary to get a thread going. I had it on very good authority recently that the UK defence top brass are thinking that the next big problem after the Afghanistan withdrawal is Iran and the whole Middle East.I also agree with Fruit Bat re relatively peaceful times, but I fear breakers ahead in the Middle East with so much hatred around.

  Aitchbee 21:31 19 Nov 2012

I've declared war on the gnats that appear on my windows [inside windows] ... I just squash them against the window-pane but next morning, dozens of 'em reappear for the same punishment; if I were to put my plant pots outside the gnats would be free to do as they please.

Israel treats it's neighbours in a similar way ... this is just my opinion.

  Forum Editor 22:32 19 Nov 2012

Southern Israelis who live near the border with Gaza are in a constant state of tension. They fear (and with good reason) the rocket attacks that are a feature of the state of more or less permanent conflict.

Israel's justification for its retaliation is that its citizens are entitled to live without this constant threat.Israel regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Both sides want something - Hamas desperately needs the Gaza/Israel cargo crossings open. Israel wants the Palestinian attacks to cease, a truce that is internationally supervised, and the re-arming of Hamas to stop.

All of that is incidental to what is at the real heart of the matter, and that's land. It has been a central issue for decades, and the way things look at the moment there is virtually no hope of any kind of lasting settlement. People on both sides are killed, and that breeds a burning desire for revenge in the young of both Palestinians and Israelis alike. It's a self-perpetuating situation.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:43 20 Nov 2012

Yes its about land.

The Arabs feel that the Israelis took their land

The Jews believe its theirs as promised in the Bible (sorry about breaking the no religion rule).

However history tells us that land belongs to those who are strong enough to take it and strong enough to hold onto it.

Land has been changing hands since the beginning of human history the political map of the world (boundaries) nowadays, looks nothing like what I remember from my school days.

Africa and Europe have changed a lot in the last 30 yrs.

Empires come and Empires go - USSR?


Putin - his bosses won't let him start a nuclear war too bad for business.

Unfortunately I wouldn't say the same for Iran or North Korea

  Forum Editor 15:02 20 Nov 2012

Nobody is going to start a nuclear war over the Israel/Palestine conflict. At the moment the current situation is one of many that have occurred between the two countries over the years. It isn't on the scale of the 2009/10 conflict, but this time it has been made rather more serious by the fact of Israel's assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the leader of Hamas's military wing. That kind of thing isn't quickly forgotten, and the mood in Gaza is one of aggression. It will take a great deal of clever talking to get both sides to agree to, and abide by a cease-fire.

At the moment the whole Middle east region is less stable than it has been for around 50 years. Syria is tearing itself apart, and Lebanon is too involved with Syria to stay out of that. The Egyptian situation has changed drastically since the departure of Mubarak, and Egypt can no longer be relied upon to provide a calming influence - Mubarak's successor is a Hamas supporter, and so is Turkey. Both those countries are going to publicly support a cease fire but the fact of their support for Hamas is going to give that organisation the impetus it needs to continue the fight.

  kad60 15:07 20 Nov 2012

Surely the most "lethal threat" would come from a biological weapon, the anthrax case in the States and even more so the Aum Shinrikyo case proves that such a singular or cocktail of such agents can be easily hidden and deployed to devestataing effect.

That Saddam,Churchill and the Japs used such weapons does not mean that only leaders are able and willing to use them,there are others in less exalted posistions who,given the opportunity,would be more than willing and able to do so.

An Ebola virus on an unsuspecting population would wreak havoc and terror far above that of todays situation.

  bremner 16:26 20 Nov 2012

What a nice impartial viewpoint.

  spuds 18:27 20 Nov 2012

"Killing someone willing to make peace looks like a bit of a mistake unless Israel didn't want the trouble to end"

What a rather silly statement to make.

Israel and the Arab States are fully aware of the rules of the game, and will continue to play to the rules that suits each other.

I bet at this very moment the Israelis are thinking on the lines that the more rockets fired at them, and doing little damage, will soon result in a a lull or peace process while new stocks are being requisitioned at great cost and effort.

Some of the action is taking place in the Golan heights, and I recall how that area was fortified in the 1970's, and no doubt much more work and security as been adopted since then.

  morddwyd 19:17 20 Nov 2012

"It seems unlikely that any 'small' player would instigate a nuclear exchange when their own lands would be the first to be razed to the ground by the 'big boys'."

I;m afraid this discounts teh "jihad".

As I;ve said before, any Muslim nuking Israel know they will spend eternity in Heaven being waited on by nubile virgins, and in 1,000 years their name will be revered throughout Islam.

They;ve been fighting over this land for perhaps 3,500 years.

Another thousand or so is not going to make any difference.

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