Thursday, January 15, 2009


"You know, I have always argued strongly, in Arabic and English, against analogies between Israel and Nazism, and I have always argued against Arab invocations of the holocaust in describing Israeli terrorist murder of Palestinian civilians. I have been thinking all that through this week." (The Angry Arab News Service, 12/1/09)

Dealing with Polish Terrorism or Regime Change? You decide:-

"On 22 August [1939], as Ribbentrop flew to Moscow to sign the non-aggression pact, Hitler was at his mountain fastness in Berchtesgaden, giving a speech to his senior military commanders. Notes taken at the time indicate exactly what kind of war he foresaw: 'A life and death struggle... The destruction of Poland has priority. The aim is to eliminate active forces, not to reach a definite line... I shall give a propagandist reason for starting the war, no matter whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked afterwards whether he told the truth or not. When starting or waging a war, it is not right that matters, but victory. Close your hearts to pity. Act brutally. Eighty million people must obtain what is their right. Their existence must be made secure. The stronger man is right. The greatest harshness'. On 1 September, with nearly 2 million German troops pouring across the frontier into Poland from the west, north and south, the Fuhrer issued the following proclamation: 'To the Wehrmacht! The Polish state has rejected the peaceful regulation of neighbourly relations I have striven for and has appealed to arms. The Germans in Poland are being persecuted by bloody terror and are being driven from their homesteads. A series of frontier violations, of a nature not tolerable for a great power, proves that the Poles are no longer willing to respect the German Reich's frontiers. To put an end to this lunacy, there remains no other course for me but to meet force with force'. Inside the Reich, Goebbels had been whipping up anti-Polish feeling, running scare stories on the suffering of ethnic Germans." (Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe, Mark Mazower, 2008, pp 64-65)

Dealing with Palestinian Terrorism or Regime Change? You decide:-

"The Interior Minister, Meir Sheetrit, "called on the IDF to 'take off its gloves', head into Gaza with armored tractors and raze an entire neighborhood from which rockets have been launched." (IDF should wipe out parts of Gaza, Jerusalem Post, 11/2/08)

The Deputy Defence Minister, Matan Vilnai, said that the Palestinians are "bringing upon themselves a greater Shoah because we will use all our strength in every way we deem appropriate, whether in airstrikes or on the ground." ('Shoah' an admission, Arabs say, SMH, 3/3/08)

"As tit-for-tat attacks across the Gaza border intensified after the collapse of the end of a 6-month truce, the 2 main rivals in the Israeli elections in February vowed to remove Hamas from power, using military means if necessary... Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister who will lead... Kadima in the election, said, 'The state of Israel, and a government under me, will make it a strategic objective to topple* the Hamas regime in Gaza. The means for doing this should be military, economic and diplomatic'. Later Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing Likud party... said, 'In the long term we will have to topple the Hamas regime'..." (Israel's leading parties vow to wipe out Hamas, Guardian/SMH, 23/12/08)

[*We did not seek out war, but the circumstances became impossible. Even when it all began, we were very restrained. We didn't say that we want to topple Hamas. I don't know if we can make Hamas disappear, but we didn't say 'topple'." (Olmert: Rice shame-faced by Bush over UN Gaza vote,, 12/1/09)]

"In attacking Hamas' regime in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces will try to 'send Gaza decades into the past' in terms of weapon capabilities while achieving 'the maximum number of enemy casualties and keeping Israel Defense Forces casualties at a minimum', GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said." (GOC Southern Command: IDF will send Gaza back decades, Uri Blau, Haaretz, 28/12/08)

"Tel Aviv's early insistance that this massive military exercise was about putting a halt to Palestinian rockets being fired into or near communities in the south of Israel never rang true.
Measure it by the number of rockets - 8000 - plus [sic: see my 5/1/09 post Go Figure 1] over eight years - and indeed it sounds like a genuine existential threat. Consider the toll - 20 Israeli deaths spread over eight years, which is about half the number of deaths in just a month of Israeli traffic accidents - and it all loses its oomph as a casus belli. Israel does not want to deal with Hamas - it wants to annihilate the Islamist movement. The Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, said as much when she dashed to Paris last week to head off a French push for a 48-hour ceasefire. 'There is no doubt that as long as Hamas controls Gaza, it is a problem for Israel, a problem for the Palestinians and a problem for the entire region', she said. If there was any doubt after Livni spoke, it evaporated on Friday when the Deputy Prime Minister, Haim Ramon, told Israeli TV: 'What I think we need to do is reach a situation in which we do not allow Hamas to govern. That's the most important thing'. And at the United Nations in New York, the Israeli ambassador, Gabriella Shalev, also seemed to depart the approved script. '[It will continue for] as long as it takes to dismantle Hamas completely', she said." (Mission revealed: destroy Hamas, Paul McGeough, SMH, 5/1/09)

"'We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II, [Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor] Lieberman added." (Lieberman: Do to Hamas what the US did to Japan, Jerusalem Post, 13/1/09)

"Israeli analysts say a ground war in Gaza City would make the conflict to date seem tame. 'The Israeli Defence [sic] Forces will enter, with great force, with tens of thousands of soldiers, into the heart of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip', the respected commentator Alex Fishman wrote in yesterday's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. 'There will no longer be strikes at the margins from the ground and destruction from the air. Now we are talking about armoured divisions that will not leave a single stone standing on their way into the refugee camps and into the heart of one of the most crowded cities on Earth'." (Israel divided over its next move, John Lyons, The Australian, 14/1/09)

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