18 November 2023
An excellent discussion, my thanks and appreciation to all participants. The HCPs, among others, do not like us or any folks doing too much of this.
One reader asks if I think there should be a Palestine nation? YES x 3 and with:
Look what Israel and Russia are doing right now, with their powerful military machines. I'd really like to know if the Hamas leadership truly understood what fuse they were lighting when they struck the match in early October.
I am told that I am biased; well yes, I am. EVERY HUMAN BEING IS BIASED. Objectivity is a concept; impartiality is an illusion. The closest we can come is to train ourselves to acknowledge our points-of-view and leave them out of the process of deciding, if facts, evidence & experience of the matter lead away from where our impressions, feelings and reactions seem to point.
To clarify what I think; four factors must be considered when observing the conflict today:
What has unfolded over the ¾ of a century since (2023 – 1947 = 76) could not have happened without the above events.
The Arabs and Persians overall (with exceptions such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria) and within them, the one group proclaiming themselves the heirs to the name Philistine (see the Wikipedia entry on Philistines) have since that time, held a position that Israel should not exist as a nation, and that Jews should be driven from the region or be exterminated, if Jews don’t go away. If Jews remain, a nation of Israel or the effort to re-create one, will always be.
From 1941-45, Germans slaughtered six million people because they were Jewish. About 1.5 million per year, over 4,000 per day, every day, weekends included, no vacations, for about 50 straight months. Are the descendants, relatives and friends of these victims ever going to be nice about the idea genocide is coming for them once again?
My opinion matters not even a tiny little bit to anybody in that region or involved with it beyond observation.
What might add meaning to the issue is a good Q&A or at least an observation from The Committee.
Q: Esteemed Committee, did the leaders of Hamas, who decided to attack Israel on October 7th, anticipate the response to include what has developed since then?
C: No. That a response would occur was anticipated yes, but Hamas leaders extrapolated the expected reply from many examples of Israeli counterstrikes, but did not expect an existential threat to their organization.
Q: When will Israeli troops stand down and withdraw?
C: When Israel believes their penicillin has driven away the infection permanently.
Q: The dead Palestinians....
C: Many are Hamas fighters, more than ⅔.
Q: But the innocent victims....
C: Hamas leaders should be consulted about this, in addition to Israelis. Both should answer these questions.
Q: The images of Israeli forces finding bombs and other weapons in hospitals, how much propaganda is included, or is it all propaganda?
C: It is accurate. Israeli forces need not store weapons this way, but have weapons just the same. A weapon is a weapon, just a tool. Who are the people with them is what matters.
Q: The allegation that Israeli leaders somehow influenced or controlled the 7th October 2023 attacks, to justify a counterattack to then conduct ethnic cleansing; any truth to this?
Q: The allegation that Israeli plans to develop crude oil & natural gas but must attack Gaza first, any truth to that?
Q: Are there undeveloped crude oil and natural gas formations in the area?
Q: Does the population density make exploration and production difficult?
C: Yes and no; the money to be earned from such production could be used to relocate people displaced, but the principal reasons development has not occurred many years after the formations were discovered and identified, are twofold; no crude oil refining capacity exists within economically feasible pipeline distances, and the cost to construct oceanside export terminals to transport crude oil to refineries elsewhere, is not economically feasible. Natural gas can be moved a good distance by pipeline, but Russia has already exploited these markets. Local use of natural gas, given the region's climate, is not vigorous thus not economically attractive enough to incur the expense and investment required to produce it. Liquification and ocean transport of the natural gas would lose money immediately then permanently.
Of the greatest obstacles to investment are instability and hostilities. Equipment, technology and knowledge to successfully produce & distribute natural gas, crude oil or derived products of either, will require foreign investment and, at a minimum, foreign workers to some degree, especially in leadership roles. As long as the threat of another Hamas attack against Israel looms, and an Israeli counterstrike is assured, neither investors nor engineers nor workers, will commit. The investors do not fear Hamas, they fear the Israeli response.
Allow us to be clear; Germany created a monster; attack it and such monster delivers a monstruous response.
Q: Thank you, Esteemed Committee.
C: Do return, one and all.
12 November 2023
Whilst we await reader questions, I expect the many or few of you would like my perspective of the shootout between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, as previous comments imply.
I am happy to offer my viewpoint, not that of The Committee. (Remember always, I'm just another yahoo American, with all the good & bad things that includes.)
A reader offered a very interesting and informative video by Dr. Finklestein (in the comments) which gives background to the Israeli Palestinian situation. After watching it, 3 things stood out for me. I offer my deep & heartfelt thanks to a long-time and loyal reader for provoking this opinion.
After listening to the >40 minute explanation, 3 things stood out for me.
Without a doubt, people displaced in the late 40s were refugees but their children and grandchildren? I don't say this lightly; my father was a refugee. He not only left The Netherlands but also Europe because of WW2 and because of what happened to him and his family. (His father and brother, my grandfather and uncle, were taken slave by the Waffen SS. Before that, the next-door neighbors, who were Jewish, were led away in handcuffs to a concentration camp in Poland.)
Residents of Gaza have been free to leave for decades and decades. That they feel unwelcome in the rest of Israel is understandable and Israel must shoulder a big % of the responsibility for this, but the entire narrative surrounding Palestinian liberation, independence and resistance to Israel's existence has always seemed naïve to me.
20% of Israeli citizens are not Jewish. Most of this ⅕ of the population is composed of Arab Muslims, and pockets of Christians, Druze and others also live peacefully and happily in Israel. The Druze even serve in the IDF.
I recall many things said by the old PLO and Yasser Arafat which ignored something the Israelis learned the hardest way of all, from the Holocaust: offense is the best defense.
That Israel has expanded territory, settlements and control might be negative, nasty and hated by Arabs, but Israel understood and still understands that concessions given to adversaries erode safety and security. The Israelis do not believe satisfaction can ever be achieved; they believe adversaries want their country eliminated, Jews driven off, or exterminated if they will not go. Jews have lived there for 35 centuries.
Syria, Jordan and Egypt long ago conceded that Israel is going to exist, and that Israel has developed both the firepower and willingness to use it in self-defense.
The 1967 war caused the loss of territory as a result of the attacking forces being crushed by Israel.
The early October attack about a month ago made clear to Israelis that a target is painted on their backs; that Iran will fund & supply Hamas and/or any group willing to attack Israel.
The arguments over:
Let's examine a hypothetical example, which would never happen. A radical militarized group conducts a sneak attack against the USA from Canada, its headquarters in British Columbia. From Vancouver to Seattle, let's say. The terrorists slaughter two or three thousand Americans. Are the Canadians to blame? Of course not, but Vancouver would probably become a smoking black hulk inside of 1 day, or at a minimum the perpetrators would be hunted down by invading US Marines. If Canadian forces attempted to slow this process, they'd be cut down along with perpetrators, until the USA became satisfied the threat has been eliminated and repeat attacks deterred.
The biggest question would be how such a group could develop its plan, then train & supply itself to carry it out without knowledge of Canadian authorities. If the Canadians knew, why was nothing done?
This is a stupid example; such a threat would never be allowed to materialize in either the USA towards Canada or vice versa.
How many residents of Gaza, not connected to Hamas in any way (family members in the group, etc) knew what was going on? More than handful, for certain, but what was done about it?
After getting elected in 2007, Hamas leadership has not stood for re-election since. Did any resident of Gaza think it is okay for 15 years to pass without holding elections again?
That the Israelis are hostile, nasty and not candidates for sainthood (to put it mildly) and conduct constant surveillance and control over Gaza, has been demonstrated by the recent actions of Hamas, to be the right thing.
Why has nobody in Gaza over the past few decades tried to strike a deal with Egypt to supply water, electricity, food and other things? Because Egypt knows the score, having learned a harsh, bitter lesson from their crushing defeat in 1967.
Two million of Israel's ten million citizens are Arabs, mostly Sunni Muslims. How are they treated?
How many non-Jews, including recent ancestors, have served or do now, in the Israeli Defense Forces?
Adolf Hitler and The Third "Kingdom" taught Jews and the world one main thing; a Jew weaker than his adversary will be hunted down because of it.
There is no nice, pleasant answer to this situation in Gaza. Watching Israeli bombs fall is horrifying. Will the supporters and future citizens of a truly independent Palestinian nation take steps in the direction of creating a country doesn't include the elimination or extermination of Jews and Israel as its main belief?
For sure, Israelis have gone back on many agreements, but Hamas directly, and Palestinians overall, funded and supplied by Iran, this past October 7th gave Israel all the justification Israel needs to continue nasty, hostile behavior towards Palestine and Gaza. If I were Hezbollah in Lebanon, I'd be worried.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said it years ago; "we're not going back into the ovens."
My personal opinion? I wish the world didn't operate on a "peace through strength" template, formula or approach where military power is needed (...just ask the Swiss...) but...it always has and still does.
The Shift cannot get here fast enough.