Saturday, January 3, 2009

Retraction

In an article: http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com/2008/12/israel-gathers-tanks-at-border-of.html

I stated that Hamas was the same organization that held Lebanon at knife point: this is incorrect: the correct phrase is: same kind of organization. I am assuming it was a slip of the tongue, the two groups being so similar, and sounding almost the same: and an accidental assumption: in any case: for journalistic integrity: this is important enough to issue a retraction.

We Apologize for the error in our facts. Remember, you can always inform us of any factual errors: our main interest in in truth, and reality.

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Gaza situation: analysis

(Scripturelink Voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

There is another possible reason for the current Israeli strikes, one not perhaps overly covered. America is entering a Democrats: presidency next year: under a person who has promised to be softer on international relations: this could be bad for Israel: American support ensures they are not conquered by the Arabic Nations around: and Bush is always helpful: he is one international leader who has read the definition of Terrorist; even if he's extrapolated a bit at times: he has condemned Hamas for reopening hostilities with an Israeli government, which has so far been viewed as too soft on the issue: and too friendly to Hamas: who continues to launch terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

Hamas has political insurance out of fighting, as does the other group: to an extent: Hamas has no interest in the welfare of their people, nor in peace: but Israel: if the International community can make them feel safe: perhaps by funding missile defense systems, or other defensive aids: and by finally taking war crimes to trial: if Israel were to be made to feel safe: the entire situation would begin to end.

As it is, every Israeli attack: while seeming not to end the Catastrophic situation, is motivated by a desire to secure Israeli people's lives. Hamas: is so defiant: because their survival depends on an enemy to fight.

The only way to peace: is to ignore Hamas' desires: and focus on the needs of the people, and not what they have been propagandized into believing they want. With the entire situation: an international force needs to be deployed, and to ensure the Human Rights of both sides: the time for tit for tat negotiation is over: the time for human rights has begun. Negotiations: must have a goal: not simply squabbling: and a reason to negotiate: must be given: even if it is the threat, or realization: of international troops: and the Hague.

Soft solutions: are often the cause of fear: which, along with the feeling of injustice: these create: creates hatred: and a desperation which leads to war: and only results from a lack of hope. Both sides have become desperate: and all the condemnation in the world: cannot release Israel: from their justified fear: even if their methods may not be justified. Politics, and games must end in this conflict: there must be a final solution: one which unlike the Nazi campaign: does not involve wiping persons of a certain political or religious, or cultural group out: there must be international: armed intervention: via peace keepers; as happens everywhere else: and there must be at least the threat of international prosecution in the International Criminal Court: for all involved in crimes.

There must be a reason to negotiate, and a hope for justice and final peace from it: which only comes from a higher power, and I am not Referring to either of the religions, of the two groups: rather I refer to the United Nations.

Only by justice, can concord be restored, and by concord, shall peace largely be regained. At least those who ordered illegal actions: these at least must be prosecuted: unless extenuating circumstances can be proved... and not simply assumed.

I am not saying that peace keepers must fight Israeli troops: what I am saying is that these must be deployed, perhaps after fighting, or maybe in some ingenious manner. Also, why is it that Egypt continually closes their border? would this not help the situation, if it were opened: would it not begin to release Hamas' grip on Palestine?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Helen Suzman Dies: about a month ago she was still taking a stand: this time against crippling corruption in South Africa

(Scripturelink Voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

She was a Jewish woman, and a hero.

My Grandfather, whose life helped lead me back to the Catholic faith, stood for her party in the Freestate, but never got more than about 10% of the vote. Often, she was the only voice of reason in parliament: and considering what they attempted with my family: I can assure you: it took courage to stand. Without her: many on Robin Island: would have been much worse off: as an MP; she could go there.

I was speaking to someone who knew of her: the amazing thing is: about a month ago: she joined those calling for an Inquiry into the infamous "Arms Deal". Currently the head of the ruling ANC: is constantly managing to prevent this from going to trial: despite the arrest, and conviction of his financial advisor: for having what the judge termed a generally corrupt relationship with the current president of the communist friendly ANC.

Since Apartheid ended: for many South Africans, nothing has changed: instead: foreigners get their government sponsored houses: out of corruption: leading to attacks such as in the Xenophobia; much as it was in Apartheid. White South Africans: have to face discrimination: a company is only allowed to hire so many white people: meaning that due to a shortage, companies used to hire foreigners: until the ANC closed the net. On exiting government: ANC officials, often become successful "Blackchip" CEO's: in that companies have to do a certain amount of business with companies: which are majority black, and large companies must have large percentages of "Black" ownership: resulting in shares often basically being given away: so as to comply with racially motivated laws. Does this change the socio-economic landscape: unfortunately for the worse: while a few politicians and others become rich: and while the standard of business has decreased, and many businesses have collapsed: or hired persons in token positions, the ANC's leaving politicians: often become rich. In fact, the ANC: has taken a co-operating society, and once again resorted to engineering a society, as Apartheid did: more than this, are other results of ANC power: not only causing social tension: and making it harder for those standing for equality, and non-racialism: intimidation, threats of genocide, and annihilation, against political, and legal opposition: resulting in South Africa's version of the FBI: the "Scorpions", being shut down on investigating ANC politicians, and many other issues: including voter intimidation in previous by elections: have made for a landscape of fear, and often made those who stand for non-racialism: have to shut their mouths, for fear of being ridiculed, or shouted down.

Helen Suzman: was brave at all to still be making a stance: those she was apposing, had changed: but she still stood for South Africa: and is a credit to our Jewish brothers.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gaza Strip, Palestine: Israeli attack a "Christmas Present": citizen of Gaza strip

(Scripturelink Voters guide; c.f. Catholic News Service (independent; professional; don't always give full picture) 31/12/2008)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Israel's attack, so near to Christmas: is considered as a Christmas present, by one person interviewed in Gaza: who said that it was his opinion, that most people there hate Hamas, but are to scared of them to voice it. No name for this source was given.

Israel has been in contact with foreigners in the West Bank, extending short periods of permission to again exit the area. Another source said that they didn't talk about politics, rather: only about their immediate situation.

It seems likely that the source of all this information is Catholic people there. The accuracy of it is questionable, as to Hamas being despised, as there is only one source for this: someone who himself seems to dislike a group which he considers as abusive towards Catholics and Muslims in the area.

Condemnation of Israel, by lay Catholics in the Gaza strip, however: is something I personally have not seen since the start of the conflict. It seems, many in Gaza, just like many in Israel: are exhausted of the politically motivated impasse. Hamas continues defiance, and has at our last check: continued terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians: despite heavy losses. Heavy civilian losses, can be ascribed to a sort of human shield method used by the terrorist group: Hamas: which purposely places installations, and launches rockets also: intentionally: in and from heavily populated civilian areas.

As to whether or not this advance is justified: many sources would prefer a peaceful solution, at least: those outside of the Gaza strip, but other than supporters of Hamas: this invasion, seems viewed as relief from terror by some.

In the end, condemnations from Catholic sources fear greater hatred being caused by these battles: how justified this war is: will only be determined, after fighting has stopped. The Israeli government has launched this counterstrike: after hundreds of missiles were launched at Israeli civilians: an embarrassment: to a government; which has risked looking too friendly to Palestine.

The war itself: is a result of the failure of the International Community: in the peace efforts: embarrassing an Israeli government which actually co-operated with such: to the extent of being looked down on by Israeli people. A government, which seems to be fighting its war: for political survival: seen as having been too soft in securing Israel: now, spurred on by the opposition: the Israeli government is making a gesture to its people: a gesture, which has cost hundreds of lives: and which would not have been made, in the case: that this government had not been made to look foolish.

Israel: has decided to lift the corpse from its doorway: for years, it has been condemned for Palestine: often wrongly; it certainly is not implementing Apartheid: it is Palestine, which has taken a territory from Israel, and these are two separate states. The result of consistent calls for her destruction: Israel, has decided to finally rid the world of one of the causes of these.

This recent war, proves: not a failure in Israel, but in the International Community: simply continuing to Condemn Israel, while ignoring hundreds of Missiles launched at it: is a mistake; isolating Israel: despite the fact, their enemies: openly advocate terrorism: has only caused the Jewish nation to go it alone. As long as the International Community condemns violence: it is good publicity: but I have yet to see a real solution given: peace needs hope, and justice: but because Hamas could not survive it: the International Community has not once suggested an international Tribunal: to try members of both sides, and force through peace.

The words of the Israeli people: ignored by the world, as they daily face terror attacks; and endless threats: are so much more poignant in the eyes of their politicians: than a thousand protests, and condemnations. Until Israel is given the voice it deserves: it will continue to insure its safety in the only sure way it knows.

The civilian losses in Palestine are huge: but it needs to be noted: that these losses were intended by Hamas: should there be an attack: they have always used civilian deaths as a banner: and have not withdrawn from heavily populated ares.

This said, while I think there must be a better, peaceful answer to this: as long as the International Community continues to prevent Israel from having this option: by allowing her people to call for blood: out of constant fear: we will not see a solution. Any clever politics mean nothing: when Israel's people: are those forcing this war through: the International Community needs to look sincerely into this situation: rather than simply advocating peace: without giving a way to create it.

Both Israeli, and Palestinian needs: need to be put on the table: and those who are obstacles: unjust obstacles: not perceived ones: to a lasting peace: need to be taken down by the United Nations. Clearly, as seen in their strikes, and pointless fighting: Hamas: has it in their best interests politically: to insure fighting continues, and as long as terrorist attacks continue to hit Israel: any Israeli politician, also has it in their best interests to continue fighting: both sides also only lose face in hearing international voices.

Until the political necessity is reversed on both sides: there is no point in simply condemning fighting: because neither side will edge towards peace: until they think it is of benefit to their personal political interests.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel gathers tanks at the border of Palestine: offensive nears: could this be the end of Hamas? A look at the situation: as politically motivated!

(Scripturelink Voters guide ; c.f. See What We See News Archive)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In an attack involving hundreds of tons of aerial bombs, and lasting more than what seems one day; as though the closing word for the year: dropped on Hamas fortifications across Gaza: Israel has struck back: hitting military targets, and a police station, and Arabic university: in response to rocket strikes against Israeli civilians: launched by the same sort of organization: which holds Lebanon at gunpoint: Hamas. The Arabic group has vowed to send suicide bombers into Israel now: and launched many more rockets in response: killing at least one Israeli civilian.

Israel, according to EuroNews: has amassed an army of tanks outside of Palestine's: border. The Israeli leader seems to hint that they will definitely invade the area: it is not a question of if they will but when they will, if hintings are to be taken at face value.

Hamas was not part of a comprehensive peace process, and have been the first to attack: breaking a 6 month ceasefire between these two groups. While Israel has allowed aid through the border into Palestine: it is mostly seen as a political move. Israel has large support throughout the west in a move seen largely as aimed at combating terrorist attacks launched on Israel.

Hamas has not withdrawn, launching threats, missiles, and defiance into the air, as the Arab nations have called an emergency meeting to deal with what they will do, and unlike western Nations, such as America: which saw the attack as justified, and blames Hamas for the response they had been blamed for gaining: and only asked that Israel focus on Hamas, and not civilians: the Arab world has condemned the attacks.

This could see a war between Israel and certain other nations, or the end of Hamas in Gaza, or else continuing of the bloodshed already seen. In any case: it could be followed by some real peace: contrasted to the failed process already in action.

The hundreds of casualties taken against Palestine, in recent air-strikes: is very large as compared with one man dying in many retaliations, and perhaps small even compared with those dying in many terrorist attacks recently launched on Israel. The stance of Hamas in the situation: seems unwise, unless their's is some conspiracy to attack Israel from this: when a nation should be scrambling to the negotiating table, and offering up deals: Hamas is only inflating an already bad situation, caused by their own violation of a peace treaty.

Israel, has the media high ground: their attacks were against military targets, and their enemy has attacked civilians purposely, and also has vowed suicide bombing: clear terrorism.

With each statement by the Palestinian authority: outright invasion of Palestine by Israel edges closer.

Israel's attacks come before elections: and are by a government which needs support for re-election. Hamas itself faces opposition within Palestine, and Egypt, an Arab Nation: has closed their border to the nation: forcing tunnels to be dug to Egypt, for many supplies, and making Israel the main route for aid into the nation. Hamas supporters are protesting against Israel, and Egypt, where peace processes are hoped to be etched out.

Cosatu, has now called for a South African boycott of "Apartheid Israel", following their reprisal attacks. Below, we will explain, this is not wise in such a situation, and by a group which repeatedly makes controversial and dangerous statements.

COSATU is somewhat associated with the deposing of South Africa's previous President: Thabo Mbeki.

As the ANC has increasingly dismissed members thought to not be happy with party leadership, and members have repeatedly called for genocide against "Counter-revolutionaries", and as members of the Communist affiliated ANC party: in high positions in the ANC: have made remarks: including one involving a desire to "Annihilate" South Africa's most effective (Voting wise) opposition party: the Democratic Alliance.

The ANC, has also allowed members to call for a genocide if certain desires of the party are not met. The ANC, has for years: voted against what South Africans, including their support bases: have considered moral.

COSATU, the biggest suporter of the new section of the ANC, now in power: have repeatedly been involved in threats: including threatening a judge, and it is they, also, who have made statements: about a desire to "Kill for Zuma" in support of a controversial party leader: as rape (he was found innocent: ANC members in high office have said that they can guarantee the accuser's safety in South Africa: if she withdraws her testimony: another woman looking like her was stoned by ANC supporters, and the party has not collectively condemned violent acts by supporters), corruption, and other charges against the ANC leader have been increasingly caused anxiety about his possible leadership of the country. Many legal efforts against Zuma, have been kept out of court, by efforts, including legal procedure. Other attempts, sometimes seen as caused by COSATU, and seen by many as attempts open meddling in South Africa's justice system, via threats and protests, have aimed at forcing certain things to not be tried in court.

While the Islamic world, has condemned Israeli action, the European Union, has called for peace on both sides, and the "United States", has taken Israel's side. Important figures of COSATU: itself, have previously attacked, or kept silent during attacks by representation from an important part of the union: on the Ten commandments, and is universally controversial in South Africa. Following an attack on the Ten commandments: to justify what was seen as adultery, by Jacob Zuma, who already has many wives: many esteemed members of Cosatu: left. Others have been disheartened, after a man was proven as using union funds for his own purposes, and the whistle-blower, was dealt with, while the person guilty of such got to repay what was owed.

As to international Law, while Israel has reportedly broken it at many an event in past times: attacks aimed purposely at non-combatants by Hamas: probably mean dwindling western support. While the Catholic church generally defends the rights of Palestinians: we have not come into any commentary on this situation.

Those condemning the attacks in South Africa: are Islamic groups, and Cosatu. Most other voices seem neutral: or private on their views of the legitimacy of these reprisals by Israel.

Our own view: is that the issue in Israel and Palestine: should be brought in front of the International Criminal Court, and mediated once and for all: with perpetrators of crimes against humanity: being prosecuted. We firmly believe that as long as the peace process is focussed on negotiation, without a focus on justice: these continued attacks on both sides will proceed, or eventually: Israel, will further enforce their desires to occupy, and control Gaza: to protect their own citizens: which, due to the illogical leadership in Palestine: may result in definite harm to Palestinian people. International efforts, by those apposed to Israeli policy, have also yet to see any real impact on this policy.

The fact that terror attacks, are purposely perpetrated against Israeli civilians, rather than military targets: and from civilian areas: so that Israeli reprisals will hit civilians, seems manipulative. While we do not support either side: at least as far as journalism goes (I do have personal views): we do believe that Hamas is handling this situation: in such a way: as to only further hurt their people. Every response they give: is responded to by Israeli officials who need political support: except Israel can attack precisely, and professionally: and in a way which is pleasing to the west, and western media, while no-one with respect for the Geneva Convention, or Just War principles, can justify the aiming of attacks at known non-combatants. What Palestine needs is peace, not military leadership, which promises terrorist attacks on a more powerful nation, and breaks a peace agreement, which has been securing the lives of their people for six months. Such seems like political maneuvering: and while to the benefit of Israeli politicians, and of those wanting war: this is not in the interests of the Palestinian people.

Hamas, which often keeps their power by military, has caused problems in every nation where they have gained power. Possibly, the best solution to the situation: is for another Palestinian group to take to, or be placed into power: however, we are unsure of when the next Palestinian election will be, or if that would happen, whether an impeachment could occur, or even be possible in such a country, with such social dynamics: and propaganda, or how their state works. Certainly, they are strategically, only harming the dignity of their people: by bad, and foolish decisions: which will gain no long term, nor any short term victories for the group.

Either, these next weeks may show a new situation in the Mid-east, or else: worse of the same. Whatever occurs, the entire circumstance has to alter radically, and will continue to alter as the situation changes.

An Israeli invasion, has just become all the more real a possibility. With such crippling blows to Hamas: a real assault on the small Palestinian territory, could aim at a legacy of long lasting impacts. The lasting effects on the region, and on Palestine of the events following the breaking of a peace agreement by Hamas, and the response by Israel: could be catastrophic.

Both sides: could be well pressed to find other non-violent solutions to this issue. Especially, as it is widely realized: that the Israeli response is seen as a political necessity on the part of Israel's more peace-prone government: after missile strikes from Palestine actually hit civilians populations in Israel. An inadequate defensive network: has lead to a political solution: which involved attacking Palestine. Hamas has for some reason thought it prudent to cause a government which has been the most friendly to their people in a long time: to launch the greatest attack ever launched by Israel: since the Jewish nation was first established, causing an inevitable response from Israel.

On both sides: continuing of conflict, and opposition to a comprehensive peace process, seems largely to be for political give and take. While their people suffer reprisals: political groupings gain prestige, power, and funding from the continued threat of a conflict situation in Palestine.

South African Catholic

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