Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gaza Strip Situation, Middle East: Lebanon Factor: Hezbolla may have entered the fray: at least 3 missiles, maybe five: launched against Northern Isra

(Social Justice South Africa; Scripturelink Voters guide; C.f. BBC World News (Secular; British; Government) 08 / Jan / 2009; CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07 / Jan / 2009; CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07/01/2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

BBC World News is reporting that the Israeli and Lebanese authorities confirm the launching of three missiles from southern Lebanon, into Northern Israel: creating a situation: where Israel is now being attacked from both sides: complicating the war: as Egypt, and France, are still attempting a ceasefire between Hamas, and Israel. While three are confirmed, some reports, are said to put it at five, according to the BBC.

The attacks (BBC World News (Secular; British; Government) 08 / Jan / 2009) wounded two Israelis, and shell-shocked others. They follow a rise in anti-Israeli rhetoric, by Hezbolla, and 60 Israeli air-strikes on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as well as renewed Israeli interest in a ceasefire.

The Previous war between Israel, and Hezbolla: happened on the back of a conflict between Israel, and Hamas: according to BBC World News. Hezbolla, recently became a major threat to Lebanon again, threatening civil war, over objections to spy networks they had amassed.

Hezbolla, like Hamas: is an obstacle to democracy: in the country in which they are based. Both have as a final goal: the annihilation of Israel, and the destruction of her people. Both: have gained what they have: via brute force, and propaganda. Neither group: is a state: both are known terrorist groupings: whose methods almost always involve the actions of terror tactics, and brute force, or calls for violence, and or propaganda: or political maneuvering, or the like.

Meanwhile the president of Indonesia (according to CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07 / Jan / 2009), has called the Israel-Hamas conflict: not religious, but political: a move by a largely (about 88%) Muslim nation, which is a statement, and move of aid, or rather: benefit, and advantage: to Israel: who have been made to face protests by Muslims, which have dotted, or cross-hashed across many nations within the the Global Scene: Canadian versions of such protests, were met by pro-Israeli Protests, meaning that those protesting, represented the two different sides independently: however: protests in the Islamic world have largely been anti-Israeli. This move by Indonesia, which is another move by an Islamic nation: saying that the conflict is political: also is of aid to any peace process, as Israel, whatever their methods, are attempting to protect their sovereignty, something which is endangered by protests and condemnation: which: if aimed only at Israel: further complicate the entire situation.

A new, tougher stance; by Israel's previously more moderate government: may have been shown recently: whether or not the Lebanon missiles were launched by Hamas, or Hamas sympathizers, or by Hezbolla, seems unclear. Further attacks, by terrorists, on the sovereignty of Israel: could result in an even worse situation, within the region as a whole. The humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is said to be severe: either caused by efforts, at propaganda: for the world: by Hamas, or by bombings, lack of water, and supplies, and the situation around deaths, and bombings: or by both.

Israel, recently accepted a peace agreement, which Hamas rejected: because Hamas desired open borders. However, since this attack, Hamas has become increasingly open to negotiations: something not apparent in a long time. Condemnations of Israel, out of highly partisan, and politically motivated: pro-Hamas nations, and notably out of South Africa: have done nothing to improve the situation much, rather: diplomacy: is credited with every advance gained for the people of Palestine: with Israel claiming: they will listen to their friends: a hinting that nations which distort the situation as purely their fault: will not be heard.

A reported: high level "Vatican" delegation to the Area, according to Catholic World News: is a myth: the only visit currently, by high level church representation, was already scheduled: and is thought not to be anything in addition. In fact, they say: this is an annual trip (CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07/01/2009), and nothing more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Political solutions: both sides becoming more open as conflict continues: expect statement from SA Bishops on humanitarian situation

(Scripturelink Voters Guide; Social Justice South Africa; c.f. CBS News (American; Secular; independent) 07 / 01 / 2009 )

Article by Marc Aupiais

A peace agreement: accepted by Israel, the Palestinian State ("Authority"), Egypt, and France, and proposed by Egypt and France: to halt the catastrophe in the Gaza Strip: has been rejected by Hamas: who are still waiting for borders to open, and sanctions to be dropped.

Hamas, and Israel: are at this point: both open to viewing non-combative solutions, according to CBS: however: any solution must stop Rocket fire on Israel, and Israel apparently wants assurance Hamas will not rearm. Hamas: wants open borders: so that they can communicate with the world, and trade with it.

South African Church to probably lament humanitarian situation; but not condemn either group

Expect a statement from the South African Catholic Bishops Conference, likely in accordance with other groupings: on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground. Despite talking with sources within the church, we remain, and will continue to remain independent. However, we may start publishing articles: covering some statements released by the local bishops, in as independent manner as we always do so: saying when things are us or others. We will however, either vet this, or do as with our emails from VIS, and Fides. We cannot reveal any source as to our statement about the local bishops likely releasing a statement. If our source is accurate, then you will see a statement. This is not due to a request, but due to certain parts of good practice.

Gaza Update; and viewpoint: a perspective; and some statistics

(Social Justice South Africa; Scripturelink voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Israel claims that Hamas is a terrorist group. This is easily verifiable: any group, which is not a Nation, which takes a territory from a legitimate government, chases away observers, and both fires rockets on civilians, killing indiscriminately, and willfully: injures noncombatants: well: it sounds like a terrorist grouping.

It is claimed that there are large civilian casualties. As verified on the ground, by a Canadian Newspaper; this seems true, as with what they claim: that there are militants in the areas. The UN, however, claims that the attack on the UN school: is unjustified: and denies claims of militants in the area. The UN; being UN representation. Certain representatives of the UN, have periodically done things which are classified as Genocide by the Nations represented in it, again, it has a voice, but International journalists, and an investigation needs to be conducted, before clear facts are established.

Israel is stopping bombing of Gaza for three hours a day: to allow humanitarian aid in. It is thought by some to be due to pressure.

Israel's claims of minimization of Civilian casualties? Well: again; Gaza is densely populated, and Israel claims that Hamas is attempting to get cover from shooting from civilian areas, basically using Palestinians as Human Shields: and at Israeli civilians.

Hamas seems to have the goal of wiping Israel off the map; and does not recognize Israel as a state. A bit of Insider Information, from the anti-apartheid campaign: when someone is arrested: you make as much noise as possible: as it is how to get them out. The same goes for any political source. Exactly what is occuring: is still doubtful: as often: both sides will get as much support as possible from any side viable. In South Africa we have seen organizations supporting "human Rights"; as within the UN itself: being utterly partisan, and seemingly ignoring abuses of such. The UN recently awarded two high level pro-abortion campaigners: awards for their "contribution" to humanity. The UN, is not infallible, and is as partisan as its local structures.

Israel: has of course pointed to other wars, of Western Nations: including that in Afghanistan; and in Iraq: and the what sounded like the Falklands: in attempting to justify attacks.

They still claim: that the moment Israel is safe from rocket-fire: is the moment they withdraw. Their battle is increasingly gaining bad press in some nations: due to a lapse in publicity campaigns: and their propaganda war. When America invaded Iraq: their propaganda war was highly successful: papers across the world: aired their propaganda about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq. Israel could have made wiser decisions: the 72 hour truce suggested: to allow in humanitarian aid: an allowance of the BBC or the like of EuroNews: into Gaza: may have done much: maintaining only air-strikes: could also have been more politically wise.

Some politicians: in Israel: desire the annihilation of Hamas from the scene, but the largely "moderate" government in power: still: is only claiming to be attempting to stop rocket fire.

The fact remains: Hamas; is not a government, not democratically elected, not a state, and not sovereign. They have seized the Gaza Strip: by force: from a legitimate government. They have smuggled in weapons, and are attacking civilians daily. An Israeli infant has been reported as a casualty of a terrorist strike. Hamas has chased away international observers, which were meant to watch smuggling: and consistently there is propaganda spewed throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israel itself, either out of distrust, or as they claim: for their safety; or to cover up what is happening: is not allowing in International Journalists.

Israel, has decided to invade a highly populated area: choosing war: rather than sanctions; and limited tactical bombings, or Police work; with Egypt, which could have aided the situation.

This could be partly due to the unfair partisan way in which many nations have treated Israel: this attack: could well be giving them the same press: as sanctions would have had: in many nations.

If Hamas is a terrorist group which they are, and if they are holding the people of Gaza, as media material, or "Human Shields", then this situation, is much the same: as though terrorists had taken a school: how do governments deal with this: via negotiations; via snipers, via tactical force: which is sure: not to hit civilians, if possible, or via arrests, and court appearances, if possible.

I know of; indirectly (I would be ashamed if they were my friends): many people, including South African politicians: who went to Iraq to be human shields, during the Second Gulf War. It is still the duty, of a civilized authority, not to hit human shields: if viable; at least: I don't think they are combatants: even if they are extremely foolish; after all: companies can't saw environmentalists chained to trees apart.

None the less: an immediate ceasefire by Israel: may be impractical, if not politically impossible to achieve.

Diplomacy and a desire to impress, has seen Israel allow humanitarian aid in, has created suggestions of three hour breaks daily, and has resulted in America largely ignoring the current war. This same desire to impress: is being followed by authorities: which were seen as too weak in their positions on Hamas; and have now regained some "credibility", with their constituencies: something which cannot be ruled out: as a cause of their invasion: their counterstrike.

Until an international non-partisan, independent force is allowed to investigate this situation: it is impossible to know where, when or if each side is breaking international law. Yes, direct terrorist attacks do break the law: Hamas: is a terrorist group: but Israel, is like the owner of the house which is attacked: they too, can be justly arrested if they abuse burglars.

An international tribunal needs to do something about Hamas, they must be Isolated, funding must be cut off, they must be disbanded and arrested. They are the cause of this situation: but if Israel, has mistreated the little child Hamas has brought with: to rob their house: then something must be done. There is no question that what Hamas is doing is both illegal, and terrorism, and unjustifiable evil. Only groups, like South Africa's Communist Affiliated: ANC controlled: government can ignore this. The question is: how legitimate are Israeli claims, that they are acting either as best as possible in extenuating circumstances: or obeying international law.

The real question is not whether Hamas is justified: they are not. The question, is whether or not Israel is obeying international law: and how Israel can act in the right way to sort this situation out. Hamas cannot be expected to do so: they are terrorists, and criminals: if we understand international law. The question: is not whether or not Israel has the right to defend themselves: there is always muttering about them: even when they do something good: the question: is as to their choice of methods in doing so.

A way to withdraw from this war: pride intact: must be given to Israel: or at least, a manner in which some victory (I am not speaking of military, but in general)may be won, by the group. Either, a win-win situation must be gained, or a win-lose: where the loser thinks they have also achieved what they can. Israel: is only doing so, in evidence of how sick the Israeli people are of living in war, in terror.

In the same way: as police brutality is something which is lamented: Israel; could be abusing its position, and going beyond the rights which the International Community gives them, but while any rational person should express worry over statistics; until the fog of war clears, it is unclear what we are dealing with at all.

It was just as unclear in the Russia-Georgia conflict recently; where it is now though by many: that both nations had broken international law.

As it is, the high casualties experienced: must be investigated: and leaving the situation, as is: can no longer be tolerated: the International Community: must force through, even quietly: a way for permanent peace.

South African Catholic

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