political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Friday, August 11, 2006
The Qana Green Helmet Man is Exposed by German TV
On August 1st I wrote a story titled THE SHOCKING PICTURES FROM BEIRUT - WHO'S DOING THE SPINNING? It highlighted the role of Hizbollah in distorting the news. In particular I referred to a post on the EU Referendum Blog which appeared to prove how a man in a Green Helmet was orchestrating the media and using dead bodies to do so. My post attracted a record 103 comments and many people accused me of toadying to the Israelis and falling for Israeli propaganda. It is therefore with great delight that I invite you to watch this excerpt from a German TV news programme. It's in German but has English subtitles. Case closed.
So Paul Walter, when you asked "Are you saying the green helmeted man wandered round with a dead body aimlessly when he should have taken the body straight to the ambulance?" Damn right I am.
To Chris Doidge who said "Generally I'm failing to see your point." Perhaps you can now.
PJD said "The eureferendum article comprises paper man arguments, totally unsubstaniated and subject to no scientific rigour." Go figure...
There are many more comments on the original thread HERE, which this video demolishes.
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The “misinformation deniers” will remain unconvinced even after this, but at least we can hope the MSM will stop using pictures of Mr Green Helmet.
Well done for highlighting this. The 'Green Helmet' story has been a great piece of communal detective work by the blogosphere. It has exposed a revoltingly cynical manipulation of recent events and images in Lebanon by Hezbollah propagandists. And shocking complicity (or naivety?) by some of the mainstream Western media. This story will run and run...
Several people should be very ashamed of their comments on the orginal thread.
Have you seen this?
Well done Iain !
This is first class stuff.The nauseating anti Israeli / pro Islamic terrorist bias in our media needs to be unmasked again and again.
Was it Ben-Gurion who said in answer to the question 'When will there be peace in the middle east?':- 'When the Arabs learn to love their children more than they hate us!'
Still they use their children as human shields.
All who support civilised values must support the brave men and women of the Israeli Army.
Green Helmet Guy did not "wander around aimlessly" carrying corpses of children. He was always where the action was, very focused.
This is an awful conflict, but it is important that such manipulation is pointed out. Ugly. Echo of 'Drop the Dead Donkey', but disgust is the only response.
Iain, I didn't comment then but will now. Well done for both posts. Your instincts were always right. I saw for myself in Kosovo how people on the ground manipulate images and especially the media. Never ever trust what you see on the evening news.
I looked after the BBC team in Pristina during my time their, acting aas their military escort and PR man. Hell, even their most famous and undoubtedly brilliant premiere reporter knew EXACTLY what she intended to say on that evening's news before the day had begun, and I can assure you that odd things were done to achieve it if the day didn't quite offer up the required backdrops. We spent one afternoon looking for a burning building and racing to get there before it went out!!
The Kosovans knew exactly what they were doing when they pitched camp in Macedonia and they used Blair visits for their means far more than he used them for his!
I know, I was there, and to my eternal shame, I helped ensure that the right shots were taken and the right tents were visited.
Thank you for the video. I agree that the exploitation of the victims' bodies was a disgrace.
Still I have to say that the greater tragedy was the fact that at least 28 people where killed unnecessarily.
Iain, I have to say that if you're ever going to be an effective member of parliament and, more importantly, one to be respected, you'd be advised to steer clear of these sideshow circlejerks and concentrate on more substantive issues like why the boy (and many more like him on both sides) is dead in the first place.
This is a circus and, I'd like to think, in actuality, beneath you.
Justin, well, you're entitled to your point of view, but I disagree. It's not a sideshow at all. It's about truth and exposing lies. As a respected blogger I'd have thought you would welcome that. Just because it doesn't fir your 'world view' that's no reason for you to decry it.
Well done for highlighting this. As you know, I was unsure about your original post (and the story that originated it), but watching that made me feel sick, and should be a lesson to us all.
However, a little bit less vitriol towards people who did disagree might be in order. The EU Referendum story was by no means convincing (although now obviously proved correct). I shall make sure at least one Lib Dem blog covers this.
Iain - blogging on this probably does include risk for an aspiring parliamentary candidate like yourself. But if you were to let that intimidate you into avoiding a subject of international importance then what is the point on being an MP ? ( Yes of course you need to choose your battles, but this one is worth while.) I think Richard Bailey's comment provides yet more justification. There is an important general point that the MSM needs to take into account. Reuters seems to have made a good start by firing Adnan Hajj and their open minded performance on Newsnight. I even heard Channel 4 news admit to intimidation of their reporters by Hezbollah. AP are sticking their heals in and who knows what the BBC are up to ?
That video made me cry. For some reason all I could think about was my little boy and that little boys parents. It's utterly disgusting that someone would use a child like that.
Where are those vomit-inducing commenters now, eh?! Only 14 comments this time rather than 103.
Very sad to see that you're reduced to claiming a victory about something that both sides do without any shame and that we all know about anyway.
It only proves that Israel has nothing to support its own side.
The claims have been pretty much destroyed elsewhere, as for the earlier claims about photos it's funny how that has gone quiet now that North and assorted cronies have been shown to have lied and (as North said) made it all up from gut feeling!
It's not working, start to attack the government instead, that's the real area to attack.
Hizbollah in distorting the news? -what rubbish!
The flim shows the boy was killed by Israeli bombs (supplied by the USA)- an Israeli war crime.
Why should the man not make sure there was evidence for a war crimes tribunal?
Did not the newreels of the day show the dead and dying in the Nazi concentration camps at the end of the Second World War and make local Germans walk into the camps to witness the evidence?
The film is witness to WAR CRIMES -this is what matters!!
That so many can get worked up about the man using the situation to clearly record evidence of a war crime rather than get angry about the boys MURDER is MY real concern!!!!
Freedom for Lebanon
Freedom for Palestine!
Respect Blog (UK)
So much for the belief that Hizbollah are freedom fighters, using dead children to distort the news, throwing away a chance to state their case for their side.
This is the action of terrorists, history shows that freedom fighters act very differently. Who would call William Wallace or Spartacus terrorists?
Btw, I thought Lebanon was a free country.
Justin, a little girl's corpse that was hawked around photogenically by a man railing against the war and the tragic world, was actually a little girl who'd been too energetic on the swings and had fallen off,landing on her head. Puir wee thing and pity her poor parents, but she wasn't the victim of an Israeli bomb.
Some of the "victims of buildings collapsed by bombs and dug out of the rubble" had no dust in their hair or on their faces, and no cuts. Hmmmm. And some were in an advanced state of rigor mortis, leading some skeptics to think they'd been taken from a morgue, having died from other causes.
Even if they had been genuine, is it sane to blame Israelis for Hizbollah cynically using Lebanese children as human shields? Do these pacifists and fellow travellers genuinely think that Israel should say: "Well, we better not defend ourselves and our own children because Hizbollah has planted bombs in schools. Oh well..." and walk away shrugging?
Neil Williams, you have a rather Middle Eastern look about you. Just an observation.
Why does verity post lies?
Just seems so ironic in a George Orwell type way.
This evening, NewsNight with Kirsty Walk used the Green Helmit footage from Qana in the closing segment. The BBC must be pruned, purged or privatised and preferably all three.
Well done Iain, a sound call with sound judgement and the balls to publish it gets my vote.
anonymous 11:41 - You'll have to do better than that, sweetheart. Weak, weak, weak.
Excellent work by German TV to expose these people. This should remind everyone of the scale of evil that we and Israel are fighting against.
I love the post by the pro terrorist Respect member. Shows their true colours. A laughable explanation. I hope Israel wipes out every single terrorist in the Middle East. My (extra)contribution to support Israel is already in the post(and so is yours Noel - via the taxpayer! Loser).
Yeah, OK, but I hope you're not suggesting that the Israeli's aren't spinning, Ian. Because in any spin competition, the Israelis win hands down.
Pardon me for letting holidays, work and, yes, a life getting in the way of commenting on this earth-shattering thread.
Yes, Iain the video is disgusting, but your glee in linking to it is rather unbecoming. I am with Neil Williams:
"The flim shows the boy was killed by Israeli bombs (supplied by the USA)- an Israeli war crime.
Why should the man not make sure there was evidence for a war crimes tribunal?
Did not the newreels of the day show the dead and dying in the Nazi concentration camps at the end of the Second World War and make local Germans walk into the camps to witness the evidence?
The film is witness to WAR CRIMES -this is what matters!!"
Everyday, the Guardian prints the number of civilian and military deaths in Israel and in the Lebanon.
Currently 1,020 Lebanese civilians have been killed versus 38 Israeli civilians.
I tend to keep that in mind.
Yes, I find the German video disgusting. (Well done for finding it.) But I find 1,058 deaths of civilians on both sides monumentally more disgusting.
Is Neil Williams George Galloway's lovechild?
Verity - we need people like you to make us realise we aren't an extremist. At least I can be thankful for your existence in that regard.
Paul Walter's praise seems to be through gritted teeth. Reasonable potential Lib Dem voters will take not of this, and his lack of support for a democratic nation being attacked by a terrorist group.
Thank you Richard Bailey for your post.
The lying the media has been, at the very least, involved in goes bck to Kosovo & Bosnia & I suspect, much further.
I am not sure how much the present exposures are due to the existence of the blogsphere being able to present views & facts the official media censor & how much to the fact that Hezbollah do not have the general level of government support the ex-Nazi Izetbegovic in Bosnia & our genocidal KLA friends had.
I suspect that something like 50% optimism is justified.
Michael Oakeshott said...
"Paul Walter's praise seems to be through gritted teeth...Reasonable potential Lib Dem voters will take not of this," Of what? The fact that I think the violent deaths of civilians on both sides are more important than someone prodding a dead body?
"and his lack of support for a democratic nation being attacked"
Lebanon is a democratic nation as well, in case you haven't noticed. I support democratic nations defending themselves in a proportionate way. 1056 to 37 deaths (today's civilian figures: Lebanese to Israeli) is only proportionate to someone who cannot count.
I abhor and condemn all the violence both by Hizbollah and by Israel. Sooner or later they will have to negotiate with each other, directly or indirectly,and it is outrageous that more and more civilians on both sides have to die before that happens.
Contrary to what you suggest, I have actually found most ordinary people absolutely horrified by the ferocity and depth of the Israeli attack.
Okie dokie then. So the kid was just a heavy sleeper?
If I'd encountered something like that I'd be tempted to do what it took to get media coverage as well. Media manipulation's not a story; it's a given. The real story is the dead. Fair to call this as you see it, but not the core issue.
Just to check, Iain:
You are not contesting the fact that the child in question was killed by an Israeli bomb, is that right?
Also, the original EU Referendum posting, which you gave exposure to, claimed that the photographs of the helmet man/child were faked, based on timings which were subsequently explained. Far from vindicating the original EU referendum claims, the German video shows that, once the body was put into the ambulance, it was taken out again to be displayed to the media, with accompanying prodding and positioning for better effect. Digusting, yes, perhaps justified because of an alleged war crime (and I accept there have been possible war crimes on both sides in the conflict)- but not what the EU referendum site claimed. The German video does not show any "wandering about" with the body for up to four hours as claimed on the EU referendum site (posting and comments) and by you (at the top of this latest posting) and vindicates those (including Roy Greenslade) who said that there had been no staging (other than taking photos of the body once it had been retracted from the ambulance which can hardly be described as "staging") or faking of the photographs by the press, as claimed by the EU referendum site. Do you accept that?
Re: Paul Walter
Still not siding with the democratic state being attacked by a terrorist organisationI see. You could say reasonably say Israel's action was over the top(I wouldn't, I would commend them for their restraint), but to compare the two sides is a joke. Most people oppose Israeli action because they do not really understand the situation. But most voters pondering a switch from the Tories to the Lib Dems will instinctively support the democracy over the murderers, and will note Lib Dem comments such as these.
Maybe if people like you and your political leaders had put more pressure on the democratic Lebanese Government, they would have lifted a finger and done something about the murderers launching rockets at Israeli towns. Maybe I would have more respect if you also condemned Hezbollah for using "their" civilians as human shields. And maybe I would have more respect if you could suggest what the hell else Israel should do in these circumstances. But far easier for your party and the ridiculous EU to condemn Israel. Contrary to what you say, there will be no talks with Hezbollah. They will have to disappear. Either the Lebanese Government will promise to do it(and actually deliver this time), or the Israeli Army will do it. I hope for the sake of Lebanese civilians it is the former.
By the way here are some of the atrocities committed by Hezbollah against Israel SINCE the withdrawal in 2000. Why were the BBC so quiet about these events? Why didn't I hear the Guardiand and the BBC condemning them?
27 May 2006 - An IDF soldier was wounded when Katyushas were fired at an army base at Mt. Meron in the upper Galilee.
27 Dec 2005 - A branch of a Palestinian organization connected to Al-Qaida fired 6 Katyushas, damaging a house in Kiryat Shmona and a house in Metulla. In response, the IAF attacked a training base of the Popular Front, south of Beirut.
21 Nov 2005 - An attempt to kidnap an IDF soldier was foiled when paratroopers patrolling near Rajar village discerned a Hizbullah unit approaching. Private David Markovitz opened fire, killing all four. In a heavy attack of mortars and Katyusha rockets that ensued, nine soldiers and and two civilians were injured.
29 June 2005 - More than 20 mortars were fired from across the border. Cpl. Uzi Peretz of the Golani Brigade was killed and four soldiers wounded, including the unit's doctor. Fire was exchanged and helicopters and planes attacked five Hizbullah outposts in the Reches Ramim area.
7 Apr 2005 - Two Israeli Arabs from the village of Rajar on the Israel-Lebanon border were kidnapped by Hizbullah operatives and held in captivity for four days in an attempt to obtain information on Israel.
9 Jan 2005 - An explosive device was detonated against an IDF patrol at Nahal Sion. One Israeli soldier was killed, and a UN officer was killed.
20 July 2004 - Hizbullah sniper fired at an IDF post in the western sector of the Israeli-Lebanese border. Two IDF soldiers were killed.
7 May 2004 - Fire in the Mt. Dov sector. IDF soldier Dennis Leminov was killed, and two other soldiers were severely wounded. The IDF returned fire.
19 Jan 2004 - An anti-tank missile was fired at IDF D9 while neutralizing explosive charges near Zari’t. An IDF soldier, Yan Rotzenski, was killed and another soldier was severely wounded.
6 Oct 2003 - Staff Sgt. David Solomonov was killed when Hizbullah fired at an IDF force south of the Fatma Gate in the eastern sector. In addition, the Hizbullah fired missiles and rockets at an IDF post in the Reches Ramim area.
10 Aug 2003 - Haviv Dadon, 16, of Shlomi, was struck in the chest and killed by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft shell fired by Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon. Four others were wounded.
20 Jul 2003 - Hizbullah snipers fired on an Israeli outpost near Shtula, killing two Israeli soldiers.
7 May 2003 - Hizbullah attacked IDF positions in the Sheba farms with heavy rocket, mortar, and small arms fire. One Israeli soldier was killed and five others were wounded in the attack.
29 Aug 2002 - Fire at an IDF post in the Mt. Dov sector. IDF soldier Ofer Misali was killed, and two other soldiers were lightly wounded.
12 Mar 2002 - Infiltration: In a shooting attack on the Shlomi- Metzuba route. Six Israelis civilians were killed, among them IDF officer Lt. German Rojkov.
14 Apr 2001 - Fire at an IDF post in the Mt. Dov sector. IDF soldier Elad Litvak was killed.
16 Feb 2001- Fire at an IDF convoy on Mt. Dov. IDF soldier Elad Shneor was killed, and three other soldiers were wounded.
26 Nov 2000 - A charge was detonated near an IDF convoy. IDF soldier Khalil Taher was killed and two other soldiers were wounded.
7 Oct 2000 - Kidnapping: Three IDF soldiers: Adi Avitan, Omer Soued and Binyamin Avraham were kidnapped by the Hizballah from the Mt. Dov sector.
Bless you, Michael. I can only repeat: " I support democratic nations defending themselves in a proportionate way." Therefore it follows naturally that I support Israel's right to defend itself in a proportionate way.
I know it is annoying for you that I don't actually side with either side and indeed I can only also repeat: "I abhor and condemn all the violence both by Hizbollah and by Israel." I am sorry I have obviously upset you by equating the two, but as I have repeated above, the rider on that statement which I have already expressed is that I support democratic nations defending themselves in a proportionate way and therefore it follows naturally that I support Israel's defence of itself to the extent that it is proportionate.
On the matter of negotiating I can also only repeat that I said:
"Sooner or later they will have to negotiate with each other, directly or indirectly".
Note the subtle use of the words "or indirectly".
My goodness me, when phrases like "people like you" are being bandied about and the old cut and paste out of the carefully filed documents are being wheeled out, it is usually a sure sign that the red mist has descended and reason has flown out of the window. You don't know me, so how do you know what sort of "people" are like me?
Time for both of us to lie down in separate darkened rooms perhaps?
"You are not contesting the fact that the child in question was killed by an Israeli bomb, is that right?"
I don't know. Neither do you Paul. That is the problem when we find the media lying to us.
I trust you would not dispute that the BBC censored pictures of children killed by NATO bombs in Yugoslavia or that many, perhaps almost all but certainly many, stories & photographs presented to us in Bosnia & Kosovo were, alegedly accidentaly, faked?
I trust that you equally do not dispute that Ming Campbell, in previously enthusiasticaly supporting the killing of 2,000 civilians in the bombing of Yugoslavia & now calling what Israel is doing in self defense a "war crime" has demonstrated that he does not believe Untermensch are entitled to the same rights as other nations?
Michael, I have done a tot-up of the people killed and wounded in your accounts. In one item you stated: "Six Israelis civilians were killed, among them IDF officer Lt. German Rojkov." Forgive me for the assumption, but I counted Lt German Rojkov as a Israeli soldier rather than a civilian - would that be right?
So the totals are:
MO accounts: Israelis
6 Civilians wounded
6 Civilians killed
29 Soldiers wounded
15 Soldiers killed
1 UN soldier killed
Guardian totals since the start of the conflict reported today:
1056 Civilians killed
100 Hizbullah (Israeli claim of up to 500)
79 Military killed
37 Civilians killed
So this gives a total, including the MO accounts of:
1056 Civilians killed
94 Military killed
43 Civilians killed
So, Michael, I have seen a report that the Israeli army has stated that for every house struck in Israel, 10 will be levelled in Lebanon. If this is a true statement from the Israeli army, do you agree with it? If so, do you suggest that this is a proportionate response? If so, can you direct me to the dictionary that defines "proportionate" to mean more than ten times the number of people dying in response to the deaths of civilians and soldiers? If not, I assume you are saying that democratic nations have the right to defend themselves in a disproportionate way. In which case, where do you draw the line? At which point would you say that a response is too disproportionate?
There is an interesting point which you might be able to help me with. It is pivotal to this discussion. That is, the issue of the effectiveness of the Israeli services - armed and 'secret' - particularly visa vis Hizbollah and their resources, tactics and skills.
Many of us have been brought up to believe that the Israeli armed and "secret" services have legendary efficiency and effectiveness. Mossad are renowned for their extraordinary forensic efficiency - there have been legendary tales of people being assasinated and not a single trace being left, for example. Just 'pff' and that's it - "goodnight Vienna" as they say in the trade.
And the Israeli Army are renowned for their efficiency and capability. Second to none. The Entebbe raid is an excellent example. Documentaries have poured out about their escapades. For example, there was one I saw the other day about a Hamas leader being bumped off with ten of his core team through a precision bombing raid which hardly turned a blade of grass in the street outside the house, but reduced the house, where the leader was, to rubble.
So perhaps "people like me" (if I may borrow a phrase from you) have been lulled into a false sense of the abilities of the Israeli services visa vis Hizbollah. The Israelis services have always been precisely efficient.
So perhaps we are naively expecting the Israelis to be able to defend themselves very precisely and efficiently with respect to Hizbollah. One would have expected, based on past evidence, that three Israeli soldiers kidnapped could be located by Mossad and freed in a few days. One would have expected the Israeli army to have been able to silence the Hizbollah rockets by now.
But they haven't silenced the guns and they haven't recovered the soldiers. So is this because Hizbollah really is the canine's gonads and the previously renowned Israeli services, armed and 'secret', are now left looking like flat-footed elephants in trying to deal with them - needing to kill over 1000 civilians and still they haven't done the job - rather than the fleet-footed gazelles which used to symbolise the Israeli services? Is it because, in effect, Hizbollah is not playing by the rules? If so, that is ironic as the Israelis have been renowned for stretching the parameters of the rules in the past.
Is this perhaps central to the dilemma in which we find ourselves?
I am trying to find a way out here, I would hate to think of us fighting it out to the 59th iteration of postings into the wee small hours of Sunday.
Another thought Michael. Perhaps the skills of the new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert(who like Peres, is from a civilian rather than a military background) and his, apparently, rather untested team of advisers have some bearing on the current dilemma? Some say that Israel would not be in this mess if poor Ariel Sharon ( a much-garlanded military hero with a sure touch on the military front) hadn't lapsed into a coma.
""You are not contesting the fact that the child in question was killed by an Israeli bomb, is that right?"
I don't know. Neither do you Paul. That is the problem when we find the media lying to us."
Fair point that I don't know, but do hang on a minute. The staging in the German video was by the rescuers - the helmeted fellow - not the media.
Strangely enough, I know it's unusual for someone to admit they are human these days, but I do not know about the two things you mention so I cannot express a view at this stage. If you could wait a day or three while I read up on them then I can give a considered view - which presumably is what you want, rather than me just accepting what you say at face value - yes? I am a human being not an encyclopedia.
Paul Walter, you say: "Yes, Iain the video is disgusting, but your glee in linking to it is rather unbecoming." What glee? All I am doing is pointing out to people like you who accuse dme of all sorts of things when I made the original post, that my allegations have been substantiated.
You ask do I accept that the child is dead and was killed by a bomb. Of course I accept that the child is dead. What a stupid question. What I don't know is how it died. And nor do you, so there is little point in either of us speculating about it. I assume the child was killed by an Israeli bomb, but I don't actually know that.
Oh dear I am stupid. I will go away and leave you in peace Iain. I am obviously not worthy for this website. Don't worry - I am going to Norfolk so that's alright.
So you don't side with anyone...and then spend an entire post(or was it four?) criticising Israel. Understood. Am still waiting for you to suggest what would have been a "proportionate" response(if you falsely believe that the Israelis have not been "propportionate" so far).
As for negotiating with Hezbollah, it won't be an option. They won't exist. Why discuss anything with them? This has built for six years, and Israel now has the window of opportunity to finish them off(and given Iran and Syria a bloody nose into the bargain). Barring a miracle from the UN - ie a promise to finish them off with an international force(and that hasn't happened yet), the Israelis will do the job themselves. Their deployment today is a sure sign of their intent, and I applaud them for this. The sooner the people and Government of Lebanon realise the Israeli intent, the quicker they will finally stand up to the murderers. For all their democratic legitimacy, the Government of Lebanon has done nothing to protect the lives of Israeli civilians at the hands of these murders. Maybe they will act now to save their own civilians.
The cut and paste. Well these are all real and unprevoked attacks on a sovereign nation and ally. I am sure you don't dispute that. Each of these incidents passed without fuss in the western media, but each is a reason why Hezbollah must be "wiped from the map(if I can borrow that expression).
I don't know you, but I know the type of person who criticises a Government tackling a terrorist organisation and seems rather short on criticism for the murderers.
You then seem to query the murder of IDF officer Lt. German Rojkov. You would be wrong to count him as a soldier because he was not in fact on duty at the time of his murder. You seem to make this point in a very casual manner without having any grasp of the facts.
You then quote the Guardian, which of course is renouned for its neutrality in dealing with the Middle East(!). We already have evidence (on camera) of Hezbollah misleading the west on the scale of the death toll. I would suggest that there are literally hundreds of other examples where the camera are unfortunately not on camera. After all the first question when analysing a source's reliablility is "do they have a reason to lie?". Hezbollah does. I suspect they have wildly exaggerated the death toll, and far fewer civilians have died than those the Guardian claims. Most of those deaths can be laid at the door of Hezbollah for using them as human shields. But I don't see you condemning that tactic.
I haven't seen the report you mention about 10 houses in Lebanon being levelled for every single Israeli house. Sounds like a load of rubbish to me. Seems strange that you are prepared to believe such a half baked rumour, and then you argue over the fine details of a man using the body of a five year old boy to get on German TV. People will draw their own conclusions about that I am sure.
So what more Lebanese have died than Israelis? This simply proves that the Israeli army is more formidable than the combined forces of Hezbollah and the Lebanese. Do you think Hezbollah wouldn't kill more Israelis if they could(the only difference being that they would murder ANY Israeli, whereas Israel genuinely only wants to rid Lebanon of the murderers. Yes the Israeli Army is better, and if it wasn't then Israel would be destroyed(but I am guessing that wouldn't bother you very much). The whole argument over "proportion" does nothing for me. There are people who wish to destroy Israel, and Israel wishes to deal with them. So what if they kill all of them. Should Israel wait until Hezbollah have murderered an equivalent amount of Israeli women and children? Would that fit you description of proportionality? I don't care for the word.
And your penultimate post shows your true colours, blantantly anti-Israel, and gloating over the casualties they have suffered defending their people from terrorists(though in the previous post you complained pathetically about the lack of Israeli casualites as compared to Lebanese - which is it to be?). I suspect the reason for the length of the conflict in down to the level of support that has flooded in from Syria and Iran. Does that make you happy?
A very long post. But th first point I made is the most significant. A democratic state was attacked for no reason by a terrorist organisation. They defended themselves. And you send five posts condemning the democracy. Enough said.
Thank Christ for that.
Thank God for being offline in Sheringham - here I come!
Nothing I have said criticisng Israel has not already been said - in many cases much more trenchantly - by Israelis in Israel.
"Rising casualties and criticism of the army"
"Israelis turn on Olmert as UN agrees ceasefire"
And from someone directly in the firing line:
Dr Janna Weiss of Haifa, Israel wrote:
"The overall Israeli consensus on 18 years in Lebanon is that it was a costly, useless effort with many needlessly lost lives. Israel can repeat the same stupidity - which we are currently doing effectively - or draw the appropriate conclusions.If, as Jonathan Chait states (The logic of force, August 7), it makes no difference what we do - that Hizbullah's position is boosted by being our antagonist - then from both military and political perspectives we need to minimise the antagonism. The more we talk to Hizbullah, eg on prisoners, as they suggested, the more we are photographed with them around a discussion table, the more we the lower their shares in the Arab world.
Also, it's simple to see where there are fewer casualties and greater political capital. Is it in suffering a rare hostage-taking or a one-off Katyusha shower that draw the world's outrage towards them? Or is it bombarding Lebanon, killing hundreds of people, which draws the world's criticism upon us and support for them? So, even if you hold on to the "us and them" approach, which lies at the root of the problem, the conservative policy, of "flattening them" and "revenging every action" with escalated reaction, doesn't hold water. Doves against conservatives is another division that pits us against each other, instead of thinking creatively to resolve our mutual problem.
We should have a Lebanese-Israeli round table that deals with the Hizbullah problem. The only way out is by a process of conflict resolution. Heaping as much destruction as possible on the other side gains nothing but resentment and hatred. We need to define our long-range goals as creating and building neighbourly relations - and this should define our short-range actions.
Dr Janna Weiss
And what exactly is Hezbollah's "problem"? I will tell you: Israel exists. Well tough luck that isn't going to change. As for your argument, that taking action against the murderers arouses the world's ire - frankly who cares? Anybody who does not accept Israel's right to defend itself can go to hell as far as I am concerned, and with American military might behind them, they hardly need to worry about what a few (anti-semitic) European liberals thinks(some might call them "Old Europe", I prefer "the Europe of the past").
As for your analysis of political opinion in Israel. Try harder. Their public have been shown to be firmly behind their current tactic. I can assure you that there will be no talks with Hezbollah. There is already a UN resolution demanding their disarmament and dissolution. I suggest this is acted upon by the hopeless UN, before Israel and America are forced to undertake the task properly. I am glad Israel has siezed this opportunity to give Hezbollah a bloody good kicking, and I only wish they would continue.
You can keep coming back with your links from the Guardian and your endless arguments...but your posts already have proven that you have no respect for the absolute right of the Israeli people to exist in peace. Thus I am not interested in your opinions. Hezbollah will be dealt with one way or another, and you can scream like a pig(with your vile arguments), but it won't make any difference.
"I am not interested in your opinions"
Fair enough old boy. Have a triple whisky on me and send me the bill. Cheers! You are a lovely man.
This isn't for Michael because he isn't interested in my opinions. But for anyone else still awake it is worth reading this article called "Systematic failure" by the respected Israeli commentator Ari Shavit from the Israeli Daily newspaper, Haaretz - which is not, you will notice, the Guardian. It includes the passage:
"The political establishment failed. It failed in that it lent itself to the simplistic belief in a simplistic unilateral withdrawal without understanding its inherent dangers. It failed in that it did not create crushing Israeli deterrence in the face of the Qassam rocket offensive in the south after the unilateral withdrawal. It failed in that it went to war hastily without weighing properly the war's prospects and without defining properly its goals. It failed in that it was in thrall to the defense establishment, which it was incapable of criticizing, restraining or focusing. It failed in that it thrust Israel into a booby-trapped battlefield where we must win even though it is impossible to win.
The military establishment failed. It failed in that it assumed that the Air Force and its precision weapons provide an answer to the fundamental problems of Israel's security. It failed in that it promised to win conventional wars without blood, sweat and tears. It failed in complacency. It failed in arrogance. It failed in that it did not create a relevant combat ethos and did not instill a steadfast spirit of combat. It failed in that it invested most of its resources in managing the occupation on the one hand and preparing the disengagement on the other hand, without deploying properly for an actual war. "
Here's another interesting article from Haaretz, the Israeli daily newspaper - not for Michael, because he isn't interested in my opinions - but for anyone else interested.
This article is by Gideon Levy entitled: "To failure's credit".
It is an optimistic and uplifting article which includes the interesting line:
"If we internalize the concept whereby what does not work by force will not work with more force, this war could bring us to the negotiating table."
Here is the link to the article:
Part two - Gideon Levy ends with this thought:
"If indeed the war ends as it is ending, maybe more Israelis will ask themselves what we are killing and being killed for, what did we pound and get pounded for, and maybe they will understand that it was once again all for naught. Maybe the achievement of this war will be that the failure will be seared deeply into the consciousness, and Israel will take a new route, less violent and less bullying, because of the failure. In 1967, Ephraim Kishon wrote, "sorry we won." This time it is almost possible to say, it's good we did not win."
Also in the Israeli press today, Yossi Beilin says: "Israel needs a new peace conference"
Also, Likud's Moshe Arens says:"The war was too much for Olmert, Peretz"
WARNING: None of the above articles are from the Guardian.
Michael, you are wrongly summarising my view. I have said:"I support democratic nations defending themselves in a proportionate way." It follows that I support Israel defending itself proportionately. The Lebanon invasion has been disproportionate by any fair measure. Israelis are saying this (I never claimed a large amount but some), David Cameron is saying it (he said 'The prime minister should also have said Israel's response had been disproportionate'), so why shouldn't I say it?
At the beginning of this comment thread there was an intimation that those critical of Israel were reluctant to fight their corner. Well now it seems to be me all left on my lonesome while Michael says he is not interested in my opinions.
That is fascinating isn't it?
hello ian. you may want to read this, in the interests of balance -
i would be interested to know what you think.
Yeh very balanced that(!). About a paragraph about the photo which says basically that in the Middle East it is OK to flaunt the body in front of the camera. Apparently he is not a member of Hezbollah(you can imagine the questioning technique: "are you a member of Hezbollah?" "No" - that's it, put him on the ropes(!)). Why not ask him what the hell he was doing using the body of a dead boy to score political points? Why not ask him where he found the body?(the boy might not even have been killed by the Israelis?). After all if a man is prepared to use a dead boys body for a photocall, who could doubt that he is capable of killing him?
As for Paul Walter. You back the terrorists, I will back the democracy. And let Israel fight it corner on the battlefield. As for David Cameron's opinions. Frankly who in their right mind cares? You will be quoting Ming the useless next. This is Israel's problem, and they have the support of America. Stuff the rest of them.
3 days ago you did me the courtesy of accepting the validity of my point about being unable to trust the media after they lie to us.
You asked for "a day or 3" to research my points about the BBC having censored the similar pictures of Serb children from our screens back when we were bombing civilians (I accept they did regularly broadcast reporter statements but steered very clear of dead children). Also to research whether Ming Campbell, Jack Straw & Clare Short, among many others, who have called Jewish bombing a "war crime" were not enthusiasticly in favour of the heavier bombing of cities of Yugoslav "untermensch".
Despite the fact that, for those living in Britain at the time, this should require more memory than research I accepted this.
Have you got an answer yet?
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