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Warsaw Ghetto Redux

Discussion in 'Middle Eastern Politics' started by Stalin, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    This is the closest historical parallel that I can think of to the current atrocity in Gaza. These activities are nothing new, having been perpetrated many times since 1947. Of course like Warsaw, journalists from the "West"are not witnesses.

    With the Shoah now a distant memory for a dwindling number of survivors, it is sad to see the victims become the perps.

    No one war-crime seems to be particularly worse than any other other, but this one is the most like 1944.

    "..n what Red Cross chief for Israel and the Palestinian territories Pierre Wettlach described as “a shocking incident,” relief workers found four starving children next to their mothers and other corpses in a neighborhood of Gaza City which Israel had denied them access to for days.

    “The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation,” Wettlach added, “but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestinian Red Crescent to assist the wounded.” The action appears, according to the agency, to have violated international humanitarian law.

    The young children were too weak to stand, and the Israeli army erected large earthen barriers and denied ambulances access to the neighborhood for four days. After discovering yet more bodies in another house in the neighborhood, the Israeli military ordered the rescue team to leave the area immediately.

    The Israeli military declined to comment on the specifics of the latest atrocities, but insists that it “in no way intentionally targets civilians and has demonstrated its willingness to abort operations to save civilian lives.” The claim carries considerably less weight after the Israeli military intentionally attacked a UN-run school full of civilians on Tuesday and unsuccessfully tried to blame Hamas..."

    The Red Cross
     
  2. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Your anti-Israeli rhetoric is laughable. Hamas started the problems. The people voted Hamas in. My sympathy level is non-existent. Did you want to point out how "aid" trucks trying to cross the border were stopped and found to be full of military equipment?
     
  3. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    There is nothing wrong in being Anti-israeli.

    Israel is an apartheid state where one members of any religion are allowed entry while the indigenous population is mainly cooped up in concentration camps unable to return to their homeland as required by UN law.

    The election of Hamas and rocket attacks are symptoms, not causes of the unrest.

    There many Jews opposed to the structure of Israel.

    Thank you for the compliment of the ability to use rhetoric which is properly defined as the ability to present a political argument.

    Comrade Kagonovich of Kabani
     
  4. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting since almost 30% of the population in Israel (not counting Gaza, West Bank, or any area run by any Palestinian Authority) are Arab Muslims. Would you argue that those people are not indigenous? Maybe you can explain why those people have no problem living with Israel and feel no need to attack Israel at every turn?

    And the cause of the sanctions imposed on Gaza was the fault of extremists, this cycle can go on and on.

    I know you think you are clever trying to bring it all back to Roman and Greek rhetoricians, but a debate such as that is a complete waste of time.
     
  5. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    What is not clever, is the diversion away from the main idea, which is the way that the IDF and related paramilitaries are behaving like the German Army in WW2.

    and..sorry to be seen to be educating someone so wise but..er..rhetoric was taught as as a proper discipline up to the 19th Century and is back in vogue as a discipline. 2000 years of history seem to have passed you by..

    "..Along with logic and dialectic, rhetoric is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. From ancient Greece to the late 19th Century, it was a central part of Western education, filling the need to train public speakers and writers to move audiences to action with arguments. [1] The very act of defining has itself been a central part of rhetoric..

    ...

    throughout European history, rhetoric has concerned itself with persuasion in public and political settings such as assemblies and courts. Because of its associations with democratic institutions, rhetoric is commonly said to flourish in open and democratic societies with rights of free speech, free assembly, and political enfranchisement for some portion of the population. [10]

    ..

    At the turn of the twentieth century, there was a revival of rhetorical study manifested in the establishment of departments of rhetoric and speech at academic institutions, as well as the formation of national and international professional organizations. Theorists generally agree that a significant reason for the revival of the study of rhetoric was the renewed importance of language and persuasion in the increasingly mediated environment of the twentieth century (see Linguistic turn). The rise of advertising and of mass media such as photography, telegraphy, radio, and film brought rhetoric more prominently into people's lives.

    more rhetoric @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric

    Comrade Suslov of the Ideology Committee ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suslov )
     
  6. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    Well the figure is closer to 20% and of course you have missed the Palestinian Christians from the equation. An Israeli passport is far more valuable than a Palestinian passport which is basically useless and the holder is subject to abuse in US client regimes like Kuwait and the Gulf States.

    As for the wonderful place that Israel is for indigenous people, I think not.

    There is an active government process, like in Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany to resettle populations..

    "...israeli historian Benny Morris states:

    The Israeli Arabs are a time bomb. Their slide into complete Palestinization has made them an emissary of the enemy that is among us. They are a potential fifth column. In both demographic and security terms they are liable to undermine the state. So that if Israel again finds itself in a situation of existential threat, as in 1948, it may be forced to act as it did then. If we are attacked by Egypt (after an Islamist revolution in Cairo) and by Syria, and chemical and biological missiles slam into our cities, and at the same time Israeli Palestinians attack us from behind, I can see an expulsion situation. It could happen. If the threat to Israel is existential, expulsion will be justified[...][80]

    The term "demographic bomb" was famously used by Benjamin Netanyahu in 2003[81] when he noted that if the percentage of Arab citizens rises above its current level of about 20 percent, Israel will not be able to maintain a Jewish demographic majority. Netanyahu's comments were criticized as racist by Arab Knesset members and a range of civil rights and human rights organizations, such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.[82] Even earlier allusions to the "demographic threat" can be found in an internal Israeli government document drafted in 1976 known as The Koenig Memorandum, which laid out a plan for reducing the number and influence of Arab citizens of Israel in the Galilee region.

    In 2003, the Israeli daily Ma’ariv published an article entitled, "Special Report: Polygamy is a Security Threat," detailing a report put forth by the Director of the Population Administration at the time, Herzl Gedj; the report described polygamy in the Bedouin sector a “security threat” and advocated means of reducing the birth rate in the Arab sector.[83] The Population Administration is a department of the Demographic Council, whose purpose, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics is: “...to increase the Jewish birthrate by encouraging women to have more children using government grants, housing benefits, and other incentives.”[84] In 2008 the Minister of the Interior appointed Yaakov Ganot as new head of the Population Administration, which according to Haaretz is "probably the most important appointment an interior minister can make."[85]

    Some Israeli politicians advocate land-swap proposals in order to assure a continued Jewish majority within Israel. A specific proposal is that Israel transfer sovereignty of part of the Arab-populated Wadi Ara area (west of the Green Line) to a future Palestinian state, in return for formal sovereignty over the major Jewish settlement "blocks" that lie inside the West Bank east of the Green Line.)[86]

    Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beiteinu, the fourth largest faction in the 17th Knesset, is one of the foremost advocates the transfer of large Arab towns located just inside Israel near the border with the West Bank (e.g. Tayibe, Umm al-Fahm, Baqa al-Gharbiyye), to the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority in exchange for Israeli settlements located inside the West Bank.[87][88][89][90][91][92][93][94] As the London Times notes: "Lieberman plans to strengthen Israel’s status as a Jewish state by transferring 500,000 of its minority Arab population to the West Bank, by the simple expedient of redrawing the West Bank to include several Arab Israeli towns in northern Israel. Another 500,000 would be stripped of their right to vote if they failed to pledge loyalty to Zionism."[95]

    In October 2006, Yisrael Beiteinu formally joined in the ruling government's parliamentary coalition, headed by Kadima and also made up of the Labour Party and Gil. After the Israeli Cabinet confirmed Avigdor Lieberman's appointment to the position of Minister for Strategic Threats, Labour Party representative and Science, Sport and Culture Minister Ophir Pines-Paz, resigned his post.[96][48] In his resignation letter to Ehud Olmert, Pines-Paz wrote, "I couldn't sit in a government with a minister who preaches racism"[97]

    The Lieberman Plan caused a stir among Arab citizens of Israel, which explicitly treats them as an enemy within. On the one hand, with very few exceptions, Arabs in Israel argue that they are native to the region and should not have to renounce the villages and cities in which they, their parents, and their grandparents, if not their ancestors, were born. Others insist that as Israeli citizens, they deserve equal rights within the State, and should not be singled out as a fifth column according to their ethnic or religious background. Various polls show that Arabs in Israel in general do not wish to move to the West Bank or Gaza if a Palestinian state is created there.[98]

    Right-wing Jewish critics of the Wadi Ara land swap plan have argued that this measure will not be enough since "The number of Arab Israelis would drop by 116,000-148,000, or a total of 8.2-10.5 percent of the Arab population of Israel, and just 2.1 percent of the population in general,"[citation needed] rather than emptying Israel of all Arabs.

    [edit] Changing birth rates

    A January 2006 study by the American-Israel Demographic Research Group rejects the "demographic time bomb" threat based on statistical data collected since 1995 that shows that Jewish births have increased rapidly while Arab births have begun to drop.[99] The study noted shortcomings in earlier demographic predictions (for example, in the 1960s, predictions suggested that Arabs would be the majority in 1990). The study also demonstrated that Christian Arab and Druze birth rates were actually below those of Jewish birth rates in Israel. The study used data from a Gallup poll to demonstrate that the desired family size for Arabs in Israel and Jewish Israelis were the same. The study's population forecast for 2025 predicted that Arabs would comprise only 25.0% of the Israeli population.

    Nevertheless, the Bedouin population in particular, with its extremely high birth rates, continues to be perceived as a threat to the Jewish demographic majority in the south, and a variety of Jewish-only development plans such as the Blueprint Negev compete to address these concerns.[100].."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel

    I wonder how many other countries have a "Minister for Strategic Threats" or " Director of the Population Administration"
     
  7. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Then address the point.

    So, do you plan on talking about the IDF? Or quoting wikipedia?

    Anyway your point of rhetoric is a waste of time. You simply pointed out that it was taught.. big deal. It originated when I said it did, and it makes discussion of it no less of a waste of time.

    Your argument still holds no validity in regards to the IDF and your Israeli/Nazi comparisons.
     
  8. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    Meanwhile, back at the topic...

    "...By Tom Eley
    10 January 2009

    In the annals of war crimes, the name "Zeitoun" will assume its place alongside names like "My Lai," "Fallujah," "Sabra-Shatila," "Guernica," "Nanking," "Lidice," and "Wounded Knee."

    In the last two days, the massacre that took place in Zeitoun, a neighborhood on the southern flats approaching Gaza City, has only now begun to come into focus. Aid groups, including the Red Cross, have used the three-hour pauses in Israel bombardment that began on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to remove the wounded, some of whom apparently still remain. Most of the dead have been left behind.

    What is particularly horrifying about the Zeitoun massacre—details of which continue to unfold—is the sadistic behavior of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). This is a mass killing that has unfolded over days.

    It appears that the IDF tricked residents, promising that they would be safe gathered in large groups in particular buildings, only to bomb them later. Over the course of four days, the Israelis then left the sick and dying—all civilians, the majority small children—with no medical assistance, food or water, even though Israelis enjoyed total control over the area. At the same time, they refused repeated requests for access to the neighborhood by aid workers.

    It is not clear how many have died in Zeitoun. At this point, it appears the number is somewhere between 70 and 85. But this figure may grow significantly as the unassisted wounded continue to die, and as aid workers uncover bodies of victims in bombed-out buildings.

    Israel raided Zeitoun on Sunday, quickly establishing its control. The town occupies a strategic location south of Gaza City, and will be used should the IDF launch an attack on the city proper.

    According to survivors, after invading the IDF compelled extended families to gather in centrally located buildings, marching families at gunpoint from one building to the next. The IDF told the residents of Zeitoun that they were being led to houses that would not be bombed.

    But in at least once case, it has emerged that the IDF forced some 110 Palestinians into a house that was then bombed within 24 hours, killing perhaps 70 people, all civilians. Aid workers only discovered the corpses after being prevented for four days by the IDF from visiting the neighborhood in Zeitoun.

    Those in the building, which has been described as a "warehouse" by one survivor, were left inside without food or water. After one day, three men attempted to venture out to find food. They were immediately hit by a barrage of IDF fire. At that point, a missile hit the rooftop of the warehouse.

    Meysa Samouni, a 19-year-old who survived the attack with her two-year-old daughter, who was maimed, described the scene: "When the missile stuck, I lay down with my daughter under me. Everything filled up with smoke and dust, and I heard screams and crying. After the smoke and dust cleared a bit, I looked around and saw 20 to 30 people who were dead, and about 20 who were wounded.

    "The persons killed around me were my husband, who was hit in the back, my father-in-law, who was hit in the head and whose brain was on the floor, my mother-in-law Rabab, my father-in-law's brother Talal, and his wife Rhama Muhammad a-Samouni, 45, Talal's son's wife, Maha Muhammad a-Samouni, 19, and her son, Muhammad Hamli a-Samouni, five months, whose whole brain was outside his body, Razqa Muhammad a-Samouni, 50, Hanan Khamis a-Samouni, 30, and Hamdi Majid a-Samouni, 22."

    A Red Cross medic who visited Zeitoun described a horrific scene. "Inside the Samouni house I saw about 10 bodies and outside another 60,'' the medic told the Telegraph. "I was not able to count them accurately because there was not much time and we were looking for wounded people.... I could see an Israeli army bulldozer knocking down houses nearby but we ran out of time and the Israeli soldiers started shooting at us."

    "We had to leave about eight injured people behind because we could not get to them and it was no longer safe for us to stay.'"

    In another building in Zeitoun, the Israelis gathered 80 people together. Survivors report Israeli soldiers gunning people down in cold blood as they later attempted to flee. One man, Atiyeh Samouni, was shot by Israelis after he opened his door to receive them. Then his two-year old son was shot, a survivor said.

    Most of the men of Zeitoun were rounded up, blindfolded, and marched away. Some were used as human shields, survivors say.

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' statement on the bombing was based on the account of survivors, but it corroborated an AP story and testimony gathered by an Israeli human rights group.

    This was the same neighborhood where a day earlier the Red Cross found four half-dead children near the corpses of their mothers. The Red Cross discovered the bodies of 15 other people in a bombed structure, who likely suffered slow and agonizing deaths for lack of medical care. Israeli soldiers were stationed within 100 yards of the dying family.

    Aid agencies became aware of the massacre at Zeitoun when surviving members of the Samouni clan arrived in Gaza City early in the week. According to the Telegraph, "A handful of survivors, some wounded, others carrying dead or dying infants, made it on foot to Gaza's main north-south road before they were given lifts to hospital. Three small children were buried in Gaza City that afternoon."

    But Israel refused to allow the Red Cross to visit the neighborhood until Wednesday.

    One hundred other people in need of medical treatment have been evacuated from Zeitoun—not for injuries, but for dehydration and famine. The town has been without water and food since Israel overran it Sunday evening.

    Speaking in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. Israel claims that all of its actions are justified by Palestinians' ineffective rocket fire from Gaza. But Pillay said that this did not obviate Israel from observing international law. In an interview with BBC, Pillay said Israel's actions appear to have "all the elements of war crimes."

    Because the IDF has persistently attacked relief organizations, the UN and the World Food Program have stopped delivery of relief supplies to Gaza. Since Wednesday, Israel has claimed to observe a three-hour cease-fire in order to allow humanitarian workers to reach areas the IDF controls. However, in several instances, the IDF has fired on aid workers during the supposed three-hour lapse.

    According to the Geneva Conventions, an invading army is responsible for caring for the sick, wounded, and hungry in the territory it controls. Israel clearly does not observe these conventions, effectively blocking the delivery of food and medicine, firing upon ambulances and preventing them from reaching the wounded, and leaving the sick and wounded under its own control to die.

    There are indications that Zeitoun was specifically targeted for exemplary punishment by the IDF. The Telegraph reports that it was a place of known Hamas activity.

    The Zeitoun massacre is a horrific war crime for which the IDF and the Israeli government bear responsibility. But the IDF's rampage would not be possible without the full backing of the US and the complicity of the UN, the European powers, and the Arab regimes of the Middle East.

    Should Israel enter Gaza City, home to more than 400,000 people, the methods used at Zeitoun will be repeated on a much more deadly scale.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jan2009/gaza-j10.shtml

    Comrade Kaganovich
     
  9. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    Let us now comapare Warsaw and Gaza

    First, Warsaw

    "..he Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of the Jewish ghettos located in the territory of General Government during the Second World War. The Warsaw Ghetto was established by the German Governor-General Hans Frank on October 16, 1940. At this time, the population of the Ghetto was estimated to be 440,000 people, about 38% of the population of Warsaw. However, the size of the Ghetto was about 4.5% of the size of Warsaw. Nazis then closed the Warsaw Ghetto from the outside world on November 16, 1940, building a wall with armed guards.

    During the next year and a half, thousands of the Polish Jews as well as some Romani people from smaller cities and the countryside were brought into the Ghetto, while diseases (especially typhus) and starvation kept the inhabitants at about the same number. Average food rations in 1941 for Jews in Warsaw were limited to 184 kcal, compared to 669 kcal for gentile Poles and 2,614 kcal for Germans.

    Unemployment was a major problem in the ghetto. Illegal workshops were created to manufacture goods to be sold illegally on the outside and raw goods were smuggled in often by children. Hundreds of four to five year old Jewish children went across en masse to the "Aryan side", sometimes several times a day, smuggling food into the ghettos, returning with goods that often weighed more than they did. Smuggling was often the only source of subsistence for Ghetto inhabitants, who would otherwise have died of starvation. Despite the grave hardships, life in the Warsaw Ghetto was rich with educational and cultural activities, conducted by its underground organizations. Hospitals, public soup kitchens, orphanages, refugee centers and recreation facilities were formed, as well as a school system. Some schools were illegal and operated under the guise of a soup kitchen. There were secret libraries, classes for the children and even a symphony orchestra. The life in the ghetto was chronicled by the Oyneg Shabbos group.."


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_ghetto

    and now, Gaza

    "..The Gaza Strip has lost its last lifeline after five days of Israeli bombing raids that destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels under the sandy border with Egypt.

    The passages did not just supply Hamas with arms, but brought in flour, fuel and baby milk.

    For Gazans, already used to blackouts and shortages from an 18-month border blockade, the daily hunt for basics is ever more desperate - though there are no reports of outright hunger.

    "I fed the children cooked tomatoes today, I can't find bread," Nima Burdeini, a mother of 11, said on Wednesday at the Rafah refugee camp on the Gaza-Egypt border.

    ...

    Most of Gaza's 3,900 factories have closed, unable to import raw materials or export products. Construction halted and thousands of people were thrown out of work, deepening poverty in an area where most of the 1.4 million residents rely on UN food aid to get by.

    At times, Israel tightened the closure, restricting the inflow of fuel, cash and other key supplies. The blockade caused frequent power outages and interruptions in the water supply.

    In the two months leading up to Israel's offensive, Israel kept Gaza tightly sealed in an attempt to force Gaza militants to stop firing rockets at southern Israeli towns.

    The tunnels became a lifesaver for Hamas - and for Gaza. Some were used to sneak in arms, including rockets that militants are now firing into Israel. But most of the underground passages were used to haul in consumer goods, from motor bikes to goats, refrigerators, flour and chocolates.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10550213&pnum=0
     
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