More ‘last-first’ reporting in BBC account of sniper attack on Gaza border

In the early hours of the afternoon of December 24th, twenty-two year-old Saleh Shukri Abu Latif – a civilian employee of the Ministry of Defence from the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev – was working on repairs to a section of the border fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip located between Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza which had been damaged by the recent fierce storm. Saleh Abu Latif

A bullet fired by a sniper in the Gaza Strip hit Saleh in the chest. He was evacuated by air to hospital in Be’er Sheva, but died of his wounds. The attack was reportedly claimed by the PRC

The shooting of Saleh Abu Latif was preceded by days of security incidents along the same border fence including riots in which stones were thrown at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the border, attempts to breach the border fence and attempts to plant improvised explosive devices. Missiles were also fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilian communities, including one which landed at a bus stop used by schoolchildren.

Despite days of rising tensions, the Hamas regime in Gaza failed to exercise control over its side of the border fence in order to prevent incidents from escalating and in accord with the terms of the ceasefire which came into effect after ‘Operation Pillar of Cloud’ in November 2012.

“All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.”

Later in the afternoon of December 24th, the Israeli armed forces responded to the fatal sniper attack by targeting Hamas terror installations in the Gaza Strip including a concealed rocket launcher and a weapons manufacturing facility. According to Palestinian sources, a three year-old girl named Hala Abu Sbeikha was accidentally killed and other members of her family injured, although reports as to which family members differ, with some citing her father and some her mother and brother. 

The report on the incident (amended several times) which appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website under the title “Two dead in Israel-Gaza violence” was sub-headed with the following ‘last-first’ description:

“A Palestinian girl is killed in a series of retaliatory Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, after an Israeli civilian was shot dead by a sniper.”

The report itself – titled “Two dead in Israel-Gaza border violence” – also opens by reporting the later incident first.

“A three-year-old Palestinian girl has been killed in a series of retaliatory Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The attacks came hours after an Israeli civilian was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper while repairing the border security fence.”

Nahal Oz shooting 1

Saleh Abu Latif is not named in the BBC report and no significant additional information is provided apart from the two brief sentences below.

“The Israeli man was shot in the chest while working on the border fence near Nahal Oz. He later died in hospital.”

This BBC report has two main features. One is its promotion of equivalence (in the title, sub-heading and text) between a little girl accidentally killed in strikes on terror sites situated in areas inhabited by a civilian population and the deliberate murder of a civilian. 

The other outstanding feature of this report is its whitewashing of Hamas’ responsibility for this incident and many others (including missile fire which the BBC has largely failed to report) under the terms of the November 2012 ceasefire, as indicated in the amorphous statement:

“There has been intermittent violence along the border since a ceasefire ended an eight-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza in November 2012.”

The article ends by once again misleading readers in relation to the term “hostile territory”.

As has also been the case in prior BBC articles relating to recent violent incidents, no serious attempt is made in this report to inform readers of the context of escalating numbers of terror attacks and security incidents emanating from the Gaza Strip and in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in recent months. By treating each of the random cases it does decide to report (usually those involving fatalities) as separate, unrelated incidents – and whilst ignoring many others – the BBC denies audiences a complete picture of the background of rising tensions in the region and the ability to understand Israeli reactions to incidents in their proper context. 

The evening before Tuesday’s incident on the Gaza Strip border, a policeman directing traffic after a road accident was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian attacker near the community of Adam, north of Jerusalem. After surgery which included the removal of a damaged kidney, Rami Ravid’s condition improved. That incident was not reported by the BBC. 

 

98 comments on “More ‘last-first’ reporting in BBC account of sniper attack on Gaza border

  1. Mr Hadar Sela said:

    “This BBC report has two main features. One is its promotion of equivalence (in the title, sub-heading and text) between a little girl accidentally killed in strikes on terror sites situated in areas inhabited by a civilian population”

    There are varieties of the psychology that motivates “accidental” killings, some of which fall to the immoral end of the continuum, such as “who cares that there are civilians in the terror site, we will target it anyway”. This is not morally equivalent with murder in the first degree (i mean intending to kill someone specific), but comes very close.

    My understanding is that at the time of the strike there was no immediate threat to Israeli civilians, no rockets were ready to be fired from the site(s) targeted, the IDF strike was just a retaliation of the IDF for the earlier murder of the Israeli civilian. Couldn’t the IDF have chosen a terror site that it was certain that it did not contain civilians, or did not have civilians very close to it? The retaliation “message” that the IDF thought needed to be sent would have been sent equally successfully even if civilians had not been harmed.

    My point is that Mr Sela’s criticism of the BBC lacks important context that would allow us to decide if the IDF had come close to acting in a way morally equivalent to the Palestinian murderer.

    • The fact that yyou conveniently ignore is that the sniper attack is only one of a series of attacks from Gaza into Israel. None of these were reported by BBC either. Violations of the cease fire must be responded to immediately. You are guilty of “moral equivication”. The little girl may or may not have been killed by Israeli fire. There have also been reports of the misfire of a Palestinian rocket. It would not be the first time an Arab child killed by her own side was blamed on Israel. Enough is enough. The Israeli record for aiding those in need, including Arabs and other Muslims is too well established.

      • @Ethan P

        “The fact that yyou conveniently ignore is that the sniper attack is only one of a series of attacks from Gaza into Israel.”

        But this is irrelevant to my point about Mr Sela having not given us enough info about the IDF retaliation so that we could judge objectively if the IDF had done something immoral.

        “None of these were reported by BBC either.”

        I agree that the BBC should have reported on them.

        “Violations of the cease fire must be responded to immediately.”

        You have to be more specific on the “immediately”. Besides, my point, i.e. that the IDF could have targeted a site that it was certain that there were no civilians in it or near it, does not necessarily imply that the IDF would have to waste much time.

        “You are guilty of “moral equivication”.

        I seriously doubt that you understand what your sentence means. How do you expect me to understand it and respond?

        “The little girl may or may not have been killed by Israeli fire.”

        I took it for granted that the little girl died as a result of the IDF strike because Mr Sela spoke of “accidental killing”. He couldn’t have meant that the Palestinians killed it.

        “There have also been reports of the misfire of a Palestinian rocket.”

        I haven’t read them, please post a link(s).

        “It would not be the first time an Arab child killed by her own side was blamed on Israel.”

        I know, what you say is true. But, as i said, Mr Sela seemed to have taken it for granted that it must have been the IDF, so i followed suit.

        “Enough is enough.”

        If by this you mean that it is moral to target a terror site which does not pose an immediate threat, while knowing that your action is going to result in the death of a child, and while you had the chance to target some other terror site with no risk to kill civilians, then my answer is that i disagree with you, i do not think it is moral to act in such a way.

        “The Israeli record for aiding those in need, including Arabs and other Muslims is too well established.”

        How would this record exculpate the IDF for this particular incident, if indeed the IDF had targeted the site knowing that there might be civilians at risk, and if there were alternative targets that were certain not to pose a threat to civilians?

    • First of all, Hadar is a woman. Second, how do you know that there were no more threats? You probably weren’t aware that a rocket had hit a bus stop used by children just a day before. Have you also considered what a child would be doing at a terror site?

      I must say that you are evidence that the BBC does its job well.

      • @Ms Sela
        @Michael

        “First of all, Hadar is a woman.”

        I didn’t know, i’m not Jewish. Ms Sela my apologies, i should have checked, but in my native language (Greek) this sounds as a male’s name, and you did not correct me when i left a comment a few days ago and, at that time again, i spoke as if you were male. Sorry.

        “Second, how do you know that there were no more threats?”

        I presumed that the sites were targeted only for retaliation because that’s what the IDF announced:

        http://www.idfblog.com/2013/12/24/response-fatal-terror-attack-israeli-civilian-idf-targets-terror-sites-gaza-strip/

        There was no mention of terrorists being ready to fire a rocket at this terror site, and this is the sort of info that i assume the IDF would have divulged, if it were true.

        “You probably weren’t aware that a rocket had hit a bus stop used by children just a day before.”

        I was, but how is this relevant to my point that, if the IDF targets a terror site for retaliation when there is no immediate threat of rockets, then the IDF should pick a terror site in a way that puts no civilians at risk?

        “Have you also considered what a child would be doing at a terror site?”

        Playing with her terrorist father, maybe?

        “I must say that you are evidence that the BBC does its job well.”

        You imply that i am “misinformed”, but there is no evidence of it in what i had written up to the time you answered me. The only evidence we both have is that you jump to conclusions very easily.

        • Your comments show a high level of anti-Semitism. What has being Jewish got to do with it. I sometimes forget myself. And I am a Jew and proud of it. You sir are just another ‘troll’.

          • @EthanP

            “Your comments show a high level of anti-Semitism.

            There is nothing anti-Semitic in my comments, you are just at a loss for a counterargument to what i have been saying and that is why you revert to the morally intimidating allegation of anti-Semitism, without having a shred of evidence to back it up.

            “What has being Jewish got to do with it.”

            I simply explained that i did not know that the Jewish name “Hadar” was for females, and that i thought it was for males, and i explained my ignorance by citing the fact that i am non-Jewish – meaning that i couldn’t have known that the name “Hadar” is for females.

            “I sometimes forget myself.”

            And it shows a lot.

            “And I am a Jew and proud of it.”

            And how is this in any way relevant to what i have been saying?

            “You sir are just another ‘troll’.”

            I am just someone who showed that Ms Sela’s article was as guilty of not presenting context as the BBC article she was criticizing.
            Calling me a “troll” is your way out now that you cannot answer my points.

          • You are the one who brought up religion, not me. Why would you assume being Jewish give us more knowlege of the author. I also am too busy to spend time on trolls.

        • @Dionissis Mitropoulos

          I presumed that the sites were targeted only for retaliation because that’s what the I”DF announced:
          http://www.idfblog.com/2013/12/24/response-fatal-terror-attack-israeli-civilian-idf-targets-terror-sites-gaza-strip/
          There was no mention of terrorists being ready to fire a rocket at this terror site, and this is the sort of info that i assume the IDF would have divulged, if it were true.”

          You have obviously misunderstood what the blog says. It’s “in response” to the attack, the IDF targeted several terrorist sites and it names them. If the IDF’s objective were to harm civilians, it would have picked other, more densely populated targets.
          Try googling “response to threat.”
          You also may not understand the kind of situation that we have. Arab leaders, spokespeople, and interviewees show one face to the media for the benefit of fawning politicians and leftist sympathizers. What they show to their own media is something different. The answer to war here isn’t, unfortunately, peace. It’s more war. Showing restraint is seen as weakness and an invitation for more war. The concept of retaliation is our reality because, unfortunately, that’s what our enemies understand.
          “I was, but how is this relevant to my point that, if the IDF targets a terror site for retaliation when there is no immediate threat of rockets, then the IDF should pick a terror site in a way that puts no civilians at risk?”
          First, how do you know that there were no immediate threats? Are you also aware that it doesn’t take long to set up and fire a qassam? Since the Palestinians have decided to escalate tensions, targeting their infrastructure. Furthermore, how do you know that there are sites without human shields? That’s their strategy and it works causing Israel to show as much restraint as possible and gaining sympathy in the media game.
          “Playing with her terrorist father, maybe?”
          That cannot be our concern. Israel’s first priority, like any other country, is the protection of its own citizens.
          “You imply that i am “misinformed”, but there is no evidence of it in what i had written up to the time you answered me. The only evidence we both have is that you jump to conclusions very easily.”
          I not only think that you are misinformed, I think that you also make a lot of false assumptions.

      • I must say that you are evidence that the BBC does its job well.

        True. Largely due to the BBC, there are thousands of people who have come to believe that the Palestinians can do no wrong and the Israelis nothing right.

        Dionissis has provided a fine example here of indoctrination resulting in anti-israel bias:

        If by this you mean that it is moral to target a terror site which does not pose an immediate threat, while knowing that your action is going to result in the death of a child [my emphasis] ….

        I note the sly shift in his position. Previously he wrote about the accidental death. Now he’s claiming that the IDF knew they would be killing the child. This is precisely how Israel gets demonised. Facts are irrelevant because they are inevitably twisted to suit the position of the Israel haters.

        ….and while you had the chance to target some other terror site with no risk to kill civilians….

        Again, there’s the sly shift. Now he’s apparently decided that terror sites completely free of civilians were available but that the Israelis deliberately chose to target one with civilians. And evidently he knows nothing (or chooses not to say anything) about Hamas’ despicable use of human shields – relying on exactly such accidents to turn naive Western liberals against Israel.

        And of course, there are no complaints about the brutal terror attack on an innocent Israell civilian worker.

        Yes, the BBC really has done its job of turning people against the Jewish state.

        • @Truetoo

          True. Largely due to the BBC, there are thousands of people who have come to believe that the Palestinians can do no wrong and the Israelis nothing right. Dionissis has provided a fine example here of indoctrination resulting in anti-israel bias:”

          Maybe in your imagination, but not in reality.
          Show me where i implied that the Palestinians can do no wrong and that the Israelis can do nothing right. I referred to a specific incident, the IDF striking a specific site in retaliation, and i inquired why didn’t the IDF choose an alternative terror site where it could retaliate with no risk of civilian fatalities. And this wasn’t even my major point, which was that Ms Sela did not provide us with appropriate context to judge for ourselves if the IDF indeed acted in a moral manner, as her article was implying.

          Ms Sela just took for granted that the IDF had acted morally in this incident, but did not provide any context that would alleviate the concern i raised about the IDF’s choice of target.

          continuing

          • “Ms Sela just took for granted that the IDF had acted morally in this incident, but did not provide any context that would alleviate the concern i raised about the IDF’s choice of target.”
            One of the hallmarks of western civilization is the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and not vice-versa. Do you assume that the IDF did not act morally to begin with?

          • By the way Dionissos, you imply that the IDF just chose some site at random. Do you think that they all have the same value to Hamas as part of its terrorism infrastructure or to Israel as eliminating that infrastructure? How do you know that there wasn’t a priority on the targeted sites due to the logistics of transporting rockets and ammunition and the size and capability of the weapons plants? Have you also not considered that if they do have high value that Hamas would intentionally place more civilians, especially children, knowing that Israel would go after them?

        • Truetoo, part3

          “This is precisely how Israel gets demonised. Facts are irrelevant because they are inevitably twisted to suit the position of the Israel haters.”

          What’s really precise is the statement that you have just demonized me as an Israel hater, basing yourself on a misunderstanding (or deliberate misrepresentation) of what i had said.

          “Again, there’s the sly shift.”

          There is no “sly” shift at all, you just don’t understand English grammar (the conditionals) and you misunderstand what is written, or you are eager to see people as Israel-haters.

          “Now he’s apparently decided that terror sites completely free of civilians were available but that the Israelis deliberately chose to target one with civilians.”

          No, i have decided nothing of the sort. Ethan P had said “enough is enough”, without answering the ramifications of my points. His answer sounded as if he was condoning retaliations even if it is certain that they will lead to civilian fatalities and even if there are alternative terror sites without civilians to be targeted. And i told him that,if he means that, then i disagree that this would have been a moral action of the IDF.

          I never claimed for a fact that the IDF perpetrated this immorality for sure. I was answering Ethan P’s point that “enough is enough”, which to me sounded as condoning any kind of retaliation, and i said that if if he means that, then i disagree with Ethan P’s moral stance.

          Try to read a little bit more carefully.

          • I’ll come right out and say it! I do condone the retaliations. You don’t fail to respond to terror because the terrorist hide behind there own children. There is a well publicized cartoon showing the Hamas fighter hiding behind the baby carriage, the Israeli protecting his baby carriage. There is no comparison. All the Palestinians have to do to stop the violence is SYOP THE VIOLENCE! Israel would be happy to leave them alone. But you already know that. Am I being informative enough?

      • Ethan P

        “Let’s make a deal. If you condemn the Palestinians the next time they kill a child, I will appoligize on this site. OK?”

        Ok. I don’t have to condemn the Palestinians next time they target to kill an Israeli civilian, i condemn them now for such behavior, and i have done so in the past too. It’s just that i take it for granted that Palestinian terrorism is a moral depravity and i cannot bring it up all the time on anything i say about the conflict. And there’s no need for you to apologize, i know well the anti-Semitism that Jews (especially the older ones) have experienced, the reflex to call a critic of Israel an anti-Semite is very understandable.

        “And most of the critics of Israel I deal with are for the destruction of Israel. If you truely do support a Jewish State sorry for painting you with the same brush. “

        I mean it that i recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, if i didn’t recognize it i would have just stayed silent on the issue.

        “I’m an old man and I’ve dealt with too much deceit and Jew hatred over the years to take any critic at face value.”

        I can only guess what it might have been for you to experience the constant suspicious looks of Gentiles. But my guess should be kind of accurate, considering that i come from one of the most anti-Semitic countries of Europe, Greece. You have my full sympathy for the negativity that Gentiles have showed towards you.

        • “I can only guess what it might have been for you to experience the constant suspicious looks of Gentiles. But my guess should be kind of accurate, considering that i come from one of the most anti-Semitic countries of Europe, Greece. You have my full sympathy for the negativity that Gentiles have showed towards you.”
          If Greece is as anti-Semitic as you imply then its especially a mark of shame on Greece considering how Israeli firefighters risked their lives for Greece just a few years ago.

          • Unfortunately good deeds seem to have little effect when centuries of Jew hatred are involved. Indeed the Greeks were Jew haters before they were Christians. And Israeli rescue efforts in Turkish earthquakes seems to have garnered no support from the Turkish people. We are the perenial “Other” always to be feared. Sad. As for Dionissis, I will for take his word until proven otherwise.

  2. @Truetoo, part 2

    “I note the sly shift in his position. Previously he wrote about the accidental death. Now he’s claiming that the IDF knew they would be killing the child.”

    You are either lying, or you are deficient in reading comprehension. My sentence started with a conditional, “if”. I never claimed the IDF killed the little girl knowingly, i raised the possibility that the IDF was either oblivious to checking whether there are civilians in or very close to the site, or cognizant of it but went for the strike any way.
    I never claimed i know it for a fact that the IDF knew about the civilians. I merely inquired why it didn’t pick a target where it was certain that no civilians would die.

    Interesting that no one dares answer my point with substantive counterarguments.

    continuing

  3. Truetoo, Part4

    “And evidently he knows nothing (or chooses not to say anything) about Hamas’ despicable use of human shields”

    I said nothing about Hamas’ human shields because the shields were irrelevant to my point that Ms Sela had not provided us with enough context to know if the IDF had indeed acted morally, instead of just taking for granted that the IDF was not morally culpable for the death of the child.

    “relying on exactly such accidents to turn naive Western liberals against Israel.”

    It might have been an accident, and the question is why didn’t the IDF choose another site where there was no risk of harming civilians. By the way, do you know for certain that it was an accident? Would you still call it an “accident” if the IDF knew there were civilians inside, or nearby?

    “And of course, there are no complaints about the brutal terror attack on an innocent Israell civilian worker.”

    There were no complaints about the Palestinian terror because i was complaining to Ms Sela about what i judged to be a presentation biased in favor of Israel, at the same time she was accusing the BBC of anti-Israel bias.

    “Yes, the BBC really has done its job of turning people against the Jewish state.”

    The BBC might have done so, but if you count our discussion as evidence of the BBC’s allegedly noxious effects on my understanding of the conflict, then you don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t get informed on Palestine and Israel by the BBC, i use a variety of sources.

  4. @ Ethan P

    “You are the one who brought up religion, not me. Why would you assume being Jewish give us more knowlege of the author.”

    I did not bring up religion, i explained to Ms Sela why i had been referring to her as a “he” instead of a “she”. And my explanation was that i am not Jewish and, therefore, i didn’t know that Ms Sela’s name, “Hadar”, was a female name.

    ” I also am too busy to spend time on trolls.”

    If you are so busy, why don’t you just walk away, since you have nothing of substance to say?

  5. Ethan P

    “I’ll come right out and say it! I do condone the retaliations. You don’t fail to respond to terror because the terrorist hide behind there own children.”

    You are missing my point: i am saying that if the IDF could locate another terror site with no risk of harming civilians, then the IDF should have chosen that other site for the retaliation.

    Besides, you can’t know if the particular child was there to be used as a shield, she might have been there for other reasons. You presuppose that the Palestinians at the particular site knew that there would be IDF retaliations at this site and had brought in shields. We don’t know that, as of now.

    “There is a well publicized cartoon showing the Hamas fighter hiding behind the baby carriage, the Israeli protecting his baby carriage. There is no comparison.”

    If you have started condoning (and i am not saying that you have, i just inquire) IDF retaliations against civilians, then you have become not very different from the terrorists you condemn.

    “All the Palestinians have to do to stop the violence is SYOP THE VIOLENCE! Israel would be happy to leave them alone. But you already know that. Am I being informative enough?”

    I am not in for a general discussion about the peace process, and whose fault it is. My point is simple enough: Ms Sela has not given us enough background to judge the IDF’s actions. If the IDF knew of an alternative site with no civilians in it or close to it, but decided to go for the particular site where there might have been civilians, then the IDF has acted immorally.

    If you are satisfied with not acting as immorally as terrorists, you settle for too little.

  6. And I suppose the Israelis are all knowing where Gazan children are. As I have said before, Terrorists (not just Palestinan types) have long histories of hiding wherever there are children. Especially schools, hospitals and mosques. But you do know all that. We both know the only ultimate action Israel can take to satisfy you is die.

  7. Ethan P

    “And I suppose the Israelis are all knowing where Gazan children are. As I have said before, Terrorists (not just Palestinan types) have long histories of hiding wherever there are children. Especially schools, hospitals and mosques. But you do know all that.”

    My point assumed that the Israelis have enough intelligence on Gaza to know at least that some sites were at the time empty of civilians. Your point assumes either that all sites had human shields, or that the IDF couldn’t know those terror sites that didn’t. Why should your point be more probable than mine?

    “We both know the only ultimate action Israel can take to satisfy you is die.”

    Actually, not. I recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

    You think everyone critical of Israel is an anti-Semite.

    • Let’s make a deal. If you condemn the Palestinians the next time they kill a child, I will appoligize on this site. OK?

      And most of the critics of Israel I deal with are for the destruction of Israel. If you truely do support a Jewish State sorry for painting you with the same brush. I’m an old man and I’ve dealt with too much deceit and Jew hatred over the years to take any critic at face value.

      • Reposted because i posted it in the wrong place

        Ethan P

        “Let’s make a deal. If you condemn the Palestinians the next time they kill a child, I will appoligize on this site. OK?”

        Ok. I don’t have to condemn the Palestinians next time they target to kill an Israeli civilian, i condemn them now for such behavior, and i have done so in the past too. It’s just that i take it for granted that Palestinian terrorism is a moral depravity and i cannot bring it up all the time on anything i say about the conflict. And there’s no need for you to apologize, i know well the anti-Semitism that Jews (especially the older ones) have experienced, the reflex to call a critic of Israel an anti-Semite is very understandable.

        “And most of the critics of Israel I deal with are for the destruction of Israel. If you truely do support a Jewish State sorry for painting you with the same brush. “

        I mean it that i recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, if i didn’t recognize it i would have just stayed silent on the issue.

        “I’m an old man and I’ve dealt with too much deceit and Jew hatred over the years to take any critic at face value.”

        I can only guess what it might have been for you to experience the constant suspicious looks of Gentiles. But my guess should be kind of accurate, considering that i come from one of the most anti-Semitic countries of Europe, Greece. You have my full sympathy for the negativity that Gentiles have showed towards you.

    • You think everyone critical of Israel is an anti-Semite.

      No. But when a commenter like you becomes obsessive about Israel, finding ‘perceived’ faults with Israel and only Israel, while ignoring similar ‘perceived’ faults with other nations in similar circumstances, then the suspicion arises.

  8. @cba

    “Mr Hadar. And that’s about the most accurate part of the comment…”

    You are very petty, i explained why i thought the name “Hadar” was for males.

    As for the purported inaccuracy of the rest of my comments, maybe nobody has explained it to you, but you are supposed to specify what is inaccurate when you claim it to be so. Merely asserting a vague “inaccuracy” does not make my comments inaccurate. But it makes you look like making cheap talk.

  9. @nobbly stick

    “No. But when a commenter like you becomes obsessive about Israel, finding ‘perceived’ faults with Israel and only Israel, while ignoring similar ‘perceived’ faults with other nations in similar circumstances, then the suspicion arises.”

    And how do you know that i ignore the faults i perceive in the Palestinians, or any other nation?

    And how do you know that i am “obssesive” towards Israel?

    It is very informative that, instead of addressing the points i made, you go for ad hominem slander – and pretty predictable slander, i must have seen Israel-friendly commenters using this term a million times.

    Instead of voicing suspicions, try to answer with arguments. The obsessive ones are usually those who have no arguments, and just stick to their predetermined views no matter what the reality is.

  10. @Michael

    “You have obviously misunderstood what the blog says. It’s “in response” to the attack, the IDF targeted several terrorist sites and it names them.”

    I misunderstood nothing, i had said that the IDF said that the strikes were done in retaliation, and here is what the IDF blog said about it in the link i cited:

    http://www.idfblog.com/2013/12/24/response-fatal-terror-attack-israeli-civilian-idf-targets-terror-sites-gaza-strip/

    “In response, IAF aircraft and IDF tanks and infantry retaliated and targeted terror sites in the Gaza Strip.”

    The tenth word in the IDF’s sentence says “retaliated”.

    ‘If the IDF’s objective were to harm civilians, it would have picked other, more densely populated targets. Try googling “response to threat.”

    The IDF might have chosen the target with complete disregard for civilian fatalities. It doesn’t have to have picked the target with the aim to kill civilians, just accepting the result that civilians would die as a result of the strike would have been immoral, considering that there was no immediate threat to the Israeli civilians at the time from this terror site.

    “You also may not understand the kind of situation that we have. Arab leaders, spokespeople, and interviewees show one face to the media for the benefit of fawning politicians and leftist sympathizers. What they show to their own media is something different.”

    I have spent an enormous amount of time watching what some Palestinian leaders say (in memri and pmw) and i know that what you say is true. But this is irrelevant to the concerns i raised about the IDF’s conduct in this particular incident.

    “The answer to war here isn’t, unfortunately, peace. It’s more war. Showing restraint is seen as weakness and an invitation for more war. The concept of retaliation is our reality because, unfortunately, that’s what our enemies understand.”

    Once again, if you mean that Palestinian civilians are fair game, i strongly disagree. Retaliation should be directed to terror groups, not civilians.

    “First, how do you know that there were no immediate threats?”

    I have answered that, the IDF’s announcement made no reference to imminent threats or rockets ready to be fired from that particular terror site. If the IDF had intel that in this location terrorists were ready to fire rockets, then it would have said so.

    “Are you also aware that it doesn’t take long to set up and fire a qassam?”

    From what i have seen in videos it’s pretty straightforward to set up a rocket attack, so yes, i am aware of what you say (even though i don’t know the exact time it takes).

    “Since the Palestinians have decided to escalate tensions, targeting their infrastructure.”

    What are you talking about? From what we know it wasn’t even Hamas that sent the sniper to the border:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-employee-seriously-injured-in-Gaza-border-shooting-335979

    I quote the Jerusalem Post:

    “Israeli media reported that the Palestinian militant group Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the shooting.”

    And an Israeli Minister said that the sniper attack and the previous terrorist incidents were unconnected:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-employee-seriously-injured-in-Gaza-border-shooting-335979

    I quote from the Jerusalem Post:

    “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said there was “no direct relation” between terrorist attacks in Israel over the past two days and the cross-border shooting attack.”…”Terrorism incidents are the continuation of previous attacks, most of which are the result of a lone attacker, or one who has been influenced by the atmosphere of incitement and hatred that exists in the Palestinian Authority against Israel. This is an intolerable situation from our perspective, and despite the difficulties in dealing with a lone individual incited to murder Jews, we will act with a resolute hand and in various ways to harm anyone who tries to carry out terrorist attacks,” Ya’alon pledged.”

    So there doesn’t seem to be a centralized “decision” by Hamas to escalate tensions, contrary to your claim that “the Palestinians” have made such a decision. The sniper seems to have been a lone wolf.

    “Furthermore, how do you know that there are sites without human shields? That’s their strategy and it works causing Israel to show as much restraint as possible and gaining sympathy in the media game.”

    I didn’t say i know it, i merely speculate that shields cannot be present 24 hours a day in terror sites (except maybe for some of them). In all probability, Hamas calls for shields only when it anticipates retaliation from Israel. But in this particular incident Hamas could not have expected retaliation, since the shooter wasn’t one of its own. How could Hamas know beforehand that the IDF would retaliate, given that Hamas didn’t know about the terror attack beforehand? It is only after>/i> the incident that Hamas might have expected retaliation. Besides, this was the first major retaliatory move of Israel since Pillar, it was a deviation from the status quo:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-strikes-six-Gaza-targets-in-retaliation-to-shooting-of-Defense-Ministry-employee-336058

    I quote again from the JP:

    “The IDF employed the air force, Armored Corps and infantry to strike six targets in Gaza, affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, constituting Israel’s largest military response in the Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense.”

    “That [the death of a human shield] cannot be our concern. Israel’s first priority, like any other country, is the protection of its own citizens.”

    Sure, but if there was no immediate danger to Israeli civilians the IDF could have picked a target that it was certain was empty of civilians. The IDF said it was only retaliating, not that it was dealing with imminent danger.

    “I not only think that you are misinformed”

    Well, you haven’t brought arguments to prove it.

    “I think that you also make a lot of false assumptions.

    Any assumption i make is open to discussion. Bring arguments to doubt them, and if you convince me i will change my assumption and acknowledge it. My point is that, since the IDF was only retaliating, and not responding to an immediate threat, it could have picked a target that was civilian-free for sure, instead of picking a target that might have contained civilians.

    • Do we know there was no immediate danger. You yourself place great faith in the abilities of the Israeli inte apparatus (so do I). And they don’t tell us everything.

  11. Reposted because i messed up the italics

    @Michael

    “You have obviously misunderstood what the blog says. It’s “in response” to the attack, the IDF targeted several terrorist sites and it names them.”

    I misunderstood nothing, i had said that the IDF said that the strikes were done in retaliation, and here is what the IDF blog said about it in the link i cited:

    http://www.idfblog.com/2013/12/24/response-fatal-terror-attack-israeli-civilian-idf-targets-terror-sites-gaza-strip/

    “In response, IAF aircraft and IDF tanks and infantry retaliated and targeted terror sites in the Gaza Strip.”

    The tenth word in the IDF’s sentence says “retaliated”.

    ‘If the IDF’s objective were to harm civilians, it would have picked other, more densely populated targets. Try googling “response to threat.”

    The IDF might have chosen the target with complete disregard for civilian fatalities. It doesn’t have to have picked the target with the aim to kill civilians, just accepting the result that civilians would die as a result of the strike would have been immoral, considering that there was no immediate threat to the Israeli civilians at the time from this terror site.

    “You also may not understand the kind of situation that we have. Arab leaders, spokespeople, and interviewees show one face to the media for the benefit of fawning politicians and leftist sympathizers. What they show to their own media is something different.”

    I have spent an enormous amount of time watching what some Palestinian leaders say (in memri and pmw) and i know that what you say is true. But this is irrelevant to the concerns i raised about the IDF’s conduct in this particular incident.

    “The answer to war here isn’t, unfortunately, peace. It’s more war. Showing restraint is seen as weakness and an invitation for more war. The concept of retaliation is our reality because, unfortunately, that’s what our enemies understand.”

    Once again, if you mean that Palestinian civilians are fair game, i strongly disagree. Retaliation should be directed to terror groups, not civilians.

    “First, how do you know that there were no immediate threats?”

    I have answered that, the IDF’s announcement made no reference to imminent threats or rockets ready to be fired from that particular terror site. If the IDF had intel that in this location terrorists were ready to fire rockets, then it would have said so.

    “Are you also aware that it doesn’t take long to set up and fire a qassam?”

    From what i have seen in videos it’s pretty straightforward to set up a rocket attack, so yes, i am aware of what you say (even though i don’t know the exact time it takes).

    “Since the Palestinians have decided to escalate tensions, targeting their infrastructure.”

    What are you talking about? From what we know it wasn’t even Hamas that sent the sniper to the border:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-employee-seriously-injured-in-Gaza-border-shooting-335979

    I quote the Jerusalem Post:

    “Israeli media reported that the Palestinian militant group Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the shooting.”

    And an Israeli Minister said that the sniper attack and the previous terrorist incidents were unconnected:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-employee-seriously-injured-in-Gaza-border-shooting-335979

    I quote from the Jerusalem Post:

    “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said there was “no direct relation” between terrorist attacks in Israel over the past two days and the cross-border shooting attack.”…”Terrorism incidents are the continuation of previous attacks, most of which are the result of a lone attacker, or one who has been influenced by the atmosphere of incitement and hatred that exists in the Palestinian Authority against Israel. This is an intolerable situation from our perspective, and despite the difficulties in dealing with a lone individual incited to murder Jews, we will act with a resolute hand and in various ways to harm anyone who tries to carry out terrorist attacks,” Ya’alon pledged.”

    So there doesn’t seem to be a centralized “decision” by Hamas to escalate tensions, contrary to your claim that “the Palestinians” have made such a decision. The sniper seems to have been a lone wolf.

    “Furthermore, how do you know that there are sites without human shields? That’s their strategy and it works causing Israel to show as much restraint as possible and gaining sympathy in the media game.”

    I didn’t say i know it, i merely speculate that shields cannot be present 24 hours a day in terror sites (except maybe for some of them). In all probability, Hamas calls for shields only when it anticipates retaliation from Israel. But in this particular incident Hamas could not have expected retaliation, since the shooter wasn’t one of its own. How could Hamas know beforehand that the IDF would retaliate, given that Hamas didn’t know about the terror attack beforehand? It is only after the incident that Hamas might have expected retaliation. Besides, this was the first major retaliatory move of Israel since Pillar, it was a deviation from the status quo:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-strikes-six-Gaza-targets-in-retaliation-to-shooting-of-Defense-Ministry-employee-336058

    I quote again from the JP:

    “The IDF employed the air force, Armored Corps and infantry to strike six targets in Gaza, affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, constituting Israel’s largest military response in the Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense.”

    “That [the death of a human shield] cannot be our concern. Israel’s first priority, like any other country, is the protection of its own citizens.”

    Sure, but if there was no immediate danger to Israeli civilians the IDF could have picked a target that it was certain was empty of civilians. The IDF said it was only retaliating, not that it was dealing with imminent danger.

    “I not only think that you are misinformed”

    Well, you haven’t brought arguments to prove it.

    “I think that you also make a lot of false assumptions.

    Any assumption i make is open to discussion. Bring arguments to doubt them, and if you convince me i will change my assumption and acknowledge it. My point is that, since the IDF was only retaliating, and not responding to an immediate threat, it could have picked a target that was civilian-free for sure, instead of picking a target that might have contained civilians.

    • @Dionissos
      “You have obviously misunderstood…“retaliated”.
      You still don’t understand. You are looking at this from the perspective of an adult watching two children fighting with one saying “s/he hit me first.” That isn’t what we have here. That’s the point that I make below.
      ‘If the IDF’s objective were to harm civilians, it would have picked other, more densely populated targets. Try googling “response to threat.”
      “The IDF ..there was no immediate threat to the Israeli civilians at the time from this terror site.”
      Again, you make assumptions that you cannot verify. How do you know that there are sites that don’t have human shields. What information do you have on these particular sites. And how do you know that there was no immediate threat?
      I have spent an enormous amount…this is irrelevant to the concerns i raised about the IDF’s conduct in this particular incident.
      It is relevant because this is why people in other countries, Europe in particular, are quick to blame Israel and make the kinds of assumptions that you make.
      “Once again, if you mean that Palestinian civilians are fair game, i strongly disagree. Retaliation should be directed to terror groups, not civilians.”
      That’s naïve. With terror groups using human shields, civilian casualties i.e., collateral death, are inevitable. If not, then I would like you to show me one prolonged conflict or war that didn’t produce civilian casualties.
      “I have answered that, the IDF’s announcement made no reference to imminent threats or rockets ready to be fired from that particular terror site. If the IDF had intel that in this location terrorists were ready to fire rockets, then it would have said so.”
      We are talking about the military here. It doesn’t disclose all information. No military does because it could cause other damage, like jeopardizing other operations.
      “From what i have seen in videos it’s pretty straightforward to set up a rocket attack, so yes, i am aware of what you say (even though i don’t know the exact time it takes).”
      So you acknowledge that very little time is needed, but you still insist that there was no immediate threat. That’s ridiculous. That threat turns into a danger in a matter of minutes.
      “Since the Palestinians have decided to escalate tensions, targeting their infrastructure.”
      “What are you talking about? From what we know it wasn’t even Hamas that sent the sniper to the border…The sniper seems to have been a lone wolf.”
      I said that Palestinians have escalated and I don’t confine that to Hamas. Nevertheless, Hamas is the one who controls the situation in Gaza and it has also said that it will coordinate the attacks. Furthermore, the history of this conflict has shown that what may start with “lone actions” quickly escalate into more serious attacks, regardless of the Israeli response, making taking out the terrorist infrastructure quite necessary.
      “I didn’t say i know it, i merely speculate that shields cannot be present 24 hours a day in terror sites (except maybe for some of them)…it was a deviation from the status quo:”
      Ah, you admit that you are basing your assumptions on speculation, that can be dangerous. But, makes you think so? There are plenty of civilians in Gaza for fodder.
      “http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IDF-strikes-six-Gaza-targets-in-retaliation-to-shooting-of-Defense-Ministry-employee-336058
      I quote again from the JP:
      “The IDF employed the air force, Armored Corps and infantry to strike six targets in Gaza, affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, constituting Israel’s largest military response in the Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense.”
      “That [the death of a human shield] cannot be our concern. Israel’s first priority, like any other country, is the protection of its own citizens.”
      Sure, but if there was no immediate danger to Israeli civilians the IDF could have picked a target that it was certain was empty of civilians. The IDF said it was only retaliating, not that it was dealing with imminent danger.”
      Again, you don’t have the facts to make that kind of assessment. You don’t know who was inside a building or not and there is also know way to discern a terrorist from a civilian. Do terrorists hold up signs saying “here I am!!!, come fire at me!!!!!” “I not only think that you are misinformed”
      “Well, you haven’t brought arguments to prove it.”
      Check above. Denial ain’t a river in Egypt.
      “I think that you also make a lot of false assumptions.
      Any assumption i make is open to discussion. Bring arguments to doubt them, and if you convince me i will change my assumption and acknowledge it. My point is that, since the IDF was only retaliating, and not responding to an immediate threat, it could have picked a target that was civilian-free for sure, instead of picking a target that might have contained civilians.”
      Same as above.

  12. @Michael

    “One of the hallmarks of western civilization is the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and not vice-versa. Do you assume that the IDF did not act morally to begin with?”

    No, i did not assume that the IDF acted immorally, i raised a concern that it might have acted immorally, given the facts i have cited, facts which raise questions about the IDF’s conduct.

    My point about Ms Sela was that she did not provide any context that would allow us to judge if the IDF retaliation was indeed delivered in a moral way as far as the choice of target was concerned, as she claimed, while she was accusing the BBC of not providing important context.

    I am not presuming IDF guilt, i believe that this incident needs further elucidations from the IDF.

  13. @Michael

    “By the way Dionissos,”

    Thanks for the Greek-God appellation! My name comes from this ancient Greek God’s name. I’m afraid i lack one of His essential attributes: i don’t drink alcohol – not to mention i’m an atheist.

    “you imply that the IDF just chose some site at random.”

    I am only saying that it looks weird, given the amount of intel that the IDF has on Gaza, that the IDF didn’t choose other sites that the IDF could have known were civilian-free.

    “Do you think that they all have the same value to Hamas as part of its terrorism infrastructure or to Israel as eliminating that infrastructure?”

    No, i don’t think they all have the same value.

    “How do you know that there wasn’t a priority on the targeted sites due to the logistics of transporting rockets and ammunition and the size and capability of the weapons plants?”

    Here is where some more elucidations would have been useful. The question is: if the only reason for the IDF strike was to retaliate, couldn’t the IDF have struck a number of sites equal in total military value, but that were empty of civilians?

    “Have you also not considered that if they do have high value that Hamas would intentionally place more civilians, especially children, knowing that Israel would go after them?”

    I answered this in one of my current replies to you: Hamas might not have had had enough time to make human shields arrangements, considering that the IDF retaliation came in response to a Palestinian sniper attack that Hamas did not know about.

    What you don’t seem to understand is that i am only raising concerns that something fishy might have occurred in the IDF’s choice of target. I am not saying that it is a fact that something fishy happened.

    • @Dionissis
      “Thanks…atheist.”
      I’m familiar with the character. I was a big grecophile growing up and read Greek mythology voraciously.

      “I am only saying…civilian-free.”
      Again, assuming that there is such a thing. Palestinians fire missiles from hospitals and playgrounds. It wouldn’t be at at all surprising if there was a nursery there. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they placed certain uses in particular spots, so that people would have to traverse the target.

      “Here is …empty of civilians?”
      I don’t think that’s the reason, but they probably can’t disclose everything.

      “I answered this…that Hamas did not know about.”
      Same answer as above, really.

      “What you don’t seem to understand…fishy happened.”
      I could accept that so long as you have the same standards for everyone.

      • @Michael

        “I’m familiar with the character [ancient Greek God Dionissos]. I was a big grecophile growing up and read Greek mythology voraciously.”

        It’s such a pity that the Greek educational system is enslaved to hardcore nationalists, with the result that students are being taught mainly the ancient Greek language, instead of ancient Greek Philosophy. The Greek “patriots”, who are not really patriots since they harm Greece, consider it important to stress the language as a unifying Greek trait. And in the process they ignore the single most important contribution of the ancient Greeks, namely the laying of the foundations of modern Analytic (Angloamerican) Philosophy. This form of Philosophy (usually contradistinguished from Continental, i.e. Central European, Philosophy) is, to my mind, very important because it motivates one to think for herself, rather than slavishly follow the dicta of Philosophers, whoever those Philosophers may be.

        The funny thing in all this is that Greece has no reason to be so heavily nationalist. I mean, you in Israel are facing extremely serious threats, we in Greece have no such concerns. Our only danger of going to war with Turkey is if we disagree on how to split the natural gas and oil reserves that everyone speculates that the Aegean Sea is full of – and there are territorial disputes with Turkey precisely because of these energy resources. I say we should split the whole anticipated wealth, and get on with our lives peacefully, even if the deal would be somewhat unfair to Greece.

        “I could accept that [i.e. that dionissis is raising concerns about the IDF conduct] so long as you have the same standards for everyone.”

        You should see at what standards i’m holding my fellow Greeks.

        In Greece one of the most important nationalistic issues is how our neighboring Macedonia is going to be named officially:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia_naming_dispute#Compromise_solutions

        In Greece we call this country “Fyrom” (“former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”), and if any Greek dares call them “Macedonians”, or their country “Macedonia”, she is considered a traitor. Well then, i guess i am a traitor of Greece, i call this country “Macedonia” openly, and i have published an article in the newspaper i work calling them thus.

        My misgivings over my fellow Greeks are not limited to their nationalism:i have publicly (not that anyone in Greece listens to me, but i am just signifying my intentions because you asked) criticized almost every aspect of Greek culture in some past newspaper articles of mine. If my criticism of Israel sounds harsh, you should hear what i say about my compatriots (about their homophobia, their predilection for physical violence in settling everyday disputes, their xenophobia, their anti-Semitism, their endemic corruption, their … you name it).

        As an aside, you can’t imagine how pro-Israel i used to feel. The Israelis, by dint of the unfair treatment they were receiving from both the Greek people and the Greek media, had a special place in my heart, coming second only to the English – i’m in love with English culture, basically because of its gentleness. Not that i now dislike the Israelis, but i think some criticism is due.

  14. @Michael

    “If Greece is as anti-Semitic as you imply”

    I didn’t just imply it, i asserted it, it is a fact.

    “then its especially a mark of shame on Greece considering how Israeli firefighters risked their lives for Greece just a few years ago.”

    Irrational hatreds, such as anti-Semitism, would have been a mark of immorality even if the firefighters of the hated ones had not helped the haters. The Greek anti-Semites, (and there are too many of them), are morally culpable anyway, and to a very high degree.

  15. @Michael

    “How do you know that there wasn’t a priority on the targeted sites due to the logistics of transporting rockets and ammunition and the size and capability of the weapons plants?”

    I didn’t say i know, i was just raising concerns.Now it appears that the little girl was killed in a strike at a training camp in al-Bureij, not a weapons-manufacturing plant, or an arms storage facility:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IAF-attacks-Gaza-targets-in-retaliation-to-shooting-of-Defense-Ministry-employee-335999

    I quote from the Jerusalem Post:

    “The IDF struck targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon in retaliation for the cross-border shooting earlier in the day in which Israel sustained its first casualty since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012…Gaza hospital officials said three-year-old Hala Abu Sbeikha, was killed by shrapnel during the strike on the Bureij facility. She was standing with other family members outside their home in the nearby al-Maghazi refugee camp and her mother and two brothers were wounded, the officials said…Officials from Hamas, the Islamic group which rules Gaza, and witnesses said IAF aircraft bombed the group’s training camps in Khan Younis and al-Bureij. Witnesses said IDF tanks fired shells east of Gaza city.”

    If that’s the case, then the reasons you have cited about the military value of this particular site in terms of rockets-capacity are irrelevant.

    • @Dionissis
      Absolutely wrong. The fact that the terrorists placed their targets directly next to a “refugee camp” (that’s also a term which gets bandied around for the value of the way it sounds) is proof that the IDF is not culpable.

      • @Michael

        “Absolutely wrong.”

        What’s absolutely wrong? I quoted the Jerusalem Post.

        “The fact that the terrorists placed their targets directly next to a “refugee camp” (that’s also a term which gets bandied around for the value of the way it sounds) is proof that the IDF is not culpable.”

        You had referred to the possibility that the IDF targeted this particular site because it might have been a priority “due to the logistics of transporting rockets and ammunition and the size and capability of the weapons plants”. The Jerusalem Post suggests that the particular target, where the Palestinian girl died, was just a training camp. Nothing to do with rockets, ammunition and weapons production that you have said might have been the reason for the strike. So, if the Jerusalem Post is correct, there was no immediate threat from this particular site, and no military priority according to the criteria you yourself had specified (rockets, weapons production etc.).

        You are changing your argument midway.

        PS. Do you mind responding in separate comments at the end of the comment section?

        • Wrong again. First of all, what exactly disqualifies a training camp from serving as a base for launching rockets. Do you think that Hamas publishes a list of where they intend to do so? And even rockets were not going to be launched from there, taking out that site as a pre-emptive act is justified as it will make it more difficult for Hamas to mount offensives after this escalates.

          • @Michael

            “Wrong again.”

            You cannot imagine how much it shows that one of those who raised you were telling you the whole time that you are wrong. You use the term so unjustifiably, that it is clear that you need to say it just for the sake of saying it.

            I have addressed all your points (and more than once, because you are a little slow and you repeat arguments that i have already responded) below.

  16. @Ethan

    “Do we know there was no immediate danger.”

    If there were immediate danger to Israeli civilians then the IDF would have said so, i assume. It would have been to its benefit to say so. But the IDF only spoke of retaliation.

    “You yourself place great faith in the abilities of the Israeli inte apparatus (so do I).”

    It is a well-known fact that Israel has very good intel on the Palestinians.

    “And they [the IDF] don’t tell us everything.”

    Why would the IDF hide the fact that there was indeed an immediate threat to Israelis from this particular site they targeted?

  17. @Michael

    “Since the Palestinians have decided to escalate tensions, targeting their infrastructure.”

    I answer your point before by saying that the Israeli media reported that the sniper attack was not perpetrated by Hamas, meaning that there was no centralized decision of the Palestinians to escalate the tensions. In passing, i mentioned Israeli Minister Yaalon’s point about lone wolves perpetrating most of the attacks. An email newsletter i just got from the Times of Israel has an article where it is mentioned that the sniper had 2 accomplices who were trying to place a bomb at the fence:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-killed-2-terrorists-thwarted-bombing-on-gaza-border/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=15b8158fcf-2013_12_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-15b8158fcf-54585481

    I quote from the Times of Israel:

    “The attack on the Gaza border Tuesday in which an Israeli civilian was reportedly gunned down was part of a more sophisticated terror plot in which terrorists sought to target IDF forces with a bomb at the fence. The IDF shot dead two terrorists engaged in the attack, Israel’s Channel 10 news reported on Wednesday night. ”

    So it wasn’t a lone wolf, make it at least 3 lone wolves.

    Anyway, this is immaterial to my first response to you. If, as the Israeli media reported, the attack was not perpetrated by hamas, then there was no Palestinian decision at the time of the sniper’s shooting to escalate tensions with Israel.

      • @Michael

        “As I’ve stated, this may have been pre-emptive action because the Palestinians are sure to keep escalating.”

        Ok, since you know for certain that the Palestinians had decided at the time of the sniper shooting to escalate the attack against Israel, please tell me:

        1) What evidence do you have that they had decided to escalate the attacks at the time of the shooting?

        2) Why did Israeli minister Yaalon said that the previous attacks and the sniper shooting were not connected, therefore making clear that he didn’t think it was probable that there was any Palestinian decision to escalate at the time?

        3) Why did the IDF say on the 26th of December (two full days after the sniper incident) that it did not expect an escalation?

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/kassam-hits-hof-ashkelon-area-amid-gaza-escalation/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        I quote from the Times of Israel:

        “Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel was taking measures designed to ensure it was ready for any escalation of hostilities, although IDF sources said they did not expect an escalation.”

        PS:Again, do you mind posting any replies of yours to me in separate comments at the end of the comments section? The time sequence of the comments is lost in separate threads.

        • 1) What evidence do you have that they had decided to escalate the attacks at the time of the shooting? That is the whole raison d’etre of Hamas et al.
          The history of this conflict.
          2) Why did Israeli minister Yaalon said that the previous attacks and the sniper shooting were not connected, therefore making clear that he didn’t think it was probable that there was any Palestinian decision to escalate at the time?
          Irrelevant after it escalates. Hamas will still carry out attacks. I’ll remind you that it wasn’t only Hamas that had fired rockets at Israel prior to Cast Lead, but they were targeted first and after the war they agreed to control it.
          From your link: “As far as we’re concerned Hamas is the sovereign power in the Gaza Strip and it is responsible for what happens there,” Ya’alon said. “We expect it to impose its authority on its people and on the members of other groups, and if it doesn’t do so we will continue to retaliate like we responded [on Tuesday] in a forceful and pointed manner.”
          3) Why did the IDF say on the 26th of December (two full days after the sniper incident) that it did not expect an escalation?
          Probably to avoid setting off chaotic conditions. Civil authorities often do that when disaster looms to avoid panic.
          PS:Again, do you mind posting any replies of yours to me in separate comments at the end of the comments section? The time sequence of the comments is lost in separate threads.
          Please show me an example of what you mean.

          • @Michael

            “Please show me an example of what you mean.”

            If you go to the bottom of the page and find the comment box, you can post your comment in there and it will show up at the bottom of the page. Don’t post your replies to me below my relevant comment, because they show up wherever my comment is.

  18. Dionissis,

    Let’s try this again:

    If by this you mean that it is moral to target a terror site which does not pose an immediate threat, while knowing that your action is going to result in the death of a child [my emphasis] ….

    I know what a conditional means. You are the one with a comprehension problem since you can’t see that in that above statement you have distanced the second part of the statement from the conditional first. Try to understand that this comes across as a Have you stopped beating your wife query.

    So I stand by my evaluation of that part of your comment, but I’ll remove the sly slur and the Israel haters:

    I note the shift in his position. Previously he wrote about the accidental death. Now he’s claiming that the IDF knew they would be killing the child. This is precisely how Israel gets demonised. Facts are irrelevant because they are inevitably twisted to suit the position of the Israel critics.

    ….and while you had the chance to target some other terror site with no risk to kill civilians….

    Note how far you have now distanced yourself from your conditional. Again, I stand by my initial evaluation of your comment, but again I’ll remove the sly slur:

    Again, there’s the shift. Now he’s apparently decided that terror sites completely free of civilians were available but that the Israelis deliberately chose to target one with civilians. And evidently he knows nothing (or chooses not to say anything) about Hamas’ despicable use of human shields – relying on exactly such accidents to turn naive Western liberals against Israel.

    You claim you are not obsessed with Israel but it’s clear that you are. You have spent a great deal of time and made a great effort setting yourself up here as a moral arbiter of the Israelis while only criticising the Palestinians when convenient to try to prove a point.

    I’d bet money I don’t have that you don’t go onto pro-Palestinian sites and pick away at Palestinian motives and actions from your dizzy moral height. Try to understand that the Israelis have been waging a war of self defence for 65 years against an implacable enemy that rejoices in the death of every Israeli, whether soldier or civilian, adult or child, while the Israelis regret every innocent Palestinian death, even apologising at times before it’s clear that the innocent death was caused by the IDF.

  19. @Truetoo

    I will respond to everything you said (and you once again got it all wrong on what i said) but first i will touch upon your blinkers that do not allow you to perceive anti-Israel commenters such as me in their true dimensions. Here is what you said:

    “I’d bet money I don’t have that you don’t go onto pro-Palestinian sites and pick away at Palestinian motives and actions from your dizzy moral height.”

    Obviously, the point you are making is that i don’t criticize the Palestinian motives and actions. Your reference to Palestinian sites was kind of irrelevant to your broader point, namely that i am not willing to say anything bad about the Palestinians. And you made your point clearly in this sentence of yours too:

    “You [dionissis] claim you are not obsessed with Israel but it’s clear that you are. You have spent a great deal of time and made a great effort setting yourself up here as a moral arbiter of the Israelis while only criticising the Palestinians when convenient to try to prove a point.”

    You obviously mean that i am reluctant to criticize the Palestinians anywhere, not just in pro-Palestinian sites.

    Well, here is me when i was still very pro-Israel:

    http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2013/06/27/karsenty-fined-7000-euro-for-defamation/

    I guess you know the blog of Richard Landes, the Augean Stables. It is pro-Israel, but i am sure you will find my past comments as heavily critical of the Palestinians.I quote myself:

    “Well, since you [ my interlocutor] are a supporter of the Palestinians, and also claim to know their culture well, i can only conclude that you are over-optimistic about your grasp of cultures. I mean, you obviously have missed the part where the Palestinians are brainwashing their children to hate the Jews and to crave for martyrdom. We are talking about the most morally depraved culture of the 21st century, the Palestinian culture”.

    Did this comment of mine sound critical enough of the Palestinians for your taste?

    If not, maybe this sentence of mine will make you entertain the possibility that i am critical of the Palestinians too, and that i had voiced it in the past. I quote myself from the same link:

    “The Palestinians, on the other hand, are emotionally killing their own children every day, immersing them in Jew-hatred, implanting in them a wish to exterminate and be exterminated – “martyrdom” they call it and they say it is for the sake of Allah. I say it is because they are socialized to become spoiled masculine bullies, whose fragile alpha-male egos cannot swallow that the Jewish former infidel dhimmis were not the weaklings they thought they were, and beat them in war. The Palestinians,in their quest to salvage their misconstrued honor, they prefer to die and kill their own children too, along with the children of the Israelis. You have no clue what the Palestinians feel. And that’s why you refrained from responding to the videos i posted, videos which depict the child abuse the Palestinians are perpetrating every day against their own children.”

    What was that again you said at the beginning? You would bet the money you don’t have on your certainty that i don’t criticize the Palestinian actions and motives? Good for you you didn’t bet, you would have lost the money you say you don’t have.

    If i may suggest, what you really lack is not money, but open-mindedness.

  20. @Truetoo

    This is the part i hate in discussions: having to spend an enormous amount of time to explain to someone how (s)he misrepresented what i have said.

    Here is what you claimed about me:

    “Now he’s claiming that the IDF knew they would be killing the child.”

    And you were referring to the following reply of mine to Ethan, where i was responding to Ethan’s exclamation about Palestinian terrorism “enough is enough”. Here is what i said to Ethan, after he made his exclamation:

    “If by this [Ethan’s exclamation “enough is enough’] you [Ethan] mean that it is moral to target a terror site which does not pose an immediate threat, while knowing that your action is going to result in the death of a child, and while you had the chance to target some other terror site with no risk to kill civilians, then my answer is that i disagree with you, i do not think it is moral to act in such a way.”

    My sentence starts with “Ethan, if you mean so and so..”.

    Now, what should this be telling you? That anything that follows in my paragraph is a belief i hypothetically attribute to Ethan, not to the IDF. I am in effect telling to Ethan that, if he thinks that targeting a terror site, without being in self-defense due to an immediate danger, in full knowledge that the targeting will lead to the death of a child, then he is being immoral. I was responding to a hypothetical belief of Ethan, because that’s how i interpreted his exclamation “enough is enough”, i.e. as expressing a very permissive attitude towards civilians in combat zones. I was not referring to the IDF in this sentence of mine, and even when i referred to the IDF throughout my other comments i never said or implied for a fact that the IDF knew the child would get killed.

    Yet, this what you are accusing me , namely that i claimed (through the aforementioned paragraph of mine) that “the IDF knew they would be killing the child”.

    Well Trutoo, if you have no problems with reading comprehension, then disingenuousness has become your second nature, so much so that you probably don’t realize it.

    continuing

  21. @Trutoo part 2

    “Note how far you have now distanced yourself from your conditional. Again, I stand by my initial evaluation of your comment, but again I’ll remove the sly slur:”

    The only possible reason to stick to your comment is that you don’t want to admit that you misrepresented what i said. Here is your claim about me:

    “Again, there’s the shift. Now he’s [dionissis] apparently decided that terror sites completely free of civilians were available but that the Israelis deliberately chose to target one with civilians. And evidently he knows nothing (or chooses not to say anything) about Hamas’ despicable use of human shields – relying on exactly such accidents to turn naive Western liberals against Israel.”

    As it must have become abundantly clear from my previous (part 1) reply to you (my reply to you immediately above this present comment), i was responding to Ethan’s hypothetical lenience towards undeserved civilian fatalities. I was not referring to the IDF, i was referring to Ethan’s hypothetical beliefs. And when i referred to the IDF in other comments i never stated for a fact that the IDF deliberately chose to target a site with civilians. I just raised the possibility that the IDF might have been negligent in checking for civilians, or indeed that it might have known about the civilians but went on with the strike anyway – and even there i did not press the point, i was mostly asking the question why the IDF did not pick a site that was empty of civilians for sure.

    But you’d sooner admit that i am not an Israel hater than admit that you have erred in your understanding of what i said.

    You’ve got pride issues.

    continuing in part 3

    PS:Please,if you respond do it in a separate comment, not as a reply to me, it’s enervating to have to scroll up and down.

  22. @Truetoo part 3

    “You claim you are not obsessed with Israel but it’s clear that you are. You have spent a great deal of time and made a great effort setting yourself up here as a moral arbiter of the Israelis while only criticising the Palestinians when convenient to try to prove a point.”

    So your evidence for my being obsessed with Israel is partly due to the fact that i spent a lot of time talking about Israel and partly due to the fact that i did not criticize the Palestinians. Of course, the time spent on talking about X is not evidence that someone is obsessed with X. And the omission of criticism to the Palestinians is perfectly explicable by the fact, which i cited but you ignored, that i was mainly criticizing Ms Sela and the IDF’s particular targeting. Only if i had entered into a more general criticism of the IDF would some reference to the Palestinians be advisable, in the interests of offering context.

    Now, the meaning of the term “obsessed”, as i assume you are using it in this context, connotes that i have an unhealthy interest in Israel, unhealthy in the sense that i am so critical that i am impervious to facts that could disprove my anti-Israel beliefs. But have you cited any facts contrary to the points i am making? No. Have i showed reluctance to respond to factual points made by other commenters? No, i respond to every single point they make -rightly or wrongly, this is irrelevant.

    So, can you please explain to me why it is “clear” that i am obsessed with Israel? The 2 factors that you cite (time spent talking about Israel, together with lack of criticism to the Palestinians in this particular discussion) do not prove that i am obsessed in the sense of being impervious to facts that could alter my anti-Israel perceptions – whatever perceptions you may imagine that i have about Israel.

    continuing in part 4

  23. @Truetoo part 4

    “Try to understand that the Israelis have been waging a war of self defence for 65 years against an implacable enemy”

    That’s what i had thought during the days i was still very pro-Israel. I now realize that there is a chance to make the implacable enemy stop being implacable, and i have argued about it recently in The Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/13/kerry-netanyahu-abbas-us-peace-deal?CMP=ema_follow&commentpage=1

    The comments are 207, and one third of those are mine. If you order them by the “oldest comment first” option you will be able to skip those that are not relevant, and stick to those that refer to my views on East Jerusalem. Warning, you won’t like what you will read, but at least you will get a true picture of my mindset towards Israel’s security – and i am not in for discussing it, i just posted the link because you challenged me to “try to understand”. That sounded a bit condescending, and i believe i have enough understanding of the psychological dynamics that drive the conflict, too much understanding for me to be told that i am not making an effort to comprehend.

    “that rejoices in the death of every Israeli, whether soldier or civilian, adult or child,”

    I hope my link to Richard Landes’ blog and the discussion i had there on the subject of the Palestinian death-cult-like culture show conclusively that i do understand this particular issue.

    “while the Israelis regret every innocent Palestinian death,”

    If that’s so, why are you so defensive to the mere questioning of the IDF’s conduct in particular incidents? I mean, if you feel that Israel has nothing to be afraid from scrutiny, then you wouldn’t have overreacted to my comments in this discussion, comments that ask very rational questions about the IDF’s conduct in an incident – questions which you failed to address.

    “even apologising at times before it’s clear that the innocent death was caused by the IDF.”

    That’s funny, you just referred to the Al Durah hoax, where Israel owned up to a crime the IDF never committed.

    I hope my link to the discussion about the Al Durah hoax in Richard Landes’ blog shows to you that i am very well informed about this particular hoax (probably more informed than you) , and that i do have an understanding of how the Jewish (wonderful) cultural trait of self-criticism sometimes seems to damage Israel’s image.

    What i fear is that you lack this particular cultural Jewish trait. The last thing i would have said about you is that you criticize yourself a lot – and i am convinced that, even if you do, you wouldn’t do it publicly. You don’t sound like someone who would own up to a mistake in public.

    • “The comments are 207, and one third of those are mine.”

      I bet that of the 50 comments on this thread here, as I write, much more than that proportion belong to the arrogant Greek god of pedantic repetition!

  24. Dionsisis old chap, I claimed that you don’t go onto pro-Palestinian sites (note the present tense) to pick them apart from your lofty moral height. Now you come back with past evidence of criticism of Palestinians on pro-Israel sites. So unless you can provide evidence to disprove my claim, you lose the bet.

    I don’t have time now for semantic games. Perhaps later we can get closer to the heart of the matter – something you continue to dodge.

  25. @Truetoo

    “Dionsisis old chap, I claimed that you don’t go onto pro-Palestinian sites (note the present tense) to pick them apart from your lofty moral height. Now you come back with past evidence of criticism of Palestinians on pro-Israel sites. So unless you can provide evidence to disprove my claim, you lose the bet.”

    I have been in the past in pro-Palestinian sites and criticized the Palestinians. Your claim that you were referring to the present (you mean right now?) and not to the past is just an excuse, it was obvious that the point you were making is that i am biased against Israel and that i can’t see the moral failures of the Palestinians and that, therefore, i am not criticizing them. Here is what you said:

    “I’d bet money I don’t have that you don’t go onto pro-Palestinian sites and pick away at Palestinian motives and actions from your dizzy moral height.”

    What would be the point of saying this to someone (like me) who believes that the Palestinians have a morally depraved culture, as i do believe? Your statement is supposed to be a criticism of someone (allegedly like me) who shows partiality in favor of the Palestinians up to the point of not perceiving the Palestinian frailties.

    You are so disengenuous that you would lie to save face even if your lie was as transparent as the one you just spouted. I have been conclusively showing how wrong your perceptions of me have been and you, instead of acknowledging it, you hide behind silly semantic excuses, and of course you refuse to acknowledge the inanities you said about me (such as that i don’t understand the conflict, that i am being informed about the conflict by the BBC and BBC-like media, that i am a hater etc., not to mention that you blatantly lied in my face that i supposedly had said in this discussion that the IDF certainly knew that there were civilians in the site it targeted).

    Instead of at least acknowledging your misperceptions of me and instead of retracting your lies about what i really said in this discussion, you conveniently evade both.

    “I don’t have time now for semantic games.”

    It is you who is playing semantic games so as to distort what i am saying about the IDF, and so as to deny your blunder of casting me as someone who does not see the Palestinian moral failures. Slander and evasion, that pretty much describes your stance towards me.

    “Perhaps later we can get closer to the heart of the matter – something you continue to dodge.”

    Unbelievable!

    The one who is dodging is you. And i don’t mean only that you dodge to acknowledge that you lied about me and about what i said in this discussion, i also mean that you dodge to refer to the concerns i raised about the IDF’s conduct in this incident. You are off-topic throughout this whole discussion.

    I don’t know what is the “heart of the matter”, you just mentioned this expression (“heart of the matter”) now, no such issue has been raised in our discussion. You are dodging the topic of this discussion i raised about the IDF. And up to now i have dodged nothing that you said, i replied to every single sentence of yours.

    You are such a dishonest person! It showed from your very first comment about me. The reason you have the word “true” in your screen-name (“truetoo”) is probably because some part of your brain is telling you that you are extremely dishonest, and you try to push this realization back to your unconscious by telling fairy tales to yourself that you are truthful.

    And you have the nerve to say that it is me who is dodging, and you don’t even say what exactly it is that i am dodging. And you are not saying what i supposedly dodge because there is nothing that i dodged. Incredible.

  26. @Biodegradable

    “I bet that of the 50 comments on this thread here, as I write, much more than that proportion belong to the arrogant Greek god of pedantic repetition!”

    🙂

    The proportion is indeed higher!

    I disagree on the “arrogance” part, but i am open to hearing what makes you say so. I also disagree on the “pedantic”, i believe i am trying to talk substance, not to stick to trivial details.

    The repetitions are inevitable, if some interlocutors do not address the main point i made at the beginning of this discussion (about Ms Sela’s description of the particular BBC coverage, and the related topic of the IDF’s conduct in this incident).

    I love your screen-name!

    • “I disagree on the “arrogance” part”

      ROTFLMAO!

      Well you would, wouldn’t you?

      That comment alone just proves your arrogance!

      “I also disagree on the “pedantic””

      You’re such a pendent

      Surely you mean “pedant”?

      See what I mean?

          • @biodegradable

            “Good to see you here [Truetoo]. I wish I had your patience.”

            Just don’t contract his tendency to slander unashamedly. And what patience are you talking about, he was just demonizing me all along. Slandering doesn’t require patience.

          • @Dionissis

            Shut up and mind your own business!
            I was talking to TooTrue, not you..

            You “self absorbed”? Nah, perish the thought!

        • I realised that after I’d posted.

          “Pendant”, meaning we’re still hanging in there. 😉

          “Pendiente” is the Spanish meaning (Freudian slip based on my residence in Sefarad):

          pending

          pendiente

          outstanding

          excepcional, destacado, pendiente, sobresaliente, extraordinario, relevante

          pendant

          pendiente, que sobresale

          pendent

          pendiente, colgante, que sobresale

          hanging

          colgante, colgado, pendiente, suspendido, de techo, pensil

          unsettled

          inestable, intranquilo, inquieto, pendiente, trastornado, variable
          pendiente-noun

          slope

          pendiente, cuesta, inclinación, ladera, vertiente, declive

          incline

          inclinación, pendiente, cuesta, declive

          earring

          pendiente, arete, aro, zarcillo, dependiente

          pendant

          colgante, pendiente, dije, lámpara colgante, pareja, grímpola

          descent

          descenso, descendencia, origen, pendiente, bajada, declive

          grade

          grado, calidad, nota, categoría, curso, pendiente

          dip

          inmersión, baño, buzamiento, inclinación, depresión, pendiente

          drop

          gota, caída, descenso, disminución, baja, pendiente

          acclivity

          cuesta, pendiente, subida

          • Good to see you too, Biodegradable.

            My patience is being sorely tested by our ubiquitous Greek friend, who seems to think he has the answers to a conflict that has baffled far greater minds than his for 65 years.

  27. @Biodegradable

    dionissis said:

    “I disagree on the “arrogance” part [that you impute to me].”

    biodegradable replied:

    “ROTFLMAO! Well you would, wouldn’t you? That comment alone just proves your arrogance!”

    Biodegradable, my comment was obviously friendly towards you. And you responded to it with a mocking light hostility.

    So your reply consists in 1) an internet slang profanity intended, i guess, to show to the audience that you are determined to stay lightly hostile towards me 2) a rhetorical question to the effect that i would certainly deny allegations of arrogance, which is an assumption of yours totally undue, if you consider that i asked you to point me to where i had evinced arrogance, which means that i was open to admit the putative arrogance in a comment of mine in case you showed it to me, and 3) a question-begging allegation of arrogance supposedly evinced in my last comment:you just say my comment is arrogant, without saying what makes it so – and, all along, i was responding to you in a friendly mood. Don’t you understand when people are friendly to you?

    ““I also disagree on the “pedantic”” You’re such a pendent Surely you mean “pedant”? See what I mean?”

    Well, i said i am trying to talk substance and not about trivial details. I was talking about the IDF’s conduct in this particular incident. You just showed up and made irrelevant comments about my character without even backing them up.

    So, who is more pedantic (“pedantic”, in a broader sense), me who tries to talk about real issues, or you, who just attempts to mock me for no reason? I would think it is you who concentrates on trivial issues, not me.

    • Woah! So many words in response to my few. Way to much analysis from you, if I may make so bold. Perhaps “anal” being the most indicative part of analysis.

      I don’t think I was being unfriendly, perhaps I should have included a winking smiley.

      “you just say my comment is arrogant, without saying what makes it so”

      Arrogantly claiming not to be arrogant is akin to the “anti-Zionist” saying he’s not a antisemitic, or somebody who says, “I’m not a racist but I wouldn’t want my daughter marrying a (insert where it makes more sense to you: Negro, Jew, Chinese, Catholic, Italian, Greek, German, etc….)

      “irrelevant comments about my character”

      I decided to respond to you mainly as a result of seeing your comments on the character of TooTrue.

      Having “known” him for many years on this site, BBC discussion forums, and elsewhere, your view of him is as mistaken and uninformed as your opinion of this original article dealing with BBC bias.

      • Yes, we go way back, Biodegradable, standing shoulder to shoulder with worthy people at Biased BBC et al. I must pop in again to see how they are doing.

        Armchair warriors unite!

        I’ve decided that Dionissis is a computer programme, designed to hammer opponents into submission by the sheer volume and frequency of its comments and the endless repetition.

        Surely no human being has the capacity to be this obsessive.

        • Indeed, “Dionissis” is possible a newer version of Eliza:

          http://www-ai.ijs.si/eliza/eliza.html

          Actually, I prefer to talk to “Eliza”:

          Eliza is a computer program by Joseph Weizenbaum, which, designed in 1966, is generally recognized as the first chatbot.

          Joseph Weizenbaum (Berlin, January 8, 1923 – March 5, 2008) was a German-American author and professor emeritus of computer science at MIT.

          Born in Berlin, Germany to Jewish parents, he escaped Nazi Germany in 1935…

          • I think whoever is operating the Dionissis programme has included the bore your opponent to death option.

            The most sensible response to the programme is to ignore it since it will continue to spam threads until the operator shuts it down.

  28. Dionissis, I have speed read your lengthy, pompous comments and no, I don’t have the time or the inclination to go chasing after you around the web to read more of the same. That you have invited me and anyone else to do so is a truly impressive indication of your extreme self-absorption.

    Glenn Greenwald, who recently inflicted his “journalism” on the Guardian, displayed similar self-absorption by writing articles riddled with links to his previous articles out of an obsession to gain as much exposure as possible for his own propaganda.

    In leaving you to your own devices here I’ll reiterate that you should try to understand why your comments on the IDF come across as a Have you stopped beating your wife question which, in case it’s still not clear to you, means that the person required to respond to the question condemns himself by answering either yes or no.

    You have set out here to condemn the IDF, which is in the front line of defense against the maniacal Islamic hordes threatening Israel. And all the flowery semantics and pop psychology you indulge in will not disguise that fact.

    And yes, you did lose the bet.

  29. @Michael

    “You still don’t understand.”

    Michael you are changing the subject. You had said that i misunderstood what the IDF said in the link i cited. And i recited the whole sentence of the IDF that spoke of retaliation, and retaliation only, with no reference to any immediate threat to Israeli civilians. That was the topic that you originally said that i misunderstood, namely the IDF announcement. And i showed you by quoting it that i had understood it perfectly well. Now you are are saying that i have misunderstood something else. Maybe i have misunderstood this something else you are about to tell me, maybe i haven’t, but i certainly i did not misunderstand what you originally said that i had misunderstood about the IDF.

    “You are looking at this from the perspective of an adult watching two children fighting with one saying “s/he hit me first.” That isn’t what we have here. That’s the point that I make below.”

    I will not speculate on how exactly you mean that because i might misinterpret you. Tell me what you mean when you say i see the conflict in the way you just described.

    “Again, you make assumptions that you cannot verify. How do you know that there are sites that don’t have human shields.”

    I will repeat my reply to you when you made the same question to me. I quote me: “I didn’t say i know it, i merely speculate that shields cannot be present 24 hours a day in terror sites (except maybe for some of them). In all probability, Hamas calls for shields only when it anticipates retaliation from Israel”.
    So my speculation is based on a common sense assumption that the Palestinians will use shields mostly when they fear retaliation. What’s your speculation? That all terror sites have shields in them all the time?

    “What information do you have on these particular sites.”

    I never said i had information about a particular site(s). My assumption was that there are sites empty of civilians, and i asked why the IDF didn’t target some such sites, sites of equal military value in total, but without civilians in them.

    “And how do you know that there was no immediate threat [to Israeli civilians]?”

    I will just repeat my previous reply to you on your same question. Here is what i had replied to you: “The IDF’s announcement made no reference to imminent threats or rockets ready to be fired from that particular terror site. If the IDF had intel that in this location terrorists were ready to fire rockets, then it would have said so”.

    I drew a conclusion based on the IDF’s announcement.

    “It [the fact that Palestinian leaders say different things to the western audience, and different things to the palestinian and Arab audience] is relevant because this is why people in other countries, Europe in particular, are quick to blame Israel and make the kinds of assumptions that you make.”

    Michael, i acknowledged that the Palestinian leaders do indeed what you say, but i asked you how could this Palestinian behavior be relevant to what i was saying about the IDF conduct in the incident we discuss. Here is what i told you: “But this is irrelevant to the concerns i raised about the IDF’s conduct in this particular incident”.

    I still don’t see how the fact that Palestinian leaders are duplicitous is in any way relevant to the IDF conduct in this particular retaliation strike, which was the point i raised.

    But i fail to see even the broader point that you make, namely that the western anti-Israel attitude is due to the Palestinian leadership’s duplicity. There are many more reasons (right or wrong) that turn westerners anti-Israel, the point that maybe they get fooled by the Palestinian mendacious declarations is only part of the story.

    “That’s [that retaliation should be directed to terror groups, not civilians] is naïve. With terror groups using human shields, civilian casualties i.e., collateral death, are inevitable. If not, then I would like you to show me one prolonged conflict or war that didn’t produce civilian casualties.”

    You misunderstood me. My point when i said that civilians should not be considered fair game and that retaliations should be directed only to terrorists was that civilians should not be targeted deliberately in the context of retaliations. But if a terrorist is about to fire a rocket, and he uses his kid as a shield, then the IDF soldier has a moral right to kill him, even if it is certain that the killing of the terrorist will result in the death of the Palestinian kid. So i am not naive, i can understand the moral dilemmas the IDF faces. But i was referring to the particular incident where the IDF struck a site only for retaliation, not because there was an immediate danger of rockets fired. And my point was, and still is, that disregard for civilian lives during retaliations is not moral.

    My point is not that other conflicts have no civilian victims. My point is that if there is a way to avert a Palestinian civilian loss without immediately endangering an Israeli, then this is the course of action that should be taken. You say that civilian deaths are inevitable when civilians are used as shields, and i agree. My point was that in this particular incident maybe the dead Palestinian kid was not a shield, and i wondered why the IDF did not pick another site(s) to strike, a civilian-free site.

    “We are talking about the military here. It doesn’t disclose all information. No military does because it could cause other damage, like jeopardizing other operations.”

    My point was that, given that the IDF spoke only of retaliation, i took it for granted that there was no immediate danger.
    What would have been so damaging to military operations if the IDF had announced that some of the sites struck represented an immediate danger? The IDF doesn’t have to disclose, say, the name of the snitch that gave the info. Besides, i posted a link that suggests that there was no rocket infrastructure where the girl was killed, it was just a training camp.

    “So you acknowledge that very little time is needed [to launch a rocket], but you still insist that there was no immediate threat. That’s ridiculous.”

    Nope, it’s not ridiculous, it’s just an assumption based on the IDF’s announcement that did not hint to any sort of immediate threat.

    “That threat turns into a danger in a matter of minutes.”

    In that sense, the whole of Gaza is a threat. A rocket launching can be executed from anywhere very quickly. I doubt that the IDF considers a site as an immediate danger merely because it is very easy to launch a rocket from it. There must be additional factors that make the IDF identify some or other location as an immediate threat.

    “I said that Palestinians have escalated and I don’t confine that to Hamas.”

    And my response was that the Palestinians did not seem to have taken any such centralized decision, and i cited 2 reasons: first, that Israeli Miniter Yaalon had said that the previous terror incidents and the sniper shooting were unconnected, and that they were mostly lone-wolf operations.And, second, that Hamas was not responsible for this shooting incident (that’s what the Israeli media announced) and, therefore, the odds are that Hamas has not been part of any decision to escalate the attacks at the time. You should agree that no escalation is possible without the agreement of Hamas. So i think that your claim that the Palestinians had made a decision at the time to escalate the attacks is gratuitous, you have no evidence for it.

    “Nevertheless, Hamas is the one who controls the situation in Gaza and it has also said that it will coordinate the attacks.”

    Please post a link about it, i have missed yesterday’s and today’s events. Did Hamas say it after the IDF strikes? If that is the case, then it is irrelevant to our discussion. My point is that no Palestinian decision to escalate had been taken up to the time the IDF retaliated. I was making the point in order to prove that Hamas in all probability did not expect any retaliations from the IDF at the time of the sniper incident.

    “Furthermore, the history of this conflict has shown that what may start with “lone actions” quickly escalate into more serious attacks, regardless of the Israeli response, making taking out the terrorist infrastructure quite necessary.”

    But the IDF stated objective was to retaliate, the IDF did not say or imply that it assessed that the Palestinians had decided to escalate. And Yaalon said the exact opposite of what you said, he said that the recent Palestinian attacks were unconnected.

    “Ah, you admit that you are basing your assumptions on speculation, that can be dangerous.”

    Assumptions are speculations, they are beliefs and they come in varying degrees of confidence. You make them, i make them, everybody does, and it would be impossible to engage in science or everyday conversations if we did not make such assumptions/speculations. There is nothing dangerous in speculating, it is only unfounded speculations that are an anathema to truth.

    “But, what makes you think so [that the shields are not present 24 hours a day in all terror sites]? There are plenty of civilians in Gaza for fodder.”

    And the Palestinians have nothing else to do than be shields? Don’t kids go to school? Don’t people try to earn a living? My common sense assumption is that terrorists will call for shields only when they anticipate retaliations, but not at all times for all sites (except maybe for some really important sites).

    “Again, you don’t have the facts to make that kind of assessment. You don’t know who was inside a building or not”

    I was saying that the IDF could have picked a target empty of civilians. My facts are that the IDF has extensive intelligence on Gaza, and i assume it was capable of knowing that at the time of the retaliation some sites were empty of civilians.

    “and there is also know way to discern a terrorist from a civilian. Do terrorists hold up signs saying “here I am!!!, come fire at me!!!!!”

    No, but my point was that since the IDF was only retaliating, and not facing immediate threat, then it could have chosen a target that it had accurate intel about – maybe through one of its snitches in Gaza.

    dionissis said:

    “Well, you haven’t brought arguments to prove it [that i am misinformed, as you claim].”

    Michael replied:

    “Check above. Denial ain’t a river in Egypt.”

    I keep on checking, but i can’t find a single belief of mine where you showed me that i am misinformed. If you don’t name what constitutes my misinformation, then i say you are just saying it in full knowledge that you cannot prove it. Tell me what information that i have in my brain relevant to this discussion is false.In fact, it was you that falsely believed that the Palestinians had made a decision to escalate.

    My general impression is that you are very reluctant to even inquire whether the IDF had done something morally wrong in this incident. And i don’t mean inquire publicly, where you might want to avoid to give ammunition to Israel-haters. I mean you give me the impression that you don’t want to entertain such questions privately, in your head.

    • @Michael
      “You still don’t understand.”
      Michael ,,,the IDF.
      Actually, it’s still the same thing. Your looking for a way to find a negative motive on the part of the IDF, without any understanding of the dynamics here.
      “I will …That allterror sites have shields in them all the time?”
      Yes, I believe that it is the function of those shields to act that way. The fact that a refugee camp is placed so close to the terror target that someone gets killed as collateral death is proof of that. Furthermore, if it does have the high chance of civilian death, it’s jut more reason that it would be a higher priority target i.e., they intentionally maximize collateral death because it will likely incur the kinds of reaction in the western media that you have had.
      “I never said …civilians in them.”
      And again you make those assumptions based on nothing. They are faulty assumptions.
      “And how do you know that there was no immediate threat [to Israeli civilians]?”
      “I will …IDF’s announcement.”
      And as I’ve repeated, it is the military and they don’t disclose everything. Furthermore, as I’ve stated before a non-existent threat turns into a real danger in a matter of minutes. Taking out their terrorist infrastructure is a valid use of military power to prevent further threats.
      “It [the fact that Palestinian …that you make.”
      Exactly the point. We wouldn’t be having this conversation right now otherwise because gullible westerners wouldn’t be swallowing the garbage that Palestinians spew.
      “Michael…the story.”
      Because as I’ve said before, you make your Palestinian-friendly assumptions because of the garbage that that media has fed you.
      “That’s [that retaliation should be directed to terror groups, not civilians] is naïve. With terror groups using human shields, civilian casualties i.e., collateral death, are inevitable. If not, then I would like you to show me one prolonged conflict or war that didn’t produce civilian casualties.”
      “You misunderstood me….i wondered why the IDF did not pick another site(s) to strike, a civilian-free site.”
      Because that site may have had high strategic priority for preventing later attacks after the Palestinians will have escalated, as they surely will.”
      My point …it was just a training camp.
      If it was a training camp, then it would be a high priority target because this could very well escalate into war very soon. This is being pro-active.
      “Nope, it’s not ridiculous, it’s just an assumption based on the IDF’s announcement that did not hint to any sort of immediate threat.”
      It’s quite ridiculous. After I started typing this, a rocket could have been set up and launched. The only thing that can cause damage more quickly and with less warning is an earthquake.
      “That threat turns into a danger in a matter of minutes.”
      “In immediate threat.”
      In that case, you acknowledge that the IDF did not just pick a random site, but had put thought into what they were doing.
      “I said that Palestinians have escalated and I don’t confine that to Hamas.”
      “And my response …no evidence for it.”
      Because you don’t understand how things work here. This is a society, which on the whole, is bent on causing as much harm and fear to the other society as possible and carry out jihad. It doesn’t really matter which group or individuals perpetrated the shooting. They’ll all become involved sooner or later.
      Please post a link about it, …the sniper incident.
      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/134194
      And I’ve explained above why Hamas is legitimately targeted.
      “But the IDF stated objective …Palestinian attacks were unconnected.”
      If you’re going to keep harping on that word, then you should become better informed about what goes on here. Pre-emptive action is necessary in any case due to the inevitable escalation.
      “Ah, you admit that you are basing your assumptions on speculation, that can be dangerous.”
      “Assumptions are speculation…is onlyunfounded speculations that are an anathema to truth.”
      Exactly and you have stated that you don’t have the information about why those targets were chosen, therefore your assumptions are unfounded and anathema to truth.
      :And the Palestinians have nothing else to do than be shields? Don’t kids go to school? Don’t people try to earn a living?… but not at all times for all sites (except maybe for some really important sites).
      Once again, you lack an understanding of how things work here. Sure kids in Gaza go to school

      They don’t even need the adults, really. But, since Hamas’s sole purpose is the destruction of its neighbor, there is as much works as Hamas can benefit from.
      “Again, you don’t have the facts to make that kind of assessment. You don’t know who was inside a building or not”
      “I was saying that the IDF..were empty of civilians.”
      So maybe you have a link which backs up that claim that Israelis know who building occupants are.
      “No, … snitches in Gaza.”
      Which you assume that it had, quite possibly incorrectly.
      dionissis said:
      “I keep on checking, escalate.”
      :I have repeatedly said that you don’t have the information to make the assumptions that you make and that constitutes a choice to be misinformed.
      “My general impression …your head.”
      My general impression is that you are quick to judge the IDF as the bad guy because that jibes with the anti-Israel propaganda that you seem ready to believe.

      • @Michael

        “Actually, it’s still the same thing.”

        No it’s not, you have claimed that i misunderstood what the IDF had said, and i quoted the IDF itself and showed you that it had referred to retaliations as the reason of the strikes, which was what i had been claiming.

        “Your looking for a way to find a negative motive on the part of the IDF, without any understanding of the dynamics here.”

        You need to specify the dynamics that are relevant to what we are discussing and that i allegedly don’t understand.

        As for the negative motive of the IDF that you allege i am seeking, i have made it a thousand times clear that my question is why the IDF did not choose targets of equal military value that were civilian free.

        “Yes, I believe that it is the function of those shields to act that way.”

        So you believe that all terror sites have human shields all the time. And here is the evidence you provide for your claim:

        “The fact that a refugee camp is placed so close to the terror target that someone gets killed as collateral death is proof of that.”

        Of course, what you just said is not proof that human shields are present in all terror sites 24 hours a day. And, additionally, when there is no immediate danger to Israeli civilians, innocent bystanders cannot possibly be considered human shields.

        More than that, the target there might have been a Palestinian terrorist in the training camp that the Jerusalem Post mentioned. If the target was a person then what you said about placing a terror site next to a refugee camp is obviously irrelevant.

        “Furthermore, if it does have the high chance of civilian death, it’s jut more reason that it would be a higher priority target i.e., they intentionally maximize collateral death”

        With this argument you just brought, you can justify any number of civilian deaths on the grounds that, since the IDF struck a hypothetical target and caused a big number of civilian fatalities, then the target must have been a high priority target and the IDF was morally on the right.

        You just presuppose that the IDF will never do anything morally wrong.

        “because it will likely incur the kinds of reaction in the western media that you have had.”

        All the media that i linked to were Israeli. I don’t need to read something in the western media to raise concerns about the IDF conduct, the Israeli media are just as good.

        “And again you make those assumptions based on nothing. They are faulty assumptions.”

        My assumption was that there are times that some sites are empty. It was not based on nothing, i offered the common sense reason that children have to go to school, and adults have to work, meaning that the terrorists might find it difficult to find human shields for all sites 24 hours a day.

        So it is not me who bases my assumptions on nothing, it is you who makes false claims such as the one you just made about my argument being based on nothing.

        Also, calling an assumption “faulty” does not make it faulty, you have to expalin why it is faulty.

        “And as I’ve repeated, it is the military and they don’t disclose everything.”

        I said that if there had been immediate threat to Israelis from the sites targeted, then the IDF wouldn’t have spoken only about retaliation. And you just respond with a generalization that the IDF does not disclose everything. I rest my case.

        “Furthermore, as I’ve stated before a non-existent threat turns into a real danger in a matter of minutes. Taking out their terrorist infrastructure is a valid use of military power to prevent further threats.”

        Go kill all the Palestinians, Mike, they deserve it. That’s what your argument amounts to.

        “Exactly the point. We wouldn’t be having this conversation right now otherwise because gullible westerners wouldn’t be swallowing the garbage that Palestinians spew.”

        Irrelevant, because i am not swallowing anything from anyone, i try to think for myself – unlike you who swallows anything pro-Israel. The “gullible” you used is more because you have contempt for westerners, than because you have any real concern about the purported gullibility of them.

        “Because as I’ve said before, you make your Palestinian-friendly assumptions because of the garbage that that media has fed you.”

        It is clear by now that any assumption i make you will consider it pro-Palestinian. It is clear that you are so hateful that you will perceive in me anything that fits your preconceptions.

        “Because that site [the training camp] may have had high strategic priority for preventing later attacks after the Palestinians will have escalated, as they surely will.If it was a training camp, then it would be a high priority target because this could very well escalate into war very soon. This is being pro-active.”

        Before, you were saying that the high priority targets are the rocket related.Now you change your story and say that the training camps are a high priority.

        The issue is that you will say anything that accords with your predetermined narrative that the IDF never makes anything wrong.

        “It’s quite ridiculous. After I started typing this, a rocket could have been set up and launched. The only thing that can cause damage more quickly and with less warning is an earthquake.”

        I sympathize with the fact that rockets might be launched at any time in Israel. But your argument suggests that anything the IDF does is legitimate because it is in a perpetual war with terrorists. My point is that there should have been concern for Palestinian civilians at a time when there was no other reason for the IDF strikes other than retaliation.

        “In that case, you acknowledge that the IDF did not just pick a random site, but had put thought into what they were doing.”

        Mike, when you reply make an effort to quote the full sentence of mine you refer to. I don’t know what the case you refer to is. If you wish, i can give you instructions how to create italics in the comment box – i get the feeling that you wouldn’t ask.

        “Because you don’t understand how things work here. This is a society, which on the whole, is bent on causing as much harm and fear to the other society as possible and carry out jihad.”

        The link to the Guardian discussion i posted shows clearly that i understand this point:

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/13/kerry-netanyahu-abbas-us-peace-deal?CMP=ema_follow&commentpage=1

        “It doesn’t really matter which group or individuals perpetrated the shooting. They’ll all become involved sooner or later.”

        Of course. As i said before, you want to go kill them all now, civilians and terrorists. Not that it would make any difference to you.

        “If you’re going to keep harping on that word [unconnected], then you should become better informed about what goes on here.”

        I just reiterated what your Minister (Yaalon) said.

        “Pre-emptive action is necessary in any case due to the inevitable escalation.”

        The IDF said on Wednsday (i posted the link somewhere in my replies to you) that they don’t believe there will be an escalation.

        “Exactly and you have stated that you don’t have the information about why those targets were chosen, therefore your assumptions are unfounded and anathema to truth.”

        Mike, you are so eager to discredit me that the whole thing has become laughable. My assumptions were based either on common sense or on what i read in the Israeli media.

        “Once again, you lack an understanding of how things work here. Sure kids in Gaza go to school

        They don’t even need the adults, really. But, since Hamas’s sole purpose is the destruction of its neighbor, there is as much works as Hamas can benefit from.”

        This presupposes that Hamas has decided that all sites will have shields 24 hours a day, and therefore it will force some civilians to become shields even at times where Hamas is not expecting retaliations. So it is an assumption on your behalf. See that you too make assumptions?

        “So maybe you have a link which backs up that claim that Israelis know who building occupants are.”

        I never said the Israelis know who “building occupants are”.

        “And I’ve explained above why Hamas is legitimately targeted.
        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/134194

        I asked you to post a link about your claim that Hamas said that they will coordinate the attacks, and your claim was apparently referring to the time of the sniper incident. I did not ask you for a link, dated 2009, that Hamas supports the other terror groups.

        “I have repeatedly said that you don’t have the information to make the assumptions that you make and that constitutes a choice to be misinformed.”

        If you say that my assumption (that the IDF has good enough intelligence to know when some terror sites are empty) constitutes a choice to be misinformed, then it is obvious that you are looking for a facile way to discredit me by a label (“misinformed”).

        That’s one of the reasons why westerners turn against Israel. They talk to some Israelis like you, and they get the worst impressions.

        “My general impression is that you are quick to judge the IDF as the bad guy because that jibes with the anti-Israel propaganda that you seem ready to believe.”

        I did not judge the IDF to be the bad guy in this incident. I raised some rational concerns that it might have done something morally wrong. But it might not have. I don’t know, and it was obvious that i was saying that i don’t know if the IDF had been on the wrong in this incident. I said that we needed further elucidations.

  30. @trutoo

    “Dionissis, I have speed read your lengthy, pompous comments and no, I don’t have the time or the inclination to go chasing after you around the web to read more of the same. That you have invited me and anyone else to do so is a truly impressive indication of your extreme self-absorption.”

    You are disingenuousness incarnate.

    I did not invite anyone to read my comments at the web. You said you bet that i wasn’t criticizing the Palestinians, and you implied that i was misinformed about the conflict and i posted two links that proved how unjustified your preconception of me was, links where i was harshly criticizing Palestinian culture, and where i showed adequate knowledge of the facts of the conflict.

    As for self-absorption, keep the term for yourself. You still haven’t acknowledged that you unjustifiably painted me as someone misinformed by the BBC and BBC-like media. If your inability to admit mistake in public does not give you a hint that you are self-absorbed, then nothing can give you such a hint.

    “Glenn Greenwald, who recently inflicted his “journalism” on the Guardian, displayed similar self-absorption by writing articles riddled with links to his previous articles out of an obsession to gain as much exposure as possible for his own propaganda.”

    Well, in my case the links to my previous writings were posted as a response to your unjustified allegation that i don’t criticize the Palestinians. I had to prove somehow that i had criticized the Palestinians, contrary to your allegations. And one of the two links i posted included my heavily pro-Israel comments, so it couldn’t have been propaganda.

    It was just a response to your presumptuous allegations about me as a person.

    Amazing that, instead of acknowledging how sloppy you have been in your assessment of me, you just come up with a failed analogy between me and Greenwald.

    “In leaving you to your own devices here I’ll reiterate that you should try to understand why your comments on the IDF come across as a Have you stopped beating your wife question which, in case it’s still not clear to you, means that the person required to respond to the question condemns himself by answering either yes or no.”

    How is the IDF going to root out those officers or soldiers that might give it a bad name, if these inquiries are not raised?

    “You have set out here to condemn the IDF, which is in the front line of defense against the maniacal Islamic hordes threatening Israel. And all the flowery semantics and pop psychology you indulge in will not disguise that fact.”

    The IDF won’t get hurt if allegations of misconduct are proved. It will just remove from its ranks the black sheep. But feel free to demonize me.

    “And yes, you did lose the bet.”

    Whatever makes you feel happy – or should i say “feel honorable”?

  31. @Biodegradable

    “Shut up and mind your own business! I was talking to TooTrue, not you..”

    You were talking to TrueToo about me. You praised his patience to talk to me. And i only said that his slanders against me were not indicative of patience.

    “You “self absorbed”? Nah, perish the thought!”

    I believe i just showed you that i had good reason to reply to your comment to TrueToo about me. Hence, if i am self-absorbed, it has nothing to do with that reply of mine to you.

  32. @Biodegradable

    “Woah! So many words in response to my few. Way to much analysis from you, if I may make so bold. Perhaps “anal” being the most indicative part of analysis.”

    Extensive analysis is sometimes required in order to persuade your interlocutor about a point you are making.

    “I don’t think I was being unfriendly, perhaps I should have included a winking smiley.”

    I interpreted your calling me “arrogant”, after i had made a friendly response to you, as unfriendly. My bad?

    “Arrogantly claiming not to be arrogant is akin to the “anti-Zionist” saying he’s not a antisemitic, or somebody who says, “I’m not a racist but I wouldn’t want my daughter marrying a (insert where it makes more sense to you: Negro, Jew, Chinese, Catholic, Italian, Greek, German, etc….)”

    Honestly, i meant to be friendly in my initial response to you, i liked your first bantering response to me. If you can tell me what in that comment of mine looked to you as arrogant, i would appreciate. This is not a challenge to you, i am really interested to know what looked arrogant to you in my comment. Maybe i said something i didn’t realize that was sounding arrogant. By the way, i am not arrogant at all.

    “I decided to respond to you mainly as a result of seeing your comments on the character of TooTrue.”

    Let’s leave him out of this.

    “Having “known” him for many years on this site, BBC discussion forums, and elsewhere, your view of him is as mistaken and uninformed as your opinion of this original article dealing with BBC bias.”

    I keep on asking why i am uninformed, but no one tells me what my being uninformed consists in.

  33. @Trutoo

    TrueToo said to biodegradable:

    “My patience is being sorely tested by our ubiquitous Greek friend, who seems to think he has the answers to a conflict that has baffled far greater minds than his for 65 years.”

    So you did have a glimpse at what i’ve written.

    I do think i have a good conception of what is the only way to peace, without it being a guaranteed way, but it costs nothing in terms of security (but a hell of a lot in emotional pain). I had no intention to talk about it in here because it would be interpreted as a provocation. The reason i posted the link was that you challenged me to “try to understand” the implacability of the Palestinians (and the whole Arab world). My link was making it abundantly clear that i am aware of this implacability, and that i have devoted thinking time to whether it can be redirected elsewhere.

    Incidentally, if i was looking for an excuse to post links as a means to satisfy my “self-absorption”, as you alleged, i could have done so earlier, when Ethan asked me to criticize the Palestinians. But i only told him that i had done so in the past, without posting any links.

    • We still have different views, though I accept your intent. There can be no possible peace until the Palestinians and Arab League are willing to accept even the existance of a Jewish Israel. If there was a true, secure, lasting peace, borders would be less relevent. As I’ve stated before. All the Palestinians need do for peace is to “stop shooting”, “bombing” and “stabbing”. Ten year of that and not only would there be ‘real’ international pressure for peace, but most Israelis would likely accept. Jews have not been noted for violence since Roman times. The same can not be said of their adversaries.

  34. @TrueToo

    “Yes, we go way back, Biodegradable, standing shoulder to shoulder with worthy people at Biased BBC et al. I must pop in again to see how they are doing.”

    I have never commented there. Does it get traffic enough to make it worthwhile?

    “I’ve decided that Dionissis is a computer programme, designed to hammer opponents into submission by the sheer volume and frequency of its comments and the endless repetition.”

    No, you have decided to not address the concerns i raised about the particular IDF incident.

    The repetitions will stop, if my points are addressed. If they are not addressed, what else can i do than repeat them?

    And as for domination, that’s your game, not mine. I hate domination wherever i find it.

    “Surely no human being has the capacity to be this obsessive.”

    I am working at my father’s (small and insignificant) Greek newspaper. So i have the luxury to work at home. Hence my “ubiquitousness” in the comment section: it’s my job to be next to my computer.

    And you are equally obsessive with me – if that’s the term you want us to use.

    “Armchair warriors unite!”

    At least you have some self-deprecating humor in you. I applaud.

    “I’ve decided that Dionissis is a computer programme”

    Programmed by the Zionists who secretly control the fate of the world through their puppet-politicians in the US. I am on your side, after all.

  35. @biodegradeable

    Bio said to Truetoo:

    “Indeed, “Dionissis” is possibly a newer version of Eliza [a computer program]”

    Yup, a newer version certainly: my software allows for experiencing moral sentiments, such as concern for innocent civilians during armed conflict.

    I know some human commenters that don’t seem to have such a capacity.

  36. Pingback: 80% of December missile attacks from Gaza Strip ignored by BBC | BBC Watch

  37. @Pingback

    ” 80% of December missile attacks from Gaza Strip ignored by BBC | BBC Watch”

    80% of the commenters (with the exception of Michael and Ethan) have not even touched upon the substance of the concerns i raised about IDF’s conduct in this discussion.

    Which means that both the pro-Israel and the anti-Israel side only talk about their own narratives, while ignoring to respond to the narrative of their opponents. Which, in turn, means that complaining about the BBC’s anti-Israel tunnel vision, when one has an equivalent pro-Israel tunnel vision, is slightly hypocritical.

    Truth is the most immediate victim of such heavily partisan attitudes.

  38. @TrueToo

    TrueToo said to biodegradeable:

    “I think whoever is operating the Dionissis programme has included the bore your opponent to death option.”

    Come on, now! You don’t sound like you find me boring! If you did, you wouldn’t have expended so much energy to demonize me.

    But i understand that you need an excuse to not reply to the substance of the questions i asked about the IDF behavior. Calling me “boring” gives you a face-saving excuse.

    “The most sensible response to the programme is to ignore it since it will continue to spam threads until the operator shuts it down.”

    Is this a suggestion to commenter Biodegreadable to not reply to me? If it is, you are patronizing him.

    You the herd’s top dog?

  39. Commenter TrueToo, who seems to be the one calling the shots in here, has all but asked me to leave. So i will oblige and stop commenting.

    But keep in mind that, if some people are so incapable of making peace with me, a reasonable commenter who harbors no Israel-hatred, then these very same people will be emotionally incapable of ever making peace with the Palestinians.

    I fear that such people’s attitudes, even though maybe not the most numerous, are the prevailing ones in the Israeli mindset.

  40. Well, well. A little detective work can go a long way. There is a Dionissis Mitropoulos on facebook. Here is his page: http://www.facebook.com/dionissis.mitropoulos?fref=ts

    It’s a safe assumption that the Dionissis who posts here is the same owner as that page. For someone who tries to depict himself as thoughtful and even-handed, the facebook page certainly that image.

    Looking at the page, there is almost nothing else besides Israel – Palestinians and there is quite a bit that verges on defamatory as it concerns Israel. Usage of terms like “hasbarats” and “pathology of Israeli culture” are certainly evidence.

    • @Michael

      “Well, well. A little detective work can go a long way. There is a Dionissis Mitropoulos on facebook. Here is his page: http://www.facebook.com/dionissis.mitropoulos?fref=ts
      It’s a safe assumption that the Dionissis who posts here is the same owner as that page.”

      That’s me. You could have asked you know, you didn’t need to do any detective work, i would have let you know that if you click on my screen-name in this discussion here in the BBC Watch you go directly to this facebook page you just cited.

      So it is not just a safe assumption that this facebook page belongs to me, it is a well known fact to every other commenter in here except you. LOL

      “For someone who tries to depict himself as thoughtful and even-handed, the facebook page certainly that image.”

      I like to think things through, and i am also fair.

      “Looking at the page, there is almost nothing else besides Israel – Palestinians and there is quite a bit that verges on defamatory as it concerns Israel.”

      There is lots of pro-Israel stuff too in the not so distant past. That was before i realized certain things. And there is no defamation, only what i consider to be the truth.

      “Usage of terms like “hasbarats” and “pathology of Israeli culture” are certainly evidence.”

      “Hasbarats” is not a derogatory term, hasbara means explanation i’ve been told, and the term is used by Israelis too, and hasbarats are those who disseminate pro-Israel talking points, i.e. hasbara. It is not a defamatory term.

      As for the pathology of Israeli culture, i never mentioned anything because, as i explained, i came to discuss a particular issue, not to make broader points which would have been seen as provocative. There are Israelis who have made much harsher criticisms of Israel than me.

  41. Pingback: Death of Gaza man prompts BBC mention of missile into Israel | BBC Watch

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