Israel and the Gaza strip

  john bunyan 19:00 PM 19 Nov 12
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This seems an intractable problem. The Israelis will not allow ships etc to go to Gaza as they fear smuggling of arms and rockets. Hamas responds by smuggling through tunnels from Egypt.The whole Palestinian embryo State has been seeking statehood for years but even they cannot show a united front. The Israelis continue to build in disputed land. Iran stirs it up in the background. The Israeli response to rocket attacks is disproportionate. The whole thing could get out of hand. Talks seem a waste of time as each side loathes the other. How depressing; there seems little hope for peace in our time.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:14 PM 19 Nov 12

The Israeli response to rocket attacks is disproportionate.

that depends on your point of view -

the Israeli point of view is slam it down hard before it gets worse, we will not be overcome again.

this from friends in Israel.

I have spent time there, its a beautiful country and I feel sorry there is so much conflict - quite unsettling to be scanned for guns and knives just when entering a shop.

in some parts Arabs and Israelis work and live together peacefully - in others "never the twain shall meet".

Peace in our time? There has not been any point in my lifetime where this has happened - there has always been a war happening somewhere on the planet.

Acording to Andrew Marr History of the World, we live in much more peaceful times than any of our ancestors.

  Bing.alau 20:14 PM 19 Nov 12

fourm member. If I may say so I think that is a lot of tripe. You have a vivid imagination.

  john bunyan 20:17 PM 19 Nov 12

forum member

I agree - mine was a very brief summary to get a thread going. I had it on very good authority recently that the UK defence top brass are thinking that the next big problem after the Afghanistan withdrawal is Iran and the whole Middle East.I also agree with Fruit Bat re relatively peaceful times, but I fear breakers ahead in the Middle East with so much hatred around.

  Aitchbee 21:31 PM 19 Nov 12

I've declared war on the gnats that appear on my windows [inside windows] ... I just squash them against the window-pane but next morning, dozens of 'em reappear for the same punishment; if I were to put my plant pots outside the gnats would be free to do as they please.

Israel treats it's neighbours in a similar way ... this is just my opinion.

  Forum Editor 22:32 PM 19 Nov 12

Southern Israelis who live near the border with Gaza are in a constant state of tension. They fear (and with good reason) the rocket attacks that are a feature of the state of more or less permanent conflict.

Israel's justification for its retaliation is that its citizens are entitled to live without this constant threat.Israel regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Both sides want something - Hamas desperately needs the Gaza/Israel cargo crossings open. Israel wants the Palestinian attacks to cease, a truce that is internationally supervised, and the re-arming of Hamas to stop.

All of that is incidental to what is at the real heart of the matter, and that's land. It has been a central issue for decades, and the way things look at the moment there is virtually no hope of any kind of lasting settlement. People on both sides are killed, and that breeds a burning desire for revenge in the young of both Palestinians and Israelis alike. It's a self-perpetuating situation.

  michaelw 09:32 AM 20 Nov 12

If the situation escalates and other parts of Arabia are drawn into the conflict and it turns into a much nastier situation there's a possibility countries like Russia (another nutter in power) can intervene and where do we go from there?

Mushroom clouds are so pretty, and I love the smell of nuclear fallout in the morning.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:43 PM 20 Nov 12

Yes its about land.

The Arabs feel that the Israelis took their land

The Jews believe its theirs as promised in the Bible (sorry about breaking the no religion rule).

However history tells us that land belongs to those who are strong enough to take it and strong enough to hold onto it.

Land has been changing hands since the beginning of human history the political map of the world (boundaries) nowadays, looks nothing like what I remember from my school days.

Africa and Europe have changed a lot in the last 30 yrs.

Empires come and Empires go - USSR?

michaelw

Putin - his bosses won't let him start a nuclear war too bad for business.

Unfortunately I wouldn't say the same for Iran or North Korea

  spider9 14:18 PM 20 Nov 12

We must all hope the MAD principle will still deter. It seems unlikely that any 'small' player would instigate a nuclear exchange when their own lands would be the first to be razed to the ground by the 'big boys'.

A terrorist nuclear device in a suitcase is a much bigger threat, however.

Trouble now is there are not just the two old combatants (US/USSR) - so keeping a lid on things becomes that much harder than in the old days.

  Woolwell 14:39 PM 20 Nov 12

spider9 - "A terrorist nuclear device in a suitcase is a much bigger threat, however." There is some doubt that such devices exist and if they do then probably only USA, Russia or China would be able to create one. A nuclear bomb is a difficult device to construct. A greater threat could be a dirty bomb.

  Forum Editor 15:02 PM 20 Nov 12

Nobody is going to start a nuclear war over the Israel/Palestine conflict. At the moment the current situation is one of many that have occurred between the two countries over the years. It isn't on the scale of the 2009/10 conflict, but this time it has been made rather more serious by the fact of Israel's assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the leader of Hamas's military wing. That kind of thing isn't quickly forgotten, and the mood in Gaza is one of aggression. It will take a great deal of clever talking to get both sides to agree to, and abide by a cease-fire.

At the moment the whole Middle east region is less stable than it has been for around 50 years. Syria is tearing itself apart, and Lebanon is too involved with Syria to stay out of that. The Egyptian situation has changed drastically since the departure of Mubarak, and Egypt can no longer be relied upon to provide a calming influence - Mubarak's successor is a Hamas supporter, and so is Turkey. Both those countries are going to publicly support a cease fire but the fact of their support for Hamas is going to give that organisation the impetus it needs to continue the fight.

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