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    Chog semeach!!!

    How is it that the British people allow the BBC to rant on without a peep? In the US, there would be round the clock protests and witholding of money, not merely a few bloggers noting some rather non-neutral reporting.

    Why not the same in Britain? Why is it that no one demands the end of overt bias as the cost for public financing?


    On "The World Tonight" last night, there was an absolutely awful report from Gaza, concentrating on Palestinian victims (children) of Israeli shell fire. The idea that the shell fire was undertaken by Israel to stop rockets being fired into Israel was given scant attention,whilst of course Israeli victims of the rockets were not mentioned.


    "The idea that the shell fire was undertaken by Israel to stop rockets being fired into Israel was given scant attention"

    Eamonn, Much as i may sympathise with the victims of the rockets, a horrible and indiscriminate attck on civilians, retaliation with shellfire in a civilian area is nothing but a revenge attack which has no hope of targeting the rocket firers, long gone, and will only be likely to kill children and innocents. According to the geneva convention it is the responsibilty of armed forces to avoid indiscriminate weapons in civilian areas, much as US/UK forces are effectively committing warcrimes everytime they cluster bomb another civilian suburb 'to stop insurgency activity'



    Note the words "civilian areas." Were the really Israelis firing willy nilly or, to be more exact, into such areas, there would be a far greater number of deaths than have occurred. So, you are factually mistaken. The fact is that the Israelis have behaved responsibly, given the provocation.

    I also note that the Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza. They fire rockets at the Israelis and toward - and when they are "lucky," into - "civilian areas." This is an important fact that you fail to mention.

    Here is my suggestion, since you make a truly phoney comparison between Israeli and the coalition in Iraq: Let us make the real comparison.

    Who is doing a better job of following the Geneva Convention, Israel or the coalition countries in Iraq? Is it even a close case? Even after Falluja and the many hundreds of civilians killed, evidently in response to 4 gruesome deaths? I do not think so. I do not think it is even a close call. Israel, by far, has better followed the law.

    I should add: I think the Israelis are complying far, far, far better with the Convention than are the Palestinian Arabs. After all, the entire strategy of the Palestinian Arabs is to massacre civilians - the very opposite of a legal war strategy -. That strategy is, by any standards, illegal and out and out illegitimate.

    That bears mentioning since, to Israeli ears, those who see only Israel's violations are hypocritical. Such critics of Israel say hardly a word about the Palestinian Arab war strategy, which is an entirely illegal, illegitimate and immoral strategy.

    Think about it.


    Oh dear Neal.

    I made a quick and simple point, that it is the onus of forces not to target civilians. I began by deploring the indiscriminate rocket attacks and also find suicide bombing equally pugnacious, having narrowly missed out on my own demise here in the london bombings and my sister in law lost her best friend in them.

    It is your statement that is full of caveats and half-truths and putting words into my mouth 'willy-nilly?!'. 'Behaved responsibly given the provocation' ie its ok to bomb civilians 'cos they did first.

    The 'phoney' comparison is also laughable. Falluja was a war crime by any measure, but then so was Jenin. Does 50 civilian deaths compared to 1000s make it any less so. IDF soldiers regularly shoot at stone throwing children, not to mention reporters, aid workers and an merican protestor standing in front of a bulldozer.

    "They are bad too" can never justify crimes. As I said i will always deplore the use of murder, but I find it tragic whoever commits it, and cries of we're not quite as bad as they are is a pretty weak argument, especially in the light of palestinian civilian deaths during the second intifada doubling that of israeli.

    Perhaps a knee-jerk attack to any criticism is not the way forward. P{erhaps an open agenda of admitting strategic, tactical and moral errors may be more productive in the long term.



    You write: "Does 50 civilian deaths compared to 1000s make it any less so."

    First, 50 civilians were not killed. Most of those killed were fighters. The number of civilians kiled is rather much smaller. Second, the Israeli lost numerous soldiers - I believe 23 -. Third, what the Israelis did is now taught in military acadamies, such as West Point, as a paradign of how to fight an urban battle in an ethical manner - which is exactly the opposite of what you suggest.

    I reiterate: the comparison between Jenin and Fallujah is phoney, exactly like I said.

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