Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

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linguoboy
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Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-23, 14:50

I can understand why people have been so shy of approaching this topic, but it's been creeping into other threads. I think we're all capable of keeping this civil.

Let me just report from my own city, Chicago. There was a sizable pro-Palestinian rally last Friday. About 2,500 protestors staged a "die-in" in the Loop (the downtown area). That may seem tiny for a city of 2.7 million, but keep in mind how massively pro-Israel the USA is: According to the Pew Research Centre, 51% of Americans say they side with the Israelis and only 14% say their sympathies lie more with the Palestinians. Chicago does have the second-largest Palestinian community in the USA (the largest is in Dearborn, MI), but it's also home to a quarter million Jews. Christians, particularly Evangelical Protestants, also tend to be very pro-Israel.

Yesterday, there was a much smaller rally in support of Israel. About 500 people gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate. The police erected barriers between them and round a hundred counterprotesters on the opposite side of the street, but though there was a lot of shouting there was no violence (although after the rallies had officially ended, there apparently were some incidents one person was arrested).

What's been the reaction where you live?
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Levike » 2014-07-23, 15:01

Nothing. There was one protest in Bucharest by Arab immigrants.

It's largely something for the news to talk about.
Most people don't show any interest towards it, like it's happening on another planet.

Maybe I would understand this,
but then people also don't show any concern to the situation in Ukraine,
even though it's literally in our backyard.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby md0 » 2014-07-23, 15:15

There was a protest outside the Israeli embassy on the 21th, organised by a lot of different organisations, from trade unions to anti-militarists and anarchists. Palestinian refugees in Cyprus also participated and I didn't heard about any incident of violence.
In the north, the government declared 3 days of official mourning for the Gaza dead.

But people here are not supportive of Hamas in any case. As a child I remember Yasser Arafat and Fatah being compared to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, but since Arafat died, the Islamist successors do not get that treatment by Cypriots.

Media in the south gave equal talk time to both the Israeli and the Palestinian ambassadors (Cyprus is one of the 8 EU countries that fully recognises the State of Palestine).

---

What allegedly happened in France is one of the stupidest things that could happen. Attacking Jewish people and their property as if they somehow represented the Israeli army... As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs more violence...
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-07-23, 16:06

The Italian media have done a relatively good job making it appear as if it's been a confrontation between two countries which have more or less the same military power (or at least as if there isn't as much disproportionality as there is in reality). This of course doesn't help public opinion understand much about what's going on. I personally haven't heard of any demonstations here in Florence, so if there has been something, it must've been quite insignificant.

But actually I also have to make a remark about the pro-Palestinian protesters I've seen in some videos on the internet: I really don't like the way they're protesting, they seem to be a bunch of very rabid and confrontational people and in certain cases (like that of France) even thugs, who seem to be bringing a message of hatred rather than peace and reconciliation (I haven't seen one single peace flag in these demonstrations).

Furthermore, the fact that most of these people seem to be Arabs/Muslims who IMO are getting across very ambiguous messages (again, so far I haven't really heard one message that I would define as a message of peace) is another thing that will keep away many Westerners and could overshadow the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Oh and of course Israel should thank the idiots in France, I think they can be considered Israel's best involuntary PR during this conflict, showing to the world the ill-concealed anti-semitism of these people :ohwell: ( yes, I know I shouldn't generalize, but that's what most or at least many people are going to do anyway).

But this complaint aside, my heart goes out to the people in Gaza who are suffering through this obscene situation and especially to those who have lost a dear one.

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Marah » 2014-07-23, 17:41

About the situation in France: there's the Ligue de défense juive http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_de_d ... ense_juive (they're viewed as terrorists by both the US and Israel, btw) who likes to come to demonstrations in order to generate conflicts which help them create the illusion that all the protesters are anti-semites and thus make them lose credibility.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-23, 18:02

What evidence is there for the involvement of the LDJ in the incidents in Barbès and Sarcelles, which involved the looting and burning of Jewish businesses as well as an attack on a synagogue?
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Marah » 2014-07-23, 18:17

I haven't really looked into it but AFAIK none, what happened in Barbès and Sarcelles is in all likelihood the action of anti-semites. However, I was referring to what happened before these incidents, that is,the fights that had the government ban the protests in the first place.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2014-07-23, 18:37

There has been a demonstration against the violence of Israel against the people in Gaza last Sunday: http://www.nu.nl/binnenland/3832865/dem ... erdam.html

I don't know if there have been any pro-Israel demonstrations but I think that's less likely to happen. There are more muslims than jewish people in the Netherlands and a lot of muslim people feel very connected with the Palestines (they view it as a prime example of muslims being treated badly or something like that), while the jewish people don't necessarily feel connected with the Israelians, I guess (though I'm not sure).
In general the opinion is that the situation is very complicated and that the violence must stop.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-07-23, 18:38

I haven't heard of protests, but the student population is heavily biased towards the Palestinian side. Much as I despite Hamas, I'm not taking sides in this one. Both need to have their heads knocked together ASAP.

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-23, 19:07

mōdgethanc wrote:I haven't heard of protests, but the student population is heavily biased towards the Palestinian side. Much as I despite Hamas, I'm not taking sides in this one.

Your government certainly is, however: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/07/22/at_un_canada_blames_hamas_for_gaza_casualties.html.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-07-23, 19:08

My government does a lot of stupid stuff. I didn't vote for them.

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-23, 19:14

mōdgethanc wrote:My government does a lot of stupid stuff.

No argument here. I just felt it was worth highlighting a particular stupid thing which is germane to the topic of the thread.

In other news of the stupid, the Israeli PM complained on CNN "[Hamas] want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can, because somebody said they use — it’s gruesome — they use ‘telegenically dead Palestinians’ for their cause." As a commentator at NYMag quipped, "If Netanyahu is so bothered by how dead Palestinians look on television then he should stop killing so many of them."
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Levike » 2014-07-23, 19:32

As I read the comment sections of the major online newspapers
most of the people here seem to be pro-Israel.

I also support Israel in this matter, even though some of their actions might be exaggerated.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-07-23, 20:09

One thing that's annoying me is complaining that this an asymetrical conflict and Hamas are the poor underdogs because they're massively outgunned by the IDF. I don't think they understand how asymmetrical warfare works. You know, like Vietnam?

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2014-07-23, 20:24

Nothing much here. Serbs are torn in this conflict. On one hand Serbs don't really like Jews and supporting Israel feels the same as supporting USA, on the other hand Serbs hate Muslims. So we don't really care, although I think that the anti-americanism prevails in the end and that we are generally more supportive of the Palestinians. Not enough to go out and protest.

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-23, 21:16

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Serbs are torn in this conflict. On one hand Serbs don't really like Jews and supporting Israel feels the same as supporting USA, on the other hand Serbs hate Muslims.

Sounds like a perfect formula for "A pox on both their houses," a common enough sentiment here. (Even more respondents in the Pew Survey--15%--said they sympathised with neither side than supported the Palestinians.)
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Marah » 2014-07-24, 10:50

mōdgethanc wrote:One thing that's annoying me is complaining that this an asymetrical conflict and Hamas are the poor underdogs because they're massively outgunned by the IDF. I don't think they understand how asymmetrical warfare works. You know, like Vietnam?


Wikipedia qualifies the conflict between Israel and Palestine as
a classic case of asymmetric warfare. Israel has a powerful army, air force and navy, while the Palestinian organisations have no access to large-scale military equipment with which to conduct operations; instead, they utilize asymmetric tactics, such as: small gunfights, cross-border sniping, rocket attacks,[15] suicide bombing[16] and human shields.[17]

Moreover, http://www.countthekids.org/ :?
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Levike » 2014-07-24, 10:54

What's wrong with an asymetrical warfare.

This way it's ensured that one part might win rapidly
so everything might soon come to an end.

If they were equal, in the sense that more weapons for the Palestinians,
the casualties would only get higher.
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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Saim » 2014-07-24, 11:11

Levike wrote:What's wrong with an asymetrical warfare.


The same thing that's wrong with all warfare; it's organized, systematic murder on a massive scale.

If they were equal, in the sense that more weapons for the Palestinians,
the casualties would only get higher.


The point is not that the Palestinians should have a bigger army so that they can more effectively kill Israelis, but that we should not act as if they two players are equal in the conflict. Some people say "both the sides just need to cool down" as if it was a "standard" war between two states, when in reality it's one state occupying and settling stateless territories - Gaza is under a blockade and the West Bank is riddled with checkpoints, walls and Israeli settlements that make it impossible for it to function.

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Re: Bombs in Gaza, riots in France

Postby Levike » 2014-07-24, 11:19

The same thing that's wrong with all warfare;
it's organized, systematic murder on a massive scale.
I didn't say it's okay,
I just pointed out that in case they got to be equal it would be worse.
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