1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The Hamas Argument

Discussion in 'Middle Eastern Politics' started by Mycroft, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Mycroft

    Mycroft Ministry of Serendipity

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,869
    Ratings:
    +1,137
    Some people defend Israel's actions, it seems, my pointing to Hamas using populated urban areas as shields. They claim that they do this intentionally and that, in defense of Israel, this is why civilians are being killed.

    It is an argument that is, very possibly true.

    But if it were true, the question becomes this: Why does Israel continue to attack knowing this?

    Israel may accuse Hamas of firing missiles into civilian populated areas, but what's Israel's excuse for doing the same thing? Whether in retaliation or not? You can claim Hamas is a terrorist organisation all you like, but that does not excuse Israel from acting in exactly the same fashion.

    I am not familiar with military protocol. But I would hazard to guess that in a situation where, perhaps, british or American troops were fired with a missile from the roof of a hospital, we would not retaliate by firing a missile at that populated hospital. We have military units such as Navy SEALS, Delta Force, the SAS who can quietly infiltrate the hospital and take out the baddies with no loss of civilian life.

    In other words, we find it unacceptable to maximise civilian deaths in the pursuit of destroying a target. So why are people making excuses for Israel doing exactly this?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Sees

    Sees Dragonslayer

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4,730
    Ratings:
    +2,831
    Religion:
    Ásatrú - Path of Heroes™
    They might judge troop occupation/missions in the area as worse in international eyes than simply retaliating eye for an eye.

    We, US and Brits, do take out some populated places on spur of the moment judgment calls. Impartiality doesn't exist in military action. Our lives are worth more than the enemies or the natives.
     
  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member It's My Birthday!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    36,699
    Ratings:
    +10,004
    Religion:
    Judaism
    From an interview with Amos Oz[/b]:

    Most will trivialize the question; few will honestly struggle with it. This too is part of the problem.
     
  4. CMike

    CMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5,410
    Ratings:
    +265
    Because Israel has to protect it's own civilians from rocket attack.

    It's easy to say how simple it would be sitting in front of a computer. However, they move their location. The rocket launchers are mobile. Also, they are done in numerous areas.

    In addition, Hamas would still fight surrounded by civilians even with ground troops, so what difference does it make?

    The problem is that Hamas wants their civilians to die.

    They also fake deaths for the cameras.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=798362900186031&fref=nf
     
  5. Flankerl

    Flankerl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,687
    Ratings:
    +3,063
    Religion:
    Judaism
    So you dont want to shoot at the origin of the rocket fire(which is usually not inside the hospital building) but you want to sent a military unit into a Hospital full of civilians with terrorists hiding within them?

    Yeah what could possibly go wrong.

    And how are they going to get there? Ever heard about Mogadishu?
     
  6. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    51,626
    Ratings:
    +11,356
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    The disproportionate number of Palestinian casualties relative to Israeli casualties suggests that this analogy is seriously flawed.
     
  7. CMike

    CMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5,410
    Ratings:
    +265
    That's because Israel spends it's resources protecting it's citizens via air raid shelters and anti-missile defense.

    Hamas spends it's resources attacking civilians and intentionally placing their civilians in harms way.

    Should Israel shoot 1,000 of it's citizens just to make it fair?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    25,681
    Ratings:
    +10,240
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    Hamas well knew what it was doing, how Israel was going to respond, and repudiating cease-fire offers. I would suggest that most of the anger should be directed at this known terrorist organization that took actions that put their own people in harm's way. Any sovereign authority that literally invites the destruction of its own people and infrastructure is about as far from a moral entity as one could probably ever find. But this should not come as any surprise if anyone seriously follows what Hamas believes and had openly stated even before it was elected, and it continues to state the same today.
     
  9. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    26,030
    Ratings:
    +2,886
    The human shield thing is a transparently ludicrous excuse for the rather obvious fact Israel is targeting buildings in areas densely populated by civilians and doesn't give a fiddler's fart how many they kill.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Mycroft

    Mycroft Ministry of Serendipity

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,869
    Ratings:
    +1,137
    There are such things as surgical strikes. There are people trained for such things. The human shield argument only becomes an argument if you bother to fire at said shield in the first place knowing full well that such a shield exists. Israel knows what its doing and its demonic.
     
  11. Mycroft

    Mycroft Ministry of Serendipity

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,869
    Ratings:
    +1,137
    So does Israel.

    [​IMG]
     
    #11 Mycroft, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  12. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    51,626
    Ratings:
    +11,356
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    No, but the fact that Israel is, apparently, very good at protecting its citizens from these rockets is a factor in the ethics of shooting back. To carry Oz's analogy a bit further, if the nursery you're in with your children is protected by a sturdy concrete wall that his bullets can't get through, then it's much less urgent to kill the gunman than if it's an open-air garden with no concealment or cover.

    The thing that creates the moral necessity in that analogy is the high level of immediate risk. If that level of risk is much lower, then maybe shooting the gunman isn't the most ethical course of action. Maybe the thing to do in that case is to take the time to talk him down, for instance, and not put the child on his lap at risk.
     
  13. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,046
    Ratings:
    +504
    Religion:
    Christian- Orthodox Catholic
    That's a very easy thing to say, but not necessarily easy to do. How would you purpose a surgical strike be done when it's known that schools have weapon caches and your enemy is using tunnels and civilian infrastructure?
     
  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    51,626
    Ratings:
    +11,356
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    How many innocent people will a Hamas tunnel, weapons cache, or rocket site kill? We're told that they have a very large number of all of these, but my quick Googling says that 3 Israeli civilians and 10 soldiers have been killed in this recent conflict (and that includes 4 IDF soldiers killed by friendly fire). When a rocket site is destroyed, how many deaths are prevented?

    Contrast that with how many deaths are caused in the course of taking out a rocket site. How many people die in an average Israeli air strike? I don't have handy numbers on how many air strikes have been done by the IDF over this conflict, but based on the total number of Palestinian deaths, I would say it's a fair bet that taking out a Hamas rocket site entails orders of magnitude more death of innocent life than the rocket site could ever have caused.
     
  15. CMike

    CMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5,410
    Ratings:
    +265
    So the vast majority of Israeli citizens need to live in air raid shelters until Hamas runs out of rockets?

    Do you think if Canada was attacked by about 200 rockets every day it would be okay for Canadadians to have to live in air raid shelters rather than stop the rockets at the source?
     
  16. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,046
    Ratings:
    +504
    Religion:
    Christian- Orthodox Catholic
    So the solution is to do nothing about rockets being fired into Israel, Hamas attempts to infiltrate Israel, and expect that the Israeli gov't. and Hamas will just call quits eventually? :rolleyes:
     
    #16 xkatz, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    51,626
    Ratings:
    +11,356
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    That would depend on what was involved in stopping the rockets.

    But I do think your response was telling: this conflict isn't really about risk to Israeli lives. It's about something else: a mix of inconvenience, concerns over territorial sovereignty, and a bit of old-fashioned revenge, judging by your response. If you think that these are worth killing for, I won't dispute your value judgement - wars have been fought for much less compelling justifications in the past - but I think it's important to be clear about what's really at stake here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    51,626
    Ratings:
    +11,356
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    I'm not saying that; what I'm saying is that it's absurd to say that killing 10 children in the course of trying to blow up a weapon that likely won't hurt anyone at all is about protecting innocent lives.
     
  19. xkatz

    xkatz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,046
    Ratings:
    +504
    Religion:
    Christian- Orthodox Catholic
    So if that's what you're not saying, then what should be done to stop Hamas from firing rockets, using tunnels to smuggle weapons and for infiltration?
     
  20. Flankerl

    Flankerl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,687
    Ratings:
    +3,063
    Religion:
    Judaism
    So how exactly is it a better idea to sent a small unit of soldiers deep into enemy territory where they will be shot at from every direction, from the cover of civilians and ultimately be lynched than to simply sent a rocket at a rocket team?

    Also you do realise that the second a school, hospital, whatever civilian house is being used to store weapons or used as cover to shoot at anyone it loses its status as a civilian building?

    In before more propaganda pictures.



    I agree. Lets ignore the tunnels who sometimes end a few hundred meters next to a small town.

    Anything else that is too inconvenient which might annoy you?

    I mean what could possibly go wrong.
     
Loading...