Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Context of Israeli Military Action

One valid argument Palestinians have made against Israeli practices is all about settlements. Israel has, over many years established "Kibbutzim" or "Clusterings or Gatherings" and other settlements all over the West Bank and Gaza. This seems to be an attempt to change the facts on the ground and perhaps expand Israeli land claims.

For there to be peace, the right thing to do would be for Israel to unilaterally halt settlement expansion and even withdraw from existing settlements. This would be a painful and dramatic process, removing Jews from their adopted homes and forcibly returning them to Israeli lands.

This moving process was begun in the Gaza strip. Israeli soldiers, in their largest Peace-time operation, gathered settlers and removed them from their homes, lands, greenhouses, neighborhoods, gardens and synagogues. This web site shows the process:

Israeli Exodus from Gaza

This was a painful, humbling process which was the right thing to do. The removal of Israelis from Gaza by their own military was carried out with love, concern and patience but with a determination to reverse the settlement trend in this first test case.

Once Israel had conceded that they should leave settlements as part of the peace process, how did the Palestinians respond? By allowing a foreign (Syrian) terror gang to take over and begin to fire rockets into Israel.

With this as a result, Israel cannot progress to the next logical step, which would be an exodus from the West Bank settlements. Israel is compelled to close crossings and invade Gaza to put a stop to the madness of Hamas rocket attacks.

Palestine will never become a state (comprised of the West Bank and Gaza) while the insanity of Hamas continues. Hamas militants bring down death and destruction upon their own people, their own families, by firing Rockets or participating in suicide bombing. That is all they are achieving. They are not accomplishing even a step toward a Palestinian state. Israel has to fight their ideology, there is no other reasonable choice. Although, Hamas can prevent more harm.

Wise Palestinian leaders could turn back the Israeli tanks and shells with a short declaration. It is not even that much.

Simply express a desire to have a viable Palestinian state, recognize Israel's right to peace and security and claim that right for yourselves by abandoning violence.

Teach your children to love their neighbors and they will have a future.

Turn your anger and indignation against radical militants among you. See that they are the cause of the suffering. When a militant fires a rocket from near a school, he is designing the death of your children as a feeble attempt to discredit the just actions against them. Israel would never fire weapons on Gaza were it not for militants firing rockets.

Hamas are not heroes loyal to the Palestinian people. They are the enemy of a Palestinian state and the enemies of Palestinian peace and prosperity because, in their minds, Israel should not exist.

Militants will never have their unjust desires fulfilled. Their attitude only leads to more pain, more suffering and the destruction of their own people. Eventually Hamas and other radical militants will be put down. If not by Israel, but Israel's allies. Even the Arab countries must concede Israel did the right and noble thing withdrawing from Gaza and they are justified in stopping the rocket attacks.

Palestinians and Arab nations that can influence events in the region must actively reverse the culture of suicide bombing and rocket attacks. Teaching violence and hatred to generation after generation is no way to get peace.

If the best we can get from Palestinians is rockets, suicide attacks and an endless culture of hatred and irrationality then what is so bad about Israeli settlements? They may even change the character of the lands enough to stop the madness.

Eventually, civilized nations will reluctantly exercise the power needed to end the evil ideologies of Hamas as they have against other evil ideologies in the past. It is possible to put an end to evil cultures, designs and ambitions, no matter how insurmountable Hamas may seem, they can be absolutely and utterly defeated should that be the only way to stop their attacks. The Nazi Third Reich and the Japanese Empire seemed utterly insurmountable and had conquered vast regions of the world. Their ideologies were utterly defeated, though not their peoples.

Just as a peace loving Germany and Japan are welcomed and embraced by the world after the defeat of their former regimes, it is not Palestinians that need to be defeated. They are long over due for having a Peaceful, stable status. It is the ideas of the militants that must be defeated.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

CNN video problematic

Shifting in a lurching way from serious international conflict to domestic internet annoyances, I have to complain about CNN video.

They deploy an HD-shaped window on their site then proceed to STRETCH content that has a Standard Definition aspect ratio (4:3) to the 16:9 shape of their window.

I have complained about televisions doing this, but this is a web site... there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of stupidity in visual rendering.

I believe it calls their journalistic integrity into question. It would be offensive if they animated mustaches onto faces or digitally altered images to include animated digital hats or logos. What they actually do is distort every single pixel of the image, stretching it out of reality.

Here is a captured image from their site:

Here is my digitally corrected version, restoring the real inherent aspect ratio of the video content:

It's clear that the corrected image is far more true to life and real than the stretched one. This lovely woman's face is stretched to pancakoid by CNN's flawed video deployment.

Try opening those two images into separate browser windows to their native resolutions and comparing the look and sizing of them.

I doubt they do it on purpose, it's just that they don't care enough to deliver the best. They are just too lazy to care.

That is a shame, since their business is producing video content and deploying it!

I hope they "find the side bars" for their non HD content and stop stretching the truth.


Monday, January 05, 2009

About Israel in Gaza

I think it can be seen by everyone that Israel's air strikes and invasion of Gaza appear to be disproportional to the amount of death and destruction caused by the thousands of rockets fired into their territory in recent months by the Hamas "defacto" authority in Gaza.

Looking at this conflict as it is in one moment is not adequate. On the face of it Israel is killing many more people with its response to the scourge of rocket attacks than the rocket attacks killed. First, numbers are not the best way to see this and secondly, Israel is fighting something much more serious that is only represented by the rocket attacks.

To my first point, every life is valuable. The quality of those lives is valuable in a way that cannot be counted. I feel the pain of the losses on both sides. I don't blame the children who are killed in Gaza for the politics that led to their deaths. Every Israeli life is precious as well. The Israeli people must also live in constant anxiety from rocket attacks.

Secondly, Israel is not fighting a legitimate group. They are fighting a bunch of thugs and terrorist gangsters who, no matter how organized, how religiously faithful to their beliefs or how elaborate their clothing and weapons, are just like their counterparts in Lebanon (Hezbollah), an illegitimate, violent, hate-fueled band of bully-thugs whose only goal is the destruction of the tiny minority of Jews in the world and the negating of Israel in its entirety.

Jews aren't just any group. They have been conquered and pressed like olives to make oil over thousands of years. These are they who suffered at the hands of the tyrannical racist Nazi regime a holocaust of death greater than the entire population of Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories. Those lands only seem exclusively "Palestinian" because of an insult to Jews by the Roman Empire where upon conquering the Jewish lands renamed the whole area "Palestine". Note how remarkably Roman the symbol of the Palestinian Authority appears:

The Palestinian Authority is, by the way, the group that should be in charge in Gaza and be well on its way to being a state that peacefully co-exists with Israel.

Suppose a violent race-based gang took over a populous county in the United States. How long would we let that stand before the military was sent in to stop the nonsense? That's exactly what's happening in Gaza. A violent gang has wrangled control and is attacking Israel, inciting violence and calling for Israel's destruction.

The British defeated the Ottoman Empire in World War I and therefore took control of those lands. They wisely preserved one of the traditional and few places that can be called a Jewish homeland. The response of a number of the Palestinians living there at the time (already among many Jewish settlements) was to be a bad xenophobic neighbor.

America welcomes thousands of refugees from war torn countries. Imagine if I turned on the new arrivals and spat venom and hatred about them and even attacked them in the streets. In the case of Israel, Jews fought back and empowered themselves to preserve the new nation the UN mandated for them and the Jews weren't all refugees. Some Palestinian "bad neighbors" who didn't have to lose their homes under the treaty, responded to the circumstances ignorantly and with xenophobic rage and not a little Islamic pride and made war with the Jews instead of living in peace.

There are still Palestinians living inside the borders of Israel. It's not impossible for people of different faiths to live in peace even inside the Jewish state.

The gangster war-makers must be shown that their methods are madness. The Nazi's were defeated for the same reason and it was awfully violent and required overwhelming force exerted from all sides. 20 million enemy Germans died. Their losses numbered greater than the Jews they killed. The same lesson is in place now. It's not the small numbers of deaths caused by Hamas rockets that should be the focal point. It is the evil of their ideology that must be defeated and their losses will be far greater until their world view is fundamentally defeated.

It's not so much how they wish to worship, though their predominant religion is exploited and intertwined in their hateful message, it's their attitude that "the Jews don't deserve to exist and have a state". That's what puts the Palestinians on a losing side, no matter their over-breeding to compensate for their losses.

I can think of almost no level of Jewish aggression that is too high when their survival as a people and their sole refuge in the world, that they can call their own, is threatened. The death toll on the Palestinian side is as individually tragic as that of every Nazi father lost to his children fighting for a flawed ideology. I feel all the human losses, but there is no doubt that the internationally recognized sovereign state of Israel is justified in this conflict while Hamas is a criminal organization on a mission of genocide. It is only lucky their rockets are not bigger and more deadly, because they would surely use them.

If it were up to me, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories would become vassals to another more powerful nation who would rebuild their culture to be residents, not refugees and reconstruct proper education, political institutions and economies. I know some would say that these militant gangs take on this role in the absence of stronger leadership, though I know that they behave more like children having a tantrum. Children with access to explosives.

The militant gangs like Hamas and Hezbollah are wrong and must get their crying done and comply with civil living. They will only hurt themselves banging their childish heads against a wall and fretting over what they think they are due. Meanwhile, they miss out and grow poorer and suffer, behaving like victims. They are truly victims of their own violent hateful ideals. The moment Palestinians become good neighbors, their lives can begin to be rebuilt and improve. I know of no rogue Jewish gangs firing missiles into the civilian neighborhoods of the Palestinian Territories. All the Jews want is to control their own peace.

Every dead child, parent, sibling or loved one in Gaza and Israel must be placed at the feet of the ignorant and futile ambitions of Hamas (and Hezbollah, to say nothing of their probable backers in Iran). They are the cause of the suffering. When a child is hurting himself and others, he first must be made to stop. Hamas is like that child.