Israel Fires on Syria

Slight change of pace here, yes, still political in nature, but it's something I consider important. Yes, I know I already have a topic for this but it's old and this is new.

As you may or may not be aware, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) responded to an incident in the Golan Heights today. The Syrian military had fired several shells over the border, with one mortar attack directed toward an IDF forward base there. The IDF responded by firing a guided missile at the artillery station responsible for the mortar attack. This, in combination with Syrian military bombings along the Turkish border, has raised the ugly specter of a regional conflict involving Syria, NATO, and now potentially the IDF as well.

This marks the first time since the 1973 Yom-Kippur War that Israel has fired into Syrian territory for any reason. Whether you happen to support Israel or not, this is a hugely dangerous situation that can get out of control quickly if the Syrians or Iranians decide something has to be done about it. Both are known to be openly hostile to Israel, and it isn't a given that Syria lacks the power to engage just because they're busy slaughtering their own people.

Given the results of the US presidential election, this becomes even more dangerous. Obama is already well known as being cold to Israel, and his re-election assures that coldness will continue. So this raises real concerns about our alliance relationship and whether or not the US will come to Israel's aid should all out war break out. I for one am not hopeful, and while the country sits distracted by General Petraeus' resignation, nobody seems to be paying attention to Syria. In fact, many seem to think ignoring the problem will make it go away.

Many of us have been subconsciously aware something like this was coming. A regional war in the Middle East will turn ugly, fast, and we need to be ready for what may come. For those of you, like me, who believe in the End Times, this is really nothing terribly surprising as this is what is widely expected to lead up to eventual Armageddon. Let's just hope this isn't what it looks like.
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
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Posted on Nov 11, 2012 1:39 pm by Samson in: | 65 comment(s) [Closed]
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Also, happy Veterans' Day. Take a moment to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by the fine folks in our military for everything we still have today, and that we'll be able to keep something resembling the republic they sacrificed for in the future.

       
I doubt the mortaring was intentional (but you never know, the Syrians could just be that stupid). That does not change Israel's right to return fire in this situation though.

Of course, the risk for a regional war is developing and it is quite a problem, although I suspect it is very unlikely that Israel would in any circumstance get involved. But still, if Israel wants to knock some holes in Assad's army, I welcome them to do so. And for that matter, I highly doubt that any regional conflict would require the USA coming to Israel's aid, beyond possible resupply of ammunition (a part of America's relationship with Israel that Obama has consistently maintained will be continued). The only time America's ever had to go any further was in 1973, which is clearly an exceptional circumstance and highly unlikely to ever come around again in the foreseeable future.

       
I disagree Prettyfly, i think it was highly dumb on the part of Israel to use cannon fire as a warning. If they happened to kill some innocent kid somewhere, you would have yet another Islamic martyr and the whole place would turn to shit.

A warning should be just that a warning, written and given to them Syrians. WARNING: The next time you accidentally land mortar fire in our land, we will intentionally land cannon fire on your mortar instillations. Signed Shimon Peres.

Everyone knows where they stand, and the onus is then on the Syrians to make sure their mortars are going in the right place.

       
Actually according to the article that spawned this post, Israel already tried the sternly worded warning. Syria didn't get the memo apparently. So they got a guided missile in response this time. I think that's perfectly within their rights, but regardless of the rightness or wrongness of it, this situation can easily escalate into an all out war.

This is not something Israel wants, nor likely something the US wants either, but the reality is, it's what's happening. Either the IDF responds and Syria realizes they're going too far, or they don't and the Syrians take it as a sign of weakness.

As far as Obama is concerned, he can SAY what he likes, his actions toward Israeli diplomats over the last 2 years tells an entirely different story.

       
Israel already tried the sternly worded warning. Syria didn't get the memo apparently.


If that is the case, then Israel did not go far enough, it should have not warning fired, but took out the mortar placement good and proper like, so they got the message.

       
It's not entirely clear from the article, but it sounds like they did in fact fire on the artillery station that fired the mortar attack. Whether they hit it or not wasn't clear. It seemed like the target might have been obscured enough that a precise hit wasn't possible, or perhaps Israel was just making good on a general warning.

I'm pretty sure than if it happens again though that Israel won't make any bones about their response to it. An air strike wouldn't be out of the question in an escalation by Syria.

       
Considering they used a guided missile, I figure they were trying for precision destruction.

Syria won't escalate this, I can assure you. Israel is almost the only country in the Middle East that hasn't openly sided with the rebels (exempting Iran, and to a much lesser degree Lebanon and Iraq), which has always seemed a bit odd to me as it is the perfect opportunity to cut off supply lines to Hezbollah.

       
Then perhaps it was merely a wake up call. Though I don't think your assurance alone will be enough to soothe the Israelis :)

Are you seriously suggesting the Iranians would have reason to side with the rebels?

Lebanon would have pretty good reason to side with them now since Syria has made incursions into their territory since this whole mess began and the people there are not happy, but I suspect Lebanon by itself isn't in a position to act on it either.

Who knows where Iraq stands, they may still view themselves as on our leash since we haven't left yet.

       
Samson said:

Are you seriously suggesting the Iranians would have reason to side with the rebels?


I wasn't. I was just considering the geopolitical context, and didn't go far enough explaining what I meant. All the states of the Arab league, pretty much have made clear that they want Assad out, which means that aside from Iran, the only state in the region that isn't openly calling for Assad's downfall is Israel. Moreover, Israel has the most powerful military and even more powerful friends, so if there is any particular state that Assad would tactically not want to (above all else) piss off, it would be Israel. Which is why I believe Syria will try as hard as it can not to escalate things.

Lebanon and Iraq are tricky. The main reason Iraq hasn't aggressively supported the rebels is because a lo of their citizens are living in Syria. Lebanon no doubt wants this conflict to end, but I think there main problem is that internally there is a lot division about who to side with, as well as Syria's long history of interference in Lebanon, so yeah, you're right, they're in no position to act on it.

Oh and I don't expect the Israeli's to be soothed. When you've got a history like Israel does, the nerves probably never go away. :tongue:

       
Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #10 Nov 12, 2012 2:37 am
Israel already tried the sternly worded warning. Syria didn't get the memo apparently.


I don't think there's anyone home to read the memo, with the Syrian authorities no longer entirely in control of the country. It takes quite a bit of government repression in that region to keep the general populace from launching harebrained attacks on Israel, and you can see that the government repression machine is faltering in Syria.

Any government, whether a tribal chieftan or a democratic republic constantly needs to take action to assert its legitimacy, or the populace will reject it, and the tribe will dissipate. An authoritarian regime depends on instilling fear to maintain legitimacy, and once enough people lose their fear, people will start doing what they want rather than what the government wants. Some of those people might want to fire mortars at the Israeli vinyard next door that used to be his grandfather's land.

This is why democracy is such a success. It provides a stable, codified set of rituals for regularly reasserting government legitimacy, independent of the life of a particular ruler, and in a way that the 'losers' don't have to feel that they have lost forever unless they take up arms.

       
http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=291470

So it looks like yesterday's rocket fire was indeed a deliberate miss, but today's hit their marks. The article also seems to indicate that Assad is in fact getting the memos, but is either ignoring them or is unwilling to do anything about it.

I mean, hell, this is two days in a row now where Syrian army guys are firing over the border into Israel. Perhaps they're hoping to provoke something, perhaps they're just monumentally stupid, but this whole thing is getting really dangerous. This is how wars start.

It's also not helping the Syrians any that they keep insisting on bombing border villages in Turkey. That's going to drag NATO into this eventually.

       
Brenton [Anon] said:
Comment #12 Nov 13, 2012 10:17 pm
Ya they are going to want to tread real lightly right about now, especially with the Obama who doesn't give 2 shits about Israel. Just wanted to say also Arthmoor, your skyrim mod work is really inspiring and I like your blog a lot too. Good to see some more folks some political common sense. Seeing so many brainwashed people excited to watch Obama toss the U.S. under the bus has my brain hurting. Well, at least we don't have to wait much longer for the liberal zombie apocalypse :nuke:

       
That's what makes this so dangerous is that Obama isn't going to have the spine to step up when it becomes necessary, and because he simply couldn't care less what happens to Israel.

       
Uh what? Israel isn't under threat here, its just a couple of stray shells going over the border. They themselves are far more interested in the tit for tat Gaza violence that this. Moreover, when was the last time Syria seriously beat Israel and America's assistance was the only thing that saved Israel from utter destruction? Oh right, never. Israel is a big boy, its more than of taking on all the Arab states at once and winning and a weakened Syrian army would be a pushover for them.

       
Israel seems to think otherwise, and the fact that idiots in Syria are still shooting at them speaks volumes.

You are right though, Gaza is far more of a threat. I said int in 2008, and I'll say it again now. Israel needs to go in there with the intention of wiping Hamas out and properly annexing this territory into the country once and for all. Enough with this piecemeal bullshit of theirs.

Also, the UN needs to keep its nose out of Israel's affairs. Ban Kai Moon needs to go home and stay there, unless he wants to become a causality to. I'd have no qualms about it if Israel bombed a location he happened to be in and killed him along with the ones they were targeting.

       
Samson said:

You are right though, Gaza is far more of a threat. I said int in 2008, and I'll say it again now. Israel needs to go in there with the intention of wiping Hamas out and properly annexing this territory into the country once and for all. Enough with this piecemeal bullshit of theirs.


Annex Gaza? Right, good luck then. Wiping out Hamas may pose some logistical problems as well, I just hope Israel opts for a very narrow definition to avoid wanton slaughter of the strips civil servants.

I'm having trouble with some of the double think that's being pushed around in the media at the moment. Lets see, Israel imposes a tight blockade on Gaza for six years and when that Palestinians fight back they are the aggressors. Strange idea. Granted, Hamas could stop firing rockets and reef Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees back into line, and I'd do that if I was in their situation, but after what they've been through, I can understand why they might feel differently.

       
After what they've been through? Be serious. The blockade happened because they were illegally being supplied with weapons by Israel's enemies. In case you hadn't noticed, Gaza isn't an independent nation. They don't get to decide whether what the Israeli navy is doing is justified or not.

I said properly annexed btw, not just plain annexed. Israel already did that part. Except they failed to follow through on that and properly occupy it as any other normal part of their territory. Unlike the silliness still going on in the West Bank. Speaking of which, seems shit is pretty quiet over there. I wonder if that might be because Abbas has figured out it's not wise to keep poking the bear.

       
Samson said:

After what they've been through? Be serious. The blockade happened because they were illegally being supplied with weapons by Israel's enemies. In case you hadn't noticed, Gaza isn't an independent nation. They don't get to decide whether what the Israeli navy is doing is justified or not.


From what I can remember, that blockade was a reaction to the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. It certainly attempts to stop weapons, but I'm quite sure if it was only about weapons they would be blocking things like snack foods either, or calculating the minimum amount of food that needs to be let in to avoid malnutrition.
I can't understand how Gaza's lack of status as an independent nation has any bearing on their ability to decide whether what is happening to them is justified or not. Its true that they don't have the power to do anything about it, but I almost get the impression you're suggesting they have less rights than other people.

Samson said:

I said properly annexed btw, not just plain annexed. Israel already did that part. Except they failed to follow through on that and properly occupy it as any other normal part of their territory.


To be honest, that makes no sense. To the best of my knowledge the Gaza Strip was never annexed, but militarily occupied. I could be wrong, but as, even during the settlement phase the population was 95%, Arab, it seems unlikely to me that Gaza was ever annexed.

I'll bring up another point to go with this issue of annexation; Israel is obsessed with being a 'Jewish State'; i.e., having a Jewish majority. This is rather difficult because if you take the populations of Gaza, Israel and the West Bank and add them up, there is more people who are Arab than Jewish (I'm not so sure on national identification; that may still be in Israel's favor). So any plan that involves annexing Gaza, which has 1.5 million Arabs, is going to severely challenge Israel remaining a 'Jewish State'; even if the West Bank is left to the Palestinians, within our lifetimes, Israel is would lose its Jewish identity under such a scenario (sometimes this is called 'the demographic threat). It is of course possible for this sort of thing to happen; its called the 'One State Solution' and involves Israeli's and Palestinian's sharing the land and sharing power with equal rights as citizens, however, very few people consider such a solution feasible. I think it would probably end disastrously with a super paranoid Jewish establishment instituting an apartheid while clashing with a Palestinian state dominated genocidal Islamic extremists, which is bad in all respects.

So I'll put it back to you; I know you favor annexation of the territories to Israel; how, precisely, do you want things to work out from there?

Samson said:

Speaking of which, seems shit is pretty quiet over there. I wonder if that might be because Abbas has figured out it's not wise to keep poking the bear.


The West Bank is quiet for three reasons
a) The Palestinian Authority are a bunch of corrupt scumbags not to different from the leaders of other Arab states, although they are significantly more democratic (which isn't saying much) and slightly less repressive. Which in turn means that they are obsessed with holding onto power themselves and fighting with Israel is generally degenerative to that outcome (though symbolic moves that will never get anywhere, such as the UN membership proposal, are good for their grip on power). I don't think Abbas ever really poked the bear,but certainly the last thing Arafat did before the Mossad poisoned him was kick the bear, and that was a pretty disastrous thing for everyone (so good riddance to him, frankly).
b) The USA funds the PA's security forces, which are now very well organised equipped and can effectively deal anyone who might cause problems.
c) Since the last intifada ended, the area's had constant and strong economic growth, hence would be Jew killers are preoccupied working. (Gaza's in recession, which is hardly the whole picture but it is part of the reason that region is so violent.)

       
prettyfly said:

So I'll put it back to you; I know you favor annexation of the territories to Israel; how, precisely, do you want things to work out from there?

Same thing as with any other nation that annexes territory. Allow them to fully participate in the society they now belong in, and to become productive members thereof.

As you have pointed out, Abbas figured this part out already. They've got a handle on their affairs internally, and for all intents and purposes appear to be at peace with their situation. All I see remaining is for them to properly integrate with the country they're in, rather than whining about something everyone knows they'll never get. Unless you'd support them going back to Jordan where they came from of course. That's the key here. Abbas appears to have come to terms with the fact that there's no such thing as a Palestinian, only exiled Jordanians and Egyptians left over from previous wars.

From what I can remember, that blockade was a reaction to the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

No. The kidnapping was in response to the blockade. The blockade came about when it was discovered that Iran and Egypt were helping to smuggle weapons in via the sea. Israel has fairly good control over the land borders, but obviously next to none over the sea prior to the blockade. Which, as far as I remember, remains in place.

This whole thing with Gaza not having the right to exist? They don't. Not as long as they're going to run around saying that Israel must be destroyed because THEY have no right to exist. Israel needs to put a stop to all this crap and be done with it. The only way to do that is to wipe Hamas out. Hamas will never negotiate a peaceful surrender and I think even you know this.

       
The blockade happened because they were illegally being supplied with weapons by Israel's enemies. In case you hadn't noticed,


Illegal under what law? UN? The same UN you choose to ignore or reject when it is against you?

       
Illegal under international law, yes. The UN != International law in case you weren't aware. International law is handled by treaties, not by edicts handed down from on high at the UN.

       
Samson said:

Same thing as with any other nation that annexes territory. Allow them to fully participate in the society they now belong in, and to become productive members thereof.

As you have pointed out, Abbas figured this part out already. They've got a handle on their affairs internally, and for all intents and purposes appear to be at peace with their situation. All I see remaining is for them to properly integrate with the country they're in, rather than whining about something everyone knows they'll never get.


That I would support, but I just think that considering how drawn out and violent the history between these two groups is, it would work.

Samson said:

Unless you'd support them going back to Jordan where they came from of course. That's the key here. Abbas appears to have come to terms with the fact that there's no such thing as a Palestinian, only exiled Jordanians and Egyptians left over from previous wars.


The problem is that just isn't true. The Zionist settlers may have tried to make it look like the Palestinians didn't exist and Abdulluh the first may have tried to make it look like the Palestinians were Jordanians, but neither of these things are reality. In fact, if you look at the genetic data, the closest relatives to European Jews are...Arabs from Ramallah (i.e. Palestinians). The Palestinians are not Jordanian and have never been Jordanian. It would be more accurate if you turned it on its head; some 50% of Jordanians are either exiles from Palestine (the 1948 or 1967 wars) or the descendants on Palestinian exiles and identify as such.

Samson said:

No. The kidnapping was in response to the blockade. The blockade came about when it was discovered that Iran and Egypt were helping to smuggle weapons in via the sea. Israel has fairly good control over the land borders, but obviously next to none over the sea prior to the blockade. Which, as far as I remember, remains in place.


Well, now that I've checked, it seems that we're both wrong; it was a reaction to the (violent) takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas (granted, it is closer to what you're suggesting).

Samson said:

The only way to do that is to wipe Hamas out. Hamas will never negotiate a peaceful surrender and I think even you know this


Good luck trying then. I don't think its so much an issue of surrendering so much as making peace.

       
prettyfly said:

That I would support, but I just think that considering how drawn out and violent the history between these two groups is, it would work.

I'll assume you meant it wouldn't work - and who really knows. I'm starting to think perhaps Abbas (with US money helping) has realized it's just not productive to fight and he's managed to reign in those who don't agree. At least in the West Bank. Nobody could really expect him to have been able to fend off Hamas over in Gaza with Israeli territory in the way. All they really need to do is give the whole process a chance to work out on its own.

The contrast here is simple. Hamas isn't interested in settling. They've made it crystal clear in their governing charter that their goal is the annihilation of Israel. I know you don't buy into this sort of absolutism, but it really is impossible to come to a productive arrangement with people like that. Thus the only solution here is obvious. Wipe them out before they wipe you out.

Well, now that I've checked, it seems that we're both wrong; it was a reaction to the (violent) takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas (granted, it is closer to what you're suggesting).

Well I knew it was something that Hamas initially provoked. I was probably thinking of the blockaded shipment that actually did have weapons on board.

The problem is that just isn't true.

Except it is, and there's a reason Abdulluh chose not to acknowledge it. Considering he was one of the parties involved in the 1948 war and all. You're giving too much credit to Arab propaganda.

       
Samson said:

Except it is, and there's a reason Abdulluh chose not to acknowledge it. Considering he was one of the parties involved in the 1948 war and all. You're giving too much credit to Arab propaganda.


Abdulluh chose not to acknowledge it because he was expansionist; he negotiated some sort of deal with Golda Meir right before (or during, I can't remember exactly when) the 1948 war (the details remain sketchy, however) that effectively allowed Israel and Jordan to split up Palestine. By pretending that the Palestinians or Jordanians were the same thing, he could validate his seizure of the West Bank, in the same way that by pretending the Palestinians didn't exist, the Yishuv could add credibility to their colonial project.

There is a distinct narrative of the conflict which is generally considered to be 'Arab Propaganda', and the Palestinian peoplehood has never been part of it. But lets turn it the other way round and look at scholarly evidence for the Palestinians not existing. The only serious case that has ever been put forward for there being 'no such thing as a Palestinian' was by Joan Peter's in the fairly infamous 'From Time Immemorial'. Oh, and let me introduce you to a character called Benny Morris; have a look at this interview and I'll think you'll be convinced that he is quite trustworthy (just don't stop after the first few questions). Now to establish what Benny Morris, the sort of guy who would love to be able to say 'the Palestinians don't exist' thinks about 'From Time Immemorial'.

Benny Morris said:

It was written with a political bent. It’s not based on good archival work, good analysis. It’s not taken seriously by most historians.


Palestinians are a distinct national identity. They were a distinct national identity before the creation of Israel. You can pretend they are Jordanians as much as you want, but they don't think that way. And Jordan's not a fan of the idea either so its not really going to be happening.

       
Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #25 Nov 16, 2012 6:02 am
Palestinians are a distinct national identity. They were a distinct national identity before the creation of Israel.


Which particular palestinians? Arab christians? Druze? Samaritans? Bedouins? Armenians? They've been created turned into a single Palestinian ethnicity by the occupation, when in the 'western'/Israeli narrative, these previously different ethnicities suddenly became either 'decendants of illegal arab immigrants in the liberated promised land', or 'a brutally oppressed, stateless ethnic minority in occupied lands', depending on whom you ask.

       
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