Israeli FM: Palestinians who target soldiers not terrorists

#1
Israel's foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, whose father was labelled a terrorist by the British for his membership of the Jewish underground, was the director of operations for the Irgun, one of the hard-line Jewish nationalist groups that fought against British rule in Palestine in the 1940s.

"We must say to the international community that terrorists who take the lives of civilians are terrorists, that you cannot justify their motivations," she said.We must do everything to prevent terrorists gaininig international legitimacy. Nobody can look me in the eye and tell me that a terrorist who blows himself up in an restaurant or disco or shopping centre has legitimate motives."

LIVNI'S LUNACY

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/67044.htm

April 15, 2006 -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has unleashed a firestorm back home, with some ill-advised remarks that could undermine Jerusalem's moral stance in the War on Terrorism.

Interviewed recently on ABC's "Nightline," Livni said she draws a distinction between those who attack civilians and those who attack soldiers - the latter, she said, "is not under the definition of terrorism."

Indeed, she added, targeting someone in uniform, rather than a bus full of women and children "is more legitimate, it's a legitimate fight."

Who knew a top Israeli official could be so clueless when it comes to terrorism?

To be sure, there was a reason why Livni suddenly found herself on the side of those who find moral gradations in terrorism.

The "Nightline" correspondent was drawing a comparison between Palestinian groups and her father, a leader of the pre-statehood underground group Irgun Zvai Leumi, led by future Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The Irgun's operations targeted British soldiers - but civilians also died, allowing critics to denounce the group as terrorists.

OK, Livni wasn't about to publicly brand her father a terrorist. In the process, though, she did tremendous disservice to her own country, which more than any other nation has borne the brunt of Islamist extremism and terrorism.

For one thing, groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad don't target just soldiers; in fact, the vast majority of those Israelis killed by Palestinians suicide bombers are civilians. It is absurd to suggest that some operations by the same group constitute terrorism while others don't.

Moreover, Israel is a nation of citizen-warriors. Military service is mandatory, and Israeli men are called up each year for service in the reserves. Thus, most Israelis - even if not actually in uniform - could be classified as soldiers. Does that make them acceptable targets?

Livni this week tried to clarify her remarks and quiet the furor. But Israel has too much at stake - battling not only the terrorists, but those who try to soften their murderous impact by using such disingenuous euphemisms as "militants" and "freedom fighters."

Tzipi Livni, with her misguided remarks, has inadvertently - but unmistakably - helped legitimize terrorism.
Tzipi the terrorists' daughter meets Tony Blair



Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni arrives at 10 Downing Street in London for a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Livni insisted that Israel did not want to "punish" the Palestinians for the radical group Hamas's victory in parliamentary elections.



Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (right) shaking hands with British Minister of State Kim Howells in central London on Thursday.

“Israel always valued its friendship with Britain. We share the same principles, the same interests, and in my opinion, we also share the same path – the right path – in order to deal with those challenges."

The Independent (London)


March 4, 2006 Saturday

Richard Ingrams' Week: 'Forkbender' and the dangers of litigation


A profile in this paper of Ms Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign secretary who came to London this week to rally support for her anti-Hamas policy, illustrates again the hazards of making "glorification of terrorism" a criminal offence.

Ms Livni is said to be very proud of her father, who has engraved on his tombstone the epitaph: "Here lies the head of operations of the Irgun," Irgun being described as "a pre-independence military organisation set up to fight the British and the Arabs".

That is no doubt how Ms Livni and her father would like to think of Irgun. Others, like the British relatives of those who were blown up in the famous bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946, might think differently. They would regard Irgun not as a pre-independence military organisation, but as a gang of terrorists - a kind of Israeli equivalent of today's Hamas.

My dictionary defines terrorism as "the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal". If that is right, then Irgun would surely qualify. So, for that matter, would the campaigners for "animal rights" who have carried out a ruthless war of intimidation against those who work in scientific laboratories where animals are experimented on. If anyone deserves the terrorist label, these people do. But, for whatever reason, they are never so described. "Activists" or "extremists" are the preferred labels.

It all goes to show how dangerous are Blair's proposals to make the "glorification of terrorism" an offence. But, as so often nowadays, it is being left to the unelected members of the House of Lords to try to stop it. Some chance.

http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article349072.ece
 
#2
Two things occur to me. The first one is that the lady concerned is being remarkably honest and frank about such matters and should be congratulated. The state of Israel was founded on the back of terrorism against the British forces there. This does not render it illegitimate, terrorism is a tactic rather than an opponent. Indeed, should we analyse some of the irregular actions performed by the winning side in the American War of Independence using todays definitions we might some to some interesting conclusions. And here's a thought, how was "Shock and Awe" supposed to work ? By terrorising the recipients into surrender. So using terror as a tool of policy, that must make it ....

The reaction of the NY Post is fascinating though as they seem to be seeking to condemn terrorism as automatically evil yet making damn sure that the definition of terrorism used doesn't apply to anything that might embarass the US. I find hanging a claim of moral absolutism (terrorism's bad, mmmkay) on the back of a convoluted pile of semantic definition deeply suspicious.
 
#5
rear_admiral said:
One_of_the_strange said:
terrorism is a tactic rather than an opponent.
Maybe to you Pol Pot.
A few questions then:

1. Israel was founded on the back of terrorist acts against the British Army, would you have supported military action and regime change against them at the time ?
2. If your answer to 2. is no then why was their terrorism acceptable ?
3. Would you refrain from hostile action following any invasion of the UK on the grounds that the only way of resistance is through terrorism ?
4. If your answer to 3. is that you are a freedom fighter as you are fighting foreign troops in your country how do you classify Iraqis fighting against foreign troops in their country ?

Life is not black and white, and one of the reasons we're not making headway on our enemies is that we refuse to acknowledge this.
 
#6
I'm against Modernism

"Finally, in short, I profess to be utterly free of the error according to which the modernists hold that there is nothing divine in the sacred tradition; or, what is far worse, admit this in the pantheistic sense, so that nothing remains but the bare and simple fact to be assimilated with the common facts of history, namely, of men by their industry, skill, and genius continuing through subsequent ages the school inaugurated by Christ and His disciples."

From Pope Pius X's Oath against Modernism


talk about Thread Drift :roll:
 
#7
One_of_the_strange said:
1. Israel was founded on the back of terrorist acts against the British Army, ....

Life is not black and white.........
To your point one, this is not quite the whole truth. The Zionist movement also used diplomatic means over several decades to bring it's goals to the world stage eg. the hard work put in by Chaim Weizman. As you may be aware, the Jewish Palestinian underground (Hagana) worked in conjunction with Britain in Mandate Palestine for many years against arab insurrection (e.g. protecting the oil pipeline to Haifa, etc). The actions of a minority underground movement e.g. IZL or Stern gang are exaggerated in their contribution to Israeli independence.
 
#8
One_of_the_strange Is completely right in what he is saying. A very good example would be to rewind back to WW2, had the Germans been successful in the Battle of Britain and Invaded the UK , I can guarantee you that the British people would have had a Resistance/Insurgency against the German occupier .The German Army would have perceived us as Terrorists , like we perceive the Iraqi Insurgents/Resistance Fighters as Terrorists who blow up Iraqi Forces ,civilians and Coalition Troops.

It has to be said that the various Resistance/Insurgencies in Iraq have different reasons for why they are fighting, some because they want their country back and us out of it , and some for personal and political gain.

You can almost tell who is who when it comes to attacks, the ones taking out Iraqi and Coalition Military Targets are the people who are generally the indigenous people of Iraq . The ones who blow up civilians are generally the outsiders looking to cause havoc and gain power and influence in the region through that chaos .

Of Course you get the ones who we truly know as terrorists the Hijackers, 9/11, 7/7. All these people have a mission and a cause that they believe to be the right, we don’t share in there beliefs we see them as terrorists they see us as Terrorists because they believe our foreign policy is aimed and undermining and eventually destroying their way of life.

Whoever has the biggest punch and reach will be the one who is seen as right as they have global influence , the others who cant fight square and have to ankle bite , well they will always be seen as the terrorist………..

This is just my thought on the subject
 
#9
Arik said:
One_of_the_strange said:
1. Israel was founded on the back of terrorist acts against the British Army, ....

Life is not black and white.........
To your point one, this is not quite the whole truth. The Zionist movement also used diplomatic means over several decades to bring it's goals to the world stage eg. the hard work put in by Chaim Weizman. As you may be aware, the Jewish Palestinian underground (Hagana) worked in conjunction with Britain in Mandate Palestine for many years against arab insurrection (e.g. protecting the oil pipeline to Haifa, etc). The actions of a minority underground movement e.g. IZL or Stern gang are exaggerated in their contribution to Israeli independence.
Well, Hamas do more than just terrorism but so what ? Does that excuse their acts ?

That said, if I was Jewish and in Israel then I would have done what I could and if that meant joining up with that Begin fellow and blowing up some hotel full of British squaddies then so be it. As it happens I find myself in the British Army in a Corps whose history includes some of my forebears being murdered in an olive grove by some of those "minority" you refer too, so my perspective may well differ.

Frankly though, it's all water under the bridge now. We need to see the world as it is and justify actions on their effects here and now, not on what your grandad did to mine and vice versa.
 
#10
One_of_the_strange said:
Well, Hamas do more than just terrorism but so what ? Does that excuse their acts ?

That said, if I was Jewish and in Israel then I would have done what I could and if that meant joining up with that Begin fellow and blowing up some hotel full of British squaddies then so be it.........

..........not on what your grandad did to mine and vice versa.
The difference with Pals terrorism is that they have a penchant for going after 'soft' civilian targets rarely military or civil administration targets, they also use children and have been known to use ambulances in pursuit of their goals, etc. There is a definite distinction between a group that pursues civilian targets and those that go after military / political targets.

Unless you were in the periphery of the Jewish Palestine mandate population you would of been more likely to join the Hagana rather then IZL / Stern.

If you were referring to the 2 sergeants hung in a grove ('47?) I think you may find that one of them was apparently Jewish, showing that the group who carried out the killing were defeating their own purposes.

BTW - You may find that your predecessors and mine served in the same uniform with the same pride and loyalty!!
 
#11
Surely though a campaign of killing troops to achieve independence from an occupying power is an insurgency? My issue is that walking into a restaurant and blowing yourself up in a crowd of civilians is not achieving independence. You're trying to stamp your authority on others and that to me is where terrorism goes from a tactic to achieve independence to a tactic to intimidate and control others and should be stopped.
 
#12
It is exactly that Un-Friendly-Fire ,that is how they think they can get their cause seen world wide and achieve influence against whoever they perceive as their oppressor .
Its completely wrong and indefensible in our eyes but in their eyes it’s the only way , and remember it’s a human being that’s blowing themselves up , you don’t do that sort of act unless you have total faith in what you think your going to achieve .
 
#13
TartanTerror said:
....... remember it’s a human being that’s blowing themselves up , you don’t do that sort of act unless you have total faith in what you think your going to achieve .
Some are forced into it as a way of 'atoning' for sacrilege or similar e.g. women who have been caught playing around. Not all are absolute willing participants.
 
#14
I Cant imagine many of them are hence why they use drugs And similar techniques to make people do these things , however a lot of Saudi suicide bombers do it because they have deep faith. These are the people , who no matter what you say there is only one way for them.
 
#15
Arik said:
TartanTerror said:
....... remember it’s a human being that’s blowing themselves up , you don’t do that sort of act unless you have total faith in what you think your going to achieve .
Some are forced into it as a way of 'atoning' for sacrilege or similar e.g. women who have been caught playing around. Not all are absolute willing participants.
Arik!

You are obviously a highly intelligent person. Be fair, really you don't think this way. Rather you wish to believe it.

Anyway, suppose that noone Palestinian is being forced to be a suicide-bomber. Then, say me frankly, whould you change your attitude to them?

Edited to add:

Mrs Livni, btw is a former officer. It should be appreciated. Personally I don't see anything wrong in her statements.
 
#16
Arik said:
TartanTerror said:
....... remember it’s a human being that’s blowing themselves up , you don’t do that sort of act unless you have total faith in what you think your going to achieve .
Some are forced into it as a way of 'atoning' for sacrilege or similar e.g. women who have been caught playing around. Not all are absolute willing participants.
Wasn't that in Lebanon? - I think the Palestinian ones have been shown pretty much to be voluntary but then again - who knows what happens in a head of a SB?
 
#17
Arik said:
One_of_the_strange said:
1. Israel was founded on the back of terrorist acts against the British Army, ....

Life is not black and white.........
To your point one, this is not quite the whole truth. The Zionist movement also used diplomatic means over several decades to bring it's goals to the world stage eg. the hard work put in by Chaim Weizman. As you may be aware, the Jewish Palestinian underground (Hagana) worked in conjunction with Britain in Mandate Palestine for many years against arab insurrection (e.g. protecting the oil pipeline to Haifa, etc). The actions of a minority underground movement e.g. IZL or Stern gang are exaggerated in their contribution to Israeli independence.
er, that certainly was not the post war case!
 
#18
KGB_resident said:
Arik! You are obviously a highly intelligent person. Be fair, really you don't think this way. Rather you wish to believe it.

Anyway, suppose that noone Palestinian is being forced to be a suicide-bomber. Then, say me frankly, whould you change your attitude to them?

Edited to add:

Mrs Livni, btw is a former officer. It should be appreciated. Personally I don't see anything wrong in her statements.
Not a matter of personal belief, from memory, a female bomber caught en route to Beersheba recently was one such case. Even if they were all willing participants I would not agree with their method or targets chosen (by others).

Re Mrs Livni, I dont know much about her military CV, I would 'appreciate' her service depending on where she served as an officer. There is more kudos with some types of officers in the IDF then in others depending where they served unit wise.

Castlereagh - the case between 45-48 was a very short period compared to the preceding decades and there was also the context of that period of time with the liberation of Europe and the consequences it held for the survivors of European Jewry. I would add that there was co-operation between the Hagana & the British for parts of that 3 year period mentioned (e.g. the Hagana compromised members of IZL) Aside of this, Britain had already decided to pull back from parts of the Empire (was this possibly US driven from Yalta / Potsdam conference period) and areas such as the Mandate and was not driven out of the Mandate but had other post war issues to deal with at home & abroad.
 
#19
Arik said:
Not a matter of personal belief, from memory, a female bomber caught en route to Beersheba recently was one such case. Even if they were all willing participants I would not agree with their method or targets chosen (by others).
Here is the Beersheba case

They tend to recruit the weakest and vulnerable of all. It could be that in her social environment, the suicide bombers are held in high esteem. Thus becoming one herself would restore her lost self-esteem. Crazy thinking, but she's a obviously a disturbed young woman living in a very disturbed part of the world.

"A badly burned Palestinian woman had probably helped turn her into the perfect would-be huriia (virgin), the ideal martyr, since they would make it difficult for her to find a suitable husband."



Jun 20, 2005

A video from NBC news ( after the commercial )

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8330374/



A badly burned Palestinian woman was alternately defiant and tearful Monday after Israeli soldiers caught her trying to enter Israel with 22 pounds of explosives hidden on her body. It was then that she tried to set off the belt containing 20lb of explosives hidden beneath her trousers. To her horror, she did not succeed. Desperate, she clawed at her face and rubbing her disfigured neck with her burned hands and screaming. She was still alive, she realised. She had failed her martyrdom mission.

Descent

But how did the grateful young burn victim become a suicide bomber?

One thing is for sure: It wasn't the religious and nationalist reasons she stated to reporters after soldiers stopped her at the border crossing, made her undress and discard the bomb, which a robot then detonated harmlessly.

It also wasn't her burning desire since childhood to be a martyr, as she claimed. It also wasn't because of the Israeli occupation, which was the motivation of her handlers from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the militant group that she said gave her the bomb, drove her to the crossing and gave her instructions.

We know these things because of another young woman, Latifah, whose son shared a ward with Wafa in the Soroka burns unit. Latifah met Wafa in the hospital and they became friends. At her son's bedside, her hands folded, Latifah recounted to NBC News what Wafa told her in the month they spent together, chatting daily.

"Before she was burned her mom told me that Wafa was a very funny girl, very active, laughing a lot," Latifah said. "But after the burning she became very tired and depressed. And often Wafa said to me, ‘I can't live like this, I am so ugly, I want to commit suicide.’ She had a fiance. But after the accident he left her. Then she kept crying, ‘Nobody will want me, I am too ugly, my body is scarred everywhere’."

When Wafa was released from Soroka, she didn't want to leave, Latifah said. "She was screaming, shouting, ‘Please don't let me go. I am better here. I'm going to die.’ But they made her leave, on a stretcher, and they took her home to Gaza."


Later Latifah visited her new friend in the small home the family occupies in the Jabalya refugee camp. They're nice people, poor people, simple people, Latifah said.

But with her ugly wounds, Wafa lost her friends. She was lonely.

Then, Latifah continued, "Suddenly she said, ‘I want to commit suicide. If there is anyone who will give me a bomb to blow myself up I will do it.’ Her mom shouted, ‘Shut up — don't say that. We don't need more problems’."

Wafa's mother told Latifah that her daughter was sick, unhappy, and might need a psychiatrist. "But her brothers said, ‘No, people will talk about us, they'll think she's crazy. We should take her for a walk. Maybe she will change her mind’."
 
#20
That was the case (there are quite a few so memory becomes vague after a time!!) Like you say they do sometimes send /recruit the vulnerable types. Again, from memory, a fair few young teenagers have been stopped before they managed to get through. Unfortunately, for each one caught, plenty more will take their place, thus the process continues.

BTW - I read this week that the IDF has publicised that it will consider re-entering (part) Gaza in force in order to do something about the Kassams as counter - battery fire is not as effective as desired.
 

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