Arms Trade Treaty's Purpose: Block Arms Sales to Israel:

A recent statement by the International Action Network on Small Arms, the world's leading gun prohibition lobby, states that the Arms Trade Treaty, currently being drafted in the United Nations, would prohibit arms sales to Israel and to Hamas. Rebecca Peters, the head of IANSA, accuses both Hamas and Israel of violating international law, and explained that the ATT would outlaw weapons sales to both parties. According to the press release:

[Peters said:] "Yet some states continue to supply weapons to the protagonists. Some of these transfers are 'legal', meaning approved by the exporting and importing governments. The most obvious case here is the continuing US supply of arms to Israel."

Last week IANSA reported that the US tried to ship 989 containers of ammunition, explosives and other munitions to Israel, through European ports.

A strong and effective global Arms Trade Treaty would have prevented these transfers, and more importantly would have prevented transfers in the past few years, reducing the protagonists' capacity to wage their deadly war.

Under the rules of war, attacks should not be indiscriminate, and precautions must be taken to minimise civilian casualties. Around 1300 Palestinians were killed in the recent attacks by Israel on Gaza. Most of these victims were non-combatants, including nearly 500 children. Israel claimed these attacks were militarily necessary, because the military targets were located within civilian settlements. But the massive number of casualties resulted in part because Israel failed to give sufficient warning to civilians.

John (mail):
Well this should work. Are these people teenagers yet?
1.30.2009 9:37pm
Did they really say "protagonists?"
1.30.2009 9:38pm
Brooks Lyman (mail):
Unfortunately, I can see Israel being affected by this, but not Hamas - or Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, etc. I'm sure that there are plenty of Islamic nations who would be happy to smuggle arms to Hamas, et al.

As John asks, "are these people teenagers yet?" Rebecca Peters and all the rest of the gun control supporters - domestic as well as international - have this naive idea that criminals will obey gun control laws and that the peaceable kingdom will be ushered in. To date, it hasn't worked out that way. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't bet my life or goods or those of my family on such a proposal....
1.30.2009 9:50pm
KenB (mail):
Much of the governing elite of the West seems to have decided it pays to bash Israel. I am pessimistic about Israel's ability to survive that in the long run. But administrators and politicians base decisions on what advances their careers, power, or prestige or any combination of the three. Morality is seldom a factor, though it gets a lot of lip service.
1.30.2009 10:31pm
They're hoping for a repeat of the UN arms embargo on Bosnia and Serbia. "The law in its majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges."

Only Israel exports arms instead of importing them. This is just another attempt to ban export of anything to Israel.

Most any organization with the word "International" in its names is a conspiracy to destroy Israel.
1.30.2009 10:31pm
The following is a list of nations known to supply arms to Hamas and Hezbollah who have also shown a strict adherence to UN 'treaties' and decrees:

1.30.2009 10:33pm
In this case, gun-control wouldn't even affect the law-abiding. If Israel were forbidden from importing or exporting weapons, it would continue to do so, as a matter of survival, but this supposed "violation of international laws and norms" would become another bloody shirt for anti-Zionists to wave.
1.30.2009 10:48pm
Nick B (mail):
Who needs nukes, we just need to hook these spinmeisters up to generators, and we're set for life!
1.30.2009 10:51pm
Orson Buggeigh:
Wonderful. The clueless are still trying outlaw violence. Peters should read up on the effectiveness of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Oh, and she needs to re-read the rules of war. Seems to me the problem isn't the Israelis bombing Gaza as much as it is the Hamas folks placing weapons caches and military operations posts among civilians.
1.30.2009 11:37pm
Captain Ned:
What Ms. Peters really said is:

Why won't those damn Jews just up and die already.
1.30.2009 11:38pm
ef (mail):
because Israel failed to give sufficient warning to civilians.

If a guy launching mortars from your neighbor's rooftop doesn't serve as a significant warning, is a leaflet, phone call, giant bill board or sky writing stating "we're about to blow the crap out of the guy launching mortars from your neighbor's rooftop" likely to improve the situation?

And while I'm asking, when does hamas bear some responsibility for not knocking on some doors and telling the residents "Hey, we're about to launch some mortars from your neighbor's rooftop. A small percentage of people have noticed some minor side effects like smoke inhalation, sleeplessness from repetitive thumping noises and houses collapsing around them. You may want to consider taking preventive action. In severe cases, your HOA can pass bylaws restricting the use of rooftops for mortaring."?
1.30.2009 11:38pm
Dan Simon (mail) (www):
Without American-made precision weapons, many, many more Gazans would have died in the recent conflagration. If exports to Israel are banned, Israel will simply use its own less sophisticated weaponry, and more Gazans will die.

Then again, nobody should be fooled into believing that anti-Israel "international activists" of this type care in the least about the well-being of anyone other than themselves--least of all residents of Gaza.
1.31.2009 1:39am
ginsocal (mail):
All idiocy coming out of the UN (which, in fact, is everything coming out of the UN) is to be avoided like the plague. The UN is nothing but an insurance plan for kleptocrats and thugs.
1.31.2009 2:25am
cubanbob (mail):
Now if the terrorist would wear easy to spot uniforms, it would be a lot easier to kill them without inflicting as many 'civilian' deaths.
1.31.2009 2:54am
miq (mail):
there has been a ban on nuclear proliferation,yet israel has hundereds of them.i do not know whether it will affect israel
1.31.2009 3:41am
usajo (mail):
well once again the dumba**es from hamas gaza keep firing their rockets..I say drop leaflets telling everyone to leave gaza, then level it.they keep firing rockets and claiming victory what victory?? they got their a**es kicks lmmao
1.31.2009 7:33am
The Iraels should kill more civilians till they realize that they made a mistake voting terrorists into power. They need to grasp that there are consequences to launching rockets into another country and kick them out of power.

The PLO and Hamas are stupid. They would be much better off now and then before Israel was created if they stop terrorism and pursue peace. The problem is that they have too much pride and exist only to fight. They dont know how to live in peace.

Bad things have happened to lots of people in the past. Millions of Jews, Chinese and Russians were murdered in WWII. Millions of Cambodians were killed after the Viet war. The Palestinians are not unique in there suffering and fighting on is pointless. Look how far it has gotten them.
1.31.2009 7:57am
Paul R (mail):
Hamas is fighting a proxy war for Iran and they are only too happy to do it.
Hamas principle purpose is to fight and totally destroy Israel (gee...kinda sounds like Amadinajad?)
Until and unless the Arab and Muslim world accepts Israel and changes their way of viewing outsiders (read as "INFIDELS") peace will be impossible.
Wake up and see the reality!
1.31.2009 8:32am
I can understand why Israel took the measures it did. I can also understand why the israelis wouldn't care much about enemy civilian losses, but YOU guys can't ignore the fact that more than 1000 gazan civilians died in the conflict.
I frankly don't think that the prohibition of arm selling to Israel will lead to the destruction of the state =) Let's not forget the fact that Israel was, is, and most likely will always be backed by the US.
The war in that region is a bloody mess. Most likely it sucks to live under constant rocket/mortar threat, but that's just another reason to stop this damn war somehow. Stopping the arms exports to Israel and Hamas is, in my opinion a good start.
1.31.2009 8:47am
ef (mail):
but YOU guys can't ignore the fact that more than 1000 gazan civilians died in the conflict.

No one is ignoring it, only laying the blame at the feet of the real problem: Hamas. Combatants have an obligation to avoid endangering civilians by setting up military operations next to them, or if they must, telling the civilians to get out. Not doing so, and intentionally, means that it's hamas, not Israel, that is at fault.
1.31.2009 8:59am
yitz (mail):
i personally believe that if un measures are aimed at putting the survival of israel in jeopardy then israel should order all un personnel out of israel and the territories. they have never recieved a fair shake from the un anyway.
as to war. i quote general william tecumseh sherman "war is hell" and if israel were to follow the approach of his march from atlanta to the sea, the palestinians would come to understand that too.
1.31.2009 9:06am
It's Hamas' fault for doing that, true. But it's israeli shells doing the damage. I'm not saying Israel did everything it could to maximize losses, not saying it did everything it could to minimise them either, though.
Just saying that this war has been on for way too long, and that the only ones who suffer from it are civilians, jews and arabs both. Fortunately for the israelis, they weren't at the sharp end of the stick, this time at least.
Hamas is a dangerous movement to Israel and, by affiliation, other countries as well. However, this sort of actions, where hundreds of children die in israeli fire can only lead to Hamas' strenght growing in the area..weird considering that as you said, hamas is basically responsable for making the bloodshed happen. But understandable still..
1.31.2009 9:15am
ef (mail):
It's not weird at all. It's central to their strategy. Force Israel to drop munitions in populated areas, inflicting civilian casualties then use those casualties to convince other nations to condemn Israel's actions. Wash. Rinse Repeat. It works, because far too many people are willing to overlook or excuse the initial action of Hamas.

There are prohibitions in war against the use of human shields. Violating that prohibition, especially as part of your primary strategy, does not require the other side to cease it's actions.
1.31.2009 9:25am
crb (mail):

Well dont get me wrong but if you stop and look all military bases most all of them US and forien they are all located in the civilan citys around the world. So if any one of those bases gets hit there will be a large number of civilan DEATHS.
Just look at my point i live in the us and the city here has 5 bases in and around it so what are my chances of getting killed in a attack.
1.31.2009 9:39am
erh...Let's not talk about religion, it did too much damage during the last thousand year as it is. Yes, religion is the prime reason for the whole thing, blind faith combined with manipulation is to be blamed on a lot of things happening in this world.
Remember all the crimes done in the name of christianity..the killings in the name of a God of peace. Religion doesn't make a man better, or worse. The way we interpret what we read has the potential to, though.
Back to the topic on hand, I still think the UN's measure is a good one.
1.31.2009 10:24am
laughinglarry (mail):
It is always frightening to read the angry posts from pro Israeli posters. They are always so full of anger and fear. Anger and fear don't really lead to better thinking.

Almost all of these posters are pushing Zionist Apartheid arguments.

The biggest lie is that Israel is "defending itself" by roasting civilians with White Phosphorus artillery rounds. Israeli actions are plainly not defensive. The Israeli are holding over 10,000 in prisons under horrific conditions. They are holding around 4,000,000 Palestinians in concentration camps scattered around the lands that were taken from them by force by racist Zionists. Israeli leader speak openly about punishing the civilian population forcing them to submit to complete domination and annexation by paramilitary forces ( called settlers by the Zionists)

When these people raise a hand to defend themselves from this brutal apartheid regime they are accused of being the attacker. Absolutely nobody in the world but the Americans and the Israeli believe this nonsense.

The rest of the remarks are designed to show how "uncivilized" and "barbaric" the Palestinians or Arabs generally are. This take the form of shock propaganda about this horrible act or other by some deranged person. Israeli are counter posed as beacons of Western values fighting against the Arab hordes. Kinda like the 300 fighting off the savage Persians huh ?

It is a shame to see a noble religion like Judaism sacrificed to erect a false god like nationalism.

Its a shame to see so many dying to fulfill others passionate ideas
1.31.2009 10:34am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Larry, the last two years have had people on both sides making a big deal out of Barack Obama's middle name, out of Sarah Palin's failure to provide photographic evidence that her son Trig actually came out of her own vulva, of Obama providing a certified copy of his birth certificate in place of the original, and the national press reporting rumors published openly as satire as facts.

And that is the most stunningly wrong-headed, misinformed, ignorant, thoughtless, hyperbolic, and generally stupid porsting I've seen all year.

Hell, it may be the dumbest collection of apparently grammatical sentences in that length I've ever seen, and that includes some of Brian Leiter's gems and a long time spent reading USENET back to before the Great Namespace Reorganization.

In some sense you should be proud of yourself.

In he mean time, however, please renounce your drivers license and voting registration and apply to a Court for a guardian or voluntary committment, as you clearly can't be trusted to care for yourself and are a danger to others.
1.31.2009 11:10am
D Kosloff (mail):
crb: "if you stop and look all military bases most all of them US and foriegn they are all located in the civilan citys around the world. So if any one of those bases gets hit there will be a large number of civilan DEATHS."
Clearly, crb, you know know almost nothing about military bases, the history of warfare, the recent defense of Isreal or modern weapons. If you did, you would not have written the above. For example, look at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and other Hawaiin military bases. Compared to military deaths, there were few civilian deaths. The problem with the arabic terrorists is not the way they locate their "military bases". They have no delineated military bases. There is a vast difference between the use of a military base and the use of distributed launch sites in residential areas. Even on a military base, command posts and weapons storage areas are not located in churches and hospitals.
1.31.2009 11:13am
MnZ (mail):
Let's just remove the highly charged Palestinian and Israeli issue and focus on the implications of the treaty. Since non-state and quasi-state paramilitary organizations already rely on smuggled weaponry with untracable origins, the Arms Trade Treaty would do little to disarm them. However, state actors typically obtain their weaponry through tracable official channels. The Arms Trade Treaty would have a rather large effect on the armaments available to them.

How does reducing the armaments of states while leaving non-state actors largely unaffected increase peace and order in the world?

Laughinglarry, let's suppose that I think your house belongs to me. Based on your logic, I am justified to fire rockets into your property until you hand it over. If you try to stop me, you are the aggressor. Hmmm...I kind of like that idea. Can you tell me more about your house?
1.31.2009 11:16am
Simon Spero (mail) (www):
I think it's time I made a donation to JPFO.
1.31.2009 11:28am
Joshua Korfelder (mail):
If we remove the pro Israel hysteria and if we can calmly analyze the situation from afar.
What we can see Israel being at war since 194? and having the expense of war and casualties since then. Obviously Israel's leader have been unable to obtain peace, even with the worlds superpower in full support.
The Israelis chose the neighborhood but can't live with the neighbors.

You'd think after 60 years (or so) a new approach would be attempted.....
1.31.2009 11:54am
Dan Simon (mail) (www):
What are you talking about? Israel has peace treaties with its two primary neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. In that part of the world, where neighboring countries are more often hostile than not, that's a pretty good rate of acceptance.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, don't even have their own state, let alone peace with their neighbors. In Gaza, where they're the most belligerent, their economy is virtually non-existent, and they depend almost entirely on international aid donations for basic sustenance. You'd think after 60 years (or so) a new approach would be attempted.
1.31.2009 12:19pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Dan Simon, Agreed with your points. And maybe in a second Netanyahu Administration, we can see peace treaties with Syria and Lebanon added as well.

However, the question is what needs to be done about the situation. My own (largely pessimistic) view is that the situation will not improve until there is a Palestinian state with an economic future and a credible government. Given the fact that the current approach has been to put organized criminals in charge of the PA, it seems that we need a major change of direction.

I PERSONALLY think it is going to take a decade-long international occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, along with serious attempts at building national infrastructure, political systems, etc. It is going to take a long time and it needs a CLEAN start.

All Israel is doing in recent military engagements is knocking over anthills. A very new direction is needed. Unfortunately, Israel did not do what was necessary during the last occupation and the result was that the PA was handed to the PLO rather than to the Palestinian people. I don't think they have the credibility to do this again. Maybe a joint Israeli/Turkish/Egyptian force in Gaza?
1.31.2009 12:29pm
Nick G. (mail):
The British government after WWI chose the neighborhood Joshua. And rightly so as the children of Israel should settle in the land where their ancestors lived. The difficulty of course is that the Arabs in that region many of them are also of the same original blood line. If you go back far enough they are all children of Abraham, The Jews of course were the sons and daughters of Issac and the Arabs are the sons and daughters of Ishmael later referenced as Ishmaelites such as those who took Joseph in slavery to Egypt which eventually led to the exodus of the descendants of Issac from Egypt led by Moses. I'm really not bible thumping here, these are aspects which have been verified through archeological digs. The point is the Jews and Arabs from the Negev desert are the same people just divided by thousands of years.
1.31.2009 12:39pm
james the infidel:
lest we forget their are no civilians in the arab world they have no spine to fight head to head and put on a uniform and a civilian arab is a terrorist in waiting, look at the viet cong in nam no uniforms = dead people
these liberals idiots that never have or ever will fight for anything that means anything are idiots.
1.31.2009 12:46pm
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mail):
are u a crack head..blamejews for everthing..u guys are nuts
1.31.2009 12:48pm
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mail):
lets not forget who send 6,000### rockets into is israel civilian and let not forget on the day israel birth 14 arab army attack,i think u guys needed too open up your eye and see that there is a god in israel and it is not ALLAH who just a makeup god( moon god) wake up
1.31.2009 12:59pm
ef (mail):
The British government after WWI chose the neighborhood

I think it was Moses that chose the neighborhood. There's some intervening history, but the UN didn't randomly pick a spot after WWII.
1.31.2009 1:44pm
ef (mail):
until there is a Palestinian state with an economic future and a credible government.

The first part is easy. The second an third require the Palestinian people to make it work for themselves. Gaza's election of Hamas leaders is not going to move them closer to it. There is now the opportunity to compare palestinian positions regarding Israel and the reactions that each engenders. Fatah in the West Bank has been significantly more diplomatic in going about it's business. I haven't heard of Zionist bombs raining down on them.
1.31.2009 1:52pm
Dan Simon (mail) (www):
And maybe in a second Netanyahu Administration, we can see peace treaties with Syria and Lebanon added as well.

Perhaps, although that may be asking a bit much, given that Syria and Lebanon have a long history of violence and hostility towards each other. (Syria has always considered Lebanon--like Israel--a renegade territory of "Greater Syria". If I'm not mistaken, They still don't have diplomatic relations.)

I PERSONALLY think it is going to take a decade-long international occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, along with serious attempts at building national infrastructure, political systems, etc.

In fact, the Palestinians have received far more international aid per capita, for far longer, than any other population in history. All that aid has done nothing but fuel corruption, undercut local economic development, fund a massive population explosion, and shield Palestinians from accountability for their eternal extremist belligerence. Simply weaning them from their mass wefare dependency and making them bear the consequences of their individual and collective choices may well be the only international "intervention" necessary. It's certainly never been tried.

Unfortunately, Israel did not do what was necessary during the last occupation and the result was that the PA was handed to the PLO rather than to the Palestinian people.

Actually, Likud-led governments tried very hard during the 1980s to create alternative political structures to the PLO in the West Bank. These were known as "village leagues", and they were roundly denounced by progressives both within and outside Israel as puppet governments of quislings betraying the true representatives of the Palestinians, the PLO. The Israeli left much preferred to deal with Arafat, and got their chance in 1992. The rest, as they say, is history.
1.31.2009 1:53pm
I see so many people on here who blame Israel for defending themselves. After 8 yrs of bombing they had enough. As for the number of people killed in Gaza that is up to much debate. Even the press who was telling how horrible Israel was to the people who live in Gaza, found out differently. They were seeing injured and people who were dead in the next pictures. There were seeing the same child several times being taken in for care with different fathers. Also the funeral processions would turn a corner after out of the sight of the press for the person to get up from being carried to be carried by another group as a different person killed. Hamas knows how to play the press. Maybe if the don't want innocent people killed quit shooting rockets from their roofs, school, or mosques. They want to be seen as martyrs and not the terrorist that they really are. Gaza has a border with Egypt. Why is that not open? I hate to say this but there will be no peace in the Middle East anytime soon.
1.31.2009 3:40pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
NF said:
I can understand why Israel took the measures it did. I can also understand why the israelis wouldn't care much about enemy civilian losses, but YOU guys can't ignore the fact that more than 1000 gazan civilians died in the conflict.

There's credible reason to believe that it's not a fact, as this report from the Telegraph makes note. As the article states:
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted Gazans claiming that less than 600 people had died in the 22-day attack, far fewer than the 1,300 reported by Palestinian health officials.

“It's possible that the death toll in Gaza was 500 or 600 at the most, mainly youths aged 17 to 23 who were enlisted by Hamas — who sent them to their deaths,” the newspaper quoted a doctor at the main Shifa hospital as stating.
In other words, the number of deaths widely reported has been to a very considerable degree a misinformation campaign engineered by Hamas much like that seen in the imaginary “massacre of Jenin.”
1.31.2009 4:23pm
glarson (mail):
Is there really a law that requires a nation or a non governmental organization to obey the statement:

"Under the rules of war, attacks should not be indiscriminate, and precautions must be taken to minimise civilian casualties."

Or is this statement an example of lawfare?

Minimize is a very strong word, To me that means if there is a possibility of a civilan in the area you could not attack or fire into it.
1.31.2009 5:29pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
but YOU guys can't ignore the fact that more than 1000 gazan civilians died in the conflict.

No one is ignoring it, only laying the blame at the feet of the real problem: Hamas. Combatants have an obligation to avoid endangering civilians by setting up military operations next to them, or if they must, telling the civilians to get out. Not doing so, and intentionally, means that it's hamas, not Israel, that is at fault.
In addition, while there's no doubt that Gazan civilians died, the claim that "more than 1000" died is completely unsubstantiated. Part of that comes from dishonest propaganda categorizing all "children" as civilians, whether or not those "children" were combatants. (I put "children" in quotes because it's meant to convey 7 year olds playing on playgrounds but of course really mostly means 16 and 17 year olds.) Hamas, unfortunately, uses "children" as combatants; that's a violation by Hamas, but Israel is entitled to kill enemy combatants whether over 18 or under.
1.31.2009 6:17pm
ef (mail):
"Under the rules of war, attacks should not be indiscriminate, and precautions must be taken to minimise civilian casualties."

The relevant section of the Geneva Convention. It is Article 51, 5.2 that Israel can most easily be accused of violating, but also the most subjective. Hamas' violations less so.

Chapter II: Civilians and Civilian Population
Article 50: Definition of Civilians and Civilian Population

1. A civilian is any person who does not belong to one of the categories of persons referred to in Article 4 A 111, lIl, (31 and 161 of the Third Convention and in Article 43 of this Protocol. In case of doubt whether a person is a civilian, that person shall be considered to be a civilian.
2. The civilian population comprises all persons who are civilians.
3. The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character.

Article 51: Protection of the Civilian Population

1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.
2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.
3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.
4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
1. those which are not directed at a specific military objective;
2. those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or
3. those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.
5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:
1. an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and
2. an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.
7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.
8. Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the Parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians, including the obligation to take the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57.
1.31.2009 8:10pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
NF sez: 'YOU guys can't ignore the fact that more than 1000 gazan civilians died in the conflict.'

Wanna bet?

Anyhow, if the Jews cannot live in that corner of the world, then what is the justification for the Arabs in Dearborn?
2.1.2009 12:27am
James Gibson (mail):
The ATT proponents say that their UN treaty would bring peace to the world. How? by stopping both sides from acquiring weapons legally. But Hamas is already acquiring arms illegally, including using Iranian ships flying false flags and by tunnels to move the shipments from Egypt to Gaza. Will the new treaty punish Egypt for allowing these shipments to pass through their country. Will it punish them for blocking international naval vessels under UN orders from stopping the ship carrying the arms.

The real joke is that the ATT proponents have stated that the treaty would not prevent a nation from defending itself. But it also would allow for one side of a conflict to be stopped from getting arms from abroad if a majority of the UN decide it would only prolong the conflict. Well, Israel has its own arms industry and makes some very good weapons. They learned in the beginning that they had to have an indigenous arms industry just so they wouldn't be cut off. What people in America need to understand is that the gun control movement here has already declared that we don't need indigenous arms makers. They stated years ago that we could loose the industry and simply go on the world market when we needed to increase the Army. Then they began supporting the ATT because it would require the disarming of most Americans. Now the ATT people are saying that it will prevent nations from acquiring arms even if these arms are necessary for the survival of the nation.

Several years ago there was an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines. A true win-win treaty that earned all the signatory nations good press in MSM. But right after the treaty was signed the woman behind the treaty suddenly blurted out that all signatory nations had gone on record that they were willing to suffer higher casualties in their armed forces then to use landmines. She then began sticking her tongue out at the cameras. What will be the revelation after the ATT is signed and implemented by the UN?
2.1.2009 1:34am
Peters is right: gun dealers should sell no guns to criminals. Although both Israelis and Palestinians could evade international laws restricting arms imports, such restriction would impede gravely any incursions. Let Israel buy diesel fuel by the pint, ammunition by the round.
2.1.2009 2:27am
JFred (mail):
1. The US can deliver cargo directly to Israel's Haifa port.

2. Various estimates put the Gaza death count from 600 to 1200. The war lasted 22 days. If you accept the 1200 figure, it works out to about 2.3 deaths per hour. Hardly the raging fury that the press is going on about.
2.1.2009 6:32am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Dan Simon:

All the aid in the world going to the PA is not going to change the situation if it all goes to either the Fafia or the Hafia (Fatah or Hamas). Organized crime has its own momentum.

I will grant that Shamir did try to some extent to build alternative organizations, but this occurred against a backdrop of settlement expansion, etc. You have to admit this sends the wrong message to the Palestinian populations. At this point, things are sufficiently screwed up that I dont think that Israel is capable of solving the problem and MUST ask for help from its regional allies.

Likud has ALWAYS been the best party at really laying the foundation for progress towards peace, BTW. The only questionable exception there is Rabin, but the foundation really was laid by the former terrorist who had preceded him.
2.1.2009 1:27pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I don't know if anybody here knows the history of the arms embargo that was intended to limit the bloodshed in Spain 1936-38. It would be worth studying.

As Alexander Cockburn reported at the time, members of the House of Common rose and cheered at news that Fascist planes had bombed British merchantmen.
2.1.2009 2:27pm
Anyhow, if the Jews cannot live in that corner of the world, then what is the justification for the Arabs in Dearborn?

Because Dearborn acts as a border protective state for suburbs, keeping the hordes looting and pillaging within their own city instead of in the civilized areas.

The arabs there are doing the job others won't, and doing it quite well.

Israel, on the other hand, was born in the blood of others.

British providing a jewish hameland but insisiting on fairness and good, civil conduct towards all people? Jewish terror groups kidnap and torture to death British NCOs and officers, for daring to try to be fair and keep the rule of law intact--then when attacking British troops was too risky they instead bombed British officer's families.

Jews want the arabs gone so they can have more elbow room? Sieze their homes and land and carry on a terror reign to throw them out of the country.

Then the new jewish state selected these terrorists as their first leaders and instituted a combo state religion and race, with bias towards all others.

Now Israel wants to whine because their victims have learned to fight the way they were taught, by Israel.

I don't have a dog in this fight, and right now Islamic terror is a bigger threat to me so I am half in Israel's corner, but Israel called the tune in the first place so crying about having to dance is weak.
2.2.2009 9:37am
davod (mail):
This post responds to those critical of Israel's incursion into Gaza. The World Economic Forum at Davos had a forum on the situation in Gaza. Those speaking were Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip MAS-KOM-YA Erdogan, Israeli President Peres, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Mahmoud Abbas.

While I recommend listening to all the remarks Peres defends the Israeli position a the 40 minute mark of this video (DAVOS Gaza forum)(Transcription of Peres'comments).
2.2.2009 12:16pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
ef: "Under the rules of war, attacks should not be indiscriminate, and precautions must be taken to minimise civilian casualties."

What would you call 6,000-plus rockets fired by Hamas at civilian Israelis except indiscriminate attacks?
2.4.2009 3:50pm
Yankev (mail):
Long, but well worh reading:
Reprinted with permission from Maariv, originally published Jan. 25, 2009

An Open Letter To A Citizen Of Gaza : I Am the Soldier Who Slept In Your Home

By: Yishai G (reserve soldier)


While the world watches the ruins in Gaza , you return to your home which remains standing. However, I am sure that it is clear to you that someone was in your home while you were away.

I am that someone.

I spent long hours imagining how you would react when you walked into your home. How you would feel when you understood that IDF soldiers had slept on your mattresses and used your blankets to keep warm.

I knew that it would make you angry and sad and that you would feel this violation of the most intimate areas of your life by those defined as your enemies, with stinging humiliation. I am convinced that you hate me with unbridled hatred, and you do not have even the tiniest desire to hear what I have to say. At the same time, it is important for me to say the following in the hope that there is even the minutest chance that you will hear me.

I spent many days in your home. You and your family's presence was felt in every corner. I saw your family portraits on the wall, and I thought of my family. I saw your wife's perfume bottles on the bureau, and I thought of my wife. I saw your children's toys and their English language schoolbooks. I saw your personal computer and how you set up the modem and wireless phone next to the screen, just as I do.

I wanted you to know that despite the immense disorder you found in your house that was created during a search for explosives and tunnels (which were indeed found in other homes), we did our best to treat your possessions with respect. When I moved the computer table, I disconnected the cables and lay them down neatly on the floor, as I would do with my own computer. I even covered the computer from dust with a piece of cloth. I tried to put back the clothes that fell when we moved the closet although not the same as you would have done, but at least in such a way that nothing would get lost.

I know that the devastation, the bullet holes in your walls and the destruction of those homes near you place my descriptions in a ridiculous light. Still, I need you to understand me, us, and hope that you will channel your anger and criticism to the right places.

I decided to write you this letter specifically because I stayed in your home.

I can surmise that you are intelligent and educated and there are those in your household that are university students. Your children learn English, and you are connected to the Internet. You are not ignorant; you know what is going on around you.

Therefore, I am sure you know that Quassam rockets were launched from your neighborhood into Israeli towns and cities.

How could you see these weekly launches and not think that one day we would say "enough"?! Did you ever consider that it is perhaps wrong to launch rockets at innocent civilians trying to lead a normal life, much like you? How long did you think we would sit back without reacting?

I can hear you saying "it's not me, it's Hamas". My intuition tells me you are not their most avid supporter. If you look closely at the sad reality in which your people live, and you do not try to deceive yourself or make excuses about "occupation", you must certainly reach the conclusion that the Hamas is your real enemy.

2.4.2009 8:13pm
Yankev (mail):
Sorry, just realized that the open letter was reprinted and emailed to me with permission, but I don't have permission to reprint it, so here's a link to the rest of it:
2.4.2009 8:16pm

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.