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Ben Chu

Ben Chu has been a leader writer at The Independent since 2004. Before that he worked at the paper on the comment desk, letters department and the personal finance pages. He studied history at Jesus College, Oxford between 1997 and 2000.

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Time for Israel to talk to Hamas

Posted by Ben Chu
  • Tuesday, 6 January 2009 at 11:51 am

There is, it seems to me, one argument that Israeli ministers have been pushing more than any other to justify what they are doing in Gaza. This argument is that no country in the world would tolerate a neighbouring state raining missiles down on its territory without responding in the manner that Israel has.
            It's a superficially plausible argument. After all, is not the first duty of a sovereign state to ensure the security of its citizens? But this reasoning disintegrates when you consider the particular circumstances of the Gaza Strip and its relationship to Israel.
               Gaza is not a neighbouring state to Israel. It is a territory over which Israel exercises an enormous degree of control. Israel controls Gaza's borders. It even provides it with energy and food supplies.
               Israel being shelled by militants in Gaza is not like Britain being barraged from across the channel by France, but rather like Birmingham pubs being bombed by the IRA. The solution to that grievous conflict was finally attained by the British Government agreeing to negotiate with Republican terrorists. If Israel wants security and peace, it will surely have to do the same with Hamas.

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sentjao wrote:
Thursday, 15 January 2009 at 01:10 pm (UTC)
Why are you writing about the things you have no idea about? There are people who may read this: aren't you ashamed by your ignorance?

Israel doesn't control borders with Gaza: Gaza has also border with Egypt. Israel indeed supplies Gaza with humanitarian aid, because Israel doesn't want civilian population to starve. Why doesn't Egypt take it on itself in the spirit of Arab solidarity? Because Hamas is not only threat to Israel: it is also threat to Egypt and to the entire Middle East.

Israel exercised tremendous restraint at the face of terrorist aggression from Gaza for eight years. Where were your protests then? Israel entered Gaza when it had exhausted all efforts to avoid this war and to end the shelling of its civilians in a peaceful way.

Talking with Hamas would mean the end of the peace process. What can Israel talk about with the terrorist organization, which denies Israel's right to exist, which doesn't recognize agreements, signed by the Palestinian Authority and which wages its own private war against Israeli civilians? Maybe, Israel should talks about its own demise? Why then would Arab nations and moderate Palestinian leaders talk with Israel about peace, if Israel, as you propose, would talk with Hamas, which doesn't accept Israel and doesn't renounce terrorism?

The Gaza regime is the threat to the stability in all Middle East, is a threat to moderate regime in PA, in Egypt, in Jordan: everywhere. That's why Arab governments tacitly support Israel in this war.

Hamas blackmailed Israel for too long: "We launch rockets against your civilians from behind the backs of our civilians, but don't you dare to respond, because then our civilians would be hurt. We launch our attacks from the most densely populated areas, so, don't you even think about responding to our attacks".

Enough is enough. Every civilian death in this war, every drop of blood, every destroyed property is Hamas' responsibility. Hamas must be taken accountable for all the crimes it has been committing against Israeli people, against its own people and against the peace.

So, before writing, check the facts. No unbiased and informed person can deny, that Israel is right in this war.
caladri wrote:
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 12:44 am (UTC)
Have you stopped beating your wife?
sentjao wrote:
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 at 08:10 am (UTC)
What does your metaphor mean?
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