Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dumb and Dumber

Today, Haaretz announced that the Israeli Army intends to cut off the Gaza Strip's electricity supply if the Qassam rockets keep coming (I guess that sonic boom thing isn't really working).

Apparently, this was supposed to happen yesterday but " implementation was indefinitely postponed to give the main Palestinian hospital in Gaza time to purchase emergency generators." I see. It is a sort of humane collective punishment. Reeeal smart move, exposing the entire population to deafening shock waves in absolute darkness is sure to improve security.

This idiotic (but not surprising) suggestion on part of Mofaz has tied for this week's Dumb Move of the Day award (DMD) with the kidnapping of Gaza schoolteachers by armed gunmen. Its not clear why they kidnapped the Belgian and Australian teachers from the American International School, but reports indicate they are either disgruntled gunmen who want "in" on the fringe benefits of the Fateh party.

Cuting off electriciy from 1.5 million civlians, or kidnapping schoolteachers for political ends? Who wins this week's DMD? The verdict's in: Dumb, and dumber.

Now excuse me while I go get my flashlights and earplugs ready.


Blogger lisoosh said...

Laila - "Now excuse me while I go get my flashlights and earplugs ready."
Nice to see you retain some sense of humour.
It seems that they are threatening cut offs in the event that the Qassams hit the power plant they appear to be aiming for. Cross your fingers for bad aim.
The article sound like a lot of posturing from politicians desparate to "make a stand" rather than any real formulation of policy but I could be wrong.

Sorry if this is a stupid question but was there any attempt to bring in international peacekeepers in for the elections? They are so critical and a small number of agitators seem to be hijacking the entire process, the PA is obviously swamped. Would that have helped or is the situation within Gaza too volatile?

3:14 PM  
Blogger Imaan On Ice said...

Ha ha ha! //Imaan

4:30 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Let's keep trying things that don't involve exposing ourselves to terrorists and other arab murderers, and also do not invove the wholesale death of innocent Palestinians.

Let's see... Cut off their power supply? I don't know, but its better than going in and systematically flattening block after block until Gaza is a sheet of Glass and all the palestinians theirin are dead.

Don't you agree?

Your misery is not a mortgage on my life.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which contract obliges Israel to sell electricity to the PA ?

5:02 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Re Electricity:

Gaza-Jericho Agreement, Annexx II, Protocol concerning Civil AFfairs:

The Palestinian Authority shall continue, as appropriate, to.. buy electric power from the Israel Electric Company (IEC), and to that end shall enter into a commercial agreement with the IEC. This Agreement shall relate to the settling of debts; to IEC property; and to the maintenance of lines to Palestinian customers.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

I should add the electricity rates are some of the highest in the world.

5:16 PM  
Blogger ratttu said...

hmmm... "your misery is not a mortgage on my life" - (Ibrahamv) is this a proverb? in English? Russian maybe?
Please elaborate.

You could also NOT chop the right hand of all Palestinians. Or NOT impale the entire population of Rafah. Yes, no doubt, cutting the electricty off is much better. You should receive the Human Rights award.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Erika said...


let's see--no electricity means no computers, no radio or TV, no cell phones once batteries go dead, so there'll be lots of frightened, isolated people--now THAT will really help sweet reason prevail.

Re that abduction, over on RafahNotes, I've posted links to two wire-service stories that outline the kidnapper's demands (releasing one of their leaders from prison) which they faxed to the AP, and a report of the release of the two teachers.

Yes, definitely dumb.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After all the money the US and the EU have given the PA you would think you would already have you own power plants.Maybe you could beg some money from Arafats wife?
Isn't it just a little degrading that you have to get your electricity from infidel jews?Where is your pride ?The world is sick of your whining and begging. Maybe next week the Israelis could shut off your water.I hope you enjoy living in your 7th century islamic paradise Arafat and Hamas have created for you.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

If they had them, Israel would have already put them out of commision in another non-lethal retrobution for palestinians murdering Israelis.

Nony, while you may speak from your heart, that type language does no one any good.

Granted, the humiliation problem is a problem, but that is not under discussion at this time.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Living Away said...

I’m sorry Laila, but I’m getting sick of this “anonymous” annoying person, if he/she is really a person.
It so easy to throw words out hiding behind some nick! Oh God!
It’s easy, but it is not noble!
One more time, sorry Laila!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Anne Rettenberg LCSW said...

The flip side of "anonymous"'s comment:

With the enormous amount of money the U.S. gives to Israel--$3 billion a year from the government plus additional from private foundations--you'd think one out of three Israeli children wouldn't live in poverty--but they do. I wonder where all THAT money goes?

9:08 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The same as in the US and every other western country. The amount of poverty is staggering, however, that poverty is in comparison to the standard of living in that country. Those who are in poverty in Israel are, at times, considered in the lap of luxury in most islamic countries.

The majority of the money the US gives to Israel is re-invested in American military goods, as required by the US congress. The Government does not control the billions of charitible dollars sent in by private donors.

But your implication is noted.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

I think "Anonymous" is missing the point here: we CAN'T have our own power plants; we can't even get power from Egypt, who just built a multi-million dollar power plant in Sinai that would solve Gaza's electricity problems. In fact, we can't even process and sell OUR OWN natural gas off Gaza's coast. Israel bans us from doing all of these things. According to Oslo Accord, the PA HAS to buy electricity from Israel.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The PA has done nothing regarding Oslo, but they buy electricity because of it? Please. They have no capability to run their own infrastructure.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shalom Laila,

Here's a REAL question, not just for being nasty.

What do you think Israel should do in order to stop Qassams from flying?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to answer to Hanans question:
Leave Palestine.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Ibraham-its not a CHOICE-if we create our own power plants (and how and from where, pray tell?) it will be bombed. You can't exactly spring up a power plant without anyone noticing. I am not saying the PA hasn't squandered millions, just that there are other variables here.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Several people have asked me what I think Israel should do to stop the firing of the rockets in the short-term. Now obviously, I'm not a military general (though I did study public policy-but its the genreals who make the plans), I'm a mother and a journalist. So I don't have the answers. I can just suggest which answers are not the right ones. It's obviously a challenge that faces the Israeli government-they have themselves admitted to this. Rockets are easily launched, and those who launch them quickly disperse. Israel keeps saying it does "not negotiate with terrorists', but the reality is far more complex, and it has in fact come to implicit agreements via Egypt with Hamas and others-we stop assasinations, you stop firing. This de facto ceasefire was broken in September, then the factions agreed to stop firing rockets-and they did, but Israel coninued with sonic booms and assasinations. For hte most part though, this has worked (talkiign specifically about Gaza)-carrots instead of sticks. Of course longer term, easing restrictions on west bank cities, moving the wall along the armistice lines instead of inside palestinain cities, removing settlements and outposts from the WB, and for God's sake, simply withdrawing from he WB, and so on and so forth would *help*. Sonic booms and black-outs will not.

1:17 PM  
Blogger أبو سنان said...

Collective punishment, where has that happened before? Anyway, they think that will stop the rockets? Think again.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila- thank you for your answer to Hanan's question. And for maintaining this blog. Its also nice to see what you look like after reading for such a long time.

Elizabeth- I can't talk about government aid/transfers, but FYI, if donations are sent directly to charities from overseas Foundations, the support more often than not reaches the hands of those who need it. And that goes for both Israel and Palestine.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I don't believe Israel stated that it would stop hunting and killing terrorists.

All of its 'truce' dealings are with the PA, not any other organization that is beyond of the control of the PA.

As for electricity, you are right when you say, for the time being, it is beyond the control on the indigenous population.

3:24 PM  
Blogger umuld said...

Gee ibbykins, you noticed that the Palestinians are indeed the indigenous population. Indigenous means original people of the land. Now remove yourself back to Miami or Moscow where you belong. And all of a sudden there will be no more "terorist" attacks.

3:40 PM  
Blogger ratttu said...

Let’s compare things with Israel’s northeren border. Since the 2000 withdrawal, there have been few incidents with Huzbuallah, around Shaba’a and Rager. But there were no rockets shot at Israel. Now Katyusha rockets are extremely lo-fi. They are easy to set up, all you need is a donkey to carry the thing to a right spot. You don’t even have to be there, you can time the rocket and go home. And these days there is no ‘security area’ preventing people from coming right up to the border.
So why isn’t it done? Is it because Israel completely withdrew from South Lebanon? This probably helped, since most Lebanese think active resistance time is over. But still there are quite a few people out there that would continue to shoot at Israel as long as it’s there. They’ve been doing it all their lives, and habits are hard to stop. They hate Israel enough to keep using this very stupid method of shooting rockets which are likely to hit nothing just to piss Israel off. These people are used to being bombed, so it's not Israeli retalliation threats which is going to keep them at home.
Who is stopping them? Who is practically patrolling the border on the Lebanese side? The Lebanese Army? No, they’re miles away.
The UN? Try again, they don’t think it’s their job.
The south-Lebanon neighbourhood-watch, fearing Israeli sonic booms? Wrong answer.
And the correct answer is... the Hizbulla. They are there to keep a close eye on the border and to make sure that if there’s an escalation – they’re the ones who are going to start it, they’ll say when and where, and not some Palestinian with a stupid rocket. We all know that the Hizbuallah are not exactly Zionist.

What am I trying to say? That without a strong authority on the other side of the border, which enjoys legitimacy among its people, it’s unlikely to achieve a full cease-fire (as much as Anarchist-leaning me hates to admit it, the State has some role to play). And yes, this would involved some talking - and not only through the megaphone.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Laila
Even assuming that the Oslo accords still hold (and I'm sure you'll agree with me that both sides broke it more than once), They do not stop the PA for pursuing an independent power supply.
Assuming the qussam rockets will eventually hit the power station in Ashdod - the Israeli power supply to Gaza will be stopped.
The high energy prices in Gaza are caused by high taxes, can't blame the Israelis for that…
Who/How would build a power plant in Gaza ? The same people that build the airport and will build the harbor.
Unless Palestinians find a way to control the gunmen there will be no end to Air raids/Tank Raids/power outages. The Lebanese managed that...
(some rather old, but interesting facts about Gaza can be found at

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having read Ratttu - Very good point.
With elections coming up, the hamas looks likely to win. perhpas a similar situation will develop in Gaza

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Unless Palestinians find a way to control the gunmen there will be no end to Air raids/Tank Raids/power outages.

I so desperately ask: why can't the Palestinians see that? WHY??? Is it a matter of pride?


8:55 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

The indigineous people of Gaza, not israel. Sorry if I did not make that clear.

And i'm referring to the same criteria as stated for Palestinian refugees: Having lived there 2 years.

Anon - They can see it. It is a matter of pride.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

by the way Lisoosh-i believe there were obsevers in the las telections and there will be some in these as well. generally, elections have proceeded pretty smoothly in the past.

10:14 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

Laila - thanks, good to know.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what are palis begging for today.......

Palis boot jews now beg for help from them

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely firing on Civilians, knowing that retribution is forthcoming, is not a sign of great intelect ?

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the link, danny's bin - it's one of my faveroute mags

Danny's bin, since when has following your orders been considered the sign of a great intellect?:-)

PS Ibrahamav is nothing but a polluter of blogs - take nothing this hate-filled racist parrot says seriously
- if you don't believe me go to thecutters blog
and 'read' what this disgusting and depraved piece of humanity spouts

Always Yours joe890

9:07 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dear Anonymous-
Here's a tip-deserts weren't MADE to bloom. Perhaps if the Palestinians had the same access to resources, funds, fertilizers, and water (the illegal settlers abuse of Gaza's water resources is widely documented and known to have resulted in a polluted and saline water supply in the aquifer), then they would be making the same sorts of bug-free cabbage. Given their meager resources, the palestinian farmers are doing well-someone informed me yesterday that the first shipment of strawberries and tomatoes had gone out to Europe.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I believe the Gazan farmers are now begging for the Jews to come back and teach them how to do it.

The Jews did not destroy the water supplies when they were ethnically cleansed from Gaza.

As for abuse of water supply, would you think cramming 1.5 million people in an area that can only support about 200 thousand might be an abuse of the water supply? And this is due to the highest birth rate on earth. Not the fault of the Jews. I understand that most of this is forced upon Palestinian women.

And the documentation you speak of is merely propaganda. Not based on facts.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a farmer but as a person who plants tomatoes in her back yard it just doesn't seem like there has been enough time from when the Israelis left til now to actually grow tomatoes and strawberries to fruitation.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Laila & Joe
I just bought a box of palestinian strawberries here in Europe - here's to the farmers !
Deserts - nothing was made to bloom. you have to work on it. Palestinians Farmers are as good as any, problem is Palestian politician & gunmen are amongst the worst. See Laila's self imposed night curfew, and the sad state in general of palestinian affairs.
1. compare the number of 1948 refugees to the number of the 2005 Tsunami refugees.
2. compare the situation of both populations 57 years / 1 year after respectively.

Following orders - that's what soldiers do. which is fine, as long as the orders are legal.

4:47 PM  

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