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Israel Palestinian conflict : Swingers Discussion 200102101251
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TOPIC: Israel Palestinian conflict
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"The following is a guest post by Ambassador Ron Prosor is Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

When asked about his preferred method of work, satirical writer Garrison Keillor once explained, "I believe in looking reality straight in the eye... and denying it."

Keillor's approach has been commonplace in the way that many have sized up the situation in the Gaza Strip, since Hamas -- a fundamentalist Islamist terrorist organization -- seized control of the area in a bloody coup in 2007, after winning Palestinian elections the year before.

Like a group of smiling tour guides at a Caribbean resort, legions of pundits and policymakers have been dancing the limbo with Hamas for years, setting the bar lower and lower for what is acceptable. Instead of holding the regime responsible for the well-being of the people of Gaza, most have turned a blind eye to their oppression.

They continue to place the words "moderate" and "reforming" in the same sentence as an organization that jails woman for taking off their veils, throws political opponents from windows, and promotes genocide in its school textbooks and television shows. The truth is that the only things Hamas has "reformed" in Gaza are the capabilities of the rockets that it fires into Israel -- and the tools that it uses to repress its own people. A recent wave of blackouts across Gaza has exposed this truth so brightly, that few can deny it.

Over the past two months, a fuel crisis in Gaza has brought life to a standstill. Power outages closed hospital wards. Taxis were shuttered in garages. A recent poll conducted by the Arab World for Research & Development revealed that 48% of Gazans held Hamas responsible for the crisis. Only 21% blamed Israel. One young Gazan said, "Our leaders are playing while we are being grilled on the fire of poverty."

The numbers are unsurprising for a population that has seen firsthand how promises of good governance can go out the window when extremist Islamists get their hands near the cookie jar. For years, Hamas has made billions by smuggling weapons through its tunnels on the Egyptian border, creating a black market which eventually undermined the stability of the Sinai Peninsula. As goods and aid streamed across Israeli crossings, Hamas leaders lined their pockets with black market revenues from trafficking weapons, luxury items, and discounted fuel. In February, Egyptian authorities shut down 20 of their smuggling tunnels, including an illicit fuel pipeline.

With this pipeline now out of order, Hamas was forced to legally purchase fuel from Egypt for the first time. There was just one catch -- the Egyptian crossings into Gaza do not have the capacity to meet the Strip's needs, leaving Israel's far more developed aid crossings as the only option. Accepting assistance from Israel would have brought the idiom "don't bite the hand that feeds you" to new levels of absurdity, even for Hamas. Rather than risk the justification of their campaign of terror and policies of incitement, Hamas naturally chose to plunge their people into darkness.

Rumson NJ
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At the federal, state and local levels there is close Israeli-American cooperation on Homeland Security. Israel was one of the first countries to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in developing initiatives to enhance homeland security. In this framework, there are many areas of partnership, including preparedness and protection of travel and trade. American and Israeli law enforcement officers and Homeland Security officials regularly meet in both countries to study counter-terrorism techniques and new ideas regarding intelligence gathering and threat prevention.

In December 2005, the United States and Israel signed an agreement to begin a joint effort to detect the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material by installing special equipment in Haifa, Israel's busiest seaport. This effort is part of a nonproliferation program of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration that works with foreign partners to detect, deter, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials.

The US maintains a base that contains a 500-bed hospital for US Marines and Special Forces near Haifa.

The Dimona Radar Facility is an American radar facility in the Negev desert of Israel, located near Dimona. The facility has two 400-foot radar towers designed to track ballistic missiles through space and provide ground-based missiles with the targeting data needed to intercept them. It can detect missiles up to 1,500 miles away. The facility is owned and operated by the US military, and provides only second-hand intelligence to Israel. The towers of the facility are the tallest radar towers in the world, and the tallest towers in Israel.

Israel is producing advanced armor technology, that helps protect and save the lives of thousands of American soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. While for the first time ever, the U.S. government has just approved the installation of advanced Israeli-produced radio and data transfer systems onboard advanced U.S. fighter aircraft. This will provide the aircraft with greater immunity to deliberate jamming of its communication systems.

Israel is a world leader in developing transportation infrastructure technology to support electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and the cost of driving, while at the same time helping reduce our dependence on oil, technology that she shares with the US.

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China is best described as totalitarian, not really communist anymore. It's economics have morphed into fascism.

Chesapeake VA
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Other benefits of being allies with Israel:

During the Israeli-Egyptian War of Attrition, Israeli commandos captured a Soviet-built P-12 radar station in an operation code-named Rooster 53. Previously-unknown information was subsequently shared with the U.S.

In 1966, when defecting Iraqi pilot Munir Redfa landed in Israel flying a Soviet-built MiG-21 fighter jet, information on the plane was immediately shared with the United States.

In 1981, Weinberger and Israeli Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon signed Strategic Cooperation Agreement, establishing a framework for continued consultation and cooperation to enhance the national security of both countries. In November 1983, the two sides formed a Joint Political Military Group, which meets twice a year, to implement most provisions of that agreement. Joint air and sea military exercises began in June 1984, and the United States constructed two War Reserve Stock facilities in Israel to stockpile military equipment. Although intended for American forces in the Middle East, the equipment can be transferred to Israeli use if necessary.

On October 21, 2005, it was reported that pressure from Washington Israel froze a major contract with Venezuela to upgrade its 22 US manufactured F16 fighter jets. Israel requested permission to continue with the deal at a later date, but has not received a response from the US thus far.

Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any country outside North America.

One facet of the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship is the joint development of the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Program. Designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles. This development is funded by both Israel and the United States. The Arrow has also provided the U.S. with the research and experience necessary to develop additional weapons systems.

In April 1996, President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Shimon Peres signed the U.S.-Israel Counter-terrorism Accord. The two countries agreed to further cooperation in information sharing, training, investigations, research and development and policy-making.

Rumson NJ
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Russia likes to fuck with us every now and then but they do not want to get into the world police business, they would rather let us do it. Like China they are more interested in making money.

Sanford NC
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China will not get involved in any war unless there is something in it for them. They are into making money not spending it. Yea odd for communists.

Sanford NC
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Israel has long been America 's biggest strategic bargain. Let's examine some facts.:

For FY2009, U.S. military grants to Israel was $2.55 billion. Since Israel's GDP in 2009 was $199B, total U.S. aid to Israel was merely 1.28 percent of its GDP. Viewed over the five year period of 2005–2009—total U.S. military aid was approximately $12B.

Total exports from the U.S. to Israel between 2005 and 2009 amounted to $57.6B—almost five times the $12B Israel received in U.S. aid during this period. The annual average of U.S. exports to Israel during this period was $11.7B, more than five times the average American aid package!

U.S. military aid to Israel creates a demand for, and the purchase of, tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S. weaponry by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. U.S. grants to Israel - far from imposing a burden on the American tax payer—actually enriches the American economy.

According to Gen.George Keegan, between 1974 and 1990, Israeli aid to America was worth between $50–80B in intelligence, research, development savings, and Soviet weapons systems captured and transferred to the Pentagon, and testing Soviet military doctrines up to 1990 when the USSR collapsed.

Senator Daniel Inouye put it this way: "The contribution made by Israeli intelligence to America is greater than that provided by all NATO countries combined."

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i.e. proxy wars.

Chesapeake VA
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I seriously doubt either China or Russia will be involved in a direct war with the US at any time in the forseeable future. Everyone has way too much to lose.

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War will not break out with Russia, highly unlikely. China I doubt, unless we get in a scrap with Pakistan. We get anywhere close to the China border in a war with Pakistan and we will be fighting Chinese.

Sanford NC
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TOPIC: Israel Palestinian conflict