Thursday, June 10, 2010

The questions for Senator Daly

What follows are the reader questions sent to Senator Daly. I do not know how he plans to handle them all. I'll report back once I've heard from him.

shualah elisheva 
senator daly [if senator is the proper title - i don't know much about irish political office]; 
first, i have to thank you for your transparency and willingness to answer questions posed by dovbear. it's a refreshing change of pace to see participants on both sides of an argument set aside the vitriol and discuss their differences logically and rationally.  
so here's my question: why do you feel that hamas is refusing to allow the red cross to visit gilad shalit? why, if they seek recognition as an independent nation, do they not act as an independent nation and permit the red cross to visit this soldier who has been held without a visit or sign for four years? 
thank you, again. kol hakavod for taking time to speak with us.
Today, 09:49:21  

Hamas is stockpiling weapons to use against Israeli civilians, and they have shown they will use them. Hamas refuses to recognize the right of Israel to exist, vowing to destroy it. If Israel doesn't impose a blockade, what is to prevent Iran from shipping bigger and better weapons into Gaza via the sea?
Today, 09:54:06  

Do Jews have a right to self-determination and national liberation in their own land?
Today, 10:01:07  

Rabba bar bar Chana 
Are you opposed merely to the blockade and the occupation, or do you agree with Helen Thomas that Jews should "get out of Palestinbe" and do a reverse exodus back to Europe and America? [Edited by DovBear]
Today, 11:06:56  

Have you spent much time with people who support Israel, and its policies toward the Palestenian and the peace process? What is your opinion of those policies, and your view of those people? [Edited by DovBear]
Today, 11:08:14  

Garnel Ironheart 
To the Right Honourable Mr. Mark Daly,  
Israel has repeatedly stated that the minute Hamas acknowledges the existence of Israel and enters into peace negotiations in good faith, it will end the blockade and isolation of Gaza. Hamas which constantly threatens Israel with war and commits acts of aggression against it, including allowing armed militiae/terrorist gangs to launch attacks. No civilized country would accept this without responding vigorously and firmly.  
Why is it that so many people such as yourself seem to ignore anything Hamas does while implying that Israel is 100% responsible for the situation? What will it take for politicians to stand up and say "Forget Israel, when is Hamas going to budge and meet Israel's minimum conditions so that peace came come to the area"?  
Furthermore, I am sure you would not want to be tarred as an anti-Semite or Jew-hater but then I must ask: Clearly you are concerned for the well-being of the people suffering under Hamas rule. Are you equally on record as suporting efforts to end the destruction of Chechnya by Russia, the occupation of Ossetia by Russia, the brutal occupation of Tibet by China or the blockade of Armenia by Turkey? And if not, why has this particular situation drawn your attention so dramatically?
Today, 10:31:40  

Garnel Ironheart 
If I may add: Both Hamas and Fatah openly state that their goal is a state of Palestinian in which Jews will not be allowed to live or own property. Not just that the "settlements" will have to be removed but even afterwards, should a Jew wish to buy a home in Jenin or Ramallah, he will be forbidden by Palestinian law. At the same time, Hamas and Fatah openly state that they expect that Israel should absorb millions of so-called refugees and transform itself into a binational state without a Jewish majority. Do you support the creation of an ethnically "pure" state where citizenship is based on religious and racial grounds? And if so, will you support Israel if it chooses to correspondingly expel its Arab minority and restrict citizenship to Jews? And if not, why not?
Today, 11:05:55  

Given your understanding of the Middle East political situation, and the fact that Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to even exist, do you believe that Jews should have a right to live in Gaza or anywhere on the West Bank with equal rights (and should a Hamas government be forced to comply with that standard)? Do you believe Arabs should have a right to live in Israel with equal rights? Do you feel that Hamas and the PA will ultimately accept that Jews may live in Gaza or the West Bank with equal rights? Do you feel that Israel will or does allow Arabs to live in Israel with equal rights? 
Given whatever your thoughts on these questions, what will the flotilla achieve, that allowing Israel to inspect and deliver cargo by land will not achieve?
Today, 10:39:29  

I like this question. It is indeed very odd that the whole world is supporting a two-state solution that will undoubtedly result in ethnically cleansing Jews from large swaths of their homeland, while Israel retains a large Arab minority with equal political rights. This is justice?  
The fact is, the majority of Palestinians and Israelis are deeply uncomfortable with, and in some polls opposed to, any two-state solution. Many, perhaps most, Palestinians want one state -- either all Arab, with the Jews wiped out, or a binational state. Many Israelis, perhaps most, want one Jewish state. There are many different versions of a one state solution, from binationalism to a Jewish state in which Palestinians cannot vote in national elections. What is needed is to find a compromise between the left wing and right wing, or pro and anti Israeli, versions of the one-state solution. It is possible to have one Jewish state, with a guaranteed majority of Jews among the electorate for the foreseeable future, while granting Palestinians who swear allegiance to the Jewish state to become citizens, and allowing Palestinians local autonomy in many areas of law. Some areas, like security and (importantly, given the current indoctrination of Palestinian children into terrorism) education, would be administered by central Israel authorities. Even though the whole world wants a two-state solution, this does not mean it is morally necessary, or the best solution. A Jewish one-state solution would in short and long term provide the best results for the Palestinian people, and the best chance for stopping armed conflict.
Today, 10:54:04  

Senator Daly,  
First and foremost, may I say that I think it's highly commendable that you are willing to engage with this forum - I hope you will find it as enlightening an exchange as, no doubt, DovBear's readers will.  
My question is this:  
To what extent do you believe that useful parallels exist between the conflict between the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians?  
My Masters thesis (many years ago now!) focussed on "The Troubles", and whilst researching and writing I was often struck by the similarities between the two conflicts, including such themes as "religious conflict", "occupation", "armed resistance", "overlord and underdog", "generations long" and such like.  
And as a follow on question:  
Do you feel that the ability to resolve the conflct in Northern Ireland (at least to the extent of there now being relatively peaceful co-existence) was attributable to the willingness of the parties to engage wiuth serious amounts of goodwill, or attributable to the fact that the UK/NI conflict was somehow "simpler" to resolve.  
Many thanks, and I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts.  
Today, 10:56:18  

Your Honor,  
You presumably joined the flotilla to bring supplies to the suffering civilians in Gaza, because of a perceived humanitarian crisis. Presumably, this is also why you made the effort to reach out to Gilad Shalit, because of a perceived humanitarian crisis.  
But why address the Gaza issue through the flotilla, which you knew Israel never would have tolerated, even without the violent outcomes? Why would you have thought that the flotilla would be a more effective way of getting aid to Gaza than sending it in trucks through Israel or Egypt? And if the supplies allowed in from Israel are immediately intercepted by Hamas, why would the flotilla supplies be any different?  
Civilian activists, I understand, rely on high visibility and bold confrontation to acheive their goals. But as a concerned elected official, I don't understand the bold circum-governmental route. There have been many ships led by activist groups trying to break the blockade, and all of them were intercepted noviolently (even for 5/6 ships in the flotilla)- although that does not mean that the aid was not sent to Gaza through Israel. Why did you think this was the most effective method of busting the blockade?
Today, 11:01:33  

A Muppet 
Senator Daly,  
What do you feel was the mission of the flotilla, or if you can't speak to the flotilla's general purpose, at least what was your goal in joining the flotilla? Was the purpose to provide aid? End the blockade? Show support for the people of Gaza in their conflict with Israel? Or to encourage an Israeli overreaction ala The Exodus? Do you think that everyone on the boats shared similar goals or do you think the motives of the activists varied? Was there an effort to coordinate among the activists to make sure that the motives were the same? (This last questions are not meant to be gotchas. I'm prepared to assume for the purpose of this question that no one had actually evil or violent intentions.)
Today, 11:25:57  

ksil lo yavin 
Under a peace agreement where Palestine and Israel are split at the 1967 borders, syria gets back the golan and lebonon gets back shebaa farms, would you agree that jewish people (or any person) could/should/would be allowed to continue to live in those areas as free people? Or, like the many assume and encourage, that THAT land be free from anyone whose parents happen to be jewish? (arabs, druze, etc can leave as free citizens with full rights in Isael!)  
can you articulate what the palestinians are "giving up" in a negotiation with Israel? It seems to me that the palestinians core position is, "give us a country and we will stop terrorizing you". Putting a gun to the other sides head and threatening to pull the trigger if they dont give you what you want does not seem appropriate.  
Do you believe that Israel "stole" the west bank and gaza from Palestinian arabs in 1967?  
Do you believe that the Palestinians are preaching peace and teaching their children to respect and acknowledge jewish people and zionists? Have you ever attended or monitored a classroom at a palestinian school? read their text books? attended mmuslim services in a mosque in the west bank?
Today, 11:50:13  

Senator Daily,  
During the time the flotilla was traveling, the Palestinians of Gaza fired 3 rockets and 2 mortars into Israeli civilian population areas from within Palestinian civilian areas - constituting a double war crime by international law (targeting a civilian population and firing from within a civilian area), an act of war and a casas belli for a nation to respond with war to defend their civilian population.  
During this same period of time the United States of America fired a missile from drone, striking and killing a crowd of people in Pakistan, one of which may have been a terrorist or militant (for 13 killed) in what can either be defined as an extra-judicial killing, an excessive use of force, or a simple act of war. At the same time NATO forces were engaging in combat operations in Afghanistan, which frequently result in civilian deaths and often send significant force against a 'lightly' armed enemy. A man with a gun on a donkey may be killed with missile attacks or even fire from an F-16, and frequently nearby people are hurt.  
My questions to you senator are these:  
- How is Israel allowed to defend itself from attacks on it's civilian population from Gaza?  
- How does what Israel is allowed to do differ from the USA's actions and what they are allowed to do in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan?  
- How does this differ from NATO's actions and what they are allowed to do in Afghanistan?  
- How is Israel's use of "excessive force" different from the USA's in Pakistan and Afghanistan or NATO's in Afghanistan?  
- How is any sovereign nation expected to defend itself against a non-national non-uniformed enemy that perpetrates a war-like act upon a nation?  
- Which is the preferable action in response to constant attacks upon one's civilian population - heavy bombardment of the launch area, heavy bombardment of any potential military or dual use facilities, active war and forceful occupation to prevent such acts, or a blockade to limit access to the resources necessary to launch such attacks?  
- Is it acceptable to me to provide dual use supplies to Osama Bin Laden or some years ago to the Irish Republican Army? May I provide medical supplies to treat their injured warriors? Food to feed their children to free them up from caring for their families to engage in battle?  
- Is it a kindness to care for their children and free them from concerns of developing a functional economy and allowing them to focus on war, or would it be a greater kindness to allow them to suffer now but by doing so bring a realization that supporting a militant subculture extends war and suffering and with suffering comes the realization that the war actions may not be worth their price, forcing them to compromise for peace?  
- Does the Flotilla and attempts to break the blockade bring them relief or false hope of not paying a price for continued weekly attacks upon the Israeli civilian population?  
- Could you provide any meaningful explanation for continued (approximately monthly) deadly attacks by the Gaza Palestinians upon the border terminals through which supplies are brought to Gaza? Could you explain why Israel should continue to man border terminals that are attacked regularly?  
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your answers.  
Today, 12:06:16  

Though I know I have already posted these these questions on other threads here goes again:  
1) The Shalit family specifically asked that in exchange for the organizers of the flotilla bringing packages and letters to Hamas leaders and attempting to convince said Hamas leaders to A) Deliver the packages, and B)allow Red Cross or UN officials to meet with their son, that they would use the considerable and growing political influence in Israel to get the blockade lifted. It was this specific request, and this request only that they claim was turned down. The same with the Israeli foreign minister. So the question is how does your offer to take letters and packages to the Red Cross an UN(avenues already open to the Shalit family that have proven fruitless over the last four years) belie their statement that their specific offer was turned down?  
2) You claimed in an earlier email to DovBear that your intention and that of the flotilla was to deliver aid to the needy in Gaza, and that you would control distribution not Hamas. How was it that you planned on doing this in Theocratic Totalitarian state where even the port authority, the very people that you would need to unload your ships, are Hamas officials? Do not ships even in Ireland, the UK, and the US(all liberal democracies) need to pass through some form of customs and border controls? How did you plan to bypass those in a theocratic totalitarian state? What were your plans for distribution and how did they exclude Hamas? If you were not going to utilize governmental officials(Hamas) how were you going to judge levels of need in order to facilitate distribution?  
3)Since you were not aboard the ships I will assume that you were uninformed about the contraband, such as rifle scopes, night vision equipment, and bullet proof vests marked with the Red Crescent insignia. However, in light of your stated intentions as being strictly peaceful, do you have any comments as to the presence of those things amongst the cargo? Would you have changed your mind about giving the flotilla your support had you known that such things were being carried? Knowing that such items, intended for militant usage were amongst the cargo has your support wavered at all?  
4) Considering that you obviously desire to peace in the Middle East in accordance to the various UN resolutions, I would like to ask your view on UNSC resolution 242. Much has been said about Palestinian refugees, however what of the Jewish refugees? I fully agree that Israel should either allow the return of said refugees or fully compensate them. However Islamic nations expelled millions of Jews, as well as seizing their assets and lands. Do you also fully support a just resolution to that issue? Have you issued any statements to that effect? Will you fight for that as vigorously as you fight for Palestinian rights?
Today, 12:31:13  

The Bray of Fundie 
Dear Senator,  
Why is Ireland involving itself in someone else's fight? If Ireland is motivated by concern for the Poor and Oppressed Peoples of the World why was Ireland so notoriously absent during the Holocaust?  

Thank you,  
Chaim Grossferstant- The Bray of Fundie
Today, 12:32:43  

Senator Daly,  
Have you done any work or taken any actions, similar to participating in the "Flotilla", on behalf of other countries and/or peoples that are in the throes of a humanitarian crisis?  
With humanitarian crises all over the world, many of which dwarf the situation in Gaza in terms of severity, why did you choose Gaza as your main cause? Why not protest the Ayatollahs and government in Iran that regularly torture and kill their own citizens whose only crimes are speaking against the government and/or violations of Islamic law? Why not plan a trip to Darfur, Rwanda or the Congo, all of which have had serious problems with genocide and ethnic cleansing and the last few years?
Today, 14:35:52  

uncle joe mccarthy 
dear mr daly,  
before choosing to travel on the flotilla, did you do any research into the ihh and/or the free gaza movement?  
were you aware that both organizations have been shown to have ties to terrorist groups.  
were you aware that the free gaza movement is an arm of the ism, whose founder, david shapiro has made statements supporting suicide bombings?  
when you made your offer to deliver letters for shalit to un officials, were you aware that they would never be delivered as the hamas has yet to allow either un officials or the international red cross to see him?  
were you also aware that in a news report from al jazeerah that took viewers into the belly of the mavi mamarah, not one bit of aid was shown to the viewers....what was shown was one rag doll.  
were you on board or near the ship when passengers were singing their songs about kuybar and talking about becoming martyrs and did this bother you?
Today, 15:25:58  

1) How does bringing a letter to the UN or Red Cross add value? The Red Cross and UN are not the problem. Hamas is 
2) What would you tell Abbas to do to represent all the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank at peace talks? 
3) What would you tell Hamas and Hezbollah to bring them into the process? 
4) What would you tell the Israeli PM? Do you think you lost credibility with the PMO once you joined with the 6th boat?
Today, 15:34:56  

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