Breaking down assumptions about the Gaza Strip

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Well, here we go again. Not since Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 has Israeli military action been so controversial or violently condemned. The Israel Defense Forces conducted a raid on an aid flotilla on its way to Gaza after the flotilla attempted to run the Israeli blockade. Nine Turks aboard the flotilla were killed and over 600 detained.

If you want to form a credible opinion, especially regarding the Middle East, it's best to gather information from multiple sources, not just one. It's also best to step back and take a look at the big picture instead of viewing an incident in isolation.

That said, let's go back to 2005 when Israel still controlled the Gaza Strip. Israel transferred control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority to further the peace process in accordance to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments, withdrawing all Israeli settlers and troops in August 2005.

Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by Canada, the United States and the European Union, launched Kassam rockets from Gaza into Israel shortly after. Only six months later, in January 2006, Hamas defeated the more moderate Fatah party and gained control of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Minus a six-month "calm" period, Israel has seen a consistent stream of Kassam rockets from Hamas since.

The Charter of Hamas calls for the elimination of the state of Israel and that "Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims."

While that won't do much to further the peace process, Israel is not completely blameless. Now the international community has called for Israel to stop settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel does not necessarily need to give up the lands, but a Geneva Convention prohibits them from settling in lands taken by force.

Although Israeli settlements are not the popular issue right now, one must have an understanding of these territory disputes to understand the Gaza flotilla raid. Israel didn't give back the Gaza Strip only to have to reinvade it.

"What we want to prevent coming into Gaza are rockets, missiles, explosives and war materials that could be used to attack our civilians," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said while he was in Ottawa.

Netanyahu also stated that Israel has no quarrel with the people of Gaza, but rather with the terrorist regime Hamas.

Hamas is dedicated to an extremist ideology that harms Jew and Palestinian alike. Hamas guarantees civilian casualties in Gaza by using human shields. Israel thus cannot kill any Hamas member without first killing a civilian, sparking international condemnation. All the while, Hamas continues to send Kassam rockets into Israel with nary a murmer from the international community.

The flotilla raid is not about Israel's oppression of Gaza's people. It is about Hamas' oppression of Gaza's people and threat to Israel through their extremist views. The Israel Defense Forces said they found weaponry aboard the aid ship.

Hamas does not care about its own civilians at all, just their ideology.

If Palestinians and Jews want to end the oppression in Gaza, they should put their efforts towards opposing Hamas, not Israel. Hamas is responsible for violating human rights across the board, and it is Hamas that is truly causing the most destruction to the Palestinian people.




Wait, who wrote this? Did someone forget to include the name?

No, wait...

Unsigned editorials? Really? C\'mon guys, this isn\'t right. This is wrong -- and disrespectful to your readers. We need to see who is writing these things to keep the writers accountable to us, your audience -- the University of Calgary students.

If you continue these unsigned editorials, none of you deserve to have your jobs. Or, at the least, deserve to lose your funding from the Student\'s Union.

We University of Calgary students can\'t keep you guys accountable the way you act. You aren\'t representing our interests when you have these unsigned editorials. This is a disturbing trend and sad to see in a paper that used to have quality.

I started reading the Gauntlet during the 2006-2007 year, and it was very high quality. Ever since then, it\'s fallen completely down hill. I\'m finishing up my degree now and finally realized how horrible you guys truly are. Terrible stories and your layout looks like shit -- at least one issue just had completely right-oriented pictures. Where\'s the quality control? I thought last year was terrible, but this year takes the cake.

As someone who wants to go to journalism school after I finish up my degree, I\'m glad I didn\'t go to the Gauntlet. I\'d probably wouldn\'t have a clue how to actually be a journalist.

In short: fuck you. Fuck you for disrespecting us, University of Calgary students. We\'re your readership. This is completely disrespectful of your audience and deciding to be less accountable. It\'s taken me five years to get angry enough to actually bother to comment. But I\'m sick and tired of it.

At the same time, your covers are looking pretty nice. So at least one thing went up from last year.

\"If you want to form a credible opinion, especially regarding the Middle East, it\'s best to gather information from multiple sources, not just one. It\'s also best to step back and take a look at the big picture instead of viewing an incident in isolation.\"

Whoever you are. This is talking down to me. Show, don\'t tell. Whoever wrote this smacks of faux-intelligence and should be laughed at.

This editorial is completely a uninformed piece of work. Not only has this author claimed to have done his/her research, the author has completely brushed off the fact that the Israeli forces committed a completely illegal act just by boarding the flotilla, not to mention the acts of violence and murder that were committed. There was absolutely no evidence of any weapons or material that may be used to construct weapons on board the flotilla. These flotillas carried aid and supplies that Israel does not allow into Gaza such as clean water, food, and building supplies for the homes that Israel destroyed in 2008. The attack of the flotilla is a direct result of Israel\'s continuing oppression on Gaza.

You obviously do not understand the situation in Gaza. The Israeli occupation of Palestine is the longest occupation of our time. The occupation is a continuous act of oppression of the Israeli government on the people of Gaza. Hamas is used as an excuse to continue the inhumane treatment of the people of Gaza. How can you justify oppressing 1.5 million people? Getting Hamas to surrender is not a justification. And no, the situation will not be remedied by both sides directing their \"efforts towards oppossing Hamas\". You obviously do not know your Human Rights very well, if anyone if violating human rights it is Israel.

Please do not pretend that you know all the facts about what is happening in Palestine. I would like to advise you to do some more research to fully understand the situation in Palestine.

This editorial started out promising by stating that \"it is best to gather information from multiple sources\". Unfortunately, who ever wrote it didn\'t follow their own advice. This article is clearly one sided- which is fine if that\'s what what your intentions are. There are plenty of news stations and news papers that are biased, however they are up front and open about it. It is unwise and not in the papers best interest to spew one sided opinion, especially if some of it is conspiracy theory, while claiming to be well rounded- it takes away from your credibility and makes you look naive and uninformed. If you want to run a reputable news paper, at least have the decency to complete more holistic research and be accountable to your readers by including your name when writing editorials. If you want to run a paper that is ill-respected, continue to pretend that your forming \"credible opinion[s]\" and when your finished spewing garbage don\'t attach your name to it.

I think Peter Parker should have the balls when he or she makes an anonymous comment that has many grammatical errors.
It sounds like they had a story copy edited and their confidence was shot after that. After all, they are writing under a pseudonym.

Trevor Bacque

Remember kids: Personal and collective editorial credibility and factual accuracy are valid areas of criticism for readers. The grant of limited monopoly and funding to the Gauntlet only remains justified if the students\' interests continue to be served. It is in the interest of a majority of students to foster and encourage critical thinking, even if that means admitting that someone has overreached in articulating a position in an editorial or a comment.

While I admire the attempt of this editorial to capture a topic that is highly contentious, and the stated aim of forming an opinion based on a myriad of sources, I have to say that the medium (a 550 word editorial) is an inappropriate format for any such detailed examination. There are simply too many unsupported assumptions and statements of opinion without good arguments to back them up to make this article any more than a preliminary opinion based on a very limited understanding of an extremely complex situation.