I was interested to read that Israel's attack on Lebanon has created an even greater refugee crisis in Israel than the one in Lebanon (Letters, August 10). According to Harry Grunstein's letter there are "already over 1 million Israeli refugees" with "hundreds of thousands living in bomb shelters". I would like somebody to explain this to me, given that, according to the news reports, the Israelis have killed 30 times as many Lebanese civilians as Hizbullah have killed Israelis (1,005 Lebanese civilians killed and 35 Israeli civilians killed), and have bombed the infrastructure of Lebanon. Why are Israelis fleeing in greater numbers than the Lebanese? The figures that I am aware of reveal a very different situation - Israel is not under attack.
Did you hear that clunking sound? Yes, that was my jaw hitting the floor. What the fucking shit is this man on? Whatever it is, even I don't want some. But, hey, let's take a closer look at Bob's letter, shall we? Just for a giggle, like...
I was interested to read that Israel's attack on Lebanon has created an even greater refugee crisis in Israel than the one in Lebanon (Letters, August 10). According to Harry Grunstein's letter there are "already over 1 million Israeli refugees" with "hundreds of thousands living in bomb shelters".
Let me just say, at this point, that I don't have any hard and fast figures for refugees in Israel, but I certainly heard the figure of 600,000 bandied about a week or so ago. However, I suspect that it is not "Israel's attack on Lebanon" that has caused people to flee; you see, whilst I don't have figures, I do know that the general path of flight does tend to be from the north of Israel towards the south. Please do bear this in mind; it will become important later...
I would like somebody to explain this to me, given that, according to the news reports, the Israelis have killed 30 times as many Lebanese civilians as Hizbullah have killed Israelis (1,005 Lebanese civilians killed and 35 Israeli civilians killed), and have bombed the infrastructure of Lebanon.
OK, Robert, let me explain it to you.
What's happened, you see, is that Hezbollah have been lobbing rockets, from Lebanon, over the border and into Israel. Now, although they have fired a good few rockets, they really don't have much range: the longest-range that they have used so far is about 50 miles. Now, if you would care to look at a map of Israel... good... now, can you see Lebanon in the north? Good, well done.
Now, Robert, what is happening is that the Israelis are fleeing from the north of the country to about 50 miles south of the border with Lebanon, so that they don't get hit by any of those rockets that Hezbollah are firing indiscriminently into the country. The ones that aren't fleeing are living in bomb shelters. The Israelis have quite a few bomb shelters because they get rockets fired at them on a daily basis. Admittedly, it's more often from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, but Israel's a small country (smaller than even Scotland) and the occupied territories are actually in a perfect strategic position for easily invading the whole of the country. (Which is why, of course, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the first place and is also precisely why Israel still occupies it and will continue to occupy it until the Arab states guarantee Israel's borders; and do so with enough sincerity that Israel, or indeed anyone else, actually believes them.)
But the big thing, and the obvious thing, Robert, is that if the Israeli civilians didn't flee or live in bomb shelters then... wait for it... more of them would be dead. You don't become a refugee or spent time in a dank cellar for shits and giggles, Robert. You do it because you are in fear of your life.
Why are Israelis fleeing in greater numbers than the Lebanese?
Are they? But let's accept your assertion and give a simple answer: because Israel started their bombing campaign on the infrastructure and the Lebanese can't get to anywhere. So, there ain't a lot of point in becoming a refugee when you can't flee anywhere safe. You fucking divot.
Oh, and the other reason? Some of those civilians aren't... well... you know, civilians. They are Hezbollah fighters. That's the point, you see; no uniforms. No identifying insignia. Because Hezbollah aren't a fucking state, they are not a legally recognised army and they are breaking all the rules of war by dressing as civilians and hiding military targets in civilian areas. You fucking dipstick.
The figures that I am aware of reveal a very different situation - Israel is not under attack.
Well, Robert, won't you share those figures? Are they that only three cheesecakes and thirty-three slightly bruised bananas have flibbled gyre whoop whopp tweet ma' mumma, sweet ma' mumma, fubbly bubbly grob? Israel is not under attack? I mean, for fuck's sake...
The UN's human rights chief, Louise Arbour, meanwhile, has condemned both Israel and Hezbollah for the suffering inflicted on civilians in Lebanon and northern Israel.
"Israeli attacks affecting civilians continue unabated," she told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council.
"Also unrelenting is Hezbollah's indiscriminate shelling of densely populated centres in northern Israel which has brought death and destruction. There have also been repeated allegations of Hezbollah's systematic use of civilians as human shields," she said.
Ms Arbour warned that commanders on both sides could face prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Robert Vinten: he's completely hatstand.
But so is Ms Arbour. Crimes against humanity? Prosecution? Israel and Hezbollah? Louise, you're fucking deluded, love. Why don't you go home and make me a nice cup of tea, eh? Put your feet up, I'll be back soon...