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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I got your compensation right here [gestures lewdly]

How cute... a member of the newborn Iraqi parliament has just issued his government's first official anti-Israel screed.  This is surely an encouraging sign that they are ready to take their place among the mature-but-dysfunctional Arab governments of the region in attacking Israel as a means of distracting their populations from just how bad things are at home.

This member of Iraq's Parliament - Mohammed Naji Mohammed -  made a startling announcement yesterday, demanding that Israel should be made to pay compensation for the Osiraq nuclear facility that we destroyed in 1981

Well guess what Mohammed?  You might find this surprising, but I agree that we should give the compensation issue serious consideration.  But in fairness, Israel isn't exactly alone in causing death and destruction.  So let's just take a closer look, shall we?:

IRAQI ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL:

Gulf War I - Iraq launched an unprovoked Scud Missile attack on Tel Aviv and surrounding areas during the 1991 Gulf war in which Israel was not even a combatant.  We were pressured by the U.S. to absorb the missiles without retaliating, but for weeks life in Israel  - school, work, sleep, etc. - was lived in sealed rooms with gas masks within easy reach.  Without America's pressure, your country would be a smoldering crater where Iranians and Kuwaitis could conveniently dump their trash. 

1973 Yom Kippur War- Iraq sent 30,000 troops, 400 (approx.) tanks, 500 armored  personnel carriers (APCs), 200 fully equipped artillery units and 73 combat aircraft to participate in the unprovoked surprise attack on Israel (on the holiest day of the Jewish Calendar) with the intention of wiping us out.  Your tanks were especially deadly to the beleaguered Israeli forces trying to push back the Syrian advance in the Golan Heights.  Just when our army was starting to gain a foothold on the heights, the Iraqis attacked the exposed southern flank and forced a temporary retreat of the leading forces to keep the IDF from being encircled.

1967 Six Day War- Iraq sent a full infantry Division, two squadrons of fighter-aircraft (Hawker Hunters and MiG 21s respectively) and an undisclosed amount of armor.  You even managed to get one of your Tu-16 bombers shot out of the sky as it was trying to bomb Tel Aviv.  Again, an unprovoked attack on a peaceful nation with the intent to wipe us out of existence.

1948 War of Independence- Iraq sent 18,000 Infantry troops (including four infantry brigades, one armored battalion and associated support personnel) to take part in destroying the Jewish State.  This was the start of your murderous involvement in repeated attempts to push us into the sea.  You had no dog in the fight and stood to lose nothing by our existence.  And yet... our Jewishness apparently provoked you beyond all reason.


ISRAELI ATTACKS AGAINST IRAQ:

June 1981 - Israel, fearing that if your country joined the nuclear club would use nuclear weapons in subsequent conflicts (you hadn't missed a war with us, yet), chose a quiet Sunday morning (when we figured all the worker would be home) and sent eight F-16 multi-role fighters and six F-15s escorts to bomb your nuclear reactor.   As a result of our caution and planning, only ten Iraqi soldiers and one French scientist were killed in the attack.

So let's review, shall we?  Your country has actively and enthusiastically participated in most of the unprovoked armed aggression waged against Israel since the day it came into being (even though we had no argument with you).  We, on the other hand have only attacked you once, and then only to prevent you form carrying out your repeated threats to destroy us.  This says nothing of the Jewish assets that your government happily confiscated from the fleeing Jewish population and the priceless Babylonian era Jewish heritage that you stole or destroyed.

So, if we do a rough calculation of property destroyed and life lost as a result of our countries' respective armed aggression against one another... assign updated values, taking into account the fluctuation in currencies... potential earnings of all the dead and the cost of lifetime care for all the injured parties... carry the 2... adjust for inflation... hmmmmm, it seems to me you guys owe us approximately 1000 times what we owe you.  Incredible, no?

Cash or Credit card will be fine.  Sorry... no cheques. You know, we'd even call it even for some of the remaining Jewish treasures from the Babylonian era that you haven't managed to destroy.  Deal?

Oh BTW, it's worth mentioning that Iran also attacked the Osirak facility the year before Israel did, causing extensive damage and killing an unknown number of personnel.  I'm assuming you are also seeking compensation from Iran, yes?  If so, be sure to let us know how that turns out, mmkay?

Posted by David Bogner on January 6, 2010 | Permalink

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One thing you forgot to mention - the millions Saddam paid to families of Palestinian suicide bombers:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2846365.stm

However, Israel did get compensation for the 1991 attacks (I knew the person at the Israeli Justice Ministry who was responsible for dealing with the claims):

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Gulf_War.html

"A U.N. committee dealing with reparation claims against Iraq dating to the 1991 Gulf War approved more than $31 million to be paid to Israeli businesses and individuals. The 1999 decision stemmed from a 1992 Security Council decision calling on Iraq to compensate victims of the Gulf War (JTA, 4/14/99). In 2001, the United Nations Compensation Commission awarded $74 million to Israel for the costs it incurred from Iraqi Scud missile attacks during the Gulf War. The Commission rejected most of the $1 billion that Israel had requested (JTA, 6/21/01)."

Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Jan 6, 2010 1:01:13 PM

David, you wrote exactly the post I wanted to write, and it's funnier than what I would have done. Maybe I should let you write all my blog posts? ;)

Posted by: Morey Altman | Jan 6, 2010 2:19:55 PM

You also forgot the expulsion of Sephardim and the seizure of their assets. Which the UN has already ruled that Iraq, as well as slew of other Arab nations, need to pay for.

But really do you expect Israel to use a logical means like that to answer back? We are too caught up in the idea of everyone hates us, we have no friends, we are the eternal victims and can't get a fair break. So we will just take this one lying down as well.

Posted by: mekubal | Jan 6, 2010 3:57:49 PM

Mekubal -

News flash: Everyone hates us, we have no friends, we are the eternal victims, and we can't get a fair break. Deal with it. :)

PS - I could be wrong, but I don't think Trep was trying for logic here. More like sarcasm. And FWIW, I think Netanyahu will give the Iraqi suggestion the exact amount of attention it deserves - which is to say, none at all.

Posted by: psachya | Jan 6, 2010 4:40:03 PM

I love a good, sarcastic post.

As for Iraq, they can geh kacken afen yam. They can even have their choice of yam.

Posted by: Elisson | Jan 6, 2010 5:40:07 PM

Question for Dave: Did Israel ever collect the $74 million?

Posted by: ED | Jan 6, 2010 6:37:18 PM

Thanks for the useful reminder.

Posted by: Fred | Jan 6, 2010 11:30:37 PM

Okay, that compensation issue might delay diplomatic recognition of each other's right to exist and be a nation for a while.

Which is precisely a problem how?
I see no reason whatsoever for Israel to recognize Irak's right to exist or be a nation.

Meh.

Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Jan 7, 2010 1:58:33 AM

their choice of yam
No choice. Nor eine yam.
Dos Khaleej al Irani.

Posted by: At The Back of the Hill | Jan 7, 2010 1:59:57 AM

Wasted electonic ink. Fair? UN? in the same post? If it let you let off steam, great. But it doesn't even pay to say anything anymore. Just pray we don't pay and that their chickens come home to roost close and personal.

Posted by: chaim | Jan 7, 2010 7:10:04 AM

Israel actually did compensate the families of the few people who were killed on the ground at Osirak.

Posted by: Lena | Jan 7, 2010 6:34:22 PM

Trep,

What you are suggesting reminds of a gemara, where the Egyptians went to Alexander the great to request compensation from the Jews for what they stole upon leaving Egypt. One person responded to Alexander, that that is fine, but first you need to compensate us for the 600,000 men working for 430 years. The Egyptians quietly dropped their suit.

Posted by: Eliezer | Jan 11, 2010 12:58:39 PM

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