ibnlive » Chat

4.30 pm Nov 19, 2012

Gaza crisis: Israel bombs Palestinian 'targets'

CNN-IBN Foreign Affairs Editor Surya Gangadharan will take your questions on the Gaza crisis.
15 questions answered
  • Hello Boss...Is an attack on Iran imminent? What do u say? Asked by: Parimala Srinivasan, Frankfurt
  • Surya Gangadharan I doubt it. There's a lot of posturing going on but am not sure what a strike on Iran will achieve. Maybe the strike if it happens won't be in the conventional sense, it could be cyber related as the Israelis and Americans have demonstrated with the stuxnet worm
  • What role can India play in this situation arouse between Isreal and Palestine? Asked by: Somil Pahuja
  • Surya Gangadharan Nothing! Who out there is going to listen to us or even care what we say. The Arabs for that matter are yet to get their act together although one hears there are moves underway for a ceasefire. I think all the players in that region are looking at each other and UNCLE SAM (who now has a Nobel Prize please remember)
  • After Yassar Arafat who is strong palestinian leader with mass support and global reach ??/ Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Surya Gangadharan There's none. For that matter even Arafat compromised towards the end and got a moth eaten Palestine comprising two bits of territory separated by Israel. Those two bits are now daggers drawn being ruled by Hamas (in Gaza) and Fatah (in the West Babk). Kind of reminds you of East Pakistan separated from the west by India which ultimately became Bangladesh.
  • Are the palestinians United ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Surya Gangadharan No, Gaza is ruled by Hamas while the West Bank is ruled by Fatah. They had made some moves to unite and bridge their differences but it failed.
  • The American backing of Israel, not accepted as justifiable by many,is without pre-conditions ???? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Surya Gangadharan I think President Obama has tried to distance himself from the all out support for Israel that characterised earlier US administrations. That also seems to have affected his equation with Israel's PM Netanyahu. Obama wants Israel to stop building more settlements on Arab land, Netanyahu won't give him an assurance on that score. That's one of the reasons for the current fighting. Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli towns is another
  • Sir...Why cannot Israel get rid of Hamas and Hezbollah for ever without inflicting much of civilian damage? Asked by: baalusr27
  • Surya Gangadharan It's hardly possible. Both movements have militarily strengthened themselves, they have powerful backers around the region, they also have some measure of support among the Palestinians. They also represent long standing grievances that resonate among Arabs in the region although perhaps less so for Arab governments.
  • Who do u think will finally control Afghanistan (after 2014)? Afghans or Pak Army or USA? Asked by: seema
  • Surya Gangadharan This webchat is abt Gaza. Afghanistan is in another region
  • Are sanctions against Iran working? They are continuing with the enrichment process despite the so called sanctions? How come? Asked by: axe_jerry
  • Surya Gangadharan There are persistent reports about the impact sanctions are having on Iran's economy including the fall in the value of the currency, the squeeze on imports and Iran's inability to export its oil to earn foreign exchange. But Iran's clerical regime seems determined that uranium enrichment is in the national interest and will not compromise on that
  • I know you track Pakistan closely..I want to know if the breakup of Pak is imminent in the next 15 years (considering the sunni-shia, sunni-ahmedi, punjabi-baloch, pashtun-nonpashtun conflicts).. Asked by: Mehta, Gujarat
  • Surya Gangadharan I recall a senior Indian diplomat telling me a year ago ago that in his view Pakistan was already a failed state. It's clear that where earlier there was only the military, today you have a civlian govt and also an assertive judiciary, which is good. But the legacy of failed policies is holding the country down including the support and sanctuary for jihadi groups. Today some semblance of order seems to extend only upto the border of Swat, thereafter much of south Waziristan remains a battle zone. North Waziristan is probably worse with no govt control at all. Balochistan is another problem. You should read Steve Cohen's book on the Pak army, in the last chapter he warns of Pakistan not existing in its present form and of "India's stabilising power extending to the northwest frontier"
  • Is Netanyuhu a tough leader unlike Manmohan Singh? Asked by: Prathi
  • Surya Gangadharan Israeli PMs are tough guys because they live in a rough neighbourhood. But don't forget it was a hardline Israeli Pm who initiated peace with Arafat with the Camp David Accords. Also Israel has enormous US backing and can afford to be tough (although for how long remains to be seen given that Egypt and Turkey are no longer friendly). Manmohan Singh is a technocrat with no political base, he's been selected for the job by you know who. He's been PM for 10 years without ever being elected!
  • What is this war all about. Why are this bombing taking place? Asked by: Gaurav
  • Surya Gangadharan Israel says it is retaliating to rocket attacks by Hamas on its settlements. Rockets have even been aimed at Tel Aviv and since Israel has a small population, the loss of even one life goes deep. Hamas wants Israel to end its restrictive control over traffic to and from the Gaza Strip which has hit living standards and driven prices through the roof. It wants and end to the targeting of its senior commanders by Israeli intelligence agencies.
  • Why media calls palestinans defending their motherland as millitants and Isrealis mercilessly killing people in Gaza as armymen? Is it because they are Muslims? Asked by: Khan
  • Surya Gangadharan For Israeli and Western media to call Hamas militants fits in with their point of view. From an Indian view it makes no sense as Hamas has not targeted India or Indians in any way (at least there is no proof of that). Partly one can ascribe this to ignorance and also prejudice
  • Ban ki moon has called fro a cease fire. Will Israel accept ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Surya Gangadharan Media reports suggest there could be ceasefire soon but the Israelis maybe reading for a ground level assault, so things cold get worse. Ban Ki Moon is heading for the region only on Wednesday. Am not sure we are anywhere close to a ceasefire
  • What is the secret of the audacity of Israel in acting on it's own against an enemy inspite of a Global call for harmony and peace ??? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Surya Gangadharan The state of Israel came up after the second world war when Jews in Europe were subject to mass extermination in Hitler's death camps. So the idea of a state where Jews from all over the world could live without persecution of any kind resonates deeply. Israel has lived with the threat of being wiped out by Arab states with far bigger populations and armies. They have fought three wars 1948, 1967, 1973 and there have also been other engagements in Lebanon, then there was the intifada when Palestinians revolted against Israeli occupation. So it's a complex history.
  • Isn't the fresh gaza crisis has the potential to agitate the Muslim world or it will polorise the world leading to suicidal animity for Isreal? Asked by: Khan
  • Surya Gangadharan I think the question is how deeply is the Muslim world agitated. The problem is most Arabs live in highly controlled societies where the govt keeps a tight lid on the public. This is to ensure their own survival as any public agitation demanding justice for the Palestinians could easily turn into an anti govt movement (as in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia). Also, I think as worldwide economic situations get worse Muslims as other people everywhere else are hard at work trying to make ends meet. Palestine comes later

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Surya Gangadharan
Editor, International Affairs, CNN-IBN