13
Jun
08

Gaza: a deepening gulf?

It’s been a year since Hamas took control of the Gaza strip, effectively splitting Palestine in half: Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank. We received this suggestion for Monday’s programme:

I’m from Gaza, and I have spent the last 8 years of my life in the West Bank city of Ramallah. My family still living in Gaza City, but I can’t imagine the life over there after all the internal fighting and the Israeli siege there.


Hamas won the elections of 2006, but after it was ostracized by international governments who view it as a terrorist organisation, the secular Fatah regained control in a government of unity.

The subsequent bloody in-fighting has led to a massive internal split.

Politically, and confusingly, there are now two different governments and two different approaches to relations with Israel and the wider world.

Although relations between the two seem to be warming up lately, the two tracts of land which, while always physically separate, seem to be further apart than ever before.

So what do young people in Gaza, West Bank and Israel think about the whole thing? What is it like to live in Gaza? Is it very different from the West Bank? Or Israel for that matter?

We hope to have young people from all three places with us on Monday, talking to each other.

If you want to take part, or you have a question for them, post a comment below.


129 Responses to “Gaza: a deepening gulf?”


  1. 1 Dennis
    June 13, 2008 at 21:44

    It is sad that Gaza is going down the road of becoming “a problem” for the world.

    Dennis
    OCC
    Syracuse, New York
    USA

  2. 2 alicia
    June 13, 2008 at 22:34

    president Bush supports israel on there definance after 30 yrs as a jewish state, Archbishop desmond tutu condemns israel on their dehumanizing attacks and repressive control of palestine. while i admire dese 2 men. i believe that the level of assault. i feel sorry for their predicament but can much be done now even in the midst of a divided palestine, dat is facing a united israel an her backers and middle eastern countries dat refuse to openly support her.

  3. 3 Tino
    June 13, 2008 at 22:34

    Hamas needs to be regarded with zero legitimacy by everyone.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/080613/world/international_palestinians_israel_violence_dc

    They blew it up themselves, blame israel, then admit it.

  4. 4 Bryan
    June 13, 2008 at 22:38

    Yes, there is a geographical split between Gaza and the West bank, but Hamas Islamists have done everything they can to isolate Gaza even further with the brutal defeat of Fatah, attacks against Christians and continual terror attacks against Israel.

    When Israel disengaged from Gaza the Gazans stormed the abandoned settlements, carried off everything they could and destroyed property like the greenhouses, which had been bought and donated by Americans for the use and benefit of the people of Gaza. And the dust had hardly setted from the disengagement when Hamas resumed rocket attacks on Israel. People have to take responsibility for their own actions and there is no reason why Hamas should be exempt from this principle.

    There will never be a Palestinian state while Hamas terrorism continues. And, anyway, there cannot be a functioning Palestinian state while the West Bank and Gaza are split ideologically and geographically. And there cannot be a contiguous Palestinian state because that would divide Israel into two halves. So it looks like the status quo is set to continue.

  5. 5 Shirley
    June 13, 2008 at 23:10

    I have some questions for any guests that you might have from Palestine.

    assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah jami`an
    1) It has been ages since I have heard news from Nablus or Jenin. Anything that your guests could offer would be much appreciated.
    2) Do students have access to schools and universities in Gaza and the West Bank?
    3) What is the emotional state of the children in the West Bank and Gaza? I have heard that many have trouble sleeping, that some have a hard time trusting people, etc.
    4) How hard is it to get enough food for everyone in the fmaily every day?
    5) What is the state of Islamic education at the masajid in the West Bank and Gaza? Do the Imams and `ulama still refer to the teachings of tasawwuf and the Hanafi madhhab? Or has salafist teachings been coming into the masajid? Also, how are Shia Muslims and Christians doing in the West Bank and Gaza?

    I have so many more questions, but I have already submitted too many.

  6. 6 Shirley
    June 13, 2008 at 23:15

    A note that arguments for and against the Palestinian or Israeli view have taken place before at WHYS: “Do Palestinians need to accept there can never be a home-coming” and “Happy Birthday Israel” are examples.

  7. June 13, 2008 at 23:24

    Hello, it’s Priya here.

    I agree with Shirley – this post is about the lives of the people who live in the three areas involved: Gaza, West Bank and Israel.

    While we can’t completely avoid talking about the whys and wherefores of the conflict (or who’s to blame), we have done it many times before and I’d like to see some questions and comments for our young panel on this thread…

    Wouldn’t you like to know more about their lives?

  8. 8 steve
    June 13, 2008 at 23:30

    Could we also talk about the homosexuals being persecuted there as well as the christians having been run out? after all, they are different and must go, according to a government that is theocratic.

  9. 9 Roberto
    June 14, 2008 at 00:07

    Wouldn’t you like to know more about their lives?
    ———————————————————————————–

    ——- Most of us who follow this conflict know about their lives.

    Israel has never been able to fully flower as a democracy because of the neccessity of being a miltary state to defend against attacks by vastly superior numbers of enemies.

    Since the crank up of the infitada by Palestinians in 2000, all the significant peaceful gains since 1993 were wiped out along with the Palestinian economy. Suicide bombings of civilians have spread throughout the middle east and all over the world.

    The costs of anarchy have been enormous. The worst costs to be born by Palestinian children.

    To be fair, Hamas seems to have cleaned up the corrupt and criminal elements in Gaza that Fatah allowed to operate. Their idealism and their policies do represent a current threat to peace, but they seem to be honest brokers compared to Fatah who will often mouth peace and unity and allow terrorist islamic groups and criminal clans to operate with impunity.

    I’ve always felt it would be better for Gazans to be administered by Egypt and let the west bank become the Palestinian state if possible and then allow limited migration like Israel did to disenfranchised Jews.

    Thing is that Palestinians in general have a reputation of being ungovernable, and I don’t think even with some additional EU/US support Egypt would agree with such a thing.

    So, we’re stuck in the untenable status quo for now. The only glimmer of hope I see is the ongoing negotions between Syria and Israel. If there was a breakthrough there, it could be the impetus to grease the creaky wheels of the peace movement elsewhere in the middle east.

    Even peace agreements to remain very shaky though until at least two generations can grow up without war and vicious propaganda that is designed to poison people’s feelings towards the “other.”

    Might be instructive if the beeb could round up that reporter (Johnston?) who was kidnapped by some Gazan criminal gang to offer up his views. He lived in Gaza for some time and might have some good ideas that he never had a chance to offer up in his duties as a reporter.

  10. 10 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 02:30

    It seems to me that history plays itself out exactly as it should. I am satisfied that like the rest of the universe, what happens in Gaza and the West Bank is the inevitable result of the forces acting on it. I do not condemn it or applaud it, I merely accept it. We’ll see just how badly the Israelis want to survive when they are confronted with the imminent prospect of Iran armed with an atom bomb.

  11. 11 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 02:40

    Yes Mark, the world unfold as it should.

    I don’t know why we think anything can change, when we have been doing the same old things since recorded history.

    Perhaps we can never be civilized. Maybe we are doomed to roll the rock up the hill again and again.

  12. 12 Pangolin
    June 14, 2008 at 02:52

    Israel is killing Gaza like you would kill a bound captive with a cheese grater. Any single stoke of the Israeli’s is dismissed as trivial and besides you can’t release the captive because he’ll kill you. The captive is obviously mad; just look at him ranting, despited the fact that we provide everything he needs.

    The flat denial of the facts by supporters of Israel makes violence inevitable.

    Since Israel sees fit to attempt control the the internal politics of both Iran and the US with varying degrees of success I doubt that a resolution will be possible until it’s overreaching causes the inevitable downfall of Israel and it’s primary sponsor.

  13. 13 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 03:00

    selenayvonne

    I don’t know what your problem is but I live a happy peaceful productive life. I was fortunate that it was easy for me to make it that way but if I was born into less fortunate circumstances, I’d have found a different way to the same end. Life is what we make out of it. You only get one chance. If you want to waste it hating people, you will only make yourself and everyone around you miserable. It seems to me that is exactly what the people who call themselves Palestinians have done by and large. Don’t expect sympathy for them from me, I don’t have any to offer them.

  14. 14 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 03:07

    @Mark,

    I guess my problem is I don’t hate anyone.

    Bit of a bummer that! ;-)

  15. 15 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 03:24

    Pangolin
    The Israelis have the power to eliminate anyone and everyone who threatens them. What they do with that power is up to them but I don’t think anyone in my government is inclined to stop them from going ahead with whatever they decide. In fact, because many of the threats to Israel are threats to my country as well, I think decisive action by Israel would be a welcome relief for many of my countrymen. I know I’d feel safer if they resolved their security problems to their satisfaction once and for all.

  16. 16 Rick
    June 14, 2008 at 06:42

    How soon we forget that Hamas was democraticly elected.
    Bush wants democracy in the middle east only if his corrupt mates win. My question for your young pannel is that if another election was held tomorrow would Hamas win again?

  17. 17 viola anderson
    June 14, 2008 at 07:06

    Rick:

    If a serial killer is democratically elected, should he be allowed to stay in power?

  18. June 14, 2008 at 07:07

    About 20 years ago I met a Palistinian who asked me if the Americans would ever support the aspirations of the Palistinians.

    My answer was, “NEVER!”

    In total surprize, he asked with great interest, “Why?”

    You lost any and all sympathy by using terror tactics. Killing a bunch of unarmed and innocent athletes at the Olympics.

    That sealed forever your character as a people and a cause. No matter how you have been slighted, robbed, abused or cheated, you deserve zero sympathy, zero support from anyone …… forever. If anyone ever kills high numbers of your kind the general belief is you must have deserved it. You really did announce to the world what you are. And no one, no civilization could possibly get behind what you are.

    The secret belief is perhaps you deserve all that befalls your poeple.

    The sympathy and support goes always to the folks who do not slaughter the innocent.

    That’s just the way you set up your reputation, and it is never going to be changed.

    Today, I feel that the two state solution is reasonable, and perhaps West Bank, and Gaza ought to be united with a strip of land maybe from Isreal, and Jordan.
    Then the plot of ground deeded to Jordon and have the state of Palistine be a sub regional part of Jordan……As it origionally was.

    Isreal should return all lands where they built settlements in ground inside the West Bank. They already did that in the Gasa strip. Instead of working on hard work to build a functioning society you always attack Isreali citizens.

    Isrealis either leave those settlements in the West Bank, and return to Isreal or they become citizens of Jordan. The areas of Jerulesalem where traditional Islamic Mosques are must be part of the Islamic holdings.

    Bottom line: If there are any rockets fired from Arab lands, or suicide attacks, areas of the rocket firings…. those places will be fired back at with a level of response and force to the level of a thousand fold.

    All Arab citizens have a vested responsibility in getting their families away from sand creatures willing to launch strikes against innocent Isreali citizens, Ample warnings of the level of response; will be beyond any force ever incured by the Arabs.

    Nothing personal just totally linked to the survival of Isreal. If possible the strike can be done by an ally of Isreal, as a consequence of Arab understanding that this may be the only level of treatment, that will be totally understood by people who do these sorts of things to innocent people.

    Measured responses never work. War must be total, it must not leave any survivers to live to take revenge on another day. Modern war with measured responses simply do not work.

    troop

  19. 19 Pangolin
    June 14, 2008 at 07:19

    @Mark- I seem to recall that there have been several European powers that were fairly smug about their ability to destroy all enemies foreign and domestic through sheer exercise or threat of the use of that power. Those people aren’t quite as smug now.

    Sometimes all the kings horses and all the kings men are not enough to push back the tide. Nor will dangling your most scary US prezdenchal puppet and having him chant terrarist, terrarist, terrarist turn world opinion.

    The really nasty fact though is that the same technology that Israel uses to fly it’s nasty little drones over Gaza can be replicated quite cheaply. Somebody might even use that kind of technology to disrupt the shipping of Israel’s primary sponsor.

    The fact is that Israel cannot prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons if Iran wants them. Once Iran has even a sufficient quantity of fissible material there is effectively a nuclear detente. If Israel thinks it can threaten it’s enemies with nuke forever they’re dreaming. They’re not going to toss nukes at Iran and everyone knows it.

    The ‘terrarists are coming to get you too’ threat just isn’t selling in the US and increasing numbers of people believe the Sept. 11th attacks were facilitated by actors within the US government. People aligned with oil profiteers who detailed their plans in “A Project for a New American Century” where they detailed that it would require “a new Pearl Harbor” before the US military could act to secure oil reserves in the Middle East.

    The US is in deep economic trouble and all the happy talk on Fox isn’t working. The people want US resources to be used at home for bread and butter security issues. They’re not buying another crusade.

    What is left is Israel surrounded by people with a grudge; and a lot of little rockets.

    It could be time to come to a real peace.

  20. June 14, 2008 at 07:31

    A house blowing up and killing 7 people including an infant due to the occupants improperly handling explosives is not a necessary action if there is nobody manufacturing bombs. Can young people understand that there is a way out from that life? That is terrorism purely in form, believe it was a message from god if you will, that his subjects should not be handling explosives and carrying out acts of violence this way.

  21. 21 Pangolin
    June 14, 2008 at 07:35

    @Troop- It is evident the the slaughter of adult Israeli athletes matters for more to you than the far more numerous dead Palestinian children killed by the IDF bombings and missile attacks.

    This statement:

    “The sympathy and support goes always to the folks who do not slaughter the innocent.”

    ……and this statement:

    “Bottom line: If there are any rockets fired from Arab lands, or suicide attacks, areas of the rocket firings…. those places will be fired back at with a level of response and force to the level of a thousand fold.

    All Arab citizens have a vested responsibility in getting their families away from sand creatures willing to launch strikes against innocent Isreali citizens, Ample warnings of the level of response; will be beyond any force ever incured by the Arabs.”

    ….. are in contradiction. If you kill a thousand innocents for the action of one is that not a slaughter?

    People take note; the supporters of Israel will always justify the massacre of Arab non-combatants to achieve their goals. The essential problem of this conflict is that the side currently with the most weaponry refuses to acknowledge that the other side is also human.

    If the Arabs killed a thousand Jews for the death of each person killed by the IDF would there be any left? That makes no sense either.

    The only peace that will hold is a just peace. Where one life is equal to any other life.

  22. June 14, 2008 at 07:35

    I just cut half my comment off about how provoked Israel was as a result of the incident I described. You people who’re writing a page; do you really think that is the way to communicate with youth? Do you care at all about their lives to provoke them into peace and not more war? Ramblings and banter is not supposed to be here anyway so think about the subject before you write, and if it means sacrificing a hair of ego suck it up!

  23. 23 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 08:08

    Ok here are some questions for the panel:

    *Do you think Hamas can ever change and begin to treat Christians and secular Palestinians as equal to Muslims?

    *Days after Israel disengaged from Gaza, at great cost and in the interests of peace, Hamas continued the firing of Kassams into Israel. Do you think there is any hope for peace with Hamas in control of Gaza?

    *The aim of Hamas, as expressed in its charter, is the total destruction of Israel. Do you think this would change with the establishment of a Palestinian state?

  24. 24 Pangolin
    June 14, 2008 at 08:17

    @Zak- i forgot, the youth can only understand ideas that fit on a text message.
    Apologies

    Revised comment:

    Israel’s not ‘all that.’ Should chill.

  25. 25 Rick
    June 14, 2008 at 08:17

    Troop
    ‘The sympathy and support always goes to the folks who do not slaughter the innocent”
    You’ve been watching Fox News if you believe the Israelis don’t have innocent blood on their hands.

    Over my 58 years I’ve gone from being an mildly intrested pro Israeli observer to one who dispises Israel. For most of my adult life my newscasts have been bombarded with middle east horror. One thing that is outstanding is that Israel has all the cards. The power, the weapons, the money but they don’t want peace if it means giving back one inch of the Palistine that they stole from the Palistinians. They are still filling up the vacant land as fast as they can with jews from all over the world so they can’t give it back.
    Surley the Palistinians have more claim to that land than someone from Russia or California.

  26. June 14, 2008 at 08:39

    Why doesn’t the BBC cover the recent presentation by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt which took place in Israel/Palestine which the Israeli press covered but the pro-Israel biased Western media (to include the BBC apparently) won’t (see the following):

    Walt, Mearsheimer go to Israel

    http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/print/200806130613waltm.html

    ———————————————

    Brzezinski to Bush: Stop Israel
    Sat, 14 Jun 2008 01:41:31
    Zbigniew Brzezinski
    Former White House national security adviser has urged President Bush to dissuade Israel from attacking Iran over its nuclear program.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=59877&ionid=3510203

  27. 27 Rick
    June 14, 2008 at 10:08

    viola anderson
    Bush did!

  28. June 14, 2008 at 10:09

    You’ll never have the Iq you had when you were 14; I wish I still tested in the 140′s/150 but actually my Iq has dropped a full 10 points since then so I feel that giving credit where credit is due is worthy for the intelligent youth who come together to mend a situation that’s constantly beyond the control of adults.

  29. 29 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 11:18

    Pangolin
    The thing about nuclear weapons is that if you have them, your enemies really don’t know if you will use them. Whether or not Isreal uses its presumed nuclear arsenal only depends on how threatened it feels. When the threat is perceived as sufficiently dire, it will disregard the inevitable condemnation from Europe and much of the rest of the anti-semitic world it continuously is subjected to anyway and it will act. The execution of a nuclear first strike is the easy part, it’s the irrevocable earth shattering decision to order one that is hard. Armageddon is not just a biblical prophesy 63 years into the nuclear age, it is a military command.

    President Carter recently said it is estimated that Israel has in the order of about I think 175 to 200 nuclear weapons but the high energy physics web site estimated it had that number about ten years ago and it may be about twice that amount now. It also said that many were believed to be fusion boosted and by now many are probably full fledged thermonuclear weapons, far more powerful than the bombs that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Either way Israel is a major player in the nuclear weapons arms race and has far more than enough in its stockpile to eliminate anything it cares to including all human life on earth in any number of ways, setting major oil fields ablaze…forever for example. If the threat of Iran becomes sufficient, I don’t think most Americans would be angered by an Israeli first strike.

    If America lets its guard down and is attacked again, if its memory is so short it needs another lesson, the changes next time will be far greater. Al Qaeda cannot destroy America but it can change it by making it recognize that it will never again be a safe place as a free and open democracy. As government’s first obligation is to protect its people, America in all likelihood in the aftermath of suffering a terrorist attack with a WMD, especially a nuclear weapon, even a single one would probably become a military dictatorship. At that point it really will be what its worst critics unjustly accuse it of now, the most dangerous and unrestrained force on earth. If America feels so threatened, nobody else will be safe either.

    Rick, Adolf Hitler was democratically elected too. Should the world have accepted whatever he did because of it? By your flawed by often cited logic, President Bush who was also democratically elected, at least the second time should therefore have his policies automatically and universally accepted also.

  30. 30 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 12:02

    Rick, you say:

    “For most of my adult life my newscasts have been bombarded with middle east horror,” and that is why you “despise” Israel. Well , if you are going to get your news from CNN and the BBC your attitude will only be reinforced. Damn pity that you have been indoctrinated into scorn of Israel when the ones who really should be scorned are Israel’s enemies – Hamas, Hebollah, Syria, Iran and so on – who not only sponsor terror and deliberately kill Israeli civilians but take absolute delight in the killing and celebrate it.

    The one terrorist Hezbollah wants Israel to release more than any other is Samir Kuntar. Infiltrating Israel with other terrorists from Lebanon, he murdered an Israeli man, Danny, on a beach in Nahariya in front of his four year old daughter, Einat, so that his death would be the last thing she would see. He then murdered Einat by smashing her head against a rock with the butt of his rifle. The mother of the family, Smadar, hid in their apartment with her two year old daughter, Yael, while the terrorists rampaged through the flat. In trying to prevent Yael from making a noise, she accidentally smothered her to death.

    Google “Sami Kuntar terror attack in Nahariya” to learn more about this horrific story. The monster Kuntar is a hero to Hezbollah. And he is one of thousands. Yet people on this forum like Pangolin have the gall to talk about “blood on Israeli hands.”

    The PC paralysed media of the left has a lot to answer for here because they show more consideration for the terrorists and sponsors of terrorism like Hezbollah and Iran than they do for the Israeli victims of terror. And they influence people like you, Rick, and countless others to turn against Israel.

    Terrorism knows no boundaries. Don’t forget that there are Arab-Israeli victims of Palestinian and Hezbollah terror as well, and not just Jews.

  31. 31 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 12:36

    Bryan, you are right about BBC. Alan Johnston is back up to his old tricks singing his favorite song lauding the Palestinians and condemning the Israelis on his new assignment hosting “From Our Own Correspondent.” His own father characterized him as “A friend of the Palestinian People.” What else would one expect.

  32. 32 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 13:13

    @ Rick

    I realize people int he world call Israel an “apartheid” state, but are you suggesting the future independent Palestinian must be Jew-Free and that’s somehow NOT apartheid?

  33. 33 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 13:27

    It was former President Carter who wrote a book describing Israel as an apartheid state. In an interview on C-Span, he admitted that he’d made a bad mistake characterizing it that way but he wanted to call attention to the Palestinian plight and so used a word he felt would grab people’s attention. But it’s too late, the damage is done and can’t be undone. His mis-spoken badly chosen words will always be cited by those who hate Israel. I and I think a lot of Americans view Jimmy Carter the way you would think of a crazy old uncle who is likely to say anything at any time and embarass himself and you unexpectedly. I think he should spend his time hammering nails into houses building homes for America’s poor which he’s good at and leave American foreign policy to the experts. The only reason he even got elected to one term was that America was angry at Ford for pardoning Nixon.

  34. 34 Roberto
    June 14, 2008 at 14:31

    The fact is that Israel cannot prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons if Iran wants them. Once Iran has even a sufficient quantity of fissible material there is effectively a nuclear detente. If Israel thinks it can threaten it’s enemies with nuke forever they’re dreaming. They’re not going to toss nukes at Iran and everyone knows it.
    ——————————————————————————

    ——– Everyone?

    Israel has never acknowledged having nuclear weapons and won’t even talk about the subject. Where on earth you found Israel threatening enemies with nukes is beyond me.

    Perhaps you are just projecting an implied threat which is not nearly the same thing. Any stated threats are emanating from a one way highway in Iran. Big difference.

    The Israelis are not so stupid as to think they can prevent Iran from aquiring nukes forever, but they are obligated to delay them as long as possible. When it happens, that’s new set of cards dealt and the stakes will change. We don’t know when or what those conditions will be.

    Remember, there was a nuclear standoff between Pakistan and India just last year, and it’s ridiculous to think that the detante standard will hold forever in a new global political climate.

    So the Israeli/Lebanon/Palestinian conflict is important and peace must be continued to be pursued, but in the civil anarchy of Lebanon and Palestine, there is no standard bearer who has enough power to make a credible peace with Israel.

    Israel can make peace with Jordan and Egypt, but nobody else has bothered to make a good faith attempt. I don’t regard the Palestinian agreements from 93-2000 as a good faith attempt. Clearly Arafat was just building his financial holdings until he could no longer stem the fractious multiple Islamic terrorist groups who were building their strength up in this time.

    Is there no one else in the middle east to pursue peace? I hear the Syrians are talking with Israel, but proof is in the pudding.

  35. 35 Mark
    June 14, 2008 at 15:32

    I think the reality of nuclear weapons and their unique destructiveness has been forgotten or never learned by most people alive today. Therefore, I think that as a reminder to those who are old enough to have lived through the earliest era of the nuclear age and first real lesson to those who are too young to know, it would be worth the consequences of a demonstration test simulating an attack on a remote island of the pacific ocean. At least a million people from around the world should witness it live and it should be broadcast all over the world so that people can understand what it all means. Once this horrifying reminder of the world shattering destructiveness of these weapons replaces mere rhetoric, perhaps sanity will return to the world and talk of a radical Islamic state like Iran acquiring them or ignoring the threat of a terrorist group like al Qaeda obtaining one will stop. In the insane calculus of nuclear weapons, the only way a nation like Israel can survive against an implacable enemy like Iran which is imminently about to have one is to launch its own pre-emptive nuclear strike first. If it comes to that, the world as we know it today, flawed as it is, will be gone and replaced by something much worse.

  36. 36 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 15:47

    Mark, yes there is no question about the BBC’s anti-Israel bias and Johnston is among the most biased of all. The only thing open to debate is the extent of the bias.

    Actually, it might be interesting to question the panel as to what they consider the media’s role to be in the conflict.

  37. 37 Count Iblis
    June 14, 2008 at 16:30

    The problems in Israel/Palestine are entirely the fault of the West. We have been responsible for the events there ever since the peace deal was signed between the PLO and Israel. We have been financially supporting the Palestinian authority. We have been trying to move the process forward by ttrying to get both sides to do what they need to do.

    However, every time Israel fails to meet its obligations we have tolerated that. Settlements have been expanded quite a lot since the early 1990s. We are pretending as if terrorism by the Palestinians is such an unnatural form of behavior that it is reasonable to demand that it stop completely in the current circumstances the Palestinians live in.

    I don’t think this is a reasonable scenario at all. The Palestinians are harrassed on a daily basis. We are talking about many hudreds of thousands of people here. It it takes only a few angry people to launch rockets into Israel or blow up a bomb somewhere.

    To demand that a society that is under so much stress will not give rise to some isolated acts of violence is completely ridiculous. Especially as it is the US, a country with the highest crime rate of the Western World, that is the most vocal in making this demand.

  38. June 14, 2008 at 16:38

    Salam to all of you guys from Baghdad… My questions to my Israeli Precious friends are : How do you guys view or judge the policies of the Israeli government and the Israeli defence forces regarding tackling the Palestinian militancy in the Gaza strip and the West Bank ?! Collective punishment, foolish and irrational military strategies that target innocent civilians indiscriminately, killing tens of innocent‏ ‏civilians just to only kill 1 or 2 militants, total isolation, helplessness, despairation, hunger, humiliation, does all of that sound familiar to you guys ?! You guys are the upcoming future of Israel, the ultimate hope of the Israeli people, please know that when the ultimate power is totally blind and not guided by wisdom and reason, it’ll destroy everything including the one owning it… Please know that the ones who are encouraging you to go on doing wrongful acts are your true enemies, not allies ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  39. 39 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 17:03

    @ Lubna

    “Collective punishment, foolish and irrational military strategies that target innocent civilians indiscriminately, killing tens of innocent‏ ‏civilians just to only kill 1 or 2 militants, total isolation, helplessness, despairation, hunger, humiliation, does all of that sound familiar to you guys ?!”

    Israel doesn’t target innocent civilians. They kill innocent civilians, but that is because the terrorists attack from civilian areas. If Israel were not allowed to attack any time the attack comes from civilian areas, warfare would become impossible, and would have no way of defending yourself if your attacker attacks from civilian areas and you’re not allowed to respond. Israel takes great measures to minimize civilian deaths, but they will still happen, regrettably. The real issue is that the terrorists shouldn’t be firing from civilian areas, shouldn’t be building bombs in homes, etc.

    “total isolation, helplessness, despairation, hunger, humiliation, does all of that sound familiar to you guys ?! ”

    If they were helpless and hungry, shouldn’t they spend their money on food and not making weapons?

  40. 40 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 17:17

    @ Steve

    “If they were helpless and hungry, shouldn’t they spend their money on food and not making weapons”

    The bad guys will always find a way to fund their operations over and above what the Gazans are doing. The locals will try to live their lives around all the deprivation and mayhem but it cannot be easy as Hamas makes all Gazans seem to be the bad guy.

    As I see it, both sides are to blame one will not relent as long as the other provokes them. Israel continues operations where civillians are killed in large numbers. Israelis are killed by Hamas groups so Hamas continue using that excuse. Then Israel retaliates becuase Hamas lobbed bombs on their people but end up hitting some child in the street and thats the never ending spiral of death and destruction. What people find distasteful is that Hamas are terrorists acting as terrorists do, but Israel is using their defence forces which is state sponsored killing.

    It will take the ultimate courage and sacrifice for one side to completely stop and say OK let’s talk. But that will never happen with the present mindset. Hamas do not want Israel and Israel will always act in revenge for any act against it.

  41. 41 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 17:26

    @ Andrew

    “but Israel is using their defence forces which is state sponsored killing.”

    Given that there are conflicts all over the earth at this very moment where militaries kill people,w hy is Israel singled out for this? When a police offer kills a criminal, is that also “state sponsored killing” and would hence “justify” terrorism? When Israel takes Palestinian to Israeli hospitals, is that “state sponsored helping” or do we ignore that stuff, and just focus on the killing?

    “Hamas do not want Israel and Israel will always act in revenge for any act against it.”

    Sounds like the problem is Hamas then.

  42. 42 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 17:31

    Count Iblis, you make two basic errors with this statement:

    “To demand that a society that is under so much stress will not give rise to some isolated acts of violence is completely ridiculous. Especially as it is the US, a country with the highest crime rate of the Western World, that is the most vocal in making this demand.”

    Firstly, you put the cart before the horse. If there were no Palestinian terrorism, there would obviously be no need for partial blockades and IDF strikes on terrorists. The stress that they are under in Gaza is completely of their own doing.

    Secondly, you are comparing apples and oranges. The American crime rate is a different thing to Palestinian terrorism – which is not “isolated acts of violence,” as you put it, but a concerted campaign to weaken Israel through terror and ultimately destroy the country. That terror is not more widespread is due to factors like the separation barrier between Israelis and Palestinians and not any desire on the part of Hamas or Fatah to curtail it. Terror cannot be managed in the same way that you would manage crime because it is driven by ideology and “religious” mania. And the polls that Palestinians themselves regularly conduct show that the majority of Palestinians approve of suicide attacks against Israeli civilians.

    Lubna, I wish you wouldn’t sugar-coat your propaganda with sweet words. And whatever you say, you cannot change the fact that it is the terrorists, not Israel, who deliberately target civilians. Israel continually calls off targeted killings of terrorists when the risk to civilians, among whom the terrorists shelter, is too great. Perhaps you don’t know that. Or perhaps you do, but you prefer to keep quiet about it.

  43. 43 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 17:34

    Isreal was imposed on the region without proper evaluation as to how it would affect the region and displaced local peoples. The British new this would happen but went ahead and surrendered Palestine for the Israeli state. Which also came to be through acts of terror, not that it excuses the Palestinian groups, but it is often overlooked none the less.

    Israel does not have to retaliate in this manner. Would a policeman destroy someone’s home if they robbed a bank. Nor would he put an embargo around the criminal’s family and disrupt their basic life for similar reasons. This approach does not work, it has not worked, and never will work. All they are doing is doing for Hamas a better job of breeding hatred for Israel and ensuring a steady stream of future Hamas fighters.

  44. 44 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 17:38

    @Andrew

    As long as people like our Steve can find reasons for what Israel does, there can be no change in the status quo.

    The truth is they are each as bad as the other. There are no completely good or completely bad guys in the P/I conflict.

    In conflicts there are no good guys period!

    When the “good guys” mindset changes, there might, just might, be forward movement.

    There are people in Zimbabwe who can justify what is happening there because of the colonial past where the whites are the bad guys. This ‘look to the past’ reasoning is the cause of all the bad things that are happening everywhere.

    And the nicest people perpetuate the myth.

  45. 45 Count Iblis
    June 14, 2008 at 17:39

    Steve, the problem is a flawed “Neo-Con” like ideology about how people behave. Communism also failed, not because Stalin was such a bad leader (he was, but then Gorbachov was not like Stalin), but because it assumed that people behave in some ideal way. In case of communism it was that people will always work hard regardless of any incentives.

    In case of terrorism we take the view that this is not how normal people behave. But that’s a flawed premise, because the reason why we are not terrorists is due to the fact that we don’t live under occupation.

    If the US were under occupation and if US citizens were humilated, then you would have widespread terrorism in the US. The KKK would be your “Hamas” and it would have a lot of support.

  46. 46 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 17:47

    @ Selena

    It will always come down to that. We are doing it because of what they are doing. We don’t want to try to resolve this, we don’t want to see what deeper issue underlies this current situation and we don’t want to consider that what we are doing is contributing to the ongoing problem.

    If no one takes off their blinkers then nothing will change and I cannot see that Israel wants to change. If they did then they would have taken a different tack seeing as they are meant to be the responsible ones. I do single out Israel for that very reason as well as the point that are not completely blameless, but that does not mean you condone or excuse Hamas.

  47. 47 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 17:49

    Where did you learn the history of the area, Andrew? Israel did not “come about through terrorism,” Britain was mandated in 1917 to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine and did not “surrender Palestine for the Israeli state,” in fact, Britain did everything it could to prevent the reality of the state it was mandated to establish. The UN Partition of 1947 set aside land for the Arabs and the Jews. The Arabs rejected partition while the Jews accepted it and then the Arabs tried to wipe Israel out when it was established in 1948.

    We all know how that worked out.

    And no, Israel was not “imposed on the region.” Jews have lived in the Holy Land since the time of ancient Israel, though for centuries the communities were small and isolated and of course were ruled by a long succession of conquerors.

  48. 48 Count Iblis
    June 14, 2008 at 17:52

    Bryan:

    Firstly, you put the cart before the horse. If there were no Palestinian terrorism, there would obviously be no need for partial blockades and IDF strikes on terrorists. The stress that they are under in Gaza is completely of their own doing.

    Israel was not building settlements and bulldozing homes of Palestinians because of terrorism. Also, as I point out in my reply to Steve, the flaw is in our thinking about how people actually behave. We would react with violence too if we were under occupation.

    We have to accept that normal human beings are not the “angels” that we pretend we are.

  49. 49 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 17:57

    @ Bryan

    I didn’t say Jews never lived in the region.

    Terrorism may not have instigated Israel but it was used against the British by the Jews.

  50. 50 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 17:58

    OK, here’s a question for all the knee-jerk Israel-bashers, and perhaps for the panel as well:

    What would YOU do to stop terrorists on your border lobbing rockets daily at your civilians? (Hint before answering: this has nothing to do with the “occupation” since Israel disengaged from Gaza years ago and there is not one Jew left in Gaza.)

  51. 51 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Selena

    “As long as people like our Steve can find reasons for what Israel does, there can be no change in the status quo.”

    What israel does is defend Israelis and retaliate to palestinian attacks. Are you suggesting Israelis lay down and die and not do anything in response to terrorist attacks? Would you tell any group on earth other than Israelis to do nothing? “Find reasons”?? You’re trying to suggest that there is no justifiable reason for israel attacking the people trying to kill israelis? Perhpas those brave jihadis shouldn’t hide in civilian areas and not attack from civilian areas? That’s right, they won’t because they’re cowards and want civilians to get killed so that far left liberals can complain about ISrael.

  52. 52 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 18:01

    @ Andrew

    “Terrorism may not have instigated Israel but it was used against the British by the Jews.”

    And was used by the Americans against the British. And was used by the British against the Irish, by the Irish against the British. Why single ISrael out?

  53. 53 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 18:03

    @ Count Iblis

    “We would react with violence too if we were under occupation.”

    I realize we are neither German or Japanese, But Germany and Japan are still occupied by the US and other western powers and Germans and Japanese don’t use violence. Perhaps you are wrong in your assumption?

  54. 54 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 18:03

    @ Steve

    Because that it the topic here.

    If others have done something wrong it does not make what you do any better or excusable.

  55. 55 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 18:13

    @ Andrew

    So you’re saying Israel should do nothing and sit there and take it, right?

    Also, in 1964, the PLO was created and conducted terrorist attacks before there were any occupied territories (though they were occupied by Egypt and Jordan at that point, but since they weren’t Jews, apparently that was okay) so why were they killing Israelis at that point?

    There would have been a 60 year old Palestinian state today if not for the actions of the arabs in 1948. Yet it’s Israelis fault. from 1948-1967, Egypt and Jordan didn’t grant Gaza and the WB independence, yet it’s Israel’s fault. IN 1967, after Israel won the territories, it offered to return them in exchange for recognition and peace. The arabs returned from Khartoum and said “no neogtiation, no recognition, and no peace” and yet it’s ISrael’s fault.

  56. 56 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 18:15

    Says Count Iblis, “Israel was not building settlements and bulldozing homes of Palestinians because of terrorism.”

    So why then? Do you imagine Israelis look at a Palestinian home and think, “Oh, that looks like a good place to build one of our houses. Where’s the bulldozer?”

    The fact is, terrorism is the precise reason for the bulldozing of homes of the families of suicide bombers. Another fact is that the Israeli Supreme Court, always sensitive to the concerns of the Palestinians, has outlawed the practice except under the strictest of circumstances.

    Again, what would YOU do to stop terrorists on your border lobbing rockets at your civilians? (Don’t bring up the occupation, since Israel left Gaza years ago.)

  57. 57 Count Iblis
    June 14, 2008 at 18:17

    Steve, it depends on how large the consensus in the population is about the occupation. If you occupy a few million people and they are very glad that some dictator has been removed and you rule them in a non-repressive way for some limited time, then I guess all will be fine.

    I don’t think that you’ll ever have such a consensus about the Israeli occupation in Palestine. To defeat criminal behavior, you need to have the population on your side.

    So, in Germany, someone sympathetic to the Nazis after WWII, would have had a difficult time making a bomb in his home. His family, his neighbors would have reported him to the police.

    In Palestine, because the population does not accept the Israeli authorities as their rulers, this dynamic is not at work. A Palestinian who knows that his neighbor is making a bomb, will typically not alert the Israli authorities, even if he is against terrorism. To him it is not criminal to attack the occupation forces, just like to US leftwingers, it is not criminal to be for Bush.

  58. 58 Count Iblis
    June 14, 2008 at 18:31

    Brian, I would start by implementing a cease fire. When Hamas came to power, they stuck to a self imposed cease-fire. Isreal did not, they kept on assassinating militants.

    After a cease fire is agreed, negotiations about the outstanding issues should follow.

    Without a peace settlement there is technically a state of war, and Palestinians from Gaza will attack Israel from Gaza (unless a cease fire is agreed).

    The idea that Israel made a consession when they left Gaza and that the Plaestinians are not allowed to use Gaza to fight Israel is a bit strange to me. If some occupying army finds it too costly to keep some teritory occupied and they leave, they should expect that the enemy will exploit that weakness. This is simply the logic of war and conflict.

  59. 59 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 18:33

    @ Steve

    It is obvious that what Israel is doing now is not working. It is not solving anything. I address that purely towards Israel and do not ignore other factions in this. They have the power to create real change, it is in their hands. Even if Hamas stopped terror attacks they would not gain anything as Israel would see they have ended their fight and so would not need to concede anything.

  60. 60 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Andrew

    Actually if Hamas and all the other terrorist groups stopped trying to kill Israelis and were ready to recognize ISrael, the Palestinians would have a state the next day. It’s the Palestinians who have to decide whether they would rather have a state or destroy Israel. They need to decide which is more important to them.

  61. June 14, 2008 at 18:50

    Hello Precious Steve… Well, I do totally agree with you on one point : As the Israeli government and the Israeli defence forces are committing horrific war crimes against innocent Palestinian civilians, also Palestinian militants are committing horrific war crimes against innocent Israeli civilians… Both sides are unfortunately very much involved in a very dirty conflict, but surely you do agree with me that the size of the Palestinian suffering from that conflict is much much much much much more than that on the Israeli side, though I do strongly condemn the murdering of any innocent civilian whether Palestinian or Israeli… My problems with Israel in addition of course to what I mentioned in my previous post are the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the continued expansion of the Jewish colonies in those two place, so Hamas to me is one part of the problem, while Israel to me is the other part of the problem… In my opinion Israel’s allies are harming it more than benefitting it because they keep on encouraging it on committing wrongful acts… Besides, why don’t we ask our Palestinian Precious friends this question : How easy is it for food and fuel to get access into Gaza so that ordinary Gazans would buy them ?! With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna..

  62. June 14, 2008 at 18:57

    OK, the Isrealis trie to give the Gaza strip back to the good people of those Arab lands. They, the Isrealis, made all Isreali settlers leave. What was learned?

    It seems they had to build a complicated set of walls and make things rather difficult in order to stop suicide bomber coming from the West Bank into Isreal and then killing innocent people inside Isreal regardless whether they were Arab or Isreali????

    It would appear to a person looking on from the outside that if Isreal were to return the entire West Bank back to Arab folks living there and make all Isreali settlers leave and go back to Isreal what would happen. Would the same thing that happened in Gaza, where the Arabs in their anger and tradition simply start lobbing rockets and go back to suicide bombing in order to get laid in the afterlife?

    I really do not understand the issue here I guess. Why on earth did a whole bunch of Arab states try to destroy Isreal back in the late 60s and early 70s then lose their lands, because they could not defend them. When an attacked army flees the battlefield chosing life over maintaining possession and dying there they sort of allowed Isreal to steal them or win them by conquest. Armies fleeing and giving the Isrealis the ground……. It would appear they won them fair and square. What really is the issue here? That war losses really are not losses and except for human life those who enter wars are not playing for keepsies. Remember, Isrealis….lots of them paid for possession of those lands with blood and treasure. I find it rather poor sportsmanship to then want to get all losses back free and clear????

    Why were Arab civilians who decided to stay in the West Bank not accorded the pleasure of Isreali citizenship or the choice to leave? Is this why the real conqurers of old pretty much slaughtered, raped and pillaged the losing side?

    Why and what is it that I don’t get????? They got Gaza back free and clear and then they still want to attack Isreal…..Why.

    I get mad at the Isrealis for always building new settlements out beyond their actual boundaries, but if it is the only concept of establishing security is that a better option than slaughtering a lot of good people who happen to be the inhabing people of the area?????

    troop

  63. 63 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 19:04

    @ Lubna

    “expansion of the Jewish colonies in those two place, so Hamas to me is one part of the problem”

    Are you thinking that in the future, there should only be Muslims (and perhaps Christians) living in the West Bank? Why is it okay for jews to not be allowed to live there? In the US, we have Dearborn Michigan which has an incredibly large percentage of Muslims, yet we have no problem with it. I realize they are Americans or lawful residents, but you seem to have a problem with Jews living there, and not just Israelis. Are you suggesting that in at least some Muslims countries it shouldn’t be permissible for non muslims to live there? 20% of israelis are christian or muslim, and they don’t have a problem. Does a Palestinian state have to be free of Jews?

    Let’s also not forget Historically that muslims conquered most of Spain, and Muslims attacked europe all the way to the gates of Vienna, and started many muslim “colonies” and many of them still exist today, hence why you have Muslims living in Albania, and in the former Yugoslavia. Should they be kicked out of europe if Jews cannot live in the west bank?

  64. 64 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 19:14

    Count Iblis,

    “The idea that Israel made a consession when they left Gaza and that the Plaestinians are not allowed to use Gaza to fight Israel is a bit strange to me. If some occupying army finds it too costly to keep some teritory occupied and they leave, they should expect that the enemy will exploit that weakness.”

    This was something the Palestinians and their friends worldwide were demanding as a precondition for peace. As soon as Israel complied, the Palestinians proved they had no interest in peace. I hope you can see the contradiction between that fact and your “Hamas ceasefire.” Anyone who has followed this conflict carefully will note that Hamas offers their “ceasefire” whenever they are taking a few too many hard knocks from Israel. It is simply a tactic for a breathing space to rearm and regroup.

    Now Hamas is smuggling in more sophisticated and longer range missiles from Iran and already they have been used on cities like Ashkelon. So I’m afraid your ceasefire suggestion is a non-starter. So again, what would you do to stop the rockets? Bear in mind that this is not a military conflict between countries but a conflict between an established state and terrorists who attack the state’s civilians intentionally from within their own civilian areas, using their civilians as human shields.

    You are contradicting yourself here, again: “In Palestine, because the population does not accept the Israeli authorities as their rulers, this dynamic is not at work. A Palestinian who knows that his neighbor is making a bomb, will typically not alert the Israli authorities….” earlier you were talking about “isolated acts of violence” born out of frustration and speaking of Palestinian terrorism as if it were comparable to criminal activity. Now it appears that you have suddenly bought into the idea of widespread “resistance” as the Palestinians romanticize terror. You should stop moving the goalposts. You are making me dizzy.

    You also should study this conflict a little more closely. Far from Palestinians “not alerting the Israeli authorities” there are many so-called “collaborators” who do sterling work preventing terror attacks by informing Israel of terror plots. When caught, or even when simply suspected, they are executed on the spot.

  65. 65 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 19:30

    @ Steve

    What can I say to your question about whether Israelis should lie down and die? That is the traditional was of seeing the world. You do something to me and I will do something to you. In this kind os situation, the Palestinians were the first to be wronged. Then Israel felt it had to get more land and so on and so forth…

    That was the way of the past for every race and every nation. But in 2008 we pretend to be different. We have to forget who did what to whom!

    People are dying every day somewhere. Dying is not the issue.

    The issue is the cycle of violence which we seem to agree should be addressed.

    I am assuming you are young and we know you are a lawyer. So, why are you stuck in the idea that violence is the only answer, in the Palestinian/ Israeli situation?

    We can forget about Palestinians. They are the underdogs. if anyone is going change anything it has got to be the Israelis.

    My suggestion:

    Israel has the power. It should take the moral high ground.

    Those who feel the only answer is an eye for an eye should be required to spend time amongst the Palestinian people and live as they do from day to day. They should see the plight of the children. Ordinary Palestinians need to have their voices heard in Israel.

    The Palestinians must be viewed as people with a legitimate gripe against the western powers that cast them out of their homes.

    Similarly, Palestinians should see and acknowledge that their rocket attacks are terrifying for Israeli children.

    Sometimes the only thing that needs to be done for things to change is to admit that the other side has a point.

    It is probably too much to ask the older people to change but when the youth continue to cover their ears there really is no hope.

  66. 66 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 19:38

    Selena noted :

    “We can forget about Palestinians. They are the underdogs. if anyone is going change anything it has got to be the Israelis.

    My suggestion:

    Israel has the power. It should take the moral high ground.

    Those who feel the only answer is an eye for an eye should be required to spend time amongst the Palestinian people and live as they do from day to day. They should see the plight of the children. Ordinary Palestinians need to have their voices heard in Israel.”

    My point exactly.. here here.

  67. 67 Roberto
    June 14, 2008 at 19:40

    In case of terrorism we take the view that this is not how normal people behave. But that’s a flawed premise, because the reason why we are not terrorists is due to the fact that we don’t live under occupation.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    ——- Sorry there Count, but I thought this silly fallacy had be layed to rest with 9/11 attacks.

    The terrorists were middle class Saudis with typical Saudi educations and status, and unless you are trying to claim the Saudis are “occupied” by the Kingdom of Saud, these terrorists lived in the land of milk and honey compared to the way 75% of the world is forced to live. Many of the global terrorists come from similar Islamic, middle class backgrounds from unoccupied nation states..

    I really wouldn’t mind people not liking Israel. That’s fine. I wouldn’t mind criticism of Israel, that’s fine. But honestly, its the intractable, bull headed, myths and lies used by most critics that is worse than irksome, it’s downright dangerous to human health and the health of this planet. It’s like a poison that people spread everywhere.

    Yes, Israelis themselves are sometimes masters of the big lie, but lets move on.

    Hows about a poll on the destruction/creation of nation states 1946-1949:

    1946: Kingdom of Jordan created out of the British Mandate, approx 70% of the land mass.
    1947: Islamic Rep of Pakistan carved out of India by the British
    1947: Modern state of India given independence by the British
    1947: The Kurdish Rep of Mahabad leaders hung by Iranian military which had overrun the country established in 1941 when Kurds rebelled in the Iranian western frontiers.
    1948: Israel established from using 15% of the British Mandate.
    1948: Jordon annexes the remaining 15% of above, now named Palestine except for the Gaza strip portion which was taken over by Egypt and ruled by military governor.
    1948: Rep of Korea established.
    1949: Rep of Ireland carved from British Commonwealth
    1949: Fed Rep of Germany established.
    1949: Dem Rep of Germany established.
    1949: Peoples Rep of China established
    1949: Rep of China completes evacuation to Taiwan.

    Now, this just a modest poll by everyone. Please pray tell us which of these countries/territories deserved to be attacked, sacked, and disposed of and more importantly, WHY(s)?

    In the meantime, gonna work out, shower, crack a beer, sit back and have a little pun…….

  68. June 14, 2008 at 19:53

    No Precious Steve ! The West Bank and East Jerusalem according to the International law and the UN resolutions are occupied lands by Israel… And therefore the Israeli presence in those two places is illegal and also the expansion of the Israeli settlements there is illegal too… Even the US government often complains of the expansion of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem… The continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the continued expansion of the Israeli settlements in those two places are both making having a future fully independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 lands almost impossible.. With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna..

  69. 69 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 20:01

    As Lubna has just noted Steve can you tell us why Israel continually ignores UN resolutions aimed at them, why are they so recalcitrant on that point?

  70. 70 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 20:02

    selenayvonne,

    “…the Palestinians were the first to be wronged.”

    Untrue. Study the history. Google ‘Hebron 1922′ to learn about the slaughter of unarmed Jews by Arabs. (They were not calling themselves Palestinians then. that came much later, in the 1970s as a tactic against Israel.)

    “We can forget about Palestinians. They are the underdogs.”

    This is very convenient. The Palestinians can continue with terror attacks against Israeli civilians while Israel must bow to them and compromise?

    “if anyone is going change anything it has got to be the Israelis.”

    You mean like disengage from Gaza?

    “Israel has the power. It should take the moral high ground.”

    Israel already has taken the moral high ground. Israeli doctors treat Palestinian terrorists wounded in shootouts with the IDF. The Israeli supreme court reroutes the wall/fence after appeals from Palestinians affected by it.

    Andrew:

    It’s “hear, hear.”

  71. 71 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 20:06

    @ Andrew

    General Assembly resolutions are the product of 57 muslim nations ganging up against the one jewish nation. Security Counsel resolutions, such as UN 242 require that the arabs recognize and make peace with Israel in exchange for lands captured, something teh arabs (especially groups like Hamas) refuse to do. Why should Israel comply with 242 if Hamas, the elected government of Palestine, will not comply?

    @ Lubna and Andrew

    When Egypt and Jordan occupied the territories, was there a resolution, and were the activities of Egypt and Jordan illegal? I’m curious, why didn’t their arab brothers give them independence when they occupied them?

  72. 72 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 20:06

    @ Bryan

    I typed here twice.. “my point here” as in this place!

    Not hear hear or I would have typed that..

  73. 73 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 14, 2008 at 20:10

    Hammas In Goza & Alfatah in West Bank, this division & classification is available in Isriel too like Native/local Arab Jewish & Imported/migrant Jewish.
    Any way both Phalistanian groups are united against illegal occupation of Isriel on the other hand a diversity been observed among Native Arab & Imported Jewish.
    Now patrons of Isriels understand the essence of dispute. No doubt ALQUIDA put a good size of influence over Paterons as human desaster is on the peak & may not be tolrated by open minded majority of the world as we all believe in peace.
    Why not Isriel & Paterons use there knowlege & wealth in positive constructive projects to avoid another call for Naziism.

  74. 74 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 20:10

    @ Steve

    “Why should Israel comply with 242 if Hamas, the elected government of Palestine, will not comply?”

    That is no excuse, none at all. I was expecting this response. But each time I hear it I can’t help but think it is a cop out. Set the example. Non compliance by another party does not legitimise what the first party is doing.

  75. 75 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 20:12

    @ Syed

    hate to break it to you, but Jews are native to the middle east, and come from the land that is currently Israel. They aren’t “imported”. I’m curious though, why do arabs live in North Africa if arabs originiate from the Arabian peninsula? Should I call them “imported muslims” or can you admit you have a double standard?

  76. 76 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 20:14

    @ Andrew

    So israel complies and gets nothing in return but a nation on it’s border that will wage war on it. Israelis aren’t stupid. Sorry if that upsets you, but that might make you happy, but not them.

  77. 77 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 20:20

    I’m not upset in the slightest. The point remains that regardless what other groups or nations might be doing or not doing, Israel and its defenders cannot sit back and point the finger at anyone who might criticise Israel when it acts in such a manner itself.

    If I follow your argument then Israel might as well just do whatever it wants, when it wants, how it wants regardless of whether or not it is legal, moral or acceptable in today’s world. Simply because no one else bothers.

    Drive like that down any road in your neighborhood, as if rules don’t apply, you will end up killing yourself or someone else. In this world we have rules to govern us and despite some of us thinking they do not apply to us, or we selectively choose which we prefer and which we don’t then civilisation will collapse and people will die. Of I forgot.. it is happening.

  78. 78 steve
    June 14, 2008 at 20:23

    @ Andrew

    “If I follow your argument then Israel might as well just do whatever it wants, when it wants, how it wants regardless of whether or not it is legal, moral or acceptable in today’s world. Simply because no one else bothers.”

    The point is, Israel doesn’t do that. If Israel were committing “genocide” and destroying the Palestinians as the Israel bashers normally claim, then Israel is doing a really bad job at it, as Israel has the power to completely destroy them, but since they want peace and not to destroy them, they are trying to get a negotiated settlement while half the palestinian government are islamists committed to the destruction of israel. Getting an islamist to accept israel is like getting a devout muslim to eat pork and drink beer. It simply isn’t going to happen. The Palestinians need to get hamas out of the picture if they want a nation.

  79. 79 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 20:29

    Andrew,

    “That is no excuse, none at all. I was expecting this response. But each time I hear it I can’t help but think it is a cop out. Set the example.”

    Again, a fine example was set by Israel disengaging from Gaza. And I wont go on and on about how the Palestinians responded to that. Have a look at how Hezbollah responded when Israel withdrew totally from Lebanon. Andrew, you really need to shake off your miseducation on these issues and look at things fairly and squarely. Israel could withdraw to the Tel Aviv beachfront and the Palestinians would still not be satisfied.

    “I typed here twice.. “my point here” as in this place!”

    Oh, I see. You were inviting selenayvonne to stroll over to your box to inspect her comment that you had pasted in!?

    My goodness it’s hard work talking to you people. I’m going to take a break.

  80. 80 Andrew
    June 14, 2008 at 20:34

    No need to be nasty Bryan. Typing at 5 am is not always going to be perfect.

  81. 81 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 21:40

    I guess that would put you moderating from Australia.

  82. 82 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 21:45

    @Steve

    It is very simple to call everyone who disagrees an Israeli basher. That is the kind of language that will keep this conflict going forever. It is the kind of language that I would like to reserve for the old who will die in their religious ways.

    Canada has just set up a Trust and Reconciliation Commission to listen to how the Aboriginal People felt, and still feel, about being taken away from their families and put in residential schools to be assimilated into the White Man’s culture.

    Canada is not perfect and much of what is happening is purely vote getting. But it is a step in the right direction. It is a small step toward righting the wrong that was done to the native peoples.

    That is what has to take place in Israel and Palestine. No amount of tit for tat will change anything. Anyone can make a good case for anything they choose and convince themselves they are right. You and I can have answers for everything that is said on both sides. I remember when I used to make good arguments for the state of Israel and would still love to be able to continue to do so but I can’t justify anything that is happening.

    Debates are just rhetoric with no compassion for the little child in the midst of terror.

    If we don’t make a change, Steve, who will? Surely not the politicians who are in all governments for private profit!

  83. 83 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 21:49

    @Steve

    Truth and Reconciliation Commission…

    I said Trust and I guess the slip was not bad. There certainly needs to be trust.

  84. 84 Bryan
    June 14, 2008 at 22:16

    selenayvonne,

    “But it is a step in the right direction. It is a small step toward righting the wrong that was done to the native peoples.

    That is what has to take place in Israel and Palestine.”

    You mean foreign Syrian and Egyptian Arabs have to own up to what they did to native Jews before and after the establishment of the state of Israel? I’m talking about the pogroms in the early days and the terror that continues to this day against Jews.

    You do understand that Jews are native to the area, don’t you?

  85. 85 selenayvonne
    June 14, 2008 at 23:19

    @ Bryan

    “You do understand that Jews are native to the area, don’t you?”

    That question was mean to convey what? Scorn?

    There are many people who know many things about this conflict. Unfortunately, we miss or ignore what does not suit our purposes. :-)

  86. 86 Tino
    June 15, 2008 at 00:35

    “I really wouldn’t mind people not liking Israel. That’s fine. I wouldn’t mind criticism of Israel, that’s fine. But honestly, its the intractable, bull headed, myths and lies used by most critics that is worse than irksome, it’s downright dangerous to human health and the health of this planet. It’s like a poison that people spread everywhere.”

    Would just like to being up what Roberto said again. The fact that people will believe things in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is ridiculous. They still think education and money will end terrorism. And they still think Israel is doing nothing but trying to commit ‘genocide’ on the Palestinians. How many times have we heard: “They need to do something first” or “take the moral high ground”. Yet, they gave back Gaza to IMMEDIATE rocket fire. How many times do they have to do something first before Palestinians are expected to stop killing innocents for no reason?

  87. 88 Pangolin
    June 15, 2008 at 04:21

    Let’s just assume that all parties are bad actors.

    Israel will eventually lose the sponsorship of the US when, inevitably, domestic problems overwhelm the US ability to act overseas. I would put forth that the generation currently in Israeli secondary schools will face this problem.

    At that time approximately 20 million Israeli’s will be surrounded by 300 million Arabs. it should be assumed do to decline in oil supplies and climate change that all parties will be under severe economic stress.

    Assume that all parties decline to target nuclear weapons on or near the Holy City of Jerusalem.

    What you have left is an ongoing artillery duel. The resource base outside of Israel far exceeds the resource base inside Israel but the greater needs of the Arab population limit resource allocation. Since Israel is not allowed it’s own physics it can be assumed that Arab technology will eventually match Israeli. I think the Hezbollah have established this point.

    In other instances of artillery duels what happens? Examples are North/South Korea, China: Vietnam, China: FSU, and India: Pakistan.

    The way to stop artillery duels is to respond exactly in kind. One 155mm shell hitting a dairy is matched with another 155mm shell hitting something like a dairy. A Katyusha rocket randomly heading east passes a single one heading west. Should one side have the ability to send two shells for one that gives the other side an excuse to send three of whatever and pretty soon you are back to a war footing.

    This tit for tat response never does anything but kill civilians on both sides so eventually it tapers off and stops. The key to making it stop is to engage in disciplined restraint on both sides. It’s a dirty solution but has been proven to work.

    The 300 million Arabs can accept a reduced Israel defending itself with a minimum of force. They will not accept exclusive Israeli occupation of Jerusalem or the ten arab to one israeli death count. The problem with that crazy Iranian president is that mere physics says that 300 million arabs can eventually outthink and outfight 20 million Israelis. They all have the same genes as humans and they all live with the same physical laws.

    Not today, not tomorrow, maybe not soon, but someday the Israeli’s will have to beg their neighbors forgiveness. Sooner would be cheaper than later. The US is running out of food exports, arab nations are hungry, and hungry people are angry people.

  88. 89 Rick
    June 15, 2008 at 04:42

    Bryan
    I just don’t see that the Murdock/Packer press here in Australia is biased against Israel at all. Probably most Australians who give a damn are pro Israel. I have, since I was 16 had a great mistrust of the press due to a story I was involved in being so misrepresented that it was hard to recognize as the same one. I have only recently, since I got the internet, started listening to the BBC.
    Unlike you who knows everything about this subject, I am still open minded because I have no stake in the end result. Its all mind candy to me. So convince me instead of calling anyone who doesn’t agree with your point of view ignorant. From where should I get my unbiased information? The Televiv Times, Fox News’or maybe the Christian Science Monitor or Al Jazeera? Rant about the BBC if you want but I know enough to take EVERY source with a grain of salt, maybe you dont.

  89. 90 Tino
    June 15, 2008 at 05:58

    Pape claims that palestinians ‘copied’ suicide bombing from the Tamils of 1991. Is it not more likely they copied Hezbollah who was doing it as early as 1983 – probably earlier examples also, this one was on US marine barracks – I find that hard to believe.

    “Since 1990, the United States has stationed tens of thousands of ground troops on the Arabian Peninsula, and that is the main mobilization appeal of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.”

    Yet they were attacking us before this. Seems problematic no?

    ” If Islamic fundamentalism were the pivotal factor, then we should see some of the largest Islamic fundamentalist countries in the world, like Iran, which has 70 million people—three times the population of Iraq and three times the population of Saudi Arabia—with some of the most active groups in suicide terrorism against the United States.”

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3118456,00.html (8 days after this article you posted)
    And: “The origins of suicide bombing lie among the Shi’ite in Iran. A 13-year-old child, Hossein Fahmideh, strapped rocket-propelled grenades to his chest and blew himself up under an Iraqi tank in November 1980. Ayatollah Khomeini’s embattled Islamic republic adopted Fahmideh as a national hero and as an inspiration for further bloodshed and martyrdom. Even today on the streets of Tehran huge propaganda posters depict Fahmideh as the “grandson” of the Islamic revolution.”

    I mean not every suicide bomb is directed at the US or occupying forces which kind of defeats his argument right off the bat. They can be directed at Christians pretty frequently, for example, but Christians of THEIR VERY COUNTRY.

    Finally:

    “It certainly helps us to understand the historical and political stage on which the terrorist act is played out, but at the same time such arguments exteriorize and objectify the reasons of terrorism and thereby omit its intrinsic motifs and trivialize the connections with Islam. Especially when such a historical-causal understanding of the phenomenon is coupled with the liberal inclination not to reduce Islam – as a universal religion – to a particular act of terrorism, the importance of the event itself fades away. The terrorist instance becomes secondary in view of the long-term past causes on the one hand, and the ethical concerns for the future, on the other. Such self-critical Western analysis unintentionally ends up reducing terrorism to an epiphenomenon. Arguments such as “Ben Laden is a product of American politics” attribute full agency to the Western powers, whereas Muslims appear just as victims.”

    http://www.interdisciplines.org/terrorism/papers/2

  90. 91 Pangolin
    June 15, 2008 at 07:15

    @Tino- ‘Terrorism’ is not a religion, or a goal, or a cultural value, but rather a tactic. As Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush discovered to their great delight the Iranians were willing to give up the very hostages of the Great Satan on cue in order to get anti-tank missiles. Nobody with an effective anti-tank missile in hand chooses to use a suicide bomber instead.

    To set this point firmly the ‘terrorist’ group Hezbollah kicked the latest Israeli incursion out of Lebanon due to the liberal use of explosively-formed-projectiles (EFPs) and anti-tank weapons. The use of suicide bombers was rather rare.

    Hamas would much rather use rockets and artillery to attack Israel than suicide bombers but are forced to use the tools at hand.

    In the final accounting it really doesn’t matter what the delivery method of an explosive package is as the recipients are just as dead, maimed and wounded by explosives hand delivered or delivered by a robot drone. Dead is dead.

    The pretense that one side is more moral because it delivers explosives with clean hands and white shirts leaves something to be desired.

  91. 92 Bryan
    June 15, 2008 at 08:10

    selenayvonne,

    “‘You do understand that Jews are native to the area, don’t you?’

    That question was mean to convey what? Scorn?”

    Nope, no scorn intended, just an attempt to coax people here to think outside of the “Israel is a colonial, apartheid state and Palestinians are the victims of apartheid” box. I assume you are bringing up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission because you think inside that box.

    But I note that you have avoided my question by answering it with another question.

    In another attempt to get people to think outside the box I have contacted the BBC to suggest that it does a programme on the approximately 850 000 Jewish refugees driven from Arab countries after the establishment of Israel. I guess that one is a bit too much of a hot potato. Hell, it would show that Palestinians are not the only ones who have suffered. In all my scrutinising of the BBC over the years, I have seen one article on the subject, dealing with Iraqi Jews – and that was a whitewash.

    Rick,

    You don’t seem open-minded from your comments here. You have compared Israel’s defensive actions against terror to those of the Nazis. That comparison is no less insulting for being stale and overused by those who can’t think for themselves on this conflict.

    “Unlike you who knows everything about this subject.”

    I don’t, in fact I know comparatively little about the enormously complex history of this conflict. But when I see what I know to be fallacies and misconceptions and bias spread around the place I try to correct them.

    “I have only recently, since I got the internet, started listening to the BBC.”

    This ain’t gonna help you none in understanding this conflict. The BBC, though it is obliged by its charter to be impartial, is among the most biased of all anti-Israel news organisations. Anyone who genuinely wants to learn about Israel-Palestine should study the history, but don’t study it through the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4365440.stm

    You’ll notice that Johnston makes no mention of the rich history of the Jewish people in Gaza, from ancient to modern times, but makes it appear as if the only connection Jews have to the area is as a modern, invading Israeli army. This is bias and propaganda of the most pernicious type and it is a fine example of why you wont get reliable information on this conflict from the BBC. To learn about the Jews of Gaza go here:

    http://www.jr.co.il/articles/politics/gaza2.txt

  92. 93 Tino
    June 15, 2008 at 08:28

    “The pretense that one side is more moral because it delivers explosives with clean hands and white shirts leaves something to be desired.”

    That is not the pretense, and I am pretty sure you know this. Nobody thinks explosives delivered from modern weaponry is somehow more moral. The difference between the sides is one INTENTIONALLY tries to kill civilians. Israel does not do that at all. Ethics/Morality are primarily based on intent, unless you think that someone who kills via a car accident is somehow equal to a serial killer. Both killed people, which is worse?

    I also never said anything about terrorism being a religion or culture. Nonetheless, suicide bombing is a particularly difficult form to tackle as it shows a willingness to sacrifice your life not for some noble ideal but solely to kill another person. This tactic is intimately tied with Islam, as there are religious grounds to back it up (martyring, fighting for allah, 72 virgins waiting, etc). In addition, they are willing to kill for things that in the West would be considered ridiculous. Those two things make a rather frightening combination. Could you imagine mass protests where people die over cartoons or teddy bears? I sure cannot.

  93. 94 Rick
    June 15, 2008 at 10:19

    Bryan
    aah, the Jerusalem post. no bias there!

  94. 95 Bryan
    June 15, 2008 at 11:11

    Rick, the Jerusalem Post has gone from being fairly right wing in the old days to occupy more of the centre ground. And they have permanent spots for left wing journalists.

    There are also plenty of other sources people can go to to apart from the Jerusalem Post to learn about the history of the Jews in Gaza. The point I was making is that Johnston pretends there is no history of Jews in Gaza. He spent his years in Gaza pushing propaganda for Hamas and friends. I’ve followed his work quite closely. When did you last read the Jerusalem Post?

    Why not debate the points I’ve raised? Are you worried about confronting your own prejudices? Relax, self-knowledge is a fine thing.

  95. June 15, 2008 at 14:12

    Hi… As I’ve been reading some of the comments on this page I really couldn’t help prevent myself from smiling as I remembered the good old times of the Saddami regime !!! At the times of Saddam any journalist, where Iraqi, or Arab, or Western, who dares to criticise, even very little, Saddam and the practices of his regime would be viewed by the Saddami media as Western-biased and a prisoner of the Western propoganda !!! It’s really so sad that there’re still some people till now who consider any point of view which is ‘DIFFERENT’ from theirs as biased and propoganda ! Truth is always harmful and shocking, but it’s just the truth… Saddam and his media used to consider himself and his regime to be above faults, suspicions and mistakes, I wonder if some of our Precious friends consider Israel as such !! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  96. 97 Andrew
    June 15, 2008 at 14:27

    Hi Lubna. I like your point…

    “Truth is always harmful and shocking, but it’s just the truth… Saddam and his media used to consider himself and his regime to be above faults, suspicions and mistakes, I wonder if some of our Precious friends consider Israel as such !!”

    That comment would have been handy last night.

  97. 98 steve
    June 15, 2008 at 15:14

    It’s fundamentalism, not the occupation that’s the primary problem. Why? Ask yourself, has there ever been a christian palestinian sucide bomber or are christians launching rockets at Israel right now? And then ask, are christian palestinians and muslim palestinians somehow occupied differently by israel. Sorry to have to point it out, but the problem is with fundamentalism.

  98. 99 Serina
    June 15, 2008 at 15:40

    Steve why do you always consider anyone who makes a comment against Israel as either antisemitic or has an anti Israel agenda? The fact is that no nation is perfect so they come under criticism. Israel is not perfect so people comment often negatively against them and isn’t that what a forum is all about? Add to that the Israelis are killing innocent people too regardless of the reason why.

    If it were another country doing that, then people would condemn their actions. But the fact remains that in this case in Israel is doing it so we comment on Israel. Doesn’t mean we are antisemitic. If it was France occupying Belgium then I would condemn France for it.

  99. 100 steve
    June 15, 2008 at 15:55

    @ Serina

    I do hope you have something to back up your claim that I have called everyone an antisemite who doesn’t agree with Israel. I have a problem with people that single out Israel for criticism and ignore everything else. Of course Israel isn’t perfect and does bad things. Let’s stop ignoring the fact that Israel is occupying the territories today because the arabs refused to make peace in 1967, and chose war instead. Time to stop blaming ISrael for it all. And when in the course of history has the victor of wars they didn’t start have to return the spoils of war? And why was there no opposite to the arab occupation of the same lands from 1948-1967? Can anyone answer these questions?

  100. 101 selena
    June 15, 2008 at 17:12

    @Tino

    Where is the overwhelming evidence for anything, Tino?

    Remember, your president convinced a majority of your countrymen that Saddam had WMDs.

    The evidence was overwhelming enough to start a war in Lubna’s country.

    Were you convinced?

  101. 102 Roberto
    June 15, 2008 at 17:25

    Saddam and his media used to consider himself and his regime to be above faults, suspicions and mistakes, I wonder if some of our Precious friends consider Israel as such
    ——————————————————————————————-

    ——- You compare a brutal dictator to a democracy blessed with a free press?

    How odd. Israel also had a significant peace movement which had been the ruling coalition for some too few years, They were empowered by the Israeli citizens to make the peace with Palestinians. Unfortunately, the Palestinian infitada and civil anarchy collapsed peace coalition and ushered in the war coalition.

    No need for Pals to cry about Sharon’s tactics as that’s clearly what they preferred. Moreover, Netanyahu is poised to be elected as the new prime minister, and he makes Sharon look like a toy bulldozer in comparison.

    Where o where dearie, where is the Palestinian peace movement? Where is the Palestinian peace coalition? Who’s even in charge of Palestinians? Why have their borders been sealed off by Egypt, Jordan, and Israel?

    Well, now, Hamas, say hello to Prime Minister Netanyahu. The picnic is over and the kid gloves are off.

    Enjoy.

  102. 103 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 15, 2008 at 23:40

    Steve
    If Jewish are native in Middle East so do the Christine’s, infact founder father of Jewish, Christine’s & Muslims born & raised (along with holly messages) in Arab world.
    As far as imported Jewish terminology is concerned I will say ” if a group of migrants suceed to occoupy a peace of land for a certain purpose” may not be considered for a refugee status, as these Eorupean’s Jewish been imported by Jewish counsil to snatch a peace of land from perminant residents of the area without discrimination of religion*. Now why these Imported Jewish are choosen people by Jewish Counsil because of there Marshall & Criminal back ground while living in European society, as most of them belong to Jewish Malishia.
    I hope you know about histry of Jewish Malishia if not you can refresh your knowledge from “ALQUIDA” a modern combined version of Jewish Malishia & Imported Jewish.
    As far as double standard is concerned, this might be upgrading for International Criminal’s as all these kind of groups of people were & are without any standard, please eleminate word standard for recognised criminals, they are declared barbic people along with bias attitute with peacefull human society, as Phalistine never had any violant religious histry in the past even during Turkish Khalifat time.
    Any way this is inappropriate to support these kind of people in our national & International lobbies as Alquida & Isrieli Govt have equal qualification’s of barbic nature, 9/11 & assesnation Of Ishaq Rabbih may be considered as evidence.
    Only differance I notice Alquida is younger then Imported Jewish group?

    *Refugees of native Phalistanians belongs to Christians & Native Jewish too, though majority is Muslims.

  103. 104 Mark from kansas
    June 16, 2008 at 07:32

    A question for all three:
    How do you feel about the continued building of Israeli homes in disputed areas, is this expansion for a growing population or provocation?

    Israeli youth:
    Do you think the current blockaid of Gaza is helping or hurting the future of peace for your country?
    I have seen the opinion that Israel takes an overyl aggressive stance towards its neighbors, do you agree or disagree and why?

    Gaza youth:
    Are poeple in danger of malnution, and can they get access to decent medical care?
    Do you know anyone in the tunnel business?
    Can the people in Gaza report suspicious activities that might be rocket attacks without fear of retribution? Would they want to?
    Would the people of Gaza take the same position of the rest of Palestine given the chooice?

    West Bank youth:
    What do the people of the West Bank think of the blockaide?
    Can they or would they send aid if they could?
    What would you like Israel to do to help reunite Palestine?
    Are you aware of any families that are seperated because of the situation there?

  104. 105 Mark from kansas
    June 16, 2008 at 07:36

    It was proposed after WWII that the jewish people be moved to Alaska. With all the conflict going on in hind sight it seems that would have been the better choice.

  105. 106 Rick
    June 16, 2008 at 10:00

    @ Bryan
    I didn’t answer you last night because it was bed time. However, I was laughing so much I could’nt sleep so I may as well have stayed up. If you think an Israeli newspaper article written by a jewish reporter for the consumption of the local jewish comunity has no slant, I rest my case.
    As for Debating your points, what points? Does the fact that jews had a continous presence in Palistine from ancient times give them a valid reason to kick out the modern population? No more than the Australian Aborigines have the right to kick us out of Australia. The fact that some Syrian landlords sold their houses to jewish buyers gives them the right to kick the occupants out of their country? No more than if my landlord sold my house to an Aboriginal buyer. Some of the land was vacant! The outback is mostly vacant and no you don’t have the right to steal it.
    My prejudices? exactly what does that refer to?? and Oh by the way, if you have to resort to personal insults as part of your “debate” I win.

    PS for those of you who might take offence to my use of aborigines as an example, I support all their causes.
    How about explaining why a Russian or Californian has more right to West Bank land than a Palistinian

  106. 107 Tino
    June 16, 2008 at 12:59

    “PS for those of you who might take offence to my use of aborigines as an example, I support all their causes.”

    Then why do you not move out of your country and ‘give it back’?

  107. June 16, 2008 at 13:35

    Hello Precious Roberto… My point was not to compare between an original and respect worthy democracy and a brutal dictatorship… My point was to refer to an unfortunately shared and common way of thinking between Saddam, his media, and his regime from once side and some of our Precious friends on the other side : ( I’m always right, and the ‘OTHER’ is always wrong, everything that goes against my point of view is bias and propoganda)… And here I am asking my question again : Saddam, his media and his regime used to consider himself and the practices and policies of his regime to be above suspicions, faults and mistakes i.e. unquestionable, I wonder if some of our Precious friends here on the WHYS blog consider Israel to be as such !! And to Precious Andrew : Thanks alot my good friend ! :-)… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  108. 109 Mark
    June 16, 2008 at 14:27

    Mark from Kansas

    We don’t know what the blockade will do for the future of Israel but we do know that at present, it is offering a measure of protection against terrorist attacks against their people by an implacable enemy whose people voted for a government pledged to destroy Israel. The blockade is not entirely effective as evidenced by the rocket attacks and so more severe measures will be necessary and are inevitable. This is because it is the primary duty of a government to protect its people. The reconfiguration of the borders of Israel will remove its geographical vulnerability and the temptation to neighboring states to attack it again which the so called green line left it subject to. The proposed treaty in 2000 which Arafat rejected would have traded an approximately equal amount (97%) of land. At this point the practical limitations of moving 1/2 million Israelis living on that land is no longer feasible and therefore impossible in any settlement. Even if the Israelis were foolish enough to agree to it and trust that it would bring an end to the perpetual attack they are under, who would pay for it. Certainly not the American taxpayer. Europe and the Oil countries in the Middle East are rich, they should offer to put up the money if they are serious. And who will enforce the peace, just in case? Certainly not US troops but the Israeils have no reason to trust any others.

    The hallmark of anti-semitism in any of its many forms is its villification of Jews just for being Jews and its call for the destruction of Israel either directly or by indirect means such as the repatriation of up to 5 million Arabs or the return to militarily undefendable borders of 1967. Any way you slice it, you can’t hide these central facts. It also places equal if not greater value and justification of Palestinian indiscriminate attacks on Jews than it does on the inherent right of Jews to defend themselves including by searching out those who plan the attacks and killing them wherever they are found.

  109. 110 steve
    June 16, 2008 at 14:32

    @ Lubna

    Israel is the most self critical country on earth. You should look at their newspapers.

    http://www.haaretz.com

    http://www.jpost.com

  110. 111 Tino
    June 16, 2008 at 14:38

    @ Lubna

    See steve’s post. Then realize there is no equivalent on the Palestinian side. While they launch rockets and attacks they simultaneously blame Israel for everything while taking zero responsibility for their actions. I mean seriously, Israel gives up Gaza and is immediately attacked from there…how could there be hope for peace, even if they gave up land?

  111. 112 Roberto
    June 16, 2008 at 14:46

    I am asking my question again : Saddam, his media and his regime used to consider himself and the practices and policies of his regime to be above suspicions, faults and mistakes i.e. unquestionable, I wonder if some of our Precious friends here on the WHYS blog consider Israel to be as such
    ———————————————————————————————

    ———- Lubna, I seriously doubt you could find more than a few dozen people in the world as nakedly brutal, cunning, and power mongering as was Saddam.

    It’s not likely that any of them are bothering with this forum, though perhaps this forum might present enough opportunity that some day that one of their talking point minions might blog in and spread their spin.

    On a practical level, I wouldn’t stand for anyone who asked a question that equivicated me to the level of a Sadam. Keep in mind that Israel has a tradition of free press which has no shortage of critics and political investigators snooping around, trying to find wrong doing and most Israeli supporters come from a culture with that tradition. Even the most ardent supporters of Israel would have lstrong criticisms that they would like to be addressed by Israel.

    Legitimate criticism of Israel can barely breath in the poison of all the lies and blatant misanthropic racism spread around about Jews and Israelis, which many don’t bother to distinguish between, a longstanding public relations nightmare for anyone in that grouping.

    To be fair, Muslims and Arabs now have a similar problem, a modern day public relations nightmare stemming from 9/11 and ongoing global Islamic terrorism. But the problem actually goes back to the founding of Islam, a new “other” to contend with the old established others back in the day.

    Where does it all end Lubna? Endless war and bloodshed until the earth is just smoldering ashheap, which is quite possible given our level of technology, our populations, and number of conflicts which continue to grow.

    Let me ask you this Lubna, was there something inherently wrong with the Palestinian/Israeli peace negotiations from 1993 to 2000 that deserved the Palestinian infitada, the suidicide bombings into the heart of Israel, the anarchy, and finally the collapse of the Palestinian leadership that has led to the current deplorable state of being?

    The history of the world written in equal measures of cooperation and bloodshed. The other religions, tribes, ethnic groups, states, races, they’ve always eventually intersected with the other with one or both of the two occurring.

    Maybe sometimes they ignore each other, but each other to always have the curious ones sneaking away to try and learn more about the other, so eventually they have to hook up in some kind of relationship. What’s it going to be?

    Why is it that Egypt, Jordan, and Israel sealed their borders to Palestinian controlled territories? Why are even foreign aid workers and foreign press in Palestine subject to kidnappings?

    Israel has no control over what Palestinians do, nor does the world. How can anyone help anyone else if that person is always out to destroy you? Is Israel supposed to just keep their borders open and continue to allow the waves of suicide bombers in? Give ‘em a police escort to the targets of their choice?

    I can’t speak for Palestinians, but nobody in the world seems to know what to do with them, not their neighbors, not even Palestinians themselves.

    So, where do you start Lubna? Do you help Palestinians by comparing Israeli supporters to Saddam? Is that realy helpful?

    BTW, it is ironic, is it not, that the Palestinian suicide bombers that Saddam used to support with big public fanfare by distributing large sums of money to the surviving family members have been the inspiration for waves of sectarian suicide terror attacks into the heart of Iraq, is it not?

    Where does it stop, or is this the future?

  112. 113 Count Iblis
    June 16, 2008 at 17:40

    Steve, about “fundamentalism, not occupation”, I don’t agree. Religion can motivate people to resist the occupation in certain ways.

    I’m sure that if the US were occupied and that if homes of Americans were bulldozed to make place for immigrants from, say, Mexico, different Americans would resist the occupation in different ways, depending on their (religious) background. But I’m sure it would be very bloody and civilans would be targetted.

    Just look at recent events in South Africa. Economic problems combined with a high number of immigrants from Zimbabwe led to violence against the immigrants. How can one expect there not to be violence when people are living under occupation, which is a million times worse than just having to tolerate some immigrants who merely receive some State benefits?

  113. 114 viola anderson
    June 16, 2008 at 18:03

    I would ask the young people of Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and everyone who comments on this subject::

    Do you know the history of the place you live?

    Where did you learn that history?

    Do you think the history you learned is accurate?

    Do you separate opinions about the history from the verifiable facts of the history?

    What is the process you use in forming opinions about that history?

    Do you think it is more important to know the facts of the history of the area or to adhere to what you perceive to be the prevailing perception of that history that your family and friends have?

  114. June 16, 2008 at 18:24

    Hi again Precious Roberto, and thanks alot for your reply my good friend… Well, if you (and that also applies to my other Precious friends Steve, Tino, Bryan, and VictorK as well) were one of those guys who consider every point of view which is ‘DIFFERENT’ from theirs as bias and propoganda… If you were one of those guys who believe that they’re always right, that the ‘OTHER’ is always wrong, and that everything they support is above criticism, faults, mistakes, and suspicions… My Precious Roberto, if you were all of the above, then please forgive me if I say that you do share with Saddam a common ideology ! But if you weren’t, then please forgive your young Baghdadi friend ! And to Precious Steve and Precious Tino : As I made it clear before, I wasn’t talking about Israel itself, I was talking about SOME non-Israeli Israel supporters who believe that Israel is always right and above criticism or suspicions no matter it did, who do consider every action by Israel to be totally unquestionable ! With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna…

  115. 116 Judie
    June 16, 2008 at 18:35

    Israel withdrew from Gaza, removing all settlers who lived there. They left their greenhouses and other materials to help support an economically strong state. Instead of building on that base, the greenhouses were destroyed and the entire focus of the leadership was to use Gaza as a base from which to attack Israel.

    The residents of Gaza should not expect Israel to ignore the daily barrage of rockets from Gaza to civilian areas in Israel. They should also not be surprised when innocent civilians are killed or injured by Israeli retaliation when the Palestinians who fire the rockets shoot their weapons from civilian neighborhoods.

    If the Palestinians need fuel, why don’t they ask their leaders why they (the leaders) have plenty of fuel for themselves and their projects but keep it from the rest of the Palestinians to promote their “victimization” propaganda.

    If the Palestinians in Gaza really want to live in a peaceful, productive society, they have to elect leaders who share that objective.

    Judie
    Mayfield Heights, OH

  116. 117 Anonymous
    June 16, 2008 at 18:35

    hi everybody, i would like to know how i contact the people who have been interviewed in today’s program? i’m interested in keeping touch with the palestinians, who were interviewed.

    best wishes

  117. 118 Tino
    June 16, 2008 at 20:23

    Lubna,

    “I was talking about SOME non-Israeli Israel supporters who believe that Israel is always right and above criticism or suspicions no matter it did, who do consider every action by Israel to be totally unquestionable !”

    How about ALL of the palestinian supporters who still to this day criticize nothing they do. The worst you will hear is: “It is bad they slaughter civilians, but what would you do if you were ‘occupied’?”. Why not focus on that, since Israel clearly at least has, as you admit, some self-criticism? There is NONE on the other side.

  118. 119 Marked for Hell
    June 16, 2008 at 21:58

    The focus is always on what Israel is doing to end the tensions and its blockades, military, etc., while Israel sits surrounded by Arab countries who happily do nothing to help their brethren in Gaza or negotiate honestly for a solution.

    The actual fact is that there already is a Palestinian homeland. It is called Jordan. Jordan was under post 1918 Ottoman control as was all of Palestine (the Roman name of Judea and Israel after the Bar Korba war of the early second century). Britain allowed independent rule in the area east of the Jordan river in 1946, just as it was also debating whether or not to honor the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that promised British Jews a homeland after the war if Jews in England enlisted and fought in Europe for British interests). Then, in 1950 Britain allowed the Kingdom of Jordan to form and they elected their first king – two years after Israel was declared a nation by the UN.

    Jews cannot today even visit the ruins of their only temple and holiest site in the world without violence often resulting, while they must view the mosque on their temple’s ruins – ruins caused by Romans 1800 years earlier. They must listen to bogus fabrications about how holy that mosque is while their own temple still lays in disgraceful ruin.

    Why does the problem of the West Bank and Gaza remain? Because the West Bank was largely populated by Hashamite Arabs, the same as the majority in the east of Jordan River Palestine. Gaza is obvious. But why does this situation continue? It is because it suits the Arab world to see Israel bedeviled by problems in the north and south and east – at the same time whenever possible. It is nothing but a stroke of genius the way they manage to turn the world opinion against Israel again and again, while taking not one step toward any demonstration for the toleration of the existence of Israel – or helping one suffering Palestinian person.

    This is the long term strategy to wear down Israel. Where is all the Islamic religion of peace and compassion I am always be told of by the media?

    Israel is a little sliver of land of a larger area that their ancestors once ruled with tolerance. But that little piece of land seems too much of the larger Arab nations. Rome destroyed Israel, the Roman Catholic Church invented Jew-hating and persecution. The British Empire set up the modern situation as the new Roman Empire and now seems to constantly condemn Israel for simply wishing to exist in peace. Europe is famous for its long history of persecution and extermination of Jews. Yet, Israelis continue to be painted the villain by their Europeans tormentors as well as their Arab tormentors. And the rest of the world seems to buy into it.

  119. 120 VictorK
    June 16, 2008 at 22:57

    @Lubna: I’ve not contributed to this thread but still got a slap from you! How cruel.

    I don’t take the view that there’s is nothing at all to the Palestinian case. Just that there’s not enough to warrant some of the things they want now, such as a right of return or Jerusalem as an internationalised capital.

    I think those Palestinians who lost property when Israel was founded – whether because they were driven out by the Jewish population, which I understand did happen to several hundred Palestinians, or the far greater number who left in response to Arab warnings and exhortations, or who left on their own initiative to avoid the fighting but with an intention to return – those Palestinians who lost property should be compensated for the value of that property, takng into account sixty years of inflation. Similarly with those Jews driven out of the Arab world.

    The Palestinians – the name should be in inverted commas – are not a genuine nation. I agree with those who have noted that they already have a homeland in Jordan. As the events in Gaza underline, what merit is there in aspiring to have one’s very own failed state? So they can have a full-fledged Palestinian civil war, or become as dependent on aid as Africa? The signs are all there. A Palestinian state is unlikely to be of value to anyone, the Paletinians especially. The West Bank should be incorporated into Jordan and Egypt should take possession of Gaza.

  120. 121 Bryan
    June 16, 2008 at 22:57

    This morning I commented on post no 103 by Syed Hasan Turab at 11: 40 pm yesterday and also on Lubna’s comments. For some reason my comment was deleted, though it broke no rules. So here it is again:

    I’d advise people not to Google to find out what Syed Hasan Turab is going on about as there are some extremely sick sites there, including Nazi sites, and serious danger of viruses.

    And we have Lubna comparing people who defend Israel to Saddam Hussein defending his regime. I’d point out that there are literally only a handful of Jews left in Iraq – those who stayed behind a few years ago when around 30 Baghdad Jews, mostly elderly, were assisted to get to Israel. And of course we have the brutal killings of Iraqi Christians and destruction of their churches. I wonder how many Christians are left in Iraq. And then of course we have the extraordinary brutality of the Sunni-Shia terror conflict with tens of thousands blown apart in markets and even holy places and dragged out of their cars at roadblocks and shot if they belong to the “wrong” side. But hell, let’s point the finger at Israel. There’s a long tradition of bashing the Jews (and worse) when things are going wrong – as in the ‘black death’ in Europe.

  121. 122 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 17, 2008 at 02:20

    BRYAN;
    I am very sad that BBC hold your brilliant & healthy comments in favour of Isrial & Jewish lobbiest’s. I personally have no grivences & ill feeling’s about any human being & dosent belong to Arab World, but I dont close my eyes & brain while observing International news & common behaviour of human society.
    Please cool down for a minute & observe your surrounding’s dont you have any soft corner for rest of the world.
    Your sentiments are commending your brain this is why you lost your ability to differanciate between good, better, best & bad, worst, worst. Please use your education, knowledge & skill for betterment of humanity.
    Dont forget any kind of barbarism always end on worst & you sound like an authority on Nazi ism.

  122. 123 Rick
    June 17, 2008 at 06:58

    @Tino
    Because thats not one of their aims or causes. They were treated brutaly by my forefathers in many ways and my leaving the country would not help them one bit.
    My staying and and suporting them will.

  123. 124 Rick
    June 17, 2008 at 07:05

    Even Condalisa Rice has now complained that Israel just doesn’t want peace.
    uh duh!

  124. 125 Bryan
    June 17, 2008 at 08:42

    Interesting programme last night. But I think the Palestinians were allowed to ramble on at length without dealing with the actual cause of their difficulties – Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorism. (At times of relative peace there was a free flow of trade between the Palestinian areas and Israel and Gazans streamed into Israel to work in construction – a field in which Palestinians and Israeli Arabs excel.) The programme needed tighter control and direction.

    Rick,

    As Tino pointed out at 12:59 pm, you dug yourself quite a hole with your ‘aborigines’ comment, as you scouted around for a comment to discredit Israel with. Ain’t no way out of that one. If you are going to draw comparisons, try one that works.

    Syed Hasan Turab,

    So you would prefer it if the BBC removes my comment and allows yours to remain with its sad and predictable slurs about the ‘international criminal’ Jew? I’m prepared to back up my arguments with facts. What facts did you present in your comment? None, just prejudice. And what does that add to the debate? Anyway, welcome to the concept of free speech. You may even get used to it.

  125. 126 Roberto
    June 17, 2008 at 16:56

    Even Condalisa Rice has now complained that Israel just doesn’t want peace.
    ——————————————————————————————

    —– What Condi knows about the middle east would fit perfectly on the polished point on top of GW Jughaid’s noggin.

    The Roadmap designed by illiterates who have run their own country into the ground and created some of the worst global chaos I’ve ever been witness to.

    Egypt is doing their part to bring Hamas into negotiations, but zero possibilty of any significant progress until the next president assumes office and decides if he even wants to bother with an intractable mess on top of 2 war fronts and trying to clean up the US from all the messes Jughaid stepped into.

  126. 127 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 17, 2008 at 17:57

    Bryan,
    Take it easy this is only a debate under agreed rules & principal’s. No doubt Jewish Counsil, Isriel & Jewish community are well educated & wealthy people along with Command & controll ove media & media companies. People in general trust over available media & dont have time to investigate the facts & figures.
    A base less propangada against any human being just to achieve the goals by hook & crook may be understand an educated crime. Any way final victory is always for truth, once again Barbic acts of any person/nation against any human being/nation always understand as crime against humanity, sooner or later will be prosecuted like Nazis of Germany or atleast historian’s of the time will speak out the facts & ground realities.
    Once again I request to my Jewish brother’s & sister’s please use your knowledge, skill & money for betterment of humanity in a positive way so you will be remembered for ever an angle. Please dont act like an evil otherwise you will be memorised as an evil nation on the earth. Please stop useing evil tools & techniques over empty handed innocent neighbours. Constant barbic attempts always speak out the truth dosent matter what kind of knowledge, skill, wealth & propangada machinary you have.
    May God bless all of us.

  127. 128 steve
    June 17, 2008 at 18:02

    @ Syed

    Well, at least you don’t hide your antisemitism. Can one say the same with Muslims, so long as some muslims are suicide bombers, all muslims should be rememembered that way by all nations? Of course not, how silly of me. The Jews must be perfect and do whatever you want them to, if not, then they are evil.


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