08
May
08

On air: Happy Birthday Israel?

Israel is 60 today. Are you celebrating? Do you think Israel has justified its creation? And how would you like Israel to evolve?


240 Responses to “On air: Happy Birthday Israel?”


  1. 1 steve
    May 5, 2008 at 14:14

    I’m curious why the US’s birthday isn’t “controversial”? I mean, if you think about it, should British people have some national day of mourning? Should Canadians be sad that day to, given many canadian anglophones used to live in what became the US and left after the rebels won. Why is a question like this asked only about Israel?

  2. 2 Shirley
    May 5, 2008 at 14:50

    Actually, it would be the Native Americans who would have reason to protest. Each “Columbus Day,” they do. They have my moral support – I am one of those who believes in the cause of reparations. I fully understand and sympathise with Palestinians who would similarly protest Israel’s birthday.

  3. 3 Peter Gizzi UK
    May 5, 2008 at 15:21

    I just hope that perhaps in 10 years time we might be able to celebrate The new Palestinian State and of course peace.

  4. 4 thelegendali
    May 5, 2008 at 15:38

    Israel birthday is for Israelis. Nobody talks about Liberia’s birthday, only Liberians.

  5. 5 Will Rhodes
    May 5, 2008 at 15:48

    And how would like Israel to evolve?

    Into a peace loving nation where she and all the countries around her can live together.

    When the countries that are around her can accept peace and dialogue instead of the rocket and suicide bomb.

    I mean, if you think about it, should British people have some national day of mourning? Should Canadians be sad that day to, given many canadian anglophones used to live in what became the US and left after the rebels won.

    Why should the British mourn a French win? I will assume you are an American – as as that is the case you should know it was with a great amount of French help that the US became a separate nation. You should also know that their first foray into occupying another country (Canada) in 1812 led to an American defeat.

  6. May 5, 2008 at 15:50

    @ Steve
    Well America has it’s day of controversy which seems to be growing more and more. The 4th baby! That is when the Anti-American sentiment comes out the woodwork. It’s also when everyone on the other side of the fence is getting drunk, lighting off fireworks, and waving American flags.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISRAEL!!!!! Suprise! We have a present for you!!! It’s $3,000,000,000.00 in aid this year for you to waste on your military (well 1.8 of it) so you can further your collective punishment of Palestine!
    Have a wonderful B-day!

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  7. 7 steve
    May 5, 2008 at 16:04

    @ Brett

    YOu act as if Israel does what it does for fun. They live near people that teach their kids from birth to hate them and want to kill them. Nations they have made peace with, have hit songs called “I hate Israel
    ” and Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf are best sellers. That’s from the ones they’ve made peace with!

    The Military aid is conditional on that Israel has to buy US made products. It’s a gift to the defense industry in all reality.

  8. 8 steve
    May 5, 2008 at 16:06

    @Will

    France was barely involved, and only after the tide had turned. Their only major involvement was their only naval victory against Britain, possibly ever, off the coast of Virginia.

    YOu mean the opposite in 1812? Britain kept on kidnapping american sailors, and Britain attacked the US. The US tried invading canada in 1775, conquered Montreal, but lost at Quebec.

  9. 9 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 16:12

    Viola Anderson has offered a good defense for the creation of Israel:
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/blank-page-no4/#comment-18685

    Uri Avnery has been in the forefront of events there since the start:
    http://www.gush-shalom.org

    His columns offer an insider’s view of events there from his days as a Revisionist Zionist terrorist to this week. They show the a change from an idealist state to an exploitive one.

    The state began with terrorist organizations executing planned genocide and ethnic cleansing. The terrorist leaders became the first prime ministers of Israel.

    Albert Einstein, who was offered the presidency of Israel, and Ben Guerion, who became President, both referred to one of those prime ministers as a “Nazi”.

    Thus, there has been an exploitive sociopathic vector present in the state since its beginning.

    A second major vector is that of the fundamentalist extremists. These benefit a state-supported separate educational system turning out elite “knitted skullcap” cadres.

    Although the majority are said to be secular, they are not organized and dispair of the general corruption of Israeli politics.

    There is a consensus that the post 1967 Occupation marked a turning point in Israel where it lost its character.

    Sharon visited Temple Mount in a effort to provoke an uprising which he would use as a pretext to destroy the Palestinians.

    The government armed and funded Gush Emunim terrorists sought to blow up the Mosque in order to bring on an End Times scenario and exterminate the Palestinians.

    The continuing policy is that of a boa constrictor, seeking to eliminate the Palestinians by ethnic cleansing.

    At the moment, the very fundamentalist and settler-oriented SHAS party must be placated and the sociopathic right-wing Talmudists of Netanyahu must be kept from taking over the government. Since both are imbued with the religio/ethnic ideology, there is no hope of peace.
    http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/ed.html

    There are intelligent and humane groups trying to act decently:

    http://www.btselem.org/English/

    http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=24&catid=51&pcat=51
    &lang=ENG

    These must usually work through the courts, since the government is permeated with the religio/ethnic ideology.

    The future of Israel depends on the civilized folk becoming active in politics.

    ________________________________________
    Submitted to WHYS 5 May 2008 16:07 GMT

  10. 10 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 16:17

    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/happy-birthday-israel/#comment-20558

    Contains false assertions;

    Corawallis surrendered at Yorktown because he was completely blockaded by a French fleet.

    Britain had to use mercenaries from Hannover to fight the US rebels because it was too involved in fighting the French in Europe.

    How is it that one can continually make assertions without research?

  11. May 5, 2008 at 16:20

    The Military aid is conditional on that Israel has to buy US made products. It’s a gift to the defense industry in all reality.
    So it’s a $1.8 billion gift card; It’s still a waste.

    YOu act as if Israel does what it does for fun.
    The ONLY way to solve this problem is to criticize BOTH sides and their actions. Both sides are wrong and defending one side will only further the problem. Is Palestine wrong? Yes, Hamas is making an existing problem much worse. Is Israel fencing in and punishing all of Palestine for fun? No, but that does not detract from the fact that they still ARE doing it.

  12. 12 steve
    May 5, 2008 at 16:23

    @ Brett

    Why does Egypt fence them in too? Why do people ignore that too?

  13. 13 Edmund
    May 5, 2008 at 16:25

    To celebrate the creation of Israel is to celebrate the de-humanization of the indigenous people. During Israel’s war of independance they expelled 700,000 Palestinians and passed laws to confiscate land from those who stayed. Israeli citizens who are of Arab descent are treated like blacks were in the 1940’s American South. Those Palestinians who live in the occupied territories are in an apartheid state.

    No celebration.

  14. 14 thelegendali
    May 5, 2008 at 16:28

    Peter Gizzi, I can agree with you more. The Americans and British fought for the state of Israel to be created in the heart land of Palestine. I hope that they will now fight for the creation of a free and peaceful Palestinian State. Agan, let the Israelis worry about their birthday.

  15. May 5, 2008 at 16:44

    Why does Egypt fence them in too? Why do people ignore that too?

    Your right; 2 wrongs do in fact make a right.

    Egypt’s boarder is what, 20%? Israel is 80% (give or take a bit). So then is Israel 80% responsible for the suffering since they blockade 80% of the boarder?

    I’ll accept that.

    Egypt and Israel are handling this situation like Palestine is a child and they can put them in international ‘time-out’. It doesnt work that way…

    I didn’t want to take away from Israels shine though, seeing as how it is the birthday brat. But yes, Egypt blocks in Palestine too, and yes, they are just as wrong.

  16. 16 KURUKSHETRA
    May 5, 2008 at 16:45

    CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ISRAEL.

    AS COMPARED TO 52 ISLAMIC REPUBLICS INCLUDING THE LAST TWO, PAKISTAN AND BANGLADESH, CREATED IN 1947,YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE JEWISH STATE ON EARTH. WHY SHOULD ANYONE BEGRUDGE YOUR BIRTH AND EXISTENCE.
    MAY YOU THRIVE.
    WITH REGARD TO PALESTINIAN REFUGEES, DO NOT FORGET THE FIFTEEN MILLION OF US FORCED OUT OF OUR HOMES FROM SINDH, BALUCHISTAN, WEST PUNJAB, NWFP, NORTH KASHMIR AND EAST BENGAL WITHIN WEEKS IN 1947.
    WE DECIDED NOT TO GO UNDER THE DEGRADING UMBRELLA CALLED “REFUGEE”. BEING PROUD SIKHS AND HINDUS, WE ARE SCATTERED ACROSS THE GLOBE AND ARE DOING VERY WELL. THANK YOU.
    I HOPE THE VAST ARAB LANDS ALSO HAVE A TINY PLACE FOR YOU, THEIR FELLOW MUSLIMS.

    BEST OF LUCK, ONCE AGAIN, ISRAEL. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ALSO HAVE DEFENCE IN DEPTH.

  17. 17 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 16:49

    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/happy-birthday-israel/#comment-20557

    The foregoing asserts that Israel does what it does “because it is surrounded by enemies”.

    The essence of the religio/ethnic ideology is that all the “others” are enemies and not to be tolerated except as “daily humiliated servants” within an undefined “Greater Israel”.

    This Greater Israel may extend from the Nile to the Euphrates and some claim Iran and Saudi Arabia. Sharon simply said “Biblically defined” Greater Israel.

    Of course, as the range of rockets increases, the security zone needed will extend to Pakistan, etc.

    __________________________________-

    Submitted to WHYS 5 May 2008 16:46 GMT

  18. 18 steve
    May 5, 2008 at 16:56

    @ Xie Ming

    France was barely involved with the fighting in the US during the Revolutionary war. Yorktown was in 1781, 6 years after it began. Britain and France only went to war in 1778, 3 years after it began. Who do you think was fighting on their own for years?

  19. 19 Ros Atkins
    May 5, 2008 at 17:02

    Let’s stick to Israel here please. Thanks.

  20. 20 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 17:07

    Viola Anderson has offered a good defense for the creation of Israel:
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/blank-page-no4/#comment-18685

    Uri Avnery has been in the forefront of events there since the start:
    http://www.gush-shalom.org

    His columns offer an insider’s view of events there from his days as a Revisionist Zionist terrorist to this week. They show the change from an idealist state to an exploitive one.
    ______________________________________-

    Submitted to WHYS 5 May 2008 1703 Z

  21. 21 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 17:09

    Viola Anderson has offered a good defense for the creation of Israel:
    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/blank-page-no4/#comment-18685

    Uri Avnery has been in the forefront of events there since the start:
    http://www.gush-shalom.org

    His columns offer an insider’s view of events there from his days as a Revisionist Zionist terrorist to this week. They show the a change from an idealist state to an exploitive one.
    ______________________________________-

    Submitted to WHYS 5 May 2008 1703 Z

  22. 22 steve
    May 5, 2008 at 17:13

    Xie _ Ming, nobody even needs to write a defense for the creation of Israel. It exists, it’s not going anywhere. Ar eyou prepared to accept it finally? Unless you have a time machine, aren’t you working yourself up into a frenzy over nothing? repeat after me Xie_Ming: Israel exists, and no matter how much I hate it, it won’t be destroyed. Time to accept reality. Perhaps the Palestinians will realize this to so they can get a country for the first time in history, and live in peace.

  23. 23 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 17:17

    At the moment, the very fundamentalist and settler-oriented SHAS party must be placated and the sociopathic right-wing Talmudists of Netanyahu must be kept from taking over the government. Since both are imbued with the religio/ethnic ideology, there is no hope of peace.

    http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/ed.html

    There are intelligent and humane groups trying to act decently:

    http://www.btselem.org/English/

    http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=24&catid=51&pcat=51
    &lang=ENG

    These must usually work through the courts, since the government is permeated with the religio/ethnic ideology.
    __________________________

    Submitted to WHYS 5 May 2008 17:17 Z

  24. May 5, 2008 at 17:28

    Wow, 60 years old ! I would worry sooooooo much if I reached that far ! :-). As the human being grows older, he should grow wiser, he should have developed a precious respect-worthy life-time experience, his moral conscience should’ve evolved and and become mature, he now after all those years should be able to see how the things should go not only through his eyes but also through the ‘other’s eyes… Does all that apply to 60 years old Israel ?! I do hope so, but unfortunately good wishes are one thing and reality is another thing… You should be able to recognise and strongly condemn the defect no matter where the defect is, even within your own self right ?! With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  25. 25 Janet T
    May 5, 2008 at 17:36

    Happy Birthday Israel- I hope your path is easier in the coming years and I wish for you peace

  26. 26 Shirley
    May 5, 2008 at 17:59

    Steve,
    Two wrongs do not a right make. Just because Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of those rich Arab nations ignore Palestine into a wasteland does not make it right for Israel to press it into an increasingly smaller space by slicing off land and placing it behind a Wall, or invading it daily and firing missiles at militants and civilians alike without giving anyone at all the benefit of a trial, etc. Most world governments criticise Hamas and oher Palestinian movements. Therefore, I see no reason for the average Joe to include them in their criticisms of Israel. When Israel, as the occupying force with the military power to back its occupation (and existence, frankly) can conduct itself civilly and humanely, the world will have a chance to turn its eye to Palestinian wrongs.

  27. 27 Xie_Ming
    May 5, 2008 at 18:18

    https://worldhaveyoursay.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/happy-birthday-israel/#comment-20603

    The foregoing post gently calls for maturity and self-examination on the part of Israel.

    A Tel Aviv clinical psychiatrist, Grossbart, has written a book titled “Israel on the Couch”. From his patients, he sees a nation fixated at an adolescent stage.

    There is an organization that strives mightily to help Israel toward a mature, decent and ethical conduct toward those whom it oppresses:

    http://www.btselem.org/English/

    They must usually work through the courts, since the government is permeated with the religio/ethnic ideology.

    The future of Israel depends on the civilized folk becoming active in politics.

    _______________________________________________

    Submitted to WHYS 5 May 2008 at 1816 GMT

  28. 28 Joel Salomon
    May 5, 2008 at 18:23

    Brett:
     On the Gaza side of the Israel-Gaza border is a state (de facto if not de jure) actively at war with Israel. For what purpose should Israel allow border crossing?—and yet she does allow (with security restrictions) Gazans to receive hospital care in Israel.
     As for Israel being an “apartheid state”, answer me why Arabs are allowed citizenship in Israel but Judea, Samaria, and Gaza must become judenrein in any negotiated peace settlement?

    Ross:
     I never thought someone would have to bring a discussion of the Israeli-Arab conflict back on-topic, when the topic is inescapable in every other thread!

    Xie Ming:
     Your reference to Jews treating “‘others’ … as ‘daily humiliated servants’” is taken directly from the most vicious fabrications from antisemitic propaganda. I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but a quick search turns up your repeated use of this canard. In fact, I’ve not been able to find other references to this supposed quote from the Talmud except by you.
     I can not and will not, nor should anybody, take seriously your position as an honest questioner of Israel’s actions. Whatever her faults, you have no credibility when they are under discussion.
     If this be ad hominem, make the most of it.

  29. 29 Syed Hasan Turab
    May 5, 2008 at 18:28

    Happy birthday to Isriel & better future along with dignity & respect. Being victom of Ghandhi’s hipocracy & political failour I paid the most price of migration from Sonipat India to Pakistan beside loosing Estate & status I lost my birth mother too as I born in a refugee camp in Lahore Pakistan.
    Isralies I understand price of Hollocust & refuge, which is really tough & may not be understand by the non sufferors. On the other hand I really appreciate the Phalistianian nation not to join the Nazi Hitler war as during refuge Phalistianian embraces Jewish sufferors.
    Finally I pray for peace & sucess for the region.

  30. 30 Jonny
    May 5, 2008 at 20:12

    How would you like Israel to evolve?

    I think this is a very important question. Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary as the homeland for the Jewish people. But, with fast growing minority Arab populations (that will soon increase to become a MAJORITY IN Israel) and the obvious violence that exists, Israel will have to evolve into a state with a new national identity with assimilated minorities.

  31. 31 Roberto
    May 5, 2008 at 23:44

    During Israel’s war of independance they expelled 700,000 Palestinians and passed laws to confiscate land from those who stayed.
    ——————————–

    —- Israel was attacked by Arabs on the day of it’s creation. Outnumbered in population by 50 to 1. Some Palestinians were expelled, others fled the fighting that their arab neighbors started. The timeline of events completely escapes the grasp of those who should know better but only wish to present one side.

    Nobody attacked Jordan when it was created the year before. Just as many Pals in Jordon as in Palestine. So why attack Israel when Jews have lived there from time immemorial?

    Israel is not a perfect democracy, more like a democratic military state, but Palestinians are citizens there with rights. All Jews have had to flee Palestinian controlled lands. Israeli Palestinians and Jews conduct business and socialize with each other in Israel. If a Jew is caught in Palestinian lands, he is killed brutally. If a Palestinian is merely rumored to be working with Israeli military in Pal controlled lands, he’s publically dragged from his family and very brutally killed by militant vigilantes.

    Pal apologists never acknowledge the 1 million Jewish refugees from the middle east and North Africa who have fled for their lives to the safety of Israel since 1948. Christians and other minority religions have fled to other parts of the globe. No reparations or guarantee of repatriation for those folks.

    Until the Pals can escape the grasp of the death cult they have created, they are doomed to a terrible existance. They had it pretty nice compared to most middle eastern Arabs before they restarted the infitada with waves of suicide bombers in 2000. They collapsed the fragile Israeli peace coalition, thereby ushering in their own hell in the form of Sharon.

    Egypt and Jordan not attacking Israel as they have peaceful diplomatic relations, so Israel’s not in military conflict with them. Most in Israel want a Palestinian state. It means peace. Most in Palestine want Israel destroyed if actions are to be believed. If Palestinians wish to be treated humanely, they should start with themselves and their neighbors. Children and peace loving Pals and Israelis deserve better.

    Ball’s been in the Palestinian court for 60 yrs, and for 60 years they keep dropping it and their apologists keep on apologizing and blaming Israel. Ridiculous, but truth much stranger than fiction.

    Well, Happy Birthday Israel. Maybe one day you can celebrate with Palestinians.

  32. 32 Syed Hasan Turab
    May 5, 2008 at 23:51

    Mr,Johny,
    Before writing minority to Phalistanians please study histry, infact you are victom of Contiminated media too, as Phalistanian muslims already paid enough price for there hospotility & sympathy with jewish nation.

  33. May 6, 2008 at 02:26

    Since its creation, Israel has been the focus of the international media and policy. It’s one of the rare states that are rarely not in the news whose existence and policies raise debates by friends and foes. For some it’s a role model of democracy in the Middle East as the countries surrounding it are ruled through one party system as it is the case of Syria or through a dominant party despite the existence of others as it is the case in Egypt.

    In the past sixty years, it outlived the storms surrounding it. It had no friendly neighbouring state. Its existence depends on the generous aids of the USA and the strong Jewish lobby around the world that secures it from the sanctions of the Security Council in regards to its policies towards the Palestinians. Still it isn’t a secure state as there are countries after it like Iran as there are armed groups like Hezbollah waiting for any moment to inflict on it the heaviest blows in the hope of seeing it dead rather than continuing to celebrate its birthdays year after year.

    The Middle East needs the birth of a really peaceful policy for everyone to live in peace. While Israel is counting the years since it was born, others are counting the deaths it has inflicted on the Palestinians, making the two sides look like Tom and Jerry. They can’t feel at ease without playing cat and mouse, just for the fun of it or by being serious about it.

    One thing is sure. Israel is now a fact. It’s a fait accompli whether its enemies like it or not. But still it has to show more resilience towards the Palestinians as it is now in a strong position. Capitalizing on their weaknesses to go ahead with its intransigent policies will just perpetuate the current conflict.

    So let’s hope that in its next birthday, Israel will have grown into a state with internationally recognised borders and the Palestinians have their free state instead of continuing to feel as Israel’s collective prisoners.

  34. 34 Mark
    May 6, 2008 at 02:28

    “Do you think Israel has justified its creation?”

    What kind of question is that? Do I think Britain has justified its creation? NO! Do I think the BBC has justified its creation? NO! The answer to the question is that the question itself is anti-semitic and intended to arouse hatred. Where is the self censorship of BBC? It’s OK to censor those who respond with this kind of talk but this thread should be removed.

    Israel’s existance doesn’t have to be justified to anyone by anyone. We know that Europe KNEW that the holocaust was going on. They persecuted the Jews for over a thousand years. Europe’s attitude to a harmless pacifist people who lived among them ranged from tolerating them with hatred to beating them, robbing them, killing them, eventually trying to kill every last one of them. In the process, Europeans were turned into savages, hardly better than rabid animals. A lot of Europeans would like to see the Moslems finish off what Hitler started. This is why Israel doesn’t trust Europe and why any peace negotiations must involve the US, Israel’s only real friend.

    The US recognized the State of Israel 11 minutes after it declared its independence. Of all the issues between the US and Europe, global warming, trade, the war on terror, Israel is by far the most contentious. The United States will stand by Israel no matter what, much to Europe’s chagrin.

    Those who wish Israel ill should keep in mind that in all probability, Israel has the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world, possibly more now than Britain and France combined. Only the US and Russia have more. Some of those weapons may be fusion weapons too. Israel has the power to use those weapons to bring an end to all human life on earth in any one of several ways. Not necessarily at once but in not to long a time just as surely as the US or Russia could. Should Israel face the likelihood of extinction one day, there is no reason to believe that it would not take the rest of us with it. The looming prospect of a nuclear armed Iran determined to destroy Israel is something that should strike fear in every sane person on earth. Whether it is Hillary Clinton, Dr. Rice, or President Bush, they speak about Israel with one voice. America’s threat to Iran is very real also.

  35. May 6, 2008 at 03:01

    I would love to see Israel and Palestine living peacefully one day…

  36. May 6, 2008 at 03:30

    israel is mored evolve than its terrorist neighbors…..god bless Israel..and I hope the palestinians learn how to act someday

    marianne
    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/

  37. 37 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 6, 2008 at 05:06

    Happy Birthday Israel!!!!

  38. 38 Mohamed Ali
    May 6, 2008 at 10:18

    Happy Birthday Israel. 60 years of taking Palestinian land. 60 years of mass killings and murders. 60 years of destroying houses and lives. 60 years of existing through different wars. Thats an accomplishment.. Your deserve to celebrate.

  39. May 6, 2008 at 12:51

    Mark
    The answer to the question is that the question itself is anti-semitic and intended to arouse hatred. Where is the self censorship of BBC?

    Why is this argument always posed when anti-Israeli comments are made?
    Being Anti-America does not make you Anti-Christian; Being Anti-Iran does not make you Anti-Muslim; Just as being Anti-Israel (or questioning their actions) does not make you or the question posed Anti-Semitic.

  40. 40 Ian
    May 6, 2008 at 14:20

    Israel is a war criminal state. No rational human being should celebrate 60 years of atrocities. If Israel returns to the 1967 borders, then we can celebrate that state.

    Meanwhile, question for the BBC: One in five Israelis are Arab. Will you, in your week of interviewing an Israeli each day, devote one in five days to an Arab.

    Prediction: Of course not. Just as a murderous Israeli population dehumanizes the Palestinian people, so too does the BBC and western media generally.

  41. 41 Tino
    May 6, 2008 at 14:56

    “The answer to the question is that the question itself is anti-semitic and intended to arouse hatred. Where is the self censorship of BBC?

    Why is this argument always posed when anti-Israeli comments are made?
    Being Anti-America does not make you Anti-Christian; Being Anti-Iran does not make you Anti-Muslim; Just as being Anti-Israel (or questioning their actions) does not make you or the question posed Anti-Semitic.”

    No other country ever has similar questions posted about it. Wheres the: “Do you think the palestinians have justified the ceding of land by Israel?” Since they: elected terrorists to power, continue to attack Israel, and hold mass celebrations over civilian deaths I would have to say hell no. The bias against Israel is incredible and the Palestinians deserve nothing but my eternal contempt. I can only hope one day they finally push Israel too far and the Pallys are finally taught a hard lesson.

  42. 42 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 15:58

    @ Ian:

    “Israel is a war criminal state. No rational human being should celebrate 60 years of atrocities. If Israel returns to the 1967 borders, then we can celebrate that state.”

    You realize that 1967 was 41 years ago, so how have there been 60 years of atrocities? Oh yeah, I forget, It’s Israel’s fault 6 arab nations tried to destroy it in 1948, then lost, then decided to occupy Gaza and the West Bank until 1967, when they lost it. All that mean while they never gave the Palestinians independence, but let’s blame everything on Israel.

    I guess, to make you happy Ian, I will drink shots of Sabra and eat Jaffa oranages on Thursday.

    “Just as a murderous Israeli population dehumanizes the Palestinian people, so too does the BBC and western media generally.”

    Yes, all Israelis are murderers and victimize Palestinians. ZzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz. Am Yisrael Chai.

  43. 43 Stan Barnes
    May 6, 2008 at 16:32

    No happy birthday Israel for me!

    Israel is a corrupt and illegitimate entity occupying Palestine.

    Its existence has cost thousands of lives and millions of my tax dollars to maintain its unlawful occupation.

    Israel’s formation is based on taking land from one group of people and giving it to another. The false premises are that the UN had the right to do that, it did not. The UN is not a world government with the power of eminent domain. Nor did the Palestinian people consent to the partition of their country.

  44. 44 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 16:45

    @ Stan

    Why is Israel the only country on earth that for some reason has to prove it’s legitimacy? Why is Bangledesh legitimate, but not Israel? Why is India, but not Israel? Why is Canada? Why is France?

    If your basis for this conclusion is based upon taking land from others, assume away that Jews are from there in the first place, why is the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand legitimate? Do you think the vast majority of those countries are the natives? I think it’s time to end the double standards people have when they single out israel for deligitimization and criticism.

    There is no logical reason why you should think Canada has a right to exist if you think Israel has no right to exist. Care to explain it in a manner that just doesn’t say “but but, they are Jews, hence I need a different standard!”

  45. May 6, 2008 at 17:26

    I was interested to see whether this debate could be carried out fully and, if necessary, fiercely, without that boring old slur ‘anti-semitic’ appearing at any point. It’s become a cheap shot at intimidation and should be thrown out of the vocabulary of the modern world. But: too much to hope for!

    I’d say that Israel has a lot to answer for in the area of human rights violations but has, unfortunately, for all sorts of primitive reasons, been rendered untouchable.

    Before celebrating any birthdays, I hope the State of Israel will first attend to the birth of a just and free Palestinian state.

    At a deeper level, I hope the State of Israel will finally come to learn that a cycle of violence can never be ended by recourse to violence.

    No reason to celebrate until then.

  46. 46 Stan Barnes
    May 6, 2008 at 17:26

    1. The Jews were not there in the first place. Where was Abraham born?
    2. Israel cannot be rationalized because of how other countries were formed. Clearly Palestine was recognizable geo-political area. Its their lands, and you and no one else has the right to take it away from them including the UN.
    3. Where do you live Steve? I live in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Do you live in Palestine under Israel occupation?

  47. May 6, 2008 at 17:33

    Tino
    I can only hope one day they finally push Israel too far and the Pallys are finally taught a hard lesson.

    Harder than the ‘lesson’ they are already being taught?

  48. 48 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 17:44

    @ Stan

    Jews have lived in what is Now Israel since your ancestors lived in caves and wore skins. There have been jews continously living there for thousands of years now. There has never been a time within the past several thousand years that no Jews have lived there.

    I don’t understand your second point. India/Pakistan were created by paritioning a landmass. East Timor was created by the UN, and I know Indonesia wasn’t happy about that. Why do you single out Israel? There is absolutely no difference between the US/canada/Aus/NZ and Israel other than the fact that Jews at least originated there. A Swedish-American is any less a “settler” on someone else’s land in Minnesota???

    I live in Virginia, and unless you are a native American in Ohio, you have no business criticizing Israel for something you aren’t willing to do yourself. Why don’t you give your property back to the native americans it was stolen from? Did you have any objection to arab occupation of the west bank and gaza from 1947-1967 by Egypt and Jordan???

    Occupation = good if not done by jews???

  49. 49 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 17:54

    @ Brett

    Read about Black September in 1970. The arabs have been far more brutal to the Palestinians than Israel ever has. Also, the arabs keep Palestinians in refugee camps whereas Israel didn’t keep Jews expelled from muslim countries in refugee camps. The arabs really need to stop using the Palestinians as pawns in their war against Israel.

    Another thing, is when you hear about Sabra and Shitilla, people immediate shout “war crime! ariel sharon!” despite him not having done it. It was committed by the arab brothers of the Palestinians, because they absolutley hated each other. Palestinians would slaughter christians, muslims would slaughter christians, and christians would slaughter muslims/palestinians. They absolutely LOATHED each other because they were fighting a civil war that the Palestinians decided to get into the middle of due to the vacuum in lebanon. So while Ariel Sharon is a “war criminal” for not doing it, the person who actually committed the atrocitied, Hokeiba not only was considered a hero, but was elected to the Lebanese parliament! But again, if it’s easier to blame israel for everything, and ignore everything else, go ahead.

  50. 50 viola anderson
    May 6, 2008 at 18:02

    Happy birthday, Israel. If fighting is equated with work, boy, have you earned your country!

    Mark is right on the mark, lol. If the world decides Israel has no right to exist, then Israel has the equal right to decide the world has no right to exist.

  51. 51 Edmund
    May 6, 2008 at 18:19

    @Steve

    By noon of September 15th, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had completely surrounded the Sabra-Shatila camps, and controlled all entrances and exits by the means of checkpoints. The IDF also occupied a number of multi-story buildings as observation posts. Amongst those was the seven-story Kuwaiti embassy which, according to TIME, had “an unobstructed and panoramic view” of the camps. Hours later, IDF tanks began shelling the camps.[12]

    Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan[14] met with the Lebanese Phalangist militia units, inviting them to enter the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps to clean out “terrorist nests”. Under the Israeli plan, Israeli soldiers would control the perimeters of the refugee camps and provide logistical support while the Phalangists would enter the camps, find the PLO fighters and hand them over to Israeli forces.[citation needed] The meetings concluded at 3:00 p.m. September 16.[12]

    An hour later, 1,500 Christian militiamen assembled at Beirut International Airport, then occupied by Israel. Under the command of Elie Hobeika, they began moving towards the camps in IDF supplied jeeps, following Israeli guidance on how to enter the camps. The forces were mostly Phalangist, though there were some men from Saad Haddad’s “Free Lebanon forces”.[12]

    The first unit of 150 Phalangists, armed with guns, knives and hatchets entered the camps at 6:00 p.m. Immediately the unit began slitting throats, axing, shooting, and raping, often taking groups outside and lining them up for execution.[12] During the night the Israeli forces fired illuminating flares over the camps. According to a Dutch nurse, the camp was as bright as “a sports stadium during a football game”.[15]

    At 11:00 p.m. a report was sent to the IDF headquarters in East Beirut, reporting the killings of 300 people, including civilians. The report was forwarded to headquarters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where it was seen by more than 20 senior Israeli officers.

    The Kahan commission found that Ariel Sharon “bears personal responsibility” and recommended his dismissal from the post of Defense Minister, stating that:

    It is our view that responsibility is to be imputed to the minister of defense for having disregarded the prospect of acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps and for having failed to take this danger into account when he decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps. In addition, responsibility is to be imputed to the minister of defense for not ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the chances of a massacre as a condition for the Phalangists’ entry into the camps…

    Even though the Kahan Commission concluded that Sharon should not hold public office again, he would later become Prime Minister of Israel

    Now thats what I call a democracy!

  52. May 6, 2008 at 18:25

    Steve
    May 6, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    But again, if it’s easier to blame israel for everything, and ignore everything else, go ahead.

    10 Brett
    May 5, 2008 at 4:20 pm


    The ONLY way to solve this problem is to criticize BOTH sides and their actions. Both sides are wrong and defending one side will only further the problem. Is Palestine wrong? Yes, Hamas is making an existing problem much worse. Is Israel fencing in and punishing all of Palestine for fun? No, but that does not detract from the fact that they still ARE doing it.

    I’m a bit confused on this one… I’m not blaming israel for everything, nor have I ever. I’m not ignoring everything else, but pointing out that Israel is wrong. Same goes for Palestine. Both are in the wrong. Is that an unnaceptable statement? Or would you just like me to focus equal criticism on Palestine as well? I certainly could do that. Can one person here say that, without argument, either side is 100% justified and correct? Doubtful.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  53. 53 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 18:38

    Of course not, both sides have fault, but I’ve found in my history of discussing this issue, that the pro-palestinian people and many arabs in general blame 100% of the problem on Israel, and in fact blame every problem they have on Israel. How could peace be possible when people are taught to hate Israelis and Jews from the day they are born?

    It’s like the “peace” between Israel and Egypt. It’s a peace between the governments, not the people. Egyptians are buying books like the Protocols, songs like “i hate Israel” are best sellers, and given the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood there, it looks like if they ever took over, they would immiediately ignore the peace treaty.

    Peace needs to be on a personal level as well as a government level. Palestinian youths are taught to hate Jews, by the government.

  54. 54 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Edmund:

    So let me understand, because Sharon let it happen, he didn’t anticipate it, or at worst allowed the Phalangists to do it, he’s worse than the people that actually did it? So he’s a war criminal, but the guy who did it isn’t? I’m trying to understand the logic behind that other than He’s Israeli, and Hokeiba isn’t. hokeiba was later elected to the lebanese parliament, yet he ordered the massacre.

    And why are the other slaughters never mentioned? Because Israel wasn’t involved? It’s not like this was the only one. it’s the only one that gets any attention.

  55. May 6, 2008 at 19:00

    Just skimming the surface: the State of Israel has nothing to celebrate other than 60 years of existence. The rest is a tale of ongoing violence, in which the Israeli state must accept a big part of the blame, including the shame of massive human rights violations.

    How come Israel can’t accept what South Africa accepted: one united state with different ethnic groups in its make up?

    And, isn’t it time to reject comments that contain the term ‘anti-semitic’? This outdated carrot and stick taboo really must go out the window now. It’s overplayed to the extent that it’s become quite meaningless.

    I hope the State of Israel will soon grow up and realize that you cannot put an end to a cycle of violence by perpetrating violence, even so-called retaliatory violence.

  56. 56 steve
    May 6, 2008 at 19:19

    @ Donovan

    Because Israelis don’t want to commit national suicide, that’s why. Because you want Israel to cease to exist doesn’t make Israelis have to agree with you by committing national suicide. I’m sure they would just love to live in a Sharia state ruled by hamas.

  57. 57 Dani Feierstein
    May 6, 2008 at 20:22

    1- Theh settlements are wrong. if the settlers intend to stay maybe they should understand that they need to do this on their own and not demand protection from Israel. i was born in 1945 in what was then the British Protectorate of Palestine. In 1948 it became the State of Israel. I feel that israelis have forgotten that they are Jews, nd why the state was created int he first place, What a shame. My familyl iived through the wars of 1945,1948 and 1956. I am proud of what the nation has accomplished but very disappointed in what it has become.

  58. May 6, 2008 at 20:45

    Steve,

    You didnt answer my question. Abraham was born in Mesopotamia. The Hebrew tribes left that area about 1400BC in search of that fabled “promised land”. Oddly enough there are other people living there, in Abrahams case the Canannites. The Jews did not originate in what is now Israel or ancient Israel for that matter.

    The Hebrews ended up living in Egypt for a very long time. After leaving there they lived in the desert for 40 years. Still looking for a more permanent place to live Joshua and his horde of Hebrew hobos fell upon Jericho and massacred the people living there as testified in their own folklore book (Joshua 6:21)killing every man and woman, young and old. Not only did they kill the inhabitants they killed the livestock as well. I hereby nominate Joshua as the grandfather of terrorism. Talk about a double standard: while in the desert they supposedly received the law of Moses which said “THOU SHALL NOT COVET, THOU SHALL NOT KILL, THOU SHALL NOT STEAL”.

    Why Jericho? Its an oasis.

    Biblical Israel ceased to exist 600BC. Its not a matter of who lived where. Jews have lived all over the world. Its a matter of geo-political entities.
    Over that area then came Persians, Romans and then Arabs. I mark the Arab existence by the creation of the Dome of the Rock, built 690AD, 1300 years of continuous existence.

    You constantly throwing out how other countries came into existence is a red herring. It doesnt matter, whether its Canada, Kenya or Latvia, each case has to be considered on its own merits. I dont know of any clamor in India to return Pakistan or in Pakistan to be annexed back to India.

    The facts are quite clear, the Palestinians did not agree to have there lands taken and the UN is not a world government that can confiscate lands.

    As for as my “double standard” what about yours? Why are you not willing to give back your Virginia lands to native Americans while you demand the Palestinians give theirs to the Hebrews?

    And I dont know anything about the Arab occupation of Gaza 47-67, but that seems to be a past event another dodge on your part. The occupation of Palestine is still on going. Occupation by whomever is wrong.

  59. May 7, 2008 at 05:46

    I was in Tel-Aviv on the second anniversary. Israel more than justified its creation not only for the need to have their own state but for the fact the Jews were scattered all over the world also they were subjugated in more ways than one. In my schooling days I was told by non jews quote ‘ you dont have a country of your own’ and other insulting words. One should remember the Spanish inquisition when jews were put to death unless they changed their religin and become catholics. They were also put into slavery by the ancient Eygtians for 400 years. Further, the six million jews that died under the guttersnipe Hitler regime, had their properties confiscated, the oversized and fat Goering acquired most of the properties for himself. Many jews known as the Jewish Brigade fought with the British army against Germany. The Romans when they were powerful conquered Jerusalem and the surrounding areas which was the home of religious and non religious jews and stole all the wealth that belonged to the jews, took it back to Rome together with several jews as slaves to work, and from the proceeds built the Collissium and other buildings with the jews having to do most if not all the work. One can see a replica of the religious Menorah they stole from the great Synagogue in Jerusalem in one of the Arches in Rome.The Romans pilferd a bundle of wealth and rejoyced of having done so.
    The question is asked ” Do you think Israel has justified it creation” It goes without saying, the answer:-” Very much more than justified”.
    Today we hear countries around Israel, Iran and the terrorist leadership of Hamas, their leaders openly stateing that they want to destroy Israel. For them it makes political capital in so doing for their own selfish ends.Iran does not fool me they are bent in making nuclear weapons, whilst they pretend its for peaceful purposes, who are they kidding?. They see that Israel has bloomed and created from the desert a beutiful country and they are jealous of the fact. The same jealousy under the Germans, Spanish, and the distant past Egyptian regimes not to mention others too that felt that way. Iran, Hamas and any other should wake up to the fact Israel is here to stay.
    In the 1950s surrounding Israel, Eygypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq & libya went to war openly declairing to drive the jews into the sea, instead they lost bitterly and lost some of their own land in the process, Israel gave back to Egypt the land they lost and to Syria most of what they lost except the Golan hieghts which was used by Syria to fire upon settlements into Israel. Had Israel lost the war would they have got back the land of Israel, definitely not. Will China give back Tibet to the Tibetans? Will Russia give back the Islands they took from Japan, or give back to Finland the land they took in world war 2, not likely, and they preside in the United Nations.
    I end with “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISRAEL”.

  60. May 7, 2008 at 05:54

    Both Israel and her supporters may be silly and foolish. The HOLY GOD of Abraham, Issic and Jacob first led you out of slavery from Egype to that land but now you think westerners and washington is gods that put you in that land.You should read the Bible from book of Moses to book of 4 Ezra and if you says it is liars then we will see what will HOLY ONE says for us in future.

  61. 61 Tino
    May 7, 2008 at 06:07

    “Harder than the ‘lesson’ they are already being taught?”

    Yes, obviously much harder. I do not think providing food, fuel, and medical care constitutes a hard lesson. Firing a missile directly at Palestinian’s for EACH rocket they fire might, however, constitute a hard lesson.

    Ever seen the movie swordfish? That is how you deal with terrorists (which by my definition the vast majority of Palestinians clearly are since they elected terrorists by overwhelming majority). If they kill an Israeli citizen – destroy a village.

    All over the world Muslim terrorists use brutal tactics and double speak to advance their directives. I think it is only right to fight fire with fire. I for one am sick and tired of seeing them celebrate every civilian death from ’93 WTC to the Mercaz Harav yeshiva attacks. They deserve to be taught that such things do NOT go unpunished. Take off the kid gloves, thats all I am saying.

  62. May 7, 2008 at 06:14

    In reply to Steve:

    No, I don’t remember saying that I don’t want Israel to exist. What I’m saying is, why can’t some sort of socio-political deal be found, in terms of which Israelis and Palestinians can share one territory?

    I’m quite sure that a deal could be struck,of which the outcome does not have to be a Sharia state ruled by Hamas; that is, a negotiated settlement of all the power-sharing mechanisms, with certain non-starters etc.

    What other way forward? I mean, is it an either/or situation in which only one winner takes all? In that case the violence will never cease.

    And please, please, please, to criticize and probe the Israeli situation is not the same as wanting Israel not to exist. That is hysterical nonsense.

    What’s your plan? that Israel should keep at it until one of the two sides in the conflict ceases to exist? That is genocidal thinking.

    I hope that, instead of celebrating 60 years of conflict and violence-ridden existence, the State of Israel (which has a right to exist) will, instead, pause to deeply consider a new way forward. In doing this, it would do well to look back at the process begun by the hero Yitzhak Rabin, and finally shake off the Sharon-Netanyahu mentality. Then Israel (which has a right to exist) can exist in a worthwhile way, and have not only a right to exist but also some joy in existing – and give the same right to a happy existence to the Palestinians as well (who also have a right to exist).

  63. 63 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 7, 2008 at 06:27

    I agreed with steve on ….comments totally….

  64. 64 steve
    May 7, 2008 at 14:56

    @ Donovan

    “one state solution” is the PC term for not wanting Israel to exist. It would be a muslim majority nation, muslims would impose sharia. Jews would live as 3rd class citizens. Why would Israelis want that? Would you want that? I’m thinking not, so don’t ask Israelis to do what you wouldn’t want either.

    There will be no “one state”. Accept it, and then think about the future realizing that.

  65. 65 steve
    May 7, 2008 at 14:59

    @ Tito

    I believe that’s way extreme, however Israel is being very lenient with the palestinians. If any other country had rockets being fired at them, they would have been turned into a parking lot. I cannot imagine how the Us would respond to Mexico if Tijuanas would launch rockets at san Diego. Mexico would be a giant graveyard.

    Israel is under intense media scrutiny, they don’t hide wha tthey do, so they are under a microscope.

  66. 66 Tino
    May 7, 2008 at 20:23

    “What I’m saying is, why can’t some sort of socio-political deal be found, in terms of which Israelis and Palestinians can share one territory?”

    How would you possibly expect peace to exist when one group (Pallys) have elected a group who calls for the termination of Israel? That is why s deal cannot be found. Throughout all of this, the only thing Israel has asked for is an end to suicide bombings and rockets. It has NEVER happened, even when they gave up their own frigging territory. It is beyond stupid to believe that a deal can be reached in that environment.

    @ Steve

    It is extreme, but we are talking about fighting extreme people. The about of slack we cut Muslims around the world is quite frankly appalling, and they run a mile for every inch given. No other religion has such a track record of sponsoring horribly violent attacks. It is sanctioned in their holy book, which is blatantly discriminatory (read it your self if you do not believe). There is no hope in the middle east.

  67. 67 Stan Barnes
    May 7, 2008 at 22:16

    1. How did the Arabs learn terrorism? Could someone tell me who bombed the King David Hotel in 1946? Hamas or Hezbollah?

    2. The fact that Jews suffered at the Spanish inquisition, under the Romans (as all those in the Roman Empire did as do all the supplicants of any empire) and by the most heinous and vile event in history, mass murder by the Nazis; what is the justification of seizing Palestinian lands?
    What say-so did the Palestinians have about Partition?
    What did the Palestinians receive in compensation?

    3. Does it not bother any of you that Israel has wiped Palestine off the map? Prior to 1948 there was a Palestine, look at a map today and its missing.

    4.And Israel continues to acquire more territory. Why do the put settlements on the West Bank? What is the West Bank the west bank of?

    5. Did the Jews build Jerusalem?

  68. May 8, 2008 at 02:39

    stan

    the palestinians never owned the land….the british did…..the palestinians are refugees from arab lands……the land belongs to Israel…all of it.

    the west bank used to be Israel…until the palestinians got it….

    the palestinians did NOT build jerusalem , if that is what you are thinking.

  69. 69 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 04:12

    @ Stan

    3. Does it not bother any of you that Israel has wiped Palestine off the map? Prior to 1948 there was a Palestine, look at a map today and its missing.

    Um, actually the actions of the Arabs in 1948 were the reason there’s no Palestine today. Had the arabs not attacked in 1948, there would be a 60 year old Palestine today. The arabs attacked, trying to kill the Jews, and they failed at that, but did take Gaza and the West Bank, and DID NOT GIVE THE PALESTINIANS INDEPENDENCE. Yet you blame Israel. Interesting.

  70. May 8, 2008 at 04:52

    Hi, Ros

    Put Out the Bread, Turn Off the Stove

    TEHRAN – Is that all there is to it?
    Friday Prayers, now this and Church bells ring on Sundays.
    Before Muslims were Muslims, Moses spelt it out in his 613 precepts. Again, whether you are a Muslim, Christian or Jew, try and remember the Ten Commandments.
    The essence and dividing line between ascetic values and immorality is very thin, even subtle: But there it is, otherwise, conscience creeps in. Keep it simple.
    Jews in the late fourties and early fifties in London worked as tailors, shoe makers, and hairdressers. Nothing wrong in that, but try reminding them of who they are today. A bit of humble pie wouldn’t hurt.
    There was none of the animosity between races and religions we see today, because everyone tried to blend into society. Environment may be the hidden factor in evolution, and a happy ending to the saga.
    Is that all there is to Zion?
    Surely, the legacy of Ephrahim has a long way to go. There are so many questions that have been left answered. The Balfour Manifesto was a beginning, but Israel, Judaism and Zionists are no nearer to solving the ultimate issue. Philosophy must be reconciled to religion, which is impossible without prophecy.
    Also, the location of Israel as the land of Zion is undecided.

  71. May 8, 2008 at 05:10

    God decided where Israel would be lovated thousands of years ago.

    negative Palestinian behavior is not the responsibility of the Israelis , who act out of religious hatred….but that is not Israel’s fault….the people need to learn to control themselves.

  72. May 8, 2008 at 10:41

    Hi Marianne
    The Bible says: “I the Lord thy father shall point the way to Zion,” or something like that. Don’t forget, the lights must shine, Shekina in Hebrew.
    What I am getting at is that Hebrew is a language tool, belonging to everyone.
    The same with Arabic, the tongue of your good brothers, remember; but obviously some of that has been lost in the course of history.
    Rgds,
    Don’t take it to heart.

  73. May 8, 2008 at 13:49

    I am not against any people group. I am against evil behavior. The Israeils have been “shining” much better than the Palestinians. But with HAMAS there, it seems hopeless to help them change.,

    marianne
    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/

  74. 74 Fred
    May 8, 2008 at 14:45

    What a pointless series of exchanges this has been ? .

    I am reading this on 8 May 2008 for those who are too young and infantile to recognise that date it was V E Day in 1945 .
    We thought then we would have peace and contenment all over the world
    It is also by the Hebrew Calendar the date the out numbered Jews in the Land of Israel decided to rule themselves – the British having said they were going .
    No one expected the Jews to survive – I remember our school porter an ex B ritian Army sergeant saying ” the Arabs will wipe the Jews out in two weeks -after all we trained the Egyptians , Iraqis and Trans Jordanians un der sir John Glubb !

    If Israel had not been established who would the Arabs and my erstwhile comrades on the Left have blamed for all their self inflicted wounds .?
    In 1945 we hoped for a better world .
    In 1948 too having seen the Muslims of India insisting on separating themselves from India in order to have their own state I wondered why should the Jews not have theirs ?
    Now I would rather live in Israel than Pakistan any time .

    So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Israel you have worked wonders as anyone who goes there can see – and may you have peace one day when your “cousins ” decide to settle down .

  75. May 8, 2008 at 14:53

    What ever we say about Israel, we remember that Israel is located in a very hostile neighbourhood. It some times naturally reacts to protect itself. Let’s not forget that Palestinians are doing themselves a favour either!

  76. May 8, 2008 at 14:54

    It is hard to believe that this conflict isn’t even as old as my parents. It is kind of like celebrating an infection. “Yah, it is big and painful and full of puss. I can’t believe it hasn’t popped.” Because of Israel, a lot of people find reasons to threaten and fight with each other. Our politicians are willing to kill millions of men, women, and children who have no concern with politics if the leaders of one country attack Israel.

    I have to agree that I wonder what the colonization, battle for independence, and civil war of the United States would have looked like if it had occurred in the year 2000. Would the rest of the have put up with putting a price on an “Indian’s” head, murdering full villages, and slavery?

    I guess in respect to Israel, Timing is everything.

    So god creates people just so that the Israelis can kill, starve them, finacialy enslave them, and take land they had held for thousands of years from them for revolting? Man that “God” dude is pretty sick in the head. He seems to be a Saddist. His son was much cooler.

  77. May 8, 2008 at 14:54

    Hi WHYS,
    What ever we say about Israel, we should remember that Israel is located in a very hostile neighbourhood. It some times naturally reacts to protect itself. Let’s not forget that Palestinians are doing themselves a favour either!

  78. 78 Xie_Ming
    May 8, 2008 at 14:59

    In joining in the celebration of Israel, may we note that, in 2002, the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, citing his Scripture, told the settlers to steal the olives of the Palestinians, because all trees in Greater Israel “belonged to the Jews”.

    And, with the help of the Israeli Army, it was done!
    _____________________

    Submitted to WHYS 8 May 2008 15:00 GMt

  79. May 8, 2008 at 15:15

    The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East. We are frequently told that we must sympathise with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. […] What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.

  80. May 8, 2008 at 15:27

    Congratulation Israel.
    We respect Israel in all the development that it has done in middle east, which include amongst others, the development of a state that is govern by the rule of law and democratic state. Having stated the above it is also time that Israel respects its neighbours and their right of existance. It time Israel extends hand for peace to their Arab brothers, this is because Israel enjoys good relationship with the western countries. It is Israel to take the first step in peace making in the middle east!!
    Congratulation Again Israel

  81. 81 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 15:31

    @ Jamie?

    Why are you blaming Israel for the actions of the arab invading armies? If they didn’t attack, there would be a 60 year old palestine today. Why didn’t they give them independence either? Egypt and Jordan occupied Gaza and the West Bank? Do you think there would have been any exodus had there been no war? What about the Jewish refugees from muslim countries at the same time? Ignore them? Israel didn’t keep Jewish refugees in refugee camps like the arab brothers of the palestinians STILL do.. Again, if it’s easier to blame everything on Israel, then go ahead, it still won’t make you right.

    Let’s also not forget that Jews have lived there, continiuously, for almost 1500 years longer than Islam even existed. I realize it’s convenient to ignore that.

  82. May 8, 2008 at 15:34

    Imran Khan Part 2:
    In fact, Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians over the past 40 years. Since 2000, more than 2,600 mostly civilians have lost their lives due to Israeli aggression and millions have been forced from their land, living in refugee camps in various countries.

    So, who are the victims? If attack is the basis for revenge, then who should take revenge?
    While there have been many efforts to bring peace to the area, no real gains have ever been realized. The basic reason for the failure of peace talks between Israel and Palestine is that the peacemakers (mainly the United States) primarily feel the pain of those who’ve actually inflicted more pain on the other side.

    There’s an unofficial ceasefire between Israel and Hamas these days and Egypt is attempting to broker a peace deal between the two, while the U.S., the European Union and Middle East nations are interested in a long-term peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

    However, peace comes with justice. Just as Israelis have the right to live peacefully, the same is the right of poor Palestinians also. Neither Israel nor anyone else can achieve any type of peace via force. That’s our human nature. McCain and others know this well, but they also must consider the situation from a Palestinian perspective as well.

  83. 83 Anthony
    May 8, 2008 at 15:34

    Am I celebrating, No, that would be silly cuz I’m American, and not Jewish.

    I think Israel is justified in its creation.

    As far as them evolving, I’d like them to evolve and grow with the rest of the middle east, although I doubt it because of their past and dogmatic religions.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  84. 84 Xie_Ming
    May 8, 2008 at 15:34

    The three main vectors in Israel:

    (1) The secular and civilized.
    (2) Religious fundamentalists and fanatics.
    (3) Sociopathic exploiters using the religio/ethnic ideology.

    The future of Israel depends upon whether the secular and civilized (who are thought to be in the majority) can overcome their disgust with the politicians and take over the government.

  85. 85 Lubna
    May 8, 2008 at 15:35

    My Precious Ros : Today marks the 60th birthday of Israel… And it also marks 60 years of the horrific ordeal of the Palestinian people…. My aunt is a 71 years old Baghdadi lady… She sometimes tells me stories of how Baghdadi Jews used to go on with their lives in Baghdad before they were forcibly deported to the Holy Lands 60 years ago… Most Baghdadi Jews were either goldsmiths or merchants… Baghdadi Jewish goldsmiths were pretty famous of making some best-quality golden jewelry… Baghdadi Jewish merchants were well-know among Baghdadis by being hard-workers and having pretty briliant commercial minds…. Among the very high profile Baghdadi personalities in the twenties and thirties of the 20th century were the Baghdadi Jewish merchant Shaol Shaashua and the Baghdad Jewish merchant Manaheen Daniel… Both of them were pretty rich, pretty famous, and highly influential at that time… Mr Shaashua was pretty famous among Baghdadis because he built the largest and !
    the most gorgeous palace in Baghdad at that time on the river Tigris bank…. Shaashua palace hosted temporarly the 1st Hashimi king of Iraq King Faisel the 1st when he 1st arrived to Iraq from Syria… When I was in high school one of my best girlfriends ‘Ruaa’ was originally from the Gaza strip… I do remember hearing her always saying ‘Iraq is my country, but Palestine is my home-land’. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  86. May 8, 2008 at 15:35

    Imran Khan on http://www.wzartv.com has it dead right I think.

    On March 20, U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain visited Sderot, an Israeli town frequently hit by Palestinian rockets from nearby Gaza Strip. His visit was part of a fact-finding mission to the Middle East, he said.

    “The fact is that I come from a border state. If people were rocketing my state, I think the citizens from my state would advocate a very vigorous response.”

    There’s absolutely no doubt that these are 100 percent true words, but one can change his words slightly. He said if people were rocketing his state, but what if those people occupied his state and forced its citizens from their homeland? Perhaps his words might have been like the following:

    The fact is that others have occupied our state by brutal force, killing many innocent citizens and forcing us from our land, so it’s natural to attempt to regain our land via a very vigorous response.

    If a portion of their land was returned to them, but all control remained in the hands of their occupiers, then his words might have been like this:

    The fact is that a small portion of our state has been returned to us, virtually without any rights. But because citizens in our state want their full rights and their land back, our occupiers have made our lives miserable by not providing our basic necessities, instead using them as a tool for collective punishment. Surely, this sparks a very vigorous response.

    Perhaps the last paragraph best describes the situation in Gaza, particularly Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million live in a territory 25 miles long and six miles wide, making it one of the world’s most densely populated areas.

    Unemployment is 80 percent and thousands more have lost their jobs since last June. Approximately 79 percent of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip live in poverty. For example, 80 percent of the population is dependent on food aid, with at least 130,000 Palestinians estimated to be food insecure.

    This situation isn’t new, as residents there have been suffering for more than 40 years. Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, 38 years after capturing the territory in the 1967 Middle East or Six Day War. However, it still controls Gaza Strip’s borders, airspace and coastal waters, in addition to completely fencing it in, essentially making it the world’s largest prison.

    Hamas won the 2006 elections and seized control of the territory from the Fatah faction in fighting last June. Since then, Israel has tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip, worsening the situation there and creating a humanitarian crisis.

    What McCain said regards simple human nature that if someone attempts to attack us, we will defend ourselves. Simply pressuring humans isn’t the answer to achieve anything. Everyone knows this, so why do people twist words in their favor and forget the others? McCain and others in the U.S. administration believe that it is Israel’s right to take revenge against rocket attacks on its towns. Let’s suppose their judgment is right.

    On February 27, one Israeli was killed in rockets attack on Sderot. It actually was the first of its kind in nine months. Israel immediately launched a military offensive in Gaza, killing 120 Palestinians – mostly civilians – including women and children.

  87. 87 CarlosK
    May 8, 2008 at 15:37

    Good day All,

    In my opinion, there are certain world event anniversary (especially those still unresolved) that should be ignored because of the pain and suffering its recollection fosters. The anniversary of modern Israel’s INSTALLATION in the Middle East by Great Britain, Europe and the USA is one such SHAMEFUL event.

    I don’t expect any celebration from conscientious Jews. All they have to do is look across the border and see and be reminded of the sacrifices ordinary Palestinians make everyday in order to faciliate the life of luxury enjoyed by a major white skin Europeans who are so called Jews. Many of which are not infact genetically Hebrew but are in fact the beneficiaries of political opportunism.

    Until Israel comes to the realization that the people living in Gaza, the West Bank and other areas populated by Palestinians are in fact HUMAN BEINGS, this anniversary will remain a date of SHAME in the minds of well thinking and conscientious people worldwide.

    There is a saying in Jamaica- paraphasing in English- “two on one is murder”. But in the case of the palestinians it was all Europe and North American! against them. That was not murder – that was a massacre!

    Fair is fair and what was done to the Palestinian people is certainly NOT FAIR.

    Carlos, Kingston- Jamaica

  88. 88 Abdi,in Mandera-Kenya
    May 8, 2008 at 15:41

    Isreals have really discreminated against the muslims in the Middle East for a very long time.They have nothing to be proud of for the last 60 years of their existence.Lubna I agree with you.it’s great to have you back after quite a long time.I Hope to listen to you live on air tonight.Continue posting Sweet comments for Ros from Iraq,I will also do the same from Kenya.

  89. 89 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 15:46

    Jamie – it was not given – what was given was 80% of the mandated Palestine to set up Transjordan, every military strong point in the country and military supplies which were handed over by the British. the Jews bought the land that they held before 1948. What happened from 1947 onwards was Arab Terrorism aimed at removing the Jewish Presence from the Land of Israel. there was apopulation exchange – slightly more Jewish refugees than Arab refugees – and at great cost Israel starved itself for years to integrate the Jewish refugees. What was stopping a state of Palestine being declared? The Jews who only held a small part of the land? What is unique about the Palestinians – there were tens of millions of Indian and Pakistani refugees in 1947/1948 does anyoen call for their right of return? Tens of millions of Germans were either expelled from Eastern Europe or homeless after the allies decimated their cities – are they still in refugeee camps?

    What Israel is doing to day is at worst applying some fo the less draconian methods used by the British – and facing what the Western world is increasingly faced with, Islamic extremists that place no value on life- who try to cause civilian casualties without caring which side is killed, which want to generate the poverty on which they thrive, which educates its children to hate – which will only be satisifed when the entire world converts to Islam – which thinks nothing of packing explosives on pregnant women or children and sending them to blow up in our cities.

    I defy you to find any nation that acts in a humane way as we do.

  90. 90 Kelly
    May 8, 2008 at 15:46

    The question to legitimacy is one of creation: of all nations, only Israel was created whole-cloth from another land. To be accepted and fully self-legitimized, Israel must evolve beyond that.

    To make that evolution Israel must write and publish a long-verdue Constitution that guarantees rights to the people and makes each arm of their government responsible to the others.

  91. 91 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 15:51

    Israel’s instillation in the middle east by Britain – you are personally insulting the sailors of the Royal Navy who closed the shores of the Jewish homeland to refugees from the Holocaust, the soldiers who patrolled the concentration camps in Cyprus and who focribly returned Jews to the hell hole of Europe. you are decrying the name of the British soldiers who handed over every military strongpoint in the country to the Arab armies – the british government who armed and officered the Arab Legion, the RAF pilots who flew in support of Egypt in the war of independence.

    Installed by Britain – go look at your atlas – the people who were installed by Britain were the Arab kings – the Egyptian claim to Sinai is based on British strong arm tactivcs against Turkey – the Syrian claim to the Golan is based on a secret French/British deal – and Jordan was established by Churchill at a tea party in Cairo.

  92. 92 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 15:55

    Kelly – Name me one country apart from Jordan) which was not created by conquest? there is not one.

    minorities have equal rights (but not equal burdens) in Israel – they have the right to vote, the right to be elected to government office. All Israeli arab women vote – is the same true for example in Saudi Arabia. And yet in the Arab world the Jews were given the status of Dhimmi – the yellow star was not invented by hitler – it was part of Dhimmi status – protected as in pay portection money.

    We have nothing to be ashamed of

  93. 93 Mark Braun
    May 8, 2008 at 16:00

    While I wish everyone in Israel a Happy 60th Anniversary, we must remember the suffering this anniversary has caused others. The leaders of Israel have much less to celebrate since they have blown many opportunities for peace (along with many of the awful Palestinian leaders of the past 60 years). This is a country that often acts as if it is above the rule of law, since it enjoys such endless support from the US that no one can even sanction it without the measure being vetoed. This has been unfortunately very destructive for the Jewish state as this has led to the consequence of Israel acting with impunity and using collective punishment methods against the Palestinians (which is stupid and doesn’t work, as well as sapping any moral high ground the Isaelis may have enjoyed otherwise). The leaders of Israel should celebrate their state, but be ashamed of the arrogance and inhumanity with which they have continued to act. Here’s hoping the next 60 years see better leaders and a more pragmatic approach to dealing with their neighbours. Israel should also admit their nuclear weapons stockpiles, and join the nuclear treaties and be open to inspections. Otherwise, the world will continue to treat Israel as the pariah state it acts like.

  94. 94 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 16:02

    Carlos – We are providing them with 90% of their fuel – which they send back to us in rockets – we provide them with electricty from the power station and treat them in the hospital in Ashkelon – both of which are under rocket fire from Gaza.

    They send suicide bombers agaisnt the terminals from which their fuel is provided.

    they call for our destruction – they incite their children to hate us –

    Their “soldiers” fire from inside schools and crowded neighborhoods, behind human shileds so as to cause causalties to their own side.

    Jews from across the globe bought them glasshouses so that they would have employment and the glasshouses were turned into missiles.

    in the 1990’s 1000 Israelis were killed by Hammas suiicide bombers who wrapped themselves in a mixture of explosives nails and rat poison (to cause haemoraging) in our towns cities and buses.

    They exploit our kindness by sending pregnant women and children to commit suicide attacks.

    why in god’s name would we want them on our streets again??

    So many letters here call for the return of the territiories – we have done that Gaza is not an Israeli problem it has been returned to the Arabs.

    It is amazing that our government has not recognized hammas’s actions for what they are = a declaration of war

  95. 95 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 16:13

    CarlosK:

    “All they have to do is look across the border and see and be reminded of the sacrifices ordinary Palestinians make everyday in order to faciliate the life of luxury enjoyed by a major white skin Europeans who are so called Jews. Many of which are not infact genetically Hebrew but are in fact the beneficiaries of political opportunism.

    Until Israel comes to the realization that the people living in Gaza, the West Bank and other areas populated by Palestinians are in fact HUMAN BEINGS, this anniversary will remain a date of SHAME in the minds of well thinking and conscientious people worldwide.”

    You don’t get any more antisemitic than this, and racist. Comments such as “so called Jews”. CarlosK, why don’t you go further and tell us about the Khazar thing, it’s a argument that antisemites/neo nazis, and Islamists use to say that Jews aren’t the “real Jews”, hence Israel should be destroyed. Look it up, you’ll find it on any hate site on the internet. They did research into it, and Modern jews don’t have the DNA that Khazars have.

    The message that CarlosK is stating on here, belongs on internet hate sites, not WHYS. His argument is that Israelis aren’t real Jews, so they have no right to be there. He determines who he thinks are real jews and who should be “allowed” to live there…. This is pure and simple hatred and racism and antisemitism. Hard to deny that. Or would I be able to get away with “so called christians” or “so called muslims” comments? Don’t think so. CarlosK, please leave the hate from here.

  96. 96 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 16:15

    @ Miche

    Miche makes a good point, they blame europe for Israel, but can anyone name me a single Arab nation that wasn’t created by Europe? Yet Israel gets singled out, despite being created by the UN? Ever wonder why the Hashemites rule Jordan, despite it being 80% palestinian? Becuase the British invited a Saudi Family to come rule it….

    But let’s all have fun today and single out Israel because they have 1% of the middle east.

  97. 97 Bob in Queensland
    May 8, 2008 at 16:18

    With respect to all contributors, I find reading this blog topic an immensely depressing way to end my day. The extreme polarisation–dare I say hatred–from both sides shows just how difficult an eventual solution to the problems will be.

    Both sides in this conflict are guilty of terrible wrongs over the past 60 years. Both sides have also been victims of these terrible wrongs. Anyone who tries to argue either side is exclusively to blame is blinkered and ignoring the facts. Alas, this discussion seems to show that the facts are rarely considered when hatred is the main motivation.

  98. May 8, 2008 at 16:37

    Saying “Europe created the nations Middle East” is like saying the ancient Romans created the planets. They named them. Everywhere Europe has thrust it’s influence in the Middle East, chaos, death, and population oppression has occurred. In 1926, the British forced three separate groups together and called them Iraq. Russia and the US have fought a proxy war through Afghanistan.

    Israel is the result of what happens if you do not control your Illegal immigrant problem. Jews immigrated to the region in waves called Aliyahs. Eventually there was more Jewish strength and support and numbers then there were Arab. Oddly enough it was Muslim tolerance that allowed Israel to be created. Isn’t that a bit backwards?

  99. 99 David from Berkeley
    May 8, 2008 at 16:38

    What a sick, anti-semitic and outrageous question. even if some of your anti-semitic listeners would have the appaling audacity to ask this question in the way you’ve asked it I am amazed that “World Have Your Say” so transparently demonstrates its virulent anti-semitism through this insane question.

    Steve (a blogger above) has it right. Great Britain is the country that should mourn its birthdays as well as the United States, France (certianly), CERTAINLY all the Arab “countries (formed by Great Britain)” and most other “powers” .

    In order to BE a country you must spill blood. LOOK AT HISTORY. Its a sad and horrific truth to desiring power.

    LEAVE ISRAEL ALONE!!!

  100. 100 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 16:48

    @ Dwight.

    No, european nations actually sat down and created the arab nations out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. And even earlier, Lebanon was created by French crusaders as a crusader state. Ever wonder why there were so many christians in Lebanon? The european powers drew maps and even put people into power.

    Let’s also not forget that in the 1948 to destroy the new Israel, Jordan’s Arab Legion was led by British officers in their quest to destroy Israel. So for those that accuse Israel of being “european”, did you have any problem with Brits leading Jordan’s military in the 1948 war?

  101. 101 Xie_Ming
    May 8, 2008 at 16:55

    Those who really wish honest Israeli views from Israel might contact any of the following:

    Gush Shalom and The Other Israel (or for that matter:
    B’tselem, Physicians for Human Rights).

    http://www.gush-shalom.org

    http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/contents.html

    http://www.btselem.org/English/

    http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=24&catid=51&pcat=51
    &lang=ENG

    Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) is also active, but harder to contact.

    These are the sort of people who need to become active in Israeli government.

  102. 102 kabeer sani
    May 8, 2008 at 17:09

    it’s quite distressing that the moment israel is mentioned, it conjures images of conflict and death. i honestly do not think the ordinary israeli would be happy that such a day translates into painful memories and images and death.i’m sure they’d like it all to be music and ticker tapes.i think unfortunately hardliners and militarists have taken over the country. so many israelis have their voices drowned by the alarmists and netanyahu’s who have scared the ordinary citizen to death. sure israel is threatened but their actions only make them more so

  103. 103 victork13
    May 8, 2008 at 17:10

    I won’t be celebrating, since Israel isn’t my country, but I do wish the Jewish state a very happy birthday.

    I don’t think that Israel is under any more of an obligation to justify its creation or existence than any other country. If we were to try every Middle Eastern state by that criterion most of them would count as rank failures and Israel would be one of the few to pass with honours.

    I would like to see Israel evolve according to the same principle I apply to every country: by being faithful to its character, spirit and traditions.

    I note that one of the furious denouncers of the Jewish state mentioned that some 2,600 Palestinians had died since 2000 (presumably at the hands of the Israelis). Really? So what’s all the fuss about, then? Over the same period more street children have been gunned down by the Brazilian police and murdered in cities like Detroit and New York. In 2001 alone 1100 Jamaicans were murdered. I remember that 10,000 people (or was it 100,000) were reported as having been killed in intercommunal violence in one year alone in Nigeria. Darfur, the DR of Congo…etc. If people want to rave about injustice and the shedding of innocent blood they have plenty of real causes to focus on without wasting their breath or their tears on the very insignificant Palestinian issue.

    Those Palestinians who actually owned land in what is now Israel (which I understand amounted to a fraction of Palestinian territory, not amounting to 10%)should be compensated for their loss, as should those Jews who had to leave property behind in the Arab world when they, too, were obliged to abandon their homes. The chances are the that the net result will see the Arab world owing Israel several billion dollars (who said God lacks a sense of humour?). And that should be an end of the matter. The Palestinians have Jordan (which covers 80% of the original Palestinian Mandate), plus the land they were allocated by the United nations (the West Bank and Gaza). That’s pushing 90% of the original Palestinian mandated territory. Why begrudge the Israelis the small remainder that they have, the only Jewish state in the world (how many do the Arabs have?), a land that their hard work has made productive and inhabitable after centuries of neglect when Jews were a minority there?

    The Palestinian cause is largely a fabrication and has very little real merit. Compensate them, move on, leave Israel in peace.

  104. 104 justin Mann
    May 8, 2008 at 17:13

    It would be nice to see israel evolve in to a secular jewish state… Israel, and the Palistinian people need to get over themselves… WHy can’t you all just get along, and learn to play nice in the sandbox?

  105. 105 Buchy
    May 8, 2008 at 17:23

    Today, more than ever, the Celeberation of the 60th anniversary of the birth of Isreal show how far a people can go, no matter thier opposition, as long as they have the spirit of patriotism. It must not be communism, but pure patritism as this small nation has shown the world: abig lesson for us in Africa.

    Please call me: +
    Buchy,
    Jos – Plateau State
    NIgeria.

  106. May 8, 2008 at 17:25

    Thank you a million times Precious Abdi for your very nice words… And hi Precious Miche… I suspect you’re Miche from Israel, the one whom I once spoke to live on air on the WHYS programme. Am I right ?! :-). It fascinates me soooooo much that you’re able to see the “other”‘s mistakes pretty clearly and condemn them very strongly, but at the same time you’re totally unable to see and condemn your own mistakes… Clearly you’re living in a state of denial… Good for you… Sometimes when the truth is so painful and shocking, a defence mechanism used by some human beings is to just simply deny that truth and ignore its presence completely…. Reading your comments made me really miss hearing from my Precious friend David who lives in Al Quds=Jerusalem… I do really wish if he ever posts a comment on this blog… In my opinion the world really needs to hear a different voice from Israel… With my love. Yours forever, Lubna…

  107. 107 Nana Tutu Yeboah
    May 8, 2008 at 17:30

    there is in fact absolute nothing to celebrate in Israel after several years of war with the people of palestine.They should rather consider building peace with their enemies as wars draw them back

  108. 108 Peter Gizzi UK
    May 8, 2008 at 17:44

    Lubna peace be with you,
    In The West we often do not realise the Muslims and Jewish People have lived side by side in peace. On holiday in Tangiers in the 1970s I met a Jewish Lady who was teaching local children of all religions. I was amazed! She explained they had lived there a very long time. Do not know what it is like now?

  109. 109 gary
    May 8, 2008 at 17:54

    To your questions in order: No. No. Evolution implies adaptation to enhance survivability. Israel doesn’t much seem interested in adapting. A word to the wise: All things being equal; your friends will help you. Evaluate this aphorism is light of current US gross strategic industrial productivity, world trade balance, and military wisdom (Yes. I know this latter item is an oxymoron.) The point is: It doesn’t matter if we love you; in a another decade or two we won’t be able to afford you.
    g

  110. 110 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Justin

    Israel is secular. You probably cannot get more secular than Israel is. The US is vastly more religious than Israel is, the UK has a state religion… If anything, Israel probably is the model for secular democracy. The only thing I can think of is that public transport closes on the sabbath, but then that really stinks because they have a 6 day work week in Israel.

  111. 111 Scott Millar
    May 8, 2008 at 18:01

    + What a clichéd irrational bore all these “Israel as occupier” comments are. As if anyone had a right to any part of the planet in the first place. As if every country weren’t occupiers at conception and always.

    + It’s just a generic demarcation. I’m neither happy nor sad!

    – Portland, Oregon

  112. 112 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 18:03

    I’m curious, had the arabs not attacked in 1948, and there were a 60 year old Palestine today as well, would it still be the “naqba” for Palestinians? I mean, the only reason there is no Palestine today was that the Arabs attacked, lost, and didn’t grant Palestinians in Gaza and the west bank independence when Egypt and Jordan occupied the territories from 1948-1967.

  113. May 8, 2008 at 18:22

    Do you think the Palestinian refugees whose land was taken militarily by Israel and who have lived in refugee camps for 60 are celebrating? Many of these refugees have deeds to the property stolen from them. Is it any wonder, there can be no peace in the Middle East?

  114. 114 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 18:22

    On July 4th, will we have a WHYS asking whether the creation of the US was a good idea? What about the native americans?

    Canada Day? What about their natives? Let’s not forget that at least Jews are from that area, they are not like British people living in North America, where they don’t originate from…

    Is there a Northern Ireland Day?? It’s not like the protestants there are native to land…

  115. 115 Justin from Iowa
    May 8, 2008 at 18:23

    You know what, I am sick of people forgetting that all these events happenned in a different period of time. Was Britain justified in taking its colonies? Was France? Was America justified of its westward expansion? The fact is, in their periods of time, it WAS acceptable. And the establishment of Israel was in this same period of time. At the tail end of it, yes, but in that period. So, enough with all the “was Israel justified in its creation?” The answer is YES. Yes. YES and forever YES.

    Now, has what it has evolved into been the right way? Are how they are treating the Palestinians right? No. NO. and NO!

    But the Palestinians are no gentle lambs in this either. Because they have never accepted Israeli’s right to life, liberty, and their pursuit of happiness alongside themselves in Israel, no peace and forward movement of this conflict has ever happenned or will ever happen until this acceptance occurs.

  116. 116 Don Portolese
    May 8, 2008 at 18:24

    From what I understand, the major obstacle to peace between Palestinians and Israelis is precisely the “promise” of peace embodied in plans like the Road Map. The boundaries of this plan are as prejudicial as they are impractical.

    I wonder if anyone could fully explain this plan in enough detail to shed some light on why, after 60 years, the Israelis have not been able to get the Palestinians to agree to this or similar plans. I would also like to know why Israel continues to use their demands on the Palestinians as a means of blocking the peace process while simultaneously violating this agreement.

  117. 117 Jonathan Rasmussen
    May 8, 2008 at 18:26

    There is precisely one country in the middle east that fulfills the normal Western requirements for legitimacy as a state. It has a democratic government, a free press, an independent judiciary, and human rights for its citizens of all religions and ethnicities. When it took possession of the holy land of Jerusalem, sacred to various religions, it opened the city to all. It alone has made a thriving economy with a booming technology sector, while its neighbors have remained in the Middle Ages.

    It has never sought war, but its people have shown magnificent courage and brilliance against overwhelming odds, when repeatedly invaded by its much larger neighbors, beginning on the day of its establishment. After each victory, it has been magnanimous in seeking peace. It has returned vast amounts of conquered territory back to its bellicose neighbors in exchange for promises of peace, which were not fulfilled.

    Therefore, along with its own citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, .and admirers the world over, I wish Israel a loud and hearty Happy Birthday!

  118. 118 Matthew Godwin
    May 8, 2008 at 18:31

    Dear Ros,

    Why do we always have to talk about Israel in the context of the conflict? Israel has accomplished so much in sixty years and yet when there is one voice of praise there always ten detracting – Israelis deserve to celebrate 60 years with pride. I will be celebrating Yom Ha’azmaut. Thanks.

    Matt Godwin
    Halifax NS
    Canada

  119. 119 Isabelle
    May 8, 2008 at 18:31

    I was born and raised in a liberal Jewish family.

    Everybody was highly Zionist. Me too.

    Slowly, slowly, I came to the consciousness that the whole “miracle story” wasn’t the fairy tail, which had always been depicted to me (and the rest of the world).I started becoming suspicious, sceptical, critical.

    I am very much afraid that Israel became, because of it policy the first cause of anti-Semitism in the world and the biggest ghetto in the world, surrounded by a huge wall… like in Warsaw!

    I feel sad, disappointed and angry.

    I often doubt the fact that the Jewish people need a “nation”. I sometimes think diaspora is what suits us best. I feel a western European of Jewish culture and I have no intention whatsoever of ever, ever moving to a Middle Eastern country, with no constitution, no separation of State and Church and no equal rights for all citizens…

    I won’t celbrate!

  120. 120 Diana
    May 8, 2008 at 18:31

    Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, has reviewed Israeli archives to document how Ben-Gurian and the Consultancy planned the ethnic cleansing of Palestine for the sole purpose of founding a Jewish state. My father was a young boy when he and my grandparents and approximately 80% of the Palestinian population were expelled from their land over the span of several months. His village and approximately 500 others were demolished. Since then, they have lived under a brutal occupation that prevents them from exercising their basic human rights of getting an education, earning a living, being free of arbitrary arrest or collective punishment among many other liberties we take for granted in the West. It is a grave injustice to Palestinians to discuss Israel’s celebration without acknowledging it was founded an a Palestinian Nakba.

  121. 121 Trent West
    May 8, 2008 at 18:33

    I am happy for the people of Israel and all the jews around the world on this day.
    The only way for Israel to have six more years is the resolution of the Palestinian issue. The fate of these people is so intertwined that you can not separate their future. The one possible way to forward is a new country not based on religion, a country with religious freedom for all.
    It is funny to me when I look at these two religions they is so much similarities. My friend, who is an Arab regulaly shops at a jewish shop in his neighbourhood because the food they sell is in line with Islam.
    Can’t we all get along??

  122. 122 Ntobo (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:33

    Am valentine Ntobo from Bamenda Cameroon, it bits my immagination on what lsrael celebrates as its 60th birth day. Are celebrating the mass killing and rocket attacks on your neighbours. you should be mourning for the killings. what a shame on you lsrael

  123. 123 ashok kumar
    May 8, 2008 at 18:35

    Why is such a furore created piecemeal in typical fashion of modern civilisation leaving out those of Australia, the US and so on?

  124. May 8, 2008 at 18:35

    Israel cannot evolve if it continues dragging the anchor of Palestine. It needs to take the lead in solving the problem and stop the tit for tat bickering that continues and continues and continues.

  125. 125 Jamie (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:36

    to quote bertrand russell….

    The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East. We are frequently told that we must sympathise with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. […] What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.

  126. 126 Rizk(via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:38

    If Israel is such an economic miracle, why are we Americans keep subsidizing its economy? At a time when most Americans are having a hard time making from one paycheck to the next, our tax dollars keep providing Israelis with higher living standards than our own.

    Rizk Ikhrais
    Austin, Texas

  127. 127 Justin from Iowa
    May 8, 2008 at 18:39

    I want to hear the Man from Gaza speak! Stop getting off track! You are being very rude in not letting him finish.

  128. 128 devadas.v - India (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:40

    hello,
    birthday be remembered when all are happy. Presently its not the case with israel and palestine. As long as palestine issue is not solved Israels birthday party doesnt look that good.

    As a nation over 60 years israel has grown by leaps and bounds but at the same time palestine has drained out completely as a nation. So in future Israel take the initiative in talking with Hamas and Fatah movements and bring out a solution to the lasting problems facing Palestine which eventually will bring peace in the middle east.

    Wishing Happy Birthday to Israelis who built a nation from scratch with guts,sacrifice and tons of courage.

  129. 129 CarlosK
    May 8, 2008 at 18:41

    Good day All,

    @ Steve

    Steve my friend, just because I state uncomfortable Truths doesn’t make me a racist or anti-semitic. Here is a fact- which is the only country in the world where there has never been a case of anti-semitism reported in its history? JAMAICA. Yes Sir, Jamaica is the only country in the world where Jews have never suffered discrimination base on their religion, colour, customs etc. We, the major black skin Jamaicans still don’t harbour prejuce around here. We are civilized- we judge people base solely on the contents of their character. That is why I post the way I do. My acculturalization/socialization makes me unable to distinguished people base on colour, religion, ethnicity etc. Jamaicans are trained to see people as HUMAN BEINGS. I am very sorry, but this is a virtue that I valued and I have no intention of deviation from this well trodden path my forefathers left for me. I am not going to show favouritism to Israel because palestinians engage in the destestable act of suicide bombing or because they also use the OT- Torah(even though they reject his son Jesus Christ).

    Is it a fact or not that many poor europeans (esp. Russians) have and still are migrated to Israel pretending to be Jews in order to benefit from Israel’s welfare state? That is the point I was making when I called them “so called Jews”. I hope I made myself clear because If they could, my forefathers would turn in the grave by your association a son of the soil of Jamaica with anti-semitism.

    As I have often said, the solution to the Palestinian/Israelis stalemate is forgiveness initiated by the Palestinians. I have decried suicide bombing because I know its pathetic and weak and ineffective. I have advocated none violent resistance similar to MLK’s. Israelis’ are in a state of power drunkenness and can’t discern the harm there inflicting on palestinians.

    As long as Palestinians engage in suicide bombing they’ll remain captives of Israel.

    Carlos.

  130. 130 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 18:42

    That comedian thinks Hamas wants to talk. Getting a Islamist group to recognize and make peace with Israel will occur the day that Pork becomes Kosher, and Osama Bin Ladin will eat pigs, drink Vodka and go to strip clubs while chatting with George Bush. It’s simply not going to happen.

  131. 131 Scott from Cleveland, OH
    May 8, 2008 at 18:43

    Listening so far, I’ve heard plenty of pro-Israel comments. I am neither arab nor jewish, but I think the other side of the equation must be discussed as well: not one of a innocent peaceful nation, but of one making life difficult for many people.

    While Jews more than earned/fought for their right to a country, that doesn’t earn them the right to perpetuate the same difficulties on other people, such as in the Gaza Strip, etc.

    While I think there are many benefits and positive things about the country of Israel and what it stands for, they definitely need to improve their actions/image.

  132. 132 Michel (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:43

    How about a debate on compensation for the 750,000 Jews who were either expelled from Arab countries or forced to flee following pogroms leaving behind property 5 times the size of the state of Israel, even though they had been living there before the Arab conquest

  133. 133 Dee in Chicago
    May 8, 2008 at 18:45

    I am neither Jewish nor palestinian. What I do not understand is – if it is so awful for Palestinians in Israel, why don’t they just move to one of the many arab countries. It has been 60 years – it’s time to move on already!

  134. 134 Blez, Oregon (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:45

    Israel is a spoiled child, behaving more like the 51st state of the United States. Any derision is construed as anti-semitic, yet their arrogance and
    lack of empanthy and sympathy for Palestine is disturbing.

  135. 135 Yani - Ottawa, Canada (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:46

    Isreal was, as the thinking at the time went, was to become a safe haven for Jews everywhere.

    Its ironic that most of the violence befalling Jews since 1948 is in Israel itself, and not from the lands they fled after the second world war.

    Israel needs to make peace with its indigenous ‘Zulus’, aka the Palestinians, and wipe clean its apartheid system.

    There is no peace without justice. This is a simple truth.

  136. 136 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 18:47

    I really wish you would ask the guest from Gaza who occupied him from 1948-1967 and why they didn’t give him indepdence.

  137. 137 marie - san francisco (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:47

    CELEBRATION VS BAKTA

    a state was justified for the millions of jews who were threatened, however the continuous denial that palestinians were living on the land given to israel “a land without people for people without a land”. has become a continuous criminal act.
    the mass denial of your speaker is amazing !!! is he confused ??? or has he come to beleive his truth in order to not feel the shame at the continued abuse/killing etc etc etc of the dispalaced people….
    an interrestin documentary that portrays the ,then, and now displacement ” 500 dunam on the moon”, part of the jewish and arab festival a few years back..
    .
    thank you

  138. May 8, 2008 at 18:48

    The biggest mistake Israel made after the war was to call their land occupied territories. When Israel gave Gaza to the terrorist group Hamas that was a huge error also.
    For example here in the US, California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona are not occupied territories.
    May God bless Israel.

    What occupation?

    Solomon
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    USA

  139. 139 Harry in San Francisco (KALW)(via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:48

    If the purpose of Israel was to make Jews safe, then it has been a failure. Not only are many Israelis materialistic and secular (in contrast to communal and religious), they have also fled abroad. I meet Israelis everywhere I go.

    Everyone should read Susan Nathan’s book “The Other Side of Israel”

  140. 140 André
    May 8, 2008 at 18:48

    Hello,

    I think celebrating the 60th birthday is quite an achievment. Gratulations. But I think all the problems here come from the very beginning. The “founding” of Israel with the help of the UN and US was way to fast – head over heals. In this unstable region was brought another power. The history of Israel is a history of war. The way the settlement policy was carried out didnt help anyone to stabilize this region. Having start thinking of a more wholeistic solution in 1948 would have helped much more. The Palestinians where there in 1948 already, but there was no state for them.

    André

  141. 141 Petra
    May 8, 2008 at 18:48

    If there were any historic justice, then Israel would have been carved out of Germany after the Second World War.

  142. 142 George Enimil (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:49

    I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the good people of Israel and the country as a whole for celebrating their 60th birthday since independence. It’s been a long journey for the people of Israel to reach where they are today.However, i also wish to use this opportunity to advice the government of Israel to as much possible use dialog to resolve the conflict that has existed between them and the people of Palestine instead of engaging in unnecesary violence which can never solve the problem. Thank you. From George Enimil, Tarkwa. Ghana.

  143. May 8, 2008 at 18:49

    Answer this question:
    Why are the poor (past) suffering jews more important than the poor (presently) suffering palestinians? why should one group take over anothers land and steal their homes??? How the israels can justify the israeli regime’s actions is beyond me, its disgusting how jews once persecuted have become the persecutors-disgusting.

  144. 144 Mason - Utah (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:49

    Happy Birthday Israel!  I beleive that the negative aspects of Israel’s existence are often glossed over in the west….they have been expantionist and often cruel, but this is really no different than many of the other countries in the world, and the west, but in general they proclaim democratic enlightend views…The guilt and horror of the treatment of jews during the holocaust played a major role in the establishment of Israel, it is time that the guilt and horror of what has happened to the Palestinians brings about the creation of a Palestinian state.  The Palestinians have been forced from thier lands, forced to live as refugees, been used as political pawns by thier Arab brothers and the powers of the world…Israel DOES have a rite to exist, but so does Palestine, it is time for Israel to FULLY withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza and work with the Palestinians to create a viable, peaceful nation.

  145. 145 write4food
    May 8, 2008 at 18:50

    Happy 60 years of occupation and reversed treatment to the Palestinians as the German’s treated them. Happy 60th, of taking a land that was given to them, by an outside occupation.

  146. 146 Stan, Ohio USA (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:50

    Any Palestinians in the studio to celebrate Israel’s birthday?

  147. 147 Katie. Washington DC (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:52

    Contrary to what Ari believes, Israel has most certainly not done everything possible to improve the situation for the Palestinians. The audacity of such an assumption is beyond me. House demolitions, collective punishment, road closures, arbitrary arrests, food shortages…Gaza is an open air prison…this is an improvement?!? No, this is a disgrace.

  148. 148 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 18:53

    Ros just read a comment from Sweden where the person said that Israel treats the Palestinians like Jews “claim” europeans treated Jews like. First, that heavily implies the speaker doesn’t believe that europeans (germans) mistreated Jews. YOu know, murdered millions of them, that thing.. And if Israel were treating Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews, why are the Palestinians growing in population? Why are Palestinians the most educated arabs?

    The reason why Israel colonized the territories is because the arabs refused to negotiate with, recognize, or make peace with Israel after the 1967. Read up on Khartoum. Israel had territories, but nobody to make peace with, so they held on. The real question is why didn’t the arabs give the Palestinians independence from 1948-1967?

  149. 149 Pink Own (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:53

    Israel was formed in blood and tears. In December 1947, before the UN Partition Plan (GA Res 181) was to take place place in October 1948, Israel began to attack Palestinian civlians, even in areas that had been designated by the Partition Plan as belonging to Palestine. There were 14 such operations, and ten of them were inside Palestine-designate. Those that took place in the land that was set aside for Israel took place between December 1947 and May 1948. Arab militaries entered Palestine and the the established divided Israel on 15 May 1948. The Jordanian army was nothing more than a wallflower that sat by idly while the fighting took place, having signed a deal with Israel not to assist the Arab military operations. About 2,000 Palestinians were killed. 60% of Palestinians were expelled. 530 Palestinian villages were destroyed.

    Such a beginning as this can certainly not be called blessed.

  150. 150 Steve - USA (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:54

    Can you ask your gazan guest what he felt like being occupied by Egypt from 1948-1967? Why didn’t Egypt give him independence then?

  151. 151 Jonny
    May 8, 2008 at 18:54

    It pains me to say, since I come from a family affected by the holocaust. But the beauty of a homeland for the Jews is marred by the fact that we got that land by taking it away from someone else.

  152. 152 Robert (via email)
    May 8, 2008 at 18:55

    It may have been a good idea once, but Israel is an unmitigated disaster. Arabic anti-semitism will never it live in peace in its region. American and European Jewry will never stop sponsoring their outpost. So we have an eternal confrontation that will always put world peace at risk.

  153. 153 Cali Robertson
    May 8, 2008 at 18:55

    Israel is a creation of the United Nations. Israel has not been a nation for over 2,000 years, and it had only existed as a nation for a few hundred years prior to statehood 2,000 years ago. As a United Nations creation, Israel is not a real country but rather a legislative mandate. Israel has not lived up to its obligations under the charter that created it; therefore, the United Nations needs to take back control of Israel and come up with a new plan for administrating the region.

    Portland, oregon

  154. 154 Michael - California
    May 8, 2008 at 18:55

    I would like to see Israel stand on its own two feet, rather than depend on billions of dollars of American aid to sustain its oppression of the Palestinian people. Thus far, Israel is a failed experiment in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

  155. 155 Ahmad Hosseini
    May 8, 2008 at 18:56

    Quick question – do the pro-zionists not feel selfish? Is their idea of Judaism not a currupted version of an ‘originally’ universalistic religion?

  156. 156 Stan - Ohio USA
    May 8, 2008 at 18:56

    What compensation did the Palestinians get for the lands partitioned from them?

  157. 157 Justin from Iowa
    May 8, 2008 at 18:58

    That’s the problem, Michel… Israel declares Israel as its compensation, Palestine wants Israel as its compensation, and the surrounding countries don’t want to give EITHER anything. As long as they both want it all, they will both fail and suffer.

    They have to decide to SHARE. Which will probably happen, as steve mentioned, when hell freezes over.

  158. 158 Ed
    May 8, 2008 at 18:58

    The solution to the problem in Israel is as follows: grant citizenship and voting rights to all peoples living in Israel (Christians, Jews, Islamics, etc.) not just Jews.

    Sadly, any criticism of Israel is called anti-Jewish when this is just not the case. This would be like saying that criticism of England is Christian-bashing.

  159. May 8, 2008 at 18:59

    An excellant comment quoting bertrand russell says it all….

    The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East. We are frequently told that we must sympathise with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. […] What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy.

  160. 160 Stuart Palmer
    May 8, 2008 at 19:01

    Much has been discussed on the programme about “taking the land of the indigineous people”

    The indigineous popluation was Jewish for as far back as 70 AD the Jewish community was destroyed by the Romans well before there was any thought of Islam.

    Jews have always been indigiineous in what is now Israel

  161. 161 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 19:01

    @ Cali

    “Israel has not been a nation for over 2,000 years, and it had only existed as a nation for a few hundred years prior to statehood 2,000 years ago. As a United Nations creation, Israel is not a real country but rather a legislative mandate”

    Can you show me one second in history when “Palestine” was an independent nation? Maybe Israel didn’t exist for 2000 years, but it did exist, unlike Palestine. There has NEVER been an independent Palestine, but there could have been one in 1948.

  162. 162 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 19:04

    What an amazing program – in typical BBC style – masses of time for a specialist in bovine scatology from north London who claimed that Israel was trying to use force, despite trying for more than a decade to negotiate a settlement – a Gazan who managed to create 50% more refugees than ever existed- and who produced his hyperbole – the only shooting in Lod was Arab fighters who raised their hands in surrender and then shot their captors.

    I was even more convinced after your program that the State of Israel is the most moral country in the World and that the Palestinian position is based on hyperbole and distortion.

    Is the rest of your coverage this distorted?

  163. 163 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 19:05

    @ Ed

    “grant citizenship and voting rights to all peoples living in Israel (Christians, Jews, Islamics, etc.) not just Jews.”

    That’s the way it is now. Palestinians aren’t in Israel, hence aren’t Israelis. Israeli arabs, christians and Muslims have the vote, they are in Parliament, there are Arab ministers, and there is an arab on the Israeli sumpreme court.

  164. 164 Charlie
    May 8, 2008 at 19:09

    Hi

    25% of all the world’s refugees are Palestinian. Israel tests various weapons on the Palestinians, in some cases done with the aid of the US.

    Not the kind of performance I’d expect from what are truly great democracies.

    Charlie Payne

    Elizabethtown, PA

  165. 165 Jonathan Rasmussen
    May 8, 2008 at 19:17

    @ Ed: It is NOT “just Jews” who have citizenship and voting rights in Israel. Its citizens of all religions already have the rights you describe, so the “solution” you propose has been achieved.

    Second, all criticism of Israel is NOT “called anti-Jewish.” But uninformed criticism of Israel is, rightly, called worthless.

  166. 166 Wendi - Ohio
    May 8, 2008 at 19:19

    As an American Jew, I am definitely proud to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary of statehood. At the same time, I long for peace in the region. Let’s not forget that Palestinians COULD BE CELEBRATING THEIR OWN STATE TOO had all the Arab nations not voted against the partition plan. It is easy for the Palestinians to villify Israel without placing any blame on their own brethren. The Palestinians did not have any say at the time – they were told to leave while the Arab states declared war in an attempt to annihilate the nascent Jewish state. The idea was that then the Palestinians could go back, free of the Jews. As we know, it didn’t work out that way. Let’s also consider the fact that far more Arabs are killed by their own with infighting than at the hands of Israelis. In my short lifetime (I’m 38), there have been numerous opportunities for the Palestinians to have their own country. Stop blaming the Jews of Israel when the Palestinians won’t compromise, won’t consider less than all of Israel and when the leaders of the Gaza Strip still don’t recognize Israel’s legitimate right to exist and vow to destroy them. Until the moderate, level-headed Palestinians take control from Hamas and the other militant groups, there will contine to be strife. Also… when the border was recently destroyed between Gaza & Egypt, were the Egyptians welcoming the Palestinians with open arms? No – they let them get some supplies for a day or two and then were pushing them back, sometimes with force, and guarding the border.

    It’s not black and white – there’s blame on both sides, but until the Palestinians disavow violence, sit down with Israelis and show their true desire for peace, the Palestinians will continue to be in this sad position. Look within for blame.

  167. 167 kabiru ahmed
    May 8, 2008 at 19:19

    for a nation that was brutalised in the ww2 to treat innocent people like the palestinan i will say the creation of isreal is a moral joke

  168. 168 Hasja
    May 8, 2008 at 19:20

    Katie, you are obviously indoctrinated by the constant distorted press reporting.

    The simple fact of life is that without road blocks, check points, control of Gaza crossings, you would be reading about terror attacks on civilians day by day.
    Then, of course the press could fill its pages with discussions on the terrorists and their families while we bury our dead and spend more millions on caring for the injured,

    Just today, Independence Day there were 11 “hot” notifications of terror attacks .

    And while on this subject why doesn’t Egypt want to open its crossing with Gaza?

  169. 169 Stuart Palmer - Haifa
    May 8, 2008 at 19:20

    Yes I am very happy to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday.

    In the discussion there is a complete absence of facts, many of the speakers are talking in generalities not hard facts.

    The fact is that in 1948 50 million Arabs were determined to exterminate the 600,000 population of Israel whilst at the same time kicking out over 800,000 Jews from Arab lands in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya etc. By every international definition that is ethnic cleansing.

  170. 170 Stan - Ohio USA
    May 8, 2008 at 19:21

    Can your guest accept the term “LAND GRAB”

  171. 171 Jonathan Rasmussen
    May 8, 2008 at 19:28

    @ Miche Norman:

    This program was really quite balanced, certainly more so than much of the BBC programming. The man from Israel got a lot of time and consideration.

  172. 172 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 19:34

    Ed – terrific – All residents of Israel do have voting rights which is why there are Arab members of parliament. And no we are not going to admit millions of people who do not accept our right to exist give them the vote and watch them vote our country out of existence.

    and no we do not want to live as a majority in an Arab country – if life was so good for Jews in Arab countries why do you think that almost the entire Jewish population of the middle east now lives in Israel?

  173. 173 DIALLO sIDDIQ
    May 8, 2008 at 19:43

    I think that you can’t build an evrlasting State by chasing those who live in that soil and replacing them by others and especially based in religious beliefs.i think that they could build a very strong state if they did not separate the jews who are originally from that land and the palestinians from that land.But by stealing the land of palestinians and calling every jew in that world who wants to live in that state to come on others land.You can’t build a country on others land.

  174. May 8, 2008 at 19:47

    Soon as the United Nations voted in favour establishing the state of Israel the surrounding countries Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and distant Libya united to destroy Israel and drive the jews into the sea, Egypt told the palestinians to leave and join them so that after they achieved their ends the Palestinians would be free to go back to their homes. Many Palestians did leave and hoped for a Palestian State. In my opinion had these countries succeeded, they would have carved up Israel for themselves and not established a Palestinian state. The jews who lived in Jerusalem and areas populated mainly by arabs, left their homes fearing for their existance and was never able to return as Jordan occupied Jerusalem. Why then should all the Palestinians that left be offered to return to their homes. As usual they want it both ways. Before Israel was established the arab nations were fighting against each other, since then they found it better to focus their minds on Israel. Even the leader of Iran has openly threatend to distroy Israel and is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons so as to carry out his threat, he should realise the road to Israel is also the road to Iran. In the past a peace agreement was nearly reached, each time the Palestinians increased their demands as in the case when Arafart shook hands with Prime Minister Rabin and later agreed peace terms with P.M Barak, He reneged on the deals and demanded more. Makes one think any peace agreement signed may well be for a brief spell. As things stand Hamas has split the Palestinian’s cause and have their own agenda which makes the peace process more difficult. Hamas contnue to fire rockets into Israel sometimes killing innocent Israeli citizens, its high time Israel went into Gaza and rounded them up and bring to an end of Hamas, so that it would be possible to achieve peace with the established Palestinean authority.

  175. 175 Richard Nau
    May 8, 2008 at 19:50

    How successful is a state that receives 3 Billion (about $500.00/citizen) or more each year and has for a long time from the U.S. It has received more foreign aid than any other country? The contributions the Jewish community which to make are their own business. The cost of foreign aid to Arab countries to gain their cooperation and the cost of supporting Palestinian refugees might also be added.

  176. 176 L Atkins - Sweden
    May 8, 2008 at 19:50

    It is very ironic that Israel having suffered from the Nazis would treat the Palestinians as non-humans and practice the same ill treatment tactics they once accused Europeans of.

    But I do not blame America and Europeans who for fear of been labeled anti-semitic refuse to rebuke/condemn Israel for the inhuman treatment of Palestinians.

  177. 177 Chuck
    May 8, 2008 at 19:51

    granted isreal has been at war since conception. but the experiance of being put into a getto should stop them with the creation of one.

  178. 178 Hugh - Netherlands
    May 8, 2008 at 19:52

    It isn’t possible to celebrate this “birthday” with a million civilians ghettoised on one side of Israel, and with millions more contained in disjointed pockets of land by the Israeli army on the other.

    Israeli settlements in the West bank are so numerous and widespread that the creation on ‘an independent Palestinian state’ there is no longer possible. The only course is the ‘one state solution’, in which all the people in former Palestine are treated equally before the law and the benefits enjoyed by some are given to all. It is only by sharing the resources, giving equal opportunities and raising the living standards of all that peace can be achieved.

  179. 179 Myron Bennett
    May 8, 2008 at 19:53

    if Israel has the right to exist, than the west should work towards returning lands to indiginous people all over the world. why support the Israelis and not the aborigines or other indiginous populations.
    Myron Cleveland, Ohio USA

  180. 180 Robert
    May 8, 2008 at 19:55

    Palistine was given the chance to have their own state but stopped by the arab states

  181. 181 Mohammed Ali - Liberia
    May 8, 2008 at 19:55

    Hi Ros,
    Why are we been bother with Israel everyday. Look Peaceful people were unlawfully displaced from their homeland for the creation of Israel. I think we should not be celebrating but be commerating the 60th anniversary of those people who were displaced from their land.

  182. 182 paul
    May 8, 2008 at 19:57

    The Arabs of Palestine keep saying that they lost their homes and their land what about the jews who lost their homes and land in Arab countries like in Algeria where around 200.000 jews where expelled following Algeria’s declaration of independence!!!!!

  183. May 8, 2008 at 19:58

    I believe all Jews around the world should go to Israel and help them celebrate and spend some time in their country!

  184. 184 André (German living in Hungary)
    May 8, 2008 at 19:58

    Hello,

    I think celebrating the 60th birthday is quite an achievment. Gratulations. But I think all the problems here come from the very beginning. The “founding” of Israel with the help of the UN and US was way to fast – head over heals. In this unstable region was brought another power. The history of Israel is a history of war. The way the settlement policy was carried out didnt help anyone to stabilize this region. Having start thinking of a more wholeistic solution in 1948 would have helped much more. The Palestinians where there in 1948 already, but there was no state for them.

  185. 185 Jens
    May 8, 2008 at 20:03

    where does this notion come from that palestines are not treated equally if they are israeli citizens.

    Hugh,

    the palestines do not want a one state solution, they want their land and all the jews kicked into the sea. that is the problem

  186. 186 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 20:12

    Thus far, Israel is a failed experiment in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    Well of course it is because that is not our objective – which is why Arabs make up 20% of the population. It is amazing there were no Jews in Hebron before 1967 only because they were massacred in 1929, there were no Jews in the old city of Jerusalem before 1967 because they were ethnically cleansed in 1948. But when Jews go back to their homeland they are not to be accepted – Gaza and the West Bank must be Judenrein – no Jews will be allowed to live there – Would that be acceptable in London – or Berlin? The PA and Hammas are both insisting on ethnic cleansing and their supporters are throwing that at us? It beggars belief

  187. 187 Shirley
    May 8, 2008 at 20:15

    I find it hypocritical tht the pro-zionists among us cry on about the five Arab armies that collectively attacked Israel when it was created when Israeli militias began attacking Palestinian civilians half a year earlier. The Arab world saw the buildup of zionist militias and their attacks on Palestinians six months before the set foot in the land, fro December 1947 to May 1948. No-one seems to know or care, either, that the Jordanian army had already been paid off and so therefore sat back and watched the fighting carry on; and that the rest of the Arab armies did not have the military strength that the Israeli army had.

    From the beginning, there has been an assault on an unarmed or underarmed civilian population by an organised and well-armed opponent who has literally chased them into the sea ( http://www.palestineremembered.com/Jaffa/Jaffa/Picture1253.html and http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Acre/Picture13753.html ). The thousands of Palestinian lives taken out by airpower, tank shells, and various forms of gunpower are constantly compared to the significantly smaller figure of Israelis killed by individuals who do not have access to fighter jets, helicopter gunships, tanks, military jeeps, etc. and who lack the backing of a government. with its inherent forces. Meanwhile, the occupier and attacker has been claiming itself the victim.

    There simply is no comparison between the occupier and the occupied.

  188. 188 Miche Norman
    May 8, 2008 at 20:25

    Jonathan – The man from Gaza could have been asked what his village had been doing since 1947 – cutting off Jerusalem;s water supply, attacking every truck trying to get to Jerusalem and massacring every Jew who tried to make the journey -that is what prompted Israel to clear the road to Jerusalem – and if the program had been balanced this historical background would have been mentioned and if there is a representative of the 650 thousand Arab refugees – there could have been one of the 750 thousand jewish refugees. But no the object of the program is to perpetuate the story that Israel expelled the Arabs so as to create a state – the historical truth is more complex and very different

  189. 189 steve
    May 8, 2008 at 20:53

    @ Shirley

    But then a “pro-zionist” could point to the arab riots where the arabs would kill off the jewish populations of certain areas because people who weren’t exactly like them were there. Hebron became “judenrein” after one of the “great arab” riots before WW2, despite it being the second holiest city in Judaism.

    You cannot be serious about you thinking the 1948 Israeli army was powerful. They had a handful of airplanes, virtually no tanks. If that were the case, why did Egypt win Gaza and Jordan the West bank, especially if Jordan didn’t fight, like you claim? The arabs were vastly superior in quality and quantity, but squabbled, and had to many internal differences for them to unify enough to destroy Israel. I assure you, they didn’t invade to throw a housewarming party for Israel. Let’s not forget that the arabs didn’t give the Palestinians independence either, and occupied them from 1948-1967.

  190. 190 Hugh - Netherlands
    May 8, 2008 at 21:20

    Jens,

    The Palestinian majority who are in Gaza and the West Bank might feel differently if they were offered the same hospital, sanitation, energy, water, roads, sea access, airports, education, unrestricted travel etc which is available to Jewish settlers in their lands.

  191. 191 Shakhoor Rehman
    May 8, 2008 at 22:15

    If I was living on Middle East soil I would be celebrating being a Middle Easterner every day.

  192. 192 Fred
    May 8, 2008 at 22:59

    HuGH
    they are and have been for 100 years and for 60 years and for 41 years

  193. May 8, 2008 at 23:41

    On the first edition of WHYS show discussing the birth of Israel, Ros read an email stating that Jews were expelled from many Arab states including Morocco.

    As far as Morocco is concerned, Moroccan Jews were never told to leave. They decided to leave of their own free will. They even had difficulties leaving as they were prevented by the Moroccan government to do. Some of the measures taken were not to issue them with passports. Israelis of Moroccan origins still have strong ties with Morocco. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/morocjews.html

    In Israel there are more than thirty streets bearing the name of late Moroccan King Hassan the Second. There is even the World Council of Moroccan Jews. Israelis of Moroccan origins make up to 15% of the Israeli population.

    That was just a fact correction, I suppose.

  194. 194 Roberto
    May 8, 2008 at 23:52

    Abraham was born in Mesopotamia. The Hebrew tribes left that area about 1400BC in search of that fabled “promised land”. Oddly enough there are other people living there, in Abrahams case the Canannites. The Jews did not originate in what is now Israel or ancient Israel for that matter.
    ——————————

    — Perhaps you need a refresher anthropology and religion course.

    Most everyone in the world has relatives born elsewhere. The history of the world is migration and assimulation when contact with other tribes occurs, after some war of course.

    Abraham’s progeny assimulated with Egyptians and Canaanites and others, creating “the Jew, the Christian and later the Muslim.” Why must you squabble over the obvious?

    There were also Philistines and other ancient, now absorbed ethnic tribes living there. If your position were honourable, you would push for Palestinians AND Israelis to vacate these lands and leave it to the original ethnic tribes. Of course few to be able to trace their history that far because they’ve become Jews, Muslims. Prior to that they were zororoastarians and other now tiny or extinct religions and big news flash, some those groups still exist as natives in those lands.

    No, I suspect history and the facts are greatly distorted by Johnny One Notes who only know to sing in monotone.

    Israel has a history of a peace coalition which was collapsed with the restart of the Palestinian infitada with waves of suicide bombers into Israel in 2000. Where, o where is the Palestinian peace coalition? How can there be peace for Palestinians when they have NO PEACE COALITION of any significance? There will NEVER be a Palestinian state under these conditions. EVER.

    Nobody in power to negotiate with. Just Palestinians at war with each other and everyone else.

  195. 195 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 00:03

    @ Roberto

    But neither did the Palestinians. The Ancient Philistines were from the Greece area originally themselves. Also lets not forget arabs aren’t native of North Africa, yet they live there now. Is it okay for arabs to have migrated there?

  196. 196 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 00:47

    Ah, kind birthday wishes from the President of Iran.

    http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0805083448175250.htm

  197. 197 A Chauhan
    May 9, 2008 at 02:17

    Happy Birthday Israel. Although you will still be begrudged this but oh well.

  198. 198 Xie_Ming
    May 9, 2008 at 04:02

    Regardless of what immigrations happened prior to c. 800 BC,

    Today, genetically, the Syrians, the Palestinians and the Israelis from the European and American diaspora form a SINGLE group, different from everybody else!

    That Jews, everywhere in the World, form a single nation is part of the religio/ethnic ideology- and it createss obvious inconsistencies.

    Herzl thought that Jews should assimilate and that a homeland should exist only for those who could, or would, not assimilate.

    Ideology apart, there are decent people, like Daniel Barenboeim, who feel comfortable living among their own kind and who have elected to live in Israel for that reason.

  199. 199 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 04:09

    @ Steve:

    I saw the link from the President
    of Iran and it was like he was sending
    a sort of birthday wish for the people
    of Israel….

    Dennis from Madrid, United States of America

  200. 200 Tino
    May 9, 2008 at 04:53

    “The extreme polarisation–dare I say hatred–from both sides shows just how difficult an eventual solution to the problems will be.”

    There is no solution until Palestinians stop being terrorists/supporting terrorists/celebrating terrorist attacks. I am an atheist, and still support Israel fully and completely. Once again, I think they should be tougher (IE no medical aid, no fuel, no more giving land back to let pallys stage more attacks).

    Also, why is the Quran/Islam not mentioned as being the PRIMARY motivation for all of this?

    Quotes from Qur’an/Hadith:

    -“The Day of Resurrection will not arrive until you make war on the Jews, until a Jew will hide behind a rock or tree, and the rock or tree will say: Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, here is a Jew behind me, kill him!’”

    -“And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: “Be apes—despised and hated by all.”Thus We made their end a warning to the people of their time and succeeding generation, and an admonition for God-fearing people”

    Which doesn’t even scratch the surface of various imams screeching their hatred @ friday prayers. The problem is Islam, not Israel, open your frigging eyes.

  201. May 9, 2008 at 05:14

    Et all: for the love of god can you angry people step back and listen…It’s no wonder there’s no peace there when we can’t give them a moments peace in the entire world!

  202. 202 Miche Norman
    May 9, 2008 at 05:24

    We are rightly proud of what we have achieved as a people – we gave the World the universal code of ethics, we have made the desert bloom, as a young nation of 600,000 people, 1% of whom were killed in the war of independence we absorbed 750,000 refugees who were either expelled or fled the Arab countries in the exchange of populations that took place, and then we set it as a national challenge to absorbe them.

    Our scientists and authors have won nobel prizes

    Yes from a self defense force with less than 25,000 rifles, no tanks, no planes, no artillery we have built the most moral army in the world, whose young soldiers know very well how to hold a weapon but would prefer to hold their hands out in peace.

    Perhaps if the Palestinians would decide to live in peace in their own state beside us their contribution to the world would be something other than 3 hour security checks at airports

  203. 203 Tino
    May 9, 2008 at 05:59

    “Perhaps if the Palestinians would decide to live in peace in their own state beside us their contribution to the world would be something other than 3 hour security checks at airports”

    Bingo!

  204. May 9, 2008 at 07:32

    History has proven rights to both the Israeli’s and the Palestinians; otherwise Moses wouldn’t have succeeded. Similarly why did Timor of the Tatars who ruled a 1600 mile radius around Samarkand, or the Khans whose king maker generals he descended from, not obliterate the Jews with armies 100k strong. Timor didn’t because he respected the same stories and parables of the Jews that Mohamed did, telling of history repeating. He also saw it proper that both the Palestinians and the Israeli’s should live together and he wrote as much in his autobiography. He may have also seen their fight but he refused to take sides in action. That speaks volumes more than his decrying the way of the flaming sword and the holy tree and that was the way of Persia, then. In all ways history is just repeating itself. Nobody is going to ‘win’. Because war is never won. Just look at the infamous failure of one GWB or the rhetoric of the Iranian puppet master. No peoples have the ability to rule the land like they did in the 14th century and it’s only when people realize that, the land is divided now, forever, then only then we will come to lasting middle-east peace.

  205. 205 Shaun
    May 9, 2008 at 08:24

    First of all to answer the BBC’s questions.

    Am I celebrating no! I am not an Israeli.

    Has Israel justified its creation? What a stupid question! Where does it state that a country must justify its creation?

    The BBC’s tactics of using prases to entice people into a frenzy is a only their ploy to attract viewers or listeners. As a British person I am generally proud of the BBC however sometimes they play to the masses too much.

    How I would like Israel to evovle? Do you not think that is a question that those in Israel should ask and ansewr themself? Who gives others a right to question what someone else should do? Is it not better to look at ourselves and question how we want our own countries to evovle? A Europe where Europeans have become second class citiziens to illegal immigrants, where our Governments cut costs resulting in long waits in hospitals for our people and yet they always find funds for those outside Europe! A Europe under ransome by Muslims. Where the freedom of speech is now curtailed unless you are a Muslim. A Europe that is extremly scared of being politically incorrect that its own inhabitants suffer. A Europe of wafling politicians. Leave Israel alone and let us solve our own problems.

    I think to understand Israel one must live there. However we do have experience of Muslim mentality in Europe and even Christians and Jews in different parts of those countries controlled by Muslims can tell you what it is like to have a different opinion with these people.

    May G-d protect Israel from hypocracy.

  206. 206 Virginia Davis
    May 9, 2008 at 09:36

    @ Tino: I find “pallys” to be an offensive word. And we all know what “frigging” means.

    Anyone hear former President Carter on Jay Leno last night criticize Israel and the US for not accepting the reality of the Hamas majority in 2006? I quite agree.

    And for a good presentation of the accomplishments of Israel in 60 years, check out Alan Dershowitz’s op ed piece in today’s Christian Science Monitor a csmonitor.com.

    Happy Belated Birthday, Israel.

    And sadness for Palestine’s day of mourning.

    I wish for a “two state solution.” The sooner the better.

    Virginia In Portland, OR

  207. 207 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 12:12

    @ Virginia

    That “hamas majority” doesn’t recognize Israel and it openly declares it wants to destroy Israel. Though I’m glad you want a two state solution, the sooner the better.

  208. 208 Xie_Ming
    May 9, 2008 at 12:59

    Israel has been and remains an international stepchild, concern and problem.

    If it is possible to do so, one should seek to hear again the interview with Professor Stein of Oxford conducted by Claire Boulderson on NEWSHOUR yesterday, 8 May.

    He handled the subjects of this thread in faultless fashion!

  209. 209 bjay
    May 9, 2008 at 12:59

    Happy Birthday Israel!

    Simple YE!!!

    If You Guys Would Not Be Around Who Would Look Out For My ‘CIVIL-RIGHTS’ !?

    bjay!!!!!!!!

  210. May 9, 2008 at 13:00

    Steve; a late reply:

    Actually, as a South African, I did have to settle for a one state solution, and, what is more, the world insisted on it.

    Many South Africans of European descent did want a separate state so that their cultural identity would be maintained. This was considered a non-starter. Today, white South Africans form a permanent minority. And, guess what, we are still around, and so is our culture.

    So what’s so very different about the Israeli situation? Please be consistent in answering the following question: Do white South Africans have a right to exist in a separate state? If not, what gives Israel this special right?

  211. 211 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 13:33

    @ Donovan

    Because jews are from there. Whites are not from South Africa. That’s the difference. Jews have far more right to live in Israel than say whites have to live in America, Canada, or South Africa.

    You also have the Netherlands, or the UK to go back to, likely the countries your family was from. Where did the Jews have to go back to? The countries that were busy killing them? Don’t compare apples and oranges. Is one Jewish majority country on earth asking too much? I mean, there are 50+ Muslim nations, and Israel is 1% of the middle east, they were offered a state, and the arabs rejected it.

  212. 212 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 13:35

    @ Xie Ming:

    “Israel has been and remains an international stepchild, concern and problem. ”

    Blaming Israel for international terrorism (what I presume to be the “problem” you mention is like blaming women for being raped because they dress in a sexy manner. You need to expect civility from everyone. I dont’ like Iran’s foreign policy, yet I have no desire to hijack planes and crash them into Iranian buildings, nor do I desire to strap on a bomb and blow myself up in a Teheran restaurant. The problem is with the terrorists, not Israel.

  213. 213 Roberto
    May 9, 2008 at 13:38

    Do white South Africans have a right to exist in a separate state? If not, what gives Israel this special right?
    ———————————————————————-

    ——- Invalid question.

    These holylands have written histories going back 5000+ yrs. There have been many rulers of these lands, and Jews have been in that mix.

    White South Africans only go back a few centuries at best. Moreover, race is not religion. Apples are not oranges. Might as well ask if the sky as a right to be green if grass has the right to be green.

  214. May 9, 2008 at 14:03

    in this 60th year of celebrations israel just remember they are part of a piece(nationstates)and piece of a whole world .so its time to solve palestine problem with the same empathy world community has shown to the jews in the catastrophic holocaust by giving them a seperate land which now known as israel.
    devadas.v
    kerala

  215. 215 Tino
    May 9, 2008 at 14:11

    “@ Tino: I find “pallys” to be an offensive word. And we all know what “frigging” means.

    Anyone hear former President Carter on Jay Leno last night criticize Israel and the US for not accepting the reality of the Hamas majority in 2006? I quite agree.”

    Perhaps you are a little too sensitive? They do not deserve my respect and if I choose to shorten Palestinian to Pally, I am afraid that is not a very big deal. Perhaps you should be more offended by Qassam rockets and pally terrorists like I am?

    As for Carter, he is a bumbling moron. He kissed a terrorist, and laid flowers at the grave of another. He is an embarrassment to myself and my country. He botched the Iran affair while President and then still manages to make himself look like an idiot when he pops up every now and then since. However, I do agree with him this time. We should accept the fact that the Palestinians legitimately elected terrorists to power and act accordingly: cease all aid immediately and let them rot. Perhaps you forgot that they celebrated 9/11, and most every other terrorist attack committed since then. We are at war and it is time to start acting accordingly…

  216. May 9, 2008 at 14:16

    I see.
    The fact that the State of Israel dates from 1948 is really not a valid historical fact. So why throw a 60 year birthday bash when you’re actually as old as Methuselah? The really valid political facts are to be found in ancient history? In that case, why not return Istanbul to the Greeks? Or the United States to the Amerindians? etc.

    But, to get to the point: there are many non-linear politcal models which could be explored in the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy. Among them is the use of various models of federation and autonomy, in which cultural and value systems can be safeguarded in terms of territorial autonomy, with a proportionally representative central government.

    As everything else has failed quite signally in the middle-east, why not at least begin to explore such approaches? is it better just to accept interminable violence, as though no amount of applied intelligence can put an end to it?

    And, some other invalid points to consider: South Africans of European descent do not have the option to return to France or the UK or whatever; that right was never offered to them by Europe.

    And, if you take a good , hard, honest look at the thing, there is really zero difference between the South African and Israeli dilemmas, except, of course, the difference that we have solved ours.

    Giving out that religious differences justify the existence of a separate state is about as modern a way of thinking as that of Calvin, Zwingli et al.

  217. 217 Shirley
    May 9, 2008 at 15:02

    Xie Ming, KPFT airs Newshour during the week and archives its shows. Check out http://www.kpft.org and follow the appropriate links. Let me know if you have trouble.

  218. 218 Joel Salomon
    May 9, 2008 at 15:17

    Donovan:
     Palestine was divided into Israel & (Trans)Jordan because the riots and massacres of 1920, ’29, &c. made it obvious that much of the Arab population did not want a “one-state solution”—at least, not one with any living Jews inside it. The division was done according to population, much as when India & Pakistan were divided, with one major difference: Arabs living in Jewish Palestine were (for the most part, and with some exceptions) asked to stay by the new Israeli government, while the Jews living in the Arab-majority parts of the region were universally expelled, as were Jews from many other Arab countries.
     Even now, the rhetoric of Hamas (the “legitimately-elected government” of Gaza & the West Bank) &c. calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, while all peace proposals demand the complete removal of all Jews from the eventual borders of Arab Palestine.
     The most workable model of “federation and autonomy” that has been suggested is separate sovereignties, i.e., the “two-state solution”. (Actually, counting Jordan, it’s three states.)

  219. 219 Tino
    May 9, 2008 at 15:54

    “As everything else has failed quite signally in the middle-east, why not at least begin to explore such approaches? is it better just to accept interminable violence, as though no amount of applied intelligence can put an end to it?”

    There is no logical solution because the problem is that one group (pallys) hates and wishes to kill the Israelis. It is religiously motivated, which is apparent to anyone with even a little knowledge of what the Qur’an actually says. You cannot stop them without changing basic tenets of their faith. Try solving that one.

  220. 220 Roberto
    May 9, 2008 at 16:11

    But, to get to the point: there are many non-linear politcal models which could be explored in the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy. Among them is the use of various models of federation and autonomy, in which cultural and value systems can be safeguarded in terms of territorial autonomy, with a proportionally representative central government.
    ————————————————————–

    — Your point is pointless.

    There can be few political agreements when there is broken diplomacy. There can be only limited diplomacy at best when there is war, and the Pals engaged in war on two fronts, with Israel and with themselves. Pals are already autonomous and turned down internationally recognized statehood in 2000.

    Israel has no problems working with Jordan and Egypt, but they aren’t at war, plus they have peaceful diplomatic relations. If you cannot see the difference and insist upon meaningless comparisons to South Africa, America, or Timbuktu to solve what is currently an intractable problem, then just start your own peace movement, drum up some support and funding, visit and explain the inexplicable to the poor betrodden folk who live there.

  221. 221 Joel Salomon
    May 9, 2008 at 16:12

    Xie Ming:
     When you said “That Jews, everywhere in the World, form a single nation is part of the religio/ethnic ideology- and it createss obvious inconsistencies,” you are partly correct. When antisemites attack Jews throughout the world by referring to “sociopathic Talmudists” or quoting canards from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it does tend to inspire unity from shared experience. No idea what you mean by “obvious inconsistencies”, though.

    Bob in Queensland:
     As regards the “extreme polarisation” you see “from both sides”, my brother, home from school in Israel, tells me that the general attitude there is that any settlement or accord that will leave them secure from attack is worth pursuing. It’s just that nobody believes that any plan currently on the table will leave them secure.

    André:
     The holistic solution you suggest was the first plan tried: the U.N. 1947 Partition Plan. The Jews of Palestine accepted it and set up the State of Israel; the Arabs rejected it then and have continued to reject similar solutions ever since.

    Steve:
     Thanks for posting Ahmadinejad’s “birthday wishes”. Unfortunately, people need to keep being reminded of the threat Israel lives under.

    Miche:
     Yom-Ha’atzma’ut sameach!

  222. 222 Virginia Davis
    May 9, 2008 at 16:26

    One of the five points outlined for former President Carter WAS the acceptance of Israel as a entity. Later someone modified that that a “Jewish” state was not acceptable.

    As a student and participant in moving toward “dialog” and the Good Friday Peace Agreement in the North of Ireland, NOT talking to your so-called enemies (or denigrating their name) doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

    Get some handles on what conflict resolution is all about, people. England colonised Ireland for 800 years! You could be killed for speaking Irish Gaelic at one point in time. And windows were taxed so that the Irish lived in darkness in their homes.

    The violence and counter-violence in the Israeli-Palestine conflict is disgusting to me and yet I can see both sides…..

    Virginia in Oregon

  223. 223 Ana (Puerto Rico)
    May 9, 2008 at 16:39

    Israelis should not argue that they are entitled to their land based on religion as they live in holy land for Christians and Muslims. Nobody is entitled to land because it says so in a religious book. They victimize themselves for everything that has happened to them in the past, but currently they are doing the same to the Palestinians. They need to show compassion and forgiveness in order to move forward.

    Palestinians are entitled to land as much as any other group in the world, as much as the Israelis. Israel exists and that is ok, but they need to leave the settlements and let the Palestinians create their own state. The land taken in the war of 1967 should be returned to the Palestinians, having said that, once that happens Israelis should have the right to live in peace in their country and the rest of the Middle East needs to respect that too. Compromise is the only solution to this problem.

  224. 224 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 16:45

    @ Virginia

    The thing with the IRA, was that they wanted for Northern Ireland to become part of Ireland, not to destroy the UK. That’s a major difference between the IRA and Hamas. I’m convinced that Hamas wants to destroy Israel more than they want there to be an independent Arab Palestine. Maybe they might moderate their views, but they will never accept and make peace with Israel, the best they will offer is a “truce” which is not what UN 242 calls for. It calls for peace and recognition. A truce will not cut it, and that’s all Hamas could possibly offer. Can you really imagine an Islamist group recognizing and making peace with Isreal? That would happen when pork becomes Halal.

  225. May 9, 2008 at 16:46

    Roberto, I don’t recall making comparisons with Timbuktu. Not do I want to start a new peace movement. I would like to see the end of the Israel-Palestine violence which affects the entire world.

    I agree that there has been intransigence from the Palestinian side, and there can be no justification of their Islamic fundamentalist violence either.

    But the two-state solution has obviously not worked, and shows little chance of becoming workable in the foreseeable future. Other models will have to be worked out.

    In making a comparison with South Africa (and only South Africa), I’m pointing to a similar fear that was experienced here and is currently experienced in Israel: the fear that an incapable and ideologically unacceptable government would, by majoritarian principles, be elected, and rule over the capable and ideologically acceptable.

    I still can’t see why an inventive and imaginative new model of one-state government shouldn’t be able to solve the problem. But, if the two-state model is the only workable one, why isn’t it working for the Palestinians? What is it that they can’t accept seeing that, as you imply, the arrangement offered to them is so eminently reasonable and fair?

    Or, are they just plain nuts?

  226. 226 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 16:52

    @ Ana

    “The land taken in the war of 1967 should be returned to the Palestinians”

    But the lands taken in the war of 1967 were taken from Egypt and Jordan. Why didn’t Egypt and Jordan give the Palestinians independent?

    You say that since the Holy Land belongs also to the christians and muslims, but Christianity and Islam would not exist if it were not for Judaism. They were there first. Judaism predates Islam by about 2000 years. It’s 1% of the middle east, the arabs were offered a state, and refused it and then attacked, and then conquered the Palestinian territories, and didn’t give the Palestinians a state, because they don’t care about Palestinians.

    The greatest irony about the entire conflict was that the Arabs took away the palestinian state, and the Jews will be the ones to give it back.

  227. 227 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 17:02

    @ Donovan

    How can yo uknow if two states won’t work if it never happers? If the arabs had not attacked Israel in 1948, there would have been two states. I don’t know how well they would have gotten along, but the fact doesn’t change, that Egypt and Jordan prevented a Palestinian state from forming, they occupied the territories from 1948-1967. Why didn’t the arabs give the palestinians independence during that time?

    There will be no single state, so suggesting it is a non starter.

  228. 228 Tino
    May 9, 2008 at 17:02

    “As a student and participant in moving toward “dialog” and the Good Friday Peace Agreement in the North of Ireland, NOT talking to your so-called enemies (or denigrating their name) doesn’t get anyone anywhere.”

    There is a world of difference between the Irish issue and this one. The Irish were not fighting because their religion mandated them too. How do you not see this fundamental difference. The IRA did not want to exterminate all British people in Britain and elsewhere. The pallys DO want to do this to the jews. They had plans to do so BEFORE ISRAEL EVEN EXISTED: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/muftihit.html

  229. 229 Tino
    May 9, 2008 at 17:03

    Following from wikipedia:

    “During the annual Nabi Musa procession in Jerusalem in April 1920, al-Husayni, then a teacher at the Rashidiya school in Jerusalem, incited the Arab crowds against the Jews. For his role in the riots, al-Husayni was sentenced to ten years imprisonment in absentia, since he had already fled to Transjordan.]”

    “Al-Husayni then turned from Damascus-oriented Pan-Arabism to a specifically Palestinian ideology centered on Jerusalem, which sought to expel the Jews and foreigners from Palestine, thus in his mind restoring it to Dar al-Islam.”

    [As opposed to dar al-Harb (the house of war) which is everything that is not Islamic. Do you seriously not see this as a fundamental problem? Maybe we can kumbaya them into submission (You know, Carter style)?]

    “On April 19 1936, a wave of Arab violence against the Jews broke out in Palestine. Initially, the riots were led by Farhan al-Sa’ada, but al-Husayni soon decided to seize the initiative. He controlled waqf and orphan funds, which generated annual income of about 115,000 Palestinian pounds; after the start of the revolt, most of that money was used to finance the activities of his representatives throughout the country.”

    [Here we see them funneling charity funds into funding violence – a tactic that is very much alive and well today.]

    This could go on forever, so I will let you read more at your leisure…

  230. May 9, 2008 at 17:25

    If the land is returned to pre-1967 borders…..( and why should they?)..Israel-Palestine will more like a wasteland than a living area. The ISraelis are the ones who developed all the property and brought life to the area. The palestinians have contributed nothing to the progress of the region.

    Also, after the ISrali have been attacked multiple times by their enemies, to totally destroy the, and they fairly won the land in battle, why should they give up anything to a bunch of lazy, hateful, murderous whining people?

  231. 231 Roberto
    May 9, 2008 at 17:30

    I still can’t see why an inventive and imaginative new model of one-state government shouldn’t be able to solve the problem. But, if the two-state model is the only workable one, why isn’t it working for the Palestinians?
    ———————————————————–

    —– The two state solution is currently working for Israel and Jordan for 60 yrs now.

    The no state solution is what the Pals that run the country have wanted obviously, Has anyone considered that the Pals are as happy as they could possibly be?

    They specialize in anarchy, suicide bombing, and AK47 fratricide. What more could they want other than to drive Israel into the sea?

    It seems dogooders in the West want to impose their model of governance on Pals who obviously have other ideas on how to run things.

  232. May 9, 2008 at 18:27

    I can not believe what I’m hearing about Burma. How ridiculous to think that what is happening in that country is because of over population and global warming. I’m sick in tired of the global warming hysteria.

    The barbaric dictatorship system of government in Burma is the real problem. To think that peoples is the problem is very evil.
    As civilized nations we have the obligation to help our neighbors in distress.
    China said that what is going on in Burma is an internal problem. How sad for China.
    Let’s do not punish people for the evil of their governments.

    The UN needs to show what they made of and enter the country by power if is necessary in order to save peoples life.

    Solomon Urriola
    Salt Lake City, Utah.

  233. 233 Shirley
    May 9, 2008 at 19:52

    Hello, Steve
    You’ve said that the Arab armies had more equipment and troops. I am wondering what your source of information is for this. I have seen quotes from a December 1997 JPost article by Abraham Rabinovich that claimed, “Senior Hagana commanders met with [UN Special Committee On Palestine] members…in similarly surreptitious circumstances to express confidence that Jewish forces, which they numbered at 90,000, including 35,000 reservists, could overcome any Arab assault should it come to war.” I saw quotes from “The Sword and the Olive” by Martin van Creveld that indicated that the Arab armies amounted to 30,000 troops and that the Jordanian contingent was the strongest. Other quotes from “The Sword and the Olive” imply that the Arab army had communication problems and insufficient ammunition. Van Creveld also claimed that the Arab armies were “technically incompetent, slow, ponderous, badly led, and unable to cope with night operations that willy-nilly, constituted the IDF’s expertise.” I read quotes from “Israel: A History” by Martin Gilbert indicating that there were agreements made between Jordan and Israeli negotiators: “Ben-Gurion made serious efforts, shortly before the United Nations vote on the Partition proposal, to seek the neutrality of King Abdullah of Transjordan… [King Abudullah] soon made the heart of the matter clear: he would not join in any Arab attack on us. … After all, we had a common foe, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.” I have also heard that as of October 1948, Israel had 90,000 troops, while the Arab armies had less than 70,000.

    I am aware that the Arab armies did not come with friendly intentions. I personally feel that they came in response to a call from the Arab world to defend the Palestinians. Your reference to the Arab occupation of Palestinian lands has me curious. Why do you refer to it as an occupation? Are there any references from Palestinian leaders or intellectuals to the same as an occupation?

    It is hard for me to have this kind of dialogue while maintaining a respectful tone and keeping a level head, because the issue is near and dear to me. I am grateful, then, that you have posted your arguments respectfully and tactfully.

  234. 234 Alec Paterson
    May 10, 2008 at 01:24

    Happy birthday Israel, and many of them.

    The mandated territory of Palestine consisted of various ethnic groups, of which the greater number were Jews and Arabs. The British reneged on the terms of the Mandate they were given to (re-)establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine. First, in 1921/2 Churchill unilaterally give away three quarters of Palestine to the Hashemites to create Jordan; sought to appease Arab terrorism by reneging on its undertaking to encourage Jewish immigration into Palestine, even while the Holocaust was unfolding in Europe, and instead turned a blind eye to mass illegal Arab immigration.

    Palestine as a national identity was created solely to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. The Arabs themselves have said so time and again. Here are a few such quotes:
    ‘There is no such country as Palestine. “Palestine” is a term the Zionists invented. […]Our country was for centuries part of Syria. “Palestine” is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it.’
    Auni Bey Abdul-Had, Local Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937

    ‘There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not.’
    Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1946

    ‘It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria’.
    Ahmed Shukairy, United Nations Security Council, 1956

    ‘The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.’
    Zahir Muhsein, PLO March 31, 1977
    ‘Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.’
    King Hussein 1982

    ‘Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? We did not particularly mind Jordanian rule. The teaching of the destruction of Israel was a definite part of the curriculum, but we considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then all of the sudden we were Palestinians – they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all at once we had a Palestinian flag. When I finally realized the lies and myths I was taught, it is my duty as a righteous person to speak out’.
    Walid Shoebat, former PLO terrorist.

    There is a strong strain of anti-Semitism in Islam, which is rooted in the Qu’ran, which contains a great deal of material that forms the foundation for a hatred of Jews. This we see and hear on a daily basis in the Arab world. Including the grand sheilk of Al Azhur, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, has called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs” That is one of many statements made by Islamic clerics and media.

  235. 235 Virginia Davis
    May 10, 2008 at 08:18

    @ Tino & Steve: Neither of you has an understanding of what “conflict resolution” is. See Wikipedia to get a basic notion. It is a negotiation between two parties (that Sinn Fein/IRA wants a united Ireland and Hamas/others want to destroy Israel is a SPECIFIC detail) and requires a third party for intervention. Negotiation requires dialog!

    And please don’t come back at my argument with either side practicing more better violence. More better violence does not exist.

    Try and distinguish between a general “theory” and historical realities. And stop asking me if I’d like to be the object of Hamas violence.

    Not after my years of experience living incarcerated in wards of mental hospitals and being able to communicate with people who lived in worlds COMPLETELY different from mine.

    Virginia in Portland, OR

  236. 236 Tino
    May 10, 2008 at 13:46

    “@ Tino & Steve: Neither of you has an understanding of what “conflict resolution” is. See Wikipedia to get a basic notion. It is a negotiation between two parties (that Sinn Fein/IRA wants a united Ireland and Hamas/others want to destroy Israel is a SPECIFIC detail) and requires a third party for intervention. Negotiation requires dialog!”

    One party stating its desired goal is the elimination of the other party = conflict resolution is impossible. Unless Hamas renounces such ideas, they cannot be engaged rationally. This is because the ONLY acceptable resolution to their ‘problem’. Is that perhaps more clear for you? It will not work, not with a third, fourth, or even fifth party – conflict resolution kind of automatically implies one party not wanting to exterminate the other. It worked for the IRA issue because they, once again, did not want to eliminate all British people and their country. This is a fundamental difference.

    As for better violence, it does exist. Violence is a tool and if it is used with proper intentions, is much better. Killing civilians in terror attacks is worse than defending your citizens with a uniformed military force. If you cannot understand that I do not even know what to say…

  237. 237 Tino
    May 10, 2008 at 13:48

    “This is because the ONLY acceptable resolution to their ‘problem’.”

    Should read: “This is because the ONLY acceptable resolution to their ‘problem’ is the elimination of Israel.”

  238. 238 Mark
    May 12, 2008 at 04:28

    Israel has the only real freind it will ever need, the United States of America, the overwhelming support of it’s government and its people. That’s more than Europe can say.

  239. 239 Michael
    May 12, 2008 at 12:32

    The fact of the matter is that Israel is the lone democracy in the Middle East. As such she is a beacon of technological and cultural advancement. When her neighbours will learn to garner regional benefit from Israel’s progress instead of constantly and aimlessly threatening her then all will benefit and the entire Middle East will be unrecognisable in another decade. The aim of destruction is futile and is actually an exercise in self- destruction.


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