On Air : Young hearts…

_45348891_gazakids_ap226The tv news channels and the papers have featured images of frightened and injured children on both sides of the conflict in Gaza.

During the war in Lebanon, we spoke to children on both sides- as well as children around the world saying what they felt about the images they were seeing.

It was a moving and illuminating hour. At first both the Lebanese and Israeli kids empathised with each other. They talked about their mutual fear when the sirens sounded, not knowing if it was their house that would be hit.

The e-mails we got at the time were full of praise for these young voices. When Anu asked them who they blamed, they reverted to type . The e-mails changed tone ; “how depressing “, “the propagandists of the future” and so on.

By the end, they were sharing a belief in a more hopeful future and then one of the Israeli girl’s fathers offered one of the Lebanese families shelter until the end of the conflict.

Dominic Nutt of Save The Children told the BBC what his workers were reporting in Gaza….

“They don’t have any water most of the day, there is no electricity, they are freezing cold, the windows have to be left open to stop them smashing when the bombs fall.

“Children are at risk from hypothermia, they are malnourished, there is not enough food, the situation is getting desperate.”

Queen Rania of Jordan says that children should not be “collateral damage” in the conflict, and the charity World Vision talks about the psychological stress of children in Gaza and southern Israel since the military action began.

So we will talk to children and people working with them on today’s show. Post your questions below.




69 Responses to “On Air : Young hearts…”

  1. 1 1430a
    January 6, 2009 at 14:30

    Hello everyone,

    I have a simple question: why are children being hurt in a war where they have no connection?Also,I request Mark to delete this stressful picture.This is too upsetting to bear for the eye of another young boy.

    Thank you,

  2. January 6, 2009 at 14:43

    it is very sad when children are caught in conflict. when aid is delivered, it usually focuses on women and children. it will be the children that stop the conflicts of their parents. its mothers that urge their children to stay out of wars and fights.
    my question is, will the children involved in this horrible conflict learn from the mistakes and the intolerances of their fathers?
    can they learn peace? or must the world watch as their children become the casualties of war?

  3. 3 Nelson
    January 6, 2009 at 14:47

    Is there post traumatic therapy available to these children to help them cope with the sides effects of being caught up in a conflict; to minimize the possible effects it could have on them later in life?

  4. 4 David
    January 6, 2009 at 15:17

    I repeat again here: As a Christian and a pacifist, I hate what I see. Slaughtering and maiming children, mothers and the elderly and make them never to face real life again is totally against international law. But who polices international law, Bush and Chaney whose job is to pick and choose.

    I will say it again: the UN should be disbanded, and the international Court of Justice close its doors. Then countries can do what they want when they want it.

  5. 5 Orion
    January 6, 2009 at 15:30

    There is a very simple answer to this question. As long as wars persist, as long as human life…ALL HUMAN LIFE, is revered, the innocent and the indifferent will be continually used or caught up in conflict. Read ” The Animal Farm” by George Orwell ( Eric Arthur Blair), all are equal, but some are more equal than others.

  6. January 6, 2009 at 15:43

    I am glad you reminded people about the war in Lebanon (Beruit that time), and who was in the middle of it; the PLO that time hidding in the basement of a grade school. You know two wrongs will never = a right. However, what kind of bias is there when Palastinian factions keep locating there enclavesm and conduct violent opperations in heavy civilian populated areas, a there is no outrage aired on behalf of the civilians being used as human shields. I just find that totally anger provoking.
    I don’t think the Palastinian cause is helped by this kind of behavior,. Hidding behind the civilian population should be an instant death sentence to terrorist found in a civilian neighborhood. If the shoe was on my foot and they were next door, their house would be set on fire and the bastards would be killed who tried to run out of the house. The cost of terror in america, we will kill the terrorist our selves. If we can identify them they will die vigilante style. I dont hate any one, I just will not tolerate my life or my families lives being put in jepordy.
    If I thought terrorist could be shown the face of God by talking to them I would talk until I dropped dead from talking, but I cant gaurentee them salvation in their minds by talking, only God can change their minds about what gains them salvation. Killing Isralies, or Americans wont save them either! But try and convince them of that your selves. See if they don’t try and kill you too!

  7. 7 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 6, 2009 at 16:07

    A far greater number of children are suffering far worse in Darfur, the Congo and Zimbabwe. While my heart goes out to the children suffering physical and psychological trauma in Israel and Gaza, I fail to understand why their suffering monopolizes the BBC’s coverage to the point where we are left in ignorance of the starvation, disease and violence that is killing and harming so many other children elsewhere.

  8. January 6, 2009 at 16:08

    The only thing I could say about this topic is:
    In what moment people became such monsters as to let these atrocities inflicted upon children?

  9. 9 Ana Milena, Colombia
    January 6, 2009 at 16:19

    Hi! 🙂
    Having innocents involved is just part of the definitions of war. I can remember neither a single war in which innocents, including children, are not victims. Of course, they don’t really care as long as they’re not their children, and sometimes they even turn to their own children — when they’re not only affected ur hurt, but also when they’re recruited and brainwashed for ‘serving their country’ .

    I feel international organisations who are supposed to support civilians including children are doing nothing. Save The Children is by far one of the only institutions, but they really lack help, because concentration, effort and money is all destined to war.

    I guess the international community and private institutions can help, by designing programs of support in which children can be sheltered while war is on, as well as receive psychological support. Of course it would need volunteers, and I guess many people would be glad to help. I’m sure WE can help!

  10. January 6, 2009 at 16:24

    The BBC should draw the line in receiving repeated televised reports and showing it on their world news repeatably. Their reporter Abu Ali televised reports which I have seen several times repeated of his interview with a Scandinavian doctor in a hospital where civilian casualties are being treated, also the sorrowfull plight of children who are injured in the war. It would be better if this reporter goes out and reports from where the fighting is taking place.
    Israel whilst trying their best to avoid civilian casualties are warring with Hamas who chose to do their dirty work in the heart of the civilian population, they hide in schools, mosques and apartment buildings and also fire their rockets into Israel from there, in which case there are bound to be civilian casualties. Most of the casualties stated should be reported as confirmed or unconfirmed. We know it is common practice to lie about the number of casualties coming from the Palestineans.
    Rockets are still landing in Israel though they are fewer, not the hundreds before the war began.
    In World War 2, most of the population in Heroshima and Nagasaki died when atomic bombs fell there, that was justified to end the war with Japan. Israel in their consideration are not blanket bombing Gaza, but are targeting the Hamas terrorists only.
    Whilst the reporter Abu Ali chooses to report from the safety of the hospital, I think the BBC should despense him from reporting at all.
    The people of Israel values human lives but when their own citizens are killed with rockets fired on to them by the terrorist organisation Hamas, Israel has no choice but to try to put an end to it. What nation on earth would not do the same?.

  11. 11 Justin from Iowa
    January 6, 2009 at 16:26

    That’s war. You expect it to be sanitized? Well, we Americans apparently do, but its not. Its evil and ugly. The horror of war is the reason the UN is supposed to be there, to stop it where it can be stopped and intervene where it is needed. Maybe we need to take another look at the power we give, and don’t give, to the UN.

  12. 12 Patti in Cape Coral
    January 6, 2009 at 16:31

    My heart goes out to the children of this and any war. I think most people that object to these images do so because they are heart breaking, and also because we feel helpless. How do you stop a war that neither side wants to stop? And of course, children learn to do the same. When I see the suffering in those children’s faces, I see the perpetuation of violence, what else have they been taught?

  13. January 6, 2009 at 16:38

    The current situation with the school epitomizes the reality of the situation and the horrible approach by the Israelis and the rest of the world to solving this issue. Young school children have no power, strength, intentions, or motivations in this conflict that they are aware of. Yet they are being used as both physical and political pawns. They are powerless to force the offending Palestinian rebels and their rockets out of their schools, and they are even more powerless to do anything to stop the Israelis from bombing their schools. In their limited perspective, they see only the Israeli bombs killing their classmates and the rebels fighting the Israelis who killed their family and friends. It doesn’t matter if there perspective is accurate or not, it is their reality.

    Until cooler more logical heads prevail and start treating this like a police action where the rocket launchings into Israel are treated like a criminal act instead of an act of war, this will continue to happen.

  14. 14 Ana Milena, Colombia
    January 6, 2009 at 17:03

    Hi! 🙂

    @ Donnamarie
    I agree with you: children involved in conflict doesn’t exclusively take place in Middle East, Asia or Africa: It’s everywhere! Namely, Colombia’s underage victims of landmines, or kids who are kidnapped, murdered before their families’ eyes, or recruited.

    The conflict between Israel and Hamas is a current issue that exemplifies this unfair, disappointing and terrifying situation. I’m just listening how some children and more people were killed after a school was attacked… Imagine that, a school!! How’s that possible!

    I wonder how we, as common citizens, can help, besides praying God for these little angels who are being affected by war…

  15. 15 Ramesh
    January 6, 2009 at 17:03

    When I was in Europe, I was fortunate to see around 3 year old kids from at least 5 cultures in a single room. Every kid was just like the others. It was so striking to note that how those kids would grow so differently because of religious and cultural differences.

  16. 16 Steven
    January 6, 2009 at 17:06

    Here’s my question for any people working with children in the Middle East:

    Do you see any evidence where you work of the local government using children for their own political purposes, either as physical shields, or as emotional shields, i.e. placing children in harm’s way and then using pictures of injured children as propaganda.

  17. 17 Lubna
    January 6, 2009 at 17:16

    Hi gang ! :-)… I do have only one quesion : How can I, as a helpless outsider who does really care about and sympathise with the ordeal of the Palestinian people, help out the children of Gaza ?! What should I do ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  18. 18 Venessa
    January 6, 2009 at 17:35

    Conflict is an endless cycle that plagues the middle east. Sadly I fear the children surviving these attacks on both sides are going to be the next generation of militants hell bent on winning a war….whatever that is supposed to mean.

  19. 19 kpellyhezekiah
    January 6, 2009 at 17:46

    Yes, young hearts. Someone should ask the Israelites leadership if they think they are fighting to secure the security of their children or trying to score political points for their impending elections. I am grateful to everyone all over the world who have join in the crusade to make Israel stop their foolishness.

  20. January 6, 2009 at 17:47

    How is it possible that mosques are bombed at prayer time and schools, even after coordinates were given to the Israeli army for its location. What’s more, the dropping of leaflets to inform the Gazans to leave their houses and head to the centre of the city, or else face death seems like such a harsh and inhumane ultimatum, bearing in mind the deep sense of fear that many must now be feeling.

    How are the children contending with all this – the cold, no food and the additional stress of being killed by falling bombs from the sky? (This seems like more than overkill, to me). Have any of the children lost loved ones in the ongoing air strikes and, if so, how are they coping under the cicumstances?

  21. 21 viola
    January 6, 2009 at 17:48

    Queen Rania is right. Who can look into the face of an infant or young child and say they deserve to suffer from war? The indifference of those who try to use them as shields against an enemy that tries to avoid killing innocents is the the most disgusting hypocrisy and cynicism.

    I try to put these things into perspective every time I see infants and young children here where I live and imagine what their lives would be like if that kind of war should come here. I hope if it were happening here, the people who use such tactics would be destroyed rather than hailed as saviors and heroes.

    There is no honor in the death of infants and children whether it comes from the enemy or from your own people’s cynical tactics.

  22. January 6, 2009 at 17:50

    Oh, and one other thing, specifically, for children in Gaza:

    What are their impressions of Hamas, at this time?

    Do they even understand the basis for the war?

    If so, what recommendations, if any, do they have for the possibilities of peace?

  23. January 6, 2009 at 17:57

    A thought exercise related to this issue.

    Suppose that a terrorist has gotten cornered. You are the commander of the operation and have been called to the scene only to find your child is being held by the organization in another unknown location. This particular extremist is holding the plans and key element to a nuclear bomb the organization has acquired. Do you kill the terrorist, saving possibly thousands of lives, but ensuring your own child’s probably cruel death? Do you let the terrorist leave and watch one day as a neighborhood somewhere else is leveled by a nuclear explosion?

    There is really no right and wrong answer to these exercises, they are just a matter of moral perspective. What do you think is going through the heads of an Israeli bomber about to drop a bomb on a school?

  24. 24 kpellyhezekiah
    January 6, 2009 at 18:18

    Please, would someone tell Israel that by its actions in the past 14 days they have sharttered any/every possibility of even their children and most probably their grandchildren from making peace with palestine when their time comes unless the Lord God entervenes by a migty hand. And please they should stop giving us the flimsy excuse that its because of the rockets being fired into Israel that’s why they are on this onslaught. Were the rockets not being fired before the 1st truce was agreed?

  25. 25 Philip
    January 6, 2009 at 18:20

    I feel terrible for the children on both sides of this conflict, but in any war especially one being fought in such a densely populated area there will always be civilian casualties.
    The fact of the matter is that Hamas an extremist, terrorist organisation cares more about its mission to indiscriminately fire rockets purposely targeting innocent Israeli civilians than its own people.
    Hamas has had millions of taxpayers dollars in aid but instead of spending it on trying to improve its own citizens lives ie: infrastructure, education, health etc instead it has spent it on tunnels in which it can smuggle in weapons for its militant fighters.
    Regarding the plight of the innocent children in Gaza, it is not just that they are casualties of war, but their plight is made worse by the fact Hamas purposely use their own civilian poulation to hide amongst and use as human shields.
    Israel has a right just like any other democracy in the world to defend itself and has actually showed more restraint over the last nine years of rocket attacks than any other democratic country would I am sure.
    Let’s also not forget that Hamas backed by Iran and Syria are no friends of the democratic west either. They promote hatred and terror and their sole end game is to convert the whole world if they could to one Islamic State.
    Instead of blaming Israel, the world’s press should start putting pressure on the Arab countries.

  26. 26 GB
    January 6, 2009 at 18:22

    @ Donnamarie

    You are spot on! The current coverage is testament to the ongoing theme of sensationalized news coverage…

    @ Dwight

    I can scarcely imagine what goes through the minds of the soldiers bombing schools or the commanders who order said attacks. Tzipi Livni’s (the Israeli Foreign Minister) remarks after the bombing of the UN school in Gaza , where I believe 30 students were killed, were very disappointing but I was not altogether surprised.

  27. 27 will
    January 6, 2009 at 18:25

    Listening to these two young girls argue is perhaps the most heartbreaking moment of the war. So young, angry.

  28. 28 kpellyhezekiah
    January 6, 2009 at 18:29

    If the world doesn’t know how to make Hamas stop firing the rockets then let me offer my 1st suggestion as to how to achieve this. We need a UN force to enter and patrol the Gaza strip for as long as it takes. Their mission: to keep an eagle eye for rockets and move in to affect arrests when any are fired into Israel. A force of not less than 10000 troops on the ground. The world must find the money to keep them there until sanity prevails then the numbers can be scaled down as it improves. Israel please, in the name of Jehovah, STOP your aggression. Hamas, please put down your arms.

  29. 29 Tom
    January 6, 2009 at 18:33

    Hello, I am from Portland Oregon in the United Sates. It is sad that children are dying. I heard one o your speakers say that the civilians have nothing to do with Hamas. but I remember that the Civilians voted Hamas into power knowing full well what kind of people the were. I do wish there was a way to fight with out killing children but unfortunately i do not see how especially in an area so populated. Hamas could have avoided this by stopping the rocket attacks. It is clear they dont care for their people

  30. 30 Kathy
    January 6, 2009 at 18:33

    I would like to know whether the rockets launched by Hamas have all been fired at illegal Jewish settlements. These illegal settlements provoke retribution and I think the Israeli government knows this. It chooses to allow the extremists to steal Palestinian land. Who started this mess? We did.

  31. 31 Abena
    January 6, 2009 at 18:34

    Judging by the heated uncompromising verbal exchanges between the young people from both sides I can clearly see there is little hope for the next generations in Gaza and Israel.

  32. January 6, 2009 at 18:34

    my heart bleeds for the people of gaza especially the children. Israel says they try to avoid civilian casualtys but unfortunately majority of what they have accomplished is civilian casualtys. what i get from this is that an isralei life values more than a palestinian life and the israeli’s say all they want is peace, well all they are fueling is hate! all they have done is inspired the next generation of suicide bombers.

  33. 33 Laurence
    January 6, 2009 at 18:35

    World have your say,
    Please stop describing the conflict as if it’s equally balanced as if both Gazans and Israelis are equally being attacked and killed. Every single Gazan is under fire, while only a small percentage of Israelis are within range of Hamas’ rockets within a maximum of 20 miles. Yes, Hamas’ rockets must stop! But Israel is only adding fuel to fire.

  34. 34 Raouf
    January 6, 2009 at 18:36

    There is no comparison the Israeli children have shelters to hide in – Psychiatrists to help them with the trauma and a place to flee to – the Palestinians – have no where to hide even the UN sanctuaries are targeted.
    There shall be no peace with out real Justice

  35. 35 J in Ohio
    January 6, 2009 at 18:37

    It is a terrible tragedy that the UN run school in Gaza City was hit and even worse the number of casualties. I do not believe that Israel would intentionally target a civilian haven but we must understand two things: 1. that this is a war and sometimes targets are mis-hits and more importantly #2. Hamas has a history of using civilians – specifically children and women as shields to deliberately making the world sympathize with their plight. Isreal has asked that children in the bordering towns be sent toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and away from immediate harm and Hamas has told the Palastinians to stay at home in Gaza City. How can you fight a moral fight when your opponent is willing to sacrifice their children?

  36. 36 Lin
    January 6, 2009 at 18:41

    Human lives are playing second fiddle to the process of assigning blame and responsibility which belongs to the world as a whole dating to the days of the British. Both the Isrealis and the Gazans are a people under seige. The salient difference being the type of siege. Both sides have lost their moral high grounds. I hear the words “them” and “us” being used by the young people. Both sides need to come to the table without pre-conditions including Isreal requiring Hamas acknowledge its right to exist. Isreal needs to remember Masada. The Palestians are the strategically weaker. If Isreal truly just wants Hamas then they should open the gates – at least to Palestian children and allow them to have physical safety perhaps then the words “them” and “us” will turn to “we” in the next generation.

  37. January 6, 2009 at 18:42

    Reposting an earlier asked question. Not sure why it did not appear on the board.

    How do you (children) have faith in adults when they can cause such carnage and destruction and place you in a crisis for which you have no responsibility?

  38. 38 GB
    January 6, 2009 at 18:44

    @ Will

    There is no dialogue…they are speaking but each ready to defend their view and condemn those of the others with little, if any critical analysis. There is no real attempt at understanding, which would be remarkable given the circumstances but absolutely necessary for a ‘solution’.

    These personal stories really help illuminate the reality of war…the common thread of humanity running between those on opposing sides…the insanity of it all…

  39. 39 Harry in San Francisco (KALW)
    January 6, 2009 at 18:44

    I would like to know how the young Israelis and Palestinians feel about Israel’s arsenal of nuclear warheads. Do they believe that Israel should have nuclear weapons? When would they use them?

  40. 40 Arablak, Atlanta, GA
    January 6, 2009 at 18:45

    This entire conflict is ridiculous. Nothing but destruction and death has been accomplished. Innocent children are being murdered. And these children could potentially be the population of the future that can bring peace to the region. I’ll never understand the logic behind these wars. I guess coexistence and equality has been dismissed as just a faint dream.

  41. January 6, 2009 at 18:49

    Right, so we should blame Hamas for all the innocent Gazan children whom the Israeli military forces have killed, injured, or terrified are killing, injuring, or terrifying, and will continue to kill, injure, or terrify, and at the same time we should also blame Hamas for all innocent Israeli children who are apparantly alive and OK… Heaven knows that I do wish and pray for any innocent civilian to be safe and sound in the middle of all this madness, whether Palestinian or Israeli… But there’s no comparison at all between the size of the Palestinian sufferance and the size of the Israeli sufferance as a result of the Israeli aggression on Gaza and its people… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  42. January 6, 2009 at 18:51

    @ Steve,

    For what it is worth, I am a little shocked that you could feel there is no value in hearing the voices of those affected by this war, in this case Palestinian children. More to the point, there does seem a fairly legitimate premise on which to make claims about targetting children/ civilians, in light of the ‘direct hit’ on the school which was being used as a refugee centre in Gaza, especially as it was said that the coordinates were given to the Israeli army before.

  43. 43 Steven
    January 6, 2009 at 18:51

    Hamas has turned the children of Gaza into involuntary and unwilling martyrs–low-tech weapons to combat Israeli F-16’s and tanks.

    The children of Gaza are in danger as long as Hamas has a presence there. If Hamas had any interest at all in preserving Palestinian children, they would cease firing rockets into Israel. Instead, Hamas finds that pictures of crying children flashed around the world serve their purpose just fine.

  44. 44 Raouf
    January 6, 2009 at 18:51

    Question : If you democratically elect government that you enemy does not like then you deserve to die ?

  45. 45 GB
    January 6, 2009 at 18:53

    It is disingenuous to say that Israel stopped occupying Gaza…there was a pullback and Israel subsequently enacted a very punishing blockade for about 2 years. While there was no physical occupation Israel effectively continued to ‘occupy’ Gaza and the international community stood by…stood by until the current escalation…

  46. 46 Ana Milena, Colombia
    January 6, 2009 at 18:58

    Children are just mirrors of their own situation in their location. That’s why they’re just ready to defend their point of view. I guess in this situation few people within this conflict are likely to asume an impartial position. And that’s reasonable…

    May god bless these children!

  47. 47 Razvan, Ro
    January 6, 2009 at 19:00

    Hy. My name is Razvan, I’m a doctor in Romania. Listening to your programme I burst into tears, literally, when I heard the two children talking to each other : MY GOD< does ANYBODY realises what are they put through in this , I’d say, endless war ? Their childhood is torn appart, tehy are psychologically murderd, tehy are transformed into “hate-the-other” machines. Even they, seem not to be able to get along with each other ! It doesn’t matter how many people die in Gaza or Israel as long as there are people dieing

  48. January 6, 2009 at 19:00

    To follow on Lubna’s and Arablak’s point, the level of the carnage to smoke out Hamas seems like an especially expensive, if not altogether unjust way of achieving such ends. From what I can tell, the tough talk of Hamas’ leaders has not had the follow through in terms of expectations of more carnage on the side of the Israeli army. Regardless of how justified Israel’s pain and frustrations in terms of the terror occassioned by rocket launches, this does not begin to compare to the slaughter of the innocents in Gaza. We really need to get a perspective here! Children are dying, who have no business being placed on the frontlines. It is almost as if the ‘all out war’ on Hamas extends, in a way, to the people of Gaza who have been placed in an untennable situation. It is especially painful to hear, watch and read reports of this war!

  49. January 6, 2009 at 19:05

    @ Raouf,

    I have wondered about that myself, I must tell you. Thanks for asking.

    An unfortunate precedence, for better or worse, was set with Saddam! And, PLEASE I am not suggesting that he was either a good man or even an effective leader. Far from it! I am suggesting, however, that the concept of western democratic capitalism is so compromised, in so many ways, one really must ask these questions as a way of highlighting the contradictions in the notions of freedom implicit in its thesis.

  50. January 6, 2009 at 20:53

    Israel is just defending herself…

    I know, preposterous.

  51. 51 Esma
    January 6, 2009 at 21:39

    I just can not believe how Israel could attack on a school where is obviously full of innocent children. How come they justify their cruelty by saying that among the killers there were Hamas people as well? This is absurd!! I am sick and tired with their ridiculess filimsy excuses…History will never forget this slaughter…

    I pray for the poeple who live under the siege with fear in Gaza 😦

  52. 52 Paul
    January 7, 2009 at 00:35

    I would like to ask the American posters on here who have such little sympathy for the children currently being killed and injured in Gaza, to imagine for just one moment that they were American kids. I never cease to be surprised by just how blinkered and insensitive you people are to others suffering whilst insisting that the world share the pain (literally) of 9-11.

  53. 53 DENNIS
    January 7, 2009 at 07:09

    From Abhinav (1430a) post on January 6, 2009 at 14:30

    Mark and or anyone at the WHYS? Could you answer this question: About putting up this picture….It is very stressful picture to post without some sort of WARNING about it….

    I am not a young person…I think it could be toned a little bit.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  54. 54 DENNIS
    January 7, 2009 at 07:27

    It is very heartbreaking that these young children are not being given food, water and other things for daily living….

    And, some of them are not even being given medical care….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  55. 55 Bryan
    January 7, 2009 at 08:59

    Kathy January 6, 2009 at 18:33

    You ask, “I would like to know whether the rockets launched by Hamas have all been fired at illegal Jewish settlements.”

    The answer is “no.” They are firing at undisputed areas of Israel that were Israeli as far back as the 1949 Armistice lines – i.e. the borders that so many are pushing Israel to withdraw to, claiming there will then be “peace.”

    melissa January 6, 2009 at 18:34

    You are wrong. The majority of Gazans killed in this latest clash are Hamas members, not civilians. Even Hamas itself acknowledges this.

    GB January 6, 2009 at 18:53

    You missed out an extremely important fact: Immediately after Israel’s complete withdrawal from Gaza, the Palestinians continued to fire their rockets. This was well before any “blockade,” and it demonstrated to many thinking people that the last thing that Hamas wants is peace with Israel.

    I note that you don’t mention that the Israelis continually lift the “blockade” to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

  56. 56 John in Germany
    January 7, 2009 at 09:29

    In Europe most children but not all are safe, nourished and healthy, Except for those due to the Ignorance of thier Parents are Obese due to eating junk food. In Other parts of the world Children suffer, and they suffer because Radical thinkers have children at the bottom of the importance list.

    All of the Political discussions are just time wasting. Hamas has had the chance many times to save its women-children and civilians. And has never reacted for the benefit of these, but just for its own political ends. This is not new in our World, and just shows, what criteria reigns in our modern day and Age. If Younger boys are allowed to march with the men, no wonder they are maimed, and hurt.

    In England children were forced to work in the mills, today in some countries children are treated a slaves, work, and sex wise. They are abused because Profit and Greed come first.

    Children are our future, and what do we do to ensure our future?
    What a sad World we live in.

    John in Germany.

  57. January 7, 2009 at 10:46

    Hi John in Germany
    All too true.
    Children in these parts of the world don’t count for much. Anybody under the age of 50 is a nobody.
    Values over here are so different. No state welfare system like Britian, France or Germany. You’re on your own. Either you pay medical bills or drop dead. A highly motivated population can achieve great things but laws and regulations are indispensable to mankind.
    Liberty, equality and fraternity mean nothing unless it is translated into the fight against squalor, disease and ignorance. This is politics.
    No civilized society can be without it. That’s why Israel must be restrained. It is not up to Tel Aviv to challenge Hezbollah, al-Qaeda in Iraq and fundamentalist hardliners in Iran. This is the job of regional rulers and international politicians.

  58. 58 David
    January 7, 2009 at 10:47

    Here is something I share with the writer Razvan, Ro :

    January 6, 2009 at 19:00

    “Hy. My name is Razvan, I’m a doctor in Romania. Listening to your programme I burst into tears, literally, when I heard the two children talking to each other”

    I will repeart again and again that the UN and the leaders (countries) who make the UN are to blame for what is happening in this world (Africa, Middle East and elsewhere). Can some one tell me who is really running the UN. When the UN Secretary General says conflict must stop, nothing happens. Why?

    Do we really need the UN? If we do, can some one tell me why?

    As for the dead children, mothers and the elderly, please rest in peace. As for the leaders who have inflicted this suffering to the living and the dead, remember you have very limited time to live in this world, and God is waiting to sentence you. So think now what you have to tell God that he does not know of you. Hope your next life will be as bearable as the people you have maimed on this earth.

    Good luck and continue with the slaughter.

  59. 59 David
    January 7, 2009 at 10:52

    And for the sake of the dying and the injured and the maimed children, I give up my sleep tonight.

    I will spare every moment to think of them. This is my way of saying I care.

  60. 60 K.Anaga
    January 7, 2009 at 10:55

    It is indeed a pity that so many children are made to suffer mentally and physicaly for no fault of theirs.Physical injuries may heal,but the mental ‘injuries’continue with the growth of the children. The mental injuries make some children submissive and others violent. Submissive chidren suffer so much, that they become introverts and escapist all their life, when they grow up, . On the other hand the violent ,continue their violence when they grow up. Death and distruction becomes a way of life and they like to take vengence wher and whenr possible.
    I am inclined to believe that Israilies are doing just that, in view of the the sufferngs they have undergone during the Hitlers time.The children of those who had suffered have brought up their chidren in that manner.Unfortunately most of the western countries in general and USA in particular are supporting violence under various pretext. It is obvious that the western world wants the Muslims (I am not a muslim) to be kept under their control irrespective of the death and destruction caused to the children. The Arabs are partly responsible for this plight due to their inaction and disunity.This situation will continue as a never ending cycle and I wonder whether this will ever stop.. If at all the west decides to take acton, they do it too late.
    A similar situation prevails in in the Vanni areas of Srilanka, where the Tamil chidren, young and the old to gether with their education and lively hood are being destroyed under the guise of eradicating the the “Terrorists”.
    The world is looking on.
    USA speaks of democracy,but when the Hamas was elected to govern by popular votes,USA together with Israil derailed their rule and the root cause of todays problem is just that.
    The analitical essay on e.mail “s.milne@guardian.co.uk make interesting reading

  61. January 7, 2009 at 12:33

    Hi David
    Reyr January 7, 2009 at 10:47 posting
    We have had the discussion on UN before: Is it outdated? Over-representative? Inefficient? Time consuming and slow? Yes.
    US is foremost contributor. It’s former representative John Bolton insisted that thirteen floors of the New York headquarters could disappear, without apparent loss to its effectiveness. He was probably right.
    Perhaps Russia will end up policing the Caucasus region; EU is developing on federal lines, so it can look after its affairs. A Rapid Deployment Force could replace NATO. A smaller Security Council could sit in permanenence and keep an eye on hot spots like “Africa, Middle East and elsewhere,” as you say.

  62. January 7, 2009 at 13:55

    Young hearts shouldn’t target,
    it is gainst the war ruls.

    heared a school has been targeted by air srike,
    in which many young hearts were killed,
    what i felt,can not be narrated into words.

  63. 63 K.Anaga
    January 7, 2009 at 15:24

    What is Obama going todo? Is he going to follow the foot steps of Bush or act on his own pragmatic thinking.?I don’t want to rush into conclusion but wait for his action. A leader has to lead,however unpalatable it may be to the mases.

  64. 64 John in Germany
    January 7, 2009 at 15:47

    It is worrying that there is a great possibility that some radicals are hiding behind children. If i store Armaments near Schools, or build my headquarters in built up areas or near Hospitals, i can expect that co-lateral damage will accour, in this case children and the sick. In this case it is known what will happen.

    Most countries store armaments in areas with little or no population. and even in Gazza it is possible to do this. As a father, and if i know that i am a target, i send my family to safety. is that not the basic responsibility of any man. i would not sacrifice my family for anything, and no god demands this.

    Hi Akbar Javadi. Greetings from here in this safe Europe, except for a few blown up trains, and death. caused by a European Terrorist Group. Even here there are some cancer cells in the society.

    Peace come to all
    John in Germany.

  65. January 7, 2009 at 17:08

    Hi John in Germany
    I stand with you on the family issue.
    Germany, the hub of European industry, has become a prominent power on the Continent. Is Berlin taking its leadership role seriously? Are we seeing the rise of “the Spirit of the Age” which originated in 18th century Germany? It was the driving force behind Bismarck, Palmerston and Winston Churchill. Should we put our trust in a strong Germany, willing and able to lead Europe alongside Britain and France?
    How does the German public react to the war in Gaza?

  66. January 7, 2009 at 18:50

    What have made the modern world?
    atomic bombs,
    predator trons,
    fast fighter planes,
    long and wide war ships,
    but failed to make place safer for young hearts
    at the time of war.

  67. 67 Nilou
    January 8, 2009 at 08:00

    I don’t know what wrong with us,seeing unbalance war and still defending Israel?
    If Isreal has rights to defends themselves from rockets,then why not Palestinian defend themselves?common 3000 people were killed in Gaza, for 3 Isrealian army?

  68. 68 John in Germany
    January 8, 2009 at 14:35

    Hi Akbar Javadi.

    Germany is now in an Election year, so the cock is crowing as loud as it can.
    I see a future for Germany in Steinmeyer, Angela Merkel is a prodigee of Helmut Kohl. and she loves travelling. She has been a good leader, but it is time for a change.

    The people on the street that i know believe that Israel is punching a bit to hard, but believe that Hamas has the Key to peace, it just needs to stop throwing rockets at the Israelis. . The Press is a different mater, but when has the press been an accurate picture of what the people think. Its is bound to print articles to give good daily sales.


    The Hamas is not defending itself, it started firing rockets at Israel. Knowing very well what the result would be. It expected more sympathy from the rest of the world, and straight away. Remember Death is the end, no matter if one, or a thousand. One child dead is a catastrophe for a Family, it hurts.

    John in Germany.

  69. 69 zmira wicking
    February 7, 2009 at 21:15

    My question is
    If the HANAS really care about those children and weman, why are they using rockets for so many years, knowing that Israel will react and accidentley kill children an weman.
    HAMAS doing it delibratly so they can have the world on there side and create more recentment for Israel.

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