On air: Can Israel do whatever it wants?

Hello from BBC Television Centre in West London. We’ve two shows for you today – one on the TV on BBC World News at 1530GMT, and one on the radio at the normal time. Our question is being debated from two distinct perspectives.

1) Those who argue Israel can do whatever it wants because it’s entitled to. It has every right to provide security for its people, and that is a bigger priority than worrying about the concerns of the UN, the Arab world, or in fact anyone else.

2) Israel is doing whatever it wants but it’s scandalous that it’s being allowed to happen. Where is the outrage of the Arab world? Where is the military action of the Arab world some of you even say?

The third view is that Israel can’t do whatever it wants, and that its actions are rightly limited by international law and international expectations.

Where do you stand?

355 Responses to “On air: Can Israel do whatever it wants?”

  1. January 8, 2009 at 13:13

    Israel has the right to defend itself from these kinds of attacks. That is my stand.
    we are against Israel when they take actions against Hamas but no one do anything about the plea for their destruction, by the Arab world.

    we seem to forget the six day war, and the reactions of Americans when the world trade centers went down. we ask for war, and we are well aware that these attacks againt us are du to our relations with Israel.

    The Arabs are calling for the destruction of and entire nation and people, that alone is enough for Israel to defend itself. Israel will survive; and I pray to God that they do.

    I am happy to see that Israel is in the advantage.

  2. 2 Dan
    January 8, 2009 at 13:18

    When nations have disagreements and the facilities to talk to one another can no longer function then war breaks out. The UN has become an impotent body of old men unable to generate any authority, moral or otherwise.
    Israel was attacked for the past 3 years to the deafening silence of the entire world. No one can claim they did not know as the results of the rocket attacks were broadcast in the media daily.
    Finally, absent any international intervention, the decision was made to remove the threat and in any war the object is to win.
    Hamas, a terrorist organization, started the war and Israel is castrating them while they fight and win the war.
    Thus as a UN member nation that has been attacked while the UN kept silent has every right and obligation to defend itself. The UN’s calls for any cease fire has no moral authority as they have never been an honest broker.
    So the question is not “Can Israel do whatever it wants” but should be “Why should we deny any nation attacked has the absolute right to defend itself?”.

  3. 3 Mark From Kansas
    January 8, 2009 at 13:29

    It seems that they can.
    I honestly don’t know why they continue to use conventional war fare, when they and the rest of the world knows that it only feeds the fuel of hate.
    They would be held accountable I believe if the US didn’t pander to them like a star struck lover. They practicaly break into baby talk, and giggles “I wuv you! I wuv you more…” It’s kind of nauseating to see American politicians talk about Israel, they must have some serious dirt on these guys.
    From what is see by making war with its neighbors, ignoring cease fire agreements with acts of war (Blockades), and continuing to build settlements on Palestinian land Israel is producing terrorists by the hundreds of thousands.

  4. 4 M. Adebayo
    January 8, 2009 at 13:40

    It appears so, but it should not be so under International law.

    • 5 Andy
      November 9, 2009 at 14:31

      There’s really no such thing as “international law”.

      Laws between different nations are generally governed by treaties, which may, in turn, be bilateral or multilateral.

  5. January 8, 2009 at 13:42

    All I want is for the Arabs and Jews to live in peace.

  6. 7 Paul
    January 8, 2009 at 13:48

    As long as there remains recoverable crude oil in the Middle East naturally resulting in the continuation of corporation protection plans taken in the area by the United States of America thereby insuring its access to the remaining oil, sure, the Israeli government will do whatever it wants.

  7. 8 Norman Al;tstedter
    January 8, 2009 at 13:49

    BBC: I suggested yesterday to a discuision group at this senior living organizatiion at the east end of Long Island that perhaps Israel’s response to the mostly ineffectual missiles from Gaza was “disproportionate”. I was looked at as if I were some kind of terrorist. Not one person in this group of “sixties plus” would offer any suggestion as to why it wasn’t disproportionate. Not even from a distinguished former minitister who has long succored the poor and downtrodden. I ascribe their reaction to their limited reading of the U.S. media.
    Norman Altstedter

  8. 9 rash
    January 8, 2009 at 13:53

    well its kind of obvious that israel will continue to do what ever it wants….clearly they are not a part of the rest of the world.they dont care nothing about the rest of the world,not even america. as long as they can continue these hidious attacks the are happy….they become more happy by shedding innocent muslim’s blood. that is what israel is after.

  9. January 8, 2009 at 14:04

    no one can just do what they want to. They are accountable, just as the people who attack them are. the answer to problems are not guns and killing, neither is harbouring killers and militants.

  10. 11 Roy, Washington DC
    January 8, 2009 at 14:16

    Israel can and will do what it wants, but if the world disagrees with it, there will be conflict. They’re stuck in a vicious cycle right now — they bomb an organization like Hamas, who bombs them back, who they then bomb some more, and so on.

  11. 12 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 8, 2009 at 14:17

    If Hamas could get what it wants, it would wipe Israel off the map. Israel could wipe Gaza off the map if it wanted to but has not done so.

    Hamas’s charter explicitly rules out a peaceful solution to the conflict. A majority of Israelis appear to want a peaceful two state solution.

    It seems unlikely that Israel will ever get what it wants. Given that Hamas rules out the possibility of peace, just whom do you think is getting what it wants and doing what it wants? Hamas is doing precisely what it wants, getting a great deal of press and sympathy as a result of its continuing violent efforts to destroy the state of Israel, with a cynical disregard for the lives and well-being of the citizens of Gaza.

  12. 13 Alby
    January 8, 2009 at 14:22

    Yes they can. They have money and lots of bombs and there are few watch dogs (certainly not in the US) who can really create any kind of legislative action against them.

    e.g. UN resolutions blocked by US reps whose public is in the dark.

    As long as Big Brother with big stick and Big Stupid Voter Block is out there, why change? (well, a soon to be Colossally Bankrupt Big Brother will change that hubris).

  13. January 8, 2009 at 14:27

    What if we had flattened the homes of every suspect of ‘insurgent’ crimes in Ireland? We instead talked with them and ultimately ‘released’ them to become politicians? What if we had built a wall around the contentious areas and not allowed travel and food and medicine in? What we had a history of shooting kids on rooftops and knocking on doors and shooting on sight whomever answered? What if there was available clear footage on youtube of soldiers breaking the arms of stone throwing Irish youths?

  14. 15 Tony from Singapura
    January 8, 2009 at 14:38

    Israel is sensitive to world opinion; you can see this in their interactions with the media. I am also certain that if the USA asked them to stop, they would.

    Their military action seems to be closely coordinated with the United States in that the later is giving them breathing space by their lack of action in the Security Council.

    One thing I really question is the effectiveness of the United Nations. I say that the UN is ineffective because of the veto capability of the Security Council members. I feel that if the Security Council was reformed into a more democratic style, the UN would be more effective. I suppose that this is a bit off-topic but good material for another day.

  15. 16 Maccus Germanis
    January 8, 2009 at 14:44

    The questions are somewhat flawed. It’s analogous to asking whether it is permitable for Ros to abuse his wife? There would be two distinct points of view:
    1)That surely he can, and everyone should mind their own business.
    2)Police should intervene.

    Of course, I don’t even know if the moderator, Ros, is married, nor get the impression that he may be abusive. Likewise, I think Israel acts in reasonable self interest, evidencing restraint of both conscience and international law. IDF is not in the practise of hiding arms among its population, yet that population is targeted by Hamas. I do not believe that the IDF has targeted, but admittedly has hit, civilians in Gaza.

  16. 17 Steven in Boston, MA
    January 8, 2009 at 14:46

    “Where’s the decisive UN intervention? How can the US keep vetoing UN resolutions? Where is the outrage of the Arab world? Where is the military action of the Arab world some of you even say?”

    The fact that these questions even have to be asked should tell you all something. No one wants Hamas anymore. Outside of lip service by diplomats, professionally organized rallies that are sparsely attended, and lopsided news coverage by BBC and the like, there is no support for Hamas anywhere in the world. The West Bank is undergoing an economic boom. Gaza is a living dump. The human toll is a tragedy, but is necessary to get from here to there: a better place for all.

  17. 18 Me
    January 8, 2009 at 14:47

    “What if we had flattened the homes of every suspect of ‘insurgent’ crimes in Ireland?”

    I can’t recall.

    Did the Irish indiscriminately lobb hundreds of rockets on a daily basis at London?

    Did their charter call for the complete destuction of the UK and it’s inhabitants?

    They didn’t?!

    Aw man! Now I get it!

  18. 19 Alby
    January 8, 2009 at 14:50

    wow @rash

    the holy books make that painfully clear

    not being part of the rest of the world is a central tenet

    as you said,

    and the christian world adopted those books and philosophy too

    unfortunately hubris like that sent Israel off a cliff together against Rome and that was the end of them the last time they had their own political and revolutionary power

    Now maybe a big part of christendom is also going off a cliff…which would be a natural law of cause and effect

  19. 20 Ruth in Kingston
    January 8, 2009 at 14:53

    This is a loaded question. No country can ” do whatever it wants”. So the answer cannot be a simple “yes” or “no”.
    Israel is entitled to take whatever steps it deems necessary to protect its citizens from rocket & mortar fire.
    Ireland is not a correct analogy as the Nationalists did not seek to destroy the Bristish state, but to get us out of Northern Ireland.

  20. January 8, 2009 at 14:55

    Israel should go in and really damage Hamas to the point where the Palistinians
    realize Hamas has no value to that society. Hamas always attacking Israel’s innocent people? What good is that? It only causes Israel to attack Hamas and hurt innocent people, as all wars tend to do. What part of this is it that outsiders don’t get?

    It is obvious that there must be an agreement by Hamas to recognise the validity of Israel being a state, and stop attacking Israel.

    Israel left Gaza and made all Israeli settlers abandon the settlements and homes they had built.

    The Palistinian State needs to conduct its own affairs and build their own society.

    If they cannot or will not do that, they actually need to be destroyed, the entire city states bull dozed into the sea, and surviving Palistinians either live in U.N. Refugee Camps or they return to their old ways of herding goats and sheep. Move as nomads searching the deserts for grass and live a good life in tents.

    No sympathy at all for Hamas and their strange behavior. They really caused any loss of support after 9-11 where they celibrated in the streets. Plus they still have to make up for the Palistinian attack on innocent Olympic athletes.

    troop on the Oregon Coast

  21. 22 Ann Sinclair
    January 8, 2009 at 14:56

    The tired IRA analogy doesn’t hold water. The IRA did not have an explicit policy of annihilating the UK and murdering all its citizens, at home or abroad.
    Hamas does.
    So yes, Israel can and should do everything necessary to defend its citizens. The ‘world’ doesn’t like it? (for which I don’t see any evidence; rent-a-mob demos and superannuated pop stars don’t count) Well, tough.

  22. January 8, 2009 at 14:57

    Come on moderator? Part 1
    Could you not apply the same to Finn Fein or the IRA then and declare that the British had the right to bomb the Falls Rd out of existence and use gunships and the navy against the Irish who would bomb and shoot the other contingent and do so on the mainland of England? Would the correct response to a soldier being shot from a mile away with weapons financed here in the US be to use a missile on a taxi the perpetrator happens to be traveling in regardless of who else might be killed? There would be world uproar?

  23. January 8, 2009 at 15:01

    Hi WHYSers!

    Great work, Ros, et al! I have not had much opportunity to follow, in all the details, the show while on air. However, I must applaud the attention to this issue. As you can imagine, there are those amongst us who would argue that this is the fulfillment of the End-Time Prophecies (the Bible).

    In fact, I have delayed commenting in this regards for fear of being percieved as superstitious. However, I feel compelled to outline that early last year a Catholic priest in the US started circulating an email from as early as March (?) in relation to a visitation by the Blessed Mother (Mary Mother of God!) that the the world would be plunged into an economic crisis starting in the US (as I recall) and then spreading out to the rest of the world. It would cause great crisis and would precede other types of conflicts, afterwards.

    Both the timing, as well as some of the details of the Global Economic Crisis were also predicted, as I recall. I now wonder whether this conflict between Israel and some of her neighbours was also suggested, as well. Now, this may not be everybody’s cup of tea. However, I found the fact that the email was circulated months in advance and the details so like the actual economic crisis to be absolutely uncanny. This and the matter of the strikes by Israel against Hamas and now, the rockets out of Lebanon, last night, does make you wonder!…Just throwing that out there!

  24. 25 Joel Salomon
    January 8, 2009 at 15:04

    (New York, U.S.A.)
     As I understand the policy, Israel tries to perform its military operations in accordance with international law—but as the Israeli government understands it. (The concept of “proportionality” when applied to incidental civilian deaths is often misunderstood, for instance.) There is very strong need for Israelis to feel that their government has the moral high ground, so the army has to bee seen—internally, at least—to take precautions to minimize the chance of killing civilians by hitting the wrong targets. This is an internal restriction on Israeli actions: “what Israel wants” includes seeing herself as in compliance with international law.
     (The current “tough talk” about not being squeamish about civilian casualties is not in conflict with what I’ve just written: the air strikes are still trying to avoid hitting the wrong targets but there is a greater tolerance for civilian casualties when hitting the right targets e.g., a school from whose roof rockets or mortars are being fired. Israel’s reading of international law leaves the blame for the resulting deaths with Hamas’s perfidy.)
     As a practical matter though, Israel has only two external restrictions on its actions:
    1. Israel will not risk outright war with the greater Islamic world, and
    2. Israel will not directly antagonize the U.S.A. and risk losing financial aid or the protection of the Security Council veto.
    Currently, the U.S.A. agrees with the Israeli reading of the relevant international statutes, so direct action by the U.N. will not happen. And her Muslim neighbors are at least as hesitant about starting outright war, if not actually supporting Israeli actions—Egypt is party to the embargo on Hamas, and Fatah is even spotting Hamas targets for Israeli air-strikes!

  25. January 8, 2009 at 15:07

    I think Israel, like other countries are allowed to defend themselves against attacks from rockets being fired at them, so Hamas is to blame for the recent fighting & the Palastininan people can thank them for the recent deaths in their country! if they want to ask why, ask Hamas what adgenda did they have in mind? Palastinians have never had proper help from their Muslim brothers & when they go into other Muslim countries they are treated less than, is that how the muslim treats Palastinians. Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia, who has loads of money from selling oil, help the Palastinian – like the Kuwaity who charges a certain amount on cinema tickets to give to Palastine? Come on you rich Muslim countries don’t forget your brothers who need money, work, food, medicines, clothing….I see the Christians are in these places much quicker than their muslim brothers! Shame on you….don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk!

  26. January 8, 2009 at 15:11

    Not a prosyletising mission, at all! Just throwing that out there. We can take from it what we choose. That being said, allow me also add that, it is heartening to see that the humanitarian corridor has been opened to allow aid into Gaza. What is worrying is the unconfirmed reports (at least when I heard it earlier!) that Israel fired on one of the UN aid delivery trucks! This is a tragedy of no small proportion. If not compassion, then common sense needs to prevail in this war. We understand the pent up resentments and frustrations. However, there is something to be said for the consequences of perception. I am not at all surprised by the four rockets being launched against Israel out of Lebanon, though I deplore further fighting. What is worrying is how this war with Hamas seems to be polarising international public opinion and, obviously, those in the ‘Arab World’ around these issues. I genuinely hope that the diplomatic efforts are able to reach a meaningful cease fire agreement, at the earliest time. The death toll in civilian casualties is heartbreaking!

  27. 28 Tony from Singapura
    January 8, 2009 at 15:13

    On Item 1..

    The situation between Israel and the Palestinians is not a simple matter of an innocent state (Israel) being attacked (rockets) for no reason.

    Israel has thumbed her nose at the United Nations and disregarded International Law with respect to the Settlements on occupied lands.

    Israel has implemented a blockade on Gaza that is totally inhumane and is not a reasonable thing to do. Based on this provocation, I don’t see that Israel has a right to do anything it wants in the name of self defense – they are not blameless and have indeed fomented the issue through their illegal settlement of Arab lands.

  28. January 8, 2009 at 15:13

    so, hopefully, it is not the case that Israel feels it can do “whatever it wants”! (to answer the question, directly) Though, it does appear so from this recent strike against the Gaza school and now the UN aid delivery truck and the death of the truck driver and the children.

  29. 30 David
    January 8, 2009 at 15:16

    Where is UN and where is it’s law makers. Is UN capable of handling this mess?

  30. January 8, 2009 at 15:16

    Yes, Israel can do what it needs to do to defend its state from a near neighbour whose Charter expressly calls for its wholesale destruction and who relentlessly shells it.

    If Pakistan was lobbing missiles into India, or North Korea was digging tunnels under its borders to smuggle in arms to use against South Korea would we be hearing the same outrage? No we wouldn’t. The critics impose different standards in their judgment of Israel

    Hamas deliberately targets schools and kindergartens in Israel without comment and hand-wringing from the rest of the world who appear to be viewing this conflict as a game of cricket or football with half-time and oranges and drink bottles for each side the team, yellow cards, red cards and sin-binning from the international community of referees being issued to Israel only while ignoring the activities of Hamas and playing an advantage rule.

    I have never seen or heard any such microscopic evalutaion or score-keeping of any other war or conflict.

    What is the reason we are not hearing this type of coverage from Afghanistan where British troops are deployed?

    Every sovreign nation is free to protect its borders, impose its own conditions of entry and refuse entry to those who pose a security threat to the nation.

    Why isolate Israel for this criticism?

    Obama got it right when he visited southern Israel and inopsected the condiytions Isrealis were living under because of constant bombardment from Hamas.

    He said if anyone was shelling his daughters in their beds every night he would do everything he could to put a stop to it and so should Israel.

  31. 32 Steve G
    January 8, 2009 at 15:17

    While i was listening to the Newshour here in NYC an hour ago, I was treated to yet another lengthy BBC ‘Israeli-are-child-murderers’ atrocity story.

    Then, in a short mention, Mr. Williams says sophisticated rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel.

    At no time was it stated that the rockets his a nursing home for infirm aged people. After all, we can’t be too kind to those evil Jews, can we?

    The BBC abandoned all journalistic standard days ago. After presenting totally distorted and biased anti-Israel tales, you then run loaded HYS programs asking people to feed back judgements on the grotesquely skewed information you have fed them.

    The question should be, ‘How long can the BBC get away with doing whatever they want instead of sticking to professional journaistic standards?’

  32. 33 gav
    January 8, 2009 at 15:18

    until america stops blindly backing israel, well yes they can do what they want..maybe and hopefully barack obama will have the intelligence to look at it from another angle…does giving all this aid and an abundance of firepower( which they like to use) really help the middle east, the jews seem to have this we’ll do what we want , we have been persecuted in the past so to heck with what the world thinks mentality. Until there is a change in that way of thinking it will I’m afraid to say stay like this for the foreseeable future

  33. 34 Ethan Edwards
    January 8, 2009 at 15:25

    I agree with Ruth in Kingston.
    This is a loaded question. No country can ” do whatever it wants”. So the answer cannot be a simple “yes” or “no”.
    Israel is entitled to take whatever steps it deems necessary to protect its citizens from rocket & mortar fire.

    Reminder people Hamas broke the ceasefire. Abbas and the PA urged Hams not to do so. In fact the flow of rockets from Hamas didn’t stop during the so called ceasefire it merely reduced. Would you tolerate say Belgium lobbing rockets into London on a daily basis? I bet you’d want ‘our boys’ to sort those peskie ‘Belgies’ out pdq. So in fact your arguing that your lives are worth more than merely jewish ones? Think about that and ask what this says about your ‘liberal’ values.
    Hamas wanted this war and use the Gazan civillians as cover for it’s military operations. That is in itself a war crime as is indiscriminate rocket fire against civillians. Two THOUSAND rockets have fallen during Hamas’s ceasefire. I think Israel has put up with massive provocation.
    I hope that peace, a real peace, returns to the Middle East. You may recall that Golda Maier saud there will only be peace when Palestinians love their children more than they hate israelis. Still true today isn’t it.

  34. January 8, 2009 at 15:25

    Ireland is not a correct analogy as the Nationalists did not seek to destroy the Bristish state, but to get us out of Northern Ireland.

    A stupid play on words. Like a Protestant NI saying they wanted to blow up Catholic NI?

    Sure if a Palestinian said they wanted to destroy Israel what a crime. Killing hundreds? No, Course not. Justified????

  35. 36 James in Portland OR
    January 8, 2009 at 15:37

    You want the right to QUOTE defend yourself END-QUOTE, that’s fine, just do it without the billions of my tax dollars that US sends you every year.
    Israel, you have not one other friend in the world. You should think about that, because things change, public perceptions change, policies change, and one day the United States will decide it just isn’t worth holding you above the water anymore.

    The American Israel Political Action Committee is the second-most powerful lobbying group in the US, right behind the American Association of Retired Persons. They have the full backing of Evangelical dollars and Christian political sway. These Christian Zionists believe that when the Jews return to Israel, the Messiah will return, Revelations, and all that mumbo-jumbo. So it’s a nice team-up.

    You wanna see what AIPAC does to control American policies?

  36. 37 Alby
    January 8, 2009 at 15:37

    @ lee goffin

    Except for the fact that the failure of Camp David is entirely Israel’s fault for not being straightforward and being cagey in those negotiations. They set it up for Arafat to fail with his own people, which is why Hamas won the election in Gaza.

    Israel could have unequivocally gone with pre-1967 borders as UN resolutions they flout clearly demand, and to which Arafat and Fatah agreed and recognized Israel at that time.

    But instead they have all kinds of noise and obfuscation about their settlements and water table thievery in media and everybody’s heads, which clearly you are not straight on.

    Don’t forget, there are Neo-Cons in Israel just like in the US who ascribe to Neo-Con Zionist manifestos that call for the wiping out of Palestinians in parallel to what happened in the US against native peoples. This things are published in Russia and Europe in the 1920s, and serve as guides for these Neo-cons. These Neo-Cons have been in growing power in Israel since Netanyahu, just like in the US with Rove/Cheyney/Bush.

    Don’t be snowed by what is said in the media. Read a lot between the lines and read deep deep into history!

  37. 38 Syed Hasan Turab
    January 8, 2009 at 15:38

    No one have any right beside EU & USA, they are running this show according to there wish & will, may be they are exposing the immage to disciplin Isriel for happiness of Arab & Muslim world, all fake actor’s & dramma.
    To achieve the peace, justice is essental & in the presance of UN Security Counsil concept of justice stink.
    Justice at own term’s is the mother of problem, first we learn the defination of justice then proceed further towards the right’s.

  38. 39 Hisham, Doha, Qatar
    January 8, 2009 at 15:39

    Israel is defending its land is what the foreign minister said………. but do they defend their land standing in the palestinian territory and just go on a killing spree on innocent civilians and the children??

    I believe America should stop supporintg the Zionist state. Israel has to agree to the war rules atleast.

  39. 40 Miv Tucker
    January 8, 2009 at 15:40

    What a disgustingly loaded question.

    So much for the somewhat over-hyped BBC “impartiality”.

  40. 41 Tseday
    January 8, 2009 at 15:40

    It is not terrorism when Palestinians are massacred but it is terrorism when Israeli lives are threatened??? The double standard in this world sickens me.
    Hamas rockets are not the cause but a response to the occupation. Israel can only solve this conflict by addressing the occupation issue! The problem is that Israel is in denial that there is even an occupation. Israel has to stop the aggression. It is only making the cycle of violence worse.

  41. 42 Eimear
    January 8, 2009 at 15:42

    Every government has the responsibility to protect it citizens, and Israel’s position is extremely difficult, it has a duty to protect its citizens. Hamas is the chosen government of the people of Gaza, democratically elected! Just because Israel and the rest of the world does not like it does not justify the extent of the use of force being used by Israel. Israel cannot bully the people of Gaza into choosing a different government and their current action is sure to further radicalize the people of Gaza.

  42. 43 Williams, Washington DC
    January 8, 2009 at 15:42

    Of course it can do whatever it wants – we are witnessing that right now. It does not comply with international law and knows that it wont be made to face the repercussions of such. I understand a nation’s right to defend itself, but how can exterminating so many innocent civilians (the BBC reported 205 CHILDREN have been killed as of yesterday) protect Israel against further attacks? I honestly think it will only continue this vicious cycle of violence and hate. Bombing of a UN school, for which it knew the coordinates and not being chatized for such by its allies, really shows Israel’s ability to disregard international law.

  43. 44 Severa
    January 8, 2009 at 15:43

    Is it okay now for the world to side with a terrorist organization like Hamas ? Is it okay for suicide bombers now to blow up innocent people to smithereens ?
    Is it not okay for Israel to defend their citizens from rockets raining down on them day in and day out even if they are not doing much physical damage they are doing irreparable damage to the mental state of Isreali citizens ?
    I guess it is absolutely okay for Hamas to send brainwashed youngsters into Israel buses and clubs to kill innocent people. Only Hamza residents dying in a legitimate conflict are “innocent” not the victims of suicide bombers. The world has gone mad.

  44. 45 magen from malaysia
    January 8, 2009 at 15:44

    israel can do whatever it wants becasue if the world super powers can do what they want to do on iraq or afganistan, why cant israel do whatever it wants. Let me date you back to the time of a prisoner in the prison of Akka in palestine warned the entire world about the world peace at large, but no kings’s or rules headed his advice and thus he proclaimed that this particular soil will be the centre of earth and it will hold the greastest conflict and peace both hand in hand and i think this is a curse from god and no one can stop this from happening.

  45. January 8, 2009 at 15:45

    Israel certainly seems to think they can do what they want they are backed by the rest of the world. They say they have the right to defend themselves, so do Palestinians not have the right to defend themselves after years of abuse and torture? Lets get the facts straight, Israel came and took land that wasn’t theirs, the Palestinians kindly gave them some of their land, the greedy Israelis decide that wasn’t enough they try to take more, when Palestinians said no this is mine and try to hold on to their own homes and land they are called Terrorists, when they are the ones being gated in treated like animals.

    What would you do if someone came into your home and took your land, put your brother and father in jail, killed your cousin and left you homeless and on top of all that close off your borders and give you food and medical supplies only when they feel it is necessary, who are the real Terrorists here????

  46. 47 Kelsie
    January 8, 2009 at 15:45

    Not all of the public is in the dark.

  47. 48 Leila from USA
    January 8, 2009 at 15:45

    The Palestinans LAND was taken from them in the 40’s, they are just fighting for their land back.
    A Genocide is going on in GAZA. innocent lives are being taken when Israel BOMBS continuslly school which are shelters that are not affiliated with HAMAS>
    ITS NOT FAIR. Almost 800 have been killed and thousands have been injured.

  48. 49 Mariann, Norway
    January 8, 2009 at 15:45

    It seems that Israel can indeed do whatever it wants, as long as the world’s mightiest military power , namely the US, permits it to. Shameful by the West and an utter tragedy for the Palestinians.

  49. 50 Dr.Adnan Khalid
    January 8, 2009 at 15:46

    Israel cant be allowed to manipulate the world by being excused for past holocaust which occured in Europe to replicate the same against palestinians who have no weapons compared to the ISRAELI’s, who have the latest american weapons. How can you attack stone throwing kids with Tanks.

  50. 51 John Sperling
    January 8, 2009 at 15:46

    A poorly phrased question, but Israel has every right to defend itself from aggression like that coming from Gaza/Hamas like any other nation. I can’t think of any country that would stand back for years while thousands of rockets and ever increasing range missiles were fired into it’s cities.
    The UN and others complaining about Israel’s current response to this, should have taken action against Hamas’ weapons build up and the firing of those weapons. It has been no secret, just ignored. The same thing happened in 2006 with Hezbollah and the UN not following through on it’s resolutions to disarm Hezbollah in Lebanon. Why does everybody wait until Israel can no longer tolerate such acts, and then jump all over them. It is all so avoidable up front. I think Israel has been extremely patient in trying to avoid this the last eight years, and particularly since 2005 when they completely pulled out of Gaza; removing settlements by force when they had to as well.
    All Hamas has done is make things worse for the average Palestinian, and prove all the Israeli hard-liners right in thier predictions when withdrawing from Gaza. Hamas doesn’t want peace, and every cease fire, or loosening of restrictions, only gives them time and the means to rearm for the next round of conflict like a broken record repeating itself. Creating martyrs of the people in Gaza, and forcing conflict with Israel for yet more anti-Israeli propaganda is all they care about.
    It is said the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and is readily apparent they have done so again in Gaza with Hamas. Though nobody wants to see innocents harmed, it is hard to have sympathy when they continue to be self-destructive in thier choices. Such waste, and for so many years.

  51. 52 Severa
    January 8, 2009 at 15:47

    Yes, most Gazans are prisoners of Hamas. Did you know that Hamas has been killing Gazans whom they suspect are spies of Israel.

  52. 53 David
    January 8, 2009 at 15:47

    If Canada would lob missiles over the border at Buffalo, New York, and state that its goal was that the USA should be wiped off the face of the earth, would the USA stand still and not retaliate? If the Canadians were hiding behind innocent civilians, should the USA simply allow the terrorists to get away with murder? Certainly not. Israel must do whatever it has to do to protect its citizens.

  53. January 8, 2009 at 15:47

    whether its israel.hamas,palestine,america,britain ,somalia,sudan particularly darfur there ,congo,zimbawe,pakisthan,srilanka,myanmar,whole of africa under civilwar and drought,iraq,iran ,all warmongerers are having a whale of a time baring the impotency of the world body called unitednations to deal with 21st century needs by their 1945 rules and regulations?its time to reconstruct united nations in its entirety so that this israeli type attack never happens under the protective veto cover of america?
    atleast give security counsil membership with veto powers to india,brazil,germany and south africa so that it truely becomes the SAY of the universe in its true literal sense which united nations is not at present the reason why isreal in the past ,present and in future too can do whatever they want against their enemy nations without a care for international law laid down by united nations charter?


  54. 55 Nengak
    January 8, 2009 at 15:47

    Can Hamas do whatever it wants, can Lebanon do whatever it wants? Of course not!

  55. 56 BlackMagic
    January 8, 2009 at 15:48

    I am an american living in Jordan and Iraq for the past 5 years.  My answer is simply no!  Isreal (nor Palestine) can do what is wants.  Why is Isreal doing this…from my American perspective it is because of bad (terrible) parenting from the Bush-Administration.  The solution is for the New Administration to respect the choice of the Palestinian people — Hamas…We must engage Hamas as an equal to Isreal. Respect the Palestinian people’s choice. I personally saw that we made the same mistake with Jaish Al Mehdi (Muktadr Sadr’s) group in Iraq. In 2003-2004 we had the opportunity to take this new JAM group to civil society, but again the Bush-administration simply said No!! Big Mistake!! He we are doing it again.

  56. 57 Srivats (Chennai, India)
    January 8, 2009 at 15:48

    Nothing can justify Israel’s actions. Its like theyve learned nothing from their past. This situation needs diplomacy and negotiation, not senseless killing. They of all people in the world should know, violence cannot be halted by more of the same.

    Their cause might be justified – a nation is well within it’s rights in protecting it’s citizens, but not in this way. This is a war crime, in every respect. The fact that Hamas has fired rockets into Israel will go down as an act of terrorism, but a country engaging in a coordinated massacre like this is ridiculous.

    I hope that history does not forgive Israel for this, just the way Hamas will forever be remembered as a terrorist outfit. In the end, that will be the litmus test for the triumph of humanity over it’s mistakes.

  57. 58 Tony from Singapura
    January 8, 2009 at 15:48

    I have always wondered what it is that is behind that close relationship between Israel and the United States. Could it be that Israel is a great proving ground for American military hardware or for the development of combat techniques in urban areas. Or is there some money corruption going on behind the scenes.

    For a country that claims to stand on such moral high ground to stand aside while civilians are being slaughtered by Israel, indicates to me that there must be some form of corrupt aspect to their relationship.

  58. 59 Ne
    January 8, 2009 at 15:49

    As far as I remember Hamas only got into power due to the fact that the peace process was put on hold by Israel – after the 2nd Intifada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Intifada) which was only started by Ariel Sharon decided to force his way to the Temple Mount.

    The only way for this to stop is if the US would stop supporting Israel (stop providing weapons, etc…) , and thereby force Israel to make some hard decisions.

    One cannot defeat Hamas by bombing Gaza, the only way to stop fanatical people is to stop their support (local support), and the “easiest” way to do that is to make sure that people have a decent life.

    Give people in Gaza a job, a way to earn a living and make sure that they have access to food, and decent health care and over a few years Hamas would not have much support.

    Israel have a right to defend itself, but does it have a right to bomb civilans…..

    Both sides have excuses for what ever they do, maybe both sides are very very wrong….

  59. 60 karen
    January 8, 2009 at 15:49

    Israel is dealing with a problem that is in effect a world problem – the world should be supporting Israel. Hamas is controlled by Iran who is a threat to the world.

  60. 61 Jesse Faciana
    January 8, 2009 at 15:49

    Yes Israel can and does whatever it wants. Should it? I don’t think so. I wish that nation states would stop operating in accord to what they think are their own security risks. I believe this war on Gaza has the potential to destabilize the world even further and put us all at risk. It may sound trite, but killing children is not the answer and Israel vs. Gaza is definitely an unequal match. Why must they always shoot with machine guns when boys have throw rocks, and bomb with brutal accuracy when the other side has largely ineffectual rockets. What does it prove to murder? I am waiting for a time when the countries of the world see their mutual interest and truly come together to solve long-standing and violent conflicts. I urge everyone to demand their leaders call for a cease fire in Gaza!

    Portland, Oregon

  61. 62 Adnan
    January 8, 2009 at 15:49

    its a genocide against palestinian people.

  62. 63 Omar
    January 8, 2009 at 15:50

    I think that Israel cannot do whatever it wants. There are rules and limits, and most of the international community condemns Israel for what it is doing (with the notable exception of the USA).
    The Israelis had been subjecting the Gazans to chronic malnutrition as a result of blockades, no wonder most Gazans support Hamas.
    Israel’s actions are creating a new generations of Israel-haters, and the current conflict is deterring us all from the peace process. By killing innocent civilians, the Israelis are making it very difficult for the international community to be on their side.
    We are constantly told that Israel is a democracy-if this is democracy then I want no part of it.

  63. 64 feroz jamal
    January 8, 2009 at 15:50

    With due respect,Israel is violating all the human ethics ,killing innocents,repeating the history written by them back in 1982 in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps,they should stop,Hamas is not a terrorist organization,but they should not fire rockets on Israel either.They took Palestinian land and now they are killing them,my request please “Live and Let Live”.

  64. 65 Frank
    January 8, 2009 at 15:50

    I am neither defender nor admirer of Hamas, however the reaction of Israel following the end of the cease-fire borders on sub-human behaviour and is, least said, counter-prductive, as the IDF well know. Their actions only serve to strengthen hatred towards the Israeli government and, sadly, Israelis and Jews in general and foster another generation of terrorists.
    Had Israel taken the moral high ground and refused to retaliate in such a barbaric fashion the numbers, maimed and bereaved on both sides would have been a mere fraction of those already seen and which are sure to rise.
    Would it not be better to direct the massive human and financial resources used to wage a rather one-sided war towards improving the lot of ordinary Paletinian families, both in Gaza and the West Bank?
    Israeli officials are rather disingenuous when asking British journalists what the Brtish government would do if rockets were aimed at British cities. Did Britain bomb Belfast to destroy the IRA?

  65. 66 David Preiser
    January 8, 2009 at 15:50

    This question is poorly worded. “Whatever it wants” implies that unconscionable acts are being committed, and that what Israel is doing should not be allowed. I realize the BBC’s true goal is to demonize Israel, but come on, Beeboids, you can do better than that.

  66. 67 David
    January 8, 2009 at 15:50

    By endorsing the notion that Isreal can do whatever it wants, isn’t that endorsing terrorism too? Afterall, terrorists do whatever they want to achieve their aims.

  67. 68 Omar from Dubai
    January 8, 2009 at 15:51

    I think that Israel cannot do whatever it wants. There are rules and limits, and most of the international community condemns Israel for what it is doing (with the notable exception of the USA).
    The Israelis had been subjecting the Gazans to chronic malnutrition as a result of blockades, no wonder most Gazans support Hamas.
    Israel’s actions are creating a new generations of Israel-haters, and the current conflict is deterring us all from the peace process. By killing innocent civilians, the Israelis are making it very difficult for the international community to be on their side.
    We are constantly told that Israel is a democracy-if this is democracy then I want no part of it.

  68. 69 Judith Bell
    January 8, 2009 at 15:51

    I am a Canadian from a different culture than Europe This whole program is frighteningly anti-semitic and would never be aired here by any Canadian network.

    To have military experts examine Israel’s tactics and compare them to those of other militaries and analyze them would be a discussion To start with the premise that Israel is actinglwith no regard for human life and “doing whatever it wants” is classic anti-semitism in the guise of discussing a political situation. I have never seen the BBC air such a program in regard to Russia and Chechnya, for example.

    Now that there is some respect for the view that Israelis should not be bombed non-stop, a new tactic has been found to demonize it.

    Antisemitism has increased exponentially in Europe including England and the BBC is acting like a hate monger.

  69. 70 Williams, Washington DC
    January 8, 2009 at 15:51

    I think that conventional war tactics and such wide scale bombing on such a desnsely populated area is not working. The Israelis have not had the level of civilian casualities from the rockets they are trying to stop – as the Palestinians have endured in less than two weeks of Israeli response. I can no longer sympathize with Israel because of the level of civilian deaths in Palestine. Conventional military tactics to address a militant organization is not the answer, especially when so many civilians are at risk. If they cared half as much for Palestinian innocents as they do for their own lives, they would cease and utilize other measures to combat Hamas.

  70. 71 Harriet
    January 8, 2009 at 15:51

    At the moment Israel is doing whatever it wants. I think that what needs to happen, is that Israelis responsible for the deaths and atrocities occuring in Gaza need to be taken to the International Court of Justice. They have attacked UN schools knowing of their specific locations, they as the occupiers of Gaza do not allow the civilians of the area to flee..the list goes on. This is ethnic cleansing, it is genocide. Israelis are being the terrorists, and human rights are being neglected. Where is the justice? For Israel to stop doing what it wants, the international community needs to do more.

  71. 72 Anika, Bangladesh
    January 8, 2009 at 15:51

    Palestins are prisoners but not prisoners of Hamas. They are prisoners of their own fates; fates which are being designed by the Israelis

  72. 73 magen from malaysia
    January 8, 2009 at 15:52

    Israel can do whatever it wants because if the world super powers can do what they want to do on iraq or afganistan, why cant israel do whatever it wants. Let me date you back to the time of a prisoner in the prison of Akka in palestine warned the entire world about the world peace at large, but no kings’s or rules headed his advice and thus he proclaimed that this particular soil will be the centre of earth and it will hold the greastest conflict and peace both hand in hand and i think this is a curse from god and no one can stop this from happening.Unless and until the world realizes the importance where science and religion must progress hand in hand this kind of religious teritorial war will never come to an end.

  73. 74 Asad Hussain
    January 8, 2009 at 15:52

    We constantly refer to Hamas as a terrorist organization. What we fail to notice is that Hamas is actually a democratically elected party in the Gaza Strip.

  74. January 8, 2009 at 15:52

    Untill and unless Israel’s neighbouring countries that harbour terrorists who threaten the lives of Israeli citizens, Israel has no choice to retaliate in any and every way they can in self defence as laid down in the United Nations Charter. Its like asking if you are smacked in the face would you turn the othe cheek?. Every step Israel has taken towards peace and coexistance has been hampered by people like Hamas, Hezbolla and others and are supported by Iran and Syria with money and arms, these countries enjoy waging war by proxy whilst they sleep peacefully in bed.
    The fact is the culture and upbringing of some of the arab people is the kind of jealousy and hatred against everthing that is good and if they cannot have it themselves then they will resort to any means to destroy it in others who have it. They suffer from both a superiority and inferiority complex and look to satisfy there desire to proof they are better than others. Before the establishment of the state of Israel, they were often at war with each other, since then they have conviently focussed their attention against Israel. However moderate muslim countries in the Middle East are content in the way of their day to day lives and look to doing better peacefully.
    Israel has the weapons which they choose not to use, but if their very existance was threatened, they would have no choice but to use them.

  75. 76 Brian Pfeiffer
    January 8, 2009 at 15:53

    Can this Israeli aggression bring peace and security to Israel or only cause more hatred towards them?After seeing video such as the distraught man who lost his entire family, I wondered, is it more likely that this man will want peace or want to be a suicide bomber? If another country, Iran or Syria for instance attacked and bombed Israel in such a manner, do you think the U.S. would stand idly by such as they are now? I am also bewildered at a few points. First the Isreali side has been quoted more than once as saying Hamas took over Gaza in a cuop, that is not correct, they were elected, the cuop was launched by fatah, but beaten back by Hamas. The excuse for the Isreali aggression was Hamas broke the truce by firing rockets, everyone seems to forget that Israel broke the truce on numerous occasions, the last one on Nov 3rd as it continued an ongoing policy of targeting assassinations of opportunity against Hamas members. No one seems to be outraged at the Israeli use of banned phosphorous bombs and cluster bombs against a civilian population, the Israeli response defending this was “Well other countries have them…” unbelievable!

  76. 77 lilian
    January 8, 2009 at 15:53

    BBC should ask all those criticising Isreal whether if a terrorist is throwing rockets into their country, they will expect to be protected?
    Am yet to understand BBC. Four rockets have been thrown into Isreal and nobody is sympathising with them.
    Hamas caused all these mess. Hamas should stand in the open like bold men and defend their boastings instead of hiding behind ladies and under children bed.
    The Palestinian should NOW know that hamas can not protect them.

  77. 78 Marcin, Krakow
    January 8, 2009 at 15:53

    It’s all about Country this time Israel, fighting against not another Country but other Nation. So how can you blame Hamas as a orthodox part of nation for responsing to an occupationa and war declared on them?

  78. 79 The Republican
    January 8, 2009 at 15:53

    Israel is a country that does not care about public opinion. They are supported by the US both militarily and economically. Without the economic aid Israel would not even able to survive. The fact that Israel does not allow food in (at least not sufficient) and the fact that even the International red Cross is shot on and is not granted access to people shows that Israel can do anything without impunity. In my country we may insult each and everybody during a demonstration. But if a banner is shown hat Israel is treating the Palestinians as if they lived in a big concentration-camp the person carrying it is arrested because it is too painful… do you need more proof.

  79. 80 Dennis
    January 8, 2009 at 15:53

    Given current situation, what do the Gazans have to gain by having arms and shooting at the Israelies? Israel has demonstrated its intent to disengage. Why have the Gazans invested in infrastructure below ground.

  80. 81 Alexander
    January 8, 2009 at 15:54

    I think so, of course Israel can do whatever it wants, i mean they are back up by the US and they are the fifth great army in the world. However, yes Hamas may be a terrorist organization, and Israel has the right to defend itself…but look the response… for each israeli kill there are many more palestinian kill and injured… i mean is a desproportional response… totally unaceptable and the world specially the arab world should understand these.

  81. January 8, 2009 at 15:54

    Of course Israel can do what it wants – just take a look at the composition of this debate – one Palestenian vs. 2 Israeli/Jews and an American (pro Israeli). This kind of a propagandist move is – disgusting.

    Alan Parker

  82. 83 ubair
    January 8, 2009 at 15:55

    wow to the supporters of israel
    where is UN now
    hamas is not a terrorist orginization they have been ellected by the people of gaza

  83. 84 Willem
    January 8, 2009 at 15:55

    Wrong formula the question must be, can the international community guarantie the safety of civilians in Gaza but also in Israel, when the Hamas not shooting rockets then has Israel no excuse.
    What if…. it is your country wich been shelled how would youre government react?

  84. 85 Severa
    January 8, 2009 at 15:56

    Israel has every right to hit Gaza and hit Gaza hard. No nation should be condemned for defending its citizens.
    What if one of your neighbours was raining down rockets on London, would you sit back and do nothing ?

  85. January 8, 2009 at 15:56

    I wonder how many Palestinian lives are equivalent to one Israeli life. Twenty Israelis dead in 10 years. How many Palestinians should die for this? 600 in a week is apparently not enough.

  86. 87 Jill Maloney
    January 8, 2009 at 15:57

    Is it not time to create an international peace keeping force to protect the innocent on both sides?

  87. 88 Yigal
    January 8, 2009 at 15:57

    Any nation including Israel will do what it needs to protect it’s citizens.
    How the world forget. Israel pulled out of Gaza, Hamas took over by killing hundrands of the Phatah (who were governing), and immidelty started to fire rockets and shells on Israel, who did nothing for years. To aviod killing citizens the reaction was partial blockade. BY the way, Hamas has a border with Egypt that is kept close, as the Egyptian (arab nation) don’t want to deal with them.

    Hamas is a terrorist orginzation (not by Israeli claim, but through the EU claim) who is using the poor citizens of Gaza as a shelter. Hamas openly says he is not lookin for peace with Israel, and wouldn’t rest until it’s destroyed. Ask them , look at their web sites ….

    I ask all of you – what would you do, how can one protect itself ?????

    It’s easy to sit and write BLOGS, imagine yourself and your childern in a situation that for 8 long years, you fear that a rocket will hit you on your way to school, work or anywhere else.

    How can you stop it ????

  88. 89 Finly Abraham
    January 8, 2009 at 16:00

    I support Israel, Israel has the right to protect its citizens. I think only Israel has boldness to face so many enemitic countries around them, which cherishes the terroristic elements. If Israel will not boldly and aggresively counter attack how do you think Israel as a nation will survive in the mist of all historic ememies all around it.

  89. 90 Diyanah
    January 8, 2009 at 16:00

    I dont think Israel can do anything they want . Especially when they are using bombs on schools . Its not right for the children of Gaza to become part of their arguments . Right now they should think about what they are really doing to peoples lives . Children are roaming around the streets without parents and parents are looking for their child . Its a tragic way to lose your family . Where is the UN? can they at least try and stop this awful mess?

  90. 91 Michael Halpern
    January 8, 2009 at 16:00

    The Israeli killings are in gross breach of the Geneva Conventions on Human Rights and of the undertakings given by Israel in its Association Agreement with the EU which allows it beneficial access to European markets including the UK.

    That the British Government is prepared to stand by and watch as men women and children in Gaza are bombed by Israeli war planes indiscriminately and with no regard for human life or dignity, is a shocking indictment of the Brown government who are more interested in purchasing Israeli manufactured arms rather than enforce international and national agreements.

    What is happening is a war crime and the perpetrators need to be swiftly brought before the International War Crimes Court.

  91. 92 Ali
    January 8, 2009 at 16:01

    I think that Israel is over reacting. 700 civilian casualties in Gaza against 10 israeli civilians. The solution that Israel has chosen will only spread the hatred. Meanwhile it’s not a new solution. Israel has done the same in the last 50 years. Has it solved anything?

  92. 93 Amokrane
    January 8, 2009 at 16:03

    They can do any thing they want as long they are more then supported and protected by the US.
    Israel has never respected or applied any of the UN resolution since its creation, so what can stop them now.
    It si very sade that “a develped and democratic country” uses all this furious forces to kill more then 300 kids and about 80 women.

  93. January 8, 2009 at 16:05

    where is the outrage of arab world???
    blocking humanitarian aid is the worst crisis gaza can ever face
    why isn’t isreal allowing journalist to enter gaza?
    no one listens to UN
    what is UN doing?
    US must act now and tell isreal to stop war.

  94. 95 Abbas Mujahid
    January 8, 2009 at 16:06

    Who will ask about the plight of people dying, children dying and women dying?? How can Livini say that it is not a humanitarian crises. USA needs to take up this case with Israel to give equal rights and opportunity to the Palestinians. I have been to USA and have seen Muslim, Jews, Christians living happily together, why can’t these world leaders realize that instead of making wars and conflicts, why can’t they make peace so that we can all live happily. These conflicts make so many orphans and more extremist on all the sides. If they are going to do things the way they are doing now, they should not blame Hamas for being terrorist because they are making these type of organizations themselves by doing injustice around the world.

  95. 96 Frederic
    January 8, 2009 at 16:07

    Teach them all Reiki: give peace a chance.

  96. 97 Debbie
    January 8, 2009 at 16:07

    Unfortuneately I feel that Israel does think it has the right to do whatever it wants. This is wrong on so many levels. When I went on the UN website and saw the economic statements regarding trade between the US and Israel, it is no wonder that the US does not want to upset Israel. It seems that people don’t realize the extent of power that Israel has on world economics. They do though and they know that economics will always prevail over life, even with the Egyptians.

    My biggest concern is that since people of the world know that Israel has been eroding Palestinian land since 1967. When will enough land be taken for Israel? When will it stop. Security could be achieved if they asked for UN and NATO forces between land boundaries (not between Rafah and Egypt!). But wait, there are no borders for Israel. So this makes me wonder, when will enough land be taken?

  97. January 8, 2009 at 16:07

    It’s pretty shamefull that America attacked Iraq for petty reasons, and on the other hand it is fully supporting Israel, while Israel carries out henious war crimes and atrocities against human rights.

    United Nations is a place where people from all over the world can sit and decide on serious issues just like this one, in a democratic way. Why the hell does any country have a power to Veto any resoloution?

    America needs to let United Nations carry out its functions. Otherwise UNO is just a moral excuse and propoganda, and everyone should join in with Hamas.

  98. 99 Ernestas
    January 8, 2009 at 16:08

    Hamas can only win if they stop treating Israel as an enemy.

  99. 100 Sharjeel Raza Khn
    January 8, 2009 at 16:11

    Just one simple question – Can anyone tell me how many Israeli civilians (or for that matter military personnel) have died , since Israel / Hammas war/confrontation began ? Can this figure be compared to the number of casulaties on the Palestian/ Hammas side? I want the political pundits/analysts at BBC/CNN to make this figure public !
    Why does it seem that an Israeli life is more precious than a Palestian life??

  100. 101 Ado
    January 8, 2009 at 16:16

    I understand some emotional reactions from my fellow Palestinian in front of the horrible image of honest people dying; nevertheless I do not see one getting out of this emotional state and being a bit rational. This hundred of people dying in Gaza do not contribute to the cause; they are just serving the vanity of Iran. The only person who really understood was President Arafat.
    Please wake-up; you do not see that Hamas is not you? They kicked out the real Palestinians to carry on they mercenary work for Iran.

  101. 102 T.Booley
    January 8, 2009 at 16:16

    Israel is suspicious and contemptuous of the whole world … it ignores U.N resolutions because of its American backing … and yet it has the audacity to even spy on its U.S masters …. a case of biting the hand that feeds it … but it does give one a sense as to the state of mind of this murderous israeli state that has completely departed from the tenets of Judaism.

  102. 103 Nico
    January 8, 2009 at 16:18

    The Israeli government is doing whatever it wants – to win its own upcoming election. The just concluded BBC program on this topic shows why Israel feels that it can perpetuate any sort of war crime. There were three pro-Israeli commentators shown and only one visible Palestinian.

  103. 104 Steven
    January 8, 2009 at 16:18

    “Where’s the decisive UN intervention? How can the US keep vetoing UN resolutions? Where is the outrage of the Arab world? Where is the military action of the Arab world some of you even say?”

    The fact that these questions even have to be asked should tell you all something. No one wants Hamas anymore. Outside of lip service by diplomats, professionally organized rallies that are sparsely attended, and one-sided news coverage by certain outlets, there is no support for Hamas anywhere in the world. The West Bank is undergoing an economic boom while Gaza has been turned into a living dump.

    The human toll is a tragedy, but is necessary to get from here to there: a better place for all.

  104. 105 lebanon
    January 8, 2009 at 16:19


  105. 106 saleh darwish
    January 8, 2009 at 16:20

    Of course, Israel can do whatever it wants! However, for some time, exactly as had the apartheid regime in South Africa done. Soon, justice will prevail, probably in form of a wake up of the international community to remember that it has gone the wrong way in supporting such a brutal regime. If not, However, people in the region, not governments or armies, will have no choice but continue their struggle of every kind

  106. 107 James
    January 8, 2009 at 16:20

    Just watched your programme in Nigeria. There was no balance. Two pro-Israel guests from outside the studio and one Israeli in the studio lined against a boy from Gaza. How fair?

    To Sheryl who says the whole of the world knows that Hamas is a terrorist organisation…not all of us read or believe Israeli propaganda toilet paper. She also says the people of Gaza are captives of Hamas…how naive. The proper narrative is that Hamas won a democratic election and the plot by Israel and its Western backers is to stand truth on its head. Democracy for them is the installation of a pliant lap-dog government in Palestine…no matter how corrupt or un-reponsive it may be to the dreams and aspirations of the people.

    As we say here – One day bush-meat will catch the hunter – or as is more commonly understood – One day the chickens will come home to roost – for Israel and its backers

  107. 108 Nadia
    January 8, 2009 at 16:27

    “Can Israel do whatever it wants”??? of course not!!!!
    WHERE THE HELL IS UN????????

  108. 109 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 8, 2009 at 16:27

    Can the BBCWS report whatever it wants?

    I am a non-theist and a political independent. I champion no cause except for freedom of inquiry and information and the right to not be molested by the ideologies of others. I am a Swiss-American; the BBCWS has been my lifeline to the English-speaking world for over 25 years.

    I wish the WHYS team would get back on track and instead of turning a microscope on events in the eastern Mediterranean, regain its perspective on the world as a whole. The World Service and WHYS lose journalistic stature by their myopic focus on one locality.

    That said, Ros and Chloe have been masterful in their handling of the very acrimonious and emotional “conversations” they have moderated during the BBC’s misguided attention to this issue. Gentle but firm and impartial.

    When you all get over this boneheaded obsession, I look forward to your usual informative, thought-provoking and engrossing conversation about WORLD events.

  109. 110 Bordeaux
    January 8, 2009 at 16:28

    Was this BBC question asked about Hamas while it was in de facto control of Gaza? And if the answer was no it shouldn’t be allowed to do anything it wants what would be the BBCs insightful suggestions be seeing as it seems to have?

    If it wasnt or hasnt been asked, why ask the question of Israel only?

  110. 111 DOLAPO AINA
    January 8, 2009 at 16:33

    Israel’s government does what it wants. It is apparent. But it quite amazing how the Israelis are made to believe all what their government tells them, when it has been revealed on yesterday’s show that the same Israelis government assisted Hamas to unsettle Yasar Arafat.

    But why this action towards Gaza? When elections are some weeks away? And it isn’t it baffling that this present action was planned months ago. Meaning that no matter Hamas’s stance after the ceasefire, this action would have been taken still.
    Dialogue is the key.
    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  111. 112 shayaan
    January 8, 2009 at 16:35

    Israel as a democracy as a sovereign state has every right to defend its citizens from the rocket fire which has pounded it for several years. Though in my opinion military action is not the answer as it will only result in more support for Hamas and in the long run will prove even more detrimental for Israel.Instead Israel should aim to end the blockade of gaza and improve the standard of living there so that it may weaken the very roots of the organization embedded in the general frustration of the society due to the hardships of everyday life.

  112. 113 Gavin Berlin
    January 8, 2009 at 16:35

    The question is somehow redundant as Israel is, doing as she likes, in the face of international pressure from the Red Cross to the United Nations. The world is watching and we will all be judged on the actions of Israel and the inactions of the international community.

    PS There is sadness and outrage in the “Arab world”, stop this cliched line, there is sadness and outrage around the world period.

  113. 114 John Gammon, Brighton
    January 8, 2009 at 16:36

    Of course any nation should be allowed to defend itself, but the question is one of proportionality. I don’t condone the rockets firing into Israel from Gaza, but it is pointless for Israel to be forever as we say in Britain using sledgehammers to crack nuts. The Gazan rocket firers want to provoke Israel into providing the kind of horrific scenes on our TV news this week. Israel would be far more sensible to show some short-time forebearance and offer creative and sensitive solutions to stop the violence against themselves long-term. For instance, on Tuesday evening I saw on BBC’s Newsnight an injured Palestinian toddler being rushed to hospital. In 20 years time, what will that person’s attitude to Israel be I wonder? In the end, peace must prevail on both sides – but to bring that about requires far-sighted statesmen and stateswomen, and I don’t see many of those at present in the Middle East.

  114. 115 Debbie Tilley Ontario Canada
    January 8, 2009 at 16:43

    I just read on CBC here in Canada that John Ging of UNWRA has announced that aid in Gaza will be halted after an Israeli strike during the 3 hour window of ceasefire has killed the driver and wounded two aid workers of an aid truck that was clearly marked as UN and the coordinates of their route was given to Israel. I think this is one more answer for your question today. Obviously they do think they can do whatever they want.

  115. 116 Akeed Saeed
    January 8, 2009 at 16:49

    I don’t know really why Isreal is doin this and it’s wrong 4 example, wht about if palastin was doin this to israel???!!! wht would be the action of the wrest of the world??…….

    Isreal Stop! wht u doin.

  116. January 8, 2009 at 16:53

    there is a religious connotation to US support of Israel. It is almost blanket.

  117. 118 Alan G
    January 8, 2009 at 16:53

    I don’t understand the premise of your question. Of course countries are bound by international law. But why do you ask this question only about Israel? Why not ask it about Russia (in Georgia or Chechyna), China (in Tibet), and other state actors? The unspoken subtext appears to be that Israel alone tries to do whatever it wants, in contravention of accepted norms. This excessive focuses on Israel only emboldens those other countries who really do get away with whatever they want, since they know they will not be called to account.

  118. 119 Bruno
    January 8, 2009 at 17:00

    Of course Israel can do what it wants. It”s a spoiled state which has been used to violate international laws for years, to crush any opposition by overwhelming force and to see the slightest of its caprice granted, especially during the eight years of mr Bush’s mandate.

    But I wonder for how long it can go on. As the time and the slaughters goes on, I see less and less people around me with any sympathy for israel.

  119. 120 rgundapa
    January 8, 2009 at 17:10

    I have full sympathies with the Israeli position. . But I think that by attacking Gaza, it wont achieve anything other than a temporary cease fire. And history will repeat again and again until Hamas realizes that terror activities wont result a separate Palestine country.

  120. 121 adnan - bangalore
    January 8, 2009 at 17:13

    where is the outrage of arab world???
    blocking humanitarian aid is the worst crisis gaza can ever face
    why isn’t isreal allowing journalist to enter gaza?
    no one listens to UN
    what is UN doing?
    US must act now and tell isreal to stop war.

  121. 122 Patti in Cape Coral
    January 8, 2009 at 17:15

    I first want to say how much I love the BBC and WHYS, I really enjoy listening to you guys, although I have to admit that I first started listening with my husband because he was first learning English, and it was useful to listen to you because all the host’s diction on the shows is so crystal clear. He is from Colombia and he was able to hold a conversation after two months!

    However, I am a little disappointed at the title to your show. It seems very slanted one way. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it is a journalist’s job to lob a controversial statement at the world and listen to the reaction. It certainly gets people talking, at least.

    The funny thing is, when I review my feelings about everything I have heard so far, I really don’t think Israel is handling this the right way at all, but the title to the show seems very deliberately biased.

    Anyways, to answer the question, yes everybody can do whatever they want and pay the consequences later…

  122. January 8, 2009 at 17:20

    The ONLY institution that could achieve an immediate ceasfire in Gaza is the European Union. The measures to achieve that would be an immediate and complete trade and travel embargo to and from Israel. Recalling ambassadores could also be considered.

    If this could be achieved, the conservatives in the Israeli government would realize that they are more dependent on Europe than the US. The US may give Israel a free hand but it is Europe that supports the economy of Israel to a large extent.

    It is unfortunate,the current interregnum in the US is used for internal political purposes in Israel. The long-term international consequences cannot be forseen. Israel may have to face the reality they created and anex the conquered territories ….

  123. 124 Iftikhar - Pakistan
    January 8, 2009 at 17:23

    The question is “What we (as an international community) need to do to stop Isreal doing what ever it wants, when ever it wants”

    What is going on in Palestine right now is due to the ignorance of international community and tremendous American support to Isreal in its attacks on innocent people.

  124. 125 Michael S
    January 8, 2009 at 17:24

    My understanding of the UN is that it was never constructed to be an arbiter of international law, at least not in the absolute sense. It was a forum and a “club” of nations whose only real power was to suspend gym membership (so to speak) if you didn’t obey club rules. No nation is bound to its rules the way a resident in a country is bound by its laws. Furthermore, accepted intenational laws to which most nations are signatories are replete with individual reservations about sections a nation will not accept.

    All this is to say that “international law” is a funny kettle of fish in that it exists, but it really doesn’t. Technically, any country is entitled to do whatever it wants. Nations choose to be bound by certain international laws and standards and in fact there is no “all or none” clause in these deals. It’s funny to me to hear people talk of UN decisions as if it were the word of God, because they’re not.

    In the case of Israel, many understand why Israel chooses not to listen to international opinion, because it is often apparent that it does not get a fair shake. Complaints of double standards in my view are well founded. The US sees this as well. For Israel to pay heed to the UN (and by extension accept international opinions), it has the right to demand that it gets fair and equal treatment in return. Until the UN can offer that, don’t expect Israel (or the US) to do its bidding.

  125. 126 farman
    January 8, 2009 at 17:27

    The fact is that Israel does do infact anything it likes. Not even basic human decency and civilised concern for children, let alone women and men, prevent it from doing so. This is truly criminal.

  126. 127 Orion
    January 8, 2009 at 17:28

    Of course Israel will do and can do anything they want, whenever they want. the UN has become something like an International brunch, and the United States refuses to accept that some of Israel’s actions take more human lives then it saves.

    For example there is an International agreement on the non proliferation of nuclear armaments, yet Israel is allowed to operate under a policy of deliberate ambiguity. Everyone is on Iran’s case, using the excuse of Iran’s lack of responsibility. Is killing 600 people, of which the majority were civilian, responsible?

    There is a flagrant double standard in the world, when the issue is Israel. They constantly use the Holocaust, to pressure and make people sympathetic to there cause. Black people have been enslaved for nearly 400 years but we don’t moan about it ( at least black people not from the United States). I think International Law should be treated with respect, and not the play thing of a few countries. It should be respected and upheld regardless of who is the defendant or the plaintiff.

  127. 128 Cris from El Paso, Texas
    January 8, 2009 at 17:29

    I think the question we should ask is not whether Israel can do whatever it wants, but why does it feel that these are the best means to achieve what it wants? I think we can all agree that these actions are taken out of a desire for certainty of peace. A desire for security. But, these are simply human desires. What is troubling is that Israel has come to the conclusion that war is the only way they can achieve these goals. What is even more saddening is that these desires seem to be what Palestinians want for themselves as well.

    It seems to me that Israel has arrived at these conclusions through constant dehumanizing. The same way Hamas has arrived at their conclusion that armed conflict is the only way to achieve their goals. As long as both sides refuse to see each other as humans, with flaws and mistakes, neither will be able to achieve what they want. No matter what the Israeli military says or what Hamas says, neither side can provide for their people security and peace through war.

    Peace and war can never go hand in hand. But just as easily as both sides have chosen war, they can choose its opposite, peace. Both sides, though, must be ready to surpass setbacks, surpass factions that choose conflict because it gives them power. They must be willing to accept the uncertainty that comes with peace. Because peace is not perfect, it is human. And humanity is flawed, but it is also better for it.

    So, let us not continue to debate whether Israel should or should not be allowed to do what it has chosen to do. For killing should never be accepted. Instead, let us inquiry why it has chosen war. Why does Israel arrive at this point? Why does Hamas and others arrive at their acts of violence? Why do both sides continue to arrive at war as the only means to achieve their goals, when they could just as easily choose peace?

  128. 129 Steve of Tennessee, USA
    January 8, 2009 at 17:30

    Where is the outrage regarding Hamas firing rockets at innocent civilians for the past three years? When does a country have the right to say “Enough is enough. What did the world expect would evidentially happen? There is an old expression where I come from “You mess with the bull you get the horns.”

  129. 130 Toby
    January 8, 2009 at 17:45

    Perhaps the same can be asked ‘Can Hamas do what it wants?’.

  130. 131 John in Salem
    January 8, 2009 at 17:50

    Israel probably wishes it could do whatever it wants because right now it’s been manipulated into doing exactly what Hamas wanted it to do.
    And the longer this goes on the more Hamas wins.

  131. 132 Mark - Lincs, UK
    January 8, 2009 at 17:58

    No it can’t do what it likes, what an absurd question and patently loaded against Israel. I assume to balance it off, you’ll next be saying “Thank **** Hamas cannot do what IT want’s”

  132. January 8, 2009 at 18:01

    The best solution to the Israel / Palestine issue is to bring in new players to solve
    this crisis , remove the Europeans , the Americans, the Russians all those Arabs,
    the British . Ban Ki Moon should ask China , India , South Africa , Brazil and Cuba; to come in look at the situation give them 5 years to come up with a solution that neither likes and UN imposes it on both parties. Of course using the military of the countries that help draft the solution to enforce this agreement.

  133. 134 Robert
    January 8, 2009 at 18:06

    This is an interesting question, but why is it phrased specifically phrased to Israel? Why not Countries in general? What about what Mugabe is doing to his people? Why don’t we see a week (or more) of programs about the women and children dying because of what he is doing / has done to stay in power? Shall I give more examples?

    If we could go back in time what would have been an appropriate response to the V2 rockets coming into London? England had the same Queen then as now, should she be asked this question?

    What is the difference? As much as the journalists point out (as the should) that they are not allowed into Gaza, the region is still for the most part an open society. Other areas in the world get away with far worse because of massive censorship. Britain in WW2 was not dealing with a 21st century media; Israel even with the censorship they employee still allows the world to see what’s going on.

    All this has led me to a few questions: why doest Israel censor more? why are they letting us see as much as they are?

    And does exposure (media) change the ethical correctness of what one does (Britain in WW2 vs. western military wars today.) Something like the cliché: if a tree falls if a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

    San Dieig

  134. January 8, 2009 at 18:10

    I just can not see the small childrens who are the victims….I urge all international community to come together to stop this henious sin….Israel can not do what ever he wants…

  135. 136 John De Haura
    January 8, 2009 at 18:12

    So it appears that Israel somehow don’t see the shipments of missiles and other weaponry supplies entering the ‘locked-down’ Palestine.

    Anyone with a small amount of wit surely knows how difficult it is to pass the elite forces of the IDF who closely guard the boarders of Palestine.

    So how can they possibly miss such obvious supplies entering Palestine and into the hands of the so called Hamas followers?

    So the question needs to be asked: Is Israel allowing them such weaponry on purpose?

  136. January 8, 2009 at 18:13

    i know Israel will do such a act to mix president elect Obama,s mind.
    But the arab world should do all they can to help palestians out of this mess.
    May things end peacefully .
    Dawda jawara

  137. 138 george whyte
    January 8, 2009 at 18:16

    please why cant isreal defend it self..

  138. 139 Paolo in Rome
    January 8, 2009 at 18:17

    The real question is: who, if anyone, could influence Israel to act differently? They seem to have chosen a “useful” moment between two American administrations. What gets to me is the accusation that we are anti-semitic if we say this military action is criminally excessive. But in fact a newspaper headline in Jerusalem a week ago spoke of the Local Bully Acting Up. Why doesn’t the BBC and other media tell us something about internal criticism inside Israel?

  139. January 8, 2009 at 18:18

    Hamas is a duly elected government. If they chose to send rockets to Israel and kill innocent people that is okay, because those rockets are little. When Israel strikes back it isnt fair because they use big weapons. That’s not fair.

  140. 141 katie smith
    January 8, 2009 at 18:19

    the same can be asked ‘Can Hamas do what it wants?’

  141. 142 robertcameron
    January 8, 2009 at 18:19

    why do the other rich arab states not say to israel stop the bombing and we will take these people and resettle them as long as they give up terrorism

  142. 143 skip seibel
    January 8, 2009 at 18:20

    it’s clear that israel, like any schoolyard bully without adult supervision, “can…do whatever it wants without fear of intervention.” sometimes the bully gets his nose bloodied, as israel did in lebanon, but nothing can stop him except a bigger bully, and there isn’t one in that schoolyard that can stop israel. israel’s foreign policy is comprehensively expressed by one vertical finger, and nobody with the capacity has the courage to face it down.

    as usual, you have asked the wrong question. the right question is, SHOULD israel be able to do whatever it wants? the affirmative answers all boil down to the idea that israel is unique. israel is not unique. israel is extreme.

    the “way for israel to make its people secure” is to let go of its squalid little empire, recognize its own borders, and humbly request permission to join the community of civilized nations.

  143. 144 karen
    January 8, 2009 at 18:20

    John – over the years Hamas dug tunnels underground from Egypt directly into Gaza and smuggled the missiles and weaponry from there. (most of the weapons were supplied to them by Iran).

  144. January 8, 2009 at 18:24

    This conflict has gone on for so long, with so many road maps, so much intervention, so much propaganda, so many dead bodies.

    We have so much more on our collective plate other than the middle east beating each other up all the time, is it really worth the coverage other than as some form of a splatter movie?

    Let Israel do what it wants, let the Hamas pick away with their home made rockets.
    Let them get on with it.

    Fans of splatter movies can watch. Others can tune into a different channel.

    So many opinions, so few solutions.

  145. January 8, 2009 at 18:27

    Answer to the question as it stands is “no”, but now so what’s next ? Furthermore how do you define “do anything it wants”–what are the parameters?

  146. 147 rachel
    January 8, 2009 at 18:30

    today has to be the most annoying discussion ever. i listen everyday and i just cannot stand everyone talking over each other today.. that’s all

  147. 148 Nimueh
    January 8, 2009 at 18:31

    Norman Altsheder – you state Israel has reacted disproportionately to the rockets fired at them from Hamas. Are you suggesting a ‘proportionate’ reaction would be for Israel to fire 8000+ rockets indiscrimately into Gaza over the next 8 years – eye for an eye and all that!!
    I think Israel are finally acting decisively to stop this terror which has caused their people unimaginable suffering and fear for years.
    On another forum earlier, people were comparing the situation with Hamas to that historically of Britain and the IRA ,and asking would Britain have reacted like this to such a threat?! Actually, yes we did – we sent the army in!
    I am against war and conquest as a rule, but I am so sick of terrorism and the countries and organisations that support their antics – they have to be stopped somehow. And why the huge outcry now about Israel trying to defend itself – why didn’t people get so passionate about the rockets flying into Israel?

  148. 149 Robert from San Diego
    January 8, 2009 at 18:32

    Israel has confined 1.5 million Palestinians in a very small area. There is not an adequate water supply, electricity works for only a few hours a day when at all. There is no longer a sewage system because many of the sewage and water pipes have been dug up by Israeli army tractors in previous conflicts and there is no realistic way to repair them. Unemployment is in excess of 70 percent, the housing is that of a slum. There is no prospect of improving their conditions while Israel enjoys a good life style. Add to that the naval blockade that Israel set up in November. Yet no one can see why the Palestinians are frustrated and hostile

    Israel has the right to defend itself but at the same time they are adding plenty fuel to the fire that causes the animosity that leads to the conflicts. Because they are a large part of the problem they have a moral responsibility to restrain them selves. As of today 11 Israelis dead 4 of which from “friendly fire”. 700 Palestinians including women and children are dead the majority are civilians. There is something very wrong with this.

  149. 150 Raza
    January 8, 2009 at 18:32

    where is Arab world Israel will do what they want to do they have a back up from US and UN is really unbendable untill they also get suport from US so i m wondering how will help the people of Gaza.

  150. January 8, 2009 at 18:33

    Ofcourse Israel can do whatever it wants, as long as the united states has veto power in the U.N it can and will do whatver it wants. Israel has never given much consideration to international law and they are always the victims as if no other race or country has suffered, the impression given is an Israeli life values more than a palestinian’s. There concern and regret for the loss of life in gaza strikes me as incincere and cold.they distroy civilians lives in what they call self defense. All they have accomplished by this mass killing of civilians is fueled the next t generation of suicide bombers. Every one always asks when does it end when will there be peace. Well it never ends because war and death breed contempt on both sides and hate fuels more war.

  151. 152 Alex
    January 8, 2009 at 18:34

    It is pretty clear that HAMAS is doing what it wants and is the party which should be blamed for current situation in Gaza to begin with. I imagine that any country shelling its neighbor should expect a return of “favor” of same or greater magnitude.
    I fill terribly bad about people being killed no matter what country they in. But every government is and should be accountable to its constituents. Hamas as I understand was democratically elected so people of Gaza should ask them a questions – how did you protect me from Israel – by shooting rockets over the boarder? What did Hamas expected? They expected exactly what they got. Does HAMAS care about people of Gaza? No kidding.
    I think Israel does what any RESPONSIBLE government should do. And if somebody has a problem with current situation – talk to HAMAS, see if they care.

  152. 153 Peter
    January 8, 2009 at 18:37

    Does this circular argument give you a headache? Terrorism is as terrorism does, Hamas do what is expected of them by their Iranian sugar daddies. They are getting their desired results – world opinion turning against Israel. Ask the Gazan’s if they would vote Hamas in again.

  153. 154 Mary
    January 8, 2009 at 18:38

    No country has the right to do whatever it wants when the consequences are the deaths of innocent civilians.

  154. 155 Kimberly
    January 8, 2009 at 18:39

    There has been a lot of talk on this programme about how the IDF is doing everything possible to reduce civillian casualties. Unfortunately as long as Israel is denying access to the foreign media to Gaza it’s impossible to tell how true this is. I would call on them to allow independent media into the territory to prove that they are not afraid of the truth.

  155. January 8, 2009 at 18:40

    Sabine Lafazani / Austrian living in Greece has her say:

    Here is the solution: Pick any time of the day. Let’s say in two hours. Both parties stop using any weapon. Not one. So. That was it. After this shocking moment for all those followers an blinded persons a contract will be signed that is to clearly state what there is to do to prevent creating further enimies in one beautiful and holy part of our earth.

    So how is that we will say after signing, how does it feel?

    Did I find the proper method to let us be a prosperous and peaceful crowd of human beings?

  156. 157 Mark - Lincs, UK
    January 8, 2009 at 18:41

    To John De Haura, who wonders why Israel seems unable to stop arms from getting to Hamas, I’d like to ask him how many IDF patrol the Egyptian side of Gaza? I’ll give him a clue, it’s somewhere between 1 and -1.

    In fact just before I posted here I read Jeremy Bowens article on the BBC (here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7811721.stm) that might shine a little light on John’s conspiracy, particularly the following 2 paragraphs:-

    “Israel is also interested in the Franco-Egyptian proposal because it contains ideas for controlling the border between Gaza and Egypt, so that Hamas would not be able to rearm.”

    “That, according to Palestinian groups, including Hamas, who have been meeting in Damascus makes it a non-starter. They say it would strangle what they call the resistance.”

    Fancy term that, ‘resistance’, when if you probe just a little deeper into the aims of such charming folk, you see something much darker.

  157. 158 Michel Norman
    January 8, 2009 at 18:41

    Hammas’s tactic is to fire rockets at civilians, and cause as many Palestinian deaths as possible, so that the world will force Israel not to take action, so that the rockets can continue and Hammas can claim a victory for radical Islam. The BBC has chosen which side to come down on.

  158. 159 amy
    January 8, 2009 at 18:41

    Israel has been doing whatever it wants and because of the weakness of Arab leaders and compliancy of European and American countreis, will do so in the future.
    Palestinians have been oppressed for decades and no other country in the world cares. The lands and homes of oppressed people were taken away from them decades ago but even that was not enough for Israel. It is constanty taking more lands and constructing new residences.
    I would like to ask what other country of nation would have accepted the occupation without resistance. Did not Europeans fight Hitler with all their might? Did not other countries go to their help until they defeated Hitler? What is different in this case? these people must accept occupation because they are Middle Easterns?

  159. 160 Rod Grover
    January 8, 2009 at 18:42

    Some simple emotional math. You can’t have a kill ratio of 100:1 and ALSO claim the moral “high ground”. Yes, Hamas has developed the perfect weapon of terror – horribly inaccurate and completely arbitrary. And Israel, well they have F-16s with GPS guided weapons and nuclear bombs in the “wings” and for some reason the FREE world doesn’t label those “weapons of terror”. Regrettably Israel’s greatest success in this recent activity is the spawning of the next Intifada.
    Rod Grover, Prague

  160. 161 Siddharth Shetty
    January 8, 2009 at 18:42

    Two comments:

    – Omar commented on Israel enjoying the support of the West (including Britain). Considering the important role Britain plays on the world stage it may be useful to clarify this claim.

    – When America attacked Afghanistan, it did so in ‘self defense’. There was a significant civilian death toll then, why was that different from the current situation. If I hear the two incidents are similar, then why is the World’s response reaching different levels this time around?

    NOTE: I am completely against Israel’s attack but I am trying to reconcile this fact.

  161. 162 Harvey Wallbanger (retired)
    January 8, 2009 at 18:43

    The question itself is outrageous and only serves to illustrate the depths to which the BBC has abandoned its charter which demands impartiality.

    A more salient question would be “Can Hamas do whatever it wants?”.

    According to the BBC, “Yes it can.”

  162. 163 Tina from Houston
    January 8, 2009 at 18:43

    If Palestinians aren’t willing to do something about the Hamas militants, then Israel certainly has a right to defend itself. From a military standpoint, they are doing exactly what they need to do to weed out terrorist resources.

    If Hamas had not attacked first, I would certainly question Israel’s actions; however, every country has the right to defend itself and its people.

  163. 164 Robert in Texas
    January 8, 2009 at 18:43

    Of course Israel can and does do what it wants. It does this safe in the knowledge that any attempts by the UN or the World Community to censure Israeli war-crimes [and let us be frank the use of white-phosphorous and depleted uranium ordnance against civilians is a war-crime]will be automatically vetoed by the USA.

    I would like the panel of World Have Your say to discuss repeated Israeli attacks on the UN beginning with the assassination of the head of the UN mission by Israelis in 1948 because he had recommended that the Palestinians had a right of return to their land. Please ask about the only time that the USA allowed criticism of Israel in the UN [after the massacre of 60 Palestinians by Ariel Sharon]. Ask also about the Israeli attack on the UN base at Qana when 100 civilians were killed. Ask them about the report into this incident by General van Kaplan that revealed that the Israeli investigation had been a cover-up.

  164. 165 Ed Edison
    January 8, 2009 at 18:44

    I am Jewish but believe Israel is is over reacting to this problem. The reason is that any extremely religious group believes they are correct in the eyes of God. Every other group is either evil or inferior.

  165. 166 Roger O'hara
    January 8, 2009 at 18:45

    This question is on a par with “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    What a loaded question, typical of the BBC and it’s slant on the whole issue.

    The implication is that Israel is doing whatever it wants already, and opinion is sought on whether the public endorses it or condemns it.

    Who decided that Israel is doing ‘whatever it wants’?
    1. Sending in humanitarian aid. Israel wants to do that.
    2. Treating sick Gazans,(not related to the fighting) as well as some of those wounded- Israeli hospitals treat all. Israel wants to do that.

    And did you ask “Can Hamas do whatever it wants?” when it was murdering and kneecapping Palestinian Gazans who opposed them a couple of weeks ago?
    It was hardly mentioned on the BBC at all.

  166. 167 Kevin
    January 8, 2009 at 18:45

    Suppose Hamas were to use Israeli citizens as human shields, would there still be so many deaths?

    Until US support for Israel changes there won’t be any change for the good.

  167. 168 Richard Woolf
    January 8, 2009 at 18:45

    It depends upon what you understand by “doing everything that it wants”
    Israel would like to come to an accommodation with its Palestinian neighbours, and to live in peace with them and with the Arab and Islamic countries.
    This is the dearest wish of the majority of Israelis although there are some who believe that this is impossible for the foreseeable future. However just wishing for that to happen will not bring it about. It is generally accepted that many of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank will have to be removed as one of the first steps towards Palestinian statehood. However the removal of Israeli settlements three years ago in the Gaza Strip and the exit of the army from there did not bring us one inch towards that goal. The opposite is true. Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist organisation dedicated to obliterating the State of Israel, came to power and set about physically eliminating its political opponents from the Fatah party (which is the leading party in the Palestinian Authority). Even now in the midst of the fighting there are many reports of summary executions of Fatah supporters and others suspected of collaborating with Israel.
    The last three years have seen the crossing points from Israel to Gaza repeatedly attacked by Hamas gunmen and their proxies with considerable loss of life. That led Israel to temporarily close these crossing points only to re-open them as soon as the situation seemed to quieten. However, it seems that Hamas believes that it can bolster its own standing by portraying Israel as closing these crossing points in order to punish the Palestinian people. In other words, the more miserable life is for the Gazans, the more support Hamas appears to gain. As is this was not enough Hamas and its proxies have been targeting southern Israeli villages, towns and cities with rockets for the past eight years with the intention of killing and terrorising as many Israeli citizens as possible. Thus when all diplomatic initiatives seem to have failed, Israel’s leaders saw no other way than to use the army to break Hamas’ military ability and its supply lines. Israel is sometimes accused of using disproportionate force. Does anyone seriously think that Israel should just sit back and rap Hamas’ knuckles whilst they build up their arsenal instead of improving the lot of their own people? Instead of the nations of the world going tut-tut they should press ahead to find and implement a diplomatic solution which will provide for the stoppage of the weapons flow via tunnels from Egypt and to disarm the various terrorist groups in Gaza whose weapons are directed towards Israel and quite often used against their own people. Once this is achieved, the rockets will cease to rain down on southern Israel, the Israeli army will withdraw and the border crossings will re-open . And then perhaps everyone can return to focusing on getting the necessary arrangements agreed upon for the creation of a Palestinian state living peacefully side-by-side with Israel for the benefit of all the peoples of the region.

  168. 169 Scott (M)
    January 8, 2009 at 18:47

    It was clearly a loaded topic that was meant to provoke and irritate because of the way it was phrased. At least admit it. No one said there was anything wrong with pushing buttons, but there is something wrong with telling lies on air. What a shame.

  169. January 8, 2009 at 18:47

    The question can Israel do anything it want without consequences is a foolish one. Of course Israel considers what others think. It is why they are so careful to avoid hitting other than their targets. It is why they are delivering supplies for the Gazans who need help. It is why they are bringing patients from Gaza for treatment in Israeli hospitals. It is why they are trying to stop Gazans from firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities. The Israelis are not “doing what they want”. They are doing what they have to do, in as merciful way as it is possible to do so when using nasty weapons in tight quarters. Israel is as entitled to defend itself as any other country is. If Hamas had governed Gaza instead of arming itself and recognized that peace with Israel is far more beneficial to Gazans and Arabs in the West Bank than continued guerrilla war, this situation would have never occurred.

  170. 171 gingerroot
    January 8, 2009 at 18:48

    Israel is like a spoiled child that has never been disciplined. once in a while the other kids might kick it in the chins, or give it a black eye, but it never has to answer up to its wrongs. what this child needs is to sit in a dark room all by itself and think about hte wrongs that it has done. israel needs to be severely disciplined by the international community by means of sanctions, boycotts and divestment…etc. until it can live up to its obligations under international law. ENOUGH defending the israeli wrong doers. For once, we need to hold them accountable for the genocide which started in 48!

  171. 172 Gabain
    January 8, 2009 at 18:48

    Isn’t it all happening all over again and again. I am not surprised that information and attitude of Israel is strongly biased.
    Wasn’t it all the same with the US during the Iraq war?
    I feel sorry for the people who get overrun by this violence. War is always ugly and will hit first the most vulnerable people. Israel knows that – and that’s why almost no one gets in and the spin is doing the rest. The price is definitely to high and I would be surprised if this violent strategy actually will work out to get peace.

  172. 173 John
    January 8, 2009 at 18:48

    Can someone explain to me plainly, to an agnostic:

    1) How does the European settlement of Isreal different than the European settlement of the Americas, displacing the indigenous people?

    2) How is the displacement of Palestinians into small areas different than the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war?

    3) How is the current government of Isreal dissimilar to the former South African Apartheid government?

    Given how these all seam similar, if seams Israel has no right to the territory of the indigenous Palestinians, and therefore no right to its current operations. And Palestinians have every right through their elected government to win back that territory.

  173. January 8, 2009 at 18:48

    Israel has been doing what it wants for decades and becasue of the weak and corrupt Arab Leaders and compliancy of the UN will do so in the future.
    I wish to put a question to people who read this? Would you have accepted occupation without resistance? What happened when Hitler occupies some European countries? All other Europeans as well as american went to help. What is different here. These oppressed prople do not have the right to defend their right, land and pride because they are not Europens?

  174. 175 gosia
    January 8, 2009 at 18:49

    israel cannot do what it wants. It should use proportionate power. It seems to me that Israel is trying to get rid of the Palestinians with any means possible, including slow persecution and crushing of culture and human dignity. Poland was suffering similar risk of genocide from the hands of Germany and Russia three times in history. The world often just watched without blinking.

  175. 176 Ibrahim, Baghdad
    January 8, 2009 at 18:50

    My question to the professor please:

    Do you think that Israel’s attack on Gaza would create a massive feeling of hatred among Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims towards Israel (please do not refer to Hamas)? And how do you think this hatred will come up eventually in the years to come, and in what form?

    Thank you.

  176. January 8, 2009 at 18:50

    Israel has been doing what it wants for decades and becasue of the weak and corrupt Arab Leaders and compliancy of the UN will do so in the future.
    I wish to put a question to people who read this? Would you have accepted occupation without resistance? What happened when Hitler occupies some European countries? All other Europeans as well as american went to help. What is different here. These oppressed prople do not have the right to defend their right, land and pride because they are not Europens?

  177. 178 CarlosK
    January 8, 2009 at 18:51

    Good day WHYS/ Mr. Atkins,

    Please do me a favour. Kindly unsubscribe me from the World Have Your Say blog.

    The problem with this world is the problem of White entitlement. Israel behaves the way it does because it population is overwhelmingly white. This is very same reason why the USA sent Iraq back into the middle ages. Because it could and Iraq deared to become a formidable challenge to Israel.

    Please continue playing the fiddle on WHYS, increasing your viewship and listenership while the world burns! I don’t want to have anything to do with wickedness.

    It is obvious that you have a problem with undiluted truth. Our relationship has therefore come to a crossroads of irreconcilable differences. You’re a talking shop and I want to be an agent of positive change. It is obvious that our positions are diametrically opposed.

    Please unsubsribe me. And goodbye.

    Kingston, Jamaica.

  178. 179 Insight
    January 8, 2009 at 18:51

    This matter is out of question. Of course no country can do whatever it likes, especially if it killing and bombing civilian people. ( 760 civillians killed and more than 3000 injured, most of them are WOMEN and KIDS ) We are not living in a jungle. There are international laws that allllllllllll countries of the world must abide by. Then why Isreal is an exception??? Of course it’s because it’s supported by other countries either explicitly or implicitly by their silence. I just find it a stange thing .when there are violations elsewhere, USA and Security council issue immidiate laws to stop the WAR and bloodshed, like what happened in Gerorgia. Where is JUSTIC, DEMOCRACY usa is talking about? What’s happening in Gaza can’t be called a WAR. It’s DECIMATION. There is no balance of power.
    Of course, it’s a normal thing that any OPRESSED country would react sooner or later. What do Israilans expect? Do you people realize what people in Gaza and Palestine as a whole went, go and are going through? They have always been suffering due to Israilain “policies”.

  179. 180 Jane
    January 8, 2009 at 18:55

    The table has turned since the WWII, the repressor back then is the aggressor now.

  180. 181 Sunil
    January 8, 2009 at 18:55

    Collective punsihment was something we saw in the WW2 when the aliies bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Something of the past I thought….

    If in the present world, we still have to resort to such methods, I don’t think we have progressed. Why can’t we learn to sit down and solve matters through dialogue? In the end, is it that difficult? People always talk about the difficult Palestine-Israel relationship. I am not convinced it is that difficult. I am not convinced that dialogue will never work.

    On the other hand, I am convinced that either side is not putting in enough effort.

  181. 182 Richard
    January 8, 2009 at 18:56

    Israel seems to quote always the Hamas rockets on Israeli land, as the rerason for their attacks on Palestine. I never hear them questioning the reason for the Hamas attacks. I am sure that if they return to their initial borders and return all the territories they have ilegally invaded, I am sure that peace would be more easily achievable.
    Israel has this culture of trying always to place themselves as the innocent victims -which on my view they have never been.

    I am not jewish but my partner is. I do not follow any religion.

  182. 183 Michel Norman
    January 8, 2009 at 18:57

    A bit of accuracy more civilians have been killed in Iraq since this war started than in Gaza. 1/3 of the civilians killed have been killed by Hammas.

  183. 184 anthony
    January 8, 2009 at 18:59

    Can anyone hope to reason with murders of women and children?

  184. 185 Michael S
    January 8, 2009 at 19:00

    There seem to be two separate debates happening on this page:
    1. Whether or not Israel is taking the “best course of action” (questioning strategy)
    2. Whether or not Israel’s actions are legal and conform with international standards (questioning legality).

    I will address #2.

    In my prev post, I suggested that Israel could choose not to restrict itself by international law (addressing the question of entitlement). That was a theoretical discourse. However, Israel does accept and endorse international law. This is both my opinion and Israel’s stated policy. For those that would jump on me here and point out that Israel does not always abide by UN resolutions or draft legislation, I refer you to what I wrote above.

    I think if you consulted objective legal scholars on the “letter of the law” as well as how it has been interpreted in practice, you will find that nothing Israel has done so far with Gaza since it pulled out in 2006 has been illegal. Harsh perhaps, but it conforms to legal precedent.

    Embargos are not illegal. Going to war is not illegal either. War is tragic and it’s destructive and people die. Buildings will be shelled, bystanders will get hurt. In a warzone there is always a strain on basic supplies, electricity and emergency services. This is all expected and although undesirable, there is nothing illegal about it if the war itself is justified (and there are no particularly stringent criteria for that).

  185. 186 Gabbi from London
    January 8, 2009 at 19:00

    This “professor” has made numberous completely inaccurate remarks – I’ll address one:
    The Israeli government does accept a Two State solution – and it has been offered to the Palestian authorities numerous times, including at Camp David, but they don’t accept it, they don’t accept a Jewish State at all. They think that terrorism will reach their aims faster.

    On another point, the basis of this programme is a loaded question, I am unsure how you could claim it is balanced in any way.
    Maybe the question should be what kind of people would let women and children seek refuge in weapons storage facilities, when they know these areas are targets?

    War has terrible consequences; any casualties are devastating to the people affected, their family and whole communities. Life is valuable. Israelis understand this and don’t want to send their fathers, brothers and sisters into harm’s way – but how much provocation do they need to suffer?

  186. 187 Michael S
    January 8, 2009 at 19:01

    On that note, Israel has taken extraordinary measures to limit civilian casualties. Truthfully, they hold themselves to a standard that no other country in the world would take in their position (not the UK, not France, not the US; consider how the Russians or Chinese would conduct themselves for a starker comparison). In a densely populated place like Gaza, it is unprecedented that a full 3/4 of those killed are Hamas militants (by current UN estimates). Israel is telling civilians where they will be attacking so that they have a chance to get out of the way.

    This is in spite of the fact that Hamas is making a practice of placing military targets in densely populated areas. They store rockets and entrances to tunnels in the basements of civilian homes and launch rockets from rooftops of crowded builidings. Let me remind all of you that the use of human shields is a war crime. The burden of responsibility lies with Hamas if these people die (from a legal standpoint) so long as Israel makes a reasonable effort to avoid them. To be clear, Israel still has the right to attack those targets. Civilian casualties will be higher, but again, there is nothing illegal about Israel’s actions under these circumstances.

    The final complaint I hear lies in the concept of “proportional response”. There is a misconceptions that this means that the weapons used by one side has to be equal in destructive power to those use by the other side. Another common misconception is that the damage (to lives or property) need be the same. This is not true. Proportional response relates to the idea that a side must not use too much more force than is necessary to achieve a specific military goal. The action must be commensurate to the military gain. For example, if the objective is to destroy a munitions factory in a town, bombing the immediate area around this factory is proportional, destroying the entire town is not. The Dresden bombings in WWII is a classic example. In other words, don’t use a sledgehammer when all you need is to hammer a one-inch nail. Dealing with Hamas is not a one-inch nail, however, and any talk of proportionality needs to be put in the correct context. In my opinion, Israel’s response so far is measured and appropriate given the challenge.

    Let me know if you disagree, I am eager to hear what you think.

  187. 188 rena
    January 8, 2009 at 19:01

    At about 18.50 a gentlemen called in from Ireland and suggested that Israel wants to slowly eradicate the Palestinians. I was surprised that your comentator described this as “an extreme view”. Believe me this is not.

    I have lived in Israel and have found this to be a mainstream view.
    The difference is that Israelis do not broadcast this.
    But ask thme to drwa a map of a future israel and you will not see any sign of palestine..

  188. 189 Cris from El Paso, Texas
    January 8, 2009 at 19:01

    Mark :

    Peace takes both sides. Do not pretend that it can come from just one side. Accept Israel’s role in promoting war, engaging in war, and killing. No matter what someone does to you, if you choose to kill, it is your choice.

    Once Israel and Palestine choose peace, then peace can be regained.

  189. 190 Abena
    January 8, 2009 at 19:01

    I wonder why any nation feels that they have the right to “hunt down and kill” enemies. I believe that all nations who feel that someone is attacking them have the right to hunt down and prosecute those parties, whether internally, or through an international trial. Israel is the first one of the US allies I know of to take this tack outside of declared war, and the current US policy to do the same (i.e. shoot Bin Laden on sight) seems to have come from this example. If Mexico started shooting rockets into the US desert and killed several people, the US would not be justified in bombing suspected launching sights in civilian areas, but would be quite justified in pursuing the suspected perpetrators of murder and putting them on trial. This should not be viewed in terms of the religion of either group, or the media generated by wild (and sometimes reported to be inflated) statements by any side. The point is that both sides are killing children, old people, those who have never harmed anyone on the other side. There should be an international effort to stop any group or individual who commits murder by firing weapons over a nation’s border. There should also be an international effort to stop any nation from killing civilians at the rate of nearly a hundred per day. Until we can put aside the lines that have kept this situation stagnant for so many years about terrorists and occupiers and elimination and defense by any means, we won’t even be able to tell what either side wants. Why shouldn’t either side be able to come up with a long term goal that includes having the other as a neighbor? Unfortunately, right now they don’t have to – the world is okay with watching the back and forth of statements, air attacks and degradation from both sides and staying out of the fray. Where is our responsibility to those citizens (on both sides) in danger without governments that can keep them safe?

  190. 191 David Mensah
    January 8, 2009 at 19:01

    No it can’t because we are having this discussion, and next time the international community shouldn’t allow it to happen. Out of this madness the time has finally come for us to settle this matter once and for all before any more Palestinian or Israeli must shed blood. This conflict should not be sidelined again!

  191. 192 Munyinda Mututwa Munyinda
    January 8, 2009 at 19:03

    if the palestinian people in gaza and indeed in the west bank could stop provoking israel peace would definitely come to this area. the problem is that on both sides we are ruled by extremely proud people. just one mistake on one side and you have a whole nation in arms. sometimes both sides need to give each other opportunities to explain,excapulate themselves and even appologise if a wrong action has been made/done without passing blame to the entire group of people. what is happening in gaza happens in africa too and that is why we have so many sensless wars on this continent but in zambia tolerance has been our bed rock for our peace although there are times we too are almost at the brink of fighting but we have learnt to dialogue and humble ourselves. there is so much to lose in any war.please guys in isreal and palestinian lets go the way of humility ,and peace will come for many troubled citizen of israel and gaza. in the name of both the GOD of isreal and if i may say the GOD of islam lets humble ourselves and stop the fighting both faiths believe in humility and the way of peace. so way cann’t we have peace in this region which is the mother of most faith movements which deeply believe in humility and peace. i do not expect both sides to take this advice becuase both sides are a very proud people but this is the actual solution the the middle east.

  192. 193 Aaron from Cyech Republic
    January 8, 2009 at 19:03

    To Begin with i am of Eastern European Jewish decent.
    It seems that Israel uses the holocaust and Europe’s collective shame of it, as a shield to justify actions that many Recognised international bodies call genocide. The Holocaust and Anti-semitism are words used by israel any time it faces Questions of its actions in the occupied territories. It is an effective propaganda campaign to prevent criticism.

    Israel must accept that much of the arab world has offered equitable peace and security if it with drawls not to the 1948 boarders but that of 1967 borders. Perhaps the time has come for Israel to walk the Talk and learn to make peace.

    Be that as it may, Humas are also guilty of helping to provoking a fight with Israel, and playing into Israeli hands. That as the responsible state actors they wish to become they should not have done and that would ultimately increase the hardships on the population they were elected to protect.

  193. 194 Alex
    January 8, 2009 at 19:04

    It is great that we all fill compassion to our fellow human beings. But why life of people of one group is more or less valuable? Countries in this world do what they want period. Always were and always will. The question is how much the public opinion in those countries control governments and in case of Israel – government has undeniable support of its citizens. Does HAMAS has same support of Gazans? Doubt that. Does it matter to HAMAS – clearly not – there is no alternative in Gaza anyway.

  194. 195 julie
    January 8, 2009 at 19:04

    A caller asked if Hamas does not likewise have a right to defend itself. This is the thing: the rockets lobbed into Israel’s South isn’t self defense! It’s idiotic to suggest otherwise.

  195. 196 Gualdemar
    January 8, 2009 at 19:06

    Why cant´t all they live in a country name “XYZ” with each having its own religion believes like in most country? Palestinians want an all Muslim country and Israelis want an all Jewish one, solution that seem to keep there believes alive. Then religion is tightly knitted with politics and that conundrum has no solution but split them apart.

  196. 197 Jon ,Israel
    January 8, 2009 at 19:09

    Of course we don’t have the right to do what we want, since Hamas were founded we have suffered set backs to any atempts at peace, Do any of you remember the olso accords, who was responsible for the suicide bombings in Tel Aviv imediatly afterwards? How short most of your memories are. Of course not all Israeliis want peace but is’nt that democracy? The most important point is that a majority of us do want peace and security for our children!

  197. 198 Brian
    January 8, 2009 at 19:09

    At the current moment, it is a fact: Israel can do whatever it wants with regards the Palestinians. Seeing the world as black and white causes all these problems. The world is gray. When the Israelis and Palestinians learn this, peace will be possible. It is typical for a dominant power to cry foul when there own policies are responsible for what is happening. You get what you give. You would think that a people that has been repressed through history would know that it is not a good thing to repress people, but the Israelis are dense it seems. I agree with the good professor, Israel is a rogue state. They should be sanctioned and isolated, just as the apartheid state in South Africa and any other state that is hostile to or are repressive to a segment of their population or their neighbors.

  198. 199 Sadderweiser
    January 8, 2009 at 19:09

    BO’s Chief of Staff (see Wikipedia) is an Israeli citizen who patriotically served the Israeli Army in the ’91 Gulf War, whose father fought with IRGUN (Stern Gang – King David Hotel Massacre, etc) and named his son after a friend who was in LEHI (murdered UN Mediator Folke Bernadotte etc).

    Some (The Times, New York Times, Einstein, Churchill etc) have even called the above zionist organisations ‘terrorist’. Rahm Emanuel says ‘I’m proud of my heritage’, his Dad said ‘Obviously, he will influence BO to be pro-Israel’

  199. January 8, 2009 at 19:12

    Orion, Your statements fall short of a full picture. I would like to talk with you about this but the forum permits me only short thoughts: you cannot know what you say is true because since it’s birth Israel has been a nation under siege from all sides except the sea. Stop the violent activity against Jewish people and watch how people’s lives will be improved everywhere in the mid-East. (Good one on excepting American black people from your moan comment!) And speaking of double standards, how about those Hamas fellas trying and occasionally succeeding to kill Israelis for the past three years with hundreds and thousands of kassams and grads? And now they cry why? What a terrible disaster for the Gazans.

  200. 201 Ibrahim, Baghdad
    January 8, 2009 at 19:13

    Israel, and many others, think of the people of Hamas as terrorists that are spreading/encouraging terrorism all over the world; Israel, therefore, thinks that it has the right to kill such people and “defending” itself–practically wiping them out.

    Palestinians, and many others, think of Israel as an occupant, aggressive, the cause of turbulences in the Middle East, a terrorist state which often act above the law and have the right to do whatever it wants to protect itself even if it takes to kill 800 people with children and women.

    Would the Palestinians have the right to think of wiping Israel out?

  201. 202 John De Haura
    January 8, 2009 at 19:14

    There are a myriad of weapon detection systems available. Israel can easily afford such technology – if not being the designers of most of the systems out there in the first place. So why not use these systems to sniff out the weapons being fired at Israel? Palestine is a tiny area of land – and comparable to the size of the Isle of Wight.

    Surely tunnels can easily be found and filled. Utilizing ultrasonic reflection technology will simply and quickly reveal underground tunnels and cavities. If such tunnels exist, why is it reported that food and other such supplies are in short demand in Palestine?

    It just doesn’t add up up to me. A little erudite thought concludes my suspicions that Israel want ‘certain groups’ to fire rockets into Israel – thus giving Israel the excuse to bomb the living daylights out of Palestine so they can claim [steal?] more land until finally there is nothing left of Palestine.

  202. 203 David Perera
    January 8, 2009 at 19:14

    Israel have all the rights to protect its people just like any other country and so does Palestinians. The sad part on this whole mess is that no one talk about the underlying issue. The underlying issue is that the Israel keeps occupying the land belongs to Palestinian people by force. If you go to youtube you will see that the Israeli citizens along with Israeli troops abusing Palestinians and grab their lands by force. Until these things stops there will be no solution for this mess. Imagine that your neighbor comes to your doorstep and say that you have to leave and the land belongs to him now. Now think of that situation with abuse and by force.

  203. 204 Michel Norman
    January 8, 2009 at 19:15

    No we cannot do whatever we want – we cannot send our troops tens of thosuands of miles to attack Iraq and Afganistan even though those countries have never attacked us – we cannot bombard a Capital city with thousands of rockets causing thousands of civilian deaths but then we are not the UK

  204. 205 Nacer chabane
    January 8, 2009 at 19:17

    Dear sir
    Im really confused about the future as we turn just to be an audience
    Im afraid to look or listen to the other side, point of view as the BBC and CNN turned to an audience too.
    As we changed the voice of truth and freedom to be just a tools forgeting our humen role .
    Forgetting that the credibility cames from our honesty
    Can also get humen not just audience
    We might think that the world is turning to a chaos probably .
    But Everyy thing is predictible and what we do today is for sur shaping tomorow.
    We might change things and paint the smock with a green coolor to look like a tree
    We might also change the color of the blood to blue to look like a blue sea
    But im afraid we can,t color the dead peaple ,we cant even forget hem
    ……..in the mass media
    Forgive me for not being abl to chare your view any more

    No more pretence let,s Get to a world of humen notion where we can have the poiwer to stop genocide and war an ,interfrence between will not do mush
    Dear sir
    Im really confused about the future as we turn just to be an audience
    Im afraid to look or listen to the other side, point of view as the BBC and CNN turned to an audience too.
    As we changed the voice of truth and freedom to be just a tools forgeting our humen role .
    Forgetting that the credibility cames from our honesty
    Can also get humen not just audience
    We might think that the world is turning to a chaos probably .
    But Everyy thing is predictible and what we do today is for sur shaping tomorow.
    We might change things and paint the smock with a green coolor to look like a tree
    We might also change the color of the blood to blue to look like a blue sea
    But im afraid we can,t color the dead peaple ,we cant even forget hem
    ……..in the mass media
    Forgive me for not being abl to chare your view any more

    No more pretence let,s Get to a world of humen notion where we can have the poiwer to stop genocide and war an ,interfrence between will not do mush

  205. 206 Jessica Roberts
    January 8, 2009 at 19:17

    The fact that Israel has shot at clearly marked UN facilities and vehicles, without any intervention from the world at large, leads me to believe that Israel can do whatever it wants, using Hamas as a scapegoat. It is even more shocking that the result of these firings at UN personel has resulted not in a reaction against Israel, but in the UN pulling out of Gaza, where its services are desperately needed.

    No only is the inhumanity being unleashed on the Palestinian people appalling, but there is no way out for the Palestinians civilians. I understand that rockets being fired into Israel is terrifying, and potentially traumatizing, but only if 700 Israelis had been killed by these rockets would this staggering bloodshed be justified.

    I am glad to be a Canadian, living in a peaceful place. My heart goes out to the Palestinians. For someone who has never had an opinion either way regarding Israel/Palestine, I would say to Israel that this crisis has left me clearly and firmly on the Palestinian side.

  206. 207 Michel Norman
    January 8, 2009 at 19:21

    No we cannot do what we want – which is to sit down with our neighbors and sign peace treaties that guarantee our existence as a jewish state among 54 muslim states, creating a Palestinian state for the first time in history.

    No we cannot send our 19 year old sons to university – we have to send them to risk their lives defending our country.

    No we cannot live in peaceful coexistence with the people of Gaza – they support Hammas which finds killing jews more important than helping palestinians.

    No we could not do what we wanted – which was to watch Gaza develop as a peace loving neigboror as a precursor of a Palestinian state living besside us in peace and prosperity.

  207. 208 shanawaz shaikh
    January 8, 2009 at 19:21

    All of you who are supporting Israel Just for a second imagine your family in Gaza. Your Mother, Wife and your kids. Are we all not humans? Will you people not fight if you are not given access to food and other necessary things. Why are the border closed, When Israel says’s it has the right for self defence even people of gaza have right to ask to open the border. Let’s have some mercy in our hearts for all the people in gaza and Israel and lets do what we can to stop this WAR CRIME.

  208. 209 Michel Norman
    January 8, 2009 at 19:21

    No we cannot do what we want – which is to sit down with our neighbors and sign peace treaties that guarantee our existence as a jewish state among 54 muslim states, creating a Palestinian state for the first time in history.

    No we cannot send our 19 year old sons to university – we have to send them to risk their lives defending our country.

    No we cannot live in peaceful coexistence with the people of Gaza – they support Hammas which finds killing jews more important than helping palestinians.

  209. 210 freeman
    January 8, 2009 at 19:22

    Israel has the right to defend its citizens from rocket attacks. But blockading a city with one and one half millions souls, killing innocent families in their homes, and sending in military forces in a big way — that’s disporportionate. It’s similar to the Nazis shooting 100 French hostages whenever one German sentry was killed. It’s a violation of Geneva conventions.

  210. 211 Olutade Austine
    January 8, 2009 at 19:26

    I do not think any country should always do whatever they want.Nonetheless,two wrongs cannot make a right.However,when it comes to self defence,it is a different kettle of fish.It is a crystal clear fact that,the whole world has paid lips service to the Middle East crisis.Indeed,it seems Hamas is the architect of his misfortune.Meanwhile,violence by the Israelis and Hamas will not give a lasting solution.Both party needs to respect and value eachother´s political,religious and socio cultural differences.Palestinians and Israelis are brothers and sisters,there should be no concrete reason for rocket and air attacks.

  211. January 8, 2009 at 19:34

    I only pray that peace comes to the Middle East soon One day I was in a restaurant owned by a Muslim in the town where I live in the US Two customers , a Jew and a Palestinian were having a friendly conversation If only that were true in the Mid East From what I understand Hamas is a terrorist organization It does not matter that Hamas was freely elected Did the Germans freely elcet Hitler and the Nazis? We can only hope that a full scale war does not erupt in the MIddle East There must be a peaceful solution to the crisis in Gaza so that the bloodshed will end once and for BBC HYS asked not long ago “Can sworn enemies work together?” The only hope for the world is for sworn enemies to work together

  212. 213 Winifred
    January 8, 2009 at 19:39

    It is very sad to see what is going on. Of course Isreal can do what it likes as long as it has US which backs whatever action it decides to do. And no USA government can stand up to ISREAL. The US can not stand up to Isreal are financial, political and its interests in the Middle East. Even without its interests in the Middle East, there are financial and political reasons in the way the USA president is elected that would not allow it to any elected USA president to stand up.

    Isreal’s response is completely disproportionate. Muslim blood is not worth anything. It is 100 eyes for 1 Isrealy eye lost.

    As a Christian who believes in Peace this action only hardens people’s hearts. It breeds more hatred and peace can not be earned this way.

    What happened when Isreal went to Lebanon , it only made the people support Hezbollah.

    This is not solution. We are all one in God’s eyes. And it is sad to see so much human blood spilt, wheter it is Isreali or Palestine.

    But the world is so helpless when the USA can not even caution Isreal to halt the senseless killing of Human Beings. And George Bush calls himselg a Christion.
    Shame Shame Shame!!!!!!

  213. January 8, 2009 at 19:43

    Israel must have to stop killing innocent civilians.

  214. January 8, 2009 at 19:45

    Israel is killing Innocent Civilians, Israel must have to stop killing innocent civilans,
    no one have to right to do so. International Community must have to order / ask for stop Israel for doing such wrong this……

  215. 216 Max
    January 8, 2009 at 19:54

    could anybody explain the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist?

  216. 217 Angelica
    January 8, 2009 at 19:54

    BBC, if you are going to ask a loaded question in favour of palestine, at least allow those that observe it to comment on it!

  217. 218 Hikmat Bushnaq-Josting
    January 8, 2009 at 19:55

    dear BBC Team,
    Can Israel do what it wants? Can it do all what IT deems acceptable to protect its people? This is a verry philosophical question. 70 years ago, when the germans killed 6 million jews, no one did anything to save them (the world interfered when Hitler wanted to invade france and britain, not because he killed people). The consequence was that Isreal today does not care what the world says, but defines itself what is acceptable and what is not.
    The last 13 days of war, with up to 800 dead, most of them civilians, 3000 injured and a silent world (also the arab world) is much smaller in scale as a drama, but never the less, the world is silent again.
    I am a german-palestinean. I was a peacenik in the 80 and 90, 10 years ago I was 100% pro a demilitarized Palestinean state as the best solution. Now, I think different. Palestineans, just like isreal need to protect themselves. If this means smuggling arms through tunnels in the ground, and smuggling anti tank weapons, land mines and stinger rockets then so be it. Don´t get me wrong, I think the Hamas rocket agains israel are wrong, but I think that even without sending them, Palestineans need to protect themselves. Isreal has shown since 1967 that they value the life of Palestineans much lower than Isrealis. The international community is uninamously asking for stopping the arms smuggling into GAZA. Why? to allow Isreal to kill and destroy and reoccupy without any resistance? Who of those who ask this woule accept to give up all the arms of their state? Be it Isreal, be it the US or even Egypt, I doupt that any of them wants to be naked in this world that does not care if your civilians are killed by a neighbouring country. The Time of a demilitarized Palestine is History. No palestinean who is sane can accept this, after what happened the last 13 days.

  218. 219 Nacer chabane
    January 8, 2009 at 19:56

    israel is already doing all what they want not only from today under the pretext of selfe defence and under the supervision of the world…. ununified nation acording to me that,s a genocide which is forbiden under any sircumstance to be comited under any pretence from any nation
    the philosophy of israel is to ocupy more land and even if we accept the term and condition of israel nothing will be asured that they will stop kiling or ocupying land as they prove it many time by killing palestinian senior and ocupying land israel kiled already seven hundred of humenbeen in few days acording to me and since they can do that easily then it,s imperative that they dont need the peace in fact the missil are an advantage for the ADF to contionue with the notin of hamass

  219. 220 John LaGrua/New York
    January 8, 2009 at 20:00

    The irony of Gaza is that it reveals how the specter of Nazi brutality still blinds the Jews to their own moral corruption. Relentless in their self interest ,they are reckless in endandering the whole world by persecution of the Palestinians.It is rooted in a racist disdain for their victims,Golda Maier stated:” There is no such thing as a Palestinian people”.Isreal exists on sufference of the US and the vicious intimidation of the politicians and the media have undermined the American democracy to so great an extent that the former Communist Party and German American Bund look like amateurs.Until the Americans realize that the Isreal Lobby is a subversive movement acting in the service of a foreign state to the great detriment to the US the Congress and the Administration will cower before their threats, and Isreal will continue its’ occupation of Palestine.and the murder of its’ people.Before WW11 anti -semitism was prevalent in the US as well as Europe ;,should that sentiment revive ,the Isreal zealots in the US might come to see that they are jeopardizing the best thing that ever came their way ,America.Abusing the priveleges of citizenship is a way to loose it.

  220. 221 Haganah NZ
    January 8, 2009 at 20:01

    I found their answers to that question which went something along the lines of ‘do you think the rocket attacks are appropriate?’, gave us great insight into the problem The first guy seemed to think the rockets were an acceptable form of communicating discontent. The second guy went into some cartoon jihad rant without answering the question at all. These replies alone tell us the Palestinians don’t have a civilised solution to the problem whatsoever. That within Gaza there is an utterly irrational core of thinking which feels it may choose physical violence and that the other size may not. That is inhuman. Israel is absolutely right. That they have no other option but to force the end of this hateful behaviour. Israel is answering the behaviour of murderers the only way it can and should given that the UN won’t keep Gaza peaceful.

  221. 222 G
    January 8, 2009 at 20:03

    Israel should not stay away from the reality that it kills hundreds of innocent people who are living in a limited boundary created my Israel itself. You put whole people in a jail like place without basic human facitities in their own place, some people come out as Hamas to destroy you and you again try to kill Hamas without other human casualities…IThis is just rediculous….

  222. 223 John
    January 8, 2009 at 20:03

    Let’s cut through all the gimmickry and euphemistic smoke and have the courage to describe what is going on: Israel’s religious fundamentalism is at the source of the troubles in the region. When a significant portion of your population believes that God is a real estate agent who promises you pieces of land, you have these results. There is no other reason for fanatics to be occupying territory they have no right to. Get out of the West Bank. Get out of Gaza. consider yourselves fortunate to have Israel proper.

  223. January 8, 2009 at 20:08

    I am trying to find out how to pursue the “million candles'” idea presented by your last speaker. She seems to hold a vital key which moves us all past the polarization which only feeds conflict. The ” million candle” concept seems to holds ALL life as sacred. Thanks, Eileen anderson

  224. January 8, 2009 at 20:09

    News Channels need to raise the quality of their coverage on Gaza from its present timid perceptions and tasteless presentations based on very heavy reliance on a selective choice of those invited to appear. If left unchecked this can lead to inconsistencies regarding the voices from Israel that are heard over and over again compared to those who for diversity’s sake merit adequate attention.

    It seems that some media sources oversubscribe a few well known spokespersons of Israel who mostly cycle and recycle known arguments and hence offer little or no new perspective. On the contrary other credible voices coming out of Israel are under-represented if not overlooked.

    Below is an example to illustrate the gaping holes that prevent media audiences in getting a complete and comprehensive picture. By 5th January or Day Ten of the conflict, Israeli sources claimed conducting 1000 raids on Gaza. Now the intensity and impact of strikes of this magnitude remain unclear and incomplete. Urban Gaza has a population of approximately 410,000 in the inner city and 1.4 million people in the metropolitan area. One waits to see when the details of the strikes on Gaza publicly available such as those aired by the Israeli Army Radio are brought to public’s attention. Are any medical experts, human right activists and civil liberty lawyers from Israel being invited to speak their mind?

  225. 226 Lansana Sallu Sawaneh
    January 8, 2009 at 20:09

    No country has the right to do whatever it wants when the consequences are the deaths of innocent Muslim civilians.
    This is survival of th strongest. Oh Allah save our brothers and protect them from these biased world leaders.

  226. 227 Bill Marchment
    January 8, 2009 at 20:12

    We can learn from Israel that through military might they can try containing terrorism.Not much sense in diplomacy when the other party doesnt want to take heed of consequences of there actions in this case the clear agitators are hamas. Israel should occupy the Gaza , if it doesnt hamas will regroup to traget innocent civilians in densily populated twonships of Israel. I think India should also learn from Israel that through diplomacy nothing has ever been achieved especially dealing with terrorism. If hamas strong holds are broken they will either ran to Iran or Pakistan which is the terrorist capital of the world. The Un should pass resolution for Pakistan to hand over terrorists who planned mumbai attacks that more imporant than medling in Israel conflict. As Israel have things under control .

  227. January 8, 2009 at 20:16

    Yes. Israeli has the right to do what its wants to defend in as much Gazan’s Hamas ask for it. BBC please asks the Gazan’s people if they support Hamas to send rocket to Israel?. Knowing very well that rocket is not money, foods or peace marker; by the way Gazan’s people knew what they wanted; so why cry now? One person death to 600 deaths is the same because no one is better then other. Finally, how can you tell between Hamas fighter from civilian in Gaza?

  228. 229 Fred
    January 8, 2009 at 20:17

    I meant to add that Egypt should be described as a “Rogue State ” — two of your callers mentioned tonight that Egypt has spectacularly failed for many years to stop the transporting of rockets and missiles across the SInai i.e Egypt border with Gaza .
    They have managed to intercept and kill many African asylum seekers from Darfur and Somalia attempting to find freedom in Israel but not the arms from Iran and China which Hamas have imported .

    Egypt by failing to prevent these arms crossing over or under the border [through the 100s of tunnels there ] allowed Hamas to acummulate a huge arsenal of nearly 10,000 rockets in 8 years .

    The constant bombarding of adjacent Israeli communities for so many years was facilitated by Egypt s inaction .

    If Egypt is going to be involved with supervsing the “NEW CEASE FIRE ”
    do not expect peace to last for very long .

    It is upsetting but true .

  229. January 8, 2009 at 20:26

    It does mot take much research to see what Palestinians suffer and they Israel were very aware that Obama might not be so supportive. Too many in the US are still pro Bush and all he does. These poor folk are dying for the coming changes and the hope of the Israeli Gov of getting votes.

  230. 231 Jonathan - Tel Aviv
    January 8, 2009 at 20:28

    Israel is being forced to do what it absolutely has to do to survive in this rough neighbourhood called the middle east.

    Perhaps the BBC, the UN and those of you that are condemning Israel expect Israel to show restraint for another 8 years, while Iran supplied ever more advanced rocket technology for Hamas to reach all 6 million Israeli citizens.

    Those that are condemning Israel have a very short memory. In 2000 Israel offered Arafat 98% of what he was asking for – but the Palestinians responded with terror, rockets and 100s of suicide bombers in Israeli cities.

    In 2005 Israel left the Gaza strip with a clearly stated intent to also leave the west bank – but that was not enough for the Hamas and the Palestinians that voted for them. They responded with daily rocket attacks.

    Israel clearly states its aim for peaceful coexistence with its neighbours within a 2 state solution. The Hamas and fundamentalist states, terror groups and individuals that support them, clearly state their commitment to Israel’s destruction at all costs to their civilians.

    Seems to me like Hamas is doing precisely what it wants and the BBC and the UN are happy to sit back and play their sick game.

  231. January 8, 2009 at 20:33


  232. 233 Davka
    January 8, 2009 at 20:35

    As some have said the question is loaded to begin with. Israel has actually very little freedom of manoeuver. First, it waited eight years of rocket provocation to go to war (and it is nothing short of a miracle that more Israelis have not been killed – living with them is like playing Russian roulette).Now it is at war it is bound by the laws of war when the other side flouts them completely. Israel is facing a ruthless enemy who hides among its civilians, uses ambulances to transport fighters, has completely taken over the UN apparatus in Gaza and even stages atrocities to turn world opinion against Israel. Already two or three examples of fake atrocity propaganda have surfaced, if only the BBC would take any notice.

  233. 234 khadija
    January 8, 2009 at 20:48

    It seems Isreal can do what ever it wants.
    The UN has failed just like the league of Nations .

  234. 235 Munyinda Mututwa Munyinda
    January 8, 2009 at 20:57

    i think that israel is not to blame here. why do we leave the real culprit . hamas is not following international law or are there? put yourself in israels’ position. should they stand by and see rocket after rocket being fired with impunity ? and live in fear all the timeand just stand by because international law says they cann’t or that they wait till the un does something ? quite frankly any responsible government worth their salt will be forced to do something about the situation.

    on another plane, how do you deal with a weak neighbour who constantly provokes you and only to run to the public to save the fight he started himself ? i think hamas asked for it and should be allowed to be sorted out otherwise hamas will be bound to repeat the same folly.

    this of course will be against public opinion and may be international law. every person will agree that when citzens of a country are being attacked by another country that their governments will act to protect there interest. this principle is okay for all the countries of the world and yet when israel applies this rule they are suddenly doing the wrong thing. why ? is there something i am missing here?

  235. January 8, 2009 at 21:00

    There are a million and ahalf people in Jacksonville Florida and only one newspaper and only one blog about Gaza. Yes that is my blog and only two comments in reply to my concerns????


  236. January 8, 2009 at 21:10

    Dear BBC – the way you put up the question already shows what answer YOU (BBC) want to get and, of course, on which side YOU (BBC) are !
    Why don’t you ask : “Can HAMAS and Israel do what they want ?”

  237. 238 Dassin
    January 8, 2009 at 21:18

    Why there was no protests around the world when Hamas was shooting its rockets daily in Israel for years? Why people protest every time Isreal try to defend itself against people who just don’t want it to exist?. Isreal like any other country has the right to do what ever is possible and what ever it wants to survive and to protect its cityzen against terrorists organisations. But actually hamas is the one who is doing what it wants. And what hamas wants is a constant war using their own people as human shield and the destruction of Israel.
    Isrrael has the capacity to destroy palestine but they don’t obviously want to do so. What about if Hamas has this capacity?Think about it my friends!!
    Hams is a terrorist organisation that holds the palestinians prisoners. And I think that if palestinians really wanted peace they should have chosen another party to lead them. they choose Hamas and they knew what were its projects for Isreal. I’m sorry to say that but they are having the consequences of their own choice.

  238. 239 Paul Seligman
    January 8, 2009 at 21:30

    lf the cowardly Hamas militants choose to hide amongst their woman and children and use them as shields, they should be blamed for their deaths and injuries, not Israel
    In the past several months Muslims have been killing each other with suicide bombings and other armed attacks in numbers that approach the number of innocent civilians killed in Gaza..Where is the outrage? Where are all the graphic photographs? Where are the demonstrations for all of these intentional brutal killings? Why does the media, especially the BBC, put those stories on the back pages, if at all, but as soon as Israel defends itself, they churn out bias reporting against Israel.
    When King Hussein killed 20,000 Palestinians in September 1970, where was the outrage, demonstrations etc?
    When Assad of Syria slaughtered 15,000-20,000 of his own people, where was the outrage and coverage.
    How long would Britain, Belgian , France, and the other European countries tolerate thousand of rockets reigning down on their population without responding.The Irish still remember the brutality of the infamous British Black & Tan .

  239. 240 John
    January 8, 2009 at 21:32

    I, as an Israeli, will agree to an immediate, ceasefire with Hamas and the opening of the borders to free passage of whatever Hamas wants to bring in to Gaza on the condition that the coalition forces in Afghanistan will immediately stop attacking the Taliban and Al Quaeda and allow them free passage of whatever they wish, and the Turks will stop bombing the PKK and the civilian Kurds among whom they live and the Sudanese will give autonomy to the Darfurians, and the Sri Lankan army will cease its victorious offensive against the Tamils.

  240. 241 Tamba
    January 8, 2009 at 21:33

    Would the two brothers from the same father and different mothers ever agree on common principles? Would Ishmael listen to Isaac or would Isaac negotiate with Ishmael? Iran and Syria are the main supporter of Hamas. Their intention is to wipe Isreal out completely. Peace between Isreal and Palestine can only be achieve when Iran and Syria decided to use their resouces for the benefit of her people. Not to support Hamas. How many more children and women did Syria and Iran want to destroy? Stop your support for Hamas innocent people are dying everyday.

  241. 242 beau
    January 8, 2009 at 21:37

    Israel has the right to defend itself any way it sees fit. It is no business of the UN once Israel’s safety is endangered!

  242. 243 Essexgirl
    January 8, 2009 at 21:39

    The Palestinians have paid the price for what Nazi Germany did to the Jews.

    That’s a simple fact. Germany was rehabilitated and rebuilt after WW2 and is now a world leader and a rich nation, because it was a (white) western nation, and no one gave a toss about the Palestinians back then in 1948 – they were just a bunch of disposable Arabs who didn’t count. They are much harder to ignore now.

    While Hamas are a bunch of hideous thugs who horribly exploit their own people, it’s hardly surprising that they were voted in. The last 2 weeks will have created thousands and thousands of willing martyrs for the cause.

    Israel are ‘shooting fish in a barrel”. Anyone who criticises them is terrified of being labelled anti- Semitic. Yes, we do let them do anything they want because we still feel guilty about the war. Just imagine if this had been Northern Ireland, with the Brits going in to take out the IRA bombers and ‘accidentally’ killing 4 or 5 hundred civilians too, blowing up churches and apartments and killing children by the score. Would the world have stood by and said nothing?

  243. 244 Andy
    January 8, 2009 at 21:47

    Fair enough, but this is a somewhat loaded question.

    It needs balancing with alternatives like:

    “Can Hamas do what it wants”, or

    “Should the BBC abandon all pretense of impartiality and become subscription-based”? or

    “Is “Gorgeous” George Galloway a total prat”?

  244. January 8, 2009 at 21:51

    “Mary January 8, 2009 at 18:38
    No country has the right to do whatever it wants when the consequences are the deaths of innocent civilians.”

    Quite right, but trying to explain that to Bush & Blair proved to be a bit of a problem.
    The further back in history you go the number of countries that have just ‘done as they want’ regardless of civilian casualties or not, increases to the point that it would seem to be a human trait to ‘do what you want’ regardless of civilian casualties.

    There doesn’t seem to have been a time when one country wasn’t doing what it wanted regardless of civilian casualties.

    Perhaps we should just accept it as a human trait and stop going “Ooo Ahh, aren’t they bad” (doesn’t matter which side) at any particular situation or corner of the world.

    If it’s not going on in your backyard, it is for sure on your tv set or local cinema, or computer game. It might be more relaxing instead of endowing ourselves with false senses of morality and compassion just to realise that the human race is a rather nasty dangerous animal, prone to destruction of property and life at some mere political whim or some tangible material gain.

    Why aspire to be ‘good’ when it is so clear the animal is actually ‘bad’.

    Enjoy! Get Roman about it all, the world is but an amphitheatre there for our amusement. Throw ’em to the lions!

  245. 246 emdy
    January 8, 2009 at 21:51

    Can Israel do whatever it wants? I don’t see how this question comes up?
    In 2006, during the war in Lebanon Israel was denounced for it’s disproportionate use of force, for killing innocent civilians and on on. However, at the end of conflict, we were told by western media outlets that Hezbollah fought Israel to a standstill. Even the bbc websites(see Bowen’s blog and others) contains phrases like Hezbollah ‘bloodied Israel’s nose’, Hezbollah can match Israel’s firepower, Hezbollah is an organized force unlike Hamas. Comments like these show that we don’t really deplore violence. It indicates too that we don’t value all human lives as we claim. I imagine the Israelis have these thoughts on their mind.

  246. 247 Abigail3
    January 8, 2009 at 22:09

    Yes, they have the right to defend themselves from any violence. But it’s unfortunate that by Hamas starting their rocket launches, they gave Israel the excuse they needed to begin executing their strategy. A strategy I could see taking shape when they mandated that all Israeli citizens vacate the Gaza strip and the aggressive timetable to finish the wall being built around that land. The Palestinians were now sitting ducks.

    The other point that needs to be made here is both Bush and Olmert need to be careful what they wish for. They wanted democracy. And when the Palestinians had a democratic election, they overwhelmingly supported the Hamas leadership. “Oh, wait a minute, that’s not what we wanted to see. Now we’ll have to impose sanctions and restrict any border movements.”

    Hypocritical actions on both counts!

  247. 248 disgusted Londoner
    January 8, 2009 at 22:10

    Shame on the British Broadcasting Corporation for its obsessive double standards hatred of all things Israel

  248. 249 Patricia
    January 8, 2009 at 22:11

    Israel has the right to defend themselves only if they were being ” attacked”. But please all of you answer this, 60 air strikes on Gaza in one night bringing the death toll to 762 palestenians and injuring over 3,000 more (mostly women and children) or the 11 Israelis (mostly military) and slightly injuring 2 .. who do you all think is being “attacked” and who do you all think should be the ones “defending” themselves!!

  249. 250 Olivia in USA
    January 8, 2009 at 22:12

    No one appears to be stopping Israel from doing what it believes is in its best interest, so, apparently, to the extent of what we see, it can do what it wants.

  250. 251 sab
    January 8, 2009 at 22:15

    It would seem that Israel can hold the Western and Arab goverments hostage to its ambition to create a Greater Israel

  251. 252 Mufeed
    January 8, 2009 at 22:15

    Of course. Now what more proof do you need? Democracy suited to US is only accepted. If US declares someone terrorists, the world tags it as terrorists. One man’s freedom fighter is other man’s terrorists. They are freedom fighters for me.

  252. 253 sab
    January 8, 2009 at 22:17


  253. 254 OGUNTOYE oluwaseyi
    January 8, 2009 at 22:18

    i am greatly surprised when people compare the strengthof the weapons used on both sides ,saying it is disproportionate.if a person attack you with a locally made gun,will u seat back looking for the same locally made weapon to defend yourself,when u have got a fully loaded AK-47?

  254. 255 rupert
    January 8, 2009 at 22:25

    a thought on the tunnels:
    if someone built a wall around your house, wouldn’t you dig a tunnel ? it’s natural to do so. Israel didn’t have to start a full fledged war to stop the tunnels. This war is totally disproportionate, one just has too look at the casualty rates on each side.

  255. January 8, 2009 at 22:40

    Whatever sympathy I had left for Israel has now officially gone. This latest round of blood letting has shown the Olmert government to be just as bad as the Hamas paramilitaries it is constantly trying to take the moral high ground over.

  256. 257 Badd, Sg
    January 8, 2009 at 22:41

    Why are we still discussing about who to be blamed when people are dying in the war regardless of which side they are from?!

    All talk. No action.

    Shame on you, UN, US, EU, Arab Nations

  257. 258 Monica
    January 8, 2009 at 22:51

    I watch one bomb the other and it reminds me of “he hit me first!” And I think neither is right.

    But then I see the totals of Palestinian dead climb. Israel proudly claimed a few days ago that it had killed 130 Hamas soldiers. But – at that point – it had killed 550 people. That’s 420 civilians to kill 130 of the “enemy.” Israel needs to kill 3 or more Palestinians to kill those they MEAN to kill, and Israel is satisfied with that?

    Are Palestinians only worth 1/3 a human?

  258. 259 Joy Wolfe
    January 8, 2009 at 22:53

    What a mixed bag of responses.
    Some blatantly biased, some blatantly misinformed
    Some reasonable sensible and helpful comment
    Israel has no desire to “do what it wants”
    But with Iranian backing and with people blind to the dangers posed to the whole free world by Iran’s incitement and arming of terrorists, Hamas can and does do what it wants

  259. 260 Urs
    January 8, 2009 at 23:01

    When sovereign states are committing war crimes and perpetrating acts of state terrorism following the election of people to power who have a mindset of war criminals the world is every now and again tragically confronted with situations like actually in Gaza and of late in Yougoslavia, Chechnia, Iraq, Lebanon and beforehand in Vietnam. The culprits have been duly elected in their respective countries and have been misusing their power for years in Serbia, Russia, in the USA and Israel without being seriously challenged and halted by their own citizens.

  260. January 8, 2009 at 23:11

    There is a very simple and peaceful solution to this War,

    “What part of Stop Firing Rockets into Israel does Hamas (and the anti-semites) not understand.”

  261. 262 Dassin
    January 8, 2009 at 23:12

    Why the world always over react when Isreal defends itself against terrorists attacts? Why there were no protests when Isreal was being bombard by Hamas for years?
    Israel is a nation that been fighting for it survival for centuries and its neigbours’ desire has always been its destruction.

  262. January 8, 2009 at 23:18

    Hamas was elected by the Palestinians to govern whatever is left from the ferocious attacks of Israel of the past few decades. If Hamas is a terrorist organisation because it tries to defend its people with whatever means it has then Israel too is a terrorist state. The attacks of Israel are disproportionate.

  263. January 8, 2009 at 23:36

    What will you do if you are kicked out from your land your houses,farms and occupies your country and no free movement in your own land and blown to bits your own properties then there is big big troubles as in his mind is full of hatered ,anger and you are bound to these types and suicidal attempts and there will be some kind of madness in whole palestine and there next door countries. The biggest fault lies with american double standards.

  264. 265 Caterine d´aix
    January 9, 2009 at 00:04

    Israel is not so much the problem, but our western governments who have pampered it with a repulsive double standard for decades. The result is it is living in a bubble and does what it wants irrespective of international law.
    If the western world is either not able or willing to rein in its out of control middle east bully I fear in years to come the west in toto will be held accountable

  265. 266 Colin Wright
    January 9, 2009 at 00:39

    Israel can do whatever it wants because on this issue, American Congressmen and Senators respond, not to the will of the American people, but to the will of the Israel lobby.

    The most recent poll showed that Americans DO support Israel’s action in Gaza — by a very slight margin. 44% to 41%, to be exact.

    On the other hand, the House of Representatives voted for the resolution supporting Israel’s incursion 410-4. The Senate voted for it unanimously.

    They’re not our congressmen. They’re Israel’s.

  266. 267 RobertF
    January 9, 2009 at 00:55

    When Israel withdraws fully and completely to the agreed 1967 borders, then I will agree it has the right to defend itself in this way.

  267. 268 Norman Higginson
    January 9, 2009 at 01:09

    Does Israel really want to do whatever it wants? What is wants is security. I don’t know the geography of the area that well but a UN force like the one on the Lebanon border seems a good option.

    When Israel uses disproportionate force in response to a security threat, I don’t think it solves its problem in the long-term. Better that a neutral peacekeeping force provide security to both sides.

    This hasn’t always worked in the past, but after 60 years of conflict I think some new ideas need to be tried.

  268. 269 magali
    January 9, 2009 at 01:35

    I think there is another question that anyone does: Why people never asks for the hamas or Hesbollah to stop ? Why Israel ever has to step back and receives silently the rokets ?
    why the hammas didn´t worked for the development of the population in Gaza.instead of bildding tunnels for smuggling weapons ?
    Why the world never do meettings about other conflicts ?
    Why europeans has to atac sinagogues if the conflict is in the middle east ?
    Can Hamas do whatever it wonts ?

  269. 270 William Najt
    January 9, 2009 at 02:05

    It is time for all of the stakeholders in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict come to the table in New York, at the United Nations, and not only agree on a comprehensive cease-fire, but also immediately begin final status negotiations, and bring the conflict to an end once and for all. Arab countries, Israel, and the major powers, including China, must move this process along, and make these negotiations not only happen, but succeed.

  270. 271 Kristina
    January 9, 2009 at 02:21

    It is totally unappropriate and biased by BBC to pose this question in regard to Israel, a sovereign state. This question should be asked of all nations, including some colonizing powers, like Britain and France.

  271. 272 Leave-Me-Out-of-It
    January 9, 2009 at 02:57

    Gandhi said: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves everyone blind and unable to chew their food.” Is this what both sides want? Is this how to live as human beings? If there is a God, whether a Hebrew, Islamic, or Christian God, does He not want better things for all sides concerned? Does this not make sense, or will the fighting continue?

  272. 273 martha
    January 9, 2009 at 04:26

    No, Israel cannot do whatever it wants without being a pariah among nations.
    As a Brooklyn Jew, I like many of my friends am sick about and outraged at the violations of human rights, the disproportionate attacks on civilians like shooting fish in a barrel, the denial of aid, the callous propaganda-mongering, and the abject capitulation of all US institutions, including government and the media. I have no great sympathy for Hamas–quite the contrary–but as Ehud Barak himself confessed publicly several years ago, if her were a young Palestinian, he would be a terrorist.
    It is grotesque to claim that Hamas seeks the eradication of Israel etc. & thus not fit to negotiate with, since Hamas has been willing to negotiate– as even former Israeli negotiators have affirmed. Many Israeli politicians talk about “transfer” of all Arabs from Israel, but do we hear outrage and revulsion from most Western commentators when they do so?
    Hamas called a ceasefire, during which time Israel assassinated several Hamas figures. So who violated the ceasefire?
    Many Israeli commentator have noted the proximity of this action to the US change of regime and the Israeli elections. Now, that’s cynical behavior on the part of an occupier.

  273. 274 meligras
    January 9, 2009 at 04:59

    Israel would have the right to defend itself in case it was a democratic state. Terror organizations such as israel will be soon punished by the international community according to the international law and the USA will be highlighted as the most savage and anti-democratic nation of modern history. This is a stigma both the terror group and the state will have difficulty to get off.

  274. 275 DENNIS
    January 9, 2009 at 05:25

    @ Debbie Tilley Ontario Canada January 8, 2009 at 16:43

    I am not from Canada, but I read the CBC and for use the blogs they provide; And, I also saw the same story..

    The U.N. has decided to it because of safety and security issues…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  275. 276 DENNIS
    January 9, 2009 at 05:27

    [portlandmike January 8, 2009 at 18:18]

    Hamas is a duly elected government.

    To answer your question to the best of my ability: Yes, but, when your government is encouraging a daily barrage of bombings in the form of Rockets attacks and other types of misconduct….You somewhat lose that right as a duly-elected government…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  276. 277 Chaturi Edrisinha
    January 9, 2009 at 05:32

    I am outraged at the stance that Israel is taking. I am outraged that so many in the US are silent and that we cannot have a meaningful discussion in regards to Israel’s and the Palestine people’s right to freedom. It’s seems like everyone is at opposite extremes. When did we start to see only ethnicity and stop seeing humanity? This is a human issue.

    Israel cannot keep killing civilians and committing human right violations in the guise of protecting it’s right to exist. How can the world stand and watch when young starving children are clinging to their dead mother’s without food or water for four days? How can we excuse the behavior of the soldier’s who were nearby but did nothing? Did they somehow think that these young starving children posed a security threat? We as a global community must intervene. We cannot let this happen.

  277. 278 Ali
    January 9, 2009 at 05:41

    I live in northern pakistan. My safety is in danger by the U.S. air crafts which fly each day and bomb my area. So far my innocent brother and his family have lost their lives. If your logic is true that I should start a war agianst U.S. As for me they are the real terrorist.

    As for the death toll in israel. 13 israeli Vs 800 Plaesteneins dead. You decide!!

  278. 279 Tracy
    January 9, 2009 at 05:54

    Israel does whatever it wants. What I don’t \understand is why its neighbours don’t take more extreme action to limit this troublesome neighbour’s aggression. Israel was a sop to give the holocaust victims somewhere to go after WWII and they have tried to expand their territory ever since using a variety of lame excuses.

    Who was the crazy country who gave Israel nuclear weapons and let them do what they like through it’s hand in the UN? The USA who doesn’t seem to learn anything from history.

    Creating a safe haven for holocaust victims was a terrible error. Intergration into wider society of the victims of ‘the final solution’ would have been better than taking land off the Palestinians so that they and their traditional enemies could live next to each other.

    All Israel is doing is screaming for ‘Liebensraum’.

    Appeasement didn’t work then either and the League of Nations was ineffective.

    ‘Peace in our time”- please Google.

  279. January 9, 2009 at 06:09

    Both Israel and Palestine have a right to ‘defend’ their citizens. However, the essence of the question on the table is deficient. No powers on this earth can ‘DO WHATEVER THEY WANT’. Can Hamas otherwise do whatever they want? The question should be centered rather on ‘WHO IS IN THE RIGHT’. The general knowledge of the Palestinian and Israeli dilemma and our generation is shallow. Can the BBC help?

  280. 281 André - Cape Town
    January 9, 2009 at 06:18

    Kansas Mark says it all. If only all outsiders (=non-Middle-Easterners) would stay out of it – no weapons, no financial assistance – and let natural law sort it all out. International involvement has failed comprehensively for 61 years.

  281. 282 Patrick
    January 9, 2009 at 06:57

    What is the point of the UN or International law if select countries in the world are allowed to ignore them or use them to suit them selves. Those countries need to grow up and remember they do not have more rights than any other country. They excel in hypocrisy, propaganda and belligerence.

  282. 283 Mehdi
    January 9, 2009 at 07:01

    How does one justify the moral viability of the loss of innocent life. Does Israel believe on a pragmatic level that this will bring about peace? This only further traumatizes the children of Gaza and breeds a generation who lack a meaningful future, thus resulting to avenging the lives of lost these weeks. Endless cycle

  283. 284 Irfan
    January 9, 2009 at 07:06

    Israel always does what it wants but the only one who can stop it is Hizbulloh dont forget the 2006 war where the so called Israeli might fell to the mights of Hizbulloh.

  284. 285 Trip Dee
    January 9, 2009 at 07:19

    Israel does whatever it wants regardless of whether what it does is moral or not. These latest attacks are not in the best long term interest for Israel – they are just breeding hate against themselves in the arab world, and a lot of teh rest of the world also. Israel and whoever is really firing rockets into Israel are both committing acts of terrorism that need to be condemned by everyone. It seems that those who are suffering the most at the moment are the already impoverished and victimised palestinians, most of whom aren’t actively working for Israel’s destruction.
    People need to realise these events are not a clash between Jews as a whole and Muslims as a whole, but between 2 groups claiming to represent Jews and Muslims, but who are in fact only interested in power and ethnic cleansing. For both parties the best form of defence would be to take the moral high ground and stop attacking each other. Unfortunately the way the anglophone media loads reports generally shows the Palastinians as the aggressors or instigators of violence – in reality this is rarely the case (read media from other parts of the world, including Israel for more accurate coverage than the BBC or other anglophone sources).

  285. January 9, 2009 at 07:25

    How does one handle Hamas? Right now innocents are getting killed but eventually how do you manage the Hamas menace who just keeps shooting rockets into Israel at will

  286. 287 michael
    January 9, 2009 at 07:26

    The fact that anyone would imply that Israel is doing what it wants to do is an outrage. Ask any soldier with civilian blood on his/her hands if they are doing what they want to do. They are doing what they must do, however gruesome it may be. They are fighting against an undeveloped and parasitic palestinian military that hides amongst its women and children, and should itself be held responsible for their deaths.

  287. 288 Sundar
    January 9, 2009 at 07:59

    As a sovreign independent country Israel is just defending its country and the civilians. The world must realize that Hamas is a terrorist movement and anyone who takes a stand with Hamas is doing so just for the sake of a religious identity. The government of Israel is doing its responsibility and no one should condemn it. Israel is known for its tough stand against terrorism which is appreciated.

  288. 289 edwinfang
    January 9, 2009 at 08:06

    My stance:

    1. Israel has the right to defend itself, just like many others have echoed here. Just as other nations are entitled to self-defence, Israel also has that right.

    2. It strikes me odd to see the world lash Israel for its actions, while sitting idle and allowing Hamas to rain rockets down on Israeli cities. I did not even know that Hamas did such a thing until the news of Israeli invasion came. The media kept it very quiet.

    3. In general, it angers me to see that it is politically correct to go soft on the Muslims while Christians/Jews are held to a different, higher standard. If the free press mocks Muhammed, much like how they mock Jesus often, the Islamic world goes haywire and causes suicide bombings, beheadings, kidnappings and mobs. Yet when pressured, the free world must comply to the Islamic world’s demand for apology. They are all prophets. But it should be our right to do whatever we feel with them.

    In short, my rant is in favor of Israel. They have the right to quash any hostile forces that they deem necessary. UN has no power to enforce such resolutions, as they depend on US for their troops. In short, UN is a powerless organization in this case, much like the League of Nations regarding Nazi Germany and Manchukuo.

  289. 290 Chris Stevens
    January 9, 2009 at 08:07

    770 Palestinian dead and many more injured.

    I ask just how many future terrorists does Israel want to create?

    Given that in year 2000 there were 461 fatalities caused by Road Traffic Accidents in Israel it seems that for what was 3 fatalities from the Hamas Rockets the Israeli response is grossly disproportionate.

    Perhaps the Israeli Courts should order 118,000 random people a year to be executed to prevent deaths on their roads?

  290. 291 Phil
    January 9, 2009 at 08:12

    I was trying to find the right words to comment on the apologists for Israel or Hamas, but they never apologise. Of course nations have a right to defend themselves and I condemn the use of rockets by Hamas. However they key issue is whether Israel has a right to do anything. Kill and injur children? Civilised nations must always respond with genuine compassion and help the innocents. The Israelies shoot first and then say it was regrettable, but it was Hamas’ fault.
    Such actions will never rid the world of terrorists, indeed it just builds support for them. I am not anti-semitic, I am not even anti-Israel, but I am anti Israeli policy on this, equally I am anti Hamas policy towards Israel.
    It’s time for the UN to police Gaza until peace prevails.

  291. 292 Dana - Indonesa
    January 9, 2009 at 08:27

    When people were occupied, then those people would react with resistance. Since Hamas resistance was labelled as terrorist by US, Israel and EU, the blames were put on Hamas. We were occupied by Dutch for 350 years, prior our Independence Day, the Dutch labelled our Heroes and resistance movements with EXTRIMIST. So it’s kind of the same scenario. It’s useless to extent a ceasefire when there were blockades, intimidation, sanction, starvation and lack of medical aid due to blockade. Hamas did agreed for durable ceasefire but in return, Israel must opened all blockages in border of rafah and return their occupied lands (border prior 1967). And of course Israel will never agree in these terms as all occupied land were already built for illegal settlements. Most of american medias are backed by zionist tycoons so it’s not a surprise for me when the news was very subjective, especially for Plaestine issues. Palestinians will never surrender to get back their land, just like what we did for more than 350 years.


  292. 293 Hussain Abdullah
    January 9, 2009 at 08:31

    No country can afford to do what it wants and can forever, ………………not even Israel.

  293. 294 Gilad Kronman
    January 9, 2009 at 09:03

    I think the journalistic bias is very evident in the way the first perspective is presented. An unbiased presentation should have stated:

    It has every right to provide security for its people, and that should be the primary concern of the UN, the Arab world, and in fact anyone else.

  294. 295 Kelvin
    January 9, 2009 at 09:25

    The sad fact is that as long as the US vetos security council action on Isreal, these events will continue. Yes, the Isrealis are fighting terrorism, but please recall that from the Palestinian point of view, the Isrealis stole their land and force them to live in refugee camps with no real law or government. It would be surprising if they DIDN’T fight back in some way. In the meantime, Isreal continues to build settlements that displace more Palestinians, take more of their resources and create more discontent. That’s not a recipe for peace with anyone. And while you can bemoan the loss of life on both sides, the casualty ratio is something on the order of 50:1 in the current conflict, and 5:1 in the broader conflict.

    On the other hand, Isreal has performed extra judicial killings outside and inside it’s own territory, seized land that does not belong to it by international law, carried out mass punishments of civilian populations and pursued a clandestine WOMD program. Quite simply, one can understand why the Arab world sees injustice in the treatment of these issues.

  295. 296 barbier
    January 9, 2009 at 09:30

    Unfortunately yes.

    I want just to quote a french writer G.Courteline:

    “when we have one dead, it’s a tragedy. Hundreds dead, they are only statistics”.


  296. 297 Hiver
    January 9, 2009 at 09:36

    Israel appears to think it can do whatever it likes as long as the US abstains from criticism and the UN shows itself to be powerless. Israel is protecting itself against a people whose lands, homes and livelihoods were summarily taken from them in1948 and Hamas is the result of all the resentment and hatred.
    Israel’s actions can only sustain and feed this hatred.
    Do the Israelis feel no sympathy for the people whose homes they occupy?

  297. January 9, 2009 at 09:44

    because israelis are just also human beings like others from other places on earth,they too can do wrong or either right.but they need to use their brains too and know that when they overpunish palestinians instead of just punishing if necessary,they too are just abusing and killing other people….israel should look for a way in which she will takeover palestine without causing a genocide..and all other palestine areas to either be in one israel or whole isreal in palestine if it wants there to be peace….two states alongside each other with the current borders will just make the war not end cause some palestinians and jews too will always be meditating on their promised lands on either side.



  298. 299 Sokiri Lo-kijore
    January 9, 2009 at 09:47

    Israelis are really the blessed people in the World. They have the good heart otherwise if the terrorist Hamas were Isreal the World would have witness another Isreal hollocost.

    Thank God that Isreal are just defending themselves professionally. Instead of the international community to work for eliminating Hamas it is asking Isreal to stop. If this is allowed the terrorist still will regroup and they will do more hamp than now.

    So Israel please go after them do not list to the people who actually indirectly are advocating for your distruction.

  299. 300 aravind
    January 9, 2009 at 09:51

    It seems to be highly tilted in favour of the more powerfull countries. There are many instances where a weaker country has been attacked and was not in a position to fight back.

    There needs to be a multilateral resolution to fight this problem, we cannot leave it to the hands of the individual countries. Israel might have the right to defend itself but the methods used have no chance of being successfull and would fuel further problems in the region.

  300. 301 C.Manning
    January 9, 2009 at 09:52

    Israel have been bullied for the last 8 years by hamas with everyday rocket assaults. For 8 years they have been patient and tolerant. Did you really expect them to be that way forever. Would the U.K for example, sit there and allow it’s civilians to be attacked on a daily basis without some sort of retaliation, especially if the aggressors proved themselves to be ‘non-negotiable’? This country has a right to defend herself, and use the force necessary to make a stand against the constant terror it has to endure. When the classroom bully gets turned onto and taken by surprise after years of bullying, it’s usually well-deserved.

  301. January 9, 2009 at 09:59

    Hi the issue is not how many terrorist groups Israel will creat but can you sign a peace agreement with somebody who fights for total extinction of you life and lets not view these things from one side and what is the agent of hamas first of all ?
    Note that Israelis are also people.

  302. 303 faysal
    January 9, 2009 at 09:59

    @ Alex
    Hamas has been elected for its national agenda, as a symbol of resistance, and to free the Palestinian occupied lands of its israeli occupiers, and not only to protect citizens from Israel.
    Gaza is not an independent state that is in war with Israel; it’s just a simple province, an administrative region or division of a country that some exceptional events have forced it to act independently.

    “Does HAMAS care about people of Gaza?”. If it does not, does this give Israel the right to kill the people that Hamas didn’t care about?

    Israel is defending itself!!. Ok. Isn’t it giving the Palestinian resistance to act at the same ferocious way?

    Palestinians are looking for justice, the justice that the international community has approved their right in. Once they have it, they’d stop, they’d get to look for how to live like human beings.
    The big question is: Does the HEBREW STATE have honest and serious intention to live in peace with its Arab neighborhood? I wish I could say yes, and I hope you’ll be able to say it.
    Finally, and not least, could wars bring security?

  303. 304 Felice
    January 9, 2009 at 10:04

    To ask “Can Israel do whatever it WANTS” is a question that deliberately deforms reality. As an Israeli resident let me assure you, most people in Israeli do not “WANT the war with the Hamas in Gaza”. If you would ask a young man in Israel today “What do you WANT to do?” the very last thing he would answer is “going to war”. We WANT to live in peace. And it would be easier to attain this peace, had the Hamas not shelled us with rockets after the withdrawal from Gaza.

  304. 305 faysal
    January 9, 2009 at 10:06

    @ Sundar
    ( 113 Sundar January 9, 2009 at 07:59The world must realize that Hamas is a terrorist movement…)..Sundar,would u provide us good and reasonable definition of “Terrorism”,please?

  305. 306 Mawsenio
    January 9, 2009 at 10:10

    Paranoia and insanity. No country has ever been talked out of existence whatever some Arabs say about they’re dream for destroying Israel. The civilised world would intervene if such threats ever looked realistic but 7 dead from rocket attacks is not a threat to a country; it’s just murder. Any country has the right to defend themselves but this is simply propaghanda. I have a right to stop someone aiming a peashooter at me but lobbing a hand grenade would be a little disproportinate. Imagine if the UK answer to Northern Ireland was to level catholic areas with bombs. Western leaders are hyprocites: In one country we invade to install a democracy; in another we attack a democratic leadership we do not like. Caught in the middle are ordinary people whose misery is turned into hatred against perceived agressors when the leadership of both sides is what perpetuates violence.
    God is not real but his teaching is often wise. Here we have two mothers fighting over one child but, in this case, both will be happy with their dead halves.

  306. 307 Stanblogger
    January 9, 2009 at 10:10

    Israel must negotiate seriously with all the groups who have Palestinian support, including Hamas, if any solution to this conflict is to be found. Sure, Hamas says it wants to wipe Israel off the map, but that is only their starting position for negotiations, just as Israel’s is to destroy Hamas.

    The whole object of negotiation is that both sides move away from their extreme positions and reach an agreement that has such great advantages for both sides that it is acceptable to both.

    Is it not time that Israel was told by the US, and the EU, that their support will end, if they do not negotiate with all Palestinian groups?

  307. 308 Jack Hughes
    January 9, 2009 at 10:15


    I’m looking forward to next week’s

    Can Hamas do whatever it wants ?

    1) Those who argue Hamas can do whatever it wants because it’s entitled to. It has every right to fire rockets into Israel, and that is a bigger priority than worrying about the concerns of the UN, the Arab world, or in fact anyone else.

    2) Hamas is doing whatever it wants but it’s scandalous that it’s being allowed to happen. Where’s the decisive UN intervention? Where is the outrage of the Arab world? Where is the military action of the Arab world some of you even say?

    The third view is that Hamas can’t do whatever it wants, and that its actions are rightly limited by international law and international expectations.

    Where do you stand?

    What day will this be on air ?

  308. January 9, 2009 at 10:28

    How do you define terrorism? Starving people of basic needs of water food medicine and shelter? This is worse form of terror; this is forcing people like Hamas to fight back. Israel needs to be made accountable for its action just the same way as for Hamas.
    International Communities have failed to address and identify the oppressors from the oppressed.
    Israel should stop playing the victim role in the eyes of the International community. It seems they are not interested in Peace but the expansion of their state. The Jewish community should hold their leaders to account as it gives further fuel to ant-Semitism making a mockery of their religion.
    Most people including the Palestinians respect that Israel should be recognised and likewise for Israel to accept Palestine.
    USA continues to demonstrate its ignorance in International affairs and has lost all its respect in the eyes of the International Community.
    Who controls and runs the USA? Americans should wake up and read between the lines, unfortunately there is no free press in USA?
    What does freedom actually mean?

  309. 310 jim cornwall
    January 9, 2009 at 10:31

    When the nazis committed the same atrocities as the israelis, the world rightly viewed these actions as war crimes, that is because the allies won.
    moving women and children into a defacto shelter and the shelling it is in my view as much of a war crime as can be imagined, will they be held to account?
    forget it, there is no chance, if they wore black uniforms and put arabs in death camps( if they dont already) the U.S. would still back them. can anyone wonder why the poor victims of these tyrants desire their destruction.the sooner the world is rid of both of these extremist nations the better.

  310. 311 stephen hoffman
    January 9, 2009 at 10:47

    This question is clearly biased. Israel is not doing what it wants , Hamas is , Hamas trys to kill civilians israel trys it hardest despite hamas using palestinian civilian like cannon fodder to avoid civilian deaths.

  311. 312 Dom Ramos
    January 9, 2009 at 10:51

    It must be borne uppermost in our minds where this entire catastrophe comes from: the illegal stealing of land and basic human rights from Palestinians by a state that can only legitimize itself through firstly, the collective guilt it manages to cast on the US and Europe over its holocaust pain when we failed to rescue Jews from the Warsaw ghetto, and secondly, through violent outrages using a highly sophisticated military force and active secret service, that it illogically expects never to be avenged. We must rebuild the UN to carry out ALL our international resolutions and rebuild a world based on rights and fairness, including those resolutions over land we never dared put into practise before. A boycott of all Israeli goods and services is the least we could do as a peaceful act, to register our utter dismay at the horror being perpetrated in the main on the civilian population of Gaza.

    The terrible irony is that a new Warsaw ghetto is ablaze- the people half-starved and living in the densest area of the world, with no electricity, being terrrorized and intimidated with bombs, hellfire missiles, propaganda campaigns and illegal phosphorus missiles. Unless the world acts now to boycott the country responsible, Israel, we will stamp our very minds with our own double-standards, and become as half-human as we were when we ignored Jewish plight in 1942.

    January 9, 2009 at 10:52

    jis ka amal hai baye zarer ish ki jaza kuch oar hai; bada-o-jaam sey guzer hoor-o-khayam sey guzer!

    Plz respect, dignify & love all and each and single human being without discriminations of all kinds!

    All religions hate killings, discrimination in race, color,age, sex, politics & religions!

    If Israel hates Muslims; then i say Qoran also called Israelies human beings. This Qoran’s message is for all nations, ages, colors and peoples!

    Thank U!
    Muhammad Usman

    January 9, 2009 at 10:54

    O Israel’s Rulers plz know that Qoran says you human beings but u r not doing humanity-oriented things! The Israel’s nation i know against government. But ruler have to be stopped?


  314. 315 NO Hope
    January 9, 2009 at 11:04

    Maybe why america is so slow in condeming israel is because it needs israel to fire more rockets and shells so it can charge more to rearm israel

  315. 316 rick
    January 9, 2009 at 11:15

    What an excuse that Hoffman guy. The Palestinians are “using civilians as human fodder” so it is justified to kill and maimed them. They are human being, if Israelis want peace and normal life, the other side want the same thing. You would think after 6 decades of conflict they would come to realize, may be they are too dumb to understand that guns don’t solve a problem.
    I magine if someone is trying to grab your backyard, would you allow it?? that is the settlers on the West Bank

  316. 317 Akhter Joya
    January 9, 2009 at 11:19

    Under the International Law, every country has a right of defence from any foreign aggression. It is true that Israel has a right to defend itself however it is also true that Palestinians have right to defend themselves as well.

    But right of defence is limited by the international law. Now the question arises, whether Israel is defending itself while killing the innocent citizen of Gaza particularly women and children who have no concern whatsoever with any rocket attack on Israel. There is a big difference between defending and offending. The current action of Israel is not defence but offence.
    Are Palestinians not justified to defend themselves in the current situation?

    Israel is not justified to do whatever it likes but its bound by Humanitarian and International law as Hamas is.

  317. 318 Brian Chinyama
    January 9, 2009 at 12:51

    Many people are calling for USA to condemn Isreal, i think Isreal has no option but to do all it takes to protect its people. Rockets are being fired on the Isreal people, and by them defending themselves people are condeming them. Hamas is firing the rockets and the whole world is busy condamning Isreal. Isreal like any other country has the right to denfend it self.

  318. 319 Wendy Simpson
    January 9, 2009 at 12:57

    Ironically, Israel is killing the very thing it is trying to protect – it’s future safety and legitimacy. The ‘promised land’ ideology can only be an obscenity if you have bomb children to get it. Perhaps the Palestinians should save themselves and finally move on, leaving the Israelis to reap what they’ve sown.

  319. 320 Wilmot
    January 9, 2009 at 13:22


  320. 321 Alan Jowett
    January 9, 2009 at 13:33

    The Israeli state and anyone who supports it should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. They flount international law at will and no-one, not even the other Arab states, appear to be able to prevent them from doing so. Israel has offended against UN law almost since its inception, today it has also offended against human decency by deliberately (allegedly) destroying a house it knew to be full of innocent civilians.
    I hope there is a real sense of shame in their population.
    If Israel wants peace and ‘is prepared to do anything to secure it’ it should move back to its agreed, UN supported boundaries and begin to treat others with the dignity it expects others to afford it.

  321. 322 Daivid
    January 9, 2009 at 13:48

    Isreal will do what ever it takes to protect itself. no matter what. but people should remember if it wanted to Isreal could wipe out Gaza, lebanon, syria,and Iran in one foul swoop taking only a few minutes. leaving nothing surviving.
    yes it has nuclear bombs so be careful

  322. 323 Chen
    January 9, 2009 at 13:57

    Patrick:”What is the point of the UN or International law if select countries in the world are allowed to ignore them or use them to suit them selves.”
    I admire your idealism. But what has been happening in the world point to one conclusion that “UN or International law” are made by the strong for the weak to follow. If you are a superpower, or you have a backing of some strong friends, the international law does not apply to you. You can torture, do extrodinary rendition, detain people for every without charge, invade a country with false pretense etc. Not a superpower, no worries. If you have big friends, you can test nuclear weapons and even get supply from your friens as well. The leaders of Isreal are smart and practimatics. They know too well the rule of international relations. The so called international law is just the same rule of jungle with a better name.
    Again, I really wish the “international law” you are hoping for will come oneday.

  323. 324 jim cornwall
    January 9, 2009 at 14:06

    whenever I hear the Israeli apologists spouting their “justified because” claptrap
    I am taken back to the words of tyrants and mass murderers throughout history (history in this context meaning more than the Israeli in the last few days).
    There was always a justification for evil, always colloqueal language for killing children,and brutalising a minority population.
    What is the psychological syndrome called again for the oppressed becoming the oppresser?

    On Mr Hoffmans point (shared by many other apologists) maybe palestinain parents are not like other human beings and are quite happy to see their toddlers schools “used as cover for terrorists” while they are in them.
    And I suppose U.N. aid workers are quite happy to allow the same are they?

    You Mr hoffman and others who take this view would 65 years ago have excused another well known government on precisely the same grounds.

    For Humanities sake think about it.

  324. 325 Chen
    January 9, 2009 at 14:23

    A few words to add to the “international law” discussion.
    To be fair to Isreal. the Jewish people were once the victims of this “international law.” When the Jews were rounded up in Germany, burned in concentration camps, the “international law” did nothing to help them. Lets make it clear: Allied forces’ fight against Germany was not caused by their compassion for Jews, but the conflict of interests between Germany/Japan/Italy and other Western powers. The atrocity against Jews was not well publicized to the public until the end of WWII. I dare to doubt if Britain or the US would have joined the war if Germany was contended with invading the soviets and burning the Jews, or if they told their people that they were going to fight Germany for the Jews.
    Maybe, Isreal learned its lession but using it on the wrong people.

  325. 326 Chris Moffitt
    January 9, 2009 at 14:31

    It seems as if the world ALLOWS Israel to do what it wants. What is Israel doing for its fellow folk in foreign countries? The way Israel is treating this one sided war is only feeding hate and antisemitisism abroad. Unfortunately we have to go by what limited news we have about what acually is happening in Gaza, again because Israel has declared the borders and beyond war zone.
    How fast can we forget? Does the monstrous incident the Israelis have acted upon over a hundred Palestinians earlier this week not ring a bell from the 30s and 40s???? by shifting them and re housing them, to safety only then to shell them and not even allow aid to reach the few survivors, who had to WALK to the nearest doctors.
    I am so angry at the UN. Its all talk and no action so that after the clowds have passed they can say that the UN did react…not to mention the US.
    WHY? WHY’ WHY?
    I myself have to control my own anger not to allow it to plant any anti semitisism.

  326. 327 IAM
    January 9, 2009 at 14:34

    Of course, as we know already. Israel can do whatever it wants.The question is why Israel can. That is the most painful question. Maybe because they are white, rich and have nuclear weapons? (as somebody said). Justice appears in iconography like a woman with blindfold, in order to symbolise
    fairness and impartiality. If we are just, we have to denounce this massacre. For the people that don’t want to see what is happening, let’s remember a noble dictum attributed to Aristotle: “Plato I love, but I love Truth more”. (Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas).

  327. January 9, 2009 at 14:59

    Today one of those “harmless” bombs from Gaza demolished a school gymnasium. They have already hit schools and homes, farms and shops. So why aren’t we dying? Because we are keeping our kids home from school, physically safe in shelters (though the trauma is enormous).

    Should we send them out into the streets so that they can become martyrs for a cause?
    Would the world be happy if we let our kids die? So that things would be PROPORTIONATE?

    We have absorbed THOUSANDS of missile attacks – many during a so-called cease-fire.

    I am proud that we waited so long. What would you have done if you were in our position? Can you even imagine it?

  328. 329 Jim
    January 9, 2009 at 15:05

    So we see the worlds media showing the “little children” all bloodied, “the women and children” are suffering, think back a few years all you people reading this, how Israel has suffered at the hands of terrorists, did the media like SBS in Australia plead on air it must stop, end all fighting, did UN say the same? ………….. silence was the answer.

  329. January 9, 2009 at 15:15

    The questions themselves are so biased as to be just about worthless. With perhaps the exception of the fact that they clearly display the bias of whoever composed them.

  330. 331 Melchoir
    January 9, 2009 at 15:18

    Yes! The land of Palestine was given by God to the Jews. Both the Bible and the Koran confirm it.

  331. 332 David Preiser
    January 9, 2009 at 15:28

    Israel isn’t really doing “whatever it wants”. If they truly wanted genocide against the Palestinians, don’t you people think the IDF would have bombed Gaza back to the Stone Age? Israel is fighting with massive restraint. If the Palestinians weren’t all members of a Death Cult who make schoolbooks and TV shows to teach their children at an early age to kill Jews, and who carry their women and children along to battle, the vast majority of these civilian deaths wouldn’t happen.

    To all those who are shedding tears over the deaths of innocent Palestinian civilians: Ever heard of Civil Disobedience? Ever heard of peaceful, non-violent protest? Where is the Palestinian Martin Luther King? If the Palestinians actually tried non-violent resistance for a month, this would all be over.

  332. 333 Melchoir
    January 9, 2009 at 15:32

    I think Israel is not perfect, but it has all the right to defend itself. If we look back into history, we learn, it has been always the Arabs who start the war against Israel and other people elswhere. Since 1945, the Palestinians left Isreal, for intance to Jordan, with their own free will, no one forced them to leave.

  333. 334 let's think
    January 9, 2009 at 15:37

    Maybe we shall just try to understand the meaning of present facts?

    while there is a military operation going on palestinians from gaza are getting treatment in the Israely hospitals , hospitals that are acctually targeted by rocket fire

    while arab media like al gazeera shows only the palestinian side
    they show allmost no real coverage of the israel unless they can show that the terrorist killed some civilians or soldires

    watch the israely main channel like the second channel .on daily basis while the war goes on the ancour calls to people in gaza srtip to ask haw are they doing
    for example they called and everybody in israel heared the palestinian doctor from gaza and the israely doctor from ashkelon city which is targeted on daily basis
    talking about the possibility to get medicaments from israel to this hospital

    no comments ” facts are stubborn things” Cherchill

  334. January 9, 2009 at 16:35

    Yes, I agree every country has right to defend itself, but not in the way as it Israel does!
    The majority of people in our country are very angry with the politics of Israel! Israel doesn’t have right to kill innocent palestinian people! Jewish people do what they want because they have the support of its “Powerful Daddy”! With the “blessings” of America they want to kill people in Gaza in order to conquer the land of palestinian people!
    Hamas was only reason to start the conflict, it was a horrible plan, implemented by Israel and planned by USA and several European countries. It is not the war against palestinians, but it is the war against all muslims, and we will never forget israel’s bloodthirsty actions!

  335. 336 Bryan
    January 9, 2009 at 17:26

    jim cornwall January 9, 2009 at 10:31 wrote:

    When the nazis committed the same atrocities as the Israelis…

    jim cornwall January 9, 2009 at 14:06 wrote:

    You Mr hoffman and others who take this view would 65 years ago have excused another well known government on precisely the same grounds.

    Dom Ramos January 9, 2009 at 10:51 wrote:

    The terrible irony is that a new Warsaw ghetto is ablaze…

    OK, you guys have proved you know nothing about either the Israelis or the Nazis or both. In fact, the heirs of the Nazis are Hamas, with their genocidal Charter and their implacable goal to destroy Israel. Hezbollah has the same intention, as does much of the Arab and Muslim world. Even in Egypt, Israel’s alleged “peace partner,” the state-controlled media publishes anti-Semitic cartoons reminiscent of the Nazi era. And the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, an anti-Semitic forgery, is enormously popular in the Arab and Muslim world.

    Alastair January 9, 2009 at 10:44

    Israel deserves to be wiped off the map…. One day, i hope the Arabs get their act together, unite and destroy the criminal state of Israel.

    You think this is adding something to the debate?

    How about the following for a topic on WHYS:

    Does the demonising of Israel in the left wing media worldwide help cause mass hysteria against the country and contribute to antisemitism?

  336. 337 Sherif
    January 9, 2009 at 17:27

    I am appalled by the extremism not only Hamass and Israel have reched, but also the people taking sides on this case.

    It is time we listened to the sound of reason and of humanity. No one on Earth (including Hamas and Israel) has the right to do whatever they want to do. If this happens, it would turn this world into a zoo…This is what the rule of law is made for in countries and in the international community.

    Violence generates more violence and when we reach such a point, nothing makes sense anymore and people lose their sense of reasoning and orientation, everything becomes a reaction and finger pointing..

    This is a call for us to all stop finger pointing and accusing the other party..It is a call to stop violence once and for all…

    No one party will win this war: everybody has already lost

    Just STOP acting like idiots

  337. 338 b6alah
    January 9, 2009 at 18:03

    I’m just wondering are the people around the world see what’s really happen?

  338. 339 saleh darwish, Jordan
    January 9, 2009 at 18:13

    It is so funny to hear some talking about Hamas rockets as if the “criminal Hamas” is attacking Israel for no reason, or for the sake of killing innocent civilians only! why do people not know who occupies the land of who for 40 years, why do people tend to forget the Israeli humiliation to Palestinians and ignor the Israeli many mascaras committed against the Palestinians for 60 years. Furthermore, some people were deceived with the Israeli claim that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, not true, but the army and settlers were deployed outside the strip, instead a tough blockade was imposed by land, air and sea making out of Gaza strip a huge prison for l.5 m. people. Wake up world

    Steve G:

    You must be surprised that the time when Zionists throughout the world were able to deceive everyone through controlling all media channels is over.

  339. 340 Ramy
    January 9, 2009 at 18:22

    Israel is not defending its self by attacking children and women and innocent people this is just all racism thinking muslims are bad people when you hear a muslim kills a person we are terrorists and have no soul but when someone from israel kills 600 people including babies and women they are just defending themselves? just listen to yourselves that is stupid.

  340. 341 viola
    January 9, 2009 at 19:00

    Israel has a right to defend itself. Palestinians have a right to a country, though not to Israel. Ratios of killed innocents in the two countries is not an issue of fairness.

    If the world permits the various militant groups to regroup, rearm, and escalate their abilities to inflict damage to Israel, what becomes the logical outcome if Israel exercises its right of self-defense and survival of their nation?

    How much do we permit fear of the people in the streets, of terrorists, or of nations to influence our opinions?

  341. 342 Emile Barre
    January 10, 2009 at 11:51

    Yes. The USA has 52 states. It is noumber 52.

  342. January 10, 2009 at 13:13

    So long as force rules and law is secondary, so long as the super powers fear Israel and disdain the palestinians just pitying their condition, refraining from taking any positive action, like stopping commercial relations, or any other peaceful resolution that affects the economy for instance,…………there can be no hope of a solution of the Middle-East problem. Lybia paid millions to the relatives of the Lockerby victims. Israel should pay similar compensation for every dead or wounded because of its aggressive attacks.

  343. 344 Andy
    January 10, 2009 at 13:41


    A bit of a loaded question to say the least…

    Can Hamas do whatever it wants?

    Can the BBC report whatever it wants, whilst maintaining its pretense of impartiality?

  344. January 10, 2009 at 19:35

    Of course, neither can do what each wants. That is why there is choas. But why is Hamas doing what it is doing. Israel should or ought to know the reason surely. It is do with LAND. And that is where it has to begin from both sides. Hamas is extrovert while Fatah is bearing up the pain from within as expressed by Chairman Abumasan. The Quartet are all too quiet.! Will it gather steam under President elect Obama?

  345. 346 Martyn Beaumont
    January 11, 2009 at 02:15

    I believe Israel’s action is clearly disproportionate and is due to the Jewish people’s in built fear of annihilation due to their history.
    We can see examples all around the world where countries deal with minor attacks without over-reaction. it is entirely possible.
    I also believe that this deep seated fear of annihilation has created an entire nation that is severely distressed both on an individual level and as a nation. Therefore they could not possible think rationally about this situation without first somehow releasing this distress.
    With this in mind you can begin to understand why their ministers react as they do. Not totally unjustified but massively disproportionate and greatly unhelpful.

    I heard an Israeli politician say ” we will bomb them until there is peace”.
    That is the most ludicrous statement based in distressed and irrational thinking that I think I have ever heard.
    Translated I think that means “ we will an annihilate you before you annihilate us”

    It is very scary that people with highly distressed thinking are in power.

    Both sides need a permanent international mediation service. Not just now but for the next 100 years.

  346. 347 Insight
    January 11, 2009 at 15:00

    Some people are talking about Hammase rockets. Those can’t be compared to what Isreal is using. Palestine weapons are locally made, very traditional ones. They can’t even destroy a wall. Look at what Isreal – internationally prohibited – weapons do to everything, people, animals and infra-structure. 10 floor buildings and more are totally erased. Let’s go back to Palestine weapons. What do you expect from a people that has been oppressed and deprived since along time? You want them to stay watching ? This is insane !!! Any straight mind would say that Isrealians are the ONLY people to blame……..

  347. 348 Jeff Minter
    January 11, 2009 at 17:54

    With the most powerful country in the world backing it, of course.

    When all but a few Palestians are dead, and Israel expands to consume Gaza, then they’ll stop and “act responsibly”. Maybe the remaining Palestians will get compensation, like the Native Americans and Aborigines before them.

  348. 349 Malcolm Minino
    January 12, 2009 at 18:21

    Yes, Israel believes it has carte blanche because it has the support of a Superpower. It also has nuclear weapons (what it calls the “Sampson Option” , because it is prepared to destroy itself if necessary along with the rest of the Middle East) which is in itself highly destabilising. Let no one be in doubt, Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza, sponsored by the United States. Europe is complicit in these crimes because no one condemns Israel, or is serious about using economic or diplomatic sanctions in order to put pressure upon it. In the lands of the Christian Zionnists the lives of Muslim Palistinian women and children are cheap. Israel should be brought before the International Criminal Court.

  349. 350 Larry
    January 12, 2009 at 18:24

    Today, Israel allowed in 100 trucks full of food and assistance to the Gaza strip. Hamas immediately plundered and looted the food aid, hoarding most for itself and selling the rest at inflated prices to the civilians. Yesterday, the IDF came upon a school in Gaza that was completely booby trapped by Hamas. They use mosques and schools to store rockets and explosives. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamas actually fired on that UN driver a few days ago. This is the Hamas that staged a coup and killed hundreds of Palestinians in April 2007. This is Hamas.

  350. 351 Essexgirl
    January 12, 2009 at 19:32

    A surprising number of people seem to feel that because Hammas behave badly (re booby trapped schools etc which I am quite willing to believe), it somehow excuses Israel and gives them free rein to behave badly too. Not sure I understand the logic there. Aren’t we – the civilized West – supposed to rule the Moral High Ground? Or have we quite given up on that?

    I have few illusions about Hammas (or Hezbollah or any of the various other groups.) I’m sure they do exploit their trapped populations. But aren’t we supposed to be better than that? Seems to me that Israel has simply lowered itself to their level now by killing so many. I used to have huge sympathy for Israel; I have very little left. It cannot survive economically without massive financial support from the USA – so where does their supposed love of free market economics come into it? As for the Israelis historical / spiritual right to the land – I think the Native Americans feel they have a historical and spiritual right to their land too, but I don’t see us giving it back anytime soon. Let’s give Australia back to the Aboriginals – they have historical / spiritual rights, after all. And both those populations were subject to appalling abuses too. But of course they’re not white…

    And on the level of pure self interest, how many thousands more militants is the current “trouble” creating? For every militant Israel kills, I’m sure 100 more are being created in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Saudi, Pakistan etc. It’s never ending – there will never be a permanent military solution, only short term advantages. There HAS to be a negotiated settlement between Israel as originally created and the Arab world, allowing Israel to exist within its original boundaries. Israel should give back occupied land, the Arab world should give money (they have plenty in the oil rich states) to set up and support a Palestinian state. And no one is allowed to bring The Holocaust into the conversation. What the Palestinians need more than anything else is economic development. It’s amazing how holding down a half decent job takes young men’s minds off terrorism. Just look at Northern Ireland.

  351. 352 Edwin Fang
    January 13, 2009 at 22:33

    It doesn’t matter if Israel kills civilians or not, terrorists are being created all over the world.

    It is just ingrained in their anti-Western ways of their extremism. Killing of the civilians by Israel has nothing to do with the creation of new terrorists.

  352. 353 David Burton
    January 17, 2009 at 21:22

    Many of these Arab organizations have a stated objective of the total destruction of the state of Israel. Until they renounce that objective it is hard to criticize Israel for any action up to and including the total destruction of said organizations.

    Arab organizations must renounce their objective to destroy Israel and then we can put pressure on Israel to make concessions and find peace.

  353. 354 SAS
    November 6, 2009 at 03:09

    Israel can do whatever it wants because it has a powerful sugar daddy in the form of the US. American tax dollars have been funding Israeli atrocities against Palestinians for over a generation, so it is not rocket science why Israel and the United States are both thoroughly reviled across the world by millions horrified by the plight of the Palestinians.

    Israel today is a ruthless occupying power with zero moral or human values that tramples on the basic human rights of millions of Palestinians and the United Nations charter and international law. Boycotting Israel and treating it in exactly the same way as apatheid era South Africa is the only way to secure some element of justice.

  354. November 7, 2009 at 12:23

    Yes, I do feel that Israel can do whatever it wants, and it should be allowed to do whatever it wants as a responsible member of the international community. As an Indian I feel proud that Israel is one of the closest friends of India. Our Israeli brothers have faced a lot of terrorist attacks from neihbouring countries. Last year’s terrrorist attacks in Mumbai was also an eye opener for India. I feel that India should have carried out Israeli styled surgical strikes inside Pakistan. I fully support Israel’s Gaza offensive and I do feel that Isarel should carry out massive airstrikes inside Iran for destroying Iran’s nuclear reactors. The Hamas and Hezbollah should be crushed by Israeli special forces. If there is any country in this world which is the best medicine against Islamic terrorism, it is Israel. Everybody knows the truth who started the war. It is the Islamic world which is guilty, not Israel.

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