On air: How is Gaza dividing world opinion?

Both Israel and Hamas have ignored a UN security council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. America abstained from the UN vote and there’s been more heavy fighting today in defiance of it. As I write there’s supposed to be a three hour humanitarian ceasefire.

Almost two weeks into the conflict and there have been reports of attacks on Jewish sites in parts of the world.

There have also been protests against the Israeli offensive from Norway to Venezuela, Britain to Tehran, and Khartoum and Sarajevo. Some have ended in violence.

Is the action by Israel and Hamas creating a whole new generation of hated on both sides? Are we seeing the radicalisation of young Muslims around the world as a result? Some say we are.

Has it made the world more dangerous? Are we now entering an era of increased attacks on Jewish sites? Or will the verbal insults and attacks on sites subside once this offensive ends?

Amongst others we’ll be hearing from this man, Sunny Hundal on today’s programme. How has the conflict affected opinion where you are? Has your opinion changed?

An editorial in the Guardian in the UK says…
“A recent Rasmussen poll shows the American public is far less indulgent of Israeli aggression than many previously believed. Opinion on the bombing of Gaza is fairly evenly divided, showing 44% supporting Israel’s military action against the Palestinians and 41% saying it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems. ”

How is the conflict in Gaza dividing opinion where you are?

132 Responses to “On air: How is Gaza dividing world opinion?”

  1. January 9, 2009 at 14:25

    Maybe I think its time people started praying to GOD for peace in Israel and Gaza.After all the world has failed to stop the fighting.In kenya muslims think Israelis are evil. Some Christians think Israel should defend itself. Others see it as one of the world’s greatest failure nobody can stop the 2 sides. I say lets all PRAY for peace

  2. January 9, 2009 at 14:28

    In Morocco there is unanimity that Israel is totally at fault because of its excessive responses in Gaza from which the pictures of the civilian victims are a source of indignation.

    On the whole, the Israeli actions in Gaza are likely to deepen the hatred towards Israel and to make Jews around the world feel unsafe. They can be the source of growing of anti-Semitism.

    However it’s not too late to close this Gaza bloody chapter if all the parties come to their senses and agree to a ceasefire which should be sustained by allowing people in Gaza the freedom of movement and to be guaranteed their basic needs. Mutual and sustained attacks are likely to prolong the damages on both sides and to make any peace agreement unachievable.

  3. 3 Roy, Washington DC
    January 9, 2009 at 14:32

    The first sentence in the writeup for this post pretty much sums it up. Not that the UN has any real power, but both sides are being stubborn and refusing to even negotiate at this point.

  4. 4 Lubna
    January 9, 2009 at 14:34

    Hello… What this aggression on Gaza and its people by Israel has proven to me is that Israel is an irrational, irresponsible, blind, and wild force that has its own set of rules and laws which are apparantly completely different from the international law… Israel has to learn that the world is not all about her, Israel has to grow up… The UN Security Counsil’s resolution calls for an immediate ceasefire, and the Israeli response to the resolution is truely impressive and does indicate alot, in my opinion it mandates 5 mg of haloperidol‏.‎.. With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…‏

  5. 5 Chris K
    January 9, 2009 at 14:40

    This is an extremely polarizing issue, the difficulty for each side being that if you see one side of the argument it is almsot impossible to concede anything to the other.
    I am firmly on the Palestinian side, as the entire history and success of the zionist movement relied on the ability of the rich to take advantage of the poor.

  6. 6 rgundapa
    January 9, 2009 at 14:41

    I don’t think the divide is so huge unlike in the previous occasions of Israeli aggression. Even those talking for Palestine people are agreeing that Israelis have the right to defend themselves. I think, most of us are just surpised to see the scale of Israeli reaction. Thanks WHYS for the TV discussion with those kids in the panel!! Please don’t repeat such stupid things again please!!

  7. January 9, 2009 at 14:44

    Hi Chloe
    “Is the action by Israel and Hamas creating a whole new generation” period.
    Gruesome business. Third Sabbath is being desecrated.
    Nothing holy on either side. The light is going out of Israel.
    Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran clear winners.
    Israel has lost all sense of proportion and purpose. This is a set-back for EU and US who will have to pick up the bill for the destruction and appease Jewish and Muslim communities across the world.

  8. 8 John Stone
    January 9, 2009 at 14:59

    Since the Holocaust one word seems to me to be generally applicable to Israeli beheaviour; that word is fearful. Consequently, grasping at everything may be symptomatic of the horrors suffered by the Jewish people during the 2nd WW. Handing back land, (The spoils of war of which normally one would not hand back), may be the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East. Is that too high a price to pay?

  9. 9 Luci Smith
    January 9, 2009 at 15:03

    Unfortunately, here in Denmark, the Sad Siege of Gaza is being used by Christian Fundamentalists (like our Minister of Education) to promote off-the -wall things like saying the Lord’s Prayer in public schools. There have been some terribly xenophobic comments made by the usual people.

    I have seen Danish Grandmothers and great grandmothers who have cried – just like I do when they have heard about and seen what is going on.

    Please do not doubt that even though the present Danish Government backs up what G.W. Bush stands for, there are a lot of people who live in Denmark who either are muslims, are Palestinan sympathizers or are just plain mortified by the Israeli killing of children and civilians.

    And a whole lot of children here are watching the news on tv. Just like yours truly did during the Vietnam War in the USA. In my generation, it either made people into warmongers or pacifists.

  10. 10 Melchoir
    January 9, 2009 at 15:14

    What I don’t understand is, why Palestinians and other Arab Moslems would like to see Israel destroyed and all Jews exterminated by any means? How could the rest of the world ignore this very fact and look at this matter silently? Mind you, the Bible states that Palestine belongs to the Jewish people. Even the Koran copied the Bible to write in many Suras that the land of Palestine was given by Allah to the Jews; for example in 5, 20; 7, 137. So, why do Moslems disobey their own Allah?

  11. January 9, 2009 at 15:19

    100% the fault of Hamas. They really do have to be totally wiped out.

    What exactly do they want? Israel left and took all their settlements down. Hamas attacks attacks Israel. Hamas and the society that wanted them; now they plea to the world to once again ask the Israelis to leave????????

    They, Hamas have never wanted peace. They simply want some entity to wipe out Israel?????????

    Israel should simply bull doze the entire mess into the sea and the refugees should ask for refuge in neighboring Arab nations. Israel should reclaim the entire Gaza strip and build settlements. Hamas earned expellsion from this ground.


  12. January 9, 2009 at 15:21

    Unfortunately people : Talents, souls nd dreams waste away under Ghaza Violence.
    The US should act fairly

  13. 13 Mark From Kansas
    January 9, 2009 at 15:30

    I do not agree with the tactics of the State of Israel.

    The Jewish religion has nothing to do with the state.

    It is not religios leaders making war it is the state leaders.

    I believe that it is important to seperate the two. If you want to be angry look to the prime minister and parliment of Israel, not the ordinary citizens, or random Jewish people. Neither has the ability to control the Israeli military. They are in fact innocent civilians and that is the reason this whole situation is so terrible, the treatment of civilians. Don’t be the people who target civilian, weather you are a protester or a tank operator in the IDF, if you target civilians you are equally wrong in your decisions.

  14. January 9, 2009 at 15:36

    Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been hearing about the bloodshed. And now it’s hard to care what anyone says is the excuse for their violence. It’s simply wrong. As I told my Zionist mother, if you actually believe in the Old Testament, you’d think Israel would be the most motivated and able to establish and keep the peace. Instead, they’re throwing bombs at pea shooters. What the hell? I used to think they were all nuts but now I’m starting to see why Hamas is who they are.

  15. January 9, 2009 at 15:40

    Is the action by Israel and Hamas creating a whole new generation of hated on both sides?

    Definitely. It has become more radical in both sides and what is happening now in Gaza is the breeding ground for the next generation of radicals. That is NOT the way of ending a conflict.

    Has your opinion changed?

    I am seeing with disbelief the disproportionate actions of Israel towards the Palestine people. I think they are taking advantage of the weekness of the U.N. to enforce its own resolutions and the vacumm of power in the U.S.

  16. 16 Sarah Potter, UK
    January 9, 2009 at 15:52

    I think people are just incredibly angry at how many people are dying in gaza with nothing being done at all….Israel along with egypt have oppressed the people of gaza for a long time now by keeping the borders closed, stopping food,electriciy and medical equipmeng from getting into gaza since way before the ceasefire….That is why hammas did not renew the ceasefire because the people of gaza were living in dire conditions(over 80% in poverty)….

  17. 17 Talat
    January 9, 2009 at 16:01

    Hooray for Israel- deserves a medal for being the worlds’ biggest bully. Israel will go down in history more evil than Hitler.
    God is watching! Where is Sharon now? Remember his atrocities? Every dog has his day!

  18. 18 Greg
    January 9, 2009 at 16:10

    Still having trouble understanding why we can’t get any reliable information out of that area in 2009? Why has the media not been able to insert any reporters into Gaza? How will we ever be able to ascertain what’s really going on there having to rely on 2nd and 3rd hand information? I find this to be the most troubling aspect of the new “information age” and modern conflicts.

  19. 19 gary
    January 9, 2009 at 16:12

    Can’t speak for rest of the world; but I’m angered by the whole affair. Israel needs to stop its overt and covert incursions into Gaza. In response, Hamas needs to stop indiscriminant rocket attacks. This episode has changed the way I view the state of Israel and will certainly change my voting and political correspondence behaviors.

  20. January 9, 2009 at 16:25

    I don’t want to talk about Israel-Hamas dispute again. Just as they on the front in Gaza have failed either by way of a conclusive military victory, or by way of a ceasefire to achieve peace, we in the WHYS
    show should not hope to do any better. I say, we should talk about something else. Since we began talking about Gaza in WHYS, we never came to an agreement, we won’t today, neither will we on monday? I want to know: will anybody be watching Bush hand over to Obama? Also, have you joined the WHYS fans page on Facebook? Good luck those those who want to have their say on Gaza.

  21. 21 George Aluma
    January 9, 2009 at 16:26

    I’m left speechless when i see the reaction of the world to the crisis betwen the Hamas and the Israelis. I wanted to remain people that when black African in South Sudan and Darfur were killed by the islamic government in Khartoum, many nations did not react to the situation especially in the Arabs countries. But today when the israel is preventing the terrorits from attacking the innocent life in both israel and Ghaza, million of people are behind the hamas. This is the real inequality which is existing in the world. It looks like other humans being are not good enough to be in this world except the palestinians. We need to nonsense and let the israel finish the job they have started.

  22. 22 Arnold
    January 9, 2009 at 16:29

    “Has it made the world more dangerous? Are we now entering an era of increased attacks on Jewish sites?”

    The question you pose presupposes that Muslims around the world are prone to violence and are a threat to world peace. It’s very telling that you don’t worry about Jewish attacks on Muslim sites.

    Let’s face it, the crux of the matter is that many Arabs are very angry that Israel exists. So if you want the Muslims to leave you alone, one way is to sell out Israel.

    Europe and the UK are apparently willing to that. The USA is not.

  23. 23 Andrew M
    January 9, 2009 at 16:32

    Greg, no reporters are allowed into Gaza. There is an Israeli military ban – Wednesday’s World Have Your Say was all about that.

  24. 24 Orion
    January 9, 2009 at 16:52

    Israel has been allowed to run a mock unfettered for so long, why should they listen now? Hamas is a democratically elected government that was never given the chance to govern properly. Why should they listen to people who have vilified them for years?

    In the end neither side is capable or willing to obey International Law or the inept body that is the UN. On top of which, the Palestinian children, will hold on to the sight of their peoples burnt and charred bodies, and thus the cycle will continue until one side goes extinct. Or is that what they want? I am tired of hearing about these people and am tired of them putting everyone in the world in constant danger.

  25. 25 Chris K
    January 9, 2009 at 16:56

    Greg – Israel isn’t allowing journalists into Gaza..that’s why. This is transparently due to the fact that no journalists on the ground makes it easier to propagate their lies (the one about the UN school was a whopper…how they thought people would believe them over the UN beggars belief!).

    Troop – What Palestinians want is to be treated like humans rather than animals. If you paid attention to the points correctly raised by Sarah Potter for example you would see that the Israelis have a long history of marginalisation of the region’s arab populace through “soft” state terrorism. (Blocking borders, trade embargoes, impeding free trade etc etc. These all amount to pre-emptive sanctions)

  26. January 9, 2009 at 17:01

    I think its about time the world realised Israel’s role in the terrorism issue. Jews illegaly took over Palestinian land and killed the most of them quite a few decades ago. And since then Muslims have been trying to get Palestinians their rights and their belongings back.

    The west in general and America in particular has been supporting Israel’s illegal, inhuman and immoral actions. This has led to all this chaos of terrorists in the west.

    I mean why the hell does America or any other country want to risk their own citizens, just to support a far away small and illegal country’s, illegal and inhuman actions?

    Israel and its crimes are the root cause of terrorism in our world today. They are the ones that started everything off.

  27. 27 fax
    January 9, 2009 at 17:02

    My dear Melchoir, U got it all wrong. Which qur an tells u that this land belongs to the Jews?
    Of course there is something like that in the Holy Qur an but Israel in the Qur an refers to the people of Israel, That was a group of people not a country.
    You very well knew that there was no country called Israel when the Qur an was written down. Israel was only formed after the World war and You knew that very well . Or if u didn’t please go back to History.
    Don’t talk about something that You knew nothing about.

    I think the United states has a part to play in this present bombardment of Gaza , If the U.S voted for the ceasefire, We would have seen the difference.
    But no, and that is because they are supporting Israel for what I see as a fight against Islam.

  28. 28 Victor van der Veen
    January 9, 2009 at 17:13

    Has it ever been considered to resettle the 1.5 million people of the Gazastrip to the Israeli Westbank?
    An exchange of territory seems necessary to me.
    There are now 2 Palestinian states and that is 1 too much.

  29. 29 John in Salem
    January 9, 2009 at 17:18

    Hatred may not be a good business model but it sure sells and Gaza is affecting world opinion exactly the way Hamas intended. Israel’s predictable responses make it the ideal enemy in that arena and so long as it continues to dutifully assume the role of monster when called upon the game will go on.
    Even with it’s superior military Israel cannot win through force of arms, but the moment they decide to sit down and seriously work out a compromise Hamas will be out of a job.

  30. 30 tope
    January 9, 2009 at 17:20

    gazans made a mistake electing hamas- a group fundamentally opposed to the existence of israel. i hope palestinians will now see the folly in electing into government a party opposed to peace.

  31. 31 Sherif
    January 9, 2009 at 17:22

    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

  32. 32 Morf
    January 9, 2009 at 17:23

    Most of us in the USA strongly identify with Israel. There are several million Jews in the USA and there are probably millions of North Americans in Israel. Many of us support Israel with our actions, our tax dollars and our prayers – but we expect Israel to reflect and embody that same generosity and international sense of community.

    If there were ever a nation that should NOT represent police state tactics and reckless violence against civilians, that nation should be Israel.

    Perhaps Hamas did “bait” the Israeli military by using human hostages (though that sounds like propaganda to me), Israel should have held itself to a far higher standard.

    The only thing accomplished for certain here is the increase of hatred toward Israel.

  33. 33 sulayman Dauda
    January 9, 2009 at 17:43

    A nation can endure with unbelieve but no nation can endure or succeed with injustice.

  34. 34 Mukul (Parsippany,NJ)
    January 9, 2009 at 17:51

    Gaza is surely dividing world opinion between people who live under terror attacks vs. those who support it. No one can justify Hamas rocket attacks on civilians. If your targets are political then some justification can be offered but still violence would only get violence in return. Hamas is firing these flimsy rockets with no guidance in Israel to terrorize the entire Israeli population, it is no way to show world that you are the victim.

  35. 35 Bryan
    January 9, 2009 at 18:02

    War and conflict both unites and polarises people. I am encouraged by the understanding of the Israeli predicament expressed by many people. I think that a turning point was reached three years ago when Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israeli civilians immediately after Israel withdrew from Gaza in the interests of peace.

    It proved what many had suspected, but did not know for sure: that Hamas has no interest in peace with Israel, but seeks her complete destruction. The areas attacked by Hamas rockets are all in pre-1967 Israel, in other words undispted Israel, so Hamas does not have the excuse of ‘occupation’ for its attacks.

  36. 36 Mukul (Parsippany, NJ)
    January 9, 2009 at 18:10

    I don’t see any difference between Mumbai attackers and Hamas. They both terrorize innocent civilians. I don’t see Indian opinion on side of Hamas.

  37. 37 Larry
    January 9, 2009 at 18:14

    World have your Say – The very subject you have chosen today expresses your dramatically slanted and biased pro-Israeli position. You are suggesting that anyone who criticizes ISraeli actions and policies are anti-Semites. As such you are just continuing the propaganda war that is destructive to Jews, Israelis, Palestinians, and Muslims alike.

  38. 38 Wendy Hicks
    January 9, 2009 at 18:22

    When UK civilians were being bombed by the IRA, the British did not retaliate by bombing Ireland. I think Israel would have the world completely on their side if they could have stood the bombardment from Hamas. Dialogue may then have been possible. At the moment they are alienating themselves. Hamas may well have been defeated by opposing forces within Palestine, as I believe a majority of people of Palestine are opposed to the death of anybody!

  39. 39 Michelle from Jamaica
    January 9, 2009 at 18:25

    I feel like Hamas does not care for the lives of their own Palestinians, or else they would agree to even a temporary cease fire. But they are holding out for certain conditions to be met. If you care, you stop!

  40. January 9, 2009 at 18:26

    As long as the Palestinians are treated unjustly in an apartheid regime, there will be no peace in the Middle East. When people are oppressed and human rights are denied, they will use whatever means they have at their disposal to fight back, regardless of how futile or illadvised the retribution. The brutality and the grossly disproportional Israeli assault is obscene, immoral, and will in the long run, be counter productive.

  41. 41 Abel M Chan
    January 9, 2009 at 18:28

    Hi my name is Abel Chan. I’m originally from Guatemala Central America. I live in NY and now am a citizen for 23 years.
    I consider myself to be a neutral in the issue of Gaza. For years I’ve heard of how Israel has been attacked but Israel restrains its self , now that its finally standing up for itself , many are saying that Israel is committing war crimes. We all know that guerrilla warfare has no law to adhere by. The guerrillas are using their own people as shields. This is being under reported. The world community needs to focus on how to restrain the guerillas from provoking this type of situations.

  42. 42 dr d n goyal
    January 9, 2009 at 18:30

    Who oppose Israeli action, I want to ask them that where were they when HAMAS was shooting missiles on Israel. Were those missiles ware innocent, not killing anybody, where was the media ? why was it not covered ?, You were are all sleeping , PLO and Fatah has recognized Israel but HAMAS has not recognized and wants to finish Israel, why can not you say about HAMAS.

  43. 43 Vicky
    January 9, 2009 at 18:35

    One of the most troubling aspects of this war is to see that 90% of the Israeli people and supporting the military action and downplay the brutality of their bombing of the trapped civilians in Gaza. They seem to believe that the slaughter of nearly 300 children is more rational than negotiation with the elected government.

  44. 44 Maher
    January 9, 2009 at 18:35

    I think what Hamas is doing is wrong but what the Israeli army is doing is more worst.what really Hamas want? did the people asks them selves ?? all what Hamas want is end the blockade and open the border. I want to fight with Hamas but not to fire rockets I hate the Israeli army but I don’t want to hurt any innocent person. the Israeli army wall is example of racism there are two ways to peace first by bring that wall down or the end of war.for me I Prefer the first chose option

  45. 45 Boyd Bwalya
    January 9, 2009 at 18:38

    If to kill One Terrorist means the death of 10 children I would let the Terrorist go free. To go ahead and kill the Children would set me at par with the terrorist.

    If I watch 5 of my family members even 1 get blown to pieces in my face, i would embrace any one who offers me a gun to KILL the one who threw the bomb.

    Kitwe – Zambia

  46. 46 Maccus Germanis
    January 9, 2009 at 18:38

    It is my opinion of the BBC that has suffered most. The question again is posed with the assumption that Israel’s action might radicalize with the expressed avoidance of discussing whether the radicalization had already occured. If you were listening one pro-Israeli guest spoke nostalgically of Fatah, to only be corrected that Fatah was almost as bad. Israel has an even less capable partner for peace -one that constituionally calls for genocide- and is still portrayed as the agressor. You are despicable.

  47. 47 Erik
    January 9, 2009 at 18:39

    In the U.S., Israel’s “show of power” approach, which involves innocent civilians and a need to get to Hamas-linked people at any cost, only serves to ask why we continue to fund this bullying. Where’s the diplomacy? It is Israel’s responsibility to reach outward to the international community for diplomacy! This is essentially terrorism of civilians in Gaza to try to force them to round up Hamas!

  48. 48 pallex
    January 9, 2009 at 18:40

    Thank you Cloe, it seems that you may have heard me.

  49. 49 Steve
    January 9, 2009 at 18:42

    Vijay dounbts that launching rockets into israel isn’t terrorism? If so, then it’s just an act of war, and Israel is justified with responding with their own acts of war.

    I doubt he was as neutral as he claimed to be.

  50. 50 Maccus Germanis
    January 9, 2009 at 18:43

    “to be fair” your duplicity is showing

  51. 51 Solomon
    January 9, 2009 at 18:44

    Here is an example of the mediocrity and stupidly of the UN. Here is an organization that trash the free nations and praise terrorism thugs and dictators around the world.

    Why are we dealing with a terrorist group like Hamas? Why does the UN sympathize with Hamas. Answer, for the same reason that they sympathize with Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, communist Korea, China and the killers in Somalia and the rest of Africa.

    Together with the UN there are another nations that like to hate Israel and in the same time they closed their eyes to the evil of terrorism and abuse by criminal dictators around the world. What is the UN role in this world right now. None, they are the problem and not the solution.

    Is the UN creating a resolution to dismantle group terrorist organizations, like Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc. When??? Of Course not, they are too busy attacking Israel and USA.


  52. 52 Chernor
    January 9, 2009 at 18:44

    Killing people is just not a solution to any problem. Atleast I dont think so.
    In as much as I dont agree with the disproportionate use of force by Israel, Hamas also should stop firing rockets into Israel. The people in Israel are also humans. This is just too complicated. World leaders have failed!!!!

    I hate to see people die.

    Freetown, Sierra Leone

  53. January 9, 2009 at 18:45

    Among the college students in my town, one point of cultural consensus was that it was the height of cynicism on Israel’s part to use the lighting of holiday candles to unleash fire in the sky and a shortage of cooking oil on the ground. Several have stated that they believe the last moments of Bush are being used to rain fire and also set in a perception to the international community of Obama moving ahead on economics but not on the peace front. The concern that we paid for the bombs with our tax dollars weighs heavy on the collective conscience in this college town.

    Gaza is breaking hearts faster than it is clarifying anything political here.

  54. 54 Ibrahim, Baghdad
    January 9, 2009 at 18:46

    The injustice the world has been dealing with Gaza crises–not to mention the act of Israel, has created an enormous rage and hatred among the Arabs and Muslims towards Israel, obviously.

    Here in Iraq, for instance, Muqtada Al-Sadr of “Al-Mahdi” Shiites army has asked his followers in Iraq to start attacking US forces here for what is happening in Gaza!

    My point is: people who have been subject to injustice and discrimination tend to focus their hate and aggression towards the main source, but if this source is out of their reach, they would direct their anger into anyone who “they think” had been involved in anyway.

    Israel has created “bombs” inside so many people in the Middle East; unfortunately, it is the whole world that will have to live with and face the consequences of Israel’s policies.

  55. 55 Judith Hendershott
    January 9, 2009 at 18:47

    I am a 69-year-old Christian woman with a husband of Jewish ancestry (non-observant), and we both deplore the actions of Israel and have done so for many years. Our views have nothing to do with ‘brainwashing’ by Hamas, as Dr Samuel alleges, but we have come to our own conclusions based on the history of Israel (land grabs from Palestinians since 1948), illegal settlements in violation of UN resolutions, the treatment of Gazans as if they are living in concentration camps, as a Vatican spokesman said recently. This is not only a legal issue but a moral one. Israel is in fact a ‘rogue state’, as Avi Shlaim so eloquently put it in his article in The Guardian yesterday.

  56. 56 bruce
    January 9, 2009 at 18:48

    Does Dr. Samuel’s agree that this legal structure towards demonstrators who “go to far” should also apply the Israeli settlers, such as those in Hebron?

  57. January 9, 2009 at 18:49

    I am a Jew, born on Israel independence Day, with 10 years on the board of directors of an orthodox synagogue in New York City. I am deeply and unequivocally opposed to the Israeli action in Gaza. Jews are the originator of the concept, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It does not matter WHAT Hamas thinks, or for that matter what they’ve done. Jews do not bomb schools, kill children, starve a population for any reason and still have the right to call themselves Jews. We have the power, it is up to us to answer rockets with bread, independence, and respect for the Palestinian people. However proper our claim to the land may be it is a shared right, at best. The issue of anti-semitism is of no consequence in this context. The anti-Semites are always with us, will find any excuse, and are not relevant to the moral rectitude of Jews

  58. 58 Siddharth Shetty
    January 9, 2009 at 18:51

    I think we are at a point where Israel as the “higher” power is in the best situation to make peace. I reference the classic exchange between Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth on the power to pardon.
    Obviously there is no room for philosophy in modern politics, but If Israel takes the 1st step as a good will gesture and this message can be effectively propagated amongst Palestinians and the Arab community, it could minimize further damage to Israel’s reputation.
    This step could also induce the Palestinian public to put more pressure on Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel and may perhaps leave a less bitter impression in the minds of the young Palestinians who are most vulnerable to pick up rockets in light of the devastation they have witnessed around them in the last 2-3 weeks.

  59. 59 Stephen Turner
    January 9, 2009 at 18:54

    mmmm, I am listening to the show now. It seems to have gone off-track a little. The biggest problem as I can see, is the fact that the so called civalised, predominately western World, last year, wanted democracy and elections. Hamas won that fairly and squarely (whether you agree or not agree), BUT the powers that be – could not recognise the result, nor the democraticaly voted-in government. I am a white, middle classed male, very western and certainly with no love for Hamas, but, we ask them to jump through hoops, they did and now we dont accept the result, because we dont like the result. It is shocking and predominately the west, should be ashamed of themselves.

    I am also not a lover of Obama, but if he can show enough respect and at least discuss with Hamas, 99% of the tensions will be eliminated. In the recent Bush speach, he almost indicated that they did some sort of milatary coup – they did not – they were voted in by the people who live there.

  60. 60 Dan
    January 9, 2009 at 18:54

    It amazes me how people want to accept every type of behavior. Hamas has rocketed Israel and the world was silent.
    Israel defends itself and the world cries “foul”.
    Bloggers say “who are we to make any moral judgments?” Well if that is true then there is no rules for civilization and society and religious laws can be thrown out.
    I wonder why then we cannot go into a Mosque with my dog eating a ham sandwich and washing it down with a beer.
    We don’t because we made a moral judgment and respect the religion despite what some have done to it. Israel is a moral democracy in the middle of a sea of medieval repressed Islamic societies. Why is there no reciprocity?
    Why are 1 Billion Muslims so very afraid of 13 Million Jews?
    If there was no oil in the Middle East would anyone care what is happening in Gaza?

  61. 61 Brian Walters
    January 9, 2009 at 18:55

    Here in Australia my sense from newspapers, radio and blogs is that there is now widespread condemnation of he actions of Israel in Gaza. The Gaza Strip is the new Warsaw Ghetto. Trapping a large number of people in a confined area, with borders closed, inadequate food, water and medical supplies, and sporadically violently attacking them, has driven them underground to get supplies. When they use inadequate weapons in defiance, overwhelming military force has been mustered against those people. Palestinian grievance over being displaced from their homeland will not go away while they are forced to live in a ghetto. Calling Hamas “terrorist” will not remove its legitimacy as a movement recognized by Palestinians, does not justify State-sponsored assassination of Hamas leaders, and prevents moving towards a just solution. A UN resolution which does not involve consultation with Hamas will never have validity. In the end, Israel must live alongside the Palestinians. This attack on the Gazans, who have no viable army at all, avoids finding a just solution through dialogue, increases hatreds and divisions which should be healed, and will push security for Israel a long way into the future.

  62. 62 Alissa
    January 9, 2009 at 18:56

    Why are people being labeled “anti-semitic” if they don’t support Israel?

  63. 63 Paige
    January 9, 2009 at 18:57

    My view is that both sides are being stupid and acting like children!

    There is a clear way to stop the killing here. Hamas needs to put aside their pride and stop shooting rockets at Israel. Yes they have a right to defend themselves, but in this case they are dragging out the carnage. There is an easy out, and they are refusing to take it. Israel will stop firing when Hamas waves the white flag. No one wants to admit defeat but if they are really serious about “peace” then both sides will stop firing.

    Its like two little brothers punching each other saying “I’ll stop punching him when he stops punching me!”

  64. 64 bruce
    January 9, 2009 at 18:57

    Yes, Dr. Samuels, ALL parties should be recognized, including Hamas, which was elected in a fair and open election.

  65. 65 peter scott
    January 9, 2009 at 19:04

    Here in Auckland the local left, ie pro Palestinian Solidarity campaign “demonstrated” at a local tennis competition where an Israeli player was participating targeting ordinary citizens as Zionist representatives whereas nobody knew the player’s politics simply their nationality and possibly their ethnicity and who knows perhaps their religious practice as well.
    I am reminded of the troubles in northern Ireland and peoples unconditional support for struggles of national liberation against imperialist powers; sounds great on paper until you meet a one eyed nationalist.
    This has not changed the way I think about Israel but as a former PLO supporter I know my beliefs and everyday practices and thoughts would not be tolerated by Hamas.

  66. 66 LIsa
    January 9, 2009 at 19:05

    It is sad that as soon as people have an opinion on Israel and criticse what they are doing even in the slightest we are automatically anti-Semitic. This is a shame. For what has happened in the passed we are sorry and sad. It should never have happen and should never happen again. Both sides are as bad as each other and the only people suffering are the small people. Some of my family have always supported Israel, but of late, what they have done has been compare to the Nazis. It is time everyone’s stops and starts thinking about the future. We all worship the same God just different ways.

  67. 67 Peter in New Zealand
    January 9, 2009 at 19:06

    The underlying issue here is religion. Religious beliefs are becoming more and more dangerous for the world. Get the atheist bus campaign into the region, and establish advocates for education on how there are no gods, and it’s not worth fighting about mythical non existent fantasy figures. So much misery from desert goat herder creation myths…

  68. 68 Cris from El Paso, Texas
    January 9, 2009 at 19:07

    The conflict is polarizing opinion, but I think that it is no more or less than before. People had strongly held beliefs about the issue before the recent actions, and that will not change. If, as Dr. Samuels suggested, there are more instances of racist actions against Jews and Arabs around the world, I would suggested that these have much more to do with prejudices that existed before this conflict.

    Acts of racist violence are taken out of hate, personal hate. Not out of some disgust for what is currently occurring in some other part of the world. Anyone who uses this conflict to justify their own acts of violence are just trying to excuse racism. Just as the actions that were taken in the United States after 9-11 were acts of racism.

    The only thing that is magnified by this conflict is the decision to use violence on racist sentiment. Unfortunately, violence breeds violence. This has been proven over, and over again.

  69. 69 Ibrahim, Baghdad
    January 9, 2009 at 19:10

    My biggest fear is that Israel and the US have a strategy of actually *creating* extremists in all over the world, and then kill them! I mean it’s not that difficult for Israel and the US to figure out that their policies and actions in the Middle East will definitely turn “friends” into “enemies”! The big question though, is why the do this?

  70. 70 Luitxi
    January 9, 2009 at 19:11

    The whole thing is atrocious, but Hamas is using Palestinian people living in Gaza as human shields. I really wish that the news broadcasted weren’t so anti-Israel. We really can’t make any judgements with the scant information that we are given.

  71. 71 ross
    January 9, 2009 at 19:11

    World opinion will always divided regardless of the issue.
    We lack the ability to make informed,unselfish and dispassionate decisions and so we stumble alond in this great big circle marvelling at how history always seems to repeat itself.

  72. 72 steve in US
    January 9, 2009 at 19:13

    I understand Israel wanting to defend itself from missile attacks and terrorist attacks. However it would be most helpful if Israel would define how many civilians it will kill for every Israeli killed by those attacks. Currently the ratio appears to be 100+ Gazans per Israeli.

    The current actions in Gaza have confirmed my view that the state of Israel will not (possibly cannot) differentiate between civilians and terrorists and will attack an essentially occupied territory with all means available.

  73. January 9, 2009 at 19:15

    WELL ITS ABOUT TIME THE WORLD WOKE UP!!!!! I have to admit that i have grown very impetient and angry to israel apologist. Here in kenya i just went for friday prayers and the imam was shouting and foaming in the mouth calling for JIHAD against the EVIL ZIONIST and after that we took to the streets with anti-semetic rants. I really think many young pple are being radicalizd here and all thanks to israels BABARIC IN-HUMAN activity . I just hopé it does not take over my countrz coz it can only bring trouble. I have decided to switch off my tv coz i just cant take it anymore. The pictures of dead children just are sickenin. Its ironic that israel is justifying this genocide by statin its right to defend it when it might well be slowly working to its destruction.

  74. 74 allen from Canada
    January 9, 2009 at 19:43

    I think too much is made of the effectiveness or otherwise of the UN. It is pretty much a toothless and Mickey Mouse organisation. After all, it has failed to stop what is real genocide in Zimbabwe, Somalia and other parts of Africa. Maybe because the Muslim Nations are now in the majority in the UN and seem to control the arguments and motions so obviously the majority of motions will be Anti Israel or Anti -Zionist…that doesn’t mean that they have any validity or are worth much. Thank goodness for the USA veto which at least restores some balance and sanity. As for the so called humanitarian crisis in Palestine, the TV pictures I see of Palestinian citizens don’t reflect starving, undernourished or barely clothed people. Compare this with the situation in Zimbabwe where the people are REALLY starving, REALLY have NO water or medicines and whose peoples are given hardly any material aid and are dying in the thousands. THAT is a humanitarian crisis
    Difference is that Hamas and their cronies have the ear and eyes of the media and are well able to manipulate it.

  75. 75 Leora
    January 9, 2009 at 19:59

    There will never be peace in this region until the two sides stop trying to one-up each other. Each group, Israelis and Palestinians alike, is sure they have suffered more and therefore have the more righteous cause. I say this as a Jew and as the daughter of an Israeli. Enough is enough. Everyone has suffered, everyone deserves to live in their own land in peace. Everyone has lost someone they loved. There is no way to decide who has suffered more and there is no point in trying to do that.

    The question that people must ask themselves is do they want to continue to suffer? Do they want their children and their grandchildren to suffer? If not, as I presume would be the answer from anyone, Palestinian or Israeli, then stop. Stop bombing, stop shooting, stop hating. No one is going away. The Palestinians are real people with a real claim to their own land. So are the Israelis. Only a fool would try to reject either of those facts. Both peoples are here to stay. They certainly have proven that they know how to die together. Now they need to figure out how to live together.

  76. 76 Justin from Iowa
    January 9, 2009 at 20:03

    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

    –Douglas Adams

    Israel and Palestine’s inability to learn from their mistakes leads me to believe the two peoples deserve each other, and I hope that they choke on their ugly war and terrorism. God will judge, whether that be Palestinians or Israeli’s God.

  77. January 9, 2009 at 20:40

    I totally agree with Gary, I am disgusted and am rapidly losing sympathy with both sides. And this is a shame, because among my friends here in the USA, we were very sympathetic toward the entire Palestinian population. I have a feeling that the arms suppliers are the only winners here. Sadly, that’s probably the U.S. and Germany.

  78. 78 kpellyhezekiah
    January 9, 2009 at 21:06

    why did america abstained from the UN resolution? Let the heat and pressure for a ceasefire increase a hundredfold.

  79. 79 kpellyhezekiah
    January 9, 2009 at 21:13

    let Israel know that it is playing into the hands of its enemies. Not all who are supporting them now want their good. The plan to make them(Israel) look bad in the eyes of democratic nations is gaining momentum. The love and sympathy they have enjoyed from the world until now is fast waning away. This is one of the objectives of their enemies.

  80. 80 kpellyhezekiah
    January 9, 2009 at 21:15

    Is the UN dead? Eyes are watching.

  81. 81 Itay Yahel
    January 9, 2009 at 21:58

    Yes Israel not allow to do whatever they want neither the Arabs and extremist Muslims. However who can protect itself with hostility Media which support always one side? which looks at use hospitals schools and innocent as a humans protections? which do not like too see the fact and always speaks with two voices.
    while the young’s educations intend to be by love it creates more and more hate against Israelis and Jews without direct connections to the tragedy cause by extremist who they start in one place and then do the same in other place.
    all the blames on Israel it’s not fair. it’s not fair to kill citizen too, so instead to broadcast more and more hate programs do something good for a change
    If you don’t want to let the Israelis to live you have to be honest and say it clear.
    don’t compare one miserable which take place in one place to another. Just remember 1 million people who live under rocket it “kill” them psychology for
    ever especial after more then 8 years. but to see children which killed it makes those who like to ignore to feel better by blame intend to do something for peace and for real change,so those who wants to hate can say whatever they did it will not make the situation better but Israel must protect itself somehow and anywhere because Iran-Russia-Syria-Britain-Scandinavia can support terror but not to live with so stop talk with two voices it real not help.

  82. 82 Rob-e
    January 9, 2009 at 22:03

    “Smoke screens”, Israel is good at using them. How can a country who uses phosphorus shells, cluster bombs and flechettes be trusted with a nuclear arsenal?

  83. 83 DENNIS
    January 9, 2009 at 22:26

    Here in the United States it depends on what segment of society, you are talking to…And that’s who fault it is….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  84. 84 terry
    January 9, 2009 at 23:03

    no matter what sending rockets into some1s area ,homes streets parks is not the way 2 seek peace.2 have documents tht says i will not make peace with tht group because of the area tht their in belongs 2 my people r their beliefs r not like mine.from my understanding tht area was always belonging 2 both groups at 1 time r another and they also shared tht area at 1 time r another .i,m feeling tht if u want peace u don,t send rockets when u have a peace agreement u don,t sneak in rockets u sneak in food something thts going 2 make ur people prospere . when the people were allowed 2 travel at well did,nt bus mall areas get blow up. what would u expect 1 2 do 2 protect 1 self. by the way i,m on no 1s side……..not in this war anyway.

  85. 85 Kathryn
    January 10, 2009 at 00:16

    Opinions are definatly differing b/c of this situation, they are being born of hatred and this is a scary thing….

    I am from South Lebanon, I believe that Hizballah are not terrorist and Sayed Hasan is trying to help the Lebanese, they are the only ones who have stuck up for us when the entire country was caving in on itself.

    I think that is the way the Palestinian people feel about Hamas, The arab world has clearly shown that noone will stick up for for them, people can trample them and the only one that will fight for them is Hamas, so terrorists do not fit.

  86. 86 MM
    January 10, 2009 at 00:26

    In my opinion, not recognizing Hamas’ rule after they won the election fair & square was a big mistake. India is one example, where parties with radical and extreme agendas had to tone down once they were elected. A Hamas government today would have been engaged in the business of running a country and providing basic infrastructure to their people. For which, they would have to depend on foreign aid and garner international acceptance. Rockets are only being fired at Isreal because Hamas has nothing else to do!!!

  87. 87 Dassin
    January 10, 2009 at 02:21

    I don’t understan why there were no protests and no attacks around the world on islamics sites when terrorists from arab nations exploded in Isreal for years and when rockets were sent in Isreal? Does Israeli blood worth nothing? If the aim of hamas is really to protect their cityzen why are they using their own sons and daughter as human shields?
    Why people want Israel to do nothing and let itself to be destroyed? For reminder Hamas philosophy is the destruction of Isreal. For the simply reason that they are not a muslim state. The raise of Islamic extreism materialzed by the Isrealo-palestinian war and movement such AlQaida is drifting the world apart. I’ve travelled a lot from Congo and gabon, from europe to the pacific and To be honest for many people don’t feel confortable when they have an Islamic as neigbour. In the morning he smiles with you in the evening he explodes in front of your house. That exactly what Isreal is enduring, the price of not being a shark in the ocean.

  88. 88 Eric
    January 10, 2009 at 02:52

    When two elephants fight, the grass in the area suffer. War is not a tea party; this is why we should make every effort to prevent the starting of the war by tackling the root causes of the problem.

    Why can’t those critisizing Israel also critisize Hammas and ask them to stop firing rockets into Israel, whiles the Elders of the Palastianians are at the table with Israel and Some World leaders trying to reach a deal on Peace.

    Hammas behavior is not acceptable. Full stop. You can not roll back history ? Palestinians are not the only people on this Planet facing such crises. What about the Red Indians in America ? What about South Africa ? What about Australia ? The fact of the matter is; When the Elders of the Parties start talking at the Table negotiating for Peace, there should be no throwing of stones, rockets etc. ” He who lives in glass house should not throw stones at people ”

    This is my Land not yours; etc. ? Who owes the this Planet and all the land ? Nobody. We all came to meet it. How many of you can manufacture one stone or sand ? The hipocracy is too much.

  89. 89 Gopinath
    January 10, 2009 at 05:06

    One can’t help the feeling of helpness at what’s happening in Gaza. While the blame game and finger pointing continues, I can’t help feeling that the Israelis and Palestinians deserve each other as neither side has shown the pragmatism and sense of compassion and accomadation for the other side. I am afraid the bloodletting will continue for some more time. Equally to blame for this mess are the proxy sponsors of Israel & Palestine : US , EU on one hand and Iran , Syria on the other. Together , these countries will take the world into a downword spiral of bottomless pit. I just hope that this madness does not engulf the entire world at some time in future. (WW III )

    I was thinking what the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi would have had to say on this conflict were he alive today. I was astonished that he did have something to say about the conflict in 1938, the time the seeds of confrontation were sown. It makes for an interesting reading. The link below gives the text of what he wrote in an editorial.


  90. 90 Malyar
    January 10, 2009 at 05:48

    I think there is a big game going on. US, Israel and some of Arabs made the plan to whip Hamas and than impose something on other Palestinian leader to accept the rule of Israeli in the region. Bush is about to go and Obama is not here so US is playing a good game to not take the responsibility. I am sure if there is no US support to these killings in Gaza Israel won’t be able to do so.

    Israel is blaming Hamas for firing rockets after the ceasefire, is there any one to ask Israel why you used to seized and seizing Gaza, if you were in ceasefire with Hamas.

    Israel insists that the weapons should not enter Gaza, is this justifiable that Israel should get what weapon they wish and Palestinian should not? If Palestine is state why they can’t have the weapons which Israel has? I guess now every one know the game and know about how much support is US providing to Israel. At end I want mention that if this is Hamas or any other Palestinian the resistance will not be end for ever and world will realize one day and show by action to US & Israeli what they are doing, US is the first and final responsible for all these.

  91. 91 Lina
    January 10, 2009 at 06:13

    When Israeli people visit certain ” free” countries of Europe, they being told do not speak Hebrew. Also, indigenous citizens of those countries do not dare to come to some neighborhoods in they own lands. Does it mean democrasy? Now, Islamic fundametalists even more show their real faces by violent denomstations and cruel actions against Jewish (not Israeli ) people.

  92. 92 Philip Daniels
    January 10, 2009 at 06:39

    Solution for Gaza – make it a fully fledged nation state.

    • Then it can be expected and might just behave like one, i.e. not fire rockets into Israel. It would have the privileges, responsibilities, rights and obligations of a nation state under the UN Charter.

    • Israel would expected treat it like a regular nation state rather than using it as a pawn in their internal political games; at the moment the Ehud Barak & Tzipi Livni are trying to out Netanyahu one another in order to keep Netanyahu out, so that they can then squabble over the spoils of electoral victory.

    • If/when the West Bank becomes a nation state then they can form the Palestinean Union (a’la European Union) with Gaza, Israeli relationship to the PU would be akin to Switzerland’s pre Schengen relationship with the EU.

    • It may or may not be an original idea, but the only place I’ve come across it is in my head – I call it the 3-State solution, the 2-State solution is never going to work.

  93. 93 Francine from Toronto
    January 10, 2009 at 06:42

    It is heartbreaking and tragic to see the death of children and innocent civillians in both Gaza and Israel. What truly shocks me in reading through these comments is the lack of awareness that Hamas profits from these deaths and glorify these victims and terrorists as martyrs. As the elected government of Gaza they should be protecting their citizens instead of launching missles from school, mosques & hospitals. They should be using their funds to create jobs for their people instead of buying guns.

    Hamas does not want peace with Isreal. Iran does not want peace with Israel.
    How can Israel protect its citizens until Hamas is ready to come to the table and accept Israel’s right to exist?

    Israel has closed the borders to protect itself from Hamas & the suicide bombers they would send into Israel if they could in their quest to destroy Israel & drive it into the sea.

    Would Israel have any need to carry out such attacks if Hamas stopped firing rockets & sending in suicide bombers?

    Israel is a small country that prays for peace and wants peace with its neighbours. They do everything in their power to protect all life including warning of where missels are to be dropped. If Hamas agreed to disarm then the Israeli military action would cease as well.

  94. 94 Michel Norman
    January 10, 2009 at 07:33

    Hammas have not created any hatred on the part of Israel. Going back 25 years, most of the Gazan economy was based on people working in Israel. The first intifada drastically reduced that and the 2nd intifada left us with no option other than to halt it to stop them exploding in our markets and buses. Then there was fear. Three years of rocket fire have eliminated that fear or hatred, and replaced it with something far worse – they have earned our indifference. They have nothing to offer us other than violence, they have convinced us that given the choice between building their country and trying to kill us, killing us is more important (and 500,000 people at the Hammas rally and hammas’s victory in the elections proves this point). And so we are left with no choice but to explain to them don’t attack us – the price is too high to pay.

    It is very sad that this is the situation, 3 years after we left Gaza hoping that things would go so well that a pullback from the rest of the territories would be possible.

  95. 95 Nate, Portland OR
    January 10, 2009 at 07:35

    The Gaza conflict has made most people entrench. Many are disgusted, however, with the slaughter in Gaza. The Israeli’s, descendents of survivors of the Holocaust, have gone over the edge.

    But the vast majority of people that excuse Hamas, one of the most openly depraved organizations in human history, because they are the manifestation of massive injustice refuse to acknowledge that Jews in their homeland (the Middle East and especially the eastern Mediterranean) have been deeply on the wrong end of such injustices for centuries.

    Every few decades since Mohammed had his differences with a few tribes of Jews, disdain and cruelty of the overwhelming Islamic majority towards Jews has manifested itself: see. The Jewish people learned many of their lessons in ruthlessness from the very people that wall off of Gaza’s western border, restrict Palestinians to camps in Lebanon, and make them a talisman to anti-Jewish prejudice throughout the Arab world. Where can Jews live in safety? Only America and Europe, where people have the good grace to be ashamed of their anti-Semitic past.

    Muslims in the west demand to be completely absolved of the crimes of al Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc; but they hold every Jew responsible to the crimes of Israel and refuse to see how Jews have suffered among they and their ancestors.

    The solution is to compensate Palestinians enormously for bearing the brunt of the price incurred by the crimes of Arab Muslims. I think $5 trillion and an Israeli withdrawal to roughly the 1967 borders (favoring land swaps that ensure Israel’s self-defense) should just about do it. The cost should be paid equally by the USA, Israel, Europe, Iran, and the Arab world. The western countries and Israel should pay to prove their goodwill, while the Iranians and Arabs should pay because they owe it.

  96. 96 Michel Norman
    January 10, 2009 at 07:40

    The UN resolution was rejected by both sides because it does not address the issues. Hammas will not accept anythign other than the opening of the crosspoints – which are restricted for 3 reasons. 1. Gilad Shalit – the kidnapped soldier who has been denied access to the red cross for 930 days. 2. the massive smuggling of iranian arms into gaza. 3. The repeated Hammas attacks on the crossing points. Israel will not accept a ceasefire until the rocket attakcs which have placed 1 million Israelis in bomb shelters are halted and will not reopen the cross points until those 2 issues are addressed. Once they are addressed, all of us would want massive aid to flow into Gaza to solve their humanitarian crisis, that Hammas has created.

  97. 97 Mustafa
    January 10, 2009 at 08:05

    Is the action by Israel and Hamas creating a whole new generation of hated on both sides?

    I think the distinction that must be made to answer this question is that between Judaism and Zionism. Judaism in the Muslim perspective is a beautiful religion and Jews are considered “people of the book,” along with Christians. It has its roots firmly planted in the Abrahamic traditions and its prophet, Moses, is one of the most revered prophets in the religion of Islam.

    Zionism, on the other hand, is not a religious ideal, rather it is a politically-driven nationalistic goal, which aims to have a state solely for Jews. Because of this fact, zionism, is also a racist doctrine. It seems appalling that a nation like the United States, whose Constitution is steeped in the ideals of religious freedom and equality could support such an idea.

    When you say “hated on both sides,” it must be made clear that at least on the one side, it is zionists, not Jews, who are ‘hated’.

  98. January 10, 2009 at 08:28

    Abdul seems unable to grasp that there are any other opinions than his own. He -and his prejudices- is certainly one reason (of many) why Gaza still burns.
    What does he expect Israel to do after 8 years of rockets?

    As a neutral on this matter I see abdul’s obvious bias as the main reason why i cxoujldn’t belive anything he writes -however well intentioned he actually is.

    Yes the killing of children and women is atrocious -but ,if the rockets stopped , the bombing would stop.

    How difficult is that to understand?

  99. 99 Sue
    January 10, 2009 at 08:28

    Dear BBC,

    It is outrageous that Iran is not mentioned more strongly in your conversation, all of the trouble is originating from Iran who is paying Hamas cash to stir trouble in the region when the American administration is in transition. In fact, the Arabs in general fail to see how they are being used so cheeply by the Iranians to confront Isreal and USA indirectly. Iran has no love for the Arabs and would love to go back to its glory days of the Persian Empire dominating the region. What a tragedy that that the experts of the entire Arab world are in denial of this fact. Should Isreal give in to all of the Arab demands regarding Palstine, I assure you, Iran via the Arabs will find another reason to fight Isreal. Iran needs to be restrained, dialogued with and put in its place by the Arabs, Isreal as well as the west.

  100. 100 cyrus abraham
    January 10, 2009 at 09:31

    At what point does the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews cease to excuse the state of Israel from complying with international law and with rules of humanity ?
    When does the mandate of victimhood expire?

  101. 101 Imran Nisar
    January 10, 2009 at 11:38

    It is surprising and painful how the whole world are watching the masacare of innocent children, men & women in the Gaza Strip? How the whole world allowing Israel to kill these innocent people? Very shame to the world leaders and the UN, OIC & Arab League for their criminal silence.

  102. 102 David Evans
    January 10, 2009 at 12:37

    This is critical news that the BBC simply refuse to report, a number of news reports have shown cluster phosphorous bombs being dropped on Gaza by the israelis, BBC reports have said they are night flares. They are not. Phosphorous bombs are chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction. they explode in the air and drop white hot bomb-lets of phosphorous which kill people by burning them, once on the skin the phosphorous continues to burn. They are the same bombs that the US used in Falluja, this can be confirmed by matching video footage.
    It is the BBC’s responsibility to report this, why won’t they?

  103. 103 Sur
    January 10, 2009 at 12:50

    I’ven’t yet read what all others are saying…..but here is what I feel about the issue…..

    1. What is the ultimate effect of the media as a whole (yours included) on this man made crisis? Pl do not make a difference between Zimbabwe and Israel…both prevents true story to come out!! The humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding every day 24 hrs before all of us…..and yet we remain a bunch of silent spectators!!! Tel me what is the ultimate effect of this blog? Will it make any difference to the sole perpretrators? The mass opinion remains stuck in the bits and bytes of this virtual world….does it make any difference on the ground?
    2. The continued crisis clearly shows that we are living in a unipolar world where ” what is right” and “what is wrong” is unilaterally decided by a handful of nations with military might…thereby nullifying the very exisistance of a world body like UN. We clearly run out of any true leader who could possibly have some compassion and forsight to stop this crisis immediately.
    3. It is a collective failure of ALL leaders to negotiate with the parties to affect a ceasefire…..

  104. 104 Bob
    January 10, 2009 at 13:18

    Ghazan’s who voted for Hamas can now live (or maybe not) with the results of Hamas’ policies.

    Extract from NYT article by Taghreed El-Khodary-
    “Dr. Awni al-Jaru, 37, a surgeon at the hospital, rushed in from his home here, dressed in his scrubs. But he came not to work. His head was bleeding, and his daughter’s jaw was broken.’

    “He said Hamas militants next to his apartment building had fired mortar and rocket rounds. Israel fired back with force, and his apartment was hit. His wife, Albina, originally from Ukraine, and his 1-year-old son were killed.”

    The full story at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/wo…html?ref=world

    Ghazans who leave the area when Hamas begins to set up their launchers in their back yards may yet learn to connect the results with the cause. For those unfamiliar with modern “counter-battery fire techniques” – Be aware that Israel has technologies that identify distant locations from which artillery is fired or rockets are launched. Hamas simply launches its rockets at the Israeli civilian population at-large. Which is them greater criminal?

  105. January 10, 2009 at 14:37

    I am amazed at different opinions provided regarding Gaza crisis. To me the issue can only be resolved if all the parties and mediators to the conflict understand the genesis of the conflict.
    I think mediators and the UN has failed in the mean time. The greatest hurdle to the conflict is for the mediators and the UN to convince Hamas to stop firing rockets to Israel, Israel will have no option but to pull out of Gaza and stop firing missiles into Gaza.
    If Hamas continues to fire rockets to Israel and vows not to stop, even if Israel stops for the time being, the problem will resurface, and we are likely going to have another conflict very soon.

    The world should stop shielding wrong people and their selfish agendas. Long lasting solutions should be sought here. If Hamas is serious and concerned about the safety of its people why continue firing rockets when they know that the moment they stop firing rockets the bloodshed will stop. They are willing to let their people die for their selfish motives as a group than let peace prevail.

    Israel has every right to hit back. All that is happening now is just a consequency and aftermath of Hamas’ actions before Israel responded.

  106. 106 Michel Norman
    January 10, 2009 at 15:12

    Hammas TV employes cartoon characters on children’s TV to incite hatred of Israel, their children’s camps teach kids how to kill Jews, their mosques incite against us, they hold mass rallies of 500,000 people to call for our death and to mock Gilad Shalit who has been refused access to the Red Cross as required by the Geneva convention, Gaza voted en masse for Hammas who offer a final solution for Israel – so what is the point about hatred -they will move from really really really hate you to really reaaly really hate you with knobs on???

  107. 107 Shirley New York
    January 10, 2009 at 18:59

    Locking up the people of half a country can only create hate with poor tactics to retaliate.
    If Bush was planning to create a nuclear shield, surely Israel can construct a Gazan rocket shield. Israel has an A grade in weaponry.
    What is the point in bombing a poor country’s infrastructure? Who is going to pay to build it all back? More than that, will any price be sufficient for Palestinian children to like their Israeli neighbours again?
    Why cant the Hamas leaders and Israeli pro war types have a yelling match televised worldwide then slowly start negotiating. This will give all the players importance while no one dies. Truly in the 21st century, wars shouldnt be fought with weapons arent we all smarter than that?

  108. 108 Christena
    January 10, 2009 at 19:09

    I agree with Sue,
    It is so ironic that the only place the Palistinans live without exploitation is in the USA. Every where else they live like animals, in compounds. We let them live next to us and own businesses, go to school we even offer them citizenship. But they still burn our flag and dance in the streets on 9-11. USA has showen them more love than their Muslim brothers. Palistine people are being used like pawns.

  109. 109 AR
    January 10, 2009 at 20:30

    If terrorists from Mexico or Canada were launching rockets into the US, we would eventually defend ourselves. Terrible as this incursion into Gaza is, I do not deny Israel the right to do the same. Israel should and must defend itself.

  110. January 10, 2009 at 21:10

    It is both rediculas and disgusting Hamas fire their rockets into Israel from locations close to innocent palestinians, it is obvious they have no respect or regard that some will be killed by Israeli retaliansions, as has been happening They dont value the lives of their fellow palestinians, perhaps they feel it makes good publicity for their terrorist cause in world opinion. They must squarely take the blame for so many deaths of their own people.Has there been any organisation or country in the past that have resorted to these unsavoury tactics?. They have openly stated they seek the destruction of Israel, it appears hiding behind women and children furthers their cause, they should be condemmed for these tactics, but they dont care, they will still continue to do so. An earlier TV broadcast by the leader of Hamas who is believed to be in hiding in Syria, stated they are winning the war, he must be living in cloud cookoo land.

  111. 111 khadija
    January 10, 2009 at 21:28

    The US is dividing the world by supporting Isreal.
    How can anyone with a conscious support the killing of
    innocent people? retaliation or not!
    Shame the US
    Shame on Isreal
    May God save the palestinian people.

  112. 112 george
    January 11, 2009 at 02:04

    Both peoples /they are from similar origin/ are exteme in nature.Has anybody seen ever what are the living condititons in GAZA? Access for reports is permitted. Why?A developed nation would create good standard for all citizens.This marks civilization.In the old books was written-God gave this to these and so on..What was the population in the ancient times? If tomorrow we find and read much more ancient book /like Veda-s/ and there is written: you have to be swiped out of the earth, what’s next? Everebody knows that nowadays wars are for money and power.

  113. 113 John
    January 11, 2009 at 03:49

    There has been almost a blackout of news in US, willingly from US media and most news are covering palin or useless stories that are unimportant.
    This is because how the media has been made to belive that free speach and fredom of reporting does not apply to Palistine.
    Did the media not know that the war was comming to Palistine, was it not possible to put in satilite phones and send a few reporters before the fight broke out ? they chose not to ,since the media in US has turned blind eye on the Palistinian cause, if Isreal says it has right to defend, what do palistinians have -chiken soup ? If isreal says civilians are not targeted, why does the world does not ask them to prove it, if isreal says, we have not killed non combatants, why does media do not ask them to prove it ?
    Why do Western media puts so much faith in them, BBC had some inside vedio from palistine, no us stations have been airing them ? why ? self cencorship ? for what ?
    What can media do to make this a just and fair brodcasts > They can refuse to air any thing coming out of Isreal , until they would allow media into palistine free and unobstructively.
    1.5 Million people have been held in their own houses like hostages by isreal, does isreal accept thier right to live a free life ? why not ask them do they accept that palistinian land has been taken, will they give it back ?
    Conflit can end quickly if the answers to above can be found.

  114. 114 Angela Koster
    January 11, 2009 at 04:45

    Animal Farm

  115. 115 alan blakey
    January 11, 2009 at 07:51

    Before Israel started bombing the Gaza there was the only a small number of people killed by Palestine rockets, now there is more than that number killed regularly by the Israeli war machine. Blame the Palestine people for what their leaders are doing, that is what the Israel and U.S. governments are doing. While scores of innocent children are being killed every day. There is no excuse for such large scale killing of innocents.

  116. 116 Andrew
    January 11, 2009 at 09:37

    Verbal intervention has no affect. If an end to this crisis is to be achieved at least one of four criteria must be met.
    1: That either Hamas or Israel is completely forced from Gaza.
    2: That Hamas fighters are hit so hard and the conflict lasts so long that the people of Gaza rise up against one or the other factions.
    3: That International forces ‘enforce’ a ceasefire on both sides.
    4: That weapons smuggling into Gaza ceases and Hamas’ ability to fight is ended.

  117. 117 ziena
    January 11, 2009 at 12:56

    I dont know what to say I feel disappointed of that failure SECURITY COUNCIL .and how cruel the west is .
    I dont think that I or any one else in the middle east wait any thing from the SECURITY COUNCIL it didnt do nything which we really appriciate previously and it would not .

  118. 118 Mark Leaman
    January 11, 2009 at 20:44

    Gaza is not dividing world opinion.
    Its very simple, If you love the Jewish people then you love Israel and then your on Israels side.
    If you hate the Jewish people means you hate Israel the Jewish state and then your on the side of Hamas and the rest of the Arab world.
    This war just shows the true colours of how people think about both sides.

  119. 119 George
    January 12, 2009 at 05:18

    Gaza does not divide world opinion. World opinion is divided by human habits — those who are thoughtful and thinking people, and those who are loud-mouthed hypocrites.

    These demonstrations around the world only pop up when there is crisis between Israel and the Palestinians. The rest of the time, for the last 60 years, where have all these people been? Have they helped the Palestinians build a viable, responsible state?

    As soon as the crisis quiets down, all the “supporters” of the Palestinians will disappear into the woodwork. Such hypocrites!

    The BBC, for its part, uses Israel-Palestinian violence to beef up its listening audience. There is no attempt to really investigate the situation from both sides.

    If I want to hear people blaming all the world’s problems on Jews and Israel, all I have to do is tune in to the BBC World Service.

  120. January 12, 2009 at 15:29

    Those with sincere critical analysis of a war situation are the ones in whom I’d picck some interest if we really intend to discuss Gaza.Am a Ugandan and presently in the homeland.

    From all that I can presume when it comes to the past events that have yielded the present conflict,I believe Isreal is the aggressor believe or not.Look,in 1948 under the UN mandate,the State of Ireal would be established with all the acords regarding the sincere desire of the jews.

    At that point,Jerusalem enventually becomes such a serious issue and gives birth to the first ever battle between Arab and Jew;the US,UK party and the Lebanese,Syrians,Egyptians and the Jodanians backing Isreal and Palestines almost immediately after Isreal’s first day of Indepence.

    Isreal wins the war on all accounts;seizes her offenders’ lands though she later let go of some but still sustains a tight grip on Palestinian land to date,puts Gaza under seige.

    All I want who ever reads this is to under stand that there wouldn’t be any rockets flying from south Lebanon or north Gaza if it wasn’t for Isreali occupation in the machination of the US by arming her.

  121. 121 John OBrien
    January 12, 2009 at 15:44

    Hey all you people!

    If you want to know exactly what is going on in Gaza
    tune in to Al Jazeera’s on Satellite TV.

    They have the only, I repeat only foreign correspondents in Gaza.
    All other journalist have been kept outside by the IDF in an effort to keep the world ignorant of
    what is going on there. Just like Jenin in November 2001.
    These very brave people are risking their lives and broadcasting from Gaza for the last two weeks, from the streets, from the hospitals of Gaza interviews with doctors and with UN workers but also with Israeli military and politicians, so they are not anti Israel.

    Or try their english web site at “http://english.aljazeera.net” But be prepared, the reports are very, very shocking.
    Thank God for Al Jazeera. I live in Germany where all the media are extremely pro Israeli with few exceptions and there is no coverage of real events and any pro Palestinian sentiment is suppressed.

    All the German politicians are running scared to avoid being smeared as anti-semite. Cowards, all of them. The German media and politicians never spoke out about the holocaust and now they are remaining silent on Gaza, hiding behind a fig leaf of pretended guilt towards Israel.

    God help the people of Gaza.

  122. 122 Martin
    January 12, 2009 at 18:16

    Will Israel now be charged with war crimes now that the whole world has watched the slaughter of innocent palestinian women,children and old people? Martin Mannion Latvija.

  123. 123 Victor van der Veen
    January 12, 2009 at 18:37

    Just after the war of 1967 there was a strong feeling in Israel that peace was within reach, in return for the conquered territory. But the opportunity somehow was lost.
    A spokesman of Hamas has said that the boundaries of 67 (before this war) are acceptable to them. So this offers an opening for negotiations. I think that 2 unconnected Palestinian territories are unworkable; so my suggestion is that Israel builds quality settlements in the Israeli-held Westbank for the 1.5 million Palestinians from the Gaza strip. Of course they must be consulted in a vote, and asked if they are willing to give up the Gazastrip in exchange for the Westbank, which will than be returned to the Palestinian state.
    The building of houses for the Palestinians will cost less blood and will offer more goodwill to Israel than this ongoing war which will repeat itself every ten years, I am afraid.
    Let us search for a lasting solution.
    Victor van der Veen, Groningen, Holland

  124. 124 zamaaz
    January 13, 2009 at 04:29

    America, Australia, Philippines, Bosnian, Albanians, France, England, Iraqu, Iran, Turkey, Peru, Argentina, Venezuela, Spain and the rest of nations having history of attrition caused by migration or conquest can never support Hamas, otherwise they would break loose ‘hell’ in their respective countries…

  125. 125 David
    January 13, 2009 at 05:38

    Dear all,

    Is there any one around to put this as a statement that why Hamas is firing rockets? the answer is simple. Israel kept Gaza in blockade for the period of seize fire they had with Hamas, so is this not justifiable that if some one is keeping you in a cage of blockade for no reason? so you will react what? just keep quite to go die with no food and water?

  126. 126 Jim Newman
    January 13, 2009 at 10:54

    Hello again
    In this part of France where I live many families sheltered Jews during the Nazi occupation. Most were children and adolescents. Many of them are still alive and some are certainely squatting in Palestine. I would like to ask the escapee squatters whether they are ashamed of the atrocities committed against the Palestinians in their name. I would also like to ask whether they think that their actions are a just gratitude to those who risked their lives to save them.

  127. 127 omissam
    January 14, 2009 at 18:59

    Had Israel abided by any of the shoal of UN resolutions It has constantly ignored, put an end to the occupation and withdrawn to the pre-1967 border, as requested by those resolutions, the Israeli would simply not be there and there would be no Hamas rockets! It strikes me that nobody mentions this simple truth !

  128. 128 John LaGrua/New York
    January 15, 2009 at 20:24

    This Gazan attrocity will strenghten the extremists in the Arab world and dishearten those who see peace as the only way to resolve national issues.Isreali brutality toward the Palestinians is clearly visible to any obsever who visits Isreal in a non-official role..It stems from the contempt voiced by Golda Meir ,” There is no such thing as a Palestinian people”the tragic hidden element here is that the US taxpayer funds the Isreali military with a minimum of 1.5 billion dollars a year.Funds which are disbursed with no requirement to account for use or repay.Since money is fungible it is reasonable to assume that every Palestinian woman child or man killed or wounded by the Isreali attack is the moral responsibility of the American people Their ignorance of the truth is no excuse and under US criminal law they are as guilty as those who commit the crime.The horror of the victims may not be in vain if this tragedy awakens America to the moral corrosion and undermining of our democracy caused by the relentless activities of the Isreal Lobby .

  129. 129 saut
    January 16, 2009 at 05:44

    Hama is deluded to think that the rest of the world cares about the Gaza crisis. The way Israelis operate, they seems to the know the rest of us do not care.
    The Israelis and the Arabs have been at each others’ throats for the past 60 years. It’s a sheer waste of time to pontificate, symphatise or even mediate to Palestinians who never can figure out it is time to cut losses. Look: the Arabs tried the ‘big battalions” approach in Six Day and the Yom Kippur Wars and they took a whacking. The Palestinians tried plane hijackings, Oympic games massacre, sucide bombings, cheap inaccurate rockets and what else.

    I have no sympathy for them. Rationality is not the Palestinians forte when they exhibit perfidy towards their own kind, using civilians as human shields, using civilians’ homes as rocket lauching sites and munitions storages. And when their civilians get hurt, they talk about disproportionate response. And even extrapolate it to a ‘Holocaust’ or genocide. The rest of the world is not so stupid to ‘swallow’ rubbish propaganda.

    What sort of people are these Hamas and their Gazan supporters? They want to kill Israelis but expect not to be killed in the process.

  130. January 18, 2009 at 14:55

    World opinion is mostly in fevour of Israilian action, so there should be no obstruction in the on going war till it acheives its desired goal.Hamas has to be disarmed. Both Israil and Palestinians along with their supporters are determined not to follow orders of security council therefore let them arrive on a sollution through war.Rest of the world should remain vigilent to confine the war only to the areas where sollution lies and can not spread else where.

  131. 131 saleh darwish, Jordan
    January 26, 2009 at 19:18

    I fully agree with Mark From Kansas above. This conflict has nothing to do with religion! A bunch of secular Zionist politicians who’s target is to control the whole world. Judaism, as a noble religion does not accept their practices for 60 years so far. They, benefiting from international circumstances which followed WW2, have used force to humiliate their neighbors and committed enough massacres against civilians mostly children (the school of Bahralbaqar in Egypt 1970, Qana UN Center in Lebanon 2006, Al Fakhourah school in Gaza 2009) only to mention a few. This brought people of the region to a conclusion, after having given peace talks a chance of more than 15 years, that such a brutal, racist, apartheid regime has no place as a neighbor. As a regime, it has to disappear in favour of a one democratic state where all inhabitants of Palestine can live in peace and the whole world can rest.

  132. 132 Marge
    February 15, 2009 at 06:42

    Why is the Hamas military such cowards? There would be no more killings if they stopped firing rockets at Israel. But no – that might make them look they where defeated in battle. As they shout with joy amongst the fallen buildings and proclaim “victory” , they should take a reality check. Israel has atomic weapons.

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