On-Air; Who’s “winning” ?

We’ve discussed before the fact that no-one really knows what Israel and Hamas are hoping to achieve. So how and when will it stop ?

In this article, Sever Plocker argues that Israel doesn’t want to win , while this article in Time magazine suggests Israel actually can’t win.gaza

Does Israel want to topple Hamas, or merely stop the rockets ? This article tries to define “victory” .

Does Hamas want peace ? Does it want the destruction of Israel ? To mobilise public opinion in the Arab world ?

And if both sides feel they haven’ t “won” yet, is that why they chose to ignore the UN resolution ?

Today Israel says it will not call off its offensive in Gaza until Hamas stops shooting rockets into Israeli territory. The Israeli foreign ministry said there was also no guarantee that Hamas  would respect any ceasefire agreement.

There’s a media campaign going on too . Who’s winning that ? and protests all over the world supporting either side.

On tonight’s programme we are taking your calls, and we have two guests:

David Hartwell, Middle East Editor of Jane’s Country Risk

Dr Ghada Karmi, Palestinian author and Research Fellow of the Institute of Arab-Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter

95 Responses to “On-Air; Who’s “winning” ?”

  1. 1 Steve
    January 13, 2009 at 14:38

    In all honestly, I don’t think Israel can win, even if it does destroy Hamas. The palestinians will be taught to hate jews, and in the future, this kids will grow up and want to fight israel.

    Do they have reason to be upset? Sure, but in the history of conflict, there have been far more damage done to other nations. The allies completely destroyed Japan and Germany, but since the Japanese and the Germans were not taught to hate after the war, there is peace.

    It really falls down to what the kids are being taught. Since the kids in Gaza and the WB will be taught to hate, there’s really no way to stop other extremist groups in the future from forming.

  2. January 13, 2009 at 14:50

    If neither side has a clear objective how can you say each one is winning?

  3. 3 Roy, Washington DC
    January 13, 2009 at 14:52

    Nobody is winning right now, and until both sides come to the realization that bombing the other side isn’t getting them anywhere, there probably won’t be a “winner”. The cycle of violence isn’t going to be broken with more violence.

  4. January 13, 2009 at 14:53

    In the present time,
    Israel is winning,
    pushing deep,deeper,
    it has occupied lage size of land,
    inside Gaza,

    But the success is not permanant,
    it will have to leav the land by mounting international pressure.

  5. 5 gary
    January 13, 2009 at 14:57

    Winning a war implies eliminating the need to engage in warfare. Israel has been “winning” these horrifying contests for sixty years now, and by so doing has guaranteed the events will continue. Since no human activity proceeds with absolute success, this “success” insures defeat. Sorry guys, I actually want both sides to live and proper; but continued bellicose behavior writes the script for an eventual final curtain.

  6. 6 Corbin
    January 13, 2009 at 15:05

    Israel has stated that it’s objective is to end Hamas rocket attacks and weapons smuggling, and I believe they truly wish to achieve that at the lowest cost to themselves, in terms of both money and lives. If Hamas had calmed down two weeks ago, they and Israel would be meeting today with words at a negotiating table instead of with guns in downtown Gaza City.

    Hamas’ sole objective appears to be a restoration of lost Arab pride, and its leaders seem to be willing to fight to the death of the last Palestinian child in their attempt to achieve it.

    The media/UN campaign is being ignored by most because no one really wants to get involved in this mess, and it’s difficult to rationalize support for Hamas, which is starting to look like it’s run by irrational madmen.

  7. 7 Sam Mcguire
    January 13, 2009 at 15:05

    The hard truth of the situation is that one can not destroy an ideology with force but rather with a better beneficial ideology. Thus Israel might win in the short term but in the long term Hamas has won more Hearts and the media war.

    I believe Israel should allow the foreign press into Gaza so as to help them win the Battle as well as the media war.
    Here in america, we wonder why the Israelis’ will not allow the media to show us the truth!

  8. 8 David
    January 13, 2009 at 15:06

    The way to win a war/battle is through genuine dialogue. Win in the Israel way? No way.

  9. January 13, 2009 at 15:07

    As the past is witness,
    Hamas won the election and remained in power,
    inspite of it they are desvribing it terrorist orgnisation including Israel.

    Rocket firing is also understood terrorist activities,
    hence, Israel has decided to wipe out from the Palestine land.

    So mission ”endgame has begun,
    but when we see the world reaction,
    and the United Nations role,
    being played by it,compelled to think,
    Israel will retain no success in its mission,
    game never come to an end.

  10. 11 Ego
    January 13, 2009 at 15:16

    It is obvious that based on the history between Israel and Palestine and the vast socio-economic differences, imposed by Israel on Gaza, there is no way Israel will win higher moral ground and respect in the wider world, even in destroying Hamas. It is a stellar example that great and sterile military power is useless if you attack the ones that in the eyes of the majority are the oppressed. If the idea is to show that terrorism will not be tolerated, how can we be bombing women and children in the name of security, freedom and sovereignty?

    I’m not of the opinion that Hamas is innocent, but Israel is doing everything to feed a greater fire and the make it even more likely that we in the US will have to pay a high price for it.

    I hope I see a resolution of this problem in my lifetime or at least in the lifetime of my soon to be born son.

  11. 12 Ramesh
    January 13, 2009 at 15:26

    Who’s winning? Journalists, I guess. Without these issues, the world would be very peaceful and many journalists may get unemployed as a result!

  12. 13 Onyemechi Ifende
    January 13, 2009 at 15:27

    Frankly speaking, no one will win. Its not an issue of winning or not.
    the question we should be asking is what are the objectives?
    What does HAMAS really wants and is it acceptable to the isrealies?

  13. 14 Asiya
    January 13, 2009 at 15:32

    Hamas is winning, for sure.

  14. January 13, 2009 at 15:34

    Too many false pretences, exist to reach an end. For example, the belief that Hammas is a single headed and controllable organization instead of a collection of self agenda oriented conglomerates. Refusing to acknowledge that there is no separation of church and state. Fighting people who believe that their only option is death.

    These are the same mistakes made by the pig headed factions here in the states in respect to Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, the only end to the “rocket fire” will have to come from a change in perspective on those who are doing it not as representatives of the state of Palestine, but as criminals. Using Israelis current approach to ending the “rocket launches” would require genocide of the Palestinian people. Think European approach to the Native American. How did British eventually end the attacks on the settlements? Could they have done it by saying the Blackfoot was a terrorist organization and they wanted to destroy them?

  15. January 13, 2009 at 15:34

    in fact no body is winning as envisaged by both sides actually its the weapon dealers who are the real WINNERS?

  16. 17 Morf
    January 13, 2009 at 15:37

    Who’s winning?

    A better question might be “Who is losing?”

    People in Gaza are losing their homes, families, personal dignity – and of course, many lives.

    Israel is losing world respect (which it desperately needs) and much support from American citizens – as well as citizens around the world.

    The world does not need more deaths, injuries and traumatized refugees.

    Violence and revenge are the ultimate enemies – and yes, they are both “winning”.

    If we want more violence and more generations of vengeance and self-destruction, that appears to be the only position that seems to be “winning”.

    Besides that, those of us who are human and want to live are the ultimate losers…

  17. January 13, 2009 at 15:42

    I will tell you who is winning:

    The people who make the weapons and the people who provide loans to buy those weapons.

    And this is all that really matters, because petty religious squabblers will always exist.

  18. 19 Ibrahim
    January 13, 2009 at 15:59

    I think it depends on who you ask. The Arab streets are almost unanimous in their condemnation of Israel and unanimous in their support for Hamas which are viewed as legitimate resistance fighters. The constant airing of graphic images of tiny mutilated bodies and constant updates on the war leave no question as to who is “winning” the media war.
    On the other hand, the Western media attempts to “balance” it’s broadcasts by giving equal time to report on 900+ Palestinian victimes and 13 Israeli victims. The context and history of the conflict is ommitted from the reports, as is the Palestinian and legal viewpoint. There is also a pre-conditioned assumption that Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Despite these deficiencies, the facts on the ground as reported by the UN works in Gaza are enough to turn the stomachs of most newswatchers.
    War is ugly. Whoever is doing the most killing of women and children will inevitably lose the moral high ground and media battle.

  19. January 13, 2009 at 16:01

    We will not be able to know how ‘it’ will end since we don’t really know what it is both side are seeking to achieve… When the hostilities cease, that will only mean that the symptoms of the problem have been eradicated. But that will not necesarilly be the end to this dispute. We need to know what each side is planning to achieve, and how it is going about it. Now, I guess all we have left to do is to pray for peace. How about dedicating tomorrow’s WHYS to that?

  20. January 13, 2009 at 16:05

    The grim reaper is the clear winner in Gaza at the moment. The reaper is swathing through the hearts of children and making them ask the questions that children ask. Questions that will plague them more not less as they get older.

    Questions like:

    WIll I ever hear as well as I used to?

    When can I play soccer again?

    Can we eat something today?

    The whole world sees us on the telly starving under the bombs, why don’t they help us?

    The shrapnel says MADE IN USA?

    Fragile home economies, sport, art, can be brought back out, but some scars are permanent. My condolences to those children in their struggles.

    In human behavior, as in geology, the past is often the best predictor of the future. The scars of war are predictable. The years in which US companies profited from trading with the Third Reich scarred my mother. Like many Scots, mum never forgave the US for coming late to the party during WWII, even though she married an American. Her bitterness never left her alone for too long because her dead haunted her.

  21. 22 Joel Salomon
    January 13, 2009 at 16:15

    (New York)
     Really depends what you mean by “winning”. Best definition I’ve heard is that you win a conflict if you are better off afterward than if you had not fought.
     By that definition Ḥamas wins (and Israel loses) if Israel stops the incursion before Ḥamas et al. stop the rockets. If Israel has learned anything from the ’06 debacle, and appearances suggest she has, that will not happen. The IDF is re-creating its image as a powerful force, and possibly also its deterrent capabilities.
     Israel wins if the rockets stop, if Ḥamas is afraid or unable to continue attacking Israeli cities—even if Ḥamas retains power in Gaza. Sever Plocker (the “Israel doesn’t want to win” columnist) is missing the point entirely by insisting on such an impractical definition of victory.

     As far as the media war goes, Israel has mostly succeeded in denying Ḥamas the “CNN victories” it needs: I don’t believe many people have changed their minds about the situations in Israel & Gaza because of press coverage. The IDF’s YouTube channel showing rockets being launched from school buildings etc. makes an effective counter-statement to the reported numbers of civilian deaths. There may not be a winner there, but Israel is not losing either.

     Is diplomacy still warranted? Most definitely!
     There will come times when the two sides are receptive to cease-fire talks. These may not be obvious to outside observers, and if they are missed the fighting will continue. So it is important to maintain a balanced, possibly low-intensity, push toward an end to the violence, even when it seems hopeless.

  22. 23 Morf
    January 13, 2009 at 16:21

    There are three question to ask in any war;

    Who profits?

    Who pays?


    Who dies?

    Ultimately no one wins, but the vast majority of us loses – some of us forever.

  23. 24 DOLAPO AINA
    January 13, 2009 at 16:36

    Can Israel eliminate Hamas’s rockets? If yes then they are winning but if Hamas launches any one then the objective wasn’t achieved.

    Dolapo Aina,

  24. January 13, 2009 at 16:44

    Hi WHYSers!

    Thanks for this question, which I have found myself thinking about over the the last couple of days, in particular. One response at the top focussed on hate, in particular, as the virus which will eat away at any gains in this war. Telling, if nothing else. However, more than the question of hate, I do believe that Israel’s aim is to establish itself as the only power of worthwhile value in the region, especially with the news yesterday that it wanted to attack (?) Iran and stop it (presumably) from gaining in power in the region. News also of the strike to take out, presumably unprovoked (?), a nuclear site in Damascus as well, point clearly to Israel’s ambitions.

    While, all this makes perfect political sense, given the hostile atmosphere in which Israel lives, with so many enemies around it, it does make you wonder whether there is not a more appropriate way to achieve peace in a historically polarised and polarising environment? In that regard, it could hardly be said that Israel’s plans are to achieve “peace”, in the strictest sense of the word, much in the same way that the vastly outnumbered and outmaneuvered (?) Hamas could be said to want a military victory.

    It is sad, though, that while they both play this kind of high stakes politics of this kind that nearly a 1000 Palestinians have had to loose their lives, with the grim promise of more to come! The bloodshed is heartbreaking! More to the point, the much talked about “end” does not seem to be very clear as yet and the diplomatic efforts are still yet to make a serious dent in the intentions of the party, at least from what we can see. Very sad, indeed!

  25. January 13, 2009 at 16:45

    Israel has won but must face the aftermath.
    If US President Elect Obama keeps his word and “prosecutes” the proponents of hate and bloodshed in America, the Mideast may yet see peace in our lifetime

  26. January 13, 2009 at 16:49

    More appropriately, it seems as if the intentions of the Israelis, on the one hand, is to achieve (a difficult kind of peace), while Hamas seems more geared to ensure that there will never be any love towards Israel. The martyrdom of the Palestinians seem to prove this and the daily reports of the IDF’s near callous response to the Gazans, in many instances, attenst to this.

  27. January 13, 2009 at 16:54

    “nobody ever wins a war, just one side loses less.” – not certain who said it first. It has certainly been repeated many times since.

  28. 29 archibald in oregon
    January 13, 2009 at 16:57

    At this rate, Israel will re-take Gaza in a matter of days, but for what gain? The terrorist attacks will continue, so long as Israel remains an arm of the US. The veil has been lifted on Israel, now we see what a monster she has become………”War, what is it good for?…..Absolutely nothing, nothing!!!!”

  29. January 13, 2009 at 17:05

    These are the same mistakes made by the pig headed factions here in the states in respect to Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, the only end to the “rocket fire” will have to come from a change in perspective on those who are doing it not as representatives of the state of Palestine, but as criminals.

    Agreed, Dwight, agreed.

    If you set the ultimate goal to be peace, BOTH sides can win.

    If you are looking for a Hamas win, that will be what, exactly? The removal of Israeli forces from Gaza? That will happen any way.

    If you are looking at an Israeli win that means Hamas is obliterated, they can’t win because that isn’t going to happen.

    So, on a technicality – it will be a draw, yet a loss for both – because you won’t have a lasting peace in place when it is over.

    A win-win, Hamas stop the rockets, Israel back across the border and a table with both sitting around it negotiating until both parties have that peace – who claims victory after that is neither here nor there.

  30. 31 Chernor
    January 13, 2009 at 17:11

    What do u mean by winning here? Win what? For me, there is nothing to win. Israel have all the might to destroy Palestine as and when they like, so there is no point talking about winning.
    The question of win could only have come if both parties are near equal.

    When Russia invaded Georgia recently, USA was bleating about disproportionate use of force!! Please point out the difference for me in this situation. Then, no body asked who was winning. This is unfair.

    Israel are enjoying themselves. Killing innocent people and you still ask who is winning

  31. 32 Abram
    January 13, 2009 at 17:21

    Who is winning? The BIBLE and its prophecies!

  32. 33 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 13, 2009 at 17:27

    If everyone stopped firing weapons, everyone would win. If everyone continues firing weapons, no one wins.

    At the moment, no one is winning in Israel or Gaza

  33. 34 Vijay
    January 13, 2009 at 17:31

    They could both win,hey there could be a win win situation,never mind the colateral ,incidental and accidental victims.

    Hamas” wins” if they survive till the new President of the USA is sworn in.
    The government of Israel “wins” if they win the forthcoming election in Israel.

  34. 35 Sam in Kansas city
    January 13, 2009 at 17:41

    There is no victor in war but just bloodshed and tears as we all loose loved ones.
    Hams might gain more sympathizers and win the media war but Israel will definitely wipe Hamas from the Gaza area by force. Thus leaving the world in more pandemonium than we can handle.

  35. 36 Venessa
    January 13, 2009 at 18:03

    Wars always make someone rich. They are the one winning.

  36. 37 Bruno
    January 13, 2009 at 18:04

    It will be dozens of years that israel keep “winning” battles. Yet its brutal and barbaric methods only sow suffering, misery, hatred and bring more ennemies and more battles for the future.
    What kind of victory is that ?

  37. 38 Essexgirl
    January 13, 2009 at 18:09

    No one can win.

    For every militant Israel kills, 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. Providing young men with jobs does wonders for taking their minds off terrorism.

  38. January 13, 2009 at 18:14

    In my opinion Israel is the winner… After all, no matter what she commits on the ground, she always gets away with it… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  39. 40 Essexgirl
    January 13, 2009 at 18:19

    Hammas might be defeated for a month or a year or even 2. This has been going on since 1948. Hammas or AN Other organization will simply regroup. And the whole Arab world will simply be more determined to attack Israel and the USA, and it will go on another 60 years..and on…and on…

    Israel lost the moral high ground some time ago. Hammas never had a moral high ground to lose. Everyone looks as bad as everyone else now.

  40. 41 Dee Ann Kieft
    January 13, 2009 at 18:19

    It’s not win or lose at this point, but they need a cease fire immediately. The Hamas leader is in hiding and acting as stubborn as the Israelis. Forty years from now they will still be arguing. It will end only if the elders and the extremist go away and let the educated young people negotiate a peace treaty. Hatred teaches hatred.

    On Gaza as a tourist area-I don’t see it as the next Miami Beach or Hamptons anytime soon.


    Dee Kieft
    Fort Myers Florida

  41. 42 Andrew
    January 13, 2009 at 18:28

    The question should really be who isn’t losing? No one is winning. Israel will continue bombing but will never destroy Hamas or their ideals, Hamas will never win as they lack the strength and resources to defeat the IDF. Israel will simply breed contempt for their actions across the globe and breed the next generation of fighters as they are seemingly losing the media war, they are losing legitimacy or sympathy for their cause with every dead or injured Palestinian. Despite involving innocent civilians, Hamas has garnered sympathy for the plight of Palestinians in Gaza. No one is blatantly supporting Hamas but the David and Goliath battle has done a lot to dent Israel’s credibility and this is due to their reaction to Hamas in Gaza.

    So who is losing the most out of this? The Palestinians themselves as they are bombarded, killed and maimed by Israeli political machinations. Who is losing the least? The notion of a free Palestine and opposition to Israeli occupation of Gaza. Though in the end no one wins here in this conflict.

  42. 43 Essexgirl
    January 13, 2009 at 18:28

    Hammas want to be seen as martyrs. And Israel is enabling that to happen. The logic defies me.

  43. 44 Chidi (from Minneapolis)
    January 13, 2009 at 18:35

    As a student of history I think its shameful that Israel thinks that it can achieve peace through military force. Their own history should be proof of how war and military force can never resolve anything.

  44. 45 Guy Stevens
    January 13, 2009 at 18:37

    Israel is winning 100%. Sitting under rockets for 8 years with zero pressure on hamas to stop the terror from the rest of the world. Israel is winning because it has had enough of holding restraint and now showing the world that it has to defend itself. After this conflict hamas will have suffered a severe blow with alot of support lost while israel will gain the moral values they lost in lebanon 2 years ago. Israel has now changed the playing field.

    Guy from France

  45. 46 Guy Stevens
    January 13, 2009 at 18:45

    How can israel open gaza borders when all hamas does is stockpile weapons for a future conflict with Israel instead of building a nation. What stupid government would allow their enemy to build up weapons to destroy them.?
    Most media are against Israel but most governments are with Israel. I think that proves who is right in this conflict.
    Just because Hamas was elected doesnt mean they have a right to do what they want. If palestenians voted for Hamas then this is what they asked for.

    Guy again from france.

  46. 47 Bert
    January 13, 2009 at 18:45

    Unless the goals have changed, no one has won yet, and it’s hard to say who will win. Could be, both sides will ultimately lose.

    To keep all the hyperbole I read on here at bay,

    1. Israel’s goal is to eleiminate the rockets that have been raining down on Israel for as many years as Hamas has been in power.

    2. Hamas’ goal is to eliminate Israel as a nation.

    I hear a lot of frustration from Palestinians, wrt how Israel “gets away with” anything they want. That may even be well founded, but it is not the issue here. The darned rockets, sooner or later, were going to cause a reaction. It seems that every time some sort of peace arrangement is close, Hamas makes sure no agreement can be reached.

  47. 48 John in Salem
    January 13, 2009 at 18:46

    Who is winning? That’s easy – every hard-line Israeli politician who believes in nurturing the siege mentality that defines Israel as a righteous David standing up to an Arab Goliath. Just look at the approval ratings among Israelis for what is happening. The futility of the exercise and the rising body count of the Gazans doesn’t really matter so long as they, and their party, remain in power.

  48. 49 GB
    January 13, 2009 at 18:46

    Israel appears to be winning the battle in so much as it may decimate Hamas. I think it will lose the war and in the process create enemies beyond Gaza and the Arab territories.

    However, given the cost in civilian casualties and the passivity of the West the international community is the ultimate loser in this conflict.

  49. 50 John Smith - Jamaica
    January 13, 2009 at 18:54

    The battle can never be won because it is one of ideology as well as military might, for whilst Israel may strike military blows, the mere fact that Hamas will rise from the ashes signify the fact that the movement has captured the hearts and minds of a repressed people.

    AS far as the UN goes, it is an early 20th century solution to a 21st century problems and a lot has changed since then. Commercial airplanes exist, computers now litter homes across the globe and the lines of world dominance by any one nation is diminishing. I think the whole UN has to be re-engineered for it to be an effect player in modern global struggles.

  50. 51 Kenny In Florida
    January 13, 2009 at 18:56

    As long as each of them continue to act in the manner they are acting, neither one will ever be the winner. In fact calling either one a “winner” in this situation is frankly absurd.

  51. 52 Ibrahim, Baghdad
    January 13, 2009 at 18:57

    Israel has nothing to lose in this conflict. Whatever happens, Israel would be:

    1- Weakening Hamas to whatever extent.

    2- Killing as many of its enemy people (as Israel regards any Palestinian as a potential or at least a future enemy).

    3- Show the the Palestinians, the Arabs, and Iran how aggressive it is.

    4- It’s never to be subject to International Opinions, UN resolutions, … etc. It cares no less.

    5- Occupying more lands (or all of Gaza) in someway in the grounds that it wants to create a “Safe Zone” for the people of Israel.

    6- Making it more difficult for the new US president.

  52. 53 Arnold
    January 13, 2009 at 18:58

    I’ll tell you who’s losing the most here: the BBC. I can’t believe you ganged up on Solomon from Israel and then hung up on him before he could respond. Very cowardly. You’ve certainly lost my respect.

  53. January 13, 2009 at 18:58

    I just can’t believe where you find these guest speakers who think they know everything and who translate everything into Israel being some kind of evil monster. For them to think that Israelis don’t want peace is sheer foolishness at the least. As angry as they may be at Palestinians who lob missiles into their homes and towns, they still suffer in their hearts for any innocents who Hamas puts into danger when they hide amongst them. Israel doesn’t want enmity with Arabs. These people you have on the show make these outlandish statements that only show their misunderstanding of Israel. Israel never expected to wipe-out Hamas. Severely wound their military capacity yes. Persuade Hamas to stop the violent acts against Israelis yes. To create a condition whereby Palestinians choose peace over eternal conflict yes. For the Gazans to start focusing on building a nation rather than arming itself with more and more rockets and other weapons of course. Perhaps it is more than they can achieve, but after years of suffering rocket attacks with only minimal reaction, they finally decided enough is enough. They provided many examples of their desire for peace during those years, only to be met with continued hateful actions on the part of Hamas. C’mon BBC, get down off that high horse you ride and quit attacking everything Israel and whining and pining for the poor suffering Gazans. We all want peace; we all want innocent people to live good lives in secure towns. If Hamas would stop the missiles, everyone really knows that Israel would pull back.

  54. 55 Philippa
    January 13, 2009 at 19:00

    As with all wars in the former British protectorate of Palestine, what is being fought out today is not the War for Gaza, or the War for Jenin, or the War against Lebanon, etc, but the entire Israel-Palestine conflict.

    What is different this time is the army of Israeli and Jewish scholars, human rights activists and so forth who have risen, and have been given a platform, to lay out the research they have done over the past years, and express extremely self-critical points of view. A number of them are in favour of the One-State Solution. The One-State Solution itself now has a legitimate platform.

    The question is not whether Israelis or Palestinians will win in Gaza, but which Israelis will emerge the winners in Gaza. 1/ This growing army of concerned Jews and Israelis, who have in the past been systematically and actively excluded from air time in the Western media? 2/ Or the likes of Sharon, Olmert, and Co?

  55. 56 Guy Stevens
    January 13, 2009 at 19:00

    Israel doesnt care what the world thinks. Israel would rather be wrong in your eyes and stay alive then be right in your eyes and commit national suicide

  56. 57 Ibrahim, Baghdad
    January 13, 2009 at 19:07

    Unfortunately, Israel and the US have created a new generation of extremists that we all have to live and deal with in the near future. Thus far, in the war business, Israel and the US will be making more money in the year(s) to come. They will have more control over their people and they can make more mess in the world (as one of them did in the last few years) arguing it’s a “National Security” matter, with this phrase anything would be justified. It’s too late, and it’s so sad.

  57. January 13, 2009 at 19:24

    Hamas are winning because they can continue to do what they were doing before the war began. Israel will win if it is patient and continues to fight until Hamas is completely incapable of attacking Israel, even if that means that the war goes on for a long time, and lots of Palestinians get killed. This war is about determination. I hope Israel will be more determined than Hamas and that Hamas is completely defeated by the end. I don’t want a ceasefire.

  58. January 13, 2009 at 19:30

    Cleanly Israel is wining and more people are dieting because Hamas leaders and fighters are using them. Finally, if you look at the current picture in Gaza from Hamas arm storage or positions that been damage, you always see children standing around, so my question, is how do you separate Hamas fighter from civilian? Why parents can not tell their children to stay away if they are not part of this war? However, I’m appearing to Hamas leaders and those who speak on the air to tell Hamas to stop the rock because it is not helping his people in Gaza they are dieting. If you continue asking this question “who is wining the war” the answer from Hamas supporter will be “Hamas” because they do not fear death.

  59. 60 Christopher Tasy (California)
    January 13, 2009 at 19:49

    Hamas is winning the media war. Inexplicably, the world body that placed Israel into existence 60 years sgo is now condemning her for protecting its borders. Differing views of history aside, the clear aggressors are Hamas (and Hezbollah in Lebanon), whose stated mission is to destroy the Israeli state and return -?- the land to the Palestinians. Israel knows from history that when one negotiates with terrorists (for example, Hitler’s Germany), the terrorists ignore the terms. Until Hamas renounces its goals of destroying Israel, there will be no peace.

  60. 61 Bruno
    January 13, 2009 at 19:49

    If you think Israel is really serious about peace, then just answer this question : why illegal settlements continue to be built in the west bank ??

  61. January 13, 2009 at 19:56

    I see a media bias and double standard, the BBC presenters were very heavy handed on Israel and it’s strength and how it has abused it’s advantage, but what is unsaid by the BCC, is most reporters do NOT hold Hamas to the same level of expectation, in fact there seems to be a nonchalent Media attitude of ” oh well Hamas is firing rockets, BUT look at what Israel is doing!”

    One thing IS correct, there will not be a end to violence until the west especially the media quit handling Hamas with kid gloves, REPORT Hamas using civilian areas, REPORT firing from civilian areas, retreating then blaming israel on strikes. Israel IS showing video of how they are working to reduce civilian casualties, for HAMS they specifically and directly commit acts for the expressed purpose OF causing civilian casualties, for western media to report, and western media KEEPS buying the crap.

  62. 63 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    January 13, 2009 at 20:11


    BBC: Who’s “winning”?


    The short answer is: Both sides are losers. Why don’t they think about the future? The kids on both sides.


    This comment of mine was published after a LONG delay and now (at approximately 20:05 GMT) has disappeared!?!

    If the BBC and/or the moderator who deleted this comment have the guts; please publish it again and I’d like the contributors to tell me which part of the ‘Contributors’ Charter’ was violated?!?

    Yikes! This blog is going downhill! On a topic like Israel & Palestine to have just 59 responses is indeed telling!

  63. 64 Annette / France
    January 13, 2009 at 20:23

    No one will win. An evil one is laughing at the slaughtering on boths sides. No one stops to ask: my God, what shall we do? What do You want?
    I feel extremely sorry for all those in fear, pain, loss in that area.

  64. 65 Shannon
    January 13, 2009 at 20:38

    I have wondered the point of international diplomacy now for some time. It seems to me the U.N “condemns” all these actions yet, few if any are ever stopped! It’s frustrating! Anyway, I do not believe Israel is winning this war. They are certainly not winning hearts and minds of Gazans… Does Israel really think their incursions will stop Hamas rockets? They claim they are not after regime change but if Hamas is anti-Israel by credo then what exactly is their goal? War never has winners only losers and in terms of the war of influence or power in the world, I would say few will look upon the massive civilian casualty count as popular; regardless of Hamas’ tactics or motives. Nobody likes it when kids are killed and Israel will not win the popularity war now or in the long run–regardless of outcome.

  65. January 13, 2009 at 20:59

    They gretest losers are the innocent men women and children of Gaza, they owe their sufferings to the most dispicable leader of Gaza who loudly applauds all that is happening in Gaza from the comfort of sheltering in Syria. He is in no doubt resposible for the war being raged and does not have the slightest interest or regard for the well being of the palestenians in Gaza. Such a man should be awarded the world medal of cowardice and held by all palestianians to account for his resposibility and guilt, placed before a firing squad and shot to death.
    He too is the reason for the closing of the border which when open, he sent his terrorists into Israel to commit acts of terrorism. Not satisfied enough, he used the recent truce to smuggle an abundance of rockets and arms from Iran and Syria to to fire hundreds of rockets into Israel killing innocent civillians and was proud of having done so. Accordingly Iran and Syria are guilty of waging the war in Gaza by proxy. It would be fitting for Israel to give them a taste of their own medicine should they choose to do so.
    As to the UN peace proposition, Israel has said it would be unworkable, simply because Hamas will use it to reinforce themselves with more rockets possibly with a longer range, which could land on major cities in Israel. Whilst Hamas too has rejected it fully aware their smuggling of arms would be curtailed.
    Strange as it may seem the leader of Hamas finds glory in the deaths of his fellow palestineans, for him to stop and give up would mean that there will be no more arms comming into Gaza. If he is half a man he would give up for the sake of the suffering of the people of Gaza.

  66. 67 Alan Beutal
    January 13, 2009 at 21:36

    Israel pulls out of Gaza, asking for nothing in return, and what do the Palestinians do? Instead of acting as an example and trying to show Israel and the world that they can live in peace next to the Jewish nation and at least attempt to function as a state (there would be no shortage of international aid coming into the Gaza enclave), they instead choose to lob hundreds of missiles into Israel. That’s really going to persuade the Israelis into giving more land up in the future. Great thinking! And they talk about being “proportionate”? Should Israel wait until the Palestinians have the capability of launching hundreds more missiles Israel with greater accuracy and heavier payloads?

  67. 68 Arch Stanton
    January 13, 2009 at 21:37

    For me it seems clear that both sides have everything to gain by maintaining an aggressive stance. For as long as the war rages on, each side can continue to justify completely irrational behavior. In the end, the ideological battle has to do less with Israel and Gaza as nations and more to do with religious precedent. After all, who claims to be the chosen people of God?

  68. January 13, 2009 at 22:23

    War is winning and peace a taking a good bashing…

  69. 70 Andrew
    January 14, 2009 at 01:25

    Thus far I believe Israel has been victorious. How many hundreds of Hammas soldiers have died in comparison to Israeli casualties. Its just like the Iraq war that so many people say the Coalition lost, how can that be true when if you look at the number of casualties suffered by the two sides. Clearly the Coalition won.

  70. 71 Ujjwal
    January 14, 2009 at 02:53

    If this is a war between two countries, Israel is winning. If it a war against Israel and “terrorist orgization” Hamas as the world says, then the resisting Hamas is winning, because they are continuing to do so. What is their plan by the way, to erase hamas for gaza, or to fill the gazan’s mind with so much fear that they will never appose Israel in any short of way. Well nither is going to be acomplished. Israel nither can eliminate hamas, and what they are doing will only give the palestinians in gaza more hatred and rage towards Israel. They say gazan’s are being held hostage by hamas they use them as human sheilds but where have you seen armies flatenning the whole city to kill the terrorist. Neither Hamas has any rights to fire any rockets in attempt to harm Israel’s innocent civilians, nor does Israel has any rights to kill any Gazan’s. Attempe to murder and murder stands as the same in the court of law. If Hama’s is a terrorist organization then so is Israel’s current leadership for inflicting violance and terror throught the world. May god show no mercy to the leaders of both sides.

  71. January 14, 2009 at 04:52

    Israel can win, but they have to flat get with it and sweep in kill more Hamas fighters and find where they are stashing all their weapons.

    Time is dragging on. They will need to wear down the enemy and rattle and starve them out. maybe two more months. They, Israel do need to attack, find close with and pressure them.

    If Israel weakens and loses heart…….. stops their will on the battlefield and flat stops everything without Hamas being completely spent…..Israel will lose.

    They had better flat get with it and hammer them like they have never been hammered before. Otherwise Hamas will claim victory and together with Hezbolla think they can continue to work on destroying Israel.


  72. January 14, 2009 at 09:30

    i think Isreal is winning but just for the moment they are winning a never ending war

  73. 74 Roberto
    January 14, 2009 at 10:09

    RE “” Who’s “winning” ?”””

    —————- The arms manufacturers, of course. That and forces of evil that have Israel needing to bristle with weapons to fend off attacking hordes of Arabs since it’s existence.

    ‘Bout sick of the apologists claiming Palestinian violence is due to blocked borders when until 2000 there were several years of open borders and ability to travel and trade freely. Yet the Palestinians attacked with a wave of 100+ suicide bombers which closed off travel and trade. There will be no end of the violence until Pals accept the rights of Israel to exist and get rid of the terrorists.

    All of Israel’s critics won’t amount to a bucket of boiled spit until they learn to follow a timeline of events and understand the true threat of murderous Islamic racism. Forget the nonsense of returning to 67 borders. Didn’t stop them in 67 any more than 48 borders did.

    Nor are these critics howling for the return of Pakistan to all the Indian refugees who fled for their lives upon the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in this same period any more than they are mideast Jewish refugees who had to flee their lives.

    Pity is that Israel needs legitimate critics, but the precious few that exist are drowning in the violence as well.

  74. 75 Thomas
    January 14, 2009 at 10:10

    Day by day the BBC is presenting Hamas as a legitimized force suggesting Israel a aggressor. The irony is that this tiny country has decided to live and Britain and it’s broadcast has decided to commit suicide to it’s western values in the name of some pacifist ideology. Shame on the BBC, you have gone dhimmie, living under predominantly islamic rule. Your thinking has been biased sonce long ago.

  75. 76 Ibrahim
    January 14, 2009 at 10:18

    To quote an interesting comment from another site:
    “Killing your opponent doesn’t mean you’ve won the argument”.

    Dispossession of Palestinians is not acceptable.
    “Population transfer” of Arabs out of their lands is not acceptable.
    Occupation of Arab land is not acceptable.
    Illegal settlements, walls, checkpoitns ets are not acceptable.
    Blockading Gaza’s land, seas and air and starving the people of Gaza is not acceptable.

    This is the criminal reality that Palestinians are fighting against. Yesterday it was Arafat who was leading the fight against this injustice, today it is Hamas, tomorrow it will be someone else.
    Israel has been forever killing it’s opponents but has yet to win the argument.

  76. January 14, 2009 at 11:08

    There can be and will not be a winner or a loser; in fact, both are losing. For Israel, occupation of land and inflicting diproportionate loss of Arab lives equals ‘winning’ which is deeply flawed. That was the origin of the ‘trouble’ and to relive it is to make their case worse, still worsenned by USA which holds the key to a suucesful resolution if only, if only, it will turn the key in the right direction towards a just settlement. Will it after January 20th? May well be the last available opportunity.

  77. 78 Dodoy
    January 14, 2009 at 12:26

    I believe BBC is doing a good job by posting the pro-Israel comments whatever they were (even though some of those comments promote hatred and encourage killing civilians) and censoring comments posted by anti-Israel commenters especially from the Middle East.

    We faced that on BBC blog in 2006, and now it is the same. Nobody is allowed to tell the Middle-eastern point of view. This will leave BBC alone, and will make people in the Middle East release that it is not only the European governments who opposed the UN resolution for stopping the ongoing slaughter in Gaza, but also the European press and media who are hiding the truth.

    Go ahead BBC, show us the reality about people who don’t want Peace in the Middle east, like some commenters here.

  78. 79 Dodoy
    January 14, 2009 at 12:27

    correct the following line:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    to be

    Your comment is awaiting censorship.

  79. 80 Peter Ravenscroft
    January 14, 2009 at 12:42

    I neither know nor particularly care who is “winning,” I just wish it would stop. But I do think Israel is signing its death warrant, long term. It is losing its international support, perhaps forever.

    Below are two ditties, sent today to Mrs Livni and Co,., under the headline,
    “Some jingles for your pilots and tank commanders to hum”

    Zippi Livni, are you out of your mind?

    Zippi Livni, are you out of your mind,
    have you gone barking mad,
    or are you just blind?
    If you merely search their pockets,
    you’ll see its not the three-year-olds
    who’re the lunatics firing those rockets.


    Zippi Livni’s Christmas party

    Zippi Livni’s Christmas party
    went on for a week
    and all the kids go so excited
    some could barely speak

    And then about three hundred,
    completely lost their heads
    which had to be stored in boxes
    underneath their beds

    While the rest of then, safe
    in the dugong trees
    warmed the hands they had
    on the phosphorus breeze.

    There’s no point asking Zipi why.
    We are watching a fell dream
    fall from the sky.
    We are watching a fairytale die.

    Public domain. Improve, ignore or use to suit.

  80. 81 Peace Seeker
    January 14, 2009 at 14:11

    Good day All.

    Who’s winning? As we have come to expect Israel will eventually kill more civilians and militants and destroy more infrasture and the majority of onlookers and combatants locally and internationally will come to the conclusion that Israel won.

    But isn’t Israel’s inevitable victory phyrric? Because Israel’s disproportionate use of brute force will only steelify the resolve of radical muslims both in palestine, the middle east and worlwide to hate Israel more even to the core.

    In the same way Israel does not recognize international borders when pursuing her enemies, radical muslim will target Jews and Jewish symbols globally.

    Both Hamas and Israel have once again open the pandora box and who is willing and/or capable of closing it?

    Peace and Love.

  81. 82 Chen
    January 14, 2009 at 16:59

    Guy fro France “Israel doesnt care what the world thinks. Israel would rather be wrong in your eyes and stay alive then be right in your eyes and commit national suicide.”
    Are you sure what Isreal is doing and has been doing since 1967 is not suicide? Any military winning of Isreal will increase the risk to its existence. Remember, the Romans who also “won” and expelled the Jews are no longer exist.
    What the world thinks about Isreal matters greatly to Isreal: what the world thought about the suffering of the Jewish people during WWII helped establish Isreal. Could it survive without the support of world opinion? Isreal clearly knows it and is fighting a PR war as well.
    If Isreal doesn’t care what the world thinks, in many cases, violates international law, it has no right to invoke international law to justify its actions (right to self defense), and call someone terrorist which is defined by international law.
    It took 2000 years for the Jewish people to have their own country, and I hope they are wise enough to not lose it in a much shorter period.

  82. 83 Alan Beutal
    January 15, 2009 at 07:16

    Arch Stanton argues that a continuation of the (Gaza) war and that an “aggressive stance” by both sides is beneficial to both antagonists. That may be the good and the bad, but what about the ugly? Israel has been dealing with a constant military threat since its foundation. It has tried negotiating with its enemies, those that have called for the State of Israel’s destruction even in the midst of negotiations. (Arafat would say one thing in English and then the same day call for “Holy War” and “Jihad” in Arabic away from the world’s press). Yes. There will be no ending to this. One wishes that one could deal with the likes of King Hussein of Jordan of Anwar Sadat of Egypt. But today, it is Hamas, Assad and Ahmadinejad that hold the balance of power and they do not want peace. Hey! Just listen to their own words.

  83. January 15, 2009 at 07:40


    When finally the shooting stops, both Hamas rockets and Israeli bombardment, what happens next.?
    By all accounts the vast majority of Gaza’s administrative buildings have been reduced to rubble by Israel’s attacks. Gaza is a basket case that will take years to repair.
    Who will pay the cost of repair?
    Who will do the work?
    Will Israel allow Gaza to be re-built?
    If Likud wins power in Israel on February 10th I suspect that they will block any move to make Gaza a place that the Palestinians can live in with dignity. If they do then Israel will loose the chance of peace with the Palestinians for another generation.

  84. 85 Ibrahim in UK
    January 15, 2009 at 16:20

    Israel is certainly not winning any friends in the UN that’s for sure.
    When Israel bombed the UN school, it said it was because militants had taken refuge in the school. When that was proven to be false, Israel changed it’s story and apologised for a stray bomb that accidentally hit the school.
    When Israel bombed the UN HQ this morning, it said it was because militants had fired from that area. When that was proven to be false, Israel changed it’s story and apologised for the stray tank shell that accidentally hit the HQ.
    This seriously raises doubts on their constant claims that all loss of civilian life is purely down to their story that Hamas is firing from civilian areas.
    Unfortunately the Western media does not challenge this pre-conditioned well-rehearsed Israeli response to attacks on Palestinian civilians, nor do they air any rebuttals from the Palestinian side… not that the West has ever given credence to the words of Palestinians.

  85. 86 Dr.ANIL TEWARI
    January 15, 2009 at 16:22

    As there is no option before the Israil but to fight for its existance.Ultimatly the on going war will once again establish that international community is the silent supporter of Israil’s effort whether it is right or wrong.

  86. 87 John LaGrua/New York
    January 15, 2009 at 18:26

    The use of the win /lose concept in this tragedy is to trivalize the human suffering that is occuring and the enduring hatred that it will bring.The horrific brutality of Isreal’s attachk on the Gazan civilians has shown not only the moral bankruptcy of the Isreali policy but demonstrates, vividly , the vapid moral hollowness of what once was the Christian West.The descent into barbarism only requires silent acquisense Edmund Burke ” The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men remain silent” The silence is deafening.!

  87. 88 Sue, Denver Colorado
    January 15, 2009 at 18:28

    I am amzed that my government still supports Isreal. I hear a report last night that 1/3 of Palestinians killed in Gaza are children. When a major of the Isreal army was questioned on this, her reponse what that Hamas is dressing in civilian clothing. Please, a 2 years child can be mistaken as a Hamas soldier in civilian clothing? Pres Ombama! Please stop sending arms to Isreal and supporting them!!!!

  88. January 15, 2009 at 19:12

    At the moment, no one wins, and certainly it is not Israel who will win the war.

    The war will go on. It will never stop. Probably it will go on for another 500 or 600 years.

    This war between the Jews and Palestinians would stop only when the Jew population in Israel is diluted by the Palestinians by shear number. The time when Jews politicians would require votes from the Palestinian in order to survive and win the election.

    That will be another 600 years.

  89. 90 Peter Stanslaus,Dar es Salaam
    January 16, 2009 at 10:33

    To be honest Isreal are the one who are winning this war as you see that only 13 Isrealites died an thousands of the palestines died and wounded within the first 19 days of war in gaza. So this is widely open that the Isrealites are the one who are winning the war in Gaza. thats is what i see due to the feedback i see from the reporters

  90. 91 Dodoy
    January 17, 2009 at 08:15

    Peter Stanslaus,Dar es Salaam

    Winnig a war is not about who many people were killed on both sides.

    Algeria lost 1000000 martyrs to gain its freedom from the French occupation, does that make France th winning party?

  91. 92 Joe Polly
    January 17, 2009 at 13:48

    As usual the 52nd State is saying ” We’re the toughest kid on the block and you’d better not mess with us!”. More chance of getting peace with Genghis Khan.

  92. 93 Alan Beutal
    January 18, 2009 at 04:33

    Good one, Dodoy! I was going to same the same thing about Mr. Stanslaus in Tanzania. Wars are not won on body counts. The Soviet Union lost 20 million fighting the Germans in World War Two but chased the Wehrmacht and that Chaplin lookalike all the way back to Berlin. But you have a large body count in Gaza on the Palestinian side because Hamas has no care for the civilian death toll as it hides its fighters and weapons caches deeply penetrated amongst the civilian population. In fact,a high civilian death toll suits Hamas just fine, as it wants to get the sympathy of the world. Unfortunately, Hamas does succeed in doing this, if not much else.

  93. 94 narupuran Nepal
    January 18, 2009 at 07:38

    The simple answer who’s winning is America.. Just imagine … who is having battle…… Palestine and the Israel. isn’t it but the winner is America…… Just imagine what does that mean… Israel is just a slave of America…… it useless to talk against America… May be who ever against American infterfer is widely knows as terrorist…..
    America should Say Just praise me or you will die……..
    In battle nobody wins even you have can keep all your money oneside of the scale and the other the tears of child or victims people will be weight… so please stop it…..

  94. 95 Alan Beutal
    January 20, 2009 at 06:45

    I think narupuran is getting a little wobbly high up there in the Himalayas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: