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WikiLeaks: Israel Plans Total War on Lebanon, Gaza | World | AlterNet


World  (tags: Wikileaks, Israel, Lebanon, Gaza, U.S._congressional_delegation )

Just
- 1415 days ago - alternet.org
The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has summarized an Israeli military briefing by Israeli Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi of a US congressional delegation a little over a year ago and concludes that: (proceed to article)



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Comments

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 2:36 pm

This story was brought to my attention by a trusted Care2 friend; and I'm interested in comments regarding it.

 

Ben Oscarsito (342)
Friday January 7, 2011, 2:54 pm
Thanks, Dear Carole!
From the article:
"You know, Israel could have a peace treaty with Syria and Lebanon tomorrow by giving back the Golan Heights and the Shebaa Farms, and by accepting a two-state solution. Instead, its Dr. Strangeloves are planning out massive bombings of areas thick with innocent civilians and willing to subject Tel Aviv to two months worth of rocket fire..."
(Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan)

I can't think of anything to add, but don't tell me that Israel want peace and a two-state solution...
 

Ralph R Sutton (56)
Friday January 7, 2011, 2:56 pm
The fact that Israel has plans for all out war against Lebanon and Gaza doesn't really mean a lot. They probably have similar plans for Syria, Egypt, Iran, and any number of their potential enemies. The US has war plans for all out war against any number of countries around the world. Just because you have a plan doesn't mean you are going to act on that plan without good reason, it simply means you are being prepared for the possibility.
 

John Goodspeed (79)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:10 pm
If we were going to do the right thing, we'd tell Israel that, if they take the first shot we will decare it to be an act of war against the United States and we will act accordingly.

We won't do that though. We'll probably let them get away with it. At best they will simply lose all of the foreign, military, and other aid they are presently receiving from the U.S. I would add more to that though. I would make it a felony for Americans to send financial aid to Israel for starting an "agressive war". Maybe the pro Zionists will then move to Israel and put their money where their hearts are. That can be their choice.

But I'm getting ahead of the story. Perhaps this is bad information and all the ideas I have won't be necessary. Or maybe now that Lebanon is warned a sneak attack will no longer work.
 

Ben Oscarsito (342)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:13 pm
From BBC today:
"West Bank: UN warns of new Israeli controls"
The United Nations says it is increasingly concerned that Israel is about to tighten access restrictions to the occupied West Bank.
It has been briefing aid agencies that Israel could soon increase restrictions and strengthen its checkpoints.
The Israeli army declined to comment but privately officials acknowledge that changes will take place in the coming months.
Israel controls all movement in and out of the Palestinian territory.

The West Bank has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.
It is not know what form those changes will take. But UN officials say they fear they could involve making it more difficult for foreign workers to travel between Israel and the West Bank without getting pre-arranged permission.
They also believe the changes would make it harder for Palestinians living in Israel, especially Jerusalem, to gain access to the West Bank. They also say it would make it harder to get goods in and out.

'More like Gaza'
The UN says it fears Israel could tighten its procedures so that entering and leaving the West Bank could become more like getting in and out of Gaza, where extremely tight restrictions apply.
"The collective punishment of 1.5 millions in Gaza has severely damaged Israel's image around the world. I can not see how establishing a Gaza-style crossing regime would be in anyone's interest," said Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency which provides support for Palestinian refugees.
"I fervently urge Israel not to push ahead with its plan," he added.
In recent months Israel has been carrying out building work to expand some of its West Bank checkpoints, making them appear more permanent.
To be continued...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12137377
 

Ben Oscarsito (342)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:23 pm
"How Israel Abandoned a Peace Deal With Syria" (The Epoch Times, december 6)
The collapse of the Israeli-Syrian near peace agreement was the most troubling episode that deepened the growing rift between Turkey and Israel over Iran.
Perhaps the primary cause behind the rapid deterioration of Israeli-Turkish relations before Iran became central to their rift is Turkey’s disappointment over the failure of Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to conclude an Israeli-Syrian peace. Turkey felt betrayed by Olmert, who failed to deliver the peace agreement with Syria which was painstakingly mediated by Ankara.

Prime Minister Erdogan, who invested heavy political capital to mediate between Damascus and Jerusalem, was expecting to witness the signing of a peace treaty, but was instead confronted in January 2009 with the news that Israel invaded Gaza.
From Turkey’s perspective, an Israeli-Syrian peace could have fundamentally changed the geopolitical conditions throughout the Middle East and led to the resolution of other conflicts while fostering long-term regional stability. In essence, it was a historic opportunity that was squandered by Israel...
To be continued:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/48783/
Israel want peace...??? -Tell me about it!
 

AWAYNOW M. (463)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:39 pm
Just C...

Reading this news at site it is quite a situation! Also, kinda sounds to me like they want a war...Well, (DEEP SUBJECT) this will really do the USA in especially, when we stick our foot in it! Other than that, I feel dumbfounded with all that is going on -- let's build all of the weapons we can "SAY EVERY COUNTRY" Korea, IRAN, etc. etc....thus the USA feels the need to keep up...what happens to all of these weapons~~ Especially, if some KOOK gets in there and sets a few of them off????

Personally, I don't think these countries will EVER IN MY LIFETIME GET ALONG, and from of the sound of it, my LIFETIME MAY END UP IN A BOMB...ESP???UMMM Had a dream last night about having a heart scan and the computer said (IN THE MIDDLE OF MY HEART) BOMB READY TO EXPLODE...probably, was dreaming about our FRIGGING WORLD and all of the stupid politics!
 

Karen S. (106)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:44 pm
It would seem to me that the Bush Administration set a precedent on issues like this by unilaterally deciding to send their military into Iraq against the wishes of the majority of UN members. It would be hypocritical for them to take measures against Israel for doing the same thing. Is there a double standard here? If the US sees Israel acting on this plan as an aggressive move, they are merely looking at their own reflection.

Thanks, Carole for the article!
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:45 pm

Good point, Marilyn!

We spend hundreds of billions preparing for war (and assume that citizens will voluntarily sacrifice their children to that end) . . . but how much do we expend for PEACE?

(And WHY do we feel the need to police the rest of the world -- when those in this country are in need?)
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:48 pm

Thanks, Karen.

I think we're all starting to wake up to the realization that our involvement with other countries has little to do with philanthropy and more to do with creating/sustaining partnerships for future offensive ventures.
 

AWAYNOW M. (463)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:51 pm
Frankly Just C...I would adore no planes, ships etc and have North America sitting by itself without any threat, that NOW would be a DREAM!
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:52 pm

Dearest Bengt -- Always glad to see we're reading the same book, and are on pretty much the same page!
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:56 pm

I agree, Marilyn!

Oh, would I LOVE it if this country would adopt the same protocols as many others -- we do NOT engage in wars unless directly threatened.

(But, then, of course, they'd "manufacture" threats to justify the continued sustenance of those who run this country, with war and weapons of murder as their chief product.)

 

AWAYNOW M. (463)
Friday January 7, 2011, 3:58 pm
Just C...sadly POLITICS!!!! WAR goes hand in had with LYING!
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 4:05 pm
To many of us, it would seem bizarre to in the face of such disapproval world wide for what Israel has been does for them to double down, but consider what the right does when wounded to to whom they play. It seems that to even consider the wrongness of a position is to concede but to double down on even a morally bankrupt position holds the promise of success as to some strength alone or the illusion of it is virtue or perhaps drowns virtue out with the sound of the jack boot marching.

http://www.truth-out.org/breaking-israel-palestine-deadlock66511
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 4:05 pm
has been doing....uhh
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 4:12 pm

Robert, haven't you ever questioned why -- even after major revelations of corruption and lies are proven and publicly released -- so many Americans, and others worldwide, still don't even blink about it? (Business, as usual, continues.)

How much of a HUGE EXPOSE' do we need before people get angry, or otherwise even react???
 

Dana H. (229)
Friday January 7, 2011, 4:28 pm
Of Lambs and Lions-
"I do not fear an army of lions if they are led by a lamb. I do fear an army of sheep if they are led by a lion.".Alexander the Great
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 4:53 pm
Ok Dana, how about a little explanation to go with the blurb.

Carole, You know I have. They rise up in France the country we so may on the right distain. Funny isn't it. Its seems we won't rise up until someone turns off the TV and by then our resources are gone and the fight for survival is on and our voices reduced to that of the hapless, poor sots who should have planned better. Homeless who should have known American did not love them, but loved only the riches had by abandoning them, and hiring China and India and Indonesia, etc. The world wonders why we do not rise up. Its as we did not know we were next. Sheep to the slaughter. America waits for it to happen to them, and by then its too late. When it was still happened to those others out there, we had a chance, and still we have a chance because they have not come for us yet but time is short. When Roosevelt called out the national guard, it was to protect the workers from Industry and police who always have a job and are just doing it...
We have no Roosevelt now.
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 4:57 pm
I'm sorry, I'm off topic I suppose. Just thinking out loud dear friend.
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:02 pm

No, you're not, darlin'.

It's MY story and I can ask all the questions I want! [stamping foot]

Hehehehehehe!
 

AWAYNOW M. (463)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:07 pm
Just C and Robert, the comment that I adore is "I am just going to think out loud"...
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:09 pm

Yeah, that Robert's a sly guy! ROFLMAO
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:19 pm
A paraphrase in quotes... good enough. :) you smile in my general direction? It beats the python version.
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:22 pm

Awwwww . . . You knows we loves ya, Robert!
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:26 pm

Here's a creepy aside . . .

A friend of mine referred this story to me. As a favor, I said I'd post it if no one else had. When I went to submit it, I wasn't stopped as a "duplicate," so I posted it. Later, another friend advised me that it had already been submitted by Cal, and she sent me a copy of a post she'd made on it.

BUT (and a big one), when she tried to add another comment to his story later, the submission had DISAPPEARED! (I tried, but couldn't find it either!)

Hmmmmmmmmmm . . .
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:35 pm
The Python version...for those who didn't get the reference.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OzIMHowtL8

Yeah. I knows. Thats why I was smilin. :)... oh my gosh, I drooled. Anyway comic relief has its place. Peace and love and activism.
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:39 pm

Now, look here, my good man . . . ladies do not fart in ANYONE'S general direction!

(and I shall always remember that in case I meet a lady)
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:56 pm
Groucho (.
(. {
 

AWAYNOW M. (463)
Friday January 7, 2011, 5:59 pm
Marx??????????????????
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:04 pm
Oh yes. That was his delivery though without the raising of eyebrows as reference... it could be May West for all I know.
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:09 pm
Thanks for posting C. Entirely Noteworthy, and the topic also.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:10 pm
This article was already posted on Care2 (though it seems to have been deleted), so I will say here what I said there (if I can remember it all). Juan Cole may be a good historian, but a military expert he is definitely not. His interpretations of statements and situations are totally wrong.

First, the stockpiled rockets could not possibly be for defensive use. They are so inaccurate that they sometimes miss the whole towns at which they are fired, You literally could not hit the broadside of a barn with those things, except from close quarters. Having seen videos of them being fired, any soldier who gives Hezbollah or Hamas a minute to set those rockets up and fire in close quarters, without just shooting them, probably deserves what is coming his way. I could go into detail as to why those rockets are so useless for defense if anyone asks.

Second, non-restriction of fighting in urban areas is not the same as "total war". These forces operate out of urban areas. Their standard defense is to strike from densely populated areas and then mount political pressure to keep Israel from striking at them (or stop an existing operation), claiming that Israel is actually attacking the civilians rather than the militants among them. Those claims are bolstered by the inevitable deaths of civilians during fighting in densely populated areas. Looking at how every single Israeli strike against Palestinian militias or Hezbollah has ever ended, Ashkenazi's statement was clearly an attempt to preempt their expected defense.
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:18 pm

Thanks for reposting, Stephen! I hope this submission doesn't mysteriously disappear (as Cal's seems to have).
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:38 pm
Oops, I forgot the political and legal parts:
It is not actually a war crime to bomb a heavily populated area. The current standard is that the expected military gain must be significant, and destroying stockpiles of an enemy's primary offensive weapons (rockets) or striking at concentrations of enemy forces are major military gains.

There is little reason to believe Israel could get peace by giving back the Golan and the farms. There was war before 1967, so what makes him think that returning to those conditions would solve anything?

Israel holds Hamas responsible for everything from the Gaza Strip because that is the responsibility it claimed when it offerred Israel peace. If Hamas cannot control Gaza, it cannot offer peace. This is simple recognition of Hamas' authority in Gaza, and the responsibility which comes with such authority.

As for Cole's worry that the U.S. could lose its civil liberties by supporting Israel, I think those liberties would be lost far faster through support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and through them their theocratic dictatorial patron. Anyone here want to ally with a theocratic "managed democracy" where any candidate the Ayatollah doesn't prefer gets disqualified, against a proportional representative democracy?
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:45 pm
Israel has not sold its position well by acting in the way it has on settlements. They don't seem concerned with how we who pay in blood and treasure for their security perceive their actions in this regard. Their insistence on continuing this blatantly, illegal, greedy, and counter productive action has worn my patience away to nothing. I do not support them. And by them, I mean the aggressive military state which makes decisions which cost my country dearly. The very same country which has been caught spying here more than once. Thumbs their noses at us and grabs ever more. Our Ally... Israel.
 

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:53 pm
For some reason all I can think of is the song One Tin Soldier.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qswm7lHp7oY

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
'Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they'd kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
"With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there."

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after....
One tin soldier rides away.

Now the valley cried with anger,
"Mount your horses! Draw your sword!"
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it...
"Peace on Earth" was all it said.
 

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:55 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Just because you have done so within the last week.
Thank you Carole
It's a sad world we live in when all governments do is plot to kill and over throw, instead of joining forces to save all life.
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 6:58 pm

Wow, Kathy! Your "One Tin Soldier" post brought me to tears! (and I never have a green star when I need one)

I am so FRIGGIN' sick of reading of people being murdered -- when there is NOTHING noble about the reasons.
 

Linda G. (187)
Friday January 7, 2011, 7:00 pm
While I was an ardent supporter of Israel for many years, I am now rethinking my position. I realize that after centuries of persecution they felt they needed their own country to be safe. However, now that I see that they are persecuting Palestinians much as they were persecuted, I am losing sympathy for them quickly. They say they want peace but keep building new settlements in occupied areas. I fear that the religious extremists there will provoke war anywhere in the region to keep taking over Palestinians and any neighbor who doesn't "recognize" them. The war plans may be benign as Ralph suggests, a purely defensive measure but I see more hawks than doves there.
 

Lyn Z. (293)
Friday January 7, 2011, 7:09 pm
No need for me to say a word. You have all said what needed to be said.
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 7:11 pm
While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as "delegitimation" - that is, objections to its crimes....and withdrawal of participation in them – and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine.

The “de legitimation,” which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S. “to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel’s spending in support of settlements,” and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, “including prohibitions against discrimination” – which would cast a wide net. Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long step forward in December, when Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil recognized the State of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), bringing the number of supporting nations to more than 100.

International lawyer John Whitbeck estimates that 80-90 percent of the world’s population live in states that recognize Palestine, while 10-20 percent recognize the Republic of Kosovo. The U.S. recognizes Kosovo but not Palestine. Accordingly, as Whitbeck writes in Counterpunch, media “act as though Kosovo’s independence were an accomplished fact while Palestine’s independence is only an aspiration which can never be realized without Israeli-American consent,” reflecting the normal workings of power in the international arena.

Given the scale of Israeli settlement of the West Bank, it has been argued for more a decade that the international consensus on a two-state settlement is dead, or mistaken (though evidently most of the world does not agree). Therefore those concerned with Palestinian rights should call for Israeli takeover of the entire West Bank, followed by an anti-apartheid struggle of the South African variety that would lead to full citizenship for the Arab population there.

The argument assumes that Israel would agree to the takeover. It is far more likely that Israel will instead continue the programs leading to annexation of the parts of the West Bank that it is developing, roughly half the area, and take no responsibility for the rest, thus defending itself from the “demographic problem” – too many non-Jews in a Jewish state – and meanwhile severing besieged Gaza from the rest of Palestine.

One analogy between Israel and South Africa merits attention. Once apartheid was implemented, South African nationalists recognized they were becoming international pariahs because of it. In 1958, however, the foreign minister informed the U.S. ambassador that U.N. condemnations and other protests were of little concern as long as South Africa was supported by the global hegemon – the United States. By the 1970s, the U.N. declared an arms embargo, soon followed by boycott campaigns and divestment. South Africa reacted in ways calculated to enrage international opinion. In a gesture of contempt for the U.N. and President Jimmy Carter – who failed to react so as not to disrupt worthless negotiations – South Africa launched a murderous raid on the Cassinga refugee camp in Angola just as the Carter-led “contact group” was to present a settlement for Namibia. The similarity to Israel’s behavior today is striking – for example, the attack on Gaza in January 2009 and on the Gaza freedom flotilla in May 2010.

When President Reagan took office in 1981, he lent full support to South Africa’s domestic crimes and its murderous depredations in neighboring countries. The policies were justified in the framework of the war on terror that Reagan had declared on coming into office. In 1988, Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress was designated one of the world’s “more notorious terrorist groups” (Mandela himself was only removed from Washington’s “terrorist list” in 2008). South Africa was defiant, and even triumphant, with its internal enemies crushed, and enjoying solid support from the one state that mattered in the global system.

Shortly after, U.S. policy shifted. U.S. and South African business interests very likely realized they would be better off by ending the apartheid burden. And apartheid soon collapsed. South Africa is not the only recent case where ending U.S. support for crimes has led to significant progress. Can such a transformative shift happen in Israel’s case, clearing the way to a diplomatic settlement? Among the barriers firmly in place are the very close military and intelligence ties between the U.S. and Israel.

The most outspoken support for Israeli crimes comes from the business world. U.S. high-tech industry is closely integrated with its Israeli counterpart. To cite just one example, the world’s largest chip manufacturer, Intel, is establishing its most advanced production unit in Israel.

A U.S. cable released by WikiLeaks reveals that Rafael military industries in Haifa is one of the sites considered vital to U.S. interests due to its production of cluster bombs; Rafael had already moved some operations to the U.S. to gain better access to U.S. aid and markets. There is also a powerful Israel lobby, though of course dwarfed by the business and military lobbies.

Critical cultural facts apply, too. Christian Zionism long precedes Jewish Zionism, and is not restricted to the one-third of the U.S. population that believes in the literal truth of the Bible. When British Gen. Edmund Allenby conquered Jerusalem in 1917, the national press declared him to be Richard the Lionhearted, finally rescuing the Holy Land from the infidels.

Next, Jews must return to the homeland promised to them by the Lord. Articulating a common elite view, Harold Ickes, Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior, described Jewish colonization of Palestine as an achievement “without comparison in the history of the human race.”

There is also an instinctive sympathy for a settler-colonial society that is seen to be retracing the history of the U.S. itself, bringing civilization to the lands that the undeserving natives had misused – doctrines deeply rooted in centuries of imperialism.

To break the logjam it will be necessary to dismantle the reigning illusion that the U.S. is an “honest broker” desperately seeking to reconcile recalcitrant adversaries, and to recognize that serious negotiations would be between the U^.S.-Israel and the rest of the world.

If U.S. power centers can be compelled by popular opinion to abandon decades-old rejectionism, many prospects that seem remote might become suddenly possible.
 

Terry B. (649)
Friday January 7, 2011, 8:45 pm
The new Axis of Evil out to conquer the world just by their sheer might, Israel, Timor Leste, Paraguay, and Swaziland.

Yeh, right.
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday January 7, 2011, 8:59 pm
yawn....
 

Just Carole (338)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:00 pm

And don't come back again, Dsfsdwe!

(hehehehe)
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:11 pm
Thanks Carole. Israel (Netanyahu) is one very sick puppy and should be put down ASAP.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:13 pm

UN balks over Lebanon-Israel maritime border dispute
The United Nations will not act on a Lebanese request to delineate the country's disputed maritime border with Israel after the latter's recent discovery of huge gas reserves just off its northern Mediterranean coast. An official said the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon does not include delineating such borders.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:15 pm

Palestinians say peace is within grasp, put onus on Israel, Jan 3
Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, said on Sunday that a peace agreement with Israel could be reached within two months if only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were truly prepared to make decisions. Palestinian and Arab negotiators have prepared a UN draft resolution urging Israel to stop building Jewish settlements in areas seen as Palestinian, a measure the United States opposes.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:19 pm

Link for previous comment: Palestinians say peace is within grasp, put onus on Israel

Palestinians soon to force UN vote on Israeli settlements, Jan 6
A vote could be held as early as next week on a resolution expected to be tabled by Palestinians asking the UN Security Council to condemn the continued Israeli construction of Jewish settlements in occupied territories and parts of East Jerusalem. It is unclear whether the United States would veto the resolution, which also would reiterate an existing UN demand for the stoppage of all such construction.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:24 pm

I think it's going to get very hot in the Middle East. More gas reserves, if you know what I mean.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 7, 2011, 9:34 pm
Sprawling 'Settlements' must cease. The wall must be destroyed, Netanyahu should be too and the sun must shine on Palestine once again.
 

Melissa O. (43)
Friday January 7, 2011, 10:40 pm
so many evils have come from israel. who gave the US the atom bomb? who owns the pharma so much of the population is doped on? who runs hollywood? the media? the banks? who introduced pornography to the west? ...

oh dear -- we better watch out or we'll be deemed anti-semitic by aipac.
 

Blacktiger P. (247)
Friday January 7, 2011, 11:06 pm
Why am I not allowed to become angry and say the Israeli Zionists are a bunch of criminal bastards???? I am so sick over the fact that we joined forces to save them in WW2. The ones causing all the problems are the Russian Refusnics and they are now in Israel.....
 

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 1:53 am
You cannot currently send a star to Just because you have done so within the last week.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 1:56 am
I have a vision. Two well placed nukes would solve all of the worlds' problems. One on Israel, the other on the Pentagon. What say You?
 

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:24 am
I say any more nukes will destroy our poor sick planet.
 

Just Carole (338)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:34 am

Sorry, Prez, but I detest violence -- from ANY side! That's the problem now; people have swallowed too many excuses/lies to justify killing, only to find that the real reasons were monetary, and the overwhelming motivation was greed.
 

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:40 am
Some terrific comments here and all educational. Robert's particularly so as my knowledge of history of the area is weak in the fact category. I indeed pray that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are successful. A letter in the Presidents email by the thousands might help too. Remember there is safety in numbers.
The continued seizing of land by evicting people from their homes they have had for generations is not excusable nor justified in any sense. It is purely illegal and hostile and against all treaties and international law and I for one and sick of my government not speaking out against it and in fact turning the truth around as does Israel and try to place blame for these actions on the Palestinians.
When Israel seizes these homes and builds settlements, whose name is placed on the title of the land? Is it leased or sold? Who gets the money? This seems to be a huge money making scheme. Records should show what big wigs are going to have to repay the people who settled there as this land must be returned to the rightful owners, the Palestinians.
Israel has long ago exceed the demarcation lines that they were given.

A big concern due to the threat of war is that recently I read that Israel has over one trillion stockpiled in military weapons. That would include planes, tanks, etc. That is a huge arsenal and they also have the nuclear bomb, which have terrified all the people in the area. Israel is the feared country, not Iran.
Israel as America are not to be trusted with the nuclear bombs as America has used it twice when no other country has. It is not my belief that America would not use it if they wanted to. They are currently making smaller nuclear bombs so as to try to concentrate the damage to a smaller area, but it will have the same devastating affect on innocent people, which is all the people it is directed at. The world fears America and will not speak out against us. They certainly do not need a little America (Israel) with the same weapons closer by, the reason for our alliance.
The Jews running Israel are not from the tribe that the Bible supposedly gave the land too as well, and they were supposed to appoint a king before peace will come, which they have not done. These Zionists are impure and impostors if one even believed the passage in the Bible claimed to be inspired by God, which I think most of us do not.
Perhaps the most prudent thing right now is to get behind the Human Rights Watch, and become members so the numbers are so great that they will have a greater chance of success. Personally, I will donate to this group over the week-end. Anyone have a better idea.
 

Arild Warud (169)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:22 am
I read a second article in Aftenposten the same day: USA and Israel have an agreement to not publicly announce any kind of weapon-sales from the US to Israel.Are the US trying to hide what they are up to??
Thanks for your post "C"
 

Arild Warud (169)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:26 am
Sorry that I forgot to give you the link:
http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/wikileaks/article3969334.ece
(for those who understand Norwegian it shouldn't be a problem,otherwise there are a lot of programs to translate this into English).
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:40 am
1 - Thank you Carol for this post.As you stated,the story had been posted about 4 - 5 days ago.I posted a couple of comments there and even received notifications of other peoples comments and discovered,when tried to go back to the story,that it isn't available any more although all comments were very reasonable and informative.
2 - The fact that Israel is preparing for a new war is not a surprise specially when we read that the target would be Civilians.Don't forget that genocide is a part and a goal for the Zionist entity.
3 - Those who think that Israel is looking forward for reaching a peace agreement with the Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular are dreaming and mislead.Israel is ,as I always say,neither willing nor able to reach a peaceful settlment that puts an end to that long lasting dispute.The Israeli leadership is too weak to take a decision beside the fact that making peace requires brave leaders,something that is not available now among the Israeli leadership.This reminds me with an article published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz few weeks ago.I hope I'll be able to retrieve it and post it later here.
 

Just Carole (338)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:45 am

Bless you, Abdessalam. (Hope you're taking care of yourself.)
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 5:03 am
Israel Never Really Wanted Peace

By Elie Podeh
professor in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


December 16, 2010 "Haaretz" -- Peace may be a dream - but it is not our dream. The time has come to recognize the fact that Israel uses the rhetoric of peace, but does very little on the practical level toward achieving it. Anyone still clinging to the axiom that "we'll leave no stone unturned" needs to take a good look in the mirror. Is Israel truly laboring with determination and persistence to reach peace?

The announcement by both the United States and Israel that the efforts to renew direct negotiations failed, less than six months after being launched in Washington, is direct proof that Israel is not doing so. This country deserves most of the blame: History will not forgive those who considered the issue of extending the construction moratorium in the settlements, even for three months, more important than continuing the talks and reaching a diplomatic solution.

One could, of course, blame U.S. President Barack Obama on the grounds that he did not lean hard enough on the two sides, particularly Israel, and that he did not sufficiently exercise the economic and political leverage at his disposal to "persuade" them of the benefits of continuing the talks. But history teaches that no peace, or even a framework for negotiations, has ever succeeded unless the warring parties were actually ready for genuine dialogue.

The peace with Egypt and with Jordan, the Oslo Accords and the talks over the years with Syria and other parties took place and moved forward based on the interests of the adversaries themselves, with the superpowers generally playing the role of conciliator and mediator. Incentives offered by the mediator were effective only when the parties themselves were willing to reach an agreement.

Thus it is the rival sides who bear the blame, but not equally. There is no doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet are largely responsible for the latest failure. The prime minister is a hard nut to crack: In his kickoff speech to the talks, delivered in Washington in September, Netanyahu twice repeated the following phrase: "History has given us a rare opportunity to end the conflict between our peoples." He also used the word "peace" 14 times during that address. While it is clear that politicians use rhetoric to promote their agendas, these measures and this language create a dynamic of expectations that, when not met, lead to frustration and eventually to a breakdown.

To a great extent, Netanyahu and his cabinet are representative of Israeli society today. Public opinion polls point to increasing extremism, bordering on racism, in Jews' opinion of Arabs, as well as to alienation and a distrust of the other side's goals and intentions. Given these circumstances, it's no wonder there is no public pressure on the government to advance the peace process and that there was no significant public response to the dramatic announcement that the talks had been suspended.

When it comes to peace, Israel's position today is similar to its position after the wars of 1948 and of 1967: The potential for negotiations was there, but the cost was considered too high. Now, too, maintaining the status quo appears to be preferable to making changes that Israelis perceive as threatening, even if they do not necessarily pose a genuine danger.

In the past decade, Israel has faced a number of Arab initiatives: the Arab League peace plan, Syrian offers to negotiate, Palestinian willingness to move forward and even moderate declarations from Hamas. Successive Israeli governments responded to all of them with restraint and icy indifference (with the exception of the waning days of Ehud Olmert's term as prime minister ).

Israel's listless response to these proposals cannot be understood as coincidental or circumstantial; it is a pattern of behavior. And Israel has never proffered its own initiative that would indicate a desire for peace. This leads us to the unhappy conclusion that Israel - both its government and its people - are not really interested in peace; at most, they make the sounds of peace, but that is not enough.

The writer is a professor in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
 

Ge M. (218)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 7:13 am
A anti-Israel statement from an Egyptian! this is from a country which deliberately targets AND KILLS Coptic Christians. Which of you anti-Semites have been on my news to comment AND CONDEMN the deliberate targeting of Christians by Muslims? To condemn Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas who has expressed his personal support for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, a man who has committed genocide. Or to condemn the lies that he has uttered by saying that he wants peace whilst allowing his organisation to present a world without Israel or allows his representatives to teach about destroying Israel http://www.care2.com/news/member/193692282/2692453

And, which of you have noted that the Goldstone Report has been found to be full of flaws to the extent it can be regarded as nothing but a statement of Palestinian lies all of which have been proved to be lies?

Which of you would condemn the Muslims who attack Jews as in this story?
http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=198382
 

Charmaine C. (176)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 7:15 am
Good comments. We have lived in Jerusalem and worked for an aid agency benefitting the Palestinian people, so we have first hand experience of the conflict there. This is a very long standing argument that has not been improved by the intercession of other people. The only one that springs to mind is the Oslo Accords and they are increasingly viewed by both Israelis and Palestinians with increasing disfavour. So in effect they have failed. Lip service is paid but actions show a different picture.

Even though Prime minister Netanyahu is hugely quoted for his point of view, there should be no doubt that Hamas and others will hold similar sentiments. I don't see stock piling armaments as defensive but as a preparation for the planned offensive. Aggression in that country is a daily palpable entity. The stress on people is unbelievable. People go to the cinema packing a machine gun in one hand and a family in the other.

Jerusalem is the most amazing city. I'll never forget shopping days with my Palestinian friend, Rawya, in old Jerusalem city. The atmosphere and history is unequalled anywhere else on the planet. It's unique.
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 8:07 am
"A anti-Israel statement from an Egyptian!"
1 - Yes Gillan.An Egyptian ,like many other Egyptians,who condemn any harassment or attack on any other Egyptian regardless of his religion.Who signed a petition against the Sudanese President as well as a petition against stoning an Iranian woman and against accusing a Sudanese woman of improperly dressed by a Sudanese court.America brought Abbas to power when Arafat was still alive thinking that it can make him a 100% a puppet in the hands of USA,The man ,as well as Arabs and the people in the Middle east believed Obama before they realized that Obama and his administration is a puppet in the hands of AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbies in USA.
I,as well as any other human being around the world including Israelis and Jews,have the right to criticise Israel when we see it stealing the land of the Palestinians and illegally building settlement and expanding every day while fooling the world and saying that it wants peace.
2 - I hope that you have heard about the Egyptian Muslims initiative to surround the Coptic churches and form a human shield to protect Copts(Egyptian Christians ) while they Celebrate Christmas on the night of January 7.Just one day ago because a Church in Alexandria was subject to a terrorist attack on the new year.Egypt is Egypt and will continue to be a home for all Egyptians regardless of all attempts to divide them in a step to conquer them.UNITED WE STAND,DEVIDED WE FALL.Hands off Egypt.
3- I apologize to commentators on this thread because my comment may look outside the story.
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:13 am
"so many evils have come from israel. who gave the US the atom bomb? who owns the pharma so much of the population is doped on? who runs hollywood? the media? the banks? who introduced pornography to the west? ...oh dear -- we better watch out or we'll be deemed anti-semitic"... (by so and so)

Oh dear, indeed.
"We", Melissa?
Please don't flatter yourself? Others can speak for themselves, but I am not with you on this. I am very far from allowing myself to be associated in any way with the out of bounds, over the top litany of crap you have spewed here. I deem it anti- semitic because clearly, thats what it is, unfettered by guile, spoken clearly, and I will speak clearly in response. I am not in agreement with you. Not one iota.
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:24 am
Anti-Semitic is a ready made accusation against any person who criticises Israel or Zionism.Stop threatening people who dare to tell the truth.PERIOD
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:28 am
A green star for you Melissa
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:33 am
Judith, Thank you for the compliment. I'm afraid I can not return it. I base what I say/write on actions taken or not taken by Israel. Facts. On what do you base this statement below?

"The Jews running Israel are not from the tribe that the Bible supposedly gave the land too as well, and they were supposed to appoint a king before peace will come, which they have not done. These Zionists are impure and impostors if one even believed the passage in the Bible claimed to be inspired by God, which I think most of us do not."

Sounds like the view of a fundamentalist based on notions unrelated to anything rational and except for the observation that Israel has not appointed a king, though I admit to not being up on my scripture.
 

Ge M. (218)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:46 am
Robert, you do think a lot of yourself don't you? And being ignorant of history too.

If you want to know who gave America the bomb then I suggest you read history, Israel didn't exist then but Jews were fighting the Germans in Eastern Europe, ever heard of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising? You owe Jews an awful lot.

Abdessallam, you signed a petition - oooooh! I'm underwhelmed. Why were you not there helping? Why do you not condemn any Muslim country or people for killing/murdering regardless of who it is, especially Christians. There is a saying from up North in the UK, all piss and watter. (spelt correctly.)

And, before you say anything else, I am disabled but I am out there physically helping minority women & children in the UK which includes abused Muslims, a very high percentage! I used to be part of demonstrations and talking to any one I thought would help. And you signed a petition! Wow!
 

Ge M. (218)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:50 am
Abdessalam, and where are the new churches that the Christians have been petitioning for yet you complain about Sweden voting against a minaret?
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 9:51 am
Mr.Diab,

We are of course entitled to give stars to whom we please. By that giving, we make a statement/give a reward. I am curious and so ask, if you would care to give some specifics as to what it was, said by Melissa, that you are rewarding. What impressed you?
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 10:04 am
Hi Abdessalam,

I have seen claims that Israel cannot move towards peace because it lacks audacious leaders many times, but usually in the same places I see comments about how Israeli leaders have the audacity to risk its allies' interests while making enemies locally. Something here does not add up. A country does not survive, and definitely does not thrive economically as Israel does, especially in the Middle East, with decades of timid or foolish leadership. Before anyone reading this gives the usual reply, that Israel's progress is on U.S. dollars, I should point out that U.S. aid to Israel accounts for about 1/5-1/4 of its military budget.

I suspect there is a more plausible and verifiable reason why there has been no progress towards peace. On the Israeli side, there is a proportional democracy. That means every government is a coalition and the leader must convince enough separate coalition-members to support any initiative to get a majority in their parliament. This is a hindrance, but not a horrible obstacle as it has been done in the past.

The situation on the Palestinian side is much worse: Palestinians place loyalty to their parties above loyalty to their official authority, and the parties are armed. That means if any party disagrees with a ceasefire or peace, its armed and organized members will continue fighting. We saw this in the Hamas/Fatah fight. and in the continued attacks on Israel by minor factions before Cast Lead. Because the dominant party cannot order others to stop fighting and be obeyed, no Palestinian leader can offer peace without unanimous consent by all parties. As you can imagine, it is far tougher to get pro-peace unanimity among Palestinian factions (which almost never happens on any policy) than a majority in the Israeli parliament (which must be achieved every time Israel passes a law), and in fact it has never been done.

The problem, I believe, is a matter of political structures, not culture, evil desires, weak leaders, or mislead peoples. The sad part is that on both sides it is arguably an overabundance of democracy. Proportional representation-systems are theoretically the most democratic, but they do not produce majority governments. The Palestinians' problem is the same as that of every new democracy which did not inherit a democratic culture from previous rulers. The same is (or was) true in the Ivory Coast, throughout much of Africa in recent history, and in Florence during the Renaissance. It was even true of Israel until midway through the war of 1948, when Haganah destroyed all other Israeli armed parties.

Also, despite the optimism in Ha'Aretz, the current lack of support for negotiations from Israel, according to essentially every source that looked into the matter, is not a lack of desire for peace. It is a lack of belief that negotiations right now would help the matter. They believe, and I agree, that under current conditions of Palestinian domestic politics peace cannot be achieved no matter what deal negotiators produce.

Also, as I have posted elsewhere, if Israel wanted genocide, it would have been done in under a month. If Israel engaged in genocide as is often claimed, there would be no Palestinians left in the territories,
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 10:25 am
Gillian, You have not enlightened me. I am not ignorant of history. On the contrary, I am an avid student. Oppenheimer was one man, though I am certain he was not the only Jew on the project. He or they are not "the Jews" but a Jew, or some/a few Jews, and they did not work in a vacuum and it is not Jews (Plural) to whom I give credit. I don't think that way and very few of "them" had a hand in it.

My opinion of myself is irrelevant except as used in ad hominem attack on me, and as evidence that you have nothing else except that, with which to pose a false premise, i.e., my ignorance, in order to make yourself appear "right". You have not succeeded except to make much sound and fury, signifying nothing.
 

Melissa O. (43)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 11:14 am
ROTFLMAO!

oh, robert! gawds, you are too funny. thanks for the much needed comic relief.

my "litany of crap" is the truth - good to know what your view of underlying realilty is.

rofl
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 11:35 am
I have seen the CAPS used as substitute for substance before. And yes. I am funny, and you are not. Not funny, not bright, not learned and In fact, as you substitute bigoted generalizations for truth, you are rather sad. And this from one who is anti Israel. So its not about that.

 

Janine H. (36)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 11:52 am
Amazing comments here. I'm pro Palestina but I'm also pro Israel. I've had some friends from Israel and really they do not (at) all support their government. In fact, I know the youth are clearly done with all the hatred and want peace. Just like us! If we visualise and believe there will be war it will happen. We can all change as long as we act from the heart. We are all ONE
 

linda b. (190)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:45 pm
Noted thank you JustC
 

monka blanke (85)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 12:57 pm
free Palestine from the zionists, stop the settlements !!!
 

Ge M. (218)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:26 pm
Send a Green Star to Stephen Amsel
Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"
You cannot currently send a star to Stephen because you have done so within the last week.
 

Ge M. (218)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 2:44 pm
Robert, you are still full of it and your bias still shows. Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist who did not intend the bomb to be used as such but, despite your dislike of it, the bomb saved many hundreds of thousands of American lives and, believe it or not, Japanese lives. The war in the Pacific could have continued for far longer otherwise. I do not say that I approve of the bomb but it was essential that the West had it before Germany otherwise the UK might not exist and neither would parts of the US. In fact, after the war, Oppenheimer was appointed Chairman of the General Advisory Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), serving from 1947 to 1952. It was in this role that he voiced strong opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb. In 1953, at the height of U.S. anticommunist feeling, Oppenheimer was accused of having communist sympathies, and his security clearance was taken away.

As for the Jewish inventions, try looking at what advances in medicine and sciences Jews have made which are disporportionately large per percentage of the population. If you or your family have ever been to hospital then you would have used Jewish solftware and the chances are they have had or used Jewish research and inventions. You use a laptop or computer and, no doubt, a mobile phone. These all use Jewish inventions. I could go on for hours and you use them all without objection. That is pure hypocrisy.

If you are interested in inventions and the truth you would know this. A Jew's invention gave your country the opportunity to survive against Germany and probably your chance to be born and the same Jew gave your country the chance to keep democracy which allows you to shoot your mouth off.

Ignorance is just that, ignorance. Anti-Semitism is also just that, anti-Semitism. I suggest that you stop admiring your cleverness in the mirror, it doesn't exist. Nor are you funny, bright or learned, just opinionated.
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 3:30 pm
And you try to make anyone it seems... who opposes Israel, even those who defend Jews and attack anti Semites, into anti Semites by simply simply pointing and shouting it. This is not about the bomb. You don't impress me either. So be it. But your reading comprehension is extremely lacking based on what you attribute to me.

If that is not the case, quote me. Show us where I say anything that justifies your preaching to me as if I had attacked Jews. Back up your irrational attack. I await. Otherwise go piss up a rope.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 4:23 pm
Palestinian civilians are continuing to suffer as the Israeli military pushes deeper into the Gaza Strip.

At least 548 people have been killed in the territory in the last 10 days, with at least 100 deaths reported since the Israeli ground offensive began on Saturday.

Among the dead on Monday was a family of seven from Shati refugee camp, who were killed by Israeli navy shelling.

Three siblings from one family, as well as a girl and her grandfather, also died in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza during artillery shelling.

Emergency medical services have also come under attack with the al-Awda hospital in Jabaliya being hit by two Israeli shells, foreign human rights activists said.

"Two consecutive shells just landed in the busy car park 15 metres from the entrance to the emergency room," Alberto Arce of the International Solidarity Movement said in a statement.

"The entrance of the emergency room was damaged. At the time of the shelling ambulances were bringing in the wounded that keep pouring in."

Medics killed

On Sunday, an Israeli raid killed at least four paramedics as they tried to reach wounded Palestinians. Ambulances have also been hit in the attacks, Palestinian sources said.

IN DEPTH

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Israeli government officials say they are not targeting civilians, but only seeking to halt rocket fire from the Palestinian Hamas movement governing Gaza.

There are also fears that the humanitarian situation will further deteriorate as the strip, home to 1.5 million people, is suffering from acute shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies.

Iyad Nasr of the Red Cross in Gaza City said that the military operation has worsened the hardships created by the Israeli blockade over the last 18 months.

"The size of the operations and the size of the misery we are seeing here on the ground is just overwhelming," he said.

"We are trying our best to support the infrastructure that has been depleted ... and prevent the total collapse of the medical systems.

Nasr also said that aid workers and emergency medical personnel were finding it increasingly difficult to move around the territory after the Israeli military effectively split it in two.

"The ICRC has to contact the Israeli authorities for each single wounded to be evacuated with an ambulance," he said.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Gaza City, said that many other Gazans have fled their homes taking refuge in schools converted into temporary shelters by UN agencies.

"The United Nations says 13,000 people, over 2,000 families, have now been internally displaced because of the fighting, and that is just in the north of the strip," he said.

'People are suffering'

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, has said that there is no crisis and that aid is getting through, but Christopher Gunness, the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) spokesman, said her denials were absurd.

"The organisation for which I work - Unrwa - has approximately 9,000 to 10,000 workers on the ground. They are speaking with the ordinary civilians in Gaza... People are suffering," he said.

Thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes and taken refuge in schools [EPA]
"A quarter of all those being killed now are civilians. So when I hear people say we're doing our best to avoid civilian casualties that rings very hollow indeed."

About 250,000 people in the northern part of Gaza are also reported to be without electricity. The main power plant has been shut down for lack of fuel due to Israel's blockade.

The British-based Save The Children charity on Monday warned that newborn babies in the Gaza strip were at risk of hypothermia because of the power cuts and freezing winter temperatures.

"We need to deliver more food and blankets to ensure that children do not die of hunger and cold," Dominic Nutt, a spokesman for the group, said.

"People also must be able to move freely and safely so they can provide for their families when food does become available."

Despite the crisis in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official, said the group was heading for "victory" against the Israeli military.

He said that Hamas's armed wing, the Izz-e-din al-Qassam Brigades, had "given the most beautiful performances during its confrontation with the army that the world thought invincible".

Palestinian factions have continued to launch rockets into southern Israel, despite more than a week of aerial bombardment by Israel and the ground offensive.

One Israeli soldier has been confirmed killed in the Gaza assault so far, with at least 49 others wounded. Four Israelis have also been killed by Palestinian rockets.


Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
 

Just Carole (338)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 5:03 pm

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Is it REALLY necessary to personally attack another person because they have a differing opinion?

If we're going to start attributing everything a country takes credit (or blame) for, I certainly hope that small-mindedness will not include me. I happen to live in a country where I take exception to many of the acts of my own government.

Also, many of the great achievements of Americans had NOTHING to due with their country. The credit belongs to the devoted mind of the inventor.

I've read these outrageous slurs several times from the same mouth in this thread. Someone is Jewish and achieves greatness -- and somehow that is now attributed to all Jews. (However, I'm sure that the same would not be appreciatively applied in cases of heinous acts. That, of course, would be anti-Semitism. hehehehe)

Twisted logic from an angry person desperately looking for a excuse to spew venom.

If you are not liked in this forum, Gillian, it has solely to do with your ugly demeanor. No other reason would be necessary, considering your behavior.

Thank you for conducting yourself on a higher level, Robert.
 

Just Carole (338)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 5:04 pm

"...to do with their country."
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 5:13 pm
Monka, the Land of Israel belong to Jews first. Arabs can live in other parts of Palestine, as they do now, including Jordan - another Palestinian Arab state.

Calling Israeli villages settlements does not make them different from Arab villages. I don't see a reason to import racist division that Arabs can do whatever they want and Jews cannot. The solution has to be fair to BOTH parites.
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 5:33 pm
Building on Arab land, stealing it, then saying that those buildings occupied by those who do not belong there, can be equated with Arab villages and somehow are the same is odd logic IMO. The expansion and continuing of this land grab is a scandal to most of the world. Pointing at others when one does that which is reprehensible is childish. Palestinians are not building villages on Israeli land. If they did they would be killed no doubt.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 5:40 pm
The Holy War Israel Wants?
By Jonathan Cook
The Electronic Intifada
7-12-3

The inhabitants of Nazareth, Israel's only Arab city, often talk of the "invisible occupation": although they rarely see police -- let alone soldiers -- on their streets, they are held in a vise-like grip of Israeli control just as much as their ethnic kin in neighbouring Palestinian cities like Jenin and Nablus are.

In September 2000, for example, when Israel's one million Palestinian citizens, including Nazarenes, demonstrated against Ariel Sharon's visit to the mosque compound in Jersualem -- known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount -- 13 of their number were shot dead by police in four days. Not a single protester had been armed.

Last week the veil was again briefly lifted from the occupation inside Israel. More than 500 heavily armed police officers stormed Nazareth's city centre at dawn, arresting a handful of Muslim clerics and demolishing the foundations of a mosque that has been making headlines since a "holy tent" was first erected in 1998 at the site of the grave of Shihab ad-Deen, the nephew of Salah ad-Deen.

In all the excitement over Israel's withdrawals from Gaza and Bethlehem, the invasion of Nazareth was overlooked, except in the Hebrew press, where it was presented as a brave attempt by the government to rein in lawlessness and calm religious tensions in a city that is now 70 per cent Muslim and 30 per cent Christian.

But the case of Nazareth's "rogue" mosque is far more complicated than this -- and potentially more revealing of the political games Israel is playing with the delicate balance of forces between the country's religious communities.

In fact, far from being patently illegal, the mosque had actually won approval from two governments, Binyamin Netanyahu's in 1998 and Ehud Barak's in 1999. Both backed the plan, even though the mosque was to be located a few provocative yards from one of the holiest churches in the Middle East, the Basilica of the Annunciation. (Built on the site, say Catholics, where the Virgin Mary was told she was carrying the son of God.)

Violent clashes briefly erupted between Christians and Muslims in the wake of these decisions.

The government's position, however, changed last year, apparently after the Pope and President George W. Bush got wind that local Muslims had started laying the mosque's foundations.

Bush put heavy pressure on Sharon to intervene, and dutifully the Israeli prime minister set up a committee to consider the question again. It used a loophole -- that the building work had begun before all the official papers had been received -- to justify finding against the mosque's completion in March 2002.

There has been plenty of unhelpful hyperbole from Muslim clerics about the mosque destruction being a "war on Islam," but one point they make is worth examining.

Why, in the same week as the demolition, they ask, did Israel reveal it was allowing Jews to return to Jerusalem's Haram/Temple Mount complex? Non-Muslims have been banned from the area since Sharon's visit 33 months ago unleashed the intifada (as de facto have most Palestinians, who can longer get permits to enter Jerusalem). For a government so zealously concerned about sectarian provocations, this was a strange decision.

In fact, Jews demanding to go to the mount are mainly Messianic extremists who want to destroy the al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and replace them with a reconstruction of the Second Temple. Mainstream Jews have been prohibited from the site since rabbis banned prayer there in the Middle Ages.

But that has not stopped the government from promoting Jewish claims to the mount. In May the public security minister Tzachi Hanegbi became the latest cabinet minister to say it was time to let Jews pray there.

The Israeli government's behaviour in Nazareth is equally baffling. Despite newspaper claims, the city's Christians and Muslims forgot their differences a while ago, with the outbreak of the intifada and the more pressing concern of how to survive the economic slump. The decision to demolish the mosque in such a heavy-handed manner is far more likely to tear the delicate fabric of civic life here. Already there are calls for the resignation of Nazareth's Christian mayor, Ramez Jeraisi.

So why do it now? Nazareth's Christians and Muslims unite in offering a disturbing explanation. They say Israel has a vested interest in fomenting trouble in their city to show that the two religions cannot live together in peace. "If they cannot share their holy sites in Nazareth, how can they ever do so in Jerusalem?" is how Nazarenes describe the logic of Israeli spin.

At the end of the long path of the US-backed road map to a Palestinian state is an international conference to decide the most charged question of all: who should have sovereignty over Jerusalem and its holy places, the Israelis or the Palestinians? Both peoples hope to be rewarded with control of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount site.

In the meantime the struggle for the ultimate prize, including Israeli attempts to weight the decision in its favour, risks doing irreparable damage to religious tolerance in the Holy Land.

Jonathan Cook lives in Nazareth and writes for The Guardian (UK) and Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt).

©2000-2003 electronicIntifada.net

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1688.shtml


 

Mac R. (289)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 6:54 pm

Robert my friend,

Heh heh, I'm not gonna jump into the middle of that particular fight. For one thing, I got a bit (insert word for party) a while ago and I don't feel like writing out my fairly neutral position on the conflict. I agree completely with everything you've said about Israeli genocide of Palestinians, and I've said that before on posts, and that is the foundation of my position, however, I also agree with that other poster's characterization of the untenable governance of the Pals, theocratic at its core and the whole Islamic governing model is scarier to me than any other system. My vehement opposition to Islamic rule does not outweigh my opposition to Israeli atrocities and arrogance, and our ridiculous blind unquestioning support of what I consider a terrorist organization, the Israeli government.

Well..... Tell ya what; I'll paste this into a comment there and add that I think Gillian took what you said wrong. I didn't see any unreasonable or exaggerated statements you made about Israel, and even many very pro-Israeli groups decry the settlements as illegal, and they plainly are.

But that other poster was right too when he said that the Pal side cannot govern by concensus and part of the reason why the Israeli side isn't talking is that reaching agreemnent with one faction doesn't stop the shelling by other factions. Anyway, I support the two state solution and think that would mollify the vast majority of both populations if the Israeli gov would act honorably and abide by well established protocols and carry it out. So now I've elaborated on my view of the situtation, but I admit that I don't know a great deal of detail about either side of this conflict and only know the widely reported major events for context.

I learn more about both sides each time a thread like this gets going. I am not at all an anti-semite, but I do call Israel a terrorist state for what they are doing to the Pal people, NOT that I am justifying or excusing what the Pal militants have done to the Israeli people either! Both sides have been unreasonable and incalcitrant in their positions!


 

Mac R. (289)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 7:11 pm
And whoever took a pro Egypt side in comments above, the gov of Egypt is disgusting. Simple fact: Every nation ruled by Islamic law is fundamentally f**ked. I'm not pro ANY religion, not Christianity or any other, but Islam is insanity on wheels when it comes to governance, and I see it as real and present evil.
 

Terry B. (649)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 7:28 pm
Good one, Mac, "insanity on wheels" almost said it all without paragraphs of hot air!

However, I would suggest "insanity in airplanes and on wheels."

RIP: David and Lynne (9/11/2001)
 

Kathy Chadwell (367)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 10:25 pm
Thank you Janine H.
I've heard this from others that it's not the people, it's the governments.
And of course hate breeds hate, so those who lost family members are bound to be filled with hate.
The terrorists don't give a damn about the poor Palestine people constantly murdered because of their actions. To me, it's the simply people being caught in the middle of all this stupid hate, greed and power struggle. Just my opinion
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Saturday January 8, 2011, 10:49 pm
Arabs are building their villages on Israeli land, and they squatter lots of it. The problem with plain evicting those thieves is that they start playing nationalistic card and Arab propaganda spreads those "victim cries" to UN, where Islamic states have automatic majority. Nobody give a d..n when Hamas evicted Arab squatters, nor when Israel evicted Jewish squatters. The only point to catch an attention would be Israel evicting Arabs.

What a weird sense of justice.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 12:09 am

"What a weird sense of justice." indeed, Bob. My, oh my...

US support for the creation of Israel had alienated the Middle East: it had been a costly error, motivated not by national interest but petty considerations of presidential politics. Truman had supported the creation of Israel in order to court American Jewish votes. This was the plain truth: a US President had placed his electoral chances ahead of a vital national interest. Apparently, in those days, Time could write the plain truth without worrying about the tide of flak from the American Jewish community.

Here is the quote from The Time Magazine, January 7, 1952.:

“The word 'American' no longer has a good sound in that part of the world [the Middle East]. To catch the Jewish vote in the U.S., President Truman in 1946 demanded that the British admit 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine, in violation of British promises to the Arabs. Since then, the Arab nations surrounding Israel have regarded that state as a U.S. creation, and the U.S., therefore, as an enemy. The Israeli-Arab war created nearly a million Arab refugees, who have been huddled for three years in wretched camps. These refugees, for whom neither the U.S. nor Israel will take the slightest responsibility, keep alive the hatred of U.S. perfidy.

No enmity for the Arabs, no selfish national design motivated the clumsy U.S. support of Israel. The American crime was not to help the Jews, but to help them at the expense of the Arabs. Today, the Arab world fears and expects a further Israeli expansion. The Arabs are well aware that Alben Barkley, Vice President of the U.S., tours his country making speeches for the half-billion-dollar Israeli bond issue, the largest ever offered to the U.S. public. Nobody, they note bitterly, is raising that kind of money for them.”

May I add that British gained the control over Palestine in 1917, some 15-20 years AFTER the Balfour Declaration?
 

Marty H. (119)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 3:48 am
Thanks Carole and noted. Like I said before; barbarians with too much money and sophisticated weapons. Scary stuff! What goes around comes around however and Israel will be knocked on their butts, AGAIN!
 

Terry B. (649)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 5:23 am
Oh the poor arabs "who have been huddled for three years in wretched camps" Jelica.

The camps are kept wretched by their dastardly mohammedan buddies like Arabia, which sits on more wealth than allah himself, but won't do Jacques Merde to help them.

I guess it must be the will of allah, though, so quit whining.

*****************

As for Marty, he seems to be historically retarded. It's not Israel that always gets knocked on their butts, but the mohammedans. A half dozen arab and related countries have repeatedly jumped Israel en masse and have always gotten their collective butts kicked.

IMHO the biggest mistake in Israeli history was, in a misguided quest for peace with these dimwits whose philosophy is the elimination of us all, gave up good defensible water boundaries at the Suez Canal and the Jordan River that were acquired by victory in one of these wars of defense. If they had kept those lands, to which they were perfectly entitled, we would not even be having this discussion and thee would be no Hamass with its bloody agenda.

And back to Jelica. Britain also got control of the area because they, unfortunately, won World War I. If they had lost, the whole area would still be part of the (mohammedan) Ottoman Empire in which all religions were living peacefully.
 

patricia lasek (317)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 5:44 am
BTW, in all of Robert's comments, I have detected no hint of bias.

His head may be a tad large though being a size 8. LOL
 

Robert S. (115)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 7:25 am
Just can't keep a secret can ya? In case anyone doesn't know it. Thats about the size of Montana.... or at the extreme upper end of the hat chart. Still though, even blessed with this and many other useless and cumbersome "gifts"...I remain humble. Ok perhaps not always, but biased. Nah. My tendency has always been to go after the one I perceive to be the bully, whether or not I am particularly fond of the victim... or not. And Terry is correct in that Israel has kicked some ass for quite awhile, and also that the Pals have not received much help from their buddies and have instead only been used as a prop and excuse for murder. But a great prop they make treated as they are by Israel. Do they need help? I think so. And Israel seems to only be willing to offer blankets similar to those our lovely forbearer's offered to native Americans so they can build a quaint village on each cemetery they create.
 

Robert S. (115)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 7:41 am
"perfectly entitled" Yes Terry, that does seem to sum up Israels stance, if not their position.
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 8:13 am
Robert, America refused any help to people living in countries under Nazi occupation. Israel went way far off and offers all sorts of help, including medical, to the very same Palestinian Arabs at war with Israel. Hamas is bombing Israel on a daily basis, and you are contemplating giving them more than blankets? Why should they? Arabs got 22 states by now, HUGE OIL $$$, and still expect aid from Israel and the West to keep their jihad?

Israel surely has high moral position, unfortunately not appreciated by its enemies: they take all good gestures for granted and just demand more. Or put out a lie or two to be cry babies, after they could not get toys they want by force.

The world was taken by Islamist propaganda for a long ride. Good that many people want by now to stop the scam, beginning with racist-based UNWRA, treating Arabs whose ascendants lived in Israel long time ago as refugees, though no other group of refugees has that right! UNWRA was pused on West by the Arab League, who decided to shy from their obligations.

 

Robert S. (115)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 9:09 am
I am familiar with the reticence of some here to become involved at the time perhaps for fear of being drawn into war with Germany. Reasons for this are many and vary from strictly isolationist to those of darker intent. Your point is to slap the hand that feeds you, attacking your only ally now, in order to make yourself (Israel) appear by your comparison benevolent, having moral high ground. That high ground you claim rests on Israel as you say going ""went way far off" and offers "all sorts of help", including medical, to the very same Palestinian Arabs at war with Israel"". I won't even address the "way far off" part of it. That speaks for itself as embellishment shall we say? And all of this aid has somehow been kept secret from the world press? We know the the press has always had it in for Israel of course, so perhaps that explains it.

Just for fun, lets say I know this guy. He has had a hard time. He is lucky to know me because I, being powerful have decided, in order to garner favor with his friends, that he should have a place to live in your living room Bob. Like I say, he has had a hard time, and I have decided to help him....by giving him something of yours. Not that you are responsible in any way for where he finds himself. Your not. But I am helping him in this way because I can. And though your living room is not mine to give, I'll do it anyway. You shouldn't mind. Be reasonable. I am simply enlisting you in my effort to help him. Its a noble thing to do, don't you agree?
 

Robert S. (115)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 9:44 am
Mac, Your comment is remarkably lucid. Whatever you were doing did not detract or diminish in any way I can detect from your making perfect sense. I enjoyed reading what is a thoughtful well written statement. I too, am no fan of theocracy, anywhere... under any banner, and I too believe that the virulent Islamic fundamental version we see attempting to propagate, is of particular concern for many reasons.
 

Ge M. (218)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 12:52 pm
David, using Al Jazeera and agencies is hardly the unbiased version. As always, afterwards it is proved that they have lied and exagerated and the UN has also lied and failed to contradict their own lies. I will wait for the real truth to emerge and the real reasons behind any attack. I would also point out that prior to any attack Israel warns the general population and then uses tight targeting to reduce casualties. I know of no other country that does that. In fact, any civilian casualties lie, not on Israel's hands, but Hamas's for refusing to allow civilians to leave an area or by providing shelters. They do this to use their own people as shields and as propaganda. Pathetic and all of you support this. Even more pathetic.

Oh yes, Robert, you really are dim, aren't you. Don't you know it is impossible for a woman to piss up a rope? Your entire "rhetoric" is anti-Semitic I don't need to point it out, your entire life is hypocritical because you use Jewish inventions without complaint and you have failed to respond to any of my points once being shown how stupid you are blaming Jews, especially Oppenheimer, for saving democracy. Still, if Jews hadn't saved democracy as I said, you wouldn't be able to shoot your outsize mouth off.
 

Robert S. (115)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 1:36 pm
Poor Gillian, I did not mean that you should attempt it. Hope you didn't hurt yourself. Yes of course. I know. It is I who are dim... If you had done anything but misquote me, badmouth me, and lie about my intentions and perspective, I would respond in kind. You made no points. As it is, I have responded by asking you to show us quotes of what I have said which led to your attack, which should be easy to do, and you have ignored that request now coming at me again with incoherent (inventions) blather. Are you aware Gilllian, that when one puts someone else's words up in quotes, in order to show what one is about to disagree with said words in quotes, it is incoherent to then have someone treat you as if you made the statement in those quotes. Thats what you have done. Incorrectly attributing to me things which I did not write. Are you on meds? Can you not read? Are you what you call me.... Dim in other words. It would seem perhaps a combination of them all, as you are truly not able to follow the conversation as its gone on with any clarity what so ever. Calling any who disagree with the policies of Israel, anti semitic does Israel's cause no good when it is so obviously and simply your only weapon and wielded indiscriminately and dishonestly. Or again, maybe its just the meds, which still makes you a poor advocate. I'll defend Jews. I'm better at it.
 

Robert S. (115)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 2:10 pm
Which is to say Gillian, oh woozy one, you defend so rabidly and dishonestly that you do those you defend discredit and harm. You should leave it to others who are better at it. Those perhaps who are awake and aware and can discern friend from foe. You have no clue.
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 3:19 pm
Robert, that comparison doesn't fly. From Israeli site, it looks like dealing with a gang big and strong, which tries steal your property or kill you by an occasion, and when you take a bat to fend them off, they cry that they got hurt.

You didn't answer, why do you care about 3B to Israel more than 30B of US Aid given to Islamic countries. Or, the other help that Israel provides to the US being most reliable ally in the ME.


 

Jelica R. (157)
Sunday January 9, 2011, 5:58 pm


Bob, January 9, 2011, 5:23 am:
"The camps are kept wretched by their dastardly mohammedan buddies like Arabia, which sits on more wealth than allah himself, but won't do Jacques Merde to help them."

Then I suppose you will accept anybody who enters your property to permanently settle in, whether you like it or not. Very generous of you. I hope you understand that many people are not so tolerant.

Beside being so noble, you are also extremely assimilative against Muslim nations. Are you aware that there is more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, spread from West Africa to Malaysia, and not all are of Arab origin? They think this contribute to some difference between them. I respect this.

I didn't correct your writing of "Mohammedan" and "Allah" with small letters and I kept some abusive adjectives, too. You are disrespective or uneducated. If former, a spell-checker will improve your reputation.
 

Terry B. (649)
Monday January 10, 2011, 9:21 am
Name-calling windbag Robert S. (to throw some of his tactics back in his face) said: Palestinians are not building villages on Israeli land. If they did they would be killed no doubt.

Well, no one has gotten killed or threatened in Tzfat, northern Israel, where arabs are engaged in a purposeful and calculated campaign of buying up Jewish property under assumed names and those of nonexistent entities.

Lotsa hot air, Bob, and you still didn't get it right.
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Monday January 10, 2011, 11:06 am
Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"
You cannot currently send a star to Melissa because you have done so within the last week
By the way Robert,No one have the right to ask me why and for what I may have sent a green star to whomever I want.
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Monday January 10, 2011, 12:40 pm
Jelica, you mixed post from me and Terry.

I know that there are plenty of Islamic countries, after all they commandeered UN long time ago. I am wondering what does US gets back for 30 BILLION a year given to them. They still vote against and even closest US allies Saudis and Pakistanis promote jihad in one shape, or another.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday January 10, 2011, 2:29 pm
Hi Abdessalam,

I'm pretty sure anyone has a right to ask why you sent Melissa (or anyone else) a Green Stat. You have the right not to answer that question, but there is nothing wrong with asking. I know this looks like a silly matter of semantics, but the question of who has the right to say or ask what can easily become quite serious. I have seen misunderstandings of etiquette lead to people getting seriously offended and even get accounts shut down (on other forums).
 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 2:58 pm
Free speech Mr. Diab, I get to ask, You of course are not required to answer...but this is what she said just before you sent the star...

"so many evils have come from israel. who gave the US the atom bomb? who owns the pharma so much of the population is doped on? who runs hollywood? the media? the banks? who introduced pornography to the west? ...oh dear -- we better watch out or we'll be deemed anti-semitic by aipac."

My abbreviated response was this,

" I am not with you on this. I am very far from allowing myself to be associated in any way with the out of bounds, over the top litany of crap you have spewed here. I deem it anti- semitic because clearly, thats what it is, unfettered by guile, spoken clearly, and I will speak clearly in response. I am not in agreement with you. Not one iota."

And you sent her a star...

You don't have to say why. Her words speak for you. You sent her a star for them clearly, and my words speak for me, though some are obviously too dense to hear them.

As for you Terry.... Sticks and stones. Calculated buying of land whatever you calculate is the reason behind it, is quite different from what is going on in the case of this building on land that has been taken which could be called and in most cases is called...stealing.
 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 3:22 pm
Bob Algeron,

"Robert, that comparison doesn't fly"

Perhaps you could take the time to make it clear what comparison I made which can't take flight. I am having lots of conversations here and elsewhere and will not attempt to decipher what statement it is your talking about. As to the US giving money...
I have not spoken on the subject, but do wish we did not give money to ANY of these countries. My opinion however has not been heard in the seats of power here. You do seem to group all Islamic countries together to make the sum given to them appear out of proportion to the amount given poor picked nuclear, and in every other way armed to the teeth, largely by us...little Israel who as I have mentioned has been caught for dog knows what reason spying on the USA... MORE than once, which I find astounding.
 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 3:28 pm
Screwed this sentence up, so,

poor picked on, nuclear armed , and in every other way, armed to the teeth., largely by us...little Israel
 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 3:45 pm
And ya know what, they have to be armed to the teeth. They are surrounded by those who to this day and perhaps always will not understand why something (their homeland) should be taken from them, who had no part in this injustice, (the holocaust) and given to another. I have said before, I if it were up to me gladly give Montana to the Jews. It would be far less costly in every way I can imagine, than what I see from what has come from this bargain made with someone else's land. How many must die. How much war must be waged to defend this bargain.
 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 3:48 pm
If it were up to me, I would gladly give

Jeez, long day, tired.
 

Bob Algeron (47)
Monday January 10, 2011, 4:32 pm
The Land of Israel belongs to Jews, Robert, and this is their homeland.

Arabs have 22 other states to live in, plus a newly emerging one. Whatever lands Israelis got, were cleaned by their blood in wars they didn't start. And of course Israelis have to be armed to the teeth - they have neighbors dreaming and calling for more wars.

 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 5:01 pm
Got. An interesting word, Got. What I have been thinking about exactly is how you GOT it. And who you got it from. Who had to leave, and loose it so you could...got it, after having it given to you by another who did not own it in the first place but took it from another. Thats the issue for me. "cleaned by their blood in wars they didn't start" is very poetic, and may be true. You have had to fight for it once it was given to you in order to hold it. And certainly good brave men/people have died. And I understand wanting to keep it. But someone did loose big time in this bargain. They are called the Palestinians and your people are loosing the moral high ground if ever they had it by there treatment of them. The settlements may be a bridge too far in its being so ugly, so unjust, and the countries undoing.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday January 10, 2011, 10:14 pm
Hi Robert,

First, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that the land was given to Jews by Britain or the U.N. It was not, for two reasons. First, the Parition Plan required acceptance from all parties to come into force. Second, they couldn't give Jews the land because they did not have the power to do so.

To hold sovereignty over territory, to "get" it, an organization must be able to establish a monopoly on the organized political use of force within that territory. It must be able to hold that land against any other entity which wishes to take it. The Zionist Organization did this in 1949, when the ceasefire of the 1948 war was recognized with it controlling territory, at which point it became the government of the new state of Israel.

The obvious question is why my previous paragraph is relevant. It answers what you have been thinking about. Israelis got the land from people who attacked them in 1947. It would be a serious problem, far greater in scale than that in the Middle East, if there were a limit to what an aggressor in war could lose after losing the war. Of course, the usual U.N. line these days is that it is trying to promote peace by telling nations that they can attack each other without fearing destruction or loss of territory.

Palestinians did lose in the end. That is why it is called "losing" a war. The current Palestinian youths, of course, had nothing to do with it, but that means nothing. The same argument could be levelled by Britain to demand back the Thirteen Colonies, except the British argument would be stronger because U.S. rebels were the aggressors in their revolution. Let me know when that claim is enforced, and then perhaps we can discuss the merits of the Palestinian claim.

As for Israel losing the moral highground, name another country which has done any better morally when fighting a rebellion that is backed by an easily identifiable civilian population which is not part of the dominant society within the state. Every other case I can think of ended in genocide very quickly. The fact that Palestinians still exist after 20 years, let alone 50, pretty much puts Israel at the top, as far as I know. Rebellions are ugly and urban warfare is ugly, and while generals and statesmen have tried to make them better for millenia, with some success, they are still searching for answers. If you know how to do it, then please let me know, and then teach generals how to do their jobs because that would make you the greatest one ever.
 

Robert S. (115)
Monday January 10, 2011, 10:55 pm
Well written Stephen. You give me something to think about which here on this post is a novelty to date. Its late. Enjoy your night.
 

Terry B. (649)
Tuesday January 11, 2011, 8:41 am
You cannot currently send a star to Stephen because you have done so within the last week.

Your final point is obvious, but seldom expressed, Stephen.
 

Robert S. (115)
Tuesday January 11, 2011, 3:17 pm
Much stealing and other mischief has been done throughout history with technical "legality" as its justification. The right and wrong of things is not always a matter of law, and in fact as I just pointed out, can be used to achieve the opposite of what is moral, just or fair. The law often shelters scoundrels. That aside, I'll move on.

I am not an expert on the "Partition plan" of which you speak, nor do I plan to become one for purposes of pursuing this argument, though I may change my mind.

You say: "the Parition Plan required acceptance from all parties to come into force".
I am curious...when you say acceptance by all parties, to which parties do you refer? Were the Palestinians in agreement with this plan? Is that your contention, or were they as they are now collateral damage in the lust for land and irrelevant within this legal maneuvering.

I agree that the Brits could not give what was not theirs though they have not let details like that get in their way very often. Might is right you know.

So to establish the monopoly, you must it seems to me have had to "take" the land in order to then "hold" the land keeping it from those from whom you first "got" it...in this case the Palestinians. And your saying this was all nice and legal, technically?

It that right?
 

Robert S. (115)
Tuesday January 11, 2011, 3:52 pm
"That is why it is called "losing" a war."

Condescension aside, Someone said here, (who was it?) that this was the Jewish homeland cleansed in blood in war they did not start... I paraphrased, not wanting to go back and find it. When you come to a place claimed by another, and say to them, this is mine now if you can not take it from me...you are starting a war. Just sayin. So though poetic, it is untrue.

"The same argument could be levelled by Britain to demand back the Thirteen Colonies, except the British argument would be stronger because U.S. rebels were the aggressors in their revolution."

Really, ya thing this a comparison you want to defend? I won't even bother unless you wish to go continue. For it to even begin to be valid we would have to be talking about the Palestinians being a colony breaking away from Israel from the beginning when really it was a simple invasion by Israel, and then a holding of the land taken in that invasion. I will just call the comparison weak because it is, and move on, or please inform me how it holds water if you wish.

Moral high-ground. Sure, the situation you find yourselves in and we by backing you find ourselves in is ugly. Pointing to not having committed genocide as a feather in your bonnet it a sad statement of where one must stoop to defend the indefensible. Do I have the answers? I have one. And have already offered it. Its not rocket science. Stop the settlements. I don't expect Jews to give back Israel. What is required in my opinion when being photographed with your foot on the throat of the vanquished, in order to hope to have anything close to an argument for not being a monster is to perhaps not to attack and kill those bringing food his children and continue building on the little that is left of what he once had. Which of course is now "not so legally" yours.

You can make judgments about the USA, and we have not always done the correct thing. In my opinion that is clear. I do what I can about that. But that aside... you did not finance our injustices, past or present, and I do not choose to finance yours. Again. Just sayin.

 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:04 am
"The Palestinians" could not be a party to it, and neither could "the Jews". An representative person or organization of each group was party to it, as they obviously could not bring the entire populations to read and sign off on the plan. The Palestinian leader rejected it. The rejection by essentially all parties aside from the Zionist Organization (which eventually became the Israeli government) was expressed in the clearest and most extreme manner possible, the war of 1947-1949. In the end, it didn't matter because victory in war ending in control of the territory grants statehood and sovereignty too, both legally and practically. In the final ceasefire agreement, the Palestinian leaders did not end up in control of any territory so there was no Palestinian state formed.

The land was under British sovereignty, and they did give it, sort of. They did not challenge the emergence of Israel in war. Had they actually deployed forces to the war, that would have been a deciding factor. Their decision not to do so amounted to a statement of "We give the land to whoever gets it. We're done there." Also, they set up diplomatic relations with Israel, establishing the second requirement for statehood, that a state have sufficient diplomatic ties to effectively engage in international diplomacy.

I'm saying it was legal, though in no manner nice. In the case of territory, the law recognizes the facts on the ground because a failure to do so would amount to a legal requirement to go to war. The primary idea of international law is to avoid war. The only exception is that states are legally forbidden from recognizing a peace treaty in which the aggressor in a war claims territory without any exchange. The idea there is to make aggression a less attractive option to prevent war. However, in both 1947-1949 and 1967, Israel was formally recognized as not being the aggressor, and for good reason both times.

Both the war of 1947-1949 and the U.S. revolution were a cases of two political groups fighting for control of territory. One attacked the other, war ensued, and then one side ended up in control of the territory. Can the other side now say "No fair!" and demand back the land which it had held before the war? What if the losing side was the clear aggressor? Should its demands be honoured so that it could legally only stand to gain in a war it had started? Those last two apply to Palestinians. The earlier part applied to both the British and the Palestinians. I know the facts on the ground are different, but the argument raised here why Palestinians should be given land depends upon the answers to those questions. Other arguments certainly get around this issue, but they have problems of their own and should be addressed separately.

The problem with the argument that Zionists were the aggressors is that Zionism started within a generation of the development of the Palestinian identity. They both started claiming the land at the same time. Palestinians never actually controlled the land, and the claims to the land started simultaneously. Your argument about Zionists starting a war by going to a place claimed by another doesn't work because the rulers were the Ottomans and then later the British, not Palestinians. They negotiated with the ruling powers and were given land by them, without taking it by force from either.
 

Robert S. (115)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:06 pm
The British, you first say could not give it, then you say they "they did give it, sort of". In any case they were not to be the ones who would be displaced by this "gift" to another of the place they called home.

"Can the other side now say "No fair!""

As you have said, the representatives of the Palestinians said no as any sane people would and then fought those who weren't really asking but taking, and lost. Defenders, aggressors, whatever you want to call them they were living in the place and could be called the indigenous people, no matter who claimed to rule it. But they had no power. They were and are victims of aggression... Of anothers desire for the place they called home. They have been trying to get their home back ever since. They got a raw deal, as did our American Indians. I think that a far better comparison with what went down in Israel than the battle/war for independence from GB by the colonists.

What America has done and does in respect to its Indian population does not reflect on Israel. Israel is not held responsible. However, what Israel does, reflects not only on Jews but on the United States. I must live with whatever injustice my country is guilty of and do what I can to right those wrongs. Whatever Israel does, we it seems, are guilty of also, and I must try to do what I can to right those wrongs. That may be a problem for Israel. Many here do not feel the need to carry on our backs those who attack shipments of aid/food for Palestinians and greedily build on "disputed" land, thumbing their nose at a peace process, while we also pay never ending, in blood, goodwill lost, and treasure for that arrogance of a victim.
 

Just Carole (338)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:51 pm

Good analogy, Robert.

And, since "History is written by the victors." (Winston Churchill), I (of Native American descent) was subjected to an education that taught me that the carnage and theft of land and pride and life was "Manifest Destiny."

It's waaaaaaaaaay past time to quit whitewashing the truth.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 5:25 pm
The British could not give it themselves. They could, however, have prevented it from being taken. The fact that they did not do so while they had every right to try to hold onto that territory implies tacit approval of it being taken. Their approval was a necessary but not sufficient condition for Israeli statehood.

Most sane people would have approved the Partition Plan. It called for them to end up with the contiguous territory, not the Jews. They were also given the majority of the territory, and good land. (It was later claimed that they were given the worst, but that was judging from conditions after Jews had irrigated and developed the land which they were expected to take.)

I think you missed my point earlier: Zionists were taking, but with the approval of the actual rulers, the British. They never took land from Palestinians because Palestinians never actually had the land. They claimed it just like Zionists claimed it, but neither possessed it nor held any greater claim. In fact, after the land-purchases they held a much weaker claim as the Zionist Organization had legally purchased a large part of the private real-estate in the region. They could call it "home" all they wanted, but it was never actually theirs. If I started calling your house or even your office "home", after a few decades of that, can I or my descendants demand that it be given "back" to me or them?

American natives actually ruled the land. While they were considered "outside the system" legally by Europe, they actually fulfilled all the requirements for sovereignty. They were only denied legal status as states because they were arbitrarily defined not to be states. The land was actually taken from them, not from some other state which controlled it with that state's consent. There is a relevant analogy here, but it is in the fact that modern-day Palestinians are arbitrarily defined to be refugees without most of them meeting any of the requirements.

If you want to avoid supporting those who attack and stop aid-shipments, then do not support Hamas. It did that in Cast Lead. If you are referring to the Mavi Maramara, then relax: After being checked, the aid made it to Gaza. The cash did not. Also, relax about paying in blood and treasure for such an ally: Just as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is symptom and not a cause of the Middle East conflicts, the Israeli/Jihadist is a symptom and not a cause of the West/Jihadist conflict. The U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are engaging Jihadists in their territory so that the fight does not take place in the U.S. (after overruning the new Iraqi and Afghan governments). Israel has nothing to do with that. Likewise, the U.S. assists Israel so that the fighting remains on in the Middle East rather than on U.S. soil (after overruning Israel).

I agree with Carole: It is long past time to stop whitewashing the truth.
 

Robert S. (115)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 6:01 pm
Israel has nothing to do with that.

Fascinating. Of course one can argue as above any blind or simply self serving perspective one likes. But our backing of Israel, was and is largely responsible for attacks on us by Islam to date, in my opinion. That is my main interest in your little dot of land. It costs us much to back you though you seem to think you have nothing to do with it. I think thats laughable. I will relax when we stop running interference for you and taking hits.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:00 pm

Steven: "...Zionists were taking, but with the approval of the actual rulers, the British. They never took land from Palestinians because Palestinians never actually had the land. .. "

Wrong! Palestinians DID have the land, they DIDN'T have political control. British gave the land they OCCUPIED for 30 years, but did not posses.

 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 10:52 am
The military,economic and political support of USA to the Zionist entity and the occupation is a main reason of hatred of USA not only among the Palestinians but also among all Islamic world from Casablanca to Jakarta.Arabs and Muslims thought that a new era is going to start after the election of Obama and his famous Cairo speech more than 18 month ago but soon they realized that the Zionist and Jewish lobbies ( mainly AIPAC )are controling not only the US congress but also the American administration which found itself paralyzed unable to convince Israel to stop its expansion and building settlements on the Palestinians land.What is left for the Americans to say when the head of the foreign relations committee of the US house of representatives declares that he is a Zionist and leads the house of representatives to order Obama administration not to acknowledge an independent Palestinian state without the approval of Israel and to veto any UNSC decision in this respect denying the Palestinians the right of self determination ?
SHAME on America .
 

Past Member (0)
Friday January 14, 2011, 12:32 am
Hi Robert,

I suppose we can't know for certain whether it is a cause or an effect of the larger conflict, but I would like to point out the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, and between Israel and Jordan. If the conflict there were caused by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, then the two Arab states most directly involved in it should have been the last to make peace with Israel while the conflict is ongoing. Yet not only is that not the case, but the exact opposite is true. This suggests that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not the cause of the wider Arab/Israeli conflict, let alone the general Islamic supremacist / Western conflict.

Hi Jelica,

Occupation is ownership, unless you mean in terms of the the legal term "occupied territory". After WWI, Palestine was not "occupied territory" held by the British because that refers specifically to land controlled by one entity as a reality of war, but which has not been recognized as changing hands in any permanent way. The peace treaty at the end of WWI recognized the land as being under British control so yes, they really did rule the land even if British culture generally remained on the British Isles. Also, political control is ownership so I think you meant "Right!" rather than "Wrong" at the beginning of that phrase because it actually supports my point.

Hi Abdessalam,
Do you know how much they talk about Israel in Pakistan? That is where most of the U.S.'s enemies are coming from these days. Also, while the anti-Israel rhetoric there is strong, Iran never had any expectation of getting the land which is now Israel and had no close ties with any country that did. With the idea of pan-Arabism strong at least in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, I could see how there would be genuine sympathy for Palestinians among Arabs. However, unless I have missed something your belief about why people hate the U.S. does not add up for any other group. If there is some other reason for them to hate the U.S. then why would that one be insufficient to fuel hatred among Arabs even without caring about Israel?

Also, the right to self-determination is not the right to statehood. It is the right to self-government which, through endorsement and assistance of the P.A., Israel has actually allowed Palestinians to exercise as much as it can. The P.A. would have no more power to govern Palestinians if it were a sovereign power. The only differences in that regard are that it would be able to invite in other Arab forces to assist in putting down rival militias and acquire more powerful weapons with which to fight them. However, rulership through force rather than earned loyalty always leads to rebellion, so those options would produce either a failed state or one under the occupation of Jordan or Egypt. Sadat felt Gaza was a burden so he wanted to get rid of it. Should Palestinians be put back under the rule of Jordan after Black September? Even most Israeli right-wingers wouldn't want that fate for Palestinians. I don't think a state of perpetual Palestinian civil war would be any better. Seriously, as far as national self-determination goes, with their political culture and current quality of leaders Palestinians are in the absolute best situation possible for now.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (80)
Friday January 14, 2011, 5:15 am
I am too ill for a long comment here at this time, but I do want to say that I find it very strange that Gillian has come down so hard on Robert for comments made......by Melissa O. !!

Gillian is insulting, unacceptably insulting towards Robert, and to boot, has chosen the wrong target for her anger.

I couldn't find Robert saying anything attributed to him by Gillian, but I find it all in Melissa O's comment: " so many evils have come from israel. who gave the US the atom bomb? who owns the pharma so much of the population is doped on? who runs hollywood? the media? the banks? who introduced pornography to the west? ..." ending with her smug little, "oh dear -- we better watch out or we'll be deemed anti-semitic by aipac."

Let's remind her that you don't have to share any of AIPAC's positions to find anti-semitism unacceptable & that LOTS of people who defend Palestinian rights, who protest against the Apartheid Wall and the illegal West Bank settlements, who demonstrate against the take-over of Palestinian Jerusalem, etc etc. are not only NOT ANTI-SEMITIC, they're JEWISH!! I decry Melissa's remarks & I am dismayed to find my friend Abdessalam sending green stars to reward anti-Semitism.

This whole train of thought - "who owns the pharma so much of the population is doped on? who runs hollywood? the media? the banks? who introduced pornography to the west? " -- reeks of the same "they control everything" conspiracy theory that the nazis are infamous for popularizing. With views like this, the enemy becomes not Israeli policies, propaganda, right-wing politicians & brainwashed public opinion, but Jewish people wherever they are. This is the racist ideology that leads to exclusion, discrimination, hate crimes, & purges. Whether we're talking about Native Americans, Palestinians, Latin American immigrants or Jews, it is JUST PLAIN WRONG, whatever the political situation & whoever their leaders may be. And Israel's using racist tactics against Palestinians will never make it right to use them against Jews.


The mistake & misplacement of the target is evident from Melissa's first 2 sentences: "so many evils have come from israel. who gave the US the atom bomb?" Israel didn't exist while the bomb was being developed in the US, so how could Israel have possibly 'given' the bomb to the US ??

Instead of insulting & spouting racist views, we should take this as an example for a viable long-term solution: From the MondoWeiss site, "Amidst ghettoes, camps, and a mural for a mass-murderer, a settler offers his coexistence plan"posted by Margaret:
"Nachum Pechenick, the director of Eretz Shalom is a settler who wants to co-exist peacefully and meaningfully with his Arab neighbors. Pechenick is in jeans, big knitted kippa, big brown beard, about forty. His English is halting, but expressive. He draws you in. He is religious, charismatic—reminds me of the 60’s. He loves the land, has a mystical attachment to it, won’t leave. His own settlement is illegal, even by Israeli standards. But his group tries to make friends with Palestinians—cooperate on soil, water, joint playgrounds with their kids. (This last may be the most radical, un- Zionist, and potentially productive, concept.) Respect their property. He hopes to live, he tells us, as a religious settler Jew in a Palestinian state. Peace must be made on the ground, between neighbors. I try to maintain my realist stance, but am taken by it. The guy is, kind of obviously, full of love. When he says that peace won’t come by driving Jews from Judea and Samaria, it does make sense. (It won’t come from what the Israelis are doing now, that is clear enough.) But after forty-five minutes it becomes plain to me that Nachum Pechenick should have an American audience. I would wager a lot of young American Jews –feeling as trapped by the current situation as I do--would find him enormously appealing. Certainly more so than the fraudulent peace maneuvers of Dennis Ross and George Mitchell. "
 

Abdessalam Diab (154)
Friday January 14, 2011, 6:38 am
Peasant
When Melissa said that she and others should watch what they are saying to avoid being accused by AIPAC of anti Semitic,she was right as this accusation is used against any body who criticises Israel for its criminal acts against supporters of the Palestinians.The green star was sent to her because she could say this openly and not for any other comment.I,myself,was accused more than once of being anti semitic although I am a semitic.

I am not against Jews or even Israelis and I have some Israeli friends including one on Care2.I know that many Israelis don't agree with what their government is doing against them and against the Palestinians as well.The problem is the Israeli leadership that is too weak and too suspicious and doesn't have the courage to make peace although the PA had announced that it is dropping claims of Palestine from the Mediterranean to River Jordan and accepts a Palestinian state on the fourth of June 1967 truce lines.

Please get well soon
 

Jelica R. (157)
Friday January 14, 2011, 7:21 pm

Interesting point, Stephen. "...political control is ownership..."
Do you think that your government is the real owner of your real-estate? That your government can sold or give away your home? That "private property" does not exist? Many will disagree with you on this.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 15, 2011, 1:05 am
Hi Jelica,

The government can do what it likes. I can't stop it, at least not without several months to prepare, but that is just because I have the knowledge and resources to manufacture WMDs (it's really not that hard, but I won't post how here) as well as the political understanding to spark civil wars using them, but that is another matter. I think you meant to ask whether it would be highly unethical for the government to do so.

As far as legal traditions go, I do believe there is private property. People have the legally recognized power to enforce to enforce their own policies and edicts within their private land, as permitted by their government. This makes privately owned land a region of mixed political power, with the private owner holding jurisdiction over matters by default, but where the government's laws trump any of their policies or edicts. In much of the developed world the laws of a country will forbid any government from arbitrarily seizing property, whether real-estate or otherwise, without compensating the private owner, but that is not always the case.

Regardless, I referred to ownership in the context of international politics, which is not a matter of domestic private property-law. It is a matter of holding sovereignty. I certainly do not hold sovereignty over my home. The country's laws still apply within it, no matter whether I protest. I suppose then on a fundamental level the government does own all private property within its borders, though I have not given this the consideration it deserves. Relating to the case in question, the British did not give the Zionists Palestinians' private property. The British approved of Zionists taking, from the British government, sovereignty over the land on which Palestinians' private property stood.
 
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