Pragmatic Thinking on Israel-Palestine Mess

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Despite the worsening morass in Israel-Palestine circumstances in which kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit still has not been recovered and Israel is wading deeper into its former role occupying and controlling Gaza, there are still some who see a possibility of restoring progress in place of constant deterioration.
Gareth Evans and Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group have an important piece in the Financial Times. Here is an excerpt:

There is a desperate need for all parties to reassess pragmatically their positions.
The first step is to understand what the crisis is and isnotabout. Israeli and western analysts swiftly concluded that Hamas’s decision to resume armed attacks reflected a deep internal split, that it was dictated by a harder-line Islamist leadership in exile bent on confrontation in order to embarrass a more pragmatic Islamist government obsessed with self-preservation. If tensions within Hamas prompted the violence, then the way to end it was surely to isolate its more radical external wing while pressuring local leaders to make a more decisive break.
This analysis, and the policies to which it has given rise, display unhappy ignorance of how Hamas functions and what its current leadership is about. Differences of opinion do exist, but they are far more complex than any tidy inside/outside split could possibly suggest.
The International Crisis Group, as a conflict prevention organisation, meets very regularly with its leaders, in the occupied territories and elsewhere. We have little patience for Hamas’s ideology and nothing but revulsion for its terror tactics. But we listen. Over the past several weeks, we have heard divergent tonalities, distinct priorities – and one overriding message: let Hamas govern or watch it fight.
Governing is what Hamas has not been permitted to do. From Fatah, its rival secular movement, to Israel, the Arab world and the west, the strategy since the January 25 Palestinian elections has been roughly similar and wholly transparent: to pressure and isolate the government, squeeze it of funds and count on popular discontent with its non- performance to ensure the Hamas experience in power comes to a rapid end. In this context, the recent attack on the Keren Shalom military base came neither out of nowhere nor out of intra-Hamas divisions. It came, chiefly, from the Islamists’ calculation that they should show they had options other than electoral politics – and that the consequences of their governmental failure would be borne by all.
It is understandable, in this fraught environment, that Israel may believe that punishing the Palestinian people in violation of international law is all it can do to preserve its deterrent credibility and discourage future abductions. But lead to the soldier’s release unharmed? Strengthen Palestinian pragmatists? Restore the ceasefire? By now, through trial and serial errors, one would hope Israeli leaders know better. In the current confrontation, Hamas’s support is growing, its ranks are becoming more unified and its detractors are being reduced to silence.
None of this paints a pretty picture but it may suggest a way out. If a deal is to be reached, its rough outlines are predictable: Israel wants quiet, and Hamas wants the ability to govern. Hamas must release the soldier, reinstate the truce and stop all militias firing rockets. Israel must end its Gaza incursion, cease disproportionate military action in the occupied territories and release recently jailed ministers and parliamentarians as well as Palestinian prisoners who have not been charged with an offence. Getting any such agreement will require far more active and assertive third party mediation than has been the case so far.

When both sides have their hackles up and are determined to make sure that the other has lost face, it’s hard to see a sensible path out of conflict.
But Ariel Sharon once said that his views changed when he sat behind the Prime Minister’s desk and considered Israel’s future.
It seems to me that serious strategists and visionaries — particularly those who staff Israel’s Prime Minister and Defense Minister as well as those who surround the Palestinian Prime Minister and President — who want to lead Israel and Palestine in the years ahead find their way out of the conflict box they are in.
Evans and Malley have some of the pieces for such an approach.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

94 comments on “Pragmatic Thinking on Israel-Palestine Mess

  1. online community says:

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    Reply

  2. DB says:

    “I’ll be glad to stick to arguing my case on the basis of justice, international law, foreign policy of the US and economics if you leave off arguing on the basis of Jewish suffering entitling the Jews to plunk down in Arabia and snatch more land than they were given by the UN.”
    So the UN decides. So you would now be happy if Israel retracted to the boundaries the UN initially offerred it? And does a country not have the right to expand its boundaries after being repeatedly attacked?
    The argument stinks, and frankly, the Arabs control 99% of the land in the Middle East, so why is it they are so riled up about a few Jews living there?
    Certainly when the Jews first established Israel, the whole of Israel was a barren desert. Who’s fault is it that Israel is now a fertile land with a Democratic society, and the Arabs living next to her are poor??
    Were the “Palestinians” doing soooo well in 1967 when under the rule of Jordan?? No, I don’t think so. In fact, their plight became BETTER when Israel took them over, otherwise why would they GRIPE everytime Israel closes the crossing into her so that the Palestinians can’t WORK!!!
    Why do you think the Gazan’s are so distressed now- geee- maybe all the jobs they used to have are now inaccessible.
    And if Israel is sooooo terrible, where are there 1 million Arabs happily living within her borders. In fact, these Arabs are the richest and most enfranchized Arabs in the whole Middle East!!
    Carroll- you definitely sound like an anti-semetic. When you say that most of the Jews you know don’t really care much about Israel, I’d bet that counts for all two or three of them, because I hardly know a Jew who doesn’t.
    Pissed- well, you are certainly entrenched in an Israel hating ideology. I’m sure you’d levy the opposite claim against me, and that’s cool to have open discourse. I can agree that Israel is not perfect, but unlike the two of you, I can objectively deiscern the fact that Israel has repeatedly made efforts towards a 2-state solution. The two of you, along with the “Palestinian” leadership, envision only a 1-state soltution, and will always view Israel as illegitimate. And why? My answer would be that it is anti-semitism, because the “nation” of Palestian as an Arab state has never existed in reality- only in your minds- so how can the Jews have taken something that never existed???
    Carroll and Pissed- do you have a 2 state solutions ( similar to what Barak/Clinton proposed in Y2K ) or are you just bent on Jew bashing?

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  3. democrat says:

    “Carroll” …
    I’m sorry that Rachel Corrie died. Some guy with a bulldozer killed her. He intended to do it. Or he didn’t. Or he could see her. Or he couldn’t. Or she slipped and fell. I have no clue as to what really happened, but you apparently do, because you contend that “we could have started a war over it.” (I guess Rachel was the first American killed in the Middle East, by anyone.)
    Sounds to me like “we” (i.e., the U.S.) are a little touchy, wouldn’t you say?
    I read Mike Clemons’ piece on the USS Liberty. I also read the jpeg document cited there [http://www.ussliberty.org/] in which there is, among other things, a call for a Congressional investigation.
    I don’t have a problem with this; let’s clear the air. Having said this, I will make two points about the incident.
    1. In war, shit happens.
    (a) When we invaded Grenada in 1983, we bombed an insane asylum and killed 16 people and wounded 6 others. A long legal hassle ensued and there was finally some sort of resolution. [http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/95eng/USA9213.htm]. Just how the thing was finally resolved isn’t all that clear, thanks to the murky legalisms that abound in that document. Therein, nevertheless, is the following statement:
    “For its part “the United States’ Government considers it important to note for the record its longstanding position that its actions were entirely in conformance with the law of armed conflict, and that therefore the U.S had no legal liability for any damages claimed. For these reasons, the U.S categorically rejects as inaccurate and misleading petitioners’ statement as an alleged settlement of this case and compensation paid in this matter.”
    Nations do do their legalistic dances.
    (It should be mentioned, because I didn’t note it in Clemons’ piece or the jpeg document, that Israel paid restitution to the families of the victims.)
    (b) In WWII we bombed Schaffhausen ***, a city on the northern bank of the Rhine and on the Swiss border. There was just one problem with this: Schaffhausen was in SWITZERLAND. Our envoy was advised that, “… the offending planes numbered 50, that the killed and wounded amounted to more than 100, and that fires were still ravaging homes, factories, city buildings, and railway yards of the city of 22,000 inhabitants. The polite foreign minister voiced his inability to conceive of an explanation for ‘what apparently was a deliberate attack.’ “
    A formal apology was made by “Tooey” Spatz (CG, USAF, ETO), and Sec. of State Cordell Hull admitted full responsibility and indicated the American government’s willingness to make appropriate reparations for damages incurred. However …
    “The good effect of [Hull’s] statement was erased by an ill-phrased release by Spaatz’s headquarters in London on Sunday mentioning that navigational difficulties and bad weather had caused some bombs to fall by mistake on Switzerland. The deliberate understatement of the size and accuracy of the attack and the alibi of bad weather angered the Swiss press. In a telegram sent Sunday afternoon, Harrison [our diplomatic rep. in Switzerland] had warned that ‘there is natural popular feeling throughout Switzerland of resentment and indignation on material, moral and theoretical grounds but it is as yet too early to gauge its depth or estimate its effect.’6 The London statement triggered the release of this resentment and indignation into public print. Harrison winced and telegraphed that ‘terrestrial weather conditions Schaffhausen area were reported exceptionally clear with excellent visibility. If conditions in higher atmosphere were bad, details thereof are essential if statement in communiqué to carry any conviction and not be regarded as inept attempt at evasion.’7
    The Gazette de Lausanne wrote that the excuse of poor weather was worthless and that ‘If American commanders know no better than to multiply bombardments without even taking geography into account it is but time to replace them by others.’ The Basel National Zeitung was similarly angry over the weather comment and claimed Schaffhausen was willfully attacked. ‘We do not exaggerate in characterizing [this] act as [a] ‘war crime’ with its destruction of irreplaceable lives, unique cultural objects, and much valuable property.’ ”
    *** Schaffhausen wasn’t alone: “As the Allied air attack on Germany intensified, the number of raids on Swiss territory increased, culminating in the nearly simultaneous bombings of Basel and Zurich on 4 March 1945.”
    http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj00/sum00/helmreich.html
    One can understand the fury of the Swiss. We certainly did something reprehensible or stupid or careless or all of the above and more. The weather was clear; any traveler’s map of Europe will show where Switzerland ends and Germany begins, etc. But any claim by the Swiss foreign minister and anyone else that we PURPOSELY bombed Schaffhausen while knowing that it was Swiss territory would have to pass the test of establishing INTENT: why would we do such a thing? Which leads to the second point.
    2. Israel was in the midst of fighting a war and it bombed the USS Liberty. I’ve read the statements by military figures on the scene and elsewhere, and by Sec. of State Rusk, etc., in which the feeling is that Israel HAD to know that the Liberty was a U.S. ship (the weather was clear, the flag was flying, etc.). But what I haven’t seen anywhere is the clear and legitimate establishment of INTENT. The Liberty was monitoring communications or had that capability, but just what could it possibly find out that would cause the Israeli military to INTENTIONALLY bomb the naval vessel of its only real friend? That Israel was in the midst of fighting for its existence, notwithstanding the fact that it was about to kick its adversaries’ ass in 6 days? That the Israelis were about to initiate some dastardly act?
    Stupidity, carelessness, egregious error … whatever we may call it. But none of that establishes the key element of intent.
    One final comment, and then I have to go: I have a life beyond this website, as I’m sure you do, too. You said,
    “On the HUD finding, yea that was a low blow example but I can’t seem to get thru your head that many things you say in relation to the Isr/Pal conflict betray this kind of thinking… that Jews are entitled to consider themselves above all others …”
    Establish for me, if you will, my statement(s) that betray this particular attitude. Yes, I will continue to defend Israel on this thread until we all perhaps drop dead of boredom – and I don’t have the time or inclination to respond to every absurd statement or insult.
    But I will defend Israel because she is worthy, because I’m virtually alone on this thread in defending her, and because the comments by the key players here betray a one-sided, deep-seated animosity toward and prejudice against Israel.

    Reply

  4. Carroll says:

    Well Dem….
    Regarding this….”And, by the way, your analogy regarding the loyalists to the Crown and the Am. Revolution is “fatally flawed” … at the time of the Revolution we had (correct me if I’m wrong) what I shall call an ENEMY – that is, the British. So the loyalists were supporting the enemy – lots of them ending up in Canada, where they turned out to be pretty good people. Israel is NOT “the enemy”
    I think you and I both know the old definition of enemy is a bit outdated in this day and time..we aren’t at war with Russia either right now but I bet their “enemy” status hasn’t changed. We weren’t at war with Israel with they bombed the USS Liberty or bulldozed Rachel Corrie. But we could have started a war over it…who knows when a different adm in the US might take a different approach to some of Isr’s accidents.
    But I am glad to see you do agree with me on the fact that one can’t really be loyal to ones’s country if they are concerned foremost with another.
    On the HUD finding, yea that was a low blow example but I can’t seem to get thru your head that many things you say in relation to the Isr/Pal conflict betray this kind of thinking…that Jews are entitled to consider themselves above all others, not all of course, any more than all southerners are KKK members but we both know that it is always the minority that infects the majority when things go too far. And how is the way Palestines or Arabs in general are treated or looked upon by Israel any different than this example of racism?
    And no I don’t spend time looking up things about Jews because I don’t actually think in terms of “the Jews”, mainly I suppose because all the Jews I know well aren’t particulary attached to Israel or active in supporting it…I do think politically in terms of the uber zionist like AIPAC who are screwing with my country’s policies..they being “half” of the ME problem and the other half of the problem being our own corrupt congress. But because you have leapt to defend or excuse on the basis of the Jewish history, what to me is not defendable in Israeli actions I have concentrated on that part of the arguement.
    I’ll be glad to stick to arguing my case on the basis of justice, international law, foreign policy of the US and economics if you leave off arguing on the basis of Jewish suffering entitling the Jews to plunk down in Arabia and snatch more land than they were given by the UN.
    How’s that for a deal?

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  5. democrat says:

    “Carroll” …
    What the hell does this have to do with this thread. Some Jewish landlord s.o.b. (if I catch the drift of the article; I just read a couple of sentences) is mistreating tenants. OK, so he should get his ass kicked. Are you happy now? How do you dredge up off-topic stuff where Jews are the bad guys … do you spend time looking for it?
    Do you have a problem with Jews? Do you think that, because I support Israel, I fall in love with every Jewish person?
    My world is bigger and fairer than that. How about yours?

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  6. democrat says:

    “Carroll” …
    Very interesting family history – you have every right to be proud of it.
    The definition of “traitor” I used was straight from the dictionary -so if there’s a problem with it, you’ll have to deal with Mr. Webster (possibly one of your ancestors? 🙂 ). And, by the way, your analogy regarding the loyalists to the Crown and the Am. Revolution is “fatally flawed” … at the time of the Revolution we had (correct me if I’m wrong) what I shall call an ENEMY – that is, the British. So the loyalists were supporting the enemy – lots of them ending up in Canada, where they turned out to be pretty good people. Israel is NOT “the enemy” (do I even have to state this?); if you’re looking for one, check out Islamo-fascism, autocratic Islamic regimes, state-supported terrorism, oil blackmail, etc. for more productive results.
    There are those of us who are hyphenated Americans, a grouping that includes Italian- , Irish- , Mexican- native- and, of course, Jewish-Americans, among many others. Yes, there are times when there can be an inherent conflict, and one has to resolve this conflict in his own (hopefully) good conscience. I agree (!!!!!) that anyone who has reached a policy point based solely on the consideration of what is good for the “old country” and not based on what is good for the U.S. of A. is off base, big-time – and that would include AIPAC members or whatever. (It would also include any Americans of British ancestry who, in the time just prior to WWII, pushed for lend-lease … IF they did so purely out of support for GB, and not what was good for the USA.)
    Whether you believe it or not, this is not where I come from. In the face of all odds, the Jewish people have survived to create a democratic, modern, pluralistic society in a region terribly inimical to such concepts. If their endeavor, however imperfect it may be, is not worthy of our support then we have lost our moral compass and we live in a world of nothing more than shark-eat-shark.
    That is what I believe; I don’t know whether you agree with it or not but you inquired where I was coming from … so there it is.

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    Dem…this is what your kind of thinking that Jews are the exception to the rule leads to…this might be acceptable in Israel but not here…what is it you don’t get about this type of thing being as disgusting to Americans when it happens in Israel as when it happens in the US? Morals don’t have borders.
    News Release
    HUD No. 06-077
    Jereon Brown
    (202) 708-0685
    http://www.hud.gov/news/ For Release
    Wednesday
    July 5, 2006
    HUD CHARGES NEW JERSEY LANDLORD AND TWO EMPLOYEES WITH VIOLATIONS OF THE FAIR HOUSING ACT BASED ON RELIGION
    Charge alleges Cottage Manor Apartments sought to group tenants based on religion, race, color, and national origin
    WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that it has issued a charge of discrimination against Triple H. Realty, LLC of Lakewood, New Jersey, and two of its employees. The charge alleges that Triple H. Realty and the two employees violated the Fair Housing Act by attempting to segregate tenants at the Cottage Manor Apartments, a 104-unit, six building apartment complex located in Lakewood, New Jersey, based on their religion, race, color, and national origin.
    HUD alleges that the owner, managing agent, and onsite superintendent of the Cottage Manor Apartments treated non-Jewish tenants differently than Jewish tenants. Specifically, HUD alleges that non-Jewish Hispanic and African-American tenants were forced to transfer to the buildings located in the rear of the subject property to allow Jewish families to move into the better-kept apartments in the front of the complex. HUD found that the managing agent for Triple H. Realty, LLC, offered Jewish tenants incentives to relocate to Cottage Manor and instructed the onsite superintendent to ask African-American and Hispanic families living in two buildings to transfer to another building so that Jewish tenants would not have to live among African-American and Hispanic families.
    “The allegations involved in this case smack of the racial covenants and the ugly segregation of the past,” said Kim Kendrick, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Forcing families to move because of their religious beliefs is not a part of America today.”
    HUD’s investigation found non-Jewish, African-American and Hispanic tenants received little to no apartment maintenance as compared to the maintenance provided to Jewish tenants. For example, Cottage Manor management refused to properly exterminate a non-Jewish family’s apartment, as well as failed to perform adequate maintenance repairs in the family’s bedroom and bathroom.
    HUD’s on-site investigation confirmed that the maintenance of the one building occupied by non-Jewish tenants was substantially different. The building housing many of the Jewish families has a well-manicured lawn in the front courtyard that is enclosed by a white picket fence. Conversely, the buildings with the majority of African-American and Hispanic tenants are not well maintained, have little or no lawn in the courtyards, and the courtyards are not enclosed.
    Cottage Manor management also instituted different lawn policies for tenants that were not Jewish. African-American and Hispanic tenants were told that they could not leave any toys or personal items on the lawns, but Jewish tenants were allowed to leave personal items on the lawns.
    Kendrick added, “Providing unequal living facilities based on religion, race, color, and/or national origin is simply inconceivable. We are committed to ensuring these families have an equal opportunity for housing in their community.”
    The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against persons based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status.
    Housing discrimination charges heard before an administrative law judge carry a maximum civil penalty of $11,000 for a first offense, in addition to actual damages for each complainant, injunctive or other equitable relief, and attorneys’ fees. Sanctions can be more severe if a respondent has a history of housing discrimination. Parties also have the right to elect to have their cases heard in federal district court.
    FHEO and its partners in the Fair Housing Initiatives Program and the Fair Housing Assistance Program investigate approximately 9,000 housing discrimination complaints annually. People who believe they are the victims of housing discrimination should contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) 800-927-9275 (TTY) or the Department of Justice at (800) 896-7743 or 202-514-4713. Additional information is available at http://www.hud.gov/fairhousing and http://www.usdoj.gov.
    ###

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  8. democrat says:

    Response to “Pissed” …
    An interesting statement by the Rabbi, whose credibiltiy soars far above that of Gideon Levy, a leftist apologist idiot whose approach is “we did it; we’re guilty, we did it, we’re guilty, we …we … we …” The difference between those who share Rabbi Lerner’s viewpoints and someone like myself is that Lerner is an idealist (he is, after all, a rabbi) and I consider myself a realist. I WOULD LIKE there to be a world in which MOST Palestinians – like the majority of Israelis – just wanted to co-exist, and Palestinians and Israelis could just get on with their lives … but I don’t think that world exits. (Show me a poll of Palestinians that indicates otherwise.) I could provide a long list of the violence and hate spewed forth on Palestinian media, perpetrated by religious leaders, taught in Palestinian schools … but why bother? It either brings you to the same place where I am, in terms of my view of the painful Israeli-Palestinian drama, or it doesn’t.
    Another article the other day – also from Haaretz – takes what I feel is a more realistic approach:
    ‘Beware of the traps of the past “
    By Yoel Marcus
    Ehud Olmert has three years and ten months left to make Israel “a country that’s fun to live in,” as he promised after being elected prime minister. Meanwhile, we are far from a fun state. The Olmert-Amir Peretz government is still half ripe. In the unexpected trial it is facing, it is walking on the razor’s edge. If it takes one step too many or too few, it might slip and cut itself. The public opinion polls don’t know yet how to digest the performance of the government, or to say whether it is experienced enough to cope with the challenge the Palestinians have placed before it – the abduction of soldier Gilad Shalit and the incessant Qassam fire.
    Yasser Arafat used to boast that nobody could match his expertise in Israeli weaknesses. Amos Gilad, who heard the boasts, said later that Arafat had no understanding of the Israeli mentality. For example, he interpreted the Israel Defense Forces’ nocturnal pullout from Lebanon as a weakness. He released the Hamas activists from jail and sent them to carry out attacks in Israel. Assuming that Israel’s endurance threshold was low, he launc hen (launched when?) Israel was showing signs of making concessions. And as it has been said a thousand times before, he never missed an opportunity to miss every opportunity to improve his people’s situation.
    Arafat and the terror organizations also misinterpreted the Israeli leadership’s inability to endure the pressure of the families whose sons were kidnapped or taken prisoner. Israel gave in, time after time, but ultimately the Palestinians paid dearly. Arafat died miserably, leaving behind a Palestinian Authority in ruins. Quite justly, he has been erased from his people’s memory.
    The terror organizations, headed by Hamas – even after rising to power – followed Arafat’s erroneous way. They believed they must strike at the “Zionists” every chance they get. It is hard to understand why, after Israel evacuated Gaza to the international border, Sderot and its surroundings were shelled by Qassam rockets every day. After Sharon stashed the Greater Israel dream in the archives of history, where was the logic in Hamas’ continued terrorism, making itself, in the eyes of the world, part of the axis of evil, doomed to liquidation?
    There is no doubt that Hamas is behind Shalit’s abduction. The fact that a Hamas cabinet minister is reporting on Shalit’s medical condition proves that Hamas officials know where the soldier is and can return him in the blink of an eye. But they are counting on Israel’s lack of fortitude to face families, and they believe Israel will cave in to wholesale extortion.
    This time, however, they found Israel not trembling but stubborn, an Israel that settles scores and is in no hurry to give in. Hamas erred in its calculation. It outraged the entire world, not to mention the destruction the IDF wreaked in retaliation. Who would have believed that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself would say there is no one to talk to, in reference to his own government?
    The IDF has already demonstrated what it can do. Olmert’s instruction to stop the offensive on the outskirts of Beit Hanun was appropriate: First, because we have no interest in causing irreversible disaster to the Palestinian nation. Second, because it is important to leave the door cracked open for mediation and negotiation, which would also address the Qassam fire issue.
    Israel’s resoluteness was called for, but for all that the PA is run by morons and fanatics – a fatal combination in itself – the punishment should be meted out carefully. Sooner or later, they will be the neighbors we will have to live with.
    Numerous commentators and politicians are urging the government to go all the way – to destroy Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. They cite past leaders like Moshe Dayan, Yisrael Galili, Yitzhak Shamir and Golda Meir, who refused in principle to negotiate with terror organizations. But times have changed. The struggle is about reaching a settlement, not playing chicken. The new generation of leaders, precisely because it is inexperienced, must patiently shape its views and policies according to the changing situations, with strong nerves and cool, creative judgment. These leaders must act according to current circumstances, both in mediation and in talks toward an arrangement. They must not fall into traps and mantras of the distant past, or resort to expired medicines.
    The Israeli invasion into northern Gaza and the missile attack on the Gaza power station had (in my opinion) everything to do with Qassam missiles and Sderot, etc., and nothing to do with the kidnapped/captured (whatever) soldier. The Palestinians started this missile game; the Israelis endeavor to end it. Every nation has the right to protect its citizens, and – to the consternation of some – this includes Israel. If Hamas does not collude with the Qassam missile attackers or at least give tacit approval to them (let’s get real: THEY DO) then, in the least, they have proven to be utterly incapable of preventing them. If the PA – under the Hamas or whomever – cannot solve the Qassam problem, then the Israelis will do it for them.
    *************
    Of course it’s good to have the likes of the Swiss, from the safe and cozy confines of their snowcapped Alps and from behind their cuckoo clocks, prescribing to Israel just what is an appropriate response to the almost daily assault on their civilian population.

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  9. Carroll says:

    And BTW Dem…you are right in this..
    “Gideon Levy’s article in Haaretz resulted in hundreds of responses. What is most impressive is the wide range of views expressed in this truly free-press environment offered by this Israeli publication. All you Israeli detractors out there: show me a publication in Palestine or anywhere in the Arab world that dare offer a similar forum.”
    But you could have added show me a publication in America as well, that allowed such an open forum on Isr/Pal. Every net user for news realizes that we in America don’t get the straight poop on Isr/Pal or the Israeli lobby antics either. You don’t have to be a genius to realize there is a rat in the woodpile some where when one side is always vilified and the other always excused in the US press… after a while people start thinking ..”hummm, this isn’t making any sense”…and go looking for the real facts behind the stories.
    The two things Israel has going for it are their free press and Supreme Court and that is all the more reason, if as you say most Israelis think like you, why there is no excuse for the Israeli attitudes or actions.
    If the US press hadn’t been co-opted by capitalism and special interest and really was free and unslanted, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, the rats in the woodpile would have been cleaned out long ago.

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  10. Carroll says:

    Rabbi Michael Lerner ..a honorable man…too bad those like Dem don’t see the truth of what he is saying.
    And this…”This is a defining moment in our relationship with Israel for all Americans of whatever faith.”..is the warning shot over the bow for all thoses who want to say Israel’s Cause is America’s Cause. It isn’t.

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  11. Carroll says:

    Dem….I’am b-a-c-k….
    No I wasn’t in uniform during Vietnam but my brother was; a Marine Lt., 3 purple hearts, two bronze stars and one silver…..and my family has been fighting wars and dying for this country in the American Revolution, Civil War, War of 1812 Spanish-American War WWI, WWII,Korea and Vietnam. Just putting in a plug for the “American tribe” here.LOL
    Don’t agree with your total definition of traitor….you need to add “covert acts” not just “overt” acts….as far as I can see groups like AIPAC are “covert” traitors because they “undermine” this country, even if it is a secondary result, in favor of another. But whatever terms we use to describe it, traitor, spy, subversive, whatever…we both know what we mean.

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  12. Pissed Off American says:

    Israel has Crossed a Moral Boundary
    By Rabbi Michael Lerner
    In 2003 I was prevented from speaking at a large demonstration protesting the impending war in Iraq because I was deemed too pro-Zionist by one of the sponsoring organizations. My sin then, as now, is that I believe that both sides have acted with insensitivity and have been oblivious to the needs of the other, and both sides need to repent.
    I still believe that now, and as late as last week was calling on the tens of thousands of readers of http://www.tikkun.org to insist to the Palestinians that they would be far more effective if they were to adopt the non-violent strategies of Gandhi, King, and Mandela rather than to imagine themselves capable of militarily defeating Israel. And just as I’ve critiqued the state terrorism against civilians that the IDF brings to the West Bank occupation, so I’ve always critiqued the terrorism of some sectors of the Palestinian population.
    But this week it’s impossible as a Jew and as an American to not notice that a new human rights violation by Israel has taken place which manages to surpass many of its previous violations in cruelty and in the outrage it has generated.
    Anyone has ever faced the crippling heat of the desert-like conditions of southern Israel or the Gaza strip knows the desperation for water that comes each summer. So when Israel bombed and destroyed the electricity system for 1.2 million Gazans and thereby made all electric pumps inoperable, they inflicted a collective punishment on the entire Gazan population.
    The alleged justification was a desire to punish Palestinians for electing a Hamas government, and more immediately to retrieve a soldier who had been “kidnapped” (the quotes because this was not a civilian but a soldier in uniform, so if Israel sees itself as at war with Hamas, then the only possible description is that their soldier was captured by the other side). The Hamas government, however, has publicly urged the “kidnappers” whom it does not control to free the captured soldier.
    Moreover, the outrage in Israel about this “kidnap” reflects a huge level of systematic denial going on in the consciousness of Israelis and many who support its policies–because virtually every human rights group including the various Israeli human rights organizations has chronicled tens of thousands of acts of “kidnap” of this sort by the IDF against Palestinian civilians, who are then kept in detention for as long as six months without a trial, often facing brutal torture, and then released without ever having been charged with any crime. Of course, and I thank God for this because I care for the well being of the people of Israel , and as a Jew I am deeply tied to the success and safety of this particular Jewish society, the Palestinians have never been able to punish hundreds of thousands or millions of Israelis collectively for these systematic violations of human rights. To the extent that they do so through acts of terror, I condemn those acts.
    This is a defining moment in our relationship with Israel for all Americans of whatever faith. Just as we need to make clear to our own government that its human rights violations in Guantanamo and Iraq are unacceptable, so we need to communicate to the Israeli people that the mass punishment of a million people for the acts of a few is as unacceptable when it comes from a democratic society as when it comes from the willful oppression of entrenched authoritarian dictators. Even if, God forbid, the captured soldier is murdered by the lunatics who captured him, it is only they and their conscious sponsors who should be punished, not random Palestinians, unless you think it equally appropriate to some day punish the entire American public for the three million Vietnamese killed by American action in Vietnam or for the horrendous acts which continue in Guantanamo and Iraq even today.
    Unfortunately, we can’t count on our U.S. government to convey this sentiment without qualifying its concerns in ways that essentially communicate that Israel can do whatever it wants and we won’t interfere.
    So the onus is upon us as ordinary citizens to act and act decisively. We need to communicate our concerns to legislators and media. We need to organize demonstrations in front of the offices of our elected officials, and also outside Israeli consulates and those Jewish institutions which continue to use their influence to support Israeli policy even at this moment (there are a few which have spoken out in critique, but very very few). And we need to write to those in power in Israel, starting with Prime Minister Olmert, telling them that even those of us who love Israel and will never let it be destroyed find this particular action unconscionable, demand that Israel immediately rebuild the electricity system, and that Israel stop trying to impose its will with military might but instead sit down with the Palestinians and negotiate a lasting peace.
    Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine, the largest circulation liberal/progressive Jewish magazine in the world. He is rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue in San Francisco, national chair of The Network of Spiritual Progressives , and the author of ten books, most recently a 2006 national best-seller The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right.
    Please circulate this widely, post it on websites, and spread the word.
    If you wish to help us, JOIN The TIKKUN COMMUNITY at http://www.Tikkun.org. And read Rabbi Lerner’s book Healing Israel/Palestine (North Atlantic Books,2003).
    ————————————–

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  13. Den Valdron says:

    democrat, you’re relentless racism and hatred is really getting tiresome. Take it somewhere else. I don’t see that there’s any sense in talking to you. Your position is an incoherent barrage of cherry picked facts, lies and hysteria.

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  14. democrat says:

    “Pissed”, I noted your apology for contending earlier that I posted here under more than one screen name. It is in fact correct that I’m here under the name “democrat” only – apology accepted.
    I also noted your comment to “Carroll”, as follows:
    ” ‘Opps….before I go I want to settle the arguement between you and POA about ..”Who Started It’
    Don’t worry about it, Carroll, I already won that argument … ”
    (The remainder of your comment was too sophomoric to bother with.)
    I can assure you that the opinion voiced by the “Who Started It” contributor to Haaretz is not universaly shared in Israel, here in the U.S., or in lots of other places (see my prior post). And judging from my admittedly brief visit to this website, your readiness to perform rhetorical victory laps is premature, to say the least. But the attitude so expressed does give me an idea as to how we might extricate ourselves from what has become the Iraqi quagmire: declare victory, and then get the heck out.
    What a shame that “Carroll” is leaving this thread; I will miss him. I was interested in his definition of “traitor”, since he has already described me in this fashion. (At one point in the distant past, I wore Army fatigues … I wonder if “Carroll” has done something similar.)
    I, myself, would think the term would apply to one who commits “the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family” … but that’s me, and what the heck do I know.

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  15. democrat says:

    Gideon Levy’s article in Haaretz resulted in hundreds of responses. What is most impressive is the wide range of views expressed in this truly free-press environment offered by this Israeli publication. All you Israeli detractors out there: show me a publication in Palestine or anywhere in the Arab world that dare offer a similar forum.
    What surprised me, frankly, was the number of contributors who sympathized with Levy’s point of view. Some (judging by name) were Arabs; many others were, in fact, Jews. Of course, there were scores who provided opposing viewpoints. Here are several of them (I’ve copied raw text, unedited – misspellings, typos, whatever):
    [From “carlos” in New York]
    The Palestinians did have the opportunity to catalize the International community (Europe, US, Japan, the Arab countries) to invest in Gaza and start the long process of creating a democratic, free, and economically better society. But instead of focusing on that, they – through the Hamas government – continue obsessed with the stupid politics of “pride and honor.”
    What would have happened if Hamas had stopped the Qassams and recognized Israel in exchange for massive international investment, and a retreat from 95%+ of the West Bank? Would the Palestinians be better or worse off? The moment that Hamas puts this proposal on the table, Israel will have no choice but accept it.
    So far they have decided that the future of their children is less important than some stupid, miopic sense of pride and honor they get from being victimized and fighting a fight they cannot win.
    So,they have their honor and pride and the IDF. Enjoy!!
    [From “Ehud” in Tel Aviv]
    Gideon Levy has it all wrong. What Israel says is not “they started”, but “we started”. We started to end the occupation, and they responded with Qassam and kidnappig as though they wish to get us back by force. And if we don`t come back out of our own initiative then let`s kdinapp us back one by one. Why? Because ending the occupation endangers the myth of the eternal Palestinian victim. How to cope with actual self-determination in the absence of an occupier who can be made responsible for anything going wrong in the territories, who can serve as a cover for Palestinian corruption and mismanagement, the common enemy who can provide both unity between mutually exclusive Palestinian movements – and electricity!
    [from “Berkowitz” in New York]
    So if the PA throws a stone, we should talk? If they shoot, we shouldn`t shoot back? We broke the so called cycle of violence by pulling out. A cycle of peace would have been created had the PA responded in kind. But they responded with more violence, proving they don`t want peace as much as we wish they did. Don`t judge the PA based on our ideals. Judge them objectively by their actions.
    If IDF actions contradict the establish of a palestinian state, then what about palestinian actions? What have they done since the pullout to indicate that they really want a civil, peaceful, functioning society?
    Gaza has sunk to the depths since we pulled out, cause the palestinians let it. It`s become gangs, warlords, terrorist groups and nothing more. And none of that is Israel`s fault.
    When they prove they want a real, true, honest and decent, peaceful state, we will help them.
    Until then, stop blaming Israel for arab disingenuousness.
    [from “Bloomfield]
    Sirhid (#90) has made it very clear that he “hates” Zionism itself, i.e. he despises the very existence of Israel. Most Palestinians on Talkback have made it abundantly clear that they are not willing to accept Israel under ANY conditions. They don`t want a return to the borders of June 4, 1967; they want to return to their homes and villages WITHIN Israel. They want to REPLACE Israel with a Palestinian State. Comments on Talkback, as well as in other forums, make no attempt to hide their true intentions. On the contrary, Levy has simply made a conscious decision not to listen!
    Levy and other so-called Leftist “intellectuals” have convinced themselves that Pals are willing to trade the West Bank and Gaza for peace, even though Pals have never, at any time, made any such commitment. Just because a minority of Pals would consider such an agreement, does not mean that the majority would be willing to renounce a Palestinian “Right of Return”.
    [from “David Teich” in Rehovot]
    Why doesn`t it seem to matter that:
    – The Arab League declared war on Israel in 1948 and is still waging the war
    – The PLO declared war in 1965 and is still fighting it
    – PLO, PA, Fatah, Hamas, IJ all have constitutions that call for the destruction of Israel
    – The Palestinians walked away from a peace offering in 2000 and restarted suicide bombings.
    Yes, they did start things, again and again. Yet Gideon has some weird idea that facts and timelines don`t matter, only his ill-educated opinions.
    He also has an idea that people who overwhelmingly elect a terrorist government should have no responsibiltiy for the actions of that government. Why is it, Gideon, that if the Palestinian government fires missiles, attack towns, hit schools and power stations, that Israel shouldn`t respond?
    He doesn`t have an answer, just igorance.
    [by “Joel Meyers”]
    How children get shot.
    Khalid and Gideon I urge you to protest this child abuse.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/06/AR2006070601615.html
    7/7/06
    In a shared room on the hospital`s fourth floor, Wissam al-Sheik Khalil recovered from a bullet wound to his hip. Khalil, a 16-year-old with an adolescent`s wispy mustache, said Hamas gunmen forced him to carry an explosive charge across a street watched by Israeli soldiers.
    “As soon as I picked up the box I was hit,” he said.
    No further comments needed, I think.
    From “Stan” in NY}
    Levy is simply a bald-faced liar. Israel did not start the occupation – Egypt occupied Gaza in 1948 and then Egypt started the 1967 war by closing an international waterway. Jordan attacked Israel in 1967 while still occupying the West Bank (it`s called the West Bank because it`s the West Bank of JORDAN). The Arabs attacked newborn Israel in 1948 (in fact, they attacked before that). Levy is a thoroughly disgusting liar who shows what Haaretz really stands for. He and Haaretz stand against Israel in a time of war and should bear the consequences as in any normal country.

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  16. Pissed Off American says:

    “Opps….before I go I want to settle the arguement between you and POA about ..”Who Started It””
    Don’t worry about it, Carroll, I already won that argument.
    Besides, no self respecting kangaroo would consider “Democrat’s” case . For THAT we would need to bring in the jack asses.

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  17. Carroll says:

    Opps….before I go I want to settle the arguement between you and POA about ..”Who Started It”
    As you can see this isn’t an arguement between the jews and the rest of the world it is an arguement between moral and sane people and immoral and insane people.
    Please memorize this part..””They started,” will be the routine response to anyone who tries to argue, for example, that a few hours BEFORE the first Qassam fell on the school in Ashkelon, causing no damage, Israel sowed destruction at the Islamic University in Gaza.
    w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
    ——————————————————————————–
    Last update – 09:37 09/07/2006
    Who started?
    By Gideon Levy
    “We left Gaza and they are firing Qassams” – there is no more precise a formulation of the prevailing view about the current round of the conflict. “They started,” will be the routine response to anyone who tries to argue, for example, that a few hours before the first Qassam fell on the school in Ashkelon, causing no damage, Israel sowed destruction at the Islamic University in Gaza.
    Israel is causing electricity blackouts, laying sieges, bombing and shelling, assassinating and imprisoning, killing and wounding civilians, including children and babies, in horrifying numbers, but “they started.”
    They are also “breaking the rules” laid down by Israel: We are allowed to bomb anything we want and they are not allowed to launch Qassams. When they fire a Qassam at Ashkelon, that’s an “escalation of the conflict,” and when we bomb a university and a school, it’s perfectly alright. Why? Because they started. That’s why the majority thinks that all the justice is on our side. Like in a schoolyard fight, the argument about who started is Israel’s winning moral argument to justify every injustice.
    So, who really did start? And have we “left Gaza?”
    Israel left Gaza only partially, and in a distorted manner. The disengagement plan, which was labeled with fancy titles like “partition” and “an end to the occupation,” did result in the dismantling of settlements and the Israel Defense Forces’ departure from Gaza, but it did almost nothing to change the living conditions for the residents of the Strip. Gaza is still a prison and its inhabitants are still doomed to live in poverty and oppression. Israel closes them off from the sea, the air and land, except for a limited safety valve at the Rafah crossing. They cannot visit their relatives in the West Bank or look for work in Israel, upon which the Gazan economy has been dependent for some 40 years. Sometimes goods can be transported, sometimes not. Gaza has no chance of escaping its poverty under these conditions. Nobody will invest in it, nobody can develop it, nobody can feel free in it. Israel left the cage, threw away the keys and left the residents to their bitter fate. Now, less than a year after the disengagement, it is going back, with violence and force.
    What could otherwise have been expected? That Israel would unilaterally withdraw, brutally and outrageously ignoring the Palestinians and their needs, and that they would silently bear their bitter fate and would not continue to fight for their liberty, livelihood and dignity? We promised a safe passage to the West Bank and didn’t keep the promise. We promised to free prisoners and didn’t keep the promise. We supported democratic elections and then boycotted the legally elected leadership, confiscating funds that belong to it, and declaring war on it. We could have withdrawn from Gaza through negotiations and coordination, while strengthening the existing Palestinian leadership, but we refused to do so. And now, we complain about “a lack of leadership?” We did everything we could to undermine their society and leadership, making sure as much as possible that the disengagement would not be a new chapter in our relationship with the neighboring nation, and now we are amazed by the violence and hatred that we sowed with our own hands.
    What would have happened if the Palestinians had not fired Qassams? Would Israel have lifted the economic siege that it imposed on Gaza? Would it open the border to Palestinian laborers? Free prisoners? Meet with the elected leadership and conduct negotiations? Encourage investment in Gaza? Nonsense. If the Gazans were sitting quietly, as Israel expects them to do, their case would disappear from the agenda – here and around the world. Israel would continue with the convergence, which is solely meant to serve its goals, ignoring their needs. Nobody would have given any thought to the fate of the people of Gaza if they did not behave violently. That is a very bitter truth, but the first 20 years of the occupation passed quietly and we did not lift a finger to end it.
    Instead, under cover of the quiet, we built the enormous, criminal settlement enterprise. With our own hands, we are now once again pushing the Palestinians into using the petty arms they have; and in response, we employ nearly the entire enormous arsenal at our disposal, and continue to complain that “they started.”
    We started. We started with the occupation, and we are duty-bound to end it, a real and complete ending. We started with the violence. There is no violence worse than the violence of the occupier, using force on an entire nation, so the question about who fired first is therefore an evasion meant to distort the picture. After Oslo, too, there were those who claimed that “we left the territories,” in a similar mixture of blindness and lies.
    Gaza is in serious trouble, ruled by death, horror and daily difficulties, far from the eyes and hearts of Israelis. We are only shown the Qassams. We only see the Qassams. The West Bank is still under the boot of occupation, the settlements are flourishing, and every limply extended hand for an agreement, including that of Ismail Haniyeh, is immediately rejected. And after all this, if someone still has second thoughts, the winning answer is promptly delivered: “They started.” They started and justice is on our side, while the fact is that they did not start and justice is not with us.

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  18. Carroll says:

    One more thing Dem and then I am leaving this thread, it has become too long and gone off the point.
    You said..”Well, “Pissed”, did you ever hear of a “Kangaroo Court”? The reason I came on board here the other day was that, in hearing Mike Clemons’ tone on Air America, I thought I detected a leftist, anti-Israel bent.”
    First “Clemons” is hardly anti-Israel,he often seems “too nice and reasonable” to those like me who are convinced that the pro Israel crowd who has so much imput into our ME plicy must go….
    But there is anti-Israel bent if you want to call it that…and it is a good thing and totally justified..it is the majority opinion of Americans who object to what is going on in Isr/Pal on both moral grounds and because it affects our own country…
    It’s healthy and necessary…one of the complaints of the Jews after WWII was that the world was silent and wasn’t paying attention while the holocuast was happening…well the world is now paying attention to Isr/Pal and other places where genocide or other horrors may be in the making…I don’t see how you can object to that.

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    You know Dem…nothing in your post below really addresses anything in particular our discussion.
    democrat at July 9, 2006 02:27 AM
    And, yep, traitor is a harsh word to use to describe you but how would you describe yourself? Tell me how you would label someone who is enjoying the privilages of US citizenship and says point blank…”I am voting in US elections for whoever is best for Israel”…and I am not quoting you, but hundreds of remarks by US Jewish Americans in interviews and speeches during the last presidential election.
    Explain to me what the proper term is for people like this who flat out say that even though they are American citizens, their first loyalty is to a foreign country?
    And then complain about people accusing them of dual or no loyalty to the country they live in when that is exactly what they have just said?…that their first loyalty is to whoever and what is good for Israel first..not the US.
    Go ahead, I want to hear your reasoning as to how an American, Jew or gentile, saying straight out their first loyalty is to what is good for a foreign country is not a traitor to their country of citizenship.
    Go on…I have yet to see any zionst answer that charge straight up…I am interested in seeing how you defend that attitude or belief.
    Back prior to and during the American Revolution some English settlers were “loyalist” and choose to defend the crown, not the emerging USA. Most loyalist had the good sense to leave and return to England, the rest were forced out of America or done away with as traitors when the war began. When push comes to shove you can only have one country. That’s why the US oath of citizenship says…”I hereby rennounce all other allegiances”.
    The exception that pro Israel thinks it is entitled to isn’t valid. There are no exceptions.

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  20. Carroll says:

    Matthew ….you’re welcome.
    And I believe what you said about changing allegiences in the ME. Don’t see how the US/Isr can continue against the interest of most of the rest of the world and protect a country that violates all international laws.
    I have read the opinions of US diplomats going back to Truman’s time…they all warned against the US playing favorites for Israel in the ME even back then.
    The more I learn from factual sources like the actual legistation in US congress concerning Israel, the more I realize that is where the problem lies. The Israeli influence on our politics in the ME and goverment must be stopped.

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  21. Pissed Off American says:

    “Well, “Pissed”, did you ever hear of a “Kangaroo Court”? The reason I came on board here the other day was that, in hearing Mike Clemons’ tone on Air America, I thought I detected a leftist, anti-Israel bent.”
    Man, it takes some real effort to summon the wherewithal to read any further than that line of horseshit. And what “democrat” uses the term “leftist” to disparagingly describe Clemons, or to disparagingly describe ANYONE in their party, for that matter? You’re a fraud, “democrat”.
    “Do you know what a “guided missile” (YOUR TERM) is? Are you ever going to be big enough to admit that your claim “since the year 2000, Israeli guided missile assaults have killed several thousand Palestinians” is ill-founded and/or from a faulty source … or just some number that you pulled right out of your ASS? (No, you won’t, because you’re not big enough.)”
    You tell me, “democrat”. Of the three thousand some odd that have been killed, how many died as a result of missile attack? Want to see the numbers in the past three months that have been killed by ISRAELI MISSILE ATTACKS??? How about I only include CHILDREN under the age of fifteen?
    “Will you do any of this? No, because your “screen name” contention is bullshit, and you’re full of it.”
    Boy, that one really got to you, didn’t it??? Well, if you only post here under the one screen name, I apologize. But golly gee damn, it is sure disheartening reading this thread and imagining there is more than one of you here willing to dump such ridiculous propaganda on us as you have attempted to. Gads, truly terrifying. Tell me, are there many of you out in cyberworld, drooling at the prospect of wiping the Palestinians off the face of the earth and rationalizing it with false statistics and dishonest affrmations of alliance??? I hope not, for I would pefer to think that you are a rarely encountered abomination. But wishful thinking has always been one of my downfalls, and apparently there are more of you than the rest of the world deserves.

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  22. Matthew says:

    Carroll: Thanks for the Govtrack site. I love the Orwellian resolution that asked for all UN members states to offer only “balanced” positions on the Israel-Palestinian confict; and by “balanced” the Congress, of course, means only pro-Israeli positions.
    I attended a dinner last night with a returned American diplomat who had served in both Saudi Arabia and Oman. We will continue with these midlessly pro-Israeli policies until we have absolutely alienated the entire Middle East. And don’t think they have no choice but to support us. Saudi is rapidly realigning. Maybe Israel will start buying our t-bills….don’t hold your breath.

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  23. democrat says:

    Well, “Pissed”, did you ever hear of a “Kangaroo Court”? The reason I came on board here the other day was that, in hearing Mike Clemons’ tone on Air America, I thought I detected a leftist, anti-Israel bent. Sure enough, when I arrived at this chat area, that’s exactly what I found, in spades. So now we’re supposed to ask the forum here, and see who piles on in your favor – oops, I mean “agrees with you.” Good idea; here are some other polls we may choose to conduct:
    1. Let’s reconvene a jury from south-central L.A. and take another vote as to whether or not O.J. is a double-murderer.
    2. Let’s convene the U.N. General Assembly – composed as it is of dozens of Arab, Moslem and leftist nations that automatically vote against Israel, no matter how egregious the proposition … and European and other nations that suck at the breast of Middle East petroleum and therefore have a built-in bias … and let them take a vote as to whether Israel is once again guilty of this or that or overreacting or doing too much of this or too little of the other thing. Oh … here’s the vote result already: 150 in favor, 5 against, and 10 aren’t so sure. What was the issue they voted on – who cares? Israel is once again to blame; the peace-loving, democratic, religiously tolerant, violence-averse Palestinian Authority is once again the victim.
    Since we seem to be on the general subject of challenges, here’s a repeat, verbatim:
    Do you know what a “guided missile” (YOUR TERM) is? Are you ever going to be big enough to admit that your claim “since the year 2000, Israeli guided missile assaults have killed several thousand Palestinians” is ill-founded and/or from a faulty source … or just some number that you pulled right out of your ASS? (No, you won’t, because you’re not big enough.)
    And I’m still waiting for you to tell us all about my other screen name(s). I tell you what: perhaps this website (like Yahoo, for example) has a feature whereby you can check for aliases. I don’t know; don’t care. If not, I hereby give you permission to ask this website – in the person of Mike Clemons personally, if you wish – as to when “democrat” came on board, and whether he uses any other screen name here.
    Will you do any of this? No, because your “screen name” contention is bullshit, and you’re full of it.

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  24. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, “Democrat”, “Pissed” does honestly describe my feelings about what Bush has done, as well as what the Israelis are doing. If my monicker was describing my feelings about your BS, it would be “Chucklin’ American”.
    But hey, shall we take a vote here about either of our claims of “intellectual honesty”? I’m game. Why don’t you ask the forum who between the two of us has telegraphed honesty or sincere conviction in the advancement of their arguments here????

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  25. Den Valdron says:

    Wow, this thread is sure replete with civility.

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  26. Pissed Off American says:

    Please take notice that the following is the death toll of Palestinians BEFORE the soldier was kidnapped, during a THREE WEEK PERIOD of June.
    http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m24464&l=i&size=1&hd=0
    “….From the start of June to the kidnapping of the soldier on 25 June, 49 Palestinians were killed and 170 injured, including women and children……”
    “Democrat” freely admits that only eight Israelis have died as a result of the Qassam attacks IN ELEVEN MONTHS. Furthermore, not one of these Israeli apologists have been able to point to any credible source that proves that the governing body of Palestine had any hand in the actual kidnapping, or can secure the soldier’s release. Nor, despite numerous requests for an explanation, can they justify, rationalize, or explain how razing and confinscating farmland is contributing to the efforts to secure this soldier’s release.
    Unlike “Democrat”, I deplore ANY disproportionate reaction to terrorism, whether it be the wanton murder and terrorism directed against Palestinian children, the suicide bombing of a marketplace full of innocent Israeli shoppers, or the practice of rendition, and the act of torture.
    Anyone watching the Gaza tragedy play out HAS GOT TO SEE that the GOAL of Israel is the REMOVAL of the Palestinian people through a long term policy of villification, suppression, starvation, economic hardship, and military oppression. It is simply undeniable. And these bastards, both right and left, in Washington DC, are just as guilty as the most radical zionist in Israel. We are funding genocide.

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  27. Pissed Off American says:

    “It was YOU who said, earlier today, “Since the year 2000, Israeli guided missile assaults have killed several thousand Palestinians.” GET IT? You contended that those several thousand Palestinians (???) were killed by ISRAELI GUIDED MISSILES. Using your own arithmetic technique, I then pointed out the absurdity of the contention that such a number would have been killed BY ISRAELI MISSILES.”
    Look, troll. You made the assertion that the Pal radicals were launching 15 missiles a day into Israel, and you ended up gagged on your own BS, and you now admit you gave us false numbers. Now, are you going to DENY that the Israeli artillery and missile bombardments into Gaza are tallying individual shell or rocket numbers that are over one hundred a day? Because if you are, than once again I will need to subject your argument to a thorough session on the Bidet. I think too that it may well be time to bring up the “sound bombs” that Isreal is using to TERRORIZE the children of Palestine, and broach the subject as to WHY Israel feels it has the moral perogative to engage in such tactics.
    BTW, isn’t it about time you switched screen names again?
    ttp://www.uruknet.info/?p=m24464&l=i&size=1&hd=0
    An excerpt……
    “On 12 April, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that Israel had “fired more than 2,300 artillery and tank shells into the Gaza Strip since 29 March, more than 150 shells a day.” It added that “the continuous firing of artillery shells and launching of…missiles are causing immense psycho-social strain on the Gaza population, especially on children. There are also additional risks from unexploded shells.”
    “In April, five human rights organisations (three Israeli and two Palestinian) said that “the massive artillery fire causes disproportionate harm to the civilian population…subjects Israeli army officers and soldiers to war crimes charges,” and constitutes “a blatant violation of the Basic Rule of the laws of armed conflict whereby civilians and civilian objects must be distinguished from military objectives. The fact that Israel is confronting illegal firing of Qassam missiles at its own civilian population does not legitimize disproportionate responsive measures, which will knowingly lead to civilian casualties.”
    “From the start of June to the kidnapping of the soldier on 25 June, 49 Palestinians were killed and 170 injured, including women and children, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, causing great concern among human rights groups and threats of revenge from militant groups:”
    continues at…..
    http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m24464&l=i&size=1&hd=0

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  28. Pissed Off American says:

    “Unlike you, I don’t live in a Gotterdamerung world in which the whole thing collapses if things don’t work out the way I think they should. Unlike you, I live in a pragmatic world in which blocs of people with shared interests work together to achieve a common and beneficial end. You sound a bit like Timothy McVeigh … were the Feds to examine your basement, would they find stores of nitrates?”
    Steve asked for civil discourse here, but when people make comments like this, it gets pretty hard not to call a spade a spade. This jerk fits every definition of a “troll”, and his “unlike you” statements are meant to inflame and incite, rather than to add grist for debate.Trolls simply do not care if they are consistently making asses of themselves as long as they are derailing the flow of debate and planting their seeds of divisiveness.
    Its interesting that there seems to be a number of these drooling idiots that slither out of the netherworld everytime an issue involving Israel comes up. This thread is a prime example.

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  29. Den Valdron says:

    Gee Dem. Your relentless bigotry and chauvinism have touched my heart. I admit the perfect justice of your cause.
    If only there were some way to do something about these nasty, stinking, evil, subhuman palestinians who breed like flies and ceaselessly plot the destruction of Israel.
    Some sort of solution…
    Some sort of …. final solution.
    Because, you know, maybe it would be a good thing if it was you doing it to someone else?

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Dear Dem….nothing whacko about my desire to see the US undergo whatever it needs to undergo to return to it’s senses….I don’t believe in postponing the reckoning bound to come, for my children to deal with, I had rather get it over with now…even if it hurts you and even if it hurts me.
    Apologies for the typos but with one hand in a cast,spelling and “writetyping” what I peck out in between other tasks with one good hand are the least of my concerns. Feel free to edit all my mistakes though….

    Reply

  31. democrat says:

    Thoughts for “Carroll”:
    You said, “I am voting for whoever is for getting rid of Israeli and all other corrupting influences..if no one appears on the scene who will do that then I am voting for whichever will totally crash the country the fastest so we can fast forward the total house cleaning and knock down, all out surgery we are going to have to have to restore this country to it’s senses.”
    Unlike you, I don’t live in a Gotterdamerung world in which the whole thing collapses if things don’t work out the way I think they should. Unlike you, I live in a pragmatic world in which blocs of people with shared interests work together to achieve a common and beneficial end. You sound a bit like Timothy McVeigh … were the Feds to examine your basement, would they find stores of nitrates?
    You said, “Your ploy that support for Israel needs to be in the Dem platform because they need the jewish vote and we will all be ruined if the dems aren’t elected is just that a ‘ploy’. I am going to say this again…living in this country and abusing your citizenship by using it to benefit a foreign country makes you a traitor.”
    I don’t give a shit what you think of me one way or another, and what your definition of “traitor” might be. I’ve now been called “traitor” by the political Right (“you don’t support the troops!”) and the likes of you. That puts me in pretty good company; now, perhaps, I’ll visit a neo-fascist blog and see if I can be labeled a Jew Communist – then I’ll have touched all the wacko bases.
    And, finally, unlike you, I can type, use proper grammar, and spell.

    Reply

  32. democrat says:

    First of all we begin with the hilarious assertion by “Carroll” that:
    “Most of us in this arguement (sic) have agree (sic) to use non-baised (sic) sources for our positions… “ (On behalf of Carroll I apologize for his semi-literacy; I type ‘em as I see ‘em.)
    I guess that would include fellow travelers like you, “Pissed.” Then I note that your source for the contention that 3978 Palestinians have been killed since Sept. 2000 is the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Is that the same Palestinian Red Crescent Society that, in the first few days of Israel’s incursion into Lebanon, grossly inflated Lebanese casualty figures … and then it was noted that the Society was headed by Yassir Arafat’s brother?
    [D]uring the 1982 Lebanon War, … the Palestinians initiated a propaganda campaign to cast themselves as the defenders of human rights and the Israelis as the violators of human rights. At the same time, Yasser Arafat’s brother, Dr. Fatchi Arafat, exploited his position as director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to release grossly inflated casualty figures.
    On June 10, 1982, for example, Dr. Arafat issued a statement declaring that “10,000 Palestinians have died and 600,000 have become homeless in the first few days of the war” — a lie calculated to portray the Palestinians as the victims of a genocidal assault in Lebanon. In fact, the total population in the war zone numbered fewer than 300,000. Yet the International Red Cross and Middle East Action Committee of the American Friends Service Committee spread the 10,000/600,000 figure to every media outlet in the world, and the major American networks picked up the story. NBC’s Jessica Savitch reported, “It is now estimated that 600,000 refugees in south Lebanon are without sufficient food or medical supplies.”
    [http://www.paktoday.com/playing.htm]
    But that’s OK – we’ll use the 3978 figure for Palestinian casualties and 1084 for the Israelis, not that it has any relevance. (On Iwo Jima, for example, we lost 7000 guys; the Japanese lost 20000. Using your calculus, I guess that made us out to be the bad guys.) It was YOU who said, earlier today, “Since the year 2000, Israeli guided missile assaults have killed several thousand Palestinians.” GET IT? You contended that those several thousand Palestinians (???) were killed by ISRAELI GUIDED MISSILES. Using your own arithmetic technique, I then pointed out the absurdity of the contention that such a number would have been killed BY ISRAELI MISSILES. You’ve done less than nothing to support your contention, or (on the other hand) own up to the fact that you were indulging in a gross exaggeration. The latter would, of course, call for a modicum of intellectual honesty – something which I have exhibited today, and you evidently are incapable of.
    “When you offer such crap to a forum such as this it only tends to underscore your willingness to consistently offer pure unadulterated horseshit in lieu of serious debate.” (“Pissed”, July 9, 2006 12:15 AM, while admiring himself in the mirror.)

    Reply

  33. democrat says:

    Notes for Den Valdron:
    (1) “The Palestinians of Gaza are not evil subhumans plotting the destruction of Israel.”
    The Palestinians of Gaza, however you may describe them, through their words, prayers and actions, do indeed plot the destruction of Israel.
    “Hamas will never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state that was founded on our land” – Khaled Mashaal, the Damascus-based Hamas leader, January 25, 2006.
    “The vanquishing of the enemy in Gaza does not mean that this stage has ended … We will not rest until we liberate all our land, all our Palestine. We do not distinguish between what was occupied in the 1940s and what was occupied in the 1960s. Our Jihad continues, and we still have a long way to go. We will continue until the very last usurper is driven out of our land.”
    (Sheik Nizar Rayan, Hamas “political” leader, at a rally in Gaza, Al-Jazeera TV on September 16, 2005, MEMRI)
    What planet do you live on?
    (2) “They are 1.8 million people crammed into the worlds largest slum, economically destitute, bereft of hope, trapped in a hell on Earth.”
    The Arab refugee count in 1948 began at something like 590,000. If indeed there are now 1.8 million people in Gaza, it is not the Israelis who put a gun to the heads of Palestinians and caused them to procreate to the degree that they have. If the Palestinians are trapped in “hell on Earth” (bullcrap!), as you describe it, then they should examine the last 60 years or so of Middle East history, to search for causes and culprits – see below.
    (3) “That they should resent the authors of their misfortune is not surprising.” It was the Arabs, not the Israelis, who rejected the U.N. Partition Plan in 1948 … a Plan that would have established two independent states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The Jewish residents of the Palestine said “we accept”; the Arabs answered with war, and invasion of the Holy Land that included the armies of Egypt, Syria, and the British-led Arab Legion of Jordan … war that resulted in the festering problem of refugees that we face to this day. HAD THE ARAB STATES ACCEPTED THE U.N. PARTITION PLAN, THERE WOULD BE NO ARAB REFUGEES.
    The Arabs sought, through outright war, to destroy Israel in 1967 and 1973. At other times, they have employed guerrilla warfare and terror – always indiscriminately killing any available man, woman or child – in seeking the same end. Israel, to the consternation of the Arabs and people like you, has had the temerity to defend itself, and ably so. To your further consternation, Israel will not consider a “right of return” for people who, given the first opportunity, will put a knife (figuratively or literally) to Israel’s throat.
    “The authors of their misfortune” are readily identifiable by the Gazans – all they need do is look to their Arab brethren – and look in the mirror.

    Reply

  34. Pissed Off American says:

    Great site…great resource…..
    Thanks Carroll.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    “Point 1: Have you ever heard of “common sense”? Claiming that there has been … several thousand Palestinians killed by Israeli guided missiles in 5 1/2 years … doesn’t require a whole lot of repudiation, or effort to rebut. You should really ponder your BS a bit more concientiously before you blurt forward with it.”
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/deaths.html
    3,978 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis have been killed since September 29, 2000.
    Source: The Palestine Red Crescent Society, is our source for the Palestinian deaths. (Visit their statistics page, which was last updated on July 5, 2006.) Our source for the number of Israelis killed is Israel’s military, the Israel Defense Forces. (Visit their statistics page, which was last updated on January 15, 2006.)
    “Point 2: As to 500 Qassam missiles vs. 5000. I agree that the 500 number looks like the correct one, and I stand corrected. This is known as “INTELLECTUAL HONESTY” – a concept you may have difficulty with.”
    In other words, someone caught you in your own purposeful bullshit and you are now backpeddling furiously. Funny that MY stats seem to have carried the day against your inflated propaganda, yet you claim I am the one with problems with my “intellectual honesty”. Won’t work, troll. When I first pointed out the err of your numbers you could have checked, instead of defending a KNOWN fallacy so voraciously. Face it, not everyone is buying the one-sided and fictitious spin that many of you use to argue the Israeli positions and policies.
    “unlike you, perhaps, I regard them as people worthy of working and living in a modicum of peace, also.”
    You have no basis for making that assertion, (“unlike you”), and anyone reading this thread can clearly see that. When you offer such crap to a forum such as this it only tends to underscore your willingness to consistently offer pure unadulterated horseshit in lieu of serious debate.

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    And…er… Democrat
    Most of us in this arguement have agree to use non-baised sources for our positions…
    This:
    LETTER FROM RUTH MATAR (WOMEN IN GREEN) JERUSALEM
    Does not meet that test. Matar is actually a rabid supporter of the illegal settlements in Israel and is hardly a source anyone would consider totally truthful.

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    Dear Democrat ….
    When you Get Off the Palestine Land…and quit skimming off, stealing really, their resources ….then we might listen to you and your complaints..THEN you will have some grounds for complaint if the attacks continue
    Until then Israeli is in the wrong and deserves a worst smacking than Palestine…

    Reply

  38. Carroll says:

    BTW..it’s much easier to use than thomas….and doesn’t timeout on your pages…

    Reply

  39. democrat says:

    “Pissed”, here are three points –
    Point 1: Have you ever heard of “common sense”? Claiming that there has been … several thousand Palestinians killed by Israeli guided missiles in 5 1/2 years … doesn’t require a whole lot of repudiation, or effort to rebut. You should really ponder your BS a bit more concientiously before you blurt forward with it.
    Geez, at least give us some propaganda that is challenging to rebut. (Thanks for the handy verbiage; it saves keystrokes.)
    Point 2: As to 500 Qassam missiles vs. 5000. I agree that the 500 number looks like the correct one, and I stand corrected. This is known as “INTELLECTUAL HONESTY” – a concept you may have difficulty with.
    I was struck by the damage, trauma and disruption caused by these missiles – as reported in the article you cited. Do you care about this – or only as such suffering may apply to Palestinians?
    Point 3: On the number of killed by Qassam missiles, and whether it was “only” 8 vs. 13: as stated in the article, there had been 8 ISRAELIS killed. In the tabulation given by DB, there were also 3 Arabs and 1 Thai killed (workers in Israel); unlike you, perhaps, I regard them as people worthy of working and living in a modicum of peace, also.
    Judging by the surnames DB gave in his tabulation, in all liklihood there was a 13th (non-Israeli) casualty – thus accounting for 8 ISRAELIS AND 5 OTHERS.

    Reply

  40. Carroll says:

    POA…..
    Here is a tool for you if you don’t have it…..
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/subjects.xpd?type=crs&term=Israel
    govtrack will let you view bills by subject, politican or however you wish…I put in Israel to give you an example…in light of your reference to the Forward article.
    This imput is only for the current congress, you would have to do it for previous ones one at a time to get all the bills written for Israel. One interesting thing is that you can see the inclusion of favors for Israel in many bills about trade and other things in bills not dealing exclusively with Israel and that never get above the radar because they are lumped in with other things. It is also interesting to imput certain politicans and view the bills they have introduced and sponsored….it is easy to see the same names over and over on Israeli bills, the Israeli pack in congress introduces the bills that are basically written by AIPAC or similar Israeli interest and pushes them and more or less the rest of congress then passes them.
    I imput one well known Cuban/Jewish politican’s record for this congress and out of 22 bills she has introduced this year, 20 were exclusively for some benefit to Israel.
    You can track anything but as I say they are all cross referenced to show any mention in any bill of whatever subject you enter which makes it easier.

    Reply

  41. Den Valdron says:

    5000 rocket attacks? Fifteen a day. That does stretch credibility.
    My own view is that relentless and hysterical partisanship is hardly constructive.
    The Palestinians of Gaza are not evil subhumans plotting the destruction of Israel. They are 1.8 million people crammed into the worlds largest slum, economically destitute, bereft of hope, trapped in a hell on Earth. That they should resent the authors of their misfortune is not surprising.
    Unless Israel is prepared to commit murder on a genocidal scale, the problem of Gaza will not go away. There is no other choice but to seek a reasonable and compassionate solution.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Dear Democrat..couldn’t disagree with you more in this…
    “I’m also Jewish, and – like most Jews – I’m PROUD of Israel and its accomplishments in the face of great odds … and I feel a deep kinship with its people. If there’s anything we all DO NOT need, it’s an issue that will tear the Democratic Party apart. Yet, I hear from what I will term the “hard Left” – the concoction of just such an issue: the vilification of Israel for defending itself, the glorification of the Palestinian cause (do a Google on “hamas terror” and “hamas anti-Semitism”) and the calling into question the very legitimacy of the Israeli state. I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU: Israel will be around today, tomorrow, and when you and I are long gone. Sure, you can find the occasional Jew who doesn’t give a damn about Israel or who adopts a Chomskyite self-hatred stance – but don’t kid yourself: one of the root strengths of the Democratic party is American Jewry – an American Jewry that supports Israel. You on this board who vilify Israel, and others like you, will in the end only accomplish what we would all deeply fear and detest: 4 more years of Republican mis-rule, with all its disastrous consequences.”
    Your ploy that support for Israel needs to be in the Dem platform because they need the jewish vote and we will all be ruined if the dems aren’t elected is just that a “ploy”. I am going to say this again…living in this country and abusing your citizenship by using it to benefit a foreign country makes you a traitor. And no one glorifies terrorism but I do support the Palestine right to their own land and property and whatever they have to do to get it in the same way I would claim my own right to my own country and preperty and do whatever it took to keep it or get it back. And don’t bother with the old “protocal of the elders” and “carnards about jews” slurs.
    If the Shoe Fits Wear it…if the “carnards” fit wear them…if the ‘dual loyalty accusation” fits wear it…
    I am voting for whoever is for getting rid of Israeli and all other corrupting influences..if no one appears on the scene who will do that then I am voting for whichever will totally crash the country the fastest so we can fast forward the total house cleaning and knock down, all out surgery we are going to have to have to restore this country to it’s senses.
    And that includes joining the movement to do away with “dual citizenship” and dual voting rights… in your dual interest veiw that may be anti-semitic or protectionalism…in my view it is simple realism that outside and special interest influences have gone too far and need to be curbed.

    Reply

  43. Pissed Off American says:

    By the way, Big Mouth, where are YOUR facts to contend anything I’ve posted?
    Posted by democrat
    Have you ever heard of “common sense”? Claiming that there has been 5000 Qassam rocket attacks in 11 months doesn’t require a whole lot of repudiation, or effort to rebut. You should really ponder your BS a bit more concientiously before you blurt forward with it.
    Geez, at least give us some propaganda that is challenging to rebut.

    Reply

  44. Pissed Off American says:

    http://www.unitedjerusalem.org/index2.asp?id=755974
    Eight Israelis have been killed by missiles launched from Gaza onto Israeli communities since 2004, ACCORDING TO THE ISRAELI ARMY. (Copyright © 2006 The Media Line. 06/14/06)

    Reply

  45. Pissed Off American says:

    http://www.beyondimages.info/b176.html
    In August 2005 Israel pulled out of Gaza . All Israeli soldiers left. And Israel evacuated 8000 settlers and destroyed their homes. Since that time the Gaza Strip has been entirely under Palestinian control. Since Israel ‘s departure over 500 Qassam rockets have been fired by Palestinians into Israel , targeting the town of Sderot , and other civilian locations.

    Reply

  46. democrat says:

    Gee, “Pissed”, is continuing to call me a liar – even though you have nothing to back it up – and labeling me “troll” the best you can do? And Debka isn’t credible … I guess because you say so, Big Guy.
    How about, “You’re a f**cking a$$hole.” Catch my drift? By the way, Big Mouth, where are YOUR facts to contend anything I’ve posted?

    Reply

  47. Pissed Off American says:

    “Democrat”….
    I see no reason to believe your assertion that 5000 rocket attacks have been waged in 11`months. Its bullshit, pure and simple, and you know it is. Lets see some links, and some official sources, or AT LEAST some credible news accounts from someone other than DEBKA or NEWSMAX.
    I stick by my original assertion. You’re lying.
    And, I suspect, a troll.
    And your ridiculous assertion that supporting Israel is a way to support the Democratic party and defeat the Republicans is asinine to the extreme. Period.

    Reply

  48. democrat says:

    I listen to Air America every day, as I have almost since Air America’s inception. I think Al Franken is a fantastic guy; I’ve met Al Franken. I learned of this website yesterday, having listened to Steve Clemons on Sam Seder’s show. It seems to me that what all participants to this website have in common is the conviction that the Bush administration is disastrous, untrustworthy, dishonest, and rife with cronyism and incompetence – by far, the worst administration in my lifetime, and I’ve been around a while.
    It is imperative that the Republicans LOSE in 2008 (and before, in congressional elections). In order for this to happen, we like-minded folk need every vote we can get. I’m also Jewish, and – like most Jews – I’m PROUD of Israel and its accomplishments in the face of great odds … and I feel a deep kinship with its people. If there’s anything we all DO NOT need, it’s an issue that will tear the Democratic Party apart. Yet, I hear from what I will term the “hard Left” – the concoction of just such an issue: the vilification of Israel for defending itself, the glorification of the Palestinian cause (do a Google on “hamas terror” and “hamas anti-Semitism”) and the calling into question the very legitimacy of the Israeli state. I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU: Israel will be around today, tomorrow, and when you and I are long gone. Sure, you can find the occasional Jew who doesn’t give a damn about Israel or who adopts a Chomskyite self-hatred stance – but don’t kid yourself: one of the root strengths of the Democratic party is American Jewry – an American Jewry that supports Israel. You on this board who vilify Israel, and others like you, will in the end only accomplish what we would all deeply fear and detest: 4 more years of Republican mis-rule, with all its disastrous consequences.

    Reply

  49. democrat says:

    Earlier today, at 12:36 PM, “Pissed Off American” stated (in response to my statement that, since the Israelis’ Gaza withdrawal, more than 5000 Kassam rocket have rained down on southern Israel):
    “Lets see….11 months since the withdrawal….say rounded off 30 days per month…..hmmmm….thats 330 days……divide that into 5000……
    Oooook, that works out to roughly 15 rocket attacks a day.
    You’re a liar.”
    SO LET’S SEE WHO’S THE LIAR. First of all, my source for the “5000 Kassam rocket” claim is found within the following statement, relevant (and not-so-relevant) portions of which I provide below:
    “LETTER FROM RUTH MATAR (WOMEN IN GREEN) JERUSALEM
    Thursday, July 6, 2006
    Dear Friends,
    In any normal country missile launches on civilian population centers would represent a declaration of war.
    Not so in Israel. Since the “disengagement” from Gaza, more than 5,000 Kassam rockets have rained down on southern Israel.
    More weapons have been brought into Gaza in the past ten months than entered in the previous 38 years.
    Al Qaida and Iranian Revolutionary Guards are training Fatah and Hamas members in the destroyed Israeli communities of Gush Katif.
    But Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister, has until now refused to send forces into Gaza. He refused because he would therefore admit that all territory abandoned by Israel is taken over by Israel’s enemies.
    He has continuously undermined Israel’s credibility by constantly making empty threats, and bombing empty fields and buildings.
    Not unexpectedly, Olmert’s lack of decisive action emboldened the terrorists to increase their attacks, both from the air and on the ground.
    1. THE KEREM SHALOM ATTACK: On June 25th, Corporal GILAD SHALIT was captured by a group of eight Palestinian Hamas terrorists who tunneled underground from Gaza into Israel, murdered two crew members, wounded a third, and took Shalit captive. Hamas is demanding the release of over 1,000 terrorist prisoners held by Israel.
    Could the Kerem Shalom Attack have been prevented? Gilad Shalit’s father, Noam Shalit, criticized the Olmert government last Monday, July 3rd. “It is delusional,” he said, “that the State of Israel would attempt to reestablish its deterrence at the expense of my son….. Israel should have done that before the attack when there was intelligence on tunnels being dug in the region.”
    [text deleted]
    3. THE ROCKETING OF ASHKELON, a major strategic city in Israel, on July 4th, and again, yesterday, on July 5th: A direct strike to strategic installations in Ashkelon, such as Israel Electric Power, which provides one fourth of Israel with electric power, and the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company, would dangerously affect services to large regions in the south of Israel. These attacks have finally forced the Olmert government to reenter Gaza. The statement of Olmert’s ministerial cabinet listed the goals of the current operation as “the release of abducted Corporal Gilad Shalit AND THE ENDING OF THE FIRING OF ROCKETS AND MORTARS FROM GAZA.” (emphasis mine)
    Has Olmert finally decided to protect his own citizens? Don’t be too optimistic! He worries more about what Condoleezza Rice and the bleeding anti-Semitic hearts around the world will say!
    Among soldiers poised to reenter Gaza were officers from the IDF’s Civil Administration, whose job is to ensure that no humanitarian crisis erupted in the Strip during the operation. The Security Cabinet communique said that the defense establishment had been instructed to respond “comprehensively and immediately to all humanitarian needs.”
    How about Jewish humanitarian needs, like the need to stay alive?
    I will give you a sad example of how the Israeli Defense Forces has been conditioned to operate. The extent to which the IDF has been conditioned to operate under terms of engagement that dramatically inhibits its ability to strike back at terrorists was exemplified by OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy, who told the Jerusalem Post: “If we know that a terrorist who is in the midst of firing a Kassam aimed to kill, is holding his son’s hand, we will not fire.”
    Has the Olmert government lost its senses completely?
    To hold back from elimination a terrorist directly engaged in a potentially lethal act of terror directed against civilians is not a manifestation of morality or humanity. It reflects utter confusion and the application of false values which violate the primary obligation of a government to defend the lives of its citizens. It means we are adopting the flawed morality of the bleeding hearts who consider that the well-being of human shields deliberately positioned to defend those seeking to kill us warrants a higher priority than the life and limb or our own citizens.
    Many Israeli soldiers have died because the IDF frequently is forced not to employ its superior fire power out of concern for Arab civilians!
    Does Israel’s oft-stated concern for the sanctity of human life exclude our own people?
    It is bizarre to expect us to continue providing water and electricity to neighbors who proclaim that their objective is to destroy us and who rain rockets on our civilians.” [further text deleted]
    Lending further veracity to the “5000” contention: One swallow indeed does not make a summer, but it is nevertheless interesting to note the following headline, TODAY, from http://www.debka.com: “Palestinians fire 25 missiles from Friday.”
    “Pissed” doesn’t know me, and didn’t know where I get my information from – but he was quick to accuse me of lying. (Hey, “Pissed” – I’ll match the veracity of MY information against the leftist bullcrap that I’m sure YOU rely on, any time.)
    Seething with hostility (as is his wont), “Pissed” went on to contend: “To put things in perspective, since the year 2000, the Quassam rockets, which can be compared to high school or college experiments, have been responsible for the deaths of eight (8) Israelis. Since the year 2000, Israeli guided missile assaults have killed several thousand Palestinians. Justifications for this wholesale slaughter – by land, sea and air – have often times focused on the Quassams [July 7, 2006 03:07 PM].”
    Only moments later (3:55 PM), “DB” posted a detailed account of those killed in Israel by Qassam missiles – ONLY SINCE 2004. The reader can scroll back to see names, ages and body count, but I’ll summarize as follows: 6/28/04 – 2 killed; 9/29/04 – 2 killed; 12/14/04 – 1 killed; 1/11/05 – 1 killed; 1/15/05 – 1 killed; 6/7/05 – 3 killed; 7/14/05 – 1 killed; 3/28/06 – 2 killed. Total killed by the Palestinians’ “high school or college experiment”: thirteen. (Of course, we’re not tallying wounded here, or those terrified by having metal indiscriminantly rained down on their heads at any time, and at any place.) So unless “Pissed” can refute the above, I won’t go so far as to call him a liar – I’ll just say he’s full of crap, AND intellectually dishonest unless he retracts his “eight” claim or provides his source for same.
    Now as to the Israeli guided missile assaults having killed “several thousand Palestinians” – the “wholesale slaughter”, as “Pissed” describes it. I guess that, from his perspective, when you blow away someone whose cause you favor – even if that individual is bent on murdering any man, woman or child who happens to be in the path of a missile or bomb that he intends to use – that’s a “slaughter”. I’ll call it something else: the elimination of one dead SON OF A BITCH. Further, I’ll adopt the same mathematical approach used by “Pissed” – let’s see … several thousand murderous s.o.b’s killed since 2000 … that might be 3 or 4 thousand … that equates to from 545 to 727 s.o.b’s killed per year and, over 330 days (using the figure adopted by “Pissed” himself) that’s 1.6 to 2.2 per day, EVERY DAY, FOR 5 1/2 YEARS. I’ll go so far to say that on this particular matter, “Pissed” is completely full of crap … and a LIAR.

    Reply

  50. Pissed Off American says:

    Since the withdrawal, Palestinian terror groups have used Gaza as a launching point to rain down more than 5000 Kassam rockets on southern Israel.
    Posted by democrat
    Lets see….11 months since the withdrawal….say rounded off 30 days per month…..hmmmm….thats 330 days……divide that into 5000……
    Oooook, that works out to roughly 15 rocket attacks a day.
    You’re a liar.

    Reply

  51. democrat says:

    Eleven months ago, Israel voluntarily withdrew more than 9,000 citizens along with its troops from the Gaza Strip and turned the area over to the Palestinian Authority in hopes of paving the way for peace and a potential independent Palestinian state. In carrying out this endeavor, Israelis gave up their homes, places of work and worship as well as their schools and farms. In what way have the Palestinians reciprocated and shown even an ounce of good faith?
    In advance of the Israeli pullout and as a goodwill gesture, American Jewish donors spent $14 million to buy greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza, and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Within days of the Israeli departure, these greenhouses had been looted and destroyed.
    The Palestinians willingly used their democratic right to vote Hamas into power. (Advice to the uninformed and leftist apologists – do a Google on “hamas antisemitic”.)
    Since the withdrawal, Palestinian terror groups have used Gaza as a launching point to rain down more than 5000 Kassam rockets on southern Israel.

    Reply

  52. Yael says:

    This thread is hereby quarantined by the Health Department of The Israel Lobby (which runs the world). We understand there has been a severe outbreak of a highly dangerous cosmic virus here. It is as contagious as yawning, and can be experienced as deeply resonant. Education, income, and conspicuous compassion provide no immunity. THERE IS NO KNOWN CURE.
    If you are found to be a carrier, Mossad agents will remove you to an undisclosed location in the blogosphere where you will remain until the present generation of computers becomes obsolete.
    As the only hope for humanity lies in containment of this virus, you are instructed to remain here, on this thread, until further notice or the arrival of the Messiah, whichever comes first.(And boy, oh boy, is He ever pissed off at some of the things you’ve been saying.)
    The Israel Lobby also wants you to know that we are fully aware that Yasir Arafat faked his own death and burial (such a liar) and is hiding somewhere in this very thread, masquerading as an angry white Democrat. You know who you are; prepare yourself to be used as a chemical/biological weapon, mounted on a crude inaccurate kassam rocket and launched from the charred rubble of a synagogue in Gaza… into the sea.
    The rest of you, keep a lid on it or we will feed you to the tiny minority of extremists.

    Reply

  53. Eli Rabett says:

    Neither side wants to be reasonable. Both want the other to think that they are so bat-sh-t crazy that they should not be messed with.

    Reply

  54. Gary Sugar says:

    LOL I am Jewish.

    Reply

  55. DB says:

    Gary-
    Do you hate all religious people, or just Jews?
    I’d characterize this board as a group of the most intollerant people one could pick out of a crowd.
    Bye y’all.

    Reply

  56. Gary Sugar says:

    Israel fanatics ask, why does America get to keep the land it stole from the American Indians? The difference is, we had this huge world war, followed by creation of the UN and international law; and the world agreed that there would be no more conquests. Israel was created out of these agreements. So either respect the basis for Israel’s right to exist or stop claiming Israel’s right to exist. Well, you could still say that God promised them the land, if you’re really that insane.

    Reply

  57. Matthew says:

    The choice of cites illustrates the weakness of your argument. I notice you didn’t include one of the biggest lies of the last 200 years, a “Land without people for a people Without Land.” Of course, to do so, might acknowledge that Israel bears substantial responsibility for this catastrophe.

    Reply

  58. DB says:

    Re: UN Resolutions- I could really care less.
    My point is that most of this thread assumes that the land belongs to the Arabs. There have been Jews living on the land for 1000s of years, most of those years in peaceful co-existence with their Arab neighbors.
    Fact is that in 1947 the land was controlled by the British. It was offerred to both Arabs and Jews in a split. The Arabs rejected this deal and it was never consumated.
    In 1948, the British basically pulled out, and the Jews claimed Israel as their own because the Arabs rejected the part that the international community offerred to them.
    Then, the Jews were attacked time and time again by far larger armies. Were all you people sorry for the Jews at that time, the oppressed minority?
    These are some of the prinicpal statements in the partners in peace that you suggest the Israeli’s should deal with ( HAMAS ):
    “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. ”
    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
    “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

    Reply

  59. Matthew says:

    DB: Why are only the UN Resolutions that support Israel binding? (Irony clearly missed.)

    Reply

  60. DB says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_UN_Partition_Plan
    On November 29, the UN General Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions, in favor of the Partition Plan, while making some adjustments to the boundaries between the two states proposed by it. The division was to take effect on the date of British withdrawal. Both the United States and Soviet Union agreed on the resolution. In addition, pressure was exerted on some small countries by Zionist sympathizers in the United States.[1]
    The 33 countries that voted in favor of the partition, as set by UN resolution 181: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, South Africa, Ukraine, United States, USSR, Uruguay, Venezuela.
    The 13 countries that voted against UN Resolution 181: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.
    The ten countries that abstained: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
    One state was absent: Thailand.
    The Jewish state was to receive 55% of Mandatory Palestine. This included the fruitful shore plain and the Negev desert. The desert was not suitable for agriculture, nor for urban development at that time. The Jewish state was also given sole access to the Red Sea and the Sea of Galilee (the largest source of fresh water in Palestine). The land allocated to the Jewish state was largely made up of areas in which there was a significant Jewish population (Map of population distribution). Palestine’s land surface was approximately 26.3 million dunums (26,300 km²), of which about one third was cultivable. The land in Jewish possession had risen from 456,003 dunums (456 km²) in 1920 to 1,393,531 dunums (1,393 km²) in 1945 (Khalaf, 1991, pp. 26-27) and 1,850,000 dunums (1,850 km²) by 1947 (Avneri p. 224). Regarding the Arab ownership, the MidEast Web states “At the time of partition, slightly less than half the land in all of Palestine was owned by Arabs, slightly less than half was “crown lands” belonging to the state, and about 8% was owned by Jews or the Jewish Agency.” [1]
    The plan tried its best to accommodate as many Jews as possible into the Jewish state. In many specific cases, this meant including areas of Arab majority (but with a significant Jewish minority) in the Jewish state. Thus the Jewish State would have an overall large Arab minority. Areas that were sparsely populated (like the Negev), were also included in the Jewish state to create room for immigration in order to relieve the “Jewish Problem”.
    The majority of the Jews and Jewish groups accepted the proposal, in particular the Jewish Agency, which was the Jewish state-in-formation. A minority of extreme nationalist Jewish groups like Menachem Begin’s Irgun Tsvai Leumi and Yitzhak Shamir’s Lehi, (known as the Stern Gang) which had been fighting the British, rejected it. Numerous records indicate the joy of Palestine’s Jewish inhabitants as they attended to the U.N. session voting for the division proposal. Up to this day, Israeli history books mention November 29th (the date of this session) as the most important date in the Israel’s acquisition of independence. However, Jews did criticise the lack of territorial continuity for the Jewish state.
    The Arab leadership (in and out of Palestine) opposed the plan, arguing that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). Arab leaders also argued a large number of Arabs would be trapped in the Jewish State as a minority. While some Arab leaders opposed the right of the Jews for self-determination in the region, others criticised the amount and quality of land given to Israel. (The proposal, however, was not solely for the Jews in Palestine but for a secure homeland for Jews outside of Palestine.)

    Reply

  61. DB says:

    List of notable Qassam attacks
    June 28, 2004, Mordechai Yo sepov, 49, and Afik Zahavi, 4, were killed when a Qassam rocket fired by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip struck near a nursery school in the northern Negev town of Sderot.[7]
    September 29, 2004, On the eve of the Sukkot holiday, Yuval Abebeh, 4, and Dorit Benisian, 2, were killed by a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza into Sderot. About 30 people were wounded in the attack, for which Hamas claimed responsibility.[8]
    December 14, 2004, a female agricultural worker from Thailand was killed by a Qassam rocket in Ganei Tal in the Gush Katif settlement. Two others were wounded. Hamas claimed responsibility.
    January 11, 2005, a rocket killed Nissim Arbiv in Nisanit. Hamas claimed responsibility.
    January 15, 2005, a Qassam rocket attack on Sderot left Ayala (Ella) Abukasis brain dead, as she was hurt while shielding her younger brother. She died on January 21. [9].
    June 7, 2005, Salah Ayash Imran, 57, Muhammed Mahmoud Jaroun, and Bi Shude, 46, were killed, and five other workers were wounded, when a Qassam rocket hit a packing shed in Ganei Tal, in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. [10]
    July 14, 2005, Dana Galkowicz, 22, was killed in a Qassam attack in the Kibbutz Netiv Ha’asara, just north of the Gaza Strip. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah all claimed responsibility for the attack. [11]
    September 24, 2005, five Israelis were injured when Palestinian terrorists launched about 30 rockets on Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip. This attack followed an incident the previous day, in which 20 Palestinians, including 16 civilians, were killed when a vehicle carrying Qassam rockets exploded during a Hamas rally in Jabalya. The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are still unknown. To date, no evidence has been found to substantiate Hamas’ claim that Israeli interference was responsible for the accident.[12]
    December, 2005, a Qassam rocket launched from the West Bank hit near the moshav of Ram-on, near the northern town of Afula. [13]
    December 26, 2005, a Qassam rocket landed at a very small distance from a kindergarten during a Hanukkah party at kibbutz Sa’ad.[14]
    February 3, 2006, a Qassam rocket struck a family’s house in the western Negev village of Kibbutz Karmiya, moderately injuring four people, including a 7-month-old baby. [15]
    March 28, 2006, a Qassam rocket lying on the ground exploded, killing two Israeli-Arab shepherds in Kibbutz Nachal Oz. This incident was at first falsely reported as being a loose IDF shell that exploded. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.[16]
    March 30, 2006, Two Qassam rockets landed in Kibbutz Karmiya, south of Ashkelon, one of them landed in a soccer field, where children played only hours earlier, and injured one person.
    June 11, 2006, Three people are wounded, one Critically when a Qassam landed near the Sapir Academic College near the Negev town of Sderot.[17] 14 Qassams are fired throughout the day. including video
    July 5, 2006, First Qassam rocket of increased strength is fired into the school yard in the Southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, with a population of 120,000. This has been the first instance of an increased distance Qassam rockets can reach and the first time a significantly large city has been attacked. No one was injured in this attack.[18]
    July 6, 2006, A second qassam was fired and hit Ashkelon 24 hours after the first. Eight people went into shock, four of them children. [19]

    Reply

  62. Pissed Off American says:

    Hey Steve – – I guess Israel should not defend itself against he constant barrage of Quassam rockets that Hamas has been firing into Israel from Northern Gaza since the day Israel pulled out. In fact, the rockets are getting more and more sophisticated. Hmmm….you think Syria or Iran have anything to do with that. As Golda Meir once said…”there will never be peace in Israel until Palestinian parents start to love their children more then they hate Israel.”
    Posted by Robert
    http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m24426&l=i&size=1&hd=0
    “To put things in perspective, since the year 2000, the Quassam rockets, which can be compared to high school or college experiments, have been responsible for the deaths of eight (8) Israelis. Since the year 2000, Israeli guided missile assaults have killed several thousand Palestinians. Justifications for this wholesale slaughter – by land, sea and air – have often times focused on the Quassams.”

    Reply

  63. Gary Sugar says:

    “proposal for the ‘transfer’ of the Palestinians.”
    Yes, transfer them out or starve them out – that is Israel’s plan. Israeli nationalists want to keep the occupied territories forever because the religious sites are there. In their lunatic opinion, there are plenty of other Arab countries where the Palestinians should live.

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  64. Robert says:

    Hey Steve – – I guess Israel should not defend itself against he constant barrage of Quassam rockets that Hamas has been firing into Israel from Northern Gaza since the day Israel pulled out. In fact, the rockets are getting more and more sophisticated. Hmmm….you think Syria or Iran have anything to do with that. As Golda Meir once said…”there will never be peace in Israel until Palestinian parents start to love their children more then they hate Israel.”

    Reply

  65. Pissed Off American says:

    I too have been doing a little digging. Since when does AIPAC actually “draft” resolutions for the house? Seems a little alarming that an advocacy lobby for a foreign country is writing American policy, does it not?
    http://www.forward.com/articles/8066
    “The House version was initiated, strongly supported and — according to congressional insiders — drafted by the by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

    Reply

  66. Carroll says:

    I saw something this morning that I had not seen before, had heard talked about, but not seen published in public.
    I was going thru my usual news sources and got to Haaretz, where I noticed a large ad on the front page for the “Jerusalem Summit”. I clicked on it and found a document with the proposal for the “transfer” of the Palestines.
    The document is here:
    http://www.jerusalemsummit.org/eng/hs_short_eng.htm
    It’s pretty evil. Especially scary because it is written with that kind reasoning that only the truely insane can think is logical.
    Then go to their Organization’s site and browse around and check out some of the members:
    http://www.jerusalemsummit.org/eng/
    Senator Sam Brownback USA.. in the “Presidium” of the organization
    Gary Bauer USA
    Yossef Bodansky USA.. the Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare at the US House of Representatives.
    Alan Keyes, USA….
    Daniel Pipes USA …
    General Paul E. Vallely…..the Military Committee Chairman for the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC
    Charles Radin ….the Middle East Bureau chief of the Boston Globe.
    Rachel Ehrenfeld, PhD… Director of the New York based American Center for Democracy.
    Richard Perle
    Cal Thomas
    Daniel Pipes..appointed by Bush to the “Peace Center”
    Several years ago I would have laughed at nutcases like this. But now I take them seriously because they do have imput into the US ME policy right now and some are even officials in the US goverment.
    The Organization’s goals according to their declaration is .. beside ensuring greater Israel as a Jewish State….to form a new Council to replace the UN and have it headquartered in Jerusalem because… in quotes…”We believe that one of the objectives of Israel’s divinely-inspired rebirth is to make it the center of the new unity of the nations, which will lead to an era of peace and prosperity, foretold by the Prophets”…and therefore…”For the sake of the entire world and therein, the land of Israel must belong to the people of Israel….and….”if Israel and Jerusalem are fortified, they will become the center where mankind will gather to usher in an era of peace and prosperity. But the West’s failure to save them may well spell doom for civilization itself.”
    So …the world is doomed if it doesn’t help bring about the Supreme Israel as the Moral and International Law Center of the Universe and a Palestine “transfer…for the good of the Palestines.
    You know in light of everything going on I can actually see this happening eventually…and the US paying for the “transfer” and justifying it as the only solution to the conflict. That’s sounds crazy doesn’t it? But everyone who thought the US goverment would never launch a premptive war based on lies they knew were lies raise your hand.
    I doubt nothing about the extent of craziness here or in Israel any more.

    Reply

  67. Den Valdron says:

    The reality however, is that Israel is not going anywhere. There are six million people in Israel, mostly of Jewish ancestry, who have lived there, many for two, three, even four generations, and who are committed to the nation. Even first generation immigrants are committed to the nation in a way we would expect of immigrants to other nations.
    Israel is a fact, and it is not a fact that is going to go away, nor sshould we ask or expect that of it.
    That said, Israel in its present form, and its present governmental regime is hardly sacrosanct, and there are serious issues which must be dealt with. Among these:
    1) The status of and resolution with the displaced Palestinians in refugee camps whose potential return and resumption of their prior rights poses troublesome issues for Israel. The denial of their right to return and denial of their claims poses other sorts of issues for Israel.
    2) The status of the people in the occupied territories and the disposition of these occupied territories.
    So far, Israel’s approach has been one of denial and eliminationism. Its credibly argued that Israel’s policy with respect to the occupied territories is to prevent any effective state from emerging and continually render it as a helpless colonial rump state.
    My own view is that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians have failed and will continue to fail. The only result has been terrorism for the Israeli’s and human misery for the Palestinians.

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  68. Carroll says:

    Yes Father Ted….I think it is time for us to recongize/say that…the Israel experiment has failed. Let it go.

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  69. Pissed Off American says:

    On this thread I have posed two simple challenges to those here that defend Israel’s actions. First, to show us proof that the Palestinian government was involved in the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier or has the power to secure his release, and secondly, to explain to this forum how the razing and confinscation of Palestinian farmlands is helping to secure this soldier’s release. The fact that I cannot get these people to come forward and address these two simple challenges says VOLUMES about their inability to honestly defend Israel’s actions when they are confronted with the FACTS on the ground.

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  70. Father Ted says:

    Isn’t there some point at which the “pragmatic approach” is to say the unsayable, i.e. that the creation and maintaining of a Jewish majority state on a land that has a natural non-Jewish majority is simply untenable, and that continuing to take the necessary measures to manufacture the desired majority are fundamentally destabilizing to the entire region?
    Start off the project of Zionist settlement in a land where more than 95% of the population is Muslim and Christian Arab; add into that mix the fact that this non-Jewish population consistently maintains one of the highest fertility rates in the world and can replenish itself every couple of generations even after events like 1948; and congratulations you have created the perfect conditions for an endless Groundhog Day of dispossession and exile and insecurity and violent revolt that will go on as long as political power is allocated to one group over another just because an accident of birth.
    The pragmatic approach – and I don’t minimize how difficult this will be – is to come to terms with the fact that this social engineering experiment has run its course, and that the real choice now is not between Road Map or Convergence, but between sectarian power sharing in a single polity (a la Northern Ireland) or a non-sectarian unitary state (a la South Africa).
    Yes, I know that nationalism and religion and exile and tragedy combine in the I/P conflict like nowhere else, and that it will be traumatic for everyone involved to give up a self-identity that rests largely on denying the Other in favor of a common identity as citizens of a single state. But the last 100+ years of trying to gerrymander ethnic statehood hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park either, and I really don’t see it getting any better from here on in.

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  71. baffled says:

    here’s the link to this most fascinating interview, providing insight into Israeli hardliners’ thought processes and the shameful complicity of our own government.
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=485929

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  72. CD says:

    Army vehicles bulldoze farmlands in Khan Younis area
    Manar Jibrin-IMEMC & Agencies – Thursday, 06 July 2006, 13:30
    Sickening.
    Top Sharon aide: Gaza plan aims to freeze the peace process
    2004-10-05 22:36:28
    By Ari Shavit, Haaretz Oct 6, 2004
    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Haaretz. “And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”
    Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Haaretz for the Friday Magazine.
    “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”
    Asked why the disengagement plan had been hatched, Weisglass replied: “Because in the fall of 2003 we understood that everything was stuck. And although by the way the Americans read the situation, the blame fell on the Palestinians, not on us, Arik [Sharon] grasped that this state of affairs could not last, that they wouldn’t leave us alone, wouldn’t get off our case. Time was not on our side. There was international erosion, internal erosion. Domestically, in the meantime, everything was collapsing. The economy was stagnant, and the Geneva Initiative had gained broad support. And then we were hit with the letters of officers and letters of pilots and letters of commandos [refusing to serve in the territories]. These were not weird kids with green ponytails and a ring in their nose with a strong odor of grass. These were people like Spector’s group [Yiftah Spector, a renowned Air Force pilot who signed the pilot’s letter]. Really our finest young people.”
    Weisglass does not deny that the main achievement of the Gaza plan is the freezing of the peace process in a “legitimate manner.”
    “That is exactly what happened,” he said. “You know, the term `peace process’ is a bundle of concepts and commitments. The peace process is the establishment of a Palestinian state with all the security risks that entails. The peace process is the evacuation of settlements, it’s the return of refugees, it’s the partition of Jerusalem. And all that has now been frozen…. what I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns. That is the significance of what we did.”

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  73. Carroll says:

    And furthermore….
    I can’t find this pargraph even “understandable”
    “It is understandable, in this fraught environment, that Israel may believe that punishing the Palestinian people in violation of international law is all it can do to preserve its deterrent credibility and discourage future abductions.”
    What the hell is any more “fraught’ then it has ever been?..except the Palestines had an election and might have been on it’s way to a goverment that would have been a tougher bartering partner for Isr?…that Israel “may believe violating International law is all it can do to preserve it’s deterrent credibility”….HUH?…how many times has Isr violated international law? But because this time it is so OBVIOUS we have to find a way to excuse it?
    Financial Real Estate Tip of the Day…invest in insane asylums.

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  74. Pissed Off American says:

    No, the following incident is NOT a rehash of an incident I pointed to yesterday. This is a NEW event, in a DIFFERENT AREA. Again, I ask of those here that defend Israel’s actions, what right does Israel have to destroy and confinscate farmlands, and how is this helping to secure the release of the Israeli soldier???
    Army vehicles bulldoze farmlands in Khan Younis area
    Manar Jibrin-IMEMC & Agencies – Thursday, 06 July 2006, 13:30
    Israeli military bulldozers started to level wide areas of lands owned by the residents of Al faraheen area east of Khan Younis south of Gaza Strip on Thursday.
    Local eyewitnesses reported that three military bulldozers backed by seven tanks and an air cover intercepted in the area for 600 meters away from the eastern borders of the Strip and started bulldozing farmlands planted with olive trees.
    According to Jaber Abu Rajeelah, a resident from the area, these farmlands belong the Gazan families of Abu A’nza and Abu Rajeelah families.
    Al Faraheen area had been invaded repeatedly by the army during the years of the Intefada during which several houses were demolished and farmlands were bulldozed.
    As part of its major plan for reinvading the Gaza Strip, In the late hours of Wednesday night, Israeli military vehichles invaded the strip and took over three settlements that Israel withdrew from in september of last year.
    http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19804&Itemid=1

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  75. Carroll says:

    Jesus Christ on a stick! More talky-talky, mumbo jumbo bullshit?
    We need to shoot all the dipolmats and stragetist involved in this, right now. Just shut everyone the hell up. There has been more than enough “talk’ for 56 years. The “talk” has become another tactic to let Isr continue it’s crap.
    Everyone who isn’t stupid and doesn’t have a “side’ in this crapola can Plainly see that Israel has never been, will never be..interested in peace unless the “peace” means they get 80% of Palestine and everything it has in the way of resources.
    I have watched this almost daily and after the Hamas election, Hamas made no moves..yet Isr and the US started immediately beating on everyone to dismantle Hamas…since then Isr has used the “other group” who fire their famous “can’t hit a f***** barn door missles” as an excuse to go after Hamas and Palestine and used their age old provoke and attack methods to bring what we see right now.
    READ MY LIPS….these Isr world juvinile serial killer mother******’ers and constant liars and blood sucking ants on the ass of the world need to be cleaned out like any other Hilter or OBL…I don’t care how, nuke them off the face of the earth, pen them all behind their own wall, whatever,blockade all trade and goods into Isr ..sent the US Marines in to kick their whining greedy asses into the sea, I don’t give a rat’s ass how it is done..
    They are INCAPABLE of learning…they are INCAPABLE of being responsible citizens of the world…90% of the world is FED UP…
    Wake up AIPAC whores and smell the votes burning…you can choose to save you own ass and get American’s name out of the tiolet or you can choose Isr…which will it be?

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  76. Moses Burnbaum says:

    Israel does NOT want to negotiate with the Palestinians. Never has and never will. Israel wants to exterminate the Palestinians and the Palestinians of course, resent that. Who could blame them. As long as the U.S. turns the blind eye to what Israel does to the Palestinians, the violence and madness will continue ad nauseum.

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  77. Friendly Fire says:

    Nudnik, some questions, if Israel is a democratic state up there with the rest of us, why doesn’t it respect/and broker a diplomatic solution to this crisis?
    Why did it shell Palestinians on beach in the Gaza strip (reminds me of SA in aparthied eras, except SA to their credit didn’t send artillery shells, just barbed wire and signposts)?
    I know you are on the minimum wage blogging from your Tel Aviv apartment with a pittance of the billions of US dollars that go Israel’s way to send those billions sent back to USA and fund the political scene in the USA.

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  78. juan49 says:

    First, Evans and Malley do not understand very well what the crisis is about. The crisis is about the fact that Israel will never allow a strong and popular Palestinian government with real ability to govern. Israel can’t have it, as it can’t have peace with Palestinians. Both things would exclude possibility for further land grab. Arafat was corrupt (with Israel’s help), so he was OK. But Abu MAzen was “no partner” for evacuation from Gaza strip, so it went unilaterly. And the Hamas was of course a gift from heaven, in this regard. Thus, it is an error to think that Israel “wants quiet”. The war will go on and on, until Israel succeeds to expell all Arabs from the Promised Land.
    BTW, do Evans and Malley have patience with Israel’s ideology, i.e. the chosen people in the promised land ? And what are their feelings with regard to ITS terror tactics ?

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  79. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmm. I have to say, Nudnik, that on those grounds, I would be safe to assume that any foreign tourist mugged or robbed anywhere in the United States is either a victim of a malign plot by the US government, or it is proof that the US government is so ineffectual it is not a government at all.
    And by similar logic, that Israeli wack job who shot up a bunch of Palestinians a few years back in his own quest for racial cleansing was acting on behalf of the Israeli government? And the murder of Rabin was another government plot?
    You posit a black and white world where a state must exercise a monopoly on violence to an extent that would make Stalin quail, or it doesn’t qualify as a state….
    Well, all I’ve got to say for your position is: Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo.
    Call me if you ever wind up on planet Earth.

    Reply

  80. steve duncan says:

    Steve, I’m looking at 50 years my next birthday. I’ve been keenly interested is world events and politics since a very young age. For my entire life Israel has been immersed in active, violent confrontations with its neighbors. It has never been otherwise. I know we all have to hope that will change. We can’t assume the mindset it’s a permanent state of affairs. However, is there really any reason to doubt my grandchildren’s impression of the Middle East will be of a festering, constant war between various nations, including Israel?

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  81. MNPundit says:

    I think it’s pretty clear that Israel has lost it. Ergo, trying to throw reason at them will be useless. Or maybe not, afterall there, was a good chance that the Palestinians would agree to a two state solution in the public referendum.
    Oops, can’t have that can we? No, this is a fucking pretext because Israel is terrified of having to be reasonable with them.

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  82. Matthew says:

    The post hits upon the larger issue: Nobody wants to give Hamas a chance to govern. Imagine if an Islamic movement were able to provide services without massive corruption, refused to agree to the illegal WB settlements ever, i.e., rjected these “facts on the ground,” and refused to accept “peace” if the Apartheid Wall remains on Palestinian land. America and Israel have found in Abbas what colonial powers always want in the natives, a pliant leader. The biggest back story of this conflict is the decision by Fatah and Hamas to limit Abbas’s ability to unilaterally make concessions. Basically, Mr. 3% of Palestine–even more unpopular than Bush–is not trusted to protect Palestinian interests. In this light, the military escalation is predictable.

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  83. Pissed Off American says:

    “The Hamas government is clearly complicit in these attacks, and therefore it should be destroyed.”
    Posted by Nudnik
    There you have it folks. “Proof”, as defined by an Israeli apologist.

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  84. Pissed Off American says:

    Isreal IS NOT acting to get its soldier back, it is acting to remove Hamas. Period…………
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/732528.html
    “The detention of Hamas parliamentarians in the early hours of Thursday morning had been planned several weeks ago and received approval from Mazuz on Wednesday. ”
    “The detention of Hamas parliamentarians in the early hours of Thursday morning had been planned several weeks ago and received approval from Mazuz on Wednesday. ”
    “The detention of Hamas parliamentarians in the early hours of Thursday morning had been planned several weeks ago and received approval from Mazuz on Wednesday. ”

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  85. Nudnik says:

    Your logic is completly wrong.
    Iraq is trying to put down the insurgency. Iraq does not cooperate with the insurgents when they kidnap someone. Hamas, on the other hand, has never exerted or even attempted to exert any control over the terrorist groups. It is not trying to put down these groups, as the Palestinian government has pledged on multiple occasions that it would do.
    The Palestinian “security forces” numberr around 20,000. Are you trying to tell me that they, with their exceptionally good intelligence, could not stop these attacks? That is simply absurd. The Hamas government is clearly complicit in these attacks, and therefore it should be destroyed.

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  86. Pissed Off American says:

    “Either Hamas is a real government or it is not. If it is, then it is completely responsible for the actions of militias within its territory. Any attack emanating from that terrirtory is an attack by the government. Undoubtedly Hamas is responsible for the incursion, firefight, and kidnapping because it allows and encourages those groups to operate on its territory.”
    Has anyone else noticed the sheer absurdity of such a premise???
    Using logic such as that, we can surmise that the Iraqi government is reponsible for the actions of the insurgency, and therefore should be held accountable for every American death.
    And, by God, Blair should be held accountable for the subway bombings.
    AND, by God, BUSH should be held accountable for the WTC attacks!!!!!
    HALLELUJAH THERE IS A GOD!!!!

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  87. Pissed Off American says:

    CORRECTION……..
    I asked for proof, and you predictably drooled the party line. Saying that the elected government of*** PALESTINE***is responsible for the actions of every militant faction in Palestine is like saying Bush is reponsible for the actions of the Crips. In short, it is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT.

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  88. Pissed Off American says:

    Thats bullshit. Are you denying that there are Palestinian radical factions outside of Hamas’ control, whose aims are far more fanatical and antagonistic towards Isreal??? If so, you are a simple liar, and are attempting, as many of you always do, to frame this debate with falsehoods and the insidious implantation of unproven assumptions. Next will come the contingent band of assholes pointing fingers while waxing eloquent about “anti-semitism”.
    I asked for proof, and you predictably drooled the party line. Saying that the elected government of Iraq is responsible for the actions of every militant faction in Palestine is like saying Bush is reponsible for the actions of the Crips. In short, it is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT.
    Isreal IS NOT acting to get its soldier back, it is acting to remove Hamas. Period. I expect this soldier to turn up dead. Because if his captors don’t kill him, Isreal very probably might. If Israel can use his KIDNAPPING to justify the destruction of the infrastructure of Palestine and the razing of farmlands, just think what his DEATH would justify!

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  89. NeilS says:

    Israel had every right to put pressure on the Hamas government to force the release of their soldier. However, now they have gone too far.
    Hamas can blame Israel for its own failures and argue that if it weren’t for Israel things would be going well for Palestinians. They wouldn’t be and Palestinians would realize that Hamas was unable to govern.
    In my opinion, Israel has snatched defeat from the hands of victory.

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  90. Nudnik says:

    “Just by connection, this in turn advances the premise that the governing body of Palestine is responsible for the incursion, firefight, and kidnapping of the Israeli soldier.”
    Either Hamas is a real government or it is not. If it is, then it is completely responsible for the actions of militias within its territory. Any attack emanating from that terrirtory is an attack by the government. Undoubtedly Hamas is responsible for the incursion, firefight, and kidnapping because it allows and encourages those groups to operate on its territory.
    If it does not monopolize the violence within its territory, then it is either not a real government, and therefore should be disbanded or it is a government that is actively making war on Israel, and it should be destroyed.

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  91. Pissed Off American says:

    “Can’t say I have much sympathy for either party here. If Hamas wanted to govern, they shouldn’t have kidnapped that guy.”
    Posted by Rob W
    Show me the proof the the governing body of Palestine, or their agents, “kidnapped that guy”.
    One would think that a drink as inexpensive as Kool-aid would be far less toxic than it is proving to be. Damn, I wish we could just pull it off the shelves.

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  92. Pissed Off American says:

    I see that these two advance the premise that Hamas has the ability to secure the release of the soldier, ergo, Hamas must be the actual captor of the soldier. Just by connection, this in turn advances the premise that the governing body of Palestine is responsible for the incursion, firefight, and kidnapping of the Israeli soldier. It is these kinds of insidious implantations of ASSUMPTIONS into the discourse that completely muddy any attempt one can make to debate these issues constructively. The debate BEGINS with false assumptions, so how can we expect it to procede constructively or in a civil manner?
    I note too that any mention of the ongoing theft of Palestinian farmlands, or of the recent beach MURDERS are absent, once again, from any attempt to attribute the “first blow” to either entity. On another thread I posted a few examples of how under this smokescreen created by this kidnapped soldier’s plight and Israel’s response, Israel is razing farmlands and STEALING real eastate from the Palestinians on a daily basis, robbing Palestinians of both their lands, their livelyhoods, and their ability to feed and support their families. Despite NUMEROUS attempts to get those here that defend Israel to explain how the appropriation of these lands helps secure the release of this soldier, not ONE of them, even the mmost rabid, such as Schwartz or that fanatical ass DIL, have offered an explanation.
    To continue to portray the Palestinians as the absolute antagonists is deceptive and unrealistic. There is not a single day that the oppression of the Palestinian people is not augmented by yet ANOTHER transgression against them, committed by the Israel government. DAILY their lands are stolen. DAILY they are blocked from commutting to thier jobs. DAILY aid and supplies are blocked from reaching their intended recipients. DAILY the poverty and oppression are a fact of life for most of the Palestinian people.
    As long as the debate is launched from a skewed foundation, we will NEVER find a middle ground or constructive solutions. Once again I see a debate here being launched from a platform that already favors, deceptively, the Isreali perspective, casting Hamas in a role we have not even truly established they play. Can anyone here show me definitive proof that the duly elected government of Palestine, Hamas, had anything to do with this soldier’s kidnapping, or can in fact secure his release? I think not.
    And, considering the above, the wholesale PUNISHMENT of the Palestinian people that is now being waged by Israel is a CRIME of epic proportions, that cries out for international intervention.

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  93. eCAHNomics says:

    The ONLY intelligent comment I’ve ever heard about Israel-Palestine came a couple of years ago from a man I normally have a low opinion of–Tom Friedman. Asked about propects for the “Road Map,” his answer was “Doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo,” to the tune of Twilight Zone.

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  94. Rob W says:

    Can’t say I have much sympathy for either party here. If Hamas wanted to govern, they shouldn’t have kidnapped that guy. Its wrong to do that. While Israel’s incursion, invasion or whatever you want to call it is too large for the simple purpose of getting the soldier back, they do have a right to try and rescue him.

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