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Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, has written twelve books, including the New York Times best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. Some of his other books include “Death of the Liberal Class”...








 
 

Israel’s Barrier to Peace

Editor’s note: In this Dig, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” examines the way Israel’s security wall has ripped a mortal gash in the lives of Palestinians living in its shadow, and argues that there can be no hope for peace in the Middle East as long as America continues to aid Israel in its dehumanizing practices.




The rage and extremism of the Islamic militants in Lebanon and the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza appear incomprehensible to the outside world.  The wanton murder, the raw anti-Semitism, the callous disregard for human life, including the lives of children and other innocents, permit those on the outside to thrust these militant fighters in another moral universe, to certify them as incomprehensible.

But this branding of these militants as something less than human, as something that reasonable people cannot hope to understand, is possible only because we have ignored and disregarded the decades of repression, the crushing weight of occupation, the abject humiliation and violence, unleashed on Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel because of our silence and indifference.  It is the Israeli penchant for violence and occupation that slowly created and formed these frightening groups.

The failure by the outside world to react to the years of brutal repression, the refusal by the United States to intercede on behalf of the occupied Lebanese and Palestinians, gradually formed and galvanized the radicals who now occupy the stage with Israel, answering death for death, atrocity for atrocity.

Those inside these zones of occupation pleaded over the years for help.  We refused to listen.  And once they burst through these barriers, enraged, bloodied, bent on revenge, we recoiled in horror, unable to see our complicity.  We asked them to be quiet, to be reasonable, to calm down, and when they did not, their blood heated by years of abuse and neglect, we condemned them to their fate.

The barrier built by Israel in the West Bank is one of the most tangible and important symbols of this long humiliation, this strangulation of the Palestinians by Israel.  To understand the role of this barrier is to begin to understand the rage it has now unleashed.  Understanding is not excusing, but until we grasp that these militants do not come from another moral universe, until we face our own complicity in their creation and the awful violence now underway in Lebanon and the occupied territories, we cannot begin to understand the gross injustices that fuel these militant movements.  It was, after all, the $10 billion in loan guarantees by the United States that made this barrier possible.

Ending the loan guarantees, as long as they were used to build settlements and seize even more Palestinian land, would have done more to blunt the rage and violence of militants than all the iron fragmentation bombs Israel has dropped on the hapless civilians in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

But we react too late.  We react to the manifestation of rage rather than the cause of rage.  We are as morally compromised as those we condemn, as incomprehensible to them as they are to us.  And until we become comprehensible to each other there will not be peace in the Middle East.




There is a 25-foot-high concrete wall in Mrs. Nuhayla Auynaf’s front yard.  The gray mass, punctuated by cylindrical guard towers with narrow window slits for Israeli soldiers, appears from her steps like the side of a docked ocean liner.  It is massive, cold and alien.  The dwarfed shrubs, bushes and stunted fruit trees seem to huddle before it in supplication.  I struggle to make sense of it, the way I struggled to make sense of the smoldering rubble that was the World Trade Center a few hours after the planes hit.

We do not speak.  Mrs. Auynaf lives with the wall.  She is as drawn to it as she is repelled by it.  It absorbs her.  She goes out on her second-floor balcony every morning and looks at it.  She implores it for answers, as if it is a Sphinx that will answer the riddle of her new existence.

“My old life ended with the wall,” she tells me.

The wall, built by Israel a year before, blocked her from the neighboring Israeli town of Kfar Saba where she used to shop.  It cut her off from Israel.  It made it hard to reach the rest of the West Bank.  The lone Israeli checkpoint with its guard towers, floodlights, concrete barriers, dust, stench, crowds, special pass cards, intrusive searches, rude remarks by border police were more than she could bare.  She tried to pass through once.

“I could not stand the humiliation,” she says.  “I turned back.  I went home.  Now I never leave.”

The wall reduces her world to its ugly perimeter.  Her five boys beg to go to the seaside.  The wall makes this impossible.  No one goes to the sea anymore.  There are days when the checkpoint is sealed, days after suicide bombings or days when the Israeli soldiers shut it down abruptly without explanation.  On those days she sometimes gathers up her children and walks the empty streets, wandering like prisoners in a circle.  Other families do the same.  It gives her a sense of movement.  Families pass each other two, three, four times in an afternoon.  All are thinking the same thoughts.

“The town would rent buses to go to the sea,” she says.  “We would go for the day.  We would stand in the water.  We would look at the rocks and the waves.  This was before.”

The house is pleasant.  It was finished at the start of the uprising, when business was good and peace seemed possible.  The floors are marble.  The kitchen has a counter and white appliances.  The sofa and chairs have muted blue and beige stripped fabric.  We sit in the living room.  A large window fan, set on the floor in front of the open door, provides a weak breeze.  The door frame is filled with the expressionless gray face of the wall.  It draws our eyes to it, the way a muted television screen distracts me during conversations.  Sometimes we turn to look at it, as if it is a presence in the room, someone who should be offered sweet tea or a glass or water or asked to leave.  We want it to speak to us.

Her son Ibrahim, 6, sits on her lap.  He has a scar on his leg.  He was shot two years ago by Israeli soldiers.  It happened at dusk.  The soldiers were firing at a group of Palestinian workers who were trying to slip into or out of Israel without proper work permits.  He was watching from the front yard when a bullet went astray.  He stays close to his mother, especially when he hears the sounds of gunshots.  He does not like to leave home.  The world frightens him.

The family was one of the wealthiest in Qalqiliya before the wall ruined them.  They spent $200,000 on their home, with its sloping terra cotta tiled roof, its pleasant garden.  It looks like the homes in the middle-class suburbs outside of Tel Aviv.  Once the wall went up, the family’s car parts business was wiped out.  Mrs. Auynaf’s husband makes less than 10% of what he once earned.  He has trouble shipping car parts into the walled enclosure.  He often cannot reach suppliers.  Customers, those in Israel and those in other areas of the West Bank, can no longer get to his store.  He does not have a permit to drive the family car through the checkpoint.  He must stand in line, often for several hours, to go in and out.  He is away now.  He is trying to salvage his business, but it cannot go on like this.  She hopes he will be home tonight.  But she does not know.  The lines are long.  Sometimes the soldiers get tired or bored or surly and turn people away until the next morning.

“We talk about how we are going to survive, what we are going to do,” she said. 

She hangs laundry on the balcony.  Her only view is the wall.  The other morning she was hanging laundry to dry and she heard singing.  The song was by Fadel Shaker, a popular Arab singer.  The singer had a sweet voice.

“You who are far away, why do you forget those who love you?” the words go.  “When I fall asleep I think only of your eyes.  I think only of you.”

Her five boys were in the yard.  They began to sing.  There was a chorus of voices, the sweet voice and the voices of the children.  She peered up into the glaring sunlight to see the singer.  She saw an Israeli soldier in his green uniform standing on top of the earthen mound on the Israeli side of the wall, the mound the army drives jeeps up to peer down on those below.  He looked like an Olympian god.  She thinks he was a Druze, the tiny, nominally Muslim sect that lives near the border with Syria and serves in the Israeli army and border police.

“He waved when the song finished,” she says.  “The children waved back.  Then he disappeared behind the wall.”

She was on the balcony a few days later.  She was pinning up cloths on the line.  The wooden shutters were open into the house.  She looked up and saw a soldier watching her from the top of the mound.  There was no singing. His raspy voice crackled over the megaphone mounted on the jeep.  He ordered her to go inside and close the shutters.  She obeyed.  Her wet laundry lay behind in the basket.

“I live in a zoo,” she says.  “They come and watch me.  I am a caged animal.  They have the freedom to come and go, to look or not look, to be kind or cruel.  I have no freedom.”

She fears madness.  She points to an elderly woman 200 feet away squatting under a fig tree.

“The wall was the end,” she says.  “When it was finished she went mad.”

We watch the woman.  She is keening slightly.  People are being destroyed by the serpent’s teeth of the wall, springing up from the soil of the West Bank like the evil warriors sown by Cadmus.  This for me is the story, not the amount of concrete or coils of razor wire or razed olive groves and villages, but what all this is doing to human souls.



Next Page: The barrier is the most catastrophic blow to the Palestinians since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Dig last updated on Jul. 25, 2006


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By Spinoza, September 25, 2006 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
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Very Important.. BUT I would argue that the Likudniks are purposely stimulating anti-Semitism in the mistaken belief that it will strengthen Israel. They are INSANE!

http://www.counterpunch.org/cook09232006.html

Weekend Edition September 23 / 24, 2006 From the New “Anti-Semitism” to Nuclear Holocaust How Israel is Engineering the “Clash of Civilizations”

By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

The trajectory of a long-running campaign that gave birth this month to the preposterous all-party British parliamentary report into anti-Semitism in the UK can be traced back to intensive lobbying by the Israeli government that began more than four years ago, in early 2002.

At that time, as Ariel Sharon was shredding the tattered remains of the Oslo accords by reinvading West Bank towns handed over to the Palestinian Authority in his destructive rampage known as Operation Defensive Shield, he drafted the Israeli media into the fray. Local newspapers began endlessly highlighting concerns about the rise of a “new anti-Semitism”, a theme that was rapidly and enthusiastically taken up by the muscular Zionist lobby in the US.

It was not the first time, of course, that Israel had called on American loyalists to help it out of trouble. In Beyond Chutzpah, Norman Finkelstein documents the advent of claims about a new anti-Semitism to Israel’s lacklustre performance in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. On that occasion, it was hoped, the charge of anti-Semitism could be deployed against critics to reduce pressure on Israel to return Sinai to Egypt and negotiate with the Palestinians.

Israel alerted the world to another wave of anti-Semitism in the early 1980s, just as it came under unprecedented criticism for its invasion and occupation of Lebanon. What distinguished the new anti-Semitism from traditional anti-Jewish racism of the kind that led to Germany’s death camps, said its promoters, was that this time it embraced the progressive left rather than the far right.

The fresh claims about a new anti-Semitism began life in the spring of 2002, with the English-language website of Israel’s respected liberal daily newspaper, Haaretz, flagging for many months a special online supplement of articles on the “New anti-Semitism”, warning that the “age-old hatred” was being revived in Europe and America. The refrain was soon taken up the Jerusalem Post, a rightwing English-language newspaper regularly used by the Israeli establishment to shore up support for its policies among Diaspora Jews.

Like its precursors, argued Israel’s apologists, the latest wave of anti-Semitism was the responsibility of Western progressive movements—though with a fresh twist. An ever-present but largely latent Western anti-Semitism was being stoked into frenzy by the growing political and intellectual influence of extremist Muslim immigrants. The implication was that an unholy alliance had been spawned between the left and militant Islam.

Such views were first aired by senior members of Sharon’s cabinet. In an interview in the Jerusalem Post in November 2002, for example, Binyamin Netanyahu warned that latent anti-Semitism was again becoming active:

“In my view, there are many in Europe who oppose anti-Semitism, and many governments and leaders who oppose anti-Semitism, but the strain exists there. It is ignoring reality to say that it is not present. It has now been wedded to and stimulated by the more potent and more overt force of anti-Semitism, which is Islamic anti-Semitism coming from some of the Islamic minorities in European countries. This is often disguised as anti-Zionism.”

Netanyahu proposed “lancing the boil” by beginning an aggressive public relations campaign of “self-defence”. A month later Israel’s president, Moshe Katsav, picked on the softest target of all, warning during a state visit that the fight against anti-Semitism must begin in Germany, where “voices of anti-Semitism can be heard”.

But, as ever, the main target of the new anti-Semitism campaign were audiences in the US, Israel’s generous patron. There, members of the Israel lobby were turning into a chorus of doom.

In the early stages of the campaign, the lobby’s real motivation was not concealed: it wanted to smother a fledgling debate by American civil society, particularly the churches and universities, to divest—withdraw their substantial investments—from Israel in response to Operation Defensive Shield.

In October 2002, after Israel had effectively reoccupied the West Bank, the ever-reliable Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, lumped in critics who were calling for divestment from Israel with the new anti-Semites. He urged a new body established by the Israeli government called the Forum for Co-ordinating the Struggle against anti-Semitism to articulate clearly “what we know in our hearts and guts: when that line [to anti-Semitism] is crossed”.

A fortnight later Foxman had got into his stride, warning that Jews were more vulnerable than at any time since the Second World War. “I did not believe in my lifetime that I or we would be preoccupied on the level that we are, or [face] the intensity of anti-Semitism that we are experiencing,” he told the Jerusalem Post.

Echoing Netanyahu’s warning, Foxman added that the rapid spread of the new anti-Semitism had been made possible by the communications revolution, mainly the internet, which was allowing Muslims to relay their hate messages across the world within seconds, infecting people around the globe.

It is now clear that Israel and its loyalists had three main goals in mind as they began their campaign. Two were familiar motives from previous attempts at highlighting a “new anti-Semitism”. The third was new.

The first aim, and possibly the best understood, was to stifle all criticism of Israel, particularly in the US. During the course of 2003 it became increasingly apparent to journalists like myself that the American media, and soon much of the European media, was growing shy of printing even the mild criticism of Israel it usually allowed. By the time Israel began stepping up the pace of construction of its monstrous wall across the West Bank in spring 2003, editors were reluctant to touch the story.

As the fourth estate fell silent, so did many of the progressive voices in our universities and churches. Divestment was entirely removed from the agenda. McCarthyite organisations like CampusWatch helped enforce the reign of intimidation. Academics who stood their ground, like Columbia University’s Joseph Massad, attracted the vindictive attention of new activist groups like the David Project.

A second, less noticed, goal was an urgent desire to prevent any slippage in the numbers of Jews inside Israel that might benefit the Palestinians as the two ethnic groups approached demographic parity in the area know to Israelis as Greater Israel and to Palestinians as historic Palestine.

Demography had been a long-standing obsession of the Zionist movement: during the 1948 war, the Israeli army terrorised away or forcibly removed some 80 per cent of the Palestinians living inside the borders of what became Israel to guarantee its new status as a Jewish state.

But by the turn of the millennium, following Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, and the rapid growth of the oppressed Palestinian populations both in the occupied territories and inside Israel, demography had been pushed to the top of Israel’s policy agenda again.

During the second intifada, as the Palestinians fought back against Israel’s war machine with a wave of suicide bombs on buses in major Israeli cities, Sharon’s government feared that well-off Israeli Jews might start to regard Europe and America as a safer bet than Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. The danger was that the demographic battle might be lost as Israeli Jews emigrated.

By suggesting that Europe in particular had become a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, it was hoped that Israeli Jews, many of whom have more than one passport, would be afraid to leave. A survey by the Jewish Agency taken as early as May 2002 showed, for example, that 84 per cent of Israelis believed anti-Semitism had again become a serious threat to world Jewry.

At the same time Israeli politicians concentrated their attention on the two European countries with the largest Jewish populations, Britain and France, both of which also have significant numbers of immigrant Muslims. They highlighted a supposed rise in anti-Semitism in these two countries in the hope of attracting their Jewish populations to Israel.

In France, for example, peculiar anti-Semitic attacks were given plenty of media coverage: from a senior rabbi who was stabbed (by himself, as it later turned out) to a young Jewish woman attacked on a train by anti-Semitic thugs (except, as it later emerged, she was not Jewish).

Sharon took advantage of the manufactured climate of fear in July 2004 to claim that France was in the grip of “the wildest anti-Semitism”, urging French Jews to come to Israel.

The third goal, however, had not seen before. It tied the rise of a new anti-Semitism with the increase of Islamic fundamentalism in the West, implying that Muslim extremists were asserting an ideological control over Western thinking. It chimed well with the post 9-11 atmosphere.

In this spirit, American Jewish academics like David Goldhagen characterised anti-Semitism as constantly “evolving”. In a piece entitled “The Globalisation of anti-Semitism” published in the American Jewish weekly Forward in May 2003, Goldhagen argued that Europe had exported its classical racist anti-Semitism to the Arab world, which in turn was reinfecting the West.

“Then the Arab countries re-exported the new hybrid demonology back to Europe and, using the United Nations and other international institutions, to other countries around the world. In Germany, France, Great Britain and elsewhere, today’s intensive anti-Semitic expression and agitation uses old tropes once applied to local Jews—charges of sowing disorder, wanting to subjugate others—with new content overwhelmingly directed at Jews outside their countries.”

This theory of a “free-floating” contagion of hatred towards Jews, being spread by Arabs and their sympathisers through the internet, media and international bodies, found many admirers. The British neo-conservative journalist Melanie Philips claimed popularly, if ludicrously, that British identity was being subverted and pushed out by an Islamic identity that was turning her country into a capital of terror, “Londonistan”.

This final goal of the proponents of “the new anti-Semitism” was so successful because it could be easily conflated with other ideas associated with America’s war on terror, such as the clash of civilisations. If it was “us” versus “them”, then the new anti-Semitism posited from the outset that the Jews were on the side of the angels. It fell to the Christian West to decide whether to make a pact with good (Judaism, Israel, civilisation) or evil (Islam, Osama bin Laden, Londonistan).

We are far from reaching the end of this treacherous road, both because the White House is bankrupt of policy initiatives apart from its war on terror, and because Israel’s place is for the moment assured at the heart of the US administration’s neoconservative agenda.

That was made clear last week when Netanyahu, the most popular politician in Israel, added yet another layer of lethal mischief to the neoconservative spin machine as it gears up to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions. Netanyahu compared Iran and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Adolf Hitler.

“Hitler went out on a world campaign first, and then tried to get nuclear weapons. Iran is trying to get nuclear arms first. Therefore from that perspective, it is much more dangerous,” Netanyahu told Israel’s anti-terrorism policymakers.

Netanyahu’s implication was transparent: Iran is looking for another Final Solution, this one targeting Israel as well as world Jewry. The moment of reckoning is near at hand, according to Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, who claims against all the evidence that Iran is only months away from posssessing nuclear weapons.

“International terrorism is a mistaken term,” Netanyahu added, “not because it doesn’t exist, but because the problem is international militant Islam. That is the movement that operates terror on the international level, and that is the movement that is preparing the ultimate terror, nuclear terrorism.”

Faced with the evil designs of the “Islamic fascists”, such as those in Iran, Israel’s nuclear arsenal—and the nuclear Holocaust Israel can and appears prepared to unleash—may be presented as the civilised world’s salvation.

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the author of the forthcoming “Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State” published by Pluto Press, and available in the United States from the University of Michigan Press. His website is http://www.jkcook.net


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By Fadel Abdallah, September 25, 2006 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For over forty years I’ve been doing my benign and peaceful “Jihad” by pen, but there is no sign in the horizon that it works or will ever work. My pen’s ink has dried out, and the words of peace look distant, hollow and meaningless. Every thing in this world looks dark and meaningless. I live now in the world of wishful thinking, and do you know what my wish is? If I can just get my hands on a few nuclear bombs- I want to be a sophisticated high-tech terrorist- and I would drop them, as Americans did, on two carefully selected targets, the names of which I want to keep secret to decieve the enemy; and possibly then peace can be dictated. I will live the rest of my years with this wishful thinking, while others continue talking… talking ... talking about “peace” when, in fact, they mean more “pieces” of stolen lands, and other lands to be exploited for there natural resources….... and the ugly shows go on…

Read below another talk show about peace! It might be worth your time! I wasted some time reading it, but could not finish it! I just realized I am no more a warrior for peace talk! 
==============================================
Time to talk peace

Israel’s leaders must change mindset, engage in dialogue with Palestinians

by Shulamit Aloni
Published: 09.24.06, 00:28

In a few months, we will mark 40 years of “enlightened” occupation by our famed army in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Israel pretends to be an enlightened state and signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which rules that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” (Israel ratified the Convention in 1951.)

Over the years we deported, robbed land and stole water, destroyed crops, uprooted trees, turned every village and town into a detention camp, and set up hundreds of communities on land that doesn’t belong to us.

We allowed the settlers to make a living by providing them with huge amounts of money (more than 5 times per capita compared to residents of southern development towns.)

We paved roads for Jews only, a case of blatant apartheid, while defending it using witty Jewish self-righteousness in the absence of fair and public reporting of the budgets involved, deeds committed, expropriation of land, and disregard for vandalism.

Morality, justice, law and order stopped at the Green Line. Lawlessness prevailed right under the noses and protective and soothing hand of the IDF and police, as lawbreaking settlers made their own laws undisturbed, and at times with the kind help of authorities.

Every illegal settlement enjoys water, hydro, and a paved road. The permanent residents, the natives, which the Israeli regime had to take care of, became seemingly non-existent. As if they are there but not there at the same time. The government only notices them if they bother it by filing complaints.

It’s no wonder that the leader of a political movement in Israel and a Knesset member can declare that we should expel the Palestinians (and also Israel’s Arab citizens) in order to take over what is still left to them.

But as we usually present it – we’re the victim while they’re the murderers with blood on their hands. We never report the number of Palestinians we murdered from the sky and killed by fire – women, children, the elderly, whole families, thousands of them.

No wonder they hate us

Aerial bombings kill wanted suspects, while eliminating many civilians – yet the hands of the pilot are “clean” of any blood. After all, the victims were killed at the press of a button while their killers returned home safely. None of them committed suicide to kill wanted suspects, who by the way are not a “ticking bomb” and no evidence exists against them.

At times it appears that the IDF, particularly during the last, needless Lebanon war, turns the Gaza Strip into live-fire training grounds for all army branches. Is it a wonder they hate us, and is it a wonder they elected Hamas in free elections, the same Hamas whose establishment we encouraged in order to undermine the PLO?

Many peace-making windows were opened over the years. We hindered all of them, because we coveted the whole of the Territories. We had the Oslo agreements. Twenty countries, which in the past had no ties with us, recognized Israel. We had welfare, international ties were blossoming, peace was at our gates – but we didn’t want to make concessions.

Rabin was murdered for the sake of the settlers, and the job of burying peace-making attempts was completed by Ehud Barak with his “There’s nobody to talk to!” spin. In order to establish himself in power, Barak also allowed Arik Sharon to visit Temple Mount with armed escorts, even though he was asked by Arafat the night before not to allow this due to the frustration and fury among Palestinians.

Now, another possibility for dialogue has opened. Yet our government is again turning its back on it. They don’t know how to and don’t want to talk. Just now we brutally destroyed half of Lebanon at an immense cost and turned a million civilians into refugees in their own country.

Another superb achievement by the IDF and government of Israel. We’re willing to resort to any provocation and blow any incident out of proportion, just to hold on to the regular pretext that “There’s nobody to talk to”, and that we don’t talk to terrorists.

Kahane won

Yet the acts we undertake by starving, curfews, deportations, the theft of water and land, false arrests, and targeted killings – all those are, of course, not terror, because the acts are undertaken by a national army through the power of a decision made by legitimate government.

Wonderful, it turns out we forget the fascist states (including Stalin’s USSR) that were very legitimate according to their own logic, while committing a plethora of terror acts.

The time has come for the government of Israel to start talking peace, and end the excuses for disqualifying and boycotting Palestinian representatives. The use of arms does not have to be the first reaction. Starvation, imprisonment, and expropriation by an occupying force attest to an unwillingness to reach an agreement and an addiction to greed.

This is reminiscent of Benny Elon comments: “We’ll embitter their lives so that they transfer themselves elsewhere.”

One cannot escape the impression that the racist and brutal declarations by Effie Eitam gave public _expression to government policy over the years. We must note that the courts – the defenders of law and order, including the High Court of Justice – were partners to the developments that led to the legitimization of parties and Knesset members reminiscent of the racist, crude words uttered by MK Eitam.

In fact, it appears that Meir Kahane won, and we continue in his path – we don’t talk, but rather, only kill, raze homes and roads and bridges, cut off electricity, fill prisons with women and children and elected officials, because all of them are the “terrorists” while we, the Jewish state, need to be defended from them. We’re always the ultimate victim.

As Golda Meir said: “I don’t forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill them.” There you go, she’s the killer, yet she’s the victim.

For our sake, the citizens of Israel, and for the sake of brining peace and quiet – government leaders, start talking and keep doing it until you reach an agreement.

Unruly sons will be brought back into the country, we’ll be respecting UN decisions and international conventions, we’ll earnestly memorize the universal human rights declaration and our own declaration of independence, we’ll rehabilitate our soul, and we’ll attempt to establish a democratic country governed by the law and justice. Shana Tova.

http://www.ynetnews.com/…/

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 25, 2006 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #25421 by Spinoza on 9/25

Excellent comment by Uri Avnery. One little item I point out is that he said: “He quoted the second Sura, Verse 256 (strangely fallible, for a pope, he meant Verse 257) which says: “There must be no coercion in matters of faith.”” I looked it up and found that the quoted statement is in Sura II, 256, not 257. But in doing so, I had to get it from three different printings of the Qur’an. Two were right and one was wrong. The wrong one gave the passage as verse 255, which is wrong. It seems that the pope is right. Not infallible, mind you, but right. And even the Qur’an can be wrong if the printer makes a mistake. All translations to other languages are imperfect.

More to the point is that there are no substantial errors of text in the Qur’an. But, the Christian Bible is full of errors carried down through the centuries. Even the gospels included is in doubt. And the Old Testament, based, as it is, on rich Hebrew mythology is quite distorted. Few people know that Adam had more than one wife created for him by God, according to Hebrew mythology that predates the Jewish texts. Look up Lilith (You can Google her). There is even another wife whose name is in doubt. Eve is number three of three wives. The stories are very interesting as mythology and when you compare them with the first chapters of the Bible, you get a very enlightened idea of how to distort what is believed in order to get a different slant on it.

Uri Avneri runs Gush Shalom, a liberal Israeli news source. I read it often and compare what I read there with what I read in American newspapers.

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By Kwagmyre, September 25, 2006 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Barry:

“Israeli: Sells the coffee to a Brit and the fly to a Chinese and buys a new
coffee.”

The convinces the Americans it’s to their benefit and Israel’s that millions of a more toxic species of flies should be imported and then unceremoniously dropped into the Palestinian’s coffee supply!

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By Justice4All, September 25, 2006 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #25467


Hmm…talking about plagiarism. I have in fact seen this joke circulating on the internet more than 2 months ago but it actually ends with the Israelis using distortion and blackmail to milk more money out of US tax payers.

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By Barry, September 25, 2006 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Subject: A fly in a cup of coffee

A fly in a cup of coffee.

What happens when a fly is found in a coffee cup depends on who found it.

American: Throws away the cup of coffee.

Brit: Removes the fly and drinks the coffee.

Chinese: Eats the fly and throws away the coffee.

Japanese: Drinks the coffee along with the fly since the latter is a free
benefit.

Israeli: Sells the coffee to a Brit and the fly to a Chinese and buys a new
coffee.

Palestinian: Throws the fly into the coffee, then blames Israel. Requests
financial assistance from the United Nations to buy more coffee. Takes a loan
from the European Union for a new coffee. Uses the money to buy explosives.
Afterwards, blows up the cafe where the Brit, the American, the Chinese and
the Japanese are all trying to explain to the Israeli why the Palestinian is
justified in being so angry.

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By Spinoza, September 25, 2006 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is most objectionable about the right is their constant lying.  And one of the most horrible lies that they are telling is of the unending enmity of Islam to Jews.  It is not true.  And is a story only told by a thief.


Muhammad’s sword

Pope Benedict XVI in the service of George W. Bush

By Uri Avnery

09/24/06 “Information Clearing House”——Since the days when Roman emperors threw Christians to the lions, the relations between the emperors and the heads of the church have undergone many changes.

Constantine the Great, who became emperor in the year 306 - exactly 1700 years ago - encouraged the practice of Christianity in the empire, which included Palestine. Centuries later, the church split into an Eastern (Orthodox) and a Western (Catholic) part. In the West, the Bishop of Rome, who acquired the title of Pope, demanded that the emperor accept his superiority.

The struggle between the emperors and the popes played a central role in European history and divided the peoples. It knew ups and downs. Some emperors dismissed or expelled a pope, some popes dismissed or excommunicated an emperor. One of the emperors, Henry IV, “walked to Canossa”, standing for three days barefoot in the snow in front of the Pope’s castle, until the Pope deigned to annul his excommunication.

But there were times when emperors and popes lived in peace with each other. We are witnessing such a period today. Between the present Pope, Benedict XVI, and the present emperor, George Bush II, there exists a wonderful harmony. Last week’s speech by the Pope, which aroused a worldwide storm, went well with Bush’s crusade against “Islamofascism”, in the context of the “clash of civilizations”.

In his lecture at a German university, the 265th Pope described what he sees as a huge difference between Christianity and Islam: while Christianity is based on reason, Islam denies it. While Christians see the logic of God’s actions, Muslims deny that there is any such logic in the actions of Allah.

As a Jewish atheist, I do not intend to enter the fray of this debate. It is much beyond my humble abilities to understand the logic of the Pope. But I cannot overlook one passage, which concerns me too, as an Israeli living near the fault-line of this “war of civilizations”.

In order to prove the lack of reason in Islam, the Pope asserts that the Prophet Muhammad ordered his followers to spread their religion by the sword. According to the Pope, that is unreasonable, because faith is born of the soul, not of the body. How can the sword influence the soul?

To support his case, the Pope quoted - of all people - a Byzantine emperor, who belonged, of course, to the competing Eastern Church. At the end of the 14th century, Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus told of a debate he had - or so he said (its occurrence is in doubt) - with an unnamed Persian Muslim scholar. In the heat of the argument, the emperor (according to himself) flung the following words at his adversary:


Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.


These words give rise to three questions: (a) Why did the Emperor say them? (b) Are they true? (c) Why did the present Pope quote them?

When Manuel II wrote his treatise, he was the head of a dying empire. He assumed power in 1391, when only a few provinces of the once illustrious empire remained. These, too, were already under Turkish threat.

At that point in time, the Ottoman Turks had reached the banks of the Danube. They had conquered Bulgaria and the north of Greece, and had twice defeated relieving armies sent by Europe to save the Eastern Empire. On 29 May 1453, only a few years after Manuel’s death, his capital, Constantinople (the present Istanbul), fell to the Turks, putting an end to the empire that had lasted for more than a thousand years.

During his reign, Manuel made the rounds of the capitals of Europe in an attempt to drum up support. He promised to reunite the church. There is no doubt that he wrote his religious treatise in order to incite the Christian countries against the Turks and convince them to start a new crusade. The aim was practical, theology was serving politics.

In this sense, the quote serves exactly the requirements of the present Emperor, George Bush II. He, too, wants to unite the Christian world against the mainly Muslim “Axis of Evil”. Moreover, the Turks are again knocking on the doors of Europe, this time peacefully. It is well known that the Pope supports the forces that object to the entry of Turkey into the European Union.

Is there any truth in Manuel’s argument?

The pope himself threw in a word of caution. As a serious and renowned theologian, he could not afford to falsify written texts. Therefore, he admitted that the Qur’an specifically forbade the spreading of the faith by force. He quoted the second Sura, Verse 256 (strangely fallible, for a pope, he meant Verse 257) which says: “There must be no coercion in matters of faith.”

How can one ignore such an unequivocal statement? The Pope simply argues that this commandment was laid down by the Prophet when he was at the beginning of his career, still weak and powerless, but that later on he ordered the use of the sword in the service of the faith. Such an order does not exist in the Qur’an. True, Muhammad called for the use of the sword in his war against opposing tribes - Christian, Jewish and others - in Arabia, when he was building his state. But that was a political act, not a religious one; basically a fight for territory, not for the spreading of the faith.

Jesus said: “You will recognize them by their fruits.” The treatment of other religions by Islam must be judged by a simple test: how did the Muslim rulers behave for more than a thousand years, when they had the power to “spread the faith by the sword”?

Well, they just did not.

For many centuries, the Muslims ruled Greece. Did the Greeks become Muslims? Did anyone even try to Islamize them? On the contrary, Christian Greeks held the highest positions in the Ottoman administration. The Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians and other European nations lived at one time or another under Ottoman rule and clung to their Christian faith. Nobody compelled them to become Muslims and all of them remained devoutly Christian.

True, the Albanians did convert to Islam, and so did the Bosniaks. But nobody argues that they did this under duress. They adopted Islam in order to become favourites of the government and enjoy the fruits.

In 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and massacred its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants indiscriminately, in the name of the gentle Jesus. At that time, 400 years into the occupation of Palestine by the Muslims, Christians were still the majority in the country. Throughout this long period, no effort was made to impose Islam on them. Only after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the country, did the majority of the inhabitants start to adopt the Arabic language and the Muslim faith - and they were the forefathers of most of today’s Palestinians.

There no evidence whatsoever of any attempt to impose Islam on the Jews. As is well known, under Muslim rule the Jews of Spain enjoyed a bloom the like of which the Jews did not enjoy anywhere else until almost our time. Poets like Yehuda Halevy wrote in Arabic, as did the great Maimonides. In Muslim Spain, Jews were ministers, poets, scientists. In Muslim Toledo, Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars worked together and translated the ancient Greek philosophical and scientific texts. That was, indeed, the Golden Age. How would this have been possible, had the Prophet decreed the “spreading of the faith by the sword”?

What happened afterwards is even more telling. When the Catholics reconquered Spain from the Muslims, they instituted a reign of religious terror. The Jews and the Muslims were presented with a cruel choice: to become Christians, to be massacred or to leave. And where did the hundreds of thousand of Jews, who refused to abandon their faith, escape? Almost all of them were received with open arms in the Muslim countries. The Sephardi (“Spanish”) Jews settled all over the Muslim world, from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, from Bulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire) in the north to Sudan in the south. Nowhere were they persecuted. They knew nothing like the tortures of the Inquisition, the flames of the auto-da-fe, the pogroms, the terrible mass-expulsions that took place in almost all Christian countries, up to the Holocaust.

Why? Because Islam expressly prohibited any persecution of the “peoples of the book”. In Islamic society, a special place was reserved for Jews and Christians. They did not enjoy completely equal rights, but almost. They had to pay a special poll tax, but were exempted from military service - a trade-off that was quite welcome to many Jews. It has been said that Muslim rulers frowned upon any attempt to convert Jews to Islam even by gentle persuasion - because it entailed the loss of taxes.

Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times “by the sword” to get them to abandon their faith.

The story about “spreading the faith by the sword” is an evil legend, one of the myths that grew up in Europe during the great wars against the Muslims - the reconquista of Spain by the Christians, the Crusades and the repulsion of the Turks, who almost conquered Vienna. I suspect that the German Pope, too, honestly believes in these fables. That means that the leader of the Catholic world, who is a Christian theologian in his own right, did not make the effort to study the history of other religions.

Why did he utter these words in public? And why now?

There is no escape from viewing them against the background of the new Crusade of Bush and his evangelist supporters, with his slogans of “Islamofascism” and the “global war on terror” - when “terrorism” has become a synonym for Muslims. For Bush’s handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world’s oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religious robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests; not for the first time, a robbers’ expedition becomes a Crusade.

The speech of the Pope blends into this effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?

Uri Avnery is an Israeli author and activist. He is the head of the Israeli peace movement, “Gush Shalom”. http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en

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By Spinoza, September 25, 2006 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Muhammad’s sword
What is most objectionable about the right is their constant lying.  And one of the most horrible lies that they are telling is of the unending enmity of Islam to Jews.  It is not true.  And is a story only told by a thief.

 


Pope Benedict XVI in the service of George W. Bush

By Uri Avnery

09/24/06 “Information Clearing House”——Since the days when Roman emperors threw Christians to the lions, the relations between the emperors and the heads of the church have undergone many changes.

Constantine the Great, who became emperor in the year 306 - exactly 1700 years ago - encouraged the practice of Christianity in the empire, which included Palestine. Centuries later, the church split into an Eastern (Orthodox) and a Western (Catholic) part. In the West, the Bishop of Rome, who acquired the title of Pope, demanded that the emperor accept his superiority.

The struggle between the emperors and the popes played a central role in European history and divided the peoples. It knew ups and downs. Some emperors dismissed or expelled a pope, some popes dismissed or excommunicated an emperor. One of the emperors, Henry IV, “walked to Canossa”, standing for three days barefoot in the snow in front of the Pope’s castle, until the Pope deigned to annul his excommunication.

But there were times when emperors and popes lived in peace with each other. We are witnessing such a period today. Between the present Pope, Benedict XVI, and the present emperor, George Bush II, there exists a wonderful harmony. Last week’s speech by the Pope, which aroused a worldwide storm, went well with Bush’s crusade against “Islamofascism”, in the context of the “clash of civilizations”.

In his lecture at a German university, the 265th Pope described what he sees as a huge difference between Christianity and Islam: while Christianity is based on reason, Islam denies it. While Christians see the logic of God’s actions, Muslims deny that there is any such logic in the actions of Allah.

As a Jewish atheist, I do not intend to enter the fray of this debate. It is much beyond my humble abilities to understand the logic of the Pope. But I cannot overlook one passage, which concerns me too, as an Israeli living near the fault-line of this “war of civilizations”.

In order to prove the lack of reason in Islam, the Pope asserts that the Prophet Muhammad ordered his followers to spread their religion by the sword. According to the Pope, that is unreasonable, because faith is born of the soul, not of the body. How can the sword influence the soul?

To support his case, the Pope quoted - of all people - a Byzantine emperor, who belonged, of course, to the competing Eastern Church. At the end of the 14th century, Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus told of a debate he had - or so he said (its occurrence is in doubt) - with an unnamed Persian Muslim scholar. In the heat of the argument, the emperor (according to himself) flung the following words at his adversary:


Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.


These words give rise to three questions: (a) Why did the Emperor say them? (b) Are they true? (c) Why did the present Pope quote them?

When Manuel II wrote his treatise, he was the head of a dying empire. He assumed power in 1391, when only a few provinces of the once illustrious empire remained. These, too, were already under Turkish threat.

At that point in time, the Ottoman Turks had reached the banks of the Danube. They had conquered Bulgaria and the north of Greece, and had twice defeated relieving armies sent by Europe to save the Eastern Empire. On 29 May 1453, only a few years after Manuel’s death, his capital, Constantinople (the present Istanbul), fell to the Turks, putting an end to the empire that had lasted for more than a thousand years.

During his reign, Manuel made the rounds of the capitals of Europe in an attempt to drum up support. He promised to reunite the church. There is no doubt that he wrote his religious treatise in order to incite the Christian countries against the Turks and convince them to start a new crusade. The aim was practical, theology was serving politics.

In this sense, the quote serves exactly the requirements of the present Emperor, George Bush II. He, too, wants to unite the Christian world against the mainly Muslim “Axis of Evil”. Moreover, the Turks are again knocking on the doors of Europe, this time peacefully. It is well known that the Pope supports the forces that object to the entry of Turkey into the European Union.

Is there any truth in Manuel’s argument?

The pope himself threw in a word of caution. As a serious and renowned theologian, he could not afford to falsify written texts. Therefore, he admitted that the Qur’an specifically forbade the spreading of the faith by force. He quoted the second Sura, Verse 256 (strangely fallible, for a pope, he meant Verse 257) which says: “There must be no coercion in matters of faith.”

How can one ignore such an unequivocal statement? The Pope simply argues that this commandment was laid down by the Prophet when he was at the beginning of his career, still weak and powerless, but that later on he ordered the use of the sword in the service of the faith. Such an order does not exist in the Qur’an. True, Muhammad called for the use of the sword in his war against opposing tribes - Christian, Jewish and others - in Arabia, when he was building his state. But that was a political act, not a religious one; basically a fight for territory, not for the spreading of the faith.

Jesus said: “You will recognize them by their fruits.” The treatment of other religions by Islam must be judged by a simple test: how did the Muslim rulers behave for more than a thousand years, when they had the power to “spread the faith by the sword”?

Well, they just did not.

For many centuries, the Muslims ruled Greece. Did the Greeks become Muslims? Did anyone even try to Islamize them? On the contrary, Christian Greeks held the highest positions in the Ottoman administration. The Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians, Hungarians and other European nations lived at one time or another under Ottoman rule and clung to their Christian faith. Nobody compelled them to become Muslims and all of them remained devoutly Christian.

True, the Albanians did convert to Islam, and so did the Bosniaks. But nobody argues that they did this under duress. They adopted Islam in order to become favourites of the government and enjoy the fruits.

In 1099, the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem and massacred its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants indiscriminately, in the name of the gentle Jesus. At that time, 400 years into the occupation of Palestine by the Muslims, Christians were still the majority in the country. Throughout this long period, no effort was made to impose Islam on them. Only after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the country, did the majority of the inhabitants start to adopt the Arabic language and the Muslim faith - and they were the forefathers of most of today’s Palestinians.

There no evidence whatsoever of any attempt to impose Islam on the Jews. As is well known, under Muslim rule the Jews of Spain enjoyed a bloom the like of which the Jews did not enjoy anywhere else until almost our time. Poets like Yehuda Halevy wrote in Arabic, as did the great Maimonides. In Muslim Spain, Jews were ministers, poets, scientists. In Muslim Toledo, Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars worked together and translated the ancient Greek philosophical and scientific texts. That was, indeed, the Golden Age. How would this have been possible, had the Prophet decreed the “spreading of the faith by the sword”?

What happened afterwards is even more telling. When the Catholics reconquered Spain from the Muslims, they instituted a reign of religious terror. The Jews and the Muslims were presented with a cruel choice: to become Christians, to be massacred or to leave. And where did the hundreds of thousand of Jews, who refused to abandon their faith, escape? Almost all of them were received with open arms in the Muslim countries. The Sephardi (“Spanish”) Jews settled all over the Muslim world, from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, from Bulgaria (then part of the Ottoman Empire) in the north to Sudan in the south. Nowhere were they persecuted. They knew nothing like the tortures of the Inquisition, the flames of the auto-da-fe, the pogroms, the terrible mass-expulsions that took place in almost all Christian countries, up to the Holocaust.

Why? Because Islam expressly prohibited any persecution of the “peoples of the book”. In Islamic society, a special place was reserved for Jews and Christians. They did not enjoy completely equal rights, but almost. They had to pay a special poll tax, but were exempted from military service - a trade-off that was quite welcome to many Jews. It has been said that Muslim rulers frowned upon any attempt to convert Jews to Islam even by gentle persuasion - because it entailed the loss of taxes.

Every honest Jew who knows the history of his people cannot but feel a deep sense of gratitude to Islam, which has protected the Jews for fifty generations, while the Christian world persecuted the Jews and tried many times “by the sword” to get them to abandon their faith.

The story about “spreading the faith by the sword” is an evil legend, one of the myths that grew up in Europe during the great wars against the Muslims - the reconquista of Spain by the Christians, the Crusades and the repulsion of the Turks, who almost conquered Vienna. I suspect that the German Pope, too, honestly believes in these fables. That means that the leader of the Catholic world, who is a Christian theologian in his own right, did not make the effort to study the history of other religions.

Why did he utter these words in public? And why now?

There is no escape from viewing them against the background of the new Crusade of Bush and his evangelist supporters, with his slogans of “Islamofascism” and the “global war on terror” - when “terrorism” has become a synonym for Muslims. For Bush’s handlers, this is a cynical attempt to justify the domination of the world’s oil resources. Not for the first time in history, a religious robe is spread to cover the nakedness of economic interests; not for the first time, a robbers’ expedition becomes a Crusade.

The speech of the Pope blends into this effort. Who can foretell the dire consequences?

Uri Avnery is an Israeli author and activist. He is the head of the Israeli peace movement, “Gush Shalom”. http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en

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By Barry, September 25, 2006 at 7:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding recent comments that Israel’s economy is because of American aid, it’s documented that American aid is between 5% and 10% of the Israeli government budget.  Roughly 30-40% of the budget goes to defense.  So the aid has a lot to do with our ability to defend ourselves against terror and war, but nothing to do with our successful economy.

Here are recent comments about Israeli hi-tech from Nicolas Negroponte, head of the MIT Media Lab:
http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000134686

Israel’s economy is due to hard work and brains.

If the Palestinians would stop spending their money on terror and try to build their economy, and if they’d stop hiding terrorists in their buildings which leads to their being destroyed, they could have a life too.  It’s in their hands.

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By Barry, September 25, 2006 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Kwagmyre’s comments that Israel didn’t have to enter Lebanon: it wasn’t just the kidnapping, it was missiles fired at northern civilian areas, explicitly modeled after Hamas’s kidnapping soldiers in the south and firing over 800 missiles at Sderot.

For a year Israel had been trying to ignore missiles from Gaza, but they weren’t stopped.  For years Israel had been wrong to ignore Hezbolla’s build-up of missiles in Lebanon, and wrong to trust the Lebanese government to stop them.  When they started firing missiles at our civilian areas, we had no choice.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 24, 2006 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First read this:

http://www.imemc.org/content/view/21527/1/

Then read this:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3307081,00.html

Two very different motivations. One is for peace and cooperation with the people of Palestine to occupy that land together for the benefit of both. By a Jewish citizen of Israel.

The other is a call to kill all Palestinian males of the age of 13 and over. This by an Israeli Jewish Rabbi. Now tell me which one is the terrorist? Remember Meir Kahane, the Jewish terrorist? Check out on the Internet about Irgun and the Stern Gang. Note who led those terrorist gangs in pre-Israel Palestine. Now, tell me who are the terrorists? Count the number of Israelis killed by Arab terrorists, and then count the number of Palestinians killed by Israel. Then, tell me who are the terrorists. Get a map of Palestine from this site. Note the number of Jew only settlements and area of land occupied for Jews only. Then tell me who stole the land. Note the roads serving Jews only settlement and count the number of checkpoints in West Bank Palestine on any day of the year. Then tell me who is the aggressor.

What you see on the map is the picture of what Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat at Camp David. What kind of a Palestine would have hundreds of Jewish settlement and a road network to serve them unavailable to Palestinians? With no control over their borders, air space, or Mediterranean sea access ports, how could they have a state worthy of the name? That was the generous offer by Israel which Arafat turned down. That was the best offer that could be given to Palestine by the generous people of Israel, who stole most of that land in the first place.

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By Denis Drew, September 24, 2006 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

5:1 is the ratio of Jews to Palestinians in Israel….
....which ratio most securely grounds Israel’s right to exist (admittedly the ratio might have been more like 5:3 if not for the heavy hand of the returning Diaspora). 

10:1 is the ratio of Palestinians to Jews in what these days gets identified as the occupied territories: which ratio if anything more surely seals the Palestinian people’s claim to (exclusive) domain over what the 1949 world left to them of their original homeland (especially given the 1 arrived illegally).

Under “returning diaspora rules”—even if—Palestinians were returning to the West Bank to find 2000 year old Israeli settlements, Palestinians would be entitled to push Israelis over the border because of their desperate need for their own homeland. grin  Since—both—ethical shoes are actually on the opposite feet, Israelis are certainly the ones who should get the boot.

The post-war powers conceded that the holocaust entitled one race to push another aside in 78% of Palestine.  Today, Israel, if anything, is losing population—leaving no tenable rationalization for overloading its late comers onto the Palestinian 22% real estate left overs—doubly overcrowded already thanks to its returning Diaspora displacing a million-plus Palestinians over the sides. 

Apartheid South Africa had some purely selfish reasons for dealing as painlessly as practicable with black Africans—practicable without losing power—they wanted to exploit black labor.  Israel has little to no use for Palestinians—which inclines every interaction in the direction of the vindictive and the punitive—Israelis mostly wishing Palestinians would check out (Ariel Sharon made a career of saying: “Jordan is a Palestinian state; Egypt is a Palestinian state”). 

Could the Israeli recurring nightmare of hate filled Arabs pushing the state of Israel into the sea be more than anything a product of below conscious fear of severe punishment due for sins of “lebensraum” (Jews not making really good fascists): “The Picture of Dorian Netanyahu”? 
*******************************************
Which is a better candidate for “most dangerous terror organization”: the fourth military power in the world (IDF) which kidnaps (yes, kidnaps) and kills far and wide with little thought of legitimacy or the fifth military power in the middle east (Hezbollah) which managed not to kill a single Israeli civilian between the IDF’s 2000 evacuation of Lebanon and its 2006 reinvasion, excepting two border clashes with military opposition?

Hezbollah fired 4,000 122mm artillery rockets in the direction of populated Israeli cities, once Israel bombed populated Lebanese cities.  As world attention was diverted towards LWII, the IDF pumped 12,000 (!) 155mm cannon rounds into Gaza—not many of which set fire to empty fields. 

Does Israel suffer from “hyperactivity”?  Had all of its soldiers had been killed by the resistance groups during recent events there would have been little to do—a couple of retaliatory strikes.  But as long as one of its soldiers was alive out there somewhere Israel felt compelled to do every last crazy thing doable—not excluding using whole (defenseless) nations within range for extended bombing practice.  Should Israeli cabinet members be subjected to EEG testing?
*****************************************
We can win the war on terror, or we can END the war on terror: same difference. 

Bin Ladin does not need a causis belli to stoke his hate but Bin Ladin is not volunteering to go on any missions.  Remove most of the causis belli and you end most of the terror where it starts: inside most angry (loners’?) heads.

The Saudi upper-middle class who crashed into Manhattan’s skyline were reportedly upset by—the usual theme—Israel’s partitioning of the Palestinian homeland into hellish open air prisons for Arabs and heavenly suburbs for Israelis plus—a variation—sanctions against the Saddam regime which they took to have cost a quarter million Iraqi children their lives. 

We finally did the right thing about Saddam.  When you have a beef with another government, you blood your own troops; you don’t kill their babies.  (Whether or not there was anything to the scholarship that estimated the quarter million, the hijackers believed it.) 

If the US public ever catches on (meaning if its equally unknowing media ever lets on) that the hurt in the West Bank and Gaza is all Palestinians’—and their billion-plus Muslim well wishers’—let’s hope America then moves with all deliberate speed to lift the imposition of our 5 million Israeli friends off 4 million equally deserving Palestinians—more specifically 400,000 Israelis who now live upon (the choicer parts of) the of the homeland that the world once told Palestinians they could keep.

Denis Drew
Chicago
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.purpleocean.org/blog/80
Best sources on day-in-day-out occupation abuse:
“Counterpunch”
http://www.counterpunch.org/
“Occupation Magazine”
http://www.kibush.co.il/
“The Other Israel”
http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/

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By Fadel Abdallah, September 22, 2006 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Robert and Frank Goodman and all the other noble and good Jews working for Peace:

Shana Tovah to you all! May the new year bring out the fruits of your noble and courageous work towards peace with justice!

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By Robert, September 22, 2006 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Happy Ramadan & Rosh Hashana:

We hope & pray that the Israelis will open up their hearts during these holidays and be kind to the Palestinians who live in the occupied territories by lifting the harsh retrictions at the military checkpoints by allowing them to pass and perform their Ramadan prayers in the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Peace,Salam,Shalom to all.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 22, 2006 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all:

Ramadan Mubarak!

Especially to all of the descendants of Abraham, both through Isaac and through Ishmael. May the month of fasting bring you peace and good will through personal sacrifice. Rosh Hashana is a time for personal renewal of purpose, so is Ramadan, which, this year, falls at the same time of the year. Let it be a time to unite in common purpose in peace and good will. Let Christians of good will sit up and take notice as well. They should not await Christmas and their New Year to examine their souls and get right with God, who is Truth (Al Haq). And, to atheists, agnostics and all others, come to the fold of humanity and enjoy the benefits of truth and good will common to us all. Let our rituals and celebrations, as well as our reasons and beliefs, reflect our common humanity, which is substantial, rather than our differences, which are superficial, in fact, if not in purpose.

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By Justice4All, September 22, 2006 at 4:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“If you choose to believe Web sites over what Israelis say, that’s your choice”

It is not websites we chose to believe. It is the blatant lies and the continuous distortion of truth that we just do not believe anymore. We have been fed with lies and propaganda for decades and it is high time that people now see the truth.

Intelligent people and people with conscience do not formulate opinions based on articles and commentaries posted on websites or brazen propaganda broadcast on mainstream media; intelligent people seek truth by researching, digging beneath the surface, understanding history well and investigating facts on the ground.

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By Kwagmyre, September 21, 2006 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to Barry’s post I also say “L’shonah tovah!”

But…...

Just when you say:
“All over Israel (and the rest of the world) Jews will be praying for peace, for not having to send our children to die in wars that we didn’t choose to fight”, nobody forced Israel to invade Lebanon, it did so purely through its own volition when it overreacted to the kidnapping of its soldiers.  Heck, instead it should have “de-conditioned” its usual response by leaving the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golem Heights, exchanged other prisoners for the kidnapped ones and NOT expect anything in return since it was ALREADY obligated via the UN Resolution #242 to do just this.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 21, 2006 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #24758 by Barry on 9/21 at 1:07 pm

Shana Tova to you, too, Barry.

Also, I would like to extend the good wish to all Palestinians and Lebanese who have been bombarded the last many years by Israel. Shana Tova to all Jews who have peace in their hearts. To Hell with Jews who wish to take the rest of the land of Palestine for a Greater Israel. And to Hell with all Muslim, Christian, and other Palestinians who would blow themselves up or target innocent civilian men, women, and children in their defense of the right to their land in Greater Palestine, to include what is now called Israel.

Vive La Palestine! May Palestine be free and democratic with equality for all and freedom, justice and peace for men and women of good will.

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By Barry, September 21, 2006 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want to wish everyone on this list a shana tova.

That’s a Hebrew phrase meaning “have a good new year,” said on the Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year) holiday on Saturday and Sunday.

All over Israel (and the rest of the world) Jews will be praying for peace, for not having to send our children to die in wars that we didn’t choose to fight.  We’ll be praying for the Jews of Sderot who are still being hit by missiles, for the Jews of the North whose homes were destroyed, and the Jews who gave up their homes in Gaza for an attempt at peace (a first step leading to others) that the Palestinians didn’t accept.

If you choose to believe Web sites over what Israelis say, that’s your choice.  It doesn’t effect us at all, it’s not part of reality here.  We’ll keep praying for peace, and for a chance to negotiate without Arab terrorists intentionally targetting us.

As is said Rosh HaShana night leaving synagogues all over the world, may we all be signed and sealed for a good year, immediately, for a good life and peace.

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By Spinoza, September 21, 2006 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good News, I went to an organizing meeting for the world cantwait.net and there are still a lot of Jews on the left who reject the ideology of disrespecting Arabs and Muslims and who believe in fair play.

I trust many will be out demonstrating on Oct 5th. all over the country.  Fight against the Likudnik, Bushite thieves

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By Robert, September 21, 2006 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
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Comment #24507 by Frank Goodman,SR. on 9/20

Frank, please allow me to say many thanks for providing the better link to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=533

The video is about 1 hour & 20 minutes long. As you stated “I know you will squirm when you see the facts in cold blood.”

After seeing the video for the second time in a few days, I must say that it did cover a lot of the discussions & comments on this site.The video left no space for propaganda & liars on this site.

The video exposed the truth about the conflict. It left no doubts about who the victims are in this tragic conflict.

This video will be seen by many people in the USA & other parts of the world. I can only hope that it will promote the truth about this tragic conflict with a just PEACE for all people.

Many thanks again & best regards.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 20, 2006 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #24373 by Robert on 9/19

Robert, here is a better link to the 2 hour video of the Palestine/Israel problem.

Anyone planning to see this video must set aside two hours for the entire presentation. Some of you should provide yourselves with soft cushions because I know you will squirm when you see the facts in cold blood.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=533

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By Justice4All, September 20, 2006 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
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Another flagrant distortion of the truth!! The alleged state that was offered to the Palestinians in Camp David II was a total hoax. The occupied Palestinian land that was offered to be returned was not contiguous even in the West Bank. Palestinians would have lived in isolated ghettos called “cities” exactly in the same manner they are living now with one exception: they would have legally accepted the occupation and the status quo. East Jerusalem was not part of the deal and commuting between the West Bank and Gaza was not even on the table. Not to mention border control, foreign policy and water control among many other issues.

Israel does not want peace. It wants a peace process that would last indefinitely and lead to nothing. Between 1993 and 2000 there was significant peace between Israel and Palestine. Explain that! The solution is simple and has nothing to do with “terror” as you claim: Peace, occupation and land grab do not mix.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 20, 2006 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #24413 by Barry on 9/20

Barry, do you know the story of Soloman and the two mothers who both claimed the same baby? That is allegorical reference to the claim of Palestine/Israel by two peoples.

Remember Solomon’s wisdom? He proposed that he cut the baby in half and give to each woman her share. One woman declined and gave up her share so that the baby could live. Solomon granted the baby to that woman who was willing to give up her share for the welfare of the baby. Solomon reasoned that the true mother would make such a sacrifice, while the greed of the other who would let the baby be cut in half showed that she was undeserving to be the mother.

Palestine is the baby. She can be cut in two and the Jews take one part and the rest of those who claim Palestine take the rest. Neither will have a viable nation. But, if both come together as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, there will be a homeland for Jews and Arabs forever. Eventually, both people will learn to live together in peace and harmony for the benefit of themselves and their children forever.

If you continue to claim the right of parenthood of that land, you will surely kill the baby in the fight for your claim. Palestine is willing to share that land, why aren’t Zionists willing to share while calling it their homeland, and let Palestinian Arabs, Christian and Muslims, also call it their homeland? Let each person find his own niche in the economy of the homeland for both, unrestricted, and unimpeded. You are all human beings, though one is more greedy than the other. The true mother would share the burden and the benefits.

This could be accomplished by fair and honest election by all the people who live there. Each would vote as a member of his/her own side. If the majority of non-Jews vote for division, and the majority of Jews vote for union, give the whole baby to the Jews. If the majority of non-Jews vote for union and the majority of Jews vote for division, let the entire baby go to the Palestinians. And if both peoples vote for union, let the baby live as a unified state for all people who dwell there in peace forever.

May King Solomon rest in peace.

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By Barry, September 20, 2006 at 3:21 am Link to this comment
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Again, as an Israeli, I’m saying a simple fact: All my friends and neighbors would give the West Bank to the Palestinians for a Palestinian state, and would have in 2000, if they’d agree to stop terror and to take the responsibility for stopping terror.  They could have had it in 2000 but Arafat chose terror instead.  Everything since then is a consequence of that choice.

We hate sending our children to die or be wounded, but the alternative is constant terror.  Every single Israeli military action is in response to terror, and luckily most terror attempts these days are stopped.  But if the Palestinians would stop them, Israeli would be thrilled to let our children have the normal lives we all dream of.

If you absolve the Palestinians of the responsibility for the consequences of terror, you make terror more likely and you make the response to terror more likely.  If you do what you can to force the Palestinians to stop terror, you open the door to real peace.

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By Barry, September 20, 2006 at 1:27 am Link to this comment
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More missiles being shot from Gaza directly at civilian areas of Israel.  Funny how these aren’t mentioned in American news.  If these missiles, and the 800 others that were shot after the Israeli withdrawal (before the war) hadn’t been shot, and the Palestinians had worked to build up peaceful life there, they’d have that peaceful life.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/765382.html

Last update - 09:05 20/09/2006  


Teen moderately wounded when Qassams hit kibbutz in W. Negev

By Michal Grinberg, Haaretz Service and News Agencies

A 15-year-old was moderately wounded when a Qassam rocket hit a Kibbutz in the Western Negev early on Wednesday.

Paramedics rushed the youth to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after he was hit in the chest by a piece of shrapnel.

According to an Army Radio report, the youth was from the Bedouin village of Rahat in the Western Negev.

...  snip ...

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By Robert, September 19, 2006 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A video that reflects the truth is better than a million words.

WE in the USA will not see this documentary on CNN,FOX NEWS,MSNBC & the rest of our US mainstream news media.

This is a powerful video that exposes the Israeli army brutal policy,horrific acts & barbaric aggression on the un-armed Palestinian population.

After watching it; I was shocked at the level of brutality. I can’t believe what the Palestinians have to endure on a daily basis.

Watch,listen & you be the judge!!! 


Click ON:
Video: PEACE,PROPAGANDA,AND THE PROMISE LAND.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com

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By Justice4All, September 19, 2006 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
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“In 1967 development in the West Bank and Gaza came to a halt?  What development was there before then that came to a halt?  The refugee camps were made by Jordan and Egypt pre-1967, and they didn’t bother trying to build a country in these areas.”

FYI, towns like Ramallah and Jerusalem in the fourties, fifties and sixties were considered as summer resorts to many people living in the region. The cultural festivals in Ramallah in the fifties and sixties were a major attraction to tourists from all over the ME. Amman (the capital of Jordan)was a small town compared to other cities in Palestine.


“Arab towns in Israel proper are less developed than their Israeli counterparts?  Name some!  Abu Ghosh and Beit Zefafa are both as developed as Telz Stone and Gilo, and are in fact more developed than industrial towns like Sderot and Dimona.”

That is a total distortion of the truth. Abu Ghosh and Beit Safafa are not as developed as the other settlements you have mentioned. Only the Israeli neighborhoods are. Furthermore look at the difefrence between Nazareth (Arab town) and Nazareth Elite (predominantly Israeli) and see for yourself. Check out the misreable conditions in which Arabs are living in Jaffa, Ramla and Lod.

“Most importantly, for the past few years industrial development in the primary Palestinian areas of the West Bank (and now Gaza) is the responsibility of the Palestinian Autonomy, and they’re receiving millions from the EU for this.  What have they done with it?  Nothing, they’ve bombed Israel and enriched Arafat’s family instead.  If you want the Palestinians to have a good life, pressure the Palestinian Autonomy to care about their own people.”

True about the industrial development and corruption in the PNA, but you also failed to mention that the Palestinians accomplished in 7 years (1993-2000) what Israel has managed to dismantle during the earlier decades (1967-1993), keeping in mind that Isarel also had the upper hand and final decision in everything that went on in Palestine even during the PNA era. Furthermore, if you think that a few hundred millions of dollars are enough to build a country, then think again, $108 bn are barely enough to sustain Israel.

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By Barry, September 18, 2006 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
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In 1967 development in the West Bank and Gaza came to a halt?  What development was there before then that came to a halt?  The refugee camps were made by Jordan and Egypt pre-1967, and they didn’t bother trying to build a country in these areas.

Arab towns in Israel proper are less developed than their Israeli counterparts?  Name some!  Abu Ghosh and Beit Zefafa are both as developed as Telz Stone and Gilo, and are in fact more developed than industrial towns like Sderot and Dimona.

Most importantly, for the past few years industrial development in the primary Palestinian areas of the West Bank (and now Gaza) is the responsibility of the Palestinian Autonomy, and they’re receiving millions from the EU for this.  What have they done with it?  Nothing, they’ve bombed Israel and enriched Arafat’s family instead.  If you want the Palestinians to have a good life, pressure the Palestinian Autonomy to care about their own people.

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By Kwagmyre, September 18, 2006 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Jason Gilbert:

“Do you think that same right exists for Jews, Christians or other faiths in Arab countries?”

I’ll concede this is a regrettable occurrence no doubt but it has arisen BECAUSE of the long standing Arab bitterness and resentment over the manner in which Israel confiscated the land where the Palestinians lived.  They(the Israelis)seeing themselves as “God’s chosen people” arrogated to themselves the sense they were somehow “entitled” to that territory no matter what means were used(which “justified” their resort to terrorism as has been pointed out in earlier posts).  If the Palestinian majority living there didn’t want to cede the land, they should have left well enough alone IN SPITE OF the Balfour Declaration.

A friend of mine thought in the interest of justice they really should have occupied land in Germany or Poland since these were nations where they suffered so terribly in the Holocaust.

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By Justice4All, September 18, 2006 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #23896

I think Robert and Frank Goodman said it best. However, I would like to add the following:

The level of ignorance, yet arrogance on this list is paramount. In order for anybody to make intelligent comments about this topic, one really needs to go beyond the surface and dig deep into history.

After 1967, economic development in Palestine came to a screeching halt due to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip. In addition to the lack of money and resources, Palestinians were not allowed to develop their own towns and cities due to the enormous restrictions imposed by the occupying authorities. Palestinian municipalities were even run by Israeli military mayors at times or corrupt collaborators most of the time.

By the same token, Palestinian towns and neighborhoods inside Israel like Nazareth, Jaffa and Akka are far less developed than their Israeli counterparts simply because of the lack of funds and political will to develop such areas on part of the successive Israeli governments.

Finally, any independent country that has the political freedom and financial resources can even do much more than what Israel did with US tax payers ($bn 108 +). Take Dubai (United Arab Emirate) for example: It had emerged as a major economic and tourist attraction in the region in less than 20 years after gaining independence from Great Britain in 1972. Dubai, the REAL arid desert has turned into green and a magnet for business people and tourists from all over the world for far less than $108+ bilion.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 18, 2006 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
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To Chris Hedges:

Who are the Semites?

Semites are descendants of Shem, son of Noah according to the Bible. If Semites include all descendants of Shem, Jewish people who can trace their ancestry back to Shem are Semites. Also, according to the Bible, Ishmael, half-brother to Isaac, and Isaac, both sons of Abraham, are Semites. Jews claim that the land of Palestine was granted to them through Abraham’s gift from God for his piety. Arabs claim that it was also inherited by Ishmael, son of Abraham, and father of the Arabs.

Jews claim that they, of all the children of Abraham, are the only descendants of Shem, son of Noah. They claim, in fact, that Abraham excluded Ishmael in his will and bequeathed all his property and gifts from God to Isaac, Ishmael’s younger brother. Abraham was father to both boys, so even if he excluded Ishmael from his will, as father to Ishmael, he passed Shem’s genes down through Ishmael to the Arabs. So Arabs are Semites as much as are Jews who descended from Isaac, whether they also inherited the birthright from Abraham or not.

I suggest a correction of the error of assumption that people who embrace the religion of Judaism are the only Semites. When you say that Arabs are anti-Semitic, you imply that Arabs are against themselves or their own interests. Not so; Arabs who criticize Israel or Zionism, do so to draw attention to crimes or errors of history, not the descent of Jews from Abraham. Likewise, Jews who criticise Arabs, do so to draw attention to crimes or errors of the Arabs, not their descent from Abraham.

Let the record be set straight—Funk, Wagnals, Webster’s International Dictionary, and common usage notwithstanding. In fact, if you do set it straight, Funk, Wagnals, Webster’s, and common users will eventually also set it straight in the future for our children, and the children will understand it, too.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 18, 2006 at 5:50 am Link to this comment
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To all those who claim that Israel is fair to Palestinians:

(Click on this)

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/world/middleeast/18palestinians.html?_r=2&ref=world&oref=slogin&oref=slogin#

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 17, 2006 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #23896 by Jason Gilbert on 9/17

I suggest to you to find the the moral equivalency of a people whose land was stolen from them by invading thugs citing a belief that God had deprived Palestinians of their homes and had given those homes to Jews from all over the world. Further, that God had allowed Jews to kill men, women, and children to accomplish that exchange. Israel is an illegitimate nation state placed upon the land of Palestine in violation of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations continues by means of the veto by one or more major powers to thwart all efforts to correct that error of law and judgment. The right of the Palestinian people to resist that illegal occupation is recognized in international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Had Israel been formed with the consent and cooperation of the Palestinian people with equality of individuals and in fair and honest elections, it would be legitimate. Such election did not take place. Instead, Palestinians who were essentially unarmed were driven from their homes by armed thugs who massacred people, destroyed farms, groves, orchards and farm animals with the intent to intimidate the people by terror.

Now Israel claims a right to defense of the stolen lands against the people from whom they were stolen and who are trying to get them back against superior armed strength of a nation built upon stolen land and sustained by massive infusions of capital and foreign aid by other capitalist nations from their own tax payers, who find no heart to help the refugees from Zionist thugs.

It is not only the Islamic fundamentalist who are fighting for their rights, but all Palestinians of every political, religious, and moral persuasion.

Israel is not democratic by the modern definition of that term which guarantees equality before the law. Jews enjoy an advantage in Israeli courts by the only fact of their being of the Jewish religion. No Palestinian has any chance in a court of law or before the Supreme Court of Israel for grievances suffered at the hand of the pre-Israel terrorist gangs or the Israeli government. That is reminiscent of certain totalitarian regimes who claim to be democratic while rendering justice by fiat and decree. The claim and the forms of democracy do not make a democracy in fact. That was shown in USA where for many years slavery was not only practiced, but it was enacted into the laws of the land, interpreted by a Supreme Court, and enforced by executive police power. Israel is sovereign only in the same sense that Germany was sovereign under Hitler. The people who lived and worked on that land did not vote it into existence even in the level of legitimacy of Hitler’s election to power.

I ask what is the moral equivalency of such a nation terrorizing Palestinian families by bulldozing their homes, roads, streets, farms, and businesses on the suspicion that a criminal was hiding somewhere in the vicinity?

But, you are right there is no moral equivalence of the Israeli military killing innocent people in their homes and defending Israel’s stolen land from the people. The moral right is on the side of those whose land was stolen. The moral wrong is on the side of those who stole it.

Either join with the Palestinians to form a true democracy with liberty and justice for all, or get the hell out of there. There is a movement to make that a secular democratic single state for Jews, Muslims, Christians and all other people who live there. In a couple of hundred years you just may manage to live to together in relative peace as we in America have learned to do. Where Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and agnostics can live side by side in the same neighborhoods and their children attend classes together and go to separate houses of worship
on the same streets in peace and safety.

So long as you take it upon yourselves to defend your crime against the Palestinian people, you will have to fight them in the streets, the market places, in the international courts, and in opinion of the world. No regime on Earth has succeeded in such an exercise against human rights. All have failed.

Of course some democracies have failed when the people countenance such atrocities against human rights. Germany was such and there are others. Democracy was replaced by a dictatorship. It had to be destroyed in a world war.

The fight for justice goes on, and on, and on. Justice for Palestinians would be justice for Jews. The only way Jews can live in peace in the Holy Land is by making peace with Palestinians with justice and reparations of their losses. Jews, get right with God and recognize that the one and only God does not choose favorites by race religion, or the size of your guns.

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By Robert, September 17, 2006 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #23896 by Jason Gilbert on 9/17

“Visit Israel to see how it has turned a nothing land that was arid desert & swamp land into flourishing agriculture & economy where citizens benefit from their success.”

Hmmm…Jason!!! Lets see what you are trying to tell us.

We have so much arid deserts & swampy land here in the US. How about bringing the Israelis over here and give them all the arid deserts & swampy land they need.Surely from what you are saying they can make our deserts in Nevada,Arizona,New Mexico, California,Utah,Texas & more if needed…into a flourishing agriculture.
The Israelis as well as our US citizens can benefit from this huge success.

American taxpayers aid to Israel $3-5 billion dollars per year.$108 billion dollars of our money to Israel (1948-2006) & ongoing non-stop everyday where Israeli citizens benefit from their success with our American taxpayers money.

May be we can spend that kind of money in America!!!

Do you mean if you had 100 acres of arid desert and someone with money,water and farm equipment came and took your land and made it into a flourishing agriculture land. Does this person have a right to take your land?

What would you do in this situation?

Jason, I regret to tell you this, but you are not well informed regarding the Palestinian/Israeli problems,conflict.Your situation is called “Tunnel Vision.”

Best Regards & God bless

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By Jason Gilbert, September 17, 2006 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
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When will the rest of the world comprehend that there is no moral equivalency of a Palestinian militant/terrorist shooting at an Israeli family - a mother, father, and their children - driving down a highway, and the Israeli Defense Forces who arrest and, if necessary, kill that terrorist. The fact that a sovereign, democratic country has to resort to building a fence around its borders to keep a man, a child, and now a woman from crossing into its borders to blow up a bus full of its civilians is unthinkable. What other country in the world is under an attack this constant and ALSO held to an unreachable moral standard of having to just “take it” because responding is “cruel?” And for your factual information bank, the “wall” is less than 10% of length of this barrier, and only placed where militants shoot from their rooftops at Israelis in their homes or at their cars as they drive down the highway.

I suggest you visit Israel to see how it has turned a nothing land that was arid desert and swamp land into a flourishing agriculture and economy where the citizens benefit from their success. It is a society where people are free to vote, where a supreme court upholds the laws of the land and justice for all of its citizens(even the non-citizen Palestinian communities that are affected by the wall/fence get their appeals heard by that Israeli court and paths to the barrier are adjusted based on those rulings), where all religions are free to practice and express. Do you think that same right exists for Jews, Christians or other faiths in Arab countries?

I suggest you practice the same dedication to visit and study the places and people you so quickly judge and condemn. Then the world will begin to see what is really going on in the Palestinian territories, in Chechnya, in Kashmir, in Sri Lanka, with the attacks in Madrid, Mumbai, Turkey, London, and elsewhere in the world. It is fundamentalists bent on death and destruction of everyone who does not think or practice as they do. It is a total loss of rationality and a love for life over death. I hope the world wakes up and sees the truth before it is too late.

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By Barry, September 17, 2006 at 4:46 am Link to this comment
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Note Amnesty’s comments about specific stated intent to target civilians.  Nothing unavoidable, nothing they tried to minimize, just stated intent to target civilians.

(CNN article follows)

Amnesty: Hezbollah guilty of war crimes

POSTED: 6:38 a.m. EDT, September 14, 2006
Adjust font size:

(CNN)—Amnesty International Thursday released a scathing report accusing Hezbollah of war crimes, during a month-long war with Israel.

“The scale of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli cities, towns and villages, the indiscriminate nature of the weapons used, and statements from the leadership confirming their intent to target civilians, make it all too clear that Hezbollah violated the laws of war,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan.

(cut)

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/09/14/amnesty.hezbollah/index.html

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By Barry, September 17, 2006 at 4:43 am Link to this comment
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Regarding Israel’s “settlement activity,” if you care about details, you’ll see that the 700 new homes are all in Maaleh Adumim, a 40,000 person suburb of Jerusalem that is in the Etzion block that is purely Jewish and not in any plan to be given to the Palestinians (even Arafat didn’t argue this in 2000).

Again, the Gaza pullout proves Israel’s willingness to do the unpleasant task of making its citizens move if there’s a chance to bring peace.

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By Israeli, September 16, 2006 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
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NEW YORK POST -

<http://www.nypost.com> 

ONE ARAB’S APOLOGY

By EMILIO KARIM DABUL

September 12, 2006—WELL, here it is, five years late, but
here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for
9/11. No, I didn’t help organize the killers or contribute
in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of
millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11:
nothing.

The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men
who killed thousands of innocents in the name of Allah was
behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and family.
I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning
their actions, but fear of becoming another Salman Rushdie
kept me from ever trying to publish it.

Well, I’m sick of saying the truth only in private - that
Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like
myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable
for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have
perpetrated on the world at large.

Yes, our extremists and our culture.

Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The
apologists (including President Bush) tried to reassure us
that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting
of a great and noble religion. With all due respect, read
the Koran, Mr. President. There’s enough there for someone
of extreme tendencies to find their way to a global jihad.

There’s also enough there for someone of a different mindset
to find a path to enlightenment and peace. Still, Rushdie
had it right back in 2001: This does have to do with Islam.
A Christian who bombs an abortion clinic in the name of God
is still a Christian, at least in his interpretation, and
saying otherwise doesn’t negate the fact that he has spent a
goodly amount of time figuring out his version of the one
true and right thing to do.

The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all
likelihood died saying prayers to Allah, and that by itself
is one of the most horrific things to me about that day.

And, while my grandparents never waged a jihad, their
attitudes toward Jews weren’t that much different than
Mohammed Atta’s. No, they didn’t support the Holocaust, but
they did believe that Jews were trouble in many different
ways, and those sorts of beliefs were passed on to me before
I’d ever actually met a Jew.

I’m sorry for that, for ever believing that anything that my
grandparents or other relatives had to say about Jews or
Israel, for that matter, had any real resemblance to truth.
It took me years to realize that I’d been conned into
believing the generalizations and stereotypes that millions
around the Arab world buy into: that Jews, America and
Israel are our main problem.

One look at the average Arab regime should alert us to the
fact that the problem, dear Achmed, lies not overseas or
next door in Tel Aviv, but in the brutal, corrupt despots
that we have bred from country to country in the Mideast,
across the span of history. That history and its
corresponding economic devastation is the main reason I
reside on New York City’s West Bank - New Jersey - not the
one near Jerusalem. On my worst day, I’m happy about that
fact. I’d rather be here than there, and experience the
freedom and boundless opportunities that were mostly unknown
to so many generations of my family in the Mideast.

For as long as I live, the image of those towers falling, as
I watched in horror and disbelief from the corner of 40th
and Fifth, will be for me my Pearl Harbor, for in that
instant I recognized that not only was our city under attack
- so was our freedom.

It still is. And will continue to be for years to come. And
the threat is not from within, but from Islamic fascists who
desperately want to destroy the freedom and opportunities
that millions the world over still seek.

Five years after that awful day, it’s time for all
Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest
against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices - and, where
necessary, our arms - against these tyrants until their
plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth
forever.

Emilio Karim Dabul is a freelance writer and PR consultant
living in New Jersey.

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By Geronimo, September 16, 2006 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks Fadel for your synopsis of the Sabra and Shatila massace.  Unforgettable, too, was the fact that Ariel Sharon met with the Phalangist generals the night before the massacre.  Later, before an investigating Israeli tribunal (which subsequently was to censor but not indict him) Sharon claimed that he had no idea that the Phalangists were planning a massacre.  As if his presence alone wasn’t adequate grounds for convicting him.  Just imagine what would have happened had, say, a Chinese general (or a Greek or a French or a Cuban or a general of any nationality) been present at a planning session of the men who flew those airliners into the Twin Towers on 9/11.  Would “I had no idea what they were going to do” have spared them?  Hell no!  They’d be in death row by now, if not already executed.  And the nation which spawned them?  It’d be blown to less than smithereens.

So how come Sharon got off with barely a slap on the wrist?  That’s because In a slave system the advantage always goes to the slave master.  And the Jewish settler-state Israel is a nation of slave masters, being that it occupies the homeland of the Palestinian people and to be occupied is to be enslaved.

It has to be understand, too, that it’s events such as the Sabra and Shatila massacre, the conquest of Palestine, not to mention the Iraq war that stoke the fear and hate that can lead to terrifying events such as 9/11.

Which means, of course, that the perpetrators of state terrorism, be they Ariel Sharon, George Bush, Tony Blair (or anyone else) must be put on trial at an international court of criminal justice, both as punishment and as a warning that the world will no longer tolerate any kind of terrorism,  be it individual, group, movement or state sponsored. 

Then there’ll be no more terrorism and without such threats what need huge armies and military expenditures.  And after that on to turning swords into plowshares until, well wadaya know,  there’s peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings.  And yes indeed, we the people will have done it.   

 
.

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By Justice4All, September 16, 2006 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo Says

“Do you understand that Israel, time after time, has utilized the unsuccesful strategy of land-for-peace, and have only gotten more unprovoked terrorist attacks in return? I and my fellow Christian conservatives”

I think your comments only reflect total ignorance and lack of knowledge of the real situation. You are only repeating the ill- informed rhetoric repeated by war mongers on Fox News and the likes.

I suggest you do your research properly, educate yourself more and check out facts on the ground instead of relying on sources that do nothing but brainwash your intellectual thinking. You need to read more about the history of the conflict, UN Resolutions and facts about Camp David II.

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By Fadel Abdallah, September 16, 2006 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
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This Day In History: September 16, 1982:
Another more serious barrier to peace

There’s another significant anniversary this week, but not one that’s attracted the sort of attention the 11 September commemorations have.
On the morning of Saturday, September 18th, 1982, reporters entering the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila near Beirut, Lebanon, were met with a ghastly sight. Piles of bodies littered the dusty streets of the camps, mass graves had been hastily constructed and buildings had been bulldozed over corpses. The slaughtered were old men, women, and children. A massacre had taken place here. The estimated death toll were in thousands.
What had happened here? What could have provoked this type of inhuman slaughter? Who did this?
These were the questions that punctuated the silence of the morning after the killing stopped. These questions are still asked today, more than two decades after the events had transpired.
To try to answer these question, lets read history again:
On 6 June 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in what it described as ‘retaliation’ for the attempted assassination of Israeli Ambassador Argov in London on 4 June. The invasion, soon dubbed “Operation Peace for Galilee,” progressed rapidly. By 18 June 1982, Israel had surrounded the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) armed forces in the western part of the Lebanese capital. A cease-fire, mediated by United States Envoy Philip Habib, resulted in the PLO evacuation of Beirut on 1 September 1982.
On 11 September 1982, Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, the architect of the invasion, announced that “2,000 terrorists” had remained inside the Palestinian refugee camps around Beirut. On Wednesday 15 September, the day after the assassination of Israeli-allied Phalangist militia leader and Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel, the Israeli army occupied West Beirut, “encircling and sealing” the camps of Sabra and Shatila, which were inhabited by Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Israel justified its move into West Beirut by a need to maintain order and stability after Gemayel’s assassination. However, several days later, Ariel Sharon told the Knesset, Israel’s parliament: “Our entry into West Beirut was in order to make war against the infrastructure left by the terrorists”.
The Israeli army then disarmed, as far as they were able, anti-Israeli militias in West Beirut, while leaving the Christian Phalangist militias in East Beirut fully armed. By mid-day on 15 September 1982, the refugee camps were entirely surrounded by Israeli tanks and soldiers, who installed checkpoints at strategic locations and crossroads around the camps in order to monitor the entry or exit of any person. During the late afternoon and evening of that day, the camps were shelled.
Around mid-day on Thursday 16 September 1982, a unit of approximately 150 Israeli-allied-armed Phalangists (or that’s what Israel claim) entered the first camp. For the next 40 hours members of the Phalangist militia raped, killed, and injured a large number of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly people inside the encircled and sealed camps. The estimate of victims varies between 700 (the official Israeli figure) to 3,500. The victims and survivors of the massacres have never been deemed entitled to a formal investigation of the tragedy, since Israel’s Kahan Commission did not have a judicial mandate and was not backed up by legal force.
This is considered the bloodiest single massacre by Israeli Terrorist Army and it’s claimed allies, but one can think that it will not be last. especially after what we saw in last Israeli war on Lebanon.
If Americans approached the 11 September anniversary with trepidation, many residents of Shatila camp, and its more run-down neighbor Sabra, have been dreading the milestone on Saturday which marks 24 years of pain and the futile search for justice.
For Palestinians, it will certainly be a far cry from the ceremonies in New York and Washington, where American leaders told the world that its pre-eminent military power was going to ensure that justice for the victims would triumph over evil whatever the cost.
The Palestinian survivors of the 1982 massacres will probably gather for speeches at the place where their loved-ones were buried en masse - a dusty vacant lot marked by a pathetic temporary monument of breezeblocks.
But there will be no internationally-observed minute’s silence for the innocent victims of Sabra and Shatila, or global news coverage about the survivors and their miserable existence at the scene of this evil crime.
I am a firm believer that 9/11 was a staged inside operation, but for the sake of the benefit of the doubt, if we accept that this was done by “Islamic Terrorists”, then that it was carried on in September, few days apart from 9/11, must have been intended to remind the world that crimes committed by Israel with the U.S. full support; arms and money must be avenged in some way. Believe me: Muslims who hate the U.S. do not do that because they hate American freedom and democracy or because they are evil by nature, as our pathetic serial liar Bush keeps misleading Americans in believing. It is all a crude way of settling accounts and revenge based on the concept of a tit for a tat!

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By Robert, September 16, 2006 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
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I have just finished reading this article on the Israeli Occupation on the Palestinian city of Nablus.

The Prison Of The WEst Bank
Death And Tears In Nablus

By Eliza Ernshire

http://www.counterpunch.org/ernshire0916200

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By Robert, September 15, 2006 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
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I would like to shed some light on the conditions that Gaza’s inhabitants had to endure from Israel’s occupation plus other related details & statistics.

The Gaza strip with its 1.4 million Palestinians is the most densely populated spot in the world. From 1967-2005 the Palestinians in the Gaza strip lived on 40% of the land. The number of Israeli settlers in Gaza were around 10 thousand. The Israeli settlers lived on 60% of Gaza’s land.

The Israeli settlers had total freedom,beautiful beaches, hotels, tourism,gardens, greenhouses, villas,paved roads,jobs,military protection & no restrictions on any movement to & from the outside world & any other location in Israel.

The Palestinians in Gaza had no access to the outside world.Everything had to be checked & approved by a brutal Israeli army.They had to go through separate checkpoints/crossings & put up with the humiliation of long delays & closures of the crossings. Palestinian goods,like their vegetables & fruits were heavily restricted and often the hauling trucks got stuck at the Israeli controlled crossings.The long deliberate delays & intense heat caused massive spoilage of their goods & products.

After 38 years of brutal Israeli occupation, Israel decides to pull its 10 thousand settlers out of Gaza.The Israeli settlers were compensated very well for their dwellings. Many received amounts of $250,000-$350,000 & higher. 

All costs paid by American taxpayers!!!

The pullout of the Israelis out of Gaza was not a benevolent action towards the Palestinians. It was the overwhelming number of Palestinians when compared to the number of Israeli settlers in Gaza area.Plus all the high costs to keep the settlements & settlers thriving.

The Israeli Gaza settlers were moved to Israel & many of them were settled in the settlements of the West Bank. Yes…the West Bank settlements!!!
From one occupied area to another.

When Israel pulled out of Gaza, the Israeli army destroyed all the buildings in the settlements.They did not want to leave anything standing for the Palestinians.The place was totally wrecked.What damn great gesture to leave behind for your neighbors!!!

The Israeli disengagement is a total fraud.Israel still has total control of all the checkpoints & crossing in Gaza.Total control of the skies above & total control & blockade from the mediterrenean sea.

So what is the end result of the Israeli pullout?

Gaza ,an open, but larger spaced prison!!!

Imagine anyone with a family trying to live there,in Gaza,under those conditions. Who in his or her right state of mind would accept this type of brutal oppresion?

The Israeli army has carried out many assasinations,brutal killings of innocent civilians & many of them women & children.

Hundreds of homes were demolished in Gaza to punish the Palestinians.

Some of you may have heard of Rachel Corrie,a 23 year old student from Olypia, Washington,was murdered on March 16,2003 while attempting to prevent an Israeli army bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home near the southern Gaza city of Rafah.Despite being in bright colored orange vest,with reflective stripes,and carrying a bullhorn in broad daylight.Israel claimed the soldier driving a 52 ton D-9 bulldozer “could not see” his victim,as he mercilessly crushed her to death.

Click on Rachel Corrie Memorial website for details & what this outstanding young American woman believed in.She believed in non-violent resistance and paid for it with her own life while her killer walked free.

http://www.rachelcorrie.org

I have seen where one person mentioned the homemade Palestinian rockets being fired at the Israeli side. The majority of these inaccurate homemade rockets have been responses to Israeli missile & artillery shells attacks on a civilian population.


Here are some statistics for the readers on this site.
According to the UN Humanitarian Agencies,since June 28,2006, the Israeli military has fired an average of 200-250 artillery shells per day into the Gaza strip and conducted over 300 aerial bombings.Over 200 Palestinians have been killed including approximately 50+ children and over 750 injured.

The Palestinians have fired on average of 8 homemade rockets per day towards Israel.One IDF soldier was killed & 25 Israelis have been injured.

So there you go, we can all figure out the percentages of the killings,terror & the ammunition on each side. No Baloney Zone Here!!!

The Israelis,AIPAC,as well as, our US mainstream news media have always blamed the victims,the Palestinians.

If Israel wants peace it must stop all building of new settlements & it must stop expanding the existing ones.

Israel has never stopped on the above 2 !!! It continues to expand & build while heavily restricting the Palestinians from building new homes or expanding existing homes due # of adults in family home.

Under international law,there is no dispute,no controversy,under Article 49 of the fourth Geneva convention,it’s illegal for any occupying country to transfer its popullation to occupied territories.

All the Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

In July 2004, the world court ruled that all the settlements are illegal.

Finally, when there is Peace & Justice all people can learn to live together or side by side.

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By Justice4All, September 15, 2006 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment
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Please read below, keeping in mind that we are taking about Palestinians being denied entry visas to their own residences in the West Bank and Gaza.


Palestinians hit out as Israel tightens visa controls

By Sharmila Devi
September 11 2006
Palestinian businessmen who returned from exile over the last decade to help build the economy in the occupied territories have launched a campaign against a change in Israeli immigration policy that they say is forcing them out.
The policy is also affecting academics and other professionals with foreign passports, the vanguard of a future state, who have been either denied entry to the territories or granted only short-term visas when returning from trips abroad.
The problem became acute after Hamas took over the Palestinian government at the end of March, followed by an international aid boycott of the militant Islamist group.
Palestinians say Israel’s policies are harming those very moderates who hope to create an alternative to violence and religious fundamentalism.
“If Israel wants to end up with Somalia next door, it’s going the right way about it,” says Zahi Khoury, a US citizen and chairman of the National Beverage Company, which holds the franchise for Coca-Cola in the territories.
Mr Khoury, who was born in Jaffa, now Israel, in 1938, was recently given only a one-week visa instead of the usual three months. He wrote to Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, who he says was shocked by the situation. He hopes to raise the issue in a meeting soon with Ehud Olmert, Israeli prime minister.
Many Palestinians such as Mr Khoury moved to the territories in the wave of hope that followed the Oslo accords of the early 1990s. But Israel retained control over immigration. Access to the West Bank is only possible through Israeli-controlled territory.
Israel tightened restrictions following the outbreak of the intifada in 2000.Many foreign passport holders have lived and worked in the territories for years on three-month tourist visas issued by Israel, forcing them to travel in and out at regular intervals to renew their permits. In recent months, however, US and European Union consulates in Jerusalem have monitored numerous cases of individuals being either denied entry or given short-term visas.
An Israeli spokesman said Israel was working on the situation, with the military authorities that run civil affairs in the territories issuing more work permits. But Palestinians say the bureaucratic procedures are cumbersome, with many refused permits and recourse denied to those affected.
In a recent series of articles on the new measures, the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz called them a “silent expulsion”.
Sam Bahour, a US citizen and businessman, has started the Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory to try to protect foreign passport holders. Foreign diplomats who attended a meeting organised by the group this week in Jerusalem said they were seeking clarification from Israel.
Mr Bahour helped to found Paltel, the Palestinian telecommunications company, and now owns a technology consulting firm, Applied Information Management.
Last week he was given a one-month visa after having lived in the West Bank on three-month visas for 13 years. An Israeli official wrote “last permit” in his passport in Arabic, Hebrew and English.
“The occupying state of Israel has decided that I have been living with my family and two daughters long enough,” he says, calling Israel’s policy an “off-the-radar way of silently transferring Palestinians out of Palestine”.
In the meantime, uncertainty and worry are affecting thousands, such as Joyce Ajloumy, director of the Friends’ School in Ramallah, owned by US Quakers. Six of the school’s teachers are US citizens and the school has delayed hiring any more foreign passport holders.
“Coming here to teach is becoming very problematic because of the threat to entry,” says Ms Ajloumy, herself a US citizen.
“In the last year, some of our staff only got two-week visas, forcing them to leave early, which is disrupting and distressing to the staff and pupils.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2006

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By Hondo, September 15, 2006 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment
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John (Comment #23421)—your statement might be the single dumbest statement I have ever seen in print. Do you understand that the Nazis murdered more than 10 million people? Do you understand that it was the United States who defeated the facists of the Axis in WWII, thereby making the world safe for democracy? Do you understand that Israel, time after time, has utilized the unsuccesful strategy of land-for-peace, and have only gotten more unprovoked terrorist attacks in return? I and my fellow Christian conservatives, unlike Anti-Semitic liberals, desparately want peace. We know that peace will never happen until Islamofacism is destroyed. Good grief, liberal scarecrow, ask the wizard for a brain!

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By PeopleAreNotStupid, September 15, 2006 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
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You go on the offensive, invade a country and dismantle its entire infrastructure. You abuse your power and the power of your backers. You torture, oppress, enslave and kill people and when things do not go your way militarily, you claim victimhood, anti-Semitism and then hurry to the United Nations to save your butt, claiming abidance to International Law and UN resolutions and accusing others of being terrorists.

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By Spinoza, September 15, 2006 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
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And Mankind has one enemy called Hondo.  A Hondo is a war maker.  It is a name all good people will repudiate.

A Matter of fact, think about it. If the world were free of the war makers wouldn’t it be a better place?

PLEASE, PLEASE get out in the streets and Drive out the Bush Regime and all of their ideologue acolytes.

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By Kwagmyre, September 15, 2006 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
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Posted by Barry:

“Israel’s made the offer to pull out of the West Bank and establish peaceful relations, if you think that Israel is not serious about it, call our bluff!”

Then what’s this I read in today’s paper(the Los Angeles Times)that because of the recent Israeli attack in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s response that an additional 700 homes are being constructed for the settlers in the West Bank? 

Doesn’t sound so encouraging to me that Israel is making any such offers as you suggest.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 15, 2006 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #23384 by Hondo on 9/14

Here is a link to the Palestinian Right of Return:

http://canpalnet-ottawa.org/Keenan_ROR.html

Get to the real issue, not your distortions.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 15, 2006 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #23347 by Barry on 9/14

Barry,

It takes two to tango, two to tango, two to dance the dance of peace.

First, Jews must understand that Palestinians are human beings just like them. Palestinians must understand that Jews are human beings just like them. Go from there to cooperation to attain the democratic benefits for both. Jews must be willing to give up some ancient assumptions in order to live peacefully with other human beings on this planet. Muslims must be willing to give up their more recent assumptions of running the world as an Islamic Republic cum laude and kicking Jews off the face of the earth. Jews must be willing to give up their claim that they are God’s Chosen People, just as Hitler Germans had to give up the idea of the superiority of the Aryan Race and Americans had to give up the idea that white people were superior to black and brown people. Men had to give up the idea that women were inferior in status and ability to men, and that workers were inferior to management.

You mouth all the errors of the Zionist assumptions and lose sight of the greater good available for people of all religious persuasion who embrace peaceful intent. Peaceful intent cannot be that one race or creed takes over land and rights belonging to others, no matter how attained or when. But after any take over by whatever means, peace can be attained by cooperative living. In as much as Israel has instituted democratic values, let them continue. Where democratic values have been distorted by religious interpretation of ancient texts, let them be straightened out without prejudice and discrimination.

I offer the case of the American experiment in land acquisition from another people and bondage of another people of a different race. American Natives now have rights they could never have had in the late stone age conditions of pre-columbian America. Jews have rights in America that they do not have in Israel. Palestinians have rights in America that they do not have in Occupied Palestine or could have in an Islamic Republic of Palestine. Also, blacks who were brought to America as slaves are now better off than their ancestors in Africa. And white Christians from Europe are better off than many in the lands of their origin.

See the Jewish Voice for Peace link in my other comment.

In Palestine/Israel, there could be ‘...one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ Yes, ‘...under God…’ if you wish, but not in place of God.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 15, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
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Read, but do not take seriously, the comments in this venue. They are emotional and reactive reflecting personal impact of the events and reality of war and politics. The Jewish Voice for Peace gives an excellent and accurate analysis of the current situation and events as an alternative to the emotional fanaticism current on both sides of the question.

Here is the real story. A must read link from the perspective of peace and accommodation of differing needs and views.

You firebrand fanatics will not like what you read in this link, but please read it anyway in order to better understand the criticism against you. It is especially important that fanatic Jews, Muslims, and all Palestinians read it. Not all Jews are fanatic Zionists and the moderate, rational, politically realistic Jews are in touch with the spirit of true democracy that is needed to bring about either a two or a one state solution to the problem. The status quo will not get it.

http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/article_728.shtml#Background

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By Barry, September 15, 2006 at 2:21 am Link to this comment
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Regarding a fair deal’s including safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, Israel agreed to this in 1999:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/e/a/1999/07/26/NEWS2087.dtl

and even opened it up for a short while, with temporary security measures in place, but it was closed because of terror, when Palestinians chose terror instead of the deal that was on the table.

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By John, September 15, 2006 at 1:46 am Link to this comment
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The Israelis and Americans have done more evil on this earth the last 50 years than what Hitler did.
And that’s a fact

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By Barry, September 15, 2006 at 12:29 am Link to this comment
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Geronimo, you remind me so much of George Bush!

You think you can dictate Israel its borders?

Israel is a internationally recognized country, the Palestinians are the people without a country because they didn’t create one in 1948 or 2000.

Israel will make a reasonable offer.  The question is whether the Palestinians will give up terror to say yes this time.

But spare me the Bush-esque “other countries will do whatever the US says” baloney.  Countries are countries.  People are people.  Israel will make a good and reasonable offer because it’s the right thing to do, like we did in 2000, the question is whether the people who keep choosing to be without a country will say yes this time and agree to give up being terrorists.

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By Hondo, September 14, 2006 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
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Israel has only two barriers to peace, and they are big ones:
1. Anti-Semitic Islamofacist terrorists who want to kill all the Jews.
2. Anti-Semitic American liberals who love the Anti-Semitic Islamofacist terrorists who want to kill all the Jews.

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By Geronimo, September 14, 2006 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
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What’s got to happen for there to be peace in the Middle East is for Americans to realize that peace can come about only when our troops come home from Iraq and the Palestinian people get back their homeland.  And once that realization sets in, “You’ll just have to listen to the Palestinians’ terms and specifications, Israel,  because if that’s what it takes to keep America safe,  we don’t want to hear no more of this land without a people for a people without a land BS.”
  .

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By Barry, September 14, 2006 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
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You know, you can doubt Israel’s intentions all you want, bottom line, we’ll never know, because the Palestinians refuse to stop terror.  Israel’s made the offer to pull out of the West Bank and establish peaceful relations, if you think that Israel is not serious about it, call our bluff!

I know you’d all rather believe your own web sites, but I’m telling you, we’re also sick of sending our children off to war, and only do so because we can’t have missiles shot at us and terror bombs exploded in our malls.

You are all justifying terrorism.  I’m justifying a country’s military response to terrorism.

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By Kwagmyre, September 14, 2006 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Earle:

“This is Ersatz Israel.”

Or did you really mean to say(as did I in my earlier post) ERETZ Israel?

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By earle, September 14, 2006 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
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Cut to the chase.

If you follow the Isaeli narrative you will be lost down one thousand rat holes.

Bottom line:  From the beginning the Zionists have wanted to expand north to the Litani River (present day Lenanon) and the Golan Heights (present day Siria), East to the Jordan and West to the Sinai.  This is Ersatz Israel.  It has been the wet dream of the Zionists since the 1890’s.

As long as the Zionist rule Israel, the above is their objective.  They will do anything to keep everyone off balance and chasing insignificant issues.  Please note that despite what they say, they have alwyas been advancing toward these goals. 

All else is bullshit with the Zionist.  They have their objectives and NOTHING AND NOBODY will stand in their way, because they are worse than the radical Isalamists.  They are the original extremists, the original religious zellots par excellance.

Thay must be stopped or else their will never be peace in teh mid-east.

Keep your eye on the ball.  Never listen to what the Zionist say; watch what they do.  They always have an excuse for everything.  But they are always on message and on cue.  They are settler expansionists. Until they are stopped, they will continue to give us more of the same; AND CHARGE US FOR IT!!

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By PeopleAreNotStupid, September 14, 2006 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
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“Israel withdrew from Lebanon (years ago) and Gaza (a year ago), and went back in only because of 800+ missiles shot at Sderot, missiles shot at Haifa, and cross-border raids from both borders.  Until then Israelis wanted nothing to do with either Lebanon or Gaza”

You make me laugh because you assume that people are naïve and stupid. This propaganda could have passed 20 years ago when people had no access to the internet and little access to satellite stations. Everybody knows the truth and the truth is as follows:

Israel did not leave Lebanon because it suddenly decided to be virtuous and abide by international law. Israel was forced to leave. Had this been the case, it would have withdrawn when resolution 425 was issued by the Security Council in 1982.

Israel never stopped its incursions in and air raids on Southern Lebanon between 2000 and 2006. They even went as far as Beirut numerous times. What about the episode of Qana I massacre. Was this because of peace and its desire to leave Lebanon alone?

Israel left Gaza a year ago because the occupation of Gaza was causing it tremendously and because it knew it could keep the entire strip under its tight control-just like a big prison. It was not done for the sake of peace. You also seem to repeat the same boring rhetoric and totally ignore what everybody in the world already knows: Gaza is under a total air, sea and land blockade. Gazans are living in famine. People are searching for food in trash cans and no food or water can be allowed to Gaza unless Israel decides to do so. If you call this withdrawal then you are assuming that people are stupid enough not to see and analyze the situation. If Israel does not want anything to do with Gaza as you claim, then stop the bombing, open the borders, lift the blockade and leave the population the hell alone. They can manage without you.

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By Spriteygirl, September 14, 2006 at 2:05 am Link to this comment
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It must be very uncomfortable for Israelis to live in a region where a minority of people would wish for its destruction.

But I imagine the Palestinians feel pretty much the same - and the Lebanese, anyone who has ever been pre-emptively attacked by Israel. (I define this as accused of a crime and convicted before a crime is committed - not really a democratic way of doing anything - too many mistakes can be made)

The soldiers’ kidnap, for example - it is a tragedy, but I think the thousands of Palestinian families feel pretty much the same, and many of those detentions are without the hapless detainee even informed on what charge they are incarcerated - at least a soldier is culpable, and knows why they have been taken.

Whatever the history, huge mistakes and opportunities have been missed by all sides.  Nobody can be sanctimonious here.

However, Israel must recognise that by failing to meet any of its UN obligations, failing to follow through on promises made have fuelled this “terrorism” problem. The “generosity” of various negotiations is a bit misleading - it may seem very generous from an Israeli point of view, but asking people to give up family homes that had been built over generations?  Sounds too much like other historical land thefts - it will not do.  A good compromise leaves everyone unhappy - and so far, Israel has to have it all its own way - it is not just the Palestinians who are intrasingent - indeed, they are willing to talk without pre-conditions - a rare trait in Israeli negotiations, as the article makes clear - farmers have to sign away posessions and land to be let free - hardly a generous act of a generous people.

There are people of heart and conscience throughout the world, everywhere.  They don’t make the news because they aren’t bombing people. They are Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese.

To be born Israeli gives you no monopoly on virtue, any more than being born Palestinian or Lebanese makes you a terrorist.

If God (I am truly secular, this is a for instance) were to appear before you today, with the ten commandments in his/her hand (you remember those?) and ask you to explain yourself, could you? It is interesting that, in both radical Judaism and Islam, people can be very selective about which verses hold the priority - which should be held more sacred than the rest.

I like the ten commandments - particularly those that represent the convenant to how we should treat each other..  For those who have forgotten them, I have selected a few: (there seems to be some argument about how many and how they are interpreted - these seem to be the most accepted)

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Thou shalt not steal.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

The old testament shows the value of neighbors, and how they should be treated and respected.

Self defence? A separation wall? This is not very neighborly - I grieve for the collective Israeli soul if it can only see its own point of view. I am cynical, not because I want to be, but because Israeli actions seem not only hostile to its neighbors, but also its friends.

This is not to offend anyone, but just to show how unbelievable this is to just one person of conscience.  It has nothing to do with Israel being Jewish - if it were a Catholic State, or Baptist, whatever, I would be just as much against it.  If you won’t learn from your enemies, please at least listen to your friends - we will not enable this forever.

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By Barry, September 13, 2006 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
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Israel withdrew from Lebanon (years ago) and Gaza (a year ago), and went back in only because of 800+ missiles shot at Sderot, missiles shot at Haifa, and cross-border raids from both borders.  Until then Israelis wanted nothing to do with either Lebanon or Gaza.  The entire war was pure self-defense, the need to get rid of terror infrastructure that was shooting missiles at our citizens and attacking our citizens.

Again, if there was no terror, there would be no Israeli interest in violence.  The Israeli army you see is the kids and grandkids of every Israeli citizen, and war is avoided at any cost.  But when Sderot and the north came under attack, everyone knew we had no choice.

As for one-state solutions, the Irish didn’t seem to like that very much!  At least in Israel it was clear to the British Empire that the two peoples here, Jews and Arabs, needed two different states.  That’s why they, and the UN, established two states in 1948.  Imagine how things would be if Jordan and Egypt had gone ahead and made a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza in 1948, instead of keeping the Palestinians in refugee camps!

If the Palestinians in 1948 had accepted the UN partition plan, which would have created two countries in the area controlled by the British here, there could have been no violence here since then.  If they’d took control of Gaza a year ago and kept peace, Israel would have withdrawn from West Bank areas since then, and probably also transferred more control of borders after seeing that the Arabs weren’t smuggling in terrorist arms.  But again the Palestinians chose terror, leaving us where we are now.

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By Kwagmyre, September 13, 2006 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Barry:

“I know many people in the fundamentalist settler camp (not being one myself), and all have basically accepted moving if the Palestinians ever agree to stop terror and settle into a two-state solution.”

OK, then, I’ll more-or-less accept your position but if you turn over the West Bank you should also include East Jerusalem and allow the Palestinians free, unimpeded travel between Gaza and the West Bank as well, something which I think was missing with Barak’s offer in 2000.

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By Geronimo, September 13, 2006 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment
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Seems that Israel’s supporters are quicker than ever to pin the anti-Semite label on critics of the Jewish settler-state. Their big fear, of course, is that America is going to wake up to the fact that Israel’s occupation of Palestine is what stokes the hatred that underlies the violence in the Middle East, and that supporting justice for the Palestinian people is how to cool down that hatred and keep America safe. 

Which means that all of us who seek a peaceful and just world can expect to be pinned with the anti-Semitic label, the self-hating Jew label, or both. But this needn’t deter us.  After all we’re on a holy mission.

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By salman, September 13, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
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BBC reported that 51 Palestinian children were killed by IDF in the last two and a half months.
And Barry keeps telling us that Palestinian terror has to stop.

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By Justice4all, September 13, 2006 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #23179

First, there is a difference between terror for the sake of committing terror and fighting for freedom, existence and independence. Israel for example has been terrorizing the entire Palestinian population for decades now. How would you label this? How would you label the recent invasion of Lebanon?  Palestinians on the other hand aspire to gain freedom and independence from Israel and their objective is to have their free and independent state.

Second, a 2-state solution means nothing if Palestinians do not have total control of their borders, airspace and foreign affairs. Imagine Israel without the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs. Imagine Israel giving the Palestinians the right to talk on their behalf at the UN or to control their airspace. You need to be objective and realistic and stay away from public relation maneuvers.

A one-state-solution on the other hand is also discarded by Israel itself simply because of demographic reasons; Palestinians will eventually outnumber the Israelis in population and that would defeat the essence of maintaining a Jewish state.

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By Barry, September 13, 2006 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
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I agree wholeheartedly with JSR’s comments about moving forward.  The two-state solution seems obvious, what we need is to move forward without terror.

Regarding “fundamentalist settlers,” the fact is that since 2000 it’s been accepted here that Israel would pull out.  Getting settlers out of Gaza was not like pulling teeth, there was democratic debate and Ghandi-like sit-ins until the last minute and then in the end they left peacefully.  Out of a whole town, only one building had any arguments about going.  I know many people in the fundamentalist settler camp (not being one myself), and all have basically accepted moving if the Palestinians ever agree to stop terror and settle into a two-state solution.

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By JSD, September 13, 2006 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
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As gruesome as the conflict is between Israelis and Arabs in Palestine, the psychology behind it is really quite infantile when debates descend to questions of who started what, which is an utterly futile point of inquiry in this case (perhaps in all similar cases throughout history), and is the reason for the need of third-party mediation. That would mean continuous involvement in depth, by the U.S. and other Western and Middle Eastern states, unceasing until a just solution is implemented.

The U.N. must also be involved first and foremost, to stand as a barrier to any further bloodshed until a final solution is reached.

All this we can do as a World of peoples. The only thing preventing is politics

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By Kwagmyre, September 13, 2006 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
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Posted by Barry:

“If a short time had passed after the Gaza withdrawal with peace, Israel would have withdrawn from more areas in the West Bank.  I know people living there who were getting ready to move out.”

Yeah, well then what about the Fundamentalist thinking settlers who will defend to the death what they think is their “right” to the West Bank, this out a conviction that it is biblically justified for them to remain there, what they call “Eretz Israel” or “Greater Israel.”  We already saw that extracting them from Gaza was like pulling teeth(which would be impacted wisdom ones, NOT some loose molars).

So the people you say you knew were getting ready to leave if true would probably represent such a tiny minority.

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By Robert, September 13, 2006 at 8:33 am Link to this comment
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Look who we have here talking about terror.!!!

The Jews brought terror to Palestine.

The Irgun & Stern Gang (1931-1948) led by Avraham Tehomi,Avraham Stern & Menachem Begin.

In 1943 Menachem Begin(prime minister of Israel 1977-83)became head of the Israeli terrorist organization(Irgun Zvai Leumi)which was responsible for waging terror campaigns & attacks on the British rule in Palestine & against the Palestinian arabs.

On Jully 22,1946 The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed by the Irgun terrorists commanded by Menachem Begin. The Irgun terrorists entered the King David Hotel dressed as Palestinian arabs.The British headquarter’s office wing of King David Hotel was targeted,killing ninety one(91) people.

Among other Irgun terrorists attacks was bombing of the British Embassy in Rome.

One major Irgun & Stern Gang terror inccident was on the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin,on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

On April 9, 1948 Irgun & Stern terrorists attacked the village of Deir Yassin with a population of about 750 residents.A body count of 254 innocent Palestinians brutally killed & murdered. More than half were women & children.

The above are only a few examples of the many terror attacks by the Igun & Stern terrorists.

In todays world, Israel has been conducting the most viscious acts of “State Terrorism” against the Palestinians & the Lebanese people.

Israel’s terror attacks has killed 10 times more innocent people than attacks by Palestinians & Lebanese on Israelis.

Israel can be called a country of murderers & thugs.In the past few years,Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians (christian & moslem),women & children. Israel has committed war crimes,barbaric tortures, brutal opperesion of the Palestinian people. There are 10,000 Palestian in Israeli prisons. Most of them for years whithout any charges.

The Palestians want to free themselves from Israel’s brutal occupation.Their land and resources are all going to Israel’s 1 million Russian immigrants. All expenses paid by American taxpayers.

Israel does not want peace. Israel wants more land & greater expansions of its current borders.

Just as I have mentioned previously, Israel has no respect for Un resolutions, Geneva conventions, Ineternational Law & the lives of Palestinians & Lebanese.

Israel’s “State Terrorism” is a fact to all of us & must be stopped. Israel uses our American made weapons to conduct their campaign of “TERROR” against the unarmed Palestinian population.

Who has American made tanks,helicopters, armored personnel carriers,fighter bombers & jets, missiles,advanced bomb technology,tear gas, nuclear,chemical & biological weapons. Its not the Palestinians !!!


American aid to Israel $108 Billion dollars(1948-2006).

What would Israel do if all American aid stops?
 
May be Israel’s “State Terrorism” will stop!!!

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By Barry, September 13, 2006 at 2:34 am Link to this comment
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I’m proud that Israel withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza.  I’m mad at Hamas and Hezbollah for shooting the missiles that forced Israel to do everything else that happened in Lebanon and Gaza since.

I’m proud that Israel wanted to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza in 2000 for the formation of a Palestinian state, and am mad at Arafat for saying no and stopping negotiations to start the intifada.

I’m proud that Israeli Arabs have full rights in Israel, despite Israelis being forced out of their homes when Israel pulled out of Gaza.

I’m proud that Israel is willing to do anything for peace, in stages, and mad at the Arabs for always blowing it in stage 1 and not letting Israel get to stage 2.

There’s no lying here.  If a short time had passed after the Gaza withdrawal with peace, Israel would have withdrawn from more areas in the West Bank.  I know people living there who were getting ready to move out.  But Palestinians kept up the missiles, so the next pullout is on hold.

If terror would stop, Palestinians would have everything they want.  But Israel cannot let its citizens be killed without defending them.  No country can.

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By How odd of God..., September 12, 2006 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment
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Barry: “I was here when we withdrew our citizens from Gaza, despite never making a condition of Arabs moving out of Israel proper….”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Oh please, you’re killing me!!!!!

The suggestion that Israeli settlers remaining in the occupied territories is the equivalent of Israeli Palestinians being allowed to continue living in Israel!

People, this is your mind on Zionism.

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By Spinoza, September 12, 2006 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
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Barry asks us to oppose terror:

Terrorism is nothing one can war against. It is a tactic.  It is an idiot concept developed by an idiot junta who we have for our current ruling clique in the USA and Israel.

  There are pissed off people in the world for various reasons who think god is on their side.  They take matters into their own hands.  Al Queda was one of these groups amongst many.  They had grievances against the USA or so they thought.

Their grievances were “political”. They thought and still think the USA is acting against the interests of Muslims who they claim it is their job to defend.  They hate Israel (with good reason) and think Jews are their enemy.  They hated the USA presence in Saudi Arabia and basically they would prefer a world in which Muslim presence/rights would be honored.  They think the USA is controlled by Jews and therefore the USA is their enemy.

Now our idiot president has accepted the view of the far right Likudniks in the government that we are fighting a war of civilizations and we are the superior civilization and the Muslims are inferior and need to be dealt with, destroyed.  When al Queda started out it was a small group of Islamists and did not grow very much until they attacked the symbols of American power and the fascistic Bush regime responded with overwhelming violence egged on by the neoCon/Likudniks. and their Christian Right allies.  The neoCons wanted to come to the aid of Israel in its civilizational fight against the Muslims and there first area of attack was Iraq.  These immoral imbeciles started a war that lead to the exponential growth of al Queda and a host of Islamist movements.

There is no such a thing as a war on terrorism.  But now Bush has decided to start a war on all of the Muslim people which his fascist supporters call world war three.  It is sick; it has the potential to end life on this planet as they are talking about the use of nuclear weapons.  Bush and his allies have to be stopped.

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By Barry, September 12, 2006 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
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All the anti-Israel complaints assume that there was once a country called Palestine, and that Jews came along and stole it.

Baloney.

There was a region of land with both Arabs and Jews living on it, which for 2000 years, with both Arabs and Jews living here, was controled by foreign powers, most recently Ottomans and British.

The UN and the British Empire saw the land with two indiginous peoples, who can’t seem to live together too well, and decided to create two countries.  This was done with the British Balfour declaration and the 1947 UN partition plan. 

Israel accepted the partition plan, the Arabs decided to attack instead.  The 1948 borders were a result of that war.

If there was Arab interest in a country called “Palestine” then they would have created one on the West Bank. But they didn’t.  Jordan and Egypt created refugee camps instead, with no country called Palestine, because Jordan and Egypt knew that there was no country called Palestine.

Jews have been here longer than the Arabs, and were here throughout every single stage of history.  Creating two countries can be debated all you want, but it was the decision of the United Nations.

“Stolen” sounds great in polemics, but it’s simply not true.

All that said, Israel is trying to give up control of the land in the West Bank and Gaza, but with the history of Arab terrorism, is doing so in stages.  All the Arabs need to do is not start up terror and Israel will keep going. 

Stopping terror is the path to peace.

It’s amazing that supposedly enlightened people can support suicide bombers!  Disagree with Israel all you want, but get the Arabs to stop terror at the same time, and we can have a chance at peace.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 12, 2006 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #22988 by Barry on 9/12

Barry, that is the most blatant nonsense that could come from any source.

It is not only a lie, but a damn lie, that Israel has done anything but promote its own existence upon the land taken from the people who have dwelt there for millennia. Not only is Israel formed in violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, but violates those declarations daily.

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

Have you served in the IDF occupation duties?

Have you killed any Palestinians?

Have you participated in house demolition’s?

Have you chased Palestinian kids for throwing stones at an Israeli Army tank while or after it ran through the streets of a Palestinian village?

Have you manned a checkpoint where a Palestinian woman was trying to get to a hospital to deliver a child?

Were you the soldier who leveled his gun at the head of my friend’s niece at a checkpoint?

Were you assigned the duty to dump an earthen barrier across a street or road to prevent Palestinians from getting their produce to market?

Were you one of those who destroyed the olive groves and fruit orchards to make way for IDF operations?

Did you ever drive a Caterpillar built bulldozer to level a Palestinian building?

Were you the soldier who raped a young Palestinian girl near the checkpoint?

Were you one of the IDF soldiers who prevented a school from opening in West Bank Palestine?

Did you work on the Barrier to Palestinian peace with Israel?

Can you travel freely in your country? (Palestinians cannot)

Can you go abroad and return to your country?
(Many Palestinians cannot)

Are your seaports blocked to all commerce?

Are your airports closed by bombing?

Is your electricity out because of bombing?

Are your roads and bridges destroyed by bombing.

Do you read Haa’retz?

Do you read Gush Shalom?

What would you do if your house were commandeered as a command post for Hamas or Hezbollah forces?

What would you do if Palestinians were to successfully reoccupy Israel and change its name back to Palestine?

What would you do if your family were humiliated and maligned daily and you were harassed daily by an occupation force of Arabs support financially by China?

What would you do if your basic rights were violated daily and your family endangered by an occupying force of foreigners who claimed that God gave them your home?

What would you do if you saw television programs that claimed that Jews were an inferior race of sub-humans?

Barry, I am afraid that, either you are not informed, or you are lying. BTW, are you proud of what Israel has done to Lebanon? To Gaza? To world peace? Get real!

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By Justice4all, September 12, 2006 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
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Re Comment #22988

“I was here when we withdrew our citizens from Gaza, despite never making a condition of Arabs moving out of Israel proper.  It was a hard thing for the country to do, but it happened, in an attempt to bring peace.”


First, withdrawing from Gaza is nothing but a maneuver and public relation tactic to convince the world that Israel is making tremendous concessions in its quest for peace. Real withdrawal for the sake of peace means giving the Palestinians total control over their land and sea borders as well as their airspace. It also means total sovereignty over their foreign affairs. No ifs and buts about it. None of that has happened: on the contrary, Gaza now is under siege and Gazans are living in a big prison. They are suffering from famine as well as the Israeli bombs that pour on them on a daily basis. Close to 250 people have been silently killed in the past 2 months but nobody hears about them because of the total blackout by the mainstream media.

Furthermore, why would you consider giving Gaza and the West Bank as a painful concession? These are stolen lands in the first place. It is like robbing a grocery store, then giving back the merchandize in return for an award or prize. Real peace should stem from honesty and truthfulness without any hidden agendas or PR games. Palestinians have made it very clear on every occasion that they want to live in peace with Israel provided they have total control over their fate and sovereignty over the land hey have lost in 1967. Israel is yet to comply and has been deceiving the world community for almost 39 years. All what it needs to do is comply with UN resolutions as it is demanding from other countries in the region.

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By JSD, September 12, 2006 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
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Another way to recognize the responsibility of the West—mostly the U.S.—for the situation in Palestine is to look at the history (a little, I’m no expert).

During the Cold War, there was a pervasive feeling among Western nations that Israel was part of our contest with the Soviets.

Egypt, Syria, Iraq were client states of the USSR. Israel was ours (and so was Iran until 1980.)  World-wide concern for the fate of the Palestinians took a back seat in the Western press (if mentioned at all).

(One might even argue that the so-called ‘Cold War’ was in fact a world war though not recognized as such, with its peculiarity shaped by nuclear stand-off; and, constituting proxy conflicts-wars-theaters of war in the form of Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.)

All this in the Middle East was, of course, mixed up with Israel vs. the Arab World, and demonstrated dramatically by the destruction of an Iraqi nuclear reactor facility (technology provided by France) by Israel in the early ‘80s.

Throughout this period, there were great moments of heroism—Sadat in Egypt—ongoing tragedy, and active U.S. involvement—remember Kissinger’s ‘shuttle diplomacy.’

The consequences of our establishment in power of the Shah in Iran, the long war following between Iran and Iraq, the first Gulf War in 1990, all this delayed the U.S. facing its responsibility for the Israeli-Arab conflict. But our responsibility remains.

The fact is that, given the nature of the peoples in the Middle East and their politics, the course of actions taken by Israelis and Arabs might almost be regarded as a natural phenomenon. What else could be expected?

For the U.S. government not to have vigorously inserted itself into to the conflict in order to establish peace and forge a just solution after the failed talks at Camp David in 2000, is a failure on our part, a tragic failure. We bear responsibility for what Israel does; in my opinion, direct responsibility. Israel could not do what it does, indeed, could not survive without U.S. help. The U.S. is not the only Western state involved. We are the principal state involved.

The events of 9/11 and the aftermath are no excuse. Islamic militancy is no excuse. Palestinians and Israelis are suffering and dying. Since January 2001, we have done nothing to bring about a just resolution to the problem.

U.S. politics is no excuse. The U.S. stands guilty of both criminal neglect and criminal complicity in crimes against humanity. May God have mercy on our souls.

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By Barry, September 12, 2006 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
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I can’t speak for other Israelis, but my self-respect comes from living here, knowing the truth first-hand, and seeing how Israel has done everything that a country could possibly do for peace.

I was here when we withdrew our citizens from Gaza, despite never making a condition of Arabs moving out of Israel proper.  It was a hard thing for the country to do, but it happened, in an attempt to bring peace.  The result was over 800 Kasaam rockets fired at Sderot.

And I was here when Barak put together his give-anything plan in Camp David and Wye in 2000, again painful for some people to accept the concessions, but the country stuck with him in the name of peace.  And the answer from the Palestinians was an intifada.

There’s no country on the planet that hasn’t made mistakes in its past.  But we’re living now, and Israel will give anything for peace, short of its own existance.  Hopefully one day the Arabs will say yes and create their state peacefully.

In the meanwhile, I’ve got my self-respect, and I’ve got the that the Palestinians could have if they’d abolish terror.

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By Justice4all, September 11, 2006 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
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Re-inventing Democarcy… Re-defining co-existence!!!

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

————————————————————————————————————————

Last update - 15:53 11/09/2006
Leftist MKs blast Eitam’s statements on Arabs, urge AG to investigate
By Jack Khoury, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

Left-wing lawmakers reacted furiously Monday to statements made by rightist Knesset Member Effi Eitam against Israeli Arab politicians and Palestinians in the West Bank, and called for attorney general Menachem Mazuz to open an investigation into Eitam’s comments on grounds of incitement to racism.

Eitam, a member of the right-wing National Union-National Religious Party sparked a political firestorm Monday when he said that the great majority of Palestinians in the West Bank should be expelled, and that Arabs should be ousted from Israeli politics as a fifth column and “a league of traitors.”

The remarks, broadcast Monday on Army Radio, were made during a Sunday speech at a memorial service for a soldier killed in Lebanon during the recent war.

It was the first time that Eitam, who heads the Religious Zionism faction within the National Union, has publicly supported deportation of Palestinians, a concept espoused by assassinated National Union founder
Rehavam Ze’evi as “transfer.”

“We will have to expel the great majority of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria,” Eitam urged, referring to the whole of the West Bank.

According to Eitam, experience showed that Israel cannot give up the area of the West Bank. “It is impossible with all of these Arabs, and it is impossible to give up the territory. We’ve already seen what they’re doing there.”

Turning to the subject of Israeli Arabs, Eitam said, “We will have to take another decision, and that is to sweep the Israeli Arabs from the political system. Here, too, the issues are clear and simple.

“We’ve raised a fifth column, a league of traitors of the first rank. Therefore, we cannot continue to enable so large and so hostile a presense within the political system of Israel.”

Beilin: Bring Eitam to trial
Yossi Beilin, the leader of the left-wing Meretz party, urged Attorney General Menachem Mazuz Monday to bring Eitam to trial on charges of incitement to racism.

Beilin’s call was based on an amendment to the law which grants lawmakers immunity from prosecution. The amendment lifts the immunity from legislators who incite to racism or ethnic prejudice. Earlier in the day, Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan called on Mazuz to open an investigation against Eitam, on suspicion of incitement and sedition.

Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra’am-Ta’al) said Monday that “Eitam’s remarks would have been more authentic, had they been delivered in German.”

“These are irresponsible statements,” Tibi told the radio, “directed at the lowest level of the racism surging within Israeli society.”

“A long time ago the racists and fascists moved from the Israeli street to the Israeli government and the halls of power” added Tibi.

Peace Now leader Yariv Oppenheimer said that the words of Eitam “show that the dogma of [slain extreme right-wing Rabbi Meir] Kahane is alive and well. In a moment of candor, the mask was removed from Eitam’s face, exposing him as a leader of fantasy and racism.”

Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh said that the attack on the representatives of Arab citizens of Israel was an attempt to “delegitimize the Arab population entirely and to negate their right to voice their opinions and participate in the political process.”

According to Barakeh, the measures proposed by Eitam are already being implemented, as the Palestinians, “are witness to many steps to push them aside and expel them from their homeland, among them the security fence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The policies of siege, starvation, and negation of the basic right of human dignity are a means of extremely dangerous ethnic expulsion.

“You don’t need trucks to transfer Palestinians.”

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By Barry, September 11, 2006 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
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As 9/11 winds to a close, let’s remember that there are people out there who are still supporting terror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

Anyone can oppose any government’s policies, but terror cannot be the answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

Anyone can oppose anyone else’s perspectives, but terror cannot be the answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

Enlightenment can never mean terror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vOJCQr1Now

OPPOSE TERROR, then we can achieve peace in the world.

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By Barry, September 11, 2006 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
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You’re all unreal.  I can’t count the number of untruths said about Israel here, where as soon as I point out that its baloney, everyone backs down.  Like the baloney someone said that Israeli Arabs or Christians can’t go through Jewish areas or work in Jewish areas or own land.  Baloney!  Or that there was a country of Palestine before 1948.  Baloney!  Or that Israel wasn’t recognized by the UN.  Baloney!  Or that we’re not trying to spread the hi-tech wealth to the Palestinians.  Baloney!  Or that all hi-tech success and agricultural success comes with aid money.  Baloney!  Or that there were more Arabs here than Jews.  Baloney!

Time after time on this discussion, someone’s made a baloney claim, I’ve posted back facts (sometimes from the CIA factbook, sometimes quoting the SF Chronicle, sometimes links to videos, sometimes things I’ve seen), and then noone answers.  You know you’re making things up!

FACTS are that Israel has accepted every peace option to date, from 1948 until Camp David, and the Palestinians have opted for terror.  FACTS are that the UN has the full right to establish 2 countries where there are two peoples in the same land, and that the International trend is in that direction.

BOTTOM LINE is that Israel is an internationally recognized country that’s here to stay.  The Palestinians need to realize that they need to say “yes” to peace and “no” to terror, then they can start building a country and choose peaceful co-existance.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 11, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #22762 by Barry on 9/11

“It doesn’t matter if missile attacks are by Hamas or by the Boy Scouts, Israel has to defend its citizens.”

And Palestinians have to defend their people against Israel and to try to regain the lost land that was theirs.

“If there hadn’t been these missiles, Israel would have pulled out of the West Bank, and the Palestinians could have built a life.”

And if the Zionists had not stolen the land of Palestine, Jews could be living in America and Palestinians could be building the dream land in Palestine. Then both could be free.

“It appears to be Hamas, they’ve certainly admitted to making attacks out of Gaza and took responsibility for missile attacks against Sderot.”

In the past, but not for over a year. And no suicide bombers launched by Hamas in over a year.

“But bottom line, attacks against Sderot happened for almost a year after the pullout, and Israel can’t let that continue forever.”

But, not by Hamas. Israel certainly will not let that happen forever, because Israel will not last that long.

Now, why don’t you claim that Israel did not invade Gaza and Lebanon? Also, why don’t you claim that no civilians were killed in the process? You might even claim that the Palestinians just pushed themselves into the way in order to be killed so that Israel could be blamed. Also you could say that there is not much difference between Lebanese and Palestinians. After all, they descended from the same tribes of that part of the world.

You see, one lie requires another. There are no good liars, because liars have poor memories and worse morals.

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By Robert, September 11, 2006 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
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ARTICLES & INFORMATION RELATED TO ISRAEL AND 9/11 THAT WE AMERICANS DO NOT SEE,HEAR OR READ ABOUT FROM OUR “US MAINSTREAM NEWS MEDIA.”

FIND OUT WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE & CONTROLLING OUR US GOVERNMENT & COUNTRY?

CHECK THE INDEX LIST & YOU WILL GET MANY SURPRISES.EACH ARTICLE IS SHOCKING !!!

CONVEY YOUR COMMENTS WHEN YOU CAN.

HAPPY TRAILS.

http://WWW.WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM/ISRAEL_9-11_TRUTH.HTML

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By Geronimo, September 11, 2006 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
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“Masada Shall Not Fall Again”

The macho oath that Israeli soldiers take that links them to the mass-suicide of the Zealots in 72 CE. And if ever there was one, that’s a there’ll be no compromise, fight to the death for the fatherland sort of statement. Which implies that Israeli soldiers (perhaps all Israelis) are prepared (or preparing) to make the ultimate sacrafice. What’s worse, as if it’s possible that there could be anything worse, the next Masada could take down, not just Israeli Jews but the human race, given that Israel has already threatened to nuke its neighbors. and the Zealot’s Masada mentality doesn’t allow for compromising.

Is there any way out? Can humankind be saved? Fortunately, no problem, since all the Israelis have to do to secure peace for themselves and the rest of humankind is to sit down with the Palestinians, own up to the fact that they, the Jewish settlers, came to Palestine as uninvited guests who, not only never went home; they took over the house. That’ll let the Palestinain people know that their Jewish occupiers realize that they did them wrong, and will set the stage for the final scene when the Jewish settlers (Israelis) ask their Palestinian hosts, “Based this time upon you terms and your specifications, is there any way we can work this out?”

What happens to the Zealot’s Masada mentality? Presto, gone. And good riddence, too!

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 11, 2006 at 6:29 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #22708 by Fadel Abdallah on 9/10

Fadel,

Your name also has linguistic suggestions. Fadel could be a variation of Fidel, ‘honesty’. And, Abdallah means ‘servant of God’. Both refer to Truth. Al Haq is the most significant name of God found in the Qu’ran. Nothing happens, nothing exists and nothing is true without truth, Al Haq. To be a servant of Al Haq, Abdalhaq, AKA, Abdallah, is the highest calling and the cream of the cream of names.

Thank you for reading my entries and receiving the real message they contain. I sometimes lapse into ire and disgust, and other times into humor and trivia, but I hope that the message comes through to people who are not linguists, but just plain thinking people who know the meaning of justice and human rights, and most importantly, to people who have the political clout to do something about it. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By NemesisOfTheNeoCons, September 11, 2006 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
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Slight correction: the Mossad’s motto is: “By means of deception, thou shalt do war.”

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By AmazedThatAnybodyStillBelievesAnythingAIPACSays, September 11, 2006 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
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Spinoza writes: “That is the problem with Israeli apologists, they have no regard for a notion of truth.”

Yes. They openly espouse an end-justifies-the-means, damn-the-truth, say-whatever-works philosophy when it comes to doing whatever it takes to pursue the interests of the tribal state of Israel. So why should they expect us to believe anything they say?

The Israelis (those who are Jewish, that is) have declared themselves outside the bounds of the principles of the enlightenment on which any rational, good-faith political discussion must be based. Such principles are “naïve” and “quaint”. Therefore, anything they say must be treated as not a genuine attempt at communication and reason, but merely another form of tribalist aggression, disguised for strategic purposes as an attempt to communicate.

Compare the US and Israel on this. Even our least democratic institutions, our spy agencies, reflect this deep difference in outlook. Look at the motto of the CIA: “The truth will set you free.” The motto of the Mossad? Why of course, it’s:

“By means of deception shalt thou do battle.”

And this mentality is the one the US is rapidly adopting under George Bush’s Israel-centric “war on terror.”

But listen up, Israel-heads: If everyone knows you’ll say whatever it takes, people stop listening to you. You have a track record you might want to think about.

Plus: why would you want to live and think this way, anyway? Where is your self-respect?

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By Barry, September 11, 2006 at 2:51 am Link to this comment
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It doesn’t matter if missile attacks are by Hamas or by the Boy Scouts, Israel has to defend its citizens.  Over 800 missiles were fired at Sderot after the Gaza pullout, before the Lebanon war:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CY7X_1FPhE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAL4MNuzLrQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v-h0SCyO_s

If there hadn’t been these missiles, Israel would have pulled out of the West Bank, and the Palestinians could have built a life.

It appears to be Hamas, they’ve certainly admitted to making attacks out of Gaza and took responsilibity for missile attacks against Sderot.  Even the San Francisco Chronicle (hardly an Israel supporter) has articles about this:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/26/MNGK4ETTFE1.DTL

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/06/26/MNGPEJKAGF1.DTL

But bottom line, attacks against Sderot happened for almost a year after the pullout, and Israel can’t let that continue forever.

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By Spinoza, September 10, 2006 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Z Magazine Online

September 2006 Volume 19 Number 9

The USA and Israel are evil?

 

The U.S. and Israel: Axis of Aggression, Torture, Death, & Devastation

By Edward S. Herman

With Israel engaged once again in a major war of aggression in Lebanon, and protected once again from any effective global response by U.S. power and veto, it becomes clearer than ever that the central global problem of organized violence and lawlessness in the early 21st century lies in the aims, collaboration, and power of the U.S.Israeli axis. These partners in aggression and state terrorism reinforce one another’s projections of power—the outofcontrol superpower protecting its regional client’s ethnic cleansing, while the Israeli lobby within the United States supports the violent projection of power by the United States, which provides further cover for Israel’s escalating regional violence. What is most remarkable, however, is the feeble resistance to—and sometimes positive support of—the axis of aggression, torture, death, and deva station’s (ATDD) violence by the European countries and “international community” more broadly. 

Free to Aggress

Consider that the United States has carried out three wars of aggression in violation of the UN Charter over the last seven years (Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq) and that without having digested its Iraq aggression—now universally recognized as having been based on lies and a cynical abuse of UN processes, as well as being the “supreme crime”—it has actually begun a fourth aggression, against Iran, once again under the cynical cover of the UN. Furthermore, the United States was the main driver of the “sanctions of mass destruction” against Iraq throughout the 1990s, which resulted in the deaths of perhaps a million Iraqi civilians, possibly the greatest genocide of the postWorld War II era (with only the Congo and Rwanda as serious rivals), a project also carried out by the cynical misuse of the UN. 

Instead of resisting these aggressions and genocidal operations, the G8 and international community have appeased the aggressor and genocidist, never condemning its aggressions or imposing sanctions in response to its major crimes, but collaborating with it, and, in the case of Iraq, giving it expost approval and support for the deadly occupation. 

The UN, created specifically to prevent “the scourge of war,” has failed to pose any serious constraining force on the serial aggressions by the United States or those of its Israeli client. This failure, and the global crisis that it reflects, has hardly been recognized in the Western media and intellectual circles, for the same reasons that underlie the appeasement and collaboration: the military power of the superpower, fear of the economic and political consequences of opposition to the United States and its client’s rampaging, some sense of solidarity and support for U.S. and Israeli objectives and policies on the part of global elites and media, and cowardice and lack of moral fortitude. 

Israel as well as the United States has been free over several decades to aggress, ignore any UN resolutions or rulings, ignore international law governing the behavior of an occupying power, and steadily “redeem the land” of Palestine by ethnically cleansing the Palestinians. Israel carried out a major invasion of Lebanon in 1982, with no penalty for this aggression, or for a lengthy illegal occupation, or for periodic bombing and ground attacks on Lebanon or for its lengthy maintenance of a terrorist proxy army on Lebanese soil. Its fresh major aggression in Lebanon in July and August 2006 is also being carried out without any UN or other international penalty or sanctions, again, as in 1982, with the protection of the U.S. veto and U.S. power—and Israel is currently threatening Iran and Syria without any apparent U.S. or international community constraint. 

Torture Centers

In addition to preeminence in aggression, the U.S.Israel axis has long been important in sponsoring and using torture. The U.S. use of waterboarding goes back to the war against Philippine “niggers” in 1900; its use of electronic methods of torture was extensive during the Vietnam War, along with “Tiger Cages”; and this country was the principal sponsor of regimes of torture in the 1960s and 1970s as U.S. leaders struggled against nationalistpopulist upheavals in the Third World. Many premier torturers learned their lessons in the School of the Americas in those years. Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and the rendition gulag are not a break from the past or contrary to “American values,” they are built on a solid tradition. (Chapter 2 of Chomsky and Herman, The Washington Connection, 1979, was entitled “The PentagonCIA Archipeligo.”) 

Israel has used torture on a systematic basis against Palestinians for decades, the New York Times noting matteroffactly in 1993 that Israel’s torture victims were running to 400500 per month, but that Israel was “rethinking” the merits of its “interrogation” practices (Joel Greenberg, “Israel Rethinks Interrogation of Arabs,” August 14, 1993). If this were to be done to Jews on a systematic basis in some country, the outcry would be deafening, but here also an Israeli practice condemned everywhere as barbaric is treated in a very low key manner and brings about no negative policy responses from the United States or international community. This has permitted Israel to thrive, to command massive international aid, and to be given regular accolades as a model democracy, despite its long record of being “the only state in the world to effectively legalize the use of methods that constitute torture or illtreatment” (Amnesty International, “The Israeli government should implement the High Court decision making torture illegal,” September 6, 1999). 

The Killing Business is Good

The United States and Israel are also major dispensers of death to people who stand in their way. Both are highly militarized, the United States now the dominant military power on earth, Israel toweringly superior in military strength to any of its neighbors. Both have increasingly displayed the arrogance of power and a readiness to use their superior arms in lieu of peaceable means of settling disputes. Both have gravitated to the use of high tech weaponry that has devastating effects on civilians, but which reduces aggressor casualties and the need for land troops. As noted, their violent proclivities are now mutually reinforcing. 

The U.S. use of atomic weapons against civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in what was a demonstration and warning performance, stands alone in the annals of violence. The U.S. has a longstanding tradition of threatening to use ever more lethal monstrosities. Israel also has a sizable nuclear weapons arsenal and has long posed a threat of first use, reinforced by the absence of any nuclear retaliatory power by its nearby rivals. The Iran “threat” of acquiring nuclear weapons is the threat of potential selfdefense, which would rob Israel of one important element that allows it regularly to use force against its neighbors. 

During the Vietnam War, in which the United States deployed its ferocious weaponry lavishly against a resistant peasant society, it killed several million people. To this we may add hundreds of thousands killed in Cambodia and Laos. Many thousands have continued to die in Indochina from the millions of unexploded bombs that litter the soil and that the United States has made no effort to clean up or even provide supportive map guidance or technical aid. As one sign read over a U.S. military camp in Vietnam, “Killing is our business, and business is good.” 

Much of U.S. deathdealing has been via sponsorship. It sponsored and long had a special relationship with the Suharto dictatorship, aiding its initial genocidal burst in 19651966 with possibly a million or more civilian deaths by massacre, and supporting its invasionoccupation of East Timor and some 200,000 further deaths there. It sponsored the rise of National Security States in Latin America, with death squads flourishing and U.S. trained counterinsurgency cadres establishing a state terrorism “infinitely worse than the terrorism they were combating” (an Argentine postjunta truth commission). The U.S.sponsored wars in Central America in the 1970s and 1980s took a heavy civilian toll, with genocidal attacks on the Guatemalan Mayan Indians, among other largescale state murder operations. The U.S.sponsored killings in Latin America in those years ran into the hundreds of thousands (the “disappeared” alone were estimated to be 90,000 back in 1981). The U.S. “constructive engagement” with apartheid South Africa and support of “freedom fighter” Sav imbi in Angola also contributed many hundreds of thousands of deaths in that area in the 1970s and 1980s.

Israel’s killings have been on a smaller scale, but still notable in light of their claims of being victims of terrorism and merely retaliating to the actions of their weaker neighbors and the Palestinian resistance to their occupation and ethnic cleansing. Israel’s supposed “retaliation” to Palestinian “terrorism” featured a ratio of Palestinian to Israeli deaths of 20 or 25 to 1 until the second Intifada, when the ratio fell to 3 or 4 to 1, though with a higher injury ratio (the figure of 251 is given by James Bennett in the New York Times, March 12, 2002). The killings at Sabra and Shatila, mainly of women, children, and older people, has been estimated at between 1,500 and 3,000, which is far greater than the Israeli police estimate of PLO killings of Israelis for the entire period 19681981. The total of Israeli killings in Palestine are hard to estimate, but run to tens of thousands. The Israeli killings of Lebanese in the 1982 invasion has been estimated at 17,00020,000, and the numbers killed in Lebanon before and after that date surely run into many thousands. 

Devastation

The United States has used its advanced weapons technology and wealth not only to kill large numbers in countries that stand in its way, but also to destroy their infrastructure and means of livelihood, thereby teaching them and others a lesson in the costs of opposition, setting back their capacity for development and taking vengeance. Vietnam’s forests were bulldozed and destroyed by chemical warfare, its lands were widely ruined by chemicals and millions of bomb craters, a large fraction of its most competent and productive males were killed, mainly in bomb strikes, vast numbers were wound ed and traumatized, and hundreds of thousands of children suffered birth deformities by chemical poisoning. Vietnam no longer posed a threat of a working alternative model. Neither did Nicaragua pose a “threat of a good example” after a decade of U.S.sponsored terrorist and economic warfare that reduced incomes by half and played a key role in ousting the reformist Sandinista government. El Salvador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Afghanistan, the Congo, and Angola are other states that have not recovered from U.S. direct or sponsored attacks. 

Iraq was devastated in the Persian Gulf War of 19901991 and was then not permitted to recover, even to restore its badly damaged water and sanitary facilities, let alone to feed its people. The 2003 2006 invasion/occupation took a further heavy toll of Iraq’s already devastated infrastructure and was notable for the invader’s severe damage to Iraq’s libraries, museums, and other important historical monuments. Iraq is a shattered society, with serial blows administered by mainly the United States and Britain, with UN connivance. 

Israel ravaged Lebanon time and again from 1978 onward, with exceptionally heavy destruction of infrastructure in 1982 and now in 2006. In 2002 Israel began a systematic destruction of the infrastructure of Palestine, destroying public buildings, records, medical facilities, libraries, among other facilities. In its recent 2006 assault on Gaza, nominally to help free a single captive Israeli soldier, its first target was the electric power station that serves 700,000 Palestinian civilians. Further targets included rooftop water tanks and mains, bridges, roads, and medical facilities. At no time has Israel been penalized or punished by the EU, let alone its patron superpower, for these multiple open, blatant, and illegal attacks on civilian facilities. 

Conclusion

This is an age of escalating violence, led by a militarized superpower with an enormous capacity to kill, closely linked with an expansionist and militarized client that sees benefits to its “Greater Israel” and ethnic cleansing program in chaos and warfare. This is a continuation of longstanding policies of this axis of ATDD, but rendered more dangerous by the death of the Soviet Union (and the end of real “containment”) and the coming to power in the United States of an exceptionally irresponsible, stupid, and weak Administration. The weak, stupid, and amoral frequently do stupid and horrendous things to compensate for their mistakes and once again in the Middle East they have unleashed large scale violence and the threat of an even wider war. 

The axis of ATDD is setting the tone across the globe. It preaches that those resisting it only understand force, but the world recognizes that in truth it is the axis duo that only responds to force or its threat. Thus the axis leadership provokes a responsive militari zation and violence across the globe and the huge problems facing the peoples of the world (poverty, disease, environmental threats, inequality, racism, democratic deficits) are unaddressed and become steadily more serious. 

These problems are not going to be dealt with until the world’s public becomes sufficiently aroused to throw out the leadership of the axis and/or force the nonaxis powers to resist axis violence with actions that bite and cannot be ignored.


————————————————————————————————————————

Edward S. Herman is an economist, media critic, and author and coauthor of numerous books, Triumph of the Market and Beyond Hypocrisy (both South End Press).

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By Barry, September 10, 2006 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Al Qaeda releases 9/11 anniversary message

POSTED: 11:09 p.m. EDT, September 10, 2006

(CNN)—A lengthy statement from al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks calls on Muslims to step up their resistance against the United States.

———————————

Everyone, you can oppose Israeli policies all you want, and democratically work in whatever direction you want.  BUT OPPOSE TERROR!

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By Spinoza, September 10, 2006 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> For a year after Israel withdrew, Hamas shot over 800 missiles at Sderot.  Every week there were articles in Israeli newspapers asking why the Israeli army wasn’t doing more to stop it, and the answer was always that the army didn’t want to re-enter Gaza, and was waiting for the Palestinians to make Hamas stop.  A full year of missiles.  Finally, the Hamas raid into Israel was an escalation that Israel couldn’t ignore, so the army had to go in.<<<<

You are a liar.  Hamas did not shoot any Missles into Sderot. It was a different faction and you know it.  No it was Israel that was increasing the provocations against Hamas. You are lying again.  That is the problem with Israeli apologists, they have no regard for a notion of truth.

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By Fadel Abdallah, September 10, 2006 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Frank Goodman, Message 22612:

I’ve been reading your sober and well-reasoned messages and finding them very deep and informed. Let me, first, thank you for saying it so frankly and so good to the point of leaving nothing more to be said on this debate.
Additionally, I am impressed that your name, both the first the last, match your thought and character. You frankly say the truth, so you are “Frank” and you speak in favor of goodness and justice, so you’re “Goodman.” Rarely one can find a name that matches one’s character and thought like yours, and therefore I am both impressed and intrigued by that.

I am a linguist and language always intrigues me in a way that the average person does not pay attention to. For example, George Bush is another person that his name matches, in some way, his character and policies. His first name ‘George’ gives him the false feeling that he is like a king and should behave like one. A “bush” is a shrub, and as he keeps beating endlessly around the truth, but is never able to grasp it, he is a “beater around the bush.”

Thank you again, dear Frank Goodman, not only for living up to your good name, but mostly for being a friend of the truth and justice. If there were one million of your type in the U.S. and another million in Europe and another million in Israel, the world would be a brighter and more peaceful place for everyone. But even with the few of your caliber around, there is hope that frankness and goodness would ultimately prevail over falsehood, injustice and beating around the bush!

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By Spinoza, September 10, 2006 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>>>But, it was the vote for Ralph Nader that took enough votes away from the Democrats to put G. W. B. in for four more years. Look again at my reasoning. Ralph Nader can’t do it. The Democrat party can.<<<<<

And you have proof or at least convincing evidence for this?  I don’t think so.

Obviously we have very different politics and come at the issue from two different world views.  You want us to support the Democrats as a rebuff to the neoCon right and fear of their war making.  I want to vote for the Democrats also because of a need to rebuff the extreme right Republican war makers and their unjust war making but I only want to do that as a lesser evil position.  If I had an opportunity to vote for someone who I agreed with I would take that option in a heart beat as long it didn’t hurt my immediate goal.  It is my view that right wingers are evil and I agree one shouldn’t compromise with evil unless there is a good reason.

  For example, leftists in the majority believe religion is evil.  However we also believe that war and religious wars and crusades, that race hatred and religious hatred are even worse evils. There are shades of gray amongst evils and most anything else.

That the right wing, the neoCons and Christian Right are promoting a crusade against Islam and in favor of what they call world war three is very scary, insane—-but the Democrats are not much better and in many instances worse.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 9, 2006 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #22555 by Barry on 9/09

First off, Israel is not built on wealth of the people who came there as refugees. It is built on the capital of western nations and Jews who live in those western nations. Palestinians could have built an industry on the same amount of capital if it had been given to them to keep their homeland rather than to Zionists and European refugees who came to drive the Palestinians out of their homeland. Any place on Earth with enough people with skills and education could with that kind of capital build an economy equal to Israel.

American tax payers pick up a large chunk of the cost of Israeli development. I resent that and act politically to stop it and prevent it.

I note that you never have acknowledged that there was no Jewish state in Palestine for about 2000 years before the end of World War II. Israel is an illegitimate regime according to the charter of the United Nations. The people of Palestine did not vote for the creation of the state of Israel on their land. Hamas and Fateh will cooperate with the Jews in Israel when the Jews in Israel stop taking Palestinian land and confiscating their water sources, and denying their right to return to their homes that the Jewish thugs drove them out of prior to 1948. You are, of course, quite comfortable living as you are on somebody else’s land. Chances are that you are enjoying the production of that land while the owners are languishing in a refugee camp in Gaza or some other Middle East country. You have no more right there than you would had Israel been created on land stolen from China.

That is what this matter is all about. The manner in which the state of Israel was established upon land and homes stolen from the owners who were run off by real terrorist Jews who massacred whole villages of Palestinians. Indeed, Palestinians did put up a fight with what they had. But they were no match for the superior funded Jews who took their property at gun point. The United Nations exists for the purpose of preventing such actions. It not only did not prevent it, but gave it to the thieves after they took it by force and intimidation. Actually, it was not the United Nations as we know that body today. It was a much smaller United Nations, much like the United Stated prior to the Civil War and for a hundred years after when human rights, civil rights and many of our freedoms found in the constitution were denied a significant portion of the population. The United Nations has some grown up, in that there are more states, but it is still owned by the big five. Taiwan is not longer greater China, and USSR is no more. Russia has inherited the permanent seat on the Security Council. Now there soon will be other permanent members of the Security Council, Japan and Germany. Perhaps we will begin to see the UN rise to its original intent.

Today, Israel is a renegade state violating with impunity most United Nations resolutions intended to control the violence and atrocities against the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

Those of you who care can link to the following to find those resolutions violated by Israel.

http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk/pages/isreal_un_resolutions.htm

Finally, Barry, if Israel should loose the support of the United Nations, United States and the American people, how long could you bask in the glory of your stolen property? I dare say that you would be begging for mercy and forgiveness. Palestinians are not stupid not backward. They would cooperate with Jews in a business way and build a common nation together if they were treated as equals and with all the rights of any citizen in that land. Fundamentalist Muslims would be no more effective than fundamentalist Jews to twist the facts. Jews would certainly fare better under a Palestinian government than Palestinians do under a Jewish government. The Palestinians do not advocate a state for Muslims only, though they do propose that the state religion should be Muslim, rather than Christian or Jewish. You would not find that detrimental to your way of life so long as you uphold the principles of human rights.

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By Robert, September 9, 2006 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Referring to comment #21993 on 9/06:

Who Cheered When The Twin Towers Went Down???


http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/fiveisraelis.html

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By Frank, September 9, 2006 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:  Comment #22568 by Spinoza on 9/09

I’m glad you agree with me somewhat. But, it was the vote for Ralph Nader that took enough votes away from the Democrats to put G. W. B. in for four more years. Look again at my reasoning. Ralph Nader can’t do it. The Democrat party can. It takes a hell of a lot of votes to toss out a president and president of vice. I am middle of the road and lean toward conservative, but I will vote Democrat and support Democrat candidates no matter where they stand politically. G. W. Bush must be impeached to get him out now. Vote for Democrat Senators and Representatives. Next presidential election, vote for whomever your choose.

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By Robert, September 9, 2006 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In a Democracy there should be freedom,equality & justice for all under a written constitution.
All citizens are equal under the law,regardless of their religion,ethnicity or national origin.

A few years ago my family & I traveled to Israel around Christmas,for our first time ever.We were surprised at the differences between the Israeli neighborhoods, streets,roads,highways,transportation,buildings,shopping malls…when compared to the Israeli Arab towns/cities around Tel Aviv, Haifa, Nazareth,Yaffo & Jerusalem.Its seems that the Israeli government spends 99% of its expences on Jewish neighborhoods,roads,streets,buildings,malls, transportation…etc. Almost nothing on the non-jewish.

On one of our commuting trips, we were traveling on Israel’s bus systems,I believe the company’s name was “Egged or Aggad”. Its comparable to the greyhound or trailsway buses in the US.

An Israeli couple in the seat in front of us heard us talking & then they turned around and started to talk to us in a friendly way.They wanted to know from which state in the US did we come from and so on… and the gentleman wanted to know where are we headed on this trip. Then he makes this comment, “This is an excellent Israeli bus transport system & all the drivers are Israeli,no Arab drivers.” I asked him ...no Arabs at all. He then replied may be one or two.Those drivers usually were collaborators & worked for Israel. This is how Israel rewards them.

We could not believe all the Israeli military checkpoints on our way to Bethlehem. It was really scary for all of us & especially for our kids.Those guys were armed to their teeth. We didn’t feel safe with all the high powered guns pointed in every direction. Bethlehem was almost deserted & no Christmas celebrations like the ones we used to hear about.

WE stayed for 31/2 weeks. On our way out of Tel Aviv airport, we saw how the Arabs were treated by the Israel airport security. Even the ones with Israeli passports(christian or moslem) were really given a hard time. They were made to wait for long periods of time & are searched inside out. All other nationalities went through Israeli security with no hassles or long delays.It was the closest thing to out right discrimination & racism.

Imagine what would happen if the US airport securities started to treat Israeli jews like the Israelis treat the Arab Israeli citizens. AIPAC, US senators/congressmen,CNN,FOX News,mainstream mews media will be all over the airwaves to protest this harsh & unfair treatment.

What is a Democracy when its not equality & justice for all people in that country.

Israel has no constitution. It changes its laws to benefit the jews who live in Israel.

THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD.

I am reading a book “By Way Of Deception” by Victor Ostrovsky.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., September 9, 2006 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #22523 by salman on 9/09

You say it so much better than I can, that I bow to you and say

Amen

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By Spinoza, September 9, 2006 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

<<<Work like hell to get a hugh democrat majority in House and Senate. Especially if you are Republican in politics, vote Democrat this time, no matter what. The danger from the left is no where near as dangerous at this time as the danger from the right. >>>>

I agree with Mr. Goodman that no matter how odious the Democrat is we have to vote for them (unless it is clear that the odious Democrat will win even if you vote for a third party.  Here in NYS there is little doubt that the idiot Hillary Clinton will win so I will vote Green. WE have to try and get the Green Party on the ballot in a permanent place and the Green Party needs at least 50000 votes.

VOTE STRATEGICALLY.

,,

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