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Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, professor at Princeton University, activist and ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 11 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he...


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 Fadel Abdallah, August 13, 2006 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

• A Special Message to Spinoza:

May I start by addressing you as Dear Friend:

I’ve been reading your well-reasoned, precise and to the point pieces; all of which exhibit a high level of decency, truthfulness, reasoned intellectualism and a deep sense of love for peace with justice. Let me thank you whole heartedly for being your-self and for being a friend of truth and justice.

In these times of high tensions and emotional outbursts, I was particularly impressed that you are a Jew, taking the side of truth and justice. You’re the kind of person I would love to have as a friend, neighbor and even brother (or sister) despite the fact that we formally belong to different religions, which I believe share many great moral values. You and people like you are the only hope for balancing the extremism and fanaticism on both sides of these two Abrahamic Faiths. Certainly, on what relates to social, political, and economic worldly issues I am comforted that we see eye-to-eye.

I live in the Chicago area and would love to meet with you one day to get to know you personally. Let’s communicate if you’re agreeable to this suggestion. One of my personal e-mails is: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thank you again for making the current difficult times more bearable!

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By fela, August 13, 2006 at 7:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To cut through the bullshit of the Spinozas (the alleged Jew),the Fadals ( the alleged Ph.D who can curse in five languages), and the one who changes his screen name repeatedly, do look at the horrific lies by Lebanon war photographers, who use children as props.

How come you don’t see pictures of Israeli children when they were killed and maimed? Because Jewish people do not use their children as propaganda, and Jewish people don’t send their children to become suicide bombers. they send them to SCHOOLS to be able to SPEAK five languages and not to CURSE in five languages .

Tim Rutten:
Regarding Media
Lebanon photos: Take a closer look
August 12, 2006

THE controversy this week over Reuters’ distribution of digitally manipulated, falsely labeled and — probably — staged photos of the fighting in Lebanon hasn’t been nearly as large as it should have been.

Credit for bringing the sordid business to light goes to Charles Johnson, a musician and Los Angeles-based blogger, who operates a hard-edged right wing website unfathomably called Little Green Footballs. Last Saturday, Reuters, which is headquartered in London, transmitted two photographs by one of its regular Lebanese freelance photographers, Adnan Hajj, whose work for the agency has appeared in many American newspapers since 1993. An anonymous tipster reportedly drew Johnson’s attention to the photos, and he immediately recognized that one purporting to show the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Beirut had been digitally enhanced. It subsequently emerged that another image allegedly showing an Israeli fighter launching multiple air-to-ground missiles also had been altered using the common Photoshop computer program.

Johnson quickly posted a denunciation of the phony photo. Within 18 hours, Reuters killed the manipulated images, fired Hajj and removed 920 of his photos from its digital archives. Paul Holmes, the Reuters editor responsible for standards and ethics, told the New York Times that all the withdrawn images were being reviewed “to see if any others have been improperly altered.” He also said the news agency was investigating how the photos slipped by its editors but noted that on the day in question, “we published 2,000 photos. It was handled by someone on a very busy day at a more junior level than we would wish for in ideal circumstances.”

The cause of the lapse, Holmes said, simply was “human error.”

Fair enough. Unfortunately, these things can happen to conscientious news organizations in precisely the circumstances he cites. Three years ago, for example, the Los Angeles Times immediately fired a staff photographer and apologized to its readers when it discovered he had used similar technology to make a picture he’d shot in Iraq more dramatic. The doctored image had appeared on the paper’s front page.

There are, however, two problems here, and they’re the reason this controversy shouldn’t be allowed to sputter to its inglorious conclusion just yet: One of these has to do with the scope of what strongly appears to be wider fabrication in the photojournalism Reuters and other news agencies are obtaining from their freelancers in Lebanon. The other is the U.S. news media’s grudging response to the revelation of Hajj’s misconduct and its utter lack of interest in exploring whether his is a unique or representative case.

Thus far, only a handful of relatively brief stories on this affair have appeared in major American papers. The Times picked up one from the Washington Post, which focused mainly on the politics of Johnson’s website. The New York Times, which ran one of Hajj’s photos on its front page Saturday, reported that it has published eight of his pictures since 2003, but none were altered. It then went on to quote other papers about steps they take to detect fraudulent images. No paper has taken up the challenge of determining whether there’s anything dodgy about the flow of freelance photos Reuters and other news agencies — including the Associated Press, which also transmitted images made by Hajj — are sending out of tormented Lebanon.

Look for yourself

Johnson is co-founder with mystery novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon of another online site, http://www.pajamas It aggregates mostly right wing blogs from around the world and has ambitions as a politically inflected alternative news source. It’s worth taking the time to go there and to click on the link giddily labeled “Reutersgate.” Make what you will of the analysis, much of which is feverish, sneering and tending toward the mechanistically conspiratorial. What’s hard to imagine is how anybody can look at the photos and not conclude that they’re riddled with journalistic deceit.

Many, including grisly images from the Qana tragedy, clearly are posed for maximum dramatic effect. There is an entire series of photos of children’s stuffed toys poised atop mounds of rubble. All are miraculously pristinely clean and apparently untouched by the devastation they purportedly survived. (Reuters might want to check its freelancers’ expenses for unexplained Toys R Us purchases.) In some cases, the bloggers seem to have uncovered the same photographer using more than one identity. There’s an improbable photo by Hajj of a Koran burning atop the rubble of a building supposedly destroyed by an Israeli aircraft hours before. Nothing else in sight is alight. (With photos, as in life, when something seems too perfect to be true, it’s almost always because it is.) In other photos, the same wrecked building is portrayed multiple times with the same older woman — one supposes she ought to be called a model — either lamenting its destruction or passing by in different costumes.

There’s more, and it’s worth your time to take a look. That’s one of the undeniable strengths of the Internet and of the blogosphere, and the fact that it is being employed to help keep journalism honest ultimately is to everybody’s benefit.

What the major news organizations ought to be doing is to make their own analysis of the images coming out of Lebanon and if, as seems more than likely, they find widespread malfeasance, some hard questions need to be asked about why it occurred. Some of it may stem from the urge every photographer feels to make a photo perfect. Some of it probably flows from a simple economic imperative — a freelancer who produces dramatic images gets picked up more and paid more. Moreover, the obscenely anti-Israeli tenor of most of the European and world press means there’s an eager market for pictures of dead Lebanese babies.

It’s worth noting in this context that there is no similar flow of propagandistic images coming from the Israeli side of the border. That’s because one side — the democratically elected government of Israel — views death as a tragedy and the other — the Iranian financed terrorist organization Hezbollah — sees it as an opportunity. In this case, turning their own dead children into material creates an opportunity to cloud the fact that every Lebanese casualty, tragic as he or she is, was killed or injured as an unavoidable consequence of Israel’s pursuit of terrorists who use their own people as human shields. Every Israeli civilian killed or injured was the victim of a terrorist attack intended to harm civilians. That alone ought to wash away any blood-stained suggestion of moral equivalency.

That brings us to the most troubling of the possible explanations for these fraudulent photos, which is that some of the photojournalists involved are either intimidated by or sympathetic to the Hezbollah terrorists. It’s a possibility fraught with harsh implications, but it needs to be examined thoroughly and openly.

Johnson and his colleagues have done the serious news media a service. Failure to follow up on it would be worse than churlish; it would be irresponsible.

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By Spinoza, August 13, 2006 at 1:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I noticed that Dov posted a crappy OP Ed from the Wall Street Journal.  Jews posting from an ultra right wing source is disgusting.  Shame! I have read that the Israelis are doing a major propaganda blitz and attacking every slightly liberal site around if there is any criticism of Israel. I must say it is smart but it won’t work. Israeli actions have disgusted too many people this time. The Internet prevents the hiding of ugly truths.  Everyone knows what is happening and starving people because they voted for Hamas won’t work.

Sorry, instead of building Walls to prevent suicide bombers, Israel should have been talking to the suicide bombers.  You don’t talk to your friends but your enemies.  A militarist response will only result in a militarist response.

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By Spinoza, August 13, 2006 at 12:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I must say I find some of the so called Zionists posting here disgusting people with hearts of Nazis.  As a Jewish person they give me Agata.  They stand against what all of the Jewish sages stood for. They make a mockery of the religion. Of all religion and all ethics which teaches reciprocity, do unto others as you would wish others to do unto you.

You can’t treat people cruelly and think you will get good results.  Jews have to learn to respect the Arab people and be humble.  Stop with the victim-hood and the feeling of superiority.  Read and listen to what the leadership of Hamas and Hezbollah are really saying and stop with the Greater Israel nonsense.  It is really shameful how Jews have become more and more rightist and fascistic minded like THANE ROSENBAUM, hopefully they can be saved.  During the 30’s -40’s Jews fought fascism. What happened?

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By Spinoza, August 12, 2006 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>> A last note: Fadel is blindly angry! Most people in the West are decent and caring people. You may not like their freedoms, but as a guest you need to respect that or may be criticize it rationnally. Governments make errors, the people should not bear evry blame<<

This type of disgusting thinking is pathetic.

Why shouldn’t he be angry? Every decent person in the world should be angry at every injustice in the world.  What is wrong with wanting to live in a just world?  Scummy liberals are worse than power mad right wingers. They are forever justifying the cruel and inhumane behavior and thinking of the barbarians and other assorted capitalist pigs.

And what is that about freedoms? What do you think you are talking about?  Do you have any idea about what freedom means?

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By Spinoza, August 12, 2006 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey False Lib,

Apparently the Jews did learn something from the Nazi’s, well not all Jews but some like you.

They learned how to promote race hate.

They learned how to administer collective punishment,

They learned that militarism is not just for German Junkers.

Right wingers of any ethnicity are the scrouge of mankind and need to be dealt with.

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By Reasoned, August 12, 2006 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More and more bias.  Until people decide to shed the bias and look at the truths about the real dynamics at play we will get nowhere.  This article is disgusting.

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By Spinoza, August 12, 2006 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fadel Abdallah, Wyane Madison is not a reliable reporter.

That said, this story reeks of shenanigans.

Every story must be treated with a great deal of skepticism.

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By Spinoza, August 12, 2006 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a very important article that should be widely posted on the web.  The main problem in the USA is Fascism and the Israel Lobby is a major source of American Fascism.

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By L.D. Freitas, August 12, 2006 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the guy who called the Arab a Neo Nazi:That’s the pot calling the kettle black.  The last time I checked the Israeli Lufwaffe had just bombed Beirut again.  This guy should go to Israel and join the Jewish Nazi military that’s waging this war in lebanon, making over a million people homeless, and killing nearly a thousand Lebanese civilians, all because two soldiers got captured.  A country’s infastructure gets destroyed because two guys got captured!  Only fascist Nazi types would unleash military power like that on a democratic neighbor!  And of course Christopher Hedges article reminds readers how the Israelis have turned Palestinian areas into virtual Warsaw ghettoes!

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 11, 2006 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To evil ed_tru_lib # 17703

You were quick to celebrate the alleged terroist plot in England and even had the audacity to call the alleged plotters my relatives!

Guess what? More bad news for you! It turned out, as I suspected, that this whole thing was staged, exactly like 9/11, and one of the plotters is your relative, the evil neo-Nazi Zionist Murdoch. It’s already public news that the initial search of the residencies of the alleged Muslim terrorists had turned no evidence of so-called liquids and equipment to make bombs. However, I know Muslims are not off the hook yet, because every attempt will be made to plant something that would look like an evidence! Evil ones will never give up on fabricating and staging alleged plots.

However, if you dare to face an unpleasant truth, check the the following link and learn how your brother in faith and ideoloy, Murdoch, is doing his evil work in destroying human civilization. One day, slumbering Americans will wake up to the reality of Zionists, and I don’t rule out another Jewish Holocaust. That’s of course, if Zionists and neo-Nazis fail to create a Muslim holocaust first either in the U.S. or Britain!

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 11, 2006 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To People of Understanding and Reason Only:

Please read the following piece and judge by yourself:
The Oasis of Democracy in the Middle East
Posted: 10 Aug 2006 04:23 PM CDT

Dear Friends,

I regret coming to you again today, again with a story of hateful behavior, but I believe that it is a story I am to tell.

I was scheduled to leave Tel Aviv on Swiss Air flight number 255D at 15:55 this afternoon. I proceeded as usual to the baggage and security clearance area. After asking me both relevant and non-relevant security questions, the young woman security officer concluded by questioning why I did not have an Israeli visa even though I was carrying an Israeli passport!!

Then she let me put my bags on the conveyor belt so that they could be screened, after decorating both bags and my passport with blue and green stickers. Then I saw her rushing to a supervisor who ordered the belt stopped. Approaching me he asked, “English or Hebrew?” I responded, “Please, Arabic”. Arabic is one of two official languages of the State of Israel and I knew that it was my right in this “oasis of democracy” to make that official request.

Because I refused to speak other than Arabic, because I informed them that I am an Arab-Palestinian-Christian, and because down deep I knew that their behavior was designed to humiliate me, I insisted in conversing with them in the language I master which is Arabic, my mother tongue. At that point, Tal Vardi, the Security Duty Manager also showed up and insisted on speaking in any language other than Arabic. I refused. An Arab from Nazareth who happened to be present offered to translate when Mr. Vardi turned his back and turned toward me only to say, “You will not fly today!”

I called Mr. Caesar Marjieh, Director of the Department for Christian Communities who tried his best to assist me, but he did not succeed. I waited two hours thinking that someone with enough courtesy and good judgment would come, but to no avail. I had no alternative but to return to Jerusalem and inform my friends who were expecting me in Geneva today and London tomorrow of the situation. Later in the week I will file a suit in the High Court against the Security Duty Manager and his staff for violating my civil rights without cause.

My indignation is not for me, but it is for all people in occupied territories who face this kind of oppression and humiliation every day of their lives. This happened to an Anglican Bishop with special identification given him by the Department of the Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affairs. What do you imagine happens to others?

In, with, and through Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Riah H. Abu El-Assal
The Diocese of Jerusalem
Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria

Source: The Episcopal Diocese Of Jerusalem

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By GrossedOutByIsrael, August 11, 2006 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As our tax dollars subsidize the wall and Israel’s other crimes, isn’t it interesting to note that Israel is among the top LENDERS of money to the US?

That’s right: we borrow from the Chinese to pay for wars for Israel and for “aid” in billions to Israel every year — yet we “OWE” Israel over 13 billion dollars. So in addition to the 3 to 5 billion we give them yearly, we PAY THEM HUNDEREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN INTEREST on top of that.

Don’t believe me? Here are the facts from our own government:

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By noureddine, August 11, 2006 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Going to extremes will not solve the problem. So, the US should, as a leader, work to avoid the conditions leading to extremism. Encouraging democracy, mostly its principle, even if it brings parties we may not like. Also, the Us should not give a blank check to Israel to do what is pleases. It is immoral to help your friend is they are commiting atrocities.

A last note: Fadel is blindly angry! Most people in the West are decent and caring people. You may not like their freedoms, but as a guest you need to respect that or may be criticize it rationnally. Governments make errors, the people should not bear evry blame. The war in Iraq is being crititisized freely in here. Does that happen in a country like Egypt or Morocco or Jordan?

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By Yasmin, August 10, 2006 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But Fadal,

I will not curse you. Please go ahead and curse me in five languages, to make the most of your education and your proclaimed Ph.D.

If indeed you teach in an American university, we should all be frightened.

For someone to become so vindictive and malicious, and to believe that with this kind of character you teach other people…

Please show all the people who read and participate in this forum, the greatness of a moslem who threatens that he can curse in five languages. I am sure that they will be impressed!

And as a point of information, Dr. Fadal, you scholar and teacher of hate and jihad, did you forget that not all Jews came from Europe?
Some of us come from the Middle East, where we were the doctors to the egyptian king, such as Maimonides. Don’t assume that I am from Europe, you sage of many curses. 

and finally, while ignoring your tirade and hysteria, one cannot but notice that you managed to not say a word about the fact that here you have the freedom to gloat over the death of American soldiers.
And of course , ignoring my statement that in your country of origin, you would be imprisoned for that kind of talk. And you know that I am right!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 10, 2006 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fela-from your past posts you seem to be both an intelligent and good guy. But I think you are taking this, and perhaps yourself, maybe just a little bit too seriously.
This is posting to a blog on a worthy but barely-yet-known, and not yet very widely read website, NOT “the mother of all battles.” A fellow like this abdallah character, whose posts are not only filled with such hate and obvious self-loathing, directed outwards at you, me, Jews, yasmin etc, who ALSO tells us he’s the author of 20 books, professor at 5 universities, winner of the golden camel award etc, is fair game for a little harmless E-pigsticking. I get a chuckle thinking about the smoke coming out of his ears, and the spit & sweat flying onto his keypad, as he types such as his last love letter to yasmine. I’m not anti-Arab Fela, just anti-asshole. Lighten up a little, okay Bro?!

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By Kwagmyre, August 10, 2006 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Fela

“Choosing to be better, choosing to believe that peace is possible, choosing to solve the Palestinians dilema, despite the fact that no Egyptian president ever tried to compensate the Jewish refugees, who were kicked out of Egypt in 1953.”

An illustration of Newton’s third law of motion(every action has an opposite an equal reaction)or the more fashionable phrase, “What goes around, comes around.”

I’m not condoning it by any means but can see why Egypt and a few other Arab countries were pissed off at Israel’s land grab, resulting in the involuntary displacement of so many Palestinians.

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By Verity, August 10, 2006 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From an article dated April 2005: 2004, at a time when 8 Israeli children and 176 Palestinian children were killed – a ratio of 1 to 22 – Times headlines and lead paragraphs reported on Israeli children’s deaths at a rate almost seven times greater than Palestinian children’s deaths.

According to Israeli human rights groups and others who assiduously gather data on all children killed in the conflict, at least 82 Palestinian children were killed before any Israeli children were killed – and the largest single cause of these Palestinian children’s deaths was “gunfire to the head.”

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 10, 2006 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the New Neo-Nazi called Yasmin:

How come you smell so bad! When I thought I heard it all and I’d seen it all, here we are with a case where the chemical of neo-Nazism can really destroy the nice smell of a yasmin to make it smell very bad and terrible! Adopting the name of “Yasmin” is a real misnomer for a filthy smelling creature like you!

I came to the States by permission and invitation of a real native American, not marauders like you and your ancestors who were the scum of Europe. When you and your bloody ancestors move out of America, I will consider leaving. But the bad news for you is that I am here to stay, and if you don’t like it, go and drink the salty water of the ocean if you can, for per chance it might cool you down!

By the way, I can curse you in the five languages I master! You’re warned to get more nasty!

And by the way, why don’t you consider moving to Iraq or Israel to help your desperate Nazi brethren in the battlefield of false glory!

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By fela, August 10, 2006 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a note to ed_tru_lib:

Eventhough I believe that most of the opinions here are written by people who are full of hate, who are not interested in peace, who are anti semites, but like to pretend that they care for the poor underdog,  I resent your correspondence and your language responding to Fadal Abdallah.

Assuming that you are either Jewish/Anti Arab or whatever, you should never stoop to their level.

The reason that Jewish people survive is that we do believe in life, we do care about taking other people’s life, we do not want to kill women and children in times of war, and we are not happy when we cause destruction.

This is what separates us from the enemy, and definitely from Moslems who lynch Israelis and then celebrate the lynching. This is not who we are, and this is not who we aspire to be.

This is what makes us special. Not being “chosen” but choosing.
Choosing to be better, choosing to believe that peace is possible, choosing to solve the Palestinians dilema, despite the fact that no Egyptian president ever tried to compensate the Jewish refugees, who were kicked out of Egypt in 1953.

I therefore ask you not to become like them, not to be like the voices of hate and mockery. Let them do it. Let them be vile. Let us remain “Bezelem”- Shalom.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 10, 2006 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
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Hey Fadal/Fidel/Falwell, or whatever your name really is-Scotland Yard just called-those relatives of yours that you WEREN’T planning to meet after they took off from England yesterday?-well looks like they’re gonna be delayed—by about FORTY YEARS! Too bad Britain has no death penalty-those poor heavenly virgins are gonna be SQUIRMIN for a long time.
Oh and about the “bad news” re: Leiberman, as a lifelong liberal Democrat I couldn’t be happier. He lost not just because of his support of Pres Speares on Iraq, but also on choice, the right to marry, Terry Shiavo, and tax breaks for billionaires. He had ceased to be a Democrat in all but name a long time ago. Say a devout muslim where do YOU stand on gay rights, death with dignity, and choice. Maybe you’re the one who should be grievin’ over Holy Joe.

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By Kwagmyre, August 10, 2006 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
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Forty years ago during the height of the Vietnam War there was an American general who stated that “it was necessary to destroy the village to save it” meaning of course that in the effort to rid the village(and probably others as well)the American war machine wasn’t terribly concerned about the welfare of the Vietnamese civilians.

Of course Hezbollah just like the Vietcong(and the North Vietnamese Army)have embedded themselves among the civilians.  And likewise you’d find the Israeli military and politicians justifying the destruction of Lebanese lives and property in the interest of “saving” it.

Once again going after all those mosquitoes with shot guns firing in every direction imaginable!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 10, 2006 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
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Hey fadel-geez guy, for a PhD who’s written 20 books, you sure can’t take a little joke very well(or apparently even understand one-I have nothing against camels, they can’t help it if Hezbollah technology has advanced to such a point, if it wasn’t for Iran’s help, that they’re considered BMWs AND girlfriends) Oh and I checked online in the MMOCP/TH&VIHC; (mindless murdering oil company puppet’s/terrorist’s handbook & virgins in heaven catalogue) & by yasser, damned if you weren’t right, Doctor.
While (of course) “fadel abdallah” can be translated as “enormous pile of reeking, steaming camel dung” it’s other possible meaning wasn’t “dinner.”  It was “soap.” Hey since you guys OBVIOUSLY always confuse those two, you can understand me doing it, right. Lighten up, Omar!

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By Yasmin, August 10, 2006 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
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Hey Fadal Abdallah, who is proud to be the “servant of god”

Reread your own letter, and maybe you will realize who is full of hate, and who is evil.

You gloat about people dying, about American soldiers dying?

Shame on you! You live in this country and partake in the goods and the freedom that this country gives you and your daughter, camels and all, and you dare to be so ungrateful, to call dully elected officials and American soldiers Neo Nazis?

I know how lucky you are to be here, simply because I know that if you would have written something like that in an Arab country YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN IN PRISON BY NOW!

Being ungrateful to the U.S. and celebrating ( while being sarcastic on top of it ), the death of our soldiers, only helps to show the true face of Arabs like you, who pontificate about Zionist’s evil.  Like most Moslems, you talk about the bad Zionists and the Imperialistic Americans, but if you had an opportunity, you would wish DEATH on everyone who is not like you.  Jihad to all infidels !

Unlike most American liberals and left wingers, I know Arabs and I know people like you. why don’t you go back to some Arab state and live there, and then you will be able to praise your god everyday for killing American soldiers with your brethern.

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By SickOfIsrael, August 10, 2006 at 4:44 am Link to this comment
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Re:Comment #17626 by Fela:

Perhaps all that lavish American aid has gone to your head.

I mean, I’m sure you can’t HELP feeling very smart as you fill your swimming pools with water stolen from Palestinians who haven’t enough to drink, living the good life paid for by Americans who at home can’t even afford national health care, while we send so much money to you that you can have that PLUS subsidies for religious fanatics who instead of working sit all day pooping out babies or bobbing back and forth in front of their stupid bibles in settlements built by American largess on stolen land.

And it must make you feel very smart as America gets the terrorist blowback and goes massively in debt for all this and the wars we fight for you and against our own interests.

You must be feeling very clever indeed — laughing your guts out about it, I’m sure.

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By Yasmin, August 9, 2006 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all my Arabic language challenged friends. Use the link below to see a
brilliant comparison between the prospering Jewish nation and the
Arabs, in a way that only a well educated, well known
American Arab psychologist, can convey to her own people.


  Read the sub titles, and take notes of the intense steadfast conviction
reflected from her speech.

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By Fela, August 9, 2006 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment
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For Haditwithhasbara:

First of all, you don’t even have the courage to write your name, not even your first name. Who are you?

You exhibit such a deep inferiority complex, that even when Dov says that he is not religious, you twist his statement and come up with your own “Hasbara”, which is a figment of your imagination, and borders on the absurd, if not ridiculous. If Dov is secular and does not believe in God , then he is as bad and arrogant as those who do because they think that they are chosen, and he thinks that he is chosen, because he does not believe in god, but he is still “chosen”? Ane therefore he is like the Nazis? Kind of reminds me of someone with some wires crossed?

There’s ritalin or addrall for people with ADD or severe learning disabilities, and then, 
there are antipsychotic medications for people like you. they help with delusions. And by the way, this is the first time that I get that “bible boy”, is derogatory.

I am sure that “Koran Boy” is a compliment, after all it is full of instructions for Jihad.

Let me tell you one thing “wise guy”, who uses Hebrew in his name, and hides his real name. It’s not about being “chosen”, because all humans are chosen. In your particular case it’s simply about being intelligent, and you are not.

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By Dov, August 9, 2006 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment
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OK, I’m done here, this is no longer worth the time. I’m not interested in competing with everyone’s feelings, and I can’t compete with CNN, I’m just spreading facts.  I’ll go back to writing letters to the Editor now, to date 17 published.

Please everyone keep in mind, in the back of your heads, that someone from Israel once told you that Israelis have wanted peace the whole time, and enter each withdrawal dreaming that it will succeed, and are dragged back into fighting because of Arab terror.  Don’t believe me now, fine.  But keep it in mind that someone said it once.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 9, 2006 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
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To All Neo-Nazis and Warmongers on This Forum:

Three Pieces of Bad News in One Day!!!

1. Evil Zionist Lieberman was defeated by Nid Lamont.
2. 15 evil Zionist Iraeli soldiers killed in Lebanon!
3. 3 Neo-Nazi U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq!

These three pieces of bad news are particularly dedicated to evil (# 17432 ed_tru_lib) who could not handle my reasoned comments, resorting instead to using his filthy language, and who also is so hateful of my name, imagining in his sick mind what my name could mean.

The name I use is my real name, and I use it because I am proud of it and because I am not a coward like you hiding behind meaningless letters, with dashes in between. To satisfy your evil curiosity and to make you more evil than what you are, my first name “Fadel” means “bounty, virtue and extra-welcomed.” This is my Arabized name from the original Spanish “Fidel” after I reverted to Islam from Christianity. By the way “Fidel Castro” is one of my heroes and I am honored that my given name at birth was “Fidel”; I still use it as a nickname.

As to my adopted last name “Abdallah” it means the “Servant of God.” I am a Ph.D. with more than twenty books and more than two dozen scholarly articles and hundreds of pieces on current affairs to my credit, and I have taught at 5 U.S. major universities. Now, besides your hate and blind bigotry, I am sure you’ll hate me more because you’ll be jealous about me being superior to you spiritually and intellectually. Have you finished high school?!

As to your evil attempt at derogatory language by equating my name with camels, I am delighted to tell you that I consider camels very noble and useful animals. They are the animals that carried the noble Jesus Christ around in his struggle to straithen the evil ways of the Jews. Besides, these noble animals carried the enlightened Arab-Muslim civilization to the backward West living in their dark ages. Low animal like you don’t even come closer to be compared to the noble camels.

And by the way, the first time I rode a camel in my whole life was at Minnesota zoo, with my little daughter who cried for it. Your cheap way at stereotyping Muslim and Arabs speaks volumes for the low creature you are!!

I conclude with my little prayer: May you be consumed by your hatred and bigotry till you drop dead in an isloted place (hopfully in Iraq) and not be found to be given an honorable burial! Amen!

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By Geronimo, August 9, 2006 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
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For there to be peace in The Middle East,  Israel’s US supplied military will have to be forced out of Lebanon and Gaza.  There are two ways that this can come about.  The first, and perhaps the least likely,  is for Hezbollah to inflict such heavy losses on Israeli’s military and civilian population, that the Israeli public will demand that these invasions be called off.  The second, still a longshot (although it happened during the ‘73 Arab-Israeli war) is for the oil producing countries in that part of the world to embargo oil to those nations which support Israel’s aggression against its Arab neighbors.

How will an oil embargo force Israel to pull back its troops?  Anyone remember the long lines at the gas-pump back in ‘73.  Amazing how that changed a person’s thinking.  Whereas prior to the embargo almost nobody was in favor of public ownership of the oil industry,  somehow that oil embargo changed people’s thinking,  because when a dozen or so Californians came up with a referendum for nationalizing oil, guess what?

That’s right,  folks who were parked in their cars outside gas stations waiting for their turn at the pump, couldn’t sign the petition fast enough, and during the less than a week that remained before the oil lembargo was called off,  eight or so petition circulators were able to collect more than 500 signatures at the half a dozen gas stations where they circulated petition to nationalize oil.  Alas, as soon as the embargo ended, the lines outside the gas stations disappeared and so did people’s interest in public ownership of oil.

So what’s the lesson.  Merely that gasoline shortages and/or sky high prices get the public’s attention.  But what might bring on another oil embargo?  The same as in ‘73, an uprising among the Arab/Islamic peoples of the Middle East, in which the popular outcry is for Middle East governments to cut off oil to any nation that supports Israel’s aggression against iits neighbors.  But would this change the way in which Americans perceive the Middle East conflict, who to support and whom to put pressure on?  Is there any doubt?  Look what happened during the ‘73 oil embargo.  People who under ordinary circumstances wouldn’t consider anything that even hinted of socialism, suddenly embracing public ownership of the oil industry?

This time around, though, it’s unlikely that the Arab/Islamic world will accept a truce only.  They’ll be after justce for the Palestinian people.  Chances are they’ll get it, too. ,

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By Kwagmyre, August 9, 2006 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
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Fela writes:
“At least Israel warns civillians when they intend to bomb, but I have not seen any leaflets from Hezbolla with their rockets, warning about their killing of Israelis, women and children, of course.”

But once again(as I indicated earlier in response to Dov’s post), this is patently absurd because a number of those who cannot evacuate are 1)too old and infirm, 2)younger but too ill and even those who DO manage to escape have been killed while fleeing the attacks when the Israelis bombard the roads exiting from their residence.  And to add insult to injury they even bombed the roads critical to bringing in needed humanitarian supplies. 

Moreover, look at the sheer devastation to the property itself even when they do manage to survive the onslaught.  Who knows how long they’re inconvenienced by the sheer loss of their property and possessions?  And it’s a strain on others who welcome them at least for awhile until at some indeterminate time they can hopefully return to their now destroyed property. 

What Israel did is like simply killing mosquitoes with high powered shotguns fired in every direction imaginable!

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By Justice4all, August 9, 2006 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
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Fela #17515 again,

So you cannot defend your position and now you are diverting from the real issue by attacking me personally. Good tactics but they do not work anymore. The PR game is becoming obvious for everybody.

I have no friends from Hizbollah and I am no friend of Israel either. I am a Christian who seeks truth, justice and humanity for all including Israelis and Arabs.

With regard to the numbers being killed, injured and disposed, I take it you are saying it is ok if the number of people killed so far is 500 but not 1000 and it is ok to drop leaflets (if that is a fact anyway) 25 minutes prior to dropping bombs indiscriminately on helpless civilians. FYI, these villagers cannot even afford a $400 journey to safety. In any case, the figures I am quoting come from the UN, the Lebanese government and the mainstream media in the US including CNN.

As for the landmines, so you do admit that the Israeli forces left them planted in southern Lebanon but you are disputing the numbers. It is ok, at least we agree on something.

You are right again, these landmines do not have eyes, they kill everybody who step on them or play with them including children. As for the (substantial) credible sources, check with the UN and UNFIL. I do believe they are neutral.

Finally, the realities you are referring to are what you see on TV in Europe (even CNN Europe) and other parts of the world but not on US mainstream media. The realities are that you are dismantling an entire country including power plants, grids, bridges, roads, airport, water supplies and neighborhoods. Even CNN and Fox news show that. This is not a fantasy; this is the real world you are referring to.

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By HadItWithHasbara, August 9, 2006 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
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Says Dov: <<How do you know I’m not a secular Israeli soldier >>

Often it’s the nonreligious, right-wing Israelis who are the most fervently racist, arrogant, and ethnocentric.

They seem to have absorbed and magnified the “We’re chosen and therefore better than everyone else” meme from Judaism while discarding any belief in God and so on.

It’s really a lot like Nazism, which was also an atheist ideology:

For God, they substitute a fervent belief in their own exalted Volk, supported by a social Darwinist narrative about how they’ve scientifically proven themselves superior and must now take up the burden of their destiny to rule over (or eliminate) the untermenschen.

That’s what you’re like, Bible Boy.

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By fela, August 9, 2006 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
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This is becoming humorous, which is not bad in time of war.

Justice4all, is following the Arab tradition of exaggeration, by more than doubling the the numbers of casualties, and of course mentioning the “millions” of landmines left by Israel, which supposedly are killing children ( do the landmines have eyes that they target children only and not adults?), and of course we don’t hear about it…

Please prove to me that there are millions of landmines, from a substantial resource, and that 1000 people were killed in Lebanon in the last 3 weeks. And by substantial I don’t mean your friend from Hezbolla.

At least Israel warns civillians when they intend to bomb, but I have not seen any leaflets from Hezbolla with their rockets, warning about their killing of Israelis, women and children, of course.

Stop inventing realities, live in the real world, and learn how to count.

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By Justice4all, August 9, 2006 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #17485 by fela on 8/09 at 4:53 am

If you and Thomas Friedman care so much about the Lebanese people, why don’t the Israelis go after Hizbullah instead of destroying the entire country and converting it into a slaughterhouse with almost 1000 people killed, 3000+ injured and forcing more than 1M people to be refugees?

FYI, Israeli air raids and incursions into Lebanon never stopped since 2000 after the so-called withdrawal from South Lebanon but this is not something you see on or hear about in mainstream media. They have occupied the country for 18 years (1982-2000) and were forced to leave and not because they wanted to comply with any UN resolutions. Furthermore, they left millions of land mines in Southern Lebanon and have refused to give the Lebanese government maps of these land mines. Lebanese children were being killed everyday because of these landmines. So in reality, it is not about hate as was you or Mr. Friedman claim, it is about living in real and just peace.

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By fela, August 9, 2006 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
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A quote from Thomas Friedman when interviewd on NPR

“You know, I don’t care at the end of the day what Hezbollah says about
>Israel.  They can hate the Israelis and the Jews all they want.  But you
>know what really disgusts me and just makes me enormously angry is not
>what they do the Israelis.  It’s what they do to their own people.  The
>future they have deprived their own children of.  The fact that they hate
>Israel more than the love their own kids.  That is such a travesty.”

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By fela, August 9, 2006 at 4:42 am Link to this comment
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By Spinoza, August 9, 2006 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Galloway puts things in perspective.

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By Dov, August 9, 2006 at 2:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From today’s Wall St Journal:

The Wall Street Journal

August 9, 2006
Red State Jews

August 9, 2006; Page A10

This is a soul-searching moment for the Jewish left.
Actually, for many Jewish liberals, navigating the gloomy
politics of the Middle East is like walking with two left

I would know. For six years I was the literary editor of
Tikkun magazine, a leading voice for progressive Jewish
politics that never avoided subjecting Israel to moral
scrutiny. I also teach human rights at a Jesuit university,
imparting the lessons of reciprocal grievances and the moral
necessity to regard all people with dignity and mutual
respect. And I am deeply sensitive to Palestinian pain, and
mortified when innocent civilians are used as human shields
and then cynically martyred as casualties of war.


we lay awake at night, afraid to sleep. Surely the Arabs
were tired, too. Surely they would want to improve their
societies and educate their children rather than strap bombs
on to them.

If the Palestinians didn’t want that for themselves, if
building a nation was not their priority, then peace in
exchange for territories was nothing but a pipe dream. It
was all wish-fulfillment, morally and practically necessary,
yet ultimately motivated by a weary Israeli society—the
harsh reality of Arab animus, the spiritual toll that the
occupation had taken on a Jewish state battered by negative
world opinion.


But with Israel having
withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza, and with Israeli public
opinion virtually united in favor of near-total withdrawal
from the West Bank, why are rockets being launched at Israel
now, why are their soldiers being kidnapped if the
aspirations of the Palestinian people, and the intentions of
Hamas and Hezbollah, stand for something other than the
total destruction of Israel? And if Palestinians and the
Lebanese are electing terrorists and giving them the
portfolio of statesmen, then what message is being sent to
moderate voices, what incentives are there to negotiate, and
how can any of this sobering news be recast in a more
favorable light?

The Jewish left is now in shambles. Peace Now advocates have
lost their momentum, and, in some sense, their moral
clarity. Opinion polls in Israel are showing near unanimous
support for stronger incursions into Lebanon. And until
kidnapped soldiers are returned and acts of terror
curtailed, any further conversations about the future of the
West Bank have been set aside.


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By Dov, August 9, 2006 at 2:21 am Link to this comment
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“Chosen”?  “Bible boy”?  How do you know I’m not a secular Israeli soldier with a crewcut who petitions for more nightclubs to be open on the Sabbath?  I haven’t said anything about religion, just about what I see first-hand in Israel.  I don’t think I’m rational because I’m “chosen” or a “bible boy” it’s because I have a PHD from a major American University.  So far I’ve gotten no rational answers to anything I’ve said.  Silly insults that knock my heritage (or your guess of my heritage) just prove my point, that you’re all into rhetoric and not facts.  Enjoy your couch-potato views of the world, I prefer reality.

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By Justice4all, August 8, 2006 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cutting through Israel’s propaganda war in the US

Four short clips of things Americans never see on TV

Asking the right questions….Truthful Journalism

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By Kwagmyre, August 8, 2006 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Dov:
“A thousand missiles fired deliberately at civilian populations is different from a thousand missiles fired at military targets with civilians in the way (by Arab choice) or a small percentage going off course.”

Not quite.  Didn’t you hear that it’s simply NOT so easy to evacuate these Lebanese civilians from their residence just prior to the Israeli air strikes(as with the elderly or those too ill to evacuate). And even in several instances when they did, no sooner are they on the road when they’re attacked right there! 

It’s why I had to laugh when reading Alan Dershowitz’s recent column in our local paper effectively saying that the Lebanese civilians living amongst Hezbollah can’t claim to be so “innocent” because they’ve known of Hezbollah’s location and haven’t turned them and that makes them guilty by association.  But then being essentially the Zionist apologist he is, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Dershowitz.

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By NauseatedByIsrael, August 8, 2006 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment
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DOV says: <<A >>

Well, in reply to that, I don’t think I can do better than Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (and by the way, he’s Jewish, so he’s just as Special and Chosen as you are, Bible Boy):

” ‘The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli military’s disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians,’ said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. ‘Our research shows that Israel’s claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does not explain, let alone justify, Israel’s indiscriminate warfare.’ “

So please, Dov, just please take back this whole yucky wad of fake reasoning of yours and shove it right up your “chosen” ASS.

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By Dov, August 8, 2006 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment
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The problem with recent comments is that they ignore motivation and context.

A jail is different from kidnappers. 

A thousand missiles fired deliberately at civilian populations is different from a thousand missiles fired at military targets with civilians in the way (by Arab choice) or a small percentage going off course.

Jewish acceptance of the partition plan in 1948 followed by fighting against Arabs who rejected the partition plan is different from Arab rejection of the partition plan and starting the violence.

Arab rejection of the offer of a Palestinian state on all Arab-controled West Bank, and choice to start terror, is different from Israeli response to terror.

Israeli need to respond to thousands of missiles being shot from areas that Israel withdrew from is different from Arab decision to fire missiles from land after Israeli withdrawal instead of setting up a peaceful country on that land.

I’m here in Israel, I talk to soldiers and civilians and settlers and every element of the population, and everyone here wants peace and wants to stop being shot at.  We want our kids home instead of fighting in Gaza and Lebanon.  So we withdrew, and hoped that our kids could now stay home.  But we can’t be shot at forever without responding.  And response is not the same as instigation.

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By Justice4all, August 8, 2006 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment
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There are historical facts about the conflict that are not subjective or based on emotions or feelings such as the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948 and the terror committed by the Israelis on Palestinians to force them to leave their villages. Why isn’t this called terrorism? Or is it justified when it is committed by Israelis? How about the bombing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem? Was this a fact or was it just sheer imagination and subjective feelings? How about Sabra and Shatela in Lebanon where 800 Palestinian women and children were slaughtered like animals and the list goes on and on…

As for the Spanish inquisition, let me correct your statement because it is false. In 1492, and after almost 8 centuries of Arab rule of southern Spain (Andalusia), the Spanish drove the Arabs and Moors (North African Muslims) out and forced them to convert to Catholicism, leave Spain or face death. The campaign did not target Jews, It targeted Arabs and Muslims and along came the minority Jews (I bet you did not even know that somebody has facts about this). So read your history books; get your facts straight and do not turn this into an Anti-Semitism issue because Jews were not the primary target of this Spanish Inquisition. Arabs were!

Regardless of Jewish history, the Israelis have been taking it out on Palestinians for the past 60 years and now it is Lebanon.

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By ed_tru_lib, August 8, 2006 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment
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Its been more than 4 weeks since I took my last lesson in the hezbollah dialect so would someone who may know please refresh my memory. Does “fadel abdallah” mean “enormous pile of reeking camel dung” or “dinner”?? Hmm come to think of it, never mind. Why should it matter to me when it obviously would make no difference to them.

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By fela, August 8, 2006 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
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Earle, I don’t mind when people present opinions, misguided as they are, as long as they admit that this is their subjective opinion, and it is based on their emotions or feelings.

On the other hand, to say that Jewish History is the outcome of Jewish behavior, is either ignorant ( that is someone who has not studied Jewish history , but makes up facts and assumptions), or a manifestation of faulty logic. If it is not the first, nor the second, then you are a simple anti semite.

If you can say that it is the Jews’ fault that they refused to convert to Catholicism, and that is why they deserved to be burned alive during the Spanish Inquisition (do you even know about it?), then you should repeat your logic class, or maybe your name is Mel?

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 8, 2006 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment
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# 17346 earle:

“In the classical Jewish narrative, the cause is always omitted.  It is only the symptom that is focused on, and, of course, the symptom is always anti-Semitic.”

Thank you earle for this well-phrased statement describing the Zionist mentality, which, in fact describes the mentality of all those posting on behalf of Zionism.

May I add, by way of further explanation, that the Zionists and their lovers have very short memories whose span does not go beyond four weeks. Reading them gives one the impression that they don’t understand history nor they are willing to learn its lessons.

What do you do do when you have a very slow computer with very little memory? Obviously it becomes obsolete and irrelevant and you have no choice but to trash it.

Thanks again and keep up the good work in support of truth and justice.

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By Bill, August 8, 2006 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
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Great article!  I also viewed the video by George Galloway and Thank God someone has the guts to stand up to the biased media machine we in the west are subjugated to on a daily basis.

To those still looking for some kind of Age of enlightenment on planet earth, give it another few thousand years (if we don’t blow it up first). 

Western powers are self-deluded and have turned to the dark side!

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By earle, August 8, 2006 at 11:24 am Link to this comment
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There is a popular formula that attempts to explain Israeli behavior that I think is exactly backwards.

The formula states that the tragedy of Jewish history is the key to understanding Israeli behavior over the last 60 years. 

I rather think that current Israeli behavior is a window to Jewish history and, as such, is a plausible explanation FOR Jewish historical tragedies.

Put another way; current world reaction to Israel might be a current example of what Jews have historically called persecution, but what can be seen today as a normal reaction to their initial action.

In the classical Jewish narrative, the cause is always omitted.  It is only the symptom that is focused on, and, of course, the symptom is always anti-Semitic.  It is a closed tautology that is hard to break through.  They have mastered the dilemma.

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By Justice4all, August 8, 2006 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
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A film worth watching;
With regard to Jason’s words “breed hatred and mistrust”, watch this film above and pay attention to Israeli girls signing off rockets to be used on Lebanese civilians. If this is love in the eyes of some, thanks but I think I will pass.

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By John D, August 8, 2006 at 3:12 am Link to this comment
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You must see MP George Galloway’s interview with Sky News.  Murdoch is, of course, suppressing it and will no doubt again sling mud at the man (as with the Pussy Cat expose when he challenged the United States House Un-American Activities hypocrites).  But the intellectual succinctness and the spunk he demonstrates have many calling for him to become at least Prime Minister of Great Britain.  It’s very worth the nine minutes:
George Galloway - Hizbollah Is Not A Terrorist Organization

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

George Galloway has spoken out in support of Lebanon, saying he believes Hizbollah is justified in defending Lebanon against Israeli attacks . The Respect MP also lambasted media coverage of the war and said the UN resolution means nothing. Video.

Click here to view

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By Justice4all, August 7, 2006 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment
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Since your stay in the Middle East or as you have called it “Muslim areas” made you such an expert on the issue, how would you characterize a “democratic state” that drops bombs and laser guided missiles on civilians. How about the innocent family of 7 Palestinians who were shelled on Gaza beach last month without any provocation or reason. These were civilians just enjoying their time on the beach. What is your justification and please do not insult everybody’s intelligence by saying that “terrorists” were hiding on the beach. You will need a better excuse.

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By Jason, August 7, 2006 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
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There are many reasons for the conflict(s) raging in the Middle East, and no single one can be defined by a single, unifying reason. There is much hatred and it is centuries old. I have spent much time in Muslim areas of the world including Bosnia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. The one true statement I can make after all these many years is that some (not all) followers of Islam breed hatred and mistrust by teaching children from infancy to adulthood the glory of unbridled hatred.

You know, I can’t sit here and say I support everything Israel has done since 1948. I’m not terribly overjoyed by the amount of cash being pumped into Israel by the United States (whom is spies upon without end!). That is money best spent elsewhere. However, here’s a lesson that seems lost on the very vast majority of militant Muslims: If you blow up buses full of women and children, you will not gain support from those who can help you facilitate change. If you kill a group of school children, they have the RIGHT to stike back. Period. How in the hell can you paint yourselves as victims when one of your devout followers blew up innocent citizens having coffee at a local shop?

Finally, for the love of all that is Holy, quit killing in the name of God, Allah, or whatever name you choose to call Him by. Last I looked, if He wanted them dead, He’s pretty good at taking care of that Himself! How can you call yourself a servant of Allah and, at the same time, state that you speak FOR Him? Don’t hide behind the relgion to justify what radical Islam is doing. When you stop supporting terrorism (especially since it has never worked), maybe someone will listen.

I support Israel giving land to the Palestinians. I want them to form the nation of Palestine, with it’s own goverment and everything that comes with self-determination.

Then, when the next suicide bomber kills a group of 1st graders, it will be an act of war and Israel can do what it must to defend itself.

Funny thing is, until the peacefull people of Palestine voted Hamas into power, with a 60% share of the votes, I supported their bid for a land to call their own. However, since it appears that 60% of voting age Palestinians support terrorism (Hamas), I find that I can no longer feel much sympathy for their plight.

If I misspelled Hamas, I apologize. Let me try again: Terrorists. There, better?

My rant ends here.

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By Dov, August 7, 2006 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
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Thanks Fela for the Brigitte Gabriel article, it’s fantastic.

I can tell everyone personally that I used to go every Friday to Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem to bring food for people who had to be there over the Sabbath.  I did this every friday from 1999 to 2002, through most of the second intifada.  I was there a few times when bombs went off and I saw the victims being brought into the emergency room.  And not a week went by that I didn’t also see Moslem Arabs getting the exact same care that Jewish Israelis got.  I saw this the same week that two Jewish Israelis got dismembered inside a Palestinian police station.  The contrast is real.

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By fela, August 7, 2006 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
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To all the Fadals, John cs, Spinozas of the world, not to mention ABC who is afraid to write his name becasue he is capable of only using four letter words(I guess that is what they teach you in terrorist camps ABC), I challenge all of you to to show me an Israeli being treated in a similar way by Hamas, Hezbolla, Al Aksa (sp.?) and the likes of it
> Remarks of Brigitte Gabriel, delivered at the Duke University Counter
> Terrorism Speak-Out:
> I’m proud and honoured to stand here today, as a Lebanese speaking for
> Israel , the only democracy in the Middle East . As someone who was raised
> in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the
> Arabic world.
> I was raised in Lebanon , where I was taught that the Jews were evil,
> Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle
> East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.
> When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in
> 1975, they started massacring the Christians, city after city. I ended up
> living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17, without
> electricity, eating grass to live, and crawling under sniper bullets to a
> spring to get water.
> It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon . My mother was
> wounded by a Moslem’s shell, and was taken into an Israeli hospital for
> treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I
> saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians,
> Christians, Lebanese, and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors
> treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my mother before
> they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn’t see
> religion, they didn’t see political affiliation, they saw people in need
> and they helped.
> For the first time in my life I experienced a human quality that I know my
> culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of
> the Israelis, who were able to love their enemy in their most trying
> moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital. Those days changed my life and
> the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to
> television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government, about
> the Jews and Israel , that was so far from reality. I knew for fact that,
> if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown
> over to the grounds, as shouts of joy of Allah Akbar, God is great, would
> echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.
> I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers: one in
> particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.
> One day I was visiting with her, and the Israeli army band came to play
> national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they
> surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem , Rina and I started
> crying. I felt out of place and started walking out of the room, and this
> mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me.
> She holds me crying and says: “it is not your fault”. We just stood there
> crying, holding each other’s hands.
> What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19 year old
> only child, and still able to love me the enemy, and between a Moslem
> mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a
> few Jews or Christians.
> The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in
> values and character. It’s barbarism verses civilization. It’s democracy
> verses dictatorship. It’s goodness verses evil.
> Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell
> for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional
> murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian “armed struggle”.
> However, once such behaviour is legitimized against Israel, it is
> legitimized every where in the world, constrained by nothing more than the
> subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and
> nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.
> Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering
> innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their
> cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from
> Nairobi to New York , from Moscow to Madrid , from Bali to Beslan.
> They blame suicide bombing on “desperation of occupation”. Let me tell you
> the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the
> Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent.
> On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948 , in anticipation of Israel ‘s
> independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben
> Yehuda Street , in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem .
> Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is
> obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the “desperation” of
> “occupation”, but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.
> So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and
> done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and
> defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of
> religious bigotry and intolerance. It’s time to all stand up, and support
> and defend the state of Israel , which is the front line of the war
> against terrorism.
> Be sure to send this one out to everyone you know

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By Dov, August 6, 2006 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
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The statement was just made that “the majority of people living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River are Arabs.”  This is not true.

In the areas known as Israel proper, the West Bank, and Gaza, the population was 59% Jewish and 41% Arab.  Israel proper itself was 81% Jewish and 19% Arab, with the West Bank and Gaza obviously raising the Arab percentage.  This is according to the CIA factbook:
and also according to the study at
At the same time, the Jewish birth rate in Israel is going up, as is the immigration rate, while the same in the Arab regions are going down.

Sorry to ruin polemics with facts.

My three previous questions are still unanswered.

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By fela, August 6, 2006 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
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It is possible that Anon does not speak or write English as well as Fadal Abdallah.  See :Comment #17033 by Fadel Abdallah on 8/06 at 10:04 am

Comment #16980 by anon:

May I suggest, anon, that you go and learn proper English before you bother us with your rants!————————————————————————————-
Nevertheless, Anon is not as arrogant as Fadal. I thought that modesty is appreciated is the Moslem world>

People should not be judged by their spelling, but by their heart.
Most people here pretend to be liberal and care for the underdog, as long as the underdog is an Arab( and of course, no one is an Anti Semite…), and yet they are full of venom. Did you consider psychotherapy, or is the use of this forum your method of “working through” your aggresion?

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By John C., August 6, 2006 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
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In 1948 the Jews had the sympathy and best intentions of most of the entire world, and it resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel with almost universal legal international recognition and legitimacy.

Unfortunately, it had no moral legitimacy beyond its own highly dubious claims of a promise from God, a promise attributed to an unknown nomad of ancient times. Such a claim should not be given a second thought in an informed society.

The establishment of the Jewish State was an obvious travesty against the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine, who had no responsibility for the suffering of the Jews of Europe.

Understandably, there was every reason for the Arabs to be aggrieved and to resist the usurpation of their land.

One could also agree that it was understandable for Israel to defend the right to the land that was given them in an internationally lawful manner, even to the extent of defensive warfare.

However, if Israel had any sense of moral justice, it would have realized that it was they who had an overriding responsibility to placate and accomodate the Arab grievances - even in the face of violent opposition, - and that that would be the only way to solidify their legitimacy.

Instead, Israel chose from day one to opt for military and economic belligerence against the Arabs, using its advantage as a strategic asset of the United States. They have acted to exacerbate the Arab grievances all through the years, by stealing more and more land, and oppressing and humiliating the Arabs. And all through those years, Israel has been losing respect and support in the world.

Now, 60 years later, emboldened by its military power and American support, it has embarked on its worst military blunder of it existence.

Israel now finds itself totally isolated except for the United States - whose continued support they might soon find problematical.

In 60 years Israel has gone from world wide sympathy and respect to the level of a rogue nation in the eyes of the world - and may soon find its legitimacy questioned by more than just a few Arabs.

Was that a smart strategy? I don’t think so. Should they consider a change? I think so!

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By fela, August 6, 2006 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment
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UNIFIL confirms that Hizbollah fires on UN posts and operates in their vicinity

On July 26, the daily UNIFIL press release reported the Israeli bomb that had destroyed a UN post the day before, leading to UN Secretary General Anan’s infamous accusation that Israel deliberately attacked the site. 
What the secretary general did not consider worth mentioning was the highly relevant information that attacks on UN posts by Hezbollah have been occurring almost daily and that Hezbollah have been drawing Israeli fire by lobbing their rockets at Israel from the vicinity of UN positions. The same UNIFIL press release reported that another UN position in the western sector was directly hit by Hizbollah mortar fire the same evening and that Hezbollah fired at Israel from the vicinity of four UN positions at Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri.
On July 24, UNIFIL reported that one unarmed UN member of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), was seriously wounded by small arms the previous afternoon originating, from preliminary reports, from the Hezbollah side. The UN evacuated him to the Israeli side, from where he was taken by IDF helicopter to a hospital in Haifa. He was operated on, and his condition was reported as stable.  Of course there was not a word of thanks from the secretary general.
The July 25 UNIFIL report stated “This morning, Hezbollah opened small arms fire at a UNIFIL convoy consisting of two APC’s on the road between Kunin and Bint Jubayl.”

On July 27 It was also reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of four UN positions at Marwahin, Alma Ash Shab, Brashit, and At Tiri.

On July 28, UNIFIL reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of five UN positions at Alma Ash Shab, At Tiri, Bayt Yahoun, Brashit, and Tibnin.

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By Spinoza, August 6, 2006 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
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> Comments such as “There should be no Israel”, are indicative of the type of people who use this site.

Rachel the majority of people living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River are Arabs.  Despite Israels best efforts the Arabs have refused to leave. It is a matter of justice that Israel/Jews stop trying to expel its Arab neighbors and learn to live with them.  Arabs are people, Jews are people, we have a lot in common and we can make peace. Warmongering will not work. Right wing ideologies will not work

The two state solution was rejected so Israel has to acknowledge that a bi-national state is viable.  Which do you care more about. The reactionary state of Israel or the Jewish people as a people?  You are going to have to make up your mind.

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By John C, August 6, 2006 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In 1948 the Jews had the sympathy and best intentions of most of the entire world, and it resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel with almost universal legal international recognition and legitimacy.

Unfortunately, it had no moral legitimacy beyond its own highly dubious claims of a promise from God, a promise attributed to an unknown nomad of ancient times. Such a claim should not be given a second thought in an informed society.

The establishment of the Jewish State was an obvious travesty against the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine, who had no responsibility for the suffering of the Jews of Europe.

Understandably, there was every reason for the Arabs to be aggrieved and to resist the usurpation of their land.

One could also agree that it was understandable for Israel to defend the right to the land that was given them in an internationally lawful manner, even to the extent of defensive warfare.

However, if Israel had any sense of moral justice, it would have realized that it was they who had an overriding responsibility to placate and accomodate the Arab grievances - even in the face of violent opposition, - and that that would be the only way to solidify their legitimacy.

Instead, Israel chose from day one to opt for military and economic belligerence against the Arabs, using its advantage as a strategic asset of the United States. They have acted to exacerbate the Arab grievances all through the years, by stealing more and more land, and oppressing and humiliating the Arabs. And all through those years, Israel has been losing respect and support in the world.

Now, 60 years later, emboldened by its military power and American support, it has embarked on its worst military blunder of it existence.

Israel now finds itself totally isolated except for the United States - whose continued support they might soon find problematical.

In 60 years Israel has gone from world wide sympathy and respect to the level of a rogue nation in the eyes of the world - and may soon find its legitimacy questioned by more than just a few Arabs.

Was that a smart strategy? I don’t think so. Should they consider a change? I think so!

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By ed_tru_lib, August 6, 2006 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
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One of life’s sweetest, but all too infrequent pleasures is witnessing instant (almost) karma. Anyone read Huffington Post this morning? Although at this blog, like several of these blogs on Truthdig and other sites, there are a few posts from true liberals and progressives, who are simply wrong on this issue, of course the vast majority are from the pseudo-left, anti-Israel-all-the-time-for-any-or-no excuse shriekers, and no small number from the utterly insane, evil, unashamed anti-semites.
Both these latter groups are all too well represented in the posts to the Truthdig blog from earlier last week-“The Photos That Damn Hezbollah” And what did most of them say-that the photograph and story of hezbollah terrorists, cowering with rocket launchers in previously undamaged residential areas of Beirut, heedless of the coming injury and death TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE that would of course have to come when Israel shoots BACK to defend itself, was OF COURSE fabricated. They don’t just suggest it-they say it right out with mindless, arrogant confidence. Why??-because the story came from a Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper.
Well guess what-that right wing rag was the paper, quoted this morning on Huffington Post, that breaks the story that Mel Gibson, the right’s showbiz darling ever since Charleton Heston’s retirement, has a long, well-documented affiliation with a dangerous Australian anti-semetic, holocaust denying group. Not his father-him. Gee looks like the no-spin zone gets another one right, with ETHICAL, RESPONSIBLE journalism (not that it doesn’t pain me to admit it) and the mindless, extreme-lefty shriekers take another hit. But then, they do make it so easy.

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By Dov, August 6, 2006 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
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I’m starting to agree with Rachel’s last comment, but am really amused by all the great rhetoric with nothing concrete.  I’m not debating or being swayed by links posted by people in armchairs in California when I’m here in Israel seeing everything firsthand.  “If I cared about the Jewish people…?”  I care with my life decisions, I don’t have to defend that.

Now, tachlis, I posted three concrete questions, all relevent to the situation at hand, and have gotten no answers.  Anyone have anything to say on them?  Or are you just all interested in reposting your usual rhetoric?

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By Ramasyst, August 6, 2006 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
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This is a article by an Israeli that is worth reading.

Also, check out this film

The real estate war
By Gideon Levy

This miserable war in Lebanon, which is just getting more and more
complicated for no reason at all, was born in Israel’s greed for land.
Not that Israel is fighting this time to conquer more land, not at all,
but ending the occupation could have prevented this unnecessary war. If
Israel had returned the Golan Heights and signed a peace treaty with
Syria in a timely fashion, presumably this war would not have broken

Peace with Syria would have guaranteed peace with Lebanon and peace
with both would have prevented Hezbollah from fortifying on Israel’s
northern border. Peace with Syria would have also isolated Iran,
Israel’s true, dangerous enemy, and cut off Hezbollah from one of the
two sources of its weapons and funding. It’s so simple, and so removed
from conventional Israeli thinking, which is subject to brainwashing.

For years, Israel has waged war against the Palestinians with the main
motive of insistence on keeping the occupied territories. If not for
the settlement enterprise, Israel would have long since retreated from
the occupied territories and the struggle’s engine would have been
significant neutralized. Not that a non-occupying Israel would have
turned into the darling of the Arab world, but the destructive fire
aimed at Israel would have significantly lessened, and those who
continued to fight Israel would have found themselves isolated.

The war against the Palestinians is therefore unequivocally a
territorial war, a war for the settlements. In other words, in the West
Bank and Gaza, people were killed and are getting killed because of our
greed for land. From Golda Meir to Ehud Olmert, the lie has held that
the war with the Palestinians is an existential one for survival
imposed on Israel when it is actually a war for real estate, one dunam
after another, that does not belong to us.

The situation is different with Syria. For 33 years, the Syrians gave
up the military effort to reinstate their occupied lands. Israel can
pass a dozen Golan Heights laws to annex it, but occupied territory
remains occupied territory. During those three decades, the prevailing
view in Israel was that there was no need for peace with Syria: The
Syrians sat quietly anyway, so why give them back the Golan?

This is the same dangerously foolish thinking that characterized the
first 20 years of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The
Palestinians sat quietly, surrendered under the Israeli occupation
boot, and it did not occur to anyone to return their territory.
Instead, Israel established the settlements. Only when the Palestinians
woke up and realized they were going to lose their lands forever did
they begin a violent campaign; and only after blood was spilled, did
Israel wake up from its dreams and realize that it could not hold onto
all of the territories forever. Thus, with regrettable delay and years
of bloodshed, the recognition of the PLO, the Oslo accords, the
disengagement and the convergence were born - all partial and fake
solutions meant to postpone the end of the occupation.

We did not need all of that with the Syrians - after all, they sat
quietly all of these years. Now comes the war in Lebanon and proves
that this was a mistake. Although the Syrians sat on the sidelines, the
danger from that direction was not removed and the delusion that the
Golan would forever remain in Israeli hands, without our being asked to
pay for its occupation, is now slapping us in the face.

But the current war could yet turn out to be only an appetizer for the
coming wars, which will be far more dangerous. The saying that time is
on our side is another delusion. The Arab and Muslim world has armed,
in all of this time, and the danger of nuclear weapons and long-range
missiles is already hovering over our heads. The only response to that
is maximum neutralization of the flashpoints, before the bomb arrives.
But Israel has chosen to close its eyes and build its future on a
horrifyingly temporary quiet, or on more and more war operations.

Just when territory is losing its military importance because of the
development of new fighting technology, Israel is using security
excuses to stay in the territories. Former-prime minister Ehud Barak
criminally missed the opportunity to sign a peace treaty with Syria
after he got “cold feet,” as witnesses said, and retreated at the last
minute. That’s how it works with us. When the other side is quiet, why
return territories? And when they do go to war, “there’s nobody to talk
to,” and certainly not while we are “under fire.”

While we are ready to jump on any war bandwagon, as in this time, we
endlessly procrastinate when it comes to peace negotiations. Now, too,
when Syria, pushed around by the U.S., desperately wants to return to
the “family of nations,” is an excellent time to try to make peace with
it - but there are those who say now is not the time. What will the
Americans say? They, after all, are against any deals with Bashar Assad
of “the axis of evil.”

So, there it is, another excuse to miss a golden opportunity, another
mendacious excuse. As in the case of the peace with Egypt, the move
that has guaranteed Israel’s security for years far more than any war,
and which was put together behind the America’s back, America would not
be able to oppose a peace agreement with Syria. Now, after we’ve hit
Hezbollah and ruined Lebanon, the prime minister of Israel should
declare: the Golan for peace. That could contribute a lot more to our
security than a thousand useless daring operations in Baalbek, but it
would take a lot more courage than going off to fight another
unnecessary and useless war.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 6, 2006 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #16980 by anon:

May I suggest, anon, that you go and learn proper English before you bother us with your rants!

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By rachel, August 6, 2006 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Initially, I started posting my opinion here, because I thought that people were interested in peace.

This is far from the truth, since the deep hate towards Israel is overwhelming, and there are no constructive ideas or suggestions about creating a “normal” way of living, without “pushing Israel to the sea”.

Comments such as “There should be no Israel”, are indicative of the type of people who use this site. I suggest that Dov, and Alon, and the rest of you, stop interacting with fanatic, hate mongers, since it only create more fuel to the fire, just like dealing with obsessive compulsive people. Let the people who wish the Israeli and American children die, who think that being a demagogue ( the most famous one was Hitler…) is something to be proud of, who wish that Israel would not be, let them enjoy each other.
We do not need to be immersing ourselves with the vitriolic hate of “Son’ey Israel”. After all , we have plenty of experience with that…

Let the Spinozas and the Johns, Verity and the rest of them, stick with each other. It seems like they enjoy their negativity and hate .

They have no idea what they’re talking about, and we should not honor them, nor this article, with letters.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 6, 2006 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
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Please read and get enlightened on the Middle East Crisis; something you’ll never read in the U.S. mainstream media, always allied to the wrongs and injustices of Zionism.
Hizbullah’s attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon

By Anders Strindberg

NEW YORK – As pundits and policymakers scramble to explain events in Lebanon, their conclusions are virtually unanimous: Hizbullah created this crisis. Israel is defending itself. The underlying problem is Arab extremism.
Sadly, this is pure analytical nonsense. Hizbullah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel’s silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.

In the Monitor

Thursday, 08/03/06

Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored “blue line” on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah’s military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah’s leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.
In the process of its violations, Israel has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians. This past February, for instance, 15-year-old shepherd Yusuf Rahil was killed by unprovoked Israeli cross-border fire as he tended his flock in southern Lebanon. Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities and continues to occupy Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms area, while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?
Hizbullah’s capture of the soldiers took place in the context of this ongoing conflict, which in turn is fundamentally shaped by realities in the Palestinian territories. To the vexation of Israel and its allies, Hizbullah - easily the most popular political movement in the Middle East - unflinchingly stands with the Palestinians.
Since June 25, when Palestinian fighters captured one Israeli soldier and demanded a prisoner exchange, Israel has killed more than 140 Palestinians. Like the Lebanese situation, that flare-up was detached from its wider context and was said to be “manufactured” by the enemies of Israel; more nonsense proffered in order to distract from the apparently unthinkable reality that it is the manner in which Israel was created, and the ideological premises that have sustained it for almost 60 years, that are the core of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.
Once the Arabs had rejected the UN’s right to give away their land and to force them to pay the price for European pogroms and the Holocaust, the creation of Israel in 1948 was made possible only by ethnic cleansing and annexation. This is historical fact and has been documented by Israeli historians, such as Benny Morris. Yet Israel continues to contend that it had nothing to do with the Palestinian exodus, and consequently has no moral duty to offer redress.
For six decades the Palestinian refugees have been refused their right to return home because they are of the wrong race. “Israel must remain a Jewish state,” is an almost sacral mantra across the Western political spectrum. It means, in practice, that Israel is accorded the right to be an ethnocracy at the expense of the refugees and their descendants, now close to 5 million.
Is it not understandable that Israel’s ethnic preoccupation profoundly offends not only Palestinians, but many of their Arab brethren? Yet rather than demanding that Israel acknowledge its foundational wrongs as a first step toward equality and coexistence, the Western world blithely insists that each and all must recognize Israel’s right to exist at the Palestinians’ expense.
Western discourse seems unable to accommodate a serious, as opposed to cosmetic concern for Palestinians’ rights and liberties: The Palestinians are the Indians who refuse to live on the reservation; the Negroes who refuse to sit in the back of the bus.
By what moral right does anyone tell them to be realistic and get over themselves? That it is too much of a hassle to right the wrongs committed against them? That the front of the bus must remain ethnically pure? When they refuse to recognize their occupier and embrace their racial inferiority, when desperation and frustration causes them to turn to violence, and when neighbors and allies come to their aid - some for reasons of power politics, others out of idealism - we are astonished that they are all such fanatics and extremists.
The fundamental obstacle to understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict is that we have given up on asking what is right and wrong, instead asking what is “practical” and “realistic.” Yet reality is that Israel is a profoundly racist state, the existence of which is buttressed by a seemingly endless succession of punitive measures, assassinations, and wars against its victims and their allies.
A realistic understanding of the conflict, therefore, is one that recognizes that the crux is not in this or that incident or policy, but in Israel’s foundational and per- sistent refusal to recognize the humanity of its Palestinian victims. Neither Hizbullah nor Hamas are driven by a desire to “wipe out Jews,” as is so often claimed, but by a fundamental sense of injustice that they will not allow to be forgotten.
These groups will continue to enjoy popular legitimacy because they fulfill the need for someone - anyone - to stand up for Arab rights. Israel cannot destroy this need by bombing power grids or rocket ramps. If Israel, like its former political ally South Africa, has the capacity to come to terms with principles of democracy and human rights and accept egalitarian multiracial coexistence within a single state for Jews and Arabs, then the foundation for resentment and resistance will have been removed. If Israel cannot bring itself to do so, then it will continue to be the vortex of regional violence.
• Anders Strindberg, formerly a visiting professor at Damascus University, Syria, is a consultant on Middle East politics working with European government and law-enforcement agencies. He has also covered Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories as a journalist since the late 1990s, primarily for European publications.

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By anon, August 6, 2006 at 3:10 am Link to this comment
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no he shouldnt! the palestnians only wanted the land once jews started living there. the rest of teh arab states dont care about the palestinians if they did they would of accepted the palestinian refugess instead of turning them away, they only care about taking away the little piece of land jews on. Why cant the jews have the land that belongs to them, every major religion has their own country, christians have most of western and european countries, buddhist have most of asia, hindus have india, muslims have 99% of the middle east and alot of africa, why cant jews have this tiny bit of land? the Jews have nothing against the palestinians they just not willing to give up the rest of their land they have already given up gaza and the west bank in search of peace. jews live side by side with israeli arabs who have all the same entitlements the jews have. Israelis dont like that their is soo much death on both sides 7 israeli hospitals even offered to treat injured lebanese. israel is not willing to give up their land which you wouldnt either, they are more than willing to have a 2 state solution, but the arabs continually turn it down, they are only interested in getting rid of jews!

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By Earl L. Jackson, Jr., August 6, 2006 at 12:58 am Link to this comment
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Re. Comment 16860
In 1967 Israel launched a preemptive attack on the Egyptians. To demonstrate solidarity with Egypt, Jordan and Syria hesitantly attacked some localized points in Israel. Israel immediately annexed East Jerusalem. In order to gain control of the headwaters of the Jordan river, Israel also conquered the Syrian Heights, subsequently renamed Golan Heights and expelled 80,000 Syrian Arabs and leveled 130 villages. Israel’s presence in the Occupied Territories is in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed unanimously after the 1967 War, that requires Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories.

Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories are in violation of the 1907 Hague Convention. That Convention provides that that occupying powers will act only as tempoary mangers and beneficiaries of land and other property in occupied territories. The creation of permanent facts on the ground are not permitted. For example: transference of population from the occupying country to the occupied territories.

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By Ramasyst, August 5, 2006 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
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Re Comment #16842 by John on 8/05 at 9:11 am

Actually John, the film is our own production and we are planning another one soon on Lebanon highlighting the total destruction of the country as well as the suffering of civilians.

Do not mean to divert attention here but to follow-up on Spinoza’s comment #16948, you might want to check this link which I came across today.

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By Spinoza, August 5, 2006 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment
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Dov if you were concerned about the Jewish people you would be opposed to the state of Israel

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By Dov, August 5, 2006 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
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One more question: Everyone makes a big deal about the pre-1967 borders.  Can anyone name countries that accepted the pre-1967 borders as official and recognized borders?

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By Dov, August 5, 2006 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
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OK, I said I wouldn’t debate, and I won’t, but I’m curious about two points that were made in response to my last message.

1. Someone said about the Israeli security fence:  “just think how much they might have reduced their troubles if they had built the wall on their actual border! ”  I’m curious if someone could explain exactly where the wall should be changed to be more fair.

2. Someone compared the Palestinians to the Indians.  I’m surprised that they were called “Indians” and not “native Americans,” but besides that, I think it’s an interesting analogy.  Would you say that it would be a fair request for the Indians to demand that all non-native-american Americans leave?  Would it be fair for the Indians ask that all non-native-americans leave New York so that they can live there themselves, since it was scammed away from them in the first place?  If neither of these, what would be a fair demand for equity that they could make of the United States?

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By John, August 5, 2006 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
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Ramasyst:  Thank you for pointing out the “Palestinian posts” 16300, 15745, and especially 15529.  This last has a wonderful opposing viewpoint presented in a Windows Media Player format that everyone should watch.  Readers of Truthdig are no doubt searching for alternates to the Official Version of Reality. 

This film presents one that Robert Frost would wholly approve.  Good fences make good neighbors is only what the neighbor, “the old-stone savage armed,” says as “he moves in darkness.”  People should carefully remember Frost’s point:  go behind [your] father’s saying.

Thanks to Shaina for

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By NotHavingYour Hasbara, August 5, 2006 at 3:11 am Link to this comment
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Beronimo writes: “Israel best be ready to call off its war right away, lest its losses reach levels that’ll spook the Israeli public. “

That’s why, as insane as it sounds, there’s a good probability that they’ll try to cap this off with a nuclear bombing of Iran (or have us American slaves do it for them).

After all, the fanatically pro-Israel neocons are among the staunchest defenders of the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They wouldn’t nuke Lebanon, of course — some fallout might descend on the Chosen People. But they have laid all the propaganda groundwork to blame Iran for the mess they made, and so I would not put it past them to drop an atom bomb on Tehran rather than lose even a thousand of their precious Chosen soldiers.

Of course, for many reasons, that will not simply the war, as it did in 1945. Things will actually get WORSE from there. They may well destory the planet.

But the neocons think this is all a replay of World War II, and we (the United Empire of US-Rael) are the good guys, and we’re going to win, win, win!!!

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By Spinoza, August 4, 2006 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment
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>>>>I am beginning to be concerned about the power of the two demagogues here, John and Spinoza. The scary thing about demagogues is that they present half truths, and therefore they sound convincing.

John has been making elegant and substantive posts and I have just been agitating.  However, I am honored to be in the hall of demagogues.

HE HE HE and the truth shall make you free.

The thing is, Rachel, that truth is a rare and valuable thing.  The truth is that most Jewish left wing intellectuals have decided to back Hezbollah on this fight not because they support Islamist doctrine but because they value justice.  If you do not have justice on your side in the long run you will not win. Israel has decided to join with the far right, the Lukudniks, the Bushites, and forces for fascism and reaction in the world. They have decided to make the life of the Lebanese miserable.This is immoral, unethical behavior.

They have decided to be influenced by the so called neoCons.  The have adopted the ideology of crackpot realism, the doctrine that the “enemy” only understands violence and force and it’s corollary that might makes right. As a result they do one stupid thing after the other most always building up the (so called) enemy.  In this case, if Israel does not kill off just about every Arab oppositionist it will face a stronger opposition in the future until the Jews are literally driven into the sea. This is stupid behavior.

Right wingers most always behave in a self defeating manor or make life miserable for all others of their fellow human beings. They are crackpots and somewhat insane and they need to be put in an insane asylum or need to be executed as justice might demand that.

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By Kwagmyre, August 4, 2006 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
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Fela comments:
“The difference is that the Jews were living there as well, unlike the early Americans, who took the land from the Indians, which was not theirs to begin with.
There were jews living in Israel for centuries, alongside the Arabs. 

Now, assuming that Kwagmyre is in the U.S., and is seeking true justice, why won’t you donate your home to the Indians?”

Only partially true.  At the time of the Jewish occupation in the late 40’s and the subsequent creation of Israel, there were PREDOMINANTLY Palestinians living in the area although there were some Jews living alongside.  And this situation had existed for a long time prior to that.  The Palestinians were simply reluctant to part with the land they’d live on in which they were the majority and then got forcibly ejected
only to become refugees. 

As soon as the Israelis decide to vacate the land, I’ll then turn over my land to the Indians.
Problem is the whole neighborhood would have to go along with this and I don’t see that as a likely prospect(about as likely as an Israeli departure).

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By Beronimo, August 4, 2006 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
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Will the settler-state try to top its “achievements” during its ‘82 USA-backed invasion of Lebanon?  That war took more than 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinian lives at the cost of 675 Israelis,  which is a kill ratio of almost 30 to 1.  This time around, though, after three weeks of fighting,  the kill ratio has dropped to approximately 10 to 1,  which means that Israel best be ready to call off its war right away,  lest its
losses reach levels that’ll spook the Israeli public. 

Should Israel forego a truce and opt instead to stay the course, the settler-state will risk perpetrating another Qana-like mass-murder which, if it happens,  won’t be well-received by the Arab street, to say the least.  The leaders of several of America’s puppet regimes in the Middle East already realize this and are sounding off as if they’re against the USA for its support of Israel.  But can words alone keep a lid on the Arab street, since there already are signs that this street’s getting restless.  What’s more, should the war continue, what’ll happen if the Arab street erupts?. 

There’ll be a new ball game in the Middle East, that’s what.  Undoubtedly Israeli intelligence knows this, which makes It unlikely that the settler-state will risk staying the course in its latest Lebanon war.  There are too many uncertainties involved with no way to predict the ultimate outcome.

So look for a truce within a few days.  Oherwise, fasten your safety belts.  We could be in for a hell of a ride, one in which we the people change the world.    .......

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By NoFoolForPNAC, August 4, 2006 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
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Regarding Comment #16699 by John, who says:

“I bought and read his book, _Blood Brothers_.  I strongly recommend reading it as a very fine example of how we can build (instead of bomb) a bridge. Interestingly? the publisher is Chosen”...

Oh please, what an obvious Zionist (or Christian Zionist) troll. Go to “Chosen” books, publisher. Here’s how they describe themselves:

“Chosen is the division of Baker Publishing Group that explores the gifts and ministry of the Holy Spirit in areas like intercessory prayer, spiritual warfare, evangelism, prophecy, healing, and general charismatic Christian interest ...”

—I’m sure the alleged “Palestinian” author explains to us why Israel is a blameless paragon, and his fellow benighted Palestinians are just jealous on account of not being “Chosen”....

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By Ramasyst, August 4, 2006 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
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Re Post 16699

“Truthdig is great.  This discussion is valuable.  But I see few Palestinian posts.  So, I’d like to invite those interested in seeing these things we talk about from that “other” point of view”

Dear John

Posts 16300, 15745 and 15529 are made by a Palestinian with some tangible facts.

As for Rachel, you took the time to make your list, you should’ve also taken the time to ask yourself why. Furthermore, you need to make a list of all raids and F16 bombs that have fallen on Palestinians. Not to mention of course the systematic destruction of villages, refugee camps and the killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli Forces. But again, Pardon me, the lives of innocent Palestinians are never as good as the lives of Israelis.

What about the enormous loss of Lebanese lives and the destruction of the entire country. I kind of forgot what the real cause was!!!

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By Fela, August 4, 2006 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
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Kwagmyre writes:

The point is the Palestinians were LIVING there at the time in the same way that native Indians were living in the U.S. before their land also got confiscated, they were brutally attacked, and they were later cheated by the American government

The difference is that the Jews were living there as well, unlike the early Americans, who took the land from the Indians, which was not theirs to begin with.
There were jews living in Israel for centuries, alongside the Arabs. 

Now, assuming that Kwagmyre is in the U.S., and is seeking true justice, why won’t you donate your home to the Indians?

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By John, August 4, 2006 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
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Truthdig is great.  This discussion is valuable.  But I see few Palestinian posts.  So, I’d like to invite those interested in seeing these things we talk about from that “other” point of view.  Elias Chacour came to our fair part of the world to speak.  I bought and read his book, _Blood Brothers_.  I strongly recommend reading it as a very fine example of how we can build (instead of bomb) a bridge.

Interestingly? the publisher is Chosen, Baker Book House, ISBN 0-8007-9324-8 for $12.99.

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By NoFoolForIsrael, August 4, 2006 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
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“Since they built the wall, there was a massive reductin in suicide bombing! Those suicide bombing which I referred to in my previous letter.”

Gee, Israel-for-brains—just think how much they might have reduced their troubles if they had built the wall on their actual border!

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By rachel, August 4, 2006 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
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And I forgot the most important fact. The Wall.

Since they built the wall, there was a massive reductin in suicide bombing! Those suicide bombing which I referred to in my previous letter.

What were the Israelis thinking?
I guess they cared more about about the safety of their citizens then the comfort of their neighbors ... Isn’t it horrible? 

and just for my amusement- for this letter i was paid by many many Jewish organizations. There are some Armenians and Christian Lebanese and Iranians who live here in the u.s. that pay me as well. I actually just bought a home from the proceeds and the rest was donated to my favorite basketball team.

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By rachel, August 4, 2006 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
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I am beginning to be concerned about the power of the two demagogues here, John and Spinoza. The scary thing about demagogues is that they present half truths, and therefore they sound convincing.

The poor, uninformed reader, then says to himself “Gee, I did not know that”, and is not aware of the other facts, which were conveniently omitted, such as the following suicide bombings in Israel between 2002-2004 only, mostly carried out by Hamas ( and I hope I am not forgetting to give ‘“credit” to other “brave” members of other terrorist organizations, who carried out suicide attacks against unarmed civilians…)

Here is only a partial short list of SOME of the terror attacks against unarmed men, women and school children and pregnant women as well…

3/21/02 in Jerusalem, 5 killed, including a pregnant woman, 86 injured.

4/27/02 in Netanya, Passover, Park hotel   30 killed, 150 injured including women and children and the elderly.

5/19/02 in Netanya, in a market, 3 killed 59 injured ,mostly women. Another act of bravery.

5/27/02 in Petah Tikvah, another act of bravery, a toddler and an elderly woman were killed and 59 wounded in a shopping center.

And let’s not forget Jerusalem, the Holy city to the Moslems, where they have no problems destroying it, if it means killing unarmed civllians, students at the Hebrew University, women at a market and children on a bus going to school. Let’s grieve for the them as well. Some dates for the murders in Jerusalem are: 7/31/02 9 killed and 86 wounded, 8/19/03 5 killed and 40 wounded, mostly children going to school, and please, Spinoza and John, don’t divert the attention, just tell me that you believe that this is right, since one of you quoted ” thou shalt not kill”...
And more in Jerusalem on 2/22/04 on a bus, ( I guess they like to take trips…)8 killed and 60 wounded, including children , of course.

And another bus stop in Jerusalem (see my previous comment),1/29/04 11 killed and 50 wounded.

And Haifa, where there is a large Arab population, which strangely enough managed to stay during the War of Independence. Despite claims to the contrary. 21 killed and 60 wounded, in a restaurant. And did I mention women? On 10/4/2003.

I can go on and on and on. I did not even begin to scratch the surface. This is only a sample.

So if you cannot work towards peace, and just sit there with your lies by ommissions, with your obvious hate and diatribe against Israel, without a shred of objectivity,  please find something nice to do. Go help the poor and the homeless. Hate does not become you, peace is a more fitting form.


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By ed_tru_lib, August 3, 2006 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
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Dov-I’m not in California, but I think I have my eyes wide open here about what you are seeing with your own eyes there. So do most true progressives in this country, who realize that Israel has, can, and will make mistakes, but are committed to its ultimately being able to live in peace and security, unattacked by terrorist murderers and cowards. Don’t be put off by the misguided comments of the few sincere but wrong people posting here, nor by the many shrill ravings of the lunatic extreme left, who disgrace the words “liberal” and “progressive”, and especially not by the outright, even unashamedly open, anti-semitism of the obviously insane, or just plain evil. Hang in there, my friend. This too shall pass. And Israel will survive, and freedom there and here will thrive, with the election of real democrats in this country, to actually not have to fight another day

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By Kwagmyre, August 3, 2006 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment
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Dov writes:

“the palestinians have never controlled that land.”

The point is the Palestinians were LIVING there at the time in the same way that native Indians were living in the U.S. before their land also got confiscated, they were brutally attacked, and they were later cheated by the American government. 

So then you have, for instance this influx of settlers into Gaza and the West Bank, a land grab occurring after the Six Day War.  And with it, comes the “justification” according to biblical rights that entitle Jews to the territory, what’s called, “Eretz Yisrael” or Greater Israel. 

And will East Jerusalem ever be returned?  Probably not, because it’s an integral part of “Eretz Yisrael.”  Will the Golan Heights ever be returned to Syria?  No, and for the same reason.  Actually, this latter would be a smart move on Israel’s part toward the eventual creation of some measure of peaceful coexistence between the warring parties.

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By Dov, August 3, 2006 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment
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I’m not getting into a back and forth about who’s inventing and who’s right.  I’m here, I’m seeing with my own eyes.  I’ve lived through the drive for peace every day for 9 years since I moved here.  I’ve seen the sites of dozens of terror bombs myself, I went to the sites with hours or a day when I lived in Jerusalem a few years ago.  I was here through all the internal debate when Barak was Prime Minister and was offerring Arafat everything (sometimes more than most citizens wanted him to).  (And I’ve saved articles by Clinton and Dennis Ross confirming that Barak offerred and Arafar said no.)  I’ve known settlers from small towns in the West Bank who moved to central towns because they were convinced that the Gaza pullout would bring peace on that border and that a West Bank pullout would be next.  I’ve seen how Sderot citizens lived through missiles and the government response of not defending them to give time to the Palestinians.  I’ve seen the families from towns up north leaving their homes, with all of Israel hoping that the war could end.  (I’m having such a family over for lunch tomorrow.)  I’ve seen Israelis crying over their children killed in war, dreaming that the war could end without bringing more terror.

I’ve seen all this myself.  And while I’m happy to answer questions and discuss what could be done, and happy to hear a suggestion of what Israel can do that it hasn’t tried before, I’m not going to defend reality against claims from people sitting comfortably in California.

I wish you all a nice comfortable life, and hope that we can have the same as soon as terror stops and the Palestinians accept a peaceful two-state solution without terror.

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By kevin99999, August 3, 2006 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment
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I could not agree more. This blog needs to be congratulated for questioning the policies of state of Israel vis-a-vis palestinians. While other blogs, for instance, continue to make apologies for the state of Israel and banning readers’ comments that dare to criticise Israel, this blog is confronting the crux of the problems in the middle east. The land grab by Israel and military solution which it and the U.S. seek to impose on palestinians living in abject conditions under Israel occupation, is not going to work. I wish there were enough to realize this and stop providing unquestioning support to Israel.

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By Spinoza, August 3, 2006 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
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you are inventing a history.  Unfortunately for you, people have a good understanding of what is occuring in the region so TRUTH has to be a guiding factor in any narrative..  Israel is looking bad and even many Jewish Intellectuals are leaving the claims of zionism behind.

It is ironic but more then likely, thanks to the neoCons and the Lukudniks Israel will not last but another 25 years.

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By anon, August 3, 2006 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment
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John you are an idiot. israel is not occupying their land. the palestinians have never controlled that land. the only reason israel has troops in gaza and the west bank and now in lebanon is because everyday terrorists threaten the lives of israelis who have done nothing to the palestinians. the palestenians only wanted the land once the jews moved there. these groups arnt fighting for the land they are fighting because they dont want jews to live there!

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By John, August 3, 2006 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
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First of all; the relentless massacres the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOFs) have systematically been conducting against Palestinian children, civilians, and their infrastructures since the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was voted to power in late January must be mentioned. According to the Palestinian Human rights Center (PHRC), more than 300 Palestinian children and civilians have been killed since then. Nearly 400 more were injured, children included, and others left disfigured.

Second; the month of June in particular has still seen the worst of Israeli crusades subjected on the Palestinians of Gaza by the (IOFs). Most notably is the June 12 Gaza Beach massacre, in which the seven member Gahlia family was executed, including five toddlers and children, by Israeli gunboat shelling. Followed by the June 13 guided American – made missile massacre, in which three toddlers and children, in addition to their parents, were murdered.

Third; The American President’s provocative response to all these, and other Israeli atrocities, which is “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Fourth; The Arab governments’ passive and negative reactions, with the exception of the Sudan.

Fifth; on June 25th, the Palestinian resistance decided to retaliate against Israeli crimes against humanity in Gaza. They didn’t choose to kill Israeli children in the same way “the most moral military of the world” has done. Instead, they fought the (IOFs) themselves in a cross raid confrontation. The success of the Karm Salim operation in penetrating the IOFs’ defenses, in a new Palestinian skillful style of resistance, lifted the morale of Palestinians after months of Israeli killing. The (IOFs) lost two soldiers and three other soldiers were injured when the resistance captured Corporal Gilad Shalit.

Sixth; the IOFs began once more, another severe collective punishment against Palestinian children, civilians and their livestock. The IOFs’ bombers have struck the only power plant in Gaza, destroyed ministerial buildings, educational institutions, family homes, and as usual, murdered entire families, toddlers and children.

There’s hell to pay!

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By Spinoza, August 3, 2006 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
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Get organized, raise hell


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By Dov, August 3, 2006 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
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The point that’s being missed among all the rhetoric is that Israel would like nothing more than peace, and its actions are all reactions to terror.

Israel offerred a two-state solution including 99% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, and Yasser Arafat said no.  Yasser Arafat himself later wrote in the New York Times that he should have said yes, but at the time, the response was in intifada.

Same with the Gaza pullout.  Even as 500 rockets were shot at Sderot, and Sderot citizens were demanding action, the army spent a year doing nothing, giving the Palestinian “government” a chance to clean it up.  The response: terror.

Just imagine what would have happened if Hezbolla, a day after the military offensive started, had said “OK, here are the two soldiers, we’ll stop the terror.”  If they’d done this, every Israeli action would have stopped.  If it hadn’t stopped then it would have been morally wrong.  But Hezbolla didn’t do that, Hezbolla instead camped their terrorists and arms around schools and hospitals.

Israel could pull out now.  A lot of Israeli citizens could then return to their homes up north.  (We have hundreds of families from up north staying in my town in central Israel, and all of them would like to return home.)  But then we’ll have more terror in a few months, and we’ll have encouraged the terrorists in the process.  So Israel has no choice but to keep going until terrorists are stopped.

America has a choice.  America can take the side of the “underdog” terrorists, and then these groups will grow, and we’ll have another 9/11.  Or it can take the side against terrorists, and pressure the Lebanese and Palestinian governments to stop the terror in their areas.

Anyone pressuring Israel to stop has to answer a basic question: Is Israel obligated to sit still and be a target for terrorists forever?  If so, why?  If not, what can we do THAT WE HAVEN’T ALREADY TRIED.  Until you can answer this question, it’s all armchair rhetoric that means nothing to people over here who have to live through the reality.

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By John, August 3, 2006 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
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Well, the _Washington Post_ now reports:
The attacks brought the confirmed Israeli death toll from the conflict to 38 soldiers and 27 civilians. Information about Hezbollah deaths remains sketchy, with Israeli military officials saying 300 fighters have been killed, and the militant Shiite group saying the total is 46.

I guess the thousands of rockets launched by Lebanon really are nothing but souped-up fireworks.  They certainly aren’t as lethal as laser-guided white phosphorus and cluster bombs.

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By John, August 3, 2006 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
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Israel has more than 350 armed and ready to deliver nuclear weapons, untold numbers of depleted uranium-shielded 120mm main gun M1A1 and M1A2 tanks, untold numbers of Apache Attack helicopters, and now Pentagon and military officials declined to describe in detail the size and contents of the new Bush-expedited arms shipment to Israel. It probably includes 100 GBU-28’s, which are 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs intended to destroy concrete bunkers. The package also provides for selling satellite-guided munitions. The GBU-28 is “a special weapon that was developed for penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground.” The document added, “The Israeli Air Force will use these GBU-28’s on their F-15 aircraft.”

What does Hezbollah have? 30-mile range “rockets” with 10-pound “warheads” that cannot be aimed accurately. Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Sheik Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, was foolish to launch his “Operation Truthful Promise” and capture an Israeli soldier as he had promised Ariel Sharon (when he reneged on releasing Samir Kuntar as part of the 150-prisoner exchange of 2000. Israel’s response, however, is out of all proportion. Mr. Olmert said, “They are going to regret this decision. Punishment will come this time.” That is the very core of the problem of disproportionate military response. However foolish it is for one to step on the toe of the playground bully who’s muscles are more powerful than his mind, the rest of the kids and all of the supervisors are obliged to step in and prevent the utter annihilation of the provocateur.

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By John, August 3, 2006 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
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Like most elements in the disinformation spin managed by Mr. Murdoch, “Hezbollah” has assumed the black hat and cape of the Bush oversimplification. Hamas was legitimately elected in January. “We” didn’t like that because of their being on “our” list of bad guy organizations. Hezbollah is the resistance; its goal, as implied by NoFool, is to set free the 10,000 Palestinian, Lebanese, and other Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, including hundreds of women and children illegally arrested and held without trial, which, by the way, is in clear deviolation of international law and the Geneva Convention.

The Israeli air force was ordered to hit 10 buildings in south Beirut - where Hezbollah has its “headquarters” - for every rocket the group fires at the Israeli port of Haifa. Lebanon should stop shooting their rockets, for sure, but the disproportionality of the response is immoral vengeance.

If the big guy is clearly in the wrong, I’m against him, and I’ll do whatever it takes to “shut him down.”  You and I have to sift through the weapons of mass deception and choose sides intelligently. Current score is: dead Lebanonese nearly 1,000 (most are like the family at the beach or “rag doll”); Murdoch is suppressing the numbers for Israeli casualties, but BBC last reported 24 dead Israelis (of these 24, 20 are soldiers).  What do we Americans hear?  3,000 Israelis wounded by the merciless rocket bombardment (with warheads containing ball bearings and nails).  But 900 Lebanonese people have been killed by F14s and F16s and Apache Attack helicopters—and 3,000 wounded (by cluster bombs, Abrams tanks, and 1,000 pound laser-guided weapons), and more than one million people, a quarter of Lebanon’s population, displaced. 

The environmental conditions in nature that are being created by Israeli revenge attacks are changing the formerly unconcerned Lebanonese into members of the resistance, spawning ever-increasing numbers impossible to exterminate or eradicate. We seem to like to call them all “Hezbollah terrorists.”  Sympathetic members of the world community may join them and other resistance movements. It won’t take much more than a few million hatchets wielded by wretched women to scare us obese couch potatoes to death.  Can you imagine them coming through your community’s gate?  Mr. Bush could possibly save himself and us by transmuting from war president to peace president.

In the heart of darkness Kurtz says, Kill them all. Exterminate the brutes. He himself becomes the monstrous. 

Let these things penetrate your hardened hearts; the darkness of fear, revenge, ignorance, and death are transformed by the power to love, forgive, affirm, and nurture. The quiet on the battlefield after all the explosions stop is not peace.  There is no way to peace; peace is the way.

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By NoFoolForAipac, August 3, 2006 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Spinoza correctly says: “Hizbullah’s capture of the soldiers took place in the context of this ongoing conflict”, but he may not know an important piece of the immediate context that even better explains Hizbullah’s “kidnapping” of those two dear, precious, ethnically superior Israeli soldiers we’re all supposed to be so concerned about:

Hizbullah captured these two soldiers in retaliation for Israel’s prior seizure of two Lebanese non-combatant men, a doctor and his brother.This was reported in the Turkish press but virtually nowhere in the Western media where Israel’s slavish American benefactors might read it. Israel continues to hold these men for no reason, with no explanation or answer to their compatriots’ demands that they be released.

This is in ADDITION to Israel’s ongoing, arbitrary, mass detentions - “kidnappings” - of over 10,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, with no charges or hope of release, sometimes for DECADES. Furthermore, Israelis are well known for mistreatment and torture of their detained Arab or Muslim inferiors—indeed, American neocons in the Pentagon brought in racist Israeli sadists to “advise” us as to how to treat “these people” in our prisons. We have all seen the result.

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By Dov, August 3, 2006 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
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I’m confused here.  The Palestinians have been saying for a long time that they want an autonomous Palestinian country.  Doesn’t every country have borders?  The U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico have organized crossings and fences where needed, and people have to respect the border as the border between two autonomous countries.  As a step towards two autonomous countries living side by side, what’s wrong with a border fence?

I think that if you “dig” a bit deeper, you’ll find that the real truth is that the Palestinians don’t want an autonomous country.  What other explanation is there for such opposition to the kind of border that every other country in the world has?

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