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








 
 

Israel’s Barrier to Peace

(Page 3)

I traveled along the completed parts of the barrier for 10 days.  It is being built in sections.  When I go into and out of the West Bank, often passing through multiple Israeli checkpoints, it takes three or four hours.  The northern sections were completed in July 2003, although the Israeli Defense Ministry was still razing houses and fields along the barrier in the north for a buffer zone when I visited.  Bulldozers, trucks and backhoes belch diesel smoke and lumber across the landscape.  Where there is no barrier there is often a wide dirt track being graded and smoothed for construction.  On either side of the emerging barrier are the dynamited remains of markets or homes and the blackened stumps of destroyed olive groves.  It is one of the most ambitious construction projects ever undertaken by the state, certainly one of the most costly.

The small town of Mas’ha lies in the path of the barrier.  It has been in decline since the start of the uprising three years ago when Israel blocked the road leading from the town to Tel Aviv.  The closure ended the businesses of the dozens of fruit and vegetable sellers who lined the road with shops and markets.  The closure trapped most Palestinians inside the West Bank and because of this the barrier for Israelis is an abstraction.  It does not slice through any Israeli land.  It does not change Israeli life.  It only solidifies the status quo. 

The Baddya Market on either side of the small asphalt road is empty, the tin-roofed sheds and warehouses that once had piles of fruits and vegetables for sale abandoned.  The town’s population has fallen from 7,000 to 2,000 since the closure of the road. 

I stand on top of one of the two dirt mounds that block the road to Tel Aviv.  There is an army base on a hilltop in front of me.  There is an electric fence that runs around a settlement a hundred yards up the road on my left.  Two green Israeli army jeeps lie parked at an angle blocking the road a few feet beyond the second mound.  The two dirt mounds and strip of empty road between them are filled with old cardboard boxes, broken bottles, empty wooden vegetable crates, cans, plastic Coke bottles, tires, shredded remnants of plastic bags, a broken chair and the twisted remains of a child’s stroller. 

A young boy is loading three cardboard boxes into a shopping cart.  An elderly woman, standing on the mound a few feet from me, is helping him. When the cart is full the boy begins to push it to the other mound about 50 feet away.  The woman follows.  When they get to the other side he lifts out the boxes for her.  She drops a silver shekel in his hand for payment.  He goes back to the other mound to wait.  He does this all day.  It is the only way goods move up and down this road.

I walk into a small shed where a man is seated at a table.  The shelves around him are bare.  He has two boxes of tomatoes in front of him.  There are cold drinks in a large refrigerated case with glass doors.  A single light bulb hangs from a wire, casting a soft hue over the gray stubble on his face.  Fat, languid flies buzz nosily.  It is the only sound I hear.  I ask him if he will speak to me.  There is a long silence.

“Why?” he finally says.  “It won’t do any good.”

I walk up the road, over the two mounds, and turn left to go up through the opening in a post fence with loops of barbed wire.  A rainbow flag flies from a post planted in the ground along the fence.  The dirt in the yard is pitted and gouged with tread marks from heavy earth-moving equipment.  I hear the squelch, grunts and guttural moans of engines at work.  I cannot see the machinery.  The sky is clear, that searing crystal-like clearness that makes the light of the Middle East unforgiving and overpowering. 

There are tarps in the yard in front of the house.  Under the tarps are a collection of dirty mattresses and foam pads.  Piled around the mattresses are backpacks, some with tickets from European airlines.  A blue backpack has a tag with the letters SAS.  There are plastic water coolers under the tarp.  There are plastic cups scattered on the ground.  Several young men and women, many in baggy cotton pants and sandals, lounge on the mattresses speaking quietly.  Some are asleep.

I go to the door of the house.  Munira Ibrahim Amer, who lives there, takes me upstairs to the flat roof where laundry is hanging and there is a large water tank.  The heat on the roof is withering.  I edge my way under a narrow eave to capture some shade.  A young woman with short blond hair and glasses holds a video camera.  She is wearing a green T-shirt and green cargo pants.  She has a small pouch strapped around her waist.  She says her name is Maria.  She says she does not want to give me her last name.

“Thousands of us have been denied entry visas by the Israelis at the airport,” she says with what I suspect is a German accent.  “Many of us who get picked up are deported.  If I give you my name I will be on their blacklist.  They will not let me in.  They will put a ‘No Entry’ stamp in my passport.”

She has been in and out of Palestine, she says, for over a year.  She was one of the first internationals to get into the Jenin refugee camp after the Israeli attack against armed militants that left scores dead and sections of the camp destroyed.

“I could not breathe because of the smell of the dead bodies,” she says.  “I saw children collect body parts of their parents.  None of us could eat.  It was terrible.  And the world stood by and did nothing.”

She was an Islamic studies major.  She speaks Arabic.  She became involved in protests in Italy against the occupation.  She joined a group called International Women’s Peace Service, which sends activists to protest the construction of what it terms “the apartheid wall.”  She lives in a house with other activists in the Palestinian village of Haras.  She has been in and out of the West Bank and Gaza for over a year, surviving on the meager funds given to her by the organization.

The activists surround the house when the bulldozer, belching smoke and groaning, lumbers through the yard on the way to grade the track on the hill below.  Three activists chain themselves to a shed next to the house when they think the bulldozer might turn to attack.  The shed next to the house, the family has been told, is about to be destroyed.  When Maria speaks of the bulldozer it is as if it is a living object, some Leviathan rising out of the bowels of the earth to swallow up Palestine.

“When we do an action it is beautiful,” she says.  “It is what life is about, living together, not fighting simply for our own happiness.  The real pursuit of happiness is not about making me happy.  It is about living together and sharing.”

There is something wistful in this, as if she knows much of human sadness, which I later find out she does.  Activists, like aid workers and foreign correspondents and soldiers, are often orphans running away from home.  I was one.  They seek new families and new reasons to live, often messianic reasons that are intense enough to blot out the past and keep the darker clouds of memory at bay.

She wears a piece of silver jewelry around her neck.  It comes from India.

“I put my fingers around it and hold it when I am scared,” she says, wrapping her fingers over it.  “I have grown superstitious.  I risked my life more than once last year.  I understand why Palestinians believe in God.  When you feel your own impotence in the face of Sharon and the United States you have to believe in something bigger.  It is the only way to survive.  I don’t believe in God.  I believe in this.”

There is the sudden roar and screech of army jeeps.  A dozen Israeli soldiers pile out of the vehicles in helmets and flak jackets.  They spread out along the road, facing the activists,  who now are rousted from their mattresses.  Three men grab the chains and run for the shed.  The soldiers cradle black M-16 assault rifles.

“Oh hell,” she says quickly, pushing the start button on her camera and pointing down at the scene below us, “and another jeep is coming.  I have to call the media office and alert them.”

The ragged band of 45 activists spread out in the yard.  The soldiers watch, silent, bemused, the way a child watches a line of ants he is about to crush.  In a few moments the soldiers depart.

The activists wait in the sun for a few minutes and then go back under the tarps.  Maria joins them from the roof.  They begin to discuss tactics.  Someone proposes singing “Give Peace a Chance” if the soldiers come again.  Another suggests building a small model of a Palestinian village in the path of the bulldozer.  They begin a heated discussion over what to write on their banners.  When people agree, rather than clap, they raise their arms and flutter their fingers.  A member of the group suggests they write condemnations of the wall uttered by world leaders including President Bush.  The mention of the American president raises the temperature of the debate.

“I don’t agree that we put phrases by George Bush on our banners,” says a woman with an Israeli accent.  “George Bush don’t fucking care about this, about anything.  I really hate this man.  I don’t want any fucking thing he said on any action I participate in.”

There is a sea of fluttering fingers.  I admire their commitment but find them too sanctimonious, infected with the fanatic’s zeal that they know what is good for you, good for everyone.  Their anger springs, in part, from the fact that no one will listen, as well as the damage, the damage many I suspect nurse internally and wish to heal. 

I go into the house and sit with the family.  The family lives surrounded by the madness.  The bulldozer severed the water pipe to the house.  They have spent the last few weeks carrying water into the house in plastic buckets.  The children have turned one side of the house into an outdoor toilet.  It sinks of human feces.

Munira Ibrahim Amer and her husband, Hani, have four boys and two girls.  They scamper around the room, often shouting to be heard above the noise of the heavy machinery busily tearing up the earth outside.  I feel I am in an Ionesco play.

“I spent 10 years working in Saudi Arabia to buy this land and start our nursery,” says Hani.  “In a few hours the Israelis bulldozed my greenhouses and my plants into the ground.”

The family moved into the house in 1981.  They made a decent living.  They had many Israeli customers.  They grew things.

“A year ago army jeeps appeared in the village and scattered leaflets around the mosque,” he says.  “Soldiers came to our house.  They told us our house was in the way of the fence and would be demolished.  They said they would compensate us.”

But he does not believe them.  He says the Israelis determine the worth of the land and property and he says other Palestinians tell him the Israelis usually never pay. 

“They will build their wall and they will take revenge on me and my family for allowing these internationals to protect us.  They will demolish my home.”

It is dusk.  I leave.  The activists, fearing a demolition, sleep under the tarps. 

I speak with Maria the next morning by phone.  She tells me her real name.  It is Maren Karlitzky.  She is German.  She reveals her name because she is sitting with the other activists in a police station in the Jewish settlement of Ariel.  The Israelis have taken her passport.  She is under arrest.

She tells me that at 7 a.m. about a hundred soldiers surrounded the house.  They pushed the activists onto buses.  The activists watched the bulldozer demolish the shed.  The group was kept awake all night.  Everyone was questioned.

“When I was called in for questioning they told me I could stay [in Israel] if I collaborated with them,” she says.  “I refused.”

At 4 in the morning the police presented the group with typed Hebrew statements and told the activists to sign them.  The statements said that none of them would again enter the West Bank or attempt to renew their visas.  They signed the papers.

“It was a mistake,” Maren said.  “We were tired.”

I ask her what she will do next.

“Guess,” she says.



Next Page: “Too much pressure makes explosions,” my host says.  “When you deny us education, medical care and work what do you think we will do?”

Dig last updated on Jul. 25, 2006


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By Robert, November 10, 2006 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #37534 by Frank Goodman, Sr. on 11/10


Frank,

Your response to Ken Schreier’s zionist’s fanatic outbursts is eloquent, genuine & full of integrity.

I wouldn’t lose any sleep over these fanatic zionists. If you look back at the list of the zionists that have surfaced on this forum, one can almost see that their presence is synchronized with the previous zionist that was commenting on this forum. Almost the same fanatic comments. These zionists on this forum write to please their zionist brothers. Most likely they will share their comments & may print and/or post them in their zionists circles & clubs.

We should not be fooled with their deceptive techniques. At times they sound like they are all for justice, human rights…etc…one should never doubt what their motives are…“only if its good for the Jews & Israel.”

Zionist American Jews are more loyal to the flag of Israel than to the American flag. They usually have dual citizenships. One U.S. & the other Israeli. They usually will go serve in the Israeli army before volunteering to serve in the U.S. military. 

Ken Schreier’s comment:

“Well Israel got their land back and it is for keeps!  Let the people who live in the west bank & Gaza accept Israels right to exist as a Jewish state or get out and move in with their arab brothers!”

What would Ken do if a gang of armed criminals evicted him from his home, harmed his family, took his money, his car(s), all his personal belongings and then at gun point told him…“Hit the road ...this all belongs to us now. Accept it or get out and move in with your wealthy jewish brothers in the rest of the 50 United States.”


One last point that I would like to bring out regarding the “Promise Land.” The Jews keep spewing that Palestine belongs to Jews because God gave them the “Promise Land.”

I would to know where is it written that God gave the Jews the Promise Land & gave the Palestinians (christians & moslems) refugee camps & occupation?


Frank, keep up the good work & happy Veteran’s Day.

Take good care & with best regards.

Report this

By Frank Goodman, Sr., November 10, 2006 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #37380 by Tony Wicher on 11/09

Yeah. I realized that I left out Mohammed and a host of others. My intent was to give some examples, not to be all inclusive by name. I also should have included Shinto, Buddhism, Hindu, American Native Spirit Religion, Amazon Aborigine Spirit Religion, Australian Aborigine Spirit Religion, and on an on through the history of primitive mythologies. I did not believe that I had to put ten thousand schisms and fanatics in this forum to get the point across. It should be self evident that human equality is a standard from which to begin.

The message of peace on Earth and good will to all people is lost on the likes of Ken and others who cannot see the beauty of the forest because one tree is diseased and he has a brain tumor himself. This conversation is good for the soul of man because it shows up the bigots in all their infamy. After all Ken and his like do a great service to the cause of human decency by showing a total lack of it. Every advance in human history has begun with violations of the principle of peace and justice. It is harder to fight small violations of human rights. The Germans had a term that they understand better than anyone else. The ‘salomy tactic’. That is where a thin slice of rights is taken away until the whole salomy is gone. Nobody notices until they lose it. It is the old frog in boiling water analogy. Put a live frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil and the frog is cooked, never sensing the change.  We have advanced to the point that freedom and human rights can be taken away by an organization of nations acting to preserve the peace by not fighting for justice.

Ken says that “all nations” were formed by driving out the inhabitants and proclaiming the state after the massacre. With little doubt, it is likely that most of the nations on Earth were formed that way in the past.

The United Nations was created and brought into play by a bunch of those land thieves. America was formed on the land of the natives who were here long before the first Pilgrim set foot on these shores. Their land and way of life were stolen and the land divvied up among a bunch of Europeans who proceeded to raid the coasts of Africa to bring black slaves to till the land that belonged to the natives. They tried to enslave the natives, but failed because they could escape and disappear into the other native bands who still lived here. Africans could be hunted down and slaughtered or maimed to hold them.

Fortunately for all of us we have advanced the cause of civilization to the extent that the laws of the land now apply to everyone. We all live in relative peace with a bunch of lawyers and government officials and a police force and prison population to support the constitution. However, we still have elected a president who believes in torture and would turn over the government to a bunch of religious fundamentalists who would put the rest of us into second class citizenship or out right slavery. Even so, a bunch of our founding fathers were slave holders. Their hypocrisy is barely noticed in our civil rights movement. The likes of Andrew Jackson who drove the ‘Indians’ out of the southeastern United Stated has his picture on one of our circulating money notes. Slave holding former leaders also have their picture on notes as does the president who freed the slaves. Former slaves work for those symbols of hypocrisy and exchange them for their food and living expenses. So do American Natives who were driven off their land and into reservations. Palestinians use the Israeli currency in the same way.

Israel could do the right thing and proclaim a universal state of peaceful existence in which each person could be held in check by a common decency toward each other under threat of legal consequences if they don’t. There are wannabee Hitlers in every nation who could do great harm if they get into power. Israel is a rogue state operating on the stolen land of Palestine. It had the blessing of the United Nations in the beginning, but does not deserve that now, and never did. The manner in which Israel came into being, and the manner in which it continues to violate the charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as, a bunch of United Nations resolutions, shows that no forum of world opinion can hold all rogues in check.

To claim that Israel has a right to act the rogue because the Palestinians act the rogue in bluster against the crime committed against them, begs the point. That announces the distortion of an ancient doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth carried to the extreme in which it becomes two eyes for one eye and thirty teeth for one tooth. It means that if your wife is raped, you rape the rapists wife and daughter to get even. And if a thief steal your camel, you steal it back and take a bull as well on the theory that you get restitution and punish the thief.

Peace is a hard sell as is truth. Freedom and responsibility are the key to future rights and cooperative living on this planet. The likes of Ken notwithstanding.

Report this

By Tony Wicher, November 10, 2006 at 11:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #37407 by Ken Schreier on 11/09 at 6:48 pm

“To Frank Goodman, SR

I HAVE COMMUNICATED WITH RABBI LERNER.
He does not agree with your views and believes in a Jewish state. He doesn’t even know who you are !
IF MUSLIMS CAN HAVE 22 ISLAMIC STATES, THE JEWS CAN HAVE 1 JEWISH STATE !
The State of Israel was created by the United Nation in 1948, as was Jordon. The arab nations refused this and then tried to destroy Israel.
They lost and to the winner goes the spoils !
It is the way every country on this Earth today was formed !
The Israelis were willing to live with their arab neighbors in peace ! The arabs wanted, and still want to drive Israel into the sea !
Your views are totally wrong and you have no understanding of what is the real problem in the area !
Again, there is no nation of Palestine !
The name comes from the ancient people by the name of the Phlistines ! Their are no people today claiming to be Philistines and wanting a country ! The people living in the west bank are muslim arabs who have been made to live in a ghetto by the oil rich arab countries to be a thorn in the side of Israel !
The land is Jewish land ! It was stolen by the Romans and passed down to succeeding invading countries !
None of these countries had any right to this land ! They simply occupied it through war !
Well Israel got their land back and it is for keeps !
Let the people who live in the west bank & Gaza accept Israels right to exist as a Jewish state or get out and move in with their arab brothers !
I am sick of your one sided comments about how cruel Israel is to the arabs !
If the arabs had the military power of Israel, there would not be a Jew left alive in the region !
I am sick of your multi-cultural state idea !
Tell it to the 22 Islamic countries that surround Israel. They would probably hang you on a cross !
Stop being a fool and stop your anti-Jewish responses on this site !
Peace my friend, sholom alechem ! “

Ken, my good friend, I love you, believe me. You know what I am going to do? I am going to send your statement (along with this reply) to Rabbi Lerner. For I certainly have also communicated with him, via the NSP, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and Internet group that he has set up for spiritual people of all religions. Probably Frank has not yet communicated with him. Frank, please do this. Send your views to him personally at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I will personally email him to look for your communication. He is very busy with the NSP but I hope I have succeeded in interesting him sufficiently in our idea that he is paying enough attention. Ken, I know very well what Rabbi Lerner’s his current position is. However, I happen to believe that Frank’s is the correct one, the just one, and the only one that will work, for all sorts of religious, historical and psychological reasons. I am endeavoring to convince him to change his position, just as I am trying to convince you. He is a very intelligent, very honest man, and I have been arguing Frank’s and my view to him for some time now.

Report this

By Fadel Abdallah, November 10, 2006 at 1:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another Israeli Massacre of Palestinian Children and Women!

Those cowards, hiding behind their superior weapons of mass destruction, are again at what they can do best: killing civilian women and children! This is done with the moral and financial support of us Americans and our tax-payers money, while we celebrate the elections of our so-called democracy. But for Palestinians they can be sure that their bleeding will continue under the Democrates who receive 55% of their funding from the Israeli Lobby. The republicans receive 35% of their support from this same lobby, and they did a pretty job at returning the favors to Israel. This is all the democracy money can buy; and I am so ashamed and embarrassed for it as an American and a tax-payer! For the last time before I give up, I am appealing to decent Americans to try to do something about an evil that is of their making to a great extent!
===============================================
ACTION NOW: PUT A HALT TO THE ISRAELI MASSACRES IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Posted: 09 Nov 2006 08:46 AM CST

- On November 8, Israeli tank shells killed at least 18 people in their sleep. Eight children are said to be among the dead. Of the 18 killed, 13 were from the same family and over 40 more were wounded in a residential attack on Beit Hanoun. According to witnesses at the scene all of the dead are women and children. The human cost of the attacks on Beit Hanoun have resulted in over 75 Palestinians killed in less than a week.

- On November 6, the international Red Cross condemned what they called a deliberate Israeli attack on clearly marked ambulance workers; the ICRC issued a statement saying that, “The International Committee of the Red Cross is appalled by this failure to protect personnel engaged in emergency medical duties. The individuals concerned and their means of transport were clearly marked with a distinctive emblem conferring the protection of the Geneva Conventions [on the conduct of warfare],” continued the same statement.” Two paramedics were killed.

- On November 3, two Palestinian women who were taking part in non-violent protest were killed when Israeli Occupation Forces began shooting at a group of hundreds of women from Beit Hanoun. To watch video of the attack on unarmed women, click here.

- Call, Fax and Email your representatives today and ask them to stop supporting the indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinian women and children. Tell them that you expect this country to do what it must to stop the killings in Gaza. Israel would not be able to commit these crimes if not for the support of the U.S. In fact, in Palestinian media has been showing pictures all day of the shrapnel being pulled out of the bodies of Palestinian victims all of it stamped: Made in the U.S. It is unacceptable for us to be supporting war crimes in the territories. Tell your elected officials to take heed of the elections we just had in this country. The Republicans ought to realize that we have had enough war, lies and corruption. The Democrats should know that we can, as a people, come together for change and that they must support justice in this world by condemning Israeli atrocities or we will not vote for them either. Supporting Israeli war crimes is not only immoral but it is never going to make this country safer.

EMAIL AND OR CALL THE WHITE HOUSE
WHITE HOUSE COMMENTS LINE: 202-456-1111
WHITE HOUSE SWITCHBOARD: 202-456-1414
WHITE HOUSE FAX: 202-456-2461
==============================
Source: Citizens for Fair Legislation: http://www.cflweb.org

TO SEND OUR PREWRITTEN LETTER TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS CLICK HERE

Or you can quote all the above and tell him/her:

Stop supporting the indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinian women and children. I expect this country to do what it must to stop the killings in Gaza. Israel would not be able to commit these crimes if not for the support of the U.S. In fact, today, I saw pictures of shrapnel being pulled out of one of the Palestinian victims in Beit Hanoun and that shrapnel was stamped: Made in the U.S. It is unacceptable for us to be supporting war crimes in the territories. I expect my elected officials to take heed of the elections we just had in this country. The Republicans ought to realize that we have had enough war, lies and corruption. The Democrats should know that we can, as a people, come together for change and that they must support justice in this world by condemning Israeli atrocities or we will not vote for them either. Supporting Israeli war crimes is not only immoral but it is never going to make this country safer.

Report this

By Tony Wicher, November 9, 2006 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #37376 by Ken Schreier on 11/09 at 2:13 pm

Frank,

Ken is hysterical. Look at all those exclamation points!!! How shall we calm his fears and show him that we love him? Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. Sometimes this does seem to go against every instinct of nature, but it can be done and it is effective.

Well, Ken? Are you ready for the 21st century? Are you ready for the real Holy Land, the real Promised Land, the real Zion which belongs to everyone and where everyone lives in peace? Are you ready for that? Is your faith great enough?

Report this

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

Jewish Voices for Peace

Stop support for Israeli Violence.


http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/jvfp/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=5866

Report this

By Kwagmyre, November 9, 2006 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Ken Schreier:

You’re so addicted to dramatic outbursts here!

And like the “livid Larry” who used to post here, always accuse those differing from you of being nothing but Jew haters!

You have no use for rational discussion or debate with the rest of us here!

Your exclamation mark is certainly getting an exhaustive workout!!!!!!!!!!

Of course you can always calm down when you realize that in the final analysis a single party state for Isreal encompassing everyone of all faiths and persuasions is the ONLY way to go.

Report this

By Robert, November 9, 2006 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MS. Loewenstein writes & tells us all what is the real situation in Gaza like. Our current U.S. administration just continues along that familiar route. However… I sense that there is CHANGE on the way!!!
==================================================


“NIGHTMARE IN BEIT HANOUN”

HOW GAZA OFFENDS US ALL

By Jennifer Loewenstein

November 9, 2006


“40 years after 1967 and 58 years after 1948, why is the occupation not yet over?

Because Israel does not want to end it. Because Israel wants the land and the resources without the people.”

Here is the link to this oustanding article by Jennifer Loewenstein:


http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein11092006.html

Report this

By Ken Schreier, November 9, 2006 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Frank Goodman, SR

I HAVE COMMUNICATED WITH RABBI LERNER.
He does not agree with your views and believes in a Jewish state. He doesn’t even know who you are !
IF MUSLIMS CAN HAVE 22 ISLAMIC STATES, THE JEWS CAN HAVE 1 JEWISH STATE !
The State of Israel was created by the United Nation in 1948, as was Jordon. The arab nations refused this and then tried to destroy Israel.
They lost and to the winner goes the spoils !
It is the way every country on this Earth today was formed !
The Israelis were willing to live with their arab neighbors in peace ! The arabs wanted, and still want to drive Israel into the sea !
Your views are totally wrong and you have no understanding of what is the real problem in the area !
Again, there is no nation of Palestine !
The name comes from the ancient people by the name of the Phlistines ! Their are no people today claiming to be Philistines and wanting a country ! The people living in the west bank are muslim arabs who have been made to live in a ghetto by the oil rich arab countries to be a thorn in the side of Israel !
The land is Jewish land ! It was stolen by the Romans and passed down to succeeding invading countries !
None of these countries had any right to this land ! They simply occupied it through war !
Well Israel got their land back and it is for keeps !
Let the people who live in the west bank & Gaza accept Israels right to exist as a Jewish state or get out and move in with their arab brothers !
I am sick of your one sided comments about how cruel Israel is to the arabs !
If the arabs had the military power of Israel, there would not be a Jew left alive in the region !
I am sick of your multi-cultural state idea !
Tell it to the 22 Islamic countries that surround Israel. They would probably hang you on a cross !
Stop being a fool and stop your anti-Jewish responses on this site !
Peace my friend, sholom alechem !

Report this

By Geronimo, November 9, 2006 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another way to bring peace to the Middle East is for the Jewish settlers and/or the Palestinians to renounce the use of violence and then, on the basis of mutual trust, for them to get together and work thinks out anew. How’s this going to bring about a just and peaceful settlement between two people that have been feuding ever since the Zionist state was hatched? No problem because whichever side renounces violence first, the other is sure to follow.  How?  By popular demand, that’s how.

Report this

By Tony Wicher, November 9, 2006 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #37312 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 11/09 at 7:58 am

“We cannot go back to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. We must go forward to peace on Earth and good will to men of all faiths, races, and beliefs.”

Hey, Frank: don’t forget Muhammad. We can’t go back to him either. As he was one of the greatest revolutionaries of all time, he went forward, not back, and so must we.

Report this

By Ken Schreier, November 9, 2006 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Frank Goodman, sr:

You and your buddies are not for peace !
You did not even understand my very factual response to you !
You are for the destruction of Israel !
You and your anti-Jewish pals are full of it !
Your hate of Israel is obvious in your writings !
You make no mention of the dictatorial arab leaders who only want Israel destroyed !
I explained to you that the Jews predated that muslims snd you ignore that ! You and your pals are a joke !
I doubt whether you understand anything about the reality of the situation !
You say you have a Jewish background, I have heard that before !
Those type of people think they can say anything about the Jews without RECRIMINATION !
You are the worst type, because you use your so called background to attack your own kind !
Anyway, you and your friends have no influence at all in the matter.
You can talk and talk until you turn blue and no reasonable and truthful person would pay any attention to your foolish plan !
Take care and may you see the light before darkness overtakes your soul for eternity !
Please do not write me anymore of your foolish lies !

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., November 9, 2006 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #37067 by Ken Schreier on 11/07

See Comment #37254 by Tony Wicher on 11/08

Tony says it all. We who are on the side of peace and cooperation in a secular nation of all people of Palestine, including Jews, want to see a Palestine where neither Jews nor Muslims enforce their will upon the rest. The days of the Crusades of Christians with the same will are long gone, but just in case the Crusading Christians should come back to haunt us, we are against that, too.

Though your view of Israel is seriously distorted and erroneous, you seem to be on the side of peace. Your error is in blaming those whose land was stolen and whose rights are violated by Israel. Israel is a rogue state set up on the stolen land of Palestine. Nevertheless, it could be the precursor of a truly secular state for all. Your exposure to the Zionist propaganda shows that it is effective on the minds of those who are not well informed of history and of the democratic movement and diminished influence of religion on the government of commerce and people of different religions.

The wrong headed view that force can subjugate the will of people maligned and tortured by an occupation of their homes and land will in the end force a solution unacceptable to anyone. If the insurgents win, an Islamic state could be established every bit as drastic and violent as the Zionist state.

Do not discount the possibility of the defeat of the occupation. It happened in America in the 18th century when the super power, United States, was formed from the colonies of British occupation and rule. It happened in Viet Nam where the super power, United States was defeated by the insurgents. It happened in Lebanon where the mighty Israeli army was sent running twice by the insurgent Islamist Hezbolah. It happened in South Africa where the insurgent blacks changed the apartheid regime of white South Africa.

However, it failed where the insurgent Southern Confederacy lost a civil war in America and human slavery came to an end as a legal practice. Not all insurgencies on the side of decency and rights succeed. Overwhelming force can keep people suppressed and oppressed for generations. Humans have the capacity to propagate wrongs and to ignore rights. But, right tends to win in the long run at the cost of much blood and treasure. Israel could prevent that by declaring a secular state with equality of rights and freedom of religion in fact, not just in principle or law. Israel could declare that every Palestinian and descendant of Palestinians have the right of return to their homes and to compensation for the losses sustained when they were invaded by a hoard of refugees from European and American anti-Semitism.

With the right of all Palestinians to vote in all elections in Israel, the Zionist state would disappear from the Earth and a truly secular state of Palestine could rise from the ashes of tyranny and wrong headed reliance upon ancient myths of a Promised Land. It could be truly a promised land for all people who love freedom and human rights. Surely it would take generations to erase the stigma of the religious wars, but it can be done. I have witnessed that in America where I grew up in a segregated society where, even in the victorious North discrimination was the rule, though not the law. Now I see mixed marriage couples every day in the markets of South Florida. I see a multicultural society where 21 languages are spoken in the homes of my county and where there are synagogues, churches, mosques and temples everywhere. In the election, poling places were hosted by churches, synagogues, and mosques. Jews came to the mosque in their precinct to vote and Muslims came to synagogues in their precinct to vote.

It can be done and must be stated immediately. Israel could lead the way by example and by faith to eliminate hate and exclusionism from its bosom. That would be preferable to an Islamist take over and another round of hate and recrimination and killing in the name of a religious cause based on expired dogmas of ancient doctrine of separation based upon a view of ‘my god’ and ‘your god’ mentality of a past age.

It is time to enter the 21st Century and incorporate true democratic rule in nations long immersed in the past. We cannot go back to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. We must go forward to peace on Earth and good will to men of all faiths, races, and beliefs. This is the future. The past is history in all its distortions to serve one prejudice or another. Come together in common cause for freedom and cooperation of people everywhere on this Earth. We have larger causes than the narrow bigoted agendas of small minded and violent people. Whether you believe that Palestinians are wrong or right of if Zionists are wrong or right, move to the future and get you mind out of the trenches of the past and into the congress of government for the common good of all. And let us stop killing each other in the name of our religion. Let our religions save us from each other by embracing the human rights of all.

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By Robert, November 9, 2006 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ANOTHER BEIT HANOUN MASSACRE COMMITTED YESTERDAY, ON NOVEMBER 8TH, 2006, BY ISRAEL’S BRUTAL ARMY USING U.S. MADE TANKS. ==================================================

“NEVER FORGET BEIT HANOUN, GAZA, NOVEMBER 8, 2006”


A palestinian mother and her two babies lay together in the drawer in the morgue fridge as workers prepare the bodies for burial in the Beit Hanoun hospital following an ISRAELI military operation in which ISRAELI TANKS fired on homes in the northern Gaza strip.

The world reacted with horrified shock to an ISRAELI army attack on Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip that killed 18 Palestinian civilians, eight(8) of them children.

Here the link to horrors committed by ISRAEL’s brutal IDF:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=660

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By Tony Wicher, November 8, 2006 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #37067 by Ken Schreier on 11/07 at 4:33 pm

RE: FRANK GOODMAN, Sr - Comment # 36940

“Dear Frank:

I appreciate your belief that the middle east region can live together in peace!
That might be so if religion was not a factor.
However, religion is a very great negative factor.
The Jewish state of Israel is run as secular state with the understanding that it is a place where Jews can be free to live as Jews. It also has a 1 million + Israeli arab citizen population which is given the right to be Muslims !
You tell me if Jews have the same right in Muslim arab countries ?
Jews have no problem living together with other races & religions. Their very survival over the centuries, living in different countries, required them to get along with the Christians, Muslims and other religions which out numbered them !
As you know, the problem is not Israel, the problem is the Arab countries who do not tolerate other religions in their countries !”
———————————————————————-
Ken, this is Tony Wicher. I am glad to have you in this discussion. I have been waiting for a more Christian-oriented Zionist like yourself because I have friends of a similar persuasion and I believe I can speak your language. I might be able to bring you around to a point where we can all agree. 

Just for the sake of argument, let’s consider the Biblical account of history as being more or less correct, as Frank suggests. We shall try not to be silly. The account of creation given in Genesis is of course allegorical. What about Noah and the Flood? Who knows, there may have been some sort of flood, but it is hard to say how that which is written down and has come down to us may correspond to actual historical facts. It is lost in the mist of history. The scriptures are full of myth, allegory, imagery, visions, dreams, stories, morals, mixed together with historical fact. We must do the best we can to discern what is what. Our ministers, rabbis and imams tell us what to believe, but how do they know? In the end, we must each use our own judgment and not rely on that of others, and we should really listen to all points of view in our search for truth. We can of course pray for guidance, and if our heart is pure we just might get some. 

Consider then this story. Is it historical fact or is it an allegory? Who knows? Maybe it’s just an interpretation of a Bible story that I am inventing, but humor me. I am using the Jewish version of the Torah. We begin with Abraham, then, who may very well have been a person who actually existed as a historical fact. Concerning Abraham (whose name was still “Abram”; the extra “He” had not yet been added by the Lord) it is written that

Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.  She had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Look, the Lord has kept me from bearing. Consort with my maid; perhaps I shall have a son through her.” And Abram heeded Sarai’s request. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian—after Abram had dwelt in the land of Canaan ten years—and gave her to her husband Abram as concubine. He cohabited with Hagar and she conceived, and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was lowered in her esteem. And Sarai said to Abram, “The wrong done me is your fault! I myself put my maid in your bosom; now that she sees that she is pregnant, I am lowered in her esteem. The Lord decide between you and me!” Abram said to Sarai, “Your maid is in your hands. Deal with her as you think right”. Then Sarai treated her harshly, and she ran away from her.

That quarrel between Sarai and Hagar is still with us today as Israel/Palestine. If it had been up to kind Father Abraham there would have been peace. He did not order Hagar to leave. Hagar was proud and Sarai was harsh. Ishmael, the son of Hagar, was Abram’s oldest son. Later on Sarai (now called Sarah) became pregnant with Isaac (at the age of ninety – I wish I knew what supplements they were taking in those days!).

Then it is written that a messenger of the Lord came to Hagar when she was hiding near a spring of water in the wilderness, and tells her,

“Go back to your mistress, and submit to her harsh treatment. I shall greatly increase your offspring and they shall be too many to count. Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son; you shall call him Ishmael. For the Lord has paid heed to your suffering. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him; he shall dwell alongside all of his kinsmen. 

But it is also written that

Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live by your favor!“ God said “Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac, and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come. As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him, and I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation. But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, which Sarah will bear to you at this season next year. And when he was done speaking with him, God was gone from Abraham.

It is further written that

Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all his homeborn slaves and all those he had brought, every male in Abraham’s household, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that very day, as God had spoken to him.

So, even though God said that the everlasting covenant was with Isaac the child of Sarah, he also had said earlier that the covenant of circumcision was with Abraham himself, and that all the males of his household, including Ishmael, should be circumcised under this covenant.

After this the Jewish Torah does not follow the fate of the children of Ishmael, because their story and that of the Jews diverge here.

It might be supposed, however, that whereas the Jews continued their religious tradition of monotheism (which Abraham probably brought from Egypt) the children of Ishmael did not, and continued with the polytheism that was the general rule at the time. That is, every tribe had and worshiped its own god. They did not deny the reality of “other gods”; the gods of others were simply not their god. There could be a contest to see which god was more powerful, but nobody (except the Jews and maybe some Egyptians) was claiming that their god was the only one that even existed. This is really a much more tolerant and democratic attitude. Romans, Greeks, Hindus – these kinds of cultures have no problem with other people’s gods. They just add them in to the pantheon. Before Muhammad, the Arabs were like that. They also had a strange symbol of this attitude, the Kaaba. A structure made of black stone, the Kaaba had within it a whole pantheon of gods – Greek, Roman, Persian, Christian, Jewish – every religion of the whole area was represented. The Christians had their Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus. There was probably a menorah or something for the Jews, a statue of Athena for the Greeks, various statues of Egyptian gods such as Ra, Thoth, Isis, and Osiris, and whatnot. The Kaaba is built near a spring known as the Zamzam in the desert, and according to the Muslims, this spring is the very one where Hagar was hiding when the angel of God came to her, and it was built by Abraham and his eldest son Ishmael. It became a religious center known as Mecca. People from all around came there and held religious rites, circumambulating the Kaaba with its gods in a type of ceremony (the Hajj) with ancient roots, and this helped to make its city, Mecca, a center of trade as well. Access to the Kaaba was controlled by a tribe called the Quraysh, who became rich this way. That was the situation when Muhammad, himself a Qurayshi arose with his uncompromising monotheism. He asserted that all those statues were nothing but stones and it was stupid to pray to them. There is only one God who is a living spirit, and he lives everywhere, not just in some stones. Yet, he kept the Kaaba itself. He merged all those gods into one God, and said there should be no images of that God, which is also the second of the 10 Commandments. In other words, he accepted the monotheistic god of the Jews and applied it to the situation as it was in Arabia in the 7th century. But Muhammad’s doctrine was also one of the unity of religion – that all religion is one. All gods are really one god.  “Islam” means peace=religion, not this or that religion.  So then you can say that Judaism is a form of Islam, Christianity is a form of Islam, Buddhism is a form of Islam, etc. In that sense Islam is anything but intolerant. It is the most tolerant, the most democratic, of religions. Apparently, many Jews did not like Muhammad’s interpretation and still object to it. It’s too bad for them, because if they had been more democratic,  there would be 1.3 billion Jews today. Perhaps they had a tinge of that curse of mankind, that narrow-minded sense of the superiority of one’s own people.  It is a universal human weakness that is only overcome by education, enlightenment and the progress of civilization. But there is no doubt that the Arabs were insulted then by their rejection, and they still are today. So, Muhammad founded his own religion and called it Islam. It is still very similar to Judaism, and it has many flavors, depending on the people – Arab, Indonesian, Persian – who adopted it. .     

Now it seems that the spirit of Abraham is in the world after all this time. With great love he seeks to bring his family together. There should be peace in his house at last. His sons must embrace each other and know each other as brothers. It has been prophesied that this would happen some day. Perhaps that time is really coming.

So, Ken, hear his message of love, which is the same as that of Jesus. The Promised Land belongs not to the Jews, not to the Muslims, not to the Christians. It belongs to everyone. We must be like Abraham and with great love and mercy, bring our family together and help them to love one another. I see that as our Christian mission.

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By Robert, November 8, 2006 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WHAT IS GOING ON IN GAZA? ONE MASSACRE AFTER ANOTHER…ISRAEL’S BRUTAL MILITARY ARE SLAUGHTERING PALESTINIAN WOMEN & INFANTS UNDER THE COVER OF THE U.S. MID-TERM ELECTIONS RESULTS / COVERAGE:

=================================================

Who Was Perpetrating the Terror?

The Women of Beit Hanoun, Gaza

By ELIZA ERNSHIRE

November 7, 2006


The winter rains have started and the temperatures are falling everyday. Unsealed roads are fast becoming muddy tracks. The heavens are weeping to the frightful events that are unfolding now in that devastated and forgotten strip of land in Gaza, home to 3 million Palestinians.

In this dreary weather the joy of the festive holiday of the Eid has vanished. There is only cause for sorrow now and tears that will rival the heaven’s showers. Before dawn on Friday morning the Al Quds Radio station in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, called on the women of the city to stage a protest outside the mosque inside which 40 of their resistance fighters were trapped.

Twelve hours later an Israeli spokesman announced “The militants used women as human shields. This is a clear example of the use of innocent population of terror.” This statement was duly swallowed by western media, most of which have covered the present crisis and growing tragedy in Gaza as little as possible.

But what was the terror and what was the threat? Who was threatening and who was perpetrating terror?

There have been three days of bloodshed in Gaza which followed an ominous build up of Israeli military on the borders. We watched in horror and yet again failed to do anything until it was too late. Only now, after 43 Palestinians have been killed in the course of three days, is the international community calling on Israel ‘show restraint’.

Again, too late and too little.

When those in the position to force some restraint fail to act then it is left to desparate people to act in desparate ways.
The women of Beit Hanoun acted in response to the radio call for help because the international community had not been bothered to mediate. Their men were under siege. Their brothers, husbands and sons were being killed and their mosque was being bulldozed to the ground.

many did not have to think when they were called on to act. What were they risking? A life where missile attacks are a daily occurrence, where funerals to bury their relatives are a weekly event, where fresh water and proper food are dreams tey have long given up on.

For many of the women who left their homes at sunrise and walked for an hour or more to the scene of terror their only hope was that their actions might save some lives and the world might be woken up to the reality of their tragedy. Instead, their actions have been used to further vilify their loved ones who had spent a night holed up inside a house of worship that was being crushed and the ceiling caved in. The women outside were looking for one glimpse of their husbands and sons. The Israeli forces opened fire and the women were among the dead.

A heartbreaking photo bears witness to the scene of carnage, published in the West Bank newspapers and kept away from the rest of the world media: Women rushing for cover behind a wall. A lamp post covered with blood and a crumpled woman on the ground. Faces turned heavenward is disbelief and anguish.

‘The army was forced to open fire on the crowd because two militants were among the women.’ The Israeli media announced. And instantly the action is excused.

Of course, Israel protect its citizens. ‘This offensive to halt hand-made rockets being fired into Israel across the border.’ Israel as been “protecting its citizens” with increasing ferocity for the past four months, at the cost of more than a thousand Palestinian and Lebanese lives.

Meanwhile we are ladled propaganda about militantts and their threat to Israel security, even when it means accepting the fact that Israel opened fire on a group of women, killed two, wounded more than ten and then denigrated their action into “an action supporting Palestinian Terror.”

Why can we not even give honor where honor is due?

Give some credibility to the brevery of the women of Beit Hanoun who dared the tanks and fire of the strongest military in the world for the love of their men!

There has been a continual strike in the West Bank over the current situation in Gaza. On the day the rains started the streets were empty in Ramallah and the shops were shut. There was an atmosphere of horror, deepened by night-time invasions in all major cities of the West Bank. It seemed on Saturday that everyone had some one to mourn and bury; a relative, a friend or just impossible hope that the present situation was going to improve before winter came with its added harships of rain and mud and freezing nights.

A winter difficult enough for villagers who are reliant on wood-fires for warmth, but compounded a million fold for the people of Gaza who are still trying to piece together their lives shattered by the last bloody actions of the Israeli military.

There were actions in solidarity with the people of Beit Hanoun on Saturday in Ramallah and Nablus and afterwards, as I walked the quieter streets in the evening rain, I stopped women I saw walking and asked them what they would have done if ramallah radio broadcast such a call for help.

“Of course I would have gone,” one elder woman answered. “If it was my son or husband or brother besieged inside our mosque, it would have been my neighbor’s. Our men are risking their lives to try and forge our children a better future, it is our duty to fight by their sides.”

One young and beautiful woman added: “It would have been an honor to act as our sisters in Gaza have acted.”

Here is the link to the boody horror in Gaza:

http://www.counterpunch.org/ernshire11072006.html

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By Ken Schreier, November 7, 2006 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: FRANK GOODMAN, Sr - Comment # 36940
Dear Frank:

I appreciate your belief that the middle east region can live together in peace !
That might be so if religion was not a factor.
However, religion is a very great negative factor.
The Jewish state of Israel is run as secular state with the understanding that it is a place where Jews can be free to live as Jews. It also has a 1 million + Israeli arab citizen population which is given the right to be Muslims !
You tell me if Jews have the same right in Muslim arab countries ?
Jews have no problem living together with other races & religions. Their very survival over the centuries, living in different countries, required them to get along with the Christians, Muslims and other religions which out numbered them !
As you know, the problem is not Israel, the problem is the Arab countries who do not tolerate other religions in their countries !
According to them, Jews cannot own property in their countries or be part of the government !
Jews must leave from all arab land and that includes Israel !
You need to get real !
A multi-ethnic democracy will not work as long as arab muslim countries continue to want the destruction of the State of Israel !
It is alright if Muslims have Islamic states but Jews cannot have a Jewish state ! What a joke !
The region is full of muslim arab dictators who use the Islamic religion to keep their subjects under control & blame the United States & Israel for all their problems !
Your blaming of Israel for the problems in the region is another sad commentary on well meaning people who just do not understand history or the present day reality !  Israel is the only multi-ethnic democracy in the region and you can’t even acknowledge that !
It is the arab muslim dictatorships that must change to multi-ethnic democracies not Israel !
Also, your secular attitude and unspiritual view of the Torah of the Jews is sad ! It appears you believe the bible to be some fairy tale ! It is not !
As you can see, Israel has been returned to the land it was promised after nearly 1900 yrs !
There is no such predicted event in the history of the world !
You may take it to be chance, however, from a statistical point of view it is close to impossible and has never happened before !
The Torah predicts through the visions of Moses & the prophets everything that has happened to the Israelites to this very day !
There is no chance that this is pot luck !
You need some spiritual awakening and get away from petty self serving politics and prejudice people who can find only Jews to blame for their problems !
Peace my friend !

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., November 6, 2006 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #36723 by Ken Schreier on 11/05

Ken,

I respond to you concerning what you said to Fadel Abdullah.

You are correct that Islam as an organized religion did not come to that land until long after the precursors to the Jews were first there. To mix some Biblical and some secular history, let us presume the account of Noah and his descendants is correct. The three sons of Noah led families which repopulated the Earth. (I do not accept that as fact, but as a starting point for this comment.) Ham is the father of the Hamitic peoples. Shem is the father of the Shemites (Semites). Japheth is the father of the Japhethites. Intermarriage took place among the sons of each with the daughters of each of the others. The major component of the people who were in what is now called Palestine/Israel when Abraham arrived were Canaanites, who were Hamitic. Philistines came from an excursion of Hamitic people who went first to the Greek islands, then back to Canaan, via Egypt. The major stock of current Palestinians is Hamitic. Another part are true Arabs as Beduins and Ammonites, as well as others. By the time Moses led his people out of Egypt the people of that land were quite mixed and not pure Semites. Neither were the Jews who arrived later. The religion of the Children of Israel after the Exodus constitutes the Jewish traditions which have come down to this day as a mix of Jews from many parts of the world with genetic markers from all other racial stocks. That religion traces back to Abraham.

Palestinians are a mix of Hamitic, Semitic and Japethite people. In fact many Jews have converted to Islam and to Christianity, so many Palestinian Muslims could trace to the same stock as the Oriental Jews who are true Semitic.

All that aside because Palestinian is not a race, a tribe or a religion. Hebrew is not a race or a religion either. Palestine is a place delineated as the British Mandate after World War II. Palestinians include Jews, Christians, Muslims and schisms of each. Shiite, Sunna, Druze, and Ba’hai, are all part of the schisms of Islam. Catholics of Eastern Rite and Catholics of the Western Rite, as well as Protestants of many kinds constitute the schisms of Christian Palestinians. You know the schisms of the Jewish faith, who are included in the pre-1948 Palestinians.

Tony Wicher, Fadel Abdullah, and I are advocating a democratic one state for all people of Palestine/Israel. This would meet the needs for personal freedom and economic pursuits in a land of many people. A secular government to enforce laws of commerce and individual rights would guarantee freedom of religion and equality for all people who live there. Peace would be a function of cooperation of people in peaceful pursuit of life free from most animosities generated by differences of religion. That requires adjustments for Muslims, Christians, and Jews living together in the same nation. That would mean that a Christian nation is out of the question, an Islamic nation is out of the question, and a Jewish nation is out of the question. Each could practice their respective religions in peace without interference by their neighbors much as it is in the USA. Fanatics could disrupt the best of arrangements, but they could be kept in check by pressure from each of the major religions’ leadership.

In summary, Palestinians as a mixture of all the descendants of Noah should live together in peace and harmony in the Promised Land. The land was promised to all by our Almighty God who placed us on this planet. Ancient myths and modern distortions of those myths should not stand in the way of cooperation in peace for all human beings in that Holy Land. Zionists and Islamists as well as fanatic Christians must give up their misguided misanthropy and learn to live in peace with their fellowman.

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By Ken Schreier, November 6, 2006 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Kwagmyre - Comment #36781

You totally ignore the reality of the present situation in that region !
It is fact that Israel is the dominant country in the region, even though the arabs out number the Jews 40 to 1, and are still unable to destroy them !
If you think that is rationalization and nonsense, you must blind to the truth !
G-d does indeed favor those who do his will !!!
The Jews brought into the world the idea of a one
and only G-d and that is fact !
It was spread to the rest of the world through the teachings of a Jewish rabbi named Yahoshua, Jesus as you know him !
Mohammad was a man who wanted to be accepted as a prophet, when the Jews refused to accept him he turned on them and started killing them !
Not much different today, when you don’t accept Islam you are an infidel worthy of death.
Time to get real pal, lies must stop and Islam must change its ways and become a peaceful religion in deed and stop trying to make everybody a muslim !
The Jews never tried to change the world to be all Jewish, no reason the muslims should feel they have to !
It is only necessary that we do the will of G-d and that is to love thy neighbor as thy self and do what is right & just to your fellow human being !
There are many religions but ONE G-D !!!
It is man who created religions, G-d never said that he required that there be a religion !
G-d only commanded that you follow my ways and keep my commandments !
The children of Israel were not a religion, they were & are a people !
Anyone who does the will of G-d is considered a child of Israel ! In english, the hebrew word Yisroel, means the upright of G-d !
So, take care and love one another my friend !

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By Kwagmyre, November 5, 2006 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Post #36723, Ken Schreier:

“Again, the miracle of the Jews returning to the land the ONE AND ONLY G-d OF THE UNIVERSE GAVE THEM IS WITHOUT PRECEDENT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND ! Take heed my friend when such a people has the all powerful G-d of the Universe behind them !”

Nonsense!  God(or at least the God that I’m familiar with)doesn’t play favorites like that.
What you’re citing has merely been a rationalization for land expropriation by Israel.

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By Tony Wicher, November 5, 2006 at 9:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More emails:

Comment #36667 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 11/04 at 9:20 pm

Comment #36526 by Fadel Abdallah on 11/03 at 8:44 pm

Rabbi Lerner just sent me another reply. You should read it and get in touch with him. So far he has not said anything about changing course from a two-state policy to the multi-ethnic democracy that we are proposing. But it sounds to me like he support the hudna without presuppositions, if he were approached in the most diplomatic way possible. He says he knows from long and frustrating experience that he is powerless to affect Israeli public opinion, so he is doing the best he can here in America. Therefore if we can convince him of the correctness of our course, he will be most useful here in America. If he can talk directly to Al Gore and Barak Obama he is incredibly valuable.

Now we must seek leaders in Israel, since Lerner is saying that he is basically an American Jew, not an Israeli one, and Israelis will not listen to him. I have one suggestion. There are real Jews in the Holy Land. Some have them have lived side by side with you for hundreds or even thousands of years. They no more liked the Zionists stepping on them with their hobnail boots than the Arabs did. I’m sure you know the Neturei Karta. They claim hundreds of thousands of adherents. They call this secular Zionism the perversion it is and refuse to fight in the Zionist army. They do no believe in “Jewish self-defense”. Zionists and other warmongers portray them as crackpots, but they are 100% right about that, because this is the essence of the whole problem. I have never contacted them directly, but they seem a natural ally. 

Rabbi Lerner wrote: 

Thanks, Tony. If I understand you correctly, then what you are calling upon me to do is exactly what I am doing in Tikkun magazine and in the Network of Spiritual Progressives of the Tikkun Community. We are doing everything we can to make an impact on Israeli policy, just as we are on American policy. Our resources are very limited—that’s why we need people who support our goals (articulated in our Core Vision at http://www.tikkun.org) to actually join or at least make tax-deductible contributions to our work (which they can do online at http://www.spiritualprogressives.org), because at the moment we have very little staff. But this past summer we were able to collect enough money to publish a full page ad in the NY Times and in the LA Times asking for an immediate end to the war in Lebanon long before the militarists in the Israeli government agreed to do so. And yes, I’ve met with Barack Obama and Al Gore and urged them to use American power to push Israel toward a different policy toward the Palestinians articulated fully in my book The Geneva Accord and Other Strategies for Israel/Palestine Peace (North Atlantic Books, 2004).
  I fundamentally agree with you that in the broader sense in which I mean when I say “God,” the only path for salvation in the Middle East or the US or anywhere else is to embrace God. What that means in this context is this: that people must overcome their addiction to “being realistic” and instead recognize God as the Force in the universe that makes possible the transformation from “that which is” to “that which ought to be”—and then act as partners with God in transforming the world, making a real tikkun.
  I wish I had the skills to make that happen in Israel. But after considerable time spent there, I’ve come to understand that unless one is right-wing or else born in Israel, one cannot get a hearing by the majority of Israelis (including even a majority of pro-peace Israelis). The psychodynamics of that society so quickly discredit anyone from the left who is also someone who is religious that it is virtually impossible to be heard there with that perspective, and when one adds an imperfect knowledge of Hebrew spoken with a foreign accent and an inability to cite one’s own experience in the IDF, then one is completely without audience. So, although I personally tried to transcend these limitations, I found after trying for many years that it was not possible for me, with my particular weaknesses, to have an impact there except through Tikkun magazine. So I resolved to return to the US and make my impact through American culture and politics, and that is what I’m doing.
  Power to the prayerful who are also love-filled in thought and action,
  Rabbi Michael Lerner

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By Tony Wicher, November 5, 2006 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
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Further reply to Comment #36667 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 11/04 at 9:20 pm and
Comment #36526 by Fadel Abdallah on 11/03 at 8:44 pm

Frank and Fadel:

I wonder if you could possibly each write a personal note to Michael Lerner in which you try to allay his concerns and initiate a friendly dialog. Perhaps this would persuade him to take our suggestion and contact Mr. Yousef.

His email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thank you,

Tony Wicher

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By Tony Wicher, November 5, 2006 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #36526 by Fadel Abdallah on 11/03 at 8:44 pm and Comment #36667 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 11/04 at 9:20 pm

Gentlemen,

Today I received the following email from Rabbi Lerner. I am posting it along with my reply. As you can see, he is politically very, very skittish. He is in a difficult position. But let us not give up on him. Let our prayers continue to call to the better angels of his nature.

From: Rabbi Michael Lerner [mailto:rabbilerner@tikkun.org]
Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2006 10:31 AM
To: Tony Wicher
Subject: Re: On your meeting with Mr. Yousef

I am so sorry to say that the pressures of work and commitments to training new leaders of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and commitments to the members of my synagogue and the intense speaking schedule ahead makes it unlikely that I can continue this discussion at this time. If you would be so kind as to read my book Healing Israel/Palestine you’d get my perspective on many of these issues.
  In closing the conversation, however, I do want to make two points:
  1. In the tone of response to my remarks, Fadel Abdallah calls the people who are occupying Palestine today latter-day Nazis. I think this is completely inappropriate because the Nazis became famous for engaging in genocide—trying to kill every person of a Jewish “racial” background. Israel is doing no such thing. The Muslims/Arabs perpetuating the genocide in Darfur are doing that. Nor is Israel the worst human rights violator in the world, dwarfing before the systematic denial of human rights in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, China in Tibet, Russia in Chechnya and the US in Iraq.
  2. In my view, articulated most clearly iin my book Jewish Renewal, many people who pray 3 times a day or more, wear religious garb and observe religious laws are not necessarily people who believe in God, whereas many self-proclaimed atheists are actually deeply committed to serving God though they would deny that. Because, as I explain in detail in that book, serving God is actually rejecting the pessimism that says that the world is fixed and cannot be changed and therefore we must accommodate to it, and instead those who serve God insist on the possibility of possibility. For that reason, while for practical reasons I favor a two state solution iin the very short run because it seems the most immediate way to achieve reduction in the suffering of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people, in the long run I do not endorse a one state solution, but a no-state solution. I do not believe that the human race can survive for the next two hundred years without replacing the states that emerged through history with a new form of organization that is based on ecological districts and a huge amount of cooperation between peoples. I look forward to the time when Jewish, Muslim, Christian and every other form of religious and national chauvinism are looked back upon as an unfortunate period in the development of human consciousness. Meanwhile, I will never believe that any people has had all sparks of decency extinguished==and hence resist the demeaning language being used toward Israelis in the same way that I resent the demeaning language that I often hear used toward Arabs, Palestinians or even all Muslims.
  Many blessings to all who seek peace and pursue it with a loving heart.
  Rabbi Michael Lerner
P.S. I hope you’ll send this response to anyone who was privy to hearing your comments and those of Fadel Abdallah and to Mr. Yousef

Dear Michael:

Oh, Michael, don’t go all political on me. Of course I will send your response to everyone involved in this matter, as well as these comments I am making now. They can judge for themselves. My own comment is this: I HAVE read your book, Healing Israel/Palestine. I am well aware of your position. All this that I have been writing for the last few months is my response to it. I do not support your current position. Your current position is not working. I am trying to get you to change it. Look, Michael, I come from an entire family of atheists. My father was a theoretical physicist.  I was taught scientific principles, atheism, skepticism, dialectical materialism, and what a Nazi is at father’s knee. I understand as well as you that “many people who pray 3 times a day or more, wear religious garb and observe religious laws are not necessarily people who believe in God, whereas many self-proclaimed atheists are actually deeply committed to serving God though they would deny that.’ - such as my father and mother, for example. So what I am talking about is real religion, the one that even good “atheists” have. If Israelites have lost that religion, they are going to hell, and pulling the rest of the world down with them. It is up to you, Rabbi, to find that real religion in them for it is the only way to peace. And don’t say Israel can’t be expected to be first, to lead the world to peace. That is such a sleazy argument. Israel must lead. That is its historical destiny. It has no choice.

I am not telling you or Fadel or anyone else that Israelites as a people lack a sense of decency. Quite the contrary, I am hoping and praying that they still do. To me it is a bit like the German people. I have met large numbers of very, very decent Germans. None of them are particularly “religious”. They are merely kind, peaceful and civilized. They are as horrified by what the Nazis did and as unlikely to forget it as the Jews. But at a certain point in their history, the German people were misled into evil. Alas, it took a world war to get rid of those devils. But, unfortunately, they still survived, in a way. You know, the Nazis always envied the Jews, and what they did was not only to murder them physically. They also stole their religion. The result is Israel, where Nazism now survives as a godless Zionism.  BUT, I am only saying this about the right-wing Zionist leaders, like Netanyahu, which I believe you despise as much as I do. I am NOT saying this about the Israeli people in general. They only have to open their eyes and throw out these leaders. I think they will do that, if someone such as you could find a way to wake them up! As I said, it would also be the most critical factor if the United States would support the policy I recommend. You could be so instrumental in BOTH parts of this strategy. I am going to try to contact such people as Barak Obama and Al Gore to propose this policy, but since no one has ever heard of me, it will probably be impossible to get their attention. You, sir, are a prominent person who might be able to do so. 

Please accept my apologies for any undue harshness of my words. I know it is emotionally difficult, but you are a psychiatrist and used to dealing with painful emotions. I sense that in you, and that is why I am speaking so frankly.

With love and all my prayers,

Tony

 


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By Ken Schreier, November 5, 2006 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
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#32228
To Fadel Abdallah:
Sorry the truth hurts !
You did not properly read my response.
The Jews were long before the muslims in the Land of Israel, that is fact !
The Jewish religion predates Islam by nearly 1500 years & that is fact !
The Muslim religion was started in Arabia and its holy sites are in Mecca & Medina and not Jerusalem and that is fact !
The name Palestine was assigned by the ROMANS who stole the land of Judea and exiled the Jews & that is fact !
Palestine has nothing to do with Islam at all, and that is fact !
The Roman dictator Hadrian, called it Palestine, to change the name from Judea when the Jews revolted in 132 ad. to insult them. The Romans named it after the ancient nation of the Philistines, you know, the one with Goliath vs David, as an insult, and that is fact !
You need to read up on factual history and not the lies the arab governments & muslim schools teach their populations !
Again, the miracle of the Jews returning to the land the ONE AND ONLY G-d OF THE UNIVERSE GAVE THEM IS WITHOUT PRECEDENT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND ! Take heed my friend when such a people has the all powerful G-d of the Universe behind them !
Wake up from your slumber before it is too late for you to repent !

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., November 4, 2006 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #36074 by Tony Wicher on 11/01

I suggest that you contact Barack Obama and Al Gore. Obama’s campaign hq can be contacted at

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I may have an Al Gore email number which I will send if I find it.

I have urged Barack Obama to run, but it is doubtful that he could be elected. He could wind up on an Al Gore ticket. See my entry on the Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America dig by Stan Goff. I pasted an Al Gore speech which looks very presidential. Google Al Gore and find a link to his email. This is worth the effort if you can bring it off.

If you wish to contact me use this email

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I am in contact with some others who may know others. Let us network this.

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By Tony Wicher, November 4, 2006 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #36526 by Fadel Abdallah on 11/03 at 8:44 pm

First of all, thank you very much for your kind words. My cause is always peace, but the compass that points to the right direction is always the universal sense of justice. For me, that compass points to a secular multi-ethnic democracy where two peoples will learn to live together and to appreciate what the others have to offer. In this process, the two people will become one, and, yes, their religion will become one. That is what I see as the historical destiny that is working out after many thousands of years. I am a very strong believer in the unity of religion. It does not matter whether you say “Allah” or “Jehovah” - one is Arabic, the other is Hebrew, that’s all. It does not matter that you read different books. God knows his people and his people know him, but they call him by different names all over the world and they read different books, that’s all. As the Christians (the real ones) always say, God is love - that’s all you really need to know.

Now, at the end of your reply you very properly express pessimism. Indeed the current situation is worse than it has ever been with no end in sight. But perhaps this may yet be the dark night of the soul just before it sees the first glimmering of dawn. You know that God can change everything with even the smallest breath. Don’t lose your faith, for that, I fear, is what the Israelis have done. 

Here is what I am going to do: I am going to send your beautiful letter along with these comments to Michael Lerner. Let’s see how he responds. Speaking of pessimism, Lerner sounds about as pessimistic and cynical and weary as you could imagine. But I like him because he is honest and open and will listen. He is frank about his weariness and pessimism, and you know, it is very much like yours. He too is in the dark night of the soul. And yet, I do not believe he has lost his faith. He is still a rabbi. He has a god to swear to. If he makes you a promise he will keep it.   

But he tells us that Israelis are “secular” and have no god. Yes, well, that is just the problem that he as a rabbi has to answer. If Israelis have no god, then are they Jews? If they are not Jews, what are they? They only answer that comes to mind is latter-day Nazis occupying the Holy Land under false pretenses. And I must tell you, I do agree with all those ugly Zionists on this blog that every last Nazi should be exterminated. Too bad it’s them. If these people are not Jews, why should a rabbi care about them? These people are frauds who stain the name of the Jews and their god. Lerner should just throw them overboard. The real Jews are the ones that stayed in America and Europe. The ones who went to Israel are imposters.

Well, Michael, what do you say to that? Is it that bad, or after all can you find a spark of decency left in the Israelis? Because that spark is the same spark in you which has prevented you and Fadel from entirely losing your faith. Yes, Israelis need a spiritual renewal. They need to be saved, because right now they are spiraling down into hell. You’re a rabbi, Michael. This is your job. They have been robbed of their god by the Nazis. That’s how I see it. And yet, and yet, there are of course many hundreds of thousands of genuinely devout Jews in Israel, and even in many of those who are completely “secular”, there is that longing for peace that is the essence of religion all over the world. In even the ugliest of them, completely lost souls that they are, you sense a final, hopeless despair of ever finding peace. They have accepted war as the way of life, as their Nazi destroyers taught them. For them there is no hope, unless by some miracle of God. But to those who still have that spark, and there are many, our souls must continue to reach out. The real Jews may yet drive out these imposters from their midst, if it is no longer possible to bring them back to their religion.

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By Fadel Abdallah, November 4, 2006 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment
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Is the U.S. an Israeli-Occupied Territory?

To find an informed answer to this question, and as an informed alternative to the misleading and evil propaganda fanatic Zionists keep inundating the Americans with, do yourself a favor and get educated by first reading Stephen Lendman’s review of James Petras on the “Power of Israel in the United States.” the review can be accessed at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english

Patriotic Americans should work to liberate America from this foreign domination and control before they ignorantly buy the false and evil claim of the U.S. political establishment that they want to liberate the Middle East from native tyrants. Doesn’t charity start at home?!

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By Robert, November 4, 2006 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
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ISRAEL’S IDF HAD A FIELD DAY IN GAZA. LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE AIMING AT AND SHOOTING…WOMEN!!!

The world just looks on as if the killings were not real. Just think if it were the other way around…Palestinians shooting at Israeli jewish women around a synagogue.

What do you think our US mainstream news media will do? We will hear…Islamic terrorism shooting at & killing Jewish women…and you know the rest of the story.

I am submitting the link again due to a link error in my previous comment #36505.

Here is the link to the Israeli IDF’s accomplishment in Gaza:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=639

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By Fadel Abdallah, November 3, 2006 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
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To Tony Wicher # 36389

I’ve been reading with admiration your comments on the Israel’s Barrier to Peace thread. As a victim of the Zionist project in Palestine, I admire your deep sense of justice and your stamina in defending the rights of the Palestinians against the fanatic and ugly Zionists on this blog.

Though I have posted in the past some angry responses to some of their twisted facts and logic, I have given up on the hope of having those types see the light and show a measure of fairness and understanding. This is precisely why I admire your stamina and persistence in battling them.

Though I used to have some kind of admiration for Rabbi Michael Lerner,  that’s no longer true after reading his response to your message to him. It seems that the man has grown cynical to the point that he tells you that “Jews are overtly hostile to religion of any sort.” I consider this response a dismissive statement about his desire to dealing with reality as it pertains to the Palestinians. Though Lerner’s statement might be partially correct about a large number of American and European Jews, it is not the case with the majority of the Israelis. But a person like Rabbi Lerner, if genuinely interested in peace, should not ignore how much religion is important for the Palestinians, and it becomes more so as the brutal Israeli occupation continues and there is no settlement for their cries for justice.

However, your response to Rabbi Michael Lerner was very powerful and to the point; especially your saying, “Unfortunately, if Israelis are as secular as you say, they have no religion to swear by. That might be a problem.” 

I also admire you straight forward logic when you say, “How can you say you are returning after two thousand years to the Holy Land which God gave you, and deny religion at the same time? It is an impossible contradiction.”

Indeed, it is the ultimate contradiction and the ultimate confusion. You’re right Tony that the majority of the Jews need a “spiritual rebirth” and unless and until this happens there is no hope for peace! Sorry to be so pessimistic despite the fact there are enlightened people like you!

Thanks for the “Jihad by pen” you do on behave of the Palestinians; for this is considered the greatest form of “Jihad.”

Thanks Tony for being a friend of truth and justice!

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By Robert, November 3, 2006 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment
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ISRAEL’S IDF ARE HAVING A FIELD’S DAY IN GAZA. LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE AIMING AT AND SHOOTING… WOMEN!!!

The world just looks on as if the killings were not real. Just think if it were the other way around… Palestinians shooting at Israeli Jewish women around a synagogue. What do you think our mainstream news media will do? We will hear Islamic terrorism killing Jewish women… and you know the rest of the story.

Here is the link to today’s Israeli IDF’s accomplishments:

http://www.normanfinkelstein/com/article.php?pg=11&ar=639

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By Tony Wicher, November 3, 2006 at 1:25 am Link to this comment
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Further reply to Comment #35957 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 11/01 at 1:07 pm

Fran,

Rabbi Lerner responded to my email as follows:

“Tony, most Israeli Jews are overtly hostile to religion of any sort—it is a heavily secular state. But I will take you advice and try to contact Ahmed Yousef.”

To this I responded as follows:

Michael,

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If Israelis are mostly secular, then that actually makes it easier for them to accept a secular multiethnic democracy. They are already a secular nation of educated people, like a progressive European nation. They cannot call themselves a democracy, however, unless they include the Palestinians, but they are not telling themselves the truth about that. Mr. Yousef, on the other hand, will have to get used to the idea of the separation of church and state. However, you as a Rabbi can still deal with him on a religious basis. If he swears to a ten-year truce by his own religion, I think that is a vow you could have confidence in. Unfortunately, if Israelis are as secular as you say, they have no religion to swear by. That might be a problem.” 

Strangely enough, I think what Israelis really need is a spiritual rebirth. I am beginning to think that the Holocaust robbed many Jews of their faith (“how could God have let this happen”)and this perverted secular Zionism is the result. How can you say you are returning after two thousand years to the Holy Land which God gave you, and deny religion at the same time? It is an impossible contradiction. Still, there are a lot of decent Israelis, religious and secular, and I never stop hoping for a miracle.

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By larry, November 2, 2006 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment
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Comment on Comment #36341 by Kwagmyre on 11/02 at 7:42 pm

#36063 by Larry:

“Kwagmyre are you really as STUPID as the Comments you just wrote.  You compared George Washington with the Palestinian Leaders!”

Indeed I have and you forgot to include the Iraqi Sunni Muslim insurgency leaders as well!

Problem is you’re naturally looking at this from a typically American perspective and thus fail to see that to MANY Palestinians their leadership IS comparable because the aim is nothing less than the liberation of Palestinians from the oppressive result of Israel’s having been a tool of Western Colonialism for so long.

Surely you remember from your high school history class that those in revolt against England looked up to ‘ol George and his Continental Army to do the same thing.

I don’t expect you to buy into this because your own narrow minded viewpoint makes that impossible.

I DON’T BUY INTO IT BECAUSE IT IS SO RIDICULOUS THAT IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A FIRST CLASS JACKASS, WHICH I AM SO SORRY TO TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE! HOW SAD!

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By Larry, November 2, 2006 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment
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No, it probably would not be worth one American life.  On the other side it would not be pratical for this Country to tell Isreal how to respond to an attack from Iran.  Just let Isreal do its thing!  It can protect itself.  The problem is this country thinks it knows what is best for Isreal and stops them from truly winning wars that might lead to peace!

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By Kwagmyre, November 2, 2006 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
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#36063 by Larry:

“Kwagmyre are you really as STUPID as the Comments you just wrote.  You compared George Washington with the Palestinian Leaders!”

Indeed I have and you forgot to include the Iraqi Sunni Muslim insurgency leaders as well!

Problem is you’re naturally looking at this from a typically American perspective and thus fail to see that to MANY Palestinians their leadership IS comparable because the aim is nothing less than the liberation of Palestinians from the oppressive result of Israel’s having been a tool of Western Colonialism for so long.

Surely you remember from your high school history class that those in revolt against England looked up to ‘ol George and his Continental Army to do the same thing.

I don’t expect you to buy into this because your own narrow minded viewpoint makes that impossible.

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By Robert, November 2, 2006 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
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ISRAELIS CONFISCATING & DESTROYING PALESTINIAN OLIVE TREES.

I found this 8 minute video on youtube.com of Israelis conficating Palestinian olive trees. The operation is in broadlight under the cover of Israel’s brutal IDF forces. The IDF shoot freely & brutally beat up on the un-armed Palestinians.

As you will see in the video, the Palestinians try to conduct a peaceful protest against the Israelis, but no time is wasted before the IDF take out their brutal actions.

Its always a “WARZONE” when the IDF are in action against the Palestinian people.

IDF policy in dealing with Palestinians…Beat them up, shoot them, and don’t ask questions!!!

Wow…It is unbelievable what the Palestinians have to endure!!!

See for yourself & you be the judge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xEApSnFPIA

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By NM, November 1, 2006 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment
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RE: comment # 35957   Frank - You seem to know what the “zionist solution” is. I don’t believe that you do. You certainly know what your own concept of the “zionist solution” is and it is a belligerent one. There are multitudes of Israeli’s yearning for peace. They will not compromise security for it. The words of Ahmed Yousef are beautiful and if only he could convince his countrymen that the peaceful approach is the ONLY path to peace. In truth a prosperous and secure Palestine would go further to assure Israeli security than all of the weapons in the world and there are plenty of Israelis who know this. How will that ever be accomplished? Both sides must take steps. Is Zionism racism? Semantics. Is Zionism reality? Yes. DEAL WITH IT! Will the Israelis make concessions that will compromise the existence of the Jewish State? Absolutly not. Will they make concessions to help to achieve a peaceful co-existence with a prosperous neighboring State of Palestine? Probably, if they are able to negotiate with an entity that has some semblance of solidarity and recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Absent of that, what is there to negotiate? How do you make peace with a people who are sworn to your destruction? My fear is that Palestinians who try to advocate for peace will be labeled as tools of the “Zionists” and be marked for destruction. However, would it not be better to give your life in that pursuit than perish in a futile suicide attack, which has claimed so many young (mis-guided) Palestinians? Those attacks have only hardened the Israelis. I fervently wish for no harm to come to peace-loving people. God bless the initiative of Mr. Yousef and may he find like-minded Palestinians and Israelis to build upon this concept. smile

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By Tony Wicher, November 1, 2006 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
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Reply Comment #35957 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 11/01 at 1:07 pm

Frank, I was most impressed by the Yousef article. It sounds like a wonderfully genuine peace offer to me. I have sent it, along with the letter you see below, to Rabbi Michael Lerner. He is a progressive rabbi from San Francisco who has been active in peace efforts on the Israeli side for more than forty years. He currently favors a two-state solution, and thinks a one-state solution is unrealistic. However, the “hudna” sounds like an idea that he would find very appealing, and he has proposed very similar ideas in his book “Healing Israel/Palestine”. If there can simply be a ten-year commitment to nonviolence by both sides, I believe that it will become clear long before then that a one-state multiethnic secular democracy is the right answer.

I do believe that an Islamic state is no more possible than a Jewish state. Obviously, an Islamic state will never be acceptable to Jews, any more than a Jewish state is acceptable to you.  Therefore the state MUST be secular. A secular state and freedom of religion go together. Together with the Jews you must write a constitution that you both believe in and will both defend to the death that guarantees your freedom and your security. In so doing you may apply the teachings of your religion and Jews may apply the principles of theirs, and you will find that those principles are really the same, and you will come together as a people and as a religion. If this happens, the world will rejoice. Go on, call me crazy. In this crazy world, I will wear it as a badge of honor.   

Dear Rabbi Lerner:

Please read the N.Y Times Op/Ed article below. It is by Ahmed Yousef, who is identified at the end as a senior adviser to the Palestinian prime minister. I do not know if you know Mr. Yousef, but I think you should contact him right away. This is a REAL peace offer. If you can find a way to shake this man’s hand and join with him for peace, it will be of tremendous value, I believe.

You know that I believe that Jews living in Israel must see that the answer to their security needs is to give up the idea of living in a Jewish state, and try instead to find a way to live together with non-Jewish Palestinians in a secular multi-ethnic democracy with a written constitution similar to that of the United States in guaranteeing freedom of religion through the separation of church and state. I believe that is solution is the only just one, and for this reason I also believe that it is the only one the Palestinians will accept in the long run. However, I realize that at this point there is no way you are going to get enough Israelis to adopt such a goal. However, if you will look at the proposal for a “hudna” in the article below, you will see that it does not presuppose a one-state solution. Basically the proposal is to a ten-year truce without any presuppositions other than a commitment to nonviolence for ten years. Rabbi, that is all the time we need. I personally believe that it would become clear long before then that a single multi-ethnic democracy in the Holy Land is far and away the best thing for all concerned, but this offer does not require anybody to sign on to this in advance, just as long as the possibility is not excluded either (then you would never get the Palestinians to agree to the hudna). Please note also the references to the Koran. Hamas is a religious party, and Mr. Yousef is swearing by his own religion to abide by it. This, to me, makes it trustworthy. Now do you think you can find enough trustworthy Israelis to swear by their religion? If both parties will swear by their religions, then they can find a way to form a state where both religions are protected.

I believe this could have incredibly far-reaching consequences, not only for politics but for religion. Would it not mean that Jews and Arabs are joined together in one Abrahamic family for the first time in 4000 years? That Semitic Jews and Semitic Arabs join together as one people?

This could really happen, but only if the Democrats win in November AND they adopt the correct foreign policy of support for such a truce. All they need to do is to announce a policy a policy of having a constitutional multi-ethnic democracy in the Holy Land in the interest of peace and justice. I tell you, the whole world would support it. Right-wing Zionists would yell bloody murder, as no doubt woud Islamists, but what could they do? I believe the majority of Israelis, seeing this virtually unanimous agreement in world opinion, would turn toward peace, and the extremists on both sides would be marginalized.

Besides contacting Mr. Yousef to discuss the hudna, we must therefore also contact influential Democrats to propose this policy. I am thinking about trying to reach Barak Obama, although I suppose it is practically impossible. But I have the feeling that he has the qualities necessary to lead such an effort from the American side. 

If you see promise in this approach, please respond.

Thanks for your attention,

Tony Wicher

640 E. 4th St

Ontario, CA 91764

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

(909) 988-9530

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By Larry, November 1, 2006 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
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Comment on Comment #35997 by Kwagmyre on 11/01 at 2:55 pm

Larry, #35883:

“Check out what happened in 1776. There were plenty of PEACE at ANY PRICE England lovers at that time in this country.”

“OK, fast forward what you said there 230 years ahead so that the current insurgency you see in Iraq( and even to a lesser extent the Palestinian “insurgency” that continues to this day)CORRESPONDS TO the “Revolutionary” army led by no less than Pres. George Washington(who with his army of followers wasn’t about to accept “peace at any price” like the Tories you’re critical of here).”

Kwagmyre are you really as STUPID as the Comments you just wrote.  You compared George Washington with the Palestinian Leaders! If so You are TRULY A JACKASS and a complete Waste of MY time and anyone else’s time who has half a brain! Folks this ( Kwagmyre) SCHMUCK is too SAD for Words!

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By Kwagmyre, November 1, 2006 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
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Larry, #35883:

“Check out what happened in 1776. There were plenty of PEACE at ANY PRICE England lovers at that time in this country.”

OK, fast forward what you said there 230 years ahead so that the current insurgency you see in Iraq( and even to a lesser extent the Palestinian “insurgency” that continues to this day)CORRESPONDS TO the “Revolutionary” army led by no less than Pres. George Washington(who with his army of followers wasn’t about to accept “peace at any price” like the Tories you’re critical of here).

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., November 1, 2006 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all those who reject an Islamic solution, take note that the Islamic solution is far more peaceful in tone than the belligerent Zionist solution. Compare this with your best scene of Zionist propositions. Also take note that Hamas has a cease fire in effect for more than a year. It is not Hamas who is manning the stone throwing kids and the Qasim rocket production and firing in Gaza.

New York Times
November 1, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor

Pause for Peace

By AHMED YOUSEF
Gaza

HERE in Gaza, few dream of peace. For now, most dare only to dream of a lack of war. It is for this reason that Hamas proposes a long-term truce during which the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can try to negotiate a lasting peace.

A truce is referred to in Arabic as a “hudna.” Typically covering 10 years, a hudna is recognized in Islamic jurisprudence as a legitimate and binding contract. A hudna extends beyond the Western concept of a cease-fire and obliges the parties to use the period to seek a permanent, nonviolent resolution to their differences. The Koran finds great merit in such efforts at promoting understanding among different people. Whereas war dehumanizes the enemy and makes it easier to kill, a hudna affords the opportunity to humanize one’s opponents and understand their position with the goal of resolving the intertribal or international dispute.

Such a concept — a period of nonwar but only partial resolution of a conflict — is foreign to the West and has been greeted with much suspicion. Many Westerners I speak to wonder how one can stop the violence without ending the conflict.

I would argue, however, that this concept is not as foreign as it might seem. After all, the Irish Republican Army agreed to halt its military struggle to free Northern Ireland from British rule without recognizing British sovereignty. Irish Republicans continue to aspire to a united Ireland free of British rule, but rely upon peaceful methods. Had the I.R.A. been forced to renounce its vision of reuniting Ireland before negotiations could occur, peace would never have prevailed. Why should more be demanded of the Palestinians, particularly when the spirit of our people will never permit it?

When Hamas gives its word to an international agreement, it does so in the name of God and will therefore keep its word. Hamas has honored its previous cease-fires, as Israelis grudgingly note with the oft-heard words, “At least with Hamas they mean what they say.”

This offer of hudna is no ruse, as some assert, to strengthen our military machine, to buy time to organize better or to consolidate our hold on the Palestinian Authority. Indeed, faith-based political movements in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Turkey and Yemen have used hudna-like strategies to avoid expanding conflict. Hamas will conduct itself just as wisely and honorably.

We Palestinians are prepared to enter into a hudna to bring about an immediate end to the occupation and to initiate a period of peaceful coexistence during which both sides would refrain from any form of military aggression or provocation. During this period of calm and negotiation we can address the important issues like the right of return and the release of prisoners. If the negotiations fail to achieve a durable settlement, the next generation of Palestinians and Israelis will have to decide whether or not to renew the hudna and the search for a negotiated peace.

There can be no comprehensive solution of the conflict today, this week, this month, or even this year. A conflict that has festered for so long may, however, be resolved through a decade of peaceful coexistence and negotiations. This is the only sensible alternative to the current situation. A hudna will lead to an end to the occupation and create the space and the calm necessary to resolve all outstanding issues.

Few in Gaza dream. For most of the past six months it’s been difficult to even sleep. Yet hope is not dead. And when we dare to hope, this is what we see: a 10-year hudna during which, inshallah (God willing), we will learn again to dream of peace.

Ahmed Yousef is a senior adviser to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/01/opinion/01yousef.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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By Larry, November 1, 2006 at 10:24 am Link to this comment
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Comment on Comment #35276 by Geronimo on 10/31 at 12:01 am

According to Larry, Comment # 54783, “Our security will require whoever is in power to make decisions that take this country to war.” And he reminds us that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a good track record when it comes to peace on earth.  He sees history repeating itself now, so that’s it, case closed, anything else is make-believe.  How to prove him wrong?  We win the election next week and go on to change the world, that’s how.  It’s called making history.”

Just a few little Corrections Geronimo. 

#1.  The #1 mission of our government is to SECURE the country and its citizens from our enemies. 

#2.  Because the world down through the ages has been a very dangerous one, our government has invested loads of dollars with our military.

#3.  It is not just recently that Democrats and/or Republicans had to help Secure the country by going to war.  Check out what happened in 1776. There were plenty of PEACE at ANY PRICE England lovers at that time in this country.  Just as there are Peace at ANY PRICE individuals like yourself still around.

#4.  I didn’t say that the Republicans and/or Democrats didn’t have a good track record when it comes to Peace on Earth, you said that.  I said that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have had a good track record when it comes to fighting a war since WW2.  Neither has allowed our military to fight to win in either Lebanon, Somalia, VietNam or now Iraq. Both parties are UTTER DISGRACES when they put American lives on the line and then tie their hands behind their backs.  Your Peace on earth quote of me is TOTALLY WRONG!

#5.  Now check the history of civilizations down through the ages and you will find one war after another.  Most of these wars were fought over religious differences.  What’s changed???  Not Much!

#6.  What can be done to reduce or eliminate wars? Realistically probably nothing!  However, IMO the elimination of organized Religions would certainly go a long ways towards reducing tensions among people. That ain’t ever going to happen!

#7.  Will the Republicans end up controlling Congress or will the Democrats take over one House or the other?  Doesn’t really matter.  Our enemies are still going to be out there.  They dislike us over Religious differences, Jealousy, and just plain power hungry motivations.  Those causes of problems between people have not and will not ever go away.  They are part of our being as humans, UNFORTUNATELY.

#8.  Personally I am hoping that the Democrats win at least the House.  I can’t stand this slimy Draft Dodger we have as our President.  He has NO IDEA of how to prosecute a War and the Guys and Gals in the Military are losing their lives because of this Cheerleading Dingbat! 

#9.  I am not against the prosecution of this War, I am against sending our young people to war without the goal of Winning at all costs (I call that a war of Attrition or a War of body Bags).

#10. The Morons that have prosecuted this war without providing our troops with the best protective equipment and gear possible, should be arrested and put away for the rest of their lives.  This includes Bush, Cheny and Rumsfield.

#11. Your wrong, as usual, this election will not lead to an era of Peace in our time.  Sorry!  I do wish you were right, but then Reality just sets in and I find your comments Comical at best Traitorus at Worse!

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By Kwagmyre, November 1, 2006 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
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Larry #32556:

“One American life is NOT WORTH THE WHOLE KITTENABOODLE over there.  The same thing was true with VN.”

So, Larry, if Israel got embroiled in a war with Iran after it attacked what it thought were nuclear sites there and Iran responded by then launching a major attack against Israel, would THAT be worth the life of a single American soldier if whatever President we had ordered American troops there?

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By Geronimo, October 31, 2006 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
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According to Larry, Comment # 54783, “Our security will require whoever is in power to make decisions that take this country to war.” And he reminds us that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a good track record when it comes to peace on earth.  He sees history repeating itself now, so that’s it, case closed, anything else is make-believe.  How to prove him wrong?  We win the election next week and go on to change the world, that’s how.  It’s called making history.

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By Larry, October 30, 2006 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment on Comment #35192 by Kwagmyre

“But I would have thought that your witnessing such grave injustices(in the name of “freedom” of course)against the Vietnamese people would engender in you a compassionate understanding of the injustices faced by people everywhere in the world which certainly includes the Palestinians(who like the Vietnamese were at the mercy of an oppressive government backed by the U.S.).”

The grave “injustice” I observed was that the U.S.Government sent a great many of my generation to fight a war with our hands tied behind our backs and a whole lot of my fellow countrymen were either killed or maimed in a false effort

We are doing the same thing more or less now in Iraq.  The boys are not being allowed to fight to win.  As such they should be pulled out Immediately.  My reasons for desiring them to be pulled out are certainly not the same as yours.  I am NO PACIFIST.  However, if we as a country are not going to allow the boys to win for whatever reason, then get the Hell out.  One American life is NOT WORTH THE WHOLE KITTENABOODLE over there.  The same thing was true with VN.  President Johnson misled the whole country and got a lot of young boys killed for nothing.  President Nixon didn’t have enough brains to get out of the rain so he got about the same number of young boys killed before we left VN.  Disgusting! 

All I have said was if you are going to send our boys to fight, there should be NO restrictions on their ability to win the War you send them to as quickly as possible.  That is the only way we ended up winning the Second World War.  This IRAQ BS War and VN prove that you can’t really win a war any other way. 

ALL OF MY COMPASSION GOES TO THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS WHO ARE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE OUR BUTTS.  I HAVE NO COMPASSION LEFT FOR THE ENEMY OF OUR TROOPS. 

SORRY TO SEE SO MANY SCHMUCKY SCUMIE “TRAITORS” ON THIS FORUM BOARD!  I have No Compassion for any of U!

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By Kwagmyre, October 30, 2006 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Larry #35090:

“As an Army Veteran of the Vietnam era I despise Draft dodgers and Bush, Cheney and Clinton were all slimy draft dodgers.”

At least some of us here(myself included)could sympathize and readily understand your resentment against those above named politicians and even moreso against so much of the American public NOT appreciating the service you rendered(even when the war turned out an unmitigated disaster in the end). 

But I would have thought that your witnessing such grave injustices(in the name of “freedom” of course)against the Vietnamese people would engender in you a compassionate understanding of the injustices faced by people everywhere in the world which certainly includes the Palestinians(who like the Vietnamese were at the mercy of an oppressive government backed by the U.S.). 

However, I can see by the tone and substance of your rhetoric I’m dead wrong.

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By Tony Wicher, October 30, 2006 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #34815 by Spinoza on 10/29 at 2:11 pm

“Larry, why do right wing scum like war so much?”

Yeah, Larry just reeks of the lust for slaughter. I figure that Zionists come to this forum because consciously or unconsciously they sense there is something wrong with them and they need help. I am indeed here to help them, and I minister to them as best I can. A Zionist like Noah who is clearly a good man, is of the greatest value in our cause, for to get him on our side is to advance the cause of peace. But when you get a guy like Larry, it is tempting to tell him that you hope he will soon sink back down into the pit from which he arose.

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By Larry, October 30, 2006 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
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Comment #34815 by Spinoza on 10/29 at 2:11 pm

“Larry, why do right wing scum like war so much?”

Spinoza—-Your Intelligence, or LACK of, just pours off my monitor Screem.  Look in the Mirror you Pathetic SCHMUCK!


#1.  I am not a right winger.

#2.  I dislike our President probably more than you.  As an Army Veteran of the VietNam era I dispise Draft dodgers and Bush, Cheny and Clinton were all slimy draft dodgers.

#3.  I am Not an Ivory Tower Dreamer. Those that dreamed and others got put in the gas Chambers during WW2.

#4.  Reality is,  this world is not made up of “Good Guys.” 

#5.  You and others on these forum boards would have been leading the cheers when Chamberlain came back with a piece of paper and Adolph’s signature on it—-DREAMERS!

#6.  How many people died while and after the world watched Hitler rearm Germany?  ANSWER—TENS OF MILLIONS!

#7.  How many will die when IRAN gets the Bomb?

#8.  How many will die when North Korea decides to use its new found technology?

#9.  Those that proclaim they want Peace and Isreal is at the forefront of the problems in the world——ARE REALLY JUST JEW HATERS!

#10.  There are a lot of JEW HATERS on this forum board—-That is just REALITY!  By the Way SPIN, you are ONE OF THEM YOU SCHMUCK!

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By Robert, October 29, 2006 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #34311 By NM on 10/27 @ 8:23PM

“I don’t advocate brutality, I simply understand it.”

“Do you think that the U.S. government is at whim and mercy of zionist Jews? Don’t you know that Adolph Hitler used the very same line to create and perpetuate a bogey-man mentality to misdirect the anger and frustration of an economically depressed Germany. How can you be so gullible as to think that Jews control U.S. policy.”


NM…You can backtrack on your comments & position regarding the use of “BRUTALITY” by the IDF on the un-armed Palestinian population all you want to, but your IDF boot tracks are clearly visible in the “Zone of Brutality”.

Regarding who controls U.S. foreign (Middle-East) policy….I’ll comment as I have have done previously on this forum.

Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres: “don’t worry about American pressure; we control America.”

On October 3, 2001, (IAP/Israeli News), a harsh & bitter argument erupted during the Israeli cabinet weekly session last week between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon & his foreign minister Shimon Peres during which Sharon reportedly yelled at Peres, saying “don’t worry about American pressure, we control America.”

According to Israeli radio (in Hebrew) Kol Yisrael, Peres warned Sharon that refusing to heed constant American requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger Israeli interests and “turn the US against us.”

At this point, a furious Sharon reportedly turned towards Peres, saying, “everytime we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control American and the Americans know.”

Senator Fullbright, Chair of Senate Foreign relation Committee. On 10/07/1973 on CBS “Face The Nation” said, “The Israelis control the policy in the congress & the senate.”

The long history of bipartisan Congressional support for Israel led former Secretary of State James Baker to call the congress “The Little Kenesset” after Israe’s Kenesset(parliamen) in Jerusalem.

Pat Buchannan stated that the U.S. Congress & Senate are “Occupied Territories” by AIPAC and Israel.

When Israeli and U.S. policies clash, its the U.S. presidents who back down. Except for president Eisenhower.

Here is a link that gives all references/details to Pro-Israel PAC $$$ Contributions to U.S. Congressional candidates.

When Pro-Israel Pac contribute $$$, our elected officials deliver and answer to AIPAC & Israel.

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/may-june_2006/0605031.html


Our US mainstream News media are mostly controlled by Zionists. Fox News,CNN, MSNBC, NPR radio, news papers & other press, ABC, CBS, NBC. Their strong, biased and sympathetic portrayal of Israel while simultaneously denying any opposing view of Israel or human pictures and stories of the endless suffering of the Palestinian people, its no wonder that we the American people are so unaware of the true face of Israel.

Who controls Hollywood? When was the last time that you saw a Hollywood movie that was NOT favorable to Israel?

You keep commenting about ” elimination , destruction and anhilation of Israel & the jews”

Israel has the largest undeclared stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the whole Middle-East. Just ask Mordechai Vanunu!!!

Israel has: Nuclear bombs & sub-marines, the most sophisticated US Made fighter jets, tanks, helicopter gunships, rockets, missles, destroyers, armored personnel carriers, smart bombs and the list can go on and on. Mostly American made and given to Israel.

What do the Palestinians have to defend themselves against what Israel has? They have nothing!!! They have a few hand guns & some homemade kasam rockets that a toy pellet gun has more accuracy than the kasams.

We the American people as well as the rest of Europe keep hearing from Israelis, zionist Jews “Kill Palestinians/Arabs and Cry/Scream Anti-Semitism & Hitler”.

The plight of the Palestinian refugees & the Palestinian People are NOT the responsibily of the Arab countries.

Israel’s apartheid & brutal policy is responsible for the current Palestinian situation.

Look at that apartheid wall that divides families from each other, farmers from their land, crops and olive trees, children from their schools, the sick from hospitals.

Israel built the wall on soneone else’s land, the Palestinians. They did not build it in Israel. They continue to confiscated more & more land for more new Jewish immigrant settlers.

The Palestinians may not have what it takes to remove the Israelis from their occupied land, but they have TRUTH, JUSTICE on their side.

The Palestinians want PEACE, but not on Israel’s
terms!

In the end truth, justice and peace will prevail!!!

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By Justice4All, October 29, 2006 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
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http://www.telegph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml;jsessionid=ER05NXB34raMXXVQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2006/10/29/wmid29.xml&site=5&page=0


Israel backs down on visas for Palestinians from US

By Harry de Quetteville in Ramallah
Last Updated: 11:54pm BST 28/10/2006


Israel may be forced to reverse a controversial policy of expelling Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza after a vigorous protest from America.

The U-turn, which marks a rare official dressing-down for Israel from Washington, comes after Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, raised objections to a policy that could have seen tens of thousands of Palestinian foreign passport holders driven from their homes in the Occupied Territories.

The territories are home to some 35,000 US citizens of Palestinian descent, many of whom returned during the mid-1990s after the more hopeful times of the Oslo peace accord, and have since married and started families.

They have, however, been unable to become permanent residents because Israel, which controls access to the territories, has refused to grant them residency.

While most have made do with tourist visas, Israel recently stopped issuing even these, forcing Palestinians with foreign passports to leave immediately or stay illegally and face forcible expulsion.

“American Jews, indeed Jews from anywhere in the world, can come to Israel and be granted automatic citizenship. But Palestinians whose families have lived here for centuries do not enjoy the same right,” said Sam Bahour, a US citizen of Palestinian descent who has led the campaign to reverse the policy.

He returned from America to his grandfather’s home in the West Bank in the 1990s, and had been staying on tourist visas until last month when he was issued a final one-month permit and had to prepare to leave.

But after contacting influential American and Israeli friends and starting an internet movement to log victims of the policy, Mr Bahour was granted a new tourist visa after all.

The fact that Israel’s about-turn has been achieved by talks rather than the gun has heartened weary observers of Israeli-Palestine relations.

A vigorous advocacy campaign by Palestinian-Americans in the US, echoing the kind more usually associated with Washington’s pro-Israeli groups, is credited with getting America to bring pressure on Tel Aviv.

Mr Bahour’s success will be welcome news for the likes of Enayeh Samara, who has had to renew her three-month tourist visa 125 times since returning to the Palestinian territories.

After a recent trip to Jordan, she was barred from re-entering the West Bank by Israeli guards. She ended up having to return to Chicago, where she now speaks to her family in Ramallah daily on the telephone.

“I haven’t seen her since May,” said her daughter, Samara. “They told her she needed a residency permit but she has applied for 31 years and they didn’t give her one.”

At the US consulate in Israel, Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, a spokesman, said America was “very concerned” about current Israeli policy. “Lots of Palestinian Americans have told us they are facing this problem,” she said.

Mark Regev, from the Israeli foreign ministry, said the refusal to extend tourist visas was purely a “bureaucratic” measure.

“There are foreign nationals with no legal status, living here as tourists while we turned a blind eye,” he said. “A decision was taken that this was not a good situation.”

But he admitted that Israel had failed to process residency permits, and that the new policy had drawn fire from foreign governments.

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By Tony Wicher, October 29, 2006 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #34783 by Larry on 10/29 at 11:41 am

Geronimo wrote “A democratic win in November could lead to peace in the Middle East.  How?  By way of our staying on top of Congress and making sure that it not only brings the troops home & STAT, but that it cancels the already scheduled Iran war.  After that we’ll be but a hop, skip and a jump from no war no more, nowhere, never, not even one.  Ergo peace in the Middle East.

Sure!  Sure!  Sure!  Geronimo YOU SURE are a PATHETIC DREAMER much like “Peace in Our Time” Prime Minister of England Chamberlain was after he visited with Adolph Hitler in the 30’s.  He was Wrong then and you are Wrong now.  Will we never learn from History? 

Please go back to school and take some World History classes and spend time on the wars down through the ages in the history books and what caused them.  Very little has changed in thousands of years.

Dream on if it makes you feel better.  Unfortunately your Not Close to Reality. 

By the way, The United States lost about 50% of the men killed during the VietNam War under Democratic Presidents and the other 50% under the Republicans.  In the end it will make NO difference which party is ruling in Washington.  Our security will require whoever is in power to make decisions that take this country to war.  We are not a nation of Pacifists.  Sorry!

Right, Larry, we are not a pacifist nation. We are a nation of arrogant imperialists led by Haliburton and Exxon, and Israel is a nation of warmongering Jewish supremacists, a disgrace, an absolute disgrace, to its people’s proud history. We should all be ashamed, and you should be doubly ashamed.

Yes,dream on, Geronimo, and have dreams of world peace, not dreams of conquest and slaughter like Larry. All political action begins with a dream, a vision, that comes as a solution to a problem. Those who have such dreams are sometimes so inspired that they actually do something to make them come true. It does not matter how many fools like Larry call you a dreamer. Stand by your dream. There is hope. The historic opportunity is here now. The election coming up this November is crucial. If America turns toward peace, and puts the right kind of pressure on Israel, this will be a catalyst to turn Israel toward peace too, and this is indeed the key to world peace, in my view. There must be leading progressive lights in both countries that can join together on this.

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By Kwagmyre, October 29, 2006 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Larry #34783:

“Our security will require whoever is in power to make decisions that take this country to war.”

Yes, and our security will require whoever is in power to cut the umbilical chord we have with Israel once and for all to end this codependency that isn’t healthy for either nation!

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By Spinoza, October 29, 2006 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Larry, why do right wing scum like war so much?

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By Larry, October 29, 2006 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment on #34534 by Geronimo

Geronimo wrote “A democratic win in November could lead to peace in the Middle East.  How?  By way of our staying on top of Congress and making sure that it not only brings the troops home & STAT, but that it cancels the already scheduled Iran war.  After that we’ll be but a hop, skip and a jump from no war no more, nowhere, never, not even one.  Ergo peace in the Middle East.


Sure!  Sure!  Sure!  Geronimo YOU SURE are a PATHETIC DREAMER much like “Peace in Our Time” Prime Minister of England Chamberlain was after he visited with Adolph Hitler in the 30’s.  He was Wrong then and you are Wrong now.  Will we never learn from History? 

Please go back to school and take some World History classes and spend time on the wars down through the ages in the history books and what caused them.  Very little has changed in thousands of years.

Dream on if it makes you feel better.  Unfortunately your Not Close to Reality. 

By the way, The United States lost about 50% of the men killed during the VietNam War under Democratic Presidents and the other 50% under the Republicans.  In the end it will make NO difference which party is ruling in Washington.  Our security will require whoever is in power to make decisions that take this country to war.  We are not a nation of Pacifists.  Sorry!

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By Geronimo, October 28, 2006 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
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A democratic win in November could lead to peace in the Middle East.  How?  By way of our staying on top of Congress and making sure that it not only brings the troops home & STAT, but that it cancels the already scheduled Iran war.  After that we’ll be but a hop, skip and a jump from no war no more, nowhere, never, not even one.  Ergo peace in the Middle East.

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By Larry, October 28, 2006 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
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Noah’s Comments:

Comment #33652 by Noah on 10/25 at 9:13 pm

Tony, you say people who stayed in europe were able to rebuild, this is not the case.  Anti-semitism was rampant after WWII, people denied the holocaust, the idea of Jews as scapegoats was still there.  Jewish properties that were taken were never returned, jews had to start all over, not only in business but in life in general.  They were skin and bones after the concentration camps, not only did they have to find a way to survive but they needed a new place to live.  The only place that would never allow something like the holocaust to happen again would be a jewish state.  The fear is real.  In germany, much the same way it is in the US right now, Jews were a part of the society.  they were respected businessmen, in parliament, were secular and helping members of society.  Even though today jews are safe in the US, who knows what tomorrow can bring.  They thought they were safe in Germany and they weren’t.  The understanding is that a Jewish state will always be there for the jews to escape persecution.  Without a jewish state, where would jews go to escape the persecution of soviet russia when the wall came down, argentina after mass pogroms, ethiopia, after ethnic cleansing?  It has been proven time and again, the world will not protect jews, jews need to protect jews, and the only way is with a jewish state.  Now to say the palestinians can be equal with the jews and remove the jewish state aspect invites the possibility of another holocaust.

And by the way, i am not american, Canadian all the way

Noah, Very well said!  Wish I could do as well.  Unfortunately the Jew Haters don’t want to understand the TRUTH and they just write lies after lies.  Notice that none of them even commented on your excellent truthful column!  You can’t get through to AHOLES!

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By Tony Wicher, October 28, 2006 at 12:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #34140 by Noah on 10/27 at 10:32 am

Comment #33959 by Tony Wicher on 10/26 at 8:01 pm

“The problem i find is that i do see this.  I see the bad that comes from war, i see the oppression the palestinians go through.  I understand they are hurt and suffering, they are treated as second class citizens.  I am not denying this and i think its abhorent.
I agree Israel should be promoting human rights, there is nothing i want more than human rights for all human beings.  The issue is, the fight for human rights is not equal.  The world demands restraint and compassion when the goal of the Palestinians is to destroy israel completely.  I would love peace, the Israelis would love peace, it is all they want.  If israel did not have to spend all of its money on military spending, to defend itself, Israel would be a first nation country, they could eliminate the 5.5 day work week.  All they want is peace but because the palestinian government oppresses its own people, the surrounding arab countries add to this oppression by not allowing freedom, by supporting the terrorists, the people become violent towards israel.  Israel is there defending itself, in defending itself it is oppressing people and this is wrong, i do not deny this.  The problem is that the people they are defending themselves against are the oppressed people.  It has become cyclical, defense carries with it oppression, which carries resentment, which leads to violence with requires defence.

Your solution is one sided.  I see no demand for violence to stop from palestinian political leaders, i see no demand for peace in the west bank and gaza.”

The Palestinians are killing themselves with every act of violence they commit, because it just confirms Israelis in their defensive neurosis. It’s obviously just asking for what Israel is doing to them. The trouble is that the Palestinians are so angry at the way they have been stepped on that they can’t act or speak rationally either.  Well, that is what mediators are for. So I’m trying to expain why any sort of partition of the Holy Land into Jewish and non-Jewish areas is and always will be unacceptable to the Palestinians.

The Palestinians in the refugee camps are not the responsibility of their “brother Arabs”, though the latter very properly sympathize with their plight. They are the responsibility of the Israeli government. You have committed a terrible injustice, and you can expiate it in only one way, and that is to repatriate the Palestinians as full and equal citizens entitled the the same benefits as any Jew arriving from elsewhere in the world. If you do this, they will be your friends, and will not threaten you any more, do you see? Real peace cannot have any other basis. I have heard on this forum Palestinian voices of those who have been most grievously hurt still showing restraint and holding out a hand to you, but I have seen no real interest so far on your part. You want to stay behind your wall and say that others are responsible, but for every brick you put in that wall, there will be two rockets flying over it.

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By Kwagmyre, October 27, 2006 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
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A true “must see” website(showing there are at least some sincere IDF soldiers with conscience):

http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/how_we_are_en.asp

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By NM, October 27, 2006 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment
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My Dear Robert (34232): I don’t advocate brutality, I simply understand it. As a supporter of Israel it pains me greatly to see the continued conflict. The citizens of Israel will not simply smile and gracefully accept their anhilation, nor should they.  You feel that Israel is the agressor. To what end? Do they wish to destroy Palestinians? Does the continued occupation do them any good? Do you think that they are simply evil and must have someone to bully? It is self preservation. Self defence. Do you think that the U.S. government is at the whim and mercy of zionist Jews? Don’t you know that Adolph Hitler used the very same line to create and perpetuate a bogey-man mentality to misdirect the anger and frustration of an economically depressed Germany.  How can you be so gullible as to think that Jews control U.S. policy. If it were that easy for the super powerful and omnipotent Jews, don’t you think they could have wiped out the Palestinians by now? There are people of good will on both sides and people of bad will on both sides. The Israelis are organized enough to act in some sort of unison. The poor Palestinians have no central organization except for militants who wish to wipe out Israel. How does Israel deal with that? Who is helping Palestinians? Who is misleading them and goading them on to certain protracted misery? The answer is all of their allies. Instead of supplying them with weapons, supply them with diplomatic help and a true search for a path to peace. Unfortunately, there are too many factions seeking Israeli destruction and Israel will not turn the other cheek. As for your conviction that the U.S. has squandered all of that money at the behest of the Jews controlling its helpless government, I have to wonder if you see the only solution as the elimination of Israel and of all Jews (in the diaspora) as well? I hope we see peace in our lifetimes. Good day.

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By Larry, October 27, 2006 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment
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Comment on #33959 by Tony Wicher

Tony, Ivory Tower talk and words gets no one anyplace.  It may sell a few books or articles in a paper or on a forum board.  That is all.  REALITY TONY! REALITY TONY!  REALITY TONY!

The Arabs as a group will settle for nothing less than the destruction of the people of Isreal.  As such Isreal, if it doesn’t want to see its population slaughtered, must do what it must do. 

Tony, If you are wrong and Isreal caves in on every issue and the Jews are slaughtered, how are YOU going to take on some of that Responsibility?  Are you going to say, oh you bad Arabs, you didn’t tell me personnally you were going to slaughter the nice Jews? 

Frankly Tony, that AIN’T ENOUGH!  Go back to your Ivory tower and try to think this situation through a REALITY LENS!  Otherwise you look like Chamberlain after he met Hitler, “PEACE IN OUR TIME.”  SURE!

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By Robert, October 27, 2006 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #34128 by NM on 10/27 @ 10:05 AM


“Israel cannot slap hands to stave off attacks. BRUTALITY IS THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES. If the Arab neighbors put their foot down on Palestinian and contributed a tiny fraction of their oil $$ to society building, and if moderate Palestinians could control the violence of the militant factions, there would today be a thriving Palestine. Extremists on the Israeli side are controlled by a democratic government, but the constant defence of their lives has pushed the settlement movement to where it is today. I wager that if it could be GUARANTEED that there would be an end to the violence, Israel would abandon the settlements and turn over the entire pre-‘67 west bank territory in a heart beat. Far from a guarantee, they have seen only that any relaxation in their vigilance is met with renewed aggression.”

NM, your comment, “Brutality is the only way to protect themselves” clearly stands out as to where your fanatic Zionist position is in regards to this tragic conflict.

I presume that if you were running for an Israeli political or a military position, your campaign slogans would be to boast about the number of un-armed Palestinian women, men and children that you have BRUTALY killed/slaughtered to protect yourself. Your current comments would surely get you much support and votes from many Zionist Israelis who share your position.

Are you saying that Israelis have a “right” to use BRUTALITY against the Palestinians? Do the Palestinians have a “right” to protect themselves from Israel’s brutal army & the fanatic armed jewish settlers?

How should the Palestinians protect their women, men, children, farmers, homes, schools, hospitals,land, towns, villages, human rights, ... from Israel’s brutal army and policies?

Why are the Palestinians subjected to Israeli military laws in the occupied territories while the Jewish settlers in occupied West Bank are governed by Israeli civilian laws?

Are you saying that Israel would be willing to pull out of all jewish settlements from all occupied land to pre-‘67 boundaries(East Jerusalem,West Bank, Golan Heights, Jordan Valley) as per UN resolution 242 for a guarantee of cessation of violence on all sides?

IF you can guarantee the above position from the Israeli government, there would be a cessation of all violence from Palestinians & Israelis. It would end Israel’s brutal occupation. The Palestinians would have their deserved human freedom & dignity. Their daily humiliations at the IDF checkpoints will end. Children will be able to go to their schools, their towns, villages and homes without fear of being killed. Their lives will have some hope for a better future and a normal way of life.

NM, Israel is a “Wellfare State” in every sense of the word. It is America’s most favored recipient.

American taxpayers aid to Israel $$3-5 billion dollars per year. Over $108 billion dollars of our money to Israel (1948-2006) and on-going non-stop everyday.

While America’s farmers, small businessmen and laborers are struggling to survive, and the US national debt is skyrocketing, the US government, dominated by zionist jews, are draining the pockets and purses of the American taxpayers to support Israel’s socialist economy and its war machine.

Israel’s brutal policies would be greatly diminished if our tax dollars & military aid to Israel would come to a halt. The chances for a complete and final peace with justice to both people would surely become a reality.

Here is a link for those who would like to watch Israel’s BRUTALITY that NM advocates.

Video: Peace, Propaganda, and The Promise Land.

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

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By Noah, October 27, 2006 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
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Comment #33959 by Tony Wicher on 10/26 at 8:01 pm

The problem i find is that i do see this.  I see the bad that comes from war, i see the oppression the palestinians go through.  I understand they are hurt and suffering, they are treated as second class citizens.  I am not denying this and i think its abhorent.
I agree Israel should be promoting human rights, there is nothing i want more than human rights for all human beings.  The issue is, the fight for human rights is not equal.  The world demands restraint and compassion when the goal of the Palestinians is to destroy israel completely.  I would love peace, the Israelis would love peace, it is all they want.  If israel did not have to spend all of its money on military spending, to defend itself, Israel would be a first nation country, they could eliminate the 5.5 day work week.  All they want is peace but because the palestinian government oppresses its own people, the surrounding arab countries add to this oppression by not allowing freedom, by supporting the terrorists, the people become violent towards israel.  Israel is there defending itself, in defending itself it is oppressing people and this is wrong, i do not deny this.  The problem is that the people they are defending themselves against are the oppressed people.  It has become cyclical, defense carries with it oppression, which carries resentment, which leads to violence with requires defence.
Your solution is one sided.  I see no demand for violence to stop from palestinian political leaders, i see no demand for peace in the west bank and gaza.  After a complete withdrawal from the gaza strip leaving the people to rule themselves there are more rocket attacks than ever before.  It would seem there is no desire to stop the violence so the defence and oppression continues.
I know you will say just remove the oppression aspect.  And i would agree, it should end.  The wall should not cut into distinctly palestinian territory unless absolutely necessary for defensive purposes.  I have faith in justice though and the Israeli judicial system is dealing with these cases.  They have moved the wall in several cases where it impacted palestinians unjustly.  I am not a security personelle, neither are you.  You do not know where the wall needs to be for security officials and neither do i, this is why i trust the court system to determine what is just and what is not.  I agree some settlements should be dismantled, but the land around jerusalem, areas of strategic security importance, and defensive positions need to be maintained to prevent and secure israel from foreign attack.

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By NM, October 27, 2006 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
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In response to a statement made by Robert # 34089 - “Palestinians have tried every peaceful avenue to win their freedom”.  With all due respect Robert, that statement illustrates your narrow view of the situation. Your captors are also your brainwashers. I suppose you think Israeli’s enjoy having their young people fight and occupy. It is done in response to the non-stop agression of the Palestinian’s so-called allies (for 58 years now). They supply arms in a never-ending guerilla war against Israel that has degenerated from bombings and shootings to suicide missions.  Israel’s Arab neighbors will NEVER allow a prosperous Palestine as it will not suit their needs. They need to not have their miserable, poverty-stricken citizenry become disgruntled by the emergence of a democratic and modern Palestine. “If they can have that, why can’t we?” These countries are governed by ultra-wealthy royal families and dictators and religious fanatics. The Arab neighbors have done more to prevent Palestinian success than Israel and USA put together. Israel cannot slap hands to stave off attacks. Brutality is the only way to protect themselves. If the Arab neighbors put their foot down on Palestinian violence and contributed a tiny fraction of their oil $$ to society building, and if moderate Palestinians could control the violence of the militant factions, there would today be a thriving Palestine. Extremists on the Israeli side are controlled by a democratic government, but the constant defence of their lives has pushed the settlement movement to where it is today. I wager that if it could be GUARANTEED that there would be an end to the violence, Israel would abandon the settlements and turn over the entire pre-‘67 west bank territory in a heart beat.  Far from a guarantee, they have seen only that any relaxation in their vigilance is met with renewed aggression.

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By Robert, October 27, 2006 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
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THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SLOWLY BUT SURELY ARE SEEING AND LEARNING THE TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL’S DECEPTIONS AND THE BRUTAL OCCUPATION OF THE PALESTINIANS.


Michael Phillips: The Story Of My Kidnapping In Nablus. “I Never Feared For My Life.”


“My studies and travels exposed me to the Palestinians’ lack of freedom and equal rights. But I knew that to really understand it, I had to live it. And because my government supplies the massive financial and diplomatic support that makes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank possible, I wanted to see the effects of those policies firsthand.

Of course, I didn’t experience the occupation like a Palestinian. They are penned into ghettos, surrounded by Israel’s separation wall, and routinely prevented from traveling. I can freely move and can leave at any time.

But I’ve seen what the military occupation means.

It means that every aspect of your life is controlled by a foreign army. It means waiting hours in checkpoint lines, trying to get to school.

It means living under curfew, only leaving your house a few hours each week. It means watching your land taken to build homes you cannot live in and roads you cannot drive on because you are not Jewish.

It means rationing drinking water, while nearby Israeli settlements fill their swimming pools and irrigate their lawns.

Palestinians have tried every peaceful avenue to win their freedom. The United Nations passed dozens of resolutions affirming their rights; Israel simply ignores them.

The International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that Israel’s separation wall and settlements were illigal. Construction of both continues.

After nearly four decades under occupation, some Palestinians, appararently include my captors, are driven to desparate and despicable acts. But most still believe that if Americans knew the truth about the discrimination, segregation and brutal occupation they suffer, we would try to end it, just as we worked to end the apartheid in South Africa.

Most Palestinians eagerly embrace Americans like me. They are anxious to tell their story, hoping I will tell others. My Kidnapping, perhaps ironically, has not diminished my resolve to do just that.

My tax dollars buy the weapons that kill Palestinian children, destroy Palestinian homes and uproot their farms.

My country is the one nation in the world with the power to right this wrong.

Our policies should promote freedom and equal rights for Palestinians, to free both peoples in this land of the desparation and hopelessness that led to my capture.”

Michael Phillips is an American volunteer from Louisiana who teaches English in the occupied West Bank.

Here is the link for the full article/story:

http://www.counterpunch.org/phillips10242006.html

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By Spinoza, October 27, 2006 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
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Also please see my comments at this thread. It has some important history. Look under Spinoza.


http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/200601023_calling_jew_hater/

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By Spinoza, October 27, 2006 at 7:09 am Link to this comment
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> The fact that a fair number of the Neocons who are Jewish conned the Bush administration into launching the Iraq invasion and occupation certainly hasn’t exactly helped the cause.  <<<


Well the chances that the Bushites had to be conned by the wily Jews is not likely.  I have posted elsewhere on this site the origins of the neo Cons and the Cruise Missile Left and the growth of a Jewish right wing. it was a completely different development to the various factions of the “American” far right

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By Tony Wicher, October 26, 2006 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #33849 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 10/26 at 1:28 pm

Comment #33652 by Noah on 10/25

Noah

“You are our equal, not our occupier. You are a child of God, not His favorite. You are one of us in the family of man, join us in the quest for peace with justice and human rights. To hell with your racism and holier than us beliefs. At first we may be a bit suspicious of your change, but in time we will accept it and trust you to the extent that you can be trusted to honor our rights in order to get yours.”

This is a beautiful offer, Noah. Do you want peace enough to accept it? Isn’t it strange? You know, I have never been to Israel, but I know and love Jewish people in this country. I know damn well that you are some of the smartest, most progressive people in the world and always have been, among the leaders of civilization all over the world, especially in the United States. Your presence in the civil rights movement of the 60’s was very strong, and this was because of your historic sympathy with oppressed people everywhere. In Israel YOU are the oppressor, but you don’t see this because the terrible historical circumstances under which the state of Israel was formed has distorted your vision. May the light dawn upon you and the Israeli people. May your better natures end this nightmare.

May I say that in this endeavor I believe you will have the best wishes and support of practically all Americans, and a more progressive and peace-oriented U.S. administration, if we can manage to get one.

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By Tony Wicher, October 26, 2006 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #33850 by Noah on 10/26 at 1:32 pm

response to comment 33610

“De-theocratize israel?

Israel is the most secular country in the middle east.”

Yes, Israel is mostly secular. So let’s not call it a theocracy. Let’s call Iran a theocracy. What Israel is, is an apartheid state. Like South Africa, before Mandela. Waiting for its Mandela to be free. Come on, the Arabs in the Knesset are just like token blacks. South Africa had such things too, to prove they were good democratic white supremacists. So let us not talk falsely now: the hour is getting late.

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By Kwagmyre, October 26, 2006 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
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In response to post #33863 by TC:

“Look at the civil war in Iraq. As long as the land is occupied by Muslims, there will be strife for whose particular flavor of Islam should be in control.”

When you examine the current situation in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah it’s certainly NOT an illustration of what you’re talking about but it is a POLITICAL, non-ideological issue arising from the West’s refusal to accept the result of the legitimate election that was held there(which certainly makes a farce of Bush & Co.‘s hope to “spread democracy” in the Middle East).  The punishment being applied against Hamas has generated serious hardship resulting in so many employees not receiving paychecks.  Opposing them is the Fatah who exploited this by acting as an “agent” of the U.S. to try and bolster more support for Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
There has been much armed conflict because of it.

Many of the Israelis probably delight in seeing this.  But they’re clearly sadistic in cutting off the operating expenses that Hamas has needed to pay the civilian employees.

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By Noah, October 26, 2006 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
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Frank,
What you say is completely false.  I am sorry, but the reason there is a need for a jewish state was that jews were not protected in Nazi germany, not because they were in ghettos or made themselves different but because they were part of society.  Jews rose up in ranks and became valuable members being in parliament and businesses and helped the economy strongly.  They were integrated into society.  this was why so many stayed, the idea was that nothing like that could happen in germany.  It did, where jews were most free, most intermarried, most secular.  The only place that Jews can be assured safety is a country where jews will not be singled out for their religion or background, a jewish state.
Israel oppressing its own people as tyrannical?  Have you been to Israel?  The palestinians are not Israeli, the Israeli arabs are free to do whatever they choose, they can vote they can be active, they can be in the legislature.  Where else in the entire muslim world would Jews be allowed in their legislature?  Would not exist.  The people of Israel are very free and very happy.
Are you comparing what israel is doing to the palestinians, through personal protection to the systematic and organized killing of 12 million people?  This so called blood debt, was not created by the jews, this blood debt that you speak of was created by a bad situation resolved by an even worse solution.  Jews right now are trying to live as best they can in the situation they have been given.  Was a wall erected in 1967?  Was there a demand for cutting off the palestinians back then?  The wall has become necessary in modern times, not because of the hope to oppress these people but for the need created by suicide bombings and brutally violent attacks on innocent civilians.
I believe in the west, jews have earned human rights, it took hundreds of years of oppression but through knowledge education and dedication to building, not through violence that Jews have earned these rights.
Yes, there will be violence in the future, and yes, unfortunately many people will die, but the option of allowing the Jews to be outnumbered in their own country, to allow the possibility for another holocaust is out of the question.  There is a possibility for a holocaust in the US or Canada right now, will it happen, who knows, if the extremists get there way maybe.  This is the need for a jewish homeland, this is the need for this type of security, and this unfortunately is the best means of maintaining it.

Oh here is an interesting video you might want to look at, more general but interesting none the less
http://switch5.castup.net/frames/20041020_MemriTV_Popup/video_480x360.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=null

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By Justice4All, October 26, 2006 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
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Too important to miss…

http://www.occupation101.com/Intro_stream_hi.html
http://www.occupation101.com/film_synopsis.html

If you are in the LA area, take some time to attend this screening at the famous Egyptian theatre in Hollywood on Friday November 10th .

There will be some Hollywood celebrities in attendance such as Joaquin Phoenix, Daryl Hannah, and Matthew McConaughey among others. There will also be some special acknowledgments and presentations that you won’t want to miss! 

Synopsis

‘Occupation 101’ presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions. The film also details life under Israeli military rule, the United States’ role, and sheds light on the major obstacles which stand in the way of a lasting and viable peace.

Unlike any other film ever produced on the conflict -– ‘Occupation 101’ explains the situation in a comprehensive manner and gives audiences a complete context in which to better understand the Israeli-Palestinian encounter. The film depicts the root causes of the conflict through Israeli, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, American, and Palestinian voices that are rarely ever heard through mainstream media outlets.

The film covers a wide range of topics—which include—the first wave of Jewish immigration from Europe of the 1880’s, the 1920 tensions, the 1948 war, the 1967 war, the first Intifada of 1987, the Oslo Peace Process, Settlement expansion, the role of the United States Government, the second Intifada of 2000, and also covers the recent Gaza Disengagement of August 2005.

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By TC, October 26, 2006 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #33610 by Kwagmyre:

I agree that the wall provides only minimal security.  You suggest that “de-theocratizing” of Israel is the only long term solution.  What about de-theocratizing whatever Palestinian state would be formed (and every other Muslim country in the world)?  No one has ever suggested that, because it will never happen. Look at the civil war in Iraq. As long as the land is occupied by Muslims, there will be strife for whose particular flavor of Islam should be in control.  And usually the one that gains control is the one that reigns with the most terror.  As far as Israel is concerned, that’s a threat.  I’m sure you’ve heard the rantings of the Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose goal it is to eradicate Israel.  And that doesn’t come because he feels threatened by them, but rather because he sees it as fulfillment of a prophecy.  Having a neighbor with those kind of ideas would freak me out too!

And remember, it’s Islam’s vision to “islamitize” the whole world by word or by sword.  Israel has never wanted to do anything but be left alone.

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By Noah, October 26, 2006 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment
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response to comment 33610

De-theocratize israel?

Israel is the most secular country in the middle east.  Most Israelis are Jewish but non-practicing.  Golda Meir once said, we will only have a jewish state when we have Jewish prostitutes.  Israel, if you knew anything about it or have ever been there, outside of Jerusalem is as secular as New york.  Tel aviv on a friday night is bustling with life, despite the fact that it is the jewish sabbath and money and electricity cannot be used.
You will find Muslim and arab members in the kenesset, do you think that in any other country in the middle east there are or ever were any jewish representatives in their legislature?  Israel is as secular as the west.  Jerusalem in all actuality has the largest homosexual population in the middle east, a huge gay district in the centre of apparently a theocracy, yeah right.
Please do some research before making assumptions about Israel or its policies or the people that live there

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 26, 2006 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #33652 by Noah on 10/25

Noah

You say that Jewish properties were never returned. I happen to know a German lawyer who worked for years on the problem of locating and identifying the owners of assets of Jews and others that were identifiable after the war. There was an effort, though it may not have resulted in the return of all assets to anyone who claimed losses. War casualties are never made whole again. Neither can Jews from Nazi Germany.

For the experience of Jews in Germany and other European countries should have taught Jews to honor the vow, “Never again!” Jews should not do it to Palestinians or to any other people on Earth. Now a blood debt has been created and will be extracted in another Holocaust some years from now when Arab people become strong enough economically to extract the blood payment in kind.

If history means anything it is the lessons learned and if it has consequence of failure to learn the lessons, they will have to be repeated. Safety is not in a state, but in an attitude of self respect and honor. America is no more safe than is Israel for an Arab, or Germany for a Jew. We all live in a perpetual state of changing attitudes. Every human being struggles for his place on the planet. Some must struggle harder than others. Mutual respect and honor are the only protection from the greater perils.

Israel, Zionists, and Jews have not learned the lesson, so they will have to repeat the course in order to graduate to human respect. Jews must learn that it is not only Jews that must be protected from the rest of us, it is the rest of us who must be protected from anyone who have elected themselves to the special status of ‘Chosen People of God’, though they cannot qualify for the title.

Jews were not protected in ghettos of Germany and Poland. They cannot be protected in ghettos inside Arab towns, nor in a ghetto state on land stolen from Palestine. Jews were not protected in American cities without respect for our constitution and their acceptance to live in mixed neighborhoods and working with people of all religions and races.

Sorry, my friend, there is no place to hide. Put your best attitude on the outside and you will be safe anywhere in the world. Get yourselves out of the ghetto attitude of isolation in your ghetto state, your ghetto towns, your ghetto neighborhoods, your ghetto homes, and your ghetto minds. Come on out into the sunshine of acceptance of a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-racial climate of reason, equality and justice and you will need no isolation from your fellow man, and no need for protection beyond the color of your attitude. You will need no Jewish state, no Jewish Defense Force, and no need to kill every Arab you see.

You are our equal, not our occupier. You are a child of God, not His favorite. You are one of us in the family of man, join us in the quest for peace with justice and human rights. To hell with your racism and holier than us beliefs. At first we may be a bit suspicious of your change, but in time we will accept it and trust you to the extent that you can be trusted to honor our rights in order to get yours.

You make the perfect case for anti-Israel. Palestine is not the reason for the Jewish misery, nor the threat to Jews, but the manifestation of the problem which is in the Jewish state of mind. Jews do not need a place to escape to, but a place to live in safety from their own errors of judgment.

Continue on the road you are on and there will certainly be a Holocaust more deadly than the last one. You better learn to live next door to Arabs, Africans, Hispanics, European Christians, Chinese, Indians, and Siberians. They live on this planet too. God gave it to us all. Share it; do not steal it.

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By Larry, October 26, 2006 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
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Noah, Your discussion points are terrific.  My only negative is they are too good for the trash (Jew Haters)you are writing to.  Many of them want you to believe they are Just Neutral Pacifists.  Baloney, they are just plain Jew Haters!.

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By Larry, October 26, 2006 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Commenting on #33603 by Justice4All

You couldn’t answer my questions so you resorted to a personal attack.  That is the best one can hope for from a Natural Born JEW Hater.  What a Phonie Bastard you truly are!  OUT!

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By Tony Wicher, October 26, 2006 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #33652 by Noah on 10/25 at 9:13 pm

“Tony, you say people who stayed in europe were able to rebuild, this is not the case.  Anti-semitism was rampant after WWII, people denied the holocaust, the idea of Jews as scapegoats was still there.  Jewish properties that were taken were never returned, jews had to start all over, not only in business but in life in general.  They were skin and bones after the concentration camps, not only did they have to find a way to survive but they needed a new place to live.  The only place that would never allow something like the holocaust to happen again would be a jewish state.  The fear is real.  In germany, much the same way it is in the US right now, Jews were a part of the society.  they were respected businessmen, in parliament, were secular and helping members of society.  Even though today jews are safe in the US, who knows what tomorrow can bring.”

Noah, my friend, as long as you and most your fellow Israeli citizens think this way, I know what tomorrow will bring. Endless war. Yes, in fact fascism is very close to taking over in the U.S., and the only reason it won’t is that finally there are enough Americans ready to defend their constitution. I am nourishing strong hopes that this is about to happen here. Eternal vigilance is indeed necessary to defend our constitution, our freedom and our democracy. There is always a possibility of failure, but that is the human condition. On the other hand, your alternative, which is Jewish self-defense, is absolutely doomed to failure. It will never produce the security you seek, and what is worse, Israel is becoming tyrant state, and the humanity of its citizens is being corrupted from within.

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By Kwagmyre, October 26, 2006 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
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Posted by Noah, #33652:

  “Now to say the palestinians can be equal with the jews and remove the jewish state aspect invites the possibility of another holocaust.”

On the contrary it’s because of the OPPRESSIVE nature of the occupation of the Palestinians that the base of support for Israel has been shrinking more and more over the years to the point that they can only count on the U.S. for support and progressively more and more people in the States have come to resent that.  The fact that a fair number of the Neocons who are Jewish conned the Bush administration into launching the Iraq invasion and occupation certainly hasn’t exactly helped the cause. 

If Israel wants to lessen any “possibility of another Holocaust”  it would do well to treat Palestinians with the same kind of dignity and respect it would want from the rest of the world.

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By Spinoza, October 26, 2006 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
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Noah, we know everyone hates the Jews.  And yes there was and is (to a much lesser degree) anti-Semitism in the world.

BUT

Nation-States are evil by their very nature.

The Jews don’t need a Nation State they need the acceptance of a doctrine. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.  FAIR PLAY

Jews don’t need another nationalism. We need fair play.

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By Noah, October 25, 2006 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment
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Tony, you say people who stayed in europe were able to rebuild, this is not the case.  Anti-semitism was rampant after WWII, people denied the holocaust, the idea of Jews as scapegoats was still there.  Jewish properties that were taken were never returned, jews had to start all over, not only in business but in life in general.  They were skin and bones after the concentration camps, not only did they have to find a way to survive but they needed a new place to live.  The only place that would never allow something like the holocaust to happen again would be a jewish state.  The fear is real.  In germany, much the same way it is in the US right now, Jews were a part of the society.  they were respected businessmen, in parliament, were secular and helping members of society.  Even though today jews are safe in the US, who knows what tomorrow can bring.  They thought they were safe in Germany and they weren’t.  The understanding is that a Jewish state will always be there for the jews to escape persecution.  Without a jewish state, where would jews go to escape the persecution of soviet russia when the wall came down, argentina after mass pogroms, ethiopia, after ethnic cleansing?  It has been proven time and again, the world will not protect jews, jews need to protect jews, and the only way is with a jewish state.  Now to say the palestinians can be equal with the jews and remove the jewish state aspect invites the possibility of another holocaust.

And by the way, i am not american, Canadian all the way smile

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By Kwagmyre, October 25, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by TC #33425:

“I don’t blame Israel for finally protecting itself!”

The problem of course is that this is only a pseudo protection giving the Israelis a false sense of security.  The only long term, practical solution has to be the creation of one state which will “de-theocratize” Israel.

Whichever candidate runs for the Democratic Party for ‘08(Barack Obama perhaps?) will hopefully see that and push for an even-handed approach, leading to the eventual end or at least drastic reduction of ALL military assistance to Israel.

Would be even better still if the Democrats win the majority in a couple weeks, THEN start pushing for this ASAP.

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By Robert, October 25, 2006 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
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“NOT ONLY THE RIGHT OF WORSHIP IS SACRED IN ISAREL”

Amira Hass, Haaretz correspondent:


“The main Israeli control method, and the most effective with respect to the occupier, is the limitation of Palestininian freedom of movement to a minimum: within the occupied territories, between district and district, between town and village, village and its land, between Gaza Strip and the West Bank, between abroad and coming back.”

“During the past tow weeks, there has been fresh proof of the importance of collective struggle: The U.S. State department has complained about ethnic discrimination Israel practices at border crossings when it restricts the entry of American citizens of Palestinian and Arab origin into the occupied territories. According to a European diplomatic source, the countries of the European Union are preparing a similar complaint against Israel. An American complaint like this- though only against one aspect of the policy of oppressing Palestinian freedom of movement- is a rare thing.”


Amira Hass is an Israeli correspondent for Haaretz, one of Israel’s news papers.

Here is the link to read this article in full:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=778942&contrassID=2&subContrassID=4&sb;

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By Justice4All, October 25, 2006 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #33391

Truth hurts; doesn’t it?

So you are ticked off because you cannot defend your position with tangible facts and instead you revert to personal attacks without presenting a single piece of factual or intellectual information. That is ok because you just proved that your argument has been nothing but shallow, meaningless and hollow.

As for the attacks, I am sure you have figured out by now that I will not dignify them with an answer simply because I do not give a damn about what you think or what you say. Unlike you, I stick to professionalism, mannerism and substance.

Later!

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By Spinoza, October 25, 2006 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment
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The Jewish right wing argument: all de arabs wanna kill us

All the arabs wanna kill us.


The Arab argument, No we don’t.

We can live together.

Jewish argument: we need our own country because everyone hates us.

Everyone hates us.

Never Again!!!

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By Larry, October 25, 2006 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
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Comment on #33406 by Tony Wicher

You believe that Anti-Jewish activities ceased in Europe and the United States since WW2?  As a Jew I can tell you my family has felt the ugly hand of discrimination and in some cases physical attacks just because we are Jewish every year since the Second World War ended. It is no cup of tea living in a country where some decide that bashing Jews is their God given right.  Open up your eyes and brain (if you have one) and get real.  Please STOP spewing LIES!  You make yourself look like the Jerk you ARE!

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 25, 2006 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #33349 by fatima sharmuta on 10/25

For those who do not know Arabic, ‘sharmuta’ means whore. The site linked to is the son-of-a-whore.  It does not belong here or anywhere in the civilized world.

OK to link on it to see what the Zionists stoop to in their campaign against Islam and Arabs in general as well as against intelligent and gentle people everywhere. This may not be traced to a Zionist, but it smacks of the message that they promulgate.

The ‘sharmuta’ should learn to write English even if she cannot read it, if she is going to try to send a meaningful message to the world of English speaking people.

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By John Kane, October 25, 2006 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
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In reaction to comment 32198.

You are obviously a Jew Hater with no understanding of history.  We can have a rational dialogue when we leave people like you out of the discussion,

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By TC, October 25, 2006 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
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While the effect on Palestinians is sad, it is not Israel’s fault.  The Palestinians should blame their Arab cousins for the current situation.  The Palestinians have been pawns of wealthy Arab nations pursuing the destruction of Israel.  Israel has allowed the Palestinians to live in peace within their borders for decades, despite the threat of terrorism fommented by outsiders.  I don’t blame Israel for finally protecting itself!

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By Tony Wicher, October 25, 2006 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #33225 by Noah on 10/24 at 8:45 pm

“Tony, your idea is an interesting one.  The issue that remains is that if the palestinians are to return it would not be long until they were to outnumber the jews living in israel.  This is the concern.  What would happen if palestinians out number jews?  The fear is that the state will no longer be jewish.  The Jews have one state in the world, Israel, arabs/muslims have dozens, all of which have denied the palestinians any opportunity to join and become a part of their societies.
Your solution is interesting but to give up the one Jewish state so that there would be the possibility of another arab/muslim state is just unfathomable.  I would like to see all the palestinians happy living in Israel, and many arabs have chosen to stay in israel, live freely and maintain all the rights israelis have, but to allow all the palestinians to return would be to give up the jewish majority leaving potential for the state to turn against the people.”

Now we’re talking, Noah! You know, you are the first supporter of Israel in this forum that
I have been able to get this far with in a rational discussion. Thank you. May I say that the American people seem finally about to turn away from militarism and toward the democratic values which have made this country great, and the people of Israel, I believe, can turn together with us. It will be a great day if this happens.

You put your finger on the real fear of Israelis, the fundamental reason for the existence of Israel as we know it - the idea that Jews must live in a majority Jewish state and be protected by a Jewish army in order to be free from persecution. After World War II, it sounded good at the time to millions of Jews, who adopted it and migrated to the Holy Land. That was probably a mistake. They should probably have tried to rebuild their lives in Europe. They were so preoccupied with their own suffering that they did not even notice the people already living in the Holy Land - Arabs, Jews, Christians - who had their own way of life and were unlikely to appreciate a huge immigration. Jews who did not migrate to Israel but remained to rebuild democracy in their own countries did a lot better. After all, the Nazis were defeated. The whole world was horrified by the Holocaust. Anti-Nazi laws were passed and enforced throughout Europe. Even today people like myself belong to organizations dedicated to the extirpation of every last Nazi that dares to raise his head. Today in Europe and America Jews are not persecuted. They occupy many of the most influential positions in society. They are much more secure than Jews living in Israel protected by a Jewish army. And why is this? Because instead of military force, they rely on democracy and constitutional law to protect them. They and their non-Jewish fellow citizens have learned to stand side by side and preserve their mutual freedom and security by defending their constitution. Arabs and Jews living in the Holy Land must learn to do this also. If they do, they can truly call it the Holy Land, Zion or whatever else they want. Until then, it will never be anything but a bloody piece of land. 

Don’t say this is not possible. It is possible.  We can make this happen. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. The historic moment is here. The time is ripe for this idea.

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By Larry, October 25, 2006 at 9:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment on #33369 by Justice4All

You wouldn’t know HISTORY 101 if it hit you full square on the face.  The reason the Arabs are in the position they are in is because of their determination to “WIPE OUT” the Jews.  They massed and fought many wars against them since 1948 to include one on the holiest days of the year in the Jewish religion.  When you lose wars you shouldn’t have started your bound to lose the respect and concern of the side that you attempted to destroy. 

Try to educate yourself on the terrible truth—-“HISTORY 101”;  The Arabs have tried in vain many times to kill ALL the JEWS in ISREAL and that is still their objective.  Take that and shove it up your pea brain you flunky of History 101. Talk about not knowing anything about history, your a complete strike out.

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By Justice4All, October 25, 2006 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
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I know that some are still struggling with History 101 and I feel with you.. really!!. That is why I am sending you the links below to help you with your homework; hopefully you can one day pass and move on.

Some of you know the truth very well but are either in denial or are simply hypocrites. Some simply are not well informed and deserve to know the truth.

The maps should be self explanatory but here are some pointers to help you better comprehend the situation.

http://www.mmwatch.org/maps/Palissue10.jpg shows a map of the West Bank, which has been occupied since 1967. The non-contiguous brown areas are what Israel is offering as a Palestinian state in the West Bank. A “State” that is more like ghetto communities that resembles a slice of Swiss cheese, and to top if off there is a surrounding wall to further isolate such communities from the outside world. Personally, I love Swiss cheese but this somehow has real bitter taste.

The blue lines in http://www.mmwatch.org/maps/Palissue11.jpg  show roads and highways slicing through Palestinian areas that can only be used by Israeli settlers in most cases.

http://www.mmwatch.org/maps/Palissue12.jpg  shows a map of left-off areas offered to Palestinians in 2001. This is part of the continuous stream of “generous” offers being extended to the Palestinians.

http://www.mmwatch.org/maps/Palissue2.jpg  shows a chronology of events since 1948. No need to comment here.

Now imagine metropolitan Washington DC where people need permits to travel from Georgetown to North East or South West. Imagine a sovereign Vatican split into similar areas that are not geographically connected with European control over it and a surrounding wall that controls the movement of people and goods in and out.

You can philosophize and keep diverting from the main issues forever, but the reality remains the same: As long as there is occupation is Palestine, there will never be peace and Palestinians will keep resisting humiliation, oppression and injustice. After all, this is only human.

I hope you learned something today. Have a good day!

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By fatima sharmuta, October 25, 2006 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The right of return .... The right of return for jews from the middle east and europe for stolen properties is maybe 1000 times greater than that of the arabs.  Arabs live along jews in israel.  Its the moslem world that forbids any non moslem from living along them, with those same rights. You cannot compare the two differences.  Goto europe and wine about your islamic rights and riot, that what you do!!  Thats what your doing… why dont you ALL go back home and live the lives you want to impose on the rest of the world there? 

The pope was right.  Your reactions proved it. 

Oh and learn to read one day to.

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

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By Tony Wicher, October 24, 2006 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #32797 by Justice4All on 10/23 at 7:35 pm

Thanks, Justice. I had no idea Carter’s thinking was so far advanced. Yes, the Zionist illusion of Israel is beginning to fade. They have almost as few supporters left here in America as the Bush administration. The handwriting is indeed on the wall.

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By NM, October 24, 2006 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
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Since 1948 there has been an all-out war against Israel by it’s neighbors.  The Palestinians were urged to sit tight and wait for the combined efforts to destroy Israel and then they will be fulfilled. In the meantime there will be no Palestine and you will all be kept in camps and none of you will be allowed to assimilate into the societies of Jordan or Lebanon or Egypt or Syria.  Further, there will be very little money from your oil-wealthy neighbors lest you build a better world in the west bank or Gaza.  Why would The Saudis or the Syrians or the Iraqis or Jordanians want to keep Palestine from becomming a reality?  Would the royals and dictators and religious zealots like to see a beautiful and succesful democratic Palestine only to foment discontent amonst their miserable citizenry? So they keep attacking through the years and the Israelis must finally (1967) take posession of the ground from which the attacks are launched.  The leaders of the “so-called” allies of the Palestinians wish to keep them in agony perpetually to keep the anti-Israel cause alive to rally their own disenfranchised, poverty-stricken people about an issue that has very little relevence to their states of misery.  If the Palestinians would have not been perpetually attacking at the behest of their “allies” and if one scintilla of the regional oil-wealth had been directed toward nation building there would have never been a need for an occupation and there would be a wonderful nation of Palestine today coexisting with Israel.

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By Noah, October 24, 2006 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment
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Tony, your idea is an interesting one.  The issue that remains is that if the palestinians are to return it would not be long until they were to outnumber the jews living in israel.  This is the concern.  What would happen if palestinians out number jews?  The fear is that the state will no longer be jewish.  The Jews have one state in the world, Israel, arabs/muslims have dozens, all of which have denied the palestinians any opportunity to join and become a part of their societies.
Your solution is interesting but to give up the one Jewish state so that there would be the possibility of another arab/muslim state is just unfathomable.  I would like to see all the palestinians happy living in Israel, and many arabs have chosen to stay in israel, live freely and maintain all the rights israelis have, but to allow all the palestinians to return would be to give up the jewish majority leaving potential for the state to turn against the people.

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By Robert, October 24, 2006 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #33057 by Noah on 10/24 @ 2:21 PM.


“Further, i hear screaming and complaining about Israeli aggression, israeli oppression, Israelis are to blame. Have you ever been to israel? do you know what life is like on the streets? Have you met the arabs living in Israel? No, cause i have.”

Noah, you can read about my trip to Israel & the Holy Land in my comment #22581 which was submitted on this forum on 9/09 @ 1:53 PM.

I don’t think that I need to comment further regarding above. Its in black & white! I think that you know what I have concluded regarding your questions/comment!!! 

Are you equating the hassles that you are facing in Israel regarding being searched to Israel’s brutal occupation, daily humiliations, abuse of human rights & international law , home demolitions, assasinations, kidnappings, 10,000 prisoners in Israeli jails with most of them without any charges, barbaric IDF checkpoints…etc…to what the Palestinians have to endure on a daily basis?

For fairness & references to above, I am providing the link to B’Tselem the Israeli information center for human rights in the Occupied Territories.

Feel free to check out their factual information & their statistics. Choose any topic.

http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp

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By Spinoza, October 24, 2006 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
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Basically there are two possiblities:

A devastating war in the region in which many many people on all sides will die or a new “bi-national” country that is not ruled by Jews or Arabs and in which they agree to share the land and that the Arabs are paid reparations for land taken.


PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS: A very reasonable argument as to why the so called two state solution is dead.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15383.htm

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By Tony Wicher, October 24, 2006 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Further reply to Comment #32737 by Noah on 10/23 at 4:47 pm

“This idea of returning to a time of peace is a fallacy.  There was no time of peace in the middle east. So your solution would be to eliminate israel all together.”

I want to RECONSTITUTE Israel as a true multiethnic democracy rather than a “Jewish state”. I do not want to “displace” anyone. I want to “place” three or four million Palestinians without displacing anyone. How can this be done? Only be sharing. Only by by learning to live together. No amount of your “strong military, fantastic technology” will stand for long against this moral imperative. Israel will rot from within.

“If the Palestinians wanted peace, they have it, all they need to do is ask.” They have asked. But they have not done so in a way you could understand, so I am asking for them. A truly secular multiethic democracy would be acceptable to them, though there are Islamists that would not like it. Do you think it might be acceptable to a majority of Israelis as well?

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By Tony Wicher, October 24, 2006 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #32737 by Noah on 10/23 at 4:47 pm

reply to #32671 by Tony Wicher on 10/23 at 1:53 pm

“The thing is, that won’t happen.  Why do you demand israel be removed?  That is justice?  this idea of returning to a time of peace is a fallacy.  There was no time of peace in the middle east.  So your solution would be to eliminate israel all together.  And then what about the displaced Israelis?  What about the millions more refugees that would create?  Oh, you would like to give the jews back the land they lost in the holocaust, or in soviet russia?  No, cause that would just displace more people.  If the jews were offered all of germany and told, here take it we wronged you, there would be no problem.  Thing is, THAT WON’T HAPPEN. “

Noah, my esteemed good friend,

I love the way you state your position. It makes it very easy for me to explain mine to you. I am not for displacing ANYONE who currently lives in Israel. Do you understand? NOT EVEN THE SETTLERS IN THE WEST BANK. NOT EVEN PEOPLE WHO MOVED THERE YESTERDAY. Israelis should all stay where they are. What they SHOULD do and MUST do is invite the displaced Arab refugees to live there with them, either in their communities or in others built nearby. Both peoples must learn to live with each other, side by side in peace. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. That is my position. Do you see what I am saying? Do you see why your objections do not apply to what I am saying? Do you see why what I am saying is not utoptian, it is the only possible solution, the only solution that CAN WORK and WILL WORK? That is the vision I have.

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By Noah, October 24, 2006 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
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Well Robert, you would be well off and it seems that like your lack of knowledge and proof in the field of Israel palestine relations carries over to other departments as well.  The first time i visited this site was no more than a week ago, through a youtube link, so accusations of being someone else or a dual account are rediculous.

Further, i hear screaming and complaining about Israeli aggression, israeli oppression, Israelis are to blame.  Have you ever been to israel?  do you know what life is like on the streets?  Have you met the arabs living in Israel?  No, cause i have.  Not only are israelis constantly searched and accused of carrying weapons, (at every train station, supermarket, bank, bus station, mall, or any large area every single person is searched), but people in border towns are constantly watching for falling missiles.  There are terrorist warnings daily.  If there is even a package, a plastic bag with a pair of pants in it that looks at all suspicious, full city blocks are shut down for hours to make sure it isn’t a bomb.  Poor palestinians, yes, they are suffering, but DO NOT act as if they are the only ones suffering or that it is entirely Israel’s fault.  There would be no need for a wall, searches, checks, checkpoints, or any of this is the palestinians were willing to live in peace.

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By Kwagmyre, October 24, 2006 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just more evidence of the same, this taken from democracynow.org:

Israeli Military Hides Report Confirming Expanded Settlements
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that the Israeli military is withholding the release of a secret study that confirms there has been rampant illegal new construction in dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Some of the expanded settlements has occurred on privately owned Palestinian land. Security sources familiar with the study described the study as “political and diplomatic dynamite.” Sources in the Israeli military said the report is not being made public in order to avoid a crisis with the U.S. government.

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