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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 4)

I often have to leave my car behind and walk to villages, villages that have not had access to roads for two or three years.  Crude barriers of dirt, trenches or torn-up strips of asphalt make the roads impassible.  Weeds grow up on either side of the roads.  The crude barriers will be replaced soon by walls and fences and ditches and wire.

I am walking down an empty dirt road.  It is covered with stones.  I am walking to the farming hamlet of al-Nuaman.  The farmers have been legally dispossessed, ethnic cleansing by administrative fiat.  It was a specialty of the Bosnian Muslims, who did not want the ethnic Croats and Serbs to go back to their old apartments in Sarajevo.  So they used the courts to strip them of their property. 

There are tens of thousands of Palestinians whom Israeli courts have declared squatters in their own homes, homes they were born and raised in, homes which have been in the family for generations. 

The cicadas sing out in a cacophonous chorus.  The heat feels like the blast from a furnace.  Olive groves, with rows of thick, gnarled trees, line the slope to the valley below me.  The hilltops are rocky and gray.  There are a few patches of light green.

The road to the hamlet was closed in 1995 by the Israelis.  The bulldozers blocked it with dirt and scooped out a huge trench at the edge of the village, tossing the chunks of black asphalt to the side.  The Israelis changed the name of the hamlet to Mazmouria, although no Israelis live here.  I see the hamlet ahead of me.  It is tiny, with 26 modest homes, all with flat roofs and stucco exteriors.

I walk down into the trench.  Youssif Dara’wi, a large man with a heavy girth, is standing on the other side looking down at me.  He helps me up.  He is wearing sandals.  He clutches a cellphone.  There is a large ring of keys on a silver clasp fastened to his belt.  I get into his car and we drive to his house.  He has set out a dozen white plastic chairs under the one tree in his front yard.  Older men, when they see us, come to introduce themselves and take a seat.

Youssif was born in the hamlet.  As far as he can tell, his family has been here for 180 years, but probably longer.  He owns about 100 acres of olive groves, making him one of the largest landowners here.  The farmers in the village together have 1,000 acres.  When they were occupied by Israeli troops in 1967 they were given Israeli identification cards.  The cards said they were residents of the West Bank.  They were incorporated into the Bethlehem municipality. 

“It all began to change after the start of the first Palestinian uprising in 1987,” Youssif says.

Israeli officials forbade any new construction.  When anyone tried to build a house or expand existing ones, Israeli bulldozers tore the structures down.  After the Oslo peace agreement the pressure eased, only to come back in greater force with the latest uprising.  The road was closed.  The children in the village, who had gone to Jerusalem for their schooling, were barred from the city.  The Israelis expanded the boundaries of the Jerusalem municipality.  The farmers have become West Bank squatters illegally encamped inside Israel.  It is a neat little legal trick. 

Members of the community pooled their money to hire an Israeli lawyer.  But cases, even when they get to the Supreme Court, even when they result in a decision in favor of the Palestinians, can be immediately overruled by the state on grounds of national security.  National security, as in my own country, is the god that is destroying us all. 

“I am not allowed to be here or to meet you according to Israeli law,” Youssif says.  “I am not allowed to be on my own land.”

The water to the hamlet was cut three years ago.  Water comes now from wells and water trucks.

He pulls out a topographical map.  It is marked with colored zones and colored lines to indicate settlements, the barrier under construction around Jerusalem, the land that has been confiscated, the land that will be confiscated and the new demarcation lines for the hamlet.  The blue line, he explains, is the new boundary for Jerusalem.  The hamlet is within the boundary. The yellow line is the barrier, which when we look up we can see being built down the hill in front of a new hilltop settlement with several hundred concrete apartment blocks.  He traces his thick finger around the roads, the settlements and the barrier to show how the hamlet will be encircled, how he and his neighbors will soon lose nearly all their land and live illegally in a ghetto with no running water.  I have seen this now many times.

Most Palestinians carry maps.  They keep them tucked into their shirt pockets and pull them out at the slightest provocation.  They spread them on the ground and chart for you the course of their own demise.  It happens so often it gets boring, but I always listen and nod and pretend the information is new.  The ritual is repeated over and over and seems to be part of the struggle to cope with the scale and horror of what is happening. 

A group of Israeli soldiers appeared in the hamlet four months ago.  They said Israel was willing to compensate farmers whose homes had been built before 1992.  They told the farmer to submit compensation forms.  The army would determine the price to be paid.  The other homes, they said, would be demolished.  If any home was built after 1992 the family would receive nothing.  None of the farmers filed for compensation.

Then the physical harassment began.  Soldiers arrived early one morning in July and roused six farmers from their beds and drove them to a nearby military outpost.  They were told they would be released when they signed papers saying they would not enter Israeli territory.  The farmers signed the papers.  They spent the rest of the night walking home.

“I signed,” Abid Ataya, 55, tells me as we sit in a half circle of chairs under a pine tree.  “I didn’t realize that according to them I live in an Israeli area.”

Soldiers come frequently to demand other signatures.  They were there the night before, their jeeps roaring into the hamlet at 2:30 a.m..  The soldiers handcuffed 20 farmers and took them to the military outpost.  All refused to sign.  In the morning, after squatting all night outside the compound, they were released.

“The soldiers laughed at us,” Mahmoud Ali Hussein, 43, says.  “They told us when the wall was finished we would not be able to enter Israel or the West Bank.  They told us we would have no land.  They sent us home and told us to wait.  They said our time is almost up.”

The farmers sit, bewildered, trying to comprehend it all, the ability to declare reality to be one way when it is another, the ability to swiftly and irrevocably destroy their life, the only life they have known.  I say nothing, so we sit like this for a long time.

“Does a condemned prisoner sign an agreement authorizing his own execution?” asks Mahmoud suddenly.

A boy with a tray holding glasses of lukewarm soda moves between us handing out drinks.  We sip the soda.  The farmers light cigarettes.  Ribbons of thin bluish smoke waft toward the pine branches over our heads.  Again we are silent, thinking about it all.

“Too much pressure makes explosions,” my host says.  “When you deny us education, medical care and work what do you think we will do?  When you take our homes and our land from us, when we cannot feed our families, when you strip us of our dignity, how do you think we will behave?  How can you ask us to be neighbors after this?  What chance do you think there will be for peace?”

The men nod.

“We are going to change the name of our village,” he says.  “We are going to call it Transfer 2004.”

No one laughs.




And what of the good Israelis?  Where are they?  What are they doing?

I found Allegra Pacheco mopping the floors of her small second-story apartment in Bethlehem.  Her infant son is asleep.  The furniture is upended in the corner of the living room.  She is scrubbing away.  The scent of ammonia from the tiled floor fills the room, even with the windows open. 

“We will have to go outside,” she says.

We sit on her balcony.  We look out over the cramped and squalid hovels of the Deheisha refugee camp.  The camp cascades, one hovel nearly on top of the next, down a slope.  The pope used the camp as a backdrop in 2000 when he visited.  He was there long enough for the press to get images and cover his kind beneficence.  The camp exploded into rioting five minutes after the pope departed.  The local police station was badly vandalized.  There was never a coherent explanation for the rioting, other than the obvious, the frustration and rage of a people used once again as a stage prop and then forgotten.

Allegra is a Jew.  She grew up in Long Island, where she was a member of a “Zionist-oriented family.”  She visited Israel as a teenager on one of the tours designed to get Americans to bond with the Jewish state.  She went to Barnard and Columbia Law School.  She began to ask questions, questions many around her refused to ask. 

She read about the Middle East.  The story of the Palestinians began to unsettle her.  She began to see another side of Israel.  She moved to Israel after a few years as a lawyer in New York.  She studied for the Israeli bar.  She looked to Lea Tsmel, the Israeli lawyer who has often defended Palestinians, as a mentor. 

She opened a law office in Bethlehem.  She was the only Israeli ever to open a law office in Palestinian territory.  She handled cases involving house demolitions, land confiscations, torture and prisoners who had been incarcerated without ever being charged.  She documented some torture practices, at first denied by Israel, and took the case to the Supreme Court.  Most of the practices were outlawed.

The second Palestinian uprising began as she had taken a break and was writing a book as a Peace Fellow at Harvard University.  She dropped the manuscript and came back.  The restrictions, however, were so draconian she often could not get through the checkpoints to her office.  It was hard to see clients or make court appearances.  She took over the case of a Palestinian human rights activist, Abed al-Rahman al-Ahmar, being held without charge in administrative detention.

“I met my husband Abed in 1996, when he was under interrogation and being tortured,” she says.  “He was then sent to two and a half years of administrative detention and I continued to represent him.  When he was released, he helped me set up my law office and worked with me.  That’s how we fell in love.” 

They married.  They spent their honeymoon trapped in their apartment under almost continuous curfew.



Next Page: It does not matter where I turn.  I see the noose tightening.  There is no escape.  The barrier is closing in from every side, grinding and crushing everything in its path.

Dig last updated on Jul. 25, 2006


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If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Kwagmyre, October 24, 2006 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Larry #32898:

“Did you actually say something you Phonie Jew hating Bastard?  I think you stated pretty explicitly that I am right.”

Of course I “said” something.  I challenged you to research this topic so you’ll find out for yourself how misguided the views are that you obviously cling to so tenaciously.

Unless you’re hopelessly stubborn, I think there’s hope for you yet!

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By B.E. Lantz, October 24, 2006 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is one fact these articles and your ilke absolutely refuse to acknowledge. And that is, the most horrific murderer of Arabs are not Christians, it isn’t Jews, IT’S ARABS. 

Arabs murdering Arabs in the name of Allah because they can’t get along and there is no “imperialistic” foot on their throat has gone on for centuries.  The presence of that foot is the only thing that ensures their peace. The oil wealth of the world can’t even do that. And when the world turned that wealth over to them, that was the most insane act of human history that has ever been perpetrated upon stupid humanity.

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By bj, October 24, 2006 at 6:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, boo-hoo.  I’m crying for the lady with the $200,000. house.  I don’t think there are too many people in Egypt or Iran or Saudi Arabia et al who have been able to afford such luxury.  Poor oppressed Palestinians.  The wall has made it more of an effort to launch bombs, murder innocent families, babies.  In Egypt, she’d probably be living in one of the grand cemeteries, with a plot all her own on which to build her villa.  Poor thing.  They’ve made her life so hard under this terrible oppression.

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By Robert, October 24, 2006 at 5:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who want to watch, see and hear academic truth & integrity to the Palestine Israel conflict, you need to watch & read transcript of Prof. Norman Finkelstein.

The video is about 1 hour long.


Here is the link:

Video w/Transcript: Q&A & end of talk,(Santa Crus,ca).


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=600

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By Larry, October 24, 2006 at 5:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment on #32770 by Kwagmyre

Did you actually say something you Phonie Jew hating Bastard?  I think you stated pretty explicitly that I am right.

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By Robert, October 23, 2006 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks, we may have a guest with a new name on this forum. He is commenting about Israel’s technology and if the Palestinians wanted peace, all they have to do is ask for it.

Hmmmm… those words/comments have been mentioned previously on this forum; it surely sound like Barry’s comments. Do you all remember him?

Can’t prove it, but there is that great possibility.

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By Larry, October 23, 2006 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#32568 by Noah

Just a few words of advice.  There is No way to have a reasonable conversation of any type with Lunatic Jew haters and Jew baters.  Just call them what they are and let it go.  They are AHOLES of the first degree.

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By Larry, October 23, 2006 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO the Idiot Kwagmyre #32770

I knew you would turn out to be a lying piece of crap.

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By Justice4All, October 23, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought this piece is pertinent to our debate. I hope Jimmy Carter would not be accused of being a Jew Hater or Anti-Semite.


By Jennifer Siegel

Oct 17, 2006
http://www.forward. com/articles/ carter-book- slaps-israel- with-â% 80˜apartheid% E2€™- tag/


As Republicans step up their efforts to paint Democrats as increasingly hostile toward Israel, former President Jimmy Carter is releasing a book on the Middle East, titled “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

Judging from an advance review manuscript of the new work, published by Simon & Schuster and set for release November 14, Carter places the bulk of the blame on Israel for its continuing conflict with the Palestinians. But critics of the former president probably will be most offended by his use of the word “apartheid” in the book’s title and text.

Israel’s current policy in the territories, Carter writes in the book’s summary, is “a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.” In a separate passage in the advance draft, the former president stated that “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”

In addition, Carter takes what is being interpreted by some critics as a swipe at the pro-Israel lobby. “Because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the United States, Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned,” the former president writes.

Carter’s book comes as the Republican Jewish Coalition is already waging a nationwide media campaign to convince Jewish voters that the Democratic Party no longer can be counted on to provide unflinching support for Israel. (See story on Page A6.) One of the recent RJC ads features a large image of Carter and quotes the former president as saying, “I don’t think Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon.”

Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Elizabeth Hayes confirmed the substance of the quotes from Carter’s book, but said that the wording could change in the final edition.

With less than three weeks left before Election Day, Jewish Democrats have been quick both to disavow Carter’s views and to assert that Carter is a marginal figure within the party on the issue, despite being a former president and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. At the same time, however, the Democratic National Committee included him in a list of past pro-Israel presidents in an advertisement this week that was aimed at shoring up support among Jewish voters. The ad features a 1977 quote from Carter describing the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel, and saying that “it’s absolutely crucial that no one in our country or around the world ever doubt that our number one commitment in the Middle East is to protect the right of Israel to exist, to exist permanently, and to exist in peace.”

The RJC’s executive director, Matt Brooks, told the Forward that he has yet to see Carter’s new book; however, he seemed confident that it would provide additional ammunition for his organization’ s campaign to woo Jewish voters.

“We certainly have not shied away from shining a light on some of his misguided and outrageous comments about Israel in the past, so we certainly have to see what this book holds,” Brooks said. “Obviously we will look to key Democratic leaders and hear what they have to say about it. So far, there’s been nothing but silence on the part of the Democratic establishment in terms of holding Carter accountable.”

The book was originally slated to be released November 1 — six days prior to this year’s congressional elections — but now it will be available in stores November 14, according to Hayes, the Simon & Schuster spokeswoman.

Jewish Democrats say that they were pushing for a later release date. But, according to Hayes, the date was pushed back to allow Carter time to work in more material from last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

Democrats involved in efforts to boost Jewish support were quick to criticize Carter’s views. “I disagree with President Carter fundamentally,” said Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Democrat who is leading the efforts of House Democrats to reach out to Jewish voters and donors. “The reason for the Palestinian plight is the Palestinians. Their leadership has no regard for the quality of life for their people and no capability of providing security or enforcing peace, and they have no one to blame but themselves.”

Israel added that the “book clearly does not reflect the direction of the party; it reflects the opinion of one man.”

“Democrats who support Jimmy Carter’s views on Israel? Now that’s a convention you could hold in a phone booth,” wrote Ira Forman, executive director of the National Democratic Jewish Council, in an e-mail to the Forward. “Jimmy Carter is out of the mainstream of the Democratic Party when it comes to his views on Israel.” Aaron Miller, a former State Department official who has consistently advocated a greater American role in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, said that Carter’s book would not influence key decision makers in the administration. But he added, “the one thing that I assure you is that Carter’s book will be read” by a wider audience.

Carter has a “demonstrated track record of success,” said Miller, now a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, referring to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty that the former president helped broker at Camp David in 1978. “He’s the only American president that’s succeeded in brokering a permanent status agreement between Arabs and Israelis, the only one, and you know, he deserves an enormous amount of credit for that, whatever his current and latest views are — and I don’t agree with a lot of them, on the Israel-Arab issue.”

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By Robert, October 23, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #31506 by Tom on 10/21 @ 7:08PM.


“During one of the wars, perhaps the 7 day war the government of Isreal intentionally attacked a USA ship, killing about 30 US sailors. Why did they attack?”

Tom,

I doubt if many Americans are aware that Israel has commited acts of terrorism, war crimes & aggression against the United States. The Lavon Affair & the attack on the USS Liberty ship. During the Israeli Arab war, the American intelligence ship USS liberty was attacked for about 1.5 hours in international waters by Israeli aircraft & motor torpedo boats.

Thirty-four(34) American men died and 174 were wounded. To this date, no formal investigation was initiated or conducted regarding this horrific attack/aggresion. Everything has been swept under the rug. No one dares to bring up the subject.


Here are a couple of samples of what some of the US Navy personnel commented on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty ship:

“Never before in the history of the United States Navy has a Navy Board of Inquiry ignored the testimony of American military eyewitnesses and taken, the word of their attackers.
    - Captain Richard F. Kiepfer, Medical Corps, US Navy (retired), USS Liberty suvivor.


“The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack…was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew…. It was our shared belief…that the attack…could not possibly have been an accident…. I am certain that the Israeli pilots [and] their superiors…were well aware that the ship was American.”
  - Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy (retired), senior legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry.


Here is the website/link to the USS Liberty ship & its brave men.


The website http://www.ussliberty.org/ is for the 34 young brave American men who gave their lives on that date.

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By Kwagmyre, October 23, 2006 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Larry #32675:

“I certainly hope that the Jew Haters who are on these boards and who condemn Isreal for existing, because in their words they stole the land of the Palestinians, are ready to Give Up all they own in the United States to the native tribes and go back to the countries their realatives came from.  Besides being Jew Haters, maybe they are also HYPOCRITES and LIARS of the FIRST ORDER!”

Well, we “Jew Haters” would be more than willing to do that once YOU first do research on the subject, discover for yourself just how this outrageous theft took place, then come to join us as we rightfully return the land to the Indians….............

Yeah, I knew you’d chicken out so I guess we’ll just have to stay put.

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By Noah, October 23, 2006 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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.  Where was the justice for the 6 million who died, where was the justice from generations of pogroms in soviet russia, where was the justice after the inquisition?  What did Jews do, they picked up and left, no war, no intifada, no suicide bombings.  So you say without justice there will be no peace, where is the justice for the jews?  I guess jews don’t deserve justice.  No, peace is possible, if both sides want it and are willing to move beyond the past.  The jews moved past the holocaust, there is forgiveness to germany.  The jews have forgiven but not forgotten.  The palestinians have done nothing to move on. yes, they can be angry, they have every right to be, but one must see the facts, israel is not going anywhere.  They will fight to the death to keep their land.  Now there is an opportunity.  Israel will remain there no matter what, they have a strong military, fantastic technology and have developed remarkably fast in the past 50 years.  the best that the palestinians can do and hope for is to start developing, stop fighting, stop terrorizing, and look to peace.  Jordan and egypt made peace, and there is a working relationship between them and israel.  If the palestinians wanted peace, they have it, all they need to do is ask.

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By Larry, October 23, 2006 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I certainly hope that the Jew Haters who are on these boards and who condemn Isreal for existing, because in their words they stole the land of the Palestinians, are ready to Give Up all they own in the United States to the native tribes and go back to the countries their realatives came from.  Besides being Jew Haters, maybe they are also HYPOCRITES and LIARS of the FIRST ORDER! This certainly goes for that Facist Bastard Chris Hedges!

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By Tony Wicher, October 23, 2006 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #32594 by scott on 10/23 at 10:13 am

“We want peace.  Do you?”

Oh, yes. I want peace more than anything else. Nonviolence, in both word and deed - at the beginning, in the middle and at the end, is my first principle of political action. Unfortunately, the idea of a Jewish state is fundamentally against universal democratic principles of justice. As many people have said, you cannot have peace without justice. Do YOU want peace enough to give up this illusion that your security lies in having a Jewish state? If you do, you can have peace, security and the praise of the whole world. If you continue to cling to this idea, there will be no end to killing and destruction. I am not saying this to justify any violent acts by Arabs. They too suffer the consequences of their own folly.

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By Tony Wicher, October 23, 2006 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #32568 by Noah on 10/23 at 8:42 am

“I agree with Robert in that phosphorus should not have been used, it is a chemical weapon and should be dubbed that way.  Israel should declare that it has nuclear weapons, whistle blowers should be protected.  There is however a right of every nation to security.  My brother was about 100 yards away from one of the rockets that were being fired, hundreds by the day into Israel.  They were not targetting the military, they were not targeting the soldiers, they were targetting whatever they could hit.  Israel is constantly under attack or threat of attack, rockets are being fired over the border on a daily basis, DAILY.  One Qassam rocket killed two kids a little while ago while they were playing in their living room.  The Katushya rocket that almost hit my brother almost destroyed a centre for theraputic riding for kids with special needs.  these are not military targets, they are individuals who have done nothing but are constantly threatened.  Whether it be rockets or suicide bombers, there is no justification for targetting civilians, and when civilians are targetted, it is the government’s responsibility to defend.”

Of course, of course I agree with you. Only I would say it differently.  You say “There is however a right of every nation to security”. I would say that every HUMAN BEING has a right to security. War is an utter catastrophe which always involves slaughter of the innocent. For war not to occur, peace must be given the highest priority and ideology must be discarded. Apparently, only the most intense suffering will get people to do this.

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By scott, October 23, 2006 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You know ... this is unfortunalty a result of the peace process.  Israel made peace with the PLO, the same PLO that destroyed Jordan in the 1970s, Lebanon in thr 1970s-1990s, and when they where given sovereignty look what has happend.. same thing.  You seem to forget the 1000’s killed by teenage suicide bombers!  The wall is the only defense for against this.  Saudia Arabia is building walls also now, so is the US what are you all complaining about.  Israel is not the source of the problem in the middle east its islamic radicalism where they see other humans as inhuman lesser beings, like the insurgency in iraq and the whole world.  Arabs VS Arabs, moslems VS moslems… why don’t you write about this?  Israel has been consistently attacked… we have one state, we cannot afford to lose, we too have paid a huge price and reached out for peace, with groups dedicated to its destruction.  There are 55 moslem nations out there.. and 1 jewish state.  What would the US or Europe do if a fellow state threatened to destroy it?  Cmon guys…

DO you think Israeli people ENJOY manning checkpoints for hours at a time .. of course not!  But we do have to because its a reaction to the terror.

Egypts occupation of Gaza was far more deadlier than Israel.  Egypt did not want it back.. who wants that hole?  When the first intefafah started the eqyptians took a jeep in Rafah, a city split on the border and gunned everyone down!  Israel did not.

We want peace.  Do you?


http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

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By Noah, October 23, 2006 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Robert in that phosphorus should not have been used, it is a chemical weapon and should be dubbed that way.  Israel should declare that it has nuclear weapons, whistle blowers should be protected.  There is however a right of every nation to security.  My brother was about 100 yards away from one of the rockets that were being fired, hundreds by the day into Israel.  They were not targetting the military, they were not targeting the soldiers, they were targetting whatever they could hit.  Israel is constantly under attack or threat of attack, rockets are being fired over the border on a daily basis, DAILY.  One Qassam rocket killed two kids a little while ago while they were playing in their living room.  The Katushya rocket that almost hit my brother almost destroyed a centre for theraputic riding for kids with special needs.  these are not military targets, they are individuals who have done nothing but are constantly threatened.  Whether it be rockets or suicide bombers, there is no justification for targetting civilians, and when civilians are targetted, it is the government’s responsibility to defend.

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By Robert, October 23, 2006 at 6:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“ISRAEL ADMITS USING PHOPHORUS BOMBS DURING WAR IN LEBANON.”


ONE MORE TIME FOR THE RECORD:


- WHICH COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAS SECRETE UNDECLARED NUCLEAR WEAPONS?

- WHICH COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAS UNDECLARED STOCKPILES OF CHEMICAL & BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS?

- WHICH COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAS NO OUTSIDE INSPECTIONS OF ITS NUCLEAR & CHEMICAL FACILITIES/FACTORIES.

- WHICH COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAS CAPTURED/KIDNAPPED & JAILED ITS WHISTLE BLOWER, MORDECHAI VANUNU?

It is not Iraq & it is not Iran!!!

You may have guessed it. ITS ISRAEL.

“Israel has acknowledged for the first time that it attaked Hezbollah targets during the second Lebanon war with phosphorus shells. White phosphorus causes very painful and often lethal chemical burns to those hit by it, and until recently Israel maintained that it only uses such boms to mark targets or territory.”

“The International Red Cross is of the opinion that there should be a complete ban on phosphorus being used against human beings and the third protocol of the Geneva Convention on Coventional Weapons restricts use of “incendiary weapons,” with phosphorus considered to be one such weapon.”

Israel and the U.S. are not signatories to the Third Protocol.

Imagine if an Arab or Moslem country has used chemical bombs against Israel, what do you think we will hear from our mainstream US news media, Israel,AIPAC, the jewish lobby, pressure groups and our US administration officials?

Hmmmm…!!! We haven’t heard anything about Israel’s use of phosphorus bombs in Lebanon on FOX NEWS, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of them!!!

Here is the link to Israel’s chemical bombs use in Lebanon:


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=606

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By John Kane, October 23, 2006 at 5:56 am Link to this comment
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In response to comment 32454.

Dear Sir,

If you really believe that then you are a FOOL!!

Enough said.

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By Larry, October 23, 2006 at 5:23 am Link to this comment
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Don’t try to inform or entertain Frank or Tony or any of the other anti-Jewish people on these forum boards.  They are Classic Hitler Lovers and they hate the Jewish people.  Purely bigoted Bastards!

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By Larry, October 23, 2006 at 4:38 am Link to this comment
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What I have learned is that there is a prolific IDIOT on this board who goes by the name of Frank Goodman.May the Good Lord Bless his Soul because any decent person will Damn it. That is his only hope.

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By Tony Wicher, October 23, 2006 at 12:16 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #32228 by Fadel Abdallah on 10/22 at 1:01 pm

You tell ‘em, Fadel. These Zionist claims are such a perversion of religion, for land, for bloody real estate. I presume you don’t have some other so-called sacred book that you think is less fictitious than the one that Jews read? Of course there is nothing sacred in any book; that is a secret hidden in the heart.

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By Bill Lenner, October 22, 2006 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment
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Well, said Mr. Goodman.

I was saying at dotcommonsense during the attack on Lebanon, that it looked like a classic land grab.

The closest anyone in mainstream came to dealing with my suspicions was on NPR when an Israeli out of the blue categorically denied the idea that Israel wanted to grab more cheap land for their farmers (like they ‘aren’t’ doing all the time in West Bank). 

The man said that Israel gets more money from tourism than from farming.  He almost had me there, but then I remembered what cheap farm land meant, not so much in money for the nation, but in votes for the people in charge of the nation.  A lot of families would benefit if Israel grabbed that beautiful ‘arable’* land of Southern Lebanon in an area known for cooler summers than much of Israel has. (And the coastal area would make fine spots for resorts too).

And I have a question about the setting up of Israel, in the way they have been acting.  Did our white American and European nations set the people of Israel down on the coast and whisper in their ears something about doing some “Manifest Destiny” on the region to manage their soon to be growing populations?  I wouldn’t put it past some of our past officials to do so. 

But I can’t get beyond the knee-jerk Muslim haters here.  It’s like hearing Hitler’s minions just before the Nazis started carrying out what they called “the final solution”.  Right before our eyes we see these people and the Bush and Blair administrations actually working on creating the political atmosphere in which families can be wiped out because of their race or religion.

*The land below the Litani River in Lebanon is mostly described by the CIA maps as “arable” land with non permanent crops.  There are some permanent crops and some well ..er. poppy and they aren’t for seeds, but its a small area according to the Agency.  Arable means that the land even has enough rainfall to grow crops without irrigation through most years. And, in fact, the area is so pleasant overall that wealthy families created vacation villas in and around some of South Lebanese towns (from news reports during the crisis).

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By Kwagmyre, October 22, 2006 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Aaron in #32405:

“In 2000, Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat a Palestinian state in the majority of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip with an outlying suburb of East Jerusalem as its capital.  Arafat rejected Barak’s offer and refused to make a counter-offer.”

What you fail to understand is that Israel was ALREADY bound by UN Resolution #242 to relinquish that land because the occupation was judged illegal anyway. 

Notwithstanding that, under the terms of the “offer” made by Barak, Israel would STILL have exerted control over the Palestinians travelling “priviledges” between the West Bank and Gaza and probably even Jerusalem.  I had earlier likened this to a situation where you sell someone an apartment or a hotel but deny them any right to occupy the lobby.

Now what self-respecting negotiator would accept something as absurd as that!

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 22, 2006 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #32405 by Aaron on 10/22

I believe that you will find that the Barak offer was a counter offer to Arafat’s minimum. The Palestinian demand is for 22% of Mandate Palestine essentially the pre 1967 West Bank, Gaza, and Arab East Jerusalem. He offered minor boundary adjustments of land for land, but not people for people. Arafat would have accepted the present Jewish settlers under Palestinian rule much as Israel accepts Palestinians in Israel under their rule.

Arafat promised freedom of religion and equality under law for people of all faiths. Islamists in Palestine do not like that, but would have accepted it if taken in good faith and with honor by Barak. Zionists certainly do not like the prospect of Jews living in a democratic Palestine with equality before the law.

The Palestinian offer has stood ever since PLO accepted the right of Israel to exist on its present area, but not on the rest of Mandate Palestine.

Israel expects to eventually take the rest of Palestine and even has its sights on southern Lebanon and certain areas of the Sinai. Israel would especially like to kick all Arabs out of Gaza and take that for Israel because of the sea access and non-contiguous to the West Bank.

The exit from Gaza was for the obvious purpose of getting Jews temporarily out of the way of the genocide of Palestinians in that land. They include it all in their plans. When population pressures grow in Israel they will certainly take Shebaa Farms and Southern Lebanon to the Litani River. That is if Lebanon does not defeat them next time around in Israel’s sequential war plan. If Hezbolah keeps on as the protector of Lebanon, Israel will certainly be defeated again in the next phase. Hezbolah is not as monolithic Shiite as many say. There are even Christian units in the Hezbolah camp as well as Sunni Muslims, though it is dominated by Shiite Muslims. Their purpose is defense of Lebanon and support for Palestinian rights against Zionism and partition of Palestine.  Get the facts and get off this Zionist propaganda train. It is about to be derailed.

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By Tony Wicher, October 22, 2006 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #31921 by Brian Wallace on 10/22 at 5:51 am and “The only hope is that there are moderate Jews who are appalled with what Israel is doing and moderate Arabs who long for peace, and pray for even handedness in a resolution of their joint plight.”

I believe that at bottom everybody wants peace but they are blinded by their ideologies from seeing that their enemies are no different from themselves, that they are indeed their own enemies. Those poor Muslim kids who blow themselves up are brainwashed, just as much as some of the Zionists who have recently come to this forum raving and foaming at the mouth. So, with both sides being thus far gone in lunacy, what is to be done?

Surely, not everyone is completely mad yet. In fact, I believe that there is a “silent majority” of moderate Israelis and Palestinians who only want to live a decent life in peace. At bottom they care about that more than any religion or ideology or nationalism. But their religious and political leaders are constantly leading them to war - because, unfortunately, this is how demagogues religious and political acquire power.

Bill Wendt says “I have yet to see either the Israelis or the Palestinian leadership show the intelligence or moral courage and strength of will to act in a manner that would force their people to comply with peace…Until both sides are sick of the bloodshed, it goes on.”

Strong leadership will arise to stop extremist violence when this silent majority of moderates in both camps sickens sufficiently of bloodshed to come to an agreement to share the Holy Land - really share it, not chop it into pieces. The leadership needed will only be strong enough to stop the extremists on both sides if it can present a vision of peace and security acceptable to this moderate constituency.   


Reply to Comment #31832 by Bill Wendt on 10/22 at 2:59 am

“Face it, intense hate brewing into terrorist guerilla warfare fueled by fear-induced military oppression cannot be reversed UNLESS very strong leadership on both sides, genuinely supported by their own people reach agreement AND ENFORCE IT ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE when needed.  Firing on your own people, if needed, to control out-of-control people takes immense discipline and courage.

I have yet to see either the Israelis or the Palestinian leadership show the intelligence or moral courage and strength of will to act in a manner that would force their people to comply with peace.  Ariel Sharon came close in the Gaza pullout but lost a lot of respect from his people.

Until both sides are sick of the bloodshed, it goes on.”

I believe that

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By Noah, October 22, 2006 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
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when the world trade centre was attacked, afghanistan was the target of vengence.  It was logical, America has the right to defend itself from attack.  This is the same with Israel.  I do believe the wall is a terrible thing, and the palestinians and israelis should be able to live side by side, working together and co existing.  The problem is that this situation cannot exist.  Yes many palestinians are cut off from their livelihood.  Many have become impoverished.  This is a terrible tragedy but Israel has the right to defend itself.  There are so many horror stories, i have heard first hand, of children getting shrapnel wounds to the face from suicide bombers wrapping the bombs in nails to inflict as much damage as possible.  The palestinians are suffering, they have been for generations, but when their solution to this problem, instead of trying to settle it peacefully, is to blow oneself up in a pizzeria, there is little else that can be done.  One cannot reason with someone bent on your destruction.  If they wanted peace, and in turn security, an economy, and a neighbour willing to deal with them, all they have to do is ask.

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By Justice4All, October 22, 2006 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
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For all the newcomers out there, this feels like teaching college kids History 101 again. We have gone through this many times in the past few weeks but here it is again: You are either ignorant, blind, ill-informed or all of the above. Take your pick.

There is an undeniable reality out there called Israeli occupation of Palestine and it is dubbed Occupation 101 and has been going on for decades now. It is depriving Palestinians of their humanity, freedom and their very basic rights. This is not something you hear about or see on mainstream media which, by the way, does nothing but brainwashes your mental framework and hijacks your intellectual ability (or what is left of it anyway).

For all those who would like to educate themselves and know the real truth, click on these videos:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=XPpkCf6637E  (film about the Wall)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eCL6WdnuNp4

And if you have more time, check out the rest of these videos:
http://youtube.com/results?search_query=peace+propaganda+and+the+promised+land

Happy viewing and I hope you learn something useful tonight. Maybe you’ll pass and move on to History 102.

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By Marco, October 22, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Sir,

Have you considered that the problem is because Islam is rising and its goal is to rule the world!

As a Christian we consider Israel to be the canary
in the coal mine so when the Islamists attack Israel they are attacking Christendom!

In a mad world only the mad a sane!

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By Aaron, October 22, 2006 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
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In 2000, Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat a Palestinian state in the majority of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip with an outlying suburb of East Jerusalem as its capital.  Arafat rejected Barak’s offer and refused to make a counter-offer.

How can you say that Israel has been and continues to oppress the Palestinians when they have made every possible concession for peace?  Yet as always, the Palestinians refuse to accept anything but the destruction Israel.  Why?  Because Islam is an intollerant religion that promotes violence and the destruction of the Jewish people.

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By M F Bhuiyan, October 22, 2006 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
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Surely an informative article. Commentators of this article! Refute with facts, not just by swearing.

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By Dennis, October 22, 2006 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
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What is going on in Israel is really sad. What the Germans did to the Jews, they are doing it to the Arabs.

You have some christians who say the Bible gave the land to the Jews. I am a Catholic and I sure don’t see it in our book.

The land was taken away from the Arabs. They were never compisated for what they lost. The Jews who lived in the area they had to give up for the new Arab state got paid by our Government.

Both sides are wrong. You just can’t shoot people just to shoot them. The Jews control the media in this country and we surely not get the true story.

The Jews are out numbered in the middle east. They have to rely on the wepons we give them. This is sad. Look at the mess they left in Lebanon. The cluster bombs have made in the USA and that is just wrong .

It almost looks like Washington said “may the best man win” and let the fighting go on. Where is the justice?

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By Spinoza, October 22, 2006 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
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Peter Starr, good luck in your endeavors to make a peaceful world.

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By Spinoza, October 22, 2006 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
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The beit noir of right wing Jewish Nationalists is Norman Finkelstein and Finkelstein is suggesting that Israel is two wars away from its destruction—-at its own hands.  Though there is the thought that Israel will bring down the world with it’s own destruction.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=531

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By Keith Nyberg, October 22, 2006 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
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This was wrote this morning…....

Comment #32032 by Zalman on 10/22 at 8:24 am

Thw world stands by and lets the bigoted terrorist jews slaughter anyone that opposes them. The US government even supplies the money and weapons for this horrible extermination.


How in the world do you come up with the idea that it is Israels fault for what is going on there. If you do some research, you will find out that it is in the manifesto of the PLO to drive all the jews to the sea and kill all of them. Israel has always and will continue to defend herself against anyone meaning her harm. I suppose that you think it was Israels fault that two soldiers were kidnapped by terrorist in Lebanon. By the way, these two have yet to be returned.
The IDF tries very hard to only retaliate when it needs to. The Palestinians do everything that they can to kill as many civilians as possible….you never hear of them trying to kill Israeli soldiers, only the civilians. When will the rest of the world come realize that Israel needs all the support she can get, and I am one who stands with her during such trying times.
One last thing….if you did your research you will find that the name of the area, “Palestine” has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the people in the area!!!!

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By Spinoza, October 22, 2006 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
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Looks like some bagel eaters have been let out of the asylum.  Woe unto the poor put upon Jew. Pitty us. Woe is me. NEVER AGAIN. Even if we have to destroy the world.

I AM CONTINUALLY TOLD THAT JEWS CONSIDER THE ISSUE OF THE MIDDLE EAST AN EXISTENTIAL PROBLEM.

That Jews and the Jewish state are being threatened.

The thing is that this is an excuse. Not the truth.

The Iranians have offered to make a peace treaty with Israel. The Syrians have offered to make a Peace Treaty. The Saudi’s have offered a general peace treaty.

Somehow no peace treaties were put into negotiation. WHY and Who’s Fault?

When is the great Jewish Nation going to grow up and start acting like adults???

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By Brian Wallace, October 22, 2006 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
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Wow..Speak out against the Jews and suddenly you are a jew hater. Shame on you Mr. Hedges. It couldn’t be that you disagree with their activities, you must hate them. Don’t you know that any disagreement with Gods’ chosen people is forbidden. The fact that Israel is Palestines dictator and probably the cruelest in the region doesn’t matter, they are god’s chosen and can do no wrong. The fact that each religion says its’ god is THE god doesn’t matter. The jewish god is the only god and he rules the universe and allows Israel to do whatever it wants including being parasites on the American taxpayer. But then gentiles are on the earth to be used by Israel to carry out their gods’ wishes. What crap! If you want to have a meaningful discussion, please leave out what god wants and deal with the reality that if you think this is the End Days then it will be, with or without a God.

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By This American, October 22, 2006 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
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Brenda said"We know your kind Mr. Hedges a true Jew hater who continues to blame Jews for all the wrong in the world.”

It is possible Brenda, if you are Jewish, you may have a persectution complex, or perhaps you read a different article than the one I did. What I got from Mr. Hedges article rather was not that Jews are responsible for ALL of the wrong in the world—as you say—- that’s silly, but rather simply that those that call themselves “jews” acknowledge that they are no more “gods chosen” than Palestinians are, (except maybe by their own “jewish authors”.)and consider that SOME of them are ALSO very much part of the cycle of VIOLENCE in order to “get their way”.

It’s sad really that ‘The People’ are really always manipulated to be at each others throats, while their so called ‘leaders’ pretend to want peace but really work in secret to enrich themselves from the exact opposite. One would think after thousands and thousands of years of this charade the masses would awaken, join forces and throw off the puppeteers that steal their labor and profit from their death and destruction.

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By Kwagmyre, October 22, 2006 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Ken Schreier(#32021):

“No other such event has happened in the history of mankind as the Jews being returned to the land G-D gave them !!!”

Yes, and it has to rank as among the most blatant instances of land expropriation as well! 

You seem blissfully ignorant(whether by choice or not)that for a long time Jews and Arabs lived together on that same land on good terms with one another.  Resorting to biblical rationalizations as you do certainly makes you a qualified Jewish Fundamentalist, a label you’re no doubt proud to wear on your sleeve!

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By Fadel Abdallah, October 22, 2006 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
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To Ken Schreier # 32021:

To Ken Schreier # 32021:

Well, interesting! When I thought I heard it all from fanatic Zionists, here you come to tell us another Jewish myth about Palestine being “the fortress where God dwells.” And yet, though you say that He is the God of all humans, He needs to dwell in one tiny piece of land from among the huge universe He supposedly created. More interesting, your God seems to be a militaristic one that He needs to dwell in a “fortress”, ready to fight or defend Himself! What an interesting myth!
 
First, there was the myth of the “Chosen People” coming to us in a work of fiction you call “The Bible.” Through this myth your God is reduced to a lobbyist, not unlike Abramoff and AIPAC.

Moreover, your God is featured as a real state agent who singled Palestine to be the most valued real state property to be given to His darlings, the Jews, to the exclusion of all His other creators. Aren’t you really ashamed that you live in the 21st century and you have the audacity to repeat these nonsense myths in a public forum?!

Another of your most recent fanatic myths talks of Palestine as “a land without people for a people without land.” If God dwells in his fortress Palestine he would at least need a big army of people to defend the fortress and fight the enemies, wouldn’t He?! Then, how come it was all of a sudden “empty” when it suited your propaganda agenda?!
 
Another Zionist myth is about Palestine being a desert and arid land, where the traumatized Jews coming from Europe, managed to turn it with hard work into a garden and fertile land. You were caught up in the cycle of your myths to the point that you even forgot that your own fictitious Bible referred to it as a “land flowing with honey and milk”!
 
As a man of letters, I always get entertained with fanciful stories. I can hardly wait for the next installments of Zionist myths! HA…HA…HA!

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By Brian Wallace, October 22, 2006 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
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I think the biggest fear that Jews have is that their rhetoric is wearing thin. They bring up Hitler and the holocaust and compare us to him who they hate.So does that mean they hate us as well simply because we disagree with them. Unless I am mistaken it was the Jewish god who punished them for their ways in the beginning. How much more insanity and human suffering is to be tolerated in the name of God and religion, all of which is against his teachings. We are like little children pointing fingers and saying “HE started it!”. It is not only the muslims who preach anihilation. So please leave Hitler and the holocaust and the “oooh… you’re anti-semitic” out of it so we can have a rational dialogue.

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By Jose Amram, October 22, 2006 at 10:36 am Link to this comment
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Two facts are self evident: since the erection of the wall AND the death of Yasser Arafat, suicide attacks have decreased exponentially. It has been the Palestinian intifadas, the intranscigence of their leadership (remember Barak was going to hand over 90% of the west bank, Arafat declined) and the continued infighting within the Palestinian authorities that hurts their people. Israel is only doing what perhaps should have been done a long time ago…

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By BRENDA ABRAMS, October 22, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
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We know your kind Mr.Hedges, a true Jew hater who continues to blame JEWS for all the wrong in the world !
Get a life and start telling the real truth !
It is arab dictators who fund terrorist groups who are the real problem. They are the cause of violence and death in the mideast and the world.
They are the killers of Jewish & Muslim children & women !
Tell the truth so Jew hating people like you will be discredited when trying to give misinformation to the people of the world !

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By Zalman, October 22, 2006 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
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Thw world stands by and lets the bigoted terrorist jews slaughter anyone that opposes them. The US government even supplies the money and weapons for this horrible extermination.

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By Ken Schreier, October 22, 2006 at 8:12 am Link to this comment
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Another thing about the comments from some of the replies to this article.
Zionism is made out to be some evil concept created by some sect of radical Jews, it is not !!!
Zionism is simply the return of the Jewish people to their homeland which was taken away by the Romans in 70 AD & remained in the hands of other peoples until the Jewish state was re-established in 1948. Zionism is a concept of return to Zion, which means, the fortress of where G-D dwells,  which has been mentioned many times by the prophets and as you see with your own eyes has come true !!!
Better to stop blaming Jews and accept the fact that G-D has indeed returned his children to the land he promised them after 1900 yrs of exile.
No other such event has happened in the history of mankind as the Jews being returned to the land G-D gave them !!! Take heed those who look to destroy a people who have such a backer as the Almighty G-D of the entire universe !!!

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By Larry, October 22, 2006 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
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Wow!  What a terrifically IGNORANT group of people who Hate Jewish people but can not bring themselves to admit it.  What phonie bastards you are!

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By Larry, October 22, 2006 at 7:39 am Link to this comment
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Well I finally found it.  A site that tells lies and lies and lies!  No sense trying to make sense of complete nonsense!

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By Ken Schreier, October 22, 2006 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
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Well, here we have another, “know it all”, blame the Jews for the problem in the mideast!!!
The arab militants care nothing about the lives of non-moslems. The infidel deserves death in the name of alah according to their beliefs.
Hedges, a New York Times former employee, is just another Jewish scapegoat supporter.
He forgets that it was the arab nations who want the destruction of ISRAEL and not the other way around !
He knows nothing about the history of the land or the peoples who live there !
It is disgraceful that a person of his background has so little knowledge of the problems in that area !
The problem is the dictatorial arab regimes in the area who fund terrorist groups to disrupt the peace in the area ! This causes the Israelis to retaliate against these terrorists, who hide themselves & weapons in the middle of arab civilian populations, and cause the death of innocent children,women & men !
It is the Arab dictators & terrorist groups who should be blamed for killing innocent Jewish & Moslem children, women & men !
This Hedges is just another Jew hater who claims he knows it is the Jew who is the problem !
Sounds familiar to me, oh yes, didn’t a man named Hitler say the same thing !!!

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By KL Shep, October 22, 2006 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
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Being a combat paratrooper during the Vietnam War, I experience the horrors.  I never hated the People of Vietnam, I hated the persons who start wars, who seemed to have never participated, or got deferrments from it.  I also found, as in real life, the bullies & cowards, always spoke the toughest talk.  Any soldier I believe that has experienced the horrors of seeing friends, comrades, and our foes bodies, would always try to use diplomacy before declaring war.  Our motto for paratroopers was “We don’t start fights, we finish them”.  Soldiers only do their job & follow orders.

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By Brian Wallace, October 22, 2006 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
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Genocide, the holocaust, something that happened 60 to 70 years ago.Native Americans experienced genocide at the hands of Christians, the Armenians at the hand of Turks, Africa has always practiced genocide.yet the only focus is what the Jew went through at the hands of the Nazis, which was for a very short time and resulted in far fewer deaths. The American Indian has endured far greater horror and misery for a much longer time. Who do we focus on? The Jew. They have a great thing going for them. By keeping the holocaust alive and maintaining that they are God’s chosen people they not only drain us of our tax dollars, becoming the most profitable welfare state in the world, but they commit atrocities under the guise of self preservation and as Netanyahu stated “We couldn’t do it without our American friends.” If there is a God he can’t be happy. If my memory serves me correctly Israel was originally slated to be on the African continent during the migration from Europe but they declined, preferring to take Arab lands and then, against U.N. provided borders, proceeded to make their own. The only hope is that there are moderate Jews who are appalled with what Israel is doing and moderate Arabs who long for peace, and pray for even handedness in a resolution of their joint plight.

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By John Kane, October 22, 2006 at 5:32 am Link to this comment
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Another hate the USA and Israel article.  Once again you want to blame the honorable side.  Israel is not sending its children with bombs tied to them into the Palestinian quarters.  Israel did not start the latest violence by kidnapping Hezbollah soldiers.  Israel has only pre-emtively struck once, and that was when Iraq was developing Nukes.  When people like you stop hating the USA and Israel, and support the side of justice, things can get better.

We should also pull out of the Useless Nations and kick them out of the country.  They hate us and all we stand for.

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By Bill Wendt, October 22, 2006 at 2:59 am Link to this comment
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Chris Hedges stood up and said something that many need to hear. . . The Israelis are not the innocent victims of unprovoked Palestinian violence.  No, they are not angels.

However, please acknowledge that the original 1940’s UN plan for Israel included considerable lands east of the Jordan River which were conveniently re-named “Trans-Jordan” and ultimately, just Jordan.  Also, please don’t forget that many Arabic people fled Palestine prior to and during the initial Arab assault in the late 1940s.  While some were driven from their homes by the Israelis, many were requested to leave by other Arabic countries in advance of said country’s attacks against Israel.  Regardless of who stayed and who left, please acknowledge that a huge amount of the original land designated for Israel (About 60%) was lopped-off very early on, leaving Israel with the tiny, non-oil producing lands that they have today (Sans the Gaza, parts of the West bank and parts of the Lebanon boarder).

I will never know why Moshe Dayan stopped the mass exodus of Palestinian people following the 1967 war, but while Israel initially showed a face of welcome to these people, their history of military / organized violence and humiliation against the Palestinian people is more than “An eye for an eye” as witnessed recently in the final days of the war on Hezbollah in Lebanon.  I hope you do remember how the Israelis dropped massive amounts of cluster bombs over Lebanon, knowing full-well that they would kill and maim many non-combatants?  Even Israelis living in America were ashamed of the terror brought upon Lebanese civilians by the IDF.  I know because they told me so to my face.  Lebanese kids are still losing body parts today, thanks to unexploded cluster bombs.

Let’s also face some facts about America’s support of Israel. 

1) The US media blacks-out about 99% of news stories that show the brutality of Israel toward Palestinians.  And when a story leaks, it’s quickly covered up as an exaggeration.

2) Jewish Americans have great power in the US because they donate HUGE amounts of money to both political parties.  I guess hedging your bets pays. 

3) The US wants an ally near the oil rich lands of the Mid-East and supporting Israel is good for business.

4) If you agree with ANY numbers 1, 2 & 3 above, why would ANY American person in high public office willingly fall on his/her sword by NOT supporting Israel’s overwhelming and disproportionate military responses to minor Palestinian incursions? 

Americans know they are “Picking a fight”, but it just ain’t politically cool to say so.  My Israeli friends explain that extreme retaliation responses are necessary to keep Palestinian extremists from “Messing with us”.  Does that work, or just make them tougher?

The Israelis are now dealing NOT with the original Palestinians of years ago, but a new breed of people who won’t “Give quarter” under any circumstances because they’ve been raised with nothing but hate lessons.  Kind of “New and improved” in the hate game.  How else could you get people to detonate themselves unless the brainwashing didn’t start from birth?  But this level of desperate action also reminds me of the early American Revolutionary war heros who said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Trust me; the American Indians didn’t see it that way.

Face it, intense hate brewing into terrorist guerilla warfare fueled by fear-induced military oppression cannot be reversed UNLESS very strong leadership on both sides, genuinely supported by their own people reach agreement AND ENFORCE IT ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE when needed.  Firing on your own people, if needed, to control out-of-control people takes immense discipline and courage.

I have yet to see either the Israelis or the Palestinian leadership show the intelligence or moral courage and strength of will to act in a manner that would force their people to comply with peace.  Ariel Sharon came close in the Gaza pullout but lost a lot of respect from his people.

Until both sides are sick of the bloodshed, it goes on.  Eventually, every one of us dies whether or not Israel is “Safe” or Palestinian people are “Free”.
 
And when each of us dies, we may find the irony that the Christian God, Jewish God and Allah are one and the same power - just expressed differently by different cultures . . . may we learn now and not burn in hell.

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By Michael Henry Brown, October 22, 2006 at 2:05 am Link to this comment
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A really good argument as to why things have gone wrong, and, will stay wrong in the Middle East. Also, it’s intersting that you’re anti-semetic when you’re anti-Israel. Semite isn’t synonymous with Jew, however, outlets like Fox News and the N.Y. Post have made it so. Aren’t the Palestinians a Semetic people? Most Arabs certainly are. Yet the word now only means Jew. And if we’re talking European Jews who migrated from Europe after WWII, then one could argue that they are far less Semetic than the anti-Zionist and truly Semetic Arabs and Palestinians that they want to wipe from the face of the earth.

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By Tony Wicher, October 22, 2006 at 12:48 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #31330 by MARK OBEY on 10/21 at 3:54 pm

Sir,

Glad to have you here in this interesting forum. If I were to “blame” anyone for the mess in the Middle East, I suppose it would be (a) the Nazis, who precipitated the whole thing with the Holocaust, and (b) the U.S. military-industrial complex, which seeks to control Middle East oil resources and uses the miltary alliance with “our noble ally”, Israel, as a pretext to put pressure on Iraq, Iran, etc. Zionists are just a pawn in their game. Zionism is a tragic outcome of history. The great and wonderful Jewish people were severely shocked and traumatized by the Holocaust, and Zionism is the unfortunate result. The key idea of Zionism is “Jewish self-defense”, the idea that Jews can trust no one else and that therefore they must live in a “Jewish state” protected by a Jewish army. This idea is the very understandable reaction of people whose friends and relatives were horribly murdered while the non-Nazi population of Europe stood by. But it has now become clear that this idea cannot be the basis for a modern nation-state, because it contradicts basic democratic principles. Jews are NOT a “nation”. A religion, yes. A people, yes. An ethnicity, yes. But not a nation. In the time of Solomon, there were such “nations”, but not in the modern world. You cannot possibly be a “Jewish state” and a democracy at the same time. It is an obvious contradiction. But Zionists cannot see this, because they are blinded by this idea of “Jewish self-defense”. Actually, the Nazis lost the war in 1945. They are all dead. The only thing left on the scene that resembles them is the Bush Administration - Israel’s great ally. The Arabs are a brother Semitic people. They are nothing like Nazis. You could make friends with them and live together with them in peace. But not until you give up on the idea of a Jewish state. It may seem terribly disillusioning at first to give up on the “Jewish state” idea, but the foundation of a secular democracy with Jews and Palestinians as fellow citizens would be a far greater and prouder accomplishment.

Thank you for your attention.

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By Peter Starr, October 21, 2006 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment
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I live in Israel.  I live in Tel Aviv.  I am not sure what to make of the article as I have read it from start to finish and feel that it is heavily weighted towards the sympathies of those who hate me.  Yet, as Mr. Hedges has made clear and as my last seventeen years living here has shown me, our government, my government, is not honest with us.  This lack of honest, lack of forthrightness has led us into countless conflict just as the lack of honesty and forthrightness leads those in the Arab world into conflict with one another.  In essence we are all being manipulated.

Thus, I am limited in how I can respond and react to Chris’s article.  I can rage about Islamic Radicalism or I can point my finger at the Zionist Entity who are the root of all evil. But these are wasted words written on an obscure computer.  In fact, my approach has been to at least try, to attempt to sit and speak with my Arab neighbors.  To work as a volunteer in their schools.  To speak about walls cutting into lands that are not ours while also speaking about dialog instead of bombs.  But I am wasting my time.  We are all in this, in the end run, together and no one side is right and no one side is wrong.  The Chris Hedges can write as they write to publish and sell, while the real people need to learn to exist with one another.  Instead of attacking each other on this feedback section, people should think about spending some time with their rivals and understand them from another perspective.  However, it is just easier to hate so I am sure that will be the mainstay of this region of the world (and so many others as well).

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By Geronimo, October 21, 2006 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
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European Christians who settled in the Americas preached that the only good Indian was a dead Indian, which led to genocide.  Now European Jews who have settled in the Holy Land claim that the only good Palestinian is a dead (or transferred and/or aculturated) Palestinian.  Will this lead to genocide?  Will anyone care?

Gaza and The Warsaw Ghetto

same place
different times
while the world stood by
genocide
live.

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By Robert, October 21, 2006 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #30449 by ed_tru_lib on 10/20.


Hey “Mr.Ed. Show”,


There you go; you raised your psycho head up again!!!

You asked for this one & its coming your way.

You always spew your psycho comments without any substance. Your looney comments reflect an unstable, lonely & unpredictable personality.

You sound like you just got discharged from some mental ward/hospital. Have you taken your prescribed psycho medications lately?

Do you have a stable job or are you unemployed? If you have any job, someone needs to inform your co-workers regarding your unstable mental state. You may be a danger to them, your neighbors & to society.

I don’t think that you have any human friends. Most likely the people who know you, can’t stand your outlook on life & the world in general.

You previous comment was that it was the last one & last try on this forum, but you surface with the same spewing crap. You can’t even tell the damn TRUTH. You lied to this forum & its your way of life.

You just keep watching your looney “wabbitt” and may be that looney show will calm you down before you go out & harm Chris Hedges.

You need to be able to face the TRUTH & most of the people on this forum has been very informative except you “ed_false_lib.”

IF you are going to dish it out, you are going to also take it!!!

You are not helping your Zionist organization…Man! Or may be woman???

You need to read the book “Beyond Chutzpah” on the misuse of anti-semitism and the abuse of history by Norman Finkelstein.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 21, 2006 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #30449 by ed_tru_lib on 10/20

Yeah, I noticed the lunatics who support the murders in Israel IDF who kill innocents kids, women and old men. And the lunatics who love killing Iraqis just because they are Arabs. Are you their captain?

Thanks again for this can of garbage from my erstwhile assistants who help me to expose the hypocrisy and ignorance of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I note that you have brought some of your soul mates to help us. Good for you. Bring more. They sure do a good job of showing the bankrupt status of Zionism. Don’t you ever yearn for peace on this earth for all people everywhere? Did it ever occur to you when you all get the message and become decent human beings we will have a good discussion of how it came about. In the meantime, just keep on showing the true nature of your misanthropy.

By the way, can you tell me why God would have chosen such a miserable lot as Zionists to give a peaceful land to? Your version of God sure would disturb the real God, the one and only God of all creation and all that is. Islam says “God is Benevolent.” Do you agree? Islam says “God is Merciful.” Do you agree with that? Islam says “God is Justice.” Do you agree with that?  What Just God would favor a bunch of human butchers? What Benevolent God would take land away from people who have worked it for over 2000 years and give it to some wandering Jews? What Merciful God would allow His favorite people to murder Palestinian kids?

While you are thinking about that, keep on ranting in your own special way. It is bringing out the vermin. All the rest of your blood thirsty miserable excuses for human beings just keep it up. It makes my job so much easier. I notice quite a bit of progress since Israel invaded Lebanon. Even Condolezza Rice has joined us against the murderers and thieves in Israel. Note that there is a move to stop the killing and the brutality. It is the first evidence that the Bush administration has any decency. Then read what Zionists Of America (ZOA) said about Rice. Just a few months ago they were praising her for her pro-Israel stand. Now suddenly she is persona non grata in Israel. Hooray, we got Condi on our side!  Where is the line of dominoes? Condi is the first one to fall. How many Bushels of heads will role? Condi, now that you have seen truth, if you need protection, let us know.

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By Joesph sadaqah, October 21, 2006 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
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I wanted to thank you for saying some of the truth about the barbaric occupation of the Palestinian land. Do not forget that the state of israel was build from jewish (or more correctly zionist) terrorism in the 40’s, which made those millions palestinian refugees living in exile for over half a century. It is the barabaric inhuman and racist practices of israel that created extremist movements in the arab world.
And you just have to read the e-mails of some of the readers who claim that GOD gave the jews the right to steal arab land, to realize the other religious extremism and fascism, we are dealing with in the middle east.

Again Thank you for saying the truth. And do not worry GOD will not leave these unjustices go unabated.

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By truth4all, October 21, 2006 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
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#Comment #30118 by Colonel on 10/20 at 10:36 am

“God bless Chris Hedges, an American of conscience and courage. If we do not listen to the few decent, objective voices like Hedges’s regarding our blind and misguided support of Israel, the U.S. will continue to lose its moral authority throughout the whole world - if it hasn’t already lost it entirely.”

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

I agree 100% with the Colonel.

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By richard gallaway, October 21, 2006 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
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it is all the jews falt of all the wars around the world… and also why did jews go to palestine and steel theri land where they in britan before that and how do they say its theri land isnt that just a lie every one knows the truth but their scared to say it. wht did america go to iraq they just wanted to protec isreal and steal all the oil they have. their will never be peace if the america keeps on supporting isreal. isreal is one of the most problems in the world.

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By Kwagmyre, October 21, 2006 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Soldier in Iraq:

“p.s. when i ride in a convoy and I am the gunner on the turret, if i see a young man make a motion that he is going to throw something at the convoy, I SHOOT, I don’t know if he is holding only a rock, or maybe he is holding a grenade or explosive device.  I don’t know. so I will shoot. If anything we should praise the isrealis for thier restraint.”

I can only pray for your safe return from Iraq and that you’re spared the ravages of PTSD upon your return.  You may even succeed in letting go of the hostile attitude you have toward Muslims.

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By Kwagmyre, October 21, 2006 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Mark Obey:

“I CANNOT BELIEVE SIR THAT YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY 2 BLAME THE NATION OF ISREAL 4 ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.IT`S THOSE MUSLIMS WHO HAVE PERSECUTED THE JEWS THROUGH OUT THIER HISTORY.THE JEWS WHO GOD GAVE THAT LAND 2 HAVE EVERY RIGHT 2 DEFEND THEMSELVES.YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.AMERICA SHOULD CONTINUE 2 BLESS ISREAL SO THAT GOD CAN CONTINUE 2 BLESS AMERICA.”

LOL!

The whole tenor of your statement, “sir” , is so patently absurd and simplistic that I’m really wasting words commenting like this. But, allow me to suggest that you’d do yourself a MAJOR, BIG TIME favor by researching the subject.  Then you can, for instance, provide one instance of these “Muslims persecuting Jews throughout thier(sic) history”. 

Oh, and while you’re at it, please invoke the Almighty God’s blessings so that the whole world and not just your favored America gets these benefits.  I don’t take too well to discriminating Gods!

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By Tom, October 21, 2006 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
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A few thouhgts.

Prior to the partition to provide land for the Jewish people after WW2 the Muslums and Christians owned about 75 percent of the land which is now Isreal.  The Jews owned about 25% of the land.  After the partition the numbers were reversed. How did that happen?

Isreal has continually used spies to provide information about it’s greatest allies, the USA.
Remember Mr. Pollard, still in jail and the government of Isreal still tries to get him released. Why do they do this?

During one of the wars, perhaps the 7 day war the government of Isreal intentionally attacked a USA ship, killing about 30 US sailors.  Why did they attack?

More recently even after requests from the US government the government of Isreal attacked locations which were not combat locations and killed a number of civilians perhaps includign US civilians. Why did they not listen to their best friend?

Some argue the war in Iraq has ocurred due to US government officials were following military advice given by Isreal. Is that possible?

After 60 years the government of Isreal has not been able or willing to have a peaceful settlement with the surrounding countries.  Why not? 

Perhaps the wall is but a permanent symbol of the attitude of the Jewish state.  Perhaps the Jewish people are being mislead by their own government just as many people suggest the American people are being mislead by their government. Perhaps we have something in commong?

In the end perhaps the only solution is to resettle the people of Isreal to other parts of the world. Then the other citizens of the middle east can fight and kill each other just as they are now doing in Iraq.  I doubt the government of Isreal would agree to resettlement even if it would stop the constant wars that plague Isreal.

Best wishes to all who, for what ever reason, live in the part of the world which once was the center of the world but now is just a group of third world backward nations that have little hope for the future.

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By paul, October 21, 2006 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment
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Anyone that blames Israel for this conflict is either completely ignorant of the history of this conflict or just hates jews. 

Yes, America is the problem.  We have prevented Israel from acheiving a final, decisive victory over those nations who oppose her existence.  In five wars and again a few months ago,  Israel has has been restrained by pressure from the United states.  So,  in fact,  the Arab countries should greatful to the US.  Otherwise,  israel would have destroyed Cairo, Ahman, and Demascus in 1967,  millions of arabs would be dead,  and israel would be"occupying” an even greater junk of arab land.

You want to know who wants peace?  Why don’t you people check out who keeps making all the concessions in peace talks.  Israel gives up land and the arabs give up nothing.  That is a fact.  The wall is something any nation faced with suicide bombers crossing over its border would build.

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By This American, October 21, 2006 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment
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Palestine has a right to exist just as much as Israel does, and not in refugee camps or behind walls, as second class citizens.Jewish Supremecists have no place in this world. Israel tear down that wall.

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By MARK OBEY, October 21, 2006 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
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I CANNOT BELIEVE SIR THAT YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY 2 BLAME THE NATION OF ISREAL 4 ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.IT`S THOSE MUSLIMS WHO HAVE PERSECUTED THE JEWS THROUGH OUT THIER HISTORY.THE JEWS WHO GOD GAVE THAT LAND 2 HAVE EVERY RIGHT 2 DEFEND THEMSELVES.YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.AMERICA SHOULD CONTINUE 2 BLESS ISREAL SO THAT GOD CAN CONTINUE 2 BLESS AMERICA.

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By Kwagmyre, October 21, 2006 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Harold Macek:

“Seems to me the jews have been too kind to the pals—”

Oh, I see, and it doesn’t occur to you that the Zionist terrorists weren’t exactly so “kind” to the “pals” right after they established their state in the late 40’s when the pals were dispossessed of their land.  Or that terrorist Goldstein(from the U.S.)who killed many Moslems at the time they were worshipping. 

Best to do some research before launching into a baseless Zionist tirade.

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By soldier, October 21, 2006 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
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I am a soldier serving in Iraq, my first hand expierence with Muslims is that they are intolerant of others,  they have no tolerance for other religons. The muslim mentality also believes violence is a an acceptable means to reach a political end. Everyday muslims are killing other muslims because of a difference of opinion on the prophet mohamad.  Shiia vs. Sunni. If they are killing eachother what kind of tollerance do you think they have for other religons. None! Chris Hedges fails to mention that the wall has signifcantly reduced terrorist attacks in isreal, As long as the palestians use terrorism and act like savage animals they should be walled up like savaged animals.  They should not point thier fingers towards isrealis but the corrupt Arafat and extemist religous fanatics.  I have been to jerushalem, guess what muslims are free to practice thier religon there, but in muslim countries , the vast majority this is not true of other religons. why is that, why the hypocrocy and why the author fails to show both sides. no responsibility at all is given to the palestians, none. we are to believe the palestians are like an innocent baby that just came in the world and isreal squashed with thier boot.  not even close.  Palestians are reaping what they sow, so let them eat it.
p.s. when i ride in a convoy and I am the gunner on the turret, if i see a young man make a motion that he is going to throw something at the convoy, I SHOOT, I don’t know if he is holding only a rock, or maybe he is holding a grenade or explosive device.  I don’t know. so I will shoot. If anything we should praise the isrealis for thier restraint

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By Phil, October 21, 2006 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
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I think that the only mistake that the Israelies have made is by not driving ever living (palistinian) out of the country and demolishing the dome of the rock..

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By Robb from Kansas, October 21, 2006 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
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There’s a joke about Zionists and it goes something like this: an IDF on leave lands in London and is being queried by security guard at Heathrow airport and when asked, “occupation?” he replies “No. Just here on vacation.” This is the stereotype that most of the world has about Israel, a stereotype even stronger than of all Palestinians being suicide bombers. Israel has the upper hand in this conflict, with America holding the rest its the arm. How can anything be expected from the walled-in poor and the shut-out opressed when none is expected of their [relatively] well-off and freeliving Israeli neighbors?

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By joe, October 21, 2006 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
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Harold J Macek is an ass! Open your mind.

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By ed, October 21, 2006 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
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we need more chris hedges in the world! it’s disgusting how the usa supports israel.

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By Harold J Macek, October 21, 2006 at 4:01 am Link to this comment
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So—now the wall is hurting the Pals???  GREAT—Maybe now there won’t be so many jews killed by the pals..???  Seems to me the jews have been too kind to the pals—The jews should have ran the pals into the sea fifty years ago.. Headlines fifty years ago told how the pals ambushed jewish school buses…reason enough to run them into the sea,,,How long have the homicide bombers been around??? Raason enough to run them into the sea…Seeing as how the pals are not welcome in any other country ( I wonder why)  When the jews do decide to run them into the sea..WHO will care???

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By Kwagmyre, October 20, 2006 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment
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Ed_tru_lib(AKA the “Schizo Ad Libber”), continues with his predictably unintelligible rant and certainly pathetic efforts to remain evasive when it comes to engaging in a rational debate/discussion on this topic. 

Methinks the pitiful guy/girl truly remains incorrigible and the rest of us have to tolerate such a misfit in our midst.

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By Johnny, October 20, 2006 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
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As long as people group themselves into their personal little superior races, the world will have more death than it needs.  Critize Americans, often rightfully so, but Americans are more reflective of the world’s nationalities living in collective and accpetable harmony than any other planet on the globe.

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By ed_tru_lib, October 20, 2006 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
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Well I see the lunatics are out in force as always on this blog. Bet Chris is SO proud. We got us the “good cop”-Tony; the “bad cop”-Robert; the “jailhouse psycho”-Quackmire(whatevah); and the “camelshiteater”-Fidel, or fatty-della, or Fudd (aways goin afta those wascally wabbitt Jews)

Jesus, Mary, & Joseph!! (ALL “Zionists” btw) what a CROCK!! Israel Lives, and murdering, terrorist, (airplane-hijacking, mass-child-massacreing, camel-shit-eating) SCUM die-GEE what a bummer. Btw-anyone compare Nick Lamont’s (who’s sure as shitfire got MY vote, as he did before) to Lieberbush’s position on Israel lately?? Sho nuff do look like the same as FDR/JFK/MLKJr/RFK/Paul Wellstone’s/Barack Obama’s/ANYONE SANE/DECENT AND TRULY LIBERAL’S lately?-identical!!! and of course-truly liberal AKA not nutso/leftyfreak/garbage-hmm-guess even liebercheney, like Bill O’Reilly the other night, as reported in Truthdig, actually asking bushbaby some REAL questions, (& if only to try to save the .0001% credibility he has left as a journalist) can’t be ALL wrong ALL THE TIME.
As opposed to, say, goodcop/badcop/psycho/cameldicketc referenced above. (okok-in fairness “Tony/goodcop” made a miniscule amount of sense, a scintilla of the time)

Shalom, aSalaam aLiekum, Peace, Happy Sukkos, to ALL, and for God’s/Allah’s/Jehovah’s/Buddha’s/Madlyn Murray O’Hair’s sake-get out and vote for the liberal democrat of your choice and save what left of the real America. Don’t let the fact that doing that will OF COURSE JUST NATURALLY HELP ISRAEL BECAUSE WHAT’S RIGHT IS WHAT’S RIGHT=WHAT’S RIGHT stop you, kay??!!

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By dick smith, October 20, 2006 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment
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It’s 60 years too late, and now the Israeli lobbies control Congress.

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By Spinoza, October 20, 2006 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
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>>>>>If we can throw a bit of humor into our differences and face truth and consequences, we can weather the storm of criticism. We all found common ground on which to pitch our tents. We would like to export this spirit to Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, and to Darfur. If anyone knows how to package it for transport across international borders, please let me know. <<<<<<

When you eliminate the holy rollers and the right wingers most people will get along well enough.  So the way to package it is to get rid of the dogmatists and the fascists.

How do you do that?  Besides killing those people other methods that might work is agitation and public education. You need so much agitation that warmongering and injustice becomes unthinkable.  It is called “the changing of the climate of the times”.  It can theoretically be done but is very hard

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 20, 2006 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #29689 by Robert on 10/19

Here is another link from 2003. Note the difference in her impression of Israel then and now.

http://www.counterpunch.org/nimmo05272003.html

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By Colonel, October 20, 2006 at 10:36 am Link to this comment
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God bless Chris Hedges, an American of conscience and courage. If we do not listen to the few decent, objective voices like Hedges’s regarding our blind and misguided support of Israel, the U.S. will continue to lose its moral authority throughout the whole world - if it hasn’t already lost it entirely.

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By Robert, October 19, 2006 at 4:46 am Link to this comment
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The United States government protests Israel’s restrictions on U.S. citizens entering the West Bank. Haaretz -Israel News.


Wow!!! Israel is turning away Americans with U.S. passports because of ethnic background!!!

Here is the link. Read all about it!!!

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/776027.html

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By Robert, October 19, 2006 at 4:23 am Link to this comment
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ZOA condemns Rice’s keynote speech on Palestine.

Here is the link to the speech:


http://www.zoa.org/2006/10/zoa_condemns_se.htm

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2006 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #29546 by Robert on 10/18 at 1:48 pm

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the Secretary of State, Rice’s keynote speech last week to the American Task Force on Palestine as the most pro-Palestinian Arab, anti Israel in memory by a major US administration official. Secretary Rice condemned Israel’s “daily humiliation of occupation” of Palestinians.

ZOA national President, Morton A. Klein, “We are distressed by Secretary Rice’s deeply troubling speech pandering to Arab Americans and other Arabs by making a series of false declarations. This speech is surely at odds with an administration that claims it is ‘the best friend Israel ever had.’ If President Bush does not support the themes expressed in this speech, we urge him to make that publicly clear by distancing himself from it.”


Interesting! Robert, do you have a link to the Rice speech? I tell you, even the U.S. military-industrial complex might be getting ready to throw the Zionists overboard. Zionists, wise up! Get out in front of this movement! The only chip you hold is “Jewish self-defense”. That idea is born primarily out of the Holocaust. The educated world understands this. We have not forgotten. But you must now see that this idea cannot be a basis for a modern nation-state. If you take the lead in trading this chip for a secular, constitutional multiethnic democracy, the whole world will see you (and your non-Jewish fellow citizens) as leaders of civilization. Such a state would perhaps come closer to a true Zion (in which Muslims, Christians and Jews all believe) that a bloody piece of land with a “Jews only” sign hung on it.

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By Kwagmyre, October 18, 2006 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment
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Posted by Robert:

“The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the Secretary of State, Rice’s keynote speech last week to the American Task Force on Palestine as the most pro-Palestinian Arab, anti Israel in memory by a major US administration official. Secretary Rice condemned Israel’s “daily humiliation of occupation” of Palestinians.”

Boy, what Chutzpah for her to say something like that!  The delusional Dubya can’t be all that thrilled with this.

Of course, it’s just possible she was pandering to the organization just to let them know that even with its pro-Israel stance, the current administration can’t be all that “unbalanced.”

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By Robert, October 18, 2006 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment
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The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the Secretary of State, Rice’s keynote speech last week to the American Task Force on Palestine as the most pro-Palestinian Arab, anti Israel in memory by a major US administration official. Secretary Rice condemned Israel’s “daily humiliation of occupation” of Palestinians.

ZOA national President, Morton A. Klein, “We are distressed by Secretary Rice’s deeply troubling speech pandering to Arab Americans and other Arabs by making a series of false declarations. This speech is surely at odds with an administration that claims it is ‘the best friend Israel ever had.’ If President Bush does not support the themes expressed in this speech, we urge him to make that publicly clear by distancing himself from it.”

The ones in charge of US’s middle-east policy are knocking at Bush’s door.

Watch for the outcome of this warning/advice to Bush. Most likely he will bow to their demands. He has done it before.

“WHO DARES TO SPEAK OUT”

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By Tony Wicher, October 18, 2006 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #29271 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 10/17 at 7:21 pm

“Re: Comment #29239 by Robert on 10/17

Thanks Robert, but my post was a bit of humor to dampen the anti-Semitism bite. I know that I can get by with anything right now, because I am willing to take the risk to challenge all attempts at silencing free speech.”

Humor is a wonderful way to combat racism.  Hey, it could happen to anyone. Should Mel Gibson be forgiven? Sure, if he admits he’s an Irish Catholic drunk! I love Dave Chapelle - there is a true conoisseur of racism. Racism deals in stereotypes, and so does humor. It’s very healing, and promotes the self-awareness we all need, to get people of different cultures laughing about these things together.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 17, 2006 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #29239 by Robert on 10/17

Thanks Robert, but my post was a bit of humor to dampen the anti-Semitism bite. I know that I can get by with anything right now, because I am willing to take the risk to challenge all attempts at silencing free speech. That is our weapon. Do you want to hear some of the things I call a certain top ranked political hack? Get within ten feet of my front door and just listen when the nightly news comes on. You will not need a government issued amplifier.

Sunday night, I attended a public meeting in a place of worship where there were assembled Jews, Muslims, Christians (Protestant and Catholic). It included ordinary citizens, men and women. Most of the regulars were Middle Eastern, Muslim because it was in a Mosque. A rabbi, an imam, a woman Christian minister, and a Catholic priest were up front on the stage. The theme of the meeting was making friends with people of other faiths. I had discussions one on one with the priest, the rabbi, the imam, and several jews, Christians, and Muslims. We were able joke across lines of religion without hostility or ridicule. That is where it is. That is human spirit of tolerance.

If we can throw a bit of humor into our differences and face truth and consequences, we can weather the storm of criticism. We all found common ground on which to pitch our tents. We would like to export this spirit to Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, and to Darfur. If anyone knows how to package it for transport across international borders, please let me know.

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By Tony Wiche, October 17, 2006 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #29239 by Robert on 10/17 at 3:44 pm


“Will someone help me? I have been accused of being anti-semetic. Though I am not against any of the semetic peoples of the world,...”

Frank,

You should be well aware of the tactics that are coming your way from Zionist Jews & others in order to quiet you or anyone who attempts to expose any of their subversive acts. They are trying to suffocate you from speaking the TRUTH.

Frank, keep your head up high because you have that American courage to dare to speak and to tell the TRUTH.

God Bless. “

Friends, all I am saying is that the people who really need to see THE TRUTH in this case is the Israeli people more than anyone else. A peace movement such as the one we all envision must have as its primary goal the conversion of a majority of the Israeli people to our point of view, which is that not only is a democratic secular state the only just and right answer, it is also best possible solution for them as well as the rest of the world. We cannot make them see that “Jewish self-defense” simply is not viable, and that their security lies in secular democracy, if we speak to them in a confrontational way. On the contrary, if we are to prevail we must approach them with the greatest sensitivity and understanding.

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By Robert, October 17, 2006 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #28732 by Frank Goodman, Sr. on 10/14 @5:54AM.


“Will someone help me? I have been accused of being anti-semetic. Though I am not against any of the semetic peoples of the world,...”


Frank,

You should be well aware of the tactics that are coming your way from Zionist Jews & others in order to quiet you or anyone who attempts to expose any of their subversive acts. They are trying to suffocate you from speaking the TRUTH.

If the person is non-jewish, they cry, “You’re anti-semetic” which is nothing more than a smoke screen to hide their actions and/or intentions.

To zionist Jews & others, any information that is not favorable to Israel & the jews is immediately smeared with “anti-semitism”.

Liberal Jewish activists have worked successfully to punish & silence politically incorrect speech in much of Europe, America maintains a fragile freedom. The Anti-Defamation League, architect of Orwellian “anti-hate” laws, is frustrated about it.

Christopher Wolf, chair of both the ADL Internet Task force and the International Network Against Cyber Hate.

Wolf sourly admitted the difficulty in corraling thought criminals on the web, especially since America provides a “legal haven” for that hatred.

The US is a haven because we don’t have a federal hate laws bill, despite ADL’s aggressive attempts to pass one.

Most countries in Europe (and 46 U.S. states) have ADL-designed hate laws already. France, Germany, and Austria are examples of the most stringent; in these countries, one can be prosecuted just for questioning the six-million figure of the Jewish holocaust.

ADL is pleased with its success in banning free speech in these European countries. America remains a loose cannon, a cowboy land free where religion can still be critized, homosexuality can still be publicly condemned, and ADL can still call Israel’s mildest critic an “anti-semite.”

Unable to wield the law the way they’d like, ADL is trying a different tactic. Wolf advocates less legal ambush and more handwringing or, in his words, “exposing hate speech for its deceitful and false content.”

Wolf reveals the frustration of ADL to crack down on Internet speech, and it shows the fervor of the ADL to control the thoughts and words of the entire world.

Jewish-led telephone & cable giants, such Verizon & Comcast, are working to control the content on the web. They are pouring $$$ millions into Congress, lobbying for permission to commercialize the Internet and gain the right to discriminate against and exclude “cyberhaters.”

But for now, America and the Internet remain fertile soil for free debate of political and moral TRUTHS.

The Palestinians have suffered for a long time. They have survived humiliation, disrespect and a brutal Israeli/zionist occupation. Their cries are not heard on our American zionist controlled News media. They deserve from people like yourself the TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH. 

Frank, keep your head up high because you have that American courage to dare to speak and to tell the TRUTH.

God Bless.

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By Tony Wicher, October 17, 2006 at 1:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #28738 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 10/14 at 7:11 am

Frank, I love this link you gave us, http://www.one-democratic-state.org/. I have been reading their literature. I can’t resist posting some of it here:

Is the “Two State Solution” still a viable and desirable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Slowly Israelis are moving towards the one-state-solution. We produce here a text written by Ari Shavit, Haim Hanegbi and Meron Benvenishti, three prominent Israelis, with the commentary of the Israeli peace activist Yehudith Harel. These are the most eloquent proof ever expressed by Israelis that our Association is on the only possible road for peace in the Middle-East.
First published in Haaretz (http://www.haaretz.com), 8.8.2003



Is the “Two State Solution” still a viable and desirable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

This question is nowadays one of the most nagging and burning issues bogging and tearing the heart and mind of every honest Israeli and Palestinian Peace activist and Peace advocate. Some admit it, others prefer to veil their dilemma and avoid its consequences. People who have struggled for the best part of their lives to bring around Arab - Israeli Peace based on ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of 67’, and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel, came to doubt both the feasibility and the morality of this long advocated solution. They came to doubt it because the 100 years old and still ongoing Zionist and Israeli expansionism and forceful colonization of the Palestinian lands, the wide support for these acts and the lack of any real resolution and public support to honestly put an end to this process, give no reason to believe that a Two State solution is ever going to materialize, let alone on reasonable grounds - i.e. the 67’ borders and a fair and just solution to the Palestinian reffugees.


Israel has shown no sign for the readiness needed to recognize the Palestinians as equal partners and owners in this land. Therefore, set against the prevailing hegemonic set of mind of the majority of Israeli Jews, one can hardly assume that the TSS can solve the core problem at stake: an existance based on full equality between the two national communities - the Jewish and the Palestinian - who live here and therefore must share this land in full partnership and equality. Moreover, many came to doubt the possibility that the ‘Two State Solution’ has the capacity to answer the problematical relations of the Jewish Majority and the big Palestinian National Minority within a Jewish State.


Therefore, it is high time to open an honest public debate concerning the most vital aspect of our existance here - what should be our vision for Real Peace and how can it be achieved? Ari Shavit hands us this opportunity. Please take your time to read his brilliant interview with two of the most eloquent, innovative and courageous speakers for the above stated dilemma - Haim Hanegbi and Meron Benvenishti.


Allow me to state honestly that I fully support not only the positions expressed by these two eloquent speakers, but also the fact that I share the underlying emotions expressed and the process of disillusionment they underwent until they came to their present conclusions. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to them for speaking out so forcefully for me too, and to the writer for initiating and creating this interview.

Yehudith Harel


Cry, the beloved two-state solution


By Ari Shavit

 

As negotiations with the Palestinians lurch forward and the separation wall snakes its way through the West Bank, two veteran leftists have reached a startling conclusion: There cannot be two states for two peoples in this land.

1. The groundwater

Meron Benvenisti and Haim Hanegbi did not exchange views. Benvenisti lives in Jerusalem, on the edge of the desert, and is trying to write a last book, a summing up. Hanegbi lives in Ramat Aviv, not far from the sea, and is trying to formulate a last, definitive, manifesto. Yet this summer both Benvenisti and Hanegbi reached an intriguing point in their conceptual development. They both reached the conclusion that there is no longer any prospect of ending the conflict by means of a two-state solution. Each of them separately has come to believe that the time has come to establish one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea: a binational state.

On the face of it, they come from utterly different worlds. Benvenisti’s roots lie deep in the old Zionist establishment. He was the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek’s right-hand man, a candidate of Ratz (the predecessor of Meretz) for the Knesset. Hanegbi, in contrast, is a retired revolutionary. He was a central activist in the radical-left Matzpen group, one of the founders of the Progressive List, a partner in the leadership of the peace movement Gush Shalom. However, Benvenisti and Hanegbi also share a deep common background. Both are from Jerusalem and are graduates of the city’s Beit Hakerem high school, both are Ashkenazi-Sephardi whose ideas were shaped in the latter stages of the British Mandate period. And both of them love this land and love human beings. Both are surging rivers of emotions and stories and sheer human vitality.

It’s precisely because they are not cut of the same cloth, because they are not from the same ideological circle, that the parallel, albeit not identical, processes they are undergoing are so fascinating. True, they are both end-figures, lone wolves, sensitive sentimentalists who are sometimes perceived as eccentrics. Nevertheless, each is an original thinker with finely tuned senses. Both have a knee-jerk aversion to falsity, whitewashing, and uniform thought. So perhaps the fact that the two of them arrived during the past year at the conceptual place they now occupy is of some significance. Possibly it says something about the groundwater of the current Israeli reality.


2. Haim Hanegbi

Where did it start? Right after the start of the intifada. Already then I told [veteran peace activist] Uri Avnery that I was regressing, I was returning to my origins, that it might be time to reconsider the dream of a shared state. But Avnery laughed - that’s his way. He said I was dreaming. Avnery has done a lot in the battle for peace and the battle against the occupation, but Avnery also has a defect. He has no psychic mechanism. Just as [pioneer Zionist activist Joseph] Trumpeldor had only one arm, Avnery is incapable of relating to people. It’s not something evil, it’s not indifference, it’s a disability. He simply lacks that emotional organ. So he laughed at me with a kind of patronizing disdain and ignored what I said. I didn’t respond.

For the next three years we continued to formulate the Friday messages of Gush Shalom. But at the beginning of the summer I decided I could no longer remain silent, that I had to come out with it. So I wrote a text against the occupation at the end of which I included, for the first time, the idea of one state for the two nations. A state in partnership, a binational state.

Avnery went wild. He was furious. He said I was harming the Palestinian cause and endangering the Palestinian state and serving the right wing. That I was reinforcing fears of the “phased theory.” When I insisted that the text be sent to all the members of Gush Shalom, I was told that it would not be disseminated because it was contrary to the Gush Shalom consensus. I said, fine, if that’s how it is I’m leaving Gush Shalom. So with one phone call, I left Gush Shalom. Others also left in my wake. Half of the hardcore left, so now I am working with a few good people on disseminating my old-new idea about the renewal of binational thinking.

As I wrote in my document, it is plain to me today that there is no other alternative to ending the conflict. Everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear has to understand that only a binational partnership can save us. That is the only way to transform ourselves from being strangers in our land into native sons.

The truth is that it all started long ago, in the Mekor Baruch neighborhood of Jerusalem. When I was 10, at the end of the Mandate period, our landlord was an Arab named Jamil. The word “Alhambra” was chiseled in stone on the house in Arabic and English. And the house next door was not only owned by Arabs, it was also inhabited by Arabs. The whole neighborhood from our house west was mixed. And at my dad’s place of work, the Jerusalem municipality, Jews and Arabs worked together, too. My dad took me on outings in and around Jerusalem. I remember Palestinian Ein Karem very well, and Malha and Lifta and Beit Mazmil. So the Arabs were never strangers to me. They were always part of my landscape. Part of the country. And I never doubted the possibility of living with them: house next to house, street next to street.

At the end of 1947 they disappeared. It was in the winter, in the middle of eighth grade. And the strange thing is that it wasn’t in the least traumatic. It was all done quietly, without any dramatics. They just sort of evaporated. I’m not even sure I saw them packing. I’m not really sure I saw them collecting their things and melting away down the slope behind Schneller Camp. But I remember Deir Yassin well. I remember that we were in our classroom in the Beit Hakarem high school when we saw the smoke rising from Deir Yassin [an Arab village on the western edge of Jerusalem where a massacre was perpetrated in 1948].

So, in the 1960s, when we talked about the principle of equality in Matzpen, I wasn’t just thinking in terms of socialism or a universal concept. With me it was baladi, my country, the scents and memories of my childhood. Then came obsessive collecting of Mandate period maps to locate the villages that had been erased, the life that ceased to be. And the feeling that without them this is a barren country, a disabled country, a country that caused an entire nation to disappear.

So it wasn’t easy for me to adopt the two-state solution, in the 1980s. It was a tough inner struggle. And I never, ever, joined the Zionist left. I never abandoned revolutionary thinking. But when I saw that Peace Now existed and that there was some sort of movement in the streets I didn’t think it was right to stay cooped up with dogmas. I thought the two-state idea was a worthy one.

When Oslo came, I thought it was really something great. I read the accords thoroughly, under a magnifying glass, and I reached the conclusion that there really was mutual recognition, that the possibility existed of closing the conflict file. So in the mid-1990s I had second thoughts about my traditional approach. I didn’t think it was my task to go to Ramallah and present the Palestinians with the list of Zionist wrongs and tell them not to forget what our fathers did to their fathers. I believed in the dynamics of Oslo. I also believed in [Yitzhak] Rabin. After the assassination I even joined the Labor Party.

In the past couple of years I realized that I made a mistake; that, like the Palestinians, I too was taken in. I took Israeli talk seriously and didn’t pay attention to Israeli deeds. When I realized, one day, that the settlements had doubled themselves, I also realized that Israel had missed its one hour of grace, had rejected the rare opportunity it was given. Then I understood that Israel could not free itself of its expansionist pattern. It is bound hand and foot to its constituent ideology and to its constituent act, which was an act of dispossession.

I realized that the reason it is so tremendously difficult for Israel to dismantle settlements is that any recognition that the settlements in the West Bank exist on plundered Palestinian land will also cast a threatening shadow over the Jezreel Valley, and over the moral status of Beit Alfa and Ein Harod. I understood that a very deep pattern was at work here. That there is one historical continuum that runs from Kibbutz Beit Hashita to the illegal settler outposts; from Moshav Nahalal to the Gush Katif settlements in the Gaza Strip. And that continuity apparently cannot be broken. It’s a continuity that takes us back to the very beginning, to the incipient moment.

I am now reading a book by Eliezer Be’eri about the beginning of the conflict and the start of the Zionist enterprise. At one point, he describes how, on November 3, 1878, as Yehuda Raab tilled the first furrow in the soil of Petah Tikva, he felt that “he is the first person to hold a Jewish plow on the soil of the prophets after the long years of exile.” But look what it says here: “Arabs also joined Yehuda Raab on the big day when plowing began. He himself, with his plow harnessed to animals, could not have tilled an area of hundreds of dunams. He was joined in the plowing by 12 Arab fellahin.”

What does that mean, Ari? You tell me what it means. What it means is that when Yehuda Raab came to till the first furrow after 2,000 years of exile he didn’t have the strength to do it alone. He needed fellahin, and 12 of them came to help him. Reading that, I tell myself that I know all about Raab and who his descendants were and I know how his project developed. But I know absolutely nothing about the 12 fellahin. They appear in history as unknowns and disappear from history the same way, with hardly a trace. They were removed from history by Zionism. Who were they? Where did they go? Where are they today?

So the aging revolutionary you see before you has taken a vow to find those 12 vanished individuals, those 12 abductees of history. My life mission is to set them free from their historical captivity and give them names and faces and rights. Because their whole sin in relation to Raab was that they lived in this country untold generations before him. Why should they be punished for that? Why insist on their oblivion?

I don’t think this is some private madness. On the contrary: I think it is an attempt to be released from madness. I am not a psychologist, but I think that everyone who lives with the contradictions of Zionism condemns himself to protracted madness. It’s impossible to live like this. It’s impossible to live with such a tremendous wrong. It’s impossible to live with such conflicting moral criteria. When I see not only the settlements and the occupation and the suppression, but now also the insane wall that the Israelis are trying to hide behind, I have to conclude that there is something very deep here in our attitude to the indigenous people of this land that drives us out of our minds.

There is something genetic here that doesn’t allow us truly to recognize the Palestinians, that doesn’t allow us to make peace with them. And that something has to do with the fact that even before the return of the land and the houses and the money, the settlers’ first act of expiation toward the natives of this land must be to restore to them their dignity, their memory, their justness.

But that is just what we are incapable of doing. Our past won’t allow us to do it. Our past forces us to believe in the project of a Jewish nation-state that is a hopeless cause. Our past prevents us from seeing that the whole story of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel is over. Because if you want Jewish sovereignty you must have a border, but as [Zionist thinker and activist Yitzhak] Tabenkin said, this country cannot tolerate a border in its midst. If you want Jewish sovereignty you need a fortified, separatist uni-national structure, but that is contrary to the spirit of the age. Even if Israel surrounds itself with a fence and a moat and a wall, it won’t help. Because your fears are well-placed, Ari: Israel as a Jewish state can no longer exist here. In the long term, Israel as a Jewish state will not be able to exist.

I’m not crazy. I don’t think that it will be possible to enlist thousands of people in the cause of a binational state tomorrow morning. But when I consider that Meron Benvenisti was right in saying that the occupation has become irreversible, and when I see where the madness of sovereignty is leading good Israelis, I raise my own little banner again. I do so without illusions. I am not part of any army. I am not the leader of any army. In the meantime our act is that of a few people. But I think it’s important to place this idea on the table now.

In essence, the binational principle is the deepest antithesis of the wall. The purpose of the wall is to separate, to isolate, to imprison the Palestinians in pens. But the wall imprisons the Israelis, too. It turns Israel into a ghetto. The wall is the great despairing solution of the Jewish-Zionist society. It is the last desperate act of those who cannot confront the Palestinian issue. Of those who are compelled to push the Palestinian issue out of their lives and out of their consciousness. In the face of that I say the opposite. I say that we were apparently too forgiving toward Zionism; that the Jews who came here and found a land that wasn’t empty adopted a pattern of unrestrained force. Instead of the conflict foisting moral order and reason on them, it addicted them to the use of force. But that force has played itself out, it has reached its limits. If Israel remains a colonialist state in its character, it will not survive. In the end the region will be stronger than Israel, in the end the indigenous people will be stronger than Israel. Those who hope to live by the sword will die by the sword. That is perfectly clear, Ari: they will die by the sword.

Don’t treat me as a stranger, as an outsider. True, it’s easier for me, because I’m from Hebron and Jerusalem, from the Old Yishuv. It’s easier for me because I never took part in the killing and the dispossession and the occupation. All the same, I feel a commitment toward the society I live in. And precisely because of that, I believe that anyone who wants to ensure the existence of a Jewish community in this country has to free himself from the Zionist pattern, has to open gates. Because as things are now, there is no chance. A Jewish nation-state will not take hold here.

It’s totally clear that it can’t be done without recognition in principle of the right of return, because this is a case in which a nation was condemned to exile from its land, not because there was no room, but because it was supplanted by others. That injustice has not been erased for 55 years and it won’t be erased in another 55 years. But that doesn’t mean they will return to Jamusin, which is in the middle of Tel Aviv. It doesn’t mean they will settle at the corner of Arlosoroff and Ibn Gvirol.

What it means is that the borders have to be open to them, as in Europe. It means the establishment of a super-modern city in Galilee for the 200,000 or 300,000 refugees in Lebanon. It means the establishment of another Palestinian-Jewish city between Hebron and Gaza that will both make the desert bloom and connect the two parts of Palestine.

In general, we have to shift to a binational mode of thinking. Maybe in the end we have to create a new, binational Israel, just as a new, multiracial South Africa was created.

There will be no other choice, anyway. The attempt to achieve Jewish sovereignty that is fenced in and insular has to be abandoned. We will have to come to terms with the fact that we will live here as a minority: a Jewish minority that will no longer be squeezed between Hadera and Gedera, but will be able to settle in Nablus and Baghdad and Damascus, too - and take part in the democratization of the Middle East. That will be able to live and die here, to establish mixed cities and mixed neighborhoods and mixed families. But for that to happen, the mad dream of sovereignty will have to be given up, Ari. We have to forgo that mad dream, which has caused so much bloodshed here, has inflicted so many disasters, has generated a hundred years of conflict.


3. Meron Benvenisti

What I have to say is seemingly not new, because at the beginning of the 1980s I already maintained that partition was no longer a viable option, that the establishment of the settlements and the takeover of land had created an irreversible situation here. And at that time there were only 20,000 settlers. Today there are 230,000. So it’s clear that the critical mass I was afraid of, which would not permit a change in the status quo, existed even then. Neither Oslo nor the separation fence nor talk about a Palestinian state can change the status quo.

In fact, even today we are living in a binational reality, and it is a permanent given. It cannot be ignored and it cannot be denied. What we have to do is adapt our thinking and our concepts to this reality. We have to look for a new model that will fit this reality. And the right questions have to be asked, even if they give the impression of a betrayal of Zionism; even if they give the feeling that one is abandoning the dream of establishing a Jewish nation-state in the Land of Israel.

What is new is that I have reached the conclusion that my analysis of the conflict was incorrect. For my convenience, I started with the assumption of the Israeli Zionist left: that what is taking place here is a struggle between two national movements for the same land. It followed from this that the rational solution was two states for two nations.

However, in the past two years I reached the conclusion that we are dealing with a conflict between a society of immigrants and a society of natives. If so, we are talking about an entirely different type of conflict. If so, we descend from the rational level to a completely basic, atavistic level that goes to the bedrock of personal and collective existence. Because the basic story here is not one of two national movements that are confronting each other; the basic story is that of natives and settlers. It’s the story of natives who feel that people who came from across the sea infiltrated their natural habitat and dispossessed them.

The result is that the conquering immigrants are victorious in every battle because they utilize the technological and cultural advantages that Western civilization has made available to them. But these settler immigrants are unable to enjoy the fruits of their victory. They take over the land but fail to achieve tranquillity, fail to entrench peace for themselves.

For me, that was an overwhelming discovery. It came after Camp David, after the trauma of 2000, after the two sides effectively retracted their mutual recognition. When we went back to seeing the Palestinians as a terrorist collectivity and they went back to seeing us as outsiders.

Then, as I observed this terrible breakdown, I suddenly understood that it was impossible to explain our pattern of settlement and redemption of the land solely in terms of a national conflict. It is impossible to explain the suicide bomber phenomenon solely in terms of a national conflict. Because beneath the rational crust of a national conflict, something is going on at a far deeper level. We will never reach a point at which one group will truly renounce the right of return and the other group will truly abandon its longing for Beit El. We will never reach a situation in which the Arabs in Israel forgo their demand for their own collective rights.

The conclusion is that the seemingly rational solution of two states for two nations can’t work here. The model of a division into two nation-states is inapplicable. It doesn’t reflect the depth of the conflict and doesn’t sit with the scale of the entanglement that exists in large parts of the country. You can erect all the walls in the world here but you won’t be able to overcome the fact that there is only one aquifer here and the same air and that all the streams run into the same sea. You won’t be able to overcome the fact that this country will not tolerate a border in its midst.

In the past year, then, I reached the conclusion that there is no choice but to think in new terms. There is no choice but to think about western Palestine [Eretz Yisrael, or the land of Israel] as one geopolitical unit.

Just as the South African rulers understood, at a certain point, that there was no choice but to dismantle their regime, so the Israeli establishment has to understand that it is not capable of imposing its hegemonic conceptions on 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and 1.2 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel. What we have to do is try to reach a situation of personal and collective equality within the framework of one overall regime throughout the country.

I don’t yet have a coherent proposal. I don’t have a work plan. But the direction of thought is clear. The new paradigm is mandated by reality. What I see is a combination of horizontal division (sharing in government) and a vertical division (partitioning of the territory). What I see is a federal structure that will include all of historic western Palestine. Different ethnic cantons will exist under that structure. It’s clear, for example, that the Palestinian citizens of Israel will have their own cantons. They will have their own autonomy, which will express their collective rights. And it’s clear, on the other side, that the settlers will have a canton. The executive of the federal government will strike some sort of balance between the two national groups. It wouldn’t bother me if the basis for the balance is equality: one for one.

I admit that there is an emotional layer here: my own identity. I am 70 now, and I have the right to engage in summing up. And I was part of it all here: the youth movement and the army and the kibbutz and politics. I am the salt of the earth and I’m not ashamed of it. I am a proud Israeli Mayflower person. I won’t let anyone tell me I am a traitor. I won’t let anyone say I am not from here - including the Palestinians. I am exactly what my father wanted me to be: a native. He wanted me to grow like a tree from the soil of the land. He wanted me to be a natural part of the landscape. And he just may have succeeded: I am a native son. But this is a country in which there were always Arabs. This is a country in which the Arabs are the landscape, the natives. So I am not afraid of them. I don’t see myself living here without them. In my eyes, without Arabs this is a barren land.

This is where I am different from my friends in the left: because I am truly a native son of immigrants, who is drawn to the Arab culture and the Arabic language because it is here. It is the land. And I really am a neo-Canaanite. I love everything that springs from this soil. Whereas the right, certainly, but the left, too, hates Arabs. The Arabs bother them - they complicate things. The subject generates moral questions and that generates cultural unease.

That’s why the left wants this terrible wall, which in my view is anti-geography, anti-history and anti-human. That’s why the left wants to hide behind this wall, which in my view is the rape of the land. That’s why they are fleeing from Jerusalem and fleeing from the landscape and the soil and huddling in Tel Aviv and concentrating only on how to screw Vicki Knafo, how to lord it over the Moroccans.

Yes, you can tell me that I am a walking mass of internal contradictions. You can tell me that my recipe is hopeless. A federal solution hasn’t worked anywhere in the world. But my diagnosis is correct: even within the boundaries of 1967, Israel is on the way to becoming a binational state. In another decade, when the Arabs constitute 25 percent of the population, it will be a binational state. The attempt to drag more and more new immigrants from every remote corner on earth is becoming inane. These new immigrants are liable to cause the implosion of the Israeli society.

So I think the time has come to declare that the Zionist revolution is over. Maybe it should even be done officially, along with setting a date for the repeal of the Law of Return. We should start to think differently, talk differently. Not to seize on this ridiculous belief in a Palestinian state or in the fence. Because in the end we are going to be a Jewish minority here. And the problems that your children and my grandchildren are going to have to cope with are the same ones that de Klerk faced in South Africa. The paradigm, therefore, is the binational one. That’s the direction. That’s the conceptual universe we have to get used to.

Could things have worked out differently? Not necessarily. The Zionist idea was maimed from the outset. It didn’t take into account the presence here of another national group. Therefore, from the moment the Zionist movement decided that it was not going to exterminate the Arabs, its dream became unattainable. Because this land cannot tolerate two sovereignties. So the options are terribly simple: either one nation will not be or the other nation will not be, or one nation will subjugate the other and condemn itself to perpetual enmity, or both nations will forgo their demand for full sovereignty. That is what Sharon is now demanding of the Palestinians. That is what I am now proposing to both the Jews and the Palestinians on an equal basis.

In 1948, Zionism was truly victorious. It succeeded in consolidating itself in 78 percent of historic Palestine. But in 1967, Zionism won one victory too many, and in the 20 years that followed it sealed its fate by implementing the settlements project. Paradoxically, the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan only exacerbated the situation, because they determined the outer limit of the borders of western Palestine. They sealed us into the binational reality of a territory that cannot be divided. The result is that now Zionism really can’t realize its dream. It is the victim of its victories, the victim of a terrible history of missed opportunities.

What comes to mind in particular are those Shabbats when Dad would go on outings with me in the villages around Jerusalem. He was a tour guide and a high priest of knowing the land. He would take me into Malha and Beit Mazmil and Ein Karem and Saris and Deir al Hawa. So their way of life was not foreign to me; it was part of me.

But in April 1948, I was on King George Street in Jerusalem when Etzel [the nationalist underground military organization] held its victory parade through the center of the city with trucks carrying the survivors of Deir Yassin. When I think about it today it is terrible, but at the time it didn’t seem terrible. And again, in 1949, when I reaped the harvest in fields belonging to Palestinians as part of a work camp of the youth movement, that didn’t seem terrible, either. Their tragedy simply did not penetrate my consciousness.

It was only in 1955, when I was a student and we were carrying out a survey for the Geological Institute, for which we examined abandoned Arab wells after the rain, that I arrived in a village near Beit Guvrin and it suddenly hit me. Because the whole village was still standing, it was perfectly whole. Only it had no people. For the first time, I asked myself where these people were, where had they gone.

Yet even that was a passing moment. It didn’t shatter my consciousness. That happened only in 1967, when I met all those people who said they were from Malha, from Saris, from Deir al Hawa. Suddenly I said to myself, here they are. Here they are. And all that old geography suddenly hit me: The whole geography of the tragedy came rushing back.

So today I live their tragedy even though I perhaps caused it. I feel myself attached to them. Emotionally, I am very attached to them. But for years I didn’t know how to translate that attachment into political language. Now the binational mode of thought may give it political expression.

I am not happy about what I am proposing. I know that what I am stammering to you here is not truly a solution. Because even if some sort of federal structure is established here it won’t bring peace. There won’t be peace here. Even if there is some sort of binational arrangement, it will do no more than manage the crisis. The violence will always occur on its fringes.

But the truth is that the whole situation that has been created here is one of conflicts and contradictions and the absence of a solution. So today I am sad and pessimistic. I live with a deep sense of breakdown. It is not easy for me to part with my father’s dream of a Jewish nation-state. It’s hard for me. For most of my life that was my dream, too. But I am truly fearful for my grandchildren. Whenever I look around me I am fearful for my grandchildren. How will they live here? What am I leaving them? Because I know that there will not be a Jewish nation-state here and that there will not be two states for two nations here, I seize on this faint hope that maybe, after all, something shared will evolve here. Something neo-Canaanite. That maybe, despite everything, we will learn to live together. Maybe we will come to understand that the Other is not demonic, that he, too, is part of this place. Like these cypresses. Like these bustanim, these fruit gardens. What the land brings forth.

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By Fadel Abdallah, October 16, 2006 at 5:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Frank Goodman, comments # 28732, 28921

Greetings Friend:
===============================================
“Will someone help me? I have been accused of being anti-Semitic. Though I am not against any of the Semitic peoples of the world, and in fact am descended from some of them and have very good friends who are Semitic, a certain group whose women have intermarried with European barbarians and claim to be exclusively Semitic have a policy of accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being anti-Semitic. I agree that I do disagree with some of them who want to Lord it over other people, but I do not kill their children.”
===============================================
Don’t worry friend about those who accuse you of anti-Semitism. In Arabic we have a proverb which says,“The clouds high in the sky are not bothered by the barking of dogs.” You and what you write are like the clouds that promise rain and bring fertility to parched land; those who don’t like what you say are the barking dogs. Just ignore them.

I consider myself a more pure Semitic than all the Jews who came to Palestine from all parts of the world. Physically also, I look more Semitic than they do. I look more like what Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) looked; not the blue-eyed, blond-haired thing they depict in the West.

You are rightly defendeng an oppressed Semitic people (the Palestinians) so it does not make sense that you’re accused of anti-Semitism. This is part of the problem with the fanatic Jews who, besides stealing the land and oppressing their cousins, they want also to claim a monopoly on Semitism, to the exclusion of the Arabs!

For long time, fanatic Jews had an easy ride using the sword of anti-Semitism against everyone who criricizes Israel. No more since the God of Justice has sent worriers like yourself to speak for peace with justice. You’re doing a wonderful work, so keep up the good and dignified work you’re doing.

Peace!

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By Fadel Abdallah, October 15, 2006 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another Israeli Barrier to freedom of speech,
truthdigging and peace!
===============================================
9 October 2006

http://www.washingtonpost.com

NEW YORK—Two major American Jewish organizations helped block a prominent New York University historian from speaking at the Polish consulate here last week, saying the academic was too critical of Israel and American Jewry.

The historian, Tony Judt, is Jewish and directs New York University’s Remarque Institute, which promotes the study of Europe. Judt was scheduled to talk Oct. 4 to a nonprofit organization that rents space from the consulate. Judt’s subject was the Israel lobby in the United States, and he planned to argue that this lobby has often stifled honest debate.

An hour before Judt was to arrive, the Polish Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk canceled the talk. He said the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee had called and he quickly concluded Judt was too controversial.

“The phone calls were very elegant but may be interpreted as exercising a delicate pressure,” Kasprzyk said. “That’s obvious—we are adults and our IQs are high enough to understand that.”

Judt, who was born and raised in England and lost much of his family in the Holocaust, took strong exception to the cancellation of his speech. He noted that he was forced to cancel another speech later this month at Manhattan College in the Bronx after a different Jewish group had complained. Other prominent academics have described encountering such problems, in some cases more severe, stretching over the past three decades.

The pattern, Judt says, is unmistakable and chilling.

“This is serious and frightening, and only in America—not in Israel—is this a problem,” he said. “These are Jewish organizations that believe they should keep people who disagree with them on the Middle East away from anyone who might listen.”

The leaders of the Jewish organizations denied asking the consulate to block Judt’s speech and accused the professor of retailing “wild conspiracy theories” about their roles. But they applauded the consulate for rescinding Judt’s invitation.

“I think they made the right decision,” said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “He’s taken the position that Israel shouldn’t exist. That puts him on our radar.”

David A. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, took a similar view. “I never asked for a particular action; I was calling as a friend of Poland,” Harris said. “The message of that evening was going to be entirely contrary to the entire spirit of Polish foreign policy.”

Judt has crossed rhetorical swords with the Jewish organizations on two key issues. Over the past few years he has written essays in the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books and in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz arguing that power in Israel has shifted to religious
fundamentalists and territorial zealots, that woven into Zionism is a view of the Arab as the irreconcilable enemy, and that Israel might not survive as a communal Jewish state.

The solution, he argues, lies in a slow and tortuous walk toward a binational and secular state.

He has, of late, defended an academic paper—co-authored by professor Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and John J. Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago—which argues the American Israel lobby has pushed policies that are not in the United States’ best interests and in fact often encourage Israel to engage in self-destructive behavior.

These are deeply controversial views—Foxman of the ADL and writer Christopher Hitchens, among others, have attacked the Walt and Mearsheimer paper as anti-Semitic. And Judt’s advocacy of a binational state has drawn a flock of critics, the more angry of whom accuse him of “pandering to genocide” as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America put it. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum said Judt was pursuing “genocide liberalism.”

Foxman has referred to Judt’s views of Israel as “an offensive caricature.”

The Mearsheimer and Walt paper, however, has drawn praise in some quarters in Israel, particularly on the left. So, too some Israeli writers, not least Israeli historian and social critic Amos Elon, have praised Judt’s writings on Israel. Nor are Judt’s arguments without historical precedent: Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky, who is Jewish, has advocated a binational solution in Israel, a view that three decades ago sparked such anger that police stoo guard at his college talks. More recently, the ADL repeatedly accused DePaul University professor Norman G. Finkelstein, who is Jewish and strongly opposes Israeli policies, of being a “Holocaust denier.” These charges have proved baseless.

“There is an often organized and often spontaneous attempt to marginalize anyone in the Jewish world who offers a critique of Israeli policy,” said Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the liberal magazine Tikkun. “It’s equated with anti-Semitism and Israel denial.”

Foxman says such complaints are silly. “Nobody has called Judt an anti-Semite,” Foxman said. “People who are critical of Israel and of the Jewish people often flaunt their Jewishness. Why isn’t that an issue?”

Judt replies that he only reluctantly talks of his Jewishness, in no small part to inoculate himself against charges of anti-Semitism. “For many, the way to be Jewish in this country is to aggressively assert that the Holocaust is your identification tag,” Judt said. “I know perfectly well my history, but it never occurred to me that my most prominent identity was as a Jew.”

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 15, 2006 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

28841 by Tony Wicher on 10/14

See my comment 28817. You see, I find the trait of applying an anti-Semitism label to my quest for fair and just treatment for non-Jews far more repugnant than the finding that too many Jews exhibit that trait. I also find traits in other groups that are dominant and detestable. Groups do have group characteristics that, though attributable to a majority within the group and not every member, tend to characterize the group as a unit.

My humorous treatment of the problem was to highlight the ridiculous practice. Another ridiculous practice is to apply the anti-Semitism label as though a Semite could be against a Semite. Jews have long taken that only Jews are Semites. Not so. Many people are descended from Shem, the son of Noah, of assuming that the story of Noah is true. Many people who are not Jewish now, and people who never considered themselves to be Jewish. Yet a Semite is by definition a descendant of Shem whether genealogy can be traced or not. By that standard, any Jew who disagrees with any other Jew is anti-Semitic. I say no. I say that anti-Semitic means to be against any person descended from Noah through Shem. If you are against Jews, you are anti-Jew. If you are against Arabs, you are anti-Arab. If you are against Americans, you are anti-American. If you are against those Jews who are Zionist, you are anti-Zionist.

I do not fear being labeled by a false label so long as we have freedom and due process to avoid the worst outcome of that error. Remember the old saw, ‘...sticks and stones may break my bones…’?

If I were a Palestinian living in Gaza, I may well fear for my life if I uttered anything against the occupation of my homeland or the demolition of my home and the killing of my children and wife. But, I am in America where we still, presumably, have freedom of speech and due process, though it is being eroded fast.

I admire your even handed treatment of the crimes of Israel in the name of Jews everywhere. Note that I, too, try to make it clear that I am not against Jews. I am against what is being done in the name of Jews, in the name of America, and in the name of the European Union and United Nations. I am against the violations of human rights by the nation of Israel in its occupation of Palestine. I am not against Jews moving to Palestine to live and to work. Though I travel on an American passport, I believe in a world without borders. I object to being barred from travel to Cuba or to any of the other nations my country’s politicians have labeled off-limits to me. I also object to the presence of dangers in neighborhoods in my community where it is not safe to drive into.

The hardest crimes to fight are the crimes of my nation against the human rights of other people. The easiest to fight are crimes against me personally by my neighbors with the full force of law on our side. I look forward to a world without borders and with true universal human rights, not just a document that can be torn up by President Bush and swept up by the janitors in the Congress.

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By Tony Wicher, October 14, 2006 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #28732 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 10/14 at 5:54 am

“Will someone help me? I have been accused of being anti-Semitic.”


Frank,

I’m just saying be careful what you say. You really shouldn’t say things like “It is an inborn trait of Jews that they cannot accept others as equals”. Just look at it. That really does sound racist, admit it! Zionists are going to project their fears on you and call you an antisemite no matter what you do, but at least don’t make it easy for them!

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By Justice4All, October 14, 2006 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am wondering how other people/races would react if they were subjected to the same kind of treatment!!!  bend over? You tell me!

Uri Avnery
Oct. 14, 2006

The Great Experiment

IS IT possible to force a whole people to submit to foreign occupation
by starving it?

That is, certainly, an interesting question. So interesting, indeed,
that the governments of Israel and the United States, in close
cooperation with Europe, are now engaged in a rigorous scientific
experiment in order to obtain a definitive answer.

The laboratory for the experiment is the Gaza Strip, and the guinea
pigs are the million and a quarter Palestinians living there.


IN ORDER to meet the required scientific standards, it was necessary
first of all to prepare the laboratory.

That was done in the following way: First, Ariel Sharon uprooted the
Israeli settlements that were stuck there. After all, you can’t conduct
a proper experiment with pets roaming around the laboratory. It was
done with “determination and sensitivity” , tears flowed like water, the
soldiers kissed and embraced the evicted settlers, and again it was
shown that the Israeli army is the most-most in the world.

With the laboratory cleaned, the next phase could begin: all entrances
and exits were hermetically sealed, in order to eliminate disturbing
influences from the world outside. That was done without difficulty.
Successive Israeli governments have prevented the building of a harbor
in Gaza, and the Israeli navy sees to it that no ship approaches the
shore. The splendid international airport, built during the Oslo days,
was bombed and shut down. The entire Strip was closed off by a highly
effective fence, and only a few crossings remained, all but one
controlled by the Israeli army.

There remained a sole connection with the outside world: the Rafah
border crossing to Egypt. It could not just be sealed off, because that
would have exposed the Egyptian regime as a collaborator with Israel. A
sophisticated solution was found: to all appearances the Israeli army
left the crossing and turned it over to an international supervision
team. Its members are nice guys, full of good intentions, but in
practice they are totally dependent on the Israeli army, which oversees
the crossing from a nearby control room. The international supervisors
live in an Israeli kibbutz and can reach the crossing only with Israeli
consent.

So everything was ready for the experiment.


THE SIGNAL for its beginning was given after the Palestinians had held
spotlessly democratic elections, under the supervision of former
President Jimmy Carter. George Bush was enthusiastic: his vision of
bringing democracy to the Middle East was coming true.

But the Palestinians flunked the test. Instead of electing “good
Arabs”, devotees of the United States, they voted for very bad Arabs,
devotees of Allah. Bush felt insulted. But the Israeli government was
ecstatic: after the Hamas victory, the Americans and Europeans were
ready to take part in the experiment. It could start:

The United States and the European Union announced the stoppage of all
donations to the Palestinian Authority, since it was “controlled by
terrorists”. Simultaneously, the Israeli government cut off the flow of
money.

To understand the significance of this: according to the “Paris
Protocol” (the economic annex of the Oslo agreement) the Palestinian
economy is part of the Israeli customs system. This means that Israel
collects the duties for all the goods that pass through Israel to the
Palestinian territories - actually, there is no other route. After
deducting a fat commission, Israel is obligated to turn the money over
to the Palestinian Authority.

When the Israeli government refuses to pass on this money, which
belongs to the Palestinians, it is, simply put, robbery in broad
daylight. But when one robs “terrorists” , who is going to complain?

The Palestinian Authority - both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip -
needs this money like air for breathing. This fact also requires some
explanation: in the 19 years when Jordan occupied the West Bank and
Egypt the Gaza Strip, from 1948 to 1967, not a single important factory
was built there. The Jordanians wanted all economic activity to take
place in Jordan proper, east of the river, and the Egyptians neglected
the strip altogether.

Then came the Israeli occupation, and the situation became even worse.
The occupied territories became a captive market for Israeli industry,
and the military government prevented the establishment of any
enterprise that could conceivably compete with an Israeli one.

The Palestinian workers were compelled to work in Israel for hunger
wages (by Israeli standards). From these, the Israeli government
deducted all the social payments levied on Israeli workers, without the
Palestinian workers enjoying any social benefits. This way the
government robbed these exploited workers of tens of billions of
dollars, which disappeared somehow in the bottomless barrel of the
government.

When the intifada broke out, the Israeli captains of industry and
agriculture discovered that it was possible to get along without the
Palestinian workers. Indeed, it was even more profitable. Workers
brought in from Thailand, Romania and other poor countries were ready
to work for even lower wages and in conditions bordering on slavery.
The Palestinian workers lost their jobs.

That was the situation at the beginning of the experiment: the
Palestinian infrastructure destroyed, practically no means of
production, no work for the workers. All in all, an ideal setting for
the great “experiment in hunger”.


THE IMPLEMENTATION started, as mentioned, with the stoppage of
payments.

The passage between Gaza and Egypt was closed in practice. Once every
few days or weeks it was opened for some hours, for appearances’ sake,
so that some of the sick and dead or dying could get home or reach
Egyptian hospitals.

The crossings between the Strip and Israel were closed “for urgent
security reasons”. Always, at the right moment, “warnings of an
imminent terrorist attack” appeared. Palestinian agricultural products
destined for export rot at the crossing. Medicines and foodstuffs
cannot get in, except for short periods from time to time, also for
appearances, whenever somebody important abroad voices some protest.
Then comes another “urgent security warning” and the situation is back
to normal.

To round off the picture, the Israeli Air Force bombed the only power
station in the Strip, so that for a part of the day there is no
electricity, and the water supply (which depends on electric pumps)
stops also. Even on the hottest days, with temperatures of over 30
degrees centigrade in the shade, there is no electricity for
refrigerators, air conditioning, the water supply or other needs.

In the West Bank, a territory much larger than the Gaza Strip (which
makes up only 6% of the occupied Palestinian territories but holds 40%
of the inhabitants) , the situation is not quite so desperate. But in
the Strip, more than half of the population lives beneath the
Palestinian “poverty line”, which lies of course very, very far below
the Israeli “poverty line”. Many Gaza residents can only dream of being
considered poor in the nearby Israeli town of Sderot.

What are the governments of Israel and the US trying to tell the
Palestinians? The message is clear: You will reach the brink of hunger,
and even beyond, if you do not surrender. You must remove the Hamas
government and elect candidates approved by Israel and the US. And,
most importantly: you must be satisfied with a Palestinian state
consisting of several enclaves, each of which will be utterly dependent
on the tender mercies of Israel.


AT THE moment, the directors of the scientific experiment are pondering
a puzzling question: how on earth do the Palestinians still hold out,
in spite of everything? According to all the rules, they should have
been broken long ago!

Indeed, there are some encouraging signs. The general atmosphere of
frustration and desperation creates tension between Hamas and Fatah.
Here and there clashes have broken out, people were killed and wounded,
but in each case the deterioration was halted before it became a civil
war. The thousands of hidden Israeli collaborators are also helping to
stir things up. But contrary to all expectations, the resistance did
not evaporate. Even the captured Israeli soldier has not been released.

One of the explanations has to do with the structure of Palestinian
society. The Hamulah (extended family) plays a central role there. As
long as one person in the family is working, the relatives, too, do not
die of hunger, even if there is widespread malnutrition. Everyone who
has any income shares it with all his brothers and sisters, parents,
grandparents, cousins and their children. That is a primitive system,
but quite effective in such circumstances. It seems that the planners
of the experiment did not take this into account.

In order to quicken the process, the whole might of the Israeli army is
now being used again, as from this week. For three months the army was
busy with the Second Lebanon War. It became apparent that the army,
which for the last 39 years has been employed mainly as a colonial
police force, does not function very well when suddenly confronted with
a trained and armed opponent that can fight back. Hizbullah used deadly
anti-tank weapons against the armored forces, and rockets rained down
on Northern Israel. The army has long ago forgotten how to deal with
such an enemy. And the campaign did not end well.

Now the army returns to the war it knows. The Palestinians in the Strip
do not (yet) have effective anti-tank weapons, and the Qassam rockets
cause only limited damage. The army can again use tanks against the
population without hindrance. The Air Force, which in Lebanon was
afraid to send in helicopters to remove the wounded, can now fire
missiles at the houses of “wanted persons”, their families and
neighbors, at leisure. If in the last three months “only” 100
Palestinians were killed per month, we are now witnessing a dramatic
rise in the number of Palestinians killed and wounded.

How can a population that is hit by hunger, lacking medicaments and
equipment for its primitive hospitals and exposed to attacks on land,
from sea and from the air, hold out? Will it break? Will it go down on
its knees and beg for mercy? Or will it find inhuman strength and stand
the test?

In short: What and how much is needed to get a population to surrender?

All the scientists taking part in the experiment - Ehud Olmert and
Condoleezza Rice, Amir Peretz and Angela Merkel, Dan Halutz and George
Bush, not to mention Nobel Peace Price laureate Shimon Peres - are bent
over the microscopes and waiting for an answer, which undoubtedly will
be an important contribution to political science.

I hope the Nobel Committee is watching.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 14, 2006 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #28722 by Tony Wicher on 10/14

Again, Tony, I accept your rebuke. Yes, it is an inborn human characteristic and the cause of the blood lust which brings on aggression.

What I meant to convey was that Jews are human. My intent got out of hand in my reaction to the reminders in this site of the historic attempts by the descendants of Abraham to establish a colony in Canaan, now called Palestine. I have to admit that humans do have an inborn streak of terrorism that tends to get out of hand when someone shouts “Attack!”

So, let me pull it out of the fire of rhetoric and say again, “Jews are human!” NOW, let me say loudly, “SO ARE THE REST OF US.”

Comment #28723 by Fadel Abdallah on 10/14

Now let us read Fadel’s reminder of an historic event that Israel was not established in peace. Let New Palestine be established in peace to displace the horror of the Zionist State of Israel and the trend toward Islamism by Hamas and other extremists.

Except for the time and place this is an oft repetition of the history lesson. The United States Cavalry was the IDF in the infancy of America. For most of the early years of my life I was fed on a diet of movies about the Indian wars where the ‘savages’ were presented as blood thirsty bands of marauders who massacred white people. No movie that I ever saw in the 30’s and 40’s ever gave the victory to an Indian tribe or presented anything but white cavalry officers and soldiers.

It was only many years later that I stumbled upon some accounts of the Cavalry mounted massacres. Many years passed before I ever knew of the Trail of Tears. Thanks to the Internet and Google search engine, now you can find them at your fingertips at eye level. No more searching vast libraries and dusty books for the stories. They are here and now in living color and perfect English syntax.

Thanks Fadel for the story of Qibya.

Barry and ed (whatsyername) read about Qibya and try to deny it. Then try to say that it was not typical, then read about the more recent work of Ariel Sharon the butcher. Get on the Internet and plug a few key words into Google, like, ‘Jewish terrorism in Palestine’. You can get the names of the places by entering ‘History of Palestine’. Go to the United Nations site and find the list of UN resolutions being violated by Israel. Google can find it for you. Type in UN Resolutions Palestine.

Just in case you try to justify it by showing that Palestinian fanatics pulled off some terror of their own in retaliation, remember that it is the terror we condemn, no the terrorist. And check the motive. Zionist terror drove Palestinians off their lands. Islamist terror tries to take their land back.

Reminds me of the school yard joke. “The fight started when Johnny hit me back!”

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By Kwagmyre, October 14, 2006 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Tony Wicher, #28722:

“Frank, surely you know that this is not an inborn trait of just Jews. Haven’t you noticed that all nations, tribes, religions, peoples, ethnic groups, etc. have a strong tendency to do this? Racism itself may be inborn. So let us all watch ourselves very carefully.”

Actually, I would think Frank’s remarks are directed at Zionists as opposed to all Jews and even so, I don’t think he also intended saying all Jews are “born” with the trait when he states it’s “inborn.”(am I right Frank?).  This is because it’s an “acquired” trait, when because of their societal or cultural conditioning(such as believing themselves to be God’s “chosen people”) all too many Zionists acquire a superiority complex and so refuse to accept that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights or priviledges they have.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 14, 2006 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One Democratic state of Palestine. This is the answer to all the people’s aspirations in this region. Jews would enjoy peace with their Christian and Muslim neighbors, Christians could live in peace with their Jewish and Muslims neighbors and keep access to their holy sites. Muslims could embrace the secular democratic principles of co-existence with all religions.

Spread the word about the existence of this real peace movement.

It would take all the fanatics out of the center of the picture and put real people in charge.

Link to this site and click on ‘contact’.

http://www.one-democratic-state.org/

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., October 14, 2006 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Will someone help me? I have been accused of being anti-Semitic. Though I am not against any of the Semitic peoples of the world, and in fact am descended from some of them and have very good friends who are Semitic, a certain group whose women have intermarried with European barbarians and claim to be exclusively Semitic have a policy of accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being anti-Semitic. I agree that I do disagree with some of them who want to Lord it over other people, but I do not kill their children.

Though it would be against my religion to kill Palestinians, would I prove that I am not anti-Semitic if I kill a Palestinian? I just might be able to find a Palestinian devoid of any redeeming qualities who should be killed. If I could do that and document it to the World Zionist Association without being tried for murder by the non-Zionists perhaps they would lay off and stop calling me anti-Semitic. I just hate being called anti-Semitic when I am not. To prove that I am not anti-Semitic I could avoid being called that by killing a no good Semitic Palestinian that nobody should like. Of course the no good Palestinians may accuse me of being anti-Semitic because some of them are interbred with Semites over the years, but maybe that would be preferable to being accused of being anti-Semitic by good Semitic people everywhere.

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