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Gaza Clouds Obama’s Prospects

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Posted on Dec 30, 2008
Gaza runner
AP photo / Dan Balilty

A Palestinian runs with the flag of Hamas during clashes with Israeli troops in the Shuafat refugee camp, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The camp has been beset by protests against the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

By Robert Scheer

So, why didn’t they give peace a chance? Why did the leaders of Hamas and Israel not wait for the incoming U.S. president’s inauguration before mutually escalating hostilities? Here was a president-elect chosen, in part, on the expectation that he could enhance prospects for Mideast peace, even if it meant negotiating with people thought to be enemies.

Why not give that approach an opportunity to succeed regarding the future of Palestine? Why not see if Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose husband had been more successful than any other president in advancing the prospects for peace in the Mideast, could have accomplished more than the lame-duck secretary of state she will soon replace?

The question answers itself.

Unfortunately, neither Hamas’ nor Israel’s leaders believe that a meaningful peace of the sort all U.S. presidents have endorsed is in their interest. That peace stipulates two independent and viable national entities, one Israeli and the other Palestinian. Clearly, Hamas and its hard-line supporters in the region reject the goal of an Israel at peace with its neighbors and secure within its boundaries, even if those borderlines return to those existing in 1967 at the time of the Six-Day War.

Further, Islamic nations in the region obviously don’t want a secure Palestine, as some support only the most radical of Palestinian movements, and the oil wealthy regimes, while eagerly throwing money at Wall Street, refuse to invest in any serious way in the Palestinian economy.

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What is less obvious, particularly to Israel’s many knee-jerk supporters in the United States, is that the dominant Israeli politicians of all parties just as consistently reject the goal of a meaningful two-nation solution, if by that is meant a vibrant and truly independent Palestinian state. This last sentence represents heresy to those many who insist, as an article of faith and despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, that Israel has never wanted anything but to live in peace with its neighbors.

Their view is colonialist propaganda, pure and simple. I first heard it while reporting from Gaza and the West Bank in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, brought on by Egypt and Jordan, which were then the occupiers of what remained of Palestine. Maybe Israel’s leaders, most prominently the conquering war hero Moshe Dayan, meant it when they claimed that they had no desire to permanently occupy this land. After all, they were mostly secular Labor Party Zionists, who shunned any notion of a divine mandate to remain in control of the Promised Land.

Whatever their original intentions, the occupation created its own logic of suppression, first breeding discontent and then rebellion. It doesn’t matter whether that rebellion takes the form of stone-throwing or rocket launching; the Israeli response will always be wildly disproportionate, further damning the prospect for rational solutions. And uncritically underwriting that disproportionate Israeli response to any and all dissent will be the United States, the supplier of those F-16s doing so much damage in Gaza today.

But most U.S. presidents, with the possible exception of George W. Bush, came to view the blank check for Israel as a loser’s game. The madness at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has been widely acknowledged as the prime source of a much greater madness now codified as terrorism. And even Bush, as represented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recently has been forced by that reality to put pursuing a meaningful peace back on the agenda.

The fact that settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is central to international stability ends up informing U.S. policy, much to the chagrin of the region’s hard-liners on both sides. Throw in the prospect of a new U.S. president, who has put the waging of peace into the conversation, and it is understandable why that would threaten many in the Mideast who are wedded to the old ways of doing business. It is why Jimmy Carter, as an ex-president, has worked so courageously to confront that deadly dynamic.

Barack Obama’s challenge will be to turn his mantra of change into a practical road map for Mideast peace, a prospect made much more elusive by the Israeli blitzkrieg. But if he fails to do that and simply panders to those who have grown comfortable with this disastrous status quo, he will seriously undermine the prospects for his administration. With our severe economic problems, the last thing we need is increased Mideast instability, driving up U.S. military expenditures and the price of oil.

Robert Scheer is editor in chief of Truthdig and author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By marimbadearco, January 9, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

By marimbadearco, January 9 at 6:44 am #

Truthdig has so much to offer all of us, but one can’t help but notice two big problems: it joins in the “fatwa” by our ruling class and its servant Mainstream Media by publishing Bill Boyarsky’s right-wing position against the Palestinians, and earlier against the Venezuelan people.
1. horribly inaccurate and conservatively biased posts on Venezuela by Marc Cooper, which fortunately have stopped coming. Yet In These Times continues to offer excellent information and analysis: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/4113/chavez_wins_again/

2. Today’s Truthdig article on the Gaza Ghetto is simply full of untruths and comes from a right-wing political perspective that—on both counts—should not be publicized and endorsed by Truthdig:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090108_obama_will_back_israel/

It should embarassing to Truthdig editors that today the corporate media offers a MORE progressive and accurate small assessment of the current Israeli military actions in this oped:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08khalidi .html?_r=1&em;

Mr. Sheer, as editor in chief of Truthdig, please take Boyarsky off of Middle East posts as Truthdig has had the correct approach in keeping Marc Cooper away from Venezuela.  Thank you for your consideration.

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By omop, January 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Result of Israel’s right to defend itself.

enjoy.

  http://portail.islamboutique.fr/gaza2008/

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By Sepharad, January 6, 2009 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ctos, definition #2 fits well for all Semites, wherever they are now or have been. All the rest is hair-splitting. The Levant has been crossed and criss-crossed by so many invaders and commercial travelers of every imaginable type that anything could turn up. Conversion and religion has nothing to do with it.

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By Ctos, January 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Below a def’n of homeland;

home?land? ?/?ho?m?lænd, -l?nd/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [hohm-land, -luhnd] Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun
1. one’s native land.
2. a region created or considered as a state by or for a people of a particular ethnic origin: the Palestinian homeland. 
3. any of the thirteen racially and ethnically based regions created in South Africa by the South African government as nominally independent tribal ministates to which blacks are assigned.

So let me ask you this, what is the “native land” of a blond, blue eyed Jew whose family lived north of the Alps for generations; whose DNA link to the original inhabitants of Palestine has been diluted to a great deal?

I would think such a person’s homeland would be where the majority of their ancestors (who provided the DNA) resided.

If I convert to Buddhism or Islam, my homeland remains the same. If I convert to Judaism, somehow it changes?

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By Sepharad, January 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ctos, It’s not the eye and skin color, it’s the DNA. The culture and tradition and religion originated in the middle east. That, to me, is a homeland (if not place of birth). Our family is full of names like mine, Cohen, as well as Levis, Benjamins etc. My great grandfather and grandfather both look like Western fantasies of Arab sheiks, while one of my grandmother’s had dark auburn hair and green eyes. My mother haid black hair, olive skin and green eyes—and my granddaughters both have black hair, olive-brown skin and green-amber eyes.

There have been red-haired blue-eyed Arabs too, a fact noted by the Ottomans and apparent when you are wandering around in a crowd of Arabs. Or look at some of the photos. Color is nothing, DNA is everything.

I agree the Holocaust was unfortunate but prefer not to dwell on it. One thing it did accomplish was to remind Jews that long-term residence in diaspora was no guarantee of anything. It had a bad effect in that it made many Jews eager to assimilate, to show their countries of residence that they would never cause the least little bit of trouble and put up with any degree of anti-Semitism without protest if their hosts were just kind enough to not kill them. Some of these people are very anti-Israel. Other Jews (including me) dedicated themselves to civil rights and progressive politics so no one could ever do anything so heinous again at least not in the country we were living in. Many of us also believe that we must support Israel either by going there or advocating for their survival—just because it’s the original home, and just because there has to be somewhere to go if the next country to go ballistic against its Jews happens to be ours (as sometimes seems likely from some of the truthdig commenters—not you, Ctos).

Most Arabs did not participate in the Holocaust, but the Mufti of Jerusalem—a piece of work; you should read up on him sometime—not only organized Palestinian Arabs to fight with the Germans in North Africa but did so from the safety of Berlin, where he lived as the guest of the Gestapo, and participated in abetting Hitler’s final solution. I don’t know that his motives went beyond sheer greed, because he did covet the land in Palestine that had by then had become much more valuable, thanks to the Zionist agricultural transformation. After Germany lost the war he hastened back to Jerusalem and continued whipping up anti-Jewish sentiment among the Arabs and ingratiating himself to the British occupiers. After Israel became a state, he went on the air calling on Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes and flee the area because he really believed the Arab armies, especially the British-led and armed Jordan Legion, would destroy the Jews. He intended, once that happened, to grab as much of that land for himself as possible. Yes, there were Arabs driven out by Jewish fighters and I believe that there was an atrocity committed at Deir Yassin though there are so many conflicting versions of what actually happened there and why, by people who were in a position to know, that I’m not sure exactly what went on. But I also know that many Palestinian Arabs stayed in their homes and many fought side by side with the Jews, sometimes whole villages such as Abu Ghosh.

Unfortunately the history is more complex than most disinterested parties have the patience to pursue—thousands of books, archives, etc.

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By Sepharad, January 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ctos, I was just playing re Florida: I knew you knew it was an American state.

Blog dog, thanks for the King Abdullah article—it was interesting and truthful, well half-truthful, for the most part. But at the time of the writing, remember, he was no doubt very conscious of the fate of his own father, Faisal Abdullah, who was given 80% of Palestine—now called Jordan—by Brits grateful for his services defeating the Ottomans in WWI. Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia, Faisal Abdullah and his son Sherif Ali were all in favor of a Jewish state at that time, and Faisal was not shy about expressing this. He was helpful to the Jews in Palestine at that time—long before WWII even began, though the Versailles treaty was being hacked out to guarantee there would be a WWII. The result of his open goodwill to the Jews’ presence in what was left of Palestine after Jordan was removed was his being stabbed to death near the entrance to his mosque by less-tolerant Arabs. His son, grandson and great-grandson have all taken a lesson from that.

One inaccuracy in the article was that Jews named Palestine Palestine. It was the Romans who did that to humiliate the Jews, giving their country a name derived from their ancient enemies the Philistines.

A general inaccuracy was implying that there was not continuous Jewish residence in Palestine since the Romans. They did try to kill and drive out all the Jews, but did not succeed entirely. Jerusalem has always been both religious and cultural center for Jews, even though the Moslems erected a mosque over the rock of Abraham, over which both Jewish temples had their Arks. (If there is ever to be a shared Jerusalem, the mosque will have to share the Temple Mount with a Temple as well as access to the rock. Mohammed’s ascent to heaven from that rock was not even alleged to be a historic event: it was a dream he had, as the seventh sura of the Koran makes clear. If it were something that actually happened, Moslems would still be praying in the direction of Jerusalem instead of toward Mecca and Medina where Mohammed actually lived and prosyletized and conquered and converted by the sword.)

Another unmentioned truth in Abdullah’s ‘47 article was that Jews HAVE maintained a consistent presence in Israel and Palestine. Many religious and scholarly Jews remained in Jerusalem, others lived much like the Arabs in that country—shepherds, small orchardists. Roman records, Byzantine records, Ottoman records all make this very clear. After the Romans, no native of that land EVER ruled again. The emergence of modern Israel is the first time since the Roman conquerors that native Palestinians/Israelis ever rule their own land. Jews lived under Islamic rulers throughout the middle east but never as anything but second-class citizens (dhimmihood), involving various restrictions determined by which Moslem was in charge, and always with an extra tax. After particularly fanatic Muslims conquered Cordoba, driving out both Islamic and Jewish scholars, Moses Maimonides visited his elderly father and brothers and their families who were living in Jerusalem. George Eliot’s novel “Daniel DeRonda” was based on a rabbi friend of hers from Palestine who, in 1874, was stopping in England to acquaint large groups of Jews in the London ghetto seeking to emigrate to Palestine what the conditions were like there. My own great great grandfather arrived in Palestine in 1828 on the run from a Romanian pogrom. There were some Jews and some Arabs there at the time, but not as many of the latter as most people think. Most Arab demographic histories begin in 1945, when there were indeed a majority of Arabs in Palestine, but never mention that most of those Arabs came there in 1938, many from Iraq, drawn by the improved agricultural possibilities thanks to the Zionists’ agricultural techniques, draining swamps and irrigating, terracing, etc.

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By omop, January 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Bush said, “we have a right to defend ourselves, Which we are trying to do but Hamas is sneaky and not fighting us mano a mano”.

In fact the IDF reports that Hamas is puting Gazans in more danger. They have thus far avoided direct clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops, preferring instead to take refuge in densely populated civilian neighborhoods.

Hamas, they said, prefers to shoot from between houses, leaving local civilians to absorb the IDF’s retaliatory strikes. Yesterday, two Palestinian families were killed by IDF fire.

The sources were highly critical of Hamas, saying its promises of fierce resistance to any Israeli ground incursion have proven empty. In short Hamas is not fighting the way the IDF expects them and that has led to Israeli soldiers being killed by “Friendly Fire”.
 

And furthermore that Hamas has used snipers against Israeli troops and laid ambushes for them, but is not sending large forces into open areas where the IDF’s tanks and missiles could prove decisive in killing more of them.

For the same reasons, Hamas forces have taken refuge near buildings that serve as headquarters for various international organizations, such as the Red Cross and the United Nations.

In short several officers in the IDF are considering bringing the whole issue of how disgustingly Hamas is fighting before the UN and the international court at the Hague claiming that in that kind of self defense mode all the US military equipment provided by the taxpayers of America is useless and should in all probability be sent back to the US and the cost of shipping be paid for by the same taxpayers.

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By Ctos, January 6, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Obviously Florida is a state. Just having a little fun.

The ME was were the culture of Judaism originated, it is not the “homeland” of all Jews. There are no blue-eyed, blond Jews who can trace their ancestry in the ME back further than the local Arabs can. Most of said Jews have a homeland north of the Alps. It is unfortunate that European history includes the Holocaust but this is not a rationale for Jews to disposess the Arab inhabitants of the ME from their (real) homeland.

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By blog dog, January 6, 2009 at 1:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: ...Let them settle there; Florida is quite nice.

Indeed - when the camps were liberated, had an honest choice been offered, how many would have chosen Florida over Palestine? But, the US, nor any European state offered to take more than a paltry few. The survivors of the camps were not “asked, ” but were literally “forced” to indicate Palestine as their destination of choice by the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

King Abdullah’s 1947 article in The American Magazine is pertinent reading on this issue:

http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2005/04/21/as-the-arabs-see-the-jews-by-his-majesty-king-abdullah/

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By Sepharad, January 5, 2009 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ctos—Jews are a cultural group with common traditions, and include many ethnic groups and races. Some are religious varying degrees and some are not. These traditions and culture were formed in the land of Israel (renamed Palestine after the Philistines, historically enemies of the Jews, by the Romans to humiliate the Jews, but at least part of the once much larger Israel is still Israel. There is no reason Jews should not be able to live in a Jewish state in their own homeland. The murderous tantrums of the emotional Hamas Islamists are certainly no reason to leave. It was reported in the NYTimes that British reporter asked a 13-year-old boy in Gaza what he thought about Hamas’ rocketing. “I think they should stop rocketing Israel. Egypt made peace with Israel, and the Israelis aren’t attacking Eqypt.” Indeed, Israel returned the Sinai to the Egyptians even though they were no friends of Israel.

Folktruther for once is right: there are a handful of Jews in Iran, but several Iranian friends, two Zoroastrians and one Jew, tell me these people are frightened and trying very hard to get out though they love Iran and would be happy to stay if a less Islamist government were possible.

Incidentally, Ctos, Florida is a state, not a country Also .

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By Folktruther, January 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

There is a thriving Jewish community in Iran, including prosperious Jews. There are women doctors, lawyers and other professionals.  A vice president of Iran is a women.  None of this is known in the US because the American mainstream media simply lies to the American people, largely by what it does not say.

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By Ctos, January 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

“There has to be one small state, however tiny, where Jews (of any color or ethnicity) are in the majority and control the government because history has shown us that every government save the American, Chinese, and Indian governments has turned on its Jewish minority, forcing them out or killing them. “

What an absurd statement! Why does a religious group need a nation? Sepharad says it is b/c of persecution in other nations (with notable exceptions). Ethnic-religious strife does not create the right to a nation; where is Kurdistan or Tamil Tigerland?

In any case, as Sepharad glibly points out, there are a list of nations that have not persecuted the Jews. Let them settle there; Florida is quite nice.

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By Folktruther, January 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

I’ve always liked Ojai, Ojai John, and you are credit to your town.  While organizing the proletariat of Ojai may not be feasible at the moment, organizing an anti-war movement might be.

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By john from ojai, January 5, 2009 at 12:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel broke the cease fire by never dramatically reducing the blockade as promised. On Nov. 4 they killed 6 and captured 6 Gazans. Hamas had reigned in the missiles until that date. The blockade has brutalized the Gazan children (60% of the population) and citizens for 18 months. What are they supposed to do, roll over and die? U.S. taxpayers are funding this slaughter with $5 billion a year to Israel. Until the root problem of justice for the 1947 indigenous Palestinians is addressed there will be no peace. There is no just reason for stealing land from people. A fairer solution would be a one democratic state for Palestinians and Jews. There was a time when Palestinians were the dominant culture and they lived in peace with the Jews.Check Amy Goodman, KPFK, Ian Masters, If America Knew, Free Gaza, and Jewish Voices for Peace. Send money to any group that can help. Work for justice and peace will follow.

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By Shlomo Ben Katchor, January 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel answers to no American president. We answer to Ze’ev Bielski not some Shabbat goy. Enjoy your “change” we remain true to ourselves. L’chaim!

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By Bushfatigue, January 4, 2009 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

If Americans Knew has an annotated fact sheet on this crisis, at ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/sheets.html, that suggests that Israel, rather than Hamas, violated the truce, and that Hamas recognizes it long ago lost the war to eliminate Israel (just as most Palestinians have).  Public opinion surveys indicate most Israelis recognize that the dream of a greater Israel can never be realized as well. 

Its tragic that some leaders, in both groups, still refuse to recognize this.

It is beyond understanding why Israel will not respond to the Arab League initiative, on the table since 2002, with the support of even Iran (and Iraq under Hussein) nor the feelers extended by Hamas—see also the interview with Meshal, in the December issue of CounterPunch.

I believe Scheer is right—Israeli propaganda notwithstanding, Israel would rather have its illegal settlements than a just peace.  The US should roll up its sleeves, take its best shot at a settlement, and if Israel continues to be an obstacle, forget the stupid “special relationship,” and forget borrowing $3 Billion a year from the Chinese, to give to Israel, without any accountability.  Let the parties settle this problem or not, with complete US neutrality.

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By walldizo, January 3, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So,ground war has begun with Israeli tanks rolling into Gaza as if Israel wants to test Obama’s promises in defending Israeli children from Hamas’s rockets.Now, that Israel has secured US approval to its military adventure,would Obama be interested in knowing how children of Gaza react to the Israeli -coted bombs?

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By blog dog, January 3, 2009 at 2:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: There are over 100 regional “wars” going on right now and virtually EVERYONE of them involves Islamic fundamentalists battling “infidels” in an effort to establish “Sharia Law”

What we don’t know is how much of that is the result of pseudo-gang, false-flag black-ops and provocateur instigation. We know CIA/MI6/Mossad operatives have for decades been articulating, funding and arming Madrassas and the extremists they spawn, in addition to executing spectacular false-flag attacks, always hung on patsies in the wings; e.g. WTC ‘93, 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Bali and most recently, Mumbai.

The goal: chaos, terror, desperation to the point that all self-determinacy of the poverty-stricken people of these mineral-rich regions fail in creating stable, sovereign states…that they are forever on their knees, begging for protection.

This was the strategy of the British at the end of the empire. Eisenhower and Kennedy, bless them, resisted the pressure to throw in with this wretched log, though Eike’s wishes were sabotaged in Tehran and we know what became of JFK. We heard what Eike said when he left office and what JFK said just weeks before his demise. That was when we lost the Republic to the mongers of war for global imperialism.

The US/UK/Israeli Axis has been waging war on the 3rd World since then. Of these three, the US is the strongest. The only hope in stopping the insanity is that from within the US military and intelligence/security agencies will rise those fully committed to the oath they’ve taken to defend the Constitution, men of honor who will take down the scoundrels sold out to the global finance oligarchs ultimately responsible for the terror that now haunts the world.

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By Sepharad, January 3, 2009 at 12:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tony Wicher—Israel IS a multi-ethnic state, and the Israeli Arabs ARE citizens with the same rights as anyone else. Voting, reps in the Knesset, etc—except that they are not compelled to do IDF national service as are all other citizens, but if they want to they can. (This has been so from the get-go; and Ben Gurion said the only reason for exemption if the Arabs desired it was that it was reasonable they would not want to take up arms against other Arabs.) And a large majority of Israeli Arabs do voluntarily join IDF and are if anything more vehement about the value of Israeli citizenship than Israeli Jews.

Look at the IDF soldiers on the street corners, in their units: there are Arabs, pale Russian Jews with red hair, fair-skinned green-eyed men and women with olive skins ranging to very dark Ashkenazis and Sephardic Jews, Obama-tan to ebony-colored Ethiopian Jews ... What here is not multi-ethnic?

There has to be one small state, however tiny, where Jews (of any color or ethnicity) are in the majority and control the government because history has shown us that every government save the American, Chinese, and Indian governments has turned on its Jewish minority, forcing them out or killing them. And the comments on this thread are not exactly reassuring re America keeping its sanity; after all there are 6million Jews in the US but The West Bank and Gaza, when there is a Palestinian state, will be larger than the ‘67-line Israel proper—and of course would be larger still if it included perhaps Jordan—80% of original Palestine. The one racist thing noted in Jerusalem was raised by Ethhiopian Jews, who resent frequent Arab allusions to Ethiopians as being “kaffirs”—slaves.

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By Tony Wicher, January 2, 2009 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, January 2 at 1:46 am #

But you know what? Tao Walker is right. It’s crazy to “stick with the devil you know,” instead of figuring out how to just live with people.
—————————————————————————-
Sepharad,

It is the insistence of Israel on being a “Jewish state” that constitutes a fundamental refusal to live with other people. If Israelis were willing to live with other people, they would make all Palestinians equal citizens and fully share the land with them in a single multicultural democracy, a state of all its citizens no matter what their ethnic background, the same as we have in this country. This however means a repudiation of Zionism and the idea of a “Jewish state”. Nothing short of this will resolve the conflict.

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By Tony Wicher, January 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

By nrobi, December 31, 2008 at 5:32 am #

Obama’s legacy is off to a truly awful start.
—————————————————————————-
Isn’t it a bit premature to be speaking of his legacy when he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet?

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By JC, January 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The madness at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has been widely acknowledged as the prime source of a much greater madness now codified as terrorism.” - Robert Scheer

This is sophistry at best, a flat out lie at worst.  There are over 100 regional “wars” going on right now and virtually EVERYONE of them involves Islamic fundamentalists battling “infidels” in an effort to establish “Sharia Law” in these various countries.  If Israel was incinerated tomorrow and the Palestinians given full reign over the entire region, not one of these wars would end.

NOT ONE…..Got it Scheer?  Geez.

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By omop, January 2, 2009 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

David Ben Gurion at least was no hypocrite:-

” Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with IsraelThat is natural:we have taken their country.” – David Ben Gurion, 1956, quoted by Nahum Goldmann in The Jewish Paradox, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p.99.

And the zionists with dual passports how to deal with the USA.

$3 billion from Congress to Israel >

$500 million from Israel to AIPAC (etc) >

$100 million from AIPAC to U.S. congressmen & senators >

$3 billion from Congress to Israel >

$500 million from Israel to AIPAC (etc) >

$100 million from AIPAC to U.S. politicians > giddy stuff huh?
Making it real easy to compare moralities.

We Zionists own you ignorant people and you know it.

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By Robert, January 2, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Thanks to Nahida for providing & posting the below site. I must confess that the images are horrific.

May be Livni will get a chance to see them. Just a few days ago, she was telling the world…Israel is NOT killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

While you are at it, take a look at the “Sophisticated Kassam” rockets. They are “High Tech”??? ...they are almost up there with the US made F-16, F-18, Missiles, Smart Bombs, Apache helicopters that Israel’s IDF murderers are using on the largest closed concentration camp in the world.

The 1.5 million Palestinian people have NO defense against Israel’s NAZI & murderous army!   


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY:

http://palestinian.ning.com/forum/topics/the-other-side-of-the-story

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By Robert, January 2, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Israel’s ‘victories’ in Gaza come at a steep price

January 02, 2009 Edition | csmonitor.com
By Sara Roy

The Jewish ethical tradition means embracing Palestinians, too.

Cambridge, Mass. - “I hear the voices of my friends in Gaza as clearly as if we were still on the phone; their agony echoes inside me. They weep and moan over the death of their children, some, little girls like mine, taken, their bodies burned and destroyed so senselessly.

One Palestinian friend asked me, “Why did Israel attack when the children were leaving school and the women were in the markets?” There are reports that some parents cannot find their dead children and are desperately roaming overflowing hospitals.

As Jews celebrated the last night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights commemorating our resurgence as a people, I asked myself: How am I to celebrate my Jewishness while Palestinians are being killed?

The religious scholar Marc Ellis challenges us further by asking whether the Jewish covenant with God is present or absent in the face of Jewish oppression of Palestinians? Is the Jewish ethical tradition still available to us? Is the promise of holiness – so central to our existence – now beyond our ability to reclaim?

The lucky ones in Gaza are locked in their homes living lives that have long been suspended – hungry, thirsty, and without light but their children are alive.

Since Nov. 4, when Israel effectively broke the truce with Hamas by attacking Gaza on a scale then unprecedented – a fact now buried with Gaza’s dead – the violence has escalated as Hamas responded by sending hundreds of rockets into Israel to kill Israeli civilians. It is reported that Israel’s strategy is to hit Hamas military targets, but explain that difference to my Palestinian friends who must bury their children.

On Nov. 5, Israel sealed all crossing points into Gaza, vastly reducing and at times denying food supplies, medicines, fuel, cooking gas, and parts for water and sanitation systems. A colleague of mine in Jerusalem said, “this siege is in a league of its own. The Israelis have not done something like this before.”

During November, an average of 4.6 trucks of food per day entered Gaza from Israel compared with an average of 123 trucks per day in October. Spare parts for the repair and maintenance of water-related equipment have been denied entry for over a year. The World Health Organization just reported that half of Gaza’s ambulances are now out of order.

According to the Associated Press, the three-day death toll rose to at least 370 by Tuesday morning, with some 1,400 wounded. The UN said at least 62 of the dead were civilians. A Palestinian health official said that at least 22 children under age 16 were killed and more than 235 children have been wounded.

In nearly 25 years of involvement with Gaza and Palestinians, I have not had to confront the horrific image of burned children – until today.”


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2321

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By Robert, January 2, 2009 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

NAMER…WHO…? I think that UGLY “LILMAMZER” or his close relative has surfaced under another Yiddish/Hebrew name on TD !

See below:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Israel Launches Namer Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle Program

“In July 2007 the Israel Defense Forces launched the Namer (Leopard in Hebrew) Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) program, funding a pilot production of 15 of the tracked vehicles in 2008. The program is a major element in the IDF land forces’ five-year modernization plan. Currently in formation the plan is expected to finalize this month. Eventually, the IDF plans to buy few hundreds AIFVs, providing the infantry with the level of protection and mobility matching those of the latest Merkava Mk 4 tanks.”

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By Folktruther, January 2, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

Fidel, it is prayers like yours that is moving me toward a religious outlook.

Tony, that you worked hard to elect Obama, and don’t want to give up on him becaouse of your hard work, should be presented to the three hundred million Americn people as an argument for them to be sold out by his administration.

Or perhaps not.  Perhaps the American people need to learn to think in world historical power patterns,rather than being entirely bound by their personal interests and delusive American ideology.

Waiting until Obama is formally ianagurated by a religious bigot before critiquing him is absurd and beneath contempt.  Certainly right wingers didn’t wait before they praised him so enthusiastically for his appointments.

Obama has been bought and paid for by American capitalists and their agents, mostly Zionist.  They wanted to put a black face on the war on Muslims and the enormous class inequality that has developed the past thirty years under both parties.  That a non-White is elected president is fine; that he sells out the rest of us is not, no matter what color he is. 

The function of the Dem party historically is to induce progressives to support the conservative policies of American leaders of capitalism.  Obama does this when the American power system has become incrreassing violent, oppressive, corrupt and obsolete.

It is necessary to restore the distrust of the American people in their religious, political and intellectual leaders.  And in the truthers that support and sanitize their crimes, cowardliness and corruption.  With my customary tactfulness, I mention no names.

But a movement must be developed against the American power system, both in America and in the world, to destroy the power that is leading the world into a neo-barbarism that makes the Nazis look like pikers.  We live in a nuclear age, an age that is destroying our traditional climate, an age of enormous class and ethnic inequality, and we must develop a political response adequate to the task. 

Dispite all your hard work.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 2, 2009 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Welcome to 2009!

The Middle East in 2009 and beyond will continue to be a target shooting field of children, women, men, civilians and infrastructure. It’s the area where the fascist Israelis and Americans will continue to test their weapons of mass destruction!

My prayer for the year is this: “May this year witness the total breakdown of both the U.S. and Israel as political-military-industrial entities. And may this be one good gift for humanity at large!

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By Sepharad, January 2, 2009 at 2:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Scheer’s question as to why Hamas chose to keep up the rocketing, who knows? These guys are religious fundamentalists but also shrewd p.r. tacticians. They might have forgotten Obama’s comment re why he thinks retaliation is merited, but probably they might have wanted to stop (or distract from) creeping progress—toward Israeli dialogue with Syria, and toward the recently somewhat increased economic growth on the West Bank, which is an important component of a successful independent Palestinian state, right up there with a Palestine able to maintain its own security. Hamas does not want a successful Palestinian state next to a successful Jewish state because Hamas does not want Israel to exist, and recognition of that right to exist, along with the cessation of rocketing, is prerequisite to any lasting ceasefire.

If Israel turned over the West Bank to the Palestinians tomorrow, its economy would not be strong enough—and look what happened when Sharon pulled out Gaza’s Jewish settlers (but left their thriving produce farms and greenhouses and homes to jumpstart Gaza’s economy). Obviously the Palestinians on the West Bank also will need a good army to fend off its own fundamentalists and enemies, or you’ll get the same tragedy now playing itself out in Gaza, with fundamentalists exploiting the vacuum.

But you know what? Tao Walker is right. It’s crazy to “stick with the devil you know,” instead of figuring out how to just live with people. No demonizing at all is necessary. You don’t have to love everyone as your brother—just help each other make it, if only out of enlightened self-interest.

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By Sepharad, January 2, 2009 at 2:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

namer—to everything you’ve written here, amen, ditto, and thank you. Couldn’t agree more, and it’s so great to hear something other than the anti-Semitic and/or anti-Israel bigots craziness. And people wonder why Jews are paranoid. Normally I would have put my 2-cents’-worth in earlier but all this started while husband and I were in the middle of lower New Mexican deserts, dry rivers and wadis on horses without computers, NYTimes or most of the times even cell phones. The small bits of news that stuttered through on the truck radio were doubly affecting because we recently were doing the same thing in the Negev, with Israeli Jews and Israeli Bedouin friends, one of the latter living in a tent outside Be’ersheva with his camels and horses but also runs a small Museum of Bedouin Culture at a kibbutz. He reports he is fine but only because he wasn’t standing near the highschool in Be’ersheva when one of Hamas’ rockets crashed through classrooms several hours after the Israeli government ordered students to stay home, knowing the Hamas proclivity for targeting civilians. To me, this is what defines the difference between the Israeli and Hamas cultures: Israelis went so far as to telephone Gaza homes targeted for airstrikes telling residents if they were living with Hamas fighters or weapons caches to leave (doesn’t seem very practical to me), while Hamas continues firing rockets knowing that they are endangering the population they hide behiind, except of course those brave Hamas leaders who live safely in underground shelters, letting the Gaza civilians reap the whirlwind Hamas rockets sow.

Earlier, someone’s comment implied a similarity between Hamas and the Warsaw ghetto fighters, implying of course that the Israelis are the Nazis in this conflict, but the Nazis weren’t attacking Warsaw Jews because Jews had steadily rocketing German civilians in their homes—the Master Race was simply attacking because Jews were Jews and as such unfit to live. As a historian who deals with piecing together facts it drives me up the wall to read the kind of distortion and spin that thrives on this thread. Revisionist history is one thing; flat out deceptive narrative is another.

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By Tony Wicher, January 2, 2009 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Re Folktruther, January 1 at 11:22 pm

I worked too hard for two years to get Obama elected to give up on him before he gets inaugurated. Give the poor guy a chance at least!

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By Folktruther, January 2, 2009 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

There will be no peace until earthpeople realize that the interests of class-based power structures diverge from the interests of the vast majority of the population. For the last thirty years there has been a massive campaign by US corporate leaders to increase class inequality, resulting in the poltiical counter revolution of the Bushite regime.

Obama is obviously continuing Bushite policies, selling out progressives by breaking his campaign promises to serve the ruling class who financed him.  Obaminites, like Tony Wicher, are systematic apologists for this sellout behavior, which includes continued war, class inequality, militarization and corporatizing the schools, economic impovrishment, overflowing prisons with their slave labor, and spying on and police and military repression of the American and othre populations, including the continuation of torture.

The sooner rank and file progressives realize this, the sooner it is possible to mobilize against the Dem-Gop oppression.

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By Tony Wicher, January 1, 2009 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

By Clash, January 1 at 6:47 pm #

There will be no peace any were on this earth until we all see that all politicians serve masters who have no intention of allowing it. The path of expansion and collapse was set before us a very long time ago. This path made humans into no more than cattle for slaughtering when the pasture becomes over grazed….

The sickness of civilization has all but overcome most humans they will not stop killing each other until they believe that changing them selves is the only change they really need, and no leader can do that for them.
——————————————————————————-
Clash, maybe there will be no peace on this earth until we realize that the politicians are us. This very blog is a fine microcosm of the sickness of our civilization.

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By blog dog, January 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One phone call threatening to cut off arms the day he takes office is all it would take to end the carnage. Why has not Mr. Obama the guts to make the call?

Obamaphiles, please give us your best opinion. And, let’s skip the “fear for my daughters” line - if the threat’s so great, why is there no mass exodus beyond missile range? Simple, the chance of getting run over by a bus is greater than getting hit by a Qassam missile.

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By S.J. Pettersson, January 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The primary reason for this recent Israeli offensive is to try to find Iranian made or sponsored explosives, weapons etc. or provoke any sort of response from Iran so that they will have a pretext for bombing Iran’s nuclear research sites. This they will try to do before Obama becomes president. Bush & Cheney are in the loop and will eagerly let Israel do the dirty work so the US won’t have to.

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By santa fe, January 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

you write “Clearly, Hamas and its hard-line supporters in the region reject the goal of an Israel at peace with its neighbors and secure within its boundaries, even if those borderlines return to those existing in 1967 at the time of the Six-Day War.”

Sorry but this is what should have happened decades ago. We don’t know or can not know if returning the settlements would have made a difference.  The sub-standard Israeli leadership for way too long has not been willing to send moving vans and move the people out.  I could have organized that in two weeks.

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By Clash, January 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

There will be no peace any were on this earth until we all see that all politicians serve masters who have no intention of allowing it. The path of expansion and collapse was set before us a very long time ago. This path made humans into no more than cattle for slaughtering when the pasture becomes over grazed.

Those that Mr. Scheer proposes to lead the effort for peace are part of those world organizations’s that have secretly controlled and manipulated both sides in every war since the French revolution. They also made sure when they held the power of life and death that we should all know they would tolerate no real decent in this country. They owe their allegiance to the Zionists that march to the master’s grand plan, Berry Obama will follow in his predecessor’s foot steps, environmental degradation, war with Afghanistan, and troops in the streets of this country as the economic blight worsens, these are the problems at hand.

These articles may be enlightening to those cattle who prefer to have their minds otherwise preoccupied while they are led down the shoot to the slaughter pen, some might prefer to open their eyes to the desperate battle that is being waged on their own land. A war that is intended to leave nothing for the people. The sickness of civilization has all but overcome most humans they will not stop killing each other until they believe that changing them selves is the only change they really need, and no leader can do that for them.

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By geronimo, January 1, 2009 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gaza Will Be The Undoing Of Zionism

“Based on?”

“Gaza looking more and more like the Warsaw Ghetto.”

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By Tony Wicher, January 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

By namer, December 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

Would that include slaughtering 100 daughters of other people?

Not if I could possibly avoid it, but nobody comes between me and my daughter, same as Obama.
—————————————————————————-
Too bad Israel isn’t trying to avoid it.  The whole world despises Israel, not because they are Jews but because they are cold-blooded murderers.

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By TAO Walker, January 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Bowl-games and bombing-women-and-children may seem worlds apart to your average “civilized individual,” but both are part of the ragged tissue of official/commercial psy-ops generated to hide from “....your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” the stark fact of their immanent bloody sacrifice upon the altar of “global” gangsterism.  The “beauty” of this infernal scheme, as it’s supposed to play-out, is that the prisoners will be driven to inflict these things upon theirselfs and one-anothers’, while their over-stuffed warders watch self-satisfied from the supposed safety of their fortified compounds and private islands.

The juvenile antics here of some of the more rabid partisans on one “side” or another of “the Jewish/Palestinian question,” for example, strikes this old Savage as illustrative of why those ruthless privateers seem so arrogantly optimistic that their project can’t help but succeed.  What can they possibly have to fear from a domesticated populace so enmeshed in make-believe “differences” that most of ‘em are every-bit as much “at-war” with their own selfs as they are with various of their “global village” neighbors.

Meantime, there are of course more-and-more domesticated Humans who’re beginning to recognize this “civilization” for the death-dealing contraption it has always been, and who therefore are moving to get free of it.  This is accomplished when people realize and together act-upon the natural imperatives of their organic function as Human Beings within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.

The wannabe” destroyers of the Earth” may yet get their death-wish, but they will not “manage” to drag the rest of us into oblivion with them.  Any and all of our tame Sisters and Brothers are welcome to re-join us surviving free wild Natives in the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself.  None of you are under any obligation, “moral” or otherwise, to go-along with your erstwhile captors to their own demise.

They’re just “fucking with your heads,” people.  Tell ‘em to (in Dick Cheney’s immor(t)al(?) words) go fuck theirselfs!  See how they take a good strong dose of their own faux-medicine.

Us Indians are right here with you in this.

HokaHey!

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By namer, January 1, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

troublesum, January 1 at 1:12 pm wrote:

“What a joke to read namer’s post here about Israel creating a “first class economy.”  Anything Israel has it got courtesy of American taxpayers.”

You bitter little (outperformed) man, troublesum.  Do some basic research; it is clear you know jacksquat about Israel or her economy. bwahahahahahaha

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By troublesum, January 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Israel could not last three days without continuous economic and military aid from the US.  What a joke to read namer’s post here about Israel creating a “first class economy.”  Anything Israel has it got courtesy of American taxpayers.

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By icarus, January 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These people have been fighting for thousands of years.  Boundaries morph from time to time.  We need to support those who have a democratic form of government and espouse freedom for their people.  We need to chose those who would support us in a time of need.

Which countries in the region would help us in a time of need?

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By Blackspeare, January 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

christian96…

What you have stumbled upon is the so called “one-state solution.”  Eventually, the politics of the area will morph into a single state either by armed conflict or inevitable demographics.

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By Folktruther, January 1, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

I have a better idea, christain 96.  How about making Israel a state within a Palestinian country.  they they could tax them to accumulate all the money and property that Isreal has stolen from them. 

But I am open to compromise, possibly two states within a common market country.

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By christian96, January 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

In September 1999, I visited Egypt and Israel.  At
that time, I sponsored 5 children with World Vision,
a Christian organization that feeds hungry children
throughout the world.  I had never met any of the
children I supported until I was in Jerusalem.  One
of the children was a deaf, developmentally disabled 10 year-old Palestinian girl.  I called World Vision in Jerusalem and ask if it would be possible to meet the little girl.  On 9-9-99 two young Christian
Palestinian girls working for World Vision drove me
two hours to Rafah in the Gaza strip to the school
the girl attended.  I met the young girl, her father, classmates, teachers, and administrators.  I was treated very well by the Palestinian people.  I had no problems at all.  On our way to the school,
I noticed the extreme poverty in the Gaza strip,
especially in the town of Rafah.  I had also seen
much poverty in Cairo, Egypt.  I have spent many
hours trying to figure out how to stop the violence in Israel and Palestine.  In America, we have 50 states.  Why not make Palestine a state within the
nation of Israel?  Palestine would have it’s own
government but since it would be a state in Israel, the Israeli government would be required to help the Palestinian people establish roads, schools, hospitals, a thriving economy, etc.

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By Blackspeare, January 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

What a dull world this would be if it were not for all the racists and bigots among us.  Imagine a world where everyone was nice to each other——yuck!  As for Obama’s cloudy future——not to worry.  The Israeli military operation in Gaza will end in plenty of time for the inauguration and spare BHO a difficult situation.  With Egypt and now Saudi Arabia in addition to Fatah opposing Hamas the old Arabic adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” couldn’t be more true today!

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By Little Brother, January 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Louise, have a safe trip!

I recommend “The Daily Kos”, “Democratic Underground”, and even “The Huffington Post”—all sites with an editorial and administrative agenda devoted to enthusiastic promotion of Obama that censor and ban Negative Skeptical Criticism of the Resident-elect.

“Half-empty” types need not apply.  Regardless of whether their operators are conscious of this, such sites exist for (politically) therapeutic purposes.  They regulate and control (euphemistically, “moderate”) the discussion in order to maintain a site that comforts the afflicted—those afflicted with anxiety and doubt. 

Cynics are anathema, because we are such an unsettling and exasperating bunch.

Anyway, bon voyage, and have fun!  As a cockeyed optimist and accentuator of the positive, you will be received as a commenter of great promise.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you were recruited as a commissar—whoops, I meant “moderator”—and given power to delete and ban every gloomy gus who so much as looks at Obama sideways.

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By christian96, January 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

In September 1999, I visited Egypt and Israel.  At
that time I sponsored 5 children with World Vision,
a Christian organization that feeds hungry children
throughout the world.  I had never met any of the
children I supported until I was in Jerusalem.  One
of the children was a deaf, developmentally disabled 10 year-old Palestinian girl.  I called World Vision in Jerusalem and ask if it would be possible to meet the little girl.  On 9-9-99 two young Christian
Palestinian girls working for World Vision drove me
two hours to Rafah in the Gaza strip to the school
the girl attended.  I met the young girl, her father, classmates, teachers, and administrators.  I was treated very well by the Palestinian people.  I had no problems at all.  On our way to the school,
I noticed the extreme poverty in the Gaza strip,
especially in the town of Rafah.  I had also seen
much poverty in Cairo, Egypt.  I have spent many
hours trying to figure out how to stop the violence in Israel and Palestine.  In America, we have 50 states.  Why not make Palestine a state within the
nation of Israel?  Palestine would have it’s own
government but since it would be a state in Israel, the Israeli government would be required to help the Palestinian people establish roads, schools, hospitals, a thriving economy, etc.

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By omop, January 1, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

In the immortal words of one BEN, [no not Osama] specifically David BEN Gurion and as quoted way back in 1956….not many missiles cluster bombs coming over at one’s daughters, parakeets, or kittens as at the present. Still just plain and easily understood by almost all of humanity.

    ” Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural:we have taken their country.” David BEN Gurion quoted by Nahum Goldmann in The Jewish Paradox, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p.99.

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By namer, January 1, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

badlawdog, December 31, 2008 at 8:08 pm wrote:

”..the largely Jewish mess on wall street and corresponding banking financial system collapse, and the political betrayal by Jewish democrats, that facilitated these major disasters.”

There go those money-hungry Jews again, ruining it for the rest of us…...at least you don’t allow your bigotry to laps into age-old stereotypes, badlawdog.
==========================

“How do a mere six million Jews in the desert afford to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on military weapons? Where are they getting all this money?”

By building a first-world economy based on science, technology, foresight, and last but not least, lots of hard work. And of course, competing successfully in the global marketplace. I think that’s what insults you the most - being out-competed by Jews. If they happen to be better than you at whatever endeavour you choose, why is that anyone’s failure but yours?
===============================

“No, all this money is being sucked out of the United States via the financial system, Jewish businesses (Comcast, CVS Pharmacy, Google, etc) and most especially the stock/commodities markets, which we all know is where Jewish power originates. I see a collect takeover of the entire internet grid in the US by Jews, and the control of content. Yes, collectively, Jews are some of, if not the smartest, wealthiest, most enterprising and well organized people on earth..”

Those Jews - there they go again with their takeover of the world. Scary, isn’t it?
============================

“Are you using your collective hold on all our progressive publications, organizations, radio/television stations and nonprofit foundations to prevent discussion on the “big fat pattern”???”

Was wondering when you were going to get to that BS. If Jews control all the media, why are you allowed to post your garbage here? Why is there a vibrant opposition press in Israel (Jew-Central) which is hyper-critical of what the government there does?
=================================

“Where does the Jewish community stand?”

Solidly against simplistic bigots like you, and solidly with Israel in her fight against those who wish to destroy her.

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By Dave Schwab, January 1, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

If we want peace in the Middle East, the first step is to cut off unconditional funding for the Israeli military.

Sign the petition for a Secure Green Future at Green Change: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1488/t/689/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=509

We’re telling Obama to cut wasteful military spending by at least 70% and invest the savings in education, health care, preventing foreclosures, and developing green energy.

No more tax money for the failed militarism that has created hatred for America around the world.

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By Irfan, January 1, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I didn’t see any of my daughters
The family house was small: three rooms, a tiny kitchen and bathroom, built of poor-quality concrete bricks with a corrugated asbestos roof, in block four of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. There are hundreds of similar homes crammed into the overcrowded streets, filled with some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip.

But it was this house, where Anwar and Samira Balousha lived with their nine children, that had the misfortune to be built next to what became late on Sunday night another target in Israel’s devastating bombing campaign of Gaza.

An Israeli bomb struck the refugee camp’s Imad Aqil mosque around midnight, destroying the building and collapsing several shops and a pharmacy nearby. The force of the blast was so massive it also brought down the Balousha family’s house, which yesterday lay in ruins. The seven eldest girls were asleep together on mattresses in one bedroom and they bore the brunt of the explosion. Five were killed where they lay: Tahrir, 17, Ikram 15, Samer, 13, Dina, eight and Jawahar, four.

Imam, 16, lay in the room with her sisters but by chance survived with only injuries to her legs. She was eventually pulled free and rushed to hospital. “I was asleep. I didn’t hear anything of the explosion,” she said yesterday as she sat comforting her mother. “I just woke when the bricks fell on me. I saw all my sisters around me and I couldn’t move. No one could see me from above. The neighbours and ambulance men couldn’t see us. They were walking on the bricks above us. I started to scream and told my sisters we would die. We all screamed: ‘Baba, Mama. Come to help us.’”

Her parents had been sleeping in the room next door with their two youngest children, Muhammad, one, and Bara’a, 12 days.

Their room was damaged and all were hurt, but they survived and were taken straight to hospital even before any of the older girls were found.

Imam eventually recognised her uncle’s voice among the rescuers and she shouted again for help. “He found me and started to remove the bricks and the rubble from me,” she said. “They started to pull me by my hands, the bricks were still lying on my legs.”

Her mother, Samira, 36, had seen the pile of bricks in the girls’ bedroom and was stricken with grief, convinced they were all dead. Like all the family, she was asleep when the bomb struck. “I opened my eyes and saw bricks all over my body,” she said. “My face was covered with the concrete blocks.”

She checked on her two youngest children and then looked in the room next door. “I didn’t see any of my daughters, just a pile of bricks and parts of the roof. Everyone told me my daughters were alive, but I knew they were gone.”

She sat on a sofa surrounded by other women at a neighbour’s house further along the street and struggled to speak, pausing for long moments and still overcome with shock.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 1, 2009 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

There are many excellent points made on this thread. NABNYC’s comments get to the heart of the matter. It is all about money. In order for anything to actually happen, the United States absolutely must stop giving money and weapons to Israel. When you look at the multi-billion dollars worth of weapons exported by Israel, it becomes quite apparent that they do not need, nor are they entitled to, a welfare program from the United States.

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By Robert, January 1, 2009 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Israel’s ‘victories’ in Gaza come at a steep price

January 02, 2009 Edition | csmonitor.com
By Sara Roy

The Jewish ethical tradition means embracing Palestinians, too.

Cambridge, Mass. - “I hear the voices of my friends in Gaza as clearly as if we were still on the phone; their agony echoes inside me. They weep and moan over the death of their children, some, little girls like mine, taken, their bodies burned and destroyed so senselessly.

One Palestinian friend asked me, “Why did Israel attack when the children were leaving school and the women were in the markets?” There are reports that some parents cannot find their dead children and are desperately roaming overflowing hospitals.

As Jews celebrated the last night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights commemorating our resurgence as a people, I asked myself: How am I to celebrate my Jewishness while Palestinians are being killed?

The religious scholar Marc Ellis challenges us further by asking whether the Jewish covenant with God is present or absent in the face of Jewish oppression of Palestinians? Is the Jewish ethical tradition still available to us? Is the promise of holiness – so central to our existence – now beyond our ability to reclaim?

The lucky ones in Gaza are locked in their homes living lives that have long been suspended – hungry, thirsty, and without light but their children are alive.

Since Nov. 4, when Israel effectively broke the truce with Hamas by attacking Gaza on a scale then unprecedented – a fact now buried with Gaza’s dead – the violence has escalated as Hamas responded by sending hundreds of rockets into Israel to kill Israeli civilians. It is reported that Israel’s strategy is to hit Hamas military targets, but explain that difference to my Palestinian friends who must bury their children.

On Nov. 5, Israel sealed all crossing points into Gaza, vastly reducing and at times denying food supplies, medicines, fuel, cooking gas, and parts for water and sanitation systems. A colleague of mine in Jerusalem said, “this siege is in a league of its own. The Israelis have not done something like this before.”

During November, an average of 4.6 trucks of food per day entered Gaza from Israel compared with an average of 123 trucks per day in October. Spare parts for the repair and maintenance of water-related equipment have been denied entry for over a year. The World Health Organization just reported that half of Gaza’s ambulances are now out of order.

According to the Associated Press, the three-day death toll rose to at least 370 by Tuesday morning, with some 1,400 wounded. The UN said at least 62 of the dead were civilians. A Palestinian health official said that at least 22 children under age 16 were killed and more than 235 children have been wounded.

In nearly 25 years of involvement with Gaza and Palestinians, I have not had to confront the horrific image of burned children – until today.

Yet for Palestinians it is more than an image, it is a reality, and because of that I fear something profound has changed that will not easily be undone. For how, in the context of Gaza today, does one speak of reconciliation as a path to liberation, of sympathy as a source of understanding? Where does one find or even begin to create a common field of human undertaking (to borrow from the late, acclaimed Palestinian scholar, Edward Said) so essential to coexistence?”


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2321

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By dcrav, January 1, 2009 at 2:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Take what you can, when you can and while you can….Thanks to the powers that be…........we can do what we want and get what we want….........Fuck em all…..lets kill and eat…...So goes the world and it’s irony…...Let’s take…take…take….take. For that wich they have…. we need. To feed the masses, those who are abased and fucking stupid, Give to the greedy and screw the poor….give to the leaders who take from the people whome allowed them in office….what a weak and superficial world we live in…..It’s a shame….

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By Lefktra, January 1, 2009 at 2:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are no more weasely words than “mutual aggression” or “both sides are to blame” when talking about the Middle East where one of the most powerful armies in the world has concentrated and starved a helpless people into an extermination camp that is being used as a human turkey shoot and is perpetuating one of history’s most heart-rending war crimes. The American media brims over with this kind of cowardly rubbish. Why add to it? Shame on you, Mr. Sheer.

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By Folktruther, January 1, 2009 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

Godspeed, Louise, in leaving for a more Obamanite blog. Another Brilliant Obama decision!  We dimbulbs will try to soldier on without you.

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By Richard Silverstein, January 1, 2009 at 1:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have not read the previous comments to see whether this issue has been addressed by Mr. Scheer is patently wrong in this passage:

Clearly, Hamas and its hard-line supporters in the region reject the goal of an Israel at peace with its neighbors and secure within its boundaries, even if those borderlines return to those existing in 1967 at the time of the Six-Day War.

Nothing of the sort is “clear.”  In fact, Hamas has repeatedly offered a long term truce to Israel (which is a tacit offer of recognition) if it is willing to withdraw to 1967 boundaries.  Do you dismiss such publicly made offers as meaningless or lies?  Why else would you ignore this important information which you must know about?

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By fedup, December 31, 2008 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Come on now, are you really that naive or what?
the destruction of Hamas has less to do with them and more to do with suckering the “Goyim” in the United States of Israel to fight and die for yet another war for the Zionist jew Banking cabal that OWNS this country and the U.K. You’ve already heard “facts” from our traitors in office that Iran is behind Hamas.
or are they confusing their complicity with their lackey countries the U.S. and U.K.‘s training, arming and backing Sakaashvili’s lap-dogs in Georgia?
It’s a damn good thing the moron goyim in the United States of Israel are too damn ignorant to open their eyes and SEE what the hell that nasty little terrorist nation is doing all OVER the region. Fortunately, Russia is well aware of the treachery of the “zhids” they had brains and balls enough to boot OUT of their country. If the zhids sucker these lemmings yet again to fight for ‘em and attack Iran on THEIR, (Israel’s) orders they might all get a taste of a WORLD class foe, not the tiny little opponents they seem to favor slaughtering.

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By badlawdog, December 31, 2008 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Let me start out by saying that I NEED the progressive community very badly because my life situation places me at odd’s with racists, bigots, xenophobes, etc, and the Jewish community has always been there to help similarly situated persons such as myself fight for the good life, however, I’ve recently become scared that we have lost one of our most valuable ally’s in the war against hate and intolerance; the Jewish community as a whole. I see both Jewish and non-Jewish progressives bending over backwards to avoid mentioning the obvious, and this scares me too. I see oppression, repression, and outright manipulation occurring throughout the progressive community when it comes to the issue of Israel, and this doesn’t just concern the war crimes Israel is committing against the Palestinians’ now, but includes the largely Jewish mess on wall street and corresponding banking financial system collapse, and the political betrayal by Jewish democrats, that facilitated these major disasters. I see a “big fat pattern” connecting the rape of our financial system with the rise of Israel as the world’s third most powerful military. How do a mere six million Jews in the desert afford to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on military weapons? Where are they getting all this money? Certainly not from the Europeans, Japanese, Middle Easterners, Chinese or Russians, and certainly not from some third world country. No, all this money is being sucked out of the United States via the financial system, Jewish businesses (Comcast, CVS Pharmacy, Google, etc) and most especially the stock/commodities markets, which we all know is where Jewish power originates. I see a collect takeover of the entire internet grid in the US by Jews, and the control of content. Yes, collectively, Jews are some of, if not the smartest, wealthiest, most enterprising and well organized people on earth, but I can’t help but think we have been abandoned, and I say, what’s up??? What’s going on??? Have you decided to defect us en mass??? Are you using your collective hold on all our progressive publications, organizations, radio/television stations and nonprofit foundations to prevent discussion on the “big fat pattern”???  Israel must be condemned, boycotted and military strikes against the entire state of Israel considered. Enough is enough. A very tough decision is at hand. Where does the Jewish community stand?

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By Louise, December 31, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

We just as well surrender truthdig to the dimbulbs and ninconpoops!

Obama did it!

Did what?

Everything!

I’m going shopping for a new site for information and news! One that isn’t consumed by and dominated by racists!

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By Folktruther, December 31, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

Cynthia McKinney, the Green candidate for president has been delivering food and medical supplies to the Gazans until her boat was rammed by an Israel gunship.  She has publically called for Obama to take a stand in the starvation blockade, bombardment, which destroyed a Gazan university, and in the coming Israeli invasion.

Obama has taken a stand by his silence.  He is in favor of Israel’s aggression. His main adviser Axelrod, states that there is only one president at at time and Obama obviously supports him.  Israel could not conduct their murderous policy without the support of the US power system.

Sooner or later it will become clear to sincere progressives among the Obamanites that Obama is going to continue Bushite policies. The right wingers were not overjoyed at his appointments for no reason.  His task is to consolidate the Bushite political counter revolution.

This revolution, which is still deepening, occurred because of a massive assault by corporate leaders on the standard of living of the American population during the last thirty years.  Class inequality has increased enormously as detailed in Sharon Smith’s book SUBTERANIAN FIRE.  The political counter revolution is necessary to consolidate the social counter revolution.

The massive decrease in the income of the popultion has been disguised by the enormous increase in personal debt, and the longer work hours, the current work year having increaed by over 160 work hours a year, about a month more a year. 

Since the debt is unsustainable, the drastic decrease can only be maintained by repression.  The Pentagon is withdrawing numerous combat divisions from overseas to be used against the American people.

We are increasingly being occupied by a Zionist power structure, as the Palestinians are.  Obama is now the leader of that power structure.  He will use those twenty thousand troops against the American people when the time comes.  It took about five years from the onset of the Great Depression to the militancy of the working population. 

Not too long from now American soldiers will be ordered by Obama to shoot Americans. And this will be justified by the same kind of deceit that Ziofascists now justify the murder of the Gazan population.  This is the Obama version of Smart War.

The Change You Can Believe In.

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By P. T., December 31, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Here are pictures of some of the Gazan children killed and maimed in the attacks.  Warning:  The scenes are gruesome.  Click on http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2311

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By Joe Fattal, December 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can tell you why Israel not Hamas couldn’t wait until Mr. Obama takes Office. They try to tell him where is the power in the middle east. By doing that they weaken his credibility in the area. Its a hell of a test for a man that hasn’t been sworn in yet.

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By namer, December 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Would that include slaughtering 100 daughters of other people?

Not if I could possibly avoid it, but nobody comes between me and my daughter, same as Obama.

Is that clear enough? Pose the same question to Obama and you will ge the same response. He would also point out that your question presupposes a false equation, and I would agree with that, too.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, December 31, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have the US, a nation based on equality and religious freedom,  acting as the sole support for a state Israel, a state for Jews only, that occupies contested land in Palestine.  As long as this fundamental insanity continues there will be unrest in the middle east.

The ‘two-state’ solution advocated by Sheer is the humanitarian version of the Zionists vision.  It accepts a racist Jewish state on Palestinian land.  This is the problem, not the solution.

The solution is to have one state with a pluralistic democratic government.  The primary obstacle to this solution is the Zionists.

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By Tony Wicher, December 31, 2008 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

By namer, December 31 at 3:52 pm #

Obama said recently:

  “If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

To which I say, my sentiments exactly.
——————————————————————————
namer,

Would that include slaughtering 100 daughters of other people?

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By Walter, December 31, 2008 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

I am a Jew who strongly disagrees with our government’s unconditional support of Israel. While I don’t endorse Hamas and their tactics, it must be pointed out that the Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Heniyeh has stated on numerous occasions that Hamas recognizes Israel within the pre-June 1967 borders. I agree with your statement that “Obama’s challenge will be to turn his mantra of change into a practical roadmap for Mideast peace, a prospect made much more elusive by the Israeli blitzkrieg. But if he fails to do that and simply panders to those who have grown comfortable with this disastrous status quo, he will seriously undermine the prospects for his administration. With our severe economic problems, the last thing we need is increased Mideast instability, driving up U.S. military expenditures and the price of oil.” If this dispute is not settled soon, as bad as things have been there will be such an explosion the likes that we have not seen. Hamas must be brought into the negotiations. I also think that Obama understands this for the reasons that we both mention, and I think that once in office he will work on settling this.

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By namer, December 31, 2008 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Obaa said recently:

“If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

The funny part is that Israel now has the support of a US President with solid left-wing credentials. Perhaps Obama has the cojones to stand up to the bullying bigots infecting the outer edges of the left. There is a glimmer of hope that Obama has the stones to stand tall and make the moral decisions we desperatley need in these dark hours.

What we need to hear next from Obama is to ask those bigoted elements of the left why their “solutions” always require Jews to wait for their death.

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By mill, December 31, 2008 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

I admit it.  I don’t understand why the Jews and Muslims having at it in Israel/Palestine should wait for any US leader before they make peace.

They don’t need the US to be involved.  They don’t need Bush’s or Obama’s permission.  They need to recognize each’s right to live in the same close vicinity, without fear of the other. 

And I don’t recall Mr. Obama running on a platform suggesting he’d bring peace to the middle east - a fool’s errand, and not the responsibility of any American president.  This is not Obama’s baggage - it’s the baggage of Israel, the PLO, and Hamas.

US involvement is obvious, our one-sidedness a real obstruction in the way of goals we pursue in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But it is NOT Obama’s or the US’s responsibility to sort that war out.  If the participants don’t care to stop killing each other, outsiders surely can’t force it.  What nutcase in Hamas thinks it’s a good idea to shoot missiles toward Jewish communities now?  How many more Hamas members must die per missile shot at Israel?  How many Israeli bombs are justified by a each missile?  None? 1?  100?  The thousands that are reality?

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By John, December 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama will not be able to do any more than what George Bush has already done. Look at the first person he has picked for his White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel since his election as president and you should know his presidency will be firmly in the hands of the Jewish lobbyists. After all he is playing golf as we speak, not seem to be caring at all what is happening in Gaza.  America is going down all the way. But the problem is Israel may go down with it.

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By namer, December 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

dr wu, December 31 at 10:35 am wrote:

“They were supposed to share the land of the “Palestinian Mandate”  -it’s now Israel 80%, Palestinian 20%”

Such is the fate of the losers in the failed war of annihilation against Israel in 1948. What you neglect to mention is that the Palestinian Arabs rejected statehood in 1948 and opted for genocidal war against the Jews. They lost.  C’est la vie. C’est la guerre.

FYI - the actual Palestinian Mandatory Territory included all of what is no called Jordan, wich is 100% Arab, no Jews, and its area is many times larger than that of Israel today.

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By J in LA, December 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Zionism? Labor conspiracy? Ethnic Cleansings? Victims? Rape? Rapists? Occupation? Martyrs? Civilians? Resistance Movements? Credibility? Obama Legacy & Cowardice? Holy Land?

All these accusations have one thing in common: they are all issued by writers woefully ignorant of history, geopolitics, reality, politics and standard definitions of commonly used words in English.  Moreover, there is a strong conspiracy bent to each charge which is usually a sure sign of a 5th rate education.

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By Spiritgirl, December 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

The Israeli’s need to be cut off from any aid or defense spending.  Let us see then how long it will take them to come back to the negotiating table and pursue meaningful talks!

President Obama needs to diminish aid and comfort to the Israeli’s and make sure that meaningful talks happen.  No, both sides will need to give on some issues, but the Israeli’s need to stop guilt-ing the world for the holocaust!  They need to recognize the holocaust they are continuing in their midst!

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By P. T., December 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Israel engages in terrorism—targeting civilians—to try to turn civilian populations against resistance movements.  The same method was tried in the recent war in Lebanon, where Israel even bombed Christian neighborhoods.

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By dr wu, December 31, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Everyone thinks that Obama is the Messiah—the man who will solve all problems and bring paradise to earth. In reality, Obama is a Chicago politician, nothing more, nothing less. (see Jesse Jackson, Mayor Daley, Sr and Jr. and Rod Blagojevich)

We have a disaster in Gaza. Obama is, has been and will be, Pro-Israeli. His chief of staff is an Israeli dual citizen, his foreign policy team in pro AIPAC. So is he. 

Waiting for Obama to resolve the crisis in the Middle East is like waiting for Godot. It aint gonna happen.

What it to be done? Well, Israel feels insecure, as well they should be, and Palestinians feel on the brink of disaster. We need UN/NATO/Someone intervention. We need to “Pull a Kosovo”:

Every day Israel grows larger and Palestine grows smaller. They were supposed to share the land of the “Palestinian Mandate”  -it’s now Israel 80%, Palestinian 20%

Israel and US preach a two state solution but they practice the creeping erasure of the Palestinian people.

People rebel under such desperate circumstances. Let’s hope there is some power to get Israel to stop just like NATO stopped the Serbs from attacking Kosovo.

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By TAO Walker, December 31, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer here talks about the latest eruption of insanity in “the Holy Land” almost as if it’s really not much worse than an outbreak of herpes….and besides, it’s those other guys who have it anyway.  Those here acknowledging in various ways that events and conditions “over there” in fact expose the depths to which this entire “global” “civilization” is rotten to its very core are certainly much more honestly diagnosing the condition their condition is in.

Scheer’s childish concerns about “oil prices” and “the economy” probably arise out of his own admitted addiction to “comfort” and “CONvenience.”  That such knee-jerk self-regard traps him, and others who suffer the same thing, in the make-believe world of trivia and superficiality where they are trying desperately to extend their wretched half-lives, even as the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth moves to reclaim everything our tormentors sought to estrange from us, will likely not dawn-on any of ‘em anytime soon.

What happens in Palestine not only does not stay in Palestine, that “madness,” as Robert Scheer here names it, has long since spread to infect domesticated peoples everywhere.  Scheer’s string of “American presidents” who presumed to “operate-on” the middle east pretending to be “honest brokers” have themselves all been suffering from a most virulent case of the same “global” disease.

What actual basis Robert Sheer or anyone else has for expecting the “INCOMING!!” administration might offer some remedy for what ails them all, seems to this old Savage to consist of nothing but wishful-thinking and thin-air.  After all, just how good a “road map” can people come-up with who’re every-bit as lost as those they’d be presuming to “rescue”?

The domesticated peoples are not going to get out of their self-inflicted predicament unless they swallow their overweening pride and turn to us surviving free wild Human Beings for the Native guidance that we are prepared to provide.  Even then, the actual effort required to shed the chains of their CONtrived ignorance will be all up to all of them to put-forth.

Still think it’s better to stick with “the devil you know,” tame Sisters and Brothers?

HokaHey!

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By dihey, December 31, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Mr. Obama, Sir, if someone was trying to strangle you to death and you have a knife would you not try to kill your assailant? Apparently you are another President Elect with blinders on because your concern for the safety of your daughters is a sort of blind-man’s buff. Be careful that you will not stumble into a political ravine if you have not already.

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By P. T., December 31, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Israel protests loudly about the few civilians in southern Israel who have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza, but Israel mingles Israeli soldiers and reservists amongst the civilian population.  Southern Israel towns are crawling with soldiers and reservists.

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By boredwell, December 31, 2008 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Rahm Emmanuel’s father was a former member of the Zionist terror organization called Irgun. Irgun took their fight to the British Mandate when they bombed the King David hotel, home to diplomats and their families. Killing innocent men, women and children was the last straw, Britain capitulated to terrorists and the rest is history. Emmanuel was not the best choice for chief-of-staff. Even if he is independent and non sectarian, being the son of a former terrorist makes his Israeli POV suspect. He does, afterall, have Obama’s ear. After the creation of Israel, the Algerian freedom fighters adopted Irgun’s “take it to the people” fight. Their tactics, killing and maiming French civilians, won the fight, the French capitulated. Hamas, too, as Israel well knows, is fighting that same fight. National self-determination knows no moral boundaries. But Israel’s recent blockkades and embargos has done more harm to its once powerful PR machine. The portrayal of the state surrounded by slavering, murderous wolves has been redacted to read - Israel as wolf. Both Palestine and Israel are desperate, determined to prove their existence. Israel ignores the UN Security Council’s order to “cease and desist” unilateral hostilities. It refuses to turn Golan over to Syria and will not cede Gaza. It is not part of Israel’s purview to incorporate the idea of hegemony into its political ethos. Obama should be aware that when Israel cries “wolf” it is looking at itself in its convulution of smoke and mirrors. This game must stop. Obama should know that the best way is to limit its financial support until a new, more forward-thinking party takes the stage and commits in word and deed an effort toward progress if not total peace.

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By dick, December 31, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In little Israel some Jews want to kill all Muslims and some Muslims want to kill all Jews. Truman foolishly did not remain neutral but began our own insane plunge into death and destruction, with no end in sight.

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 31, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Instead of “Gaza clouds Obama’s Prospects,” I’d rather put it “Gaza’s Massacre is Obama’s Test of Loyalty and Submission to Zionist Ideology.”

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By ethan fanshel, December 31, 2008 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

your excellent column seems to have touched a raw nerve.  in a long standing intractable conflict marked by winner take all thinking by all concerned, offering a more detached viewpoint can be a thankless task.  on the other hand, who thought northern ireland would ever have a chance.

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By NABNYC, December 31, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Israel does not want peace.  The Israelis have a standard of living comparable to people in the U.K.  The only rationalization they have for demanding the U.S. send them billions of dollars is to “protect” them against the continuing wars.  So Israel keeps the wars going. 

When things are calm, Israel (and its politicians) deliberately start wars such as by provoking Palestinians and threatening to take even more of their land (like Sharon did).

And Israel comes up with the most absurd justification for its refusal to make peace.  The current popular one is that all the Palestinians “must recognize the right of Israel to exist.”  Really.  Why would they?  I wouldn’t.

England occupied Irish land, claimed they owned it, demanded the Irish “recognize” England’s right to the Irish land.  The Irish people refused, which was the right response. 

Israel has no right to exist on stolen land.  If Israel wants some claim of legitimacy, they should negotiate a purchase price for the land they stole which should include rent for 60 years and a purchase at the current fair market value. 

Israel does not want peace because the on-going wars by Israel are making a lot of people very rich.  First Congress votes to send another let’s say $10 Billion to Israel.  Then Israel takes a percentage off the top, launders it back into the U.S. through various front groups and kicks it back directly to the U.S. politicians through their Israel “support” groups and lobbies.  Many of the top politicians in Israel have their secret off-shore accounts where the put the money they take off the top. 

The main losers are the poor non-Europeans in the middle east who are used for target practice by Israel, and the American taxpayer whose money keeps being stolen to fund this criminal enterprise.

Whether Israel and the Palestinians should have one secular state (in which the Europeans would be a minority) or two states is not an issue for the U.S.  They are not our problems.  Our only problem is the fact that our politicians keep giving money to Israel.

If Israel can make peace with their neighbors, they should do so.  If they don’t want to, or it’s impossible, then they have to decide whether to stay in the region.  Or they can leave.  It is of no consequence to your average American working person one way or the other.  Israel is not a part of the U.S.  They want to be an independent country:  they need to start paying their own bills.

It is criminal for Congress to steal money from American taxpayers and give it to Israel every year to fund this European colony located in a third world territory, and existing only due to American tax dollars.

Can anyone explain why a Kansas retail worker should have money taken from them by our federal government (as taxes) under threat of imprisonment if they don’t pay, then sent to Israel to pay for Israeli young people to go to college, or to buy an apartment for some guy from Brooklyn who decided to have an adventure and move to Israel?  Is there any reason Americans are forced to pay for Israeli’s medical care, when our own people have none? 

Is there any reason why the U.S. recently sent an additional $80 million to Israel for what was laughingly called “refugees?”  This is money stolen from U.S. taxpayers and given to Europeans who move to Israel to populate settlements on stolen land. 

There are people in the world who are destitute and could use our help.  Israel is not such a nation.  Israel is instead part of a criminal enterprises set up with the full cooperation of U.S. politicians by which money is stolen from U.S. taxpayers, sent to Israel as “aid” to “protect” Israel (when it’s everyone else who needs the protection), with a big chunk of it laundered back into the U.S. and paid as kick-backs and bribes to our politicians. 

Cut off all aid to Israel.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 31, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Scheer’s piece is sheer nonsense, full of the despicable American liberal equivocating that causes so much unnecessary suffering. It seems that Mr. Scheer is afraid to put the nation of Israel through the standards set forth by Nuremberg tribunals; that it is a crime to follow party line marching orders when murder is involved. His praise of the Clinton crime family is incomprehensible.

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 31, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, December 31 at 2:51 am #

This piece by Scheer is a tissue of bullshit from beginning to end. The US power structure has always backed Israeli imperalism and colonialism, as Obama does. Israel cannot engage in its routine policy of violence without US approval or, at least, complicity.

Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza was defended in the UN by the US, who vetoed a resolution by the security counsel to stop it.  As it usually does.  All the US would have to do to stop the Gaza starvation blockade, and the current aggression, is threaten to cut off aid and trade with Israel.  But, because of the Ziofascist lobby, it cannot do so.
====================
I concur Folktruther! American policy is part of the problem and not the solution. And Obama in particular is already on record as siding with the Israeli colonialist occupiers. His words are being cited by several Israel officials to justify the latest massacre perpetuated against the Palestinian natives.

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By Mary, December 31, 2008 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“[M]utually escalating hostilities”????  Wake up, Mr. Scheer, and read the casualty reports.

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By Louise, December 31, 2008 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Alice sat at the table and asked for a cup of tea. “No room!’” exclaimed the Mad Hater, “No room!”

“Nonsense!” Replied Alice, “There is plenty of room!” To which the Mad Hater and the March Hair and the Mouse in the Teapot exclaimed all at once, “NO ROOM!”

Just then the White Rabbit ran by, muttering, “I’m late, I’m late.”

“Late for what?” Asked Alice as she jumped up to follow.

“No time to explain!” Said the White Rabbit, “I’M LATE!”

As the day wore on, Alice came to realize she was trapped in an up-side down world populated by “to late” and “no room” and other assorted gloom and doom, followed by “Off with her head” and utter hopelessness, not to mention a vanishing cat. So she decided to wake up.

But somewhere out there, in the world of “wonderland,” she can be certain, the utterly hopeless and upside-downers live on. Spouting certainty contradictory to fact. Postulating knowledge based on guess and assuring us all, there is no hope. Whatever will they do if reality turns their certainty on it’s ear?

No matter. Up-side downers always manage to land on their head.

But out here in the real world those of us who aren’t trapped in the never-never land of bad dreams continue to believe. As long as there is breath, there is life. And as long as there is life there is hope. And as long as there is hope there is possibility. So we will wait and see until the day arrives when anything Obama says or does actually has meaningful value.

And, no matter what happens we will try very hard not to wake the up-side downers, up.

Let them enjoy their bad dream. wink

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By eileen fleming, December 31, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Israel targeted Gaza university, bombed mosques, pharmacies and homes.


“These acts made me reflect on some of the commandments given by God to the “Chosen People:” Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house. No one could be chosen by God to annex the land of other people and kill them. Israel made these ethical choices by itself. Israel itself chose to wage its wars to eliminate the indigenous people of Palestine.”-Dr. Akram Habeeb, Assistant Professor of American Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza.

The Rest:
http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1146&Itemid=213

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By nrobi, December 31, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Obama’s legacy is off to a truly awful start. His refusal to speak out about or acknowledge the genocide that is currently occurring in The Gaza Strip, is appalling and cowardly.
Hamas the legal and duly elected government of Palestine, was from the very beginning shunted aside by the Zionist occupiers and the shrub’s administration. All this happening on a platform of having free and fair elections.
President James Carter, Nobel Peace Prize winner, called the zionizt regime an apartheid practing government.
We, the people, are now faced with a president who promised change, but will not deliver on the premise of change in foreign policy, i.e., having Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff has surely committed his administration to more of the same kind of violent massacres that are now occurring.  The only way that change is going to happen in the Middle East, and around the world is if, we the people take back the reins of power and demand from our elected representatives and those around the president, that they have a equitable in their relations with the zionists and the rightful owners of the land, the Palestinians.
Unless and until the people demand change it will not happen. We are now faced with a rogue government selling to a terrorist state, weapons of mass destruction, up to and including bunker busting bombs
with depleted uranium, cluster bombs which by treaty have been outlawed by every other nation, except Israel and the US. These weapons along with the nuclear arsenal that Israel has acquired with the help of the U S, makes this the hotbed of foreign policy and one of the thorniest issues that has ever occurred in the history of the planet.
Barack Obama, is quite silent and sullen on this issue, WHY? Because the people surrounding him, are completely for the oppressive and repressive zionist regime that is committing the worst crimes against humanity since WWII.
Isn’t it ironic, the cause of zionism was furthered because of the tragedy of World War II, the “final solution,” made the case for a Jewish homeland. Yet to retain that homeland the leaders of the Jewish state, must commit the very same war crimes that were committed against the Jewish people. I stand before you today, firmly against the atrocities that are being committed in the name of an outlaw state.
I am part Jewish and do not believe for one moment that Israel is committing righteous deeds in the acts that they are committing to “protect” the land.
Should anyone stand with the Israeli government, the blood of innocent civilians, men, women and children, is on your hands. Myself, I choose to speak out loudly and clearly that no land is worth that kind of price, no people are righteous who commit such atrocities, no government legal that does such things as starvation, wholesale punishment for electing, legally and fairly another government that they do not like.  This is the kind of government that the US policy is protecting. We the people cannot longer stand for this kind of illegality and immorality.

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By Greg Papas, December 31, 2008 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am truly shocked and surprised by Robert Sheer’s commentary on the events of Gaza and its effects on the incoming Obama administration. His usual sharp analysis is clouded and distorted amid a schizophrenic effort to find an equilibrium in blaming both the rapist (Israel) and the rape victim (Palestinians). what happened to you Bob?

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By jackpine savage, December 31, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

Meh, Obama has shown his hand.  His foreign policy will almost certainly be as disastrous as that of his two predecessors…though the empire may not have the strength to last the duration of his administration.

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By Steve E, December 31, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent post Prole. The truth is so refreshing. It seems the world is slowly realizing that Israel has been conning us all along.

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By Shift, December 31, 2008 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

The question is will the American Depression and the needs of the American People trump the needs of Israel?
If not then Israeli hegemony in America will be complete.

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By prole, December 31, 2008 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

This is truly bizarre. It not only does not dig for truth but utterly stands it on its head, starting with the inverted title. It’s not Gaza that clouds Obama’s prospects - it’s Obama that clouds Gaza’s prospects. Obama has made it very plain - not only by his stubborn silence in the face of the premedited murder currently being carried out in Gaza by the Zionazis -  but by explicit statements made at the AIPAC convention last June, during his political pilgrimage to Israel in July and elsewhere that he has no intention of sticking his neck out for Palestine or any other unpopular cause -  or of deviating one iota from the Democratic Party line in its unflinching obeisance to The Lobby. Obama Copacabana is no Eisenhower - he doesn’t have the political guts or personal integrity to stand up to the Zionazi bullies like Ike did. It’s more than a little significant that opportunistic Obama’s first major appointment after he bought the election in November - with very significant zionist funds - was none other than Rahm Emanuel. It’s tantamount to a green light to the jingoistic Jewish State to go on murderous rampages like the one now in progress in Gaza. Not to mention, Joe “I am a zionist” (yep, he really said that) Biden or Dennis Ross or Susan Rice or Anthony Lake or on and on.  Is it any wonder then that Israel chose to turn up the heat now? They know there’s no Eisenhower around anymore to stop them. The outgoing regime is spent and the incoming one is in the palm of their hand. Why not give the democratically elected government of Hamas the same military and economic aid that Israel gets, in order to really “mutually escalate” in kind, instead of bravely trying to exercise their inalienable rights under the UN Charter and international law, of armed resistance to a military occupation, with the scantest resources.  Or better still, why not assemble a ‘coalition of the willing’ and use the same level of force to expel Israel from the illegally occupied territories as was used against Iraq in Kuwait? With the ghastly Hillary Clinton about to become Sec. of State, “the question answers itself”. Bill was Israel’s most loyal presidential henchman - even more than LBJ - and during the Canp David negotiations in 2000 allowed then Israeli PM Ehud Barak to abruptly cancel the talks just when they got serious, and launch another military campaign in the Territories, just as they’re doing today under the direction of the same Barak, now ‘Defense’ Minister. It is with the most grisly irony then, that we can probably expect that Barack & Barak will team up in a few short days to continue, and maybe unilaterally escalate the carnage in Gaza and beyond - with the enthusiastic connivance of another conning Clinton. “Unfortunately, neither [America’s] nor Israel’s leaders believe that a meaningful peace of the sort” - that the Arab League, the UN and all other presidents around the world -“have endorsed is in their interest.” “Maybe Israel’s leaders, most prominently the conquering war hero [cum terrorist] Moshe Dayan, meant it when” he told Palestinians shortly after the inhuman occupation began, ‘We have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads’.
  After all, “most U.S. presidents, with the possible exception of”  George Bush, Sr, and the more honorable Eisenhower “came to view the blank check for Israel as” - politically de rigueur.  This “madness at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has been widely acknowledged as the prime source of a much greater madness now codified as” - Israeli and American state terrorism. With Palestinians severe economic and survival problems, “the last thing we need is” American journalists fretting over “increased Mideast instability, driving up U.S. military expenditures and the price of oil.” It’s the morality, stupid!

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By Folktruther, December 31, 2008 at 3:51 am Link to this comment

This piece by Scheer is a tissue of bullshit from beginning to end. The US power structure has always backed Israeli imperalism and colonialism, as Obama does. Israel cannot engage in its routine policy of violence without US approval or, at least, complicity. 

Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza was defended in the UN by the US, who vetoed a resolution by the security counsel to stop it.  As it usually does.  All the US would have to do to stop the Gaza starvation blockade, and the current aggression, is threaten to cut off aid and trade with Israel.  But, because of the Ziofascist lobby, it cannot do so.

The American people have to understand that US policy no longer represents their interests.  The massive assault by the corporate leaders against the American population the past thirty years has resulted in the enormous class inequality that is continuing to deepen historically.  And Ziofascism has largely coopted US foreign and domestic policy.

The American people are not being ruled, we are being occupied, like the Palestinians. And the function of the mainstream psuedo-progressive truth is to induce rank and file progressives to support this occupation.

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By P. T., December 31, 2008 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

The Labor Zionists were ethnic cleansers right from Israel’s founding.  They also started the 1956 and 1967 wars and built illegal, Jews-only settlements in the occupied territories.

As for Obama, his credibility took a big hit when, during the election campaign, he permanently offered up Arab East Jerusalem to Israel.  Later, he backed off.

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