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Posted on Jan 2, 2009
Rayan
AP photo / Adel Hana

Nizar Rayan chants Islamic slogans as he stands with supporters during a rally for Hamas in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, in 2004.

By Chris Hedges

I often visited Nizar Rayan, who was killed Thursday in a targeted assassination by Israel, at his house in the Jabaliya refugee camp when I was in Gaza. The house is now rubble. It was hit by two missiles fired by Israeli F-16 fighter jets. Rayan, who would meet me in his book-lined study, was decapitated in the blast. His body was thrown into the street by the explosions. His four wives and 11 children also were killed.

Rayan supported tactics, including suicide bombings, which are morally repugnant. His hatred of Israel ran deep. His fundamentalist brand of Islam was distasteful. But as he and I were students of theology our discussions frequently veered off into the nature of belief, Islam, the Koran, the Bible and the religious life. He was a serious, thoughtful man who had suffered deeply under the occupation and dedicated his life to resistance. He could have fled his home and gone underground with other Hamas leaders. Knowing him, I suspect he could not leave his children. Like him or not, he had tremendous courage.

Hamas, he constantly reminded me, began to target Israeli civilians in 1994 only after Palestinian worshipers were gunned down in a Hebron mosque by a Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein. Goldstein was a resident of the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement. He entered the mosque dressed in his army uniform, carrying an IMI Galil assault rifle and four magazines of ammunition. He opened fire on those in prayer, killing 29 people and injuring 125. He was rushed and beaten to death by the survivors.

“Before the massacre we targeted only the Israeli military,” Rayan said. “We can’t sit by and watch Palestinian civilians killed year after year and do nothing. When Israel stops killing our civilians we will stop killing their civilians.” 

Rayan was a theology and law professor at Islamic University in Gaza. He was a large man with a thick black beard and the quiet, soft-spoken manner of someone who has spent much of his life reading. On the walls of his office, black-and-white photographs illustrated the history of Palestinians over the last five decades. They showed lines of trucks carrying refugees from their villages in 1948. They showed the hovels of new refugee camps built after the 1967 war. And they showed the gutted and razed remains of Palestinian villages in what is now Israel.

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Rayan’s grandfather and great-uncle were killed in the 1948 war that led to the establishment of Israel. His grandmother died shortly after she and her son, Rayan’s father, were driven from their village by Jewish fighters. His father was passed among relatives and grew up with the bitterness of the dispossessed—a bitterness the father passed on to the son and the son passed on to his own children. 

Israeli militias in 1948 drove some 800,000 Palestinians from their homes, farms, towns and villages into exile in the West Bank, Gaza and neighboring countries. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” details the deliberate Israeli policy of removing Palestinians from their land. 

“There was not a single night that we did not think and talk about Palestine,” Rayan said the last time I saw him, his eyes growing moist. “We were taught that our lives must be devoted to reclaiming our land.”

Rayan spent 12 years in an Israeli jail. His brother-in-law blew himself up in a suicide-bomb attack on an Israeli bus in 1998. One of his brothers had been shot dead by Israelis in street protests five years earlier. Another brother was expelled to Lebanon, and several more were wounded in clashes.

His sons, according to their father, strove to be one thing: martyrs for Palestine. 

“I pray only that God will choose them,” he said.

Hamas, which assumed power in free and fair elections, insists that the real goal of Israel is to break the will of the Palestinians in Gaza and destroy Hamas as an organization. Since Israel unleashed its air and sea campaign, at least 430 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children, and 2,250 others have been wounded, according to Gaza medics. The bombardment has demolished dozens of houses and raised fears of severe food shortages and disease in the enclave, where most Gazans depend on foreign aid.

“The protection of civilians, the fabric of life, the future of the peace talks and of the regional peace process has been trapped between the irresponsibility of the Hamas attacks and the excessiveness of the Israeli response,” Robert Serry, the U.N. envoy for the Middle East, told reporters in Jerusalem.

The Israeli assault began on Nov. 4, when Israel broke the truce that Hamas had observed for several months. Israel then blocked food supplies delivered by the United Nations Relief Works and World Food Program. It cut off diesel fuel used to run Gaza’s power station. It banned journalists and aid workers from entering Gaza. The U.N. World Food Program called the situation in Gaza appalling and said that “many basic food items are no longer available on the market.” 

All this is being carried out by a modern military against a population with no capacity to resist.

The Israeli leadership has warned that this will be a long campaign and hinted that it may be followed by a ground invasion. Israeli tanks are massed on Gaza’s border. The continued pounding of Gaza and the rising death toll are sure to ignite the rage of Palestinians outside Gaza. Israeli police forces are already positioning themselves to deal with what they euphemistically have labeled “spontaneous terrorism,” meaning public outbursts of support for Gaza that could turn violent. Israeli police used tear gas on Friday to quell demonstrations by Palestinians in annexed east Jerusalem. Four Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets since the latest resumption of violence.


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By Inherit The Wind, February 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Nozferatu, January 31 at 4:02 pm #

Inherit the Wind:

Playing the victim and deflecting your racism won’t help you here pal…you are what you are.
*********************************************

And you are a stereotyping racist.  You are what you are. I can look in the mirror and be at peace that I don’t hate anyone based on their ethnicity, that I judge people by their actions, not their parentage.

Can you do the same, you who categorize all Israelis as if you have met and interacted with all 5 million of them?  Maybe they just act like that around YOU because of YOUR actions.

Report this

By Folktruther, February 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher—Your fanatical belief in mathematics would be shaken if you read the 19th century physicist-psychologists von Helmholtz.  He deomonstrated that 2+2=4 is not generally true, neither logically or imperically.

And Scientific Law and Order is an ideological artifact incorporated into scientific ideology from religion.  It legitimizes the law and order of liberal Democracies the way that the an Absolute Diety of religion legitmated the absolutism of feudal polities.

You fanatics….I just don’t know.

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By Tony Wicher, January 31, 2009 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Frank and Folkie,

Allow me a comment on the subject of fanaticism. I’m a fanatical believer in certain things. Let’s start with logic and mathematics. I believe in them with utter, a priori certainty. Nothing could shake my faith in them. Then there is science. Science is empirical, but my belief in scientific method and objectivity is as unshakeable as my belief in logic and mathematics. Then there certain fundamental ethical principles of justice and human rights to which I adhere with equal fanaticism. I have a vision of a world at peace to which I am fanatically dedicated. These ethical commitments are not empirical; it is a matter of how I define right and wrong.

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By Nozferatu, January 31, 2009 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind:

Playing the victim and deflecting your racism won’t help you here pal…you are what you are.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, January 31, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Nozferatu, January 12 at 9:49 am #

STONECUTTER:

You can call me what you wish…but it’s still better than being a racist pig.
**********************************************

Too bad you are stuck with both.  I saw your stereotyping of all Israeli Jews.  One could easily make up all sorts of insults about Armenians, too.  I won’t because I don’t believe them.

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By Nozferatu, January 12, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

STONECUTTER:

You can call me what you wish…but it’s still better than being a racist pig.

Report this

By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 12, 2009 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

RE: stonecutter, January 11 at 3:25 pm

Do you mean that you use the upper case J, like Baptists, Mormons, and Muslims, but still claim that you are God’s pet humans, or do you mean that Jews are no better or no worse than others?

That identifies racism, pure and simple. Even Nazi is begun with an upper case, so was Negro, so upper case, grammatically correct, does not place the claimant in the common people class.

Jews, especially the Zionist Jews, claim that God favored them over all other human beings and gave them all of what is now Palestine and allowed them to kill or kick out the inhabitants just like in some other scripture references to God given demands to kill the women, children, she asses, and he asses in some towns because some of the inhabitants irritated the hell out of His Godhood. Those of us who see a higher spirit of God, would not honor the gift of a lower god, even if he were irritated.  The contract is in question, not the spelling of Jew in English.

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By stonecutter, January 12, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

@ Nozferatu

You sound like a girl.  Maybe you are a girl.  Or some variation, perhaps. If so, it would explain alot.  Bye

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By Nozferatu, January 11, 2009 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

STONECUTTER:

The last person who should be calling others bigoted is a racist jew who calls everyone a hating anti-semite.  Your racism and trigger-finger hatred is well demonstrated here.  Not much else I need to say. 

The Chosen People?  How much more racist and bigoted can you get hmmmmm???  I don’t here anyone else going around saying they are better than everyone else…do you…you delusional moron?

Don’t try and turn the tables now that you are stuck in a corner as a racist idiot.  You put yourself there with your self-pitying arrogance and self-righteous belief.

I know alot of jews who are very humble, very respectful, and understand the problems that are stemming from their own people’s utterly barbaric actions.  I respect these people very much…some are friends, some are merely acquaintances.

It is a shame that such decent people, who happen to be jews, are trivialized and knocked down by idiots like you who are nothing but hate-mongering, name calling, self-righteous douchebags who’s only one line come back is “anti-semitism.”

You should know, the jews I know can’t stand people like you.  Generally they are labeled self-hating…which very nicely shows what a bunch propagandist bunch some of you really are.

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By stonecutter, January 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

@ Nozferatu

You seem to be lifting whole chunks of your diatribes from one contemptuous email to the next. BTW, the word “Jew” is ALWAYS spelled with a capital J; that’s not arrogance, you bigoted putz, just English grammar. So you’re Armenian…so what?  So I’m a Jew. It’s your filthy prejudice and hate that pisses me off, not your ethnic background.

As for the suffering of everyone on earth being “equal”:  it may be a virtuous philosophical abstraction, but in the real world where I live, societies around the planet seem to place relative value on, say, a convicted child rapist/murderer vs. a highly educated and venerated heart surgeon who has saved many lives, or a college professor, or a medical research scientist, or the innocent child raped and murdered. All deserve due process under the laws of the United States, but if the convicted killer is sent to Pelican Bay for life, his mother may cry for him, but his “suffering” there is likely to cause less chagrin among ordinary, decent people than if the heart surgeon is murdered or maimed by terrorists in a hospital, while operating to save a child’s life. If you don’t realize this civilized distinction, you are either a Maoist, a terrorist yourself or a moron, or all three.

Having said that, Israel’s tank shelling of a hospital in Gaza and killing of children is morally tragic in the extreme, and the recent comment by a HAMAS leader that Israel “killing our children legitimizes killing their children” is logical, if not rational or civilized. It just emphasizes the “vicious circle” of this violence, and the downward spiral away from any rational, mutually protective solution.  The “blame game” in this mess is as useful as U.N. Resolutions.

To suggest, as you have, that all “jews” are “arrogant”, “superior”, “egocentric”, etc., is just inflammatory shit being flung against the propoganda wall of this and other sites. Many Jews in the U.S. and Israel are arrogant and ignorant, and many more are compassionate, empathetic and deeply concerned about ultimate justice for Palestinians, but not at the price of their own or their children’s survival. 

As I said at the beginning of this verbal skirmish, since guys like Rayan have publicly called for the death of all Jews in the Middle East (if not everywhere) and the destruction of Israel, as has Ahmadinejad more than once, it seems to me most rational, decent Israelis and Jews around the world would choose survival over justice for a group of people whose leaders, and many thousands of individuals, want to kill them and their kids because they are infidels…i.e., Jews.

Tell me something, Noz, why did Pol Pot execute all the intelligentsia, all the artists, in Cambodia during that genocide, and keep all the illiterate farmers and goat herders?  Why did Mao do the same during the Cultural Revolution?  Why isn’t Israel bombing the West Bank Palestinians as well, if they want to kill all of them indiscriminately?  Enlighten me.

@ Maani

We seem to agree more than we don’t, but we’re not going to change Nozferatu’s mindset, not a millimeter. This has been a stimulating circle jerk, but I’m “pulling out” after this last shot. Good luck.

@Frank Goodman, Sr.

You’re a bright guy, but one thing about being a fanatic is that you pick a side and stick with it, even in the face of hard evidence that your side is dead wrong. You don’t give a shit about evidence, because you’re on your side out of…fanaticism. Blind faith, stupidity, hidden agendas, duplicity, corruption, or just pathetic gullibility.  What’s the difference?  A fanatic is usually not interested in the logical outcome of their cause.  They’re interested in the rush they get from the fight itself, from the infusions of power shot straight into their brains, and from pure hate. Just another high. To paraphrase Potter Stewart, I know a fanatic when I see one. There are a few here.

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By Maani, January 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

Nozferatu:

While I feel for the Armenian people, you express an unnecessary and historically incorrect ethnocentrism in your response.

Firstly, through all of the political machinations that occurred with the Armenian people - and no matter what the are was called - there always remained a distinct Aremenian “homeland.”  This is not true for the Jews, who, as I noted, lost their homeland to invasion and COMPLETE dispersion.

Second, although there was a significant Armenian disapora, in no instance were Armenian people used as slaves, or discriminated against BECAUSE they were Armenian.  This is not true for the Jews, who were dispersed initially as slaves, and were then persecuted SIMPLY FOR BEING JEWS in EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY they found themselves in (with the sole exception of the U.S.).  The difference here (in many, if not most, cases) may well be because most Armenians were Christians, and so were automatically “accepted” on that level.

Simply pointing out factual history is not “redefining suffering” or making the Jews’ suffering “more important” than any other displaced people, including the Armenians.  But it IS different, and it IS unique in history.  To suggest otherwise is disingenuous, historical revisionism, or willful ignorance.

Peace.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, January 11 at 11:41 am

“I fanatically di[s]agree ... with your view that fanaticism is not helpful…”, “The difficulty of living one’s life as a fanatic is that often I am puzzled as to what to be fanatically for or against, reality being so complicated and all.”

I just removed you from my fanatic list for destruction. I am a fanatic who is fanatical against fanatics. Sometimes it becomes self-destructive and sometimes it causes pain and suffering by those I love. When other fanatics get fanatic about anti-fanaticism, I am in danger.

The reasoning behind anti-fanaticism is that fanatics should be given hefty doses of their own medicine. So I am a fanatic anti-fanatic. I wish death to all fanatics except fanatic anti-fanatics. If you will declare your support for fanatic anti-fanaticism, I will spare you from my wish for death to those who disagree with me. All you have to do is to agree. You don’t have to do anything more. You don’t actually have to kill anyone, or to even cheer when someone dies. Please do not send graphics of dead fanatics, even if killed by other fanatics.

If any fanatic is injured by my fanatic anti-fanaticism, my apologies. After all, I understand commitment to a cause. I have been fanatically committed to human rights ever since I learned that I am a human and that most of my friends and family could be classified as human, or at least present enough morphologic detail to pass for one if not touched or smelled. (Howler monkeys do not qualify, though orangutans, bonobos, and chimps may if they use sign language.)

Hooray for fanatic anti-fanatics!

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By Folktruther, January 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Frank Goodman.  I fanatically diagree that with your view that fanaticism is not helpful, a view I expanded in a paper I once wrote: A PLEA FOR FANATICISM.  No historical task can be achieved successfully without a strong dose of fanaticism, and as a fanatic myself, feel impelled to stand up for my fanatical comrades, many of whom are of course dingbats.

The difficulty of living one’s life as a fanatic is that often I am puzzled as to what to be fanatically for or against, reality being so complicated and all.  The issues are typically so complex that it is necessry to seize on some central aspect of them, mainly because the choice is not betweent the good and bad, but between the bad and worse. 

This engenders taht confusion which is the mortal enemy of fanaticism.  But although I may tend toward this confusion some of the time, it eventially passes,  and I am as fanatical as before.

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By Nozferatu, January 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Maani:

Cry me a river. 

Armenians were forcibly pushed out of their country…that’s why we have to look at Mount Ararat from across a Turkish border.  Armenians have been spread out all over the world thanks to that.  So learn your history.

And regarding the others, it makes no difference what happened to them.  The issue is that they suffered like any other human being. 

Just the fact that you are no trying to redefine what suffering is and that jews somehow paid the higher price for having been displaced is utter nonsense and racism at its best.

Jewish history is neither different or more important than anyone else’s.  Your clear representation of your preferential view of them is demonstrated well here for all to see.  It should be very clear to everyone here now that you see yourselves as superior, more important, and more self-righteous than anyone else.

I couldn’t have represented your racism and propaganda any better than you just did.  Well done.

As Mr. Goodman said so eloquently in his post, stop trying to claim a God-given right to act as though you are better than anyone else.

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By Maani, January 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Nozferatu:

While one could certainly argue that there have been larger near-genocidal atrocities than the Holocaust (e.g., the Native Americans), and while it is true that plenty of other people have “suffered” and been murdered by fascist and/or racist regimes, you miss an important point.

The difference between the Jews and all those you mention (Armenians, Rwandans, Russians, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.) is that NONE of those others were forcibly removed from their home country (indeed, carried away as slaves), the one they had lived in for hundreds (if not thousands) of years; sent into a global diaspora during which they were persecuted in EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY which they found themselves in; and were then the target of the most intentional and deliberate attempted genocide in history.

It is not about the Jews being “better” then any other people who have suffered mass murders or near genocides.  However, only if you - or anyone else - can claim the history of the Jews as a people do you have the right to make the kind of comparison you do.

Peace.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 9, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

RE: stonecutter, January 9 at 7:57 am

Cutter, I don’t believe you commented on my reference to the Islamist and Zionist similarities in Palestine.

I hope that you noted what I intended to convey. Fanaticism of all brands is not helpful. The US media reference to the President of United States as “Leader of the Free World” is an insult to Americans and to the people of the world. It is fanaticism. The reference to United States as ‘the only remaining super-power’ also smacks of fanaticism.

The time for Holocaust ‘reverence’ is also over. When I first heard the vow, “Never again!” I applauded the Jewish spirit lacking in the cattle roundup of Jews in Germany for the ‘final solution’. Little did I realize that they meant something very much different from what I thought it meant. I took it to mean that there would be no more ethnic cleansing schemes and that Jews would join the world to condemn such atrocities against human rights. It has become clear that Jews only mean, “Never again against Jews” and to hell with everyone else. Not only that, but the Jews learned techniques from the Germans that they now use against the Palestinians. Don’t give me the tripe that it does not compare with the Holocaust. Even if it were one tenth or one hundredth of the scale of the Holocaust and the intent by Germany, it is wrong.

Every serious writer to this site has condemned the Holocaust and similar genocidal acts and programs. Jews only remember the slaughter of Jews in various historic context.  The narcissism is an affront to those of us, Jews, Christians, Muslims and others who condemn all attempts at ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

Get on the side of human rights no matter where they are violated. The Holocaust is history as are all other massacres of human beings in support of an ideology of racial or religious superiority. Mankind has perpetrated these programs upon other human beings for generations. Get over it and vow, “Never again to anyone or any group.” Start with the micro-culture of one-on-one relationships. Respect people for who they are as well as for their rights as fellow human beings.

Stop painting everyone who objects to the ethnic cleansing taking place in Palestine carried out by descendants of survivors of the Holocaust, as anti-Semitic. This is an insult to your own intelligence as well as the intelligence of those of us who are against human rights violations by anyone, including Jews, Christians and Muslims.  The time for Jewish ghettos is over. The time for ghettos for Palestinians is over. The time for ghettoization of differences is over.  Join the human race for the common cause and stop trying to claim a God-given right to act as though you are better than anyone else. Holy Land is not a Christian domain and Palestine is not a Jewish domain granted by God of the Hebrews. And it is certainly not a Muslim domain granted by Allah.

We are all human beings “...endowed by our Creator with the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Jews have no right to drive Arabs from Palestine/Israel. Neither did Christians have a right to drive anyone from the Holy Land in the Crusades. Make that a home for peace loving people of all religions living together to enjoy life as God intended us to do.

And to those who have labeled me ‘...anti-Semitic.’ I am not!

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By Nozferatu, January 9, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

STONECUTTER:

Oh stop already with your incessant whining and anti-semitic radar alert.  If you’re pissing into a hurricane, then I’m pissing into the Sun with even less results from people like you.

Enough already with your arrogance filled, egocentric sob stories.  I’m Armenian.  I know exactly what it’s all about to have 1.5 million of my people murdered too. 

So stop your pathetic arrogance about you are more important than the rest of us.  Your labeling of anti-semitism has shriveled away and isn’t working anymore. Racist actions speak louder than words and frankly your actions say it all over there.

No one gives a shit anymore about your suffering over anyone elses?  What…are better than the 800,000 Rwandans who were chopped up by machetes?

Are you better than the 1.5 million Armenians who were starved to death and murdered by Turks?

Are you better than the 20 MILLION Russians who died in WWII also? 

Or the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians who had the only atomic bombs dropped on them in the history of mankind?

Or the millions of Vietnamese people who died in their war with the US?

Everyone is sick and tired of you and your kind milking everyone else for YOUR suffering.  Do you have some sort of patent on suffering?  Special rights? 

Read the Holocaust Industry…written by a fellow jew…of course…a self hating racist jew by your definition…but a jew none-the-less…who I admire and respect very much.

You hope Palestinians vote for a better party?  What business is it of yours who they vote in democratically you two-faced arrogant twit?  Uphold your pathetic democracy and accept what other people do as much you want everyone else to constantly kiss your ass.

I’m glad that your words are final…because I think most of us here are done with your relentless, propagandistic, mono-Israeli, one-sided sack of bullshit.

If you can’t state anything but a bunch of zionist lies written on a leaflet somewhere, then end your drivel.

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By Maani, January 9, 2009 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Tony:

Since you read the articles, I though you might want to see the responses:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/opinion/l09mideast.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

Stonecutter:

Well put.

Peace.

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By stonecutter, January 9, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

@ cyrena

I realize when I’m pissing into a hurricane, and this comment thread is a hurricane of virulent anti-semitism and historical revisionism, masquerading (with a few exceptions) as rational discourse. To refer to my comments as “hysterical propaganda” is to obscure and trivialize the passion of millions of Jews around the world who would interpret your point of view as the first step on a path on which you’d have us gullibly herded back into the “showers” and ovens.

To emphasize that Nozferatu didn’t use the actual word “Holocaust” is grossly disingenuous. When he speaks about “Israel’s sob stories”, “Jewish suffering, Jewish misery, etc., etc. etc.” being “pure fiction and overblown”, he’s not only obviously referring to the Holocaust, but he’s sneeringly trivializing it, and all other Jewish factual history of mass persecution and eradication, as if it never happened. In other words, just another revisionist “Denier”.

For you and your ilk to pay lip service to the Holocaust, as if it’s merely an excuse for Israel and Jews to whine about their past, is merely blind ignorance and pure hate. It betrays profound contempt for the actual suffering and misery you trivialize, because it happened to Jews, and more to the point, a pathetic underestimation of the slogan “Never Again”. 

After reading most of this thread, I can see I stepped into a nest of vipers, however intelligent and articulate some of you are. If you naively believe Obama will back off his support for Israel, or anti-semites like Pat Buchanan or some of you here will convince the American People that Israel should be condemned for defending itself from the likes of HAMAS or Hezbollah, both backed by Syria and Iran, you’re not only anti-semitic, you’re delusional.

I hope ordinary Palestinians finally get a leader of good faith, who isn’t in it for the pathological religious fanaticism, or the corruption, the transparent exploitation of his own people, or the secret Swiss bank accounts filled with skimmed foreign aid—as was Arafat, the little swine—who’ll negotiate for them with an eye toward improving their miserable conditions and future prospects, and recognize that lobbing missiles at Israelis every day for years will not get them what they want and need. Perhaps Abbas is that man. We’ll see.

These are my last words in this thread. Never Again.

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By EJH, January 9, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The genocide in the Gaza ghetto will stop only when the US government decides it is in America’s best interest to make it stop.  I see no sign that Obama will break with 60+ years of tradition to do the right thing for the region and stop supporting the oppresser instead of the oppressed.

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By Maani, January 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

“I would call all four of these pieces well-balanced, and surprisingly so for the MSM. I should say that the Zionist grip on the media seems to be weakening and the American people are beginning to get a little bit of a more honest view of the conflict.”

Let us hope it really does move that way.

Peace.

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By Tony Wicher, January 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

By Maani, January 8 at 9:05 am #

“In a strange turn of events for the MSM, the NYT Op-Ed page has become a hotbed of anti-Israel (or at least sympathetic-to-Palestinian) essays.  There are no less than four today:”

Maani,

I would call all four of these pieces well-balanced, and surprisingly so for the MSM. I should say that the Zionist grip on the media seems to be weakening and the American people are beginning to get a little bit of a more honest view of the conflict.

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By cyrena, January 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

By Nozferatu, to Stonecutter January 8 at 10:25 am #

•  “It is very true that history is viewed through the eyes of the victor.  This case of Israel exemplifies this cliché.  For the last 60 years, people have been pounded…I mean pounded by Israel’s sob stories, jewish suffering, jewish misery, etc etc etc…that it has now become fact…even if much of it is fiction or overblown.”

By Stonecutter to Nozferatu (response)

•  “Judging from your own contempt for Jews, and your outrageous, revisionist attitude toward what you call “overblown” historical references, such as the Holocaust, you betray your own personal obsessive hatred, and there’s no basis on which to reach a rational compromise on the issues.”

Stonecutter (and all I suppose) if you actually read what Nozferatu wrote, he did NOT mention the Jewish Holocaust. (which included several thousand blacks as well, not to mention the multitude of Hitler’s other victims) I re-read it. There was no mention.
Your response is exactly the type of hysterical propaganda that Nozferatu and others are referencing in his claim above, relative to history being viewed through the eyes of the victor. In all honestly, the Jewish Holocaust is the ‘centerpiece’ for all of the hysterical revisions, or other things that Nozferatu describes here; the ETERNAL sob stories of Jewish misery and suffering, and all the rest, and much of it IS overblown!!

That’s not to say that the Jewish Holocaust did not occur, or that is wasn’t a horrific crime that killed many millions of innocent people. ALL Genocides are horrific, and contrary to what we’ve been witnessing over the decades and centuries, all human life is EQUAL.  The revisionist rhetoric of the past 60 years does everything it can to DENY that equality, (suffering and misery are suffering and misery, no more or less determined by the ethnicity or the religion of those doing the suffering). And, the problem is that it’s been a successful effort. Most of the world’s population HAS BEEN FOOLED; or otherwise programmed to view the Jews of the world in this very special light of the forever persecuted, EVEN AS THEY INFLICT THIS SAME LEVEL OF PERSECUTION ON OTHERS!! It is this very propaganda that keeps the cycle of violence engaged, because an true peace can only be achieved when all parties are willing to accept the truth of the historical record.

Quite honestly, (because I have no dog in this fight other than the truth and the success of International Law to resolve this) the onus is now and has always been on Israel. Too much of the Israeli population obviously remains in denial, and continues to put off the obvious reckoning with the truth.

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By Tony Wicher, January 8, 2009 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Re Frank Goodman, Sr., January 8 at 8:00 pm

“It is time for reasonable law enforcement. Israel must obey the Security Council binding resolution or face the consequences. Hamas has everything to win by obeying the binding resolution. The people of Gaza will be the immediate winners, but Israel will be the long term winner by ridding itself of the terrorist mentality of the IDF. Israel can join the society of decent nations and abandon its religious right expectation to own that land in perpetuity.” 

Frank,


I sure hope it works out that way. Notice that all the U.S. had to do was abstain on the Security Council vote; it did not even have to vote for the resolution in order for it to be binding. I think we may see a lot more such votes under the Obama administration. Obama is not going to stand with Israel against united world opinion, especially if opinion in this country starts to change.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

RE: stonecutter, January 8 at 6:27 pm

In the circumstances and actuality of the conflict it is damned hard not be anti-Semitic. It is Jews whose terrorist gangs drove out the Palestinians CA 1948. These same terrorist gangs became IDF after Israel was promulgated on Palestinian land.

It is hard not be anti-Islamist when Hamas advocates an Islamic state of Palestine and wants to drive out all Jews.

It is easier to be pro-human rights and advocate for human rights for everyone. Now that the Security Council has passed a binding resolution to bring the fighting to a halt, there is hope that the State terrorists of Israel, and the Islamist terrorists of Hamas, can be brought to heel. That is what has been required all along. Israel cannot impose its religious mandate upon the world. Hamas cannot impose its religious remedy upon the world.

It is time for reasonable law enforcement. Israel must obey the Security Council binding resolution or face the consequences. Hamas has everything to win by obeying the binding resolution. The people of Gaza will be the immediate winners, but Israel will be the long term winner by ridding itself of the terrorist mentality of the IDF. Israel can join the society of decent nations and abandon its religious right expectation to own that land in perpetuity.

All people can live together there much as descendants of former slaves live with the descendants of the masters, descendants of Native Americans driven from their land, German immigrants, Japanese immigrants in USA. America is not the nation formed in 1776. It is a different place under a constitution still in place applied to all. Israel could be that in the Holy Land as a United Holy Land. Even atheists could live peacefully in a United Holy Land of Palestine, with liberty and justice for all. Within two hundred years most of the hatred and animosity and all the terrorism could be gone. I know, I grew up in segregated America where most Christians were anti-Semitic and everyone hated the Indians. South Africa is well on the way to Truth and Reconciliation.

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By stonecutter, January 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

@ Nozferatu

I’m not sure about your handle, Nozferatu, but I’m answering you before the sun goes down where I am.

Your response to my comment is rife with obvious contempt for Israel, and what sounds to the trained ear like virulent anti-semitism, whether you call it “criticism” or attempt to mask it as rational discourse. I have no way of knowing where it comes from, and whether it’s justified from your perspective and experience, but it is what it is.

Attempting to blame Israel for Rayan’s paranoia and violent fanaticism against Israel is just not credible. Rayan categorically condemned israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation, based on his fundamentalist religious beliefs, a sure indication of megalomania, and his own brand of violent zealotry, not on any past actions by Israel that “shaped” him. He viewed all Jews everywhere as infidels, requiring eradication, especially from the center of the Muslim world.

Judging from your own contempt for Jews, and your outrageous, revisionist attitude toward what you call “overblown” historical references, such as the Holocaust, you betray your own personal obsessive hatred, and there’s no basis on which to reach a rational compromise on the issues. 

For the record, I do not recognize Israel as the “problem in the region”; on the contrary.  I do recognize the tragedy of dead children on either side, but as far as I’m concerned, your attempt to explain, excuse or justify the kind of terrorism that enables some suicidal pyscho to blow up innocent mothers and their children in a pizzeria, or guests celebrating at a wedding, or young teens at a disco, or commuters on a bus, is utterly reprehensible and cannot be defended.  Your words are filled with pure hate…why not be straight about it?

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By PatrickHenry, January 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

By mvhome, January 8 at 11:47 am #

I’m sure those 42 killed in the latest bombing were warned.

If a father or mother, sister or brother of one of those hundreds of slain children strapped on a bomb and got payback in downtown Israel, they would be labeled terrorist.

Look for it.

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By Nozferatu, January 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

“Tactical efforts”

OK…you can stop your drivel now. 

Those “tactical efforts” were no less justified than those of what the Gazan people are trying to do.

If you weren’t blind and closed minded, you’d not have to be told that over and over again to get it.

Please list the warnings Israel has given to the people it’s killed over the past 60 years.  Oh yes…I remember….that’s right…you can’t.

Stop the drivel.

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By mvhome, January 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Nozferatu wrote…

“Jews in the 40’s were no less terrorists and murderers than what you want to call the current Arab extremists today.  But somehow what the jews did in the 40’s to “gain” Israel has been glorified and praised.”

The history of that time period is filled with tactical efforts designed to free Palestine from the control and domination of the British mandate. Before virtually every violent action, ample warning was sent to the target. This included the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946, which housed the headquarters of British Mandate Authorities. Calls prior to the bomb going off were made to the Hotel, the Palestine Post (now the Jerusalem Post)and the French consulate. However, the British ignored the warnings and 91 were killed.

Please inform us when Hamas, Hezbullah, Islamic Jihad, etc. have informed their targets about a forthcoming act of terrorism.

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By Nozferatu, January 8, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Stonecutter,

While I respect your acknowledgment of Israel being the problem in that region, you make it sound like hatred and terrorism are only one sided and driven by people like Rayan.

Rayan is a product of what Israel has done to these people.  People like this do not materialize out of thin air.  They are educated,  they are smart, and they are well informed.  They are fighting for a cause that you may think is unjust but it is the survival of a belief and struggle of a people that is going on. 

Jews in the 40’s were no less terrorists and murderers than what you want to call the current Arab extremists today.  But somehow what the jews did in the 40’s to “gain” Israel has been glorified and praised.

It is very true that history is viewed through the eyes of the victor.  This case of Israel exemplifies this cliché.  For the last 60 years, people have been pounded…I mean pounded by Israel’s sob stories, jewish suffering, jewish misery, etc etc etc…that it has now become fact…even if much of it is fiction or overblown.

It has become such a guttural piece of information that any and all criticism is quickly labeled “anti-semitism”...much as you have been rattling on about. 

Again, while you acknowledge Israel’s role in this, you seem to suffer from the same problem most jews do…they simply do not have it in them to accept the barbarism, racism and hatred they have within themselves for others.

People like Netenyahu…who are in suits and ties…are just as morally bankrupt as any terrorist.  The only difference is usually the Arab terrorists have real balls…the jewish ones, like Netenyahu, have to do their deeds from behind a desk 500 miles away.

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By Maani, January 8, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

In a strange turn of events for the MSM, the NYT Op-Ed page has become a hotbed of anti-Israel (or at least sympathetic-to-Palestinian) essays.  There are no less than four today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08khalidi.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08lichfield.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08Cohen.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08kristof.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

Also, there are reports that Hezbollah has begun lobbing rockets into Israel’s northern cities.

Peace.  (We hope…)

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By Eso, January 8, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Scroll down to the 1st YouTube video:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jan/08/gaza-israel

I call that young woman a heroine and the Jewish soldiers cowards.

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By stonecutter, January 8, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

@ ESO

I can understand those who see the tragic killing of children as unacceptable, despite the fact, cited in Hedges’ article, that even very young Palestinian kids are indoctrinated into the kill-Israelis “martyr” mindset before they can speak in full sentences, including most if not all of Rayan’s children. To be completely callous to the killing of children is inhumane at best, but to suggest Israel is targeting them on purpose is pernicious spin.

These kids grow fast, and before very long, they’re inductees into the rock-throwing, Molotov Cocktail-tossing intifada, and then it’s a short leap to the suicide-bombing terrorist culture, and real sustained lethal threats to Israeli civilians, including women and children. Frankly, Jews in Israel and in the U.S. are fed up living under this constant threat.  Now terrorist orgs and sympathetic websites inside the U.S. are advocating attacks on Jews anywhere, including right here in our own communities. We’re fast headed back to the 20th century nightmare.

I for one don’t believe in the “boiled frog syndrome”, where we’ll sit by while stuffed shirts and ineffectual diplomatic windbags argue about “proportionality”, and watch the terrorists incrementally raise the stakes against Jews around the world until we’re on the precipice of a new Holocaust.  No thanks. Repeat: Never Again.

It’s been reported that Israel and HAMAS may come to the table. While terrorist animals posture to the world, cooler Palestinian heads may recognize the futility of a continuing military confrontation with Israel. If Abbas can retain his legitimacy as THE negotiator for the Palestinians, which Israel has sought all along, the psychos in HAMAS can be partially neutered, if not completely wiped out. The idea that the free election of HAMAS in Gaza was an exercise in “democracy” is intellectual drivel, the kind of kindergarten democracy that Bush criminally foisted on the Middle East as a goal of “nation-building”, another neocon pipedream. 

Muslims will fight and kill Jews, fight and kill Christians and fight and kill other Muslims until the end of time…the past centuries validate this truism.  Perhaps Islam is a benign faith in some places on this planet, but NOT in the Middle East.  For Rayan to say the only reason HAMAS has systematically targeted Israeli civilians, is because of the crazed actions of ONE JEW—Baruch Goldstein in Hebron 15 years ago—is the antithesis of “proportionality”.  It’s vile sophistry and the same kind of dark propaganda that was churned out by Dr. Goebbels during the Third Reich.

Perhaps you are young. I don’t know your grasp of history, especially in the context of this chaotic mess. I do know that many of us who’ve lived during the last half of the 20th century, and have been witness to the travails of Israel in its struggle to survive the efforts of its neighbors to annihilate it, are rock solid in our support, and belief in the right of Israel to exist, and to defend itself.

At this late date, the artificial notion of “proportionality” be damned.

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By Sodium, January 8, 2009 at 5:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems to me all of those characters who repeat the slogan “Never Again” are full of hatred not towards the Palestinians/Arabs,the poor and the underdogs,but also towards the rest of humanity that disagrees with what the Zionist criminals are doing in Gaza.It has happened that Chris Hedges is one of the humanity that refuses to shy away from being candid,from being honest,from being transparent,from adhering to the high moral ground,from expressing all of that in eloquence and empathy for the enduring people of Gaza.I admire all that in Chris Hedges.

I say all of the above not as a liberal or conservative(I am neither),but as a human being who cares to see the destructive Zionist ideology rejected by Jews and none Jews alike so that Arabs and Jews start baby set for each other all over again.That can only happen when the misguided Zionists de-Zionized themselves and become more Jewish.

Blaming Chris Hedges for the ugliness of Zionist genocide,slaughter and crimes against humanity in Gaza will not wash.

On the contrary,I cannot thank Chris Hedges enough for the moral high ground,honesty,candor,empathy and eloquence rarely matched by others,in all of his writings.

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By Eso, January 8, 2009 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Holy cow, Stonecutter, we hear you. Indeed, never again will the world believe the Israelis. Nizar Rayan’s crimes, outside of his expressing a wrong headed support for the activities of terrorists, were erased when Israeli jets killed not only him, but his four wives and 11 children, and Israeli tanks knowingly sent shells into a UN school and killed 40 children. Yes, and no fire came from the school. I mean, Holy cow, what shutzpah, what a display of a violent mindset at work. If Nizar Rayan participated directly in terrorist activities, he got his comeupance. However there are plenty of people, myself including, who believe that the Israeli attack on Gaza is not only disproportionate (many statesmen have said so), but constitutes state terrorism at its most blatant.

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By stonecutter, January 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

I’ve often been impressed and absorbed by Chris Hedges’ reporting and affecting prose. However, in this latest grotesquely misguided and offensive effort to turn Nizar Rayan into some sort of cultivated, rational martyr, instead of the paranoid sociopath he actually was, makes me question Hedges’ motives.  It’s very hard, after reading this piece, not to see him as just another left-wing anti-semite masquerading as a thoughtful journalist. 

This guy Rayan is quoted in this piece as stating flatly that the existence of Israel is “impossible” and an affront to his God, this after 60 years of its defensive existence.  To suggest once again that prior to this latest military crisis, the human shithole that is Gaza is completely and utterly the one-dimensional fault of Israeli domination; the HAMAS rockets openly fired on Israeli civilians should somehow illogically be tolerated by Israel; and there has been no decades-long history of Arab World ostracism of the Palestinians, let alone proactive provision of a suitable homeland and civilized society for these dispossessed people—instead of the hellish conditions in which they have been forced to live for so long—is sophistry of the worst kind.

The essential consuming hatred and cellular anti-semitism residing in Rayan and his children, however tragic their deaths, multiplied by tens of thousands of other young, illiterate, impoverished Palestinians, passed down to them by their equally obsessed parents and grandparents, living in desperate conditions, is the toxic fuel that has kept and will keep this conflict boiling indefinitely.

As an American Jew, I have tried to consider the “other side” of the argument most of my adult life. I don’t recall hearing any prominent Israelis, ever, stating that any Arab Nation surrounding them should cease to exist, and all its people be murdered, wiped from the face of the earth. I see in Israel an enlightened, modern, democratic society that has endured 100 years of continual threat to its existence, both before and after sovereignty.  I see in some of its Arab neighbors (not all) atavistic barbarism, petrie dishes for tribal, religious and anti-semitic hatreds, and a barely civilized, impoverished quality of life for ordinary citizens. The “breeding” (the insanely high birthrate in the Palestinian territories is not lost on this point) of an endless loop of acute poverty, hatred, ignorance and monumental incompetence and corruption in an essentially terrorist government(HAMAS) is about as counter-productive to even the dream of peace as one rational human being can imagine.

Never Again.  Enough is enough. The Rayans of the world, and the tragic collateral damage their elimination requires, is a price the civilized world should and must pay for protecting and endorsing Israel’s legal, moral and material continuation in some eventual form of peaceful co-existence.  Let the terror martyrs be martyrs…let the IDF help them along in their psychotic quest for celestial virgins and immortality.  Mr. Hedges, STOP trying to put lipstick on the pathological terrorist that was Nazir Rayan.  I will not read your stuff the same way again. I no longer trust your words, or your journalistic objectivity.

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By PatrickHenry, January 7, 2009 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

Here’s mine:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=29628

Where’s yours?

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By PatrickHenry, January 7, 2009 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

By Nozferatu, January 7 at 10:07 am #

Thank you for one of the best posts I’ve read here in awhile….very concise and more importantly, true.

By Howard, January 6 at 2:26 pm #

I dispute the charge you make regarding the wrecking of greenhouses.  The Israelis are however responsible for the ruination of centuries old orchards and olive groves in occupied land.

By Maani, January 7 at 11:03 am #

Please cite your source for these Pals comming forward.  Apart from Israelis being liars they have been known to bribe as well.  I’m sure their PR arm (which is considerable) is working overtime to get themselves out of the shitstorm of world opinion they now find themselves in.

Time for the U.S. to curtail the outsourcing of sensitive phone and email contracts like Amdocs and Infosys which the Israelis abuse and the NSA warns us about.

I hope other nations Intel agencies send the Palestinians modern anti-air and anti-armor weapons soon.

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By Ctos, January 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

““It is known that Israelis regularly target Palestinian civilians and use them as human shields.”

It is equally known that Hamas deliberately sets up rocket launch sites in civilians areas, using their own people as human shields - and then cries “Foul!” when civilians are killed.

Oh, and by the way, those Hamas rockets?  Exactly what were THEIR targets?  The question is rhetorical: Hamas has ALWAYS targeted Israeli civilians; they have never even CLAIMED to be targeting Israeli military targets.”

You have it all wrong. Each rocket is intended for Ehud Olmert but due to the Palestinians lack of sophisticated weaponry they still have not got him!

In any case, Hamas rocket attacks are ALWAYS a response to Israeli violence. You know full well Israel violated the cease fire in November and Hamas then choose not to honour it any further; which is the logical choice when the other party does not respect the cease fire.

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By CJC, January 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nozferatu

You headed a list of Zionist quotes “inhuman racist ideology”. Is that substantially different from “hateful”?

For example
“[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.”
and
“We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.”

And mvhome, citing an article in the Atlantic, quoted Nizar Rayan as saying, “Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God.” and “They (Jews) are a cursed people.”

In current American parlance and even legally, speech like that is called “hate” speech.

Are we disagreeing or just misunderstanding each other?

I was even shocked by those quotes, especially the ones from Israeli leaders. My point is that when such speech is not self-censored there is no hope for reconciliation any time soon.

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By Nozferatu, January 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

CJC:

Hateful?


I’m sorry you see historical facts as hateful.  Perhaps you need to take the time to learn about history before you think such statements are hateful.

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By CJC, January 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nozferatu and mvhome both reporting hateful comments - Jews/Israelis against Arabs and Muslims and Nazir Rayan and others against Jews.

As long authoritative and educated persons on either side are unashamed to speak so ignorantly and violently about the other side there is no hope of peace or any kind of reconciliation.

It reminds me that all the conflicts in the greater Middle East are really religious wars. The three monotheisms are attacking and killing each other because they see the “enemy” as apostates. The Jews call themselves the “chosen” people. The Christians think they are the true believers because they follow the teachings of the Palestinian Jesus. And the Muslims are convinced of their superiority because they follow Muhammed, the last prophet to whom the common God - by whatever name - spoke directly. How many oceans of blood have been shed over the millenia? (And of course both Christians and Muslims have internal sectarian differences that provide excuses for further bloodshed.)

To get back to the current bloodletting in Gaza, beyond the usual lopsided kill ratio - yesterday I read 5 Israelis and 550 Gazans had died (that’s 110:1) - since Israel is the nation state in this fight and has vastly superior military and other resources one has to ask why they refuse, as they have since 1948, to act as the responsible grown-up, to understand that the Palestinians have real grievances and to make a real deep concerted effort to end this murderous conflict. Does Israel believe it can avenge the horror of the Holocaust? (Which was not inflicted on them by Muslims or Arabs.) Does more bloodshed raise the dead of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen etc etc etc? And the same questions can be put to Hamas etc - do rocket attacks and suicide bombers protect Palestinian interests? Where are the strong and loud voices for a lasting truce?

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By Maani, January 7, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Apparently, Hamas’ propaganda armor is cracking.

At least four Palestinians have now come forward - two children, a mother, and an older man (all unrelated) - to state that Hamas WAS firing rockets from the block on which the UN refuge was located. The chldren both claimed that they were even asked by the Hamas militants to help build a sandbag wall around the mortar area.

If, as Patrick Henry keeps repeating, the IDF and the Israeli government are proven liars, this is no less true of Hamas.

Peace.

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By Nozferatu, January 7, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

What has become of a noble aspiration?

“The state of Israel will . . . foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex . . . ; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”             

(Paragraph 13 of Israel’s Declaration of Independence ) 


Yeah…....riggghhhhhttttt.

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By Nozferatu, January 7, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Let’s review:

Inhuman racist ideology: Zionist quotes:

“Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment… Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.”  Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, referring to the Arabs of Palestine, Complete Diaries, entry for June 12, 1895 .

“In our country there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force.”  Professor Ben-Zion Dinur, Israel ‘s First Minister of Education, 1954, from History of the Haganah, 1956.

“We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”  Israel Koenig, ‘The Koenig Memorandum,’ 1976.

“[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.”  Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset quoted in New Statesman, June 25,1982 .

“We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re?election of General Shlomo Lahat as mayor of Tel Aviv, 1983.

“We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel ..... We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours ... When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle.”—Israeli Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot, 13 Apr 83 and New York Times, 14 Apr 83 .

“I did nothing for the last 20 years. For Jewish Jerusalem I have done things. For East Jerusalem ? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Actually, we did build the sewerage system and improve the water system. And do you know why? I’m sure you think we did it for their benefit. No way! We did it because we heard about cholera cases, and the Jews feared the spread of an epidemic.”    Teddy Kollek, former mayor of Jerusalem .

“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”  Rabbi Ya’acov Perin in his eulogy at the funeral of mass murderer Dr. Baruch Goldstein, cited in the New York Times, 28 Feb 94 .

Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, head of the Kever Yossev Yeshiva in Nablus , stated: “The blood of the Jewish people is loved by the Lord; it is therefore redder and their life is preferable.” The killing by a Jew of a non-Jew . . . is considered essentially a good deed, and Jews should therefore have no compunction about it.  Yitzhak Ginsburg, “Five General Religious Duties Which Lie Behind the Act of the Saintly, Late Rabbi Baruch Goldstein, May his Blood be Avenged.”

“Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours . . . Everything we don’t grab will go to them.”  Ariel Sharon , then Israeli Foreign Minister, Agence France Presse, 15 Nov 1998 .

Israeli Minister Rechavam Ze’evi will push for the invasion of Palestinian-ruled towns to end the resistance. He “wants to cleanse the West Bank of Palestinians. The Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza have to be transferred…” He also wants the army to unleash attack dogs on Palestinian demonstrators.  Source: Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, March 7, 2001

During a sermon, the influential Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef exclaimed: “May the Holy Name visit retribution on the Arab heads, and cause their seed to be lost, and annihilate them.” He added: “It is forbidden to have pity on them. We must give them missiles with relish, annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones.”  Source: Ha’aretz April 12, 2001

Deputy-Minister Boim and Knesset-Member Hazan declared: “All Muslims are murderers by birth.  It is in their genes.”

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By mvhome, January 7, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

An interesting piece written by J Goldberg of The Atlantic from an interview with Nizar Rayan…

He [Nizar Rayan] was one of the more Islamically-learned Hamas leaders I’ve met.
¨      He never quite said so, but I could sense that he thought of Abu Mazen and the other leaders of the Palestinian Authority as traitors not only to the cause of Palestine, but to Islam itself. “You cannot be loyal to Allah and to the CIA at the same time,” he said of his P.A. enemies.
¨      This is what he said when I asked him if he could envision a 50-year hudna (or cease-fire) with Israel: “The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don’t need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel.” There is no chance, he said, that true Islam would ever allow a Jewish state to survive in the Muslim Middle East. “Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God.”
¨      I asked him if he believed, as some Hamas theologians do (and certainly as many Hezbollah leaders do) that Jews are the “sons of pigs and apes.” He gave me an interesting answer that reflects a myopic reading of the Koran. “Allah changed disobedient Jews into apes and pigs, it is true, but he specifically said these apes and pigs did not have the ability to reproduce. So it is not literally true that Jews today are descended from pigs and apes, but it is true that some of the ancestors of Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, and it is true that Allah continually makes the Jews pay for their crimes in many different ways. They are a cursed people.”
¨      What are our crimes? I asked Rayyan. “You are murderers of the prophets and you have closed your ears to the Messenger of Allah,” he said. “Jews tried to kill the Prophet, peace be unto him. All throughout history, you have stood in opposition to the word of God.”
See the entire article and more on http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/

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By Nozferatu, January 7, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

It’s funny…

When I read the posts of Pro-Israeli people here, their comments are so pathetically underwhelming compared to the ones regarding the victims in Gaza.

So much so that when I read them, it really is funny.

People like MVHOME…talking about greenhouses being taken away, 8 years of missiles, etc etc etc.

In the face of a kill ratio of 5, 10, 20 to one, jews have nothing to complain about.  The gaul of these people is incredible. 

They displaced over a million people, they did it using terrorist and illegal tactics and smuggled weapons (but of course when they do it, it’s called fighting for freedom and resistance…oh the hypocrisy is stinging).

After all this, they have the audacity to turn around to the world, whine like little children about their plight, and at the same time backhandedly destroy and suppress the very people they displaced 60 years ago.

And now, when resistance fighters try and fight back because they are sick of jews telling them when to work, how much to eat, when to bath, how to walk, talk, and live, jews are flabbergasted at such preposterous and outrageous acts.  How dare the Palestinians stand up for themselves….that’s a privilege entitled only to jews and Israel.  Correct?

I admire Chris Hedges for writing an article about a person who was an intelligent, thoughtful man shaped by the fascist and barbaric and animal way of life the jews have created for themselves in the land they claim is theirs by virtue of a stupid book written by jews.  The convenience is obvious.

The problem with Nizar Rayan was that he was smart.  He knew what Israel is up to…and he fought back.  Suicide bombing be damned….it’s the only defense they have.  When you are truly desperate….and concept Americans have no clue about…desperate for your life daily, your family, etc., then you will understand. 

So yes..Nizar Rayan was intelligent, educated, well-versed…he understood the conflict from the root…and that is a real danger to jews and Israel.  Because all this fighting and propoganda is to basically maintain the status quo for jews for the world to see….that their suffering is more important, that their established state is legal and humane, that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

They’ve been drilling those lies and propaganda into peoples’ heads for well over half a century now.  It has become entrenched in our psyche that Israel/Jewish = righteous, Arab/Islam = subhuman/bad.

It is this weapon they use that has done more harm than any bomb they drop.  It’s no wonder jews have a stronghold in entertainment, news, media, politics, and government..in foreign countries.  It is no wonder that when you look at the actors, directors, producers, movie company CEOs…they are all Weinstein, Epstein, Bernstein, Goldberg, Goldblum, Seinfeld, etc etc etc….

So this has been going on for a long time.  No one talks about it…everyone is mum about it.  Everyone is too afraid…for whatever God-saken reason…like Brando when he had to apologize to Rabbis when he said on Larry King that jews control Hollywood…no shit Marlon.

Perhaps the silver lining in all this is that thanks to better uncontrolled communication, such issues that are now arising Gaza will expose these people who they really are.

And unfortunately, jews who do know and don’t like what is going on will be swept away as well in the coming winds of change sooner or later.

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By mvhome, January 7, 2009 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

8 years with 10K missiles landing in residential Sderot. Where were the human rights activists while this was happening?

8 years with 10K missiles being purchased rather than investing in infrastructure and social services. Where were the human rights activists while this was happening?

Israel withdrew from established and working Gaza settlements with proven productivity opportunities. Gazans took over by destroying the productive functioning greenhouses. Where were the human rights activists while this was happening?

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By CJC, January 7, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are nearly 60 years of bloodshed leading to hatred leading to more bloodshed.

Israel’s overwhelming attack on Gaza is appalling. But men like Nizar Rayan are appalling too. He may have been thoughtful and well read and an interesting conversational partner. But he had 4 wives - I know it’s permitted but it’s not respectful of women in any way - and 11 children (not only is the world crowded, Gaza is overpopulated), some of whom had already expressed a desire to be “martyrs” - ie continue the cycle of hatred and retribution. This is not praiseworthy. It’s tragic that a family of 16 died, but Rayan and others like him are not innocent. They contribute to the cycle of death and neither side seems seriously interested in stopping the killing short of wiping out the other side.

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By teresa smith, January 7, 2009 at 5:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All of the posts here provide positions supporting either side.  While I have a tendency to side with Palestine (I seem to root for the underdog), as long as the tenet of both sides is, I’ll quit when they quit, the problem will exist.  A Hamas leader needs to step up and say enough is enough, realizing violence only begets violence.  If you think this is a simplistic solution, good!  That is all it would take and it is a simple start to a complex problem.  That I get.  You can glorify leaders of all sides till there is no more to say but until the violence ends and each side realizes, that is not the answer, nothing will change and the stronger force will prevail.  Is that really what Hamas intended?

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By PatrickHenry, January 7, 2009 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

By mmadden, January 7 at 3:27 am #

Like I said in a previous post, the IDF and the Israeli government are proven liars.

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By mmadden, January 7, 2009 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

As long as terrorists use civilians as shields there will be civilian casualties.

According to the news

“Israel’s military said its shelling at the school — the deadliest single episode since Israeli ground forces invaded Gaza on Saturday after a week of air bombardment — was a response to mortar fire from within the school and said Hamas militants were using civilians as cover.

Two residents of the area who spoke with The Associated Press by telephone said they saw a small group of militants firing mortar rounds from a street near the school, where 350 people had gathered to get away from the shelling. They spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.”

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By mmadden, January 7, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

“His sons, according to their father, strove to be one thing: martyrs for Palestine. 

“I pray only that God will choose them,” he said.”

Hey I guess his sons were chosen for martyrdom. Nizar Rayan would be happy if he were still alive.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

People with brains are invited to reflect on the following:

“They don’t repair a tire on the Sabbath, but starting a ground terrorist offensive and massacring children, women and men is no problem!”

Peace to warriors for peace!
No Peace for supports of Israeli terrorism!

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By nahida, January 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

update for Gaza hospital

Dear all
I have received this email from a friend

written by:
The Rev. Charles Cloughen, Jr.
President Emeritus, American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

Quote:“I was able to speak to Suhalia Tarazi , Director of the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza this morning.

I took notes and I am sharing with you as best I can her situation in Gaza.

” The situation is terrible. The injured are in their homes and unable to get to the hospital and the International Red Cross can’t reach them. Gaza is now divided into three areas. 20% of the staff including 2 doctors are now unable to get to the hospital.  Unfortunately a bomb went off in Jerusalem Square, right outside the hospital, only 30 meters away and it blew a hole in the hospital wall.

One of the aid’s husbands was unable to reach his children. Later he discover that 1 child died and other members are all injured because a bomb destroyed a neighboring building.

The 19 year old son of one of the surgeons volunteered to work in the government ambulance. He was killed when his ambulance was hit by a missile. Three ambulances have been hit by Israeli missiles , five have died.

There is no electricity and no water. Fortunately the International Red Cross has provided Ahli Hospital with some food.

It is terrible and not safe to walk on the street.

After the invasion , Ahli Hospital on Sunday received 17 cases. Twelve were admitted to the hospital and 2 to government hospitals.

Today Monday morning 5 cases were received with 4 admitted for surgery. One doctor has slept in the hospital for the last 4 nights. Our staff is now working 2 -12 hour shifts, two shifts no days off.

Streets are covered with blood. - bloody time.

Staff members have taken people in their homes, with 20-30 people for refuge.  The ambulance driver has 80 living in his home.

We all have received leaflets and telephone calls ” you have to leave your home, we will attack it”  Where to go for the 700,000 people in Gaza City?”

I feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to speak to Suhalia and I have promised her that I will tell her story and the story of the innocents.  Thank you for all you are doing to circulate these messages. Please feel free to forward them the family and friends.

I offer her hope and encouragement and our commitment to help, with prayers and financial support.”


The Rev. Charles Cloughen,

.

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By Tony Wicher, January 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

By Maani, January 6 at 10:08 am #

Sodium:

“Yes, Maani, I know that my hero, Gandhi, will not agree with me because he did not know the real nature of the barbarity of the hardcore zealots the oppressed Palestinians have to endure.”

Are you suggesting that the Israelis are MORE “barbarous” than HITLER and his loyalists?
—————————————————————————-
Maani,

No, he is suggesting that the Israelis are more barbarous than the British Empire which Gandhi was resisting. I would say he is probably right.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

RE: Maani, January 6 at 1:16 pm

“You MUST be kidding!  Am I supposed to buy that a site called “Palestinian mothers” is going to be “even-handed” in its reporting?  Of COURSE the (cherry-picked) photos of damage from Hamas rockets are going to make it seem like they are “nothing.” Give me a break.”

No. Not even-handed. The carnage caused by Israel is by no means describable in any even-handed way.

The Qassam rockets seem accurately depicted given the record of their accuracy and effectiveness. The full effect of the Qassam rocket is in the pre-traumatic stress caused by the totally random nature of the product. It could strike quite indiscriminately. Just like Florida lightening. A rich businessman on a golf course is a vulnerable as a school child boarding a school bus. If they could be used to target Dimona nuclear site, most of Israelis could relax. If the Qassam could penetrate the nuclear reactors and create a nuclear waste like in Ukraine, they could move out and no Palestinian would move into their homes for about a hundred years or more.

I recommend that Israelis ignore the Qassam rockets and proceed to make peace with the world and live in peace and harmony with human rights, justice and safety for all. I predict that as soon as the peace agreement is signed and the ink dry enough to copy, Qassam and suicide bombers would disappear.  As soon as every Palestinian is compensated for the home lost in the land theft, most Jews could continue to live where they are and even have a feast. As soon as every Palestinian has signed a purchase agreement on a property anywhere in Palestine/Israel, Jews could relax and start living to enjoy life for the first time in their lives. As soon as the IDF abandons the intent to expand Israel to include Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, Jews can go anywhere in the world to make a decent living and visit the land God gave us all any time they wish.

On the other hand, Israel could continue to fight separate state solutions and let the Arab population increase until over 50% of all Palestine/Israel is Arab and elect a representative government to rule over all the people with liberty and justice for all. Then everyone there could eat al the tabouleh and falafel they want and attend the synagogue, mosque or church of their choice. I estimate that the carnage, as horrible as it is, will not prevent the overtake of the limited Jewish birthrate soon. On the other hand if Jews could just enjoy their life without worrying about suicide bombers and Muslims, might enjoy sex more and increase the birthrate to prevent a takeover. They would have more time for the bedroom and could, with the money saved, build more bedrooms for the additional kids they birth. And without the threat of suicide bombers, the kids could grow up to produce even more Jews for generations to come. God said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Do it, Jews!

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By nahida, January 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

There are NO civilians in the zionist entity (except children)

Ever man and woman over the age of 18 is either a soldier or a soldier in reserve

They serve in the army for 2-3 years, and they can be called at any point, until they retire

This barbaric terrorist entity of zion is NOT a state with an army…

It is an ARMY with a state

.

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By troublesum, January 6, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

For a couple of days the Israelis dropped leaflets telling people in Gaza to leave their homes, so they went to schools maintained by the UN.  Today the Israelis started bombing the schools knowing that people had gone there for refuge.  What more needs to be known about the purposes of the Israelis? 

Haaretz has reported that the Israeli defense ministry has been planning the assault since the very day they started negotiating for the cease-fire six months ago.  So much for the rocket attacks having anything to do with their decision.  They have wanted to invade Gaza I think since the day Hamas won the election. 

Everyday that Bush and Obama continue to condone what is happening means worse terror the next day for the Palestinians.  No doubt both of them were well informed of Israel’s intentions far in advance of the terror seeing that it was being planned six months ago.  That was about the time Obama visited Israel.

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By PatrickHenry, January 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

By Howard, January 6 at 2:26 pm #

Israel never left the Gaza, they continually blockade (act of war) starve, deny food, water and medicine and refuse to recognize the democratically elected government there.

Currently there are millions of people world wide who oppose what the Israelis are doing, 700,000 in Turkey alone who demonstrated. Public opinion in the U.S. is gaining momentum despite the zionist controlled media.

Bush is for the Israeli aggression which tells me it has to be wrong and despite Israeli claims of snipers being amongst the innocents they kill, I know for a fact that throughout history that the Israelis are world class liars, remember the Liberty, Pollard, 9/11 dancing arts students etc.

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By Howard, January 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Free Israel from Hamas’s class 4 leadership.  Who destroyed the multi-million greenhouses and accompanying business left to them when Israel left in ‘05 in order to use the land it sat on to send missles into Israel. Instead of taking the first economic step on their own to help their people and let a burgeoning business continue to grow.

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By Eso, January 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

A blog worth visiting to read about today’s events in Gaza. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jan/06/gaza-israel

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By Maani, January 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

nahida:

“We have heard the Palestinian side of the story, as you can see from the images of the link below. Now, let’s see the other side of the story, shall we? The carnage, the destruction, the annihilation, the pain, and the horror caused by qassam rockets.”

You MUST be kidding!  Am I supposed to buy that a site called “Palestinian mothers” is going to be “even-handed” in its reporting?  Of COURSE the (cherry-picked) photos of damage from Hamas rockets are going to make it seem like they are “nothing.” Give me a break.

Ctos:

“It is known that Israelis regularly target Palestinian civilians and use them as human shields.”

It is equally known that Hamas deliberately sets up rocket launch sites in civilians areas, using their own people as human shields - and then cries “Foul!” when civilians are killed.

Oh, and by the way, those Hamas rockets?  Exactly what were THEIR targets?  The question is rhetorical: Hamas has ALWAYS targeted Israeli civilians; they have never even CLAIMED to be targeting Israeli military targets.

Peace.

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By Ctos, January 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Howard,

It is known that Israelis regularly target Palestinian civilians and use them as human shields.

It is known that you are a mindless twit.

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By nahida, January 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

The Other Side of the Story!


We have heard the Palestinian side of the story, as you can see from the images of the link below:

Now, let’s see the other side of the story, shall we?

The carnage, the destruction, the annihilation, the pain, and the horror caused by qassam rockets:

http://www.palestinianmothers.com/forum/topics/the-other-side-of-the-story

.

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By Howard, January 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

It has been known that Hamas rockets sites have been set up in schools and used as sites for launching said missles.

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By Folktruther, January 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Israel has now acknowledged that they are deliberately targeting UN schools and facilities.  They have killed people in at least three so far. 
The always claim that there is firing from the faciliaties where people go to escape the war.  Israel doesn’t allow the media in Gaza, and have a history of massacre.

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By Folktruther, January 6, 2009 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

It should be emphaisized that the shrapnel that killed all the people in the UN sschool in the piece given by Robert is an anti-personell weapon. It is INTENDED to kill people.

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By Sodium, January 6, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:Maani,January 6 at 10:08am

Maani,

Yes,the Zionist Israelis are worst than the Nazis.In fact,much worst.The atrocities and the genocides committed by the Nazis lasted 17-18 years.The atrocities and the genocides committed by the Zionists against the Palestinians have been going on for the last sixty years and I repeat for the last sixty years and counting.If you have not recognize this solid fact yet,you are the one who lives in a different world,not me,body boy….....

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By smhb, January 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let me correct your distorted view.

Free the ME from zionist criminals who are thiefs, murderers and liars. That also includes their delusional and criminal supporters.

Free the ME from imperial control and plunder.

Free the ME from corrupt and tyranical regimes that are imposed on the population by the empire.

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By Eso, January 6, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

“Thirty percent of the victims are children under the age of 10, and Gaza is now a concentration camp.”
—Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria to Nicolas Sarkozy, French president.—Guardian.

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By Robert, January 6, 2009 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

‘40 killed at UN school’ in Gaza

By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reuters

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


“Israeli tank shells killed at least 40 Palestinians today at a UN school where civilians had taken shelter, medical officials said, in carnage likely to boost international calls for a halt to Israel’s Gaza offensive.


An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was looking into information on the incident at al-Fakhora school in Jabalya refugee camp.

People cut down by shrapnel lay in pools of blood on the street. Witnesses said two Israeli tanks shells exploded outside the school, killing at least 40 civilians - Palestinians who had taken refuge there and residents of nearby buildings.

In a separate attack earlier in the day, three Palestinians were killed in an airstrike on another school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The deaths raised to 75 the number of Palestinian civilians killed on Tuesday alone, according to medical officials.

They said four militants also were killed in fighting during the day and put the total Palestinian death toll since Israel began the offensive on 19 December at 629.

More than 2,700 Palestinians have been wounded since Israel began the campaign with the declared aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks on its southern towns. Nine Israelis, including three civilians hit by rocket fire, have been killed in the conflict.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/40-killed-at-un-school-in-gaza-1229250.html

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By Folktruther, January 6, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

Mike Whitney in an article in Counterpunch today THE GAZA BLOODBATH gives a plausable explanation for the invasion.  It is to kill as many of the Hamas leaders as possible, including the Palestian premier, terrorize the popuaation with mass volence, and then install the puppet Abbas and his US financed Fatah as rulers. This is supported by the US power structure headed by Bush-Obama.

The idea is to have a fait compli by the time Obama is inaugurated and calls for peace and harmony.  The vast majority of the Dem rank and file oppose the Israeli invasion, but the money and media for Obama’s election comes from Zionist neoliberals. 

He therefore is promoting the policies of the Zionist neoliberals while maintaining the public rhetoric of fake progressivism for the Dem population. And he will be supported by fake progressives as his policies continue the policies of the Bushites.

The crucial policies of the American population has increasingly shifted to the world arena, and historically American foreign policy has been bipartisan.  It still is.  Since globablization affects every foreign and domestic political policy that has power implications for the vast majority of the American people, the increasing salience of foreign policy has made the two parties increasingly indistinguisable policy-wise, although the public relations rhetoric is still different.

It is necessary to strengthen a movement that rejects the policies of the Dem-Gop bloc.  Such a movement may not be able to elect national leaders since the election system is controlled by the agents of the ruling class.  The qaustion then is how to mobilize an anti-Zionist anti-neoliberal movment when all the people institutions, such as unions and educational instituions, are either controlled by opporesive power, destroyed, or drained of people power.  I don’t know.

But what is increasingly obvious is that such a movement must be international.  There have been demonstrations all over the world against Israeli aggression, the first since the world demonstrations against the US invansion of Iraq.  Since the censorship and oppression under Obama will probably become worse, it will probably be necessary for at least some of the movement leaders and activists to leave the country to avoid assassination or imprisonment. 

This occurred during the Cold War, including the emigration of Tony Wicher’s family, a strong support of Obama. (It’s not true that people never learn, we just learn slowly, over many generations.)  A world movment against Zionist neoliberalism, and for pollution control, anti-war, and class equality, would lessen national oppression to avoid offending world public opinion.  World opinio is playing an increased role historically in the power arena, despite Israel’s flouting of it.

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By Maani, January 6, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Sodium:

“Yes, Maani, I know that my hero, Gandhi, will not agree with me because he did not know the real nature of the barbarity of the hardcore zealots the oppressed Palestinians have to endure.”

Are you suggesting that the Israelis are MORE “barbarous” than HITLER and his loyalists? What world are you living in?  If Gandhi felt that NVCD was appropriate even vis-a-vis Hitler, how can you suggest it is any LESS appropriate vis-a-vis the Israelis?

Peace.

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By Sodium, January 6, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:Maani,January 5 at 7:37am.

Maani,

Yes,Maani,I know that my hero,Gandhi,will not agree with me because he did not know the real nature of the barbarity of the hardcore zealots the oppressed
Palestinians have to endure.They are full of hatred,not only toward their victims,the Palestinians,but also toward the whole humanity.

Moreover,if Gandhi lives nowadays and sees the great difference between the geographical size of the Indian sub-continent(continent?) and the Gaza strip and West Bank,he,most likely,he may change his mind and agrees with me.The British could never control the sub-continent when its entire population in civil
disobedience,regardless of the fire power they had.Mahatma Gandhi knew that and the British knew it as well.Israel,the West Bank and Gaza,all
combined,hardly equels to the size of New Jersey
The former is most difficult to control,while the latter is much,much less difficult to control.

Yes,Maani,I chant with you,as you usually do at the end of your posts:PEACE,PEACE AND MORE PEACE,
and hoping the zealots will hear and join us…

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By Eso, January 6, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

I read that Israeli missiles killed 42 or more people in a UN “safe” school. All 42 probably were children. So what is the Israeli case? They have no case but institutionalized policy of violence.

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By Howard, January 6, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

Free Israel from the rockets and missles which Hamas bombarded Israel for the last 6 months and finally forced Israel to defend itself.

Free Israel from the leardership of Hamas which offers its people nothing but hatred towards all people and nothing but nothing in the way of building homes and schools and normal society and an economic country to get off the UN dole.

Free Israel from having to supply Hamas with basics of life and free Israel from the 23 arab countries which refuse to help or resettle any of the gazans in any manner, shape or form.

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By smhb, January 6, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

January 3: A senior leader of the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas is killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

Hamas warns Israel not to “commit the stupidity” of taking its offensive to the next level. The group says its fighters have foiled an attempt by Israeli ground forces to cross the border into the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli cabinet approves a military ground incursion in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli warplanes bomb a bridge linking Gaza City to the rest of the coastal slither.

Hamas fires eight rockets into Israel, seven into the Western Negev and one into the Eshkol region.

Israeli warplanes raid several targets in Gaza and kill four people.

A Hamas rocket hits a four-story building in Ashdod—Israel’s second largest port - and lightly wounds four people.

An Israeli air raid on a mosque in the Gaza Strip kills at least 16 Palestinians.

Israeli tanks begin shelling areas inside the strip, causing a large explosion in Gaza City as well as a series of blasts stitching the nearby frontier with Israel.

Israeli tanks roll into Gaza.

A Palestinian rocket destroys a house in the Israeli city of Netivot.

Israel bans a Red Cross medical team from entering Gaza to treat injured residents.

Hamas says that nine Israeli soldiers have been killed and 25 wounded.

The United Nations Security Council calls for an emergency meeting.

January 4: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls for an immediate cessation of the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli warplanes bomb the coastal region, lighting up the sky hours before sunrise.

The United States blocks a UN Security Council bid to require an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli bombers hit the Hamas-run al-Aqsa radio station inside Gaza.

A Palestinian ambush allegedly kills five Israeli troops.

Hamas says its fighters have captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes with invading Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces surround the largest city in the Palestinian territories, Gaza City.

Clashes continue between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters in four spots in the north, around Gaza City, Beit Hanun, Beit Lahiya and Jabaliya.

Gaza resistance fighters fire ten more rockets into Israeli cities, two targeted at western Negev and three hit Sderot city.

Israeli bombers target heavily populated areas inside the Gaza Strip, killing five Palestinian civilians and wounding 40 others.

Medics inside Gaza confirm that they have found traces of depleted uranium in some Palestinians wounded in the Israeli ground offensive.

Israel kills two senior Hamas officials, Hussam Hamdan and Muhammad Hilo, in an air strike on Khan Yunis.

Palestinian fighters fire at least 40 Qassam and Grad rockets into southern Israel.

Israeli President Shimon Peres rejects the possibility of a ceasefire.

Palestinians target an Israeli helicopter and allegedly destroy seven Israeli tanks inside the strip.

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By smhb, January 6, 2009 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

December 22: A twenty-four hour truce is declared between Israel and armed Palestinian factions at the request of Egyptian mediators.

December 23: The twenty-four hour truce expires.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters leave three members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades dead along the border fence in northern Gaza.

Six Qassam rockets are fired into western Negev. The rocket attacks do not hit any targets in Israel.

December 24: Gaza fighters fire two dozen mortar shells at three different targets inside Israel.

An Israeli air raid kills a Palestinian and wounds two others in southern Gaza.

December 27: Israeli F16 bombers and apache helicopters carry out at least 30 simultaneous raids on various targets across the Gaza strip. The operation kills at least 230 and wounds hundreds of Palestinians.

Hamas responds with rocket fire from Gaza and kills one Israeli in the southern town of Netivot.

December 28: Israel begins a fresh wave of air strikes. Israel deploys tanks and troops along the Gaza border. Tunnels in and out of Gaza are bombed.

A Hamas missile strikes near the largest city in the south of the occupied lands, the deepest reach into Israel to the date.

Global protests against the Israeli attacks begin.

Palestinian death toll rises to 296; 900 are injured.

December 29: The third day of attacks on the strip brings the death toll to 340. At least 1,400 Palestinians are wounded.

Muslim world announces day of mourning.

Two more Israelis are killed and one is injured.

December 30: Israeli air operations continue as Tel Aviv declares the area around Gaza a ‘closed military zone’.

Israeli floats the idea that a ground invasion of Gaza is imminent.

Palestinian casualties rise to 360 dead and 1,500 injured.

December 31: Israel continues tunnel attacks and civilian casualties increase.

Hamas says Gaza will be victorious.

The UN and Arab League find no solution to end the crisis.

Palestinian death toll rises to 400 with 1,600 injured.

January 1: Israeli bombardments continue; first senior Hamas official dies in air attacks.

Israel denies a 48-hour request for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza by rejecting an EU truce.

Hamas calls for Palestinian protests; it rockets hit several positions.

417 Palestinians and 6 Israelis dead.

January 2: Curfew imposed on West Bank and foreigners are told to leave Gaza.

Top Israeli ministers discuss ground invasion into the Gaza Strip. The United Nations condemns Israel and describes situation in Gaza as “appalling”.

Kadima, Israel’s ruling party, losses ground in polls ahead of elections.

Death toll continues to rise.

January 3: A senior leader of the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas is killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

Hamas warns Israel not to “commit the stupidity” of taking its offensive to the next level. The group says its fighters have foiled an attempt by Israeli ground forces to cross the border into the Gaza Strip.

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By smhb, January 6, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

2008

June 19: An Egyptian mediated ceasefire begins between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinian movement agrees to stop firing rockets as Israel accepts to gradually ease its embargo on the Gaza Strip.

July 27: Israel kills Shihab al-Natsheh, a senior Hamas fighter, in his house in the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

August 2: Three Hamas police officers and six pro-Fatah gunmen are killed in factional fighting in the Gaza Strip, the worst of such since June 2007.

October 8: Israel prevents Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) from entering the embattled Gaza Strip.

November 5: Israel raids houses in the Hamas-controlled region and arrests seven Palestinians.

Israel attacks areas inside Gaza, killing at least six Palestinians. Ghassan el-Taramse, a nineteen-year-old Palestinian activist, is killed in an Israeli air raid in the northern parts of the coastal sliver.

Palestinians fire several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev in Israel in retaliation. No casualties or property damage is caused, but three women are treated for shock.

November 8: Israel violates the ongoing truce as its tanks and bulldozers cross the southern border of the Gaza Strip.

November 14: Hamas fires a barrage of homemade rockets at the city of Ashkelon. Four rockets are also fired into western Negev after Israeli air strikes wounded two people in Gaza.

November 15: Israeli air strike kills two Palestinians in the town of Beit Hanoun in Gaza.

November 18: Israeli tanks backed by a bulldozer and a military jeep roll half a kilometer into Gaza. The Israeli army claims the incursion is “a routine operation to uncover explosive devices near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip.”

November 20: An Israeli tank fires shells, killing a Palestinian fighter east of Gaza City.

November 23: The Israeli army wounds two Palestinian residents while shelling homes in various cities in the strip.

November 28: Israeli forces backed by tanks enter the southern parts of the coastal region and kill two Palestinians.

November 29: Projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip wound eight Israeli soldiers in an army base in the town of Nahal Uz.

December 02: The Israeli army launches air strikes into southern Gaza and kills at least two civilians and wounding four others.

December 17: Five Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip injure two Israelis in the southern town of Sderot.

December 18: A Palestinian man is killed in Jabaliya as Israeli aircraft target metal workshops in the towns of Jabaliya and Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military claims the targets are used to manufacture rockets.

December 19: The six-month truce officially ends.

December 20: Israeli launches air strikes on the northern Gazan town of Beit Lahiya, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others.

December 21: Palestinian fighters fire rockets into Sderot and Negev and one Israeli is wounded.

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By Folktruther, January 6, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

I simply don’t understand the power purpose of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.  What do they hope to accomplish by terrorizing the population?  They are targeting schools, universities, mosques, hospitals and other civilian targets that Hamas uses to provide services to the Gazan population.

Now they are destroying UN schools and other UN facilities where people are huddled to try to get away from the bombing and shelling.  They shot up a UN school with shrapnel, an anti-personell weapon, to kill forty or fifty people and maim much more.

They have dropped leaflets from planes, saying in part:

    HANAS IS GETTING A TASTE OF THE POWER OF THE ISRAELI MILITARY AFTER A WEEK AND WE HAVE OTHER METHODS THAT ARE STILL HARSHER…

As has been demonstrated over and over, a terrorized people support their power system.  What else can they do?  There liberal ‘friends’ in the US want Hamas to disarm and let themselves be slaughtered non-violently, but all Hamas can do is fight or surrender.

Is Israel going reoccupy Gaza?  It looks like it.  They have stationed soldiers in the skyscrapers in Gaza City to turn the town into a free fire zone.  After they reoccupy it, then what?

Possibly install Abbas and Fatah, now US-Israel puppets funded by the US, to maintain Law and Order.  This will lead to civil war, the demoralized, terrorized and corrupt supporting Fatah, and most of the population supporting Hamas.  Then what?

Then nothing. Olmert, Livni, and Barak don’t think that far ahead, they just want to win the election.
And Obama, (Oh, he’s so intelligent!) will inherit an occupied and war-striven Gaza as well as West Bank, having supported, by his silence, the Bushite policy of increased oppression (Brilliant!).

Change You Can Believe In.

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By Sodium, January 6, 2009 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:cyrena,January 5 at 5:53am.

Cyrena,

Your above Re has caoght me by a complete surprise since I really have not expected anyone posting here to know anything about the non-violent Palestinian
advocate/activist named Mubarak Awad.At the same time I have felt pleased that one turned out to have heard of him and it is you.

After second thought,I really must not be surprized
as I realized that you tackle academic issues/topics
especially human rights matters with unmatched thoroughness,leaving nothing to chance or to deviate from your target/objective.I,for one,have respected and appreciated what you have been trying to convey to your readers.I am one of your readers.Please never shy away from such a task.It is the most effective way to spread the good words and hopefully protect human rights for every humanbeing on the planet.

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By Eso, January 6, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

“I pray that the people of Gaza, of whom so many are the innocent dead and wounded, are the winners.”
.........
I mean that I hope the Gazans stay not only alive and not murdered by Israeli ordinance, but that Israel suffers a defeat great enough so that it does not try to kill 600 people and maim and wound 3000 in return for over a half a century of destroying Palestinian homes and settling on Palestinian land.

I do not support Hamas advocacy of terror, but this terror could have been bought off long ago by all the billions that the U.S. has invested in the Israeli military mashine. The Palestinians could be sitting in nice middle class homes by now if it did not suit U.S. geopolitics to support Israel. One result of this geopolitical strategy is Iraq and the indirect nuclear threat to Iran via Israeli nuclear bombs—to hit Russia in the belly and paralyze it. It would suit the U.S. just fine to get the Gaza problem out of the way successfully. That is why it is not for truce at this time.

I am for peace by means of a religion that practices self-sacrifice. None of the current religions practice self-sacrifice—neither Christianity, nor Islam, nor Judaism, nor anyone else that I know of. I would like to see the world deflate-depressurize from the several centuries of “enlightened progress” slowly, without exploding. The financial and economic crisis is welcomed by me as the force that may be able to deflate us—slowly. But Israel (with the support of Bush and his administration) rather obviously sees this as a last chance to reach a “solution” before going bankrupt.

Yes, I hope that the people of Gaza “win” this lopsided battle that has been forced on them by Israel. Nothing that I have heard from Tsipi Livni or anyone else in the Israeli government persuades me that Israel’s case is just, but to the contrary is repugnant.

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By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 6, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

mvhome, January 6 at 5:25 am


“I take it you are denying that missiles have been fired into the midst of the residential neighborhoods of Sderot for months prior to Israel’s current action in Gaza.”

Not at all!

Reports are that with several thousand ‘missiles’ fired in the general direction of Sderot, a few have caused physical damage to the buildings and an occasional one manages to kill an Israeli who just happens to be standing or sitting in its path. Some have the name of the intended victim marked on them. In fact, they miss the intended victim because he (Olmert) is in hiding somewhere else.

Pre-traumatic stress is what one feels when he knows that he has a one in a million chance to be hit be by lightening and cringes to go out into the rain. It is what I feel when I enter the traffic flow in south Florida. Of course, most days I do not get killed in Florida traffic, but then there is the chance that my Social Security check will stop next month because I dive my car on the wrong street at the wrong time and get in the way of a missile driven by a drunk or druggie.

Present traumatic stress is when one is hunkered down in the safest place in the house when a tornado, hurricane, or IDF bomb is screeching overhead, or when one hears thunder and sees lightening flashing all around. I have learned to cope with it. I relax when the thunder sounds because the lightening missed me. Palestinians I know relax when they see the tanks move back and they no longer hear the planes. If they wake up alive any day, they pray five times in thanks that they made it through the night, and to beg Allah to spare them for another day.

Post-traumatic stress is after one has had a near miss and is still alive, but may have broken bones and bleeding wounds that heal and they live for some time longer. They reflect that it could have been their demise, but wasn’t. It disturbs the neurotransmitters of their brains and gives them nightmares.

There are a number of other disturbances felt by people who were driven from their homes CA 1948 and can’t go back, even though it is only a few kilometers from the slum they live in. The younger kids have learned from their adults that they own the land and left homes expecting to return when the fighting was over, but never had the chance. Some of the kids vow to take revenge upon the thieves who stole their parents land and homes. Some even strap on live explosives and try to travel to a place where the thieves congregate so that they can take a present traumatic stress trip to Paradise.

The nearest thing I have felt that is comparable is to remember a day in my life before George W. Bush stole the presidency of USA and moved into the White House and sent invitations to the Israeli Prime Minister to spend the night and receive millions of dollars of my tax money to buy F16 fighter planes and helicopters to kill Palestinian kids to get revenge for the rocks they throw at the IDF tanks and bull dozers that tear up their homes.

Stress is a strange thing. It moves people to do better things with their lives and powers. It helps to overcome the fear and even keeps neurotransmitters functioning after a fashion. In a few people it leads them to embrace principles of justice and freedom, while in others it leads them to volunteer for dangerous missions to persuade politicians to reject the bribes (political contributions) given by Israeli PACs to sell out their American values.

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By Howard, January 6, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Hamas is at fault. Instigated and instigated and goaded and fired missles and rockets for the last 6 months into Israel, violating the cease-fire they signed, and then Refused to sign on again to the cease fire 12 days ago and instead increased the bombardment.

Israel has every right in the world to defend its people.  They left Gaza in 2005 and instead of building their country and doing the right thing Hamas declared war on Israel and teach their young over and over again to die killing Westerners and Isaraelis.  Their education system does not teach much else.

Hamas cannot govern or help their people.  Just mislead them. The experiment by Israel of leaving Gaza did not work out.  Cannot blame them if they think a little more about giving any more land away.

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By Sodium, January 6, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:thebeerdoctor,January 5 at 5:39am

thebeerdoctor,

Thank you for the link concerning Rachel Currie.

Please be advised that I saw Rachel’s last name spelled as Currie,as Corrie and even as Carrie in different newspapers and magazines,world wide.Which
one of these spellings is correct is not for me,or for you,or for the link you provided to say with reasonable certainity.One of the three spellings is correct.Which one?

ANSWER:ONLY RACHEL’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE CAN SETTLE THAT.

Since the birth certificate is not in sight,I shall stick to the spelling I originally used in my earlier post on this thread.That is Currie.

As to the errors in the details(the devil in the details),I must admit that I have solely depended on my memories,based on so many accounts I had read about her murder,in different newspapers and magazines,world wide.My earlier post was off-the cuff,as I usually did/ do.I very seldom check what I post.Because of that;and because of the fact I read in the link you provided some incidents that were unknown to me,especially her argument with the bulldoser’s driver who delibrately ran over her twice-because of all of that,I accept and I appreciate your critical comments in your Re cited above with opened heart and opened mind.

However,the documents that have impressed me most, in the link you provided,were her sincere and lovely E-mails,from Gaza,to her mom and family in the United States.Fascinating.

Again,thebeerdoctor,thank you for the link.I enjoyed reading it.Most appreciated.

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By mvhome, January 6, 2009 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Eso wrote…
“I pray that the people of Gaza, of whom so many are the innocent dead and wounded, are the winners.”

What do you mean exactly by winning?

According to a BBC reporter in Gaza city, he himself an Arab mentioned without equivocation (last evening’s broadcast of The World) that Hamas has positioned it’s headquarters and rocket launch sites among civilian residential locations… so indeed, I too pray for the health and well being of the Gazans who are caught in the middle as an intended consequence of Hamas’ scripted play book.

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By brewerstroupe, January 6, 2009 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

It beggars belief…..

.....that defenders of this atrocity have no idea about the magnitude of the crime Hamas is alleged to have committed.
The only statistic on deaths from rockets I have been able to locate is 15 in the period 2001 - 2008. That is less than 1% of the deaths on Israel’s roads for the period.

The rocket attacks were concentrated on Sderot.
I think this piece gives a clue as to why.

“Sderot was settled by Jews in 1951. According to Walid Khalidi in All That Remains, it along with the settlement of Or ha-Ner, founded in 1957, were established on the village lands of Najd, which means “elevated plain” in Arabic.

Najd’s Palestinian villagers, approximately 620 in 1945, were expelled on 13 May 1948, before Israel was declared a state and before any Arab armies entered Palestine. According to UN Resolution 194 and also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2, the villagers of Najd have a right to return home to their personal property and to their native village.

Today, according to Khalidi, “some old trees grow” on the site of the village. It is “overgrown with cactus and Christ’s thorn and sycamore trees and contains the crumbled walls of unidentified buildings….”

There were 82 houses in Najd. Children went to school in Simsim, two kilometers away. According to Palestine Remembered the village has been completely “defaced.”

In 1596 Najd’s population was 215.

In 1838, Edward Robinson, an American biblical scholar “observed the villagers winnowing barley by throwing it into the air against the wind with wooden forks” [Robinson (1841) III: 260 as quoted in Khalidi 128].

Najd’s villagers were mainly farmers and engaged in animal husbandry. “Fields of grain and fruit trees surrounded Najd on all sides.”

Najd is fourteen kilometers from Gaza. Palestinian Arabs own 12,669 dunums in Najd although Israel refuses to honor their rights to their personal property, and refuses them their inalienable right to return home. In 1945 Jews owned 495 dunums of land in Najd and public lands consisted of 412 dunums.

Najd is one of 418 ethnically cleansed villages that Dr. Khalidi includes in his seminal work. Khalidi dedicates his book:

To all those for whom these villages were home and to their descendants.”

Khalidi, Walid, ed. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated By Israel in 1948. Institute for Palestine Studies: Washington, D.C., 1992.
http://umkahlil.blogspot.com/2006/06/sderot-built-on-ashes-of-ethnically.html

Chossudovsky seems to think this is the big one.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11606

I seem to remember predicting the same when the U.S. warships sailed into the area some months ago. Where are they now I wonder?

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By Eso, January 6, 2009 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

I pray that the people of Gaza, of whom so many are the innocent dead and wounded, are the winners.

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By mvhome, January 6, 2009 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Mr. Goodman writes…

“Ask your psychologist if those kids are suffering from pre-traumatic stress disorder. The kids in Gaza suffer daily from present traumatic stress disorder. Many never have a chance at post traumatic stress disorder because they die first.”

A fascinating and revealing phrase… “pre-traumatic stress disorder”... from this I take it you are denying that missiles have been fired into the midst of the residential neighborhoods of Sderot for months prior to Israel’s current action in Gaza.

Just wondering… I’ve read/heard that Hamas has been very aggressive in maintaining media spin around the world to foment anti-Israel sentiment.

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By cyrena, January 5, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: Frank Goodman
“This period of time is the only one left for Israel to launch the attack on Gaza. They may well know from contacts that Barack Obama would not tolerate it for political reasons of his own and because of the high support he got in the campaign from American Muslims, Arab Americans and many others who oppose the occupation of Palestine. He could mention Mumbai, the financial crisis, the economic downturn, and other issues that would not impact the final days of Bush. But he could not hit the fence of Palestine Israel without serious turmoil.
Thus Israel had to strike Gaza now or never. I find it credible, even if far off the mark. “
*~*~
I concur with your theory above. In fact, only a few decent scratches beneath the 40 year old history of Israel’s behavior (in conjunction with the neoconservative movement that has developed as the ONLY way that Israel has been able to perpetrate this on-going genocidal atrocity for as long as it has, going back as far as the Regan-H.W.Bush Admin.
Robert Perry does an excellent job of explaining that here:

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/010409.html

Israel’s Looming Catastrophe
Robert Parry
Posted Jan 4, 2009
•  For the past three decades, Israel has charted a course that invites its own destruction by relying on two risky propositions: first, that it could extend its security perimeter beyond the reach of a devastating missile attack, and second, that it could permanently control the political debate inside its crucial ally, the United States.
~*~*
This tends to jive with my own ‘theory’ all along, (which is no more than that until we find out how it pans out) that Obama was going to use something as basic as The Rule of Law to resolve the conflict, since that’s exactly why the structure of these International Institutions was set up.

Needless to say, the Rule of Law has been circumvented by very deliberate political operatives on behalf of Israel’s interests, and that has been the case in all but the Carter Administration. When he wouldn’t play ball, he was demonized and turned into a political pariah.

I’m guessing that Barack Obama DOES has some plans to redo the official US position in terms of cooperating completely with the rest of the International Community. If that happens, it’s all over for Israel, and they know that perfectly well.
It also goes without saying, (but I will anyway) that Obama has to step as cautiously as any leader has ever needed to step, to insure his own survival though whatever it’s gonna take. Believe the history, because it tells us that Israel will NOT go quietly, or peacefully, since peace has never been their ultimate goal.

As an additional note that I believe ties in here as well, there is Obama’s recent nomination of Leon Panatta to CIA Chief. Panatta does have government experience, and has made clear his position on torture, which is the same as Obama’s position on this issue of illegal detention and torture that is in such profoundly blatant violation of the highest laws of the land.

This doesn’t surprise me at all, but it seems to shock others, despite the fact that this has been an ACTIVE issue on Obama’s agenda/platform since the very beginning. He argued hard and passionately against the passage of the MCA, and criticized the passage equally passionately. More than a few of us, (and I count myself among this group) have been ‘lobbying’ ferociously to have this legislation (among so much other similar illegalities committed) overturned.

I believe Obama is setting the stage or ‘work area’ for all of this, because it is all connected.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, January 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Gideon Levy Speaks

And there lie the bodies

12.31.2008 | Haaretz
By Gideon Levy

“The legend, lest it be a true story, tells of how the late mathematician, Professor Haim Hanani, asked his students at the Technion to draw up a plan for constructing a pipe to transport blood from Haifa to Eilat. The obedient students did as they were told. Using logarithmic rulers, they sketched the design for a sophisticated pipeline. They meticulously planned its route, taking into account the landscape’s topography, the possibility of corrosion, the pipe’s diameter and the flow calibration. When they presented their final product, the professor rendered his judgment: You failed. None of you asked why we need such a pipe, whose blood will fill it, and why it is flowing in the first place.

Regardless of whether this story is legend or true, Israel is now failing its own blood pipeline test. As Israel has been preoccupied with Gaza throughout the entire week, nobody has asked whose blood is being spilled and why. Everything is permitted, legitimate and just. The moral voice of restraint, if it ever existed, has been left behind. Even if Israel wiped Gaza off the face of the earth, killing tens of thousands in the process, as a Chechnyan laborer working in Sderot proposed to me, one can assume that there would be no protest.

They liquidated Nizar Ghayan? Nobody counts the 20 women and children who lost their lives in the same attack. There was a massacre of dozens of officers during their graduation ceremony from the police academy? Acceptable. Five little sisters? Allowed. Palestinians are dying in hospitals that lack medical equipment? Peanuts. Whatever happened to the not-so-good old days of Salah Shahadeh? When we liquidated him in July 2002, we also killed 15 women and children. At least back then, moral qualms were raised for a moment.

Here lie their bodies, row upon row, some of them tiny. Our hearts have turned hard and our eyes have become dull. All of Israel has worn military fatigues, uniforms that are opaque and stained with blood and which enable us to carry out any crime. Even our leading intellectuals fail to speak out on what havoc we have wreaked. Amos Oz urges: “Cease-fire now.” David Grossman writes: “Hold your fire. Stop.” Meir Shalev wants “a punitive operation.” And not one word about our moral image, which has been horribly distorted.

The suffering in the south renders everything kosher, as if the horrible suffering in Gaza pales in comparison. Everyone is hungry for revenge, and that hunger is excused by the need for “deterrence,” after it was already proved that the killing and the destruction in Lebanon did not achieve it.

Yes, I know, war is war. After all, they brought this on themselves. They are a terrorist organization and we are not. They want to destroy us and we seek peace. Still, is there nothing here that will stop this blood pipeline? Even those whose hearts are hardened by “moral righteousness” will have to momentarily halt the bombing machine and ask: Which Israel do we have before us? What will become of its standing in the world, which is now watching the events in Gaza? What are we inflicting on the moderate Arab regimes? And what of the simmering popular hatred we are sowing throughout the world? What good will emerge from this killing and destruction?”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=2375

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By Maani, January 5, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Frank:

“Here is my theory supported by some hints from elsewhere. This period of time is the only one left for Israel to launch the attack on Gaza. They may well know from contacts that Barack Obama would not tolerate it for political reasons of his own and because of the high support he got in the campaign from American Muslims, Arab Americans and many others who oppose the occupation of Palestine…Israel had to strike Gaza now or never. I find it credible, even if far off the mark.”

Actually, believe it or not, the MSM (in this case, the NYT) discussed this possibility in an article today.

Blackspeare:

It was William Tecumseh Sherman who said “War is Hell.”  Patton was quoting him.

Peace.

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By Oceana, January 5, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

While Professor Neve Gordon children are in a bomb shelter and he lives under the Hamas rocket fire, Neve Gordon condemns Israel’s invasion of Gaza:

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/5/israeli_professor_neve_gordon_condemns_israeli
Consider the full day’s programming

He reminds us that:
Israel is the occupier and they are sovereign

Palistinians live in a cage

There has not been basic food and electricity.

http://www.ifamericansknew.com
The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon

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By eileen fleming, January 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Doctor Decries Israeli Attacks

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor in Gaza, tells Sky News that the number of civilians injured and killed in Gaza proves that Israel is deliberately attacking the population.


http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=47647801174&h=oxq4N&u=W14OP

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By Tony Wicher, January 5, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Frank, Fadel -

When I come to think of it, it makes more sense that those rockets are being supplied by Iran. If this is so I condemn Iran for this interference which does not help the Palestinians but only gets more of them killed.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, January 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

The fog of war is a many splendid thing not to mention the propaganda and the grandstanding.  I believe that the American General Patton said, “War is Hell” so what was HamAss expecting when they provoked Israel?  Perhaps the present Israelis have learned from their ancestral Hebrew warriors that the enemy must be smitten.  Of course, there is some concern that the new US president Obama may not be particularly favorable to Israel’s incursion into Gaza and in that regard and to the dismay of HamAss the IDF has less than two weeks to wrap things up and be in a commanding position to dictate truce formalities.

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By Tony Wicher, January 5, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

By Frank Goodman, Sr., January 5 at 6:29 pm

Frank,

I hope your theory is true that Israel thinks this is their last chance before Obama gets in. However, It seems to me that this is also happening now because Israeli leaders are positioning themselves for their election. Now if only those rockets would stop, it would make it so much easier for Obama to support the Palestinian cause. If you read between the lines, Obama has said this. Hamas should understand this, and if they cannot seem to do so and the rockets continue after Jan. 20, the possibility of Israeli provocateurs in this situation is not too paranoid to consider.

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