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Israel declares unilateral Gaza cease-fire

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This one can only get worse. Funny how Israel stopped just before President Obama takes office. Good move on their part not to piss on the in comings President party.

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"Hamas threatened to keep fighting until Israeli troops leave Gaza."

No change in policy for Hamas then, hide among their children & hold everybody but themselves to blame when children get killed.

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Decision time for Hamas. Do they take the necessary steps to make peace with Israel or do they continue on the path of destruction?

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So is Israel stopping their bombing because:

Doesn't want to upset Barack's inauguration?

Running out of weapons?

Running out of money to buy more weapons?

World's disdain getting too strong?

Giving the Israeli troops some much needed relaxation?

But they ain't done killing women and children. Not by no means.

Let me see a show of hands now of those posters who would quit fighting against the advancing and even occuping forces of Israel? Suppose you're just a mear NRA member and your homeland was being over run...would you fight the occupiers? Or would you NRA members cower inside your homes.

Hamas has been used as the escape group to declare and continue killing innocent Gazans. But if you were a fellow Gazan youth (not Hamas) and your country was being attacked. Would you take up arms? Would you allow the aggressors to just bomb without trying to defend your homeland? That's where we are.

As soon as Israel gets ready they'll be punishing some more.

We still need a multi-country gathering to work this out. Somebody is going to fire a rocket and Israel will unmercifully continue their actions. Until there can be a treaty where both sides must give and take and a binding set of countries observing and grading any and all infractions equally, this will continue forever. < :-)

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adaydream says:

Let me see a show of hands now of those posters who would quit fighting against the advancing and even occuping forces of Israel? Suppose you're just a mear NRA member and your homeland was being over run...would you fight the occupiers? Or would you NRA members cower inside your homes.

OK, let's assume that I am an NRA member and that Hamas was using me and my family as human shields to achieve their goal of destroying a soverign country through the use of homicide-bombers and randomly launched rockets. Yes, I would fight the occupiers - Hamas. If no one was using my backyard to launch military strikes against another country I wouldn't have to worry about my house being blown up by a 500 pound bomb. There can be no treaty until Hamas is defeated or it turns away from it's stated intention to destroy Israel.

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Wolfpack - You took my question out of context very well.

Now put my question back into context:

But if you were a fellow Gazan youth (not Hamas) and your country was being attacked. Would you take up arms? Would you allow the aggressors to just bomb without trying to defend your homeland? That's where we are.

Your reply would be? < :-)

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Surely Israel is joking.

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to answer your question daydream the decision to fight would be based on whether or not "the aggressors" were freeing me from bondage and providing hope for a better future. while you may not want to believe it, Hamas goes about killing its own people on a daily basis and not a peep from the international community.

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Where'd you hear that. Interesting.

I guess it does depend on where you stand.

There are over 1200 dead, that their remaining family may or may not agree with you. I guess we'll see. < :-)

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VOR you taliking about this opinion piece? It's an opinion.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8489

Or the other propoganda videos. Yeah I've seen some. There hasn't been any confirmation of these accusations.

Israel attacked another UN school/safe haven today. The third one so far. < :-)

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The reprecussions of Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip will have devastating consequences throughout the middle east and the rest of the world. I am very disheartned by President elect Obama's silence on the matter. Any president worth his salt would have condemmend the indiscriminate slaughter of so many innocent victims of the Israeli aggression. This does not bode well for the future.

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to answer your question daydream the decision to fight would be based on whether or not "the aggressors" were freeing me from bondage and providing hope for a better future.

Hamas is not all suicide bombs and rockets you know. Wiki says:

Hamas also runs extensive social programs[3] and has gained popularity in Palestinian society by establishing hospitals, education systems, libraries and other services[4] throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

I think that is how they got voted in.

Israel exercises total control over Gazan imports and exports, and so many other aspects of the area, and has since 1967. The lack of freedom in Gaza has been almost exclusively the doing of Israel for over 40 years, and continues to this day.

Many a Gazan may not like Hamas. But I think it would be a rare one that does not HATE Israel, and view Israel as the true oppressor and occupyier it is.

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Are there any supporters of Israel that DO NOT come from the United States or Israel here? I bet there are not many if there are any.

If you are a supporter of Israel, are you reading unbiased sources, or mostly getting your information from the television?

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The idea that Israel's security problems can be resolved by the unilateral use of extreme force is a persistent delusion among Israeli politicians... and many of those on here.

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i suspect you are right likeitis, there may not be any supporters of Israel outside the United States and Israel. Similiar circumstances when 6 million jews were killed in Europe.

Addressing your previous post. got it Hamas has done some positive things but open our eyes to what Hamas does to its political opponents?

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The idea that Israel's security problems can be resolved by the unilateral use of extreme force is a persistent delusion among Israeli politicians... and many of those on here.

I can't speak for anyone else, but the only way this is going to be resolved is when the Arab world either collectively come together and destroys Israel or they recognize Israel's right to exist and work on a peaceful solution.

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Are there any supporters of Israel that DO NOT come from the United States or Israel here? I bet there are not many if there are any.

Indeed, I suspect what you are saying is true. I wonder why this is. Why is it, that just about everyone around the world condemns Israel? While there is condemnation of both camps in the US, its odd theres only condemnation of Israel in Europe. Where do those people get their news? I think its pretty obvious where the bias is coming from. I'm just wondering if the cowardice shown is due to the massive influx of muslims into those countries, and their fear of social chaos, as happened in France a few years ago. I wonder if thats also why everyone at the UN is so one sided against Israel?

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"Are there any supporters of Israel that DO NOT come from the United States or Israel here?"

Completely irrelevant.

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I disagree Vor. I think the only time it will be resolved is when Palestinians are given justice. Democracy is nice, I like it, food and shelter are nice too but as long as there is a sense of injustice it will not be resolved. A "two-state" solution does nothing to offer justice. Justice may involve generous cash payments of $1 million to the Palestinians that were forced off their land and are stuck living in refugee camps. Unless the Palestinian people that are still holding on to the keys to the front doors of their old homes that were stolen the sense of injustice will continue. The right of return or at least generous compensation is the sticking point.

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disagree with what proxy, that the Arab world does not need to come off its destruction of Israel position?

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likeitis: "Are there any supporters of Israel that DO NOT come from the United States or Israel here? I bet there are not many if there are any."

To be fair, there was a Canadian on here who supported Israelis 100%, but he was banned the same day he joined the site, that ridiculous were his comments, and boy did he fly off the handle when you argued against what he said.

VOR: "i suspect you are right likeitis, there may not be any supporters of Israel outside the United States and Israel. Similiar circumstances when 6 million jews were killed in Europe."

Ah, more of the idiotic 'if you don't support Israel you support the Jewish holocaust' crap. There's one major flaw in this argument, though... if there's ANY holocaust occurring here, and I don't think there is, it's against the Palestinians, which means you are supporting it. See how easy that was to turn on its head? I suggest you avoid implying support for Israel is support against the Jewish holocaust -- the holocaust was long ago, and no one in their right mind believes it was a good thing. However, sympathy for Jews about what happened 60 years ago does not give them (most of whom were not born at the time) carte blanche to go on a slaughtering binge.

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Disagree with your one sided opinion. There are a large number of Israeli extremists that need to give up their biblical illusions of a "promised land." Forcing down 1 side does not solve the problem, it only breeds resentment. Sorry to say but there are some Palestinians that will never accept Israel as long as they don't have justice. They will probably die a violent death but they will be replaced. I'm sure you think that is fine but it still leaves the problem unresolved. I have no solution but as long as some extremist Israelis refuse to accept that they can't push out everyone in the Gaza strip and West bank and as long as Palestinian extremists dream of pushing out all the Jews it will just continue on. Do you believe that the ultra-orthodox Israeli Jews or extremist Christians that are waiting for Christ will accept that a "two-state" solution? I don't. Likewise I don't believe the extremist Palestinians will accept a "two-state" solution. So wiping out the extremist Palestinians does not solve the problem, that is only one side of the same ugly coin. Both sides must be addressed. Abbas is "playing nice" and yet the settlements continue to expand. What is your master plan for rolling back the settlements, and when is an American leader going to put the screws to Israel for the settlers? May I suggest declaring the settler organizations to be terrorist groups on a par with Hamas.

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VOR: "disagree with what proxy, that the Arab world does not need to come off its destruction of Israel position?"

Well, I kind of agree with you here... there is a serious issue about how many Arabs view Israel, and how they think Israel should be dealt with. I am 100% against the idea that Israel should be destroyed, and Jews persecuted. What proxy was referring to specifically, though, is the plight of Palestinians in particular, who are from from having justice. What's more, the actions of Israel in this case do NOTHING in clearing up the image the have amongst Arab nations. They did not need to go in and kill so many people, etc., bombing three UN targets in the process and shooting a UN supply truck, etc.

I only hope this cease-fire gives both sides a chance to really look at what they are doing and rethink their radical stances on each other. That's BOTH sides... not only Israel, and not only Hamas.

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Sorry... the line in the middle should read, '...who are FAR from having justice...', not, '...who are from from having justice'.

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Justice may involve generous cash payments of $1 million to the Palestinians that were forced off their land and are stuck living in refugee camps. Unless the Palestinian people that are still holding on to the keys to the front doors of their old homes that were stolen the sense of injustice will continue. The right of return or at least generous compensation is the sticking point.

I agree up to certain point. Compensation should be made but the right of return is a non-starter. Also you may not be aware of this but Gaza had a thriving Jewish community for over 3000 years. They had a Jewish quarter in Gaza mainly consisting of merchants in the barley trade. In 1929 the Arabs started a pogrom agaisn't the Jews and murdered and killed the Jewish population in Gaza, the rest were forced out of their homes and had to flee for their lives. They were refugees and never were allowed to return to their stolen land and homes.

Not trying to make any particular point in what it is going to take to solve the differences between the two for a just peace. I am bringing something up though to show the Jewish population in the region was also getting the crappy end of the stick when they were the weaker party. The history of the region is much more complex than people realize.

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Why is allowing Palestinians to return rejected out of hand? Law abiding people that want to live in peace should certainly be welcomed by any country. Israel accepts a lot of immigrants so why not just let the Palestinians go home and live in peace? Give full Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians that want to return. If the reason for not allowing someone to "immigrate" is based on race or religion, that is something I cannot support. Being a father of 3 half cast children, I cannot in any way support a government that discriminates based on religion or race. It is no different than Japan not allowing citizenship to my children or only allowing "white" people to come here and barring "black" people.

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"The history of the region is much more complex than people realize." Amen.I think half the people write here with only looking at the surface crap you see on tv. or read in the news. The region in question is so complex that all sorts of ways have been tried to resolve the conflict. Europe isn't the ones being bombed. War sucks and modern day war has the world watching something that makes it harder to lose face. To be the loser of an armed conflict takes a certain amount of pie eating. I am sorry for the Palestinians but Isreal is a more powerful and organized force. Right or wrong someone eventually has to submit. Who that is going to be I guess depends on how much suffering the sides can take. Isreal only suffers with world opinion The Gaza strip suffering from total destruction. When 80% of your people have to depend on aid to get the necessities lobbing rockets into a beehive is stupid. Maybe the should be focusing on building the area up and gaining more support, aid, and investment. Maybe the should be working on the civilian problems instead of trying to wipe out a society that probably even has nukes. Isreal is to close to be playing this endurance game.

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I agree faderkinta however the bowels of religion trap people into misery. Religion gives people to "power" to withstand unbelievable torture. One would think that after seeing their friends fed to the lions, that the Christians would have started worshiping Juno again or that after hundreds of years of persecution Jews would have accepted Christ. If anything, I think miserable conditions make religious beliefs stronger which may have a tendency to create more misery. So, I have the feeling that the destruction of Gaza will only breed more Islamists.

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"hundreds of tunnels"

Are these people gophers?

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Sailwind: EXCELLENT post, my friend.

VOR: "read into it how you like smith. your rudeness squelches any debate."

I'll take a bit of rudeness over suggesting people support the holocaust any day. It's a shame you feel the need to bring up one of history's darkest chapters for the sake of a political argument, and to suggest 100% support of Israel cannot be questioned. Again, though, I DO find the HYPOCRISY of using the holocaust as a reason to support the Jews killing thousands in a ghetto humourous.

Grow up, VOR. This has NOTHING to do with the holocaust, and not being American, or not supporting Israel's actions, does not at all imply you agree with the massacre of 6 million Jews.

My tone was rude? Perhaps, but your line of argument is strictly insulting, and outright disgusting.

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Faderkinta, I believe that was perhapse the most insightful comment about this international debacle I've yet seen on any of the Gaza threads. We can't hope to pass judgement on a conflict that we actually know nothing about aside from the obvious fact that there is quite a bit of shooting being done. What we can do is speculate the statistical outcome based on the gains and losses of each side and Hamas clearly has far more to lose than Israel in this fruitless engagement. In a sensible and rational world Hamas as a political entity would broker a swift peace deal for the sake of the people that elected them to power and learn to play nice with the other semites in the region. But then if this were a sensible and rational world it would be terribly boring wouldn't it?

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Faderkinta: I agree... good post. There's a problem, though, with Palestinians simply digging in and building, garnering more support, etc., and that's that once they reach a certain 'size' (which is to say, technological progress and self-sustainability) they become more of a threat to Israel. Imagine if in the future they decided they wanted a means by which to provide cheaper energy to their people and the easiest and cheapest way was building a nuclear power plant. Iran states that that is all it is attempting to do and just look at how many people want to bomb said nation to prevent them from acquiring nuclear technology.

Now, where your very objective post is excellent is that it doesn't truly propose this as a solution, but by throwing it out there you are indeed trying to help solve the problem. And I wholeheartedly agree that you don't throw bombs or launch rockets 'into an angry beehive'.

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My point is, the people here who continue to support Israel, completely or almost completely, would seem to be all Americans, and they need to wonder about that. How did they wind up on the other side of the opininion of so many from so many places?

In itself, it does not make them wrong, but man, it sure is a HUGE indicator to be suspicious that something is not quite right with opinions and information.

One poster claims the news just keeps blaring "HAMAS HAMAS HAMAS" like a mantra. Is that part of it? Everyone has something bad to say about Hamas. Nobody would miss Hamas if it disappeared. But this not all about the wrongs of Hamas. Not remotely. This is about the people of Gaza Strip, and the majority of the dead would seem to be women and children, normal people of Gaza. The instrument of their deaths were the weapons of Israel, so many supplied or paid for by the United States. And that would seem to be another cause for collective denial.

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"regardless of the price..." looks like Hamas is ok with high casualties on their side and that's been proven to be half civilian.

The Israeli government also seems to be int he "regardless of the price" camp. Hamas has become a red cape, and you are the bull with tunnel vision being bled out.

And maybe you are not familiar with the art of public speaking, but "regardless of the price" is a common exaggeration and the speaker knows that and the average person listening certainly feels different. All will negotiate.

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Once again, the Palestinians only viable response is non-violent resistance. Every attack on Israel reduces any chance they have of creating international pressure on Israel to stop, which is the only force the Palestinians have to stop Israel. Instead the Palestinians choose terrorism as their response. We've seen the results of their actions and at this point I can't imagine you'd find anyone on either side to say that it's been good to them.

Anyone who legitimizes, justifies, defends, or simply blurs the line between support and rejection of terrorism is just making things worse for Palestine, in my opinion. When the militants use terrorism the message needs to a clear and complete rejection of that tactic but too often that's not the case. Instead of rejection we hear the list of grievances the Palestinians have. People need to understand that rejecting terrorism isn't the same as rejecting Palestinian grievances. We're talking about how they respond to those grievances, not whether or not they exist. And anyone who doesn't support non-violent resistance by the Palestinians is simply encouraging their suicidal policies whether they intend to or not.

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If the reason for not allowing someone to "immigrate" is based on race or religion, that is something I cannot support.

It is. The Jews of Israel are well aware that they could easily become a minority in Israel on a level playing field. And they simply will not let that happen to the only Jewish controlled country on Earth. Thus they keep the Palestinians of Gaza walled up and encircled. And Arabs, though nearly 20 percent of the population, do not hold anywhere near that kind of representation in the government.

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likeitis: Anyway, my point is, the people here who continue to support Israel, completely or almost completely, would seem to be all Americans, and they need to wonder about that. How did they wind up on the other side of the opininion of so many from so many places?

Your opinion fails to take into account the dynamic that exists where people outside of the US and Israel tend to blame the US and Israel for pretty much every problem that exists in the world today. Did you factor that into your decision-making process? For some people the issue is irrelevant....they'll side against the US/Israel every time.

Besides, daydream is American. So is Sez. So is Betzee. Did you really even bother to take an inventory of people and their positions or did you just shoot from the hip because it sounded good?

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Are these people gophers?

No, they are survivors.

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The idea that Israel's security problems can be resolved by the unilateral use of extreme force is a persistent delusion among Israeli politicians... and many of those on here. Israel has just stolen from itself a safer future by not reckoning with the past. She needs to grow up and find a moral compass.

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"Anyway, my point is, the people here who continue to support Israel, completely or almost completely, would seem to be all Americans, and they need to wonder about that. How did they wind up on the other side of the opininion of so many from so many places?"

I can't speak for all Americans. Kinda odd that someone who claims to be an American takes the line of questioning you do. At any rate, I have never cared for "what the rest of the world thinks". It is little more than mere opinion, and on this site most often lifted from the "world" page of whatever paper or magazine the person subscribes to.

History is a much better guide on this and most issues.

Israel is a democracy. Democratic Israel is open, it's secular, it's a melting pot. Americans who look at Israel see something similar. Like to like. It's as old as the hills. Israel treats their own humanely. They revere life. They create. They produce.

What Hamas and their Iranian sponsors want to do to Israel is what they seek to do to the rest of us who reject their blood-soaked totalitarian creed.

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YangYong: The idea that Israel's security problems can be resolved by the unilateral use of extreme force is a persistent delusion among Israeli politicians... and many of those on here. Israel has just stolen from itself a safer future by not reckoning with the past. She needs to grow up and find a moral compass.

Things go both ways. Why so bent on blaming one side? No side lacks fault here. Maybe Israel was careless and killed too many civilians... maybe Hamas used civilians as human shields. If you believe in God at all, there will be a high price to pay.

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wuzzademcrat: didn't Israel ban some political parties last week specifically because they were not Jewish. lol..Israel is a secular country.

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well now that you moderated your tone (or its been moderated into you) i would be happy to share my belief that what is happening in the middle east is not about land but an extension of the original plan to exterminate the Jews from the human race.

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" Hamas Charter

"The Jews are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment"

"There is no solution to the conflict except with the disappearance of Israel"

"If they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide" --Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah

The only thing that has stood in the way of Arab aggression and the slaughter of Jews is the United States support and Israeli resolve never to let anything like the holocaust happen again, so excuse me for offending your strange morals and lack of better judgment.

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Two Arab political parties have been disqualified from running in Israel's parliamentary elections on February 10 after they were accused of not recognising the country's right to exist.

Why run in elections when the country in question that you are running in doesn't exist? Hahaa!

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Arab political parties exist in Israel... do any Jewish parties exist in any Arab or Islamic countries? We all know the answers, therefore Israel seems pretty secular.

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well now that you moderated your tone (or its been moderated into you) i would be happy to share my belief that what is happening in the middle east is not about land but an extension of the original plan to exterminate the Jews from the human race.

Vor,

That's the ultimate goal. The thing is they don't want to just stop at Israel they just view that as part of a phase. They really believe that Islam will conquer the world including America. We used to take this talk as just propaganda at one time. After 9/11 we all woke up and realized they really believe this.

They have perverted Islam into a death cult and we are the targets.

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=OaMoDlzqTSg

I don't take the words from their leadership as just 'hot air' anymore. No rational person should even try and play down the message either. It's loud and clear that these people want a world of death and destruction and seek it.

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telling them they should die because they are Jewish

Nobody is criticizing people for being Jewish. Jewishness has nothing to do with it. These people are being criticized because they represent or support the racist, terrorist, genocidal state of Israel.

why aren't these racist Palestinians going back to there countries?

Because Israel will not let them exercise their internationally recognized right of return.

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Sorry jack but a country that's sole purpose is to protect and promote only 1 religion can never be thought of as secular. Surely, you must be joking?

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Israeli does not equal Jewish folks. And this "cease-fire" wouldn't be necessary if the whole thing hadn't started in the first place. Israel is mainly responsible.

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No side lacks fault here. Maybe Israel was careless and killed too many civilians... maybe Hamas used civilians as human shields.

Amnesty International has confirmed that Israel has been using Palestinian civilians as human shields in the past years and in this recent conflict.

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Wuzzademcrat: No, they don't.

Yes, they do.

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VOR: "The only thing that has stood in the way of Arab aggression and the slaughter of Jews is the United States support and Israeli resolve never to let anything like the holocaust happen again, so excuse me for offending your strange morals and lack of better judgment."

Dude, get real. US support of Israel is based on money, and only money, first and foremost in the sale of advanced weaponry. The 'we are defending against another holocaust' crap is just that, crap, and a load of lies.

Finally, there's a difference between supporting a cause that is just and just supporting a cause blindly. I don't think you'll find anyone (or not many, anyway) who is AGAINST Israel or who wants another holocaust, but you'll find pretty much everyone around the world is against the extreme force used by Israel in this case, and back to the US topic that country is the only one BLINDLY supporting Israel (others more than support Israel, they just don't support Israel's aggression here).

You understand now? You can support something without supporting outright slaughter of another nation's people. I don't at all support what Hamas is doing, but I support the innocent Palestinians in Gaza who are suffering. I also support Israel's right to survive, etc., but not their extreme use of aggression. Things are not 'for us or against us', my friend, and anyone who used that in politics is either gone or on their way out the door and ensured other such people won't be able to use it in politics in the future.

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The Palestinians got a bum deal and their arab brothers are using them as proxies in the continuation of the war. Listen to the words of Hamas, read their charter, listen to Hezbollah, listen to Iran, listen to the clerics, listen to the venom chanted in the streets and then tell me this is about land. this is about Islamic intollerance and if the world does not unite against this scurge it will pick off one country after another; no country is immune. but if you disagree go on living your comfortable life and stand up for things which you know nothing about.

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Dude, get real. US support of Israel is based on money, and only money, first and foremost in the sale of advanced weaponry. The 'we are defending against another holocaust' crap is just that, crap, and a load of lies.

I am real.

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likeitis,

All I said was, "Arab political parties do exist" in Israel.

You said: Political parties are nothing until they get representation the government Jack. How many seats do they have in the Knesset? How many PMs have they had? Presidents? Cabinet members? Place that number next to the number that filled those spots that were from Jewish political parties.

You're getting all defensive, but I beg to differ. Some political parties are formed, never to be elected, however, they influence the voters and other elected governments. If you get elected and do an awful job, then you're out!! If you influence other parties so they adopt your view, then you're going to last, even though you still don't get great representation.

I know the Green Parties around the world aren't getting many seats either, but you hope... Let's just not pretend Arabs have never had any representation in the Knesset. Please don't argue the numbers... it's about achievement.

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Hamas wins. Israel has an armee, Hamas has Pallywood.

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Jack, [Amnesty International has confirmed that Israel has been using Palestinian civilians as human shields in the past years and in this recent conflict.]... please come back when you are sober. And maybe try looking up the meaning of human shields. Or can you explain your train of thought or non-thought?

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The Palestinians got a bum deal and their arab brothers are using them as proxies in the continuation of the war.

Its funny, because last I heard Israel had near total control over Gaza and has since 1967. How anyone else could be using the Palestinians of Gaza is beyond me. Do they have some sort of inter-dimensional porthole???

Listen to the words of Hamas, read their charter, listen to Hezbollah, listen to Iran, listen to the clerics, listen to the venom chanted in the streets and then tell me this is about land. this is about Islamic intollerance and if the world does not unite against this scurge it will pick off one country after another; no country is immune. but if you disagree go on living your comfortable life and stand up for things which you know nothing about.

And then you spout into a tirade of crap. What part of 40 years of near total control of Gaza by the Israelis is not getting through to you? You say the Palestinians got a bum deal? That is like saying European Jews got completely ripped off during WWII. Its quite an understatement.

You can listen to the words all you want. I have been listening to words all my life. What speaks to me now are actions, because their are so damned many liars and exaggerators out there. In the end, they all bargain. All you have to do is give them enough room to do so. Israel has not given Gaza enough room to even breathe.

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Its funny, because last I heard Israel had near total control over Gaza and has since 1967. How anyone else could be using the Palestinians of Gaza is beyond me. Do they have some sort of inter-dimensional porthole???

The other Islamic states or terrorist groups (Iran, Hezbollah, etc.) just say, "go ahead brother, attack Israel and we'll support your cause with money and weapons." The Taliban had the same support from the Saudi's, which later withdrew their support. If you make a small man believe that he is invincible, he may die not knowing his fight was fruitless... and lacking 8 virgins, or whatever, in Heaven.

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All you have to do is give them enough room to do so. Israel has not given Gaza enough room to even breathe.

If that was really true, GAZA would have been under martial law all these years with an Israeli appointed Governor and ruled with an iron fist. HAMAS would never exist, the P.A would never exist and that would be the end of that.

Israel did give GAZA room to breath and in return it got a terrorist state on her southern border hell bent on her destruction.

That is reality, a reality you just refuse to face.

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Besides, daydream is American. So is Sez. So is Betzee. Did you really even bother to take an inventory of people and their positions or did you just shoot from the hip because it sounded good?

Super, I did not say ALL Americans support Israel. Of course not. I am an American, and I do not. What I said was, ahem...All the people supporting Israel here seem to be Americans or Israelis. Seems a bit odd.

Your opinion fails to take into account the dynamic that exists where people outside of the US and Israel tend to blame the US and Israel for pretty much every problem that exists in the world today. Did you factor that into your decision-making process? For some people the issue is irrelevant....they'll side against the US/Israel every time.

And in a situation where the OPPOSITE is also true, and people pound their chest and claim to be the most powerful nation on Earth, a claim necessarily based on an EXERCISE OF POWER, and so many automatically claim responsibility for absolutely NOTHING, including giving tons of money and weapons to an oppressive country.

No, I did not take either into account. You got me. But thanks for reminding of that dynamic. I toss it all into the equation and I find that your side lost a few points while gaining a bit more than that, in aggregate, a small gain. However, you are still outnumbered by a wide margin. My assertation stands: When most of the world (including many Americans) with all their varied sources and viewpoints stands against a group comprised primarily of Americans and Israelis, the Americans and Israelis should seriously consider that they might be standing on very thin ice. But that ice is only moral and political. The cash register at the arms store continues to go "cha-CHING!" loudly. Some people will do anything for money, even if its only imaginary to them.

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smithinjapan: (to VOR) Dude, get real. US support of Israel is based on money, and only money, first and foremost in the sale of advanced weaponry.

I have to hand it to you, VOR. It's almost as if you have some kind of button inside of smith that makes him put his foot in his mouth like this. Bravo.

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Israel did give GAZA room to breath and in return it got a terrorist state on her southern border hell bent on her destruction.

You got me Sail. Yes, the Israelis did not give the Gazans a coffin sized cage, but rather a cage they could move around a bit in, maybe even do some jumping jacks. Why are Gazans not more appreciative?

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I bet Hamas could not stop the rocket attacks on Israel, even if they wanted to.

My guess is they've been set up at the ends of long buried wires with timers, and the map of where they were placed has been lost, or destroyed, if it even existed.

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Jackseoul,

Jackseoul: Oh I forgot. Not inter-dimentional portholes, just wormholes... or tunnels at least! But that's OK 'cause "Israel said it destroyed roughly 60% of the hundreds of tunnels."

Prisoners are not allowed tunnels, are they Jackseoul?

You don't think people move through those tunnels?

You mean messangers? Of course I am sure they do! What I am saying is, it seems to me, that it would be far more easy to win the love and support of a people through public works and other such regular channels, than through tunnels a people should not even need to dig!

Only food and weapons?

Anything that will fit through a tunnel goes through. But don't you find it odd that we speak of tunnels so matter of factly? Why should there be any need?

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likeitis,

honestly, I'm sorry about your posts. I did have a chance to read some of them before they were deleted. I felt the same way a few days ago. Aside from obviously being at polar ends of the debates I think accepting that we are learning from all the posters says something. At least I can admit it.

Anyway...

Anything that will fit through a tunnel goes through. But don't you find it odd that we speak of tunnels so matter of factly? Why should there be any need?

Don't you think that tunnels are a clandestine way to move "things" or "people?" We know not all tunnels are made for food and medicine.

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Capitulation. Israel has achieved none of its objectives. Hamas is still in power, Southern Israeli towns are still subjected to Hamas rocket attacks, and Hamas wins the propaganda war. The Egyptian promises to stop the smuggling of rockets into Gaza are just as worthless as they were before.

Olmert should have spent the millions it cost to fight this futile military adventure to built rocket shelters for Israeli citizens -- they will need them for years to come.

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We don't know how much Israel has "achieved" due to the fact that we aren't privy to their original plans and actions, but I think from the reports they have made a dent.

Hamas may have all their leaders outside its borders, so there is probably a chicken running around with its head cut off for awhile. You don't need brainers to shoot rockets.

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Aside from obviously being at polar ends of the debates I think accepting that we are learning from all the posters says something. At least I can admit it.

I admit this also. Thanks to this debate, I feel I know one heck of a lot more about the situation than I would if I were only reading what the press feeds me.

Don't you think that tunnels are a clandestine way to move "things" or "people?

I sure do. I just cannot figure out how the needs and wants of the people of Gaza got to be "clandestine" or how anyone could look upon that situation and just gloss over it.

Gaza is a prison camp. The tunnels are part of the proof. The fact that news and materials traveling through tunnels have, by your estimation, more effect on the people of Gaza than those who have direct access to every aspect of Gazan life speaks volumes.

Moderator: The tunnels are not relevant to this discussion.

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You don't need brainers to shoot rockets.

Actually, you do. And in the situation Gazans are in, you also need massive amounts of determination.

I do not approve of this action, nor the way they directly endanger those around them (as opposed to the indirect danger of Gaza being controlled by Israel). Nor would I approve of a dog biting its master after the master smacked the dog with a newspaper too many times. But I would hardly suggest smacking the dog more. No. I would smack the master first.

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If the dog is rabid though, ya gotta put it down.

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Indiscriminate use of arsenal is more dangerous than a deliberate and targeted attack. Lack of brains would mean... shooting rockets from a kindergarten rooftop against the wind.

Anyway, I thought all that the Hamas "soldiers" had to do was light the fuse, scrunch their eyes and plug their ears... and hope the rocket launched.

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Likeitis:

" Gaza is a prison camp. The tunnels are part of the proof. "

A prison camp that attacks the outside with rockets? Tunnels to smuggle rockets (delivered all the way from Iran) into the prison camp?

Bizarre!

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sorry bushlover, but what Amnesty International has documented is definitley considered using human shields. Israel has done it for many years, look it up. You won't see it on the usual news channel, so you'll have to look a bit harder.

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If the dog is rabid though, ya gotta put it down.

Along with the animal that infected it.

Perhaps we can agree on nuking both Israel and Palestine?

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If the dog is rabid though, ya gotta put it down.

If the dog is rabid because you bit it, you can try to put it down but it may not do you any good.

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JackBerstein: sorry bushlover, but what Amnesty International has documented is definitley considered using human shields. Israel has done it for many years, look it up. You won't see it on the usual news channel, so you'll have to look a bit harder.

"Amnesty International said on Wednesday that both Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters are endangering the lives of Palestinian civilians – including by using them as human shields."

I believe you can see that both Israeli soldiers & Palestinian fighters are named. Let's not make this another one sided event. Partial truths are just a flat out lie.

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Israel has secured herself nothing but a future filled with more of the same. Stupid.

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I believe you can see that both Israeli soldiers & Palestinian fighters are named. Let's not make this another one sided event. Partial truths are just a flat out lie.

Agreed, but we constantly hear from the media and from this forum that Hamas was using its civilians as shield. And I know that I never heard from the news that Israel frequently uses Palestinian civilians as shields. So because, as you stated, "partial truths are just a flat out lie", the I decided to point this out.

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JackBerstein, right now Hamas leadership is usin' the basement of an Israeli-built hospital.

That's a war crime. -And the most cowardly one at that.

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Yang Yong:

" Israel has secured herself nothing but a future filled with more of the same. Stupid. "

That is true. But we can blame our media and governments for that, which once again swallowed Hamas´ antisemitic propaganda.

Not a word about Hamas aggression and war crimes, but non-stop reporting about Israel trying to decimate Hamas (which is hiding behind Gaza civilians).

Talk about stupid.

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I think Hamas' propaganda is anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic.

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"Israel has secured herself nothing but a future filled with more of the same. Stupid."

Israel, and the rest of us. It's called jihad.

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Not a word about Hamas aggression and war crimes, but non-stop reporting about Israel trying to decimate Hamas

Its safer for the media to tell the story the way Hamas wants it told rather then reporting both sides of the conflict accurately. The media likes a good story. They need access to tell their story. If they started reporting the truth or just showed some balance about this war, how long before Hamas sees them as the enemy and we see video tapes of members of the press getting their heads cut off?

There is so much disinformation fed by the mainstream media its easy to see why so many people think Israel is the guilty party.

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VOR:

" The media likes a good story. They need access to tell their story. If they started reporting the truth or just showed some balance about this war, how long before Hamas sees them as the enemy and we see video tapes of members of the press getting their heads cut off? "

Of course intimidation is part of the story. For the same reason, we won´t see any Mohammed cartoons, or even flattering books about Mo... the death threats are never far away.

Still, this is not the only reason. Alas, the Western education system has been shaped so much by political correctness that kids and students don´t even learn about what is out there. Instead, they are indoctrinated to think that the Israeli-Arab conflict is just about land, and the islamic jihaad has nothing to do with it.

And they are too lazy to even read the Hamas Charter, which is quite clear.

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Hamas will never learn the lesson about not cr@pping in it's own back yard and the Palestinians will suffer from that lesson not learned. I'd like to see some balance in reporting too. It's like Israels citizens were never harassed by anything dropping it their towns.

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It seems most of this "debate," if it can be dignified with that word, is focused on finger-pointing. It should be pointed at solutions and verifiable results. Let's get "israel" to follow all its obligations under 70+ UNSC resolutions, and then we'll execute its war criminals under international law. Simple.

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I have posted this before but at the dead end of another thread, so I’m posting it again, but in this case in answer to those who seem to believe the world is only made up Europe, America, Israel & Palestinians. I do not belong to any of those groups & as such that may-well be the reason that I haven’t allowed any emotional, racial, religious or nationalistic clouds to blind me. If this were any country other than Israel would this subject have generated the tens of thousands of words it has so far done here on JT? Excuses for this are always made, but I only ever see excuses.

There are so many drawing imaginary lines here, Hamas ARE Palestinians. Now try saying that to yourselves a few times until it sinks in. Now let’s move on to the democratically elected Hamas. Hamas was sharing power after the elections with the Palestinian authority but neither were happy about it so Hamas killed, imprisoned & tortured as many PA people as were not able to escape to the West Bank.

Most of you have claimed that Israel stopping the world’s media from entering the Gasa means you have no choice but to accept what is reported from the Gasa & many have used this fact as a means whereby you can, without criticism, accept all the numbers of dead being given from within Gasa. How does the Israeli action give credibility to what is being said from within Gasa?

You can all go on & on & on dredging up dates, places & numbers, but really really what it comes down to is that Hamas WAS firing rockets into Israel & Israel said stop it or we will stamp on you, Hamas didn’t (haven’t) stopped it & they have been stamped on. No one disputes that Hamas has been fighting from within the civilian population thereby bringing down Israeli fire on to their own people, yet the condemnation of this after weeks of what obviously happens is still being aimed not at the fools that put their children at risk, but at the Israelis.

Two weeks ago French TV showed news coverage from the Gasa of the funeral of children killed by Israel in the fighting. They have since said sorry because they found out that the film was of a funeral of children killed two years ago when a Hamas truck carrying explosive blew up. How many of you have the expertise to hand to know you are wrong, when you are wrong? And just for the record I am not saying that you are wrong, I am saying that gullible of the world always believe what they want to believe. Even French TV channels.

I am like any normal person, like the rest of you, I dislike the very idea of children being killed in situations like this, but having read some many of the posts here & newspaper from around the world I have actually found my feelings against the Palestinians/Hamas hardening. I started pro-Israeli & have become very pro-Israeli. The blind anger that has been directed towards Israel though so often hidden behind such caring words disgusts me. Something seems to happen to your intellects when it comes to Israel, so many of you seem to switch them off.

The real reason so many kill each other is because they believe everything they are told without first looking within themselves to ask themselves why they believe.

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And they are too lazy to even read the Hamas Charter, which is quite clear.

You mean that piece of paper? I did not take you for the kind of person to restrict or direct your actions by pieces of paper. Nor do I take Hamas for such people.

Instead, they are indoctrinated to think that the Israeli-Arab conflict is just about land, and the islamic jihaad has nothing to do with it.

So the conflict is also about land? Land and Islamic Jihad? Is that all? And I am seriously asking you.

Of course intimidation is part of the story. For the same reason, we won´t see any Mohammed cartoons, or even flattering books about Mo... the death threats are never far away.

No surprise that death threats are all you can understand. Did you ever stop and think that most people realize that such things are offensive to Muslims and stop? I am sure I could come up with quite the witty "Jesus on a Cross" cartoon, but the reason I do not is because it would offend people who worship Jesus, not because of the death threats I would SURELY receive.

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Its safer for the media to tell the story the way Hamas wants it told rather then reporting both sides of the conflict accurately.

Gee, I don't remember you complaining about the accuracy of the media when they were reporting on all the thousands of rockets but not quite emphasizing how few were killed by them, or bothering to give reasons for the rockets beyond how the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

If they started reporting the truth or just showed some balance about this war,

While I agree with that sentiment, you have got to be one of the last people I would say knows anything of balance.

how long before Hamas sees them as the enemy and we see video tapes of members of the press getting their heads cut off?

And then BAM, you come up with an unbalanced statement! While you are forced to dream up scenarios of Hamas beheadings, do you write off very real killings of UN aid workers by Israel as "just a mistake"?

They need access to tell their story.

So now do you know why Israel likes to keep people out of Gaza?

There is so much disinformation fed by the mainstream media its easy to see why so many people think Israel is the guilty party.

Good ole Mr. Balanced! Actually there is so much disinformation is easy to see why people are so confused and messed up about the entire issue, including thinking Israel is some sort of underdog in the press that needs your defending. Its the people that pick a side despite a sea of misinformation that I worry about.

As much as I too decry the press, I thank the heavens that your kind of balance is not present.

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likeitis have you ever considered what your kind of balance look like? No? Oh I'm schlocked!! this quote from you, and I'll use square brackets to help separate your words, [Gee, I don't remember you complaining about the accuracy of the media when they were reporting on all the thousands of rockets but not quite emphasizing how few were killed by them] is rather odd. It seems to imply that rockets fired at someone is ok as long as they are not hitting anyone. If that's the case you go out about 100 meters and I'll fire a rifle in your direction. I won't aim at you but just fire in your direction. You should be ok with that by the sounds of it. After all I'm just doing it in fun mate and mean no harm at all with the 5.56mm in your direction. Those are pretty small rounds to fly by you. Don't worry without aiming your most likely not to get hit. I'm a terrible shot anyway even if I aim. No worries, she'll be right mate.

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You should be ok with that by the sounds of it.

Nope, I am not ok with it. And I am not okay with the rockets. But if I stole your land, locked you and your whole family up in a tiny shack with guards inside and did not let you out, and killed some of your relatives in the process, I still would not approve of you taking pot shots at me, but I would be really stupid not to expect it, even 60 years later.

What I could do to neutralize the situation I am not completely sure. Taking the guards out of your little shack is a step in the right direction, as was letting you walk outside one spring a few years ago, but I don't expect its enough to keep the peace. Maybe I should smack you around some more and kill one or two of your womenfolk? That should keep you quiet for a bit.

I suppose I ought to remind the town how nice I was to give you that shack too! They seem to be getting pretty uppity lately. Any way, I need to get back to tending my green acres.

But I do not approve of rockets, or violence in general. I also do not approve of robbing people of the context wherein violence takes place when discussing such incidents. Both parties are wrong, but it seems one is more wrong than the other.

Tell you what, you stop your poorly aimed shots at me and I will give you a cookie. Deal?

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likeitis; i'll concede one thing to you. i can understand why you disagree so strongly with pretty much everything i say. not because you are right or anything like that but because you believe so strongly with what you think you know about this topic any opposing view point is viewed as a threat to your belief system. i'm sure there are palestinians out there that do not wish for the destruction of Israel and prefer peace and a better future for their children. unfortunately these people are controlled by a terrorist organization hellbent on the destruction of Israel. Money donated by the international community is squandered on weapons used to attack Israel or ends up in Swiss bank accounts. There is no hope for the Palestinians until the moderates amongst them are able to lead. Unfortunately, these are the same people being brutalized and killed by Hamas. My hope is that the rockets stop and Hamas or whoever leads the Palestinian people are able to sit at the table and move toward a reasonable solution. Continuing to attack Israel only causes more bloodshed on both sides of the border.

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VOR, I think that is the best post I have seen from you yet. Good job. I should get around to addressing specific points later, but for now, I will just give you pat on the back.

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It really doesn't matter about who did what to whom at what point; and all the finger pointing won't provide any solutions, just more anger. Insofar as man is a community animal, as long as two groups exist together, but where one group is socially, politically, and economically disadvantaged to the other group (for whatever reasons), you will always have conflict. The only way that peace can come to Palestine is one of the following three ways; [1] one side completely kills the other [2] they have peace enforced by a ruthless third party more powerful than both sides put together [3] they embrace each other and share all facets of their existence equally. What's amazing about these conflicts is, that at the time of their struggle, neither side can appreciate that (in general) their collective existence in history is fleeting, as most civilizations eventually disappear or are absorbed by others. A few hundred years from now, Israel and Palestine may both wind up in the dustbin of history.

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The cease fire may be in place but the damage done has been immense, and the seeds for further and wider conflict most certainly have been sewn by this murderous assault on humanity.

Just as a wrap up of the type of military assault the city of Gaza was subject to go here. Hospital medical staff in Gaza report the kinds of injuries seen were horrific in not only nature but in scale. Reports have been gathered from interviews conducted by The Financial Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, as well as from the Associated Press, and from Rueters. Fascist inspired slogans painted on the walls of bombed buildings by departing troops are reported also. News reports are that chemical weapons had been used on a school, with accusations by several civilians that contradict the official Israeli statements that troops responded to being under fire from the school zone. However, it is one particular weapon used reported in this article by hospital staff that is the most profoundly disturbing, and that is the one known as Dime.

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So Saddam and the IDF have a lot in common it seems . . . .

After weeks of denying that they had used white phosphorus in heavily-populated areas of Gaza, the IDF has admitted that Israeli forces may have used the napalm-like chemical in violation of both international law and the Israeli military's own policy. The Guardian reports:

According to senior IDF officers, quoted today in the Ha'aretz newspaper, the Israeli military made use of two different types of phosphorus munitions.

The first, they insisted, was contained in 155mm artillery shells, and contained "almost no phosphorus" except for a trace to ignite the smoke screen.

The second munitions, at the centre of the inquiry by Col Alkalai, are standard phosphorus shells – both 88mm and 120mm – fired from mortars.

About 200 of these shells were fired during Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and of these – say the IDF – 180 were fired on Hamas fighters and rocket launch crews in northern Gaza.

Alkalai is investigating the circumstances in which the remaining 20 shells were fired, amid compelling evidence on the ground that phosphorus munitions were involved in the attack on a UN warehouse and a UN school.

...

The use of phosphorus as an incendiary weapon as it now appears to have been used against Hamas fighters – as opposed to a smoke screen – is covered by the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons to which Israel in not a signatory.

However, Israel also is obliged under the Geneva Conventions and customary international humanitarian law to give due care to protecting the civilian population when deciding on appropriate military targeting and response to hostile fire, particularly in heavily built up areas with a strict prohibition on the use of indiscriminate force.

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It seems most of this "debate," if it can be dignified with that word, is focused on finger-pointing. It should be pointed at solutions and verifiable results. Let's get "israel" to follow all its obligations under 70+ UNSC resolutions, and then we'll execute its war criminals under international law. Simple.

I'll second that!

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