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Israel fires on Lebanon after rocket strike

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I understand that Hamas, Isreal amd Egypt will be meeting at the US tommorrow.

We won't get an agreement. It's going to take more then these three to broker and build in safeguards and an agreement.

Pray for peace. < :-)

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Peace is what Hamas says it is. I think they still want Israel wiped off the map. So...........

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Okay they are saying the meeting will be in Egypt tomorrow, not at the UN.

Stay tuned for changes. < :-)

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Gawd, the world is in financial chaos , and this happens.

I hope Obama is going to take a different stance than Bush and make Israel change their ways.

I get upset at work with rude customers, but this carnage shows how little are problems reall are.

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And Isreal doesn't want Gaza wiped out? Please, Isreal isn't some wonderful country who has been innocent in this whole ordeal. They have been as guilty as Gaza has. < :-)

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Peace keepers are not what Hamas wants & doesn't that say so much?

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Open all borders eh? Hasn't that been done before? And they said any outside help will be treated as enemy forces? Wheee, Hamas' motto "Rocks and hardspots are a way of life!"

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As guilty as Gaza? No, they weren't blindly shooting into Gaza repeatedly without stopping. They weren't refusing truce negotiations. Israel pulled out of Gaza, gave up all claim to it, in order to trade land for Peace, but Hamas wasn't buying.

Having said this, I really do hope it works. I don't think anyone except extremists on both sides really want to see fighting and death. Unfortunately, the real question is, will Israel hold out for provisions that block Hamas re-arming, and will those provisions be effective?

If they do, and if they work, then peace could work. But it really all comes down to Hamas. Whether they will agree to peace or not.

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Their can be endless rounds of negotiations but the status quo of the past 50+ plus years will not and can not possibly change until the Palestinian and Arab Islamo-facists decide that they no longer want to destroy Israel. If and when that occurs, then diplomacy has a chance of achieving something. Until then, Israel should continue to strike against the terrorists hiding behind the human shield of a willing Palestinian populace.

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It may also be possible that nothing can change until Israel gives up all the land it took after the '67 conflict. Or until it makes good on the right of return. Or....

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“there has to be a total and complete cessation of all hostile fire from Gaza into Israel, and ... we have to see an arms embargo on Hamas that will receive international support.”

That doesn't seem to unreasonable.

It may also be possible that nothing can change until Israel gives up all the land it took after the '67 conflict. "

Not taken, won in an unprovoked attack on them by three countries.

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Israel pulled out of Gaza, gave up all claim to it, in order to trade land for Peace, but Hamas wasn't buying.

Gave up all claim? Well, isn't that a rosy picture you paint. You sort of skipped over the fact that Israel maintained control of the airspace of Gaza Strip, her territorial waters, and borders, including the border with Egypt. Israel continued to control the food to Gaza, still does, and when Gaza Strip complains about not having enough of anything, Israel says bullcrap. Convenient to say the least. Reminds me of my step-father who used to tell me that I was not cold in winter. You will never guess who controlled the thermostat.

But it really all comes down to Hamas. Whether they will agree to peace or not.

Or whether they agree to near complete isolation or not.

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It may also be possible that nothing can change until Israel gives up all the land it took after the '67 conflict.

SezWho - Do you honestly believe these radical Muslim Arabs are going to end their Jihad against Israel if it gives up some tiny amount of land from a war over forty years ago? I think you're bright enough to know they won't.

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Helter Skelter,

I don't think that is the issue. I think the issue is what it will take for the more moderate inhabitants of Palestine and the Middle East to hold the radical elements in check.

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If Israel gave up all claim, then Hamas would not be "smuggling" anything. They are importing desperately needed stuff which Israel does not want it to have: food, medicine, fuel, and weapons. The only reason they call it smuggling is because they do not control their own borders.

As for wanting to wipe Israel off the map, it is Palestine that has been steadily being wiped off the map during the past six decades.

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likeitis,

Gave up all claim? Well, isn't that a rosy picture you paint. You sort of skipped over the fact that Israel maintained control of the airspace of Gaza Strip, her territorial waters, and borders, including the border with Egypt.

As I have already pointed out to you, when Israel pull out of Gaza, they did give control of the border with Egypt to the Palestinian Authority. You have this information, yet you continue to respond as if you have never heard it...That is not to say that Israel does not control it all now. They do. However, you are also painting an incorrect picture of the situation. There were plans in place for air and sea control as well, however because of incidents (one of which I provided you as requested) of violence Israel ended up taking control back. As it turns out, neither Israel nor Egypt wanted Hamas to have control of the Gazan/Egyptian border.

I just hope as Sezwho2 mentions that negotiations can create a future atmosphere where moderates on both sides can keep their respective extremists in check and that a real peace can be created for both nations.

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sabiwabi,

See above...

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kinniku, So Gazans have never controlled their own borders, they have never been able to freely import, export, or travel abroad. That is the only reason people call it smuggling.

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sabiwabi,

Why is it you have so much trouble reading? Do you dispute the fact the Palestinian Authority was given control of the Gazan/Egyptian border? If so, you would be incorrect. As such, you are incorrect that Gazans never had control of their own border.

Maybe the reason your link is not allowed is because it is not part of an intelligent conversation on the issue today. Particularly when Palestine was essentially 'wiped out' 60 years ago when Israel gained independence and the surrounding countries absorbed the occupied territories. The nation of Palestine has only recently started to exist (as a people they always existed of course) when Israel and the Palestinian Authority entered into negotiations that resulted in the PA being armed and controlling parts of the occupied territories. Before you jump up and down and say it is not enough, let me say that is obvious. However, there actually has been more progress on the ground for the Palestinian nation in the last 20 or so years than there had been in all the 40 years before that.

If moderates on both sides can seize the day, more progress can be hoped for...

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To be clear, I am referring to PA control of the border shortly after Israel pulled out in 2005...

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kinniku,

As I have already pointed out to you, when Israel pull out of Gaza, they did give control of the border with Egypt to the Palestinian Authority. You have this information, yet you continue to respond as if you have never heard it.

Control of the movement of PEOPLE ONLY. The flow of goods remained controlled by ISRAEL. That means 100 percent of the flow of goods was controlled by ISRAEL, 100 percent of the time. Giving over control of the flow of people to ONE country through ONE border is a concession, but it is a PALTRY SMALL ONE. And even that was given to Gaza Strip. It was the U.N. controlling that, another third party.

You have this information, yet you continue to respond as if you have never heard it.

Were you talking to yourself that time???

There were plans in place for air and sea control as well, however because of incidents (one of which I provided you as requested) of violence Israel ended up taking control back.

Make up your mind! Either there were plans or Israel relinquished control and then took it back. It can't be both. Its no use me responding until you got that absolutely clear.

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likeitis,

I never said that Israel gave control of the air or sea to Gaza...please read what people write...

As far as the conditions of the border control that the PA once had, that was all part of the negotiations amongst the PA, Israel and Egypt...If you have a complaint, take it up with them.

Lastly, if you are going to complain about concessions in this conflict as opposed to seeing them as possible stepping stones to greater peace, then it is obvious that you cannot see any hope for real peace. Each concession in a sea of a lack of concessions should be embraced, not belittled. In addition, I find it fascinating that you seek to 'teach' me about the conditions of the border handover, when just a few days ago you did not even seem to be aware that it had happened...

Were you talking to yourself that time???

I have no idea what you are talking about. I think I have been quite patient in answers questions of yours (that you seem to repeat even though you received answers )that you could have easily found the answers to yourself up to now...

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kinniku,

Why is it that you still pretend not to understand the very simple point I am making? It is completely meaningless to give control of Gaza's border to the PA if Israel (or Egypt) control what/who enters and exits. That is the only reason some people refer to it as smuggling. They are importing needed stuff.

I will not go through another hair-splitting session with you. The last thing I want to say to you is that I hope you realize that by siding with Israel in this particular case, you have discredited all your previous posts. Not that I ever thought they had any validity, but now it will be obvious to everyone.

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sabiwabi,

During the period the PA had control of the border, they controlled who entered and exited. That is what control means. Are you disputing this? If so, again, you are incorrect...

That is the only reason some people refer to it as smuggling. They are importing needed stuff.

As far as I know, the term smuggling in this case is used solely for the smuggling of weapons. You might think they need them. However, that is what is referred to with regard to smuggling. Neither Egypt nor Israel want Hamas smuggling weapons. I have not heard either country refer to food or medical supplies and use the term smuggling...

The last thing I want to say to you is that I hope you realize that by siding with Israel in this particular case, you have discredited all your previous posts.

Ummm...what particular case are you talking about? Discussion of the border control in 2005? As far as the current conflict, I believe both sides could have done things to prevent it.

Not that I ever thought they had any validity, but now it will be obvious to everyone.

Coming from someone who went to the trouble of posting on Christmas to continue to blame the Jews for the death of Jesus, I take this as a compliment...

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The World Bank estimates 70 percent of Gaza's 1.4 million people live in poverty, defined as living on less than $2.30 a day.

When the border opened in 2005 a visa from Egypt was required to cross if you were a Palestinian. How much it cost, I do not know. It varies with country. For a Canadian I read $15 U.S. So, let us assume it is the same. You are living on $2.30 a day (or less) that is 69 dollars a month (for the lucky amount the 70 percent). So, after buying food and paying rent and taxes (perhaps going without electricity, new clothes, and of course, washing your current clothes by hand, perhaps in the local stream) how much is left to put in the bank to save up for that visa? Note that negative amounts do NOT accrue.

Also note that you had a six month window to cross before ISRAEL, citing security concerns and not actual violence, the border was closed 86 percent of the time for the next year until it was closed completely. Not knowing when those approximately 51 days you could cross would be sort of makes travel plans difficult.

Seems to me like Gazans were free to cross the border like we are all free to buy a brand new Ferrari Testarossas. Ain't freedom grand?

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likeitis,

Well I guess a lot of Gazans had enough money to 'buy a brand new Ferrari Testarossas' because over 1500 Gazans did cross in the first day of PA border control.

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They are importing desperately needed stuff which Israel does not want it to have: food, medicine, fuel, and weapons.

Sabi - I like the way you throw in weapons with food, medicine, and fuel. Hehe. Israel doesn't a problem with Hamas importing food, medicine, and fuel. Israel does have a problem with Hamas importing weapons, especially for making rockets. So as long as Hamas rockets continue to land in Israel, Israel and Egypt will continue to clamp down on the borders. It's Hamas that has created this mess, like terrorists do everywhere.

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I never said that Israel gave control of the air or sea to Gaza...please read what people write...

Please don't fill in lines that I DIDN'T write. I never accused you of saying that. I am just pointing out to you that this grand concession of Israel's you are touting is like a guy stealing $1000 dollars and giving back $50 and here you are saying what a wonderful guy he is.

As far as the conditions of the border control that the PA once had, that was all part of the negotiations amongst the PA, Israel and Egypt...If you have a complaint, take it up with them.

Oh. So you are free to hail the situation, but no one is free to complain, or so much as point out that you are making a mountain of pie of a molehill of sugar. I think the Israeli way of dealling might have rubbed off on you.

I find it fascinating that you seek to 'teach' me about the conditions of the border handover, when just a few days ago you did not even seem to be aware that it had happened...

That sir is the lamest arguing point ever. There was no "seem". I freely admitted that I was no expert, and I still am not. Neither are you. Rest assured, I am not making this up. I am checking an rechecking facts, and your attempt to undermine those facts because I had not known them a few days ago is lame sir. Lame lame lame. Facts do not become truer with time. They simply are.

Lastly, if you are going to complain about concessions in this conflict as opposed to seeing them as possible stepping stones to greater peace, then it is obvious that you cannot see any hope for real peace.

I think it was great that Israel made this baby step toward peace. But a baby step it remains, and in the adult world, it is hardly sufficient. A much bigger step was withdrawing from Gaza. But honestly, what is the use of having control of such a small strip of ground so heavily populated with no natural resources so bottled up? The place is TOTALLY dependent on imports, and if those imports do not flow, the people will be uneasy. And they have no control over them. Never had.

It is very easy for me, from the peace and prosperity of my life, to see the need to take it one step at a time. If I were living in Gaza I could guarantee I could not be nearly as patient, and I cannot see that things moved forward enough fast enough to keep them patient. In fact, a lot of what I am reading makes me think I might be more comfortable in Ashkelon even with the supped up hobby rockets coming in! I have not heard about Jewish settlers fleeing in droves...

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likeitis,

Please don't fill in lines that I DIDN'T write. I never accused you of saying that.

Fair enough. However considering you are still learning, it might behoove you to tone down the arrogance a tad bit.

I am just pointing out to you that this grand concession of Israel's you are touting is like a guy stealing $1000 dollars and giving back $50 and here you are saying what a wonderful guy he is.

And again, I am telling you that over 1500 Palestinians were happy to be able to cross the border and if the situation had not change for the worse it would have gotten better. Your analogy is weak. The only time Gazans had control over their own border was when it was controlled by Israel. They certainly did not have this control when Egypt occupied it. In fact, for the most part, they were never allowed to leave the territory.

Oh. So you are free to hail the situation, but no one is free to complain, or so much as point out that you are making a mountain of pie of a molehill of sugar.

No. I am saying when a person incorrectly claiming only a few days ago that Gazans never had control of their own border then wants to starts attempt to lecture others on the conditions of the border, it is weak.

I am checking an rechecking facts, and your attempt to undermine those facts because I had not known them a few days ago is lame sir.

My complaint is the arrogance with which you are forming arguments about things I have been helping you understand and then acting as if you are teaching me this 'facts'.

It is very easy for me, from the peace and prosperity of my life, to see the need to take it one step at a time. If I were living in Gaza I could guarantee I could not be nearly as patient, and I cannot see that things moved forward enough fast enough to keep them patient.

Agreed. However you are not in Gaza and you should be able to look at the situatioh with a clearer perspective and with a realistic attitude toward solutions leading to a just peace for all concerned.

In fact, a lot of what I am reading makes me think I might be more comfortable in Ashkelon even with the supped up hobby rockets coming in!

I don't know where your new found desire to research has been taking you, but I doubt this would be true. The fear of never knowing when a rocket (they are not 'hobby rockets', speaking of lame comments) that has killed before will come landing on top of you and worrying about this 24 hours a day would take its toll on any normal human being. To think otherwise is not only unrealistic, it is cold-hearted. I would never even think of describing a situation in which the potential for loss of human existed in such terms.

I have not heard about Jewish settlers fleeing in droves...

Again, this problem of writing things that you are not familiar with...there are no 'settlers' in Israel. They are Israeli citizens. They are also afraid for their lives and caught up in this dangerous situation.

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likeitis,

One more point, you say you are not making things up. However, I have corrected quite a few errors in your statements in the last few days. Whether you are making things up or not is not the point. The point is you are sorely lacking information and not really in a position to lecture others in an arrogant tone.

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Well I guess a lot of Gazans had enough money to 'buy a brand new Ferrari Testarossas' because over 1500 Gazans did cross in the first day of PA border control.

Cross which way? You are aware there are Palestinians living in Egypt who had not been able to re-enter Gaza? It would be far easier for them to get visas. Then we have the question of who made muliple entries and re-entries. And these are numbers neither of us have easy access to to get a perfectly clear picture.

Let us look at the Testarossa: Gaza has a population of about 1,500,000 people. 1500 amounts to .1 percent of the population. If .1 percent of the population of any first world country could not bust their bottom to scrape together the about $200,000 it takes to buy a Testarossa, if they wanted it that badly, I will eat my hat!

Now the Testarossa thing was not meant to be a monetarily accurate point. It was merely to prove a point that its really easy to say someone is free to do something they don't have the money to do. And money is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the difficulties. Its like Marie Antoinette saying "Let them eat cake!" (probably never really said it but...)

Come on dude. Concede the point. Gazan's are poor. $15 US is a lot of money when you live on less than $2.30 a day.

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However, I have corrected quite a few errors in your statements in the last few days. Whether you are making things up or not is not the point.

I think you will be hard pressed to find even 3 factual errors I have made in all the details we have discussed. I have asked questions and expressed doubts, you have pointed in clear directions. THAT MUCH, I admit. But in no way is the statement "corrected quite a few errors" correct.

Not that I have any desire to get into a pissing match about who made what errors and who corrected them. All I want to do is get the truth out. The only reason I counter you is the reason of wanting the truth out. And the grand truth here is that the border control thing is not much to crow about. Anybody saying otherwise did not read much past the headlines.

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No matter how one wishes to embellish this, as long as Israel controls Gaza's sea and air, Palestinians do not control their borders. They should be able to import export anything they want if they were truly free. Gazans are simply inmates in a concentration camp. Of all people, I would have expected more understanding from the Israelis.

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However considering you are still learning, it might behoove you to tone down the arrogance a tad bit.

Fair enough. You could be less condescending.

The fear of never knowing when a rocket (they are not 'hobby rockets', speaking of lame comments) that has killed before will come landing on top of you and worrying about this 24 hours a day would take its toll on any normal human being.

How many dead in Israel and yes, Israeli occupied territory, from all rocket attacks? How many dead in just one week in June in Gaza in 2007? The other sweet deal with living in Ashkelon is that no visa is required to leave!

I am saying when a person incorrectly claiming only a few days ago that Gazans never had control of their own border then wants to starts attempt to lecture others on the conditions of the border, it is weak.

And my position has not changed! Gazans never had control of the border! They had partial control of one crossing, so partial in fact, that it is preposterous to just say "they had control"!

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They should be able to import export anything they want if they were truly free.

Including weapons for terrorist groups like Hamas? You'd have to be a supporter of terrorism to agree to that, sabiwabi.

Gazans are simply inmates in a concentration camp.

Of their own making. As they say, "Palestinians" love their misery.

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when you are under daily rocket and mortar attack you have the right to defend yourself including closing your border and establishing an embargo in a non violent attempt to avoid further bloodshed.

Hamas needs to come out from behind their women and children and surrender to the Israelis. Until they do, the blood is on Hamas head.

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Of all people, I would have expected more understanding from the Israelis.

You should be saying from the Jews. And many do exhibit that understanding. But the Israelis I think are bitter as country of Jews in general. One of the hard lessons they learned was how people turn a blind eye to the suffering of others in walled up ghettos and concentration camps. Outside observers will believe any pretty lie to make the picture prettier so they can go about their lives without feeling guilty. The Israelis absorbed that lesson very well and understand it very clearly. They know quite well what was done to them and how propaganda allowed it to happen.

As the old Israelis die off it may be that the country is letting go of their greed and bitterness. Again I confess that handing over Gaza was a step in the right direction, small as it was.

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If history has shown us anything, Isreal will go to the tables and talk, walk away and say they are going to think about it and continue bombing for another week or so. < :-)

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likeitis,

Your first post to me started with 'come off it', so I hardly think you are in a position to speak of being condescending...Just as in the Middle East, you get what you give and, more often than not, more.

It is obvious you only see one side as wrong and this is very evident in your post above.

As far as the PA control of the border is concerned, again, that is the agreement all the parties made. However, they had total control of that border.

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when you are under daily rocket and mortar attack you have the right to defend yourself including closing your border and establishing an embargo in a non violent attempt to avoid further bloodshed.

Oh, dear. The cart before the horse again!

First off, Israel has a right to close its border with anyone it wants. The question is what it does with the borders of others.

If any country blocked your country's borders with complete other countries and blockaded your sea access as well, I bet you a hundred thousand million dollars you would support your right to launch total war on that country. Mere rocket and mortar attacks would be called a kindness by you.

The blockade came first. The rockets after.

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yes, gaza is a kind of concentration camp. hamas fundamentalists proclaim they are 'slaves of allah'. there is a connection.

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However, they had total control of that border.

That is it. Done. Finished. Believe what you want. I am afraid the shock of pulling your head out of the sand might kill you.

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Of all people, I would have expected more understanding from the Israelis.You should be saying from the Jews.

likeitis,

I have no reason to suspect that Jews in general do not understand the suffering of the people in Gaza. Although some Israelis are against this conflict, I believe most support it. And since Israel is called a "democracy", Israelis are responsible for their government's actions.

They should be able to import export anything they want if they were truly free. Including weapons for terrorist groups like Hamas? You'd have to be a supporter of terrorism to agree to that, sabiwabi.

HS,

Gazans do not have any less right to import weapons than Israel does, in fact they need them more than Israel does. And by any stretch of the imagination, the terrorists now are clearly the Israelis; and I obviously do not support Israel.

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the terrorists now are clearly the Israelis

In fact Arab terrorism strengthened the hands of right-wing Israeli politicians who took a hard line against the Palestinians who responded with more rockets which the Right, both in Israel and the USA, used as proof that "see, we're right about 'em". The assault on Gaza will simply up the ante rather than changing the status quo.

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Gaza is a mess, Israel has the right defend herself, Hamas really enjoys putting their victims on CNN, Aljazeera etc..to make look Israel look like the big bully, Iran and Syria should be ashamed of themselves for supporting Hamas, Hezbollah etc..please do not forget that even EGYPT hates Hamas, before the Israeli attacks started, this Israelis woman with the wierd name went to Cairo, got the go ahead to kill off Hamas, even Egypt wants Hamas dead, Egypt is a SECULAR state and they are angry with Hamas trying to form an Islamic state in Gaza.

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Egypt is a SECULAR state

Egypt is also a dictatorship and the second largest recipient of American aid after Israel. This is the problem with the so-called "moderate" Arab states, they are run by autocrats who are heavily dependent on the US to remain in power.

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likeitis,

Considering the number of times you have asserted incorrect information, I would be careful of talking about pulling MY head out of the sand. The Rafah crossing was only being used for PEOPLE when the PA had TOTAL control over that operation. Cargo went in through another port that was Israeli controlled. That is the agreement the three parties agreed to. That is a fact. Your writing that the fees were too high or that cargo could not pass through ignores the fact that it was a very large step in the correct direction. You want to see it as a small step...fine. However, it was felt to be a large step by the people that mattered at the time, the Palestinians...

The question is what it does with the borders of others.

It has been pointed out to you a number of times that Israel was and is not the only border controller. Egypt also does not want Hamas to have border control...

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sabiwabi,

Gazans do not have any less right to import weapons than Israel does

This is not true...they have signed agreements with Israel and Egypt stipulating that weapons NOT be brought into Gaza...

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adaydream,

Thanks for your words the other day. May I ask? Why do you consistently spell Israel incorrectly?

As far as Israel and Hamas...neither side seems particularly interested in stopping yet...

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Betzee,

Interesting point. I have always wondered how different things could have been in the Middle East had Sadat not been assassinated...

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what does Hamas have to lose by putting down its weapons and declaring Israels right to exist? Israel would have no choice but to return to its 1967 borders.

But we all know; even the most vocal Hamas supporter, thats not what Hamas really wants. More importantly,thats not what Iran, Syria or any of the Arab states want.

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VOR,

Well put. There is other way around it...Two states side-by-side at peace. Nothing else will do...

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what does Hamas have to lose by putting down its weapons and declaring Israels right to exist? Israel would have no choice but to return to its 1967 borders.

Done that. Didn't work.

There is other way around it...Two states side-by-side at peace. Nothing else will do...

Israel will never accept this unless Palestinians are left with small bits of the worst pieces of land and no control of their borders (ie., same concentration camp simply being called a state). In my opinion, the only thing that would work is an internationally enforced one-state solution, with everyone treated equally, and Palestinians' right of return. Basically, something like what existed in Palestine a little less than a century ago, with Muslims, Jews, Christians living side by side in peace.

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Moderator:

I seldom comment on anything unless I feel it is of paramount importance. Why were the links I posted this morning from the Guardian and Independent removed? You tell me it is "off topic" How is presenting the other side of this conflict (articles written by award-winning journalists and an Israeli) which posters are discussing "off topic", yet posters can write "Palestinians love their misery" is not off topic? Your article talks about and I quote:

>The Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement that one of its ambulance drivers was shot by Israeli soldiers during the lull. The Israeli military said it had no knowledge of the incident.

The links I posted addresse this issue where the Israeli miltary often claims they have no knowledge of their shooting incidents. How is that off topic?

This is just one example.

Did you really remove the links because those articles actually give a more accurate picture of what is really going on with the Gaza crisis? That they explain (one article by an Israeli who was once a solider himself) why Hamas does what it does?

I am not for terror in any form, but when the slaughtering of human life, the human condition, which we all share, takes place, is it wrong to question it? And is it wrong to post the links of thought provoking articles written by award winning journalists and professors on this crisis so that we have a clearer view of the situation or at least get a different perspective? Or is the slightest questioning of what Israel does branded anit-semitic? If you actually read the articles, you would see that they tie in very well with your article and are very ON topic.

Moderator: As we have repeatedly said, the purpose of the discussion board is for readers to provide their opinions on the story, not post links to sites featuring other people giving their opinions. Too often, readers post links to propaganda sites or to columnists - award-winning or otherwise - who are biased or have their own agenda. For example, some readers have felt compelled to post links to sites discussing the biblical history of the area, others think it is relevant to post what Albert Einstein thought of the conflict, and so on. We prefer to keep this discussion board for our readers' points of view.

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Gazans do not have any less right to import weapons than Israel does This is not true...they have signed agreements with Israel and Egypt stipulating that weapons NOT be brought into Gaza...

Sometimes, people may be forced to sign agreements. Does not make it right. I stand by my comment: Gazans do not have any less right to import weapons than Israel does.

Anyway, Israel seems to have no regard for its own agreements. But hey, feel free to continue to defend these people.

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Kinniku

As always thank you for your rational and balanced posts on the Israeli / Palistinian conflict.

I would like to offer a little take on the very points you have made regarding the way the Gaza borders were to be operated after the Israeli withdrawal.

The incremental steps of opening the borders between the P.A Eygpt and Israel were called in the parlance of diplomacy as 'confidence building measures'.

Both Egypt and Israel have a terrorist problem for years. Eygpt with the Muslim Brotherhood and I don't think I need to go into Israel's many enemies. They, and any rational person should be able to agree at least with this, sure wanted to make sure that any opening of the borders would not result in a Terrorist haven and funnel for extremism back into their respective nations. That is way they did not opt for a full opening of all the borders from the start.

This isn't anything that should shock anyone. It was prudent, it was smart and it gave the Palistinians yet another opportunity to miss and opportunity in showing that they could control the extremists and militants in their midst that they could be trusted to reign in terrorism on their side.

Instead of moving from one confidence building measure to another the P.A showed it can't reign in the militants and HAMAS. The blockade is was re-instated by both Eygpt and Israel in direct response to protecting both their citizens from a terrorist threat.

That is the primary function of any Government Protect your own citizens first. HAMAS did a pretty lousy job on that one I'd say, judging by the reaction Israel finally took to stop the terror attacks from rockets and mortars on her Southern Civilians.

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sailwind,

Well written post. It really is a shame that things did not progress in the ways most peace-loving people would have hoped for.

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Done that. Didn't work.

Sorry. I must have missed that. When exactly did Hamas do those things?

with Muslims, Jews, Christians living side by side in peace.

There is such a place...it is called Israel, where there are citizens of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Druze, Bahai and other faiths.

However, it is geopolitically completely unrealistic to expect that these groups will form one country again when the rest of the world seems to be creating new countries and splitting existing countries at the drop of a hat. The new world sees groups of people wanting their own independence and the Palestinians are no different. They want their own country and they deserve to have it...just not at the sake of destroying another existing country.

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This just in: Hezbollah must have a death wish just like Hamas - at least four rockets fired from Lebanon have hit northern Israel.

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There is such a place...it is called Israel, where there are citizens of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Druze, Bahai and other faiths.

Notice that I mentioned "with everyone treated equally". Israel does not have that.

They want their own country and they deserve to have it...just not at the sake of destroying another existing country.

They had their country until it was taken away by force. You can continue to ignore the conspiracy of Israel's creation and believe that it was just a struggle for the survival of this persecuted group, it isn't!

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It really is a shame that things did not progress in the ways most peace-loving people would have hoped for.

I feel the same way. Gaza could and should have been well on her way as being the next Singapore. It's got what every real estate agents dream is 'Location, Location, Location.

Instead it got busy with HAMAS. I have to shake my head sometimes at the stupidity of both sides of the conflict, Israel by building settlements on traditional Arab land from wars that she had won and the Palistinians for never accepting that they lost the war between them in the first place.

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sabiwabi,

All of the groups I mentioned are citizens of Israel. What unequality are you specifically referring to? (By the way, I found your direction in the conversation rather ironic when it is you who has stated that Jewish people in Iran aren't treated 'that badly' or some such).

Israel was created through a war, not by the UN. This is the reality. You see conspiracies in your own shadow...

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iran wants war.

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sailwind,

Exactly. Hopefully someday, somehow, cooler and more rational heads will prevail on all sides. Investors would be drowning in their own drool to invest in a peaceful Palestine!

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688 Palestinian (220 are children according to BBC) 10 Israelis (3 are civilians)

I believe Israel act is a war crime.

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Shams - War for sure, but I have not seen any evidence for War Crime.

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In fact Arab terrorism strengthened the hands of right-wing Israeli politicians who took a hard line against the Palestinians who responded with more rockets which the Right, both in Israel and the USA, used as proof that "see, we're right about 'em". The assault on Gaza will simply up the ante rather than changing the status quo.

Betzee again. Telling it like it is. The right. The war junkies. Having a field day. On both sides.

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Sorry. I must have missed that. When exactly did Hamas do those things?

He was not talking about Hamas. Come on. Think!

They want their own country and they deserve to have it...just not at the sake of destroying another existing country.

It all rides on "existing" country. Nice of you to throw that in, else this could apply to both sides.

But at least we are basically in agreement about something.

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I am glad that Israle has retaliated against the extreme Islamist terrorists in Lebanon, just like they have in Gaza. The world`s media seems to be largely taking an anti-Israeli point of view, but Israel is only protecting its own people. There is no making peace with hamas - they are just a bunch of terrorist thugs and murderers, who deserve all they are getting. I do feel sorry for the innocent victims, though.

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Interesting, but I still believe the only thing that would work is an internationally enforced one-state solution, with everyone treated equally, and Palestinians' right of return. Basically, something like what existed in Palestine a little less than a century ago, with Muslims, Jews, Christians living side by side in peace.

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"There is no making peace with hamas - they are just a bunch of terrorist thugs and murderers, who deserve all they are getting. I do feel sorry for the innocent victims, though."

And therein lies the problem, Mr Realist, with a realist's take.

If Israel backs off now, then bombarding Gaza was a particularly stupid move and will further exasperate the stalemate. If they continue and erradicate Hamas from Gaza however, all the dead innocents on the Palestinian side may not have been for nothing.

It would also give much food for thought to the murderers now throwing their love-spuds into the conflict in southern Lebanon, that still delude themselves and their followers that they had some kind if a "victory" over Israel when Olmert screwed the pooch back in the summer of 2006.

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Muslims, Jews, Christians living side by side in peace." Unless everyone becomes an atheist, that ain't gonna happen.

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TJrandom: 220 child is not enough for you I guess

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VOR How about Morocco for example

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"Unless everyone becomes an atheist, that ain't gonna happen."

Heh, if only. The world would be a damned sight safer place.

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>Muslims, Jews, Christians living side by side in peace." Unless everyone becomes an atheist, that ain't gonna happen.

It was happening in Palestine before the creation of Israel so the problem is not the various religions but the state of Israel and it's ideology. I doubt it will be worse than now. By now, meaning Israel carrying out massacres and apartheid policies on the Palestinians.

Even before Israel began the huge bombing attacks on Gaza starting 12/27/08, Israel had already been committing crimes against the Palestinians. Israel was carrying out a policy of collective punishment, by implementing the blockade on Gaza. Israel punished Palestinians for political developments within the Gaza strip, which is a massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel put the Palestinians in a set of circumstances where they either had to accept whatever was imposed on them or resist in any way available to them. That is a horrible dilemma to impose upon a people. The native people who were the rightful ownsers of the land which they had been terrorised out of.

Americans are the only people who openly supports Israel. Most other nations and people call Israel for what it is. An apartheid state.

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Atheist??? You mean like Russia and China??? Lebanon better watch out, you can only say you didn't know who did it once or maybe twice before you get smacked down again like last time.

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He was not talking about Hamas. Come on. Think!

We ARE talking about Hamas. Right back at you...Come on. Think!

But at least we are basically in agreement about something.

The fact that it takes you this long to find something to agree with me on just tells me you don't know what a moderate is...

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"you can only say you didn't know who did it once or maybe twice before you get smacked down again like last time."

The legitamte government of the Lebanon knew fine well who was lobbing the rockets in the south....only they don't control that part of their country. The "smack down" the north received from Israel and the destruction of its' infra-structure was a disgrace. In Gaza, things can't be compared in the same manner, mostly since they voted a terrorist organization into power.

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sabiwabi,

However, it is geopolitically completely unrealistic to expect that these groups will form one country again when the rest of the world seems to be creating new countries and splitting existing countries at the drop of a hat. The new world sees groups of people wanting their own independence and the Palestinians are no different. They want their own country and they deserve to have it...just not at the sake of destroying another existing country.

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It was happening in Palestine before the creation of Israel so the problem is not the various religions but the state of Israel and it's ideology.

Yeah, if you don't include all that rioting and killing and stuff, it was a paradise!

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"Yeah, if you don't include all that rioting and killing and stuff, it was a paradise!"

I ignored that gem, but had to smirk at it. How many years have religious fundies been killing in god's name in that part of the world?

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Oh my. More provocation and saber-rattling, and this time it comes from Iran's proxy in Lebanon. This will only serve to radicalize America, Obama supporters included.

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They want their own country and they deserve to have it...just not at the sake of destroying another existing country.

But you seem to have no problems with Jews from all around the world creating their own country by destroying Palestine, which was inhabited peacefully by Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Jews for many centuries.

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> However, it is geopolitically completely unrealistic to expect that these groups will form one country again when the rest of the world seems to be creating new countries and splitting existing countries at the drop of a hat. The new world sees groups of people wanting their own independence and the Palestinians are no different. They want their own country and they deserve to have it...just not at the sake of destroying another existing country.

The new world meaning new world countries or the world that we live in now? I think the majority of Europeans and Arabs support a 1 state solution but not the people and countries selling segregation.

If you have been following the conflict through US media then I can understand your views as most Americans are still fairly ignorant about this conflict but more people are starting to realize what this conflict is now about.

Palestinians have already agreed to make a state of the remainding bits and pieces of Palestine according to Resolution 242 which also USA voted in favor of.

Israel was accepted into the United Nations on condition that it accept the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees. Israel stated it agreed to comply with this resolution.

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sabiwabi,

But you seem to have no problems with Jews from all around the world creating their own country by destroying Palestine

You base this statement on what exactly?...Nevertheless, we are talking about now. The situation now is that there is a country called Israel and it exists. There should also be a country called Palestine. I believe in this. You do not.

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Israel was accepted into the United Nations on condition that it accept the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees.

This is not true.

Israel stated it agreed to comply with this resolution.

Neither is this...

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> You base this statement on what exactly?...Nevertheless, we are talking about now. The situation now is that there is a country called Israel and it exists. There should also be a country called Palestine. I believe in this. You do not. Israel grants Jewish immigrants Israeli citizenship each year be they from Iran, US, Chile but yet will not accept the same people they terrorised out of their homes into Israel while on paper agreeing that they have a right to return to their homes or be given compensation.

Israel does not want to give the Palestinian, Iraeli citizenship nor give them independence.So they keep the Palestinians under a brutal occupation which is the reason for the violence.

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Madverts,

Exactly.

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Not true Kinniku? Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations (General Assembly Resolution 273 of May 11, 1949 ) requires Israel to comply with General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 and Israel stated it agreed to comply with this resolution.

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There should also be a country called Palestine. I believe in this. You do not.

There is a country called Palestine. It is occupied by people who call themselves Israelis. Just because many governments do not recognize Palestine does not mean it does not exist. Palestine IS there, is has been there for centuries, and it will continue to be there.

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steelplatinum,

It only applies to pre 1948, not to the situation we are talking about now. Are you talking about now or pre 48?

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Israel does not want to give the Palestinian Israeli citizenship

It gave it to all of the Israeli Arabs. Of course, they do not want to give it to the people in the Occupied Territories for that would destroy Israel.

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What are you talking about? Pre 48? There were no refugees pre 48. In 1948 Israel terrorised 750,000 Palestinians and stole their land. Israel was granted UN membership if they agreed to Right Of return. Israel agreed to it and therefore was granted UN membership so I want to know when Israel will start to resepct the agreement which they have agreed to.

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The resolution refers to Palestinians living in Palestine before 1948...Didn't you read it? However, you were right that Israel did initially accept the resolution. I confess I only remembered Ben Gurion's reasons for not accepting after that. So, my mistake on that. Then I believe they offered 100,000 Palestinians a chance to return, which was turned down by the surrounding Arab countries (the Palestinians themselves trapped in Jordan and Egypt had not effective say in the matter...

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BTW, there was a lot more to that resolution...none of which have or will ever come to pass. It is in the past and it is time for the Palestinians to get there own country. People who have convinced the Palestinians to "keep fighting" are the main reason their situation has not improved.

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Well guys. The Israelis ain't going to disappear (and nobody is going to "push them into the sea" despite what Hamas may beleive). The Palestinians aren't going to leave either (ain't got nowhere to go, nobody wants them, including their Arab "allies"). So you know what that means?

Compromise.

Your "justice" and your moral positioning be damned. At this point the only thing that matters is finding a way to allow the two to coexist; otherwise its war, war, war. Just like you've got now.

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It gave it to all of the Israeli Arabs. Of course, they do not want to give it to the people in the Occupied Territories for that would destroy Israel.

I think Kinniku summed it up here. This is the Israel/Palestine conflict in a nut shell. In order for Israel to remain Jewish it needs to be racist. Once you give equal rights to all the people living in Israel/Palestine Israel will no longer have a Jewish majority and Israel stop bneing Jewish but then Israel stops being racist.

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BTW, there was a lot more to that resolution...none of which have or will ever come to pass.

Obviously...

It is in the past and it is time for the Palestinians to get there own country.

Oh, how convenient. Maybe Madoff should try that approach: "Hey, I stole all your money, but hey, that was the past, lets just get along and forget the past. Plus, there is a lot more to this ponzi scheme...none of which will ever come to pass."

I shouldn't be joking, this entire conflict is not a laughing matter, but some of the comments on this board would be so laughable if they were not related to this genocide.

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Israel was accepted into the United Nations on condition that it accept the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees.

This is not true. In the resolution accepting Israel as a member, the resolutions citing the Right of Return are mentioned, but only to remind Israel of them and not as a condition.

Logically, if it WERE a condition, Israel would have to do something first, THEN get accepted. Israel did nothing.

However, Israel still smells like dog crap for completely ignoring those resolutions. And that is one of the reasons Israel was often treated like dog crap at the U.N. You have to admit, joining the group and then ignoring the group's decisions is crappy.

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Israel is experiencing (once again)an uprising of islamic fascists. Israel should stop using its western hemisphere and learn the language of the Middle East that is violent and merciless... these last days have some significant resembles to those before teh 6 days war... "Its all just a little bit of history repeating..."

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Kindly stop using the term genocide in vain.

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Toonagi: " Israel should stop using its western hemisphere and learn the language of the Middle East that is violent and merciless..."

Please tell us how many have been killed on each side, including innocents, and then tell us again who is being 'merciless'. I think it's something like, if you want to make a scoreboard thing like you seem to, 700 to 4 (Israel to Palestine). In case you didn't know, that's nearly 200 to 1, my friend.

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...so the likes of Mad have their mythology, we on the other hand, have truth and the history of fact, event and players in the acts; it is written to be read. S0 we all should know that the Palestinians have a reasonable grievance. The hard line nationalist, fascists even, running the Israeli political / military machine should be removed and replaced with one which understand and accepts the truth and is prepared to treat their fellow Semites as what they are, brothers, mothers, sisters and more. You know: human.

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Israel is experiencing (once again)an uprising of islamic fascists

No, Israel is experiencing an uprising of humanity. The world is protesting against Israel.

Kindly stop using the term genocide in vain.

Look up genocide. By any stretch of its definition, Israel has been and is now committing genocide against the Palestinians.

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ideology

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steelplatinum,

First, I neglected to thank you for signing up for JT just for the purpose of responding to me. However likeitis is correct in his description of the resolution. The other little difficulty you seem to be conveniently forgetting is the matter of the surrounding countries continuing to be at war with Israel. There is also the little matter of all of the Jewish citizens of the Arab countries that were expelled. Under these conditions, it certainly is hardly difficult to understand Israel's unwillingness to continue to talk of the right of return. As I mentioned and you conveniently skipped over, Israel did initially offer 100,000 Palestinians the chance to return. So, you want to make it about racism with regard to the right of return. However, since their are people of many different religions who are citizens of Israel, it rings rather hollow to claim racism...Specifically what inequality are you talking about by the way?

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Look up genocide. By any stretch of its definition, Israel has been and is now committing genocide against the Palestinians.

I am much more then just familiar with that term ,"deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic,religious or national group." Israel is not attacking any nation nor ethnic/religious/national group. palestinans are not an ethnic group - they are coming from various neighbor countries (Jordan/Egypt/Syria/Sudan/Lebanon)if you want to put them into any group that will have to be the Semite and into this one goes the Israelis too...so here's one down.

2.religous...maybe i mean quite clearly most if not all of the palestinians in Gaza are Muslims.but this still can not be a genocide its a war because you see Israel was ATTACKED and now Israel is responding to those attacks. in all wars there are civilian casualties but since now we have made it to the age of Islam upraising ,we all should start thinking in new terms when we signify between innocent civilians to volunteered human shields...some are as well non volunteered...and it is a great shame for those people indeed.

as well its nor a National group because there is no such thing as Palestinian nationality quite yet.

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sabiwabi,

Look up genocide.

We have...and it does not apply here. Funny that you use the word when you have so often written of how the Nazis are so misunderstood...

What the Palestinians have been going through all of these years is, was and continues to be a tragedy of major proportions. However, it does not fit the term genocide. The Israelis have agreed to arm the Palestinians and that they have an armed security force, which at times has been turned against them...Sorry, your definition does not apply, especially considering how you have said things like "Hitler did not have that big a hate for the Jews"...

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No, Israel is experiencing an uprising of humanity. The world is protesting against Israel.

Actually the fascist uprising is within, the uprising of humanity is from outside. The Israelis are getting pretty nervous about their Arab population, and while they go from tightening up to lightening up, they are in a state of tightening right now, and I do mean internally and nothing to do with Gaza directly.

Look up genocide. By any stretch of its definition, Israel has been and is now committing genocide against the Palestinians.

So, are Palestinians a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group? One or more of those is required to be genocide.

Strict definitions aside, by how most people understand genocide it is not. The Israelis are a rather careless and cowardly lot in my opinion, but I do not believe they are actually targeting Palistinian civilians intentionlly. I do believe they are trying to wipe out Hamas, impossible as that is and as wrecklessly as they are doing it.

And I also agree that use of the word genocide is extreme, wasteful and counterproductive.

But on the other side of this argument we also see people going to extremes with terms and concepts, such as with "total control" above. The difference is that genocide is a buzz word with a lot of preconceived notions behind it. People simply will not agree even if Webster does. I suggest sticking to terms such as "wreckless slaughter", "unacceptably high numbers of civilian deaths" etc...

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YangYong,

S0 we all should know that the Palestinians have a reasonable grievance.

I see very few here that would disagree with that...I certainly don't...

The hard line nationalist, fascists even, running the Israeli political / military machine should be removed and replaced with one which understand and accepts the truth and is prepared to treat their fellow Semites as what they are, brothers, mothers, sisters and more. You know: human.

Well, the same could and should be said for the Palestinian side...Fatah is a pit of nepotism and greed and Hamas just plain doesn't want to seriously negotiate. It is a shame Arafat didn't have the guts to go all the way with negotiations with Barak...I know they didn't agree 100%, but it has been the best shot both sides had for a long awaited lasting peace...

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likeitis,

Let's try again on a better foot, okay ;-)

You have to admit, joining the group and then ignoring the group's decisions is crappy.

Yes and no...when the group only recognizes refugees from one side and does not require any peace agreements, ignoring the decision seems less strange. In addition, there were no resolutions on Jordan or Egypt to give the Palestinians there land back...and they didn't all the way up to 1967 when Israel occupied. Suddenly that is when it was decided those parts should be given back.

The bottom line is that threads like this one only show that there is grief and grievances on both sides and both sides deserve better than the world has given them...

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Wow. That is a leap...what evidence pray tell are you talking about?

The fact that they still ignore Right of Return perhaps? Or maybe you think they just sort of forgot about it?

I tend to believe the Israelis have lot of clever and calculated leaders. Such a calculation sounds rather typical. They are certainly not a group I would accuse of doing things "in good faith", but more of a group that seeks out loopholes and unclear wording to exploit.

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smithinjapan,

You make an interesting point when discussing the numbers. So, let me ask you, how many killed should Israel wait for being they make a move in the future? How many would your own country wait for?

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likeitis,

The fact that they still ignore Right of Return perhaps?

No, that YangYong is suggesting that this means that they planned to 'take over all Palestine'...

Also, I would be careful of describing 'groups' that you would certainly 'not accuse of doing things in good faith'. It sounds pretty racist...especially when seeking out loopholes and exploiting unclear wording is a regional sport all over the Middle East...

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Yang Yong,

Quickly...I did read it. Did you? The plan stated:

"Generally, the aim of this plan is not an operation of occupation outside the borders of the Hebrew state. However, concerning enemy bases lying directly close to the borders which may be used as springboards for infiltration into the territory of the state, these must be temporarily occupied and searched for hostiles according to the above guidelines, and they must then be incorporated into our defensive system until operations cease."

While it is not a very good peace plan...it certainly makes sense during a war, which is what they were involved in. It certainly is quite different from what you are trying to lead people to believe...

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How are we expected to take you seriously with that 'Quickly... I did read it' and then give a snippet of a first opening paragraph with no RESPECTED interpretation or analysis?

Moderator: Readers, please keep your comments focused on what is in the story.

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smithinjapan: Please tell us how many have been killed on each side, including innocents, and then tell us again who is being 'merciless'.

I think after nearly two weeks of constant attacks by one of the world's most advanced military forces the total number of civilians kills is around 200. Or, to put it another way, less than the average jihadist with a pickup truck and some C4 kills in a single afternoon.

Yep, merciless.

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YangYong,

I have no idea what you are talking about...Now, you would have us attaching what you consider 'respected' interpretation or analysis onto every piece of information? To what end? You asked me to read the plan...I read it. That was the plan...It has nothing to do with post 67 borders (the greater Palestine I assume you are referring to) and in fact it has nothing to do with Hamas and Israel and the situation these two sides find themselves in.

This idea of continuously looking back and never looking forward has been the undoing of the Palestinians and their hopes for a nation. It hasn't been too productive for the Israelis either. However, they do have a nation to call their own. So, it would seem that it is in the best interests of the Palestinians to move forward...These strikes by Hezbollah only continue the violence. Do they think it will stop Israel? Are the rockets from Gaza stopping Israel? Have either gotten the Palestinians anything of value? I don't think so. So, YangYong you can interprete plans from 60 years ago all you want, however investing in moderate Palestinians and businesses they own would certainly be a lot more productive...

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Israel will prevail in this conflict, just as they have prevailed in every conflict since 1967. And probably without using any of their nukes.

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Steel

For those who support a Palistian state. Do you support a Arab state too? How do you think Jews would be treated under a "Arab State"? Why do you have this idea in your heads that a discriminatory state is OK? A Arab State is a system of discrimination against Jews. I am against discrimination. No one should be allowed to discriminate against people of other ethnicities and religions. Ending the Jewish State does not means genocide after all.

Think about it.

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I think after nearly two weeks of constant attacks by one of the world's most advanced military forces the total number of civilians kills is around 200. Or, to put it another way, less than the average jihadist with a pickup truck and some C4 kills in a single afternoon.

Yep, merciless.

Super

Agreed......Thank you.

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I wonder if Hezbollah are surprised by Israel's reaction? I doubt it...hopefully Israel will be a lot more careful with Lebanon this time around. It is starting to look like 2006 all over again...

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Lebanon firing rockets into Isreal now. This is going to escalate to new levels...to a new war that Isreal started. We remember the last time that Isreal attacked Lebanon and the results. It only boistered Hizbollah's/Lebanon's strength.

Are there other countries that might jump into the fray? < :-)

Moderator: Please spell Israel correctly.

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I think after nearly two weeks of constant attacks by one of the world's most advanced military forces the total number of civilians kills is around 200. Or, to put it another way, less than the average jihadist with a pickup truck and some C4 kills in a single afternoon. Yep, merciless. Super Agreed......Thank you.

Ohh, so the boys from the great defender against the axis of evil think it's all ok ? It's ok everybody, the champions of friendly fire from the land of coca-cola and crack cocaine say the deaths of all those babies and little toddlers is fine really. Thank goodness for that. Now the rest of the world can sleep well tonight knowing that those infant deaths are fine really because the terrorists in US-occupied Iraq and in Lebanon are killing more people. Therefore if their terrorists are killing more people then we are justified in blowing up schools with children inside. sailwind and SuperLib, thank you so much for making us all feel at ease over the images of little kiddies corpses wrapped in blankets and laid out on the floor.

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adaydream,

Israel did not start this, Hamas did with its rockets. Even if you are of the opinion that Hamas did not break the cease fire by attempting to use tunnel to smuggle weapons after which Israel attacked briefly in November. Both sides did agree to continue the ceasefire until it ended in December. It was after that that Hamas fired rockets again.

I do share your hopes that this latest development does not mean an escalation into Lebanon. It is this endless cycle of violence that is so frustrating. Hezbollah had no reason to get involved, just as they didn't last time.

I wonder how long it will take the conspiracy specialist to claim there were no rockets fired from Lebanon or that Israel shot

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kinniku: "You make an interesting point when discussing the numbers. So, let me ask you, how many killed should Israel wait for being they make a move in the future?"

Perhaps the NONE that were killed leading up to the invasion is not enough? The four that died were hit AFTER the invasion began. I'm not arguing that Hamas are morons, but people that come on here and say the enemy is merciless and the Jews are great are, well, clearly not aware of what's happening in Gaza.

SuperLib: Considering that it's now 700 deaths with half being civilians (not quite 200), and I haven't seen any jihadist with a pickup truck kill 200 in single day (like you may your main point of your comment!), I'd say they're being pretty merciless indeed. Well, I guess they DID finally let some supplies in for three hours after shelling a school twice, so not COMPLETELY merciless... I mean, clearly by letting in a few supplies they care about the THOUSANDS they have injured and probably near killed with their blockade.

You guys really gotta stop pretending Israel is having mercy on the enemy. Just because they're not launching the nukes is no reason to talk about them being humane while killing hundreds.

Israel are making 'overkill' have new meaning, while the Hamas are morons. Now through their brutal assault others are clearly getting ready to join in (or joining). They almost deserve each other, these lot. They're equally as stupid and destructive.

However, while I condemn both parties, I have to say that Israel wins the award for being the most moronic: they're the only ones in the world, except sarge, who think that this is going to lead to a peaceful existence for them.

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Just to add, I doubt any other countries would want to get involved. Would you if you were the leader of a country?

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smithinjapan,

Perhaps the NONE that were killed leading up to the invasion is not enough? The four that died were hit AFTER the invasion began. I'm not arguing that Hamas are morons, but people that come on here and say the enemy is merciless and the Jews are great are, well, clearly not aware of what's happening in Gaza.

I cannot speak for others. However, you are suggesting they should have waited until someone WAS killed before acting. That the act of being shot at is not enough to take action? I am not saying the 'enemy is merciless' or that 'Jews are great'. In fact, could you find me that 'Jews are great' quote from anyone on this thread. There are so many posts, I must have missed it. As far as what is happening in Gaza, because of the lack of coverage, not many of us know for sure including you. However, to suggest (as it certainly seems you are suggesting) that another country other than Israel would not react to rockets being fired onto its territory is unrealistic.

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Kinniku. Hamas did not fire rockets first that is a lie. Israel fired rockets first during the cease fire. Israel had Gaza under a seige and people were dying of starvation. Palestinians said they would stop firing rockets if israel let go of the blockade. Palestinains were left with 2 options. Either to die of starvation or be killed by the Israeli war machine.

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Opinions noted.

Isreal attacked Gaza.

Right at 700 Gazan dead, to date.

Hizbollah now gets involved.

This isn't going to be the clean little war that Isreal was going to execute and punish Gaza. < :-)

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the world is rising up against israel? oh that is funny. the hordes of muslim immigrants in europe do not speak for 'the world'.

Unfortunately your lack of geographical knowledge lets you down with that whimpering little comment. Therefore I guess that you are either American or Israeli, what with your total unawareness of any other life existing outside of your cocoon. I have heard strong enough comments from the European Union, from Japan, from the United Nations and the Arab Union voicing their disgust with Israel. There, I've given you some new countries to learn about.

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kinniku: Did you see any quotation marks around the 'Jews are great' bit? I wasn't quoting anybody. However, I WAS exaggerating the emphasis some place on Israel being completely innocent in all this while the only bad guys are Hamas/Palestinian. You'll notice I DID quote a part of toonagi's post where he says: "It's time for Israel to stop... and start learning the language of the ME", etc. In other words, suggesting that Israel should actually start being merciless, as though they have not. You know full well there are more than a couple of posters on here, and their president GWB is guilty as well, who say that Israel has done no wrong, defending the increasing civilian death toll by deflecting the topic to terrorism or saying 'civilians die in war', etc. So... how about Israel shooting the driver of a clearly marked UN truck? Is that an example of 'civilians die in war' and Israel defending itself?

"However, you are suggesting they should have waited until someone WAS killed before acting."

Ummm... no. What I was doing was answering your question, which was: "So, let me ask you, how many killed should Israel wait for being they make a move in the future?"

The answer at least to this invasion, while not being the future, was 'none'. None were killed before they go in. In other words, I did not suggest they wait until some where, I merely addressed your question by pointing out that none were killed before Israel launched an assault that killed 200 people for every Israel killed AFTER the assault began. So, can you see, that by starting the assault they actually got some of their own people killed, too?

"However, to suggest (as it certainly seems you are suggesting) that another country other than Israel would not react to rockets being fired onto its territory is unrealistic."

They probably would, but do you think they would respond on the same scale? I can't find a single example of the very clear international outrage stemming merely from Israel retaliating. However, I can find pretty much in EVERY example of said outrage that what people are most upset about is the extent to which they retaliated.

Disagree with me all you like on the 'numbers', the world agrees.... well, minus the US, which by the way is starting to side with international pressure.

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So, let me ask you, how many killed should Israel wait for being they make a move in the future?

Israel doesn't need to wait for her citizens to die before making a move because the move Israel should have made if her leaders were normal human beings was to treat Palestinians like human beings. Palestinians don't fire rockets because of some hatred for Jews?

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It sickens me when people comment as if this was a war between two nations. This is a slow torture, abuse, and death of concentration camp inmates. And it sickens me when people try to defend it. Truly sick!

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northlondon: It's ok everybody, the champions of friendly fire from the land of coca-cola and crack cocaine say the deaths of all those babies and little toddlers is fine really.

and

smithinjapan: Israel are making 'overkill' have new meaning

Look, I know how the game is played. Civilians die. You guys jump in and massacre (get it?) the English language with absurd descriptions. I write back saying you're taking things too far. You write back saying that I either like seeing babies killed or I just don't care as a form of blackmail. I get it. This isn't the first time I've debated against those who support Palestinians.

It's not genocide. It's not a holocaust. It's not ethnic cleansing. It's not apartheid. It's not merciless. It's not a war crime. It's none of those things. Those are just the words you choose to describe it because you're angry and you want to use the most intense words that exist in the English language.

So you'll just have to excuse me if I call you out for describing 600 deaths in the same way we describe 600,000 deaths. And sorry if I don't much feel like hanging my head in shame because you haven't even come close to making me think I enjoy seeing people die. I just think it's tacky to dig up the graves of those killed in real genocide and project those deaths onto Palestinians just because I'm really, really angry and I can't control myself. You guys need to grow up or just excuse yourself from the debate.

Moderator: Readers, please don't get bogged down in semantics.

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The ongoing US/Israeli crime against humanity in Gaza is of historic proportions. The death & destruction, along with the ghosts of all the children murdered in cold blood, will haunt Israelis forever. Israel/American actions are a sstain on Judaism, & a stain on all of humanity. I am simply speechless by the Israeli propaganda echoed in the North American media. Kill and Deny.

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People like writing STUPID things for the shock value. Gaza and the West Band are NOTHING compared to what the Jews endured in the camps and ghettos. Also the comparison of body counts is STUPID since it Israel wanted a big body count it would be impressive. They want to keep civilian causalities as low as possible in direct contrast to the Hamas killer. I wonder how many of the women and children were killed by Hamas and then placed at the location of a missile strike. Nothing is beneath these fiends!

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I think Nick Kristof, who's written a great deal about genocide, appropriately focuses attention on proportionality rather than magnitude:

Israel’s right to do something doesn’t mean it has the right to do anything. Since the shelling from Gaza started in 2001, 20 Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets or mortars, according to a tabulation by Israeli human rights groups. That doesn’t justify an all-out ground invasion that has killed more than 660 people (it’s difficult to know how many are militants and how many are civilians).

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YutiOtani: Got any proof of your what i think is a stupid theory? Strewth It is all down to Isareli aggression , even a simpleton can see that. Blimey, it is like what Jews ebdured , that is why people are sick of Israel, and Jews around the world are likely to be attacked by people disguted withy Israel.

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Yuri, sorry if I sound a little patronising here, but nobody has condoned Hamas or Hezbollah. We are all a little shocked at seeing the deaths of little Palestinian children by a bunch of cash-rich bullies. I wonder whether you have any children of your own ? No, I doubt it very much. Therefore it appears that you are the one writing STUPIDITY. There, I can spell it out in capital letters too.

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So let's draw little Yuri into the debate shall we ? So Yuri, because of the Holocaust that happened during World War II (oops, let's hope you are not Japanese and complaining about World War II) then you think that Israel are justified to carry a chip on their shoulder that cages in the Palestinians and blows up schools with it's missiles ? Let me teach you a little history lesson.

Moderator: Readers, the Holocaust is not relevant to this discussion.

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northlondon it is being "condoned" by quiet consent. When the EU does not condemn the attacks upon Israel it is an quiet agreement. About the rate of causalities it not from a Hamas plan, it is due to Israel civil defense and the reason these mortars and missiles and are either not aimed or being incapable to fine target control. When a child gets killed in the west bank (tragic) the video gets replayed over and over and over again. The European channels are playing the same video war after war. Very little video is played after a Hamas attack on Israel. Thus I say again the Europeans are giving their quiet consent to Hamas which is almost as good as active support and the only reason the Israel body count is not higher is the incapacity of Hamas to do such.

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When a child gets killed in the west bank (tragic) the video gets replayed over and over and over again.

Listen. How many times do I have to get this message across to you people. I have not condoned Hamas or Hezbollah once. And even you are playing this sick little game of 'it's all ok because it's just the same few little dead kids that the Europeans are playing over and over again'. When a child dies, the video should be replayed as many frigging times as possible.

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Conversions on the internet about this topic are a sad reminder as to why the Isreal/Gaza war is never going to go away. People are so polarized over which side they support that things like common sense and rationality are thrown out the window, replaced with name calling, incivility and general bad manners. It's not that much of a stretch to see why this war has been going on forever.

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Anybody who thinks all Hamas has to do is recognise Israel's "right" to exist to achieve peace is living in cloud cuckoo land. Do you really think this would be followed by any meaningful concessions from Israel ? Like giving up the water used to irrigate the Negev desert so the Palestinians can have a regular water supply, or allowing the Palestinians equal rights to build on and develop land ?

Israel is intended to be a "Jewish" state, with the Jews in a majority no matter what. Do people really accept this as a valid premise for a country in this day and age ?

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Day 13 -Operation confront hamas-763 gazans killed and Israelis killed less than 10 or may be more.

2006 Israel confront hezbollah war, casualties was 1191 lebanese dead and 44 israelis dead.

Israel election coming is just another month, there may be many changes to future Members of knesset and in party coalitions in Feb 2009 elections.

New Kadima and an off shoot of Likud, may get even less than 29 out of 120 seats or more. Depends on how this war is going on and its outcome.

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If Hamas could kill hundreds or thousands of Jews they would do such. They just lack the capacity not the desire.

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My opinion is how I feel about the situation. You justify Gazans being killed, I don't justify Isreal's right to murder.

Isreal, Egypt and Palestine are supposed to meet in Egypt and try to start talking about a cease fire. Isreal will listen like they did with Lebanon, and they will continue to bomb like they did against Lebanon. They will draw this out for another couple weeks or a month.

And if you are expecting Hamas or any insurgents of Gaza to quit defending their terroritory. Forget it. Would you protect your home? That's what they are doing right now.

More rockets from Lenabon to come. Syria next? < :-)

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Yeah, I'm with madverts. 600 deaths isn't genocide.

Next?

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I accept that most of these posts are opinions.

Whether it's geneocide or holocaust, it started with a single murder. The world stood and watched these actions happen until it became horrific. I guess we should just stand aside and allow Isreal to kill and not voice an opinion that we feel that this is wrong and on course to become a travesty against humanity.

I should listen to people like SuperLib and he will tell me when it's become criminal. He is the determiner.

It appears that someone in Lebanon has decided that SuperLib is wrong. Someone in Lebanon has looked at this attack on Gaza as bad. Someone, probably an insurgent who is taking a stand, says that Isreal is wrong and took a swipe against Isreal.

Now these 3 or 4 rockets are like a bead of sweat on the forehead of Isreal, but it's an opinion from right there in the mid-east concerning the actions being taken by Isreal. Not some discussion board. < :-)

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Someone, probably an insurgent who is taking a stand, says that Isreal is wrong and took a swipe against Isreal.

Do two wrongs make a right?

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Good Jorb - Do you think that Isreal's actions against Gaza is going to stop rockets from firing? Do you think this murdering rampage through Gaza will establish or fix anything?

Or

Do you think that these two countries, along with other nations getting involved, can somehow come up with an agreement for peace? Then there will have to be peace keepers getting involved.

I guess Isreal will tell us when they have beat an agreement out of Gaza. < :-)

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You questions are a dodge of my question so I will ask again, do two wrongs make right?

Good Jorb - Do you think that Isreal's actions against Gaza is going to stop rockets from firing? Do you think this murdering rampage through Gaza will establish or fix anything?

Maybe temporarily but most likely not.

Do you think that these two countries, along with other nations getting involved, can somehow come up with an agreement for peace?

Doubtful, Jerusalem it seems will always be a beacon to attrach people into a sort of black hole a hate, war and death. Sad, given what it could have been.

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I agree with northlondon: This is blatant genocide, no other word for it like. Madverts is following the good ol USA way of thingie, Isarel can do no wrong and muslims are "bad guys" etc, know what i mean.

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I think this is actual genocide. Israel has been getting away with murder for decades. It must be held accountable by the world. A boycott and full sanctions against Israel amy be the best policy.

I don't know why some (mostly Americans i presume), justify innocent women and children being slaughtered. It has to stop.

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There are some good posts here, i expect coming from fellow Brits who are a bit more enlightened about world affairs than our brainwashed transatlantic cousins.

The may be so many fronts aginst Israel soon they may have to stop.

I hope so, because massacring innocents just isn't cricket.

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Good Jorb- Shows we learnt our lessons, unlike the US/Israel wicked alliance of death.

Now Lebanon will be pissed off and more innocent will be slaughtered and die of malnutrition. I wonder why US and Israel are despised so much planet wide!

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My last word, shakes head. There will be no UN action as the United States would just VETO any action taken against . A boycott of Israel? It will not make a difference, none. A boycott against the United States? It is about as silly as the American "boycott" against France. Noticed Hamas has a lot of support among the Brits. My American half says to go ahead while my Okinawa half is happy to be neutral. Sighs, the UK can take no official trade sanctions without breaking a dozen or more treaties. My Japanese side perks up, any trade action against the Unites States means more sales!

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Good Jorb, I don't think any of these wrongs make a right. < :-)

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-Steelplatinum

I appreicate you saying North American media and not just American media but I believe you are resorting to logical fallacy in the form of a straw man agruement by overstating the rule/influence/stance North American media has. My stance is not an apathetic one, in this case both Isreal and Gaza are the ones who created this mess(with outside help) and I don't see either ever willing to compromise over their respective position because historically no one ever had. Just as I doubt the two sides here on JT will never compromise over thier respective opinions.

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Good_Jorb.

Obviously this conflict is influenced by external forces like USA, due to the strong AIPAC influence there. The people who ceated the mess is Europeans, UN and Americans. While I think EUropeans are equally as responsible as Americans for this mess Americans do not want to understand where the seed of this conflict comes from and then becoming apathetic. perhaps due to their own history.

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Steelplatinum, America has only supported Israel in the same manner we support any other Allied nation.

You're correct in that the UN created Israel.

We support the only democratic nation in the Middle East as does Britain and others.

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Barack Obama has respected the fact that America has only one President and he is not him.

I respect that.

I hear Hamas feels betrayed because they donated over 30-million dollars to his election campaign.

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steelplatinum: Well said guvnor, i like your style.

Israel had a bllody nose from messing with Lebanon before, i can imagine it happening again.

America needs to join the international community and condemn Israel's unprovoked attack on Gaza and Lebanon. Strewth, do they love violence or somethink? I dunno, i just want the bloodshed to stop!

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AlfGarnett, again with the sob stories... Every news agency I know of outside of Al Jazeera has said Hamas set up their rocket firin' positions outside of schools.

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Alfgarnett, I told ya all Hamas had to do to spare innocents was to knock it off.

They didn't. What's new under that sun?

Heard today that Hamas will be Obamas' favorite target 'cause it's too difficult politically for him to go after Venezuela or North Korea.

Whattaya think, guy?

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What if Hamas did manage to “remove” Israel & recreated a Palestine. What sort of Taliban country do you imagine they would create? The idea that a civilised Jewish state could be removed to create such a backward state of stupidity degusts me & should degust everybody. By ratio no single racial group has given as much to the civilisation of the world. In science & the arts they have given so much that they have earned their place in the world & our support against the mindless savagery of Islam. They took a barren neglected land & made it green & fertile. In the 60 years that the Palestinians have been in their “camps” they have spent all the money given to them (tens of millions) on weapons & fighting a hopeless war. What price an AK47 & how many children could that money feed or educate? Final point, perhaps to be answered by an American supporter of Hamas rockets. Israel is protecting it’s people from savages, Palestinians are be lead by savages who see death as a glory, even their children’s deaths. It is not difficult for any sane intelligent person to ignore the propaganda & take sides.

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Helter Skelter.

You should see the hammering Israel and the US are getting in the British media. Hopefully worldwide pressure will stop both nations in their "war on islam".

Gaza is a devastated grave yard, full of innocent toddlers and elderly, yet some are callous enough to support Israel. Probably it's due to beliefs in old folk stories in a fairy tale book written donkey ago.

This is not a video game this is real, we must unite and stop the genocide.

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Grafton, with respect, please paragraph.

Again, with respect, I gave up tryin' to read whatever point(s) you're tryin' to make.

It was one large blur.

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Thenewfront, Gaza is hardly a "graveyard".

Look at its population verus actual dead

That's silly.

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The UN tries to get aid in and Isreal fires on a convoy.

OOPS, mistake. I doubt it. < :-)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7818577.stm

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Adaydream, I see the BBC missed the stories of of Palestinians bein' taken care of in Israeli hospitals.

Oh, my.

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Yeah guess it did, how'd those Palestinians get hurt? < :-)

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The BBC has proved itself for decades to be the worlds most trustworthy and unbiased news outlet.

The reports it show are og genocide, and property devastation. Jeremy Paxman said the Israeli's are lying about not knowing the UN school massacre was deliberate, and i agree with him.

Many of the killings are out of malice and performed by brainwashed extremist youth who are told Arabs are lower than them, and who believe in fact all non believers are lower than them.

What charming people, eh!

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Adaydream, as usual, armed un-uniformed Hamas combatants purposefully set up their positions adjacent to civilian populations. They've always done this. Hamas has no concern whatsoever for civilian casualties.

Those Palestinians that receive any kind of medical treatment - conflict related or not - have to hide their identities from Hamas for fear of immediate murder of them and their families.

-Nice friends you support.

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USARonin, You are acting like a tool. Bet you watch Fox News and believe Sean Hannitty.

It is known worldwide that the BBC has the worlds most trusted news service. As people in Russia, India, Malaysia and Britain of course. The majority will back the Beeb 100%. Their reports on the genocide are "fair and balanced". The invasion has caused coming up to 1,000 dead and thousand injured. Now the Israeli terrorists are embarking on an attack on Lebanon to satisfy their blood thirsty desires!

America says "Israel is justified". USARonin, Your leaders sicken me and all moral decent folk.

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I think I heard that they were Palestinian insurgents that were tired of seeing their country being devistated by heathens. They got hold of some weapontry and fought back.

How, posting here, wouldn't fight back against aggressors if your country/city was being attacked?

This is the same thing that happened in Iraq. If it wasn't for the insurgents, then that sweet little war would have been over in a matter of 30 days. But.... those damn insurgents.

Please tell Isreal for me I said thanks. < :-)

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USARonin, THe UN only has no power as America will veto anything against it's darling Israel.

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THe UN only has no power ...

That's just silly. The feelin's of the United Nations Security Council ar wounded.

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I’m curious about something, why do all the UN people working in Gasa have Arabic names, is it too dangerous for none Arabs to work there? I am not in any way disparaging the honesty of these good people, I’m sure that they would never tell a lie to aid them in their mission to save lives, not even if it meant putting their own lives at risk. I'm sure Hamas would understand the need for the truth being told.

Look beyond what is being said for why it might be being said in the first place.

BTW. Anybody that knows anything about the BBC knows better than to believe that old myth about their honesty. People should read what the British press have to say about the BBC & then they would never be fooled again.

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USARonin :

Just be realistic. UN is useless. While they are debating about the cease-fire, the conflict is getting worse. UN couldn't stop the US Iraq invasion.

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If would seem we can broadly group the arguments in support of Israel's assault on Gaza into three categories:

1) Magnitude versus proportionality. This involves pointing out others have killed more. Yep, you can always find someone who is responsible for a larger number of deaths. This becomes a race to the bottom and no deterrent to the use of force as long as somebody else, somewhere on the planet, has killed more. By contrast, focusing on "proportionality" forces one to look at it from a very different perspective.

2) Jewish contributions to the world outweigh those of Muslims. As any prosecutor will tell you, "Never let a high-priced defense attorney make it about who contributed more to society, the defendant or the victim?" However much you have contributed, it doesn't given you the right to take the law into your own hands.

3) Right to self-defense. Hamas, after all, is a terrorist organization. Yet it's one Israel helped nurture. Back in 1987, when it was founded, Israel viewed Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement with growing unease and calculated, with tragic consequences, that a religious rival could only serve to undermine him. All those Muslim fundamentalists would be occupied fulfilling their five times a day prayer requirement and not pose as much of an irritant as demanding secularists. So Jerusalem cracked down on Fatah, leaving the field open to Hamas. And everyone knows the rest (particularly those who never comment on Israel's role in Hamas' rise).

There may be others but I have yet to see anything which presents a logical defense rather than one built ad hoc arguments (which can be abandoned in a flash to denounce other demonstrations of disproportionate force in response to provocation).

To be fair, there's still one voice to be heard. Joe the Plumber is on his way to Israel to counteract liberal bias in the media. Looks like JTP will have a chance to test his metal in the shtetl.

why do all the UN people working in Gasa have Arabic names,

You mean Muslim names? Arab is a race, not religion and most Middle Eastern Muslim countries have minority Catholic populations who have, wonders never cease, Christian names.

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Just be realistic. UN is useless. While they are debating about the cease-fire, the conflict is getting worse. UN couldn't stop the US Iraq invasion.

The U.N. is not useless. It is only people who understand nothing less than absolute iron rule who say that. The U.N. has power, but it just isn't the hard and fast power of the gun nor the fear tactics of the fascist. Whatever the U.N. does, it will take time. Such is the nature of truth and justice. The impatient get neither.

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Muscles: You may well have read 'Plan D', maybe even beyond its opening, but you failed to put it into context; how it was implemented and how its implementation in turn affected the people it was directed against. It's like reading the Declaration of Independence in isolation and not acknowledging the who, what, why or when OR its, and here's the key, consequences. You're at best a laymen in the interpretation of the 'here and now' of people's lives. A poor historian which affects your understanding.

Moderator: Please address other posters by their correct user names.

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YangYong,

Please...you asked me to read Plan D. I did. I had read it a long time ago, however for your benefit I read it again and quoted it for you. It did not say what you suggested it did. You want to tell me which 'respected' authorities on Plan D I should read. Why is it you are unaware of other equally respected authorities on Plan D who respectfully disagree with the people you mentioned.

You speak of me being a 'layman' with regard to history. At least I actually know what is in the material I suggest others read. You just wanted me to read commentary you agree with neglecting contradictory commentary. Hardly well-balanced and not particularly honest either.

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Yeah, I'm with madverts. 600 deaths isn't genocide.

Your probably right if you are referring only to this month's attack. But this genocide is at least 6 decades long, of israelis murdering, displacing, abusing, imprisoning the Palestinians. This is genocide, no doubt about it.

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JackBernstein:

" Your probably right if you are referring only to this month's attack. But this genocide is at least 6 decades long, of israelis murdering, displacing, abusing, imprisoning the Palestinians. This is genocide, no doubt about it. "

Since the founding of Israel, the muslim-Arab population in the area has multiplied (including a 15% muslim-Arab population in Israel proper itself. How in the world is a rapidly increasing population "genocide"??

Why do Westerner keep buying into this muslim propaganda?

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How typical reporting --- the news is not that Hizb-allah fires rockets on Israel. The news is that Israel fires back.

By the way, aren´t those UN monitors crawling all over Southern Lebanon supposed to prevent such Hizb-allah attacks? That was what we were told back then, remember?

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In one of the news articles I read, it said they found several other rockets that were set to be fired on Israel, and stopped them.

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