Hillary, Gaza, Econ

Clinton to Engage Iran and Syria Soon
By JAY SOLOMON, JANUARY 14, 2009, WSJ

WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Clinton said at her confirmation hearing that the new administration would move quickly to engage Iran and Syria directly, making good on an Obama campaign promise to shift U.S. Mideast policy….

These initiatives, said the former first lady, would be part of the new administration’s focus on using diplomacy, economic aid and commerce, or “soft power,” to build bridges to allies and adversaries often critical of U.S. foreign policy in recent years.

Sen. Clinton said she would oversee a newly empowered State Department that would play a larger role in projecting U.S. influence overseas. Many U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have voiced concerns that the military has been drawn into too many aspects of foreign affairs, including diplomacy and economic development.

“America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America,” Sen. Clinton said in her testimony Tuesday. “The best way to advance America’s interest…is to design and implement global solutions.”

Sen. Clinton said addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict would be among her first priorities, but she didn’t offer any evidence of diverging from Bush administration policy on Israel’s attacks in Gaza. She said that for any cease-fire to hold, the Palestinian group Hamas must stop firing missiles into Israel…..

The Obama administration also views efforts to engage Syria as central to U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. Sen. Clinton acknowledged that the U.S. has continued concerns about Damascus’s support of terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. But she said Washington should test Syria’s willingness to break its strategic alliance with Iran and these extremist groups.

“I believe that engaging directly with Syria increases the possibility of making progress in changing Syrian behavior,” Sen. Clinton said in her written testimony, noting Washington would directly support Syrian-Israeli peace talks…..

From The Times of London:

….She acknowledged, though, that many past presidents, including her husband, had tried and failed to solve seemingly “intractable” problems in the Middle East. “The President-elect and I understand and are deeply sympathetic to Israel’s desire to defend itself under the current conditions, and to be free of shelling by Hamas rockets. However, we have also been reminded of the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East, and pained by the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians,” she said.

“This must only increase our determination to seek a just and lasting peace agreement that brings real security to Israel, normal and positive relations with its neighbours and independence, economic progress and security to the Palestinians in their own state.”

Asked if she would be willing to engage directly with the Islamic extremists controlling Gaza, Mrs Clinton replied: “You cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognises Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements. That is an absolute. That is my position and the President-elect’s position.”

The “smart power” strategy should go beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and address other issues, including Iran’s nuclear programme and the “irresponsible behaviour” of other countries in region such as Syria….

From LA Times:

…. She noted that Obama had described the possibility of an Iranian atomic bomb with the same term used by President Bush: “Unacceptable.”

On Iraq, Clinton seemed to be preserving her options when asked by Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.) about plans to remove all U.S. combat troops within 16 months.

Clinton said Obama intended to remove combat troops “safely and responsibly, as soon as possible.” She said troops would be moved out of cities and towns “hopefully by June.”…

She said an expanded U.S. diplomatic corps could take on jobs around the world that in recent years have fallen to the much larger Pentagon. Clinton, Gates and other current and former government officials think that in many countries, foreign service officials can perform nonmilitary jobs more efficiently and less expensively…..

Despite the Bloodshed, Israel is Failing (Contributed by Rumyal)
What Kind of Security Will This Barbarism Bring Israel?
By SAREE MAKDISI

… Indeed, it seems clear that the writing now being posted on alternative media outlets is also starting to outweigh the clumsy efforts still being churned out by America’s army of paid and unpaid cheerleaders for Israel, who have forsaken what little remained of their own humanity and blinded themselves to suffering that ought to move any rational, caring, sentient human being to tears—the Dershowitzes and Foxmans, the Orens and Boots, the Krauthammers and Peretzes, the Bards and Goldfarbs, the cynical apparatchiks of CAMERA and AIPAC and the mindless busybodies and shuffling zombies of Stand With Us, the Israel Project and the Israel on Campus Coalition—who persist with their stubborn, craven defense of the indefensible. About these misanthropes there is much to be said, most of it too unpleasant to print, so I’ll shift the burden here to those memorable closing lines of Wilfred Owen’s war poem “Insensibility:”

But cursed are dullards whom no cannon stuns,
That they should be as stones.
Wretched are they, and mean
With paucity that never was simplicity.
By choice they made themselves immune
To pity and whatever mourns in man
Before the last sea and the hapless stars;
Whatever mourns when many leave these shores;
Whatever shares
The eternal reciprocity of tears.”…

Gaza War Weakens U.S. Standing, Pro-Western Arabs
By Massoud A. Derhally

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) — Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip against Hamas, now in its third week, is weakening the U.S.’s standing in the Middle East and undermining pro-Western leaders in the Arab world, Lebanon’s top diplomat said.

Does Syria matter? Read the arguments of Tom Dine, Martin Indyk, Joshua Landis, Moshe Ma’oz, Michael Oren, David Schenker, Tony Badran, and Andrew Tabler in Moment Magazine

Nearly six million tourists visit Syria in 2008: reports

DAMASCUS (AFP) — A total of 5.9 million foreign tourists visited Syria in 2008, a rise of 15 percent from the previous year, according to the tourism ministry, cited by local media.

More than 3.3 million of the visitors came from Arab countries, an increase of 13 percent from 2007, with 1.1 million coming from elsewhere as well as more than one million emigrants of Syrian origin.

Income from tourism reached nearly 3.5 billion dollars, while investment in projects for the industry totalled around 8.2 billion dollars, the same source said.

Syria mulls allowing majority foreign ownership in firms Wed Jan 14, 2009

KUWAIT, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Syria is considering permitting foreign investors to hold majority stakes in local companies, including banks, its central bank governor said on Wednesday.

Gulf Arab investors, including banks and telecoms firms, have sought to expand into Syria over the past two years but are only allowed to own a stake of up to 49 percent.

“There is a plan,” central bank chief Adeeb Mayaleh said when asked if Syria would allow foreign investors to take majority stakes. He did not give a time frame.

“We haven’t reached that stage yet,” Mayaleh told reporters on the sidelines of an Arab economic summit in Kuwait City.

Private banks were only allowed to set up in Syria five years ago and regulations curb lending and a range of banking activities found in neighbouring countries.

Syria’s nine private banks have mainly Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Gulf shareholders.

Western investors have stayed away from the sector, partly due to U.S. sanctions imposed on the Damascus government in 2004 for its support of anti-American groups in the Middle East.Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Russian navy eyes Tartous, Syria as base for Black Sea Fleet

MOSCOW – On Jan. 12, a task force from the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet arrived in Tartous, Syria from Turkey, which hosted a naval exercise with Moscow.

Russian officials said the navy plans to modernize Tartous over the next few years. They said Tartous, designed to accommodate up to a dozen warships, could become the base for the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet….

Syria Oil Min: Oil, Gas E&P Awards Delayed On Financial Crisis
Wednesday January 14th, 2009

NEW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- Syria’s Oil Minister Sufian Al Alao said Wednesday the awarding of new oil and gas exploration and production contracts aimed at boosting the country’s output is being delayed due to deteriorating conditions in the world financial markets. “The financial situation is a challenge for exploration contracts,” Al Alao said on the sidelines of the Petrotech energy conference in New Delhi.

As a result of the financial crisis, contracts under negotiation with companies including the U.K.’s Anson and Petro-Canada are facing delays, he said, adding companies were finding it harder to raise funding and less attractive to invest amid a sharp drop in crude oil prices. Syria hopes to stem the decline at its oil fields with the awarding of new exploration and production deals to international oil firms.

The country last year produced 380,000 barrels a day of crude and plans to raise output by a mere 5,000 barrels a day this year, Al Alao said.

Olmert’s boast on U.N. Gaza vote is ‘completely not true,’ U.S. says By Peter Spiegel in LATimes

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he persuaded Bush to reverse a vote on a Gaza cease-fire resolution. But the State Department says Condoleezza Rice already had decided to abstain.

The Times Israeli troops reveal ruthless Gaza tactics Soldiers recently back from front line have spoken of a ‘shoot first’ policy as Israel lays groundwork for ‘third stage’

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Israel’s Goals in Gaza? The focus for Israel and Barack Obama’s team should be on creating a clear choice for Hamas for the world to see: Are you about destroying Israel or building Gaza?

Why Israel Can’t Make Peace With Hamas By JEFFREY GOLDBERG

The only small chance for peace in Gaza today is to help Hamas’s enemy, Fatah, prepare the West Bank for real freedom.

IHT SHIFTING POLLS Judging Israel By GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT A potential change of mood over Israel has been palpable for some time

Comments (86)


Pages: « 1 [2] Show All

51. Alex said:

48. Akbar Palace said:

Sim,

Apparently, you don’t know very much about Zionism. Arabs in Israel not only have the same rights as Jews, but Arabs in Israel have more rights than Arabs in Arab countries.

Alright Akbar, let me test your knowledge of recent history. Don’t worry, it will be a relatively easy question with multiple choice answer.

Question: In summer 2006 a Lebanese Arab who is not happy with Israel occupying parts of his land killed two Israeli occupation soldiers (“combatants” as Chris calls them, suggesting they are a fair target)

Did our non-racist Zionist Israel:

1) Forget about it .. accept it, since these were “combatants”
2) Take revenge by killing two Lebanese Arab combatants (following your equality claim)
3) Kill over a thousand Lebanese (Civilians and combatants) to revenge its two armed combatants?

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January 15th, 2009, 5:30 am

 

52. offended said:

Chris,
Did you learn slangs the hard way in Damascus?

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January 15th, 2009, 7:22 am

 

53. Alex said:

Lancet blasts Israeli ‘atrocities’ in Gaza

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/15/2466390.htm

Israel is responsible for “large and indiscriminate human atrocities” in Gaza, and the world medical establishment is a silent accomplice in the bloodshed, The Lancet medical journal says.

In an editorial released ahead of publication next Saturday, the British health journal said Israel, by hitting civilians and wrecking medical infrastructure, had carried out attacks that were “unjustified and disproportional.”

“We find it hard to believe that an otherwise internationally respected, democratic nation can sanction such large and indiscriminate human atrocities in a territory already under land and sea blockade,” The Lancet said.

“The collective punishment of Gazans is placing horrific and immediate burdens of injury and trauma on innocent civilians. These actions contravene the fourth Geneva convention.”

The editorial also blasted “national medical associations and professional bodies worldwide,” accusing them of keeping silent as the destruction unfolded.

“Their leaders, through their inaction, are complicit in a preventable tragedy that may have long-lasting public-health consequences not only for Gaza for also for the entire region,” it said.

More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed, and at least 4,580 injured, since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27, the head of emergency services in the territory, Muawiya Hassanein, said on Wednesday.

Israel says the operation aims at quelling rocket attacks by Hamas militants that threaten civilians living in an arc of southern Israeli towns.

The Lancet focuses on publishing medical research, but it also has a tradition of outspokenness on political issues that touch on health, such as the Iraq war and government policies on AIDS.

-AFP

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January 15th, 2009, 7:55 am

 

54. idit said:

SimoHurtta

I followed your comments for some time now and I have a question.

This blog is about Syria.

Its culture, society, politics, History, problems and so on.

That is the reason I started reading this blog. Beacause I wanted to learn about the real syria. The Syria beyond the news and the headlines.

None of the above has anything to do with Israel or the Palestinias.

Yet, I have never read anything from you about Syria per se.
You only comment about Israel. How evil it is bla bla.

what are really doing in this blog?
Do you think that here you can spread your antisemitic filth in a way that you know is unacceptable in other blogs?

Please Correct me if I’m wrong.

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January 15th, 2009, 8:05 am

 

55. why-discuss said:

Israel needs a lesson too… the new jungle world law of Tom Friedman

Tom Friedman brilliantly simplistic logic brings me to that conclusion: Israel needs to be inflicted enough pain by the killing of enough of its civilians to “take a lesson” , respect international laws and withdraw from occupied land. Friedman should apply for the Nobel prize for War…

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January 15th, 2009, 11:24 am

 

56. J Thomas said:

“But it does make sense to me to require Hamas to give up violence and to accept the existence of israel. At the same time, there should be conditions on israel also:”

If the GOI was smart, they wouldn’t sign ANYTHING that takes them back where they were a month ago.

If they were smart they’d pull back to the 1967 borders and sulk. But they aren’t smart.

The issue of missile firings, weapons smuggling, exchange of prisoners and oversight all should be part of the agreement.

Missile firings, yes. If israel were to stop killing palestinians, including an amnesty for all past actions, and palestinians likewise stopped retaliating, then missile firings would be wrong on both sides. If israel were to allow open borders then there would be no missile smuggling. And there should be UN inspectors on both sides of the line — UN inspectors should be allowed everywhere in palestine and israel. All israeli records should be made available to war crimes inspectors unless an agreement is made for amnesty.

But nobody’s actually discussing peace, the question at hand is merely a cease-fire. In that context there’s no possible way to go back to where they were a month ago, unless they can raise the dead.

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January 15th, 2009, 11:50 am

 

57. Chris said:

Jad:

You wrote:
“Beside it’s our duty NOT yours to improve our country,”

Well, this blog is about Syria. So, we ought to be discussing Syria. I wouldn’t want things to get even worse in Syria. It would only be productive to discuss how to improve things.

You wrote:
“because you are an American you should hold your government responsible of what they are doing not blaming my government for being the bad boy while your government doing much worse”

I do hold my government responsible for what it is doing, but again, this blog is about Syria, so we ought to discuss how we can improve Syria.

As far as your accusation that the U.S. is doing much worse, the Syrian authoritarian dicatorship under Bashar Assad, while less brutal than under his father, is among the more brutal regimes in the Middle East. There is a pattern of human rights abuses. In the United State, Human Rights violations are an aberration, while under the Baathist dictatorship, they are the norm. Remember the Qamishly incident in 2004? It was only in 2007, during Nawruz, when the security forces used machined guns to kill Kurds in broad daylight for merely celebrating their new-year? There are arbitrary arrests. Of course, Syria does all this by maintaining “emergency” laws that have been place since 1963. Such “emergency laws” are not usually indicative of a paragon of human rights. If things were far worse in the U.S. than in Syria, than Syria would be the a beacon of hope for the middle east. Unfortunately, things are far worse in Syria than in Jordan, Egypt, Hamas/Fatah.

When I was in Syria I did a language exchange with two guys. I like to talk about politics, but one of the two was always silent during the political discussions I had with the other. So, once when I was alone with my friend who was generally comfortable talking about politics I asked him about the other guy, who would shy away from such discussion, and I was told that he is afraid of being secretly taken away in the middle of the night to some secret prison (or not so secret as in the case of the one near Palmyra or Tadmur) where he is brutally tortured then forced to handover the contact info for all of his family and friends so that the “intelligence” people can then interrogate them. Now, it would be very difficult to find people with such fears in the U.S., I’m fairly certain that such fears are not even common in Jordan.

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January 15th, 2009, 11:51 am

 

58. Chris said:

Offended:

You wrote:
Did you learn slangs the hard way in Damascus?

I don’t understand what that means. Can you clarify?

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January 15th, 2009, 11:56 am

 

59. Akbar Palace said:

IDIT,

cc: Sim

Shalom. I have been on this blog for abut 3 years, and I have the same questions you do.

Sim is a participant from Finland. He does not accept Israel as a legitimate state. Actually, a number of other participants here also do not accept Israel as a legiimate state. Sim is also very interested in knowing who is Jewish. I think Sim feels that if someone is pro-Israeli, they are Jewish.

Sim feels (correct if I am wrong) Jews are responsible for many bad things like 9-11, the creation of a “racist” state, and the murder of Palestinian children. And Sim never gets angry when missiles are falling in Israel. I suppose Sim is just “wired” that way.

So yes, MUCH time on this website is “debating” Israel’s right to exist or Israel’s right to self-defence.

Now the owner, Professor Joshua Landis, Co-Director, Center for Peace Studies, University of Oklahoma, doesn’t participate that often. And frankly, I’ve never seen any posts from him promoting “peace” as his title suggests. Nevertheless, “Professor Josh” allows participants the freedom to express ourselves here, and that’s good. Certainly better than what you can get in Syria.

Regards,

AP

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January 15th, 2009, 12:02 pm

 

60. Chris said:

Yes, let’s get back to Syria.

I’m beginning to think that the Syrian regime is going to benefit from all this as the radical wing of Hamas is in Damascus. They have been opposing a cease-fire and opposed participation in the Palestinian elections. Of course, they are also the part of Hamas that hasn’t felt any direct impact from this fighting. In the end, they will be left unscathed. At the same time, Fatah, Hamas’ rival, is being dealt a severe blow to its legitimacy. So, will Syria stand to benefit the most in the end as its allies have been strengthened?

Compare this to Egypt, which has also been dealt a significant blow as it kept the Rafah crossing closed. People around the region seething with anger at Mubarak. As for Mubarak himself, and his coterie, I can only imagine that they are, well to put it lightly, very happy to see Hamas go down in flames. A blow to the Islamists (Hamas) is a gift to Mubarak.

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January 15th, 2009, 12:20 pm

 

61. SimoHurtta said:

IDIT even you should understand that most of the blog’s articles and commentary is linked to the general political situation around Syria. Because of the Israel’s actions and policy one can’t avoid Israel. As you know Israel is a neighbour of Syria. As an Israeli you surely know how Israel became to be Syria’s neighbour and how Israel behaves. Professor Landis and other leading article writes have focused in their last articles to the Gaza situation and so have most commentators during the past weeks. Surely even you must admit most of the world is now focused to Gaza massager and how it reflects to the whole area. Gaza doesn’t “vanish” from the centre of international and regional politics even you Israelis certainly hope it would.

You can easily make the conclusion that the pro-Israeli side is well represented with their comments in this blog. About Gaza and Syria etc. You are not complaining about Akbar’s, AIG’s, Chris’s, Shai’s etc comments (which rarely have anything to do with Syria’s culture, history, problems and society) whose amount beat mine with the ratio of 100 to 1. Strange. Sure most of my comments are answers and counterarguments to the Israeli side’s comments.

I suppose IDIT that if there would be no occupation by Israel, no Israeli nukes, no US and Israeli regional domination ambitions etc we all could discuss more about Syrian culture, society and economy. Sadly Middle East political situation is no MaMaMedia where the reality can be shut out of the discussion.

This anti-Semite blaming is simply amusing. People like you use it always when there is not any more “creative” you can say. The last defence line of pro-Israeli propagandists.

—–
Sim,

Apparently, you don’t know very much about Zionism. Arabs in Israel not only have the same rights as Jews, but Arabs in Israel have more rights than Arabs in Arab countries.

Well Akbar a good test of that equality in Israel is that can an Arab Israeli minister publicly suggest that Jews should be put on the plane and shipped back to Russia and Ukraine or that Israeli Jewish prisoners should be drowned in the dead sea. Jewish ministers can say that. Can Israeli Arabs block Jewish extremist parties in participating to Knesset elections? Can Israeli Arabs buy land and real estates anywhere he/she wants? Can an Israeli Arab marry an person from West Bank and establish a normal family in Israel? ETC.

The whites in South Africa said before that the blacks have better living standard and more rights as blacks in the rest of Africa. In way that was true. But the essential point about democracy and equality is that the level of it is always measured inside one country. One could even say that people in Zimbabwe are more free than people in North Korea.

Surely Zionism is a racist ideology because it is concentrated to advance one “race’s” interests on the expense of others interests. Zionism is not a political ideology for the whole mankind regardless your race and religion like democratic liberalism or democratic socialism. Zionism is a equal political ideology like white or Islamic supremacy ideologies floured with a violent creation of a new own homeland on others homeland would be.

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January 15th, 2009, 12:30 pm

 

62. Akbar Palace said:

Alex poses some questions to Yours Truly:

Question: In summer 2006 a Lebanese Arab who is not happy with Israel occupying parts of his land killed two Israeli occupation soldiers (”combatants” as Chris calls them, suggesting they are a fair target)

Did our non-racist Zionist Israel:

1) Forget about it .. accept it, since these were “combatants”
2) Take revenge by killing two Lebanese Arab combatants (following your equality claim)
3) Kill over a thousand Lebanese (Civilians and combatants) to revenge its two armed combatants?

Alex,

I’m not sure what exactly transpired in your example, do you have a link with some background info?

In any case, I will attempt to apologize for the “non-racist Zionist Israeli soldier” (NRZIS soldier – BTW, if we use “Arab” instead of “Racist”, we appropriately get the acronym “NAZI” – how befitting!). Here goes:

1.) I didn’t know there were NRZI soldiers occupying Lebanon. I thought all the NRZI soldiers left Lebanon around the year 2000 or so. In any case, whether he was an occupier or not, I would think the NRZI soldier would NOT “forget” about a Lebanese Arab who had killed his two NRZI soldier friends.

2.) Not sure what my equality claim was. Please elaborate. If you are referring to the 2006 Lebanon War Alex, you conveniently left out the THOUSANDS of rockets that were fired indiscriminately into Israel from Lebanon. I’ll post a summary so your readership gets the complete story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

So what turned out to be a small little misunderstanding (Hezbollah firing into Israel to start a war) escalated quite enormously, as Hezbollah tried to save Lebanon from the NRZI onslaught.

3) Sorry the NRZI soldiers killed civilians. I wish the arms the NRZI used could discriminate between civilians and combatants, but they can’t. THE NRZI soldiers dropped leaflets to warn the civilians, but as usual, the brave Hezbollah fighters chose to fight among the civilian population. Maybe the Lebanese and their Hezbollah friends should be more careful next time they want to bully the NRZI soldiers.

Alex,

I hope these answers satisfied you. Please do not hesitate to ask me more questions about Israel or the NRZI soldiers.

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January 15th, 2009, 12:31 pm

 

63. Akbar Palace said:

Sim said:

Gaza situation is exactly analogous with Warsaw Ghetto.

Sim –

Really? You mean the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto fired Katyusha, Grad and Qassam missiles into Poland for 8 straight years? I didn’t know that.

You mean the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were trying to free Poland of infidels. Something else I didn’t know. Strange.

I also didn’t know the Poles and their German overlords were offering the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto a peace treaty if they agreed to end their Jewish “jihad” against Poland.

I also don’t remember the Poles and their German overlords sending in thousands of truckloads of food and medical supplies while they tried to exterminate the Warsaw Ghetto population.

Lastly, I don’t recall 500,000 or so Gazans dying of disease, mal-nutrition, being shot to death, or carted off to concentration camps.

http://encarta.msn.com/media_701501269/warsaw_ghetto.html

Other than that, perhaps there are some similarities. Of course, you’re free to provide links showing a better comparison.

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January 15th, 2009, 12:58 pm

 

64. Chris said:

AP:

Much like others’ attempts to minimize the holocaust, there are more differences between the current situation in Gaza and the Warsaw Ghetto than there are similarities. It is a ridiculous analogy. A comparison like that is absolutely absurd.

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January 15th, 2009, 1:03 pm

 

65. SimoHurtta said:

Akbar

cc: IDIT, AIG, Chris

Sim feels (correct if I am wrong) Jews are responsible for many bad things like 9-11, the creation of a “racist” state, and the murder of Palestinian children. And Sim never gets angry when missiles are falling in Israel. I suppose Sim is just “wired” that way.

Well Akbar can you blame me for those bad things the Jews have done? Blame Jews. “I” do not bomb hospitals, UN compounds, ambulances, shoot children, burning and gassing civilians with phosphorous etc. “I” did not invent communism nor did “I” run the Gulags in Soviet Union. “I” did not invent Zionism nor have “I” stolen others land. “I” do not build separation walls or “we-only” roads. “I” do not humiliate the US president by interrupting his speeches and giving him orders and then later bragging publicly about that.

Why should I be angry if missiles are falling in Israel? Sure I have sympathy towards those few civilian Jews killed living near Gaza on the lands stolen from their fellow human beings dumped to Gaza. On the other hand I understand why they in Gaza Ghetto are firing rockets. As I can understand why the Jews in Warsaw Ghetto did resist.

If Israeli Jews would be wise they would have ended the occupation long time ago. Do you get missiles from Jordan or Egypt? You are simply “wired” that way so you seem not to understand that simple fundamental fact. Jews would not like to live under occupation and constant maltreatment, so why do you think Palestinians and Arabs like it?

Surely Israel is now a reality, but will it be a after 100 years as a violent “Jewish Reich”? It is not up to me, it is in the end up to the Jews in Israel and USA. I hope a there would be a country (or two) where Jews and Arabs could live in peace as in reality equals in a democratic secular state. If I would support Israel as it is now I would be no liberal democrat, which I am, who supports that all people are equal regardless their race and religion. Simple as that.

Regards
SimoHurtta

PS.
Akbar is this 911 conspiracy blaming new orders from the Israeli Internet Haganah or IPRAF (Israeli public relations attack forces) command centre? Have I mentioned 911 lately? Did Jews have something to do with 911 besides collecting the insurance money from the buildings? Interested to hear your points about Jews contribution to 911. By the way Akbar why had the famous “Mossad” Jews in New York dance of joy when they watched thousands mostly non Jews getting on the same time killed? Were they dancing because there were 3000 infidels less?

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January 15th, 2009, 1:47 pm

 

66. Chris said:

Simo,

Why don’t we try to talk about Syria and its relationship to or how it is affected by this recent spate of violence. After all, it is called Syria Comment.

I don’t really see the point of blaming Jews for communism on a blog about Syria.

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January 15th, 2009, 1:52 pm

 

67. Alia said:

AP wrote and highlighted this saying from Ahrendt:

“Just as you [Eichmann] supported and carried out a policy of not wanting to share the earth with the Jewish people”

AP,

This is symptomatic of your paranoia- The Palestinians and the rest of the Arab and Muslim nations and increasingly European nations such as England are refusing this argumentation that Israel has been using as a leimotiv for its offensive status on every level for 60 years.

The Jewish people those who follow the Torah should not be complicit to the malevolent actions of the state of Israel. You use your religious identity whenever it pleases you but you do not follow its basic rules.

Israel is built on a stolen land and has displaced an innocent people. If there were no Palestinians who is Israel murdering in Gaza?

But there is a miracle here that you and your people are oblivious to…and in that sense it might answer IDIT’s complaints about not hearing about Syria from us. The miracle is that the Arab and the Muslim people in their great majority have never ever given up their stand of solidarity with the Palestinians no matter how corrupt and worthless their leaders have become..under the wheeling and dealing of their governement. Watch Turkey slowly but decisevely turn around back to join the rest. Somehow the Israelis never ever got that support unless they bought it and bullied for it.

60 years are long on the Palestinians who are suffering but they are not long in the history of nations. Israel may look OK to you for now, but it has sowed its own seeds of destruction, such processes take time. The Roman Empire did not fall in one battle.

Beside being ruthless thugs your leaders are fools and they are dragging you all down a path of no return.

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January 15th, 2009, 2:08 pm

 

68. Alia said:

Chris,

Something you might not have learned in Syria since it appears you were busy learning foul language. The current Assad and esp. his father have largely been tolerated and even supported by people in Syria because of their stand against Israel. That is documented in all Arab and non-Arab history books-
It is a Syrian reality.

Why don’t you get busy with your own corrupt congress that keeps pouring money into Israel even as the USA is bankrupt and begging for help from foreigners ?

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January 15th, 2009, 2:17 pm

 

69. Akbar Palace said:

Well Akbar a good test of that equality in Israel is that can an Arab Israeli minister publicly suggest that Jews should be put on the plane and shipped back to Russia and Ukraine or that Israeli Jewish prisoners should be drowned in the dead sea.

Sim –

How about the kidnap and abduction of a Jewish soldier by an enemy army? Do you think that is a “good test of equality”?

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1150885951784&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

http://www.iris.org.il/blog/archives/1450-Arab-MK-Admits-I-Advised-PA-to-Kidnap-Soldier.html

Jewish ministers can say that.

Jewish MKs have actually been striped of their credentials due to their racist views. Rabbi Mei Kahane is one of them.

Can Israeli Arabs block Jewish extremist parties in participating to Knesset elections?

Yes. The Kahane example. There have been both Arab and Jewish MKs who have made very dangerous and distasteful statements.

Can Israeli Arabs buy land and real estates anywhere he/she wants?

I don’t think so. I also don’t think a Israeli Jew can as well.

Can an Israeli Arab marry an person from West Bank and establish a normal family in Israel? ETC.

I don’t know. Can a Iranian Muslim marry a person from Israel and establish a normal family in Iran? I don’t know.

The whites in South Africa said before that the blacks have better living standard and more rights as blacks in the rest of Africa. In way that was true.

In a way it wasn’t true.

But the essential point about democracy and equality is that the level of it is always measured inside one country.

True.

One could even say that people in Zimbabwe are more free than people in North Korea.

I don’t know.

Surely Zionism is a racist ideology because it is concentrated to advance one “race’s” interests on the expense of others interests.

Sim – again, your interest in all things Zionist, Jewish, and “race”-related is a little freaky to me. I’m sure this isn’t or won’t be the fist time we discuss these issues, but I would suggest that you “build a bridge and get over it”. Sure, Zionist is racism for those who hate Israel. The UN agreed with that years ago when the “strong arm tactics of the Arab conspriacy” shoved it down the UN’s throat. The UN dropped that resolution.

IMHO, Zionism is the notion of establishing a homeland for the Jewish People. Zionism does not establish a state religion, prohibit people from worshipping as they see fit, prohibit non-Jews from living there, etc. Zionism expects those living within her borders to accept Israel as a Jewish Homeland. OTOH, Zionism does frown upon those who want to discontinue Zionism or by aiding and abetting regimes who want to cause physical harm to Israel.

Zionism is not a political ideology for the whole mankind regardless your race and religion like democratic liberalism or democratic socialism.

Why does Zionism have to be “a political ideology for the whole mankind”? Communism, Capitalism, and Islam are not. Further, there are Christian and Islamic states, why not a Jewish state?

Sim – the reason some people here accuse you of being anti-semitic is your sole focus of all things Jewish, and at the same time, you are totally oblivious to similar phenomenon in throughout the rest of the world. It seems you have 2 standards throughtout your posts.

Zionism is a equal political ideology like white or Islamic supremacy ideologies floured with a violent creation of a new own homeland on others homeland would be.

Zionism does not espouse “supremacy”. We are not better than you. I know some in the gentile word get this impression. Some Christian friends of mine tell stories where they “felt bad” that they were not “Chosen” (aka “Chosen People”). This term is not a Jewish term, nor do Jews feel they are better than anyone else. IMHO, Israel is only about a safe haven for Jews to practice their faith freely and control their own destiny. Sort of like Palestine is to Palestinians.

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January 15th, 2009, 2:17 pm

 

70. Chris said:

Alia you wrote:
“The current Assad and esp. his father have largely been tolerated and even supported by people in Syria because of their stand against Israel.”

You are correct. The conflict with Israel has benefitted the dictators of the region as they can point to a foreign enemy to encourage people to rally behind the government. They are then able to call critics of the regime traitors, when such a charge would have far less sting during peace time. So, it is not a coincidence, that Syria, which is the most rejectionist country of Israel in the Levant, is also the most repressive country in the Levant. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to resolve this conflict. Its continuation is absolutely toxic to everything in the region.

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January 15th, 2009, 2:29 pm

 

71. Akbar Palace said:

The Jewish people those who follow the Torah should not be complicit to the malevolent actions of the state of Israel. You use your religious identity whenever it pleases you but you do not follow its basic rules.

Alia,

Since you are an expert on Judaism, what “basic rules” are we not following?

Israel is built on a stolen land and has displaced an innocent people. If there were no Palestinians who is Israel murdering in Gaza?

Right, Israel stole land. Join the Club… I never said there were no Palestinians. Murder is what Palestinians dream of the day they’re born (see Palestinian Child Abuse link above). Defending ones country by killing combatants who hide among the civilian population is something else. Morally, you should know the difference.

The miracle is that the Arab and the Muslim people in their great majority have never ever given up their stand of solidarity with the Palestinians no matter how corrupt and worthless their leaders have become.

Translation: “The miracle is that the arab and Muslim people in their great majority have never ever given up their goal of “wiping Israel off the map”.”

under the wheeling and dealing of their governement. Watch Turkey slowly but decisevely turn around back to join the rest. Somehow the Israelis never ever got that support unless they bought it and bullied for it.

Yes, Israel “bullied” Turkey. The Turks, especially their secular military had great respect for Israel. They still may not be so thrilled about an Islamist Turkey. That’s for them to figure out.

60 years are long on the Palestinians who are suffering but they are not long in the history of nations.

Not all Palestinians are “suffering”. Mostly, the Palestinians that are suffering are the ones committed to destroying Israel or the ones living in countries still at war with the Zionist Entity.

Israel may look OK to you for now, but it has sowed its own seeds of destruction, such processes take time. The Roman Empire did not fall in one battle.

Inshallah!

Beside being ruthless thugs your leaders are fools and they are dragging you all down a path of no return.

Don’t worry about it Alia. Just hunker down with yor computer and wait it out…

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January 15th, 2009, 2:29 pm

 

72. idit said:

Chris

You are too nice.

If it walks like a duck….

Enough said.

It seems that Egypt comes out as the winner of this.
Everybody is flocking to Cairo.

Hamas (on its knees), Israel,The US and others.

Another development is that despite objections from Hamas-Damascus, Hamas-Gaza went ahead and agreed to a ceasfire.
It will be interesting to follow the dynamics there in the coming days and months.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5053R720090115

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January 15th, 2009, 2:30 pm

 

73. SimoHurtta said:

Well Akbar and Chris let us conclude why analogue of the Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza Ghetto is completely valid. So we can get over it and not bore the other readers and commentators.

In Gaza UN and the international community are feeding and treating medically the Palestinians. Israel is not giving them anything, besides occasionally a couple of public relation “hospital treatments”. All the food, fuel and medicine are and have for decades been paid by others. You the overlord only make money with the trade and taxation opportunities that help opens. So the occupying Jewish overlord is not feeding them, like the Nazis or Polish counterparts did not feed the people of Warsaw Ghetto. If it would be up to Israel and there would be no UN, Israel would have let 1.5 million starve and die to deceases in Gaza already long ago. So let’s not be hypocritical about this “help” and numbers issue.

Can you Akbar and Chris deny that there was constant smuggling of food, medicines and weapons to the Warsaw Ghetto? They even had bad “weapon” smuggling tunnels and “weapon bunkers”. Can you deny that the were no attacks against the occupation forces in Warsaw Ghetto? Can you deny that there was a wall build by the occupation forces around the Ghettos in Gaza and Warsaw? You can’t even deny the fact that the overlords left both Ghettos in a similar way. They left the area and put soldiers on the “walls”.

About this 8 years of missiles. Sadly it seems that Nazis had less tolerance as you Israeli Jews. The creation of the Ghettos (= collecting the unwanted to one isolated area) and the crushing of the Ghettos is though similar. Nazis did finish the “job”, Israel hardly can even most Israeli Jews would love the same to happen. Sad isn’t it. What is the difficulty in admitting this?

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January 15th, 2009, 2:42 pm

 

74. Chris said:

Simo,

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to continue with the Warsaw Ghetto analogy. It is an inflammatory, offensive, and sloppy analogy. More importantly, it is irrelevant.

You may have referred to me as “you Israeli Jews.” I’m a gentile from Los Angeles, California.

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January 15th, 2009, 2:52 pm

 

75. Alia said:

Chris,

You got it wrong. Since you are not Syrian you do not know cause from effect. The Syrian people are the ones who are choosing to stand against Israel in this case. Again why are you not busy talking about your country and fixing its problems ?

A.P.,

Judaism ? Not a bad religion if you could stick to it. Remember those 10 commandments ? I don’t think so.

Turkey’s Military Rule was symptomatic of a stage in Turkey’s history, it has not led to any thing good or stable.

If you call yourself a Jewish state then why can’t other countries be Muslims states ?

” Admiration for Israel’s Military”? Ha ha. All arms blackmailed from the U.S. and other countries ” the poor martyrs need to defend themselves against the ruthless Arabs”.

Really something to be proud of.

You make sure you keep yourself busy 24 hours a day posting nonsense.

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January 15th, 2009, 2:55 pm

 

76. Chris said:

Alia,

“Again why are you not busy talking about your country and fixing its problems ?”

We are on a blog about Syria, hence, I am focusing on Syria. But, I have worked in the policy world. I have taught, albeit a summer course. I have given to the interest groups that I support, etc.

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January 15th, 2009, 3:09 pm

 

77. Akbar Palace said:

You are too nice.

If it walks like a duck….

Idit,

cc: Chris

I agree. It is refreshing to see a non-Jewish participant’s disgust at anti-semitism. I guess we aren’t “paranoid” afterall;)

If only some liberal Jews had that kind of moxy.

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January 15th, 2009, 3:10 pm

 

78. Akbar Palace said:

Judaism ? Not a bad religion if you could stick to it. Remember those 10 commandments ? I don’t think so.

Alia,

Which of the 10 commandments are you taking issue with? If it is “murder”, I do not consider the operation in Gaza to be “murder”.

Anyway, I don’t want to follow the Jewish religion too closely in time of war, then Sim’s dream of actually wiping out a Palestinian city could be the next step. Joshua’s (not the good professor) defeat of Jericho, wasn’t interrupted by ceasefire negotiations.

Turkey’s Military Rule was symptomatic of a stage in Turkey’s history, it has not led to any thing good or stable.

Neither has Hamas’. Why so bleak?

If you call yourself a Jewish state then why can’t other countries be Muslims states ?

But there are Alia.

” Admiration for Israel’s Military”? Ha ha. All arms blackmailed from the U.S. and other countries ” the poor martyrs need to defend themselves against the ruthless Arabs”. Really something to be proud of.

Certainly not for anti-Zionists or jew-haters. But that’s understandable.

You make sure you keep yourself busy 24 hours a day posting nonsense.

It’s fun. I’ve always had a knack for getting on people’s nerves – just ask my wife;)

Good luck with your jihad against the Zionist occupier. Make sure the little ones are equiped with the latest slingshots…

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January 15th, 2009, 3:18 pm

 

79. jad said:

Sim
If Gaza concentration camp had Gypsies, Homosexual and ONE Jewish then AP and gang will call it a ZIONIST/NAZI concentration camp…but it’s an all “goy” concentration camp which doesn’t make it that bad even if they kill all of them, 1.5m human being are not worth one Jew according to (AP LAST COMMENT PROVES IT) them and this is the Zionist spirit.

Chris,
MIND YOUR COUNTRY BUISNESS especially when you obviously know nothing in depth about Syria on any level except your two unfortunate friends, and you keep coming back and write some unrelated and meaningless comments as if this site a chitchat messenger…I suggest you stop writing for a while and read till someone ask something you really know the answer otherwise spare us from your street based analysis.

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January 15th, 2009, 3:22 pm

 

80. jad said:

ANTI-SEMITISM!!!
AP you have a thick brain and very retarted…how many times should we tell you that we are ‘Semitic’ too..altikrar yo3lem al7imar obviously not you..

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January 15th, 2009, 3:33 pm

 

81. AKbar Palace said:

ANTI-SEMITISM!!!

JAD,

There’s also a way you can make the font bold (place “b”s inside the arrows).

AP you have a thick brain and very retarted…

JAD,

It’s a birth defect. It’s not funny.

(Alex – are websites rules cancelled due to the Zionist Aggression™?)

Anyway Nahoul is on TV, I gotta go…

http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/07/16/continue-to-learn-holy-war-with-nahoul-the-bee/

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January 15th, 2009, 4:42 pm

 

82. jad said:

I didn’t know that you have feeling, anyway, Get well soon…(place “b”s inside the arrows) (in bold at your advice)

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January 15th, 2009, 5:01 pm

 

83. chris said:

Jad:

You wrote:
“you obviously know nothing in depth about Syria on any level except your two unfortunate friends…spare us from your street based analysis.”

I lived in Syria for 10 months and have read a number of books, articles, and journal articles about the country. Again, while we shouldn’t dismiss the importance of the views of the elite, the experience of the person on the street or what you derisively refer to as “street based analysis” is also important. In the Middle East there is frequently a divergence between the views on the street and the elite. At the same time, no government, no matter how brutal, can be completely dismissive of popular opinion, therefore it is important to understand what the shopkeepers and the young people of Syria are thinking.

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January 15th, 2009, 5:36 pm

 

84. Chris said:

Jad,

you wrote:
“you have a thick brain and very retarted…”

While I’m aware that I used profanity (although I didn’t realize it was against SC rules) I would appreciate it if we could raise the level of discussion here. The person attacks are really unnecessary, not to mention against the SC Rules.

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January 15th, 2009, 5:46 pm

 

85. jad said:

We all lived in Syria more than 10months and we all read more book about Syria than you can imagine so out of professionalism and respect of experience you shouldn’t argue with us about our country and tell us that you learned much more than we did in our streets by asking couple people to declare that your research is done and perfect.
Again and please, TRY to read and not write for a short time to understand more.

Something else and no need to write back:
Are you AP? Are you Semitic? When I refer to you by the name you reply. Thank you.

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January 15th, 2009, 6:06 pm

 

86. Chris said:

Jad:

You wrote:
“you shouldn’t argue with us about our country”

I actually didn’t notice many arguments about Syria itself. There are a lot of personal attacks though. Not many people here seem to disagree that it is a brutal regime. More importantly though, if we are not here to argue or discuss Syria than what is the purpose of this blog? Do only those who are from Syria have the right to discuss it and its policies?

You also said:
“you shouldn’t … and tell us that you learned much more than we did in our streets ”

I don’t believe I ever made a claim to having more knowledge about Syria than others who are writing in this blog. I only said that I am knowledgable about the subject. Of course, I am sure there are people who are commenting here who have a deeper understanding of the country.

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January 15th, 2009, 6:46 pm

 

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