News Round Up (24 October 2010)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on Syria (Haaretz):

What about Syria? How are your relations with them going? And they ready or interested in talking with Israel?

“We are engaging with Syria – President Obama is committed to using engagement as a diplomatic tool – and we are trying to see if they can become a constructive player. Our relations with Syria are not easy. The differences between the Syrians and the Americans are great – but nonetheless it is in our interest to get to a comprehensive peace and Styria, by definition, is part of that equation.”

Is there any improvement in relations you can report?

“For a number of reasons, there is distrust between Washington and Damascus. We are taking modest steps that can reassure the Syrians that we are serious about seeing whether, together, we can start to build a constructive relationship and they have taken some modest steps in our direction. But there are a lot of big issues that divide us. I don’t want to be naïve here, and say just because we are using engagement all of these big issues are going to disappear.”

Druze leader Walid Jumblat on Sunday said he told Jeffrey Feltman during his visit to Lebanon last week, “Why don’t we together look for other hypotheses [for the murder of Hariri] Of course, he refused.”

Jumblatt, who met Assad on Sunday told al-Manar television that his meeting with the Syrian president was “excellent.” “We will win as we won when we went through similar circumstances in the past,” Jumblatt assured.

Syrian Premier’s “cartoon” Remark Angers Lebanese Majority
2010-10-24, Beirut (dpa) –

A remark by Syrian Prime Minister Naji Otari’s comparing the Lebanese western-backed majority to “cartoons” has drawn a storm of protest from members of the coalition in Beirut, local media reported Sunday. In an interview in the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper Saturday, Otari dubbed the Lebanese government “cartoon structures” — adding that Damascus is “keen on every Lebanese brother who believes in a close relation with Syria and works towards embodying it.”
The comment has inflamed the already tense relations between Beirut and Damascus. “The policy of the outstretched hand does not work with Syria,” Christian Phalange parliamentarian Nadim Gemayel hit back.

“What is needed today is to go back to dealing strictly with Syria,” he said.

The battle for Lebanon’s army
Published: Oct. 18, 2010

“… As Lebanon hovers precariously on the brink of new upheaval, rival forces are battling for control of the army: the Western-backed government and the United States on one side, Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian mentors on the other.

The outcome of this increasingly intense competition will to a large extent determine where Lebanon is headed — and whether Iran secures complete uncontested control of a frontline base on Israel’s doorstep.

And right now Hezbollah seems to be winning…. It still refuses to give up its arsenal, or merge with the state army, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
And no one, least of all U.S.-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri, is prepared to the take risk of trying to make it do so….

Once Syria withdrew the last of its military forces from Lebanon in April 2005, under international pressure triggered by the February assassination of billionaire former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s leading statesman, the Americans saw an opening……..

Since 2006, Washington has provided the Lebanese armed forces, which has traditionally been kept weak by the political barons who control the various sects, with military aid worth $700 million. But after the 56,000-strong army, still outgunned by the battle-hardened Hezbollah, clashed with Israeli forces in August, the first such engagement in years, the U.S. Congress cut off the aid…..up to that point, the army had stayed on the sidelines in the sectarian feuding, although an estimated 60 percent of its personnel is Shiite…….”

Israeli diversion of Golan’s water violates Int’l law: Syrian FM
English.news.cn 2010-10-25

DAMASCUS, Oct.25 (Xinhua) — Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem sent on Monday a note to UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon accusing Israel of stealing Golan Heights water, the Syrian official SANA news agency reported.

Moallem said diverting water resources to the Israeli settlements leads to an economical and environmental disaster on Syrian citizens of Golan Heights.

He argued that the Israeli action is a flagrant violation of the international law, the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention and UN Security Council resolution No. 465 which demands occupation authority to protect land, people, private and public property and water resources.

The Syrian minister called on UN to prevent Israel continuing the violation policy in the occupied Arab territories, the report said.

Syria Friday accused the Israeli forces of continuously setting massive fire in the occupied Golan Heights.

Israel captured the Syrian Golan Heights during the 1967 War and unilaterally annexed it in 1981. Syria and Israel have been technically at war ever since.

In June, a Syrian report accused Israel of continuously seizing lands, violating liberties, keeping Syrian captives detained, and arbitrarily exploiting water and natural resources in the occupied Golan Heights.

Jerusalem Post: Above the Fray: Syria reasserts its centrality to peace
2010-10-22 14:24:50.942 GMT

Despite efforts to internationally isolate Syria, especially during the Bush era, it has reasserted itself as a central player in the Middle East….. in May 2009, Netanyahu said that he would never leave the Golan Heights, stating, “Remaining on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of military conflict with Syria.”

The truth is that the continued occupation of the Golan will sooner or later instigate military conflict with Syria…. NETANYAHU MUST now realize that as Syria emerges from its international isolation and peacemaking efforts languish, Israel is becoming increasingly more isolated. The geopolitical benefits of a durable Israel-Syria peace are numerous, and the opportunity at this moment is ripe. Whether Netanyahu recognizes these benefits – and seizes the opportunity – will be a significant test of his leadership. Whether Syria’s peace overture is rhetorical or real, there is no better time to put Damascus to the test….

Syria’s renewed influence in Lebanon makes peace talks even more critical….

an incentive to be helpful with the Palestinian track. … it can keep Hamas from torpedoing peace efforts…

PEACE TALKS would also benefit Israeli-Turkish relations.

Nir Rosen:

Despite admitting that there was no military solution, Obama was relying on the military. And he reproduced the pathologies of his predecessor, treating Muslims as if they were one entity and the world as if it was a battlefield. Under Obama the United States has expanded its operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. In all cases violence has increased. In Al Qaeda’s worldview, Muslims are under attack by Christians and Jews who want to take Muslims’ resources and perhaps convert them too. The Bush Administration had to transform its response to the 9/11 attacks into a crusade because, in purely security terms, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen went to war against two hundred unsophisticated extremists. Looking at it like that diminishes to absurdity the enemy and the threat it poses, but many in the defense policy establishment were nostalgic for a real enemy, like fascism or communism, and so they made the conflict about culture. The United States adopted Al Qaeda’s view of the world, and it too treated the entire world stage as a battlefield.

—From Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World – Rosen’s new book

Turkey-China Military Drill Reveals Deepening Ties, Widening Reach
BY: MEHMET OZKAN | WORLD POLITICS REVIEW
What explains such a dramatic improvement in relations between Turkey and China?

It comes in the aftermath of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent visit to Ankara, during which he and Erdogan signed eight agreements on cooperation. The visit reflects China’s commitment to pursuing closer ties in areas like trade, railway construction, infrastructure, communications and cultural exchanges. Trade volume between China and Turkey exceeded $10 billion in 2009, according to official statistics. The two countries agreed to increase their annual trade volume to $50 billion by 2015 and $100 billion by 2020, with sectors such as energy, air transport and tourism providing opportunities for further cooperation.

For Turkey, the military drill reveals the full potential extent of Ankara’s multidimensional foreign policy, both geographically, but also in terms of method. Ankara’s recent opening to the world has been mostly accomplished through economic and political means, while never raising any doubts about the impact of Ankara’s new orientation on its military alliances. Although the joint exercise with China does not directly call into question Turkey’s military alliance with NATO, it signals that even in military affairs, if its existing alliances lose their significance, Ankara can and will consider other options.

From a strategic point of view, the drill underlined Turkey’s importance in global politics. While the West is increasingly engaged in heated discussions over whether or not it has lost Turkey, the new rising powers are quickly beginning to recognize Turkey’s significance. This military exercise, while allowing China to flaunt its military reach, should also be seen as Beijing’s recognition of Turkey’s rising importance in regional and global affairs.

That explains in part why the U.S. and Israel were unhappy about the exercise. The U.S. also had legitimate security concerns relating to the possible divulgence of technological, operational and other military secrets. According to media reports, Turkey used F-4 fighters in the exercise rather than U.S.-built F-16 fighters after Washington expressed its concerns. ….

Whether or not the West will continue to ignore Turkey’s rising global role and keep it waiting at the gate of the European Union remains unclear. … If the West maintains its current — sometimes irrational — approach to Ankara, its worst fears could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Turkey Iran U.S. sanctions: Turkey rebuffs U.S. pressure to slash trade with Iran – latimes.com

Babacan, a founding member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, said Turkish businesses would be unwise to break off ties to Iranian firms when many European, Chinese and Russian companies “are still doing quite a big business with Iran and finding open doors.”

Babacan, though acknowledging that the Iranian economy is coming under “more and more pressure,” said he doubted whether Iran’s leadership, which had faced decades of sanctions, would fold.

JPost

One of Riyadh’s leading figures blasted the US for not living up to its commitments in the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and not doing more to reign in Israel.’“It has failed to curb the brutal Israeli policy of collective punishment, arbitrary arrests and killings,” charged Prince Turki Al Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the US and director of Saudi intelligence. He also criticized some American officials for not standing up to Israel, maintaining, “It is these officials who propose that the Netanyahu government should be rewarded for its intransigence rather than sanctioned.” …”


Dr. Mohammed Imady’s Labor of Love
INTERVIEW – First Steps – The Birth and Growth of the Damascus Stock Exchange:
by E. E. Whiting, Thursday, October 21, 2010

Syrian official: Time to replace Hariri – Israel News, Ynetnews

Tourist Numbers, Investments Booming, Ministry Says (Syria Report)

The number of tourists that entered Syria in the first nine months of 2010 stood at 6.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 46 percent, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Norway artist angry as works withdrawn from Syria show 2010-10-18

Oct. 19 (PTI) — Two paintings by Norway’s Haakon Gullvaag that show an Israeli flag have been withdrawn from an exhibition at the French Cultural Centre in the Syrian capital, the artist said today.
His “Terra Sancta” exhibition contains works about the Israeli offensive against the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. Two of the works in which the Israeli flag features were
removed from the show on Saturday, an angry Gullvaag told AFP by phone from Oslo, adding the French embassy in Damascus “explained to us that it was their decision.

“This was done without contacting the artist, the curator or the Norwegian embassy. I have never experienced something similar in my entire life.” The artist said the French embassy said it had concerns about a hotel near the cultural centre which normally has many Iranian guests.

“They were afraid that the Iranians would misunderstand the motifs as being Israel-friendly. Then the cultural centre claimed that some students have complained about showing the Israeli flag at all,” Gullvaag said. He said the cultural centre had “approved every work before the opening.”

“I have a lot of Palestinian colleagues and friends, and have visited the West Bank several times. I feel a need to express my compassion for their cause, and for their suffering,” Gullvaag said. The two works removed from the exhibition were “The Flag” and one panel from “Invasion Triptych.” “You can’t just rip out one third of a work and expect it to make sense afterwards,” he said.

Norway’s ambassador in Damascus, Rolph Willy Hansen, said it was “unacceptable” to remove the paintings without consulting the artist. He said contacts were continuing with the French embassy, the cultural centre and Gullvaag to try to find a solution. Neither the French embassy nor the cultural centre had returned AFP’s calls by late today.

“Netanyahu will not allow the United Nations, or any other organization, to dictate our borders. They will be determined through negotiations,”…. Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren remarked on Tuesday that Israel would not allow anyone to dictate its borders.

Foxman: Obama should end unilateral statehood threat
October 20, 2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) — After meeting with Israeli leaders, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman called on the Obama administration to “close all doors” to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.
The Anti-Defamation League leader, speaking to JTA from Jerusalem after meeting Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others, said it was his impression that the Palestinians are accelerating plans to have the U.N. Security Council recognize a unilaterally declared state.

“The Palestinians are engaged in an effort to see if they can pre-emptively establish a state,” Foxman said. “They seem to be engaged in this fantasy that the world will deliver them a state with very little. What it takes is for the U.S. to close every exit door and say ‘Get off this kick, you will not have our support.’ ”

The Palestinian Authority suspended direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks last month, barely weeks after they were renewed, because Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month partial moratorium on settlement building.

The Saigon-Jerusalem connection – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News 2010-10-16

…The main issue the decision makers therefore found themselves occupied with in the hours before the Arabs pulled the trigger, and thereafter, was American aid – both in materiel and in diplomatic moves for a ceasefire. Without this aid, Israel would have been exhausted and defeated in a long war; with it, Israel developed total dependence on Washington.

Fortunately for Israel, Washington does not only consist of the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department, but also Congress. Thanks to Israel’s power in Congress, it has fared better than other, smaller allies, like South Vietnam. In the absence of congressional support, they did not win the administration’s affection; this is why Saigon fell and Jerusalem hasn’t…..

…. “In another discussion, Graham Martin, the ambassador to Saigon, asked about the connection between what was happening in the Middle East and Vietnam. “It hurt us with the Arabs. [Syrian president Hafez] Assad said in his talks with me, ‘You look what you’ve done to Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Portugal, etc.’ (There was some debate between him and his foreign minister whether Portugal fit into the category ). But anyway, Assad said, ‘Therefore if you look at this, you will give up Israel, and so [Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat should simply not give in.’ On the Israeli side, they said, ‘We don’t want to wind up like Thieu.’” …

Alex writes:

It seems that Iraqi former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, is ready to respect and approve Syria’s role in helping form the new Iraqi government. He reportedly told his President (Jalal Talibani) that he felt Syria is genuinely working for Iraqi stability and security and is supportive of the political process that should lead to forming the next Iraqi government without foreign interference.

In the past, Maliki always criticized Iraqi politicians who go to Syria to ask for advice or help.

المالكي لطالباني: لمست حرصا سورياً على استقرار العراق وأمنه

أطلع رئيس الوزراء العراقي نوري المالكي الرئيس جلال طالباني على نتائج زيارته الأخيرة إلى سوريا، ومحادثاته مع الرئيس بشار الأسد وكبار المسؤولين.
ونوه المالكي خلال اجتماعه بطلباني إلى أنه لمس خلال زيارته لدمشق “حرص سوري على استقرار العراق وأمنه، ودعمها العملية السياسية في العراق باتجاه تشكيل حكومة جديدة ممثلة للجميع يختارها العراقيون بإرادتهم”، حسبما جاء في بيان.

وكالة آكي

Tareq Alhoumayed, The editor of Asharq Alawsat, Saudi Arabia’s top newspaper wrote that the old equation (by Lebanon’s Nabih Berri’s) of S+S (Syria plus Saudi Arabia) that was essential for stability (and problem solving) in Lebanon is now replaced by a more complex one … S+S+I …. Iran being the third component.

وبالتالي، فإن زيارة نجاد تكون قد ألغت مقولة نبيه بري الشهيرة: إن أوضاع لبنان لا تصلح إلا بمعادلة (س+س) أي السعودية وسورية. لذا، فإننا الآن أمام (س+س+إ) أي السعودية وسورية وإيران، حيث أحضر نصر الله كفيله الإيراني ليشكل له حماية داخلية من خطر محكمة الحريري، مما يقلص من الدور السوري في لبنان بالطبع، ولذا سمعنا نصر الله وهو يمجد بإيران ودورها الإلهي، والولي الفقيه.

وإذا صحت هذه القراءة، وهذا ما سيظهر قريبا، فهذا يعني أن طاولة السلم اللبناني ستكون على ثلاثة أرجل، وهذا يعني أنها لن تصمد طويلا، حيث اتضح الفرز الطائفي في لبنان، وكل ما سبق يعني تعقيد الأوضاع في لبنان، كما يعني أن إيران قد قررت أن تعمل في لبنان بشكل علني وليس من وراء حجاب، ويكفي أن نتنبه إلى أن لقاء نصر الله بنجاد قد تم في السفارة الإيرانية، أي إن نصر الله قد جاء للقاء نجاد مثله مثل أي واحد من رعايا إيران في لبنان!

This reminds me of a post I wrote for Syria Comment in 2007. I said the same thing at the time.

Modern threat to Syria’s ancient Aleppo soap industry
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

ALEPPO, Syria, Oct 22 (Reuters) – The deep perfume of olive and laurel oil hangs in the air of old Aleppo, home to an ancient soap industry that has enjoyed a renaissance since the government lifted crippling trade bans in the last five years. Nestled among the 2,000-year-old labyrinthine streets in courtyard houses and old hotels known as khans, are a handful of workshops that have been making the famed “Savon d’Alep”, or Aleppo soap, by hand for hundreds of years. But the guardians of the old tradition say greedy imitators who have begun marketing cheap industrial soap under the same name are threatening to undermine the brand in lucrative European export markets.

A New Site dedicated to Syria

Strategic Research and Communication Centre
The SRCC is a new site with grand ambitions and a very appealing look. It will be exciting if it can live up to half its stated mission. Already it has sent out a weekly summary every Monday regularly for over a month, which is promising. I have copied most of the present summary. So far there is little original content. Most of the “research” papers that it lists have been widely circulated by others, many on Syria Comment – but the added value of SRCC is that it places them in a nice list that is easily viewable, unlike blog archives.

So far, we have no clue who is behind the site, as all its principals or possibly single editor prefer to remain anonymous for the obvious reason that they want the freedom to criticize the Syrian regime and still travel to Syria. The site is based in England. Here is a most of a typical weekly summary:

Economy

Union leaders in Syria have requested the withdrawal from the movement towards a social market economy, adopted by the Baath party at its tenth conference. The Syrian-British Business Council has been launched, with the aim of strengthening relations between Syria and Britain in the areas of the economy, investment and tourism. Syrian Finance Minister Muhammad Al-Hussein has said at the Syrian-Kuwaiti forum that the private sector contributes seventy percent of Syrian national income. The Finance Ministry has issued a circular stipulating that Syrian exports of all forms of artistic works will be excused from all taxes and fees.

Society

The Syrian Authority for Family Affairs, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund, has published five “penetrating” studies which deal with issues affecting young people in Syria. Essential amendments have been made to the personal status law in Syria, following the controversial repeal of the new draft of the law during the summer of last year. An analysis attributes the drop in the unemployment rate in Syria to the migration of nearly two and a half million citizens during recent years in their search for work. A study undertaken by the Moroccan Arab Advisors Group has shown that internet access in Syria is more expensive than in ten other Arab countries, and cheaper than in eight.

Syria in the International Press

Syrian Prime Minister Naji Al-Otari’s description of the Lebanese 14 March Forces as “cartoon skeletons” has aroused a wave of condemnation in the Lebanese press. Al-Mustaqbal and Al-Quwat newspapers said that his statement does not inspire trust, and demanded a Syrian apology. Syria was described as being among the ten most repressive countries in terms of treatment of the press, according to the annual report of the organisation Reporters Without Borders. Numerous Western newspapers and websites have reported news of Asef Shawkat’s possible appointment as Syria’s defence minister.

Comments (39)


1. 5 dancing shlomos said:

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs representing israel’s interests, Jeffrey Feltman.

my last visit to halab i bought much soap. very nice. gave lots as gifts.

whats the problem. people are just parts to be used. we make such use. does it matter that the victim doesnt know or that we dont care. after all according to our beloved rabbi ovadia yosef (http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/18/2741341/rabbi-yosef-non-jews-exist-to-serve-jews), gentiles are here to serve and to be used.

http://www.counterpunch.org/hughes10252010.html

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October 25th, 2010, 1:32 pm

 

2. 5 dancing shlomos said:

“Netanyahu will not allow the United Nations, or any other organization, to dictate our borders. They will be determined through negotiations”

negotiations israeli style consists of: taking land by force, walls, buildings, razor wire, snipers, prisons, torture, assassinations, bombings, 3rd party deceptions, collaborators.

syria related. anyone here know if auto/bus fuel is still leaded.

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October 25th, 2010, 1:56 pm

 

3. 5 dancing shlomos said:

news round up addition:

God’s greatest gift using the greatest arab, maybe, greatest human:

Seeing Things as They Really Are
A Dialectical Approach to the Qu’ran
By M. SHAHID ALAM

In the Qur’?n man appears in a variety of capacities: as prophet, messenger, sage; as Muslim, Momin, Jew, Christian, Magian, Sabian; as disbeliever, skeptic, hypocrite, idolater; as tyrant and his victims crying out for justice; as one whose self-regard has made him deaf, dumb and blind to the signs of God; as men whose hearts tremble with awe when God is mentioned.

God speaks to all of them.

Directly and indirectly, and at different levels, the contest for man’s soul undergirds nearly all the exchanges in the Qur’?n, whether these exchanges occur between God and the angels, God and Iblis, or God and man. Of necessity, these exchanges turn their attention to nearly everything in God’s creation, seen and Unseen – from the design of the heavens to the manner in which cows are put together to produce pure milk, sweet to the drinker.

In order to bring man to the straight path, the Qur’?n harnesses the resources of human language, reasoning, rhetoric, and prosody; it infers the Unknown from the known; it draws lessons from the history of human arrogance; it borrows images from this life to illustrate the felicity and pain of the Hereafter; it speaks to each interlocutor in a manner suited to his or her capacity and needs.

Since the Qur’?n had to speak to audiences that were often hostile to its message – Arab pagans or followers of previous revelations jealous of a new revelation given to a people without a Scripture – it was forced to respond to their objections, using reason and rhetoric to bring them into the new faith.

Repeatedly and without flinching, the Qur’?n records the objections and taunts of its adversaries: mushrik?n who associate other divinities with God; munafiq?n who entered Islam in order to undermine it from within; and the k?fir?n,disbelievers, among Jews and Christians. It also answers their objections.

In large parts, the Qur’?nic mode of revelation is dialectical. God listens and speaks to men, answering their objections, addressing their concerns, guiding, giving comfort. Muhammad did not go up to the mountains to receive the Qur’?n inscribed on tablets, nor was the Qur’?n delivered as a manuscript written out on papyrus scrolls. Instead, at least as things appear to us, the Qur’?n emerges out of the social matrix in which Muhammad finds himself – in Mecca and Medina – daily wrestling with the task of saving souls, unraveling the plans of his adversaries, and bringing guidance and comfort to those who had chosen to stand by his side.

God sent down portions of the Qur’?n to Muhammad – communicated to him by the angel Gabriel – over a period of twenty-three years: the first revelation came in 610 when he was alone, on one of his customary retreats in the mountain cave of Hira outside Mecca; he received the last verses shortly before his death in 632. Step by step He has sent the Scripture down to you with the truth, confirming what went before. This was contrary to the notions the Meccan pagan had about a revealed book: and they ask, Why was the Qur’an not sent down to him all at once? God answers, We sent it in this way to strengthen your heart [Prophet]; We give it to you in gradual revelation.

Often but not always, the Qur’?n comments upon events as they unfold, giving instructions on how Muhammad (s) should respond to them, or, after the fact, draws lessons from these events. In order to make sense of these exchanges, the early Muslims developed a genre of writing describing the ‘occasions of revelation’ (asb?b al-nuz?l) for each verse. In later times, these would become indispensable aids to the understanding of the Qur’?n.

God and man are constantly in conversation in the pages of the Qur’?n. Nearly always, moreover, these conversations are reported directly, so that we can listen in to the conversations that take place between the prophets and disbelievers. In these conversations, we can see ourselves mirrored – for man was created weak – in the disbelievers, as they demanded proofs, signs, and miracles. We too face the need, more than our ancestors, to overcome doubt and disbelief: to resist the downward pull of our appetites.

Equally, we can hear the prophets in conversation with God, His angels and the disbelievers. We listen in to God, as He answers the disbeliever’s questions, confronts them with questions, demands that they provide proofs for their rejection of the revelations, urging them to observe, think, ponder, and reason. In short, God insists on engaging the disbelievers: in order that He may dispel their doubts.

As a result, the Qur’?n contains a great variety of arguments: including questions, parables, analogies, syllogisms, contrasts, comparisons, and conditional, probabilistic and disjunctive arguments. As if to compensate for God’s refusal to deliver miracles to the polytheists and disbelievers of Arabia, the Quran offers a nearly endless array of dazzling insights into the physical world, society, and human nature; it also brings – depending on our ability to receive them – endless intimations of the Unseen.

In some ways, Qur’anic dialectics transports the reader to the time and locale of the revelations. We can witness the events of the Qur’?n as if in real time; we can hear the voices of blessed Prophet’s companions; we become witnesses to the sacred history taking shape in the environs of Mecca and Medina. Above all, the reader can hear God speaking to man in a hundred different voices, in a hundred different circumstances. In other words, the Qur’?n seeks to incorporate its readers into its revelation: and by so doing it recreates some of the impact which had it on those who first heard its inimitable symphony of sense and sound.

In its dialectical method of discourse, the Qur’?n finds the amplitude to record and respond to the objections of the disbelievers, pagans and the hypocrites who opposed and challenged the prophets and their mission.

Its dialectical method allows the Qur’?n to speak to the skeptical and disbelieving man across all ages, to appeal to his sensate experiences, his feeling of shame, his innate sense of the just, true, and beautiful, his sense of wonder and awe, his quest for meaning, but above all, his powers of thinking, reasoning and imagination: constantly urging him to use all his cognitive faculties to see the Unseen in the visible world, to discern God in His signs, and, eventually, to awaken his latent cognitive powers, to see all things with the eye of the heart.

The Qur’?n addresses the integral man: for only the integral man is capable of discovering God. God seeks to restore wholeness to men and women whose worldly ambitions and cares have denuded them, reduced them to truncated creatures who view the world only as appetite and quantity: so that they measure life primarily in terms of growth that satisfies their appetites.

The Qur’?n strives to re-center man in his spirit, from where he can see things as they really are, that is, as God sees them. This was the blessed Prophet’s constant prayer: it should be ours too.

Qur’?nic references: deaf, dumb and blind: 2, 172; whose hearts tremble: 8, 2; pure milk, 16, 62; Step by step: 3, 3; Why was the Qur’an not sent down to him all at once? 25, 32; for man was created weak: 4, 28.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University.

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October 25th, 2010, 2:14 pm

 

4. why-discuss said:

Israel seems to be increasingly worried about the possible unilateral move of a Palestine state at the UN.
I think this move is the best Palestinians can do as negotiations are stalled . The masks will fall: Who really wants 2 states within the 1987 borders and the ones who don’t. That will be a moment of truth at the UN.
Why are the palestinians waiting for?
The republic of North Cyprus was created unilateraly , I wonder why not a Palestine Republic as most of the world would accept it except the westerns hyprocrits that would be embarrassed to have to show their real face. What do the palestinians loose in this move?

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October 25th, 2010, 2:26 pm

 

5. Ghat Al Bird said:

WHY-DISCUSS said:

What do the Palestinians loose in this move?

Excellent question. Such a move will do away with the Feltmen’s, Ross’s and others whose primary ellegiance is Israel.

By applying to the UN, the Palestinians will in fact take Obama off the hook. And also forestall any US Congressional actions when and if the UN General Assembly acts as it did in the creation of Israel.

The safest and surest ways to deflect Israel is political actions and alliances rather than military ones. An excellent move when taken the sooner the better.

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October 25th, 2010, 3:11 pm

 

6. Norman said:

Feltman should read this , Ghat , WD , Israel might tell the Palestinians now you have your state , here take our Palestinians , the 1948 ones ,

Posted on Mon, Oct. 25, 2010
It pays to know other countries better
BY FAROOQ MITHA
fmitha@gellermithalaw.com

Is Bashar Al-Assad presiding over a period of transition in Syria?
That was the question at a conference sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden that I was invited to attend as a scholar of Syria to lecture on the country’s economic reform initiatives.

An important message sent by this conference was that Syria is not a one-dimensional country as it is often viewed, especially in the West, and that it should not always be approached through the prism of geo-politics where the only focus on Syria surrounds its relations with Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Israel.

One little known aspect about Syrian society in the United States is its religious makeup, which consists of Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Alawis, Druze and even a very small Jewish community. I often refer to a sandwich shop named Falafel Abu Rumaneh, which is owned by an Armenian Christian and staffed by Arab Muslims. Its walls are decorated with pictures of the Virgin Mary, and verses from the Koran. This small Damascene business epitomizes Syrian religious diversity.

In fact, on my last trip to Damascus, I stayed in the city’s historic Jewish quarter and was able to visit a small synagogue, which continues to hold services on the Sabbath for Damascus’ small Jewish population. I also visited the Christian town of Ma’loula where Aramaic is still spoken to this day.

Very few know of Syria’s vibrant and booming tourism industry, which brings visitors from around the globe to Damascus, one of the world’s oldest cities, and historical and religious sites across the country. In fact, the number of tourists who visited Syria in 2009 increased to over 6 million, which was a 12 percent increase over the previous year and Syria was mentioned as a Top 10 destination for 2010 by the New York Times. By 2018, the tourism sector will contribute to employing about 18 percent of Syria’s total workforce.

The reason for mentioning this is to show that countries with which we are not so familiar have rich societies with much to offer. Although we have strong political disagreements with the governments of countries such as Syria, we should remember that the countries themselves are multi-dimensional and that we often have much to share with them outside of politics.

An example where Syria was not viewed as such occurred when a senior advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a technology delegation to Syria and posted a twitter message about having a great “frappuccino” in Syria. This post caused concern among certain circles in Washington and created a discussion as to whether Syria should be engaged in the first place.

We generally view countries like Syria from a geo-political lens because our primary interests with such countries relate to national security. However, the U.S. relationship with Syria should not be limited to simply defining it as geo-political friend or foe. In addition to whatever inherent benefits that result, the creation of economic and cultural ties may promote our security interests or at the very least provide critical information to help us better understand Syrian government and its people.

A multidimensional approach can often encourage a pariah nation to become a participant in the global society and economy, and thus trade isolationism for interaction.

A prime example is China, which is important to the United States from a national security perspective but is also a critical economic partner in the global economy. If Syria were to further integrate with the global economy, the United States would have increased opportunities to influence Syrian policy on a host of issues, including improvement of standards on human rights, lowering tensions in the Middle East, reduction of trade barriers and protection of the environment.

Similarly, more cultural ties to the West could help narrow the divide between the Islamic world and the West.

Farooq Mitha is an international policy specialist with Geller Mitha Consulting in Miami Lakes and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Amman, Jordan.

——————————————————————————–

© 2010 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miamiherald.com

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/25/v-print/1889665/it-pays-to-know-other-countries.html#ixzz13QAHn6yb

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October 25th, 2010, 8:56 pm

 

7. Abdulelah Dandachi said:

I noticed on the Strescom website the following peculiar sentence:

“Some IT specialists have managed to bypass bans by using special software”

Which leads me to believe that whoever wrote this article hasn’t stepped foot in Syria in years. Here, everyone and their mother knows how to use Ultrasurf and proxy servers to access Facebook and Youtube.

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October 26th, 2010, 3:11 am

 

8. Ghat Al Bird said:

NORMAN said:

Feltman should read this , Ghat , WD , Israel might tell the Palestinians now you have your state , here take our Palestinians , the 1948 ones ,

I would think Norman, that if the Istaelis push “here take your Palestenians,,,” that would have to be accompanied by, “Israel having to return all the land it has occupied and controlled in violation of the ORIGINAL lines by the UN in creating both Israel and a Palestinian state in 1946.

If the UN does not stand firm on this one its finished in Africa and elsewhere.

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October 26th, 2010, 9:25 am

 

9. 5 dancing shlomos said:

#6

” Although we have strong political disagreements with the governments of countries such as Syria” – we or israel

“We generally view countries like Syria from a geo-political lens because our primary interests with such countries relate to national security” – whose security. usa or israel.

“A multidimensional approach can often encourage a pariah nation to become a participant in the global society and economy, and thus trade isolationism for interaction” – pariah?? in whose world. who is stopping this “pariah” state from participating

“If Syria were to further integrate with the global economy, the United States would have increased opportunities to influence Syrian policy on a host of issues” – to become a 3rd world source of cheap labor and a bootlick for america and israel

“Similarly, more cultural ties to the West could help narrow the divide between the Islamic world and the West” – again, what country is the problem

with a zionist as a law partner and a law practice in a zionist area wonder from what perspective does mr mitha write.

he has nothing to say to benefit arab world. israel and imperialism, yes.

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October 26th, 2010, 11:28 am

 

10. Shai said:

Norman, Ghat,

Just because Lieberman shamelessly speaks his own mind at the UN, suggesting not only that Peace will take decades more (the kind of optimism you’d expect to hear from a country’s chief diplomat), but that any future solution should include the exchange of territory AND populations, does not mean he represents Israel.

The Prime Minister’s Office immediately rejected these statements, and called them “not representative of Israel’s policy”. Lieberman is a wild-dog that has to be put away, and I imagine that will happen soon, when Netanyahu will need support and will turn to Kadima to find it. He will have to replace Lieberman, because Tzipi Livni will not take a minor position (not even Deputy PM), and will likely insist on Foreign Minister. So my guess is that his days are numbered. Inside Israel, he is viewed by most as a thug (probably a corrupt one, in light of all the charges brought against him by the Police), and certainly not as a future leader of the country (as some claim, or fear).

It’s one thing to suggest that 10 or 20 percent of Israelis wish the Israeli-Arabs (“our Palestinians”) would somehow leave to a future Palestine. It’s another thing to think Israel would ever allow for a transfer of 1.5 million of its own citizens. It will never happen. And if I’m wrong, then there will be a Civil War, with people like myself fighting on behalf of keeping ALL Israeli citizens, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or Shinto, home.

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October 26th, 2010, 3:12 pm

 

11. Norman said:

Shai,

Good to see you here again , I wonder how many Israeli are like you ,,,,not many , I Fear , my friend and i hope i can call that,

Will see at any way , Israel showed us time and time again that it is above the law ,

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October 26th, 2010, 9:32 pm

 
 

13. Ghat Al Bird said:

Shai without belittling any of the intent of your comments you have to admit that for over a decade or so the socalled “road to peace” has been of benefit to Israel’s expansionism.

Its interesting that you all attribute importance to the statements made by politicians or heads of states in the Middle East and then suggest that Israel’s Foreign Minister makes statements that ” are not representative of Israel’s policy”.

That so cqlled “road to peace” that Israelis keep propagandizing became a “one way road ” to Israel’s expansionism many years ago. At least Mr. Lieberman has been forthright in what ever he said at the UN.

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October 27th, 2010, 8:40 am

 

14. norman said:

Obama’s reset button not working for Syria
The Obama administration is justifiably proud of how it has managed to “reset” relations with Russia, and how it has managed to build international pressure against Iran after its efforts at engagement were spurned.

But the reset button for Syria seems to have failed, if the latest remarks by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad are any indication.

In an interview published Tuesday in al-Hayat newspaper, Assad said that the United States has created chaos in every place it entered. The remarks appeared to be a sharp rebuke after the administration has dispatched various diplomats to Damascus in an effort to wean him from the Iranian camp and to draw him into peace talks with Israel.

“Is Afghanistan stable? Is Somalia stable? Did they bring stability to Lebanon in 1983?” Assad asked, referring to U.S. intervention in Lebanon’s 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley fired back quickly, suggesting the administration has lost patience with Assad as well. “We believe we’re playing a constructive role in the region, and we believe that Syria is not,” he said in a lengthy and detailed critique of Syrian behavior.

In the interview, Assad also warned that possible indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could lead to a civil war in Lebanon.
“Any clash at any time between any group will sabotage Lebanon and destroy it,” he said.

Crowley said Syria was the root of problems in Lebanon. Syrian actions “directly undermine Lebanon sovereignty and directly undermine Syria’s stated commitments, you know, to Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence,” he said.

The administration has also nominated an ambassador to Syria — which the Bush administration had withdrawn after the Hariri killing — but that has stalled in the Senate.

Please continue for the full text of Crowley statement.

P.J. Crowley’s full statement in response to the Assad interview:

“President Assad is within his right to provide, you know, his critique. You know, let me do the same.

“Recent Syrian behavior and rhetoric has had a destabilizing effect on Lebanon and the region. It has contributed to, you know, recent, you know, tensions. We understand that, you know, certain actors within and outside Lebanon, including Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, may believe they stand to gain by escalating sectarian tensions in an attempt to assert their own authority over Lebanon. You know, for example, Syria continues to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, and recently issued arrest warrants for 33 Lebanese and foreign nationals, including the Lebanese government state prosecutor and head of the national police.

“These activities by Syria directly undermine Lebanon sovereignty and directly undermine Syria’s stated commitments, you know, to Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence. So if the issue is, you know, who is playing a more constructive role in the region, you know, we stand by our pledge to support a sovereign, stable and independent Lebanon, with strong Lebanese institutions as the only way to realize the best interests of the Lebanese people and the region as a whole.

“We believe we’re playing a constructive role in the region, and we believe that Syria is not.”

2010
10
27
06
00
By Glenn Kessler | October 27, 2010; 6:00 AM ET

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October 27th, 2010, 9:25 am

 

15. Ghat Al Bird said:

Norman.

It may be appropriate for the public relations person at the Foreign Ministry in Damascus to respond to Mr Crawley’s criticism by remarking that Mr. Crawley’s remarks suggest that the “Clean Break” proposals attributed to Mr Netanyahu and prepared by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and otherAmericans in the 1990′s and initiated by Mr. Bush are still operative under the Obama Administration.

Those proposals specifically pointed to the need for US policy to isolate and stygmatize Syria as a “terrorist state”. It may be necessary to pointedly ask how many states have been terrorized by Syria in the last ten years?

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October 27th, 2010, 9:53 am

 

16. norman said:

Ghat ,
Agree

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October 27th, 2010, 10:29 am

 

17. Shai said:

Ghat,

There are an endless amount of contradictions in my country. The Golan Heights were annexed by Israel, yet barely 20,000 Jews live there. The West Bank wasn’t, yet over half a million settled and continue to settle in it. Most in Israel prefer two states over one (two elections were won with this platform), yet settlers are allowed to expand as you suggested, making it ever more unlikely for a feasible Palestine to be created. Probably 99.9% of Jews in Israel want Israel to have a majority Jewish population (i.e. “The Jewish State”), yet are doing everything possible to bring 4 million non-Jews under its control (plus the 1.5 million Palestinian-Israelis). And of course, we have a Foreign Minister speaking on behalf of Israel, and the PM’s Office rejects his statements as “not representative”.

It is difficult for me to explain these contradictions, so I won’t.

Norman,

Of course you can call me friend. As you are mine.

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October 27th, 2010, 11:38 am

 

18. Akbar Palace said:

Who? Me?

It may be necessary to pointedly ask how many states have been terrorized by Syria in the last ten years?

Ghat,

It also may be necessary to pointedly ask how many terrorist organizations Syria, Iran and North Korea supply weapons to.

Paying and arming a hit man is equivalent to murder in the US, and terrorism is no different.

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October 27th, 2010, 6:23 pm

 

19. Ghat Al Bird said:

AKBAR PALACE said:

Who? Me?

WHO STARVED 500,000 IRAQI CHILDREN AP ? (REMEBER MADELEINE ALLBRIGHT) T WHO ACCORDING TO WIKILEAKS KILLED PEOPLE INDISCRIMINATELY IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN AP? AND STILL DOES IT ON A DAILY BASIS.

DID HAMAS KILL AS MANY ISRAELIS AS THE ISRAELIS KILLED GAZANS? WHOSE MILITARY HIDES BEHIND CHIIDREN IN THE WEST BANK AP? WHO HAS DESTROYED LEBANON’S CAPITAL AND KILLED THOOUSANDS AT SHATILLA AP?

WHO SELLS HUMAN PARTS ALL OVER THE WORLD AP?

HOW MANY ISRAELIS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY IRAN OR SYRIA AP?

DOES IRAN AND OR SYRIA SEND DRONES OVER TEL AVIV AND OTHER ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS AP? AND HOW MANY TIMES A DAY DO SYRIAN OR IRANIAN OR LEBAENES AIRCRAFT OVERFLY ISRAELI TERRITORY AP/

WHERE THOSE 12 INDIVIDUALS WHO MET IN DUBAI AND MURDERD A MAN IN COLD BLOOD SYRIANS, IRAQIS, TURKS OR IRANIANS AP?

IS ISRAEL THE ONLY STATE IN THE REGION THAT IS PRIVILIGED TO GET BILLIONS IN WEAPONS AND SYRIA DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO ARM ITSELF AP?

YOUR DAYS OF CONTINUING TO BULLS#IT PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING THAT ISRAEL IS A VICTIM ARE LONG PAST AP.

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October 27th, 2010, 7:16 pm

 

20. Alex said:

Excellent comment Ghat!

And for Mr. Crowley, spokesperson for the US State Department, and his wonderfully patriotic defense of his country’s role in the Middle East I say … why not answer President Assad’s claims one by one … talk about your role in Lebanon in the early 80′s and what it led to … about your buildup and support for Afghan fighters who got the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan but created the future Alqaeda and the new Iraq and Afghanistan wars … your failed micro management of Lebanon (through Mr, Feltman) from 2005 to 2008 … your intervention in Somalia, currently the world’s most miserable state… and your 3 trillion dollar war in Iraq that devastated the country

It is so easy to say “our intentions are good but Syrians’ intentions are bad” … just like the Israelis tell us “yeah we know our IDF killed and injured thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, but what counts is that we have the most ethical army”

No.

Israel, and the United States (Israel’s obedient servant in the Middle East) have both failed to inspire any confidence in their ability to manage any place in the Middle East they interfere in. They are bad news… they can only mess up and destroy countries … Because that is what Likud wants and the US knowingly or unknowingly, ends up doing what Likud wants, despite the good intentions of wonderful leaders like President Obama… the system in the United States works in a predictable manner … Sooner or later, Likud gets its way

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October 27th, 2010, 11:10 pm

 

21. Shai said:

Ghat,

I understand what you’re trying to say, but I disagree with what and how you say it. By intermittently inserting generalizations that are, at best, unfair or irrelevant or, worst, false, you are contributing to the same thing you’re trying to stop.

From what I understand, you are trying to send a clear message that Israel should stop acting the victim, and that others should stop depicting it as such. Personally, I fully agree with you. I think it is high time my country start looking itself in the mirror.

But then you “support” this message with a statement about starving Iraqi children? What does the average Israeli have anything to do with what America does in Iraq or Afghanistan? Or about the IDF hiding behind children? Do you have proof that “The IDF” does this, or have you heard about some isolated cases, just as I’m sure you heard about the same with Hamas combatants, but aren’t mentioning this here. You also blame Israel for Sabra and Shatila. While that may be true, you are not mentioning for even a second those who actually murdered the victims. As far as I know, there was not a single Israeli soldier there. Why aren’t you blaming also the murderers?

The one thing I particularly disliked was the bit about human parts. Are you suggesting Israel engages in this practice, or a few Israelis? Are you saying the State is behind this, in any form of policy or blind-eye? Funny, last time I checked, we try people like that (this is why you find out about these cases), and sentence them often to prison. Are you suggesting there are more Israelis engaged in human parts trade than other nationals on this planet, like Romanians, Hungarians, Americans, or, perhaps, even Syrians?

To the question how many Israelis have been killed by Syria or Iran, are you suggesting Israel has killed more Arabs or Muslims than either of those nations? I hope not, because you know that’s not true.

Again, to reiterate, I agree with the message you want to tell the world – Israel is NOT the Victim! But I disagree with the way. By using some of these examples (not all), you are making incorrect generalizations that are fuel for others who want to depict you as unreasonable or dangerous.

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October 28th, 2010, 2:22 am

 

22. Akbar Palace said:

ISRAEL’S SELF DEFENSE VS. SADDAM’S UTOPIA

WHO STARVED 500,000 IRAQI CHILDREN AP ?

GHAT,

EXPLAIN TO THE FORUM HOW IRAQIS STARVED TO DEATH WHEN THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN EMBARGO AGAINST FOOD.

(REMEBER MADELEINE ALLBRIGHT) T WHO ACCORDING TO WIKILEAKS KILLED PEOPLE INDISCRIMINATELY IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN AP? AND STILL DOES IT ON A DAILY BASIS.

UNSC 1441 GAVE COALITION FORCES THE GREEN LIGHT TO ENGAGE IRAQI FORCES AND CIVILIANS DIED. GENERALLY, CIVILIANS WERE NOT TARGETED BY COALITION FORCES “INDISCRIMINATELY”, BUT IF YOU KNOW OF SUCH CASES, FEEL FREE TO POST LINKS. ACTUALLY, SADDAMS REGIME AND THE JIHADIST/INSURGENETS KILLED MORE MUSLIMS “INDISCRIMINATELY” THAN COALITION FORCES.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1441

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3738368.stm
http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/pdf/iraq_mass_graves.pdf

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

DID HAMAS KILL AS MANY ISRAELIS AS THE ISRAELIS KILLED GAZANS? WHOSE MILITARY HIDES BEHIND CHIIDREN IN THE WEST BANK AP? WHO HAS DESTROYED LEBANON’S CAPITAL AND KILLED THOOUSANDS AT SHATILLA AP?

ABOUT 1400 GAZANS DIED IN OPERATION CAST LEAD. THE NUMBERS OF COMBATANTS KILLED IS (NOT SUPRISINGLY) DISPUTED. ABOUT THE SAME NUMBER OF ISRAELIS DIED DUE TO TERRORISM THIS PAST DECADE. IN ALL, THESE NUMBERS PALE IN COMPARISON TO DEATHS OF MOSLEMS ATTRIBUTED TO ARAB REGIMES.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian+terror+since+2000/Victims+of+Palestinian+Violence+and+Terrorism+sinc.htm

WHO SELLS HUMAN PARTS ALL OVER THE WORLD AP?

GHAT, I’M NOT SURE WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH SADDAM’S BRUTALITY OF HIS CITIZENRY, BUT SELLING HUMAN PARTS IS A WORLD-WIDE PROBLEM WHERE IMMORAL PEOPLE PREY ON THE POOR. IT OCCURS IN IRAN, INDIA, CHINA, ISRAEL AND THE US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_trade

HOW MANY ISRAELIS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY IRAN OR SYRIA AP?

ABOUT 30,000 ISRAELIS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN MAJOR WARS AND SEVERAL THOUSAND FROM TERRORISM. BOTH IRAN AND SYRIA SUPPLY TERROR ORGANIZATION WITH WEAPONS.

DOES IRAN AND OR SYRIA SEND DRONES OVER TEL AVIV AND OTHER ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS AP?

NO, THEY ONLY SUPPLY WEAPONS AND TRAINING TO TERROR ORGANIZATIONS.

AND HOW MANY TIMES A DAY DO SYRIAN OR IRANIAN OR LEBAENES AIRCRAFT OVERFLY ISRAELI TERRITORY AP/

SYRIAN AND IRANIAN-SUPPLIED ROCKETS AND MORTARS CAUSE MORE DAMAGE TO LIFE AND LIMB AND DISRUPTION IN DAILY LIFE THAN AIRCRAFT FLYING OVERHEAD.

WHERE THOSE 12 INDIVIDUALS WHO MET IN DUBAI AND MURDERD A MAN IN COLD BLOOD SYRIANS, IRAQIS, TURKS OR IRANIANS AP?

THE “MAN” WAS A KNOWN TERRORIST REPSPONSIBLE FOR MANY ISRAELI DEATHS.

IS ISRAEL THE ONLY STATE IN THE REGION THAT IS PRIVILIGED TO GET BILLIONS IN WEAPONS AND SYRIA DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO ARM ITSELF AP?

SYRIA GETS PLENTY OF WEAPONS FROM IRAN AND RUSSIA.

YOUR DAYS OF CONTINUING TO BULLS#IT PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING THAT ISRAEL IS A VICTIM ARE LONG PAST AP.

ISRAEL CAN NEVER BE A VICTIM WHEN THE HAMAS CHARTER MAKES IT LEGAL TO KILL ANY JEW “INDISCRIMATELY” AND SYRIA AND IRAN CONTINUE TO FEED THESE ORGANIZATIONS WITH THE LATEST WEAPONRY.

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October 28th, 2010, 7:36 am

 
 

24. 5 dancing shlomos said:

we play roles. we pretned. we are right we are left. 2 sides of the same coin. 2 chairs in the same cubicle. computers back-to-back. you be the knuckle dragger. i’ll rfake decency and tolerance. together we will corral them. they run from you. they run to me.

such fools.

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October 28th, 2010, 10:09 am

 

25. Ghat Al Bird said:

FOR THOSE WITH SHORT OR WARPED MEMORIES.

(Israel’s ROAD TO PEACE PROPOSAL IN 1996.

Bibi Netanyahu’s Plan for israeli supremacy implemented by GW Bush and still on going. Circa 1996.

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the “Clean Break” report) is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel.[1] The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on “Western values”. It has since been criticized for advocating an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq

The content of the report is organized into an introduction followed by six sections. The report interleaves within its main commentary text a series of “key passages of a possible speech.”

“While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform.”[1]
The introduction specifically proposes three new policies:

1. Rather than pursuing a “comprehensive peace” with the entire Arab world, Israel should work jointly with Jordan and Turkey to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” those entities that are threats to all three. ( Iraq, Syria, Iran )

2. Changing the nature of relations with the Palestinians, specifically reserving the right of “hot pursuit” anywhere within Palestinian territory as well as attempting to promote alternatives to Arafat’s leadership.

3. Changing relations with the United States stressing self reliance and strategic cooperation.

“Securing the Northern Border

“Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by: —striking Syria’s drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan. —paralleling Syria’s behavior by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces…. “[1]
“Israel also can take this opportunity to remind the world of the nature of the Syrian regime. Syria repeatedly breaks its word. It violated numerous agreements with the Turks, and has betrayed the United States time, as it did in only three days in 1983 in Hama….Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan comprehensive peace and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to itsweapons of mass destruction programs, and rejecting land for peace deals on the Golan Heights.”

“Moving to a Traditional Balance of Power Strategy”

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation withTurkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Husseinfrom power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

“Since Iraq’s future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq,including such measures as: visiting Jordan as the first official state visit, even before a visit to the United States, of the new Netanyahu government; supporting King Hussein by providing him with some tangible security measures to protect his regime against Syrian subversion; encouraging — through influence in the U.S. business community — investment in Jordan to structurally shift Jordan’s economy away from dependence on Iraq; and diverting Syria’s attention by using Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon. .. Were the Hashemites to control Iraq, they could use their influence over Najf to help Israel wean the south Lebanese Shia away fromHizballah, Iran, and Syria. Shia retain strong ties to the Hashemites: the Shia venerate foremost the Prophet’s family, the direct descendants of which — and in whose veins the blood of the Prophet flows — is King Hussein.”

“Changing the Nature of Relations with the Palestinians”

“Israel has a chance to forge a new relationship between itself and the Palestinians. First and foremost, Israel’s efforts to secure its streets may require hot pursuit into Palestinian-controlled areas, a justifiable practice with which Americans can sympathize.”

“To emphasize the point that Israel regards the actions of thePLO problematic, but not the Arab people, Israel might want to consider making a special effort to reward friends and advancehuman rights among Arabs.”

“Forging A New U.S.-Israeli Relationship”

“Israel can make a clean break from the past and establish a new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership based on self-reliance, maturity and mutuality — not one focused narrowly on territorial disputes. Israel’s new strategy — based on a shared philosophyof peace through strength — reflects continuity with Western values by stressing that Israel is self-reliant, does not need U.S. troops in any capacity to defend it, including on the Golan Heights, and can manage its own affairs.”

“Conclusions – Transcending the Arab-Israeli Conflict”

“Israel’s new agenda can signal a clean break by abandoning a policy which assumed exhaustion and allowed strategic retreat by reestablishing the principle of preemption, rather than retaliation alone and by ceasing to absorb blows to the nation without response.”

“Ultimately, Israel can do more than simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict through war. No amount of weapons or victories will grant Israel the peace its seeks. When Israel is on a sound economic footing, and is free, powerful, and healthy internally, it will no longer simply manage the Arab-Israeli conflict; it will transcend it.

The Blueprint for the new Bush policy had actually been drawn up five years earlier by three of his top national security advisors, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser who were working for conservative pro-Israel think tanks.

James Bamford explains, “the centerpiece of the recommendations was the removal of Saddam Hussein as the first step in remaking the Middle East into a region friendly, instead of hostile, to Israel. Their plan “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” also signaled a radical departure from the peace-oriented policies of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a member of an extreme right-wing Israeli group.” [3]
The report was “a kind of US-Israeli neoconservative manifesto” according to journalist Jason Vest.[4]
In Vest’s analysis, the report proposed “a mini-cold war in the Middle East, advocating the use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment. Indeed, it even goes so far as to articulate a way to advance right-wing Zionism by melding it with missile-defense advocacy.”

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October 28th, 2010, 10:16 am

 

26. SimoHurtta said:

Shai Germans could not escape the responsibility by claiming all the time that “there are many kinds of Germans”. Even you blame us who have German ancestors for the crimes done in 30′s and 40′s long before we were born. That you have done frequently. Neither Israeli Jews or Jews in general can escape the collective responsibility/burden the monstrous behaviour of Israel is performing, simply by saying frequently that we Jews have many different opinions. Surely Americans can say we are not guilty for killing millions in Vietnam, because we resisted the war. But also that claim is rather “nowhere leading”.

You can say that (foreign minister and party leader) Lieberman doesn’t represent Israeli Jews and that actually he is a “Russian”. That claim is however rather absurd when “one” compares which opinions do reflect the mainstream thinking in today’s Israel. The opinions of Lieberman or the opinions of persons like you (Shai). Unfortunately those Lieberman-opinions outnumber yours. Surely with good grounds can also be said that most Israelis seek and want peace. The problem is that in that “peace” they want is no or very little room for Arab Muslims and Christians.

To the question how many Israelis have been killed by Syria or Iran, are you suggesting Israel has killed more Arabs or Muslims than either of those nations? I hope not, because you know that’s not true.

Well Shai Jews kill most of the Jews killed yearly. The biggest killer of Israeli Jews is a Jew driving a car. Same with Iranians and Arabs. What is essential in Ghats comment is that Iranian or Syrian actions have directly for decades caused not a single dead Israeli Jew. Israel has killed plenty of Arabs during the last decades. Mostly in circumstances that have nothing to do with self defence and own area.

The one thing I particularly disliked was the bit about human parts. Are you suggesting Israel engages in this practice, or a few Israelis? Are you saying the State is behind this, in any form of policy or blind-eye?

Of course the state of Israel is behind the organ trade because Israel’s healthcare system pays many of these aboard made organ transfers and the state doesn’t correct the situation which creates the demand. The reason that Israeli and Jewish people are very active in organ trade is well known. There is a chronic shortage of organs in Israel because of religious reasons.

The problem of Jewish illegal organ trade doesn’t vanish by saying that we (you Israelis) see these claims as insulting. Sure the claims would insulting if there would be no evidence. Old rabbis do not organize black market kidney sales (and make much money) by an accident.

The claims of using the body parts of killed Palestinians could be easily dismissed by letting an independent international team of polices and pathologists inspect the claims, Israeli medical records and the bodies. The assurance by Israel and Israelis that nothing has happened is not enough.

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October 28th, 2010, 10:29 am

 

27. 5 dancing shlomos said:

feltman, one of the israeli reps occupying u.s. govt, cont:

http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb10282010.html

a few paragraphs from link:

Jeffrey Feltman’s “Really Great Plan”
Squeezing Hezbollah
By FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut is abuzz over some pretty bizarre events that have been unfolding the past few months concerning Hezbollah and the UN created International Tribunal for Lebanon, set up in 2007 to bring to justice those involved in the Valentine Day 2005 assassination of then Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
One such event occurred yesterday morning, 10/27/10, at 9:00 am at Dr. Iman Charara’s street-level private obstetrics and gynecology clinic, here in Dahiyeh, a Hezbollah south Beirut neighborhood which is still recovering from Israel’s 33 days of carpet bombing in 2006 which destroyed pretty much everything including more than 250 homes, scores of businesses, and much of the infrastructure.
Some, but not all of the facts of this still unfolding episode are agreed upon. Two English-speaking male investigators, two male security persons, and one female interpreter, all from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon arrived in Dahiyeh to speak with Dr. Charara. They asked for phone numbers and addresses of 17 of her patients for as far back as 2003. The STL had called on 10/22/10 to make an appointment, and after checking with the Lebanese Medicinal Association regarding privacy issues, Dr. Charara agreed. When she led the delegation into an adjoining office to consult with her secretary about researching her office files, according to Dr. Charara, “I was surprised by the large number of women who came shouting and cursing the investigators,” she told this morning Beirut’s Daily Star. Dr. Iman Charara told New TV that she does not know how the clash between the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) investigators and the women at her clinic erupted.

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October 28th, 2010, 11:20 am

 

28. 5 dancing shlomos said:

couple more selections from franklin lamb:

But what apparently really caused Feltman to urge to STL to squeeze Hezbollah by sending its investigators to Dahiyeh to signal that the Tribunal was impossible to stop, was the rejection by all factions but the Lebanese Forces, of the Feltman Plan. Its reported essence, now apparently scrapped, was as follows:

Given that Washington realized that there is no way that the Tribunal is going to work out, it is best to find a way to trash it. Feltman has a “Dead men don’t talk” plan. Imad, Mughniyah who many thought was dead these past 26 years was really killed this time on February 12, 2008 in Damascus. Beirut sources reveal that Israel, who killed Mughniyah, aimed for February 14, not the 12th in order to deliver the message that it can carry out an assassination at will and on any date. Israel wanted to kill Mughniyah on the same day Hariri was assassinated, i.e. February 14.

kill hariri. kill mughniyah. must be same date service saves money.

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October 28th, 2010, 11:32 am

 

29. Ghat Al Bird said:

SIMOHURTTA

Thank you for a very erudite commentary under #26.

Much appreciated.

Ghat.

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October 28th, 2010, 12:21 pm

 

30. Shai said:

Simo,

“Even you blame us who have German ancestors for the crimes done in 30’s and 40’s long before we were born. That you have done frequently.”

I don’t know who “you” is, that you are referring to. Is it me? Is it most Israelis? Is it the Israeli government? I never heard an Israeli blame Germans of today, or people with Germanic ancestors, for the Holocaust. Please explain where you get this from.

“You can say that (foreign minister and party leader) Lieberman doesn’t represent Israeli Jews and that actually he is a “Russian”.”

I never claimed Lieberman doesn’t represent Israeli Jews. And I never claimed he is “a Russian”. I claimed he doesn’t represent MOST Israeli Jews. In the recent Elections in Israel, Lieberman received 15 out of 120 seats. I did claim, that the Prime Minister’s Office quickly rejected his statements at the UN, saying they were his personal views, that “did not represent the Israeli government”. That’s a pretty harsh and unequivocal statement to make, against your FM. And as I mentioned numerous times before, the Israeli mainstream media bashes Lieberman to high heaven at every opportunity it gets, as does the Police. You can call him “mainstream” all you want, but you’re not reading reality, you’re reading what you want to hear.

“Ghats comment is that Iranian or Syrian actions have directly for decades caused not a single dead Israeli Jew. Israel has killed plenty of Arabs during the last decades.”

Why didn’t you say “… Israel has killed plenty of Syrians and Iranians…”? Because we haven’t. My statement to Ghat suggested he think again before claiming Israelis have killed more Arabs than the Arabs themselves have. It’s a bit absurd of you to suggest that the dead Arabs I’m referring to, when it comes to Syria, or Iran (Muslims), come from car-accidents. The Syrian leadership has killed far more Syrians than Israel killed Palestinians, and the Iranian leadership has killed more Iranians as well. And of course numerous other Arab states have killed far more Arabs than Israel has killed Arabs.

As for your Rabbis-Trading-Organs comment, I prefer not to get into it, not because it’s insulting, but because it has too much a “smell” of Antisemitism or Racial suggestions from your end. Even if you have no intention to sound this way, you do.

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October 28th, 2010, 5:44 pm

 

31. Ghat Al Bird said:

Could not resist GL’s commentary at the joy Israelis felt being a part of the duo of the U.S.and England as the only 3 war criminals.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-is-relieved-not-to-be-the-only-war-criminal-1.321188#send-friend-popup

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October 28th, 2010, 5:48 pm

 

32. Akbar Palace said:

German Chocolate Cake

Shai,

Good post (#30)!

Obama administration (sans “The NeoCons”):

US accuses Syria, Iran over Lebanon tensions

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hhFuj6SSVS1WOqeIQ5Fra-Kf_DMw?docId=CNG.157fdb21528f5668b3708d5dd4828a10.291

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany%E2%80%93Israel_relations

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October 28th, 2010, 10:52 pm

 

33. SimoHurtta said:

I don’t know who “you” is, that you are referring to. Is it me? Is it most Israelis? Is it the Israeli government? I never heard an Israeli blame Germans of today, or people with Germanic ancestors, for the Holocaust. Please explain where you get this from.

Well Shai have you forgotten (already) those times when you have questioned my motives and opinions simply because my mother is an Austrian. You at one stage even begun to dislike Nokia phones because of my opinions. :)
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=1877&cp=all#comment-223410

Of course you (Israeli Jews and Jews in general) blame Germans in general what happened in 1932 and 1945. With a good reason. Equally Palestinians and Arabs have a good reason to be bitter for what Jews have done to them.

What Shai I can’t understand is that your constant using that “not all Israeli Jews are” defence. Everybody understands that there are countless different opinions in Israel (like in all other countries). But when we discuss about Israeli actions and political moves, we can not mention in every sentence not all Jews share that opinion. Israel’s actions are now done by the right wing coalition in power, which by the way doesn’t differ very much from the less right wing governments. That what Israel as a country does is essential to us watching Israel, the role and opinions of the small rational peace seeking movement in Israel are at the best only interesting but not essential.

Shai a year a ago your opinion was that the loyalty oath will not pass and it is only Lieberman’s party’s nonsense, well now it begins to be a political reality. Soon you have laws that neighbourhoods can choose their inhabitants. Naturally the Jewish neighbourhoods can do the “choosing”, not the Arabs. This development leading to a inescapable catastrophe is essential, not that some Israeli Jews oppose that development.

I never claimed Lieberman doesn’t represent Israeli Jews. And I never claimed he is “a Russian”. I claimed he doesn’t represent MOST Israeli Jews. In the recent Elections in Israel, Lieberman received 15 out of 120 seats. I did claim, that the Prime Minister’s Office quickly rejected his statements at the UN, saying they were his personal views, that “did not represent the Israeli government”. That’s a pretty harsh and unequivocal statement to make, against your FM. And as I mentioned numerous times before, the Israeli mainstream media bashes Lieberman to high heaven at every opportunity it gets, as does the Police. You can call him “mainstream” all you want, but you’re not reading reality, you’re reading what you want to hear.

Well you have said in the past some interesting things
http://1r1f.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/co-existence-in-northernisrael/

The Finnish FM comes from a party which got little over 20 percent of the votes in the last election. The guy also irritates many with his constant smiling, English wife and home plus with his USA and NATO loving speeches. Equally could be said that he doesn’t represent Finland. The same with most other countries’ FMs. Of course the Israeli foreign minister represents Israel (and so Israelis) even when he says stupid things in front of UN. If the PM would really had opposed his views, Lieberman would have been fired.

As for your Rabbis-Trading-Organs comment, I prefer not to get into it, not because it’s insulting, but because it has too much a “smell” of Antisemitism or Racial suggestions from your end. Even if you have no intention to sound this way, you do.

Well Shai it is a well know fact that an old rabbi was active and got arrested with black market organ sales. What is racist in pointing out that? The fact is that Israel has a severe lack of organs. That is why it has created a very unhealthy situation and Israel has become a pariah in legal organ transplant world. Until the year 2008 you did not have a law prohibiting organ trafficking. Organ donation rates in Israel are among the lowest in the developed world, about one-third the rate in Western Europe. However you have the same demand volume as they have in other developed countries. Your chief pathologist admitted in television the illegal organ harvesting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_transplantation_in_Israel

Isn’t it “racist” not to admit the situation. Of course very, very few Israeli Jews are active in illegal organ transplant markets. The problem is that the majority of Israelis do not even want to discuss about this acute problem. Every killed Palestinian is a potential source of organ transplants worth even hundreds of thousands of dollars in Israeli markets. The big question is why were/are the bodies of Palestinians returned in secrecy at nights? If there is nothing to hide why not organize an open international inquiry.

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October 29th, 2010, 8:21 am

 

34. Ghat Al Bird said:

Israeli, English, American pumpkin seeds.

According to Haaretz, “The Americans and British have also committed war crimes, not only us.”

Two of the nations accused of committing war crimes are accusing Syria and Iran of creating tensions in Lebanon.

Another reminder of what one Polish farmer said about his Jewish neighbor, “He keeps crying while hitting me in the face”.

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October 29th, 2010, 8:50 am

 

35. Shai said:

Simohurtta,

Nice try. You know full well I never blamed you or your Austrian mother for the Holocaust. I used the sentence you referred to, because of your OWN admission, to certain “dilemmas” your family may have had to deal with back then. This was your admission, not my hinting or finger-pointing.

You are wrong if you think Israelis blame today’s Germans or those with Germanic blood for what happened 70 years ago. I blame the Germans back THEN for what happened, certainly not their children or their children’s children. That’s an absurd claim to make.

I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with the “not all Jews” defense idea. I’m not suggesting most Israelis love the Palestinians, nor that most want a single-state solution. I said most Israelis want two-states, and most Israelis do not agree with Lieberman’s extremist views. Israel still considers itself a democracy, our political parties are still chosen by elections, and if a certain politician makes enough of an impression on our citizens, they can elect him to power. When Lieberman’s party (him and the rest of his party) achieve 15 out of 120 seats in our parliament, that suggests that 105 out of 120 preferred someone else. I’m not going to explain to you ad nauseum how Lieberman is viewed in Israel, by Israelis, by the media, by the police, etc. If you don’t believe it, fine, don’t.

As for the Loyalty Oath, indeed I said in the past I don’t believe it’ll pass. So far, in the only attempt to pass it, it got less than 50% support. So far, I’m right. Maybe in the future, if it gets more than 50%, I’ll be wrong. That will be a sad day for Israel.

I agree with you that if the PM was serious, he would have fired Lieberman. The mainstream media (newspapers, radio, television) the next day called out for the Prime Minister to fire Lieberman. But the PM’s Office didn’t have to come out with a public statement denying Lieberman represented the Israeli government. The fact that it did that, should say that he is not representing the government. The fact that this was the official PM’s Office’s reaction cannot be denied by your own interpretation of what Lieberman does or does not represent. I’m sure that, like you, Lieberman also thinks he represents Israel. But the people of Israel, and their government, disagree.

As for the old-Rabbi-and-the-organs, I refuse to discuss with you anything that can contribute, directly or indirectly, to the hatred of a people, be they Jewish, Christian, or Muslim.

Your statement “The problem is that the majority of Israelis do not even want to discuss about this acute problem.” is baseless. The fact that you even know about the issue, is likely because Israeli papers have been discussing it openly and critically. Do you think Arab papers discuss this problem if very few of their citizens engage in such an activity?

Listen Simo, I really don’t want to engage in confrontations with you again, like we did a long while back. If you have a constructive way of discussing issues with me, I’ll be happy to engage.

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October 29th, 2010, 10:00 am

 

36. Ghat Al Bird said:

According to several undisclosed Arab media sources the Israelis are suggesting that they keep land occupied in East Jerusalem for a period of 99 years with the PROMISE to return it to A Palestinian State that may come into existance if Israel approves it some time in the future.

The Palestinian Authorities are not aware excatly it seems of what the Israelis and their operatives in the US have agreed upon but true to form the ROAD TO PEACE will take another 99 years.

isn’t that exciting?

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October 29th, 2010, 6:01 pm

 

37. Shai said:

Another angle on “Peace”:

“Before peace broke out, we had a completely normal Jewish-Palestinian fabric of life here,” said Noam Arnon, spokesman of Hebron’s Jewish community.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3976985,00.html

In the end, it might be the Settlers that will push for a One-State solution… They’re doing so in action, next might come the words.

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October 30th, 2010, 2:53 pm

 

38. SimoHurtta said:

Another angle on “Peace”:

“Before peace broke out, we had a completely normal Jewish-Palestinian fabric of life here,” said Noam Arnon, spokesman of Hebron’s Jewish community.”

What is Shai completely normal Jewish-Palestinian fabric when it is described by a right-wing settler boss?
IDF troops do nothing as Hebron settlers threaten German MPs
In Hebron, Noam Arnon sits tight and worries

Are you Shai certain that Palestinians (if there were any) played voluntarily or did they play on gun point? When a Palestinian news source tells about this event I would see it as a small sign of hope. Now Google News has only 2 sources of the “Hebron day”. Both Israeli and only one mentions this soccer game. So it seems to be propaganda …

I wonder what that one state will look if the settlers will lead that state. Apartheid South Africa will probably in comparisons be a liberal human rights example compared to the Jewish settler state.

I suppose Turkey’s decision to put Israel on the top of their threat list will advance peace more than a propagandist soccer game.

In the biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, was today a interesnting article. Finland has been asked to send (again) troops to UNIFIL. At present we do not have troops there. In the article a Finnish expert and interestingly a unnamed Israeli diplomat are warning that there will be a new war next winter and ask what the troops will be doing there in the middle of a war.

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October 30th, 2010, 5:42 pm

 
 

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