Assad in Doha: "An Eye for an Eye" - Syria Comment

Assad in Doha: “An Eye for an Eye”

The following quote is taken from President Assad’s speech in Doha at a conference of Arab countries.

وقال الأسد “سنحرص أن يتذكر أبناؤنا أيضا مجازر غزة, وسنخبئ لهم صور أطفال غزة وجرا حهم ودمائهم, وسنعلمهم أن المؤمن القوي خير من المؤمن الضعيف وأن العين بالعين والسن بالسن والبادئ أظلم, وأن ما أخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة”.

Translation:

We will take care to remind our children of the Gaza slaughter. We will save the pictures of the children of Gaza with their wounds and blood, and we will teach our children that the strong believer is better than the weak. We will teach them: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and he who started it is the more unjust. What is taken by force will not be returned but by force.”

The last two lines are taken from the Koran. President Bashar al-Assad has put on the mantle of Islamic resistance.

Addendum: Alia writes to correct me

Dear Josh, I was puzzled by those two lines at the end of the Assad speech and had to look them up in detail. Actually they are not from the Qur’an, they are folk sayings that are frequently mistaken for Qur’anic statements:

The words “an eye for an eye” occur in the Qur’an Surat 5 (al-Ma’edah) verse 45 referring to the Laws of the Torah descended on the Jews- ”

Verse 44
It was We who revealed the Law :: therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed to Allah’s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers.

Verse 45
We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers.

The Qur’anic law for Muslims in such matters has been alleviated as stressed in Surat 2 (al-Baqarah) verse 178 and in other instances:

“O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord.”

Nothing else in the last two lines is verbatim from the Qur’an.

So, although Mr. Assad is talking about believers, he is not exactly adopting the mantle of Islamic resistance. Alex we are all included…: )

was welcomed at Doha Airport by Qatar Crown Prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister , and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al Thani , Minister of State, Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Bin Jassem Al Thani, and Syrian Charge d affaires in Doha.

Assad was welcomed at Doha Airport by Qatar Crown Prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Gaza Emergency Summit to support Palestinian People kicked off in Doha on Thursday afternoon with the participation of President Bashar al-Assad, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Algerian President Abdul Aziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic of Comoros Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the State in Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Iraqi Vice President, Tariq Hashimi, heads of the delegations from Libya, Oman and the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Djibouti, Head of Hamas Politburo Khaled Meshaal, Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad Movement Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Ahmed Jibril. President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade, the Chairman of the Islamic Summit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek also participated in the summit.

Here are quotes from two Syrians who sent their interpretations of Assad’s speech:

1.

  • The actions of the Arab government should reflect the popular sentiment of their people
  • Syria desires peace
  • Peace is achieved only when your adversaries are fearful of the consequences of continued conflict
  • It is crucial that the Arabs have a strong position at the negotiation table (the big stick) when offering peace (the carrot)
  • Israel’s crimes should not be rewarded with a diplomatic win
  • All efforts should be made to strengthen the Armed resistance.
2.
At this stage Assad is engaged in a PR battle against the Saudis and Egyptians. We know by now that they are not going to allow ANY win for Syria. They will continue to lobby Washington not to engage Syria … There is a continuing cold war between the two camps … they want him dead or wounded. Not an equal partner.

Israel got the green light from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to finish off Hamas … Assad will not remain a bystander when the others are on the offensive.

In the past their excuse for not talking to Bahsar was that Syria is hindering efforts to elect a president in Lebanon…. now even Sarkozy says he is happy with Syria’s role. So why are they not talking to Syria?

JERUSALEM, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — Israeli cabinet will vote Saturday on a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, local daily Ha’aretz reported Friday on its website.

From a friend in Damsacus (This note was sent today)
Jan 15th 2009
Violence

Syria, which, since I left in early December, has become consumed with the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza.  Syrians in public and private are riveted to the satellite news channels soaking up the never-ending procession of carnage, martyrdom and mutilated children.  Al-Jazeera and even the relatively moderate Al-Arabiyya network have ceased even the pretense of objectivity in their reportage, drawing no distinction between news, station messages and editorial, and devoting literally every minute of their daily broadcasts to the war on Gaza.

I have lost count of how many public demonstrations have been held thus far in Damascus protesting Israel and the United States (and Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which are deemed to be insufficiently supportive of the resistance).  Each protest has shut down most of downtown Damascus for much of the afternoon, and the riot police and water-cannon trucks are now a fairly regular sight nearby my apartment.

I have not experienced any negativity cast on me, personally, by Syrians, and neither have my fellow expats as far as I know.  Though a prominent exception is a well-trafficked storefront in the popular Sha’alaan shopping district, which has covered its windows with anti-Israeli and US propaganda posters, many of which are supplied by Hamas’s media arm in Syria.  A white sign posted on the window says, in English, “Kindly no American citizens allowed.”

There has also appeared in the doorstep of numerous stores around the city a mass-produced representation of the American flag with the Israeli Star of David superimposed, so that patrons must step on them upon entry. After the infamous President Bush shoe-throwing incident a few weeks ago, I’m sure you all get the significance of this gesture.

Syria urges full Arab boycott of Israel as divisions deepen over Gaza
Ian Black, Middle East editor guardian
Friday 16 January 2009

President Assad says 2002 Arab League initiative no longer valid and urges member states to sever ties with Tel Aviv.

Arab divisions over the Gaza crisis were dramatically underlined again today when Syria, the chief backer of the Palestinian group Hamas, called a groundbreaking peace plan dead and urged Arab states to sever all ties with Israel.

Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, told like-minded leaders meeting in the Gulf state of Qatar that the 2002 Arab peace initiative, backed by the entire 22-member Arab League, was no longer valid. Syria had already announced an end to its own talks with Israel, brokered by Turkey and focusing on the Golan Heights.

The Arab initiative promises recognition of Israel in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a just settlement of the Palestinian problem. It is widely considered to be the only basis on which a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement could be reached and has already attracted the attention of US president-elect Barack Obama.

Assad’s unilateral announcement does not mean the plan has been formally withdrawn – that would require a full Arab summit. But his statement illustrates just how difficult it will be to rescue hopes for progress towards a wider regional peace once the immediate Gaza crisis is over.

The Syrian demand to cut links with Israel was directed primarily at Egypt and Jordan, both of which have had peace treaties and full diplomatic ties with Israel since 1979 and 1994 respectively.

Qatar and Mauritania have since announced they are suspending ties.

In addition to Assad, the Qatar meeting was attended by the presidents of Lebanon, Algeria and Sudan, as well as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is viscerally hostile to Israel. But western-backed heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Egypt and their allies were absent, sending their foreign ministers to a rival gathering in Kuwait instead.

Khaled Meshal, the de facto Hamas leader, along with the leaders of Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which are also fighting Israel in Gaza, flew to Doha from Damascus on the Emir of Qatar’s private plane.

Qatar, a tiny but super-wealthy Arab emirate, manages to have low-level ties with Israel as well as Hamas. It had called for an emergency Arab summit on Gaza but failed to secure the quorum of 15 states required. But it went ahead anyway as a “consultative meeting”. Complicating matters further, Saudi Arabia called its Gulf partners to a meeting in Riyadh late on Thursday, which was a clear attempt to both sideline and upstage the Qatari effort.

Saud al-Faisal, the veteran Saudi foreign minister, called for more support for Egyptian efforts to mediate a ceasefire and increase pressure on Israel to implement a UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to the violence in Gaza. As Amr Mussa, the Egyptian secretary general of the Arab League, said in Kuwait: “The Arab situation has been very chaotic and this is regrettable.”

Sami Moubayed Old battles, new contenders in the Gulf

DAMASCUS – The founding document of the League of Arab States, laid out during World War II, said the league would “draw closer the relations between member States and coordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty”.

The statement, hailed at the time as a heroic attempt to unify the Arab world, was proudly signed off by several leaders, including Syria’s Jamil Mardam Bey, Saudi Arabia’s Emir Faisal, and Egypt’s King Farouk and his prime minister Mustapha Nahhas Pasha. A tri-partite alliance between Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia was born in the 1940s along with the League, and it remained intact – despite coups, revolutions, and political upheavals in all three capitals – until relations were soured between Cairo and Riyadh on one front and Damascus on the other in 2005.

The main reason for animosity was Iran. Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah argued that Iran was flexing its muscle in the Arab world – via Syria – in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. They feared Iranian power and its pledge to expand the Islamic Revolution of 1979 would inspire Saudi Shi’ites, exposing the weaknesses of Saudi Wahabi Islam and perhaps bringing down the House of Saud.

In this respect they seem to have held a similar agenda to the United States when it came to breaking Iranian influence in the Arab and Muslim world. When Israel went to war against Hezbollah in 2006, several heavyweights in Riyadh and Cairo saw the war as a blessing in disguise. They hoped that the Israeli Defense Forces would do their dirty work for them and rid the so-called “moderate camp” of the pro-Iranian military group in Lebanon.

Both countries were not pleased, however, to say the least, to see both Hezbollah and Iran emerge victorious in Lebanon. The situation is repeating itself today, as Israel wages bloody war against yet another Iranian ally, this time the Islamic group, Hamas – for similar reasons, they want Hamas to be crushed in Gaza.

On the other front stands Syria, which remains firmly committed to both Hamas and Hezbollah. This stance leaves its relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt on a razor’s edge.

Newly added to the equation is Qatar, an emerging power bent on marketing itself as an Arab nationalist state and replacing Saudi Arabia as the political heavyweight in the Gulf…..

Chairman of the Hamas Polibureau Khaled Mishaal stressed on Friday the need for stopping the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, withdrawing occupation forces, lifting the siege and opening all crossing points, primarily the Rafah crossing point.

Chairman of the Hamas Polibureau Khaled Mishaal stressed on Friday the need for stopping the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, withdrawing occupation forces, lifting the siege and opening all crossing points, primarily the Rafah crossing point.

Comments (162)


AIG said:

Asad just bought himself 20 more years of sanctions from the US. He just played into Israel’s hand. This would not have happened to Hafez. Hafez used the Palestinians as a tool to advance his interests. The problem is that Bashar actually feels for them! That is touching, but something he cannot afford to do. Given the price of oil and the awful drought in our region, it seems that Bashar is weakening Syria significantly.

Puting the above aside, isn’t it strange that both he and Hizballah could have helped the Palestinians by attacking Israel, yet decided not to do that? Once you just talk, how can you be perceived to be carrying any stick?

Israel has checkmated Syria. Both Hizballah and Hamas will not be able to do anything for a very long time. Furthermore, Israel has been able to paint Syria into a clear alliance with a terrorist organization, Hamas. This will ensure the sanctions will continue for a very long time.

January 16th, 2009, 8:05 pm

 

Ghat Albird said:

In addition to an “eye for an eye” the attendees in Doha aught to consider supporting Bolivia’s proposed actions as reported below.

Bolivia to take Israel to The Hague
Fri, 16 Jan 2009 17:57:08 GMT

Israel ignores international calls to end Gaza invasion.

Bolivia is seeking to take Tel Aviv to International Criminal Court over the brutal atrocities the Israeli forces have committed in Gaza.

The Andean state says it is intended to make regional allies take a unified stance against “the Israeli political and military leaders responsible for the offensive on the Gaza Strip” and make it to stand trial at the international body in the Hague, said Sacha Llorenti, whose portfolio covers civil society.

Moves to begin the legal process will begin “probably next week,” Bolivia’s deputy justice and human rights minister Wilfredo Chavez told journalists during the visit to Geneva, AFP reported on Friday.

Bolivia followed in the steps of its ally Venezuela and severed diplomatic ties with Israel over its massacre of the Gazans and snubbing the international calls for an ‘immediate’ and ‘durable’ truce, said the Latin American governments.

The Bolivian president Evo Morales told a group of diplomats in the administrative capital of La Paz that he will request the International Criminal Court (ICC) to file genocide charges against Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The ICC is competent to adjudicate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed after 2002.

Israel and its closest ally, the United States, are not among the 108 signatories of the Rome Statute creating the Hague-based court in 2000 to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

After 21 days of non-stop bombardment and aggression, the Israeli invasion of Gaza has left 1,133 Palestinians killed and more than 5,200 wounded.

AFFP.

January 16th, 2009, 8:44 pm

 

Nour said:

That was a great speech by President Assad, who took swipes at both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It was the strongest speech of the summit and one of the strongest speeches President Assad has given. He made it clear that the only role of Arab states should be to support the Resistance on the ground and that maintaining the siege is a crime that will not be forgiven by either God or the people. And I think what he said about the Arab initiative was brilliant. It’s about time that someone made clear the futility of this initiative.

January 16th, 2009, 8:59 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Sanction against Syria will not work,Turkey,Jordan,and Lebanon,will continue trading with Syria, Asad position is good,Mubarak will not last in Egypt,he ruined his image, as he leaves,Israel will then realize that Gaza aggression,and murders,is a great mistake.

January 16th, 2009, 9:16 pm

 

Alex said:

There is a new poll … please vote f you want Syria to continue to talk about peace or if you liked Bashar’s (and Turkey’s and Qatar’s) tougher position.

January 16th, 2009, 9:33 pm

 

why-discuss said:

US face-saving to Livni’s Israel to avoid dreaded full invasion of Gaza promoted by Olmert.

US seems to be giving a desperately needed face-saving to the Israeli failure of the Gaza offensive by signing an undefined agreement to help stop the smuggling of the weapons to Gaza.. ( did they succeed in Lebanon?) Will it it use Nato? Turkey is part of Nato… I wonder if that will be enough to cover up the criminal accusations in the eyes of the Israeli population and get them reassured . Rice praised Livni in a way that sounded really oddly desperate. If Bibi wins, that will be a clear sign that the Israelis did not buy the Rice face-saving plan and that the war for Gaza was another failure for Israel.
In addition, the final plan does not call for immediate withdrawal, therefore it is highly probable that Hamas will continue to pound Israel until their weapons is depleted. How will the IDF reacts? Who can control Hamas then? Egypt?

January 16th, 2009, 9:35 pm

 

Chris said:

He sounds like a child.”.. and he who started it is the more unjust.” I remember my mother telling my brother and I as children that it doesn’t matter who started it.

The dictator of Damascus says:
“We will take care to remind our children of the Gaza slaughter. We will save the pictures of the children of Gaza with their wounds and blood, and we will teach our children… ”
That reminds me of this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=A5Os4pdjtZ0&feature=channel

So does his quote about what the Syrians will begin teaching the children of Damascus mean that we will start seeing this: http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8 in Syria ?

January 16th, 2009, 9:37 pm

 

Alex said:

No, Chris, it is supposed to remind you of this

What you accept from your people, you should expect from the others… they also will tell their children about all the children the Israeli mass murderers killed.

And I find it unclear what you are trying to say with the last video you linked … How many Israelis died because of those Palestinian children taking photos with their father’s guns? … can you tell me how many died the last two years for example … and let’s compare it to the number of Palestinian children that were slaughtered by your Israeli occupation army.

Finally, Hamas definitely has extreme ideology that I do not approve of, I also did not like the “an eye for an eye” in Bashar’s speech today, although I loved the rest of the speech.

But today’s “Hamas” refers to the 1.5 million Palestinians your Israel is savagely murdering everyday.

January 16th, 2009, 9:40 pm

 

jad said:

The Holocaust’s victims are the only ones we should remember, any other human being is not worth to remember and it’s “childish” …very strange way of thinking….

January 16th, 2009, 9:47 pm

 

Chris said:

Alex,

You wrote:
“No, Chris, it is supposed to remind you of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlES4UaU0CE

In response to your video. Baathism and Nazism at first glance do sound similar. They are both nationalist and socialist parties. Aiming to mobilize society and all its resources behind the nationalist cause. To unify the country with other countries of the same race. And of course, to defeat the Zionists. But of course, that’s just at first glance. So yes, Alex, the video you showed me does remind me of Bashar.

.

January 16th, 2009, 9:48 pm

 

Alex said:

You are right .. Baathism and Nazism can be somehow made to be similar.

Just like you and I are similar … we both have two eyes, one nose, one mouth, two arms …

Instead of this automatic defensive answer in which you are trying to bring “baathism” into the picture to help you move the discussion from the dead children Israel is murdering, i wish you would examine your initial “it is is childish” charges … When Jews go around the globe telling everyone “we will never forget” … it is not easy for you to now deny others the same saying after they mourned their own thousands of victims of Israeli mass murder power trips (Lebanon and Gaza) …

But it seems to be indeed easy for you to allow others what you allowed to your self

Racist in denial?

January 16th, 2009, 9:56 pm

 

Alex said:

ISRAEL’S LEADERS ARE NOT SIMPLY WAR CRIMINALS; THEY ARE FOOLS

Israel’s leaders are not simply war criminals; they are fools
By Sir Gerald Kaufman, House of Commons (British Parliament), January 15, 2009

I was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.

I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.

I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.

My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians—the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that

“500 of them were militants.”

That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.

Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.

The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said:

“You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the West Bank. They are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.

It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools.

Sir Gerald Kaufman has been a Member of Parliament since 1970 and when the Labour Party was in the oppostion served as Shadow Environment Secretary, (1980-1983), Shadow Home Secretary (1983-1987) and Shadow Foreign Secretary (1987-1992). Since 1992 he has been one of the Labour Party’s most influential back-benchers.

January 16th, 2009, 9:59 pm

 

jad said:

What about The millions of Chinese? The millions of Russians? The millions of Armenians? The millions of Africans? What about all those people who killed in much higher numbers than the Holocaust should we forget about them to.
No Chris, those Palestinians and Arabs are killed and massacred in a cold blooded way and by the Israeli’s occupation army and government.
They worth to be remembered and someone should be hold responsible for that killing and whoever is supporting and letting this happen as your government. Shame on you to describe a remembering of our killed people as ‘childish’.

January 16th, 2009, 10:03 pm

 

AIG said:

Alex,
Is it Israel alone that is hurting the Palestinians?
Has Egypt not hurt them by closing Rafah?
Has Syria not hurt them by making Hamas a tool to provoke Israel instead of attacking Israel itself?
Has Iran not hurt them by instilling false hopes about their ability to fight Israel and by arming them to do so?

The Gazans and Lebanese sufferred because they were pushed by Syria and Iran to take unreasonable risks in their fight against Israel. Do you not agree?

January 16th, 2009, 10:09 pm

 

Chris said:

JAD:

The part that is childish is his discussion of “he who started it is the more unjust.” That sounds childish.

I completely agree we ought to remember those crimes. But this is different than those that you presented, in a quantitative and qualitative manner. Let’s just deal with the Armenians. That was genocide, this is clearly not. As the Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian population center, there this is military combat, warfare. To refer to this as genocide is an egregious use of hyperbole.

Alex,
I do not understand why you insist on bringing the holocaust into this you are well aware of the differences. It is inflammatory to compare this to the holocaust.

January 16th, 2009, 10:25 pm

 

Chris said:

What happened in Hama, where at least 10,000 people died i 1982, is far worse than what we are seeing in Gaza. Far worse.

January 16th, 2009, 10:27 pm

 

offended said:

AIG,
people aren’t pawns to be played by outside powers just like that. if the palestinians or the lebanese didn’t have genuine grievances they wouldn’t have fought.

besides, Assad made it clear that he supports a palestinian consensus whatever that might be.

January 16th, 2009, 10:28 pm

 

Syrian said:

A picture is worth a thousand words. How about 42 pictures?

http://syrian2009.blogspot.com/

January 16th, 2009, 10:29 pm

 

Alex said:

Syria did not make Hamas … Israeli intelligence thought in the 80’s that it would be a good idea for Israel to weaken the Palestinian leadership internationally by empowering an extremist alternative to the PLO which was turning gradually more sophisticated and effective.

You anted them to be backward people so you helped Hamas.

Now that Hamas was popular enough to be elected in a landslide to lead the Palestinians, don’t expect Syria to pretend they don’t exist.

Syria is not using thme more than they accept to be “used” by Syria … they are doing what they perceive to be in their self interest when they go along with a direction that Syria wants them to join in.

And Egypt? … I have been writing here for the past two years that it is Egypt who is selling and smuggling weapons for Hamas, and Syria can not do that because it has no border … but you and Akbar Palace kept accusing Syria of “supporting terror”

So, if Israel created Hamas, ad Egypt is arming them … and Syria support them politically … all of that is fine, as long as all agree it is in their mutual interest to do whatever they did.

BUT … Israeli army killing tens of Palestinian children everyday is not in anyone’s interest… so let us not compare it to anything else.

By the way, I just found out where Israel’s lovely flesh eating white phosphorus bombs are manufactured:

At this chemical weapons factory:

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

Thank you Bush administration for all your kind help. You sold Saddam his chemical weapons that he used to kill thousands, and you sold Israel chemical weapons that it is using today to kill thousands.

January 16th, 2009, 10:36 pm

 

Alex said:

Chris,

I do not think that Israel’s murders today are comparable to the Nazi’s murders … absolutely not.

But I also do not think that Israel’s casualties from the “Hamas rockets” compare to the Palestinians’ casualties of Israel’s revenge in Gaza … and I do not think that Lebanon’s casualties from Israel’s invasion in 2006 were a reasonable scale of revenge for Israel loss of two of its south Lebanon occupation soldiers.

I am only bringing the holocaust because it seems to be the only way to help you understand the unfairness of Israel’s non proportional mass murder power trips.

Either 4 dead (Israelis from Hamas rockets) = 1200 dead (Palestinians from Israel’s invasion of Gaza) = 6 million dead Jews (Holocaust) … or each one is in a totally different place along the evil scale.

Its your decision.

Hama was absolutely terrible and non-proportional, true … but it was in 1982, and it followed the Muslim Brotherhood’s killing of hundreds of people in Hama the day before, and housand of people over the three years before

At the same time your Israeli army caused 17,000 dad in Lebanon.

Israel already did its Hama … enough surprising us with a new one every two years.

January 16th, 2009, 10:44 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Is it Israel alone that is hurting the Palestinians?

AIG,

In the end, it is the the Palestinians that are hurting themselves the most. Their Arab and Muslim brothers only prolong the suffering:

1.) The Palestinians voted for Hamas and have created a suicidal people (as seen by the MEMRI translations you will never see on American news networks except for Fox).

Those who are brought up to commit suicide will eventually commit suicide.

2.) The other 22 Arab countries excuse, support, arm, and coax the Palestinians to continue their suicidal mission to “resist the occupier”. Either out of “brotherly love” or as a proxy.

Frankenstein meets the Middle-East.

3.) A quiet, hated minority of Arab thinkers will, once in a blue moon, question the suicide process they have come to worship. The thought evaporates and the jihad continues.

4.) The Israelis finally relatiate, and the Palestinians and their supporting brothers are shocked. That’s the irony.

January 16th, 2009, 10:46 pm

 

jad said:

About Hama, I think Nour answered this comparison in a better way; you could go to SC archive and look at that.

As for genocide, what is the difference of KILLING and injuring more than 100,000 in 20 years or in 1 year? Killing a family slower/faster? It is the SAME. Killing by the hundreds is a massacre and genocide…It’s a pathetic way of analyzing.

Finally and as a special request, could you please educate us of how many Israelis have been killed since the unbelievable strong and great Quassam rocket fired? (and in particular since this Zionist massacre starts)
in details please. Not the glass scratches and the panic attack, Real injury and fatal victims. If you don’t know could you please stop using this unbelievably excuse it’s boring me.

January 16th, 2009, 10:49 pm

 

Yossi said:

Asad is very wise and realized that the US became a paper tiger. It wouldn’t have much influence on ME politics and will probably stop supporting Israel the way it did. The US simply can’t afford to continue its former silly policy with a yearly deficit of $trillion.

January 16th, 2009, 10:59 pm

 

offended said:

British MP: “Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza”.


I think the transcript was posted here before.

January 16th, 2009, 11:02 pm

 

Alia said:

For The Zionists who are wondering where Hezbollah ( Syria and Iran) are – Just because you do not hear about them does not mean they are not there.

COUNTERPUNCH
January 14, 2009
Hezbollah Militants Chafe as Gaza Burns
A Second Front?

By FRANKLIN LAMB

Beirut.

“The Resistance is one project and the resistance movement is one movement and has one course, one destiny, one goal, despite its different parties, factions, believes, sects and intellectual and political trends…Resistance movements in this region, especially in Lebanon and Palestine, complement one another and (Hezbollah and Hamas) are contiguous groups.”

— Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, 7/18/08

“In Lebanon, we, the Islamic Resistance, are ready and prepared to confront any Israeli stupidity. We are prepared to face any foolishness. We have the wisdom to act calmly and we will not be dragged to any act of which we are not convinced. But we will not accept becoming a target for anyone. Hezbollah’s level of readiness is greater than the enemy’s imagination.”

— Mohammad Raad, leader of the Hezbollah block in the Lebanese Parliament, 1/09/09

“Where is my friend Hussein?,” I asked some of the guys yesterday at my favorite motorcycle repair shop in Dahiyeh, the Hezbollah area in Beirut, as I helped, with my bandaged arm, off load my motorbike.

The problem was Beirut’s flash hailstorm on Sunday. Immediately upon entering Verdun street near the Dunes hotel, Silver, not being used to a surface road mixture of oil and ice, and having a van cut it off from the right, tried to maneuver and skidded on it side and I went tumbling (again!). This time against a hotel protective barrier as some army guys jumped out of the way then courteously helped me up with a friendly “Welcome to Lebanon.”

“Isn’t this about your third ‘divine accident’ this year?,” one of Hussein’s mechanics, Ali grinned, as payback for me telling him a Sunni joke the other day about Hezbollah’s string of “divine victories.”

Again, I asked why my friend Hussein was absent. No response.
If one wants his motorcycle fixed cheap, well and quickly, even the pro government-anti Hezbollah Sunni repair shops in the central Beirut area of Hamra neighborhoods will tell you it’s best to take it to Ghouberi. “Ghouberi” is code language for the Hezbollah area of Dahiyeh/Haret Hareik, where most macho Hamra guys fear to tread as they continue to smart over “the events of May,” when Shia Hezbollah and some of their allies in Shia Amal and the Christian National Syria Socialist Party stormed parts of Sunni West Beirut and locked it down tight for around 72 hours before handing it over to the Lebanese Army. It was all about sending a message to the US-Israeli backed government not to mess with Hezbollah’s communication system or with their guys at the Beirut airport.

Once again the Hezbollah shop that took care of Silver did a great job. The mechanics, mainly Hezbollah reservists with ‘day jobs,’ apply the same work ethic of thoroughness and skill to their bike work as they do defending Lebanon against Israeli attacks. Space only allows for one example. As I inquired about the prospects that Hezbollah would open a second front, I noticed that a mechanic and his Palestinian dropout helper (quitting school is the growing pattern these days in Lebanon’s Refugee camps due to economic and political pressure), one with a screwdriver and the other with a wrench, literally checked and tightened every nut or screw on the bike. Never in 20+ years of riding and crashing motorcycles in more than a dozen countries had I seen mechanics do that.

“So where was Hussein?” I asked for the third time. “He not in Beirut,” one of the mechanics said.

I immediately understood.

There is quite a lot of code language used in Lebanon these days, and “He’s not in Beirut” in Hezbollah parlance means, “He’s been called up,” he’s off somewhere for a few weeks doing ‘training’ or he’s been posted with his 5-6 man unit.

While Hussein is “not in Beirut.” it’s likely no one among his family or friends will hear from him. He may spend days or weeks in a tree along the Blue Line electronically eavesdropping on Israeli soldiers or recording their movements and habits or any one of hundreds of preparatory tasks. Hussein will return as if he just completed his day off but will answer no questions that begin with where, what, why, who, when, are, can, do, etc. Quite likely he will look leaner, stronger, more serious than when he left and will parry inquires with a smile and a question about “what’s new with you,” etc.

One might gain some inkling where he has been from what he brings back as gifts for his pals. For example, if Hussein brings special pastries acquired only from a certain village, which he did last time for me, obviously he had been posted in the Bekaa Valley. If he returns with a bag of oranges perhaps he was down south. Iranian candies or Iran’s famous Pistachios? For sure he was, well …

Today, the Lebanese Resistance led by Hezbollah remains on full alert, in the 1/10/09 words of Lebanon’s Oppositions leader in Parliament, Mohammad Raad, “in case Israel does something stupid, we are ready.”

Some Hezbollah officials took note of what might be an Israeli record of some sort. They pointed out that whereas in the July 2006 War, Israel killed approximately 1,100 Lebanese civilians in 33 days of carpet, frenzied and indiscriminate bombing, in Gaza they have achieved the killing of approximately the same number of Palestinians, in about half the number of days. No doubt some kind of a lesson the Israeli military learned from their failure in the earlier conflict.
Many questions are being asked throughout Lebanon about whether the Hezbollah leadership will yield to growing pressure from all parts of Lebanon and within its ranks to force Israel to lift its destruction of Gaza? If so, are there ways it could be done without a igniting a sixth war in Lebanon?

Contemporary Wisdom in Lebanon

Every day brings more questions from Resistance observers inside and outside of Lebanon: when is Hezbollah going to deliver on all those speeches by Party leaders expressing Hezbollah’s ‘sacred commitment’ to the bloodstream issue for all Arabs and Muslims: the liberation of Palestine?

These days the Lebanese Resistance, led by Hezbollah is on Full Red Alert and there is a palpable sense of foreboding in many Hezbollah supporting neighborhoods.

In the bike shop, with its “town meeting” atmosphere, some Hezbollah members are more explicit.

“We can hit Dimona with hundreds of rockets on the first day, if we get the order,” the veteran Abass explains. “The Zionists are very lucky I do not have the authority or we would have joined the battle when the first bomb fell on Gaza. It is just a matter of when, not if, we join the Gazan Resisters.”

The largest of dozens of demonstrations in support of the Gaza Resistance Hamas have been organized by Hezbollah. Thousands of those in attendance at every demonstration bristle with anger along with hundreds of millions all over the World. In Lebanon, many, not only in the Palestinian camps and Hezbollah areas, but north and south ache to do something to help the trapped and dying Gazans.
Regarding the likelihood that Hezbollah will come to the military aid of Gaza, the local conventional wisdom, much of it likely wrong, includes:

* Hezbollah is still regrouping its base from the July 2006 Israeli aggression and rebuilding thousands of homes and businesses and doesn’t want them destroyed again.

* Hezbollah may not yet be prepared militarily.

* Hezbollah has not completed its redeployment to the Bekaa Valley and to the strategic mountain tops where the next war with Israel will be largely based. This includes towns such as Sajad near Al-Rihan Mountain, north of the Litani River with its clear view of all of South Lebanon and the upper Galilee of occupied Palestine, as well as part of the Golan and the Mediterranean coastline. The geographic location of Sajad between the Al-Zahrani and Litani Rivers give it strategic importance and links the South and the Bekaa. They need more time.

* The certain massive destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure of roads, bridges, schools, would turn the populace against it and undermine its great political progress since 2006.

* That Hezbollah, having recently consolidated its base and formed a political coalition with Christian and some Druze leaders wants time to see its alliances grow stronger and free of potential military and political “unintended results.”

* Hezbollah wants to win the currently scheduled June 9, 2009 elections, and being seen as sparking another massive destruction of Lebanon would give its rival parties plenty to beat it over the head with at the polls. Every time Israel issues a new threat against Lebanon and announces in advance that it intends to commit war crimes by destroying Lebanon, this helps Hezbollah’s rivals in the polls as they take to the airwaves and argue that Hezbollah wants another war and does not care about destroying Lebanon like last time. Or, as scholar Amal Saad-Ghorayeb observed last week, intense domestic pressures to disarm, and possible, more externally manufactured, locally-executed conspiracies hatched against it that could drag it into the kind of civil warfare that the movement found itself in during May 2008.

* Hezbollah does not want to risk losing the June 9 election and wants to keep its lead in the polls.

* Hezbollah is currently behind in the polls and needs peace in Lebanon in order to convince swing voters that it will be behave responsibly if the voters will allow it to govern.

* Hamas is assured of winning the war in Gaza, given that Israel must win with its 1000 to 1 military advantage or it will be humiliated and, as Anthony Cordesman has pointed out, would likely in any case lose its deterrence position, likely for good.

* That the Israeli government and its supporters claim that Israel learned from their poor performance in July 2006 is wishful thinking and their performance to date strongly suggests Israel has learned nothing and will deliver to Hamas a silver platter with huge organizational and political gifts.

The “Varsity Squad” of Hezbollah has so trained the “Junior Varsity Squad” that there is no need to intervene unless Hamas is on the verge of total elimination which appears very unlikely. As one Hezbollah reservist noted, “If Hamas survives to fire even one rocket into Israel after Israeli forces eventually withdraw from Gaza, the world will declare Hamas the winner.” Israel discovered Hezbollah expertise last weekend when it learned that the capabilities of Hamas are much more than they anticipated including its ability to strike Beer Sheba.

Based on conversations with several Hezbollah functionaries, Shia Hezbollah appears to have increasingly deep respect for Sunni Hamas. They share an ideology and a set of strategic goals that transcend their religious difference. Both were created as an alternative to failed Arab nationalist organizations in order to effectively confront the Zionist occupation. Hezbollah has been the primary role model, trainer, and “coach” of a “new” Hamas with apparent dramatic results.

Strategically, the fact that Sunni Hamas and Shia Hezbollah cooperate well, despite differing interpretations of some of the Koran, and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Mohammad), leads some observers to believe that this display of Muslim unity dampens the effects of the fiery rhetoric of Egypt’s Mubarak and Jordan’s Abdullah, among others, who regularly raise the chicken-little alarm of an Iranian constructed “Shia crescent.”

When Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, was assassinated last February, one of the major projects he had been working on for nearly two years was to teach Hamas the lessons Hezbollah learned during the 22-year Israeli occupation of much of Lebanon as well as the 2006 Israeli aggression against Lebanon. The current conflict in Gaza may indicate how well Hamas learned from “Hajj Radwan,” Moghinyeh’s nom de guerre.

It was Israel that killed Imad. One reason was that he was deeply involved in training Hamas with the Hezbollah model of Resistance. He is known to have been very proud of the Palestinians and stated shortly before his death to Party colleagues: “They (Hamas) are becoming a very good resistance force.” Some in Lebanon refer to Hamas as the JV (Junior Varsity) or “red shirts” as opposed to the Hezbollah “Varsity” or “blue shirts,” and “Hajj Radwan” is the coach of both. In another Report to the Party, he expressed his admiration for their ability reporting that, “they are proving day after day that they are powerful people capable of facing all challenges.”

During Mughinyeh’s scores of tutorials, Israel was tipped off by certain Palestinians who had met with Imad and who knew or suspected his real identity from “the old days” when Imad spent years with the PLO and was close to Arafat and his inner circle. Most people, even those who worked closely with him, did not know his true identity and he tried to keep it that way even avoiding his home village where half the residents are Mughinyehs. Yet, some who met with him remembered him and ultimately betrayed him.

Some, including this observer, theorize this is why Mughinyeh was killed, almost certainly with the help of Syrians in Israel’s employ since every individual allowed in the Damascus “special security zone” where the killing occurred was closely vetted, examined and then carefully watched. A “full report” on the assassination was claimed to have been made by the Syrian government, which promised to release it within a few days. In two weeks the report will be exactly one year past the promised release date and no one claims to have seen it.

Yet Hajj Radwan is said to have helped revamp Hamas’ military command and replaced certain elements. One subject Mughinyeh is said to have stressed to Hamas during such meetings was the importance of “the communications network as a strategic weapon,” which included Hamas keeping in direct battlefield contact with other Resistance groups fighting Israel, and advising Hamas on ways of fighting Israel using a number of different tactics and bases in locations in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, according to the authoritative Beirut daily Al Akbar.

One of his communications to superiors in Hezbollah is said to have reported: “The way the bottom of the earth was transformed in (areas) around the Strip and inside cities indicates that if determination and leadership was provided to them (the Palestinians), they would achieve what hasn’t been achieved before.”

Other lessons Mughinyeh offered Hamas, based on the lessons from 2006, included that each Hamas small unit of approximately five fighters should be fully equipped and must have a clear plan to fight Israeli soldiers and to wage a long war of attrition until Israel withdraws. Another included instruction on ways to stockpile weapons that would allow Hamas to have quick access to them even if Israel occupied many areas in the Gaza Strip. It is some of these pre-positioned weapons that special Israeli search units try to find in order to exhibit them for propaganda purposes.

How well Hamas has learned from Hezbollah’s experience remains to be seen. Meanwhile plenty of suspicions and speculation remain concerning exactly who killed Hezbollah’s much loved Imad Mughinyeh and why.

As Hezbollah has leveraged its 2006 victory, Hamas will likely do the same, with the losers again being the American–Israel axis, the current PA leadership, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The winners, in addition to Hamas, are once more Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Never in American history has one US administration delivered such a long and consistent string of political victories to its declared adversaries while assuring the eventual collapse of its most favored nation, and managing to turn most of the World, and its own country, against itself.

Franklin Lamb, currently based in Beirut, drafted, for HOKOK, the International Coalition against Impunity, its Complaint/Submission filed, on December 10, 2008, the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the Internationally Criminal Court in The Hague. The Case charges Israel with continuing Rome Statue International crimes in Gaza and throughout Occupied Palestine. He can be reached at fplamb@sabrashatila.org.

January 16th, 2009, 11:15 pm

 

Friend in America said:

Here is another interpretation of the reasons for Egypt’s position, written by an op-ed writer for the Washinbgton Post. Although I do not agree with him at times, he is nobody’s fool.

Cairo’s Bargain
The ‘Fragile’ Camp David Peace Put Down Roots
By Jim Hoagland
Friday, January 16, 2009; Page A19

CAIRO — The besieged Palestinians of Gaza matter to the people of Egypt. But peace with Israel has come to matter more.

That outcome was not certain when Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat negotiated the Camp David peace treaty nearly 30 years ago. I remember labeling the accord “fragile” on the day it was born. It contained nothing tangible for the Palestinians or other Arabs — not even for Syria, Egypt’s partner in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

But that fragile peace has endured and sunk roots, even if it has not blossomed into a true partnership between Egyptians and Israelis. Its survival into the 21st century is a lonely but vital demonstration for the entire Middle East: With time and effort, once-bitter antagonists can develop a taste and many uses for coexistence.

Such inspiration is badly needed for Palestinians and Israelis right now. They have not been able to find a sustainable equilibrium in peacemaking efforts that have been punctuated by prolonged guerrilla warfare, two intifadas, waves of suicide bombings and rocket attacks launched against Israel, and recently by Israel’s bloody three-week assault on the Gaza Strip and the leadership of Hamas.

Sadat freed Egypt from the stranglehold of the pan-Arab and Palestinian causes by initiating both the 1973 war and the peace process that culminated at Camp David. He was assassinated in 1981 by fanatics opposed to his peace efforts. But Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, has made the treaty part of the woodwork in the Middle East without giving it new life or meaning.

Mubarak has handled the latest crisis in that same careful fashion, refusing to risk his nation’s peace with Israel by opening the Egyptian frontier to the Palestinians trapped in Gaza or showing any support for Hamas.

Instead, Mubarak has put Egypt — and himself — first, turning Cairo into the global pivot for efforts to reach a new cease-fire between Jerusalem and Hamas. And his regime has benefited from a nationalistic backlash to harsh criticism from Iran and radical Arab movements.

European, U.N., Arab and other peacemakers have chased one another through the Egyptian capital for several weeks, conveying a new centrality on a dilapidated regime that has been badly tarnished in recent years by its immobility, corruption and fierce resistance to President Bush’s push for democracy in the Middle East.

Just as Mubarak was unresponsive to Bush’s democracy agenda — he will no doubt watch with satisfaction as the American president leaves office Tuesday — he has refused to show even a flicker of agreement with the sympathy for Palestinians and the anger that many Egyptians voice spontaneously to visitors over the Israeli retaking of Gaza.

That sympathy and anger have given rise only to small, scattered street protests and carefully measured criticism of Mubarak in a few Egyptian newspapers. The relative calm that has prevailed in Cairo’s streets has impressed some of the president’s sharpest critics — and disquieted others.

“This is the first time I agree with Mubarak on anything,” says Hisham Kassem, a leading figure in the democratic opposition and a newspaper publisher. “He has kept Egypt from being drawn back into a war with Israel. People are not ready to take that risk for the sake of Hamas. Suddenly Mubarak is made to look like a stability-minded statesman…..”

January 16th, 2009, 11:15 pm

 

Enlightened said:

The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said:

“You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

“It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools.”

I wonder why our resident zionists have not commented on Sir Geralds take on the Gaza issue? Given that Sir Gerald is jewish, they simply cannot tar him with the anti semite tag? Or is it the Self Loathing Jewish tag?

I just want to extrapolate on one point that Sir Gerald missed in his otherwise sound article. Wars are won and ended when one side takes away the will and the ability to fight from the other side. This latest incursion might temporarily shut down Hamas’ ability to fight, but its will to go on will not be broken, this reinforces his point about the current Israeli leadership being fools.

January 16th, 2009, 11:30 pm

 

chris said:

Enlightened,

People’s political views are more complicated than simply their ethnicity. I wouldn’t make too much hay out of the fact that a jew is critical of Israel’s military operation. Many Israelis are: about 10% of the population are opposed to the operation.

I’m curious how many Palestinians oppose Hamas’ violence.

January 16th, 2009, 11:39 pm

 

Friend in America said:

There is more interest here in fighting than in supporting an enduring settlement. It is very apparent from Josh’s lead and the resulting comments that while issuing provocative statements about child killing, the real objective is to solidify a coilition around the Dofa conference and the smoke from that conference is not peace seeking.

Doubt it? Here is a real test: are the remarks of Why-Discus, Alex, JAD, Offended and others pointing toward seeking justice in a war crimes or other tribunal or creating reasons children on the other side of the border can be killed? Are these war statements or peace statements?
Don’t attack me with cheap shots for asking this question. I am just asking you which are you arguing for – justice through peaceful means or war with more killing?

January 16th, 2009, 11:41 pm

 

Ghat Albird said:

The recurring quote attributed to Mr. Eban of . “You make peace by talking to your enemies”, is but another example of switch and bait tactics long a practice attributed to zionists.

The following was reported in the UK’s guardian and typifies what Mr. Assad and the entire Arab world face…

* guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 13 January 2009 14.43 GMT

Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu says Israel needs a ‘clear victory’ against Hamas.

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s rightwing opposition leader and favourite to win next month’s elections, said today Israel needed a “clear victory” against Hamas and that the movement should “ultimately be removed” from Gaza.

He called for a victory against the Islamist movement “that will cripple its capability” to attack. “At a minimum, the firing of rockets must stop and the smuggling corridors that have enabled Hamas to smuggle thousands of rockets into Gaza must be sealed,” he told a news conference. “We are fighting a just war, perhaps the most just war there is.”

Netanyahu has seen his large opinion poll lead eroded since the start of the conflict 18 days ago, while support has grown for his rivals Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister. Although the outcome of the conflict is likely to shift political opinion again, Netanyahu remains ahead for now.

He has made it clear that halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be a priority and he described Hamas in Gaza as a proxy Iranian force. He rejected a peace treaty with Hamas, which he said would only legitimise the movement and give “immunity to terror”.

He said Israel should not unilaterally withdraw from more territory, including the Golan Heights and parts of the West Bank, which were both captured and occupied in the 1967 war.

The peace process with the Palestinians could not succeed, he said, and instead there should be economic investment – what he calls “economic peace” – in the Palestinian territories rather than negotiations on the core issues of a final agreement.

He stopped short of endorsing a two-state solution that would create an independent Palestinian state, saying there were models other than complete sovereignty. “I would make sure that the Palestinians have the means to govern themselves but not to threaten the survival of the state of Israel,” he said.

January 16th, 2009, 11:42 pm

 

Enlightened said:

Article From The Sydney Morning Herald: (titled)

“Getting away with murder”

Julia Irwin
January 11, 2009

YOU’VE got to hand it to the Israeli public relations flacks: only they could convince you that killing children was an act of self-defence.

As the recent bombing of Gaza began, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gave instructions for the Foreign Ministry to take “emergency measures to adapt Israel’s public relations to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip”. Livni went on to call for foreign language speakers to put Israel’s case to the world.

In Australia, the ABC relies for “independent” comment on the smooth Mark Regev, an official spokesman for the Israeli Government, and Martin Indyk, a former official of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

It’s the oldest trick in the book: if they look and sound like us, we are more likely to be sympathetic towards them. Anyone putting an alternative view is immediately cast as anti-Semitic. Our media glibly accept the excuses of the Israeli public relations machine and ignore the horrific realities of Israel’s barbaric behaviour in Gaza.

It’s the same in most Western countries – the groundwork has been laid and the responses of world leaders are predictable. When the Israeli attacks began, right on cue Western leaders regretted the killing of children but in the same breath condemned Palestinians for firing rockets from their walled ghetto into Israel.

While French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for an immediate ceasefire by both sides, US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called only for Hamas to halt rockets fired from Gaza. They did not call for Israel to halt its bombing.

There was a lot of handwringing by world leaders but no tough talk when it came to the bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza or the killing of 40 civilians in a United Nations school. We saw the same during the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon.

It all reminds me of an old story from the days of the Roman Empire. The Emperor Nero was upset that his prized lions were being distressed by Christians who ran away from them in the Colosseum. Nero ordered that at the next circus a Christian was to be buried up to his neck in the sand to make things easier for the lions. When the lions entered the ring, the biggest and meanest saw the hapless condemned, swaggered over and stood astride the Christian’s head, roaring for approval from the crowd. At that moment, the Christian craned his neck and bit off the lion’s testicles. The crowd was shocked. “Fight fair! Fight fair!” they yelled.

It seems that no matter what injustice Palestinians have suffered in the past 60 years, they should be grateful for the privilege of being able to live under the jackboot of Israeli occupation.

For three years since daring to democratically elect a government not favoured by Israel or the US, the people of Gaza have been subjected to a starvation blockade. Yet the civilised world has barely raised a note of concern. Is this the standard by which we judge the behaviour of nations? We talk about Darfur and Zimbabwe but say little of the gross abuse of human rights that occurs daily in the illegally occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Our double standards have made a mockery of the doctrine of humanitarian intervention.

Our failure to condemn the totally disproportionate, not to say illegal, attacks by the Israeli Defence Force has changed the way conflict is regarded around the world. Last August, Russia employed the same tactics in its attack on Georgia as Israel did against Lebanon.

Neither Russia nor China sought UN Security Council emergency meetings in response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza. What happens in the Middle East today sets the standard for the world. And that applies to weapons as well as tactics.

Using cluster bombs or phosphorus bombs against civilian targets is perfectly legal if you can believe the Israeli Defence Force.

Assassinating Hamas leaders during a ceasefire does not constitute a breach. Collective punishments against communities, obstructing medical and humanitarian relief – all part of Israel’s tactics – could now be considered acceptable behaviour in national and international conflict.

How can we criticise brutal regimes elsewhere in the world when we condone worse atrocities when they are committed by Israel? The Security Council has become a laughing stock. The Secretary-General is a pathetic figure reduced to faint pleas for a ceasefire while UN personnel are murdered on the ground in Gaza. And who will pick up the pieces when the bloodshed has finally stopped? The rest of the world will, of course. Through the world’s contributions to the UN, its largest budget item is the UN Relief and Works Agency. With an annual $700 million budget going to support Palestinian refugees, the biggest component is being spent on Gaza.

Even before the Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza, the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur responsible for reporting on conditions in the occupied territories, Richard Falk, was denied entry to Gaza.

Last month, Falk called for an International Criminal Court investigation to determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.

To that long list of war crimes and crimes against humanity we can now add the atrocities committed in this recent invasion. But, with its superior public relations forces, Israel can easily deflect concern about its barbaric assault.

And will the world call Israel’s leaders to account for their crimes? Not likely. Western leaders – including Australia’s – will merely call on Palestinians to fight fair.

Julia Irwin is Federal MP for the NSW seat of Fowler and a member of the Parliament’s Palestinian Friendship Group.

January 17th, 2009, 12:03 am

 

chris said:

It’s funny, when he is talking to the western press he sounds so calm and pleasant, but when he’s talking to Arab leaders, we get:

“We will take care to remind our children of the Gaza slaughter. We will save the pictures of the children of Gaza with their wounds and blood, and we will teach our children that the strong believer is better than the weak. We will teach them: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and he who started it is the more unjust. What is taken by force will not be returned but by force.”

[deleted: you are repeating exactly the same thing again]

January 17th, 2009, 12:05 am

 

Alex said:

28. chris said:

I’m curious how many Palestinians oppose Hamas’ violence.

Chris, again “Hamas’ violence” from its mickey mouse rockets is not comparable to Israel’s violence of killing 1200 Palestinians with Phosphorus bombs.

If Hams suddenly (not in retaliation for Israel’s killing of 1200 people) was sending those F16s that killed innocent Jews like Israel is relentlessly killing Innocent Palestinians today, you will have at least 70% of Syrians opposing it, not 6% like you have in Israel today opposing the war.

We have our own racists I’m sure. But unlike in Israel, they are the minority.

I’m sorry … after knowing that 94% of Israelis support their country’s unwarranted mass murder, I’m not impressed.

After 30 Syrian workers in Lebanon were killed by “Lebanese” angry at Syria, we opened the border to save 250,000 Lebanese people from dying under Israel’s bombs in 2006 … we did not take revenge from them and we did not shut our borders.

and for those who think I am implying that Jews are bad people, I am not. I am implying that America’s policy of covering for Israel no matter how bad it messes up led to this spoiled selfish Israeli population of today.

I have always told Shai that his hope for President Assad to visit Tel Aviv was not going to be constructive .. because Israeli hawks will see him as coming to Tel Aviv “to beg for mercy”.

FIM … The past two years I personally spent hundreds of hours for peace between Syria and Israel … so forgive me if I do not appreciate your accusation that I am interested in fighting and not in peace.

January 17th, 2009, 12:12 am

 

Chris said:

Alex,

What kind of compromise on the Golan would you support?

January 17th, 2009, 12:16 am

 

Alex said:

Chris,

Moshe Dayan said before he died that Israel was behind 80% of the border conflicts before Israel took the Golan in 1967 … Israel stole the Golan because your greedy farmers wanted it.

The compromise I support is

1) Israel does not have to pay Syria tens of billion in rent for the 41 years of using our Golan Heights.

2) Israel can ask for any reasonable security arrangement to make sure Syria will not attack Israel from the Golan.

Chris … you seem to think settling the Arab Israeli conflict is like buying from an old Bazaar in old Damascus. Arabs will not give up more lands than the 78% they lost in Palestine.

January 17th, 2009, 12:20 am

 

Chris said:

Alex:

you wrote:
“Israel stole the Golan because your greedy farmers wanted it.”

I’m not Israeli.

Peace is about making compromises. I don’t see demanding all of the Golan back as a genuine attempt at peace. Some kind of compromise should be reached here for both parties to accept the deal.

The peace you proposed sounds like Hamas style peace. We want it all.

January 17th, 2009, 12:25 am

 

norman said:

FIA,

We want justice with any mean and any price, we tried peaceful means for sixty years , The Palestinians are still refugees , Arab land still occupied , the so called moderate who are doing everything the West and israel demand from them , they got nothing to show for their puppy like behaviour.

Alex,

I respectfully disagree with you about (( An eye for an eye )) , Syria has been turning the other cheek for years now, since Israel attacked the empty Palestinian camp and Syria did nothing , Only for Israel to go further flying over president Assad palace , then attacking the militery building in eastern Syria, then killing Mughneya, and recently the attack inside Syria by the American forces , all these would not have taken place if Syria showed some back bone , so Syria should seek peace but prepare for war , Israel does not understand humility , it considers that as weakness , so Syria should be ready to do something with the next Israeli attempt at humiliating Syria, they want to make of Syria another Lebanon , they can attack any time they want. I am sure president Assad is so happy that he did not move to direct talk as Olmert wast trying to do before the attack on Gaza .

The belief that the Arab respond to force is so wrong, the Arabs never accepted defeat , they actually gave more when they felt that they won like in 1973 while they gave nothing after 1948 and 1967.

The only way for peace is for Israel to be defeated economically by sanctions or militarily without being annihilated .

Long term world wide war against Israel and it’s allies is the only way for justice.

And that is my take.

January 17th, 2009, 12:27 am

 

offended said:

Chris,

The compromise is that we’re accepting peace with israel, this is the basis for ‘land for peace’ formula.

January 17th, 2009, 12:29 am

 

jad said:

“I am just asking you which are you arguing for – justice through peaceful means or war with more killing?”
You tell us, what Israel wants?
You can’t ask for peace during a war and you can’t ask for war during peace, what is happening now is a ‘reaction’ of a ‘crazy’ action and this cycle of brutality wont stop until one of the two parties pause and start thinking instead of using arms and killing machines.
In Judaism as in Islam ‘eye for an eye’ and as long as you have religion and fanatic on both sides (not to mention Israel is an aggressive and disgusting occupier and Palestinians are in self defense after they lost their land and their dignity) leading, you will never have peace. As Shai always says, we need a smart and strong leadership who can take a painful decisions and it’s in Israel own benefit to take the peace road instead of having wars every couple years and building more hatred and enemies.
We all peace loving people and we all want to have a better future for our region yet whenever we get a step closer to achieve any kind of progress in the peace process Israel comes with reasons to go backward and pull us back with it. It’s a conflict with too many players that until now none of them have the courage to use his brain….Unfortunately it’s going to get worst…as Alex wrote, “Arabs will not give up more lands than the 78% they lost in Palestine” it’s our land we want it back now or later with or without a war.

January 17th, 2009, 12:34 am

 

Chris said:

Jad,

Much of what you just said is true, but I must add that I don’t see Syria or the Palestinians interested in making the concessions that are necessary for peace, especially after this. They feel defeated and they feel that they shouldn’t have to give anymore. Until both sides at any negotiating table are willing to make serious concessions you aren’t going to see much movement towards peace.

Needless to say, as long as Hamas is in the picture there won’t be much negotiationg at all.

January 17th, 2009, 12:41 am

 

jad said:

“Peace is about making compromises. I don’t see demanding all of the Golan back as a genuine attempt at peace.”
WHAT, you steal my land and you want me to give half of it to prove that I wont hurt you…how about me coming to your house take your dining room and then ask you to pay for it, how about that for a compromise…..
For god sake could you stop this elementary school exchanges, you are getting on my nerves…please GOD make him stop…
You and your comments are so….you know…
I don’t want to be ban for writing back to you, you are not worth to be ban for…..not worth it…1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 100000.
Thank you for the compliments though; I’m happy that you agree with something I wrote…THANK GOD

January 17th, 2009, 12:51 am

 

Chris said:

Jad:

If you came to my house and stole my dining room I would go to the police, but in the world of international relations, there are no police officers. So, I would either have to pay for it, take part of it back in some compromise, or we would have to find some other arrangement. Of course there is very little likelihood that you would simply give it all back to me because you wanted to be friends. You’d like to be friends, but you also like money or water, or perhaps, some changes in who I am friends friends with.

January 17th, 2009, 12:56 am

 

S.A. said:

To Chris (posting#15),

“It is inflammatory to compare this to the holocaust.” Why, a little too close to home? The way I understand it, the Nazis surrounded the Jews, cut them off from basic supplies, attacked them, deported them and then exterminated them. Israel is three steps on this simple five step program.

It is outrageous that you should think that the lives of Jews are more valuable than other peoples’ lives. The definition of the word holocaust in the dictionary is “a huge slaughter and destruction of life.” It does not say the destruction of Jews only. But this is the problem with Zionists like you. They think that their lives are much more precious.
The problem is that the Israeli government who is still committing its latest ethnic cleansing campaign is not only criminal, but short sighted also. The Jews have not forgotten the Nazi massacres nor will they, especially when they are practicing what has been done to them on other people.

Why short sighted? How do you imagine making peace with people when every other year under a pretext or other they massacre huge numbers of people. I’m afraid peace in the neighborhood is becoming a very unrealistic dream. Does your government think that people are going to forgive them and forget what they have done? Probably every other person in Gaza has lost a relative or a friend. The Israelis are simply sowing the seeds of hatred even deeper every time.

All this is happening just when people started to realistically dream about living in peace, and even about negotiating with people who have stolen their land. Israel is pushing the world back again into the dark ages. There is one name that I would give the massacres that are happening now and that is “ethnic cleansing” under the pretext of trying to eliminate Hamas.

January 17th, 2009, 1:03 am

 

jad said:

That is the biggest lie I ever heard…you personally will be cool with me stealing your table and pay for me to get it back?????
Your countrymen (Americans) get angry and yell at you if you dare walk over their shadows, they will sue you. And you seriously write that you will pay for your stolen stuff to get them back..
Alex, BAN ME..
Chris. You are weird and 6ashme…

January 17th, 2009, 1:12 am

 

Chris said:

Jad,

If you stole my stuff and I couldn’t go to the police to get it back then I would have to find someway to get you to give it back. Now, it doesn’t really matter how, but Syria is going to have to find a way to get Israel to want to give the Golan back. Either through money, or cutting ties with Iran/Hezbollah, or by giving the water to Israel.

I’m not saying that that is how things ought to be. What I am saying is that if there are no “policemen” or “courts” that can settle disputes like this between countries and enforce their decisions, then if a country wants something from another country it must find a way to encourage the other country to hand it over.

January 17th, 2009, 1:24 am

 

Alex said:

Chris,

I am not negotiating with you here. neither one of us speaks for any country.

But I can assure you, from whatever I do know, that there will be ZERO additional land concessions.

If you are not happy with the 78% of the Arab lands you took and the Arabs accepted that you can keep, then too bad.

If you really like bargaining, then go to the Damascus bazaars … they will be very flexible.

Or if you really insist on bargaining over lands, .. we will withdraw our recognition of Israels right to exist, we will demand ALL of the ands back … then we can be very generous in negotiating from that point.

And of course Israel will not complain about us asking for all our lands back … because as you said above “in the world of international relations, there are no police officers” .. there is no one to complain to.

Chris, I appreciate your attempt to be civilized about it but it is not going to work … in your mind it is all about military power … Israel has the mass killing weapons and the Arabs have to bend.

They won’t … you will have to kill many more Arabs in the future.

January 17th, 2009, 1:26 am

 

jad said:

the police and the court are in my pocket.
they are supporting me and giving me guns and money to take over your whole house.
I’ll ban myself now………

January 17th, 2009, 1:30 am

 

Alex said:

Norman,

I understand,

But please understand that the same way the United States does not know how to end its war in Iraq, the same way Israel could not win its war in Lebanon, and is not really winning anything in Gaza, Syria will not be able to win, or get out of, a war that IT STARTS against Israel.

January 17th, 2009, 1:33 am

 

Chris said:

Alex,

In post 46 you wrote “you” a number of times as if I am Israeli. Why?

January 17th, 2009, 1:34 am

 

norman said:

Inter Press Service News Agency Saturday, January 17, 2009 01:22 GMT

MIDEAST:
Syria Makes Its Mark on Regional Politics

Analysis by Helena Cobban*

DAMASCUS, Jan 16 (IPS) – The main artery of Damascus’s famous covered souk (market) sports a giant red banner expressing — in Arabic and English — the disgust and anguish of a nearby private business for the Israeli military’s attacks on Gaza.

In restaurants and other businesses, large-screen televisions that usually play sports are instead tuned to Al-Jazeera’s 24-hour coverage from Gaza. Syrians of all social groups voice sadness — and considerable anger — about Israel’s war on Gaza and the George W. Bush administration’s refusal to press for a speedy ceasefire.

But even amid these emotions, Syrians close to and outside the government expressed some confidence that their country might soon be able to realise two long-held national goals: The resumption of a serious, comprehensive peace process in which all the remaining tracks of the Arab-Israeli conflict — including their own — could finally be resolved, and their escape from the encirclement and multi-faceted pressure that Washington has subjected them to for many years.

On Jan. 14, President Bashar al-Assad told the BBC that he hoped for greatly improved relations with Washington following the inauguration of Barack Obama as president on Jan. 20. He urged the president-elect to work for the speedy resumption of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.

On that very same day, Obama told CBS News said that he is going to work toward a comprehensive peace in the Middle East “on day one” of his presidency, and that this would include Iran and Syria. “We’re going to have to take a regional approach,” he said. “We’re going to have to involve Syria in discussions. We’re going to have to engage Iran.”

Shortly before news of Obama’s interview reached here, one adviser to the Syrian government warned starkly that, “Either we move rapidly into a comprehensive peace process or the region could collapse rapidly into yet another, even broader war. It really is a race against time.”

The new hopes for a turnaround in Syria’s political fortunes come at the end of a lengthy, U.S.-led campaign against the country’s government, which is dominated by a branch of the Arab Socialist Baath (Renaissance) Party that for decades was in sharp competition with Saddam Hussein’s now effectively defunct Iraqi Baath Party.

The pro-Israel lobby in Washington and its many powerful allies in the U.S. Congress and the executive branch were at the forefront of the anti-Syria campaign. Syria has been subject since 1979 to stiff economic sanctions because of its place on the State Department’s — highly politicised — list of “state sponsors of terrorism”.

In December 2003, Congress added an additional layer of penalties when it passed the Syria Accountability Act, seen by many in those days of U.S. triumphalism as paving the way for an imminent attempt at U.S.-imposed regime change here. The Bush administration also worked hard to isolate and weaken Syria on the international scene. It has repeatedly blocked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from even accepting Syria’s membership application.

In February 2005, when Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated, the U.S. and France both loudly blamed Syria and the U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Damascus. There has been no U.S. ambassador here any time since.

For the next two years, the western-led campaign against Syria left the government here — and many Syrian citizens — feeling very vulnerable indeed. But it did little or nothing to undermine the government’s popularity with the Syrian public. Indeed, perhaps it even drew the public closer to the government.

Though President Assad does face some criticisms from his country’s citizens, on the core issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict and social equity he represents their views much more accurately than do the leaders of U.S.-backed Arab countries like Egypt or Jordan.

Many Syrians have also said in recent years that the mayhem and mass killings that flowed from the U.S. invasion of neighbouring Iraq made them appreciate the social and political stability of their own country much more than they had before. (Syria has been a generous host to some 700,000 refugees from post-2003 Iraq.)

Since mid-2007, however, Syria has started — slowly — to escape from the international isolation that Washington tried to impose upon it. The government was able to greatly improve relations with France, Britain and other European countries. It even used its good relations with Turkey to launch indirect (proximity) talks with Israel over resuming the long-stalled negotiations for a final-status Syrian-Israeli peace.

The Bush administration, despite its many professions of support for Israeli-Arab peace talks, had tried to dissuade Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from pursuing those talks with Syria. (Olmert went ahead and pursued them anyway.)

So now — as the tragic events in Gaza drag on and the Bush administration enters its last hours — many influential Syrians are starting to feel cautiously optimistic. “There is a feeling that we backed the right horses in international politics,” one political scientist here said. “In 2005, a ‘six-month scenario’ for the Assad government was openly talked of in the west. But now, there’s a good feeling here that we’ve overcome that… Those who bet against Syria did not win.”

He and a number of his colleagues in the political elite here pointed out that Syria, which has good relations with a broad range of actors in the Palestinian, Iraqi and Lebanese political scenes, could contribute a lot to any international push to build a stable peace in the region.

“But don’t ask us to break our relations with Hamas, Hizbullah or Iran,” one think-tank head warned. “Those relations are strategic ones for us. And anyway, we can use them to help broaden the base for peace throughout the region.”

If Barack Obama, once inaugurated, does push for a speedy and serious resumption of Middle East peacemaking, he will likely find a willing partner in Damascus.

*Helena Cobban is a veteran Middle East analyst and author. She blogs at http://www.JustWorldNews.org

(END/2009)

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January 17th, 2009, 1:38 am

 

chris said:

From Ha’Aretz

————————————————–
update – 00:31 17/01/2009

Cabinet to vote Saturday on unilateral Gaza truce

By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press

Tags: Gaza, Israel News, Hamas, IDF

The cabinet will hold a vote on Saturday evening to decide whether to enact a unilateral cease-fire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The decision would mean Israel has put an end to the three-week-long Operation Cast Lead without an agreement with Hamas, relying instead on the support of the United States and Egypt in battling arms smuggling into Gaza.

A government source emphasized that there has been great progress with Egypt in reaching an agreement on fighting arms smuggling. The deal would require the combined use of technological measures on the border between Gaza and Egypt, operations against smugglers in the southern Gaza town of Rafah and the use of international experts to identify smuggling tunnels on the border.
Advertisement

The deal would also call for cooperation between Israel and Egypt on matters relating to the Gaza Strip in which they have shared interests, without the interference of Hamas.

Egypt is at the moment considering whether to organize a summit in the near future between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The United States and Israel signed an agreement on Friday aimed at stopping the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.

The deal includes measures meant to fight arms smuggling from Iran to Gaza, with the policing to take place throughout the route by which the arms reach Gaza, including patrols of the Persian Gulf, Sudan and neighboring states.

The two-and-a-half page document outlines a framework under which the United States will provide military and intelligence assets, including detection and surveillance equipment, as well as logistical help and training to Israel, Egypt and other nations in the region. The equipment and training would be used for monitoring Gaza’s land and sea borders.

The document also calls for the U.S. to expand work with its NATO partners in the effort, particularly in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and eastern Africa, according to a text.

It also commits Washington to use relevant components of the U.S. military to assist Mideast governments in preventing weapons and explosives flows to Gaza that originate in or transit their territories.

Although signed by the Bush administration, the agreement is binding on the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama and Rice and State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said both Obama and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton had been briefed on the details.

January 17th, 2009, 1:50 am

 

norman said:

Syria does not have to start a war Israel is starting wars every day and Syrian land is under occupation and taking your land is not aggression , it is self defence.

Syria should be ready and fight back , no more other cheek.that is the only language they understand.

When Saddam attacked Iran and was hoping for a cease fire which keeps him in Iran , Iran refused and after 8 years Iraq was defeated , cease fire only confirms the status Que as it did after 1967 and 1973 , only long term war that will make the Israeli lives miserable will get the Arabs their rights.

January 17th, 2009, 2:21 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Chris surely you are a Jew and most probably an Israeli. Why to hide that fact? It doesn’t increase Israel’s propaganda achievements (rather poor in this Gaza war) by pretending being to be here a “neutral” western (non Christian as you yourself said) “Orientalist”. Not even many Israeli Jews have so extreme views as you. No educated western Orientalist (even a student) would see the situation in such complete one-sided way as you. Only extreme Christians (in USA and Europe), normal less educated Americans (+ paid followers in the political system) and naturally the majority of Israeli Jews share your views.

In the next stage of the long propaganda war around Israel invent yourself a better fake identity and “CV” as you have now.

By the way Chris it seems that Israel can’t leave Gaza. Do you know why? If they left Hamas would become the strongest power among Palestinians and the PA capos would diminish in the history as a failed investment by Israel and USA. Jews did not like capos on the concentration camps, why should Palestinians like their capos in “economic peace” Bibi promises them. What means “economic peace”? Is it that Jews are free to exploit cheap Palestinian labour or that again the stupid western gentiles and Arabs are forced to dump money in the West Bank and Gaza so that Israel can destroy it in the next 5 years and earn some money by selling goods to UN and other aid organizations.

Chris what do you like about my economic peace plan? Let Israel in future pay all the cost for Palestinians under its occupation. No more UN, Arab, EU and US aid. I am fully convinced that after a couple of years Israeli taxpayers would say – OK Arab peace plan sounds fine, where can we sign the documents. The problem has been that Israel has earned with the occupation. USA pays the weapons and guarding costs of ghettos and batustans, EU, Arabs and others pay much of the Palestinians livelihood costs. Palestinians should stop working and refuse to use UN aid and demand that the occupier provides food and other necessities. A peaceful strategy isn’t it Chris? Surely it would hurt Palestinians, but it would hurt more the most valued item of Israelis – their wallet. Feeding millions isn’t cheap …

January 17th, 2009, 3:12 am

 

Friend in America said:

Alex- We have never met but I accept without doubt the extent of your efforts to find a peace making accord. It is efforts like yours that gives us bystanders hope. Over the years I have discovered we have more in common than in disagreement.
Norman: Thank you for reminding me of how long the desire for justice has been frustrated. It has. I have never doubted the feelings of injustice and I am trying to be sensitive to them. I should add that I would say the same to any Israeli on this site or elsewhere whose feelings are equally as strong. That is why I believe we should go beyond solutions that merely put out fires. However, I am beginning to feel like I am standing alone in a storm proposing a plan that has the capacity to bring about economic, social and (to a lesser extent) political justice but it is falling on deaf ears. Maybe tomorrow things will be better. Best regards and I hope to dialogue with you again.

January 17th, 2009, 3:29 am

 

jad said:

Sim,
Very smart ‘economic peace plan’, seriously.

BTW, don’t you agree that Chris is doing a terrible job in his mission to defend Israel! Personally I do 😉

January 17th, 2009, 4:36 am

 

Joe M. said:

Chris,
Regarding your post #49, maybe you are too naive to understand that zionism is zionism, regardless of whether it comes out of the mouth of a child like you or monsters like Bush or Olmert…

Alex (and many others),
I appreciate what you have been writing lately. I am only sorry that I have been too busy to contribute more. The only light in this darkness is that it is very clear now that Israel has signed its death warrant, and it is just a matter of time…

January 17th, 2009, 4:59 am

 

sam said:

THE BOTTOM LINE HERE IS….NO MATTER WHO DID WHAT, WHO SHOT FIRST, WHOS FAULT IT IS, IF YOU AGREE WITH WHAT THE ZIONIST ARE DOING, THAN YOUR NOT A HUMAN BEING YOURSELF. MANKONE BINNYADAM.

January 17th, 2009, 5:43 am

 

why-discuss said:

Alex
Jews proud leitmotiv has been “Never Forget, Never Forgive”, isn’t it?
Why reproach Bashar saying the same? Arabs tend to easily forget the pain and humiliation inflicted on them, it is time Arabs keep alive the memory of what the zionists did to them and act accordingly.

January 17th, 2009, 8:24 am

 

offended said:

Actually, if you read the speech carefully (keeping in mind that Bashar was delivering it in a very calm tone), you’d notice that he’s taking a stance which the detractors of his father criticised him for not taking back when the peace talks started back in the early 1990s: it’s like he’s saying “I will not deprive my sons and their sons and all the future generations of the chance to fight the enemy and get through war then what I may not be able to get through peace and negotiations now”

Why not. It’s been going on for 60 years. Another 60 years isn’t much.

January 17th, 2009, 8:50 am

 

Alex said:

Journalist calls Livni ‘terrorist’ during press conference on Gaza operation
By Haaretz Service

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had a testy press conference Friday in Washington, D.C., moments after she signed an agreement with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meant to combat arms smuggling to Gaza.

From the starting moments of the press conference, Livni was beset by a less-than friendly barrage of questions, with a number of journalists asserting that Israel’s military operations in Gaza will only make Middle East peace more distant.

Some journalists went so far as to compare the Israeli government to that of dictator Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, due to Israel’s decision to bar journalists from Gaza.

One of the more tense moments came when one journalist began to quote at length a Human Rights report on the situation in Gaza, before asking Livni to comment on “the murder of innocent civilians in the Strip.”

When the man was asked to finish his question, he yelled “you are letting her speak for an hour, and you aren’t allowing us to ask questions. Since when have you hosted terrorists here?”

To her credit, Livni managed to keep her cool, and expressed her desire to answer the question. When he finished, she answered that Israel “did not want to get involved in the internal matters of the Palestinian Authority, that’s why we left the Gaza Strip unilaterally, but we got terror in return. We try all we can to avoid harming civilians, but it happens.”

A number of other journalists asked questions that included quotes from the human rights report, asking if Israel needs to be held responsible for the failure of the cease-fire due to the decision to enact a blockade on the Gaza Strip.

While she was speaking inside, a protest was being held outside the building by an anti-war group calling themselves “Women in Pink”, who repeatedly chanted “there is a war criminal in this building.

January 17th, 2009, 8:56 am

 

Alex said:

In the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the territory, three daughters and a niece of a Palestinian doctor working in Israel were killed in an Israeli air strike.

The father of the dead little girls, Dr. Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish, appears to have been a sort of an Arab “Dr. Sanjay Gupta” who came on Israeli television frequently. He was about to do an interview on Israeli television when the word reached him of the atrocity against his family. His wife had earlier died of cancer, so his children were all he had left. He commuted to Tel Aviv from Gaza and told the girls to sleep near the stone walls to stay safe in his absence.

January 17th, 2009, 9:32 am

 

offended said:

My God Alex, that was very painful and distressing to watch. : (

January 17th, 2009, 12:31 pm

 
 

Alia said:

IDIT,

and what an angle !!!! THE infamous FDD,

Bravo! real dumb

From wiki:

Daniel McCarthy expressed an enhanced view of FDD’s origins in the November 17, 2003, issue of The American Conservative.

In early 2001, a tightly knit group of billionaire philanthropists conceived of a plan to win American sympathy for Israel’s response to the Palestinian intifada. They believed that the Palestinian cause was finding too much support within crucial segments of the American public, particularly within the media and on college campuses, so they set up an organization, Emet: An Educational Initiative, Inc., to offer Israel the kind of PR that the Israeli government seemed unable to provide itself.

At first, Emet floundered, without an executive director or a well-defined mission. But that changed after Sept. 11, and Emet changed too, into what is now the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The name is different, but the goal of influencing America’s opinion-forming classes remains.

What makes all of this possible is the support the foundation receives from its billionaire backers. Its nearly $3 million annual budget comes from 27 major donors, most of whom are members of “the Study Group”–also sometimes called the “Mega Group” because of their sizeable contributions–a semi-formal organization of major Jewish philanthropists who meet twice a year to discuss joint projects.

Leonard Abramson was the point man for establishing Emet. He, Michael Steinhardt, and Edgar Bronfman were the foundation’s board of directors at the time of its incorporation in the spring of 2001.

January 17th, 2009, 2:04 pm

 

why-discuss said:

MP makes Israeli troops Nazi link
A prominent Jewish MP has compared the actions of Israeli troops with Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.
Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP for Gorton in Manchester, drew the parallel during a Commons debate on the Gaza conflict.
Some members of the Jewish community – including his fellow MPs – have questioned the comments.
Louise Ellman MP, of the Labour Friends of Israel group, said the “dreadful” war in Gaza was not comparable to German actions in World War II.
Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, told MPs: “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town .. a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.
“My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
“The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”
Palestinian deaths in the Gaza Strip have passed 1,000, medical sources in Gaza say, but Israel has continued to resist international calls for a ceasefire.
The Israeli government says the action is necessary to prevent Hamas rocket attacks into southern Israel.
Labour MP Louise Ellman said: “The Nazis were about rounding up and exterminating people because of their origins.
“What we’re witnessing in Gaza is a dreadful war and the Israelis are trying to stop Hamas continuing to launch rockets from Gaza, targeting and killing and murdering Israeli citizens.”
But speaking to the BBC on Friday, Sir Gerald said he was standing by his comments.
“We had an IRA bomb in Manchester which destroyed much of the centre – we didn’t send troops over to Belfast to murder 1,000 Catholics.”
Sir Gerald said he had been a long-term supporter of Israel and has personally known many of its prime pinisters.
But he added: “I am not going to stand by and keep silent when the Israeli troops – with a dreadful government sending them there – kill large numbers of innocent people with no useful result at the end of it all.”
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/manchester/7834487.stm

January 17th, 2009, 2:08 pm

 

norman said:

To All,

Does anybody still think that we can make peace with people like that , I don’t .!

We should ask ourselves that every day and prepare for the next stage .

January 17th, 2009, 3:12 pm

 

Innocent Criminal said:

That video of that poor doctor was beyond heartbreaking.

on another note, does anyone have a link of the Assad speach?

January 17th, 2009, 3:57 pm

 

Alia said:

Dear Josh and Alex,

I was puzzled by those two lines at the end of the Assad speech and had to look them up in detail. Actually they are not from the Qur’an, they are folk sayings that are frequently mistaken for Qur’anic statements:

. The words “an eye for an eye” occur in the Qur’an Surat 5 (al-Ma’edah) verse 45 referring to the Laws of the Torah descended on the Jews- ”

Verse 44
It was We who revealed the Law :: therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed to Allah’s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers.

Verse 45
We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers.

The Qur’anic law for Muslims in such matters has been alleviated as stressed in Surat 2 (al-Baqarah) verse 178 and in other instances:

“O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord.”

Nothing else in the last two lines is verbatim from the Qur’an.

So, although Mr. Assad is talking about believers, he is not exactly adopting the mantle of Islamic resistance. Alex we are all included…: )

January 17th, 2009, 4:03 pm

 

jad said:

Alex,
The link was so sad, this is the reality for the hundreds of thousands of Paletinians.
God be with them.

IC, the link for the speach is next to the article

http://www.sana.sy/ara/3/2009/01/16/208809.htm

January 17th, 2009, 4:14 pm

 

norman said:

Print | Close this window

Syria’s Assad ready to cooperate with Obama: report
Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:23am EST
BERLIN (Reuters) – Syria is ready to cooperate with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and wants him to get seriously involved in the Middle East peace process, President Bashar al-Assad told a German magazine.

In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Assad also expressed some caution about future relations and said he preferred to talk about hopes rather than expectations.

Ties between the West and Syria have been strained by U.S. accusations that Syria turned a blind eye to Islamist fighters infiltrating Iraq and in 2004 Washington imposed sanctions on Syria for backing anti-American groups in the region.

Syria has, however, regained a degree of approval in Europe after supporting a peace pact for Lebanon and forging diplomatic ties with its neighbor after years of dominating it.

Asked if he expected cooperation to be easier with Obama, Assad said:

“I would talk more about hope than expectation. The Bush government has bestowed two wars on us. The world situation has deteriorated in the last eight years in every way, everything has got worse, including economic developments.”

“The new U.S. government must get seriously involved in the peace process. We must help, together with the Europeans.”

Responding to a comment from Der Spiegel that Obama might ask Syria to stop Iran building a nuclear bomb, Assad said:

“We would like to contribute to the stabilization of the region. But we must be included, not isolated, as we have been until now. We are ready for any kind of cooperation.”

He added, however, that Syria would put its own interests first. “Good relations with Washington should not mean bad relations with Tehran,” he said.

Assad also said in the interview, which was conducted on Thursday, that he had been active in making suggestions to help end the conflict in Gaza.

Arab and Muslim states on Friday called on Arab countries to review their ties with Israel over its offensive in Gaza which has killed more than 1,200 Palestinians and to suspend an Arab peace initiative.

Assad also said many European officials had tried to communicate with Hamas. “The Europeans have learned. That is why they are talking to the Hamas leadership here in Damascus — of course not publicly. I won’t name names. But some are people who denounce Hamas,” said Assad.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers)

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January 17th, 2009, 4:24 pm

 

Mark said:

UN’s ‘war crime investigation’ call

From the BBC:

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has said Israel’s actions in Gaza should be investigated as possible war crimes.

Spokesman Chris Gunness told the BBC that two children, aged five and seven, were killed when Israeli tank fire hit a UN school where hundreds had taken shelter in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7835050.stm

The salient point is there is nowhere for the non-combatants to evacuate to.

January 17th, 2009, 4:52 pm

 

Innocent Criminal said:

sorry i meant a link to a video recording of the speach, i dont want to read it

January 17th, 2009, 4:53 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

We now know that Abbas was under threat,that if he goes to douha,he will be killed, I suspect that Mubarak was under similar threat, I think this reveal that Mubarak position is a very shaky one, and that if he would not take this position,he would be removed, This indicate that mubarak time is getting short,and the CIA will drop their support for him,if they find another one to replace him,and this will be soon.

January 17th, 2009, 4:57 pm

 
 

Innocent_Criminal said:

aahh, the trick was to search in arabic. thanks Jad

January 17th, 2009, 5:39 pm

 

Joshua said:

Alia – I have copied your helpful correction and clarification of the Koranic verses covering “an eye for an eye” in the main post as an addendum. Cannot thank you enough. Best, Joshua

January 17th, 2009, 5:40 pm

 

ugarit said:

Perhaps he’s right.

Peace with a terrorist state like Israel is basically a legitimation of terrorism, massacres, and occupations. Just as our opposition to apartheid and Nazism was categorical, our rejection of Israel should be absolute and categorical. Peace with a state like Israel is a recipe for war. Real peace is in a rejection of this terrorist state.

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/01/no-peace-with-terrorist-state-ever.html

January 17th, 2009, 6:15 pm

 

Chris said:

Ugarit,

I’m saddened that a public university would hire someone who opposes peace on principal. Perhaps this is one of the pitfalls of tenure, even people like him get to keep their jobs for life.

January 17th, 2009, 7:03 pm

 

ugarit said:

UK Jewish MP: Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8

January 17th, 2009, 7:16 pm

 

ugarit said:

78. Chris:

No, what’s sadder is that he came to that conclusion based upon facts. His point is that peace with the current Israel is like peace with Nazi Germany or with apartheid South Africa.

January 17th, 2009, 7:20 pm

 

why-discuss said:

Mobarak appears stabbed in the back by Barbarella Livni in his effort to secure a negotiated cease fire. Now Mobarak’s and his foreign minister declarations sound more like Meshaal’s and Bashar al Assad’s.
Finally, Mobarak after Erdogan is naively discovering the perfidy, unreliability and ruthlessness of Israel.
Mobarak is asking the EU and other arab leaders for help in Sharm el Sheikh for a negotiated deal… Abbas is not invited.
Maybe this would finally unite the Arabs in Kuwait. Israel is gradually loosing all its ‘friends’ in the region and is going back to its big brother for help in its disastrous campaign in Gaza.

January 17th, 2009, 7:22 pm

 

Alex said:

Chris,

Assuming Hamas managed this month to murder 1200 (35 each day) innocent Jews and to severely injure 5000 more (175 each day) … and suppose Hamas was the only hope for making peace with the Palestinians (assume 94% of Palestnians supported Hamas even after Hamas killed and injured all those innocent Jews), would you be sorry if a public University hired YOU when you oppose peace on principal with “Hamas”?

When ALL Israeli leaders, not only Netanyahu, order or support the continuation of the mass murder campaign, and when 94% of the Israeli people support that campaign (because it is successful) then Asaad and other civilized, well educated, secular, peaceful Arabs lose hope is reaching peace with such a group of hopelessly violent people.

January 17th, 2009, 7:40 pm

 

ugarit said:

mp3: http://www.michaelheart.com/sfg/downloads/a22685d/dl.php?file=we_will_not_go_down.mp3

http://www.michaelheart.com/Song_for_Gaza.html

WE WILL NOT GO DOWN (Song for Gaza)
(Composed by Michael Heart)
Copyright 2009

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

January 17th, 2009, 8:12 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

53. SimoHurtta said:

Chris surely you are a Jew and most probably an Israeli. Why to hide that fact?

Sim,

Why can’t you believe that Chris is:

a.) not Israeli?

b.) not Jewish?

Don’t you agree that there are MILLIONS of pro-Israelis around the world who are not Israeli or Jewish?

Just like there are MILLIONS of pro-Palestinians around the world who are not Palestinian or Muslim.

Why do you continue to push this silly argument about Chris?

January 17th, 2009, 8:32 pm

 

chris said:

Alex,

The analogy doesn’t work. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

If Hamas killed a thousand people they would nearly all have been civilians. What’s more Hamas’ whole reason to exist is to fight. One doesn ‘t have to oppose peace with Hamas, because Hamas does it for them, Hamas states that their goal is to destroy an entire country.

It is important to note what is in Hamas’ founding Charter:

The preamble includes the sentence: “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”

Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant states the following: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslem).

Article 22 claims that the French revolution, the Russian revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists. It also claims the Freemasons and Rotary clubs are Zionist fronts.

“You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”[125]

Furthermore, Article 32 of the Covenant makes reference to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

“Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”

January 17th, 2009, 8:42 pm

 

jad said:

Dude, do you really want to open this religion and hard core fanatic debate on SC?
You are immaturely ignoring other sides radicalism..Don’t open such debate because we all know that every radical groups and individuals in the world including ‘Radical Hamas’ not ‘Political Hamas’ have the same mentality of destroying others.
Keep that to yourself because we are not interested in debating KKK, Talmud, Torah, Zionism, Nazism, Quaeda Islam or the fanatic Christian Armageddon principals.
Shut it down before it burns you…

January 17th, 2009, 9:06 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

the agreement between Levni and Rice, is a slap in the face to Obama.
Israel may stop the attack, but only temporarily,the resistance has the right to fight occupation,they will resist,Israel will be forced to leave,with no agreement.
The arab world will be severly divided,till Mubarak leave,and I am sure Israel will loose at the end.
In this holocaust,Israel is worse than Nazi.

January 17th, 2009, 9:09 pm

 

Chris said:

Jad,

I hope you’re right, that there is a real difference between political Hamas and military Hamas. I read a book in late August about the organization, but he really didn’t get into the structure of the book too deeply. I think it was called Inside Hamas by Zaki Chehab.

Interestingly, the more political side of Hamas, that is the wing of Hamas that resides in Damascus, was less interested in a cease-fire than the leadership in Gaza. Of course, the leadership in Gaza is the part of Hamas that is directing the fighting or “resistance” in the parlance of Syria Comment.

January 17th, 2009, 9:21 pm

 

jad said:

Don’t you know that there are Jews who wants the destruction of Israel as a state
http://www.nkusa.org/index.cfm
You have millions and millions of Americans and Europeans who want the destruction of Israel and to wipe out the Jews and all of those are not Hamas members…
We don’t hate Judaism as a religion and you shall understand that, we hate Zionist and Occupation. Stop repeating the same comments over and over.
Every normal human being in the world wants to be free and hates aggression and occupation didn’t your ancestors fight for freedom, didn’t they fight the English, didn’t the French fight the Nazis, and didn’t the Spaniards fight the Arabs, didn’t we fight the Ottomans, the French, the English and the Italians…it’s in the human nature to live free and you don’t inherit freedom you fight for it on all and every level of your life.
Again, stop this nonsense, meaningless and destructive debate and use your brain for a change.

January 17th, 2009, 9:25 pm

 

Alex said:

Chris,

I’m in my 40’s … I think I have seen Apples and Oranges before and I can tell if I am comparing two Apples or an Apple and an Orange.

It is usually the Israelis and Americans (Friends of Israel) who keep reminding us that words are too easy .. it is actions that count… they usually criticize Syria’s words (we want peace) with its actions (“supporting Hamas” for example)

I tried really hard to believe Israel’s words … I told everyone who wrote me an email to ask “Is there really a chance to have peace with them this time?” … I answered them that there is a 50/50 chance … Israel could be bluffing again, but Olmert said all the right things and he said them often and he said them in public and in private.

Peres in Davos this year spoke (with teary eyes) about how Israel decided long ago that it can not solve its problems through war…

But Israel’s beautiful words by now are worth their weight in used, smelly toilet paper.

“Hamas” charter sucks … but it is also words … last year they killed a handful of Israelis and Israel killed 1200

Hamas can not, even if they wanted to, implement the ugly part in its charter. But Israel is showing us on a daily basis that it can be ugly indeed.

You want more Apples and Apples comparisons? … If I wanted to use your talking points, I would mention that your dear Israel is supposed to be from the Euphrates to the Nile … no? … those two blue lines on your flag are those two rivers, aren’t they? … it was written on the entrance to the Knesset, no?

But those are also words, just like those offensive words in the Hamas charter that will not be translated to reality and I will ignore both.

January 17th, 2009, 9:31 pm

 

ugarit said:

Akbar Palace said: “Don’t you agree that there are MILLIONS of pro-Israelis around the world who are not Israeli or Jewish?”

I have to agree with AP. Chris may be Jewish but that’s not relevant.

January 17th, 2009, 9:44 pm

 

jad said:

Chris religion is none of any of us business. It’s between him and his god.
So what if he is Jewish does that makes him different than us as human????
It’s not a religion issue it’s an ideology.

January 17th, 2009, 9:51 pm

 

offended said:

Sure, we shouldn’t compare apples and oranges. Because Palestinian civilians aren’t equal to Israelis.

January 17th, 2009, 9:54 pm

 

Joe M. said:

Chris,
Your ability to think clearly has obviously been paralyzed by your zionism.

You are very well aware that the vast majority of us on this website are not islamists. most of us are secular and/or leftist. Yet we will support Hamas to the death when it fights the Zionists. Why do you think that is? Do you have any idea, or are you really so blind that you don’t know why? When you accuse Arabs of being racist or hating (and I honestly do not want to ignore those problems), do you realize who taught Arabs these things? DO you have any comprehension of why Arabs would hate Jews, considering that Israel justifies itself and its violence in the name of the world’s Jews? That the violence of Israel is the primary frame from which Arab people understand the Jewish people? Are you too stupid to understand that?

We don’t care what the Hamas charter says now, because the Hamas charter is not at question when the children of Gaza are being slaughtered by the thousands.

The other thing that shows your epic stupidity is that you still fail to understand that the destruction of a STATE is different than the killing of people. I am perfectly happy calling for the destruction of Israel. Israel is a cancer in the region, that has been infecting the Arab world for decades now. But calling for Israel’s destruction is absolutely different than saying that we want to kill Jews or hurt the Jewish people as a whole. Do you honestly fail to understand the difference? And if you (as an ignorant American who has had all the benefits of wealth and education) fail to understand that difference, then how on earth can you fail to understand that (after years of Zionism trying to speak on behalf of all Jews) many Arabs find it hard to see the difference between Zionism and Judaism? If you do not see the difference between Jews as a people and Zionism as a political ideology, you really need to take a law class and understand that the changing of political systems is a normal part of world history.

Further, what is most ignorant and disgusting about your views, what really shows that you have no sense, is that you continue to fail to see that ISRAEL is the aggressor here. And I mean that regardless of how you want to analyze who broke this particular ceasefire. You absolutely refuse to look at the whole history here. And it is not even ancient history. Are you so stupid as you seem? Why do you keep acting like it is the Palestinians who don’t accept Israel, when, at the very very least, the opposite is at least equally true? Why don’t you see that? You say that it is “absolutely irrational” for Israel not to slaughter the people of Gaza, yet you blame Hamas for fighting Israel for the same reasons. You stupidly act like this is a one sided game and that only Hamas is at fault for not recognize the Zionist State, and fail to see ISrael has never recognized the rights of Palestinians (with or without Hamas).

And I am trying to be as simple as possible above, and just pointing out that even for those who are not partisan, your bias is shocking. Of course, if we analyze the history in more detail, and look at the balance of power and justice, of course we will support Hamas over the racist zionist cancer that has destroyed our region, society and people. When we look at the damage that the zionist cancer has caused to our countries and people, we will never support that steaming pile of sh%t. But even if we keep our distance, and try to look at things on paper, your bias is totally incomprehensible.

And again, it brings us back to a previous question, of why you are so invested in zionism? Why are you against a simple changing of the political system in Israel to allow equality of all people, Palestinian and Jew? A political change that would not need anything but the stroke of a pen, and would bring peace to teh region. That would eliminate the racist nature of Israel and would allow the region to live in peace and equality. Why do you support a zionist state that is a racist theocracy, and believe that the Zionists have the right to dominate the region as they do. Why not support a constitution in Israel that makes Israel a state for its people, and makes the Jews and Arabs equals, rather than supporting a state that provides protection and rights to Jews alone (while openly discriminating against the other people)?

January 17th, 2009, 9:58 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Chris the Israeli have you ever read the Israeli parties “principles”. If not now is the change to educate you rather poor general all-round “orientalist” education.

The National Religious Party‘s (Hebrew: מפלגה דתית לאומית‎, Miflaga Datit Leumit, commonly known in Israel by its Hebrew acronym Mafdal, (Hebrew: מפד”ל)) views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be summarized as:

* There will only be one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – the State of Israel. No independent national Arab entity (such as a putative Palestinian state) will exist within these borders
* No part of Israel will be given over to a foreign government or authority.

Jewish National Front

The strategic aim of HAZIT’s policy is to have a Jewish majority west of the Jordan River, leading to the establishment of full Israeli sovereignty over all of the western Land of Israel. This aim will be achieved by adamantly and decisively encouraging emigration of our enemies,.and by encouraging a higher Jewish birthrate and the creation of comfortable conditions for mass aliyah of Jews to Israel. After the demographic benefit of this policy brings about a significant and unshakable Jewish majority, the government will exercise full Israeli sovereignty over the entire Land.

HAZIT is aware of the centrality of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in Jewish consciousness. HAZIT knows that this is the sole reason our enemies focus upon this holy place and seek to defile it as a step in their march toward their goal of the destruction of all that is Jewish. HAZIT will work to deepen the consciousness and the spiritual connection that the Psalms remind us must never end as this city is the eternal capital of Israel HAZIT is working to strengthen Jewish control over the entire City of Jerusalem and to establish full sovereignty over all of our holy sites.
http://www.hazit.co.il/temp.asp?idCategory=28

Shas
Its policy regarding the Israeli Arab conflict has been relatively flexible, although it generally supports the Greater Israel consolidation movement united under the crown of the Mizrahi Torah, in accordance to HaMaran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s flexible foreign policy derivatives. They have never taken active measures to support the Gush Emunim movement and do not strongly favor the Israeli settlements, on which they are closer in policy to Agudat Yisrael than the Tkuma or Jewish National Front.

Yisrael Beiteinu
Yisrael Beiteinu supports a two-state solution to the conflict. According to the party motto, “Israel is Our Home, Palestine is Theirs”. In 2005, the party proposed the so-called Lieberman Plan, an alternative to Sharon’s Disengagement plan, that would see large blocs of land in Israel bordering the West Bank populated by Arabs transferred to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the larger settlements including Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip which was destroyed before the withdrawal.

The plan broke with a long tradition in the right-wing revisionist Israeli nationalist camp that saw transfer of minority populations between states as the only solution to deal with a perceived threat of disloyalty by Arab citizens of Israel to the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East. It was the first proposal for the transfer of lands in Israel-proper to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for peace.

Yisrael Beiteinu promotes the idea that all Israeli citizens should swear loyalty to the country and its symbols. The party emphasizes that since the majority of Arab citizens of Israel do not serve in the Israeli army, and since many identify with the Palestinians, they are disloyal, and thus should not enjoy citizenship in Israel.

ETC

As you see Chris there are numerous Israeli parties in Knesset and even sometimes in government who do not admit Palestine’s right to exist and have severe racist views. So why should Hamas be demanded to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist to people who mostly do not acknowledge Palestinians’ human rights or right to an own country. It is pure hypocrisy to try to portray that Hamas is the core problem, especially if Zionist fanatics do not want to discuss with them. The reality is that most of the Israeli political apparatus doesn’t want to see a real peace. For international “consumption” they keep up this by purpose nowhere leading negotiation circus, when they build new settlements and Jews only roads.

January 17th, 2009, 9:59 pm

 

nafdik said:

وقال الأسد “سنحرص أن يتذكر أبناؤنا أيضا مجازر غزة, وسنخبئ لهم صور أطفال غزة وجرا حهم ودمائهم, وسنعلمهم أن المؤمن القوي خير من المؤمن الضعيف وأن العين بالعين والسن بالسن والبادئ أظلم, وأن ما أخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة”

Irony or prophecy?

I am sure Mr Assad would love to teach our children all the massacres of our history.

January 17th, 2009, 10:42 pm

 

offended said:

People don’t resort to Hamas type of tactics out of criminal tendencies. When people are pushed to the corner with occupation, humiliation, impoverishment, settlements’ expansion, harassments at checkpoints, demoltioning of houses, racism, etc… any group of people in these circumstances will resort to all sorts of violence to resist and try to change these circumstances.

It’s only survival instinct..

January 17th, 2009, 10:53 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Another War, Another Defeat
By John J. Mearsheimer

Arnon Soffer, a prominent Israeli demographer who also advised Sharon, elaborated on what that pressure would look like. “When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”

January 18th, 2009, 12:04 am

 

Chris said:

From the Financial Times
Israel declares unilateral ceasefire in Gaza
By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem

Published: January 16 2009 09:30 | Last updated: January 17 2009 23:06

Israel on Saturday night announced an end to its three-week offensive against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, but warned that its troops would remain in the territory unless the Islamist group ceased fire immediately.

The unilateral truce was announced by Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, after a lengthy cabinet discussion. He said the Israeli offensive had achieved the goals set by the government, and that the country’s forces would stop their attacks from 2am local time onward.

In a first response by Hamas, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior official based in Damascus, described Mr Olmert’s announcement as an “admission of defeat”, adding that the group was discussing the Israeli move with Egypt, which has played a key role in trying to broker an end to hostilities. Mr Abu Marzouk said Hamas would announce its position regarding the Israeli ceasefire on Sunday.

Mr Olmert said the Israeli offensive had achieved – and in parts, exceeded – the objectives set by the cabinet at the outset: dealing a blow to the Hamas military infrastructure, restoring Israel’s power of deterrence and winning guarantees that the group will not be able to rearm after the war.

He cited a deal signed with the US on Friday that promised greater international efforts to stop the flow of arms to Hamas as well as Egyptian promises to crack down on weapons smuggling along the Gaza-Egypt border. However, Mr Olmert did not specify what precisely Cairo had offered to do.

The prime minister stressed that the Israeli move did not represent any kind of agreement with Hamas: ”This is not a ceasefire with Hamas. These are understandings with elements in the international community which Hamas, as an illegitimate entity, has no place to be involved in.”

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Iran’s president joins Arab leaders for Gaza talks – Jan-16Two Arab states suspend links with Israel – Jan-17In depth: Arab Israel conflict – Nov-12France fears spillover from Gaza conflict – Jan-17Assault kills top Hamas leader – Jan-15Egypt’s intelligence chief strives for ceasefire – Jan-15Israel is anxious not to bolster Hamas’ legitimacy as an outcome of the war, and its announcement reflects the wish to impose, rather than agree, an end to the fighting. However, by expressly ignoring the group’s demands – in particular the reopening of Gaza’s border crossings and an end to Israeli closure of the strip – Mr Olmert and his colleagues leave Hamas with a dilemma.

The group is determined not to emerge as the obvious loser of the conflict – which makes the presence of Israeli troops inside its stronghold hard to swallow. The group will also have noticed that Mr Olmert did not make any mention of Gaza’s border crossings, which Hamas as well as Egypt and much of the international community want to see opened as soon as possible.

January 18th, 2009, 12:35 am

 

Chris said:

Simo,

There is a broad consensus within Israel of support for the two-state solution. It has now become politically incorrect in Israel to say that you are opposed to the two-state solution, although after this recent conflict in Gaza people’s views may be changing.

January 18th, 2009, 12:42 am

 

Chris said:

Offended:

You wrote:
“People don’t resort to Hamas type of tactics out of criminal tendencies. When people are pushed to the corner with occupation, humiliation, impoverishment, settlements’ expansion, harassments at checkpoints, demoltioning of houses, racism, etc… any group of people in these circumstances will resort to all sorts of violence to resist and try to change these circumstances.”

How about the people who went to Mumbai, were they not afflicted with criminal tendencies? Were they “pushed to the corner with occupation” Or how about the people who blew up the nightclubs in Bali did they have to view “settlements’ expansion”? Are the suicide bombers in Pakistan or the people in Pakistan who blew up that hotel subjected to “settlements’ expansion” or “pushed to the corner with occupation?”

Something tells me that there is a wider issue here than just the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

January 18th, 2009, 12:48 am

 

Joe M. said:

Chris,
A “broad consensus” of Germans supported a “political solution” (ethnic cleansing) rather than a “physical solution” (genocide) to the “Jewish problem”. What difference does your above statement make? Zionists say they are for a two-state solution, only because they are absolutely against admitting how racist their state is. In fact, zionists have proved without a doubt that they prefer no solution to even the fig leaf of a solution.

Even Hitler spoke of wanting peace. Empty words and slogans are not enough to make peace. It is a simple fact that peace is born from justice, not empty rhetoric. And justice requires that even the weakest believe that they have been treated fairly. Israel can not accept treating the weak Palestinians fairly, because it would threaten their colonial project to create a racist state.

Let’s not forget, a “broad consensus” of Israelis that consider the mass slaughter of the children of Gaza to be a vital form of peacemaking.

If Israel wanted peace, there would have been peace decades ago. Maybe in 1988 when Arafat tried to unilaterally make peace by giving up armed struggle and announcing the formation of a Palestinian state. It is the zionists have all the power to make “unilateral” decisions, including ones that could produce peace. But they do not want peace, they are not willing to make any “sacrifice” for peace, they want to dominate the region and they want unconditional surrender.

Stop fooling yourself. A southern white racist would claim they just want peace. But that is not true, they only want freedom to dominate unconditionally. Peace is made from justice, not empty words.

January 18th, 2009, 1:01 am

 

Joe M. said:

Chris,
You can not hold the Palestinians responsible for actions they did not commit. Similarly, I do not hold Olmert responsible for the crimes of Bernard Madoff.

January 18th, 2009, 1:10 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Sim,

Thanks for the info on “Hazit” and the “Jewish National Front”, but I don’t think they are political parties that make up the Knesset.

BTW – You didn’t answer my question regarding my last post above. Why don’t you try to answer them? Are they too difficult for you?

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

January 18th, 2009, 1:28 am

 

Joe M. said:

Chris,
Let’s also not forget, a “broad consensus” of Israelis absolutely reject giving Syria the Golan back, or giving the Palestinians rights to Jerusalem, or removing the settlements… on and on… In the first example, Golan has been pretty quiet for decades.

So, again, I hate to spoil your “broad consensus” theory. But you need to use some critical thinking, rather than just repeat slogans.

January 18th, 2009, 1:30 am

 

norman said:

Alex,

Chris sounds like a reincarnated AIG , you might want to put limit to his abuse of our hospitality,

Chris ,

remember KARMA,

Israel will get what it gives , sooner or later ,that is how God punishes people.

I was speaking to Jewish friend of mine about the Jews and the Israelis, he made it very clear that the Jews have nothing to do with what the Israelis do , he explained that the Israelis are totally different people , They act differently they are hostile to people who are not Jewish and that is not a Jewish character which explains the difference that i see between my Jewish freinds and the way Israel acts.

The fact that 94% of the people are for killing the Palestinians indicates that there is no chance for peaceful coexistence .
They are practically a country of murderers .

The deal that was signed between Livni and Rice was only to justify the cease fire to the Israeli public as if they achieved anything , Netanyahu will point out that and if Hamas continue the Rockets , we can all say goodbye to Livni, Barack and Olmert.

I hope Hamas will continue the fight , and they should make it worldwide against Israel and it’s allies and financial supporters states or individuals.

That is the only way to get Arab rights.

January 18th, 2009, 1:42 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

Simo,

There is a broad consensus within Israel of support for the two-state solution. It has now become politically incorrect in Israel to say that you are opposed to the two-state solution, although after this recent conflict in Gaza people’s views may be changing.

Yeah Chris, sure if you say so it must be so 🙂

The problem is that the “broad consensus” is not capable to decide is the others states area 0 square kilometres or little more. Saying two states and doing the opposite is the policy the majority of your “broad consensus”.

Chris there is a broad consensus among the Palestinians of a own state or a state where they have equal rights. That is the problem for your sides “broad consensus”.

Chris do you really believe in that propaganda you are “paid” to write. I did not invent those political statements of Israeli parties who represent a large part of Israel’s political system.

Chris do you who suggested a couple of days ago using nuclear weapons in Gaza? Certainly not the bad “Iran Hamas”. Yes you where right it was Lieberman from Moldova. I leave to you to decide who is more dangerous for the world – a guy with hundreds of ready nukes or a guy who might be dreaming some day having nukes.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1231774444907
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/129435

—–

Good Nazi – Israel photo comparison
THE GRANDCHILDREN OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS FROM WORLD WAR II ARE DOING TO THE PALESTINIANS EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE TO THEM BY NAZI GERMANY…

Do not blame me, it was picked from a Jews internet site.

January 18th, 2009, 1:44 am

 

Observer said:

This article by Mearsheimer in the American Conservative hits the nail on the head.
http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/jan/26/00006/

I would add the following to this article:

Israel lost Turkey after this debacle

Israel has lost even more Europeans who clearly see this “Iron Wall” strategy as criminal and extremely dangerous

The unilateral ceasefire was aimed at saving Mubarak, and Abdullah and to a lesser extent Abdullah II of Jordan. There is now clearly two views of the Arab world, one exemplified by SA and Egypt and the rest by most of the others. Abbas Tunis and Morocco do not count.

Hamas survived and Fatah is finished. Abbas mandate is over, so new elections are to be conducted. Will see if the Palestinians will be cowed. I doubt it.

One final question, why should others pay for Israeli destruction? I think the US and Israel should pay for every school bombed, every hospital destroyed and compensate the families of the innocent killed.

January 18th, 2009, 1:54 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

BTW – You didn’t answer my question regarding my last post above. Why don’t you try to answer them? Are they too difficult for you?

Akbar dear Zionist friend. Surely it is not to difficult for me to answer you question.

I said clearly in my original comment that I wonder how an educated person with no links to Israel (as he claims) can have so Zionist views. Even A. Lieberman must envy Chris’ sharp intelligence and ironclad analyses.

Surely it doesn’t bother me at all if Chris is a Jew or an Israeli. The reason I am so worried is solely based on the reason that I worry about the material US collages and universities produce, if Chris is an “average” US university graduate.

How should I say politely my view? If Chris is a Jew I understand why he has such views. If not Chris has a serious handicap with his education and moral. I am simply worried about Chris.

PS.
Akbar it looks that this winter we will not have Israeli oranges in shops. Maybe you can give those boycott fruits to the children in Gaza.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3656454,00.html

Well we have delicious Egyptian oranges in shops. Please do not bomb their orange orchards.

January 18th, 2009, 2:12 am

 

jad said:

Dear Sim
Thank you very much for the Nazi/Zionist pictures, I was looking for that for long time, I’m sure that I saw more of that before but I can’t find it anymore.

January 18th, 2009, 2:30 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

I said clearly in my original comment that I wonder how an educated person with no links to Israel (as he claims) can have so Zionist views.

Yes, I know you have difficulty with people who aren’t Israeli or Jewish who are pro-Israel. This is because you are close-minded Sim. There are millions of people who think like Chris, as I mentioned to you before. I also asked you if you agreed with me on this point (that there are millions of pro-Israeli supporters), but you still didn’t answer.

Surely it doesn’t bother me at all if Chris is a Jew or an Israeli.

Of course it doesn’t bother you.;) I just find it interesting that you don’t believe him. Now you’re asking Chris if someone is paying him. What if no one is paying him? Will you believe Chris? Why or why not?

The reason I am so worried is solely based on the reason that I worry about the material US collages and universities produce, if Chris is an “average” US university graduate.

Try not to worry so much about Chris and his pro-Israeli stance. There are plenty of students in colleges and universities who are pro-Palestinian. No side in this conflict is isolated when it comes to sympathy and support.

If not Chris has a serious handicap with his education and moral.

Speaking for myself Sim, I think you have a handicap with your education and with your morals. Oh well.

I am simply worried about Chris.

I think your worries are misplaced. I think you are worried that your preconceived notions and your prejudices have been shot down by one highly educated American gentile.

I can tell you Sim, there are LOTS of Chrises all over the world.

Akbar it looks that this winter we will not have Israeli oranges in shops.

Oh well. Your loss, not mine.

Well we have delicious Egyptian oranges in shops. Please do not bomb their orange orchards.

As long as the Egyptians don’t lob missiles into Israel like the Palestinians and as long as the Egyptians honor their peace treaty, I am sure we won’t bomb their orchards. This would follow with any country Israel makes peace with, Jordan included.

January 18th, 2009, 5:08 am

 

Rumyal said:

Hundreds rally at Westlake against Israeli attacks in Gaza

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008641095_webrally17m.html

Yours truly has been to this rally and it has been quite impressive. The crowd was big and diverse, but I believe that the representation of Jewish organizations, most notably Jewish Voice for Peace was very noticeable, probably the biggest group besides the Palestinians. The event was started with a Muslim mourners prayer, followed by a Jewish one. We said the Jewish prayer of Kaddish, which is the one said on the burial site of a family member. There were mock coffins representing the victims of the war, as well as destroyed Palestinians communities such as Julis, Haifa, Jaffa etc. After saying the prayers (which may have been just a little bit more theatrical than I would have preferred) the procession carrying the coffins started. I got to speak to very interesting people before, during and after the procession. There was an Israeli father of three who brought his little ones to march. There was a Jewish activist who has been working with the Arab community of Western Washington state to organize peace camps for kids for the 8th year now. And I also talked with an Egyptian family who also brought their beautiful children to the rally. They were really anxious to talk with me and get my perspective, similarly to the experiences I’ve had on this blog. They of course do not agree with what their government has been doing. We observed that being expats in the US has given us immense opportunity to get to know each other and free ourselves from dogma. In the area of politics, they expressed exasperation with Mubarak and did not know what the future holds for Egypt. I, too, could not tell them if and how peace will come to the land of Israel/Palestine and its peoples. But the refusal to enact violence and to teach our children the ways of peace was something we all agreed upon can be done immediately. The Egyptian lady told me how her parents would tell them about the Jewish neighbors that they had, how they loved them and missed them. We felt a common sense of longing to the times we lived together peacefully, and a hope that we will be able to do the same in the future.

The case of Egypt exemplifies that the entire constellation of power in the Middle East needs to change, pretty much in all countries involved. As AIG loves to say “a perfect storm” is coming and who knows that it will entail and how it will end? A secular state? Genocide and nuclear destruction? Islamic rule from sea to sea? Who knows. I would suggest a diet of Exile in North America (which most of you already practice) for your safety and well-being. It can never hurt (well… I know the longing to a good dish of Hummus can be excruciating sometimes…). And if peace does come, we’d all have a lot more to contribute to our countries.

As expected, there were many college-aged participants in the rally, some of them Arab but many others seemed to be their buddies from all sorts of backgrounds. If there is something that is apparent in the opposition to this war, both in Israel and in the US, is that women take the leading role, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Indeed, the striking majority of violent actors and war-profiteers are man. (The terrorist daughter of a terrorist father—Tzipora—is a special case.)

Where else in the world can Jews, Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians and other people the world around get together and talk like that, calmly and civilly as we did today? Nowhere but in America which despite all its blunders is still the ultimate enabler and facilitator of any future peace.

The Israeli guy and I had a quick exchange about AIPAC and their relevancy. He basically told me what I said to Alex about a week ago—it’s an ageing and anachronistic organization. The younger people who join their ranks either do so because they are related to the settlement movement in Israel, or because this is their line of career in “public service”, or both. Rashid Khalidi made the same point in the latest edition of Democracy Now—78% of Jews supported Obama despite their AIPAC “leaders” warning them of his “Husseininess” and his affiliation with people like Khalidi himself.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/16/bloody_israeli_assault_on_gaza_enters

Was the rally effective in raising American awareness to what’s going on? Who knows. The path we took ran along the most upscale boulevards in Seattle’s downtown and accordingly the bystanders were mostly fashion-oriented women who looked at the mass of black hair and darker skin in bewilderment. I noticed that when we passed closer to a group of high-heeled ladies the leaders of the rally switched to economic themes that they may have hoped would hit closer to home with these ladies “Not a nickel, not a dime, occupations is a crime!” etc. Even if the only contribution of the event was in brining Arabs and Jews closer, it was of course still worth it.

Apparently there was one incident of friction. I don’t know the exact details but is seems like somebody on the sidewalk bearing an Israel flag was provoking somebody in the rally and that person tried to snatch the flag. He got arrested and the college crowd was keen to confront the cops, to try and release their buddy. The elder leaders of the rally commanded everybody to proceed quietly along—they wouldn’t let the rally become a brawl. That was a very good call. In the Seattle Times piece they say that then the guy with the flag continued to walk alongside the main rally with an “escort” of marchers that made sure no trouble ensued and maybe they even got some sense into him. One can only hope.

January 18th, 2009, 8:54 am

 

why-discuss said:

Will Benetton and others ( Starbucks etc..) in Damascus and other arab countries boycotted too?
Israel and its financial zionists backers have sneaked into the arab market and are financing the war against Palestinians with arab money. Is it time to re-establish the Israel Boycott offices and list the companies owned and financed by zionists?

Benetton Stores Attack in Iran May Unsettle Investors

By Arash Hassan-Nia, Tehran (Source: Mianeh)

The rallies outside foreign embassies in protest at the bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza have now dispersed, and the traffic news broadcasts on Tehran radio have stopped announcing the blockage of streets in the capital caused by crowds of angry students from the Basij movement.
As the demonstrations gradually fade away, the only visible sign that they ever happened is the burnt-out ruins of the Benetton store in Dolat Street in northern Tehran, and three other branches that have closed in other parts of the city.

There has been no official news about the fire. According to eyewitnesses quoted by the Baztab website, police said the reason why these other shops were closed was that “the Italian owners of the Benetton company are Zionists”.

There are fears that these events will prompt some of the companies that have already invested in the clothing retail market, fashion design, and other consumer goods markets or were planning to do so, to withdraw from Iran. It is an attractive market � 70 million people, and demographically the youngest population in the world.

If they go, they could be replaced by non-European firms, particularly from China.

The arson attack and the compulsory closure of the other three Benetton shops will have come as particularly unwelcome news for the British retail chain Debenhams which had recently expressed an interest in setting up in Iran, and has been designing and fitting out a store in the centrally-located Mirdamad Street.

Debenham’s international manager Francis McAuley has said the shops will sell clothes designed by designers such as Jasper Conran and John Richmond, offering Iranians a chance to dress according to the latest global fashions.

Apart from Debenhams � a brand that is well regarded by young Iranians � the Spanish women’s clothing chain Mango has announced plans to open in Tehran and Kish Island simultaneously. The launch was planned for the end of 2008, but has not yet happened. More important than the date is the question of whether the Spanish retailer will downscale its ambitious long-term planning, which envisages ten more branches in major cities like Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad within the next five years.

The colourful windows of brand-name clothing shops, many of them international names, suggests that fashion wear remains in high demand among young Iranians, despite the poor state of Iran’s economy and spiralling inflation.

A walk through the Milad and Tandis shopping centres in western and northern Tehran, respectively, reveals that most famous clothing brands are on sale. Even American brands such as Nike and Tommy are there.

Levi jeans at more than 250 US dollars a time and T-shirts priced at over 70 dollars are costly items, especially in a country where the average annual income is under 8,000 dollars, but demand is high among younger customers.

Most of these shops are not official franchises, but as one manager pointed out, they do their best to use only authentic brands.

A salesman in a shopping centre in Vanak, north Tehran, insisted his company was taking steps to formalise its relationship with the well-known American firm that makes the clothes it sells.

“We are not formal representatives yet, and we’re still importing our goods through Dubai. However, the [US] company has told us that if we manage to sell a million dollars’ worth of their clothes, they will give us the franchise next year,” he said.

Although many store owners regard themselves as main dealers for these brand-names, the price tags on the items on sale � in Turkish lira and United Arab Emirates dirhams � reveal that these neighbouring countries are the primary source for wholesale purchases, and suggest that some clothing is smuggled into Iran.

A senior official in the ministry of commerce says only a couple of famous brand-name firms have taken steps to obtain an official license to operate in Iran.

Formal importers and official company branches account for only a tiny proportion of the huge market for foreign brands. The rest is in the hands of informal importers and illegal smugglers.

Commerce ministry figures indicated that in the past nine months, clothing worth around 11 million dollars entered Iran through legal channels. That is far less than the value of such goods now on sale in Iran.

Given the premium price tag attached to genuine brand-names, there is also a flourishing market in fakes, some of them manufactured inside Iran with the “right” label attached.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged Iranian manufacturers to build up their own reputation to displace foreign-made clothing on the domestic market and start exporting abroad.

“In future years, we must work towards making foreign-brand clothing redundant in the Iranian market, and take Iranian clothing to the forefront of the global market,” he said at the recent inauguration of a major clothing manufacture in Ardabil, in northwestern Iran.

That is likely to be an uphill struggle, given the popularity of Chinese-, Turkish-, and Korean-made clothing, not to mention the likes of Mavi, Giordano, Buccini, Hang Ten, Puma, Adidas, Zara, Tommy and other western brands, which suggests Iranian are picky about what they buy and are prepared to pay for it.

Arash Hassan-Nia is a journalist in Tehran

January 18th, 2009, 9:12 am

 

Innocent Criminal said:

Chris,
I think you make a good point. The examples you give are powerful evidence to the problems Muslim countries are having with the way they deal (or lack of) with Muslim fundamentalism. Especially with the wahabi-like philosophy that has been exported by Saudi to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia etc. Or the similar Muslim Brotherhood groups in Egypt & Hamas. Arab & Muslim countries have failed miserably in reigning in these terrorists and some (especially KSA) have provided philosophical and more importantly financial support.

That said, merging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into the war on Islamic fundamentalism is the wet dream of all neo-con pro-Israelis worldwide and its complete bullshit. Because at the end of the day, the oppressive, apartheid-like occupation of Palestinian lands is the ONLY relevant obstacle to resolving this nightmare.

January 18th, 2009, 9:22 am

 

Chris said:

IC:
Well, my point was simply to say that we do see Hamas style tactics where there isn’t occupation, or any of the other features of the Israeli presence in the West Bank/Gaza Strip. Although, I imagine that some of the people who are carrying out those attacks (Bali, Mumbai, the Pakistan hotel bombings) may feel that their actions are in defense of something they feel is under attack.

I agree that we shouldn’t wrap those conflicts/attacks up with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. If only because the Israeli Palestinian conflict seems so much more tractable. However, right now, after the conflict in Gaza, Hamas is now fully radicalized. It is as if a hornet’s nest has been shaken. They may have been able to deal with immediately after the elections in January 2006, but now I can’t see them being interested in any long term truce or anything of that sort. They will be interested in fighting. So, as their aims are increaingly unattainable and as they are more hesitant to compromise I see them becoming more like those who carried out the attacks discussed above.

January 18th, 2009, 10:02 am

 

chrisq said:

Sim,

People can have views that are different than yours without being Jewish or Israeli or even Zionist.

There was a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center between January 7-11 in the United States ( http://people-press.org/report/482/israel-hamas-conflict ) .

– 12% of those who responded believe that Israel was responsible for the outbreak of violence. Whereas, 41% blame Hamas.

-39% say that the US should publicly support Israel. 38% said that the US should say or do nothing, while a mere 9% say that the US should criticize Israel

-40% support Israel’s actions in Gaza, 33% oppose Israel’s actions, and 27% answered “don’t know”

-50% believe that Israel’s response has “responded about right”. 24% believe that Israel has gone too far. 7% believe that Israel has not gone far enough.

I see here, nuanced opinions about the military campaign against Gaza. It is important to remember that the US is a country of 305 million people, so the 41% who blame Hamas for the violence in Gaza is a significant number of non-Jews.

January 18th, 2009, 10:28 am

 

Chris said:

The last post was mine. Anyway, the opinion survey is interesting and has more info than what I laid out above.
It is here: http://people-press.org/report/482/israel-hamas-conflict.

January 18th, 2009, 10:42 am

 
 

offended said:

Chris,

You can’t just lump Mumbai, Kabul, Baghdad, Dublin, Mogadishu. .etc..in the same basket as Gaza. (or in the same basket at all for that matter)

I may not be a fan of Gordon Brown, but when he spoke against the term ‘war on terror’ last week he made lot of sense.

When he spoke of the failed attempts to blow up civilians in London and Glasgow he had a different response.

What had just been narrowly averted, he said, was not a new jihadist act of war but instead a criminal act.

So you see, you fight the war on terror by sticking to the law, whatever law is applicable in that particular situation.

So each and every one of those incidents you’ve mentioned, has its own criminal, if you like, circumstances (motives, opportunities, evidence, etc…)

Likewise with Hamas, they’re firing rockets into Israel, what does the law say about this? What is the applicable law in that case? Who can be indicted? What’s the verdict? And how do you implement it?

The thing is that when you think of Hamas rockets and their motives, you will have to look into the occupation and its own crimes too. And you have to do that with the same critical and scrupulous eye. You fail to do that, you’re missing the whole point, moreover, you’re breaching the law.

And by breaching the law, you’re in the exact same category with those who’re firing rockets. You’re a criminal. Covering up for a crime is a crime itself. Justifying a crime is crime in and of itself.

So let’s go back to Israel and how it conducted its massive operation in the Gaza strip, all indications lead us to believe that their ways of trying to bring punishment (or justice, if you like) to the ‘criminals’ of Hamas was criminal itself. It involved collective punishment (for Christ sake, check out this photo of white phosphorous being sprayed over a UN school), and loss of innocent lives (to say the least). And while everyone in the world is ready to denounce Hamas and its tactics, there’s little hope for bringing the Israeli war criminals to justice. There was no third party oversight to make sure Israel was conducting its war ethically (or according to some law, any law).

So you see Chris, you don’t want to abide by the law. You want to throw your own prejudice and bigotry around while making judgments about this conflict, which will obviously lead you nowhere.

Cheers!

January 18th, 2009, 12:05 pm

 

Alia said:

A.P.,

Once again you are indulging in nonsense..

Chris identified himself as a “student” and then went on to speak and behave like a Zionist.

For some of us, the notion of a “student” is still respectable in the sense of someone who is gathering knowledge and may one day come up with some new and more meaningful way of seeing things or solving problems (depending on what he is studying); instead we have Chris who not only is propagating zionist dogma but carrying on like a Mc Carthy every time someone dares to bring up notions that irritate his zionist sensitivity : God forbid we should mention the Holocaust and Gaza in one breath, he finds the comparison between the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camp in Gaza immoral, he loses it and calls Majed a foul name when he disagrees with him, antisemitism is “the major sin” in his book…and on and on.

So with Sim and others, what kind of “student” behaves in such a pathetic way, when students are the ones who are researching, questioning, wondering, reflecting not parroting others? And if indeed he is a student, what kind of educational system is this that he is a product of?

Do not dare you AP to take away from any of us the right to wonder at such poor performance, stick to those who are dumb like you to throw at them your nonsensical and uneducated arguments.

January 18th, 2009, 12:18 pm

 

norman said:

U.N. Head, Syria: Israel Must Fully Withdraw
Posted by George Baghdadi

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad told visiting U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday that Israel’s unilateral cease-fire in Gaza was not enough, saying the Jewish state should in addition completely withdraw its troops from the Strip and open the border crossings.

After 22 days of war against Hamas, and the deaths of more than 1,300 Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced late Saturday his government would stop the offensive, which drew wide Arab and international criticism.

“President Assad underlined the necessity that the truce should go in parallel with Israel’s pullout from the whole Gaza Strip, a total lift of the blockade and opening all the crossings to secure providing the basic needs to the Palestinian people,” a Syrian source said after the lengthy meeting between Assad and the top U.N. official.

Assad told leaders meeting in the Gulf state of Qatar on Friday that the 2002 Arab peace initiative, which promises recognition of Israel in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a just settlement for Palestinians, had already died.

Khaled Meshal, the de facto Hamas leader, along with the leaders of Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which are also fighting Israel in Gaza, flew to Doha from Damascus on the Emir of Qatar’s private plane.

Israel accuses Syria and Iran of supporting and arming Hamas, an accusation they deny.

As he was heading to the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm el-Sheikh for a summit meeting on aid and reconstruction efforts for Gaza, Ban told reporters that Israel “needs to withdraw all of its troops as soon as possible.”

A missile and rocket exchange between Hamas militants and Israeli forces immediately challenged the partial Gaza cease-fire early Sunday. The Islamic group vowed to fight on if its terms for a truce were not met: “An immediate halt of the aggression, withdrawal of occupation troops from the Gaza Strip, lifting the siege and opening all border crossings, including Rafah.”

Hamas has not said how many fighters it has lost, but the Israeli military puts the number at more than 500. On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and three civilians have been killed, either in combat or by rocket fire.

Ban, who is on a tour of the region to secure a lasting cease-fire in Gaza, said that humanitarian access for the Gazans was his “top priority,” after Israeli air and land attack left large areas of the crowded territory in ruins and without basic services like potable water and electricity.

By CBS News’ George Baghdadi reporting from Damascus.
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January 18th, 2009, 2:20 pm

 

Chris said:

Offended:
you wrote:
“You can’t just lump Mumbai, Kabul, Baghdad, Dublin, Mogadishu. .etc..in the same basket as Gaza. (or in the same basket at all for that matter)”

I was only lumping them together in that they use Hamas style tactics. A fellow commenter on SC said that Hamas-style tactics are caused by the occupation, and the settlements. My point was only to say that we have seen such tactics in Mumbai, Spain, London, Bali, and Pakistan, all places where we are not seeing any occupying force (well some may consider Spain occuppied). Although, I’m sure the perpetrators of all of these attacks on civilians believed that they were justified in using such tactics. So, again the only thing I meant to say that these attacks have in common is their Hamas style tactics, which have been used outside of any occupation or settlements (except Andalus, of course).

January 18th, 2009, 2:22 pm

 

Peter H said:

There is a broad consensus within Israel of support for the two-state solution. It has now become politically incorrect in Israel to say that you are opposed to the two-state solution, although after this recent conflict in Gaza people’s views may be changing.

That\’s just not true, Chris. The Likud calls for an Eretz Israel that includes the Golan Heights and “Judea & Samaria” (i.e. the West Bank.), and they are poised to win next month’s elections. Needless to say, there is absolutely no chance the international community will boycott Likud if it takes over power in Israel the same way it boycotted Hamas after it took over power in the PA.

January 18th, 2009, 2:36 pm

 

Alia said:

Chris,

On the other hand, the foreign minister of your beloved Israel is the daughter of the head of the Irgun, and a former Mossad operative, who has been vocal in justifying the civilian loss in Gaza and has been stumping around with an idiotic grin on her face- Could we talk now of terrorist tactics on the level of the Israeli government or are you going to have a hysterical fit?

What Andalus? who is fighting for the Andalus? you must mean the Basque …

January 18th, 2009, 3:22 pm

 

Chris said:

Alia,
You wrote:
“Chris identified himself as a “student” and then went on to speak and behave like a Zionist.”

Alia, I am a gentile graduate student from Los Angeles who is fervently interested in promoting a two-state soloution, as such, I have been very critical of Hamas. I have never advocated violence. Many people have such views and are not referred to as “Zionist.” Perhaps on this blog these are unusual positions, and so I am referred to as the “zionist”.

I remember how Sari Nusseibeh also promoted the two state solution and was labelled a traitor .

“instead we have Chris who not only is propagating zionist dogma but carrying on like a Mc Carthy every time someone dares to bring up notions that irritate his zionist sensitivity : God forbid we should mention the Holocaust and Gaza in one breath, he finds the comparison between the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camp in Gaza immoral”

Alia, I have not “propagated” any dogma. We do not need to start calling people names or comparing people to McCarthy. More importantly though, it is not “zionist” to find comparing the conflict in Gaza to the Holocaust an egregious use of hyperbole. Also, I have never mentioned a word about morality.

“he loses it and calls Majed a foul name when he disagrees with him”

I called Majed a foul name, regrettably, because he advocated that the Gaza conflict be expanded and that Syria open up its border for the “resistance” (his glamorous term) in Iraq, which has manifested itself in the form of suicide bombers in crowded marketplaces. This open advocacy of violence on a massive scale is really what upset me and led me to start “losing it,” not his political opinions.

“antisemitism is “the major sin” in his book…”.

While outside of our discussion on a cartoon that portrayed the star of david as a pair of handcuffs, I really haven’t said much about anti-semitism. That being said, I think racism, is well, a problem, to say the least.

“What kind of “student” behaves in such a pathetic way…”
I really don’t apprecitate the personal insult, it does not exactly promote civil dialogue. This blog is about Syrian politics, let’s get back to that. I’m getting the sense that you are attacking me because of my political views rather than your perception of much else about me.

To AP you wrote:
“stick to those who are dumb like you”

Alia, again, let’s stick to Syrian politics and refrian from the personal attacks. Please take a glance at the SC Rules page.

We can all have diferent political opinions, which don’t result from differences in intelligence.

January 18th, 2009, 3:47 pm

 

offended said:

A former Mossad agent, who was required to bed victims (excuse my language) before she killed them or got them to confess.

January 18th, 2009, 3:58 pm

 

Chris said:

Offended:
Thats’ an interesting story. Where can I find out more about that?If true, I’m surprised the Mossad would have allowed such information to become public.

January 18th, 2009, 4:29 pm

 

offended said:

And likewise Chris, why should I reveal my sources to you?

January 18th, 2009, 4:50 pm

 

Chris said:

Offended,
You don’t have to “reveal your sources” to me. I’m just curious where such a story originated. After all, in this story, we’re talking about a woman in the Mossad, and she just happens to “bed her victims before she killed them or got them to confess.” It just sounds like an urban myth or something out of an action film.

Or, or it sounds like something out of a porno film, since the story you related to us brings up “bedding. ”

“Owners of Israeli sex sites report high percentage of entries from Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The hit: Clips starring female soldiers and Mossad women…Nir Shahar, who manages the Israeli porn website, ‘Ratuv’ (wet), said that his company produced porn movies that have typical Israeli themes featuring female soldiers, female Mossad agents and policewomen. Due to the demand, Shahar added an Arabic version of the site. “We received many thank you messages from Arab surfers. Many of whom asked if the female soldiers really serve in the IDF,” he said.
http://www.ynet.co.il/english/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3440271,00.html

January 18th, 2009, 5:08 pm

 

offended said:

That’s right Chris, I had a dream about Livni yesterday, except it was a nightmare. : )

Seriously, you got it all wrong. This is not as much about me being porno-orietned as it is about Livni being a whore.

Got it?

January 18th, 2009, 5:20 pm

 

Alia said:

Chris,

You have not advocated violence ? By being silent you are nowadays complicit in violence.

By criticizing Hamas ONLY you are showing yourself to be prejudiced in this time where people who used to support Israel unconditionally are spitting on the ground at the mere mention of the IDF. You can advocate the 2 state solution all you want, it does not bother me at all.

When I make a judgment- after laying out the facts – about what kind of student you are, it is my educated opinion and not a personal insult and I stick to it. Do not give me that semi-politically correct nonsense designed for the morons that watch FOX news- I am heavily into political incorrectness.

Over all, I note that although you claim you want to speak about Syria you never waste time making insinuations hoping to drag people in lateral debates ( Mumbai, spain, the israeli flag, the porn sites…) who do you think we all are?

THAT IS ALL FOR NOW, and if i think of something else about you that bothers me I will let you know.

January 18th, 2009, 5:50 pm

 

Chris said:

Alia:

You wrote:
“What Andalus? who is fighting for the Andalus? you must mean the Basque …”

Alia,

I have criticized Israel on this blog. It was about two days ago in response to a question from AP.

In this video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i08L09V0_sg ) o f a Hamas MP, we see him declaring his aim to participate in a conflict in which Islam conquers Europe in its entirety at approximately 1:05. Spain, or Andalus, is in Europe.

January 18th, 2009, 5:51 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Chris identified himself as a “student” and then went on to speak and behave like a Zionist.

Alia,

cc: Chris

As I told Sim, there are millions of people who are sympathetic to the opposing side in this conflict. Futher, I don’t sense that Chris is a “Zionist”. IOW, I don’t sense he has any special feeling about the right of Jews to live in Israel. I think he accept Israel as a legitimate state, but so do millions of other people. I sense that Chris has a keen interest in the ME and the Arab-Israeli conflict. I don’t see him so emotionally connect like you and me.

For some of us, the notion of a “student” is still respectable in the sense of someone who is gathering knowledge and may one day come up with some new and more meaningful way of seeing things or solving problems (depending on what he is studying); instead we have Chris who not only is propagating zionist dogma but carrying on like a Mc Carthy every time someone dares to bring up notions that irritate his zionist sensitivity : God forbid we should mention the Holocaust and Gaza in one breath, he finds the comparison between the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camp in Gaza immoral, he loses it and calls Majed a foul name when he disagrees with him, antisemitism is “the major sin” in his book…and on and on.

Again, I find it interesting that a number of the participants here are so surprised there a single student of the ME who is pro-Israel. Do you really expect every student of the ME to be pro-palestinian?

As far as the Holocaust/Gaza comparisons go, I don’t mind them; I just continue to show the many differences. I understand pro-Palestinians have a need to show the similarities, and if that’s important, then by all means, compare all you want.

I think Chris sees these comparions as being offensive. I think most people in the West are sensitive to comparisons to the Holocaust. But I feel nothing is taboo. Go right ahead and compare, just be prepared for the evidence showing the vast differences.

So with Sim and others, what kind of “student” behaves in such a pathetic way…

Yes, Chris is “pathetic” because he disagrees with you. I think it would help your arguments if you presented facts disproving Chris instead of calling him names.

… when students are the ones who are researching, questioning, wondering, reflecting not parroting others? And if indeed he is a student, what kind of educational system is this that he is a product of?

Probably an institution that isn’t from a Middle East country.

Do not dare you AP to take away from any of us the right to wonder at such poor performance, stick to those who are dumb like you to throw at them your nonsensical and uneducated arguments.

Argue about anything you want Alia. I can take it;) As a suggestion, please cease the personal attacks. This takes away from whatever arguments you might have.

January 18th, 2009, 6:00 pm

 

trustquest said:

I think one of the flaws in Assad speech at Doha, which no one commented on, was the call by Assad for Arab States to sever ties with Israel especially how reflected on State like Qatar, which did not show rejection and reacted positively to his proposal by taking some measures along this line. We have to realize that Aljazeera Channel did great job in covering the war on Gaza and this relation with Israel had served and benefited the cause of the Palestinians. Aljazeera produced 4 documentary videos on the war which can serve as evidence of war crimes if any evidence needed for indictment in the national court.
Like what is going on this blog, communicating with Israel and Istaelis are a step necessary to humanize and reach for future solution, old nationalist hard line rhetoric did not produce other than hardliners on both sides.

January 18th, 2009, 6:07 pm

 

Chris said:

Thank you AP! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I especially liked your comment about educational instiutions in the Middle East.

Alia,

You referred to the notion that people who were once diehard supporters of Israel who are now spitting when they hear about Israel, well please take a look at my post #116 to see some recent polling data on that subject.

January 18th, 2009, 6:30 pm

 

Alex said:

Rumyal,

Great to hear from you. Thanks for your interesting report about the demonstration you attended.

So you are from Seattle? : )

Trustquest,

In the case of Qatar, I agree … they should continue to be one link between the Arab side and Israel. Qatar is a small peninsula that is playing a very constructive role as an available hub where anone (United States, to Hamas) is welcome to use to communicate and meet with any other adversary of his.

But Egypt’s case is more controversial … you are a believer in democracy and you probably can imagine that today, a clear majority (if not hte vast majority) of Egyptian people today wants the Israeli ambassador out.

Do you, sometimes, advocate practical or constructive decision making by the ruler (dictator) that are clearly against the wishes of his people?

Asking the Israeli ambassador to leave is a serious response to Israel’s massacres. that does not mean Egypt and Israel can not communicate without an ambassador.

January 18th, 2009, 7:24 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Is anyone watching the pathetic European attempts to give both Israel and its obedient Arabs some face saving measures. The entire diplomatic game now aims at one thing and one thing only, distract the world public opinion away from the magnitude of Israeli crimes and from the willful destruction of homes, lives, and even the soil of the earth.
Israeli soldiers have once more proven themselves as sick psychopaths. The amount of carnage they left in every home they entered is beyond description. as if the death they caused was not enough. These were not homes occupied by Hamas, they were empty homes, which under every international law must be protected. The entire US revolted to prevent the housing of soldiers in occupied homes, and our democratic joke of an ally, does precisely that, these soldiers stole money from homes, destroyed furniture, and intentionally abused even the floors of the homes they entered. Marking Arab homes with their feces speaks volumes of their sick minds that Chris, AIG, and AP love to portray as humane heroes. These are criminals, lead by criminals, and supported by criminals (including our own pathetic spineless congress). The whole thing is a racket, nothing less, nothing more. What’s not to love about a nation that has refined arrogance, hate, spite, and utter contempt of international norms to become part of the personal character of 94% of its citizen, and of its disciples amongst us.
Again, the names of every Israeli soldier must be submitted to the international courts, not only their criminal leaders. This is a country in need of therapy or jail. It is sick country, with pathetic psychology that is becoming more dangerous to world peace by the day.
Israeli claims of democracy are in fact the more reasons for a broad indictment against Israeli as a society, its citizens must be held accountable to for what they ask their leaders to do. The first thing is to recognize that given the level of hate and vengeance, Israel is more dangerous having nuclear weapons than Iran.
Chris, I have asked before that you be ignored, but I can only take a certain level of incompetence. Your pathetic attempts to sanitize Israel’s deeds show that at best you are an operative wannabe, and at worst, you are a paid operative. If you are a student as you claim, you need to realize that the tides are beginning to turn, and by the time you are of age to run for congress, or for a senator representing my state, blind obedience to AIPAC will not necessarily be the only litmus test. If you are planning to go into academia, Dershowiz’s ability to deny or grant you tenure based on your yes-mam attitude toward everything Israel does will probably be curtailed by then as many universities will probably return his letters unopened and may even seek injunction to stop him, Daniel Pipes, and Horrowitz from interfering in their tenure process. The only place this may help you is if you are an AIPAC operative, or intend to be a neocon mouthpiece journalist as hated and ridiculed as Bill Krystol, the choice is yours, If you are who you claim you are, you still have time to reflect. Did you notice that you have given AP and AIG a respite, you are merely a tool in training. Rejoice in the approval of your intellectual puppet masters.

Yet again, the success and wealth of intellectual whores like Thomas Friedman are quite enticing, aren’t they. I can the see the For Sale sign. We are not in the business of buying souls here, but others have made a living of being soul brokers. Go blog on their sites.

January 18th, 2009, 7:48 pm

 

offended said:

Chris

As a follow up from our last exchange about Livni’s past:

It’s a well-known fact that Livni is a Mossad agent who in the early 80s undertook operations to assassinate PLO members in Europe. (do you challenge that too?)

I am thinking about the age angle now that I am wondering why my mind jumped to the assumption that she’s been bedding people to get her job done. And it’s good that you’ve drawn my attention to this conjecture on my part, because for once, I know I am not a pervert. And I don’t have a thing for Jewish females nor for older women. So I’ve been thinking about this whole thing and I came up with a theory.

You’re actually right, Livni’s history is ditched in secrecy; she’s known to have been an agent in the early 80s but her role is not known to public. Early 80s means when she was in her early twenties. And I am thinking about that here and wondering why I assumed she used her charms in the job?

Then the answer came along; are you into novels? I am. I am so obsessed with spy novels in particular. I’ve read most of the prominent spy novels and I know what I am talking about (and I like to brag about it too).

If you’ve read Fredrick Forsythe’s “The Fist of God”, like I did. You’d lose counts of the times the residents Katsa would use (yes, a sexist term, but that’s how it is) the young female Mossad agent to get, for example, details about a certain bank account number from a banker who can’t be lured by money but have a soft side for women. .etc…

In a novel I finished couple of days ago, John Grisham’s best seller (the broker), he talked about the basic setup of the Mossad hit unit (Kidon). And how it’s a must for every Kidon to have a ….guess what? …that’s right, a young female agent who’s usually assigned with the tasks that requires spreading legs and such….

So you see, if there is a stereotype (and I doubt it’s a mere stereotype) about ‘young female Mossad agents’ then, excuse my Arabic bluntness, it’s not my fault.

So I can’t concussively prove that Livni was bedding men in the job (unless I get a vaginal swabs), but you see, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming.

But seriously, I don’t give a damn about her history, she could sleep with the whole population of Athens for that matter. What, in my opinion, makes her a whore is standing there at the Elyzehe palace next to Sarkozy and saying that there was no human catastrophe in Gaza.

Guess what b**ch, there was and there is. And your crimes are going to haunt you forever.

January 18th, 2009, 8:01 pm

 

jad said:

Dear OTW…I’m speechless!…thank you…

January 18th, 2009, 8:02 pm

 

trustquest said:

The problem with dictators, they are locked in the emotional sentiment of their people, they do not have mean to be logical and the cycle continue without any improvement. The case for Egypt is really controversial, but at least it should not be a case for propaganda. Calling to sever relation with Israel by Egypt is not an easy thing for them, and they should not be embarrassed in the open to score points by other leaders, this is unproductive and harmful for the group as a whole. I think, yes, rulers should come out and tell their people what they can and what they can not do. Any hand twisting from the outside is just cheep propaganda, because as you know back in the fifties and sixties, Arab states used to communicate these decisions through diplomacy channels not through streets as currently directed by rulers.

January 18th, 2009, 8:29 pm

 

Chris said:

OTW:

You wrote:
“Your pathetic attempts to sanitize Israel’s deeds show that at best you are an operative wannabe, and at worst, you are a paid operative.”

It may appear that the Israeli spies are all around us, but I am in fact, no Israeli spy. I am not an operative, nor do I wish to become an operative for a foreign government.

You later wrote:
” If you are a student as you claim, you need to realize that the tides are beginning to turn, and by the time you are of age to run for congress…”

My support for a two-state solution and my opposition to Hamas, does not originate from any career goals. I fervently believe that this conflict is toxic to everything in the region and that groups like Hamas are not interested in peace and reconciliation, but rather perpetuating the conflict. Therefore, no matter my career goals, my position with respect to a two-state settlement and Hamas will remain the same.

In addition, I do not believe I have attempted to “sanitize” anyone’s actions.

January 18th, 2009, 8:32 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Chris
nice try, but you get E,

I do not see spies, but I see people who are willing, with malice towards Palestinians and Arabs, to reduce human suffering into meaningless clichés taken out right from the Israeli’s press operation such as (hamas is not interested in peace) to justify the elimination of the will of a nation to live free and with dignity. Nothing you said convince me that you are not one of these people. You do not conspire, but you are lead blindly
Many presented you with evidence of the fact that Israel’s actions is what maintains the conflict, and you have dismissed each and everyone of these evidences and continued tirelessly to santize Israel’s deeds. It is not a conflict, it is occupation, and it is by all international standards the most mean spirited occupation in the 20th century, and is threatening to continue throughout the 21st. When you are an occupier, you have no right to chose your adversaries. The Palestinians have the right to resist it and the obligation to do so on behalf of humanity. I am not an advocate of violence, far from it, but there is no moral equivalency in this, occupation is violation of human rights, even the Palestinian state you claim to support is built around maintaining the occupation but with Palestinian police inside and your beloved thugs of the Israeli army suffocating the borders. What sovereignty a state has if its president needs authorization from Israel to leave his country, it is sham and shame.

January 18th, 2009, 9:06 pm

 

Alex said:

Trustquest

You know that Mubarak is adamant in refusing to meet Bashar? .. you know that Bashar many times offered to visit him and he refused? .. you know that he has no excuse why he won’t see Bashar?

You know that when the Egyptians realized that they need to talk to Hamas Damascus they went to Turkey and not to Damascus?

You know that many people died in Gaza because solutions had to be through Mubarak and NOT through Syria? … the Israelis, Americans and Europeans came to Mubarak’s rescue … did you notice that they ALL kept repeating that this whole thing is based on Egypt’s initiative? … what the hell is Egypt’s initiative?

You have maturity in Damascus and you have foolish pride in Cairo and Riyadh… Which is what I have been trying to explain here for the past three years.

January 18th, 2009, 9:10 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

This post is not addressed to anyone; it is just my observation.

The Palestinians, apparently, use civilians as shields. Granted, the Palestinians do not half the technology and arms that Israel has, and thus needs something to slow down the technologically advanced Israelis.

However, not all observers to this conflict agree on who the instigator is. Many believer Hamas is the instigator, afterall their policial ideology does not recognize Israel and only calls for resistance.

Keep in mind, that as “black and white” as WW2 was, the allies killed hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. Hiroshima and Nagasaki come to mind just in the Pacific arena. Did the US survive the “guilt”? Was the attack justified? What about in Europe? How many civilians death did the allies cause fighting Hitler and the Nazis?

When a war is considered just, people are more likely to justify civilian casualties.

January 18th, 2009, 9:27 pm

 

Joe M. said:

Chris,
Just to clarify a couple simple things:

1) I never said Sari was a traitor, but he is a zionist. Abu Mazin is a traitor because he acts directly in the interests of the occupation and zionism, knowingly and willingly. Sari, i assume, at least walks a bit more independently (even though he often crosses the line). So, Sari is not a traitor really. And additionally, I will just point out again, Sari has been calling for a one-state solution for just under a year now.

2) why do you say such stupid things like, “groups like Hamas are not interested in peace and reconciliation…” ok fine, lets accept your premise and admit that Hamas is not interested in peace, but my question to you is why do you lay the blame on Hamas? Why not make the statement, “groups like Israel are not interested in peace and reconciliation…” Israel is the one with the power to make peace if it choose, not Hamas. Why do you target Hamas when they are the weak party with no ability to make peace independently?

3) you continue to trumpet your “support for a two-state solution…” ok, we have heard it. But explain to me how this, considering the settlements, the water rights, the right of return, jerusalem, the viability of a palestinian “state” and all other major “final status” issues, is more pragmatic or more just than Israel simply accepting reality and passing a law to give equal rights to Palestinians. (of course, your answer is what makes you a zionist, think about it)

4) tell me how Israel is differnt than Apartheid South Africa (well, obvious, Apartheid was less brutal, but I want to hear your view).

to everyone else, it is very clear that Chris wants a state department job. Maybe CIA. So, maybe you should read the words of your CIA buddy Michael Scheuer….
http://www.antiwar.com/scheuer/

January 18th, 2009, 9:40 pm

 

Alex said:

Akbar,

The Problem is that Israel has enough strength in its propaganda machine to portray all its wars as being just … like the US managed at the beginning to justify its Iraq war through “evidence” of WMD’s …

We have a serious problem.

But I agree, not only in WWII but in the 21st century … the biggest crimes were in Sudan and in Iraq … The Americans, many Iraqi extremists and foreign fighters committed bigger, or comparable, crimes to Israel’s in Gaza.

But really … Many are sick in the Middle East. But after the Lebanon war and the Gaza war, Israel is the one in most urgent need for therapy. It is obvious that most Israelis did not get over the violence committed against them in Europe.

January 18th, 2009, 9:46 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

AP
The fact that Allied generals did not hung for their own war crimes does mot mean that these were not war crimes. They were, each and everyone of them. Justifying Hiroshima and Nagasaki is usually the first line of argument used by those justifying torture. But the order to use the bomb was a crime against humanity, dropping it was a part of that crime, and some go as far as to argue that developing it was part and parcel of that crime.
This is the more reason to think with humility, to reflect and recognize that today’s victor may be tomorrow’s loser. The Arabs have been there, and any thinking that the US, the west, or Israel will be immune indefinitely from history is shortsighted fantasy. Any thinking that such immunity will disappear in my own lifetime is another fantasy.

January 18th, 2009, 9:48 pm

 

offended said:

I swear I won’t feel satisfied until I see all the perpetrators of this crime executed by the means of impalement on a large iron pole all the way to their throats..

“Gaza’s leading child psychiatrist, Dr Abdel Aziz Mousa Thabet, who has studied the effects of violence and trauma on children for 20 years, said about 65% of young people in the enclave suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-palestine-israel-children-psychology

January 18th, 2009, 9:53 pm

 

Alex said:

Offended,

This translates to roughly 500,000 traumatized Children. How sad and how scary… how many of them will grow up to take revenge against Jews? … how many of them will never live a normal life again?

If we simulate (using probability distributions and psychological knowledge) the possible consequences of the torture that those children went through the past few weeks, we will find out the real cost of this war that Israel (and others) will pay in the future …

AP, Michael Sheuer (22 year veteran of the CIA) seems to agree with my focus on AIPAC’s direct or indirect responsibility in leading to wars in the Middle East:

The American people should be livid, though, with their bipartisan political elite and the Israel-firsters at Commentary, the New York Times, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Post, as well as that hive of anti-American U.S. citizens that fund and lead AIPAC, for involving them in this barbarous mess. At some point down the road, every U.S.-taxpayer-funded bomb, artillery shell, and bullet aimed at the Palestinians will yield Americans killed at the hands of al-Qaeda, its allies, or those it inspires in attacks launched in response to U.S. support for Israel. Those Americans will be killed because their political and media leaders – corrupted to the bone by AIPAC – have involved them in a religious war that threatens nothing vital to their country’s principles or national security, their personal economic well-being, or their children’s lives.

January 18th, 2009, 10:05 pm

 

jad said:

What I’m having problem to understand right now is that the aggression is stopped for now (not sure when Israel will do it again) with massacres and no achievement …What the hell was all of that about?
The other sad fact is that we the Arabs are soon going to forget this war as we usual do….

January 18th, 2009, 10:10 pm

 

offended said:

Alex,
Exactly. I am not familiar with PTSD (fortunately). But I know it’s a devastating disorder.

God help them, is all I can say.

January 18th, 2009, 10:12 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Well, my point was simply to say that we do see Hamas style tactics where there isn’t occupation, or any of the other features of the Israeli presence in the West Bank/Gaza Strip. Although, I imagine that some of the people who are carrying out those attacks (Bali, Mumbai, the Pakistan hotel bombings) may feel that their actions are in defense of something they feel is under attack.

Chris the world is full of “Hamas” style tactics done by many religious groups. For example Tamil Tigers use suicide bombings. Tamils are not Muslims, they are Hindus and Christians. The “Hamas style” you refer with Bali and partly with Mumbai is a little far fetched. Bali attack was a Al Qaida attack against western interests. Bali by the way is Hindu a district in a Muslim state and the attackers were Muslims. Mumbai attack has its roots in the Kashmir “occupation” and in the less optimum situation for the local Muslim majority. Lets not forget Philippines, Kurdistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Muslim areas in Russia and China. And naturally not Tibet or North Ireland. Israel used Hamas style terrorism and religion for decades before Israel formally saw the light. Later it used state terrorism and much religion.

Even western states and their intelligence services use terror a’la Hamas style as a political and military tactics to achieve their aims which hardly ever have anything to do with democracy. There are numerous documented such attempts. Israeli is for example supporting widely the Sudanese independence movements (which are not so democratic and sometimes “Islamic”) and lets not forget Eritrea and its separation process to which Israel contributed. Israel also supports Kurds whose religion is mostly Islam. Israel has a significant role also in diamond (the fuel of Israeli economy) wars in Africa, where the child warriors were used.. So lets not be hypocritical that Israel doesn’t understand the “core problem”.

Surely the attacks in New York, London, Madrid etc happened on foreign soil but nobody in his right mind can not deny that also those attacks got their fuel from a longer Israeli and western policy in the wider region. Sadly naturally the innocent had to pay for the wrong policy, not those responsible for that policy line.

I would say that Hams style resistance in Palestine is completely normal considering the circumstances. It is not done because of Islam, Palestinians would resist with the same strategy, means and methods even they would be Jews, Christians, Hindus etc. The situation defines the military strategy and tactics the weaker side adopts. Using religion as the connective force is completely normal when a nation is attacked by a nation with a different religion. When nations with the same religion are in war the religion as the uniting factor naturally has not such “advantage”.

It amuses me much when pro-Israelis try desperately to portray that the problem is political Islam and not the political Judaism called Zionism. And how Islam has a monopoly over terrorism. Zionism and one race Israel would be in serious difficulties without a strong enemy figure. Actually it would make the “justification” of a Zionist state to vanish and politically worth the level of Denmark. It is pathetic how now after the Gaza fiasco Israeli politician have again taken out the Iran card. “Iran is smuggling weapons to Gaza”. How on earth is or has been that possible. Gaza has land borders with Israel and Egypt. And the sea border has been blocked by Israel all the time so that even small fishing boats have difficulties to move out. If the smuggling tunnels are used to bring Iranian/Syrian weapons to Gaza it means that Iran is bring ship and plane loads to Egypt. Who in hell believes such naive propaganda. Sad that no reporter never seems to ask the Israeli leaders and spoke persons the essential question “How on earth Iran manages to smuggle weapons to Gaza, can you tell the methods and show any proofs”. Surely if it would be so “easy” as Israel claims Iran would arm Palestinians with higher technology weapons and better information gadgets as they have now.

January 18th, 2009, 11:05 pm

 

jad said:

U.S. Media’s Self-Censorship Abets Gaza Atrocities
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab
Thursday, January 15, 2009

http://www.icahd.org/eng/news.asp?menu=5&submenu=1&item=661

January 18th, 2009, 11:52 pm

 

Alex said:

Is Ehud’s Poodle Acting Up?

http://www.antiwar.com/pat/?articleid=14091

by Patrick J. Buchanan

As Israel entered the third week of its Gaza blitz, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert regaled a crowd in Ashkelon with an astonishing tale.

He had, said Olmert, whistled up George Bush, interrupted him in the middle of a speech and told him to instruct Condi Rice not to vote for a U.N. resolution Condi herself had written. Bush did as told, said Olmert.

The crowd loved it. Here is the background.

After intense negotiations with Britain and France, Secretary of State Rice had persuaded the Security Council to agree on a resolution calling for a cease-fire. But Olmert wanted more time to kill Hamas.

So, here, in Olmert’s words, is what happened next.

“In the night between Thursday and Friday, when the secretary of state wanted to lead the vote on a cease-fire at the Security Council, we did not want her to vote in favor.

“I said, ‘Get me President Bush on the phone.’ They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care. ‘I need to talk to him now.’ He got off the podium and spoke to me.”

According to Olmert, Bush was clueless.

“He said: ‘Listen. I don’t know about it. I didn’t see it. I’m not familiar with the phrasing.’

“I told him the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favor.”

The UN diplomatic corps was astonished when the United States abstained on the 14-0 resolution Rice had crafted and claimed her country supported. Arab diplomats say Rice promised them she would vote for it.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, with Rice at the United Nations during the debate on the resolution, said Olmert’s remarks were “just 100 percent, totally, completely untrue.”

But the White House cut Rice off at the knees, saying only that there were “inaccuracies” in the Olmert story. The video does not show Bush interrupting his speech to take any call.

Yet, the substance rings true and is widely believed, and Olmert is happily describing the egg on Rice’s face:

“He [Bush] gave an order to the secretary of state, and she did not vote in favor of it – a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed. …”

With Bush and Rice leaving office in hours, and Olmert in weeks, the story may seem to lack significance.

Yet, public gloating by an Israeli prime minister that he can order a U.S. president off a podium and instruct him to reverse and humiliate his secretary of state may cause even Ehud’s poodle to rise up on its hind legs one day and bite its master.

Taking such liberties with a superpower that, for Israel’s benefit, has shoveled out $150 billion and subordinated its own interests in the Arab and Islamic world would seem a hubristic and stupid thing to do.

And there are straws in the wind that, despite congressional resolutions giving full-throated approval to all that Israel is doing in Gaza, this is becoming a troubled relationship.

Two weeks ago, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in opposing any truce, assured the world there “is no humanitarian crisis in the (Gaza) Strip,” and the humanitarian situation there “is completely as it should be.”

Not so to Hillary Clinton. In her confirmation hearings, the secretary of state-designate, reports the New York Times, “struck a sharper tone toward Israel on violence in the Middle East.”

Clinton “seemed to part from the tone set by the Bush administration in calling attention to what she described as the ‘tragic humanitarian costs’ borne by Palestinians, as well as Israelis.”

More dramatic was a weekend report by the Times’ David Sanger that the White House had rebuffed Olmert’s request for new U.S. bunker-buster bombs and denied Israel permission to overfly Iraq in any strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz.

Sanger described these U.S.-Israeli talks as “tense.”

Repeatedly, Israel has warned that Iran is close to a bomb and threatened to attack unilaterally. Indeed, Israel simulated such an attack in an air exercise of 100 planes that went as far as Greece.

Bush both blocked and vetoed that attack, says Sanger. But he did assure Olmert that America is engaged in the sabotage of Iran’s nuclear program by helping provide Tehran with defective parts.

This would seem a stunning breach of security secrets, but no outrage has been heard from the White House, nor has any charge come that the Times compromised national security.

With Olmert, Rice and Bush departing, and Obama and Hillary taking charge committed to talking to Iran, can the old intimacy survive the new friction and colliding agendas?

January 18th, 2009, 11:56 pm

 

Rumyal said:

Simo,

You don’t need to go as far as Sudan—Israel is the party that has built Hamas over the 80’s and destroyed (either by violence or by bribe) all other Palestinian political parties.

I didn’t get the reference to Denmark, are you trying to provoke a neighbor country? 🙂

About the arms’ smuggling, I asked myself the same questions… and here is what I think. Arms’ are smuggled, otherwise Israel would not ask for the US to stop it. Now how do they arrive there and why is it such a big secret? As a general rule, nobody messes with the Egyptians, neither the “US-side” nor the “resistance-side”. In the long months of the siege, nobody made a peep about Egypt’s role and cooperation with Israel. Now as far as the smuggling goes, the silence is again designed to save Mubarak’s face. What is probably going on is that arms are smuggled through the red sea and land in the Southern shores of Sinai desert, using pirate/fisherman ships from Somalia, Sudan etc. Then they make it to the tunnels using Bedouins and the passive cooperation of Egyptian soldiers who are paid to keep a blind eye, and they are actually quite happy to do that since they support Hamas’ struggle anyway. Exposing this would be a big blow to Mubarak’s prestige as it would demonstrate thaat his own army is in defiance of declared policies and is “pro-Hams”. These are just pieces of the puzzle that I’ve collected from rumor mills, but the reason we don’t know more is definitely because it’s in Israel’s and Egypt’s interest not to talk about it.

January 19th, 2009, 12:28 am

 

SimoHurtta said:

You don’t need to go as far as Sudan—Israel is the party that has built Hamas over the 80’s and destroyed (either by violence or by bribe) all other Palestinian political parties.

Israel has in Jerusalem office of at least one Dafur movements (SLM). As you know, probably, Dafur is part of Sudan.

Interesting reading for you and for Palestinians.
http://www.pearsfoundation.org.uk/downloads/Darfur%20Report%20Final.pdf

Isn’t it interesting how worried Jews (in general) are for the human rights in Dafur and so little of their own “slave race”.

I didn’t get the reference to Denmark, are you trying to provoke a neighbor

Denmark is a small country in area, rich, but rather unimportant in international politics, with the population of 5.5 million. “Sadly” Finland is a big country in area, so it doesn’t fit with the Israel comparison.

Actually geopolitically Denmark is much more important than Israel. Denmark controls the passage to the Baltic sea. So I chance my comparison – Israel will be like Slovenia. Does that suite you?

Arms’ are smuggled, otherwise Israel would not ask for the US to stop it.

Of course Israel would ask it even there were no serious weapon smuggling. That is “your” only excuse/propaganda asset left (=Israel’s security as “you” say). Surely we all could invent such agent stories which you describe, but are they the reality? The weapons and rocket materials Gaza has can be bought easily from the Egyptian black markets or corrupt army officiers. The only thing they need is euros (dollars before). And those Hamas gets from every Arab/Muslim country. After this war I suppose in future much more than before.

Egypt makes a big mistake if they take any responsibility over Gaza if there is no “big” settlement of Palestine problem. Gaza should be only Israel’s problem so long there is no agreement.

January 19th, 2009, 1:15 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

150. jad said:

What I’m having problem to understand right now is that the aggression is stopped for now (not sure when Israel will do it again) with massacres and no achievement …What the hell was all of that about?

JAD,

Maybe it was about showing the world that Hamas is committed to “resistance” and that Israel’s military might cannot defeat it.

The other sad fact is that we the Arabs are soon going to forget this war as we usual do….

Maybe. Afterall, all these battles blur one into the other…Intifada 1, Intifada 2, Lebanon 1982, Lebanon 2006, etc, etc.

Before anyone forgets this past battle, a new one will emerge.

January 19th, 2009, 11:55 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Sim’s Nightmare Exposed:

As a vocal, non-Jewish supporter of Israel I’ve heard some strange remarks in my time…

http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/special_reports/?content_id=10978

January 19th, 2009, 12:14 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Sim’s Nightmare Exposed:

As a vocal, non-Jewish supporter of Israel I’ve heard some strange remarks in my time…

Well Akbar in a big population you can find many kinds of people. Alcoholics, drug addicts, Israel supporters, Nazis etc. Even some who believe that Tziporah Malka Livni is a reincarnation of Shiva and that G. Bush junior is the greatest leader the world has ever had.

January 19th, 2009, 3:27 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Well Akbar in a big population you can find many kinds of people.

Sim,

Yes, the US has a large population. And unfortunately for you, a majority of them support Israel. Moreover they find Israel’s response to Gazan missile fire to be justified.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3656381,00.html

January 19th, 2009, 6:58 pm

 

Alex said:

Akbar, look at this ! .. I found you a brand new site for robots with more talking points!

http://standwithuscampus.com/?p=288

Yalla, fast, use them … you don’t have to read, they are good, the people behind the site already did some thinking for you …

you know how to copy and past, right?

January 19th, 2009, 7:03 pm

 

jad said:

(Maybe it was about showing the world that Hamas is committed to “resistance” and that Israel’s military might cannot defeat it.)

Well, the price was too high for a simple question like that who everybody knows the answer for it. Don’t you think so?

(Before anyone forgets this past battle, a new one will emerge.)

Then, you MUST stop this cycle and Israel should re-visit its other options…real peace for change.

January 19th, 2009, 10:48 pm

 

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