2009 Syria: An Assessment at Year's End - Syria Comment

2009 Syria: An Assessment at Year’s End

Lebanon: Qifa Nabki provides an assessment of Syrian relations with Lebanon and the region for 2009 [We will add more as they come in…. Please add your contribution to the comment section of this post. We will review relations with each of Syria’s neighbors and with the states that have a large impact on it. Comments should be directed toward one particular section so that they will fit into the overall structure of the post without lots of repetition.]

I think that the Syrian government had a good year, as far as its relations with Lebanon were concerned. The parliamentary elections ended with a pretty ideal result: a win for March 14, followed by the self-destruction of March 14.  This meant that Syria did not have figure out how to run pass coverage for what would have surely been portrayed in the Western media as a “Hizbullah government”. At the same time, though, the defection of Jumblatt and the general fractiousness of the remaining coalition partners meant that M14 no longer posed a credible threat to Syrian interests.

The formation of a national unity government — enfranchising the Doha Accord as the new powersharing mechanism in Lebanon, at least for the time being — formalized the stop-gap mechanism that Syria has sought, with regard to the weapons of Hizbullah.

The rapprochement with Saudi Arabia seems to have inaugurated a new agreement over Lebanon. It’s not quite a condominium like the one that existed from 1990-2004, but the two countries seem to have agreed to stop making life difficult for each other in Beirut, in exchange for cooperating on matters like Iraq.

It’s not clear what Syria’s long-term aim is for the Lebanese file. Some believe that it wants nothing less than to re-establish control over Lebanon, albeit without having the expense of keeping its army posted there. Others say that its interests in Lebanon are purely instrumental: using Hizbullah as a card in its effort to regain the Golan, and in its bid for greater regional clout.

What’s clear to me is that Syria is trying to diversify its relationships in the region, distributing its eggs from the “axis of resistance” basket (Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas) to other players. This does not amount to a potential “flip”, as the State Department is hoping for, unrealistically. Those allies remain too valuable to Damascus. But as Tehran looks increasingly vulnerable and the credibility of the regime there is challenged, Syria’s cache as an interlocutor diminishes. This is where its relations with Turkey make much more sense, as does its rapprochement with Saudi Arabia.

Comments (159)


norman said:

Alex, we need your input on the relation between Syria and KSA ,

Dr landis , how about the disagreement between Syria and Iran of the future of Iraq ,do you think that there was agreement as QN said about Iraq and Lebanon with the KSA ,

Ehsani

how about an evaluation of the Syrian economy and the status of the free but with a Shepard Syrian economy in 2009 ,

this might explain how Israel is looking at Syria’s role in Lebanon,

WORLD NEWS:

December 29th, 2009
Analysis: Syria’s Resurgence in Lebanon
The Media Line Staff
Beirut, Lebanon (TML) – When Syrian President Bashar Assad said last week that it would be “normal” for him to visit Lebanon, he wasn’t just fishing for an invitation.

Assad was expressing what analysts have been calling a return of Syrian influence and presence in Lebanon. Following the December 20 visit to Damascus by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, there have been increasing reports of intensive contacts between Assad’s and al-Hariri’s senior advisors.

Al-Hariri has had little inclination to beat with Assad, the man widely presumed to have ordered the assassination of his father, former Lebanese premier Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005. But his visit was a loathsome price Hariri was forced to pay Assad for allowing the formation of the Lebanese Government.

“Syria is returning its influence in Lebanon,” said Prof. Eyal Zisser, the director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. “Assad is returning to his role as kingmaker in Beirut.”

During a visit to Turkey last week, Assad said it would be “normal” to visit Beirut.

“To visit Lebanon at the right time is very important thing for me. However, I wasn’t yet invited, while some steps between the two countries are necessary”, he added, but didn’t elaborate.

The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is close to Syria, reported that there have been daily contacts between al-Hariri’s advisor Wissam Al-Hassan and Rustum Ghazale, regarded as Assad’s right hand man.

Ghazale served as the head of Syrian intelligence in Lebanon until Syria’s withdrawal from that country in 2005, and he has been mentioned as involved in the assassination of Rafiq Al-Hariri.

Ironically the Lebanese premier is waiting for the United Nations’ special tribunal for Lebanon to issue their indictments for Rafiq al-Hariri’s assassination.

According to Al-Akhbar, Ghazale and Al-Hassan were the ones who scheduled Saad al-Hariri’s visit to Syria and formulated the framework for his talks with Assad.

At the moment, things are looking good for Assad. His regime appears stable and does not face any meaningful domestic threat. On the international stage he is receiving favorable signals from Washington and just recently he visited Paris. “Syria is no longer isolated and can stand on its own two feet,” said Professor Walid Kazziha, Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the American University in Cairo.

Hariri had been a harsh critic of Assad’s regime and has called in the past for Syria’s isolation.

“Hariri himself personally may have had his own objections [to visiting Damascus],” Prof. Kazziha said referring to the assassination of Harir’s father. “But they were not sufficient to prevent a rapprochement with Syria.”

The murder of Rafiq al-Hariri sparked the Cedar Revolution and brought an end to the 30-year Syrian military occupation of Lebanon. With the Syrian pullout from Lebanon in 2005, Bashar Assad lost one of the most serious assets left to him by his father.

Zisser told The Media Line that what has changed was the sense by al-Hariri and other Washington allies in Lebanon that they could rely less on the Obama administration for support and would best get back into the Arab fold.

“They realized that the Americans cannot be a reliable ally,” Zisser said. “Since Hezbollah was challenging the political system in Lebanon, what was left was to find someone whom he can count on. And that was Assad. What other option does he have?”

Al-Hariri is not the only one to ingratiate himself with Assad. Walid Jumblatt, the enigmatic Druze leader in Lebanon, has suddenly become a Syriophile, encouraging openness toward Damascus and promoting reconciliation. Jumblatt, who for decades promoted anti-Syrian views, has reportedly said he’ll be travelling to Damascus soon, now that al-Hariri went.

Prof. Kazziha said al-Hariri was obviously a talented businessman but had a lot of experience yet to gain as a political leader.

“This al-Hariri is a newcomer to regional politics,” Kazziha told The Media Line. “He needs some time before he can play the role of his father, so I don’t expect him to exert himself.”

“Assad has a good knowledge of Lebanon,” Kazziha said. “But he is taking it step by step. He will surely visit Lebanon but not necessarily at this point. Both sides would like to test the new compromise formula and once they feel comfortable then this would be the appropriate step to take.”

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December 30th, 2009, 2:24 am

 

News & Notes (Dec. 30, 2009) « Qifa Nabki | A Lebanese Political Blog said:

[…] at Syria Comment, Josh Landis is crowdsourcing a “Year in Review“, and I’ve contributed a few paragraphs about the Syrian-Lebanese […]

December 30th, 2009, 7:03 pm

 

Averroes said:

While, I think, no one in the Syrian leadership trusts the Saudis, the Hariri (who is literally a Saudi puppet), nor Jumblat (who at least sounds sincere), I think that the Syrians should capitalize on the benefits the truce brings. At the year’s end, I think the Syrian leadership is doing a great job on the international and regional arena, and do not need much advice from us.

The area where I think they can do a better job, in my opinion, is internal affairs. Now is a good time to start a serious campaign to fix the judiciary system and tackle the enduring problem of corruption. The other field that Syria should start tackling is education, and I don’t mean higher education, but in fact the entire education system.

Of course there are hundreds of domains that need attention: economic reform, infrastructure, health care, energy, foreign investment, the development of effective media, and many, many more, but I think the two most pressing issues are the judiciary system and the education system.

The Syrian people have stood willingly and firmly with Mr. Assad during the worst of times. Without their genuine and true support, the regime would not have been in the good position it is in right now. It is time for Mr. Assad to pay tribute to the people who have proven they believe in his leadership.

Yes, the regime feels more secure and more confident. That is exactly the reason that we can no longer afford to stall on the necessary fight against corruption and to bring the rule of law to everyone living under the national flag. The cost of corruption and moguls operating above the law are incalculably high. We simply cannot afford to keep paying them anymore.

The issue of education is more of a strategic direction. I think that creating a committee of the best Syrian minds to re-look at the education system starting from kindergarten is very important. Such studies can take one year, and changes can begin to be implemented by 2011 or 2012, starting at Grade One, and going up one year at a time. This is very much doable and necessary. A new insight must be encouraged into the new generation to believe in their country, to respect the law, to feel responsible toward the environment, to feel worthy, significant, and accountable, and to be more productive.

That’s my assessment at the end of 2009.

December 30th, 2009, 7:51 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Regarding Syria’s and Turkey’s fresh honeymoon:

I believe it’s a right and thoughtful Syrian move.
I will concentrate only on democracy.
Turkey’s democracy (and it is a democracy par excellence)
suffered in it’s beginning from ups and downs. It wasn’t obvious.
It happened, because a brave leadership decided that this is the right
way to handle Turkey’s political life.
I hope Syria will adopt the same strategy. I believe that the Syrian
leadership wants this, but is worried about the implications: the internal security, Iraqization of Syria, rise of sectarianism, rise of Islam and so on.
Turkey’s model can suit Syria’s needs too: A secular constitution that protects
human rights and the rights of minorities, and is protected by a strong Syrian
army, and by a constitutional court of law.
Democracy that is based on constitutional secularism is the right way for Syria’s future.
Happy new 2010 year to Syria and to all.
.

December 30th, 2009, 9:44 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

I think that the next two weeks,may be full of news,what is going in Iran can not last long, Israel etching to attack iran, infact Netanyaho visit to Egypt have to include discussion about this attack, Mubarak has been making wrong decisions, and he may side with Israel,if Israel attack Iran Syria will be in precarious situation,most probably Assad will abandon Iran,to protect his regime.

December 31st, 2009, 1:24 am

 

norman said:

Amir ,

you are full of surprises,

And that is another insightful note , I agree ,

Averroes,

I agree , you are right , now Syria feels more secure , It is time to move on corruption , education and judicial reform ,

Judicial reform can move faster if people use the system to settle dispute ,

December 31st, 2009, 3:28 am

 

Alex said:

Averroes, I totally agree with you. I think many Syrians have high expectations for the same reasons you listed… Syria is now strong enough to take small risks in reforming education and the legal system.

Amir,

Thank you my friend, and best wishes to you and your loved ones too.

I also agree .. and again, many Syrians hope that some variations based on Turkey’s system will gradually make its way to Syria… a Strong army protecting a secular system… A senate, and an accountable, strong, elected prime minister. But we will probably keep a stronger Presidency, not a ceremonial office as in Turkey… the President would remain in charge of defense, security and foreign relations.

Also, we will obviously not need to discourage religion and public display of religious symbols. In Syria, people want to go to pray in Mosque and Church (and Synagogue hopefully if some Syrian Jews come back after peace) … but religion should stay away from politics.

Happy new year to all.

December 31st, 2009, 6:21 pm

 

Shai said:

Happy New Year to everyone on SC!!! May 2010 finally bring freedom and peace to all.

December 31st, 2009, 6:44 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

The assignment to us indicated that We will review relations with each of Syria’s neighbors and with the states that have a large impact on it

By far, the most important state to Syria is Syria. 2009 was a successful year for Syria, but was it also a successful year for Syrians?

Instead of focusing on the two major 20th century “exceptional” security laws in Syria, I would like to focus on the successes and failures of Civil Society in Syria. If one argues that trade unions are part and parcel of civil society, then, 2009 was an embarrassment at best, and at worst, was an abysmal failure especially for the two most sensitive unions Vis-à-vis civil rights: the lawyers’ guild, and the union of women. Both guilds, through the actions of the former during the trial of one of their members, and the inaction of both during the personal status law fiasco, provide striking demonstration of the desperate need for independent trade unions and civil society organizations in the country which can act as the real agents, lobbyists, and protectors of their constituents, and not as the government means of controlling these constituents. The success of independent voices in halting the personal status law through a loud campaign puts the leaderships of these two unions to shame, which they deserve with distinction.

At the same time, the journalistic scene showed a very slight improvement in 2009. It seems that local press, especially the few sanctioned electronic outlets, is now a participant in the ongoing campaign against corruption. On few occasions, an electronic outlet or another boast of their role as the catalyst of an investigation that led to the arrest of a few “small fish” corrupt officials. Seemingly, the circle of immunity of government officials is narrowing, and many low –to-mid ranking officials now find their actions subject to review by a very confused and inexperienced investigative journalists. The confusion is primarily rooted in the fact that these brave journalists are testing the water to find the boundaries of allowed freedoms, which continue to be rather narrow for sanctioned press, and near singularity for independent bloggers. Part of the problem is the fact that traditional state security apparatus, with its multitude of agencies, play the primary role in enforcing anti-corruption campaigns, which inherently prevents the level of transparency and press follow up required for such campaigns to be credible and successful. Minuscule as they are, the signs are in the positive direction.

Finally, two days ago, all4syria published the results of the Iqtsadi’s survey of the most widely read books and authors in Syria. Its is encouraging that Ahlam Musteghanimi leads both lists, but it is worrisome that the most 5 widely read authors include a single novelist, three preachers, and an astrologer-psychic. However, as an opti-ssimist, I believe that surveys are good to have.

My family and I wish you all and your families a kinder gentler 2010.

December 31st, 2009, 9:44 pm

 

norman said:

I join in to wish everybody a happy and peaceful new year ,

January 1st, 2010, 1:58 am

 

Averroes said:

Happy New Year to everyone.

January 1st, 2010, 8:48 am

 

norman said:

Here is a reason for Israel to seek peace with Syria and an admission that our Falafel and Hummus is the best around,

Peace with Syria would bring Israel nothing

By Zvi Bar’el

Tags: Israel news

Once and for all, we must solve the riddle and ask what we’ll really receive in return for peace with Syria. And no, I am not referring to some lofty-sounding hollow concept like “normalization.”

So what if a building on Tel Aviv’s Basel Street, already home to the Egyptian Embassy, will have a Syrian flag flying over it and a Syrian security guard sitting and eating sunflower seeds?

Does someone really think that it is worth it to remove even a single ranch from the Golan Heights so that we can read in the newspaper about what the Syrian ambassador’s wife bought at a supermarket in Herzliya Pituah, or so we can see an interview in a magazine about what the ambassador’s daughter thinks about Israeli teenagers?
Advertisement

We already have that kind of peace – with Egypt and Jordan. What we want is genuine peace. Like the one we had with Great Britain during the Mandatory period in Palestine. Or like the peace we had with France, when we smuggled out five missile boats from the Cherbourg shipyard on Christmas Eve in 1969. Or like the peace with Angola, for example.

Let’s face it: Data on the “anticipated volume of trade in the coming year with Syria” interests no one. The Syrians have no money. The annual income per capita in that country is something like $4,000. You can manage with that kind of wage in the southern neighborhoods of Damascus, but it sure won’t get you far in places like Best Buy, the Mol Yam mall in Eilat, or IKEA.

Granted, there is a small class of really affluent people in Syria, but they seem to prefer the hotels of Paris and Vienna, and it is doubtful they would be interested in staying at the Sheleg Halevanon Hotel in the northern town of Metula.

If we won’t get any money from Syria, perhaps we could enjoy its culture? Well, better books are printed in Lebanon, which has still not invited us to participate in negotiations. Like us, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has conducted a feasibility survey about what peace with us would net him; so far, the final figures have not yet come in from his Iranian auditors.

True, there are some excellent Syrian television series as well as some Syrian movies that are better than the ones produced in Egypt – but are we willing to give up the vineyards on the Golan Heights for the DVD of a Syrian movie that we could easily order from Amazon?

If the Syrians promised – solemnly vowed, with papers signed in lawyers’ offices and without any attempt to pull the wool over our eyes – that they would provide us with Lebanon as a dowry, we could understand the idea of making peace with Damascus. Lebanon is a lovely piece of real estate on the sea (with penthouses selling for $300,000). It has a per-capita annual income that is several thousand dollars higher than that in Syria, plus some Shi’ite laborers who understand Hebrew – from their years working under us when we occupied southern Lebanon.

Lebanon also has that delicatessen in Jounieh and the bars on Beirut’s Hamra Street. Lebanon has the finest hashish money can buy – direct from Baalbek – and it also has a great beach in northern Beirut.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Lebanon has beautiful singers, like Nancy Ajram and Haifa Wehbe, international festivals in Baalbek and Beit ed Dine, and great jazz clubs and art galleries. Peace with Lebanon is also a highway that leads to Turkey. However, on the other hand, peace with Lebanon would spell disaster for the rustic bed-and-breakfast lodges in the Galilee or the Mount Hermon ski resort’s parking lot, which would become a wasteland.

So we should immediately stop indulging in this pipedream. Peace with Lebanon would be a total disaster.

However, a decision must be made: Do we or don’t we make peace with Syria? As we can see from the above, not much benefit would be gained from it. But wait – there’s something else, some other advantage that would be of supreme importance. What has been our greatest dream? Does anyone remember? No, I am not talking about the railroad line leading to Damascus nor about sea shell tables and ornamental backgammon boxes. Right, Fuad. I am thinking about Syrian falafel. Not the kind that is sold in four flavors or in five different shades. Not the organic stuff with cholesterol-free oil, and not the kind with shrimp on the side.

I am talking about F-A-L-A-F-E-L. And if we can also get a side order of some dreamy Syrian hummus, then it is high time for us to sit down and sign that peace agreement with Damascus.

PROMOTION: Mamilla Hotel

January 1st, 2010, 3:31 pm

 

Ghat Albird said:

Its often been said that the real difference betwee the talking and the doing is THE DOING.

Obviously one and all can argue pro and con in assessing or commenting.

On a personal level its quite obvious that Mr. Obama feels that by spouting Salam Aleikum he has won over the socalled Arab/muslim world and convinced them that his administration would be an even handed one.

So much for bs. Unless there is a 180 (degrees) change in US policy the plan developed by Richard Perle, et al at the request of Mr. Netanyahu back in the early 1990s is still being followed in the ME*

So logically speaking why should any of the “frontline” Arab nations acquise to changes with no changes being made by the nation that provides Israel with (according to may US experts) $15/17 million dollars everyday of the year.

Speaking of year Best Wishes to all for a Happy and Propserous 2010.

* A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, commonly referred to as the “Clean Break” report, was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then-Prime Minister of Israel.

The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on “Western values”.

January 1st, 2010, 6:43 pm

 

Shai said:

Norman,

I’m ready to give Syria the “Best Falafel & Hummus” award any day, if we can finally have peace. I hope those who read Zvi Barel’s article understand that what we’ll get from Syria, is the same we got from Egypt, and Jordan, and anyone else we’ll make Peace with – nothing, except for Peace. For some odd reason, back in 1979, that was enough. Today, 30 years later, it’s not.

Some in Israel and the U.S. have a tendency to say: “We won’t make peace with anyone while they’re shooting at us.” But then when Syria’s border with Israel is the most quiet one since 1974, they say: “Syria is weak… we can wait.”

Let’s hope Netanyahu is a little more “clear” about his intentions vis-a-vis Syria in the near future. I believe he’s going to surprise us all.

January 1st, 2010, 7:09 pm

 

norman said:

Ghat Albird ,

I understand your frustration with Obama , but i am will to give more time and so should you , he was very busy in the last year with health care reform and for getting out of the then anticipated depression , he is right so far to build political capital before move on the Mideast ,

Shai ,
I was just happy that there is something that can lure Israel to peace , I have an idea for you , if Israel gives up he Golan Syria in return will give a coupon to every Israeli coming to Syria for a plate of Hummus and a Falafel sandwich ,
The problem with peace between Israel on one side and Egypt and Jordon on the other side comes from the lack of progress on the Palestinian and the Syrian tracks ,
It is like giving Tylenol fever and pain medicine and even ineffective antibiotics without treating the ABSESS that is the Palestinian problem once and for all ,

By the way I am still waiting for your plan for a complete peace that you like ,
Give me a plan that you can live with if you are Syrian or Palestinian ,

January 1st, 2010, 9:27 pm

 

AlMasri said:

As an Egyptian, I feel great shame that my government signed and continues to honor a peace treaty with Israel. I also feel greater shame that Hosni is building a steel wall at the border with Gazza using American money.

I hope a bright Syrian would come forward and give me a good convincing reason why the Syrians should be subjected to the same feeling of shame that most Egyptians feel – believe it or not most Egyptians are ashamed of their government.

January 1st, 2010, 10:15 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

…believe it or not most Egyptians are ashamed of their government.

Al Masri,

Please tell us, what are you and “most Egyptians” doing about this terrible state of affairs?

January 2nd, 2010, 2:45 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Falafel and Hummos!
I like also Baba Ghannooj with Kabob,or;
Mutabbal with Kebbeh.or tisqieh both types,oil or butter.
It seems that poor people food is better and healthier than rich people food.

January 2nd, 2010, 3:12 am

 

norman said:

President Assad is man of the year according to CNN ,

استفتاء لـCNN: الرئيس الأسد شخصية عام 2009 الاخبار السياسية

محلل سياسي: من الطبيعي أن يقع اختيار المواطن العربي على الأسد لمواقفه المميزة تجاه قضايا المنطقة

أظهر استفتاء أجراه موقع CNN باللغة العربية أن الرئيس بشار الأسد هو شخصية العام 2009، بعد تنافس وصفه الموقع بـ”الدراماتيكي” تجاوز فيه عدد الأصوات من 30 ألف صوتاً, فيما عزا محلل سياسي هذه النتيجة إلى مواقف الأسد تجاه قضايا المنطقة.

وتصدر الأسد نتائج التصويت لشخصية العام المنصرم, إذ حصل على 20687 صوتاً وبنسبة 67 % من إجمالي عدد الأصوات التي بلغت 30679 صوتاً.

وأشار الموقع إلى أن قراءه خلصوا إلى اختيار 3 شخصيات للفوز بلقب شخصية عام 2009, وهم الرئيس بشار الأسد والرئيس الإيراني محمود أحمدي نجاد ورئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب أردوغان, وقد عرض الموقع على قرائه سؤالاً “من برأيك يستحق اللقب؟‏”.

وكان نصيب رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب أردوغان 8442 صوتاً، بما نسبته 28%، فيما حصل الرئيس الإيراني محمود أحمدي نجاد على 1550 صوتاً بنسبة 5% من الأصوات.

وكانت نتائج التصويت, عند الساعة 2 ظهراً من يوم الجمعة, تشير إلى تقدم الأسد بفارق مريح, إذ حصل إلى 20334 صوتاً، فيما جاء أردوغان ثانياً بـ 8306 صوتاً وبنسبة 28%, ثم نجاد بـ1528 صوتاً بنسبة 5%.

نتيجة الاستفتاء قـُبيل انتهائه بنحو ساعتين

وكان عدد المصوّتين قبل يومين من إعلان النتيجة تجاوز 6600 صوتا، ثم ارتفع مساء الخميس إلى أكثر من 28950 صوتاً منها 19598 صوتا للرئيس الأسد.

وشهد الاستفتاء خلال الاسبوع الاخير تحولا كبيرا , بحصول الاسد على فارق كبير في الاصوات بعد ان كان رئيس الوزراء التركي متقدما في بداية التصويت .

وعزا المحلل السياسي إلياس مراد في تصريح لسيريانيوز هذه النتيجة إلى “مواقف الأسد المميزة تجاه القضايا العربية”, معتبراً أنه “من الطبيعي أن يقع اختيار المواطن العربي على الرئيس الأسد كشخصية عام 2009 نظراً لمواقفه المميزة تجاه قضايا المنطقة وخاصة فيما يتعلق بالصراع العربي الإسرائيلي”.

وأشار مراد إلى أن “الأسد تبنى سياسة دعم المقاومة في فلسطين وجنوب لبنان والعراق, كما أنه أكد على أن الشرق الأوسط لا تعاد صياغته إلا من وجهة نظر أبناء المنطقة”.

وأعلنت سورية مراراً أنها متمسكة بـ”خيار المقاومة” على أنه خيار سورية في سبيل تحقيق السلام العادل والشامل، وأن ذلك يأتي في إطار التزام سورية بخطها القومي والوطني.

وأضاف مراد أن “سياسة الأسد ساهمت في انتقال سورية من موقع كانت تعتقد بعض الإدارات الغربية أنها محاصرة, إلى موقع لاعب إقليمي أساسي في الشرق الأوسط”.

وتابع أن “هذه السياسة ساهمت في انفتاح سورية بشكل أكبر على الدول العربية, وتطور العلاقات السورية التركية إلى علاقات إستراتيجية”.

ونمت العلاقات السورية التركية خلال عام 2009 بشكل لافت, إذ وقع البلدان 51 اتفاقاً شملت مختلف المجالات خلال الاجتماع الأول للمجلس الاستراتيجي عالي المستوى بين سورية وتركيا الذي عقد في 23 كانون الأول الماضي بدمشق, كما بربط بين قيادتي البلدين تنسيق سياسي مستمر.

وكان وزير الخارجية وليد المعلم قال إن عام 2009 كان عاماً لنجاحات السياسة السورية على مختلف الساحات بكل معنى الكلمة سواء علاقات سورية العربية أو الإقليمية أو الدولية.

يذكر أن الرئيس الأسد تصدر العام الماضي قائمة القادة العرب الأكثر شعبية في الشارع العربي، والثاني عالميا, وذلك وفق نتائج استطلاع أمريكي للرأي أجري في 6 دول عربية.

عبد السلام السلات – سيريانيوز

2010-01-01 19:11:49

طباعة المقال

January 2nd, 2010, 3:16 am

 

norman said:

This could work as a state of the state for Syria ,

CNN Arabic readers choose personal Assad in 2009

Assad succeeded in lifting the siege on his country and its

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Readers of the site in Arabic CNN, Syrian President Bashar Assad, to be the personality of the year 2009, after a dramatic competition in which more than 30 thousand people, has seen his last days in the hectic fluctuations in results, which have tended to start in favor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Regardless of the nature of competition during the voting, the lion undoubtedly was one of the most prominent political figures regionally and internationally during the last period, has succeeded in lifting the isolation of the long years on the country since the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, and consolidated its relations with the views European and Arab, and returned from the tensions with Saudi Arabia, and strengthened its links to the new regional player Turkey.

Damascus, which has suffered a lot of problems after the assassination of Hariri, by pointing fingers to it, by the Lebanese parties, in the case, returned to play a role in the periphery, and has had a lot in the last period to participate in the making of “political stability” of Lebanon, Fastrdjat policy of the lost with the withdrawal of its army from Beirut.

This culminated in the visit of Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, days before the end of last year to Damascus, to carry momentum intensive visit, both personal and political make-Assad in a position of strength in the region, competing political forces to back away from previous positions against it.

But the rewards earned by Assad at the end of the year had been planted in its birth, as this time last year, the Gaza Strip was ignited by the Israeli military operation launched under the title “Cast Lead,” and coincided with the Arab division on the situation of the process, reinforce what has become known as the “Doha summit emergency”, which included a group of Arab countries, led by Syria.

The summit came the results of the popularity of those who attended, including Assad, who found himself a few days after attending participates in Arab reconciliation, launched by the Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in Kuwait Economic Summit, which had resulted in breaking the isolation of the Arab-Assad, and especially by the leaders ” moderate states “, through the Quartet Summit held in March 2008 in Riyadh, with the leaders of Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait.

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Behind the Arab dimension in the movement of al-Assad, highlights the international dimension, “The arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama, and carry with him a draft for a” new approach “toward Syria, had a deep impact in alleviating the pressure on Assad, Damascus has become the new station for many American delegations that Syria has discussed the issues of the papers profitable, especially files of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, Iraq, terrorism and Iran.

In parallel with the open U.S., France, under the leadership of President Nicolas Sarkozy, is trying to break with the legacy of former President Jacques Chirac, which imposed significant restrictions on Assad after the assassination of Hariri, an international campaign launched by the cruel.

Sarkozy has sought to strengthen his relations with Damascus to strengthen his country’s position in the Middle East on the one hand, and to ensure the success of the project of building a “Mediterranean Union”, which culminated in the established relations between the parties during the visit by Assad to Paris in mid-November last year.

In fact, the opening up Arab and Western Syria, was in large part motivated by a desire to separate the international Damascus from Tehran, which languish under the weight of international pressure over its controversial nuclear and domestic protests generated by the presidential election crisis.

But Syria has dealt with this new approach style with traditional political talk a lot without saying anything, they kept all the parties pending resolution, which has not yet released, has strengthened its economic ties and political ties with Iran, announcing at the same time ready to play a mediating role in its nuclear program with Iran.

And the solid line, open channels of communication with Assad the new regional player, which is Turkey, which, Ankara tired of waiting for the resolution annexed to the European Union, began to play its cards in the Middle East, de-level ties with Tel Aviv, corresponding to strengthen its links with Damascus and countries in Central Asia, resolution of the historical dispute with Armenia.

Assad has benefited from this trend of the new Turkish realized because of the existence of surplus power in Ankara, which is aware of the vulnerability of most people on the scene today, including the United States, earning it a powerful ally is the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Not only did the lion Birdat act and try to exploit the latest developments in the region in favor of it, but has offered “theories” of political and economic, which tried to put his country in the heart of events, such as the idea of “Four Seas”, which dealt with the linkage of the Black and Caspian, the Gulf and Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, to build an economic partnership in the areas of transport and energy.

Referred to the vote to choose the personality of the year on CNN in Arabic, which was attended by 30679 people, does not have a scientific character, Assad has won 20687 votes, by 67 per cent, while the share of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 8442 votes, including 28 per cent , and received Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on votes in 1550, by five per cent of the vote.

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January 2nd, 2010, 3:26 am

 

Yossi said:

Norman and Shai,

I read Barel’s piece and thought it was brilliant. He was of course sarcastic of the phenomenon that Shai mentions, where peace is not considered important in and of itself. Judging by the comments to his article in Hebrew, this obvious point was lost on some readers.

But to answer your question Norman, somebody in the comments section said wisely that the most Israel can hope to get out of this is a recognition that Syria will naturalize the Palestinians refugees in Syria. This will also help move the Palestinian track ahead.

Al-Masri,

I work with many Egyptians and I have yet to find one who’d object the peace treaty with Israel, in so many words. I hear often that the people is against it, but I don’t see evidence to that in Egyptians here in the US. There’s lots of objection to Israeli policy, but at the same breath people are also critical of all other regimes in the region and nobody has told me they wish the treaty was cancelled. One of them told me that when it was announced that the peace treaty was signed, one of his grandmothers started mourning while the other was very excited. Even an Egyptian couple that I met in a pro Gaza ceasefire demo who were extremely critical of Israel weren’t against the peace treaty. Two Egyptian guys I spoke with later, at my work place, were actually supportive of the Israeli attack and viewed it as a joint Israel-Egyptian fight against the Muslim Brotherhood, which they despise. They both had high-ranking family members in the army and are generally supportive of the Mubarak regime, maybe that explains it. So… how do you explain my experience?

January 2nd, 2010, 4:19 am

 

norman said:

Yossi,

I mentioned before that Syria will probably and it is probably because i do not speak for Syria but looking at Syria’s history of taking in refugees , i think she will settle the Palestinians and give them even Syrian citizenship in a peace deal with Israel , Syria can also commit not to Be a staging ground for attacks on Israel and not just accept Israel in the region but accept the right of the Jewish people to return if they want to the Mideast ,and live in peace ,

About the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt , it is not the peace treaty that the Egyptians mind it is the fact that Egypt left Syria and the Palestinians alone , and the behavior of The Egyptian government is embarrassing , it can not criticize Israel , when it is right to do that like what happened during the Gaza war , It can not criticize the blockade of Gaza ,non Arab countries do more for the Palestinians while the Egyptian government is a participant in starving the people of Gaza , I wounder what would have happened if Israel gave access to the caravan of food to Gaza through it’s land while Egypt refused, that would have been a coup that would have improved Israel standing in the world and especially the Arab world , what a lost opportunity ,

January 2nd, 2010, 4:52 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Al Masri,

I agree with you. The treaty was signed over the heads of the Masri
people, and I believe that many if not most Masriyun oppose it.

BTW, if talking about Falafel, Al-Masri, the Falafel in Egypt is
disgusting. I visited Masr 5 times, and found the food there uneatable.
Egyptian Falafel (so I learned later) is made of Ful and not of Hummus.
The only food I could eat in Egypt was the fresh Pita’s from the street
bakeries, and the KFC that is near the Ta’alat Harb area.
.

January 2nd, 2010, 5:06 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Hey Shai,

I just wanted you to know that some Israelis are doing more than you to make friends with the Palestinians in Gaza.

What’s your excuse for this?

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3828587,00.html

January 3rd, 2010, 1:13 am

 

Averroes said:

Al Masri,

Masr and Cham have always been brothers, and will remain so. I think the shame you are referring to is understandable, and I think I would feel it if I were in your place.

The Peace treaty with Israel was signed by a narcissistic dictator that cared more about appearing on the covers of Western magazines than about finding a true and just solution.

The treaty is unfair to Egypt in many ways. For instance, the Egyptian army has to be out of the entirety of Sinai, while the Israeli army has only to be some 2 km away from the border. And that’s just one example.

And it’s not just the treaty in itself, it’s the faceless, spineless, shameless behavior of the Egyptian regime that is particularly bad. During the Israeli war on Gaza, Livni and Rice met together and agreed on what steps Egypt shall take on its border with Gaza. At the time, Mubarak and his puppet ministers put up a show for a couple of days using jargon such as “the Resistance” for the first (and last) time, as a pathetic attempt to protest against the severe US/Israeli insult. Of course, Mubarak later did what he does best: adhering to the US demands and understanding the Israeli concerns.

How much lower can a regime sink, when Europeans have to protest in Cairo, so that an Arab country allow them to bring food and medicine to fellow Arabs.

Having said that, AP, and Amir are correct in one thing: if we do not have any weight inside our own countries, no one is going to hand out any justice to us. The world is not fair, and true justice will not be served up to the victimized.

Only action will make a difference, my Masri brother.

January 3rd, 2010, 5:22 am

 

why-discuss said:

Averroes

Don’t you think that a democratic system in Egypt will simply dump that peace deal. So maybe it is better for Israel that Egypt stayed ruled by an aging and corrupted dictator… no? Egypt looks to me like Iran during the Shah with full US and Israeli support and sympathy from the international community. Yet the Egyptians do not have neither the stamina, nor strong opposition leaders and organization to make a new revolution. So the situation there will probably just rot and we can already smell it.

January 3rd, 2010, 11:30 am

 

Shai said:

Hey Akbar,

Why am I not surprised that you can’t tell us apart?

But to help you see some of the differences nonetheless, I’ll actually list them for you.

Unlike Neturei Karta, if I was to go to Gaza, I:

1) Would NOT go dressed as a fur-ball.

2) Would NOT go with a badge of the Israeli flag and a line across it.

3) Would NOT go sit with Hamas.

4) WOULD sit with Palestinian children.

5) WOULD bring with me 15 truckloads full of food and medicine.

6) WOULD try to bring a message of Peace not at the expense of Israel, but on its behalf.

Btw, don’t even think of comparing me to Ahmedinejad because I don’t have the same gray jacket he wears! (Although I suppose I could always get one…)

January 3rd, 2010, 1:12 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Peace of the Brave Cowardly

1) Would NOT go dressed as a fur-ball.

Really a small difference. Perhaps you’d feel better dressed as Norman Finkelstein?

2) Would NOT go with a badge of the Israeli flag and a line across it.

Shai, take the plunge! Why not? If it makes the poor Palestinians feel better you should do it.

3) Would NOT go sit with Hamas.

Not a good idea if you want to help Palestinian children (see 4).

4) WOULD sit with Palestinian children.

If you don’t sit with Hamas, you might end up sitting with Gilad Shalit. Bring a few good books just in case. It looks to me Neturei Karta has done more in this area than you.

5) WOULD bring with me 15 truckloads full of food and medicine.

And the GOI has you beat by a few thousand truckloads as well.

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2009/Humanitarian_aid_to_Gaza_following_6_month_calm.htm#updates

6) WOULD try to bring a message of Peace not at the expense of Israel, but on its behalf.

And that’s what you and Neturei Karta have in common: useful idiots that will have no influence whatsoever on peace, and conversely, will only prolong the suffering of Palestinians.

The Peace treaty with Israel was signed by a narcissistic dictator … Having said that, AP, and Amir are correct in one thing: if we do not have any weight inside our own countries, no one is going to hand out any justice to us. The world is not fair, and true justice will not be served up to the victimized.

Averoes, Why-Discuss,

Why is it that anyone who makes peace with Israel is a “narcissistic dictator”? Considering your comments, it is clear to any observer of the region why Assad doesn’t make peace with Israel: his hide is more important than the Golan. He knows that making peace with Israel is a death sentence. This is why he only offers “non-belligerence” for the Golan and not peace. Yes, unfortunately we all can’t have our cake and eat it.

Anyway, since you have no “weight inside [y]our own countries”, I suppose the only thing you can do is protest against Israel. At least you have that to look forward to.

January 3rd, 2010, 2:45 pm

 

Shai said:

Akbar,

You make me laugh. You and your Neocon ideology did so much for Peace in the region in those successful 8 years of Bushism, that you now blame Neturei Karta and Shai (???) for “… only prolong(ing) the suffering of Palestinians.”??? Ha!

I got a better idea for you – why not add the Deaf and Blind to your blame list – certainly THEY couldn’t answer those idiotic suggestions, could they? And, between us, what have THEY done for Peace?!

“Cowardly”? That’s what a New Joisy Jew that settles for an annual check and a whole lot of blogging has to say to an Israeli that lives in his country, serves his country, and contributes daily to what will or won’t become of this state? Seems your few years in Israel have inflated your ego just a tiny bit too much. Go talk to the ones that sent you here, and report to them that they failed – even YOU couldn’t stay here too long, could you? 🙂

(Apologies to the Hosts & Editors – My reply reflects the Middle Eastern “emotionalist” in me – I am a Middle Easterner, after all…)

January 3rd, 2010, 3:12 pm

 

idaf said:

Norman, Shai,

It’s a pity that Zvi Bar’el did not taste the Cherry Kabab and other Aleppian dishes. If only enough Israeli’s did, they will opt for peace immediately. Syria should Fedex Israelis 3 million portions of Kebbe safarjaliyyeh and Kabab bel Karaz made with the authentic “washna”!

Then again, there are way too many mouths to feed in Syria…

One million more Syrians around the world every year! Syria’s population reaches 23 million, 3 millions of them outside the country..
http://alwatan.sy/newsd.php?idn=71065

الزيادة السنوية ستصل إلى مليون نسمة…عدد سكان سورية أكثر من 23 مليون نسمة في 2009

أكدت آخر إحصائيات المكتب المركزي للإحصاء أن عدد سكان سورية وفق سجلات الأحوال المدنية ذكوراً وإناثاً بلغ 23.027مليون نسمة بتاريخ 1/1/2009 بينما كان تقدير عدد السكان الموجودين داخل القطر بالتاريخ نفسه هو 19.880 مليون نسمة.

أي إن هناك ما يقدر بأكثر من 3 ملايين نسمة مغتربون بداية العام الماضي، وكان تقدير عدد السكان الموجودين داخل القطر بتاريخ 31/12/2009 هو 20.367 مليون نسمة وسجل عدد الذكور 11.567 مليون نسمة بينما عدد الإناث 11.460 مليون نسمة.
يذكر أن عدد السكان العام الماضي وفقاً لإحصائيات المكتب المركزي للإحصاء كان قد بلغ 22.331 مليون نسمة وفقاً لإحصائية عام 2007 ووفقاً لسجلات الأحوال المدنية، أي بزيادة تصل إلى حوالي 700 ألف نسمة خلال عام واحد.
وبلغ عدد الذكور 11.220 مليونا في عام 2008 بينما بلغ عدد الإناث 11.111 مليوناً.

Where is Ehsani? 🙂

January 3rd, 2010, 3:34 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

You and your Neocon ideology did so much for Peace in the region in those successful 8 years of Bushism

Israel and the US saw unprecedented peace while the jihadists you love were licking their wounds.

Now that Obama is in retreat-mode, we can already see signs that peace is on its way out (Obama’s apologies and pro-muslim speeches notwithstanding), as new havens for terrorists appear.

Like I said before on another forum, it doesn’t matter who is in office in Israel or the US, because the same thugs you seem to tolerate are always in charge.

Anyway, let’s give a big round of applause to Naturei Karta for the great work they’ve done for the Palestinian people.

January 3rd, 2010, 3:35 pm

 

Shai said:

Akbar says: “Israel and the US saw unprecedented peace while the jihadists you love were licking their wounds.”

SC Editors, why didn’t I get the email about Sunday being Comedy Day on SC?

Why-Discuss,

Your comment, however, WAS funny. 🙂

January 3rd, 2010, 3:58 pm

 

Averroes said:

WHY-DISCUSS,

The corrupt, pro-western Arab dictatorships are unquestionably an asset for Israel and the US. That is why regimes like Egypt, Saudi Arabia are pumped up and supported by both Israel and the US. Those regimes are also doing what they can to support Israel and the US against the interest of their people.

Israel, with its current ideology and attitude, feeds on the existence of such regimes, and would receive a significant blow, were those regimes to tumble to popular, people representing alternatives.

The key change must come from the inside. Everything else comes second.

January 3rd, 2010, 3:59 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Our Corruption is better than Yours

Why-Discuss,

The corrupt, anti-western Arab dictatorships are unquestionably an asset for those who would hate Israel and the US more than the welfare of the people these despots govern.

January 3rd, 2010, 7:51 pm

 

Shai said:

IDAF,

My apologies. In comment 33, credit for the funny comment should have gone to you… 🙂

January 3rd, 2010, 8:45 pm

 

Henry said:

The Wall Street Journal
December 31, 2009
A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy
No despot fears the president, and no demonstrator in Tehran expects him to ride to the rescue.
By FOUAD AJAMI
With year one drawing to a close, the truth of the Obama presidency is laid bare: retrenchment abroad, and redistribution and the intrusive regulatory state at home. This is the genuine calling of Barack Obama, and of the “progressives” holding him to account. The false dichotomy has taken hold—either we care for our own, or we go abroad in search of monsters to destroy or of broken nations to build. The decision to withdraw missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic was of a piece with that retreat in American power.

In the absence of an overriding commitment to the defense of American primacy in the world, the Obama administration “cheats.” It will not quit the war in Afghanistan but doesn’t fully embrace it as its cause. It prosecutes the war but with Republican support—the diehards in liberal ranks and the isolationists are in no mood for bonding with Afghans. (Harry Reid’s last major foreign policy pronouncement was his assertion, three years ago, that the war in Iraq was lost.)

As revolution simmers on the streets of Iran, the will was summoned in the White House to offer condolences over the passing of Grand Ayatollah Hussein Montazeri, an iconic figure to the Iranian opposition. But the word was also put out that the administration was keen on the prospect of John Kerry making his way to Tehran. No one is fooled. In the time of Barack Obama, “engagement” with Iran’s theocrats and thugs trumps the cause of Iranian democracy.

In retrospect, that patina of cosmopolitanism in President Obama’s background concealed the isolationism of the liberal coalition that brought him to power. The tide had turned in the congressional elections of 2006. American liberalism was done with its own antecedents—the outlook of Woodrow Wilson and FDR and Harry Truman and John Kennedy. It wasn’t quite “Come home, America,” but close to it. This was now the foreign policy of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. There was in the land a “liberal orientalism,” if you will, a dismissive attitude about the ability of other nations to partake of liberty. It had started with belittling the Iraqis’ aptitude for freedom. But there was implicit in it a broader assault on the very idea of freedom’s possibilities in distant places. East was East, and West was West, and never the twain shall meet.

We’re weary, the disillusioned liberalism maintains, and we’re broke, and there are those millions of Americans aching for health care and an economic lifeline. We can’t care for both Ohio and the Anbar, Peoria and Peshawar. It is either those embattled people in Iran or a rescue package for Chrysler.

The joke is on the enthralled crowds in Cairo, Ankara, Berlin and Oslo. The new American president they had fallen for had no genuine calling or attachments abroad. In their enthusiasm for Mr. Obama, and their eagerness to proclaim themselves at one with the postracial meaning of his election, they had missed his aloofness from the genuine struggles in the foreign world.

It was easy, that delirium with Mr. Obama: It made no moral demands on those eager to partake of it. It was also false, in many lands.

Thus Turks who loathed the Kurds in their midst, who denied them the right to their own memory and language, could identify themselves, or so they said, with the triumph of Mr. Obama and his personal history. No one questioned the sincerity with which Egyptians and other Arabs hailed Mr. Obama as they refused to be stirred by the slaughter in Darfur, and as they gave a carte blanche to Khartoum’s blatant racism and cruelty.

Surely there was something amiss in Paris and Berlin—the vast crowds came out for Mr. Obama, but there were millions of Muslims in France and Germany, and the gates hadn’t been opened for them, they hadn’t been swept into the mainstream of European life. Postracicalism, rather like charity, should have begun at home, one would think.

Everywhere there is on display evidence of the rogues taking the Obama administration’s measure, and of America’s vulnerable allies scurrying for cover. A fortnight ago, Lebanon’s young prime minister made his way from Beirut to Damascus: Saad Hariri had come to pay tribute to the Syrian ruler.

Nearly five years earlier, Saad Hariri had insisted on the truth about the identity of his father’s killers. It had been a tumultuous time. Rafik Hariri, a tycoon and former prime minister caught up in a challenge to Syria’s hegemony in Lebanon, had been struck down by a massive bomb on Beirut’s beachfront. It’s obvious, isn’t it, the mourners proclaimed, the trail led to Damascus.

In the aftermath of that brazen political murder, a Syrian tyranny in Lebanon that had all but erased the border between the two countries was brought to a swift end with what would come to be known as the Cedar Revolution. The Pax Americana that had laid waste to the despotism of Saddam Hussein frightened the Syrian rulers, and held out the prospect that a similar fate could yet befall them.

We’re now worlds away from that moment in history. The man who demolished the Iraqi tyranny, George. W. Bush, is no longer in power, and a different sentiment drives America’s conduct abroad. Saad Hariri had no choice but to make peace with his father’s sworn enemies—that short voyage he made to Damascus was his adjustment to the retreat of American power.

In headier moments, Mr. Hariri and the leaders of the Cedar Revolution had been emboldened by American protection. It was not only U.S. military power that had given them heart.

There was that “diplomacy of freedom,” the proclamation that the Pax Americana had had its fill with the autocracies and the rogues of the Greater Middle East. There but for the grace of God go we, the autocrats whispered to themselves as they pondered the fall of the Iraqi despot. To be sure, there was mayhem in the new Iraq—the Arab and Iranian rulers, and the jihadists they winked at and aided, had made sure of that. But there was the promise of freedom, meaningful elections, a new dignity for men and women claiming their own country.

What a difference three or four years make. The despots have waited out that burst of American power and optimism. No despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue. To be sure, it was in the past understood that we can’t bear all burdens abroad, or come to the defense of everyone braving tyranny. But there was always that American assertion that when things are in the balance we would always be on freedom’s side.

We hadn’t ridden to the rescue of Rwanda and Burundi in the 1990s, but we had saved the Bosnians and the Kosovars. We didn’t have the power to undo the colossus of Chinese tyranny when the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, but the brave dissidents knew that we were on their side, that we were appalled by the cruelty of official power.

It is different today, there is a cold-bloodedness to American foreign policy. “Ideology is so yesterday,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaimed not long ago, giving voice to the new sentiment.

History and its furies have their logic, and they have not bent to Mr. Obama’s will. He had declared a unilateral end to the “war on terror,” but the jihadists and their mentors are yet to call their war to a halt. From Yemen to Fort Hood and Detroit, the terror continues.

But to go by the utterances of the Obama administration and its devotees, one would have thought that our enemies were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, not the preachers and masterminds of terror. The president and his lieutenants spent more time denigrating “rendition” and the Patriot Act than they did tracking down the terror trail and the latest front it had opened at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. Our own leaders spoke poorly of our prerogatives and ways, and they were heard the world over.

Under Mr. Obama, we have pulled back from the foreign world. We’re smaller for accepting that false choice between burdens at home and burdens abroad, and the world beyond our shores is more hazardous and cynical for our retrenchment and our self-flagellation.

January 3rd, 2010, 10:49 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Fouad Ajami is more zionist than most zionists,He hates president Obama,Obama is popular here and abroad,Ajami wants him to be hated, Obama believes in freedom,Ajami is angry about this, Obama wants to solve america problems Ajami wants America to get in more trouble he and the zionists will not be satisfied till they see America destroyed,He like the other zionist want America to go bankrupt,getting involved in wars against ME countries,Since relations between Israel and Turkey got worse, now Ajami is against Turkey, he is just like bacteria stay very active until he get shut up or destroy the body they infest,in this case America.
Ajami motive is so low ,he is a shame to humanity.

January 4th, 2010, 1:19 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Alan Dershowitz’s ‘The case for Israel: Democracy’s outpost’.

Part I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t8QnjJIQnY&feature=player_embedded

The rest 7 parts you’ll find in YouTube.
.

January 4th, 2010, 2:28 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Henry,

Thank you for posting Fouad Ajami’s article. This man has THE pulse on the world, and his words are prophetic. I can tell from his article that he isn’t optimistic.

Well, I guess it will take another calamity for Americans to wake up just like 9-11.

majedkhaldoun said:

He [Ajami] hates president Obama

Majedkhaldoun,

Does it bother you that Al-Queda and the Arab street also hate Obama?;)

January 4th, 2010, 2:58 am

 

jad said:

WTF! Ajami and Dershowitz’s in one day!!
Are you two (Henry and AITA) out of your freaking minds or you are still living in the ugly world of those two maniacs you are quoting?

AP you are full of, you know what.

Good way to start 2010!

Shai, I think we are having an episode of ‘SC SUNDAY’S BAD JOKES’ today 🙂

——————————————————–
On the Syrian domestic issues;
Another ‘ONLY IN SYRIA’ episode, this time from the Syrian Parliament, it’s proving once again how low and incompetent the majority of our MP’s are.
I never heard of any parliament even in the 6th world to vote on firing a public servant from a news paper, have anybody heard of such crazy idea?
It is not even a joke, the majority of the ‘respected’ Syrian MP’s voted on firing the editor in chief of a Syrian news paper and the writer of an article criticizing the Parliament.
What next? firing every freaking citizen from Syria for criticizing in writing/thinking this government?
I don’t want any of those MP’s to represent me or any person I know, they are bunch of corrupted uneducated-uncultured-un-anything good.
We should sue and fire them all for their lousy job.
Again: WTF!

January 4th, 2010, 3:22 am

 

jad said:

OTW,
I liked your assessment of Domestic Syria 2009, It’s all true and somehow there was a flame of hope out of all the darkness of the government mess, that is, the liberal voices in Syria are still louder than the conservatives, I juts hope that liberal Syrians can continue going to where we all belong: an advanced and liberal Syrian society.
—————-

Here is the lovely news about the Parliamant:
I thought that they wouldn’t write about it, thanks God I was wrong:

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=107279

برلماني ينتقد تصويت البرلمان حول إعفاء رئيسة تحرير تشرين والصحفي الوادي
الاخبار المحلية
حبش :التصويت حول صرف عامل في الدولة غير قانوني..و لم يحدث أن صوت برلمان حول أمر ونقيضه في جلسة واحدة

January 4th, 2010, 3:44 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Akpar
there is one thing common between you and Al Qaeda you both hate president Obama

January 4th, 2010, 12:35 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

majedkhaldoun said:

Akpar
there is one thing common between you and Al Qaeda you both hate president Obama

majedkhaldoun,

YOU stated that Ajami “hates President Obama”. How do you know that? Speaking for myself, I do not “hate” Barack Obama, I just think the man is sorely misguided. I believe Ajami would agree with me, and I’m sure (but not positive) that like me, Ajami would not wish any ill on our current president.

That being said, al-Queda tried again to bomb an American commercial airliner, so there certainly isn’t anything in common between me and al-Queda. I believe any targeting of innocent civilians is “terrorism”, and I wish more people on this website (including al-Queda) would agree with me.

January 4th, 2010, 1:01 pm

 

Ghat Albird said:

Fouad Ajami’s lamentations have always been considered by a number of select individuals ideally suited to be attributed to a “loris”. Which was defined in 1774, from the Fr. loris (Buffon), and said to be from obsolete Du. “loeris” equivalent to the English;-“booby, or clown.” ( According to a dictionary on the internet. For verefication one can also check out Webster’s definition).

His only claim to fame is his “Arabic” name. America’s waywardness and descent into quagmires and eventually irrelevance began with the ascent of the likuniks, neocons and the likes of Mr. Ajami in Washington, DC whose primary interest was not devoted entirely to the USA.

In his WSJ article he states:-

“To be sure, it was in the past understood that we (the US) can’t bear all burdens abroad, or come to the defense of everyone braving tyranny. But there was always that American assertion that when things are in the balance we would always be on freedom’s side.”

Mr. Ajami is on the side of Saudi Arabia that has never held an “ELECTION”; Jordan whose King changes members of his cabinet eveery six months and Egypt whose President has been in office for several decades and condemns Hariri for making peace between Lebanon and Syria. And Iran which has held several elections since the abdication of the Shah.

January 4th, 2010, 4:20 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

His only claim to fame is his “Arabic” name.

Ghat Albird,

I found some additional information showing Ajami’s “claim to fame” (other than is “Arabic” name):

http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/directory/bios/a/ajami.htm

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

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574558300500152682.html

At least Fouad Ajami’s opinions don’t flutter in the wind like Fareed Zakaria’s do.

January 4th, 2010, 5:25 pm

 

Henry said:

“His only claim to fame is his “Arabic” name.”

This is just silly. Fouad Ajami’s “The Arab Predicament: Arab Political Thought and Practice Since 1967” is a classic in the field of Middle East studies. It is this book that is his greatest claim to fame. But he didn’t stop there he’s published The Dream Palace of the Arabs and the Foreigner’s Gift since. He also led the push for the creation of The Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA), a scholarly academic society in the US.

The following is Ajami on the Iraq War from a 2003 piece in Foreign Affairs entitled, “Iraq and the Arabs’ Future.”

“”There should be no illusions about the sort of Arab landscape that America is destined to find if, or when, it embarks on a war against the Iraqi regime. There would be no “hearts and minds” to be won in the Arab world, no public diplomacy that would convince the overwhelming majority of Arabs that this war would be a just war. An American expedition in the wake of thwarted UN inspections would be seen by the vast majority of Arabs as an imperial reach into their world, a favor to Israel, or a way for the United States to secure control over Iraq’s oil. No hearing would be given to the great foreign power… America ought to be able to live with this distrust and discount a good deal of this anti-Americanism as the “road rage” of a thwarted Arab world — the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds. There is no need to pay excessive deference to the political pieties and givens of the region. Indeed, this is one of those settings where a reforming foreign power’s simpler guidelines offer a better way than the region’s age-old prohibitions and defects.”

January 5th, 2010, 12:51 am

 

norman said:

To all of you ,

Look how stupid the American Mukhabarat are , 17 of the 19 hijackers are Saudis , and since then they Americans , African , there was no Syrians , Koreans , Iranians or Iraqis or even Cubans , look who they think the most suspicious , they are the people who never attacked the US , I want my taxes back , I want the Syrian Mukhabarat to safeguard the US border , they can do a better job much cheaper even with expected corruption ,

AIRPORTS TO TARGET ‘ETHNICS’
ABOVE: MP Khalid Mahmood 5th January 2010 By Bill Martin
MINISTERS are set to defy civil liberty campaigners and introduce ethnic profiling at airports to weed out terrorists.

A major review of border security is under way in the wake of a decision to install body scanners at Heathrow and other airports.

One source said ethnic profiling is “definitely in the mix”, although the term has been changed to “passenger profiling” to try to head off critics.

The stop-and-search checks will concentrate on people from countries which are “state sponsors of terrorism”.

Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are already on America’s target list. Now passengers from or flying through those countries as well as from Nigeria, Yemen and Pakistan will be patted down and searched.

MP Khalid Mahmood said: “I think most people would rather be profiled than blown up. It wouldn’t be victimisation of an entire community.”

»

January 5th, 2010, 4:26 am

 

jad said:

Dear Norman
Have you heard or read anything for Jane Elliott?
What the american doing is exactly the same thing Jane wrote, research and analyse for almost 40 years now, “BROWN EYES BLUE EYES EXERCISE”
They are building an ugly world of racism regime and the irony is that they don’t see the bad side of what they are doing, I just feel sorry for them.

January 5th, 2010, 4:45 am

 

norman said:

Hi Jad ,
Who is jane Elliott,

It is just amazing to me how stupid the American security services can be ,

January 5th, 2010, 4:51 am

 

jad said:

Norman,
Their political-oriented unbalanced decision amazes me to a point that I become speechless sometimes.
When any Syria citizen did kill any American citizen ever? When Syria did Invade/threaten America? I challenge the American moukhabarat to find the base for their allegation against all Syrian citizens and to prove that we are the bad guys of this ‘lovely’ and ‘peaceful’ world they live in?
Just read what AP and Henry writes about, they support killing people and they even brag about those crazy writers who get off seeing other people suffer out of a deep evil hearted rooted in their heart.
Jane Elliott my friend is an elementary school teacher who was shocked by living in the racist 1960th America where the white used to discriminate against other Americans because of their skin color and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. affected her so much that she started a study on her student to show how discrimination against others can lead to a scary society so instead of the skin color, she choose eyes color for discrimination.

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

http://www.janeelliott.com/

January 5th, 2010, 5:14 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

HENRY
AJAMI SAID
the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds.
Is the creation of Israel is self inflicting wound,How much wrong he could get, he should never been a professor,he is sick and a lier

January 5th, 2010, 6:16 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

When will the Excuse-Making End?

Is the creation of Israel is self inflicting wound

majedkhaldoun,

Per your comment above, how did the “creation of Israel” cause this woman to almost kill herself as well as a handful of Iraqi policemen?:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/3464411/Mother-of-all-suicide-bombers-warns-of-rise-in-attacks.html

January 5th, 2010, 1:10 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Akpar
the answer is simple and even you must understand it , it is because of Israel USA invaded Iraq and cause all the evil things happening in Iraq Elliot , Perl and the rest are Israeli who provided the false informations to Bush.
Did you get it .

January 5th, 2010, 4:56 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

… it is because of Israel USA invaded Iraq and cause all the evil things happening in Iraq …

majedkhaldoun,

I’ve been posting on this board for a long time now, and I’m familiar with your sentiments and your “ideology”. You and others here have the right to hate Israel. I’m used to that. I understand where you’re coming from.

However, Israel never occpuied Iraq. Israel bombed a nuclear plant killing one person (that I’m aware of; Israel conducted the bombing after S. Hussein threatened Israel numerous times, and the operation was carried out on a weekend). Yes, unfortunately tens of thousands of Iraqis perished during two US-led wars (where Hussein launched 39 Scud missiles into Israel as well as Saudi Arabia), by why haven’t you blamed muslim/arab insurgents for actually targeting innocent, unarmed Iraqi civilians and non-combatants? The amount of innocent blood spilled by these insurgents is possibly greater than those that died from allied bombings during these wars.

And what about before the war? Why don’t you blame Saddam Hussein for his murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi non-combatants?

Unfortunately, your ideology is what keeps the Arab world behind the rest of the world. At some point, Arabs have to accept responsibility for themselves and their leaders. Until then, the “cycle of violence” will continue, since no one is willing to demand that their leaders and clerics desist from using violence as a method to keep themselves in positions of power.

January 5th, 2010, 5:15 pm

 

Piotr Chmielarz said:

Here is link to Sami Moubayed article with prediction about future of region

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LA05Ak02.html

January 5th, 2010, 6:37 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Some went full-board with what many people wanted to hear – predicting annihilation of the State of Israel…

majedkhaldoun,

Thanks to the article from Moubayed, we see again that the “creation of Israel” isn’t causing Iraqi insurgents from killing Iraqis, Saudi-born al-Queda from flying commercial airliners into skyscrapers, Palestinian-American doctors from killing his collegues, or a Nigerian banker’s son from trying to bring down a commercial airliners and its passengers.

Individuals are murdering, and these individuals are solely to blame, along with their accomplices.

As Moubayed has said, “…people wanted to hear – predicting annihilation of the State of Israel…”. And that, in itself, shows a number of things:

1.) intolerance

2.) the ends justify the means

3.) an lame excuse to point to if an Muslim kills a innocent person

4.) Moubayed’s casual attitude and lack of moral clarity as he runs through his “predictions” just shows another Syrian government mouthpiece pretending to not take sides and who could really care less about the violence that has already transpired and the potential violence he predicts in the future.

And so this is the fight: those that believe anything is “halal” (genocide, fratricide, homicide) if we do it in the name of eradicating the UN-member State of Israel and those who believe it isn’t.

As GWB once said, “you are either with us or you’re against us”. The terrorists and their supporters certainly see it that way, and Obama will begin to see it that way too, whether he wants to or not.

It sure would be interesting to see which side SC members take.

January 5th, 2010, 7:09 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Akpar
you are back to deceiving and twisting truth, ,your habit that you are famous for, you will not hesitate to lie to defend the zionist state,you do not feel shame by deceiving, your ideology is a criminal one, you believe Israel power will last for ever,you have illusion and obviously, sick in mind.
You know your invasion of Iraq was done through USA military, USA attacked Iraq because of Israel, what did Iraq do to USA that USA invade Iraq, those lies were made by peopke like you , spread lies about weapons of mass detruction, when infact it was done to help Israel.
You mentioned that USA invasion caused tens of thousands of Iraqi death, when infact over a million iraqi lost their lives, here again you have no shame of saying,knowing that you are wrong,deliberate deceiving by you.
Iraq never attacked Israel before USA invasion,which was provoked by Israeli,Iraq has no border with Israel, here again you deceive.
It is because of Israel that several thousands of palastinians died, and millions turned to refugee, it is because of Israel that we have dictators in the ME. It is because of Israel that we have to spend money on defense instead of spending it on education and infrastructure, it is because of Israel that USA invaded Iraq, and puting sanctions on Syria.
your Ideo;ogy is the problem and you can not deceive people for ever, that is why Turkey and Europe is changing.
stop deceiving,you are nothing but a deceiver.

January 5th, 2010, 7:35 pm

 

AKbar Palace said:

majedkhaldoun,

Yes, I see the key word is “deceiving”, which you used about 6 or 7 times in your last post. And yes, we know the US attacked Iraq because of Israel. Got it;)

So, now that we’re on the same page. Please explain to me and the rest of this forum how:

1.) Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

2.) Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

3.) and Iraqi “mother” Itisam Adwan

and their accomplices (if any) are NOT responsible for their actions. Of course, please squeeze in Israel (aka Zionist Entity) as you write your explaination/dissertation.

BTW – as a suggestion, pick another word other than “deceive”.

Shukran!

January 5th, 2010, 7:49 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

majedkhaldoun,

Where are you? “Cat got your tongue?”

January 6th, 2010, 1:40 am

 

Off the Wall said:

AP
you think you are too smart. Try explaining these names of the dead in your Gazza operation. These are only the ones under 18 years of age.They were killed by your IDF, and people like you, henry, and those heartless defenders of Israel’s continuing 60 year crime spree, cheered their killing. They have names, and here are their names for your enjoyment. I would not be surprised if you hang the list as a trophy.

27/12/2008
Ibtihal Kechko Girl 10
Ahmed Riad Mohammed Al-Sinwar Boy 3
Ahmed Al-Homs Boy 18
Ahmed Rasmi Abu Jazar Boy 16
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Halabi Boy 18
Tamer Hassan Al-Akhrass Boy 5
Hassan Ali Al-Akhrass Boy 3
Haneen Wael Mohammed Daban Girl 15
Khaled Sami Al-Astal Boy 15
alaat Mokhless Bassal Boy 18
Aaed Imad Kheera Boy 14
Abdullah Al-Rayess Boy 17
Odai Hakeem Al-Mansi Boy 4
Allam Nehrou Idriss Boy 18
Ali Marwan Abu Rabih Boy 18
Anan Saber Atiyah Boy 13
Camelia Al-Bardini Girl 10
Lama Talal Hamdan Girl 10
Mohammed Jaber Howeij Boy 17
Nimr Mustafa Amoom Boy 10
29/12/2008
Ismail Talal Hamdan Boy 10
Ahmed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
Ahmed Youssef Khello Boy 18
Ikram Anwar Baaloosha Girl 14
Tahrier Anwar Baaloosha Girl 17
Jihad Saleh Ghobn Boy 10
Jawaher Anwar Baaloosha Girl 8
Dina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
Samar Anwar Baaloosha Girl 6
Shady Youssef Ghobn Boy 12
Sudqi Ziad Al-Absi Boy 3
Imad Nabeel Abou Khater Boy 16
Lina Anwar Baaloosha Girl 7
Mohammed Basseel Madi Boy 17
Mohammed Jalal Abou Tair Boy 18
Mohammed Ziad Al-Absi Boy 14
Mahmoud Nabeel Ghabayen Boy 15
Moaz Yasser Abou Tair Boy 6
Wissam Akram Eid Girl 14
30/12/2008
Haya Talal Hamdan Girl 8
31/12/2008
Ahmed Kanouh Boy 10
Ameen Al-Zarbatlee Boy 10
Mohammed Nafez Mohaissen Boy 10
Mustafa Abou Ghanimah Boy 16
Yehya Awnee Mohaissen Boy 10
Ossman Bin Zaid Nizar Rayyan Boy 3
Assaad Nizar Rayyan Boy 2
Moaz-Uldeen Allah Al-Nasla Boy 5
Aya Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
Halima Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
Reem Nizar Rayyan Boy 4
Aicha Nizar Rayyan Girl 3
Abdul Rahman Nizar Rayyan Boy 6
Abdul Qader Nizar Rayyan Boy 12
Oyoon Jihad Al-Nasla Girl 16
Mahmoud Mustafa Ashour Boy 13
Maryam Nizar Rayyan Girl 5
01/01/2009
Hamada Ibrahim Mousabbah Boy 10
Zeinab Nizar Rayyan Girl 12
Sujud Mahmoud Al-Derdesawi Girl 10
Abdul Sattar Waleed Al-Astal Boy 12
Abed Rabbo Iyyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 10
Ghassan Nizar Rayyan Boy 15
Christine Wadih El-Turk Boy 6
Mohammed Mousabbah Boy 14
Mohammed Iyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal Boy 13
Mahmoud Samsoom Boy 16
Ahmed Tobail Boy 16
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 17
Hassan Hejjo Boy 14
Rajeh Ziadeh Boy 18
Shareef Abdul Mota Armeelat Boy 15
Mohammed Moussa Al-Silawi Boy 10
Mahmoud Majed Mahmoud Abou Nahel Boy 16
Mohannad Al-Tatnaneeh Boy 18
Hani Mohammed Al-Silawi Boy 10
01/01/2009
Ahmed Al-Meshharawi Boy 16
Ahmed Khodair Sobaih Boy 17
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh Boy 18
Asraa Kossai Al-Habash Girl 10
Assad Khaled Al-Meshharawi Boy 17
Asmaa Ibrahim Afana Girl 12
Ismail Abdullah Abou Sneima Boy 4
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 18
Aya Ziad Al-Nemr Girl 8
Ahmed Mohammed Al-Adham Boy 1
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 13
Hamza Zuhair Tantish Boy 12
Khalil Mohammed Mokdad Boy 18
Ruba Mohammed Fadl Abou-Rass Girl 13
Ziad Mohammed Salma Abou Sneima Boy 9
Shaza Al-Abed Al-Habash Girl 16
Abed Ziad Al-Nemr Boy 12
Attia Rushdi Al-Khawli Boy 16
Luay Yahya Abou Haleema Boy 17
Mohammed Akram Abou Harbeed Boy 18
Mohammed Abed Berbekh Boy 18
Mohammed Faraj Hassouna Boy 16
Mahmoud Khalil Al-Mashharawi Boy 12
Mahmoud Zahir Tantish Boy 17
Mahmoud Sami Assliya Boy 3
Moussa Youssef Berbekh Boy 16
Wi’am Jamal Al-Kafarneh Girl 2
Wadih Ayman Omar Boy 4
Youssef Abed Berbekh Boy 10
05/01/2009
Ibrahim Rouhee Akl Boy 17
Ibrahim Abdullah Merjan Boy 13
Ahmed Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
Aya Youssef Al-Defdah Girl 13
Aya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
Ahmed Amer Abou Eisha Boy 5
Ameen Attiyah Al-Semouni Boy 4
Hazem Alewa Boy 8
Khalil Mohammed Helless Boy 12
Diana Mosbah Saad Girl 17
Raya Al-Sersawi Girl 5
Rahma Mohammed Al-Semouni Girl 18
Ramadan Ali Felfel Boy 14
Rahaf Ahmed Saeed Al-Azaar Girl 4
Shahad Mohammed Hijjih Girl 3
Arafat Mohammed Abdul Dayem Boy 10
Omar Mahmoud Al-Baradei Boy 12
Ghaydaa Amer Abou Eisha Girl 6
Fathiyya Ayman Al-Dabari Girl 4
Faraj Ammar Al-Helou Boy 2
Moumen Alewah Boy 9
Moumen Mahmoud Talal Alaw Boy 10
Mohammed Amer Abu Eisha Boy 8
Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Kamar Boy 15
Marwan Hein Kodeih Girl 6
Montasser Alewah Boy 12
Naji Nidal Al-Hamlawi Boy 16
Nada Redwan Mardi Girl 5
Hanadi Bassem Khaleefa Girl 13
06/01/2009
Ibrahim Ahmed Maarouf Boy 14
Ahmed Shaher Khodeir Boy 14
Ismail Adnan Hweilah Boy 15
Aseel Moeen Deeb Boy 17
Adam Mamoun Al-Kurdee Boy 3
Alaa Iyad Al-Daya Girl 8
Areej Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 3 months
Amani Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 4
Baraa Ramez Al-Daya Girl 2
Bilal Hamza Obaid Boy 15
Thaer Shaker Karmout Boy 17
Hozaifa Jihad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
Khitam Iyad Al-Daya Girl 9
Rafik Abdul Basset Al-Khodari Boy 15
Raneen Abdullah saleh Girl 12
Zakariya Yahya Al-Taweel Boy 5
Sahar Hatem Dawood Girl 10
Salsabeel Ramez Al-Daya Girl 6 months
Sharafuldeen Iyad Al-Daya Boy 7
Doha Mohammed Al-Daya Girl 5
Ahed Iyad Kodas Boy 15
Abdullah Mohammed Abdullah Boy 10
Issam Sameer Deeb Boy 12
Alaa Ismail Ismail Boy 18
Ali Iyad Al-Daya Boy 10
Imad Abu Askar Boy 18
Filasteen Al-Daya Girl 5
Kamar Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 3
Lina Abdul Menem Hassan Girl 10
Unidentified Boy 9
Unidentified Boy 15
Mohammed Iyad Al-Daya Boy 6
Mohammed Bassem Shakoura Boy 10
Mohammed Bassem Eid Boy 18
Mohammed Deeb Boy 17
Mohammed Eid Boy 18
Mustafa Moeen Deeb Boy 12
Noor Moeen Deeb Boy 2
Youssef Saad Al-Kahloot Boy 17
Youssef Mohammed Al-Daya Boy 1
07/01/2009
Ibrahim Kamal Awaja Boy 9
Ahmed Jaber Howeij Boy 7
Ahmed Fawzi Labad Boy 18
Ayman Al-Bayed Boy 16
Amal Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 3
Toufic Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 10
Habeeb Khaled Al-Khahloot Boy 12
Houssam Raed Sobeh Boy 12
Hassan Rateb Semaan Boy 18
Hassan Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 2
Redwan Mohammed Ashoor Boy 10
Suad Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 6
Samar Khaled Abed Rabbo Girl 2
Abdul Rahman Mohammmed Ashoor Boy 12
Fareed Ata Hassan Azzam Boy 13
Mohammed Khaled Al-Kahloot Boy 15
Mohammed Samir Hijji Boy 16
Mohammed Fareed Al-Maasawabi Boy 16
Mohammed Moeen Deeb Boy 17
Mohammed Nasseem Salama Saba Boy 16
Mahmoud Hameed Boy 17
Hamam Issa Boy 1
08/01/2009
Anas Arif Abou Baraka Boy 7
Ibrahim Akram Abou Dakkka Boy 12
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
Baraa Iyad Shalha Girl 6
Basma Yasser Al-Jeblawi Girl 5
Shahd Saad Abou Haleema Girl 15
Azmi Diab Boy 16
Mohammed Akram Abou Dakka Boy 14
Mohammed Hikmat Abou Haleema Boy 17
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha Boy 15
Matar Saad Abou Haleema Boy 17
09/01/2009
Ahmed Ibrahim Abou Kleik Boy 17
Ismail Ayman Yasseen Boy 18
Alaa Ahmed Jaber Girl 11
Baha-Uldeen Fayez Salha Girl 5
Rana Fayez Salha Girl 12
Rola Fayez Salha Girl 13
Diyaa-Uldeen Fayez Salah Boy 14
Ghanima Sultan Halawa Girl 11
Fatima Raed Jadullah Girl 10
Mohammed Atef Abou Al-Hussna Boy 15

January 6th, 2010, 3:43 am

 

Averroes said:

OFF THE WALL,

Thank you for posting the names of some of Israel’s many innocent victims.

The knee jerk response from people like AP will be to tell you that your only weapon is to exhibit your dead.

In fact, watching Fox News and reading for the “prominent” Zionist columnists pain a very clear picture. Truth by itself can be buried under a barrage of very loud lies.

There is little to be hoped for in terms of constructive dialog with dogmatic people like AP. The best hope to focus our energy toward work and change from within. Work to make Syria (and other Arab countries) better places in every way possible, is infinitely more useful.

Just one note, we’re not calling for throwing the Israelis in the ocean. We’re calling for a One State solution where every person has the same rights and the same obligations. One modern state for all its citizens. Only that would have a hope of working.

January 6th, 2010, 6:58 am

 

Yossi said:

Interesting interview by Nasser Judeh, Jordanian foreign minister, to Israeli channel 1, talking about prospects for peace, CBM’s, normalization…

http://www.iba.org.il/media/?site=137&page=150&topic=&starting=10_1_2009-12-23_210402

The interview starts at about four minutes into the segment.

January 6th, 2010, 7:08 am

 

Shai said:

Akbar,

OTW took it easy on you. He could have listed One Thousand Three Hundred different names, ages, sexes, professions, families, lives, futures that are no more. And then the problem is, that when we in Israel see ourselves as the “real victim”, we can only add to that list 13 Israelis!!!… We die 13, they die 1,300, and WE’RE the victim…

How do you explain that?

January 6th, 2010, 11:24 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

you think you are too smart. Try explaining these names of the dead in your Gazza operation. These are only the ones under 18 years of age.They were killed by your IDF, and people like you, henry, and those heartless defenders of Israel’s continuing 60 year crime spree, cheered their killing.

Off The Wall,

Trying to explain the deaths of civilians on Gaza and Israel is, unfortunately, quite simple: After several years of absorbing rocket and mortar fire from Gaza, the IDF decided it was time for a major military operation. Year after year, pleas to stop firing missiles fell on deaf ears, and so the GOI took matters into their own hands. Israel has a right to self-defence, just like the US, Britain and other UN nations do, except for the fact that Israel has killed far FEWER ME civilians than the other UN nations fighting in the ME (as we speak).

1,750 rockets and 1,528 mortar bombs fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel in 2008.

http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/terrorism-%20obstacle%20to%20peace/hamas%20war%20against%20israel/

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

Now, if Hamas wants to continue terrorizing Israel and continue conducting their war in the midst of a civilian population (all against international laws of war), and if they want to continue jeopardizing their civilians population, they are free to do so.

And if excuse-makers such as yourself think that Hamas has a right to terrorize Israel, than don’t be surprised if another war breaks out.

OTW took it easy on you.

I hope so. I can’t imagine what would have happened if he tried hard.;)

January 6th, 2010, 12:23 pm

 

Nour said:

Here is a link to a report by NPR on Aleppine cuisine which many SC commentators will find interesting.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122058669

January 6th, 2010, 5:35 pm

 

Henry said:

AJAMI SAID
“the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds.”

I haven’t heard of anyone indicating that Hamas brought this attack by Israel onto the people of Gaza. Of course, their decision to indiscrimnately fire rockets at the towns of southern Israel led to Israel’s response. Here, again, we see no one taking responsibility for this self-inflicted wound.

In this youtube clip we see Israeli leaders in December 2008 pleading with Hamas to stop the rocket fire:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up3A0qLeFms . Olmert’s words at the end of the clip are especially poignant.

January 6th, 2010, 5:44 pm

 

norman said:

Henry,
Do you think that the Jews should be responsible for the Holocaust and the rape victims are responsible for their rape ,

January 6th, 2010, 5:56 pm

 

Henry said:

Norman,

Your comparison is absurd. We are not talking about the Holocaust or rape, we are talking about a military response to rocket-fire.

I do believe that we can blame those who fire rockets at cities for the response to that rocket-fire. This is especially true when they were warned of an impending response and it was clear that Israel had the arsenal to support its words. Now, to say that Hamas was in no way responsible for what happened in response to its rocket-fire is simply delusional.

To blame the millions of children and villagers who were rounded up all across Europe and sent to the gas chambers to die a horrible death for what happened to them is cruel.

January 6th, 2010, 6:09 pm

 

jad said:

(I hope so. I can’t imagine what would have happened if he tried hard.;)
AP, Are you that much lonely and desperate for attention that you are attacking OTW now? He was actually very generous to even consider writing back to you.
You sad lonely thing; you glorify and enjoy wars with all its misery not knowing a thing about human suffering.

January 6th, 2010, 6:25 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Henry,

Responsibility? What’s that? I’m still waiting for majedkhaldoun to answer my post #58.

Do you think that the Jews should be responsible for the Holocaust and the rape victims are responsible for their rape

Norman,

Equating the Holocaust (where millions of non-combatants were herded into gas chambers and thown into pits) with Gaza militants who fire thousands of rockets from into a country they don’t even recognize shows me (at least) that you are beyond brainwashed.

An “added feature” here on Syria Comment.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/pictures/PalestinianChildAbuse/

January 6th, 2010, 6:30 pm

 

jad said:

(An “added feature” here on Syria Comment. #2)

Deutschland Uber Alles
THE GRANDCHILDREN OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS FROM WORLD WAR II ARE DOING TO THE PALESTINIANS EXACTLY WHAT WAS DONE TO THEM BY NAZI GERMANY…

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/deutschland-uber-alles/

Israel’s back yard
Testimonies from checkpoints of the West Bank
http://draykcab.wordpress.com/

Mother Tutoring Daughter, Beit Hanun
http://www.dominionpaper.ca/images/956

January 6th, 2010, 6:35 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

You sad lonely thing; you glorify and enjoy wars with all its misery not knowing a thing about human suffering.

JAD,

Do you give the same feeble advice to your Hamas heroes? Show us the post.;)

See the link I posted above to see who REALLY glorifies war (if your interested).

JAD, because Norman Finkelstein said something it means he right? Maybe I should post something from Wafa Sultan.

January 6th, 2010, 6:36 pm

 

jad said:

(Do you give the same feeble advice to your Hamas heroes?)
Treat them like human with pride, let them go to school and stop killing them first before asking them to be civilized.

(Show us the post.)
Check the links above to see how you are treating the Palestinians then come back to me with your repeated nonsense comments

[;)]
Jerk!

(Maybe I should post something from Wafa Sultan)
Please do!

January 6th, 2010, 6:46 pm

 

norman said:

AP,
Israel seems to be doing a great job recruiting for Hamas ,

January 6th, 2010, 6:50 pm

 

jad said:

AP
Where are you? “Cat got your tongue?”

January 6th, 2010, 7:17 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

JAD said,

Treat them like human with pride, let them go to school and stop killing them first before asking them to be civilized.

JAD (is that short for Jihad?),

As Henry mentioned in his posts above, Hamas fired thousand of rockets and mortars into Israel before Israel’s military response.

Anyway, I can see that you have 2 different standards of behavior: one for Israelis and another for Hamas.

Debating with you further is futile if you can’t bring yourself to place any responsibility on Hamas.

January 6th, 2010, 7:30 pm

 

Nour said:

The Ajami quote is nonsensical and is merely a testimony to Mr. Ajami’s house slave role. There are many people, groups, and institutions inside the Arab World working day and night to find cures to the many social diseases and ailments in the region, and they certainly do not need to be lectured by a self-interested sell-out like Fuad Ajami. But to indicate that the US should go occupy and destroy an entire country and then attribute any objection to such behavior to a “culture” that has the inability to take responsibility for “self-inflicted wounds” would be laughable were it not the result of so much pain and misery.

While no one in the Arab World in general, and in the Syrian nation in particular, argues that we have no internal problems that need to be fixed, most people are also not gullible enough to believe that “Israel” is not a source of many of their woes. It is first and foremost plain and clear for any objective person who the aggressor and oppressor is and who the victim is. “Israel” was created on the blood and bones of innocent Palestinian civilians who were ethnically cleansed to make room for the rise of a racist, cancerous ethno-religious entity founded on an ideology that views these civilians as lesser humans. The fact of the matter is that the founders of the criminal entity called “Israel” saw the indigenous people of that land as mere obstacles in their way of creating a state exclusively for their own “kind”. Upon the rise of such a fanatically violent state, it was natural that a resistance would be formed to oppose the continued suppression and oppression of an entire population. “Israel” continually used this natural response as a justification for its continued criminal, terroristic actions against a largely civilian population the goal of which has always been, notwithstanding the propagandistic claims of “Israel” and its surrogates, to wipe out as many Palestinians as possible in order to make way for incoming Jews.

In any case, however, the continued arrogance and belligerence of the criminal Jewish state is going to be the source of its downfall. While the likes of AP like to ignore the murderous actions of a state that left a desperate population with no choice but to use armed resistance, because they inherently and instinctively dehumanize those “barbaric” natives, their arrogance is actually going to bring an end to their doomed project. So let them continue with their worthless propaganda campaigns on behalf of a racist, cancerous, murderous entity, and let’s see where it is going to lead them. The people of this nation are going nowhere and a time is going to come when “Israel” can no longer continue with its disastrous campaign.

January 6th, 2010, 7:47 pm

 

jad said:

Akbar Palace (is that short for Adolf Hitler?)
My name Jad is short for Ahmadinejad, Happy?

(Anyway, I can see that you have 2 different standards of behavior: one for Israelis and another for Hamas.)
I too can see that you are talking to yourself here by having 2 different standards of behavior: one for Hamas and another for Israelis

(Debating with you further is futile if you can’t bring yourself to place any responsibility on Hamas.)
Again you are challenging yourself with the same debate when it comes to Israel occupation, why don’t you place any responsibility on Israel occupation of Palestine?
Stop using Hamas instead of Palestine and Palestinians, your game is too old and too stupid for everybody on SC.

One thing is for sure: debating with you Adolf is waste of time so keep that lovely tongue of yours with that unlucky cat.

January 6th, 2010, 7:52 pm

 

Shai said:

Henry,

“I do believe that we can blame those who fire rockets at cities for the response to that rocket-fire.”

I think at times this may be a very dangerous statement (generalization) to make, because it almost absolves the party “responding” of any possible overreaction. I’ll give you an example that most probably don’t think about, or even know about – U.S response to Pearl Harbor, and everything that came afterwards.

We all know about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is such an extreme case (never repeated in human history since), that we can’t even measure it with any normal parameters, so we don’t. But did you know that prior to August 1945, America systematically killed between 50%-90% of the people of 67 cities in Japan, similar to American cities such as Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City? And all this BEFORE dropping two nuclear weapons on Japan.

Proportionality is an important guiding principle in war. I’m not sure it was followed by Israel in the Gaza Operation. Having thousands of $10 rockets dropping in your empty agricultural fields, even day after day, year after year, does not warrant the type and level of the response that we saw in December 2008. In just the opening hours, more Palestinians were killed than the total amount of Israelis, in over 7 years of Qassams. By the time it was over, 22 days later, that ratio had grown to 100-to-1.

Unfortunately, Henry, my country is “famous” for disproportionate response, and although it is an integral part of our military doctrine (for reasons I described in the past on this forum), I’m not sure it ever contributed positively to our long-term survival as a people and as a nation. The main example prior to Gaza 2008/9 is of course Lebanon 2006. After 3 Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, Israel “responded” (using your terminology) by killing 1,500 Lebanese, and wounding many more. No matter how badly I want to hide behind the numbers, and keep the conversation on level of “response”, “responsible”, “blame those who fire the rockets”, etc, there must be a limit.

We can’t continue to ignore the principle of proportionality.

January 6th, 2010, 8:14 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

AP

Leave those hypocrites alone.
Hundreds of Muslims are being slaughtered *every month* all across the
Middle East, and the Muslim world.
But they cry about the well fed, well dressed, “poor” Gazans.

Leave Israel.. leave the “palestinians”.. what about those who really
need your attention and rage: those fathers and sons who got blown
to pieces during a volleyball tournament in Pakistan; those women children
and old people who go to pray in mosques in Iraq, and so on.
Not a single word.!

Arabs and Muslims are falling into a blacker hole of murderousness,
madness, and insanity, but what they “care about” is Israel.
Hypocrites.
.

January 6th, 2010, 9:41 pm

 

Henry said:

Shai,

The issue is about accepting responsibility. Remember what Ajami wrote:
“America ought to be able to live with this distrust and discount a good deal of this anti-Americanism as the “road rage” of a thwarted Arab world — *the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds.*

No one on this forum, except for Akbar Palace, who I’m assuming is not an Arab, is saying that Hamas is in any way responsible for what happened in Gaza. Take a look at this youtube video again and watch the Israeli leaders, Olmert especially, beg Hamas to stop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up3A0qLeFms . All I can see is comparisons being made between Israel’s response to rocket fire and the Holocaust. Not exactly accepting responsibility.

January 6th, 2010, 10:02 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

What they hate about Ajami, is that one of them (an Arab) tells them
the ugly truths in their ugly faces.
Arabs don’t like being criticized. Ohh No.
Arabs only like to criticize others than themselves, for their misfortunes.

It’s so funny.. just like one very Angry professor who hates MEMRI.
MEMRI does not invent the news bits it copies, translates and pastes.
MEMRI does not fabricate … MEMRI only translates what is already out there.
If you hate what you see on MEMRI, don’t blame MEMRI for it.
If you hate seeing an ugly face in the mirror, don’t blame the mirror.
.

January 6th, 2010, 10:24 pm

 

jad said:

“their ugly faces”
Classy!! Your comment Princess has nothing racist to it at all, please keep the good work showing your true nature, I’m glad that we have few Israelis like Shai and Yossi on here to tell us that not all Israelis are like you and your entourage.

January 6th, 2010, 10:33 pm

 

Henry said:

Amir,
Unfortunately, the inability to be self-critical is widespread in the Arab world. This is partly due to their feeling of weakness. Take for example the Arab world’s rare moment of unity when the region stood behind Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the leader of Sudan who stands accused of genocide and mass rape ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/world/africa/31arab.html?_r=1) . The only explanation for this is that they wish to stand behind their ilk in the face of global condemnation, which they perceive as part of a competition with the West. This emphasis on the need to stand together against the West is a function of perceived weakness. However, the inability to be self-critical also is a cause of this weakness and stagnation as people attack those with new ideas. Any ideas that are new and could be perceived as from the West are criticized as inauthentic. So, while South Korea and Taiwan don’t have a problem with importing systems that work, like democracy, this is a bit more challenging in the Middle East. Its Western, not Arab. Someday, as the region gains a little confidence we may see more tolerant societies, but this will be a slow process, until then, as you noted, we will continue to see violence of communities within the Middle East attacking eachother (i.e., Iraqi suicide bombings, suicide bombings in Egypte and Morocco,generally attacks against civilians throughout the region.)

January 6th, 2010, 10:47 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

If you try to insinuate dear Ahmadine(JAD) that I hate the Arab race,
then you have 2 mistakes in 1 sentence. There is no Arab race,
and I don’t hate Arabs.

I hate Arab attitude, I hate Arab hypocrisy, I hate Arab lack of self-criticism.
I hate the fact that Israel is in the middle of Arabia and not in Scandinavia.
.

January 6th, 2010, 10:51 pm

 

jad said:

From Ahmadinejad to the angry Princess:
I’m not insinuating anything, I’m judging you from what you wrote, and there is nothing wrong in my sentence but it seems that you have no clue what racist mean other than the word itself.
I Agree, there is nothing called Arab race, we are all Semite like you and it helps if you accept that.
Being ‘Racist’ is not necessary about ‘Race’ it is to discriminate against others for something different than yours, to dehumanize them i.e. ‘their ugly faces’, to use the word hate 5 times in one comment is racist, to have that much hate toward Arab by itself is racist.
Your true problem is that deep down you know very well how much those people you hate suffer under your occupation and as a result of your guilt you get that hate out at them instead of trying to fix what you did.
Don’t let ‘hate’ eats you be a good human instead.
P.S. why don’t you move to Scandinavia? It’s beautiful with the nicest people you will meet; it may help you see reality better.

January 6th, 2010, 11:19 pm

 

Averroes said:

Alex, where are you?

January 6th, 2010, 11:57 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Ahmadine(JAD),

While you’re wearing your poor keyboard, typing empty words,
many more Muslims in (Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan Iraq Somalia and elsewhere) continue to be slaughtered in the name of (your?) religion.

What are you doing to stop it ?
.

January 7th, 2010, 12:00 am

 

jad said:

Angry Princess,
It seems that my poor keyboard and my empty words hit a nerve!
Good to know that you feel sorry for all Muslims killed by extremists, how humane of you! I just wish that you were sincere.
The Koran doesn’t teach or tell anybody to kill, go read it.
Radicals and criminals do that, be it Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Shinto, Hindus…..for me anybody who does that is a criminal.

January 7th, 2010, 12:29 am

 

Nour said:

Jad,

This whole argument about being “self-critical” and “taking responsibility” is a ruse. It is meant to deflect from the murderous crimes of the criminal state of “Israel.” Every people in the world has the ability to self reflect and be self-critical, and we are no exception. These people know that very well, but they think they can fool us into submitting to the “reality” that is “Israel” when that will never happen. They want us to apologize for daring to resist their rabidly violent entity. They know very well that an extremist in Pakistan who blows up innocent people has nothing to do with Palestine or the Palestinian struggle, but it’s a way for them to distract and detract. They use a house slave who claims that if Iraqis object to US occupation and destruction of their country it is because they do not want to “take responsibility” for their own faults. This is a classic way of dehumanizing and belittling a population you want to subjugate, and this is what “Israel” and its friends are good at. But I guarantee you that it is this very arrogance that is going to spell their doom. The days of “Israel” are counted, no matter how much their propagandists like to twist and spin facts, and there is nothing any of them can do about it.

January 7th, 2010, 1:14 am

 

jad said:

Dear Nour,
I agree with you, the irony is that they are preaching us yet they wont accept their own wrong doing in the first place, thinking that we will fall for their ridiculous argument and fake care of Arabs and Muslims.
Just check the trio (AP, Henry and Amir) answers and arguments they are typical cases of racists in denial they are ignorant and oblivious of everything surrounding them.

January 7th, 2010, 1:36 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

JAD,

You know that what you wrote isn’t true.
Yes, the Koran does not call for the killings of Muslims (and yet, only they who get slaughtered). But do you know this verse:
“…You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will say, ‘O ‘Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.”
I’m sure you know. And of course the death penalty for all “pagans” who
will not accept Islam (I quote you: Buddhists, Shinto, Hindus).

Any way, I despise all religions. The reality is that only Muslims
(these days) kill in the name of religion.
Do I care? Yes I care. Believe it or not.
If Jews were killing in the name of Judaism, I would go and fight them.
You don’t. You don’t even express the slightest protest. Does it
bother me? Yes it does.

NOUR,

I would prefer to voluntarily enter the gas chamber, than to live
under your imaginary “Grand Syria”.
.

January 7th, 2010, 2:12 am

 

Off The Wall said:

Amir pats Henry’s shoulder
Henry pats Akbar’s shoulder
Akbar pats Amir’s shoulder
Amir pats Akbar’s shoulder
Akbar pats Henry’s shoulder
Henry pats Amir’s shoulder

Amir and Akbar pat henry’s shoulders
Akbar and ………
And the circle goes on and on

January 7th, 2010, 2:40 am

 

jad said:

Amir,
You are so wrong, I stand of what I said, The Koran doesn`t tell anybody to kill at all and the verse you wrote here doesn’t `TELL` Muslim to go and kill the Jews, it is a prophecy, don`t you have plenty of them in the Bible, the New testimony and in Talmud, they all full or fire, killing and human screaming in pain.
What about Judaism and the ‘GOY’ concept? Aren’t you as a Jewish allowed to do harm to anybody who is not a Jew? Rape them kill them, don’t follow the 10 commandment with them? Why can’t you see that?
Those who translate something to fit their radical thinking and use it to kill are the terrorist and you are doing great job listening to them.
Last advise, being a Muslim and a believer is something people take high pride of and you do not never ever play this game with us if you want to gain our respect to you and your own believe.
About your outrageous note of walking to the gas chamber, I just hope that someone from Israel read what you wrote and properly answer you, have some respect to your own people suffering history you idiot.

January 7th, 2010, 2:52 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

why don’t you place any responsibility on Israel occupation of Palestine?

JAD,

I would place responsibility on Israeli occupation of Palestine, if:

a.) There was a state of Palestine that existed at the time Israel occupied it. There wasn’t any.

b.) If Israel wasn’t provoked. At the time, the Arabs were in a state of war with Israel, terrorizing her, and clamouring to war with her.

c.) If the Palestinians made an honest attempt to make peace.

I know this won’t satisfy you, but I’m posting here just in case there’s an objective audience.

Now, it’s your turn. In my Post #58 above, are any of the 3 people I mentioned responsible for their actions? Why or why not?

January 7th, 2010, 3:09 am

 

jad said:

A) `Philistine` is in the bible, so it does exist before even the Jews.
B) It`s `HER` who terrorized the whole region.
C) When did the Israelis ever being serious about peace with the Palestinians?
All what I read from you are excuses for not accepting the responsibility of the occupation. My answer to you is: Get lost!

(Now, it’s your turn.) Go refer to #78
(One thing is for sure: debating with you Adolf is waste of time so keep that lovely tongue of yours with that unlucky cat.)
I’m not interested in playing games with weirdoes.

January 7th, 2010, 3:33 am

 

r4 card said:

While Egypt’s steel barricade draws both ire and fire from Gaza, it isn’t the only neighbor fencing in its property. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to build a fence along the country’s border with Egypt…

January 7th, 2010, 5:13 am

 

Shai said:

Henry,

I don’t understand what responsibility you want the Arabs to take. For the 1,300 dead Gazans? For the 1,500 dead Lebanese? Why should they? Would you, if you were a Palestinian, the far weaker side, the victim of a 42 year Occupation, subjugation and suffocation?

If Israel ever exercised the principle of proportionality, then there wouldn’t be 1,300 dead Gazans, there’d be 13, if they absolutely “had” to go in, to go punish those who kept lobbing those $10 rockets that killed more flies in empty fields than human beings in towns or villages. You can’t shift attention back to the Palestinians, as if they’re in any way an “equal partner” to this horrific Operation. You just can’t.

And what for? So that you, as a Westerner, a pro-Israel supporter, could better live with yourself after hearing those horrific numbers? You could say to yourself “At least some on their side understand that it’s “also their fault” (not just mine)? Will that cause you to recognize the extent of the horror inflicted upon them? Probably not. It would likely have the opposite effect – you’d feel Israel was justified.

When is a response too much? When is the responsibility no longer equally divisible? Because if Hamas is “responsible”, then Israel could have also killed 13,000 in this Operation. Or maybe 130,000. Heck, if when we think of Japan is being “responsible” for everything America did in response, the two atomic bombs that killed roughly 200,000 people seem quite justified, don’t they? Not to mention the other figures I mentioned earlier about 50%-90% of 67 major Japanese cities.

No one on this forum thought Israel would accept thousands of Qassams forever. No one thought Hamas wasn’t risking Palestinian lives by attacking daily. Everyone knew some kind of response would eventually come. Everyone was hoping a Palestinian State could actually be borne, before an Israeli response would come. But NO ONE thought (besides Akbar and maybe a few others) that 13 dead Israelis warranted 1,300 dead Palestinians.

Responsibility is a nice little word someone invented once, to cover up more “measurable” words like Proportionality. It’s the same with “Crimes Against Humanity”. What’s been a major counter-argument on the pro-Israel side? That Hamas committed crimes against humanity by targeting civilian populations with its rockets. But is there no measure of one crime against another? If a man comes into my house and stabs me in the leg, can I murder him, his entire family, and all his friends? Is there no law that governs my response?

January 7th, 2010, 5:59 am

 

Yossi said:

All this discussion about responsibility for Gaza is prepostrous given that the cease fire could have been extended had Israel committed to lifting the siege and to stopping the extra-judicial execution of Hamas activists in the West bank.

The background of 7 or 8 or 100 years of Qassam rocket fire is irrelevant given that prior to the operation there was a cease fire that was working and could have been extended (unless this operation was about revenge or in it’s masked moniker “reestablishing deterrence” and NOT about immediate security goals… which is the painful truth). During the cease fire very few (a couple dozen if I recall correctly) rockets were fired, almost always in response to assassination of Hamas activists in the West bank. Throughout the period Hamas had a casus belli with Israel due to the illegal siege of Gaza’s international waters. The truth is that the cease fire was not extended for political reasons, regional and internal—Israel was not willing to give Hamas the benefit of recognition and the Israeli election season required some blood to boost the standing of Barak and Livni and to ensure that Olmert retires with at least one “military victory” in his resume.

Even the 13 Israelis who died, died mostly during the operation and because of Israel’s refusal to extend the cease fire. Hamas bears no responsibility for the Israeli soldiers who got killed due to “friendly fire” in their totally unjustified and criminal invasion of Gaza. Israel does.

January 7th, 2010, 6:24 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

JAD,

This is exactly the difference between us.
I have no respect to any believer, be it Christian Jew or Muslim.
If you believe in this BS, then you are the Idiot.

About the “chamber”: we Jews, never take ourselves so seriously, like
you, Arabs. You take yourselves and your famous ‘Arab pride’ so seriously,
that eventually you become a joke.

Joke:

1) Q: Why Hitler committed suicide? A: Because he got the gas bill.

2) Q: How do you put 10 elephants in a Volkswagen Beetle?
A: 2 in the front seat, 3 in the back seat, and 5 on the roof.

Q: How do you put 10 Jews in a Volkswagen Beetle?
A: 2 in the front, 3 in the back, and 5 in the ashtray.

You want more? I have plenty more for you…
.

January 7th, 2010, 7:50 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Yossi,
Thanks for a very sane comment

And before the interlocutors say anything let me say it, OTW pats Yossi’s shoulder.

Shai
I believe we have discussed the concept of just war a while ago as we were discussing the events of Hama in Syria. Proportionality is only one of the principles of just war.

Amir
Here is an article from the guardian. The article was published only few weeks before the thugs of IDF, cheered by the majority in Israel, and ordered by legacy hungry politicians went on a rampage to destroy the life of the well fed gazans

Saturday, Dec 13, 2008
London: Anyone who thinks that the status quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is acceptable should talk to a doctor from Gaza. There is an acute shortage of all drugs, and a complete lack of all cancer and cystic fibrosis medication. The hospitals have generators, but often no fuel, and switching from mains to an emergency supply wrecks the equipment.

One of the strip’s three CT scanners is bust because of fluctuations in current. This also makes the temperature control of incubators for newborn babies unreliable. There have been some transfers of the sick to Israeli hospitals, but none to Egypt. According to one source, more than 230 patients died last year waiting for a permit to leave.

The list goes on: the majority of Gaza’s children present the symptoms of mild or severe post traumatic stress disorder. About 45 per cent of children under five have iron deficiency from lack of fruit and 18 per cent of children have stunted growth. There is one other statistic: 71 per cent of children interviewed at a school recently said they wanted to be a “martyr.”

A six-month ceasefire, or a period of “quiet” between Israel and Hamas, exists in name only.

The current volley of raids and rockets started on November 4 when Israel said it uncovered a tunnel Hamas was planning to use to capture soldiers. Israeli forces have killed at least 10 Hamas gunmen, and as the rockets rained down on Sderot and Ashkelon, the gates of Gaza were locked.

They were opened on Tuesday when 45 trucks of food, medical supplies, cooking gas and fuel were let through. Israel says it will stop its blockade the moment the rockets cease and defends itself from the charge that its actions amount to collective punishment by drawing comparisons with other sanctions regimes. But Israel is not the only player.

Conditions in Gaza are daily news in the Arab media and Egypt is coming under pressure to open its border with Gaza. British Ministers may protest about the border closures, but the whole world community is complicit with the policy of punishing Palestinians for having elected Hamas.

There is no defence for Hamas’ use of rockets against Israeli civilian targets. Making Israeli children cower in concrete shelters is not “resistance.”

But nor can one justify the policy of keeping 1.5 million Palestinians on life support and then turning the ventilator off from time to time. Even less should it be tolerated by the incoming Obama administration. One cannot point, as Dennis Ross has done, to the dangers of Gaza becoming a failed state, while supporting policies which ensure the state continues to fail.

Keeping Gaza perched on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe should not appeal to a U.S. President who intends to use his middle name to reach out to the Arab world. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008

End of Article

It seems to me that if any Palestinian is breathing or eating even a scrap, he is well fed in your point of view. How callous.

January 7th, 2010, 8:06 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Amir
What they hate about Ajami, is that one of them (an Arab) tells them
the ugly truths in their ugly faces.

Notwithstanding the numerous successful debunks of Ajami’s self important diatribes, let me rephrase your sentence, but with minor change, because calling a whole people ugly faces is racist and uncivilized.

What they hate about Norman Finklestein is that one of them (A Jew) tells the ugly truth in their faces

What they hate about Justice Goldstone is that one of them (A Zionist Jew) tells the ugly truth in their faces

I can repeat this statement countless times each using the name of yet one more respected Jewish Scholar, despised and besieged by the infamous torture professor of Harvard (AKA Dreshowitz) or called self loathing by you or hunted in a witch hunt by the duo Horowitz and Pipes. I think the examples of self inflicted blindness on your side by far surpass those on the opposite side. I thought you were smarter than using such a tired cliché.

January 7th, 2010, 8:37 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Averros

OFF THE WALL,

Thank you for posting the names of some of Israel’s many innocent victims.

As I said before, nothing makes me as angry as an innocent child killed. I though this would be appropriate to do in commemoration of a year to their murder.

The knee jerk response from people like AP will be to tell you that your only weapon is to exhibit your dead.

Honestly, I am not trying to exhibit the dead, I want to keep their names on the record for future war crime trials and at the same time I am merely exposing the extreme denial of truth and hypocrisy of some. I do believe that names of the murdered must be recited, may be I am sentimental, but a murdered child leaves no descendants, and remembering their names is one way of honoring them and their short lives, cut down by the thugs. It is my way of praying. In fact, I would love to see the names of every child killed in Darfour, In Pakistan, Rowanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen or everywhere be kept in an international registrar of the most heinous war crimes. Any one who justifies the death of a single child as a collateral damage is mentally sick.

In fact, watching Fox News and reading for the “prominent” Zionist columnists pain a very clear picture. Truth by itself can be buried under a barrage of very loud lies.

Please see my earlier comment on Truthiness as defined by Stephen Colbert. It is funny that a comedian managed to capture the neo-con ideology in one word. But it seems that good comedians are philosophers in disguise (Best example is the late George Carlin and the living Lewis Black)

There is little to be hoped for in terms of constructive dialog with dogmatic people like AP. The best hope to focus our energy toward work and change from within. Work to make Syria (and other Arab countries) better places in every way possible, is infinitely more useful.

Agree, this is why my approach of late is not to engage in dialog with them any more. I simply expose the naked emperors and princes of palaces and never look back. Also the trends of my recent posts has been to focus more on making Syria a better place. I hope to do more. And I fully agree with you.

Just one note, we’re not calling for throwing the Israelis in the ocean. We’re calling for a One State solution where every person has the same rights and the same obligations. One modern state for all its citizens. Only that would have a hope of working.

Agree, and welcome to the one staters’ club.

January 7th, 2010, 9:19 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Yossi said:

All this discussion about responsibility for Gaza is prepostrous given that the cease fire could have been extended…

Yossi,

Can you tell me what “cease fire” agreement Hamas and the GOI agreed to?

Near as I can tell, Israel unilaterally agreed to a cease fire, after the Gaza War, but Hamas never agreed to one. You know, all that “resistance” and whatever…

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/FAQ-Operation_in_Gaza-Legal_Aspects.htm#2

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

Here’s the GOI Likud administrations outlook for peace. Read it, it very “hard line”, isn’t it? I just haven’t found a similar document from the Palestinians, especially from our friends in Hamas:

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/Behind+the+Headlines/FAQ_Peace_process_with_Palestinians_Dec_2009.htm

JAD said,

My answer to you is: Get lost! I’m not interested in playing games with weirdoes.

JAD,

Nice cop out.;)

January 7th, 2010, 12:16 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Seven mortar shells fired from Gaza:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3830943,00.html

Interesting article from Human Rights Watch (who I rarely agree with):

http://www.hrw.org/en/node/84867/section/8

January 7th, 2010, 1:16 pm

 

norman said:

What goes around comes around , revenge never helps , showing compassion for each other is the only way , if Israel allowed the food and medical supply caravan through Israel to Gaza when Egypt refused , it would have scored a significant point that w we will be talking about now , that was a lost opportunity,

January 7th, 2010, 1:35 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

OTW,

You are a hypocrite like Jad and his ilk, and ignorant too.

The “palestinians” lead the Arab world in every and any measurable factor:
wealth, health, education, life expectancy, infant mortality, income etc.
Don’t believe every thing you see on AlJezeera.

Now, lets review today’s news (Thu 7 Jan 2010), especially for JAD:

15 Muslims butchered in Afghanistan, in 3 different incidents.
2 suicide maniacs in Iraq (casualties unknown yet)
1 massacre of 6 Kopts by Muslims in Egypt
6 mortar shells fired into Israel from Gaza
2 “fighters” (any doubt about their religion?) storm into hotel in Kashmir
Sudan: “..At least 139 people have been killed in tribal clashes”
(any doubt about the butchers and the victims religion?).

*all this info from
http://english.aljazeera.net/ ( UPDATED ON:
Thursday, January 07, 2010
17:46 Mecca time, 14:46 GMT )
.

January 7th, 2010, 3:28 pm

 

Jad said:

Amir,
I see that you are not only a racist you are also a biggot.
Good to know!

January 7th, 2010, 3:50 pm

 

jad said:

Amir,
The only hypocrite and he only ignorant on here is you.

(“palestinians”) why did you put Palestinians into parentheses??? even in writing you want to ‘wall’ them?
wealth, Data? health, Data? education, Data? life expectancy, Data? infant mortality, Data? income Data? etc. Data?
I guess all the bright data you will bring to us are because of the good Israelis occupations, Right?

(any doubt about the butchers and the victims religion?)
How about the Jews killing more than 1500 mixed religion Lebanese in 2006?
or the Jews killing more than 1300 mixed religion Palestinians in 2008-9 and still doing that?
or the American Christian/Bigots killing hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Arab Christians?

What about all those souls lost and going to be lost by your religion? Do you count them to your “Peace loving” “Arab hating” and “Believer/Religion despise’ persona?
Do they mean a thing to you, does the names OTW put on here ring a bell in your conscious or you just want to come on SC and dance over those lost souls?
keep in mind that Killing doesn’t have any religion.

January 7th, 2010, 4:40 pm

 

Shai said:

Yossi,

“(unless this operation was about revenge or in it’s masked moniker “reestablishing deterrence” and NOT about immediate security goals… which is the painful truth)”

Yep, that’s what it was about. And that’s why 94% of Israelis supported it in the initial hours. It was about letting out steam, nothing more. Today’s rockets, some of which landed in southern Ashkelon, demonstrate that any goal of “deterrence” was a non-goal. For those in Israel who had no concept of how to react to the language Hamas was trying to “speak to us” with (using the useless Qassams), knowing that our boys were destroying neighborhoods, buildings, and people, sure as hell felt good for a while…

Btw, the responsibility for Hamas’s reaction all these years belongs not only to Israel, but indeed to others such as the U.S. (who, together with Israel, pushed the Palestinians to hold general elections, only to then reject the free and democratic will of the Palestinian people), as well as the International Community. By not voicing out its support of the results of the first and only democratic elections in our region aside from Israel, the entire community is responsible for what goes on in Gaza. Of course Israel is first and foremost, but it is not alone.

January 7th, 2010, 7:15 pm

 

Henry said:

Jad,

Take a look at the globe. Which region in your mind is most violent? Might it be the Middle East. Now the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is merely a detail, an insignificant part, in terms of the level of violence as a whole in the region. The total number killed since the Great Arab Revolt is in the low-tens of thousands, many of whom were military personnel. Compare that to what has been going on in Darfur, where many say a genocide is being perpetrated by the Islamist government of Omar Bashir, in which more than 300,000 civilians have been killed since 2003. Oh but let’s not stop there. Many of us are familiar with Turkish-Kurdish conflict in which around 30,000 civilian have been killed. More prominent in our minds is the sectarian conflict in Iraq in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed their compatriots by death squads and suicide bombings. Examples of spectacular terrorist attacks against civilians in the region is nearly endless. Few countries in the region have normal relations with all of their neighbors. All of this violence and conflict, of course, has little to do with Israel or its creation. We do however see little introspection. Few criticisms of those perpetrating the violence. Few questions seem to be being asked about how the Arab world became this way. Only the blaming of others. This is what Ajami refers to as: the congenital condition of a culture yet to take full responsibility for its self-inflicted wounds.

January 7th, 2010, 7:32 pm

 

Shami said:

Happy christmas to the armenian orthodox readers.

January 7th, 2010, 8:06 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Amir an d Co
If some Palestinians are doing good, it is not because of Israel, it is despite of Israel. So stop this racist rubbish, the only contribution you gave was death, theft, and inhumane treatment.

Henry
We have you and your neocons to thank for the rampant sectarianism in Iraq. It was bread and fed by non other than the bunch of criminal neo-cons who governed the country after the illegal and criminal invasion headed by Bremmer. You can shout till you turn blue want about the Arab and Muslim genes, but in terms of violence, we take the cake, whether you like it or not. Between the US and Israel, no modern army has killed and caused the death of more people since ww2. Be proud.

You speak of normal relationship with neighbors, this is the exemplification of hypocrisy, what about Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba and most Latin and south American countries who have finally broken the yoke of our “enlightened” normal relations that resulted in countless deaths and unimaginable misery for more than a century.

You are interested in Darfour in the same manner we are interested in Palestine. It highlights the barbarity of the other side. Unlike you, however, Darfour is as important to me as Palestine, So is Rowanda, and Congo, and gang-war torn urban centers here in the US.

Keep reading ajami, all he does is reinforce your already skewed view. It is far more complicated than the simplistic villain mind he claims to be liberated from. Ajami and Sultan and their likes are opportunists and lazy. They are taking you for the ride. Keep paying their tour fees. It suits me well. But don’t come crying asking why “they” hate us. You have chosen to chose your ears to the shouts that have been telling you why and more specifically what they hate about us for years now. I guess the Israel is wonderful cool aid is rather powerful. But eventually it will wane out.

January 7th, 2010, 8:36 pm

 

norman said:

Syria in 2009: a good year
Elias Samo

For Syria, 2009 was a very good year in a bad decade. Syria has come a long way since the bad days of the last few years, particularly after the American invasion of Iraq. Gone are the days when Syria was a pariah, isolated, maligned and ignored; when it was considered by US President George W. Bush and the neo-conservatives “a ripe fruit ready to be picked”. The “rogue state” and “axis of evil” labels have disappeared from Washington’s lexicon and been replaced by a friendly overture for engagement with Damascus.

The present American administration and other regional powers have recalled what the Bush administration had curiously forgotten or ignored, the dictum of Henry Kissinger that the Arabs cannot make war without Egypt and cannot make peace without Syria. One could expand Kissinger’s dictum to say that there can be neither Arab-Israel peace nor regional stability without Syria. This was true in his day and it is true now and for the foreseeable future.

Having weathered the storms of the decade, Syria feels justifiably at the center of events in the region, with a finger in everyone’s pie. In fact, the decade’s storms surrounding Syria were exploited smartly by President Bashar Assad, who succeeded his father in 2000. Initially, he was viewed by some as an inexperienced young man lacking confidence and standing on shaky ground. However, he used the isolation years to concentrate on the domestic front, successfully asserting his control and reshaping the system so that today he sits confidently, uncontested, at the top of the political pyramid.

Damascus holds several crucial cards: Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups hosted by Damascus; Hizballah; stability in Lebanon and Iraq; close ties with Iran; and the fight against terrorism. The cards were originally dealt by the late president Hafez Assad and nurtured by his son Bashar with the help of mistakes committed by others, particularly violent American ventures in Iraq and elsewhere and misguided Israeli follies in Lebanon and Gaza. The Syrian leader has played his cards with finesse, mixing ideology and pragmatism.

As for Syrian-American relations, Obama understands that Syria is a balancer amidst the contentious issues in the region. Its role in bringing about a national unity government in Lebanon is proof. Although the American engagement process with Syria has not yet brought about tangible results, neither side has any intention of going back to the dark days of the Bush administration. In addition to discovering the importance of Syria in stabilizing Lebanon, Washington also recognizes Syria’s importance in the Hamas-Fateh deadlock, in the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process and in stabilizing a fractured Iraq. Even regarding Iran, Syria can, with some incentives from Washington, provide good offices for both sides. And even in the tensest days of their relationship, Syria has cooperated with Washington in the fight against terrorism.

Regarding Syria’s role and importance within the Arab context, Lebanon is a case study. All’s well with Hizballah, while Lebanese PM Saad Hariri travels to Damascus to express his regrets–implicitly if not explicitly–for his past indiscretions and misdeeds and seek forgiveness and a new beginning. Damascus received him warmly, putting the past aside. The Hariri trip to Damascus is an admission by the Lebanese leader that Lebanon falls within the Syrian sphere of influence and that relations between the two states are asymmetrical, irrespective of whether or not there is a Syrian military presence in Lebanon. When Syria wished to see a national unity government in Lebanon, this is what happened, with a helping hand from Saudi Arabia.

As for Syrian-Israeli relations, Damascus feels it sits on top of the region while some Israeli leaders are reluctant to leave home for fear of arrest for their war crimes in Gaza. It was just a few years ago when Syria was an international outcast while Israel was pulling the strings in Washington, Europe and some Arab states. Today, Damascus has become a Mecca for western officials while the Israelis are shunned worldwide. True, the Golan has not been recovered and the resumption of the peace process is not in sight, but just as Israel is content with the status quo, so is Syria–until a miracle in the holy land of miracles moves Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu to seriously resume negotiations with Syria over the few issues of contention remaining after previous Israeli governments settled most of them with Damascus.

There were times in the past when Syria was surrounded by a hostile and threatening Turkey to the north, hostile Americans in Iraq to the east threatening to overthrow the Syrian regime, and Israel in occupied Golan to the south, always a threat. Now, Damascus has turned Turkey from an adversary into a partner and turned their relationship–along with Iran, the other major non-Arab regional power–into an apparent tripartite alliance.

This is not a substitute for the traditional Arab tripartite alliance of Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but rather compensation for the temporary loss of Syria’s membership in the Arab alliance. One hopes the recent Syrian-Saudi rapprochement will be a step toward Arab-Arab reconciliation and Syria’s return to the fold. Furthermore, the development of close Syrian-Turkish ties is designed to counterbalance close Syrian-Iranian ties. The views of Damascus and Tehran diverge on two major issues, the future of Iraq and the Arab-Israel peace process, while Syrian-Turkish views on these two issues converge.

To the east, the Americans in Iraq know that the regime in Damascus is there to stay; they need it for stability in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, as well as for their eventual withdrawal. To the south, Israel seems content to maintain the status quo on the Golan while it deals with its own domestic divisions and with the regional and international problems caused by its intransigence and follies.

The Syrian leadership could not have asked for more from the year 2009.- Published 7/1/2010 © bitterlemons-international.org

Elias Samo is a professor of international relations at American and Syrian universities.

——————————————————————————–

January 8th, 2010, 2:14 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

OTW the typical American Liberal. I’m sure that you scold your postman
(forests in Brazil), you shop in an “organic” grocery store and keep
a rich in fiber diet. Ohh.. but you get those inflated electricity bills,
like your Al Gore.

We don’t live in Avatar OTW. The Arabs aren’t blue, aren’t 2,5 meter
tall and aren’t incredibly athletic. And they don’t fly those magical dragon-birds.
And the Americans aren’t those evil evil hoodlums who try to evict
the innocent Avatarians from their natural beauty-jungle.

I like American liberals only when it comes to internal American matters.
Leave the foreign affairs to the grownups OTW.
With this attitude like yours, Europe would be a Nazi continent by now.
.

January 8th, 2010, 2:19 am

 

jad said:

Bad news again:
اعتقال الصحافي المخضرم علي طه
خاص كلنا شركاء
07/ 01/ 2010
فجعت اليوم الأوساط الصحافية بنبأ اعتقال الصحافي السوري علي طه وهو صحافي يعمل في مجلة سيدتي وقناة روتانا .
وتردد ان الاعتقال طال زميله المصور في منطقة السيدة زينب، الا ان مصادر حقوقية قالت انه تم استدعاءه و من ثم اعتقاله ولم يتم تبين الامر الى الآن ان كان الاعتقال طال المصور ايضا ام اقتصر فقط على علي..
علي طه صحافي متمرس لا يعمل في المجال السياسي ويكتفي بالعمل على امور اجتماعية اثر التنسيق بينه وبين قناة روتانا عبر تقارير خاصة و اهتم بالقضايا الانسانية مثل قضايا اللاجئين العراقيين .
المصور لديه محل تصوير يدعى احمد وهو يعمل في الفضائيات منذ نحو عشر سنوات..
تردد ان فرع امن الدولة الذي يدير الإعلام السوري كاملاً هو المسؤول عن اعتقاله منذ السبت الماضي كما قال أصدقاءه .

علي طه والمصور الى جانب الصحافي معن عاقل معتقلين في عام يمر كئيبا على سورية في مجال الحريات الاعلامية.

January 8th, 2010, 4:00 am

 

jad said:

Seriously, where do they get those ministers of ours from? Shouldn’t someone teach them what to say and how to educate people about the real problems instead of saying stupid things like ‘this is not a domestic issue?’ this lousy minister did enough harm that she must go by now

الحج عارف: الاتجار بالأشخاص ليست ظاهرة بالنسبة لسورية وهناك حالات معدودة

وأضافت الحج عارف في تصريحات صحفية لها خلال افتتاح المأوى في مدينة حلب أن “الاتجار بالأشخاص ليست ظاهرة بالنسبة لسورية، بل هي عبارة عن حالات معدودة، وإنشاء المأوى يأتي كوقاية ومركز احتياط”, لافتة إلى أن “هذا الأمر انعكس على صغر المأوى ومحدودية استقباله”.
وكان مجلس الوزراء اقر في كانون الأول الماضي مشروع قانون الاتجار بالأشخاص.
وعن الحالات الموجودة في سورية, قالت الحج عارف إن “هذه الظاهرة ليست ناتجة عن حالات مقيمة في سورية، وإنما من قبل أشخاص وافدين من دول أخرى إما للإقامة أو المرور عبر الأراضي السورية”.

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=107513

January 8th, 2010, 4:20 am

 

jad said:

Dearest OTW,
What is your take on building new dams? Is it a good or bad idea? from what I’ve been reading/hearing lately, it seems that building a dam is something not many specialists are fan of, is there a reason for that?

I’m asking because of this:

سورية وتركيا توقعان مذكرة تفاهم لإنشاء سد على نهر العاصي لتوليد الطاقة الكهربائية والري

http://www.syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=107506

January 8th, 2010, 4:25 am

 

Averroes said:

OTW,

I fully agree with you on honoring the fallen victims. Names! Names are extremely important. People without names become less than human. Have you noticed how most Hollywood movies portray Arabs and Muslims in general? As faceless, nameless blobs of living matter.

The same takes place in most US and Western media outlets. The CBC, CNN, ABC, and of course Fox news continuously mention the name of the Israeli prisoner captured by Hamas, while no one mentions even the number of the eleven thousand Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, let alone their names.

Yes, OTW, most energy should be focused on making Syria a better place. Other people in Egypt are working to make Egypt a better place, and yet others in Arabia are doing the same. The tide will turn.

January 8th, 2010, 6:01 am

 

Yossi said:

OTW,

I respond to your shoulder-pat with a high-khamsa.

Akbar,

You’re a sorry clown. Israel didn’t want to negotiate with Hamas a new cease fire after the war. That was the entire point, to silence Hamas without giving it recognition.

I’m not going to read the MFA propaganda, don’t have time for it, and the Likud didn’t go to war in Gaza, so can’t see how this is relevant.

The fact that Hamas is not ready for a peace treaty with Israel (let’s take this assertion at face value just for the sake of discussion) doesn’t provide Israel with a pretext for aggression if Hamas agrees for a cease fire. Hamas was interested in a cease fire but it had three demands (a) to stop the siege (b) to stop extra-judicial executions and (c) to negotiate the prisoner exchange separably from the cease-fire.

The first two “demands” Israel should have agreed to because they are violations of international and Israeli law, so why would Israel want to do that… and about the prisoner exchange, there was no reason to commit a crime against peace because Hamas wouldn’t release a single prisoner while Israel holds 11,000 of them, many of them minor and women.

A minimum of decency reveals the totally obvious motivations for the massacre. Akbar, the bombardment of the police cadets was planned MONTHS ahead of time. It was the grand premiere show of the IDF and there was nothing that could stop them from performing.

January 8th, 2010, 7:46 am

 

Nicolas92200 said:

I would be quite interested to read this, as I seek to learn more about my “cousins” – also a nice reminder of my late father’s jewish physician back home in Aleppo. He left to the US and then Israel, but could not live there so returned to the US – he did not go back to Syria as he did not want to be seen a traitor among his countrymen, as his son told me later. He passed away in the US and asked his children to arrange to him buried back in Aleppo one day; it is his real country after all. I’m sure there a lots of such stories – if only people come to their senses….

We Look Like the Enemy: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Jews from Arab LandsBy Rachel Shabi, Walker & Company, 265 pages
Israel’s ethnic divide

How Jews from Arab countries are disparaged in their adopted country
• GulfNews – Published: 00:00 January 8, 2010
The renaming of a street in southern Tel Aviv last year reportedly created a stir in the neighbourhood. The new name — the Al Kuwaiti Brothers Street — sounded like Arabic.
It was only after they were told about the achievements of the Kuwait born Iraqi-Jewish brothers that the neighbours accepted the change.
Once famous in their country as the “fathers of modern Iraqi music”, the work of the Kuwaiti brothers is almost unheard of in their adopted country, where they ran a kitchen supplies shop and occasionally performed for private audiences.
Theirs is not unlike the story of many Jews from the Middle East who left their once-thriving communities in their home countries, often dating back thousands of years, to the Jewish state they were lured to, only to find that it was not the Utopia they were promised.
Israeli-born British journalist Rachel Shabi details the overwhelming pressure that Arab and Middle Eastern Jews felt to conform to a character of Israel that was largely alien, and in many cases hostile, to them in We Look Like the Enemy: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands.
Palestinian Jews who had been in Palestine before Israel was established as well as Arab Jews, says Shabi, had envisioned a Jewish homeland that firmly belonged in the Orient, espousing characteristics of the Middle East and the Levant.
That, according to the European “pioneers” of Israel, was to be avoided at all costs. David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of the new state, said in response to the aspirations of Palestinian Jews that he is bound “by duty to fight the spirit of the Levant. … We do not want Israelis to become Arabs”.
Raised in England and born to Jewish Iraqi parents, Shabi speaks of the disparity between her upbringing, which valued her Arab heritage, and how Israeli society today views Arab-Jewish culture. That sparked a curiosity that led her to write about the topic that she says has been swept under the carpet there.
Clash of cultures
Revealing eye-opening facts through research and interviews, Shabi details the shame that Mizrahi (oriental Jews) were made to feel about their language and traditions, a rarely talked-about and taboo topic in Israel. Mizrahis, she says, were not only seen as coming from primitive and backward cultures but were also made to feel that theirs was the culture of the enemy.
The phenomenon forced the Arab culture of immigrant Mizrahis to be confined to their homes, while their Israel-born children shunned it in shame, choosing instead to assimilate in the European-dominated culture that was promoted by the state.
Such pressure had pushed many Mizrahis to the Right and extreme Right of the political spectrum in Israel. Today, much of the support for Right-wing parties in Israel comes from the Mizrahi sector and some of the most radically anti-Arab slogans have come from Arab Jews.
Shabi attributes the phenomenon to a Mizrahi need to belong. It was Ashkenazis that invented Zionism, “pioneered” the state and suffered the Nazi holocaust, all of which gave them a privileged status in society, she says, hence the added pressure on Mizrahis to prove allegiance to the state.
Aside from that, notes Shabi, the Mizrahis’ affiliation with the Right has to do with the capitalisation by the Right of the disenchantment of underprivileged Mizrahis.
Shabi offers a perspective on Israel’s identity that is far removed from the Zionist narrative. While she, too, approaches it in terms of demographics, she questions why Israel’s character leans more towards Europe when the majority of its population is Arab: Muslim, Christian and Jewish Arab. She sees it as simply a case of a minority imposing itself on a majority.
That view is not only a minority view in Israel, it is also deeply unpopular.
Israel officially splits its citizen population into two camps: “Arab” and “Jew”, thus making the two mutually exclusive.
According to Israel’s Bureau of Statistics, the Arabs, consisting of the native Muslim, Christian and Druze population, constitute a demographically safe 20 per cent of the citizenry. Everyone else is classified as “Jews and others”.
That perspective, therefore, questions the very basis of how Israel identifies itself and is not supported by many other Mizrahis either. Mizrahis often argue that they can be better peace negotiators with Arabs than Ashkenazis.
They can “click” with Arabs while Ashkenazis can’t. That sentiment, however, does not come from a pro-Arab stance but one of Zionist pragmatism, Shabi reveals, as Mizrahis are more familiar with Arab thinking and culture but are nonetheless committed to the official state ideology.
Shabi speaks of many Israeli Jews of Arab origin who, however radical, continue to immerse themselves in Arab culture and language, but would take deep offence at being called an Arab. “Moroccan Jew”, “Yemenite Jew” or “Iraqi Jew” is fine, but “Arab Jew” is taboo.
Those who are interested in how Israeli society operates often hear about domestic splits between the Right and Left wings, the secular and religious Jews and the tensions between the Palestinian citizens and Jewish citizens of Israel.
We Look Like the Enemy, however, is an eye-opening read about a rarely talked-about split in Israeli society and a fascinating story about a fast assimilating Jewish community that is lost somewhere between its homeland and its adopted land.

The loss of inheritance
Rachel Shabi laments the stigmatisation of Arab-Jewish culture in Israel
• GulfNews – Published: 00:00 January 8, 2010
• Iraqi-Israeli journalist Rachel Shabi, whose book We Look Like the Enemy details the discrimination faced by Arab Jews and the continued stigmatisation of Arab-Jewish culture in Israel.

Around half of Israel’s population today is of Arab heritage, yet it is in a state of war with almost all its Arab neighbours. While Israel’s Arab Jews have chosen to firmly side with their adopted country, the integration process has been far from smooth for them.
Iraqi-Israeli journalist Rachel Shabi, whose book We Look Like the Enemy details the discrimination faced by Arab Jews and the continued stigmatisation of Arab-Jewish culture in Israel, speaks to Weekend Review from Tel Aviv about a rich culture that is in decline under the dominance of a more acceptable European-Jewish culture.
Was writing the book an eye-opening experience for you?
What became apparent to me when I came back to Israel was that the culture of Jews from Arab countries was not valued. They had a very low status. It really opened my eyes that it’s still so prevalent and is such a painful issue for so many people.
There is awareness among the Mizrahis (Jews of Middle Eastern origin) that there is a continuing and blatant socioeconomic and cultural discrimination that persists.

How much pressure do Mizrahis face to assimilate into the Ashkenazi (European Jewish) character of Israel?
A lot of pressure. I’ve spoken to so many people who grew up in Israel and recall the social messaging that everything about you — your parents, your culture, your history and your heritage — is common, uncivilised, barbaric and associated with the enemy. And if you want to get ahead in Israeli society, then you really need to drop those customs. It’s a story that keeps repeating itself. So many [Mizrahis] would recall spending their childhood building up a fake identity to belong in Israel. All countries have social pressure but in this instance it’s trying to persuade the majority population to adopt the preferences of the minority.
Do you see that trend changing? Are new generations of Mizrahis more or less willing to reconcile with their roots?
Many Mizrahis were defiant and resilient and developed their culture. [But] there’s also the generation of migrants who grew up with their parents trying to bury their past.
They would say to their parents: “Don’t speak Arabic when we’re in public” or “Don’t play Arabic music.” Now they remember that with shame and try to reconnect with their roots.
Are such Mizrahis pushed to the fringes of society?
Yeah, people who espouse that kind of view are marginalised as radical and fringe and even pro-Palestinian.
Apart from the Western assumption of superiority over the Arab world — which you know is not a particularly Israeli phenomenon — there is of course the complication that not only is this [Arab] culture inferior but it’s the culture of the enemy that surrounds us.

Do you think the Mizrahi community being the voter base of Israel’s Right wing has to do with pressure on the community to prove its loyalty to a Zionist Israel?
I think that’s part of the narrative. If you look like the enemy and have the culture of the enemy then you’re going to want to prove your membership to the Jewish club. But the other part of the narrative is political.
The Israeli Right wing very cannily saw that Mizrahis perceived the Left wing to be a source of institutional discrimination so it manipulated that and campaigned on that platform.
Has Israel managed to craft an identity for itself yet?
It is still a work in progress. But the interesting thing is that the people who pioneered the nation were predominantly European Jews who had a very clear idea about what its identity should be and that was very clearly set to European tastes.
Palestinian Jews, who were here and watched the influx of Jews from Europe, thought the exact opposite. They thought Jewish culture was Arab culture and that the Europeans were the ones that had deviated from Jewish culture.
Do you think that Mizrahis could, in the future, demand a redefinition of the character of Israel that is more in line with its geographic context?
I am hopeful. But I don’t think it necessarily has to come from the Mizrahi community. I’ve met plenty of European Jews who recognise that, learn Arabic and openly say: “We live in the Middle East and need to find a way to integrate in the region and not act [like] and aspire towards Europe.” You don’t have to be Mizrahi to have a Mizrahi outlook.

Are you concerned that the oriental identity of the Mizrahis will wither as time passes?
Yes. On the one hand the Mizrahi accent, which of course is the original Hebrew accent that is closer to Arabic, has been effectively wiped out and people who still speak it are pretty much ridiculed.
But then you see these examples of resilience, of people making efforts to relearn, remember and restore that culture and you think it will survive against the odds.
Whenever people have tried to raise that flag they have been told: “We mustn’t do that because that undermines our unity and our national security.”
Until Israel makes peace with itself, it won’t be able to make peace with its neighbours.
Are Arab Jews living outside Israel more comfortable identifying with their roots than those in Israel?
The big taboo in Israel is the term “Arab Jew”. You’re not allowed to say that.
Middle Eastern Jews in the diaspora are perhaps more laid-back about using that label. In Israel there is a complete dissonance that is held into a false dichotomy, that you can’t be an Arab and a Jew, which of course is complete nonsense, [even] historically.

Do Mizrahis have any sense of regret for leaving their countries for Israel?
Absolutely. Despite the national narrative that Israel rescued Jews from oppressive, tyrannical Arab regimes, those who came from those countries have great memories. Many of them happily talk about the good quality of life they had and what a shock it was to come and realise that they had perhaps been misled about what they were walking in to.

January 8th, 2010, 10:48 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Yossi’s “Hit Me” Mentality Exposed

Responding to Yossi,

You’re a sorry clown.

Right, because you can’t refute my claims.

Israel didn’t want to negotiate with Hamas a new cease fire after the war.

Where’s the link proving this? My links show otherwise. My links show Israel called a unilateral ceasefire and Hamas didn’t. Why didn’t Hamas call for a cease fire? Is it perhaps because they want to continue “resistance”? Maybe there’s another reason why you take up for that intolerant group of terrorists called Hamas.

Israel and Hamas never negotiate face-to-face. Usually Egypt is a mediator. If Hamas wanted a cease fire they could do it with Egypt’s help or unilaterally like Israel.

That was the entire point, to silence Hamas without giving it recognition.

Neither side recognizes the other. Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel, and Israel only recognizes the Palestinian Authority. In fact, the PA, the US, and most of Europe doesn’t recognize the Hamas’s anti-semitic leadership. Maybe you do, but you’re not (fortunately) in a policy-making position.

I’m not going to read the MFA propaganda, don’t have time for it, and the Likud didn’t go to war in Gaza, so can’t see how this is relevant.

Of course you don’t have time for “MFA propaganda”, because defending Israel is uncomforatable for you. Because Israel should absorb a few thousand more mortars and Qassams because not enough Israelis died from them.

The fact that Hamas is not ready for a peace treaty with Israel (let’s take this assertion at face value just for the sake of discussion) doesn’t provide Israel with a pretext for aggression if Hamas agrees for a cease fire. Hamas was interested in a cease fire but it had three demands (a) to stop the siege (b) to stop extra-judicial executions and (c) to negotiate the prisoner exchange separably from the cease-fire.

Exactly, Hamas wants to continue smuggling in longer range missiles without Israeli interferrence, and you don’t have a problem with that. Fortunately, that doesn’t cut it for most Israelis.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056134.html

The first two “demands” Israel should have agreed to because they are violations of international and Israeli law, so why would Israel want to do that… and about the prisoner exchange, there was no reason to commit a crime against peace because Hamas wouldn’t release a single prisoner while Israel holds 11,000 of them, many of them minor and women.

Please show me where it is against international law to close a border between two neighboring countries at war with each other.

A minimum of decency reveals the totally obvious motivations for the massacre. Akbar, the bombardment of the police cadets was planned MONTHS ahead of time. It was the grand premiere show of the IDF and there was nothing that could stop them from performing.

“Motivation” for the WAR (“massacre”), was years of shelling and missile fire from Gaza (not the West Bank). If that is not enough motivation for you, too bad.

January 8th, 2010, 1:00 pm

 

Yossi said:

Akbar,

Of course I don’t like Hamas, but that doesn’t mean I support biblical punishment campaigns, or think they would weaken Hamas in any way, or help Israel in the long run.

How can I refute your claims when you don’t claim anything consistent?

Can you answer the following questions in a self-contained manner (meaning I don’t have to follow links and assume that you wholly endorse what they are saying) and without rhetorical counter-questions?

Do you claim that Israel is not beholden to an imperative to prefer cease fire to war? Do you claim that a continuation of the cease fire was impossible? Do you agree with my version of the history, which says that Hamas had the aforementioned three demands to extending the cease fire? Do you claim that Hamas’s demands couldn’t have been met by Israel, or that doing so was disproportionately dangerous to Israel? Do you claim that Israel has the right to block Gaza’s waters and if so, is that an act of war or not? What goals did the war have in your version of history? Were they achieved after a month of fighting? How were they achieved? Could they have been achieved with fewer casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure? Why, in your version of history, didn’t Israel and Hamas reach a mutually agreed upon cease fire at the end of the war? What would constitute a sufficient condition for Israel to start war again on Gaza? Under what conditions would the siege of Gaza waters become illegal or disproportionate to the threat, or is Israel allowed to continue the sea blockade as long as Hamas controls Gaza?

Finally, Akbar, and most importantly, everybody in Israel openly talks about the war having three goals which Amb. Shalev is not going to repeat on the podium in the UN: (1) restoring IDF self-confidence (2) revenge for 8 years of Qassam and (3) helping the election campaigns of Livni and Barak. Do you believe these three reasons which are common knowledge in Israel are totally false and played no factor in the decision to go to war and how it was waged?

January 8th, 2010, 5:14 pm

 

jad said:

What’s the point? He had only 5 months to go out anyway.
If they did that two years ago that would’ve been a good news but today is just meaningless.

عفور رئاسي عن المدون السوري كريم عربجي بعد تدخل جهات دينية

كلنا شركاء
08/ 01/ 2010
أفرجت السلطات السورية مساء أمس الخميس 7/1/2010 عن المدون السوري الشاب كريم عربجي بموجب قرار عفو خاص صادر عن رئيس الجمهورية العربية السورية .

وأتى هذا الافراج قبل حوالي خمسة شهور من انقضاء الحكم الصادر بحقه، وقد علمت (كلنا شركاء) من مصادر مطلعة أن الافراج أتى بعد تدخل إحدى الجهات الدينية المسيحية المرموقة لدى القصر الجمهوري للحصول على هذا العفو الخاص خصوصاً بعد اصابة والد كريم بالشلل.

من جانبه ذكر المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان أن المدون عربجي (32 سنة) كان اعتقل من قبل جهاز امني سوري على خلفية مشاركته في إدارة منتديات على شبكة الانترنت وأصدرت محكمة امن الدولة العليا بدمشق في 13/09/2009 حكما بالسجن لمدة ثلاث سنوات بحقه بتهمة نشر أنباء كاذبة من شأنها أن توهن نفسية الأمة وفقا للمادة 286 من قانون العقوبات السوري .

ورحب المرصد بهذه الخطوة متمنياً اصدار عفو رئاسي يشمل كافة معتقلي الرأي والضمير في السجون السورية ويشمل السوريين من أصحاب الرأي في خارج البلاد الذين يخشون اعتقالهم في حال عودتهم لسورية.

January 8th, 2010, 6:33 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

Dear Jad
Dams are inevitable. The resiliency of any water resources system depends to a large extent on the amount of available storage as ratio to annual renewable supplies. Compare for example the Colorado River system, along which the total storage of all dams is 4 times the annual renewable supplies with the System in California, which has only 1 time the annual supply. California is more vulnerable to variability than the states relying on the Colorado system. However, the California system is perhaps the best managed system in the world, it is fully integrated and water is transported and allocated through the system using some of the most sophisticated optimization software (called CALSIMII). Dams are OK, as long as they are managed in integrated manner.

The fact that we can only forecast (deterministically) for a short lead time, makes managing reservoirs a rather difficult aspect. Say for example, your seasonal climate forecast predict a wetter year (usually in probabilistic manner), the manager must weigh the risk of emptying the reservoir to allow for the new expected flow to be stored, against the probability of the year being dryer than the forecast, which means that the manager will have an empty reservoir for next year. In this case, risk assessment is the most important part of managing the reservoir and of allocating water.

In fact, dam construction, provided that flow is retained in the natural channel at levels that guarantee good water quality (thermal and chemical), healthy riparian habitat, and continuous recharge of nearby aquifers. This is the new pragmatic paradigm.

In coastal watersheds, however, one must be careful to ensure that the reduced flow is not going to negatively impact the aquatic habitat at the coastal zone or the wetlands generated at the river outlet.

In the US, few years ago, the bureau of reclamation started generating artificial floods from major dams on the Colorado river. This has allowed some of the river habitats, which depended on the sand bars created by the annual floods to regenerate. This practice is beginning to gain popularity as an alternative to dam removal. In a fully integrated system, the water volume from the artificial flood can be captured by the downstream dam, which means no actual loss of storage water.

One issue also that must be considered is that in hot areas, the water canals used to transport stored water cause a lot of evaporation loss. Aqueducts are a good alternative, but they are really expensive.

Transporting water is also energy intensive. I believe that 19% of California’s energy consumption is used for water transport.

Also important is the development of water treatment facilities to clean the returned irrigation water, which usually carries significant amount of chemicals and pesticides into the stream. This is slightly less important if modern irrigation strategies are used, but increased soil salinity will continue to be a problem in irrigated lands because of the more abundant water from the dam.

January 8th, 2010, 6:37 pm

 

Off the Wall said:

OTW the typical American Liberal. I’m sure that you scold your postman(forests in Brazil), you shop in an “organic” grocery store and keep a rich in fiber diet. Ohh.. but you get those inflated electricity bills, like your Al Gore.

Wrong on all counts. I shop at local stores, and I am not really big fan of organic food because it rots very fast. I like firm apples and juicy oranges.

I don’t scold my postman, I like her very much, she is a very decent hard working woman. However, I hate junk mail and find it useless and a waste of precious papers. But with most advertisers now resorting to recycled paper. I am OK with that, especially when i can simply throw the junk mail in my own recycle bin.

My electricity bill is rather average.

We don’t live in Avatar OTW. The Arabs aren’t blue, aren’t 2,5 meter tall and aren’t incredibly athletic. And they don’t fly those magical dragon-birds. And the Americans aren’t those evil evil hoodlums who try to evict the innocent Avatarians from their natural beauty-jungle.

Look who is talking about stereotypes, I do not need you to tell me about Americans, our generosity, good heart, and occasional belief in manifest destiny. I love us, otherwise I would not have decided to live here. I accept my inheritance and recognize both the good and the bad. I think that the American army is the most professional in the world, it gets less professional and more barbaric when it tries to learn from the IDF and when it lets private firms, many of which are managed by ex MOSAD and IDF generals to be involved.

I like American liberals only when it comes to internal American matters.

I’ll let them know, they will be delighted

Leave the foreign affairs to the grownups OTW.

you mean AIPAC and the NeoCONS

With this attitude like yours, Europe would be a Nazi continent by now.

You are wrong, President Roosevelt was a democrat and a big liberal. Many argue that he was probably the only true liberal American president. Neville Chamberlain, on the other hand, was a conservative. Go figure.

January 8th, 2010, 7:07 pm

 

jad said:

Thank you OTW for the explanation.

Nicolas,
You might find this interesting too, they wrote that the original piece is in SC ?

http://all4syria.info/content/view/19665/68/

يهُودُ سُورية

روبرت طوطل- موقع معابر الالكتروني
09/ 01/

روبرت طوطل كاتب وصحافي مستقل مقيم حاليّاً في نيويورك. كان، ما بين العامين 1994 و1997، طالباً في دمشق حائزاً على منحة فولبرايت دراسية. وهو يجيد اللسان العربي. أما تحقيقه حول “يهود سورية” فقد كَتَبَه كمشروع لنيل الماجستير من كلِّية الصحافة في جامعة كولومبيا. وقد أجاز روبرت لـمعابر نشرَ مقالته الممتازة أدناه، التي اطَّلعنا عليها منشورةً في موقع Syria Comment – على أن يطَّلع على ترجمتها قبل نشرها. عنوانه البريدي الإلكتروني (للراغبين في مراسلته): robert.tuttle@gmail.com.

(لكن يهود سورية، فيما هم يعيشون في الخارج، مازالوا ينظرون وراءهم إلى الداخل. فهم، مثلهم كمثل الفلسطينيين–الإسرائيليين، يقفون على جانبَي خط تماس الصراع العربي–الإسرائيلي نفسه. ومع أن هذا الموقع الحرج سبَّب للكثيرين الشقاء والألم والعذاب، فقد زوَّدهم، في الآن نفسه، بتبصر فريد للتعمق في نزاع مافتئ يتقرح سنين أطول من أن تطاق. فاليهود السوريون لن يلعبوا في الغالب أيَّ دور في تقرير مَن سيأخذ هذه الحصة أو تلك من مرتفعات الجولان، لكنهم ربما تمكَّنوا يوماً من رعاية سلام دافئ.

قال فويرتي: “إذا حلَّ السلام بين سورية وإسرائيل – وأنا واثق من أن السلام سيحل – سنجمع بين الفريقين. يجب أن نكون جسراً بين إسرائيل وسورية”.)

January 9th, 2010, 1:48 am

 

Yossi said:

There was a two-segment piece on NPR today and yesterday about the water crisis between Turkey, Syria, Iraq. Prof. Josh was interviewed too. As was as someone who must be OTW’s buddy (a dams’ expert from Colorado). Should be avaiable on NPR’s site.

January 9th, 2010, 2:56 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Responding to Brain-Challegened Israeli Leftists (con’t)

Of course I don’t like Hamas, but that doesn’t mean I support biblical punishment campaigns…

Yossi,

The bible has nothing to do with the GOI finally deciding after years of absorbing random missile and mortar fire to enter Gaza to take down Hamas, missile launchers, tunnels, and terrorists. There are many examples of other countries that would have responded earlier and more brutally.

… or think they would weaken Hamas in any way, or help Israel in the long run.

Forceful response has shown to very much “weaken Hamas” as well as bring peace in the “short run”. Nothing will help Israel in the long run as long as terror organizations call the shots along the border, but, that doesn’t mean Israel wouldn’t, one day, reenter Gaza to “finish the job” many Israelis were hoping for.

How can I refute your claims when you don’t claim anything consistent?

What inconsistent claims are you referring to?

Do you claim that Israel is not beholden to an imperative to prefer cease fire to war?

Cease fires can be agreed to or they can be unilateral. In the end, they are vague “agreements”. With respect to the state still at war with Israel: Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, they are not very well adhered to and no hard, fast rules apply.

Do you claim that a continuation of the cease fire was impossible?

See above. In short, the actors adhere to the agreements only when they want. No actor wants to be blamed for being the first to break an agreement, and usually, the terror organization breaks it, thus allowing Israel to respond with an excuse.

Do you agree with my version of the history, which says that Hamas had the aforementioned three demands to extending the cease fire?

Without researching the “3 demands”, I recall one of them was free access into Gaza. So I am sure Israel would have rejected that demand. Also, I am sure Hamas would never have accepted a cease fire for any long term. Again, taking “resistance” out of the terror mindset is too much to ask.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/hamas-rejects-israel-ceasefire-demands-1397089.html

Do you claim that Hamas’s demands couldn’t have been met by Israel, or that doing so was disproportionately dangerous to Israel?

See above. Yes.

Do you claim that Israel has the right to block Gaza’s waters and if so, is that an act of war or not?

You mean along the Mediterranean? Because the 2 parties are at war, it may be legal. Yes, it is an act of war, just like launching rockets is an act of war.

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

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

What goals did the war have in your version of history? Were they achieved after a month of fighting? How were they achieved? Could they have been achieved with fewer casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure? Why, in your version of history, didn’t Israel and Hamas reach a mutually agreed upon cease fire at the end of the war? What would constitute a sufficient condition for Israel to start war again on Gaza? Under what conditions would the siege of Gaza waters become illegal or disproportionate to the threat, or is Israel allowed to continue the sea blockade as long as Hamas controls Gaza?

With a terrorist government like Hamas, whose ideology is written in the Hamas Charter, no long term agreement that can be expected to be signed and adhered to (between the GOI and Hamas). This would go against Hamas’s “raison d’etre”. If Israel has to enter Gaza once every five years to destroy their fighting infrustructure, then I would say that would be worthwhile, depending on the amount of missiles and mortars the Israeli public would have to endure.

Finally, Akbar, and most importantly, everybody in Israel openly talks about the war having three goals which Amb. Shalev is not going to repeat on the podium in the UN: (1) restoring IDF self-confidence (2) revenge for 8 years of Qassam and (3) helping the election campaigns of Livni and Barak. Do you believe these three reasons which are common knowledge in Israel are totally false and played no factor in the decision to go to war and how it was waged?

No I dont. But if you want to believe them, that’s fine with me.

Almost three weeks after the beginning of Operation Cast Lead and less than a month before the Knesset elections, a Haaretz-Dialog poll shows widespread public support for the Gaza campaign.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055564.html

January 9th, 2010, 7:59 pm

 

Shai said:

Akbar, a Brain-Unchallenged Neocon,

“but, that doesn’t mean Israel wouldn’t, one day, reenter Gaza to “finish the job” many Israelis were hoping for.”

This shows you haven’t a clue of what you’re talking about. Even the most hawkish Israeli Army COGS, Heads of Shin Bet, and Defense Ministers know that there is no way to “finish the job”. The only ones who think there IS, are brain-unchallenged experts such as yourself, Avigdor Lieberman, and that racist Yosemite-Sam of an MK, Arye Eldad.

I know it’s a strange concept for you to accept – Democracy – but the same system your Bush-era Neocons were shoving down the Palestinians’ throat those 8 “short-term peace” years, is precisely what brought Hamas to power, and now you won’t accept it. You expect the Palestinians to sit with Israel, a free and democratic state that kills and injures thousands of Arabs in “no choice” military operations, but YOU can’t accept an organization that you label “terrorists” (their means are definitely less “clean” than our fancy F-15 i’s). Maybe the day will come, when the sun will shine just right, and you’ll finally understand, that Hamas is not “an organization” that can be “finished”. It is part of the Palestinian people. It IS the Palestinian people.

And a people, you can’t “finish”.

January 10th, 2010, 6:26 am

 

Yossi said:

Akbar,

I don’t know what I was expecting when I asked you to write something consistent, you haven’t failed to fail, as always. But I can piece together something from your staccato’d and laconic narrative. BTW, amusingly you refer to me as “brain challenged” when you are the one who have yet to produce a single original thought. All you do is repeat one-liners fed to you by your hasbara handlers, AIG chief among them.

As to the points you make, since Hamas is a “terrorist organization” (a label which I agree it has earned fairly, but I believe needs to be constantly reevaluated) everything is fair game in fighting it. Although Israel “no longer occupies Gaza”, it is “still in war with Gaza” but unlike other countries on its borders, it doesn’t need to respect or seek short-term or long-term cease-fires (Hamas has shown interest in both). The goal of the Gaza operation was to “eliminate terrorist infrastructure”, and can be repeated as often as necessary.

When this is your position, there really isn’t much room to talk about responsibility for specific events, you’d blame everything on terrorism and your Hamas counterparts will blame everything on colonialism. This is easy to understand and probably exactly what most people can grok in terms of complexity. In that world the stronger takes it all, and there is no mercy for the loser. In my alternative approach, I would expect behavior to change before ideology and I would expect behavioral shifts to precipitate ideological shifts. The cease fire could have been a foundation for different rules of engagement. You have to start somewhere. In your opinion, it has to start with Hamas capitulating. Well, that’s not going to happen. Since Israel is not going to nuke Gaza, your approach leads to a dead end. I believe that the leadership in Israel is more pragmatic than you are and they would soon start negotiating with Hamas too. But if they would try to “finish it off” like in the last massacre (in which they DIDN’T really try to do that—they were just going for enough blood to “deter”), it would lead to nothing but the total isolation of Israel and would do nothing to weaken Hamas. Read van Creveld on counter-insurgency. There are only two successful ways to deal with it: the British way and the Syrian way. Israel has missed the boat on both strategies. Israel is definitely not as even-handed as the Brits were in North Ireland, and the horror Israel inflicts has been too monotone now, so nobody is afraid of it anymore. Israel will not be able to crush any enemy any more, and thus every such additional “operation” is something that it’ll have to work hard to compensate for when it would finally have to face consequences. That day will come. It always does.

January 10th, 2010, 6:35 am

 

Yossi said:

Shai,

High-khamsa, good response to Akbar. I think if we try hard we can finish-off Akbar this time, like Israel finished-off Hamas this time last year 🙂 I think he is ready to surrender and give up his silly resistance 🙂 I’ll squeeze his like the IDF ground forces, burn him with phosphorus, you strangulate him like Egypt and OTW will put a naval blockade. We will starve him to submission, then he will see the light and change his “charter”. He will even convert to Islam like you and I did before. He will have no choice!

January 10th, 2010, 7:19 am

 

Off the Wall said:

Yossi and Shai
Naval forces ready, on your command 🙂

January 10th, 2010, 7:34 am

 

norman said:

Shai, Yosssi,

Looking at the exchange in the last few days , i can see how when you and Yossi, show some understanding to the Palestinian suffering , the Syrian side show understanding to the Israeli side , while when AP , Henry , and Amir attack the Palestinian and treat them like second class people that do not deserve a life , the Same Syrians answer angrily with attacks on Israel and it’s policies opening up old wounds ,

Thinking about all that made it clear to me that you and Yossi , serve more the Jewish people and the future of Israel ,

you should be proud of that , feeling the suffering of your adversary is the only way for peace in the Mideast .

And that is my take ,

January 10th, 2010, 2:46 pm

 

Shai said:

Dear Norman,

Thank you. It’s called Empathy, and it’s true about everything between human beings, not only between “enemies”. Our future lies with people that truly want to understand the other, not only those who first demand to be understood.

January 10th, 2010, 3:11 pm

 

norman said:

Shai,
right as usual ,

January 10th, 2010, 5:04 pm

 

Yossi said:

Norman,

Thank you for your kind words. I agree with Shai, but even if you don’t feel empathy, usually people beyond elementary school can understand that attempting coercion and submission of the other is not a very sustainable way to deal it, and surly a very risky one.

January 10th, 2010, 5:10 pm

 

norman said:

yossi,

you are right too ,

can you and Shai, think of a plan that Israel can accept to solve the Mideast problem , including the Refugees and the land and the status of Jerusalem ,

tell me what you think and i will tell you where things can move forward , as you know i always thought that looking at the past will create more division than accommodation , the future what count no whose fault is this and that , i always feel that opening old wounds will make people hate each other, while looking for project that will benefit both sides and show concern for each other is the way for a peaceful future,for all sides ,

January 10th, 2010, 5:18 pm

 

jad said:

Funny yet true article by Nidal Naeese

http://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art.asp?aid=198757

وانكشفت جميع العورات

“تدور اليوم معارك طاحنة وجدل عنيف حول شرعية وأخلاقية وقانونية أجهزة “كشف ما تحت العورات” التي ستنصب في كافة المطارات والموانئ الغربية، ولا سيما من قبل أولئك المأخوذين بفقه العورات، والتي لا يشغل بالهم سوى العورة على الدوام.”

نعم لقد ذهب العلماني والمنفتح والتنويري العربي والمسلم، بجريرة” الإرهابي والقاتل العربي والمسلم وتساوى الاثنان أمام جهاز كشف العورات” أعزكم الله العزيز القهار”. ذلك الجهاز الأصم الذي لن يفرق لا بين عورة إرهابي، ولا عورة علماني، ولا سافرة، والعياذ بالله، ولا منقبة، ولا بين دبلوماسي رفيع المستوى، أو صعلوك متشرد، وعلى باب الله، أو بين ثري عربي، وجائع عربي، فكلهم سيقفون جميعاً عراة، وربي كما خلقتني أمام “جهاز الحساب”، وكشف العورات، كي يعلم الذين ودعموا وصدروا الإرهاب أي منقلب انقلبوه، وأول الغيث جهاز لكشف العورات، و”يا ما في الجراب يا حاوي”، فقط ما عليكم سوى التحلي بفضيلة الصبر.
وانكشفت عورات الجميع، وكل الحمد والشكر لآفة الإرهاب ولرعاته من أنظمة الخراب.”

January 10th, 2010, 5:41 pm

 

Shai said:

Norman,

Absolutely. We must focus on the future. There are many initiatives that are constantly taking place between Israelis and Palestinians, on the business and cultural levels, which I wish could also exist between Israel and its “other enemies”. Look at the absurd – the Palestinians have suffered more under Israel rule than anyone else around, they still don’t have their freedom, they’re still fighting us to achieve it, and yet we interact with them (out of choice) more than with any other Arabs, even the ones we are “at peace” with.

The best way to dissolve the decades-long dehumanization of each side, is to force us to look each other in the eyes, to see and hear one another, and not through the barrel of a gun. I understand the preconditions that both sides place upon one another. But they’re as much wishful-thinking as Akbar’s “Peace in the short-term”. We know both peoples, Jews and Arabs, are an emotional people that are ready, almost at an instant, to forgive and forget – to start a new chapter. But in reality, it’s just not happening, and quite likely because we’re leaving it to the politicians to achieve, and not to our people.

So I would focus now less on reaching those preconditions (even though behind the scenes they may be working on that), and more on exposing our societies to one another. No point talking right now to the average Israeli about Jerusalem or even the Refugee problem. Talk to him/her about it, after they’ve heard some Palestinians. After they’ve seen a Syrian. Can you imagine – almost NO Israeli has ever seen a Syrian person live, and maybe vice-versa. I can’t think of Israelis that have ever seen even a documentary about Syria, and I imagine few Syrians have ever seen anything positive about Israel, besides our soldiers firing live bullets into a Palestinian crowd.

Like you said, we need to look to the future, not reopen old wounds. Unfortunately, for the Palestinians these are also very fresh and ongoing wounds. If they’ll be able to look ahead, they really will be the heroic ones that muster the kind of strength that none of us can achieve. I think they have it. I hope other Arabs do as well. And I hope my people, here in Israel, also have it. I know Israeli society is open to any and all Arabs. We’ve allowed Arab journalists in (not always treated them fairly), but we want the Arabs in the region to see also the good sides of Israel, not just the Occupation ones. What about the Arab states – when will they let Israeli journalists in?

Let’s do what India and Pakistan – no less “worst enemies” than Israel and Syria, Israel and Lebanon, or Israel and Kuwait – do. They enable some contact between their people, culturally, politically, even economically I believe. There is no peace between them, but they understand that to get there one day, they need to let their people learn about one another. I hope we can do the same here. It will be much faster, I am sure of it.

January 10th, 2010, 7:44 pm

 

norman said:

Shai ,

you might not have met Syrians and Palestinians face to face but you meet them every day here and on they are as i am feel that the Hebrews have the right to return as my children have that right , the question that i have to your people is weather they are ready to give the Palestinian their human rights as any Israeli would like for himself, you might think that we do not know Jews , but we do a Lott more than you think , i took care of the mothers of two different Rabbis knowing that there are Jewish Doctors around , my Insurance man and Estate Lawyer are Jewish , my best Doctor friends and best referral are Jewish , we are very close in the US and i am not talking about Jewish in name , they go to Israel almost every year , so what is needed is a leap forward to settle the problem after reaching a solution and selling it to the people .

Enough suffering ,

January 11th, 2010, 12:38 am

 

Shai said:

Norman,

Your words are so powerful, and I wish I could amplify them for every Israeli to hear. Indeed in the “Diaspora”, we Jews and Arabs finally got a chance to interact, to know one another, to learn to depend on each other. I’ve had that privilege as well, from the time I was 10 years old in the U.S., until this very day. I do know Arabs, of every sort possible. But most in my country do not, and I would venture to say most in the surrounding countries also do not (those that haven’t travelled or worked abroad). Ignorance, and systematic withholding of information and dehumanization, have contributed to suspicion and hatred. Of course action on the ground did too.

Norman, what you and others on SC have and continue to exhibit, is empathy, openness, and willingness to turn a new page in our miserable and painful history. We need to hear that, no less than you need to hear it from us. You ask a very good question about whether Israelis are ready to let go and finally give the Palestinians the freedom they deserve no less. I think the answer is Yes, and I don’t base that on wishful thinking, but on nearly two decades of elections where PM’s were chosen specifically on agendas of making Peace with the Palestinians, and giving back almost the entire Territories (most Israelis have heard the numbers 96% or 97% of the WB, for instance). I believe we are ready for that. But we need the right leader on our side, and the right leader on theirs. We need both sides to be able to “deliver”. At the moment, and this is one of the reasons I’m pessimistic about the Palestinian track (before the Syrian one), until Fatah and Hamas work out their differences and re-establish an accepted and representative government, Israel cannot really move ahead. Shimon Peres thinks, and apparently managed to convince many in Washington, that a Palestinian State can be borne on the West Bank “first”. I don’t believe it can, and we’re wasting our time trying to get there, if we are at all.

The best way to approach the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I believe, is via Syria/Lebanon. It is by far the easiest route, the one that makes most sense, and the one that will “remind” Israelis and Arabs that both sides are ready for a new chapter in our relationship. We need the right leadership (and I hope Netanyahu will do his part), but we also need an opening of communication. It’s time to start hearing all the Normans and Shais out there. We can’t depend on a small, finite number of internet-savvy bloggers.

January 11th, 2010, 6:09 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

But they’re as much wishful-thinking as Akbar’s “Peace in the short-term”.

Shai,

I was referring to the conflict between Hamas and Israel. Considering Hamas’s actions, public statements and their charter, I don’t know how you can expect more than this. OF course, I’m not holding my breath that your posts here will change Hamas’s outlook and more than that of Neuturai Karta’s visit to Gaza.

With respect to the PA and the West Bank, I think there have been many positive changes as there is, at least, open channels of communication and a lot less violence.

when AP , Henry , and Amir attack the Palestinian and treat them like second class people

Shai, Yossi, and Norman,

Sorry to step on your “LoveFest”, but the question of Israel’s border security has nothing to do with treating Palestinians as “second class people”. If that were the case, Palestinians would not have full rights in Israel.

What you constantly do is downplay and ignore Israel’s security motives as if Israel is never in any danger from rocket and missile attacks and the civil distruption it creates. I’d say that part of your brain is dysfunctional.

January 11th, 2010, 1:07 pm

 

Yossi said:

Akbar,

You know what, in the past, I have downplayed the security risk that Hamas poses to Israel. I think this is borne out of facts. But let’s assume that the risk is grave. How do you neutralize such a risk? Hamas is not less powerful now than a year ago, and the operation last year made sure that there are tens of thousands of Gazan teens who’d be happy to die in their struggle against Israel. This is where lack of long term security comes from. Israel has moved from missing a deal with local leaders, to missing a deal with Jordan, to missing a deal with the PLO, to having to deal with Hamas and Hizballah, and next thing it’ll be al-Qaeda and other nihilist groups. So… how is that buying Israel any security? Israel could have extended the cease fire with Hamas and continued the peace treaty negotiations with Syria, instead it killed both. I believe these two steps will prove to be watershed moments in the history of Israel, for the worse. Time will tell…

January 12th, 2010, 6:30 am

 

Shai said:

Yossi,

Look at the absurdity – when our rivals are strong, threatening, and act on those threats, we don’t want to talk to them (“until they put down their weapons”). When our rivals are weak, not threatening, keep their border with Israel quiet, and resort to struggle through indirect means, we don’t want to talk to them, because what’s the rush.

I can understand Norman’s frustration. Either Israel doesn’t know what it wants, or it knows it doesn’t want Peace.

January 12th, 2010, 8:19 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

You know what, in the past, I have downplayed the security risk that Hamas poses to Israel. I think this is borne out of facts. But let’s assume that the risk is grave.

Yossi,

Driving on Israeli roads is more “grave” than the possibility of dying in a rocket attack. The same would be true for every other country in the world. The point is, no sane government would allow random firing of missiles and mortars into the country, mainly due to the disruption of civilian life and the remote possibility of bodily harm (which does occur).

Any country that would ignore such a phenomenon would only signal weakness.

How do you neutralize such a risk? Hamas is not less powerful now than a year ago, and the operation last year made sure that there are tens of thousands of Gazan teens who’d be happy to die in their struggle against Israel.

I always hear these excuses about the “tens of thousands” who would be willing to die because of some retaliatory action. This is another myth. The brainwashers are busy recruiting before, during and after any retaliation. The 9-11 bombers were training before we entered Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamofascists ALWAYS have a grievance.

This is where lack of long term security comes from. Israel has moved from missing a deal with local leaders, to missing a deal with Jordan, to missing a deal with the PLO, to having to deal with Hamas and Hizballah, and next thing it’ll be al-Qaeda and other nihilist groups.

False. Israel made a “deal” with Egypt and Jordan, and has also negotiated with the PLO. There is no “deal” possible with an violent “grievance” organization like Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Queda. No one has signed a peace treaty with any of these organizations, and no one will.

So… how is that buying Israel any security?

Security and peace depend on two sides coming to an agreement. When one side isn’t willing to make peace, there is no agreement. To my knowledge, the terror organization cannot make peace with the GOI because it goes against their “raison d’etre”.

I hope this isn’t news to you.

Israel could have extended the cease fire with Hamas and continued the peace treaty negotiations with Syria, instead it killed both.

As I showed previously, Israel isn’t going to accept a cease fire with Hamas so Hamas can arm themselves with every Iranian missile battery at their disposal. You may think that is fine, most Israelis (especially those living in Sderot and the Ashkelon) do not.

I don’t know what peace treaty the Israelis refused to sign with Syria. What did the Syrians propose? Do you have a link?

I believe these two steps will prove to be watershed moments in the history of Israel, for the worse. Time will tell…

I believe Israeli Leftists are braindead, and peace will come despite this.

January 12th, 2010, 12:34 pm

 

Yossi said:

Akbar,

I don’t advocate that Israel would ignore the Qassam rockets, the cease fire stopped their firing almost completely, yes? Israel had to endure the Qassams specifically because it didn’t have the guts to go on a punitive campaign, nor engage Hamas diplomatically. Eventually it decided to go on a punitive campaign and bought some quiet, at an enormous cost at the international community—the case of Gaza is still pending at the UN and will be discussed later this month. I predict that another deterioration with Gaza will not allow Israel to repeat this “trick”, so what kind of strategy is that?

Of course every other country would have reacted, but Israel is no other country, it’s an occupier and a colonist who drove the same residents of Gaza out of their original homes in 1948, so that’s the price you have to pay for being “unusual”. Every time people bring up comparisons of the form, “imagine Belgium fired rockets on France” they should be asked “and WHY is it exactly that Belgium doesn’t fire rockets on France?!”. As long as colonists exclude themselves from the aboriginal population, and keep special privileges, they will be resisted. This holds anywhere in the world.

As to your claim that the “Islamofascists” will always have a reason to agitate, you may be right… and that would be a real pity for Israel because through a process of elimination it has generated an opposition that cannot be appeased or dealt with rationally. You do know that Hamas was encouraged and groomed by Israel as a counter-balance for the PLO, don’t you? Your claim that you have irrational opponents is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Now go and google this “London Agreement” and also “Moshe Amirav” and learn about the opportunities that Israel had missed to reach a deal ON THE WEST BANK with Jordan, or reach a deal with the Palestinians before even the first Intifada. The way you talk about Hamas today, is exactly the way people were talking about the Fatah in the 70’s. I’m not saying they are the same, on the contrary, Fatah was secular and offered a much more moderate position. The thing that remained constant though is the spoiled Israeli arrogance of labeling the other side as “terrorist” so as to eschew any possible compromise. I’m not saying the label is inaccurate, only that it’s not constructive to look only through this lens. Well, that is just swell as long as the party continues, but it won’t go on like this forever, and then you’re going to regret all the squandered opportunities. Perhaps it’s tool late already.

If the right brings peace I would be happy to wear a t-shirt that says “braindead lefty” for a month. Really. But if within 5 years the threats from all of Israel’s fronts will materialize into a war that will exact a toll that Israel has never had to pay before, I’m sure you and the rest of the hasbara perots will blame the left for that, because we have “weakened Israel”. There is no outcome that will prove to you that you were wrong all along. Talk about lack of ability to self-criticize…

January 13th, 2010, 2:13 am

 

norman said:

Yossi,

lack of peace is forcing both sides to be more radical , that can only be stopped by showing care about the welfare of each other ,

January 13th, 2010, 4:09 am

 

Yossi said:

Norman,

You are right, but unfortunately it’s probably too late.

January 13th, 2010, 6:35 am

 

Shai said:

Akbar,

“The point is, no sane government would allow random firing of missiles and mortars into the country, mainly due to the disruption of civilian life and the remote possibility of bodily harm (which does occur).”

I know you’ll view this as PR for BJT’s (Bloodthirsty Jihadist Terrorists), but what the heck, consider the following:

“The point is, no sane people would allow unrandom Occupation, Suffocation, and Subjugation of their people, mainly due to the inabilities of the Occupying Power to find ample reasons to leave the Territories and People it rules over (which occurs nonstop, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, and decade after decade).”

I know your reasons for why Israel should go on military adventures every few years to teach those bearded terrorists a lesson they won’t quickly forget, but allow us just one nanosecond of complete honesty, and give us just one reason why the Palestinians shouldn’t go on endless, continuous, day-after-day-after-day of Intifadas, suicide missions, and every type of armed and unarmed struggle they can produce?!?

I give Ehud Barak very little credit for anything since his “ascension” to politics, but even this of Israel’s highest-decorated officers wisely remarked once: “I too, if I were a Palestinian, would belong to a “terrorist group”…” He was being honest, he wasn’t advocating violence or the killing of innocent Jews and non-Jews. He, for a split second, understood the other side. He, for a second, became a non-braindead-Leftist.

Btw, if you didn’t read my comment up above, I’ll summarize the key points:

a. Hamas isn’t just “an organization” – it’s part of the Palestinian people, it IS the Palestinian people.

b. A people, you can’t finish.

January 13th, 2010, 9:27 am

 

Shai said:

Norman, Yossi,

There is no such thing as too late. One courageous leader with foresight can change everything.

January 13th, 2010, 9:36 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

“The point is, no sane people would allow unrandom Occupation, Suffocation, and Subjugation of their people, mainly due to the inabilities of the Occupying Power to find ample reasons to leave the Territories and People it rules over (which occurs nonstop, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, and decade after decade).”

Shai,

Thanks for editing my response to the paragraph above. You may think this is a way to show some sort of “moral equivalence”, it doesn’t.

First of all, the occupation isn’t “random”. Whereas the border between Gaza and Israel is no longer disputed, the West Bank border is. Yet, nearly all the violence is concentrated along the Gaza border. The ample reason is a border dispute. Israel could unilaterally withdraw to the 1967 border, but without a peace treaty, violence will continue as the Lebanon, Gaza, and pre-’67 data points show. I find these to be “ample reasons”. The braindead will not find these to be ample reasons. The braindead created the Oslo Accords. The braindead do not learn from their mistakes.

I give Ehud Barak very little credit for anything since his “ascension” to politics, but even this of Israel’s highest-decorated officers wisely remarked once: “I too, if I were a Palestinian, would belong to a “terrorist group”…” He was being honest, he wasn’t advocating violence or the killing of innocent Jews and non-Jews. He, for a split second, understood the other side. He, for a second, became a non-braindead-Leftist.

I give Barak more credit than the Israeli-left. At least he made a real effort. The Israeli Left fill Israeli blogs, websites, universities and write books. Other than that, they just don’t do much to make peace.

a. Hamas isn’t just “an organization” – it’s part of the Palestinian people, it IS the Palestinian people.

I admit there is a Palestinian people. That much has been established over the decades as the Palestinians fought and created a leadership and a formula for living with the State of Israel. However, Hamas is not recognized as the voice of the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority is. If the PA is officially controlled by Hamas, then, I suppose, line of communication between the GOI and the PA would shut down.

A people, you can’t finish.

Correct. You can’t “finish” the Palestinian people and you can’t “finish” the Jewish people.

Good job.

January 13th, 2010, 2:16 pm

 

Ghat Albird said:

AP confesses:=

“I admit there is a Palestinian people. That much has been established over the decades as the Palestinians fought and created a leadership and a formula for living with the State of Israel.”

So does Rabbi Yaacov Perrin admits to the existance of the Palesteinian people when he was quoted as saying, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” —

January 13th, 2010, 3:15 pm

 

Shai said:

“However, Hamas is not recognized as the voice of the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority is.”

Come again? Who doesn’t recognize Hamas as the voice of the Palestinians, besides Israel and the U.S., those same two parties that pushed the Palestinian people to free and democratic elections so hard, that when they finally delivered, neither accepted the results!

You may consider again linking “Braindead” to Oslo. To remind you, if you conveniently forgot, our very own Netanyahu supported Oslo! It wasn’t just “The Left” that created and followed it to its unfortunate deathbed. Please don’t pretend it’s The Left that makes things so difficult. Last time The Left was in power was a decade ago!

And please don’t pretend The Left carries on a liberal policy, any more than The Right. Since you support the Occupation of Palestine, you should be far more of a Leftist than I – who do you think built more settlements during that miserable 42 year history, the Right or the Left?

Lastly, you may wish to check up on how the world views any of the territories under Israeli Occupation since 1967. I have yet to see a single nation on the face of this planet that recognizes either the Golan, the West Bank, or Gaza, as “territory under dispute”. But you know, small details…

(p.s. Yes, the Occupation is certainly NOT “random”. That was the point.)

January 13th, 2010, 3:55 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

So does Rabbi Yaacov Perrin admits to the existance of the Palesteinian people when he was quoted as saying, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”

Ghat Albird,

Thanks for changing the subject. Your previous post about the “poor girl” didn’t garner much relevance; I could post pictures of poor people all over the world.

As for this rabbi, I don’t know who he is. Was/is he an Israeli MK? Kahane used to utter such nonsense, however, because of his racism, he was kicked out of the Knesset. Lokk it up Ghat.

I am more interested in government representatives, government policy, and comments made by people currently in positions of power. In this case, the current Likud (aka “hardline”) Israeli government recognizes a Palestinian people and a Palestinian state. Strangely, the Palestinians do not.

Surprised again?

January 13th, 2010, 4:00 pm

 
 

Ghat Albird said:

AP’s challenge:-

“Your previous post about the “poor girl” didn’t garner much relevance; I could post pictures of poor people all over the world.

Why not prove your challenge an post pictures of “poor little Israeli girls” like the one shown on SC?

That or those photos one can guarantee ” garners ” of mucho relevance.

Que pensez vous Grand Palais?

January 13th, 2010, 4:59 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Que pensez vous Grand Palais?

Ghat,

Grand Palais thinks you rely too much on myth, the Arab and Western medias.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/articles/item/poverty_in_israel_the_divide_deepens_between_the_haves_and_havenots_2007030/

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/954320.html

January 13th, 2010, 6:48 pm

 

Samir S. Halabi said:

My family fled Aleppo, Syria in 1947 just after the anti-Jewish riots took place, killing many Jews, destroying Synagogues, homes and businesses. Some of our family members were killed in that ‘Pogrom’ I can tell you this we are still tracking some of those perpertrators and their descendants down, we will have our justice which is an eye for an eye. There was almost 1,000,000 Jewish refugees from the arab world in 1948, we outnumbered the arabs of the Post British Mandate of Palestine by almost two to one. We lost far more, the real-estate that we the jews of the arab world owned was five times greater than the whole of Israel today. There will be no peace between israel and the rest of the arab-world until you recognize our plight, the parallel problem of the jewish refugees of the arab-world.

September 22nd, 2011, 6:31 am

 

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