Written up by Blanford, CNN and All4Syria

To promote Arab-Israeli peace, Arabs and Israelis argue against it
The OneMideast project formally debuted online Wednesday at a time when hopes for Arab-Israeli peace are dim. The website asks Arab and Israeli participants to jump into tough issues in hopes of provoking new solutions.
By Nick Blanford, Christian Science Monitor, May 19, 2010

The website,, asks Arab and Israeli participants to jump into tough issues in hopes of provoking new solutions.
(screengrab from

Beirut, Lebanon — Most grassroots peace efforts in the Middle East try to build on areas of mutual agreement, but one group of Israelis and Arabs has taken a different tack – looking for arguments against peace between Israel and Syria.

The OneMideast project, which formally goes public on Wednesday, is making its debut at a time of high tension between Syria and Israel, with gloomy prospects of resumed peace talks and very real fears of another war roiling the region. The effort drew together two teams of 10 Arabs – most of them Syrian – and 10 Israelis, each of whom who were asked to come up with a list of objections to peace between Israel and Syria.

“The dominant paradigm of peace process initiatives is to begin by searching for common ground, postponing discussion on problematic areas,” says Elias Muhanna, a Lebanese political analyst and author of the Lebanese affairs blog Qifa Nabki. “OneMideast turns this model on its head, beginning with the stickiest issues, and trying to see if they really are as insoluble as they seem.”

Grew out of heated exchanges

The idea developed a year ago from the heated daily exchanges in the comments section of the Syria Comment blog authored by Joshua Landis, director for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. As with many blogs dealing with contentious Middle East affairs, Syria Comment attracts devoted Arab and Israeli readers whose variant views provoke stimulating and sometimes impassioned arguments.

“As each new Israeli and Syrian would find the site and begin discussion, often they would start with the repetition of accusations and casting of blame, then little by little a shared humanity would emerge as would a shared interest in finding a way out of the cyclical insults,” says Mr. Landis.

Israel and Syria are in an official state of war, which makes personal contacts between Israelis and Syrians problematic. But the Internet allows citizens from both countries to penetrate the political wall separating them – and a dialogue to flourish.

“We want people to know that dialogue is possible, and that the Web offers new opportunities to learn firsthand about the human beings on the other side,” says Yoav Stern, an Israeli commentator and journalist.

Requirements for peace
The requirements for a peace deal between Syria and Israel are well known. Syria’s main stated priority is the full recovery of the Golan Heights, the volcanic plateau that was seized by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s chief priority is to ensure that Syria no longer poses a threat, either directly or through supporting radical groups such as Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s militant Shiite Hezbollah.

Although achieving a peace deal between the two countries theoretically is far less complicated than the Israeli-Palestinian track, there have been no direct bilateral negotiations for 10 years. The continuing impasse encourages grassroots efforts such as OneMideast to broaden the debate from the diplomats to the peoples of both countries.

The project began when some Israeli contributors to Syria Comment proposed a separate discussion to further explore the arguments raging on the blog.

Camille-Alexandre Otrakji, a Syrian and founder of Creative Syria, offered to build a private website dedicated to the dialogue –

“This site is designed in a totally symmetrical way that does not give any side more time or space [by limiting the lines allowed for each side’s arguments and counterarguments] and therefore no one can complain that their side was the victim of biased moderation, like they do in other discussion forums, in the media or elsewhere,” Mr. Otrakji says.

The forum gathered a mix of academics, students, journalists, analysts, engineers, and business executives. The Syrian members were asked to come up with a list of objections to peace with Israel from the Syrian perspective. The Israeli members were asked to do the same from their point of view. The results were then swapped and both sides wrote two or three counterarguments. The results were posted on the website.

Sparring on Golan Heights
One of the Israeli objections accuses Syria of supporting terrorism against Israel. Among the three counterarguments, one notes that Syria’s support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas is because Israel illegally occupies the Golan Heights.

“This support can change its form under a peace treaty guaranteeing the security of Syria and Israel,” it says.

A Syrian objection asserts that what was taken by force – the Golan Heights – can only be taken back by force. One of the Israeli responses says that the “objection sounds familiar because we Israelis have heard it from our own demagogues…. Those who said it were wrong.”

A second phase to the project is in the pipeline, says Otrakji, in which a large sample of political science students will be questioned on the list of objections to allow an analysis of the popularity of these arguments and counterarguments.

“This will help decisionmakers in Syria, Israel and elsewhere who are involved in the quest for a solution for that complex conflict,” Otrakji says.

Notes Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, “The cost of not finding a way out of this conflict is very high.”

The Israeli army has gradually come around in recent years to supporting a peace deal with Syria that includes the return of the strategic Golan. But, says Mr. Stern, the Israeli commentator, the Israeli public is losing interest in peace with a country that it views as a supporter of terrorism.

“Nevertheless, losing hope is bad, very bad,” he says, “and so we keep hoping that the atmosphere can eventually change.”

Here is an article in French about the site

الغارديان تتحدث عن لقاء بين مدونين سوريين وإسرائيليين

سي ان ان العربية
19/ 05/ 2010
قالت صحيفة “الغارديان” البريطانية إن مدونين سوريين وإسرائيليين قرروا اللقاء على شبكة الإنترنت، وإجراء حوارات دائمة بهدف تحسين العلاقات بين الطرفين، وهذا يحصل للمرة الأولى.

وقالت الصحيفة إن أكاديميين ومحللين سياسيين وصحفيين ورجال أعمال من البلدين التقوا العام الماضي في مؤتمر بغرفة خاصة في منتدى على شبكة الإنترنت. وقام هؤلاء بإنجاز قائمة بأبرز عوائق السلام بين البلدين، كما وجدوا 20 شيئا مشتركا بين المجتمعين السوري والإسرائيلي.

وأما الخطوة القادمة للموقع السوري- الإسرائيلي، بحسب الصحيفة، فهي دعوة خبراء وصانعي الرأي من الدولتين لمناقشة عملية السلام ليتم نشرها لاحقا في وسائل الإعلام. إلا أن الصحيفة لم تنشر أي أسماء لمدونين سوريين موجودين داخل سوريا واكتفت باسم واحد قالت إنه يعيش في كندا وهو من أصول سورية

One commentator on All4Syria uses the name of Mr. Zouher Hamad, a General in the Syrian Secret Service, and claims to be watching this terrible site…. which is a form of treason and breaks Syrian law. This is, of course, nonsense. Syria’s security chieftains do not write on websites under their name. The idea is intriguing, however.

زهير حمد 2010-05-19 13:34:24
نعم لقد تابعنا اللقاء والمدون هو كميل – الكسندر قطرنجي .
وسيتم معاقبة المدونين الموجودين في سورية لخرقهم القانون السوري وبتهمة العمالة
كما تم توجيه تنبيه شديد اللهجة للسفير السوري في واشنطن الذي رعى عدة مقالات وحوارات في هذا المنتدى

All4Syria website claims that the Syrian Ambassador to Canada has been recalled over the issue of In the comment section of the article, a number of commentators cast doubt of the connection between the end of the Ambassador’s five years of exemplary service and this new academic effort. [This is nonsense. JL]

بعد قصة المدونين : مرسوم بعودة السفير السوري من كندا
طباعة أرسل لصديق
مراسل المحليات – كلنا شركاء
20/ 05/ 2010

صدر مرسوم بعودة السفير السوري المعتمد في اوتاوا السيد جميل صقر وذلك بعد ان انهى خدمة خمس سنوات …….وتزامن صدور المرسوم مع الضجة التي حصلت بنفس اليوم واثارتها المقالة البريطانية التي كشفت عن لقاءات وحوارات بين مدونين وشخصيات سياسية وديبلوماسية واكاديمية سورية مع نظرائهم الاسرائيليين والتي كانت مستمرة منذ اكثر من سنة حيث يقوم بتنسيقها وادارتها الشاب كميل قطرنجي المقيم في كندا .
وقد ربط البعض بين صدور قرار اعادة السفير في كندا وعدم التمديد له لمدة عام اضافي وبين هذه القضية , وقد منح السفير صقر مدة شهرين لانهاء التزاماته والعودة لدمشق .

From France 24 in Arabic

سوريون وإسرائيليون يتحاورون على الأنترنت
للمرة الأولى تحتضن الأنترنت مبادرة للحوار بين سوريين وإسرائيليين، هدفها إزالة العوائق التي تحول دون قيام السلام بين دمشق وتل أبيب.
سيباستيان سايبت (نص)

شريط من الصور، منارة حيفا، قلعة حلب، دمشق القديمة، شاطئ تل أبيب… تجده على صفحة استقبال موقع الكتروني جديد أطلق في 17 مايو / أيار تحت اسم “شرق أوسط واحد”، وهدفه كما يقول المشرفون عليه توفير منبر حوار بين السوريين والإسرائيليين.

وكما هو معروف فأن الاتصال والحوار المباشر بين مواطني سوريا والدولة العبرية ممنوع من حيث المبدأ وهذا ما يطمح الموقع الجديد إلى تجاوزه، ولا يخف كميل اوطرقجي، المدون الكندي السوري الأصل وصاحب فكرة موقع “شرق أوسط واحد” هدفه من المشروع في حديث لموقع فرانس24 حين يقول “نريد قبل الحديث عن حلول للصراع بين الدولتين أن يعرف الناس لماذا فشلت في كل مرة المفاوضات”.

ما أخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة

والنتيجة كانت لائحتين، واحدة سورية وأخرى إسرائيلية، من 20 عائقا تمنع قيام السلام بين الدولتين، ففي اللائحة الإسرائيلية اتهام لسوريا بدعم الإرهاب، ورد من سوريا يقول بأن الدول بوسعها أحيانا ترويض تطرف بعض المنظمات والحد من تشددها، كما تؤكد اللائحة السورية على المقولة العربية الشهيرة “أن ما أخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة” وعلى حاجة الدولة العبرية لهذا الصراع كي تستمر في الحياة.

ويطمح الموقع حسب كميل اوطرقجي أن يكون “مرآة تعكس صفحتها بصدق مواقف الشعبين من قضية السلام”، مضيفا أن استخلاص العبر لا يحصل بين ليلة وضحاها. ومن المبكر التكهن بمستقبل “شرق أوسط واحد”، رغم أن صدور الموقع يعتبر نجاحا في حد ذاته.

وقد بدأت فصول هذه القصة في العام 2007، حين نشر اوطرقجي مقالة في صحيفة “هآرتس” الإسرائيلية في الذكرى الأربعين لاحتلال الجولان، ويتذكر جوشوا لاندس وهو من المدونين المشاركين في الموقع وصاحب مدونة “سيريا كومنت” أن مقالة اوطرقجي أثارت شهية المعلقين، الذين تابعوا نشر تعليقاتهم على صفحات مدونته بشكل مواظب. وفي سبتمبر / أيلول 2009 قرر البعض الذهاب بعيدا في هذا الموضوع، ما اضطر المشرفون على الموقع إلى غربلة التعليقات وتنظيمها وحذف التعليقات الكثيرة غير النافعة أو تلك التي تدعو إلى العنف حسب كميل اوطرقجي.

“كنت على قناعة بأننا سنفشل”

والتقت هذه المجموعة الصغيرة من البشر والتي ضمت جامعيين وصحافيين ومدونين في منتدى خاص تتطلب المشاركة فيه استعمال كلمة مرور، وأمضت المجموعة 8 أشهر من النقاشات “المفيدة” حسب اوطرقجي حتى توصلت إلى وضع اللائحتين ويضيف الرجل “كانت المرة الأولى التي يحصل فيها هذا النوع من التواصل بين الطرفين”.

ولكن نشر كل ذلك لم يكن بالمسألة الهينة، يقول المدون جوشوا لاندس “كنت على قناعة بأننا سنفشل” ويضيف بعض السوريين كانوا خائفين من عيون نظام دمشق، والعديد من الإسرائيليين كانوا يتخوفون من الظهور بمظهر “اليهودي السيئ” أمام مواطنيهم. وفي النهاية قررت المجموعة التكتم على أسماء المشاركين وأعلنت بأن “شرق أوسط واحد” يضم 10 من المهاجرين السوريين و10 إسرائيليين، وأن الناطقين باسمها هما كميل اوطرقجي و جوشوا لاندس.

ولم يخف هذا الصحافي السابق في “هآرتس” انزعاج البعض من الأطروحات المدرجة على الموقع خصوصا السلطات السورية التي حاولت أكثر من مرة إغلاقه وعطلت إمكانية دخوله من أراضيها.

ولكن ما الفائدة من موقع كهذا في ظرف يبدو فيه السلام حلم بعيد المنال؟ كميل اوطرقجي يأمل في التأثير على مواقف صناع القرار والرأي العام ويتابع “لو فلحنا في ذلك بوسعنا التحدث عن نجاح” ولكن زميله جوشوا لاندس أقل تفاؤلا “الظرف الحالي صعب للغاية، ولكنه ليس سببا للبقاء مكتوفي الأيدي”.

Press Release for OneMiddleEast in Arabic

بيان إعلامي
١٧ أيارو ٢٠١٠

تدشين موقع على الشبكة العنكبوتية للحوار بين مدونين مستقلين سوريين و إسرائيليين

قام عدد من المدونين السوريين و الإسرائيليين بإنشاء هذا الموقع بهدف تشخيص و توصيف عدد من العقبات الأساسية التي تواجه احتمالات السلام.

لقد أنشئ هذا الموقع بغرض فتح قناة مستقلة بين مدونين أفراد، سوريين و إسرائيليين ، للحوار في العقبات التي تعترض قيام السلام بين سوريا و إسرائيل. و قد أنشئ هذا الموقع بجهود خاصة و مستقلة و يعتبر الأول من نوعه في هذا المجال.

إن الهدف من هذا الموقع، و الذي ينشر اليوم بعد عمل استمر عاماً كاملاً، هو تشخيص المعوقات الأساسية التي تحول دون انجاز عملية السلام بين سوريا و إسرائيل، كما يراها المدونون المستقلون، و الذين عملوا على عكس الآراء الرائجة في الأوساط الأكاديمية و الثقافية و الشعبية و الرسمية، كل من طرفه، و من ثم محاولة بحثها و تفنيدها إن أمكن.

خلال المرحلة الأولى من المشروع، قام المدونون من كل طرف بإنشاء لائحة مفصلة من العقبات التي يرون أنها تحول دون تحقيق السلام المنشود. بعد ذلك، تم التصويت عليها لاختزالها و تركيزها في عشرين بنداً من كل طرف، بحيث تمثل هذه البنود العشرون ، خلاصة ما يرى مجموع المدونين أنها الأسباب الرئيسية لعدم إنجاز السلام حتى الآن. و بتحديد هذه البنود، انتقل العمل إلى المرحلة الثانية، و هي بعمل كل فريق على تقديم نقاط مضادة للاعتراضات المعروضة من الطرف الآخر. و قد تم كامل هذا النشاط عبر الإنترنت و بدون لقاءات مباشرة بين الأطراف.

إن نتائج هذا المشروع الأكاديمي المستقل متوفرة للتنزيل من الموقع بشكلها النصي، أو بشكل سلسلة من الملفات الصوتية (Podcasts).

في المرحلة التالية، سوف يتم توجيه دعوات لعدد من المختصين من أعلام المختصين و أصحاب الرأي من الطرفين لبحث التحديات التي تم تشخيصها حتى الآن، و لتقديم مقترحات و آراء بناءة لنشرها على الموقع.

Comments (82)

Hassan said:

It looks like a great site!

May 20th, 2010, 4:31 pm


jad said:

Regarding the speculation about Mr. Zouher Hamad comment and to be quick to dismiss it as a ‘nonsense’ I want to point out a very important comment came out from one of All4Syria moderator:

تنسيق للحوار
مفعل التعليقات 2010-05-20 13:03:01
ارجو من الاخين الكريمين عاشق سورية وعاشق الاسد الالتزام بمعايير التعليقات كي استطيع من الاستمرار بتفعيلها لكما
لا تؤاخذاني اعتذر من جديد
فقط توضيح بسيط حول تعليقات الجهات الرسمية لدينا وهنا اقول اننا شجعناالجهات الرسمية على الرد وهذا انجاز وشرف لنا تمكنا من تحقيقه فهناك تعليقات من وزراء عدة وسفراء و[[[[معاونوا وزراء]]]] وهذا يبشر بحقبة جديدة من الحوار بعد انقطاع طويل

May 20th, 2010, 5:17 pm


almasri said:

I believe that Zouher Hamad was allowed to use his real name in the comment section of all4syria on purpose by the Syrian government. It is meant to send a clear message to expats to behave themselves or else they will face consequences at home. One has to keep in mind that even if an expat holds dual citizenship, and he or she was born in Syria, then his or her adopted country has no means of protecting him or her against the laws of his or her country of birth. I also read on All4Syria a clear warning sent to the person behind this website by name by a commentator who signed under the name “From Qirdaha” (i.e. from the hometown of Bashar). He seems to implicate some obscure Brigadier General and the Syrian ambassador in US and promising severe punishments. The commentator started by ridiculing the person behind it as a non-relevant seeking fame and money.

The swift actions of the Syrian government proves once again that it is a true national governmnet doing its best to safguard Arab and Syrian interests against the misbehaviours of those who follow their shortsightedness and act not very ‘honorably’.

We must thank Bashar and his good government again for being alert.

May 20th, 2010, 6:14 pm


almasri said:

More analysts see Turkey as the emerging global power that will come about as a historic certainty, despite desperate attempts by Obama plus the other 5:

May 20th, 2010, 6:35 pm


Hassan said:

Don’t be silly Al Masri, Turkey just suffered a huge blow after its efforts to help out its friends in Tehran were dismissed by the UN Security Council.

May 20th, 2010, 6:38 pm


100 Inshallah-ing Ahmeds said:

Feltman Says Syria Must Curb Arm Shipments to Hizbullah
Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman on Thursday urged Syria to do more to prevent arms shipments Hizbullah and stop the flow of militants into Iraq.
Feltman said that while relations remain uneasy, Syria was important to achieving a full Arab-Israeli settlement.

He told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan that Washington wants to influence Damascus because of its ties to Iran and other U.S. foes in the region.

Feltman said that because Syria has the ear of Hizbullah, Iran and Hamas, the Obama administration felt it must make its own views known to Damascus to ensure peace and security in the region.(AP)

May 20th, 2010, 6:58 pm


BigB said:

As an independent observer, with respect to the Golan situation between Israel and Syria, I would like to ask the following question to both parties. How is settlement expansion in the Golan viewed as a perceived threat?

May 20th, 2010, 7:22 pm


almasri said:

zionists who live as donmahs and conspire against other nations from the underground, will not consider adopting Muslim names as any blow to their self-esteem,

in arabic we say: if you lose your sense of shame (honor), then feel free to do whatever you want.

May 20th, 2010, 7:27 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

I agree with Masri, Hassan.
Turkey did not “suffer a huge blow”; Turkey’s aim is to see this issue resolved peacefully. Turkey and the Turks don’t want to see armed with nuclear weapons Iran. It’s ridiculous to consider turkey and Iran as friends. They will never be friends. Limited allies at most, sharing some interests. Friends? No.

May 20th, 2010, 7:48 pm


Henry said:


That is a good question. However, since the Golan Heights has been annexed into Israel, the cities and towns in the Golan aren’t technically settlements. It is quite different from the West Bank. The continuing development of the Golan isn’t likely to threaten Syria as the border has been calm since the 1973 war. Syria’s support for the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah is the primary source of contention.

May 20th, 2010, 7:49 pm


almasri said:

Here’s the Qirdaha threat, I mentioned in 3, for those who haven’t read it:

من القرداحة 2010-05-20 00:30:56
لك حبيبي كميلو انت استشرت شي قبل ما تبرز حالك وتنط بدك تشتغل ؟
بلكي اجندتك ضد زمختلفة ضد اجندة النظام السوري ؟
يعني بالصريح انت تعمل ضد مصلحة سورية الاسد وعامل انك فهمان وبرنجي ؟
والسبب بسيط انك لا تعرف ما يرتب بالخفاء ولا بالعلن لدى الرئاسة والامن فكيف تستطيع ان تقدر ماذا تفعل واين تتجه واين البوصلة؟
انضب عيب عليك ورطت بعض الاشخاص بدمشق معك مفكرين انك اخذ ضو اخضر من سيادة الرئيس وانت فقط علاقتك مع سفير واشنطن واللواء >>>>>> وستحاسب هذه الشخصيات قريبا وسترى ذلك لاننا الاسد عندما يريد ان يفتح مفاوضات فهو لا يعملها سرية ولا يستخدم اشخاص من مثل ما استخدمت انت وفهمك كفاية

I’m curious about who that Brigadier General with the obscured name might be. Any clues?

May 20th, 2010, 10:55 pm


Alex said:

Almasri !

You mean did not know?? … Joshua Landis is the secret Brigadier General!

Mr. Qirda7a wannabe is totally clueless

May 20th, 2010, 11:30 pm


Helena Cobban said:

Henry, that’s really amusing. Israel unilaterally Anschlusses the occupied areas of Golan and East Jerusalem, in defiance of international law, and the other 99.5% of the world is supposed to think that that means something significant?

May 21st, 2010, 12:03 am


almasri said:

Alex @12,

You mean Joshua Landis, the Professor at Oklahoma U, is a secret Brigadier General? In which army? The US? I thought Mr. Qirdaha was talking about a Brigadier General in the Syrian army!

May 21st, 2010, 12:26 am


Ghat Albird said:

The 50 most influential Jews in the world according to the Jerusalem Post.

#1. Bebe Netanyahu. #2. Ben Bernanke. Head of the US Federal Reserve

#3 Rahm Emanuel. chief of Staff to President Obama. Followed by David
Axelrod, chief advisor to President Obama; Alan Dershowits and supreme
Court Justice Elena Kagan is # 10.

May 21st, 2010, 12:53 am


Jihad said:

Ah yes, “shared humanity” with occupiers, killers and racists coming mainly from the US and other European countries! Those undercover Zionists and token Arabs never get tired from trying a new trick to get the racist Zionist entity accepted. It will never happen.

May 21st, 2010, 1:36 am


Jihad said:

Ah yes, shared humanity with occupiers, killers and racists coming mainly from the US and other European countries! Those undercover Zionists and token Arabs never get tired from trying a new trick to get the racist Zionist entity accepted. It will never happen.

May 21st, 2010, 1:38 am


Ford Prefect said:

Dear Alex,
Your love to Syria, your patriotism, and your relentless efforts to bring out everything good about it are honorable and admirable. No one will ever take that away from you. You are a genuine, courageous, and an inspiring Syrian that makes me proud. March on.

May 21st, 2010, 2:35 am


henry said:


Your reference to Nazi Germany is no surprise. I saw you speak at the Middle East Institute in September 2009. Many of us in the audience were quite taken aback by your fawning portrayal of Hamas’ rule in Gaza. You seemed to admire the suicide bombing Islamist terrorist group. Have you lost your moral compass?

May 21st, 2010, 6:15 am


Akbar Palace said:


cc: Helena Cobban

Considering the comments on her website and the titles of her articles, it looks to me like were dealing with the typical liberal Arabist point-of-view. You know…Israel can’t defend herself, or Israel has to defend herself “proportionately”, or Israel is an “Apartheid State”, all while excusing away the horrible crimes of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Arab governments that prop them up.

We all know what JFK did when missiles were brought into our own hemisphere. But Israel, well, they just have to live with whatever threats that pile up at their border.

May 21st, 2010, 11:00 am


Ghat Albird said:

Helena Cobban has the same rights as anyone on this forum to express her views.

It seems that the logic of the pro-israel/zionists is that its perfectly logical for Israel to continue to occupy lands acquired by war and its illogical and even \”evil\” for any of her neighbors to attempt to recoup such lands by war like actions.

Which makes a reasonable individual posit their reactions by proclaiming; “who the f#c$ do these people think they are?”

President Truman put it in more context when he wrote, “”I find (the Jews) are very very selfish. They care not how many Latvians, Finns, Poles, Estonians and Greeks )one needs to add Palestenians) get murdered or mistreated as DPs [displaced persons] as long as Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political, neither Hitler or Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment for the underdog.”

May 21st, 2010, 12:48 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I hope you don’t mind, but I’m adding this article from Abe Foxman in addition to the anti-semitic statements you quoted from Harry Truman…

May 21st, 2010, 1:20 pm


News & Notes (May 21, 2010) « Qifa Nabki | A Lebanese Political Blog said:

[…] to Damascus because of the launch of OneMideast, which sounds like a ludicrous claim to me (and to Josh Landis as well). Be sure to read the comment section as well, but here’s the report […]

May 21st, 2010, 1:38 pm


henry said:


No one is questioning her rights. I am questioning her reference to Nazi Germany when discussing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. It is highly irresponsible, to put it lightly.

I would question your anti-semitic quote. This is not the forum for that racist language. Simply framing it in quotes does not change a thing. Alex and Josh have rules on the site regarding racism.

May 21st, 2010, 1:46 pm


Ghat Albird said:

Henry: I have the same rights as you in calling anyone a racist.

My logic is that if Israel has the right to continue to expand its territory as well as its occupation of the Golan, Syria has an equal right to get it back in the fashion that Israel did in occupying it. If you do not admit to such logic then you are a racist.

Israelis maintain their right to an exclusive state for Jews only by force. So do not mealy mouth your exclusiveness as a principled commentor. Did or did not Israel get to occupy the Golan by military actions?

That antisemitic quote you referenced was made by a President who recognized the state of Israel within minutes after the UN approved the resolutions creating it.

Maintaining over a million human beings in a prison called Gaza for years. Now that racism. If a million Jews were imprisoned in a similar coumpound would you not call it racism too. Is that not basically what the Nazis did to the Jews?

May 21st, 2010, 2:24 pm


almasri said:

You gave Israel the right to annex the Golan heights. Therefore, it is your reasoning that should be questioned and not Helena’s.

Are you giving Israel the right to annex the Golan?

More importantly: Israel stole Palestine – all of it. Palestine should go back to its original owners and the refugees must go back to their homes. Don’t you think? Hamas or any other Palestinian organization has the right to use all means available to achieve the return of the refugees to their homes and get Palestine back from foreign Jewish settlers. That makes sense, don’t you think?

May 21st, 2010, 2:45 pm


100 Inshallah-ing Ahmeds said:

No. Its not basically what the Nazis did to the Jews. Absolutely not. Hitler gassed 6 million civilians. The children would arrive at Auschwitz and immediately be sent to the gas chambers.

Israel is simply deciding not to trade or send aid to an area that is hostile to it. If the leadership of that area decides to recognize Israel and cease its hostilities I’m sure things would be quite different, as they are in the West Bank. Now that is hardly the Holocaust.

May 21st, 2010, 2:58 pm


Hassan said:

Ah yes, Helena Cobban. She wrote a book on the PLO in the 80s that I read. She portrayed the PLO in a positive light when they were busy killing Lebanese. There is a great review of it up on Amazon.

” A Flawed Analysis of the PLO, December 7, 2005
P. Smyth

This review is from: The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power and Politics (Cambridge Middle East Library) (Paperback)
Helena Cobban, a noted reporter on Middle Eastern affairs has done a less than fair job with this book. The best portions of the book had more to do with the structure (political and military) of the PLO than with history. There were many problems with the book, for one there was no index! Cobban frequently used her own articles such as her dispatch to the Christian Science Monitor (pg. 288) and article in Atlantic Monthly (to name a few) as source material. She even cites her articles in the third person, “see Helena Coban, ‘The Building Called Mercy’.”

In terms of historical objectivity the book is severely lacking, in one instance Cobban mentions how Israel killed 23 on a raid on the Palestinian controlled Lebanese town of Damour (in retaliation for the assasination of an Israeli diplomat in Paris and numerous cross-border attacks); at the same time there was no mention of how the Palestinains came in control of the town through massacring, raping, and pillaging the Lebanese Christians who lived there. Cobban like many reporters close to the PLO during the Lebanese Civil War was little more than a passive mouthpiece for PLO propaganda.

The only reason I give this 3 stars is because it gives an excellent outline to the organizational structure of the PLO and the semi-seperate groups inside the PLO (such as the PFLP, DFLP, and smaller groups such as the ALF).”

I don’t understand why her site is a “.org.” Sites ending in “.org” are supposed to be not-for-profit, but that site is entirely self-promotion.

Finally, anyone living in the US should be very concerned about the organisation that she works for. On its Board of Directors sat Abdurahman Alamoudi, who declared at a demonstration in front of the White House, “‘We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they add that I am also a supporter of Hizballah.”

May 21st, 2010, 4:02 pm


BigB said:


Thank you for your comment. However, with all due respect, I would like to take issue with what you stated about “settlements” not being an issue in the Golan because they are not “technically” settlements. In the book, “The Truth About Camp David,” the follwoing was said about Ehud Barak’s Golan strategy. “Just as it had been the customary practice on the Palestinian track, Barak used settlement expansion on the Golan Heights both as a form of obtaining negotiating leverage with Syria and as a means of reassuring right-wing supporters of his government.” That would lead me to believe that settlements, apart from military conflict (such as the 1983 Lebanon War), is a policy implemented to secure Israel’s northeastern flank. Understanding that Syria needs to find a more constructive means to regain the Golan, apart from proxy attacks, the promotion of settlement expansion, however, gives Israel a convenient “out” of negotiations over the Golan. All that needs to be said to fudge negotiations is that Israeli civilians are at risk. Yet IDF drills are routinely carried out over the region. So the question is, who is threatening who? Is it appropriate for Syria to view settlement exapnsion as a threat?

May 21st, 2010, 4:17 pm


Ghat Albird said:


Its evident that discussions and exchanges between “the chosen people” and others is almost a lost cause. The view that Jews are a distinct people with a primary commitment to Israel and the Jewish community is forthrightly affirmed by Elliott Abrams, who was President George W. Bush’s senior advisor for “global democratic strategy,” and in 2006 was a key advisor on Middle East affairs to the US Secretary of State.

In his book Faith or Fear: “How Jews Can Survive in Christian America,” he writes: “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, ARE TO STAND APART from the nations in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population.” Judaism and the Jewish way of life,” writes Abrams, is not “entirely voluntary, for the Jew is born into a covenantal community with obligations to God.” Jews, he goes on, “are in a permanent covenant with God and with the land of Israel and its people”.

The Jewish sense of alienation from, and abiding distrust of, non-Jews is also manifest in the creation of roups such the ADL, AIPAC etc,. as well as an insistance of a distinct and separate state. Anyone not agreeing with their views is automatically an anti-semite. Interestingly their attitude is that they are APART but that anyone calling attention to their being APART is called antisemitic.

In a sense one can only conclude that what is accepted in general by the population of this planet {some 7.+ billion humans) does not mean diddly to the “chosen people”. Thus a settlement in one area does not necessarily equate to a settlement in another area.

The Stern Gang, the Irgun Zvai Lumi and like others are freedom loving patriots and heroes whereas Hamas and Hezballah and to a certain extent the Syrians are the evil terrorists. Daily flights over Lebanon are explained as a defensive preemption while if Syria were to do the same over Tel Aviv their planes would be shot down.

Israel it seems has the right to have several numbers of nuclear weapons and the rest of the world must not have any. Israel has the ineliable right to militarily occupy other peoples lands and territotries. As mentioned by one of their General’s, “Israel must act like a mad dog to threaten its neighbors”. Human nature being what it is there will come a time when the mad dog will be put to rest. Unfortunately many innocent people will pay with their lives.

May 21st, 2010, 5:18 pm


Hassan said:

Helena Cobban Update:

Apparently it gets worse, much worse. She is the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. Well if the name isn’t creepy enough, it turns out that the Abdul-Rahman Al-Amoudi, who oversaw the organization as part of its Board of Directors, was conducting “illegal dealings with Libya and conspiracy to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz.”

May 21st, 2010, 5:42 pm


almasri said:

Jews have the obligation to vacate Palestine because Palestine does not belong to terrorist settlers. Furthermore, the Jews must apologize to the Palestinians for the crime of stealing what doesn’t belong to Jews (come on guys this stealing business has been going on for millenia and it is time that you should learn how to behave). If this so-called deity that the Jews believe in is a good deity then it should at least have the common sense of informing other people of so-called special status of the Jews. Furthermore if this deity is engaged in real estate business, then it must have the courtesy of asking the original owners of certain lands about their opinions before allocating resources contrary to their wishes. Unfortunately, this so-called Jewish deity didn’t do either of the above. Therefore, it either doesn’t exist and was fabricated by the Jews or it is a false god.

So far, I have not heard from any deity about special status of so-called Jews or zionists or that Palestine should belong to other than its true owners that are the Palestinian Arabs. Actually, if they do not stop their habit of stealing, I may have to conclude that they have lower status than everyone else.

May 21st, 2010, 5:47 pm


Hassan said:

All anyone talks about on this blog is Israel and how terrible the Zionist entity is. Doesn’t this play right into the Baathist’s hands? Bashar and Rami Makhlouf and all of the rest of the shilla in power don’t want anyone critiquing their policies. Compare the level of development of Syria to other countries in the Mashreq. They would prefer that you spend your time criticising the Jews and Israel. As long as you do that you are focused on something outside of Syria and from the sight of their failures. Through the conflict they can rally people behind the regime under the guise of supporting the nation. This way, if you aren’t supporting the regime during this time of conflict they can simply say that you aren’t nationalist enough.

May 21st, 2010, 6:02 pm


BigB said:

Ghat Albird,

Thank you for your comment. I understand the premise of your comment. I also wonder, at times, why Elliot Abrams was even allowed to serve in the US government after his previous debacle. I have to, with all due respect, ask a question. Setting aside the deeply profound issue, on both sides, regarding the establishment of the state of Israel and inter-Arab dynamics, I would have to say that Israel’s behavior based on suspicion was warranted, due to early conflicts post-Lebanon. However, a line has to be drawn when the perception of intent has been reduced. Is it currently the intent for Syria to use what ever means are at their disposal to regain the Golan? There have been some interesting developments in the M.E. that lead me to believe that it might be in Syria’s best interest to disengage with its support of proxies and show that it is in Syria’s interest to use leverage via an old ally, Turkey. Now that might be a naive statement on my part, but I find it hard for Israel to still consider Syria as much of a threat to the Jewish state with respect to the kind of power Syria had in the 60’s and 70’s. Is it still in the interest of Syria to remain close to the Persian state of Iran, or can there be a more effective alliance that would reduce the suspicions of the Israeli’s? Or, have we reached a point where nationalism is trumping effective bargaining?

Again, thank you for responding to my post. This is my first time engaging in this forum and I appreciate and respect everyone’s point of view.

May 21st, 2010, 6:31 pm


Akbar Palace said:

If this so-called deity that the Jews believe in is a good deity then it should at least have the common sense of informing other people of so-called special status of the Jews.


Which deity gave Muslims special status over the dhimmis, kuffars and infidels?

May 21st, 2010, 6:39 pm


Henry said:

“More importantly: Israel stole Palestine – all of it. Palestine should go back to its original owners and the refugees must go back to their homes. Don’t you think? Hamas or any other Palestinian organization has the right to use all means available to achieve the return of the refugees to their homes and get Palestine back from foreign Jewish settlers. That makes sense, don’t you think?”

It is unfortunate that people on Syria Comment are still fighting the war of ’48.

There is so much that is factually incorrect about the above statement that I just could not resist. Okay, first we’ll start with “Israel stole Palestine…” Actually, Israel was given half of Palestine by the UN. The UN decision came out of the fact that there were two nations living on the land leading them to believe that the only manageable outcome would be two states. The Arabs living in Palestine at the time (many had immigrated to Palestine because of its buoyant economy) were offered (you might say offered to steal) a state as well. It was their rejection that resulted, ultimately, in their complete loss of Palestine. This is because Jordan and Egypt moved in during the war in 1948 and did in fact steal the rest of Palestine.

Second, you wrote “Israel stole Palestine – all of it.” Okay well we’ve already established that it wasn’t theft and that the only robbers were the Jordanians and Egyptians, but let’s talk about the “all of it” part. It would appear that Israel is giving Gaza and the parts of the West Bank that are heavily populated with Arabs to Arabs. Therefore, “all of it,” does not seem accurate if they are leaving much of Palestine for the Arabs?

“Palestine should go back to its original owners and the refugees must go back to their homes. Don’t you think?”

Its original owners. Would that be the UN? Britain? The Ottoman Empire? The Romans? The Jews? Whomever the original owners are they certainly aren’t Palestinians as they never owned that land. When Jews arrived they most often purchased land from absentee landlords in Damascus and Beirut.

“The refugees must go back to their homes.” The war occurred in 1948, do the math. Very few of the refugees remain with us.

Back to the original question “Palestine should go back to its original owners and the refugees must go back to their homes. Don’t you think?”

The original owners are either the Ottoman Empire, the British or the Jews. The Ottoman Empire doesn’t exist so naturally we can agree it shouldn’t go to them. However, I would support British administration as they are sometimes develop effective system of governance. The British however are over the colonial enterprise so that’s not an option, which leaves us with the Jews. Coincidentally, we do in fact have Jewish administration of Palestine, and they seem to be developing the country extremely (relative to say Syria) and to your point they could be the original owners, so I can’t object.

May 21st, 2010, 8:34 pm


almasri said:

Henry @37,
You have not established anything but so-caleed zionist theft of Palestine.

Britain did not own Palestine even though it illegally appointed itself administrator through an illegal mandate from so-called League of Nations. the League of Nations does not own Palestine.

The Ottomans also did not own Palestine.

The original owners of Palestine are the Palestinian Arabs who lived there for millenia and legally owned 97% of Palestine when another illegal body which you call UN decided to santion theft by allocating over 70% of Palestine to illegal settlers. You can easily research the figures I qouted and satisfy yourself. So I will not bother.

Furthermore, you will not get away by legalizing theft under the disguise of so-called development. You can only develop what you legally own not what you steal from others.

The Jews must go back to where they came from and hand over Palestine to its legal owners, i.e. the Palestinian refugees. In the meantime, Hamas or other Palestinians have the full right to use whatever means to achieve that.

May 21st, 2010, 9:18 pm


Henry said:

“Furthermore, you will not get away by legalizing theft under the disguise of so-called development.”

Israel was just invited to join the OECD, the club of the world’s richest countries. Now that’s not merely “so-called development,” but rather a highly developed economy. How’s the Palestinian Authority doing? Or any government in the Levant?

“The Jews must go back to where they came from and hand over Palestine to its legal owners, i.e. the Palestinian refugees. In the meantime, Hamas or other Palestinians have the full right to use whatever means to achieve that.”

I’m sorry, but the passage of time has changed a few things. Most of the Jews living in Israel today were born there. Thus, those individuals are in fact from that country.

Since the war occurred in 1948, which is 62 years ago, very few of the refugees are still alive. A person who was 25 in 1948, is now 87.

You say that “Hamas or other Palestinians have the full right to use whatever means to achieve that (conquest).”

Including this?:!v=AWjNxKECkxY&feature=related

Or the cowardly use of 14 year old children as suicide bombers?

May 21st, 2010, 9:29 pm


Shai said:


If everyone “goes back to where they came from”, how do you envision most white Americans moving back to their respective European countries? America does, after all, belong to the native Indians, not to George W. Bush or Barack Obama. I suppose a good bit of Hungary and Finland should move back to Mongolia as well.

I am not justifying the suffering of any indigenous population, not in the present or the past. But when we come up with solutions, we should try to be realistic, don’t you think?

May 21st, 2010, 9:34 pm


almasri said:

Time doesn’t change anything. Palestine still belongs to the Palestinian refugees or their descendants until forever. Any so-called israeli who was born in Palestine is born illegally as a proceed of crime – also forever (i.e. forever criminal). He/she can find out which country his/her parents came from and take a flight over. I assume they all have return tickets.

Hamas has the right to use anything in its fight.

Hungary, Poland or USA is none of your business. Palestine is diffrent. It belongs to the Palestinian Arabs. It has to go back to its original owners.

May 21st, 2010, 9:46 pm


Hassan said:

AlMasri (assuming that is your real name),

The last thing we need in the Middle East is a state controlled by Hamas. Any more Iranian satellites and the entire Middle East will explode. Its bad enough that Iraq and Lebanon have to contend with Iranian violence. Just imagine what would happen to Egypt if there was a larger Hamas run territory on its border.

May 21st, 2010, 10:03 pm


almasri said:

Syriacomment needs to find a solution for zionists posting under Muslim names.

We (Muslim commentators) cannot address zionists using such Muslim names. Because we would be committing the great sin of according such people undesreved honors.

May 21st, 2010, 10:10 pm


100 Inshallah-ing Ahmeds said:

From Palestine Betrayed by Efraim Karsh:

“While underscoring “the right of the Arab refugees to return to their homes in Jewish-controlled territory at the earliest possible date,” [Count Bernadotte’s] report also considered the possibility of resettlement outside Palestine, with those who chose not to return being adequately compensated for their lost property. “It must not… be supposed that the establishment of the right of refugees to return to their former homes provides a solution to the problent,” the report read. “The vast majority of the refugees may no longer have homes to return to and their resettlement in the State of lsrael presents an economic and social problem of special complexity. Whether the refugees are resettled in the State of Israel or in one or other of the Arab States, a major question to he faced is that of placing them in an environment in which they can find employment and the means of livelihood. But in any case their unconditional right to make a free choice should be fully respected.”

This principle was duly incorporated into General Assembly Resolution 194, passed on December 11 after a three month deliberation of the mediator’s report, which placed repatriation on a par with resettlement elsewhere. It advocated, in its own words, that “the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should he permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date,” but also that efforts should be made to facilitate the “resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees.”

In tacit acceptance of the Israeli position, the resolution did not treat the refugee problem as an isolated issue but as part of a comprehensive settlement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. All of its fifteen paragraphs deal with the facilitation of peace, including the single paragraph that alludes to refugees in general – not “Arab refugees” – in language that could as readily apply to the thousands of Jews driven from their homes in the prospective Arab state and Jerusalem by the invading Arab armies. Moreover, the resolution expressly stipulated that compensation for the property of those refugees choosing not to return “should he made good by the governments or the authorities responsible,” indicating that the Arab states, as well as Israel, were seen as instigators of the refugee problem. be it Arab or Jewish.

It was just these clauses in Resolution 194 that made it anathema to the Arabs, who opposed it vehemently and voted unanimously against it. Equating return and resettlement as possible solutions to the refugee problem; placing on the Arab states some of the burden for resolving it; and, above all, linking the resolution of this issue to Arab acquiescence in the existence of the state of Israel and the achievement of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peaoe were seen, correctly, as rather less than useful to Arab purposes.”

May 21st, 2010, 10:36 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Henry said
I’m sorry, but the passage of time has changed a few things. Most of the Jews living in Israel today were born there. Thus, those individuals are in fact from that country.

Since the war occurred in 1948, which is 62 years ago, very few of the refugees are still alive. A person who was 25 in 1948, is now 87.
THis is silly
the theives that steel ,after a while it belongs to them!
Henry should be ashame of saying silly thing like this

May 22nd, 2010, 12:20 am


almasri said:

“Henry should be ashame of saying silly thing like this”


These people think they are “developed thieves”. So being a thieve to them is very honorable. So do not expect such people to feel ashamed of doing anything.

Didn’t you also read his other nonsense,

“Israel was just invited to join the OECD, the club of the world’s richest countries. Now that’s not merely “so-called development,” but rather a highly developed economy”??

This is what you may call highly developed robbery.

May 22nd, 2010, 12:52 am


Yossi said:

Sheesh talking about kleptomaniacs… as if ethnically cleansing the Jews of Egypt in order to gobble up all their property wasn’t heinous enough… Sure we’ll return to “were we came from”, as soon as you vacate our houses in Cairo and Alexandria and come up with compensation and compounded interest for all the money and property you stole. When you deposit that into an escrow account, and prove that it would be safe and beneficial to come back, and apologize sincerely, perhaps we’ll consider it.

Now let’s hear your racist excuses on how the Egyptian Jews “deserved it” or that it was a “regrettable mistake”. This is getting old and tired.

May 22nd, 2010, 1:28 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Norman (#16)

Look at this, and notice the forest around (minutes 1:10-2:30).
I don’t know if Israel was responsible for this fire, but if so, this video explain to you why.

May 22nd, 2010, 1:37 am


norman said:

I could not open the link but the fire in my note is from the Golan and i think your video indicate resistance tunnels and as you know that does not apply to the GOLAN , as no resistance is going on there ,

Yossi, Shai, Almasri and everybody else ,

I think your tones are very heated and point out to hatred which is not in the best interest of our region , don’t you think?,

May 22nd, 2010, 1:51 am


majedkhaldoun said:

The jews came from Ur they left Ur with your own choice. and in Egypt you were slaves you own nothing

May 22nd, 2010, 2:01 am


Yossi said:


Thank you. Very deep.


We’re not Christians… (you know “turn the other cheek” and all that)… 🙂

May 22nd, 2010, 2:08 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


The video is indeed from S. Lebanon. It is not about “resistance”.
It is about international / worldwide Guerrilla tactics.
And an Iranian / revolutionary-guards money and thinking. It has no meaning whether it is in Lebanon or Syria. The principles are the same, and so is the planning and the intentions.


Do you become Zionist again? Or post ‘post-Zionist’ ?

May 22nd, 2010, 2:18 am


norman said:


That was funny ,

May 22nd, 2010, 2:42 am


almasri said:


I do not find anything heated up. So do not worry.

Majed @50

Your answer is very clear and to the point even without going to details – thanks.
But here are some details for the record. The so-called Jews of old times came to Egypt and the first thing they did they sold one of their own to slavery. They were Bedouins and accustomed to doing mischievous acts. The Egyptians were kind to them and they accepted them as slaves in the hope they will get rehabilitated. Slaves as Majed made it clear do not own anything. In fact, they themselves were owned by their masters, in this case the old Egyptians. Eventually, the Egyptians got tired of them because they did not show an ability to rehabilitate and so they were kicked out. I can only blame the old Egyptians for not trying harder to rehabilitate them. So, whether you (@51) turn your cheek one way or the other, Egypt remains the brow above your eye – if you know what that means. If not, ask. Many Arabs can explain it to you.

May 22nd, 2010, 3:27 am


Yossi said:

An eyebrow? Nah, if you have to think of yourself as a hairy body part, start thinking in a different direction. A lower-body posterior one.

May 22nd, 2010, 8:17 am


Shai said:

“Hungary, Poland or USA is none of your business. Palestine is diffrent.”

Well, Almasri, if Poland is none of my business, then neither is Palestine yours.

If everyone should “go back”, you might want to at least seem to be fair, and not innately against Jews.

Norman, I’m not upset. This racist Egyptian couldn’t upset me if he tried.

May 22nd, 2010, 12:54 pm


Husam said:

Shai, Yossi, Norman:

Call it racism, verbal diarrhea, hot potatoe…the loud mouth we have here doesn’t speak for 80% of the Arabs.

May 22nd, 2010, 2:26 pm


almasri said:

On second thoughts, Egypt has the moral responsibility to take the Jews back as slaves in order to solve the problem of the theft of Palestine. Even though, the old Jews came in mischievously and uninvited to old Egypt, the Egyptians must have tried harder as I said before to rehabilitate them into the civilized world. Jews must understand this time, however, that there is no room for mischief, and slaves live as eunuchs in Egypt. So welcome back to castration house. Any Jews who have abnormal sexual tendencies such as an urge to fill up a posterior hole may have to look somewhere else – check out with the Americans or the Polish, they may be interested.

May 22nd, 2010, 2:33 pm


almasri said:

Let’s hear you speak Mr. 80% Arab.

May 22nd, 2010, 3:44 pm


jon said:

what’s up with mentioning All4Syria along CNN in the title? I mean I like All4Syria and all.. I read it.. but c’mon

May 22nd, 2010, 4:28 pm


Shai said:


You’re absolutely right. I know he doesn’t speak on behalf of most Arabs. His choice of fighting “on behalf” of the Palestinians with his own version of racism is counterproductive. It only helps other racists hate him just as much.

May 22nd, 2010, 5:26 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

HolyLand was, is and always will be the property of the Jewish people and nation.

If you don’t agree, go and drink from the sea of Gaza.

May 22nd, 2010, 6:53 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

You are wrong

May 22nd, 2010, 10:43 pm


Averroes said:


Your comments are becoming increasingly anarchist and racist, and we already have enough of that in the region. Please weigh in on what you’re saying before posting it. Vicious attacks on “Jews” does not serve anything and is morally wrong so please stop it.

Who knows what the future holds. If Israelis fail to integrate with the region on an equal and fair basis, then they may well end up like the Crusaders, and may well end up getting kicked out of the region.

But that would be at a huge blood cost to both sides and would wedge great hatred for millennia to come. I really don’t want that.

Instead, Israelis can choose to change their ways and their approach, and agree to the only viable solution, which is a One State solution, where Arab and Jew can live and work together in a natural, normal country that belongs to all its citizens. They have to stop coming up with the mutated creations they’re offering the Palestinians such as a state over walled ghettos, that does not own its air space, nor its water, not its borders. Such a mutated creation will die because it is a freak of human history.

Palestinians who were terrorized out of their homes must be given the choice to return, and all the guarantees the world can give can be implemented to safeguard this agreement and the lives of the people involved. It can be done.

Imagine if that happens. We would look back at the 20th century as a time of turmoil and cruelty, and start to look forward to a real, prosperous future built on rock.

Do I see that happening? Not any time soon. Israelis have painted themselves into a corner and are way too high on their own supply. Before that can happen, they have to be educated to recognize the changes taking place around them. They have to realize how much humiliation and incredible pain they’re projecting upon everyone around them, and that they’re, literally, making larger, more dangerous, and more determined enemies.

Just look at the photo of the chanting Israelis harassing that Palestinian woman in the next SC subject and you get a good picture of the mind set prevalent in Israel today. Peace cannot be made with this mindset at all.

May 23rd, 2010, 3:02 pm


almasri said:


You are entitled to an opinion. I gave your comment due consideration. I concluded that I cannot agree with you.

Keep writing, however, and enlighten us with more of your ‘philosophical’ advices.

May 23rd, 2010, 3:19 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Instead, Israelis can choose to change their ways and their approach, and agree to the only viable solution, which is a One State solution, where Arab and Jew can live and work together in a natural, normal country that belongs to all its citizens. They have to stop coming up with the mutated creations they’re offering the Palestinians such as a state over walled ghettos, that does not own its air space, nor its water, not its borders. Such a mutated creation will die because it is a freak of human history.


Since 1947 there has been, and there always will be, a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. I’m not sure how someone can conclude that it is “too late” for that. What data proves this?

The Palestinians (and their arab rejectionist backers) have always spurned the two-state proposals, and, IMHO, that is the reason why the peace process has failed.

May 23rd, 2010, 4:45 pm


Ghat Albird said:


Party I keeps talking and talking about the piece process while continuously taking land and resources from P, S and L. Party I has over 200 nuclear missiles and keeps bitching about parties P, S and L acquiring non nuclear missiles.

Party I insists on being a state for just the “chosen few” who continueously claim that as Jews they are God’s chosen people and God gave them special rights and as soon as anyone mentions the word Jew that person is a racist.

Party I maintains and is supported by Party A that it has the right to defend itself ore-emptively by “attacking Parties P, S, and L as well in addition another Party named Iran.”

According to Party I parties P, S, L, and Iran do not have the SAME RIGHTS to defend themselves as Party I has.

Big Party A wants all concerned to kow tow to Party I’s demands and live peacefully.

Big big Party UN is unable to do what it is mandated to do and Party I anyhow ignores it.

A rational conclusion to the above after 60 odd years woud be the question “when is this comic opera going to end”? Who are the comics and who are the ones being made fun of ? What is the rational for Parties, P, S, L and Iran and nearby neighbors to continue to be members of Party UN that is not executing its own orders?

As things stand now Party I stands as the winner and all the rest as just plain losers. And human nature being what it is no one likes being the loser all the time.

May 23rd, 2010, 5:19 pm


norman said:

That was interesting and so true , and i want to add what , Averroes,said that the longer party I keeps denying party P,S,L,I their rights the more likely more radical people will reach power and deny party I the right to exist in the first place , the question is will party I develop a strategic thinking and adopt what Shai and Yossi advocate and that live together as equal , I hope i got that right Shai, before things gets out of hand , i have strong doubts !.

May 23rd, 2010, 5:44 pm


Ghat Albird said:

NORMAN said:

i have strong doubts !. I agree with your doubts too.

60 years ago its was the Stern Gang, the Irgun Zvai Lumi murdering Count Bernadotte, running trucks with naked Palestenian women in them and throwing out close to 700,000 into Lebanon and elsewhere.

There was no Hamas, Hezbollam, Al Queda, or Taliban. who knows how many more in say 5 or ten years.

The future does not augur well for peace as you suggest. M. Gandhi has an appropriate observation on how the world turns. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Que sera, sera.

May 23rd, 2010, 5:59 pm


Shai said:

Ghat said: “Party I keeps talking and talking about the piece process while continuously taking land and resources from P, S and L. Party I has over 200 nuclear missiles and keeps bitching about parties P, S and L acquiring non nuclear missiles.”

Your premise insinuates that parties “P, S, and L” always wanted peace, and that party “I” only talks about it, but does the opposite. But clearly even you can recall that certain parties did not seek peace with “party I” prior to 1967. It is NOT the case, that parties “P, S, and L” were ready to accept Israel in this region, before Israel took over the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan.

I disagree also with your suggestion that Israel is “talking about peace” while continuously “taking land”. We’re neither talking peace, nor taking more land. There’s no more to take – we have it all right now. We are building more settlements on Palestinian territory, if that’s what you mean, yes. But we already control all that territory. The question now, is if and when we’ll give that territory back. The more we wait, the more a One-State solution becomes de facto the only solution. In that sense, if certain Israelis who fear non-Jewish majority don’t wake up soon enough, they will not have the option to get their Jewish State. The Palestinians will simply refuse a non-viable state of their own.

I do agree with you, about the missile absurdity. But two things play in our favor – first, our so-called “nuclear ambiguity”, in which Israel never admitted to having nuclear capability, and second, the fact that we never used such missiles against the Arabs. We can “bitch” about missiles that have been launched against Israel, but it’s difficult for the Arab side to “bitch” against nukes that have yet to be seen.

May 23rd, 2010, 7:02 pm


norman said:


Israel was not recognized by party S,P,L and Egypt because Israel would not give the Palestinians their right as set by the UN of return to their homes , If Israel was working on that problem things might have been different ,

May 23rd, 2010, 7:19 pm


Shai said:


I disagree. Egypt and Jordan recognized Israel, as did the PLO itself, long before the Palestinians achieved their national aspirations and their rights. It is also likely that Syria would do the same, if Israel were to withdraw from the Golan tomorrow.

With the exception of Lebanon, all other territories Israel currently controls and occupies, have been held since 1967. Israel hasn’t “expanded” into further territory, it has in fact withdrawn from territory under its control, namely the Sinai, S. Lebanon, Gaza, and small areas in the West Bank.

While most Israelis today do not believe we should withdraw from the Golan, polls clearly indicate that a majority understands we’ll have to withdraw from most of the West Bank. The numbers range from 90-plus percent, to about 96%. Few Israelis still believe in a Greater Israel.

But while we do nothing, a One-State is de facto becoming our reality.

May 23rd, 2010, 7:39 pm


Ghat Albird said:


Interesting take of one who is on the inside so to speak.

Israel’s emerging state of psychosis
Gideon Levy writes:

Let us imagine the dream-country of most Israelis – without criticism, neither from within nor from without. It speaks in one voice and is eternally united, with devotion and cohesion; all-Jewish, that goes without saying. It stands unanimously behind its government, every government, and also, of course, behind its army, the Shin Bet security service and the Mossad espionage agency – Israel’s heroes.

There is not even a single “snitch,” no human rights organizations or peace movements, no nonprofit associations and no critical reports that are published here, or, heaven forbid, abroad. Its press never criticizes, never exposes, never investigates, publishing nothing but praise and admiration for the government and the state. It recites official statements and quotes from government and security briefings.

Every war that this dream-country wages is met immediately by nothing but cheers of approval. Any atrocity it commits in the occupied territories automatically earns across-the-board support – the most moral, the most just, the most security-oriented, in harmony. All residents must swear their allegiance, all those who wish to visit, too. Those who are faithful to Israel are welcome. All the rest must take the first plane (or truck ) out. In short, the country of one’s dreams.

But now let’s answer truthfully. Is that really the country we would want to live in? Moreover, would the world that is always-against-us appreciate and like Israel better if that was how we looked and spoke, uniform and devoid of all self-criticism?

The benchmark upon which all psychological health and pathology can be assessed is the relationship between self and other. The breakdown of this relationship at its extreme results in psychosis: a condition in which an unbridgeable chasm has opened between the individual and the world he inhabits.

Is this where Israel is heading? A nation so deranged that the only source of comfort it finds is in a conversation that it mutters to itself? A nation that lashes out at anyone who ventures too close? A nation whose existence rests on a foundation of fear?

May 23rd, 2010, 7:39 pm


almasri said:

The Palestinian refugees and their descendents must go back to the homes that they were driven from in 1947, 48, 56, 67, 73….

Foreigners who come from disparate parts of the world have no right to displace the inhabitants of Palestine who own over 97% of Palestine.

The theft of Palestine must come to an end. This theft cannot be reversed by one-,two-, three- or more states so-called solutions. The UN or League of Nations has no mandate to partition or allocate real estate or grant illegal mandates to any power.

The Middle East is currently living in a state of criminal behaviour by so-called highly developed robbers who seek to sanction criminal behaviour and to live off the proceeds of crime. This criminal state is the source of the Middle East problem. The criminal tendencies of those participating (whether they say they belong to right, left or center of this robbery enetrprise) in the acts of displacing the legal inhabitants of Palestine must be punished and they must be prevented from engaging in further criminal activities.

The issue is not that of peace or war. It is a criminal issue.

May 23rd, 2010, 7:50 pm


norman said:

I want to disagree with you , Hafiz Assad once said that Syria was offered the Golan for abandoning the Palestinians and their rights , Syria refused then and Syria will refuse in the future ,and that is probably the real reason Israel is not forthcoming on giving the Golan and a peace treaty with Syria, and that is the reason that Syria consider what Egypt did abandoning Syria and the Palestinians as treason , you might say that Syria if given the Golan in 2000 she would have signed a peace treaty with Israel , that could have happened because the Palestinians at that time were close to a deal with Israel ,today is very different story ,

What did you mean by this ,


Interesting take of one who is on the inside so to speak.))

Inside what ?.

May 23rd, 2010, 8:17 pm


Shai said:


“If Israel was working on that problem things might have been different…”

The problem is, that many in my country would suggest that if the Arab World had accepted the UN Partition Plan, things might also have been different.

We can’t keep going around in circles, choosing different points of reference to support claims against one another, and rejecting other points as irrelevant. We need to move ahead, by finding the courage to take chances. Israel must take a chance, by withdrawing from all Arab lands captured after 1967, and the Arab World must take a chance, by making peace (even cold peace) with Israel, also prior to a final solution to the Palestinian problem.

In both cases, Syria and Palestine, we are 90% there. The question is only which will come first. Unfortunately, I believe the U.S. and Israel are both banking on the wrong horse.

Btw, Bashar Assad has given every indication that Syria will NOT require first the Palestinian problem to be resolved. Mahmoud Abbas himself traveled to Damascus apparently to give his “blessings” to such an agreement. He too understands that there are also advantages in having Israelis first withdraw from the Golan.

Withdrawal from the Golan is far easier than from the West Bank, and therefore nothing should stop it if negotiations are restarted and an agreement is reached. Personally, I cannot see a single Israeli voting to force tens of thousands of Jewish settlers out of the West Bank, while Hamas keeps launching Qassams from Gaza. A final withdrawal will occur only under agreement. Israel is unlikely to repeat the unilateral mistakes of Lebanon and Gaza.

May 23rd, 2010, 8:23 pm


almasri said:

“and that is the reason that Syria consider what Egypt did abandoning Syria and the Palestinians as treason”

Treason it was, and more and more Egyptians and Jordanians are recognizing it as such day after day. Sadat who was paid for his treason a so-called Noble prize by the zionists was also made to pay for his treason at one of the most appropriate moments in his uneventful life in order to become an example. We know he’s rotting in a very low level in hell along with his zionist friends.

Egyptians are raising their voices and demanding the abrogation of the pact of shame and treason and so are the Jordanians. Hosni could not be where he is now if it wasn’t for the army of security agents around him. But sooner or later, the real Egyptians will take over and put an end to this shame and the chaotic order of theft imposed on Palestine by criminal zionists.

There shall never be peace with bandits and thieves. But certainly there can be war to put an end to this crime – unless the thieves hand back the stollen property, i.e. all of Palestine. That is as warm a it can get with these zionists.

May 23rd, 2010, 9:01 pm


norman said:


If there are only six million of you in Israel , peace would be a reality tomorrow , I doubt it though that you can multiply that fast , I can not do that either ,

May 23rd, 2010, 9:12 pm


Ghat Albird said:


Interesting take of one who is on the inside so to speak.))

Inside what ?

Meaning that his views are not Arab views.

May 23rd, 2010, 10:06 pm


almasri said:

In this gathering, Arab intellectuals from all over the Arab world and the West unanimously agree Resistance in all its forms is the only path forward:

May 23rd, 2010, 10:19 pm


norman said:

I am from Syria ,

May 24th, 2010, 1:20 am


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