Operation Cast Lead


IAF Strike on Gaza

IAF Strike on Gaza

The morning of Saturday, December 27, Israel launched an offensive on Gaza. The Israeli Air Force struck 40 sites simultaneously, and a total of 170 sites. The attack was a surprise, according to Hamas sources. Hamas claims that all police headquarters have been destroyed, and the Gazan Chief of Police Tawfik Jaber has been killed. Expecting an Israeli attack to be similar in nature to past ones, Hamas lost much of its infrastructure. 195 Palestinians, mostly Hamasmen, have been killed. Though, recent media reports place the death toll as high as 225. In retaliation, Hamas has fired over 80 rockets into southern Israel, hitting Ashkelon and Netivot, where an Israeli citizen was killed. The IDF is mobilizing tanks to be prepare for the event of a ground incursion, and stationing combat units around the “borders” of Gaza to prevent a potential attack on Israel. Minister of Defense,Ehud Barack has said that, “Our purpose is to hit Hamas in such a way that will force it to halt any firing and other hostile activities against Israeli citizens and against the IDF.” This task will be made more difficult in that, according to Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas is prepared and “will continue the resistance until the last drop of blood.” In addition, Hamas official Khalid Mashaal has called on Palestinians to start a “third intifada.”

Israeli security strategy is based on a concept known in Hebrew as hachra’ah. While there is no direct translation into English, the closest concept would be that of a decisive victory. The point is to show your enemy that you are so strong that you can absolutely destroy them, should you so choose. This should deter the enemy from continuing its course of action and prevent future wars or attacks against you. It is essential that Israel show that it is strong, in order to prevent further attacks.

For years now, Hamas and the PIJ (the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) have been firing rockets on Israel with no real military threat against them. When checkpoints or de facto “border-crossings” were blocked, Hamas continued with its activities, winning over the hearts and minds of its populace, who do not realize that Hamas’ activities are the cause of their suffering. Israel has made itself look weak in the eyes of its enemies by allowing rocketfire to go unchecked, and thus Hamas has continued with its actions. However, the implications of this operation, “Operation Cast Lead,” go far beyond Gaza. It is crucial that all of Israel’s potential enemies view Israel as strong, so as to deter all those wish to wipe Israel off the map. These enemies grow stronger by the day, including Iran and its satellite organizations (though this is a different discussion, perhaps better suited for a separate blog). As a result, it is crucial that Israel fully complete this operation, and not leave it “half done.” This will be made more difficult by the fact Gaza is very crowded, giving little room for movement. In addition, Hamas has had time to prepare for an incursion; they will have studied Israel’s performance in its last war, and will know its weaknesses. While they will be, clearly, weakened by the loss of personnel and valuable munitions and weaponry, the IDF should still expect a considerable amount of fighting, particularly in light of Hamas’ dedication to their cause, and their willingness to sacrifice their lives in the name of Allah and jihad. (Note: I am not claiming that there is a lack of logic in such actions. Rather, I believe that these individuals will act very rationally. It is simply a question of to what rationale or logic they hold. Clearly, theirs is rather different from ours). In short, Israel will have great difficulty in completing its tasks with regards to the Gaza Strip. Yet, it is crucial, for Israeli national security, that Israel show a considerable display of strength, force, and reach a quick and decisive victory.

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94 Comments

  1. J.Miller

    12/27/2008 at 9:39 pm

    I like the headline on msnbc
    “Israelis rain death on Gaza”

  2. Ephraim

    12/27/2008 at 10:10 pm

    About damn time.

    Chazach v’amatz.

    My G-d protect Israel’s soldiers.

  3. xisnotx

    12/27/2008 at 10:31 pm

    “quick and decisive victory” — i seem to recall this kind of talk at the start of the ’06 lebanon war…

  4. Yoni C.

    12/27/2008 at 11:00 pm

    xisnotx,

    what do you want? why do you have to be so critical? its been like less than 24 hours let some time pass before you bash their tactics, please.

  5. xisnotx

    12/27/2008 at 11:16 pm

    yoni — that’s not a critique of the tactics so far; Dahlia is talking about a ground invasion.

  6. themiddle

    12/28/2008 at 1:33 am

    Xisnotx is right. If there’s a ground invasion, the notion of “quick and decisive victory” is uncertain. The only thing that is certain is that Israel must attain a “quick and decisive victory” lest it be seen “losing” another war to another militia.

  7. Yoni C.

    12/28/2008 at 1:52 am

    Gaza is not Southern Lebanon and Hamas is not Hizbullah.

    It won’t be easy and to do it right Israel will incur losses, and Gaza and it citizens will incur huge losses. But it needs to be done I guess, the ground operation I mean.

    Hopefully this call for the 3rd Intifada will fizzle in the WB under Fatah’s control and maybe, just maybe, that will weaken Hamas enough in Gaza to get some sort of change there.

    We will see, 15 civilians out of 235+ dead is not that bad though, hopefully IDF/IAF can keep up those kind of low casualty rates among civilians long enough to get their work done.

  8. xisnotx

    12/28/2008 at 3:27 am

    TM, i think you can forget the “quick” part

    Defense Minister Barak: IDF offensive on Gaza won`t be short or easy (Haaretz)

  9. Ben-David

    12/28/2008 at 4:29 am

    A lot of tiptoe-ing around the actual definition of a “decisive” victory.

    Hamas is the elected-in-a-landslide government of Gaza, remember? These attacks are exactly the platform they ran on.

    So – assuming a realistic distinction can still be made between the “militants” and “civilians” of Gaza – what happens after the Israelis “take out Hamas”?

    Who fills the vacuum? How does policy towards Israel change?

    Nothing. No change.
    The use of terms like “hachra’ah” for these half-measures is Orwellian. There is nothing “decisive” about leaving your enemies intact to attack you another day.

    It seems Barak has not learned the lessons of Oslo and Lebanon.

    The only “decisive victory” involves population transfer and annexation of Gaza.

  10. themiddle

    12/28/2008 at 4:38 am

    Population transfer where?

    Are you insane? Who would sanction this? The US? The UN? Do you think Egypt will accept a single Palestinian?

  11. Tom Morrissey

    12/28/2008 at 4:55 am

    This will culminate in stationing a bunch of Italians or Spaniards in northern Gaza, a la the UN’s approach to Lebanon. I’ll bet the current Israeli government will settle for a new and improved version of the ‘truce.’

  12. ck

    12/28/2008 at 5:38 am

    I for one am saddened by this latest development. I take no pleasure in senseless loss of life and unnecessary devastation. But at some point, folks gotta take responsibility for their actions. People get the government they deserve and the blame for all this carnage lies flat at the feet of Hamas and their Iranian and Syrian supporters as well as on an international community that didn’t do enough to let them know in no uncertain terms that lobbing missiles at an overwhelmingly superior foe is going to have some unpleasant ramifications. Hamas may want to rethink its strategy or the Palestinian people may want to reconsider their leadership choices.

    Sadly, the IDF is left with no choice but to inflict complete devastation upon those that wish to destroy Israel. Hopefully, the Palestinian people will wake up from their haterade inspired delusions…

    Population transfer is an abhorrent idea and International peacekeeping troops in Gaza will hardly do anything. Qassams and Iranian Grads can be fired from anywhere in Gaza and still hit Israel. The only thing that will help is Palestinian recognition that Israel isn’t going anywhere. We’re here to stay. Learn to live with us or suffer the consequences.

  13. dahlia

    12/28/2008 at 5:40 am

    xisnotx: a decisive victory has always been talked about. The concept stems from pre-Israel days, to the time of the Yishuv. This was precisely a problem with the so-called “Second Lebanon War,” in that we won, but but not decisively. This, as I mentioned, has weakened Israel in the eyes of her enemies. It is, thus, essential that any operation be done properly. With regards to a ground invasion, I am not necessarily advocating it. However, we should all acknowledge that a lack of ground force will likely appear as fear of Hamas. Of course, this may mean soldiers will die. However, I would like the believe that the Israeli intelligence forces have access to far more information than I, and may be able to plan correctly. Further, a “quick” victory, in military terms, refers to one which occurs in less than a week and a half. 24 hours would, indeed, have been a record.

    Ben-David: It cannot be Israel’s concern as to whom will fill in the gap. The people of Gaza chose to have Hamas as their government. Perhaps the people will choose to continue having them as their government. Perhaps there will be calls for change. Perhaps Fatah will effectively step in. However, what is essential is that Israel show that attacks on its citizens and soverign territory will not be tolerated. The second key in Israel’s security strategy is that of “harta’a” (deterrence). Yet, with regards to the reason for Hamas being elected, you are mistaken. Hamas is first and foremost a mutual aid organization. It has deep roots. While its militant wing was only established in the 1980s, Hamas can trace back its social/charitable organization to the 1920s. Even now, the charitable arm of Hamas receives much more of its funding than does the militant wing. The reason Hamas was elected is because of its charitable activities. They run the hospitals, the schools, the madrassas, the mosques, the soup kitchens, the job placement services, and the welfare organizations. These are people who not only make promises to help the people, but actually fulfill them. Moreover, they live with the people, and act as of the people, unlike others who act distant from and above the people. This is what makes them so effective in their militant acts. As a terrorist organization they receive full support from their populace due to their mutual aid structure. In addition, the point of this campaign should be to totally destroy Hamas’ abilities to attack Israel. This is what I mean by doing the job correctly. As a side note, saying that in any given operation, including this one, that Israel should achieve “hachra’a” is a far cry from advocating a totalitarian-esque future. (i.e. not Orwellian)

    Tom Morrissey: Barack has always been in favor of a truce. He believes the short-term benefits of a period with minimal rocketfire outweigh the future concerns of a stronger and more threatening Hamas. He is greatly mistaken on this front. Thus, it is my hope that he runs this offensive properly. (UN soldiers, while doing nothing to stop Hamas, and probably serving only in preventing Israeli action against Hamas, would, however, have a positive impact on the Israeli economy in the South, as they will be a new source of revenue to the restaurants and malls in the region).

  14. Yael

    12/28/2008 at 6:16 am

    Has anyone been following this on Twitter?

  15. Josh Berer

    12/28/2008 at 6:42 am

    God protect Israel’s soldiers?? They’re shooting missiles out of airplanes! This is nowhere near a fair fight, this is a freaking massacre, and since when did Judaism support that?
    Yes, i know that Hamas rockets land near Sderot all the time and that’s reeaaalllyy annnoyyyyingggg but please.

  16. ck

    12/28/2008 at 7:16 am

    Josh: A fair fight? I dunno. I’m a pretty big guy. I stay out of people’s business. But if someone comes up to me and insists on starting a fight, I’ll fight back with all I have no matter the size of the opponent. Why? The average bone only requires 75 psi of pressure to break. A well placed punch to the bridge of one’s nose can cause a concussion and possible brain damage, one to the solar plexus can cause death. Do we really need to wait for one of their bombs to hit a school or a bus or something to defend ourselves? I don’t like violence, I don’t like death, but I don’t think Hamas left us with any options.

  17. xisnotx

    12/28/2008 at 7:39 am

    “I don’t think Hamas left us with any options.”

    no options to — what? is the objective to keep attacking until hamas stops firing? agrees to a ceasefire? disarms? is deposed?

  18. themiddle

    12/28/2008 at 8:03 am

    You are right, Josh. The Israelis should be lobbing primitive rockets at Gaza daily. When somebody dies, you’ll call it a massacre. Isn’t that what happened when some artillery rocket did or did not hit a family at the beach in Gaza?

    Israel has been extraordinarily patient with the Gaza attacks on Israeli civilians. They have been patient to the point where the Palestinians were toying with Israel and felt confident enough about their capacity to inflict terror through their bombings that they negotiated a cease-fire with the much stronger side.

    You mock those “annoying” rockets hitting Sderot, but when I was in Sderot and the rockets were coming at me, I recall feeling a very strong sense of fear. The people who live there aren’t immune to that fear and their lives have been hell for years. The Palestinians wanted to pick this fight. After all, the IDF and every last Jew and Israeli is gone from Gaza but they continued attacking. If you want to live quietly, you do so. If you want a fight, you launch daily rockets while you build up your arsenal.

    They picked a fight with a bigger and stronger army. They knew what they were doing and they wanted it this way, Josh. They wanted a fight with the IDF. You would like the IDF to fight without using their advantages like, say, a boxer with longer reach using the rope-a-dope to fight? That seems foolish, doesn’t it?

    Xisnotx, they left the Israelis no option but to fight back. To what end? Maybe to teach the Palestinians a lesson about terrorizing the communities of the Western Negev and the southern coastal towns of Israel. Maybe they’ll stop now. Maybe they’ll be weakened enough that Fatah can retake control. I don’t think the Israelis are planning to negotiate another cease fire right now on the basis of the severity of this attack. I don’t think the Israelis are stupid enough to think an ideological, religious extremist movement like Hamas would “disarm” readily. That leaves the possibility of having them deposed by Fatah and I suspect that’s who the Israelis are hoping will fill the vacuum created by the losses they’re inflicting on Hamas. If they fail, they will still have weakened Hamas and forced these terrorists to live with the same fear they’ve inflicted on Israeli civilians for many years now. That may bring some respite to the rocket attacks on Israel. If it doesn’t, at least it will decrease them considerably while Hamas finds new manpower to replace those who have been killed and injured.

  19. ck

    12/28/2008 at 8:35 am

    xisnotx: I hope the objective is to keep attacking till Hamas stops firing, to destroy their weapons stores and to do whatever it takes to secure the safety and peace of mind of Israeli citizens. Palestinians can do whatever they like – get rid of Hamas, keep Hamas – that’s not my concern. They can have whatever government they want, but to whatever extent they threaten a neighboring sovereign nation, they ought to expect reprisals.

  20. xisnotx

    12/28/2008 at 9:16 am

    TM, about Hamas finding new manpower: it’s got fifteen thousand men under arms. like Hezbollah, it may not be forthcoming in revealing just how many of its crack troops have been killed. But everything I’ve read suggests the bulk of its casualties — a couple hundred — were civil police, not its fighters.

    Those fighters made such short work of Fatah during the coup, it’s difficult to imagine how Fatah can push Hamas from power. Elements in the PA seem convinced if Israel somehow deposes Hamas, they can step in; I’m skeptical: jpost.com/serv...

    I think it’s more likely Gaza could return to the semi-warlordism it saw prior to the coup, maybe this time with no clear ruler. Daniel Levy wrote about this: haaretz.com/ha... More radical offshoots could develop. In that case it could be even harder to find the right pressure points to deter missile fire. At least in the status quo up till now, Hamas had something to lose. If Israel says there is no negotiating with it, and is intent on destroying it, Hamas may feel even less compunction against firing missiles.

    Anyhow, I’m just thinking aloud here. I’d also thought assassinating Yassin & Rantisi was going to increase suicide bombings, but in fact it led to Hamas pretty much quitting that tactic. So I could be way off base; we shall see.

  21. dahlia

    12/28/2008 at 10:05 am

    I would like to direct people’s attention to this. It shows a pilot taking out a Hamas missile launch site in Gaza, located in a residential neighborhood, without damaging any of the surrounding buildings (from the view from cockpit). What other army in the world would care whether it accidently hit a civilian target. In fact, in a recent conference on counter-terrorism efforts, the Russian representative expressed deep confusion as to the Israeli predicament. Afterall, the Russian response to Chechan terrorism is to carpet-bomb.

    [As a side note, (this is particularly relevant to you, xisnotx), I suggest looking closely at the pictures taken which show the poor, innocent, impoverished, victims in Gaza. You may notice that most of them are surrounded by people with army boots, camoflage clothing, and/or Hamas headwraps. In applying some logic, it would appear that those dead individuals are not as innocent as they may appear given that Hamas, like most guerilla organizations, has uniforms. Thus, if an individual is surrounded by dead Hamas-men, they, too, are not likely to be unafilliated, and thus not a victim].

  22. montana urban legend

    12/28/2008 at 10:55 am

    It’s ok to say their actions are not logical or rational. Oh wait, I forgot. Their goals are not “practical”. My bad.

    I think it’s possible that whoever is “governing” Gaza will start to get less and less sympathy for this sort of thing. But it shows good preparation to anticipate and prepare for the alternative. The fact that Israel had been withdrawn from that fetid place does seem to have made a difference with the opinionated allies of the Palestinian cause, near as I can tell. At least, their shrieks don’t seem as loud this time from my side of the pond.

  23. xisnotx

    12/28/2008 at 11:48 am

    Dahlia, what do you think of this article by veteran Middle East commentator Zvi Barel?

    Delusions of victory in Gaza
    haaretz.com/ha...

  24. Ben-David

    12/28/2008 at 12:09 pm

    Dahlia –

    It is most definitely Israel’s concern what occupies the vacuum that is created. This is called “strategy” – a nice alternative to foreign policy determined by politicos lurching from popularity-poll to popularity-poll.

    And to all those too delicate to talk about “transfer of populations” – the Geneva conventions themselves allow the expulsion of implacably violent civilian populations from areas conquered in self-defense.

    Which is exactly the situation in Gaza.

  25. dahlia

    12/28/2008 at 7:23 pm

    xisnotx: He makes some good points. However, he misses some key points. First, there is a clear distinction between Hamas and Hezbollah. Hezbollah is essentially an Iranian proxy guerrilla force, whereas Hamas is still its own organization. More importantly however, Israel is a sovereign nation. As such, it has a right to defend its sovereign territory. Gaza is not a sovereign state; Hamas is not a state’s government. While there may very well be an Islamic Republic of Palestine, some day, that day is not today. They cannot claim that Israel is infringing on their national sovereignty. They may argue that their people are being mistreated; that Israel has no right to withhold aid from them; that they should be allowed to smuggle in as many guns or cows or whatever as they like. However, they cannot, and do not, argue that Israel infringes on their rights as a state. In fact, Hamas, as an organization barely discusses statehood. Their key concern with regards to statehood is that Israel not exist, only then followed by the establishment of their own state. As such, it is ludicrous to propose that Israel not respond strongly or to speak on a ceasefire as anything more than it is; a hudna. However, it is even more absurd to equate the situation in the south of Israel with that of Gaza because while the former is plagued due to the choices of others, the latter is plagued as a result of their own choices. (All in all though, I liked the article. I, simply, strongly disagree with Barel’s stance)

    Ben-David: strategy has multiple levels. Here forth we have discussed 2 of the middle levels of strategy: strategy and tactics. You refer to grand-strategy in determining who shall fill in the power vacuum. While I agree with you that it is an important question as to who shall fill in the power vacuum, that cannot be the military’s concern. The military cannot put a leader on a throne. Further, any candidate that the Israeli government should support would be immediately defamed in the eyes of his or her fellow Palestinians. This being said, there isn’t much Israel can do about determining the future leadership of Gaza, other than destroying Hamas and Islamic Jihad as effectively as possible. In addition, you mention population transfer. Without delving into questions of morality or international law (or my own personal opinion), I suggest we look at logistics. When one transfers a population the population must, necessarily, be transferred to somewhere.Egypt does not want them; they have enough problems with poverty than to bring in more needy people. Further, they have more than their hands full of Islamists with the Muslim Brotherhood (who have assassinated Egyptian officials, in the past, including a President); they, certainly, do not want Hamasmen. Jordan does not want Palestinians; this would overturn the delicate control the monarchy has over its people. Lebanon does not want them; they have not ever given citizenship to the Palestinians residing in their country who have been there for 60 years. Giving them citizenship would overturn the precious balance that the government holds on to, in its feeble attempt to keep afloat. Syria does not want them. Libya does not want them. Neither does any other Arab country. So to where do you propose Israel transfer them? The sea?

  26. montana urban legend

    12/28/2008 at 7:53 pm

    Thank you Dahlia.

    You have provided a very concise summary of the political mechanisms by which the Palestinians continue to successfully evade responsibility for anything to this day. I suggest that any argument with someone sympathizing with the Palestinians or rationalizing their position (and particularly Hamas) make use of those reminders. They clearly do not see a simple declaration of statehood as being in their interest. And why? Because they’re the laziest sons of bitches that the world has seen, at least when it comes to taking ethical responsibility for their own actions. I understand that Hamas is widely seen as improving social services where it has come to power and improving the corrupt political climate. But that is irrelevant to taking ethical responsibility for the consequences of their never-ending belligerence toward their neighbors.

    PALESTINIANS DON’T WANT A STATE. WHY?

    Repeat that as loud as you can to every yokel who rationalizes their actions and depicts Israel as the personification of aggression and regional instability. Repeat it until they have nothing more to say in response.

  27. Intellectual Conservative

    12/28/2008 at 8:54 pm

    I’m not Jewish .. I’m Norwegian and German by ancestry (and an American citizen who served in the US Air Force in the 80s) .. but let me be one to say to Israel ‘About DAMN time you did this !!’

  28. Fred

    12/29/2008 at 12:40 am

    you jews are sick, twisted murderers. you are trying to tell the world that hamas is lobbing rockets for no good reason? what you jews have been doing in Gaza is a humanitarian atrocity. you are wrong. might will not work. the US tried this approach and they are now paying the price. sick, sick and wrong.

  29. Intellectual Conservative

    12/29/2008 at 12:56 am

    OK, someone named Fred just pushed the ‘freakin stoopid’ button in my presence ..

    Fred, do you, um, watch the news at all?

    cnn.com/2008/W...

    csmonitor.com/...

    And this one going back two years ..

    worldnetdaily....

    And this one more current ..

    news.yahoo.com...

    In the immortal words of Sluggo from YAAFM …. ‘Check .. and mate .. muthafucka ..’

    :smirk:

    With apologies for my language at the end. Confronting the evil of ‘galactically stoopid’ does that to me.

    And no, Fred, I’m not a Jew.

  30. Intellectual Conservative

    12/29/2008 at 1:05 am

    Actually, that was Reginald from YAAFM .. my bad :)

  31. J.Miller

    12/29/2008 at 10:02 am

    Ladies and gentlemen that was Fred live from J Street he will be here all the week or until the the next rainbow gathering.

  32. Abu Zibby

    12/29/2008 at 10:08 am

    Excellent commentary, Daliah! Beats most of the pieces published in the mainstream press.

  33. jackerz

    12/29/2008 at 9:57 pm

    we’ll be fighting until The Day the Earth Stood Still. at that time no one will win.

  34. R Marshall

    12/29/2008 at 11:33 pm

    Societal enigma as to a fith column. In every democracy contending points of view are common place. An Isareli fifth column, i.e., a population that is working to eliminate the state they live in, have access to all of the legitimate tools available in Israel. How are people who have a diametrically opposite view for Israel’s existance than does the majority handled by the media, police, courts and so on? When at a time of conflict some of these people actively support Israel’s adversaries and actually join in the fight to extinguish Israelis what should an Israeli societal response look like?

  35. Netsach Shebe Netsach

    12/30/2008 at 10:32 am

    It seems to me that the “Palestinians” are an abusive shiksa. Israel is like “married” to the shiksa. The dual state thing…We have the “marriage documents” the oslo as in oz lo – no strength. Various other binding documents etc.. to the world. Much of the world has sort of given an approval and recognized its “legitamacy” like a civil marriage, something Israelis are known for doing in like in Cyprus…. Much of the Israeli ppl are so hopefull that we make this “marriage” work. The truth is it is a fruitfull marriage in some ways. It has its real effective intimacies. In some ways appears to really work. The shiksa though is not “Jewish” and wont obviously convert…. She has her own values. She is fiesty and very abusive. No one else wants her, even her own family – the ppl whom she grew up with. Her family is even known to want to kill her as much or more then her husband and continually abuses her more then her husband does. But she is a provider to her ppl as she has been for awhile. Abusive or not, she is the mother to her ppl. She is still married with the two state thing even though she wants to kill her husband and maybe only in the relationship to the point it enables her to finnally do so. Killing is in her nature and culture. Yet her husband cares for her to a point, but will smack her around when his ppl cry out enough.
    The Husband’s true Jewish wife is not ready yet for real relations in this world. As is seen, the Jewish woman is growing and teasing the husband, but seems too imature for reality. In some ways she is looking good, but when it comes to actually getting down to bussiness, she failed. She has had a few opportunities to look good for her husband. They were not pretty and didn’t end well. Whereas the Jewish princess seems too concerned with her little girlness, her shiksa rival is made to look cool. The shiksa appears as a real world politic two state solution ratified by most of the world in its hopefullness.
    The Jewish woman is often cast off as an “anachronism” or extremist very missunderstood. The husband really loves the Jewish woman more then anybody else, certainly more then the shiksa. The real bride is the most beautifull and anciently true with a deep understanding of creation and the order of life itself. The problem is the really pretty Jewish woman is appearing rather clumsey and uncoordinated. She puts on a face of being a little skitzo. She fights with herself. She had a chance in Yerushalyim to be in a proper place, but blew it. This last bit of Jerusalem election antics didn’t impress her husband at all nor the rest of the Jewish ppl. It said, we are not ready. But she is growing. Each election cycle more and more Jews find themselves represented in the government to a point numberwise by the Jewish religious partys as skitso as they seem. If not skitzo the religious parties are certainly diverse. You have the Jewish woman saying how much she loves the husband by enthusiastically joining the army with the religious zionists military yeshivas. On the other hand, you have the Meah Sharim, Satmar guys who show a completely different face. Then the diverse but powerfull Litvish world. Chabad doing all kinds of stuff…Religious Sephardim who have growing power with all that entails….some getting along some maybe not as much as they should. This Jewish Woman is going all over the place!
    There was a time when Jews and the Palestinians lived in Gaza together to a point. Not much of a point granted. There was fighting and the Army had to maintain an expensive and dangerous presence. That changed when the Husband wanted to divorce himself of this abusive shiksa in 2005. So, the government of Israel thoroughly ETHNICALLY CLEANSED the Gaza region of Jews. So the Husband now doesn’t think of himself as a husband. He doesn’t think he is married to the shiksa anymore, afterall they are seperated. So the shiksa looks for love elsewhere. She gets this support from family members whom really have it in for the Jewish state.

  36. bigshynepo

    1/3/2009 at 3:46 am

    So let me get this straight… In the last 30 days or so, more Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli bombs than Israeli citizens have been killed by Hamas attacks. I think the UN and EU need to step in and say “Enough is Enough”.

    When Children start becoming causalities of war, the aggressor needs to change it’s strategy.

  37. themiddle

    1/3/2009 at 8:12 am

    Of course. The aggressor, Hamas, should definitely change its strategy. For example, the terrorist organization could decide to focus on civic instead of military matters. They could stop shooting at civilians and preparing for war. Then, Israel wouldn’t find itself, after years of patiently waiting, trying to fight them.

    And the EU and UN should step in, but only after they absorb the simple equation that governments should do everything in their power to stop this militia from positioning itself for any future. Let’s hope that this time they will figure it out.

  38. Tom Morrissey

    1/3/2009 at 10:01 am

    It seems Hamas’s raison-d’etre is the destruction of Israel, not its meals on wheels program. Having gone this far, Israel must take it out.

  39. montana urban legend

    1/3/2009 at 3:14 pm

    I think the much preferred course of action, Tom, is to demoralize or “humiliate” Hamas; so that Gazans are allowed to conclude for themselves that it doesn’t offer them a viable political platform. It’s better if they’re encouraged to repudiate Hamas than to force them to think that Israel’s repudiation of the party resolves matters in and of itself.

    The important role of the pride/shame model in Arab culture cannot be overstated, and must be employed in this instance to maximum effect. Let the Saudis and Egyptians assume responsibility for more long-range tactical considerations. It’s good enough that we have their support in this.

  40. Josh Berer

    1/4/2009 at 7:07 am

    We have successfully bombed the anti-semitism right out of gaza!

  41. cemaltopal

    1/4/2009 at 8:08 am

    hope the Hamas win Israel soldiers go to hellll!!! bastrads
    Iran will destroy Israel ıf they contunie war

  42. Canadian

    1/4/2009 at 12:39 pm

    Majority of the comments bombard hamas with the thinking that a “democratic” neighboring nation cannot live next to a strip controlled by terrorist group, and that Sderot families are living in fear because of the rockets launched by hamas. Have you all forgotten the cause of this war? To the retired american that was in the navy, or whatver, you seem like a partially educated person. Go look up the cause of the war, the reason theres a conflict in the region, rather than when palestinians killed a handful of jews. Go back 50-60 years. Even more if youd like. The west wants a democracy in the middle east. Well there is, Gaza elected Hamas. But wait, that does not suit your needs and vision of the middle east. Hamas creates a burden to israels plans. In the eyes of palestinians, israel is not a nation, it wiped out a whole country and built a “democratic” nation on top of it. What kind of thinking is this? I hope a new hitler arises in the middle east and wipes out the israel (I have nothing against jews just zionists and thir way of thinking). I hope iran gets into war with israel. The IDF is considered by many as one of the strongest armies in the world, but im sure once a war starts, israel will cease to exist. Only problem is the neighboring arab countries are controlled by dictators placed by the US, just like saddam, except saddam went radical hence the reason why he went down.
    Go take your bullshit one-sided zionist media and throw it down in the dumpster. Stop feeding the west with false information.

  43. montana urban legend

    1/4/2009 at 1:30 pm

    Even Canadians should have the brains to know that one-vote, one-party, one-time is not the purpose of democracy. And even if it was, it still doesn’t absolve said democracy from being responsible for its actions. In fact, that’s the point. But what do you know anyway? You’re just a raving, genocidal maniac who welcomes apocalypse (BTW, Iran’s already involved, cockholster) and drops pearls of opinionated shiny turds into the blogosphere while pretending that it’s others who need the education.

    Well, like I said about weakness and the presumption of moral superiority that flows from it. Only, you’re the corollary to that, Canadian. There is no one who can be less trusted to dictate what should be done with power than someone who’s never had it, but whose preening puffery overwhelms any sense of reason which they might have come to understand that.

  44. montana urban legend

    1/4/2009 at 1:51 pm

    The above is a good example of the desperation of the amoral extreme left (Open calls for genocide and an Arabian Hitler. Really! They already had him by the way. Google Haj Amin al Husseini sometime when you get your respite from the “Zionist” media).

    In any event, I didn’t want to offend Canadians with a brain such as Muffti and ck, so sorry if my language was harsh. But I feel bad for you guys in having to share a nationality with the likes of the moron above.

  45. Canadian

    1/4/2009 at 4:03 pm

    I dont need to google his name an search through zionist media in order to understand who he is. With all due respect, your offensive language speaks for itself. You chose not to comment on the topic i began with but rather on the fact that i actually support the rise of a new hitler that targets zionists (not jews). I have met many jews that oppose the actions of israel. Its so difficult for someone like you to understand the world around you because i bet that you havent left your state since god knows when, let alone your continent. Go around the world and see things with your own eyes then judge. Ive heard of people die from what theyve seen of the recent genocide. Get yourself a life, or at least a heart.

  46. Intellectual Conservative

    1/4/2009 at 4:06 pm

    You have a heart yet in your own words, you ‘support the rise of a new Hitler’?!?!?

    Canadian, um, I am sure your socialized health care dispenses hot meds. Make use of them.

  47. Tom Morrissey

    1/4/2009 at 4:08 pm

    Nah. The US would’ve installed better dictators.

  48. Canadian

    1/4/2009 at 4:33 pm

    Actually I dont have a heart anymore, Ive seen enough on TV. People get what they deserve. Im sure the US would mind if muslims were to take over lets say hawaii and declare it their country for religious reasons or whatever. How wouold the americans react?
    Lets not get into whats wrong with the system in the US. Im grateful im canadian.
    The only way the US wouldve placed better dictators would be if they help attack whats left of palestine. Im just glad theres Iran and syria and lebanon, for without them, I think the human race would have no morals. I dont understand how its okay for israel to have nuclear weapons but not iran. Oh wait, Iran with nuclear weapons is not the agenda of the US, so it cant happen, lets place sanctions on them!
    Oh please, Iran is doing just well without the outside world. Dont be fooled by what you see in the media, and no they dont live in tents neither do they live in tents. Arabs dont either.
    I while back I was speaking to a psychology professor on the subjet of suicide bombers and their mentality. As much as i dont agree with what they do to themselves, but the likes of israel and US dont give them a choice. You cant build a wall (berlin wall anyone?) and place people in a huge prison, with little or no supply of food, electricity cut off, and expect them to be sane. The war on gaza now will make younger kids/teens develop this mentality because they get back home from school expecting their parents to be home when their house turns out to be bombed with and F16 leaving their family dead.

  49. themiddle

    1/4/2009 at 7:17 pm

    Except that you have suicide bombers in Sri Lanka and India, not to mention all those suicide bombers in Iraq who target other Iraqis. All those fools make your claims about the Palestinian fools lose any credibility.

    But you’re right, Israel should have just done nothing while thousands of rockets with ever-expanding ranges and accuracy kept being fired into Israeli civilian center AFTER Israel left Gaza.

  50. montana urban legend

    1/4/2009 at 8:59 pm

    What are you? A left-wing version of Bill O’Reilly, with your truthiness and cognitive dissonance? Talk about someone needing a psychiatrist! The words of “Canadian” speak for themselves:

    “Go around the world and see things with your own eyes then judge… Get yourself a life, or at least a heart.”

    “Actually I dont have a heart anymore, Ive seen enough on TV.”

    What kind of an idiot and moral moron exhorts others to see more of the world, but makes their own judgments through what they’ve seen on TV; says that others don’t have enough of a heart, then absolves himself of the same (and by the way, he did this how? By becoming the sophisticated snob that one became, the global citizen that he is of compassion devoid of propoganda, by gluing his eyes to the TV set). Bravo. You are a true study in forked-tongue hypocrisy. And one dumb (and narrow) asshole.

    A pretty effective way to train oneself in the art of defending the indefensible. You belong in a Syrian prison somewhere in the bowels of a government installation deep underground in Damascus. But I see you’ve already done a spectacular job brainwashing yourself into what the dictator and your captors there would have you believe. Splendid! And very efficient.

    Now step away from the monitor so you can put your head even further up your ass. You’re running out of room.

    Where the left and right merge is truly an evil and horrifying place.

  51. Canadian

    1/5/2009 at 8:45 am

    Wow I cant remember the last time I laughed at someone trying to be this offensive. I keep telling myself someone like you was most defenitly bullied when you were a kid.
    Im an expat working overseas from time to time, Ive seen things with my own eyes and on TV. If you are not moved by what you see on TV then im worried about humanity with people like you alive.

    Funny how you indirectly admit that you havent left the US, nor have you left your basemnt watching silly sitoms. Get yourself out of the bubble that youre living in. Seriously, you dont get even 10% of what happens around the world, but youre more worried about the rape that had happened last week in your neighborhood.

    Iraq was just fine without the US intervening. Iraqis suicide bombers targeting other iraqis have a different purpose in life than those in palestine. The US intervention caused a clash in sects in islam, both fighting for who gets control of the country. US went into iraq to destroy yet another radical president that doesnt go by their needs. Are you blind? Its all a conspiracy. Can you explain the reasons why your country got slayed in iraq? ofcourse other than the fact that there were NO WMD. NO WMD.

    Who are you calling “you” in india and sri lanka? what the hell does that have to do with anything???

    Oh and im not saying israel shouldve done nothing when they left gaza, they shouldve reached an epiphany. One where they realize we are actually taking over their country. How could we miss this for the last 60 years of our lives.

  52. montana urban legend

    1/5/2009 at 10:06 am

    No need for me to try to offend you as your assumptions, your prescriptions and your solipsistic sense of moral superiority are so simplistic, not thought through and filled with jabbering and irrelevant conflations that the mere fact that they can be challenged is bound to cause you offense.

    I’m not laughing. Know of any good sitcoms?

  53. themiddle

    1/5/2009 at 1:48 pm

    Uh, “Canadian” who uses an email address extolling a Palestinian terrorist, the Palestinians never had a country and one wasn’t “taken away from them.” They were offered a number of chances to share the land and to have their own country but chose, in every instance, to attack either the Jewish or Israeli people instead. They lost every war and with every lost war, they also lost land. By the way, the land they lost wasn’t even under their control. It was under Ottoman, British, Jordanian, Egyptian or Jewish rule.

    And the point of bringing up suicide bombers in other countries is to undermine your assertions about why Palestinians become suicide bombers and whether it’s understandable. It’s not.

  54. Canadian

    1/5/2009 at 2:10 pm

    My email is in reference to salah shehada. Im sure youve heard of him if youre in israel.

    Anyways, the word palestinians in the west refers to arab terrorists in the area. In the eyes of many arabs, it would be muslims, christians, and jews. That part of the arab world was part of the ottoman empire and when it collapsed it was a british mandate. Zionists in the early 1900s already had their eye out to take the piece of land around jerusalem. Hence, a choice was given to syria, jordan and eastern egypt. There was no choice for the palestinians. They lived there, as one, all muslims, jews, and christians. Even if there was no recognnized country, you cant say ill take my people there and create a country with my people because we are all united by one religion.

    I dont see people in other countries being blocked off with no electricity, food, or water, and surrounded by a wall twice the height of berlin wall. I can assure you, there would be no more suicide bombers in the world, if there was no israel, US does not put its nose where it shouldnt be, and the whole conspiracy around making muslims get all the blame for whats happening to the world. Im sure if the jews attacked the US in whichever way, for whatever reason (and you never know), fingers will be first pointed at muslims. Im not saying there are no radical muslims but these only arise by some shockin incident sometime in their past. Either family dead, or they were deported or whatever. Most of them are caused directly or indirectly by the US.

  55. themiddle

    1/5/2009 at 3:04 pm

    I’m not in Israel and I’ve heard of Shehadeh, the terrorist.

    The word “Palestinian” is not the same as “terrorist” in the West, but there is good reason for people associating terrorism with the Palestinians.

    It might interest you to know that the British mandate was to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. This was a decision made by the international community. The Jews had “any eye” to take nothing without either buying it or getting it democratically.

    There were no “choices” given to Syria, Egypt or Jordan. These countries attacked the nascent Jewish state in 1948 with the expressed aims of destroying it. They lost the war and quite a bit of land but Jordan came into possession of what is called the “West Bank” and Egypt gained Gaza.

    As for the Palestinians and their right to a country, nobody has denied that right. They simply have to stop thinking that all the land is theirs. It isn’t and never was. If they hadn’t attacked in 1948 together with the Arab armies, you wouldn’t have had the refugee problem that developed. It would interest you to know that there were also 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries in those years. Nobody calls them refugees, however, and there isn’t an entire UN infrastructure created just for them 60 years after the fact.

    Gazans have electricity, food and water even in wartime. They are surrounded by barriers because of the terror attacks they’ve inflicted on Israeli civilians over the years. No attacks, no barrier. In fact, no attacks and there would be no war. No attacks and you would have Palestinians with a state.

    Your comments about suicide bombers are idiotic. As you yourself said, what’s the connection between Sri Lankan suicide bombers and Israel? Nothing. It is puerile anti-semitic drivel to suggest that Muslim extremism is caused by Jews. It is also ridiculous to suggest that it’s the US that is driving these lunatics. If you’re going to blame Western countries, start with England and France.

    Learn your history.

  56. Abid Malik

    1/7/2009 at 10:10 am

    Zionism will be destroyed and the illegal settlers will have to go!!!!!!!

  57. wherethewindblows

    1/7/2009 at 5:20 pm

    So much hatred on both sides. Threats of annihilation in the face of fanaticism only keeps the round going and yet appeasement has the same effect. Be strong, yes, but be the last to strike. Speak, but listen intently to what others say. Speak, and listen carefully to your own sound: it may be empty, didactic, officious/imperious/pompous/pathetic/pusillanimous. Study your scriptures and your history. Avoid platitudes like these unless you run out of options.

  58. Daniel Qeseb

    1/8/2009 at 5:48 pm

    May HaShem watch over our brothers in the IDF.

    Never will the “Palestinians” (is ther really such an animal?) accept our right as a people to exist. We are hated above all peoples and have been for millenia after millenia. Our people have brought to the world the One true GOD, blessed be HIS NAME; we have brought the world Christianity and we had a great influence on the beliefs of the Mohammedians. We have brought the world the idea of human rights, and we have brought great technological advances to them, yet we are hated by all. And yet it is not us that the world hates, but WHO we, both secular and religious, represent. The GOD of Avraham, Yitzak, and Yakkov.

    Our Fathers tried pacifistic answers to the violence shown to our people. Our Fathers were tortured, imolated, humiliated, crucified, gassed and burned. How has the giving up of the Land helped? Has it placated these Arabs? No. They continue in their efforts to destroy everything in their path and are hell bent on our destruction. Even if our people were to exit HaAretz completely they would search us out to destroy the Children of Yakkov or influence the goyim to finish what they had started.

    I grieve the death of any human as they are made in the likeness of HaShem. I grieve the death of innocents, but collateral damage is a fact of war and unfortunate. It is important that the Nation of Israel continue to be a light to the Goyim. Anti-semitism is alive and well on planet earth and until we as a people learn that we cannot placate those who are bent on our destruction we are doomed to relive the history of our Fathers. Never again. Never again! Not us our women or our children. Help your people HaShem!

  59. wartyhog3

    1/8/2009 at 6:25 pm

    O mighty Daniel, much of what you say is true, but the whole ‘us and them’ concept is a slight fly in the ointment. Another difficulty lies in the fact that Fundamentalist Christians believe fervently that the only way to reach heaven is through Christ, whilst the Islamic equivalent believes that Allah is unreachable without the intercession of His Messenger. Though he gets a little fervent at times, I believe Simple Guy, in response to an earlier article, was pointing out the problems with fundamentalism and the fact that every time we break God’s laws there are inevitable repercussions, sometime, some day. I have great difficulties with this myself, but the scriptures tell us that it is better to deal with the demons within oneself before one attacks those in others. I wish I could more effectively practice what I preach, but one makes efforts.

  60. themiddle

    1/9/2009 at 12:10 am

    “Daniel Qeseb” is why they invented the term “troll.” Ignore him.

  61. wherethewindblows

    1/9/2009 at 12:21 am

    Troll? You don’t mean those hairy things in Norwegian caves?

  62. themiddle

    1/9/2009 at 1:42 am

    No, I mean some idiot who thinks he can sound Jewish.

  63. wherethewindblows

    1/9/2009 at 1:49 am

    Just kidding, I knew Peer Gynt wasn’t involved.

  64. Paul

    1/10/2009 at 4:31 pm

    I would like to start with the fact i am sorry for the children dying. It does not make it right but what of all the civilians we have lost through terrorist bombs on buses and rocket attacks. From it’s inception Israel has had to be on its toes and defend itself from all sides. The people of Gaza elected Hamas, whose doctrine is the total destruction of the state of Israel. Hamas then starts lobbing rockets indiscriminately into Israel. Israel warned them to stop! when in Israeli history have they ever bluffed, so Hamas knew there would be retaliation.

    For those of you who are demonizing Israel i say this to you. If your neighbouring country started firing rockets at you would you expect your elected government to

    A) Do nothing

    or

    B) Defend you!!!!!!

    I wish the fighting could end but while Hamas still holds power and demands the end of the Jewish state and actively attacks Israel i am afraid they will have to deal with the IDF.

  65. Canadian

    1/15/2009 at 8:10 pm

    British does not own Palestine. British promised Arabs to help them gain independence from the Ottoman rule if they side with Britain in its war against the Ottoman state. Hence Britain entered Palestine as a liberating force to the over 92% Arab Palestinian citizens at that time. Britain acknowledge Palestine as a country but after that, the British conspired with the Zionists who slowly usurp the Palestinian land.

    Dont tell me to learn my history. I know it very well. Stop going around my questions and bringing up another topic. Its like im telling you that palestinians kill israelis with homemade rockets, which gives the IDF a reason for yet another genocide. But you have to remember, not only do the palestinians shoot these rockets because theyre living in a muslim warsaw ghetto, but its becasue they want their land back from zionists coming from all over the world. Its like a powerful group of muslim countries saying lets look at where the world is weakest, attack it , and throw all the minorities that we dont want in our countries there. What kind of mentality do you have? Seriously.

    Question: Why the middle east? and not lets say california? How would the US back then feel about this? or I dont know Hong Kong maybe? wasnt it “british owned” as you would normally say (when it ISNT)

  66. Barry

    1/16/2009 at 7:08 am

    Ah yes, the British sent a “liberating force” to Palestine, just as they’d sent similar liberating forces to India, Burma, and large parts of Africa. In fact, by 1920, in the wake of their heroic rescue efforts in the Middle East, the British had done so much liberating that their Empire was the largest in its history!

    It’s a good thing that in 1948, when the British ended their mandate in Palestine and were no longer able to assume the mantle of liberation, that the Egyptians and Jordanians were there to make sure that the West Bank and Gaza remained liberated.

  67. themiddle

    1/16/2009 at 8:49 am

    The British did set up a state for the Arabs, it’s called Jordan (Transjordan). That land was part of “Palestine” back then and it was promised to the Jews by the British. This was further promised to the Jews by the League of Nations which gave the British their mandate to do precisely that.

    There were no “Palestinian citizens” ever. The concept didn’t exist. The Arabs and Jews of Palestine were subjects of the Ottoman empire. Palestine, if anything, was considered a southern province of Syria. Britain never “acknowledged Palestine as a country.” It was an administered territory until Israel declared itself a state.

    The Gaza Palestinians don’t live in a Warsaw Ghetto and their population has trebled under Israeli rule so there goes your genocide argument. If the Palestinians would act peacefully, then border crossings would reopen. Instead, whenever the crossings are open, Israelis have to worry whether Hamas is sending in a couple of terrorists or suicide bombers. Otherwise the Israelis have to worry whether they are rewarding the terrorism of rockets.

    If your problem is with “Zionists,” you should know that over 65% of Israelis were born in Israel. 95% of Gazan Palestinians were born outside Israel. Israel absorbed well over a million refugees even when it was abjectly poor in the later ’40s and early ’50s. These weren’t just European Jews, the majority were coming from Arab and Muslim countries. They have all been absorbed while the Palestinians purposely remain “refugees” in camps despite billions upon billions in aid over the years.

    And then, Mr. Shehadeh wannabe, you claim you know history but you wonder why the Jewish people picked Israel as their country. Well, it’s becauese it has always had a Jewish population going back 3000 years. And when Jews were outside of this land, the land of our ancestors, they longed with all their hearts to return.

  68. we are human too

    1/16/2009 at 9:22 am

    jewish return depends on them following gods law and covenant, and jews today or 3000 years ago broke the covenant

    remember moses and the desert?

    remember the period of hellenization?

    lets look at todays jews, they are not following gods laws, read your own torah.

    your own torah says the land is yours if your follow gods law, but you guys dont.

    even the haredi dont, isnt there a torah verse where you are supposed to wear clothes out of a specific material, or did your rabbis pull it out of their ass?

    this is the fact, throughout your history you have always wanted special treatment, claiming you are gods chosen,ok fine, but tell me what is the proof?

    do you follow his laws? nope, according to your own rabbis
    do you still charge interest on your loans, yup
    do you commit sins and worship idols, a very big yes(madoff worshipping money)
    do you commit blasphemy, yes you do
    you sell legitimacy to the christians by taking their support, and allowing them to believe jesus will return to the holy land, which is illegal according to judaism since jesus is not ellohim.
    doesnt your torah say thou shall not allow idol worship?
    by allowing jews to convert to christianity to serve america’s need, you are clearly breaking your covenant

  69. we are human too

    1/16/2009 at 9:24 am

    the middle the jews of today have no link to the jews of 3000 years back, take a look in the mirror, you are all WHITE GUYS

    are you telling me the jews 3000 years ago were all white americans and europeans??????????????

  70. froylein

    1/16/2009 at 10:21 am

    Actually, the Torah says the laws are in effect when Jews live in the promised land. But I suppose I need not discuss theology and exegesis with someone who blatantly lies about matters of Jewish faith he’s either ignorant of or doesn’t understand. Funny enough, people from a certain political sphere keep claiming that Jews still look distinctively Middle Eastern. Maybe you haters should hold a convention and make up your minds on your biases (and have yourself clued in on Jewish theology; NK rabbis might volunteer there).

  71. YEAH

    1/16/2009 at 3:41 pm

    The Torah? by the way, not everyone is Jewish. History has shown that even with the land that was given to the Jews in the 40’s it is not enough; I guess it is okay to commit war crimes against poor people like the Palestinians just like the Nazis committed genocide on European Jews.

    Let us not forget that you took their land. Land that was righteously theirs to begin with. WAKE UP and SMELL THE COFFEE. The land was taken by force and now the Jewish government treats the Palestinians like the minority when back in the 40’s they owned all if not most of what is now called “ISRAEL”. SHAME ON YOU!

    o by the way, ex IDF soldiers have engaged in the so called INTIFADA… not only are they brainwashed but they are clueless as to what their missions are all about. IRONY IN ITSELF!

    YOU have put blockades on GAZA city and you ask WHY they are firing rockets? just like you can roam free in your land; don’t you think that they should be free to roam…why do they still pick up your garbage if it is your land?

  72. froylein

    1/16/2009 at 4:24 pm

    BTW, my just-as-ignorant-of-Islam-as-of-Judaism darlings: the Quran clearly states that all “book religions” (i.e. Abrahamite religions) must be respected – including their teachings. In non-fundamentalist religious schools, Muslims learn that Israel is the promised land for Jews. Food for thought.

    Next thing, it might be worth doing some reading up on Palestinian folklore / popular history (as you already fail to keep track of the history of the Middle East from 71 CE to, let’s say, 1948) to see where Palestinians believe themselves to hail from (clue: they’re not Arabs).

    That aside, war is never fun. There has never been a “just” war, but there have been wars that could to some degree be justified given the circumstances. But terrorism is for cowardish sissies. (Look up the Geneva Convention’s explanations on what constitutes as a war and the legal – by GC’s standards – response to non-combatant attacks).

    When you’re done with all that, I wish to discuss the reasons behind the dwindling numbers of Christians in the Palestinian territories and the living conditions of those few that have remained. International outrage may not be expected but would be appreciated.

  73. YEAH

    1/16/2009 at 7:20 pm

    That is all I’ve been hearing… Terrorism; i am so glad BUSH is finally GONE; he created this whole terrorist attack bullshit; i won’t be surprised to find out that Israel and the US were both behind the 9/11 attack; as soon as that happened, the Israeli government took the advantage of bombing a palestinian village; when big brother was not watching; who are the sissies? SO WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF TERRORISM? explain please! because really? what the Israeli government is doing and has been doing for the past 70 years is what we all call TERRORISM. Let us compare the weapons that the so called TERRORISTS have to the IDF and the ISRAELI AIR FORCE…who are the sissies? ha! and the whole talk about HAMAS smuggling weapons…how else are they going to defend their land and their people and the future of their people when you have zionist regime that is trying to kill every palestinian no matter what? let us not forget Lebanon. The weapons that are being used on GAZA from white phosphurus to illegal weapons…GAZA is their testing lab for their weapons…they terrorize people by walking in their homes at 2 AM and destroying their belongings and their stores.

    I am going to stop ranting…and let’s contemplate:

    “1) If the Peel Commission plan had been accepted by the Zionists in 1937, how many Jews might have been saved from the Nazi holocaust? In that respect, it’s worth quoting Ben-Gurion, who wrote twenty years later:

    “Had partition [referring to the Peel Commission partition plan] been carried out, the history of our people would have been different and six million Jews in Europe would not have been killed—most of them would be in Israel”

    2) Why is the rejection of the 1937 Peel Partition plan justifiable according to many Zionists, but the Arabs’ rejection of the 1947 UN GA Partition plan is not? “”

    let ‘s contemplate even more:
    “it’s worth contemplating what Moshe Sharett, the 1st Israeli Foreign Minister, said in justification of why the Palestinian people would reject any Partition to their country. Sharett stated behind closed doors to the Zionist Actions Committee on April 22nd, 1937:

    “…in contrast to us they [Palestinian Arabs] would lose totally that part of Palestine which they consider to be an Arab country and are fighting to keep it such … They would lose the richest part of Palestine [referring Peel Commission Partition plan]; they would lose major Arab assets, the orange plantations, the commercial and industrial centers and the most important sources of revenue for their government which would become impoverished; they would lose most of the coastal area, which would also be loss to the hinterland [Palestinian] Arab states. …. This would be such an uprooting, such a shock, the likes of which had never occurred and could drown the whole thing in rivers of blood. ”

    FACTS:
    Ben-Gurion commented on the proposed Peel Commission Partition plan as follows in 1937:

    “We must EXPEL ARABS and take their places …. and, if we have to use force-not to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan, but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places-then we have force at our disposal.” . Note the premeditated plan to ethnically cleanse the Negev and Transjordan which were not allocated to the Jewish State by the Peel Commission”

    FACT:
    “Finally, it’s hypocritical when on one hand Zionists use UN GA partition plan as a pretext to legitimize Israel’s existence, while they’ve rejected almost every other UN resolution since Israel’s creation, chief among them UN GA resolution 194 that called for the immediate return to all Palestinian refugees to their homes in Israel. To suit Zionists’ political agenda, they have deliberately chosen to ignore most, if not all, of UN resolutions concerning Palestine and its people, of course with the exception of withdrawing from occupied southern Lebanon in May 2000. Sadly, Israel has accepted that UN resolution not because it was influenced by a UN, a U.S., or even a European diplomatic pressure, but because it was compelled to do so by the heroic Lebanese resistance.”

    The “war” that Israel been engaged in is for its own benefit of destorying what is left of the Palestinian lands. This is a known fact and always has been. Even its own defense force criticizes its policies and tactics used against civilians not terrorists but innocent civilians.

    The Israeli government lies to its own people. No wonder why most of the people are brainwashed; the media reports false stories… instead of trying tofix this conflict; thye make it worse and worse… so where is the justice? and fairness?

    People are not stupid we see corrupt governments all over the world but enough is enough.

  74. themiddle

    1/16/2009 at 9:11 pm

    Hey dude, stop reading stuff on the internet if you haven’t a clue about the history. You moron, the Jews accepted the Peel Commission’s recommendations. The Arabs did not. Had they accepted, or had they accepted partition in 1947, or had they accepted the peace offer of 2000 or had they not been negotiating in bad faith in 2001, then they would have had a state of their own a long time ago.

    And you know, in 2000, after the Camp David peace offer by Israel, the Palestinians launched a war. They blamed it on Sharon, conveniently, but Palestinian PA ministers have admitted publicly the war was pre-planned. That war is still going on and Israel is doing its best to defend its citizens from Palestinian terrorism.

    Finally, lots of Jews in Israel look in the mirror and see the darker skin of Arab and Muslim countries from which their parents fled. In fact, over 50% of Israel’s population is of this and Sephardic descents.

    There are your FACTS.

    Another FACT, you ignorant fool, is that Israel blockaded Gaza because of suicide bombings and rocket launchings. It’s not the other way around so don’t rewrite the history.

    Another FACT is that Israel did not “steal” anybody’s land. Israel won the land in a war launched against it by the Arabs. It won the land that was given to it by the international community and it won more land because of the war started by the Arab Palestinians and several Arab countries. No war, no refugees.

    Now don’t you wish you had read different web sies before coming here?

  75. wherethewindblows

    1/16/2009 at 9:48 pm

    Dear themiddle,
    I invariable start my emails with ‘Dear so and so’ (I know that comments on posts are not really emails) because I find the impersonal nature of emails and the linguistic distortion, that invariably accompanies this form of communication, a significant ‘turn off’. But I’m unashamedly old-fashioned. I happen to agree whole-heartedly with your last well-informed comment, though I know there are many that would take quite a different point of view. But don’t you think one loses just a little bit of dignity countering abuse with yet more abuse?

  76. Canadian

    1/16/2009 at 10:23 pm

    I agree with the last post. Online bullying? seriously, are you insecure?

    Anyways, i think you need to wake up and smell the blood man.

    You saying that there were no palestinians in palestine is like saying there were no native americans in north america. Didnt the settlers take their land?

    Israel blockaded gaza because of the suicide bombers. TRUE. but think about it, youre talking about 1.5 million people here, blockading them not only enrages the adult ones, but also the young kids that get to see their relatives die in the nastiest ways, white phosphorous? Remember, blockading them wont stop them, its like a steamer building up to an explosion. These people are defending their land which some one like you lies to ignorant people around the world so they believe you blindly. The suicide bombers were created because of the occupation, and the rockets were created because of the wall.

    Jews fled arab countries because judaism was connected to zionism. I know jews living in arab countries RIGHT NOW. They are not attacked, they live in peace. They are part of the culture, just like the minority that lived in palestine. They were part of the culture. Not some zionists from all over the world claiming that the land is theirs.

    The war that was launched against “israel” (and im saying this because it didnt exist just the fact that european refugees wanting a place to call home were willing to fight for it) by the arabs was because they didnt want to sit and stare at what appears to be a threat to them. Wasnt jordan part of the british mandate? wasnt jordan one of the first countires to declare on what was back then an attempt to create israel. Refugees brought into palestine started before 1948, and thats what concerned palestinians. Why cant jews live in palestine? As in an arab country? they always have, theyre not jews, just zonist ones.

    About britian,
    watch this
    youtube.com/wa...

  77. themiddle

    1/16/2009 at 11:26 pm

    WTWB, maybe you’re right. But then again, maybe I’ve read several hundred too many of these types of ill-informed hateful comments in my time and I have lost all patience.

    Nobody, Canadian Shehadeh wannabe, is bullying anyone unless you consider people who come on here and try to intimidate Jews bullies. I can intimidate “YEAH” by calling him a moron about the same that a dog can eat an imaginary bone.

    The suicide bombings were not created because of the “occupation” and the rockets were not created because of the “wall.” The rockets precede the security barrier and Arabs in Palestine have been trying to kill Jews on a regular basis since 1920. Actually, they started earlier but the first major riots took place in 1920. The idea then was to hurt, kill and maim as many Jews as possible and the same attitude is reflected in the suicide bombings and the rocket launchings.

    That’s not to say that the Palestinians shouldn’t resist. I don’t even make that claim. I understand that they want to live inside Israel. I do too. I understand that generations of leaders keeping them in “refugee camps” is being blamed on Israel which did absorb even more refugees in the same period (they were refugees because in many Arab and Muslim countries, the non-Jewish Arab population and sometimes governments as well, turned on the Jews and attacked them or made their lives hell).

    I understand the constant brainwashing of hate that is inculcated by the leaders of the Palestinians against Jews and Israelis and has been for decades (Grandmufti is a prime example).

    BUT IF YOU’RE GOING TO RESIST, THEN TARGET SOLDIERS AND NOT CIVILIANS.

    The Palestinians have a barbaric history of targeting civilians. There is nothing lower or more disgusting. I understand that civilians die when Israel attacks, but the intent – almost always, Israel is not perfect, far from it – is to target and kill Palestinian terrorists, militia-men and the few warriors (distinguished by targeting soldiers only).

    Now, you could make the argument that it’s not the Palestinians but certain groups within Palestinian society. The problem is that the support for Hamas increases with their violence, the support for Fatah increases with their violence and as we saw during your suicide bombing golden days in 2001 and 2002, the Palestinians were polled (by Palestinian pollsters) as having over 75% support for the suicide bombings. In other words, 3 out of 4 Palestinians approved of bombings in Israeli restaurants and buses.

    That isn’t resistance, that is terrorism.

    As for Jordan, that was part of Palestine and was promised to the Jews by the British. Then they gave it to the Arabs even though it constituted the vast majority of Palestine. That, Shehadeh-wannabe is where the British were trying to place the Arab population of Palestine.

    There certainly was fighting on both sides before 1948. You can thank the Arab riots against Jews in 1920, 1926, 1929 for teaching the Jewish community in Palestine that they needed to form defensive capabilities.

    The differentiation between “Zionists” and “Jews” is cute but we all know what you really mean.

    Finally, in your dream universe where Jews live happily as a heavily taxed minority in a Muslim country, you should think about the Arab world of today. Why would anybody want to live under the type of system you see in Egyptian, Syrian, Saudi, Iranian, etc. regimes? Why would Israelis trade their democracy and social freedom for that? How about you teach the Arab and Muslim countries how to be like, you know, Canada or Holland…or Israel, and then maybe you can ask the Israelis to give up their natural right to self-determination. How many Arab and Muslim countries are there that you’re so hungry to add one more and remove the only Jewish one?

    Why is self-determination permitted only to Arabs?

  78. wherethewindblows

    1/17/2009 at 12:14 am

    If the proposed talks in Egypt result in peace I’ll start to believe in leprechauns. What may happen is a compromise, of some sort, brought about by outside pressure. My understanding is that compromises cannot stand for any significant length of time, because the various parties continue to hate each other (whilst the ‘peace bringers’ happily move off patting themselves on the back for a good job done). Walls and rockets and suicide bombings and assassinations engender fear and hatred, not communication and a will to resolve outstanding issues. Each and every one of these posted comments potentially allow individuals to clearly and truthfully state a position with the potential that some sort of understanding might be achieved, but when bitter enmity rules here what hope can there be in Egypt? If we can perhaps see all our earlier interchanges as being symptomatic of a far wider problem we just might be able to step back a bit . . . maybe!

  79. wherethewindblows

    1/17/2009 at 12:47 am

    My grasp of history is nowhere near as strong as some of the ‘bloggers’ on this site, but I understand that the British of the18th, 19th and early 20th Centuries tended to promise one thing and then do another. Wasn’t Napoleon Bonaparte, or someone of his era, that coined the term ‘perfidious Albion’. My understanding is that the British gained the support of Arabs against the Turks on the understanding that they would have a land of their own, but when there was a British Palestine, they promise the Jews a homeland too, which was bound to get up the noses of the Arabs. OK, all of these guys are long since departed, but the water was pretty muddied to start with, and there are those in Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East with pretty long memories. I don’t know where that gets us.

  80. themiddle

    1/17/2009 at 1:19 am

    WTWB, yes, the British liked to make multiple gifts. This is why whenever we get self-righteous Brits blasting Israel, we remind them who started this mess.

    The British almost kept their promise. (Trans)Jordan was the state the Arabs were promised. Transjordan took up a vast proportion of Palestine, leaving only a small portion to be given to the Jewish people. That portion has essentially been sliced up because of the conflict with the Palestinians.

    With respect to your mature and serious suggestion that stepping back might be helpful, I thank you for the advice.

    I’ll comply when people come into our site and speak to us politely. When they do, they are welcome to present criticism of Israel and they will receive polite responses. When I say I’ve seen hundreds of the foulest attacks on Israel and very often upon Jews and “Zionists,” in this and other forums I am not exaggerating. Well, these haters should taste their own bile. I treat them with the contempt they deserve. Standing down to haters is not something that people should do, especially people who are not haters. You’ll notice, though, their comments are still here, untouched by yours truly.

  81. wherethewindblows

    1/17/2009 at 2:08 am

    Several years ago a friend lent me a biography of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, which I read avidly, admiring not the scholarship of the man, but also a sense of his readiness to embrace Arabs and Jews alike. Times are very different, but I found the man inspiring. With all due respect to the British things have changed there too. Back in Napoleon’s time the rights of the individual were very much subservient to the needs of the state and individuals and groups of individual were readily bulldozed aside if they stood in the way of the government. Perhaps we have gone full circle in that political correctness tends to get in the way of truthful expression and get overly protective of minority groups (whether or not they themselves offend). But perfidiousness applied to good many countries beside Britain and no doubt between some of the Arab states and Israel and vice versa: altruism is not a mass 20 century phenomenon. The problem, so it seems to me, is the plethora of fixed positions (and amongst Islamic groups too e.g. Sunni vs Shiite). I have no doubt that you have dealt with countless ‘posts’ filled with vitriol, ultimately the problem rests (actually it doesn’t rest) with the hater, not the one hated, but I’m sure you are well aware of this.

  82. TM

    1/17/2009 at 12:08 pm

    If you look at the early years of the Zionists, say between 1840 and especially in the years circa 1890 to 1929, you will see a great deal of admiration for the Arabs among the Zionists. You can see it in the art and the literature of the period. Jabotinsky and the movement he founded were created because of Arab violence against Jews, and this was a problem that became clearer and clearer over time to the Jewish Yishuv and its members but in the early years there was great hope for co-existence. The idea was certainly to create a Jewish majority in a democratic state along the line of what was happening in Europe, but it was to include the Arabs.

    The evolution of this conflict has taken many sad and perhaps even unnecessary turns. You know, in my opinion the 1947 Partition Plan remains the best set-up for both sides that has been envisioned. It’s impossible to go back to it because so much has happened since, but it was a smart solution.

  83. TM

    1/17/2009 at 12:08 pm

    By the way, TM is The Middle.

  84. wherethewindblows

    1/17/2009 at 8:29 pm

    Very interesting. I looked up Jabotinsky, TM, and the Palestinian riots of 1920, the Balfour Declaration and the massacres of 1929. It is quite clear that the Arabs were fearful of being swamped both politically and economically by Jewish emigration and that they felt that the Balfour Declaration was betrayal by the British. On the other hand (having read a 1932 article by a W. Preuss) that the Declaration was motivated by a desire to fulfill ‘the inevitable desire of a people scattered, persecuted and martyred under unbearable conditions all over the world to fashion for itself and abode in the land of its historic origin. This indestructible wish underlines the entire problem in all its aspects’. The same article gives details of immigration statistics which are interesting in themselves. So the essence of the original conflicts between Arab and Jew still remain, and certainly not helped by British equivocation.

  85. themiddle

    1/18/2009 at 12:50 am

    The conflict has indeed retained elements of the original issues.

    By the way, I’m happy to see somebody actually bother to read up on the history. As you can imagine sources matter so be judicious in what you read. Jabotinsky is hated by the Left and pro-Palestinian crowds so much of what you see about him is quite negative. Ironically, while he is depicted in negative terms, he was actually a champion of democracy. I’m not a fan of the movements created following his philosophies but he was a very astute individual who read the tea leaves correctly on a number of things.

    It is also ironic that the people leading the massacres are the ones whom you believe to be the ones feeling under siege. In those years, whenever a Jewish settlement was built – virtually always on purchased land – they perfected a method of constructing the buildings rapidly overnight along with defenses because of the great likelihood of being attacked. This was not a function of perceived weakness but actually of perceived strength and it was a severe miscalculation on the Arabs’ part that has repeated itself time after time, almost always at great cost to the Arabs. Witness 1948, 1967, 1973, 2000-2007 and even Lebanon 2006 and now 2008.

  86. wherethewindblows

    1/18/2009 at 1:51 am

    O TM, I am not for a moment denying that the Arabs who felt both betrayed (by the British and Europe) and fearful of the Jews (particularly the Yemeni as the majority came from there in the 1920s) weren’t involved in the massacres: one can do the most awful things when fear rather than reason prevails (and there wasn’t a great deal of reason in the agitation and response to the political agitation). The other thing is that Zionist dreams of a return to a historical homeland had freely published in America particularly and so the Arabs would have been aware of their long term goals. Personally, I think it was inevitable following the innumerable pogroms over the centuries (as hinted at in the Balfour Declaration), but the Arabs had quite a different perspective, regardless of whether pre 1948 property was bought or not. Intense negotiation rather than murder might have been the way to go in those uprisings and massacres.

  87. themiddle

    1/18/2009 at 2:50 am

    Where did you read that Yemenite Jews were the dominant group to arrive in the 20s? That’s not true. There was a large contingent that arrived in the late 1800s/early 1900s but by the 20s, you’re into European Jews dominating for the next couple of decades when the Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries begin to arrive.

  88. wherethewindblows

    1/18/2009 at 7:11 am

    I’ll attempt to track down the source. Being ‘numerically challenged’ it could well be an earlier date, but there most certainly was a period when there numbers were greater and Britain deliberately discouraged further European immigration.

  89. wherethewindblows

    1/19/2009 at 1:12 am

    O wondrous TM, here is one article, and the dates are earlier than the ones I mentioned, but I’m still trying to track down another I read a little while ago.
    muse.jhu.edu/l...

  90. themiddle

    1/19/2009 at 2:23 am

    Okay, the abstract says, “Immigration of Yemeni Jews to (pre-state) Palestine and to Israel is commonly divided into three major periods: The last decades of the Ottoman rule, during which approximately 5,000 people arrived from Yemen to Palestine, most of them in two peak phases (1882, 1911-1914) ; the British Mandate (1919-1948), when immigration from Yemen (and Aden) amounted to 15,837 ; and the early years of Israeli statehood…”

    You’ll notice the 1920s aren’t listed in there. Also, in pure numbers, she lists 21,000 arriving between 1882 and 1948. However, the Jewish population was 600,000 in 1948 and 84,000 in the 1922 census, and increase of 500,000+ in the same period 15,000 Yemenites arrived.

    I’m not saying the Yemenites aren’t important, it’s just that they’re not from Russia/Poland/Romania where you have substantial contingents emigrating prior to 1945, particularly from Russia.

    Here’s a useful resource although this site tends to lean too pro-Palestinian.

  91. wherethewindblows

    1/19/2009 at 4:11 am

    I don’t doubt that for a moment. A particularly interesting article published by JUSTOR: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 164 (Nov. 1932) pp. 108-115 give some extraordinarily interesting statistics and analyses, including the significant rise in living standard amongst ‘Palestinian’ Arabs between 1919 and 1931 . . . that’s the ironic bit (unfortunately you will need log-in rights, which I have, to gain access to the full article). But the Eastern Committee of the British Cabinet, which met on 5th Dec. 1918 had this to say: ‘Now, as regards the facts, they are these. First, Palestine has been conquered by the British, with only very insignificant aid from small French and Italian contingents, and it is now being administered by the British. The Zionist declaration of our Government has been followed by a very considerable immigration of Jews. One of the difficulties of the situation arises from the fact that the Zionists have taken full advantage – and are disposed to take even fuller advantage – of the opportunity which was then offered to them. You have only to read, as probably most of us do, their periodical ‘Palestine’, and, indeed, their pronouncements in the papers, to see that their programme is expanding from day to day. They now talk about a Jewish State. The Arab portion of the population is well-nigh forgotten and is to be ignored. They not only claim the boundaries of the old Palestine, but they claim to spread across the Jordan into the rich countries lying to the east, and, indeed, there seems to be very small limit to the aspirations which they now form. The Zionist programme, and the energy with which it is being carried out, have not unnaturally had the consequence of arousing the keen suspicions of the Arabs. By ‘the Arabs’ I do not merely mean Feisal and his followers at Damascus, but the so-called Arabs who inhabit the country. There seems, from the telegrams we receive, to be growing up an increasing friction between the two communities, a feeling by the Arabs that we are really behind the Zionists and not behind the Arabs, and altogether a situation which is becoming rather critical . . .’ You’ll find this if you look up the 1920 Palestinian Riots. The point is that a) the Arabs didn’t trust the British and b) they were anxious (to say the least) about Zionist designs in Palestine, and this was given as two motives for their subsequent attacks on Jews. As you will have read, the British did little to protect the Jews, in fact set about attempting to disarm them. What is heart warming is that in the 1929 massacres some Arab neighbours hid a number of Jews from the mob (unlike the 70+% support of suicide bombers in this day and age).

  92. wherethewindblows

    1/19/2009 at 4:13 am

    Typo: JSTOR (not JUSTOR).

  93. themiddle

    1/19/2009 at 7:19 am

    Interesting article, thanks.

    Of course, this committee is lying. All you have to do is go back to the Zionist congresses 10 and 20 years earlier, or the writings of Herzl, to know that Zionism was speaking about a Jewish state long before this “taking advantage.” Smells like a cover-up to me. Don’t forget that you had division in the British government back then regarding which side to support. The PM wanted the Jews to return to their historic homeland, but he had opposition from some quarters in the British government including the leadership stationed in Palestine.

    Additionally, this business of “taking full advantage” is quite misleading because it indicates that something improper was being done. In fact, going back almost 20 years, the Yishuv was buying up land and developing communities on that land. This activity precedes the British by well more than a decade and if you ignore organized community funds and just go to individual funds, in the mid-1800s you already have philanthropic Jews buying up land and setting up Jewish communities.

  94. Daniel

    12/27/2010 at 9:16 am

    I wish the US, Britain etc would arm the Palstinians with the lastest weapons and chemical weapons to use against the IDF and their children. Then it would be a fight. And Zyklon B for all settlers! Then British and US leaders can use it on themselves. (What I have just written is no worse morally than your article)

    Hamas was created by Israel.
    Jews are not a people
    The Israeli-Russian mafia smuggles guns and rockets to Gaza.

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