Israel-Gaza Endgame

What's the most likely outcome of Israel's invasion of Gaza? A wider war? A Hamas defeat? Just more of the same?

Posted by David Ignatius and Lauren Keane on January 5, 2009 4:49 PM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (112)

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

There is justification for Israel,

1. Based on the “Right of Self Determination” which is recognized in international law.

2. Historical ties to “The Land of Israel“.

3. A legally binding resolution mandated by the Balfour Declaration incorporated into the League of Nations in 1922(?).

Jews from Europe (Russia) began immigrating to Palestine in about 1880 to create a homeland and escape persecution - which didn’t have anything to do with the US or Britain. At the time the land was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. The land was captured by the allies during WWI and the British mandate for Palestine was established after WWI. Unfortunately, for the Palestinians (who fought on the side of Turkey), that’s just the way the world worked early in the twentieth century.

By 1914, Jews numbered about 90,000, and in 1922, Churchill noted that a Jewish homeland already existed on the ground (The Case For Israel“, Alan Dershowitz):

“This community, then, with its town and country population, its political, religious and social organizations, its own language and own customs, its own life, has in fact “national characteristics.”

In other words, the right to self determination already existed in Palestine for the Jewish community (probably, as well, before the British arrived). The UN In “1945 at the end of World War II placed the right of self-determination into the framework of international law and diplomacy.” (Wikipedia, “The Right to Self Determination“). A strong case can be made for the right of existence for Israel based on this concept.

The Jews have strong ties to the land - both physically and religiously. The Jews ruled for a time in the “Land of Israel” where Jerusalem is located. Jerusalem is the holiest city in Judaism (as well as Christianity). Muslims also consider Jerusalem a holy city.

The US and Britain supported the creation of a Jewish homeland for historical reasons and because the “chosen people” had been persecuted throughout history (the Nazi “genocide” culminated two thousand years of persecution). The support for the Jewish homeland was logically supported by the British and Americans as a place Jews could escape persecution and create a home for the Jewish people.

The British and French remade much of the Middle East, including Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In addition, the British granted the Muslims in Pakistan a state, so the British had a hand in a lot of land deals around the end of WWII. Israel was not a colonial adventure, but was based on the immigration of people who suffered from persecution, and desired a home.

The Jews immigrated peacefully, and for the most part, did not displace Palestinians ( I still believe that is an important point). That's how Israel differs from Tibet. Chinese immigrants into Tibet were (coincidentally) all in the military.

All that being said, was it right that the Palestinians had their land taken by the Israelis? No, not in my opinion (I’ve stated that in the past as well), none the less, there is plenty of justification for the creation of the Jewish state. Most countries around the world recognize Israel today, and its clearly a legal state.

On Terrorism

How many times have we argued this same question?

It doesn’t matter how many terrorist acts have taken place over the past 5000 years, or that the allies fire bombed Dresden and Tokyo. Two, ten or a thousand wrongs don’t make a right One difference from historical acts of terror, however, is there are laws to govern militaries in warfare called the Geneva Convention. They were instituted to protect civilians - obviously - because civilians are particularly vulnerable in times of war. Rape, for example in the Congo. Murder in Darfur.

During the past three weeks, Israel has been charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Of course, if all of this was true, that could lead to sanctions against Israel, so refuting the charge is important - and Israel will refute most charges.

If you consider the Mumbai attacks, about 160 security personnel and civilians were killed in the four days of attacks by ten “terrorist” with rifles and grenades - which including a pregnant Jewish wife of a rabbi (she was executed). No doubt, the “militants” have a cause such as liberating Kashmir, so if I understand you right, that’s morally equivalent to Israel conducting 22 days of bombing Hamas in Gaza in which 500-600 civilians were killed (Israel was acting in self defense as well). Note the difference in casualties. The terrorist organization that targeted civilians killed a fourth of the civilians in one sixth the time with hand weapons - and Israel conducted a fierce air campaign with artillery fire in one of the densest populations on earth. Morally equivalent? Hardly, and clear evidence that Israel worked very hard to avoid civilians.

Hamas is recognized by the US, and Europe as a terrorist organization, and that’s not to dehumanize them (they do that just fine without any help). I know I will never convince you so I’m sure in six months we’ll go through this again.

yeolds Author Profile Page :


The USA lives by use of Energy, when energy prices go to the sky [5-10 years] the USA will have two choices:

Rationalize energty use - must reign in DoD, the world's most profiligate user of Energy - spread over the 3 oceans the seven seas and all continents. When the SH*T hits the fan the USA, the most self-centered nation on Earth, will pull back to the contiguous 48 states, and give up on Israel.

Keep DoD, and create a social structure in the USA which will resemble Russia in 1990-92, major fall in standard of living, cancelling all social measures [Social Security, Medicarel, University -except for the rich] and back Israel.

Your guess is as good as any which will be chosen, for Uncle Sam's land has more private weapons then adult citizens --MIGHT TURN VERY BLOODY.

With respect to Nuclear Weapons, using same in ME is Israel's suicide, for Hydrocarbon users with Nuclear weapons will without doubt play the revenge game: U idiotic Zionist entity caused irrepable harm to our nations - therefore we will recreate the birth of Earth on your land - by vaporizing you, your citizens and your religion.

The solution for Israeli citizens is to vote for non-zionist governmetn, which will create a possibility -NOTE NOT CERTAINITY - that the issues can be resolved.

While it is true that AIPAC [and other K-Street] has great power in Washington, these powers are negligible when the great uneducated masses go on the rampage.

Finally you have lost in Somalia, you have lost in Iraq, and you are about to loose in Afganistan.

You have also lost your soft power - unbridled capitalism is destructive - the world is against you, due to losses suffered by them caused by USA/UK led securitization [a.k.a. PONZI Scheme]

You have lost your nation's moral standing and HONOR due to the atrocities commited by your DoD, CIA, etc and your media's propaganda effort, where truth is of little interst, while serving the elites is of major importance.

For many reasons I sincerely hope that the Obama Government will be able to rekindle honor, morality in your society, that the economic hardship will be lessened with good governance [PEACE ORDER AND GOOD GOVERNMENT] and that the USA comes out of this Financial/warmongering philosophy with a decent standard of living.

For many reasons [lived with the chief rabbi of Hungary among others, an excellent moral ORTHODIX family] I sincerely hope that Isrealites regain their basic values as in Thalmud, and rid their political system of the extreme Zionist segment.

For without the above two outcomes, Israel is on her death bed with a likely FINAL SOLUTION which would compare to HITLER'S effort as a minor disagreement.

Good luck to USA, to Israel, but not for Zionism and not for AIPAC.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I'll get back to you. Gotta go.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

"You have absolutely no recognition of the humanity of a human beeing. For you, a human is not a human, he is a jew, a muslim, a european, a german or catholic or protestant, black or asian... FIRST."

Zolko - that's multiculturalism in a nutshell - preservation of ethnicity, race, culture, religion (etc.) subgroups within a dominant culture. Interestingly, multiculturalists visualize race (etc.) FIRST.

So for you, Zolko, a multiculturalist, are you a racist because you see "a jew, a muslim, a european, a german or catholic or protestant, black or asian... FIRST"?

blund Author Profile Page :


Actually, the history isn't more complicated then what I stated unless you're looking for a way to justify Israel. Everyone knows the Jewish Regligion believes the territory is the, "promised land," given to them by God. That may be their belief, but in reality it was given to them by the British and the US. Yes, they have fought to keep it. Yes, they have fought to expand it, but it was given to them. This was not a zero sum game. In order to create the State of Israel someone (people occupying the land) had to lose. They did and they are not happy about it. It really is that simple. The State of Israel was not nor would it have been created through Jews immigrating into the region and taking control of the political processes through the voting booth. There was nothing democratic about how the State of Israel was created. The people who lived in Palestine didn't get to vote on whether Israel (and their land) should be taken away from them to give it to a religious group they considered heathen. That has been and will remain the root cause of the conflict that has existed since.

I am so sorry the word terrorism has become so over used it virtually has no meaning left today except to instill irrational fear in people. In essence any person, group or country that doesn't agree with an establishment and is willing to support or use violence to promote their cause has turned into a "terrorist." We used to have revolutionaries. Now we have terrorists. We used to have conflicts with opposing sides and now all we have are terrorists. When the US or anyone else labels a person, group or country terrorist I dismiss it. All we are being told is that person, group or country doesn't agree with us and is willing to commit acts of violence to promote their cause. The last time I checked a history book since the beginning of recorded time it has been one terrorist activity after another for 5,000 straight years according to our new and unimproved definition of the word. Labeling a person, group or country terrorist is simply our way of demonizing them. Once we have turned them into evil it is much easier to gather the support necessary to kill them. It no longer matters if they have a legitimate point or a just cause. It only matters they disagree with us. That is a sad commentary on how far we've sunk in the way we think and act towards other people and groups. I'd like to start a petition to ban the word from the English language for a hundred years based on its' misuse.

If, as you stated, violence against civilians on purpose is a central part of terrorist activities we better go back in our own history and rewrite our textbooks to start labeling those in this country that perpetrated mass targeted civilian deaths. While that would certainly be the case with the American Indians that pales in comparison to WWII. Fire bombing cities, specifically targeting civiliam population centers, to beat down the countries willingness to fight. Tokyo and Dressden come to mind. Dropping two atomic bombs on population centers and killing well over 125,000 civilians in the blink of an eye. (I know all the arguments for doing these things so you don't have to justify them) The end results of all of these actions could be looked at as "terrorist" through today's eyes. What I'm saying is even we, the good guys as we see it, have and were willing to commit atrocities to impose our will and protect our way of life.

The Arab/Muslims via citizens, groups and countries have been in a state of war with Israel since 1948. Israel has been in a state of war with the Arab/Muslims since 1948. Both sides will act accordingly. They will both commit atrocities against each other. That's what war is. The winner will be vindicated for it's actions by honoring warriors and politicans and sweeping the atrocities under the rug. The losers will be demonized and vanquished or subjagated and their atrocities will become history. It's kind of been that way for 5,000 years.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

@ TomW2 :

Point #4. "First of all, the US will not abandon Israel": You're probably right: they'll only stop sending arms and money, because soon there will be none of that left.

Point #5 "Sanctions are always undermined because Hamas is recognized by the US, Canada(?) and the EU as a terrorist organization": in Europe, the wind is turning.

Points #7 and #8 "Multiculturalists fully believe that the Palestinians and Israelis (...) can happily live side by side within a single state boundary": have you ever heard of a place called "France" ? Or "Germany", or "Swizzerland" ? Of ETA and IRA ? They are multicultural places where people, after lots of wars, are now living together. And this is exactly YOUR mistake: you (the USA and the Jews) see everything along ethnic lines. You defend whatever the USA or the Jews or Israel does. WHATEVER !!! You have absolutely no recognition of the humanity of a human beeing. For you, a human is not a human, he is a jew, a muslim, a european, a german or catholic or protestant, black or asian... FIRST.

I have recognised this problem before: you are not talking about human beings. You are a pure racist AND you don't understand that you are a pure raciste BECAUSE you are racist. Most US-americans thought along these lines (fortunately not as plainly as you) and may-be the election of Obama can change that. I doubt very-much he'll be able to deliver on his promesses, but if he manages to break that racist barrier in the US way-of-thinking that's already a big win (for the US people and the rest of the world)

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I think I can agree with much of your analysis, but the history of the conflict is more complicated than just the British (principally) and the US giving away their land. For example, immigration of Jews began in earnest in about 1880 - well before the British Mandate - and when Palestine was under Turkish control. The present location for Israel was chosen for obvious reasons.

When (not if) Iran develops nuclear weapons and it modifies Israeli behavior, what will modify Iranian, Hezbollah and Hamas behavior?

The best thing Israel has going for it is the hatred between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but Iran is gaining tremendously in regional influence, and undermining Saudi leadership.

We also differ because I don’t buy there is a moral equivalence between targeting civilians (Mumbai) and civilians killed as collateral damage. That’s an old argument, however, which we’ve never agreed on.

I also don’t buy that Israel was trying to starve anyone, but they did only provide the minimum amount of supplies to sustain the population, but Hamas always had the option of ending the boycott by (completely) stopping their rocket fire.

Israel has shown they will do what is necessary to preserve the state of Israel. They made a mistake in Gaza by not crushing Hamas. Hamas (Iran), like Hezbollah in 2006, won a moral victory over Israel - by surviving. They improved their standing with the Palestinians and undermined the leadership of Abbas. Iran gained in a multitude of ways.


Point #4. First of all, the US will not abandon Israel, in fact, because I believe that Iran has a clear and unobstructed path to nuclearization now, the US will supply Israel with additional nuclear weapons and missile defense systems. How can you think that the US will abandon Israel when you believe that AIPAC runs US foreign policy? Second - Israel is not an apartheid state.

Point #5 Sanctions are always undermined because Hamas is recognized by the US, Canada(?) and the EU as a terrorist organization (rightly in my opinion). As long as Hamas keeps launching rockets and mortar shells into Israel, a boycott is unlikely to get full support (or any support?) from the world community.

Points #7 and #8 Multiculturalists fully believe that the Palestinians and Israelis - given the right conditions - can happily live side by side within a single state boundary. Multiculturalists are idealist. The Israelis know better, and most certainly will dig their own graves before they allow themselves to become the 58th member of the organization of Islamic States.

Point #9 On the contrary, the US is winning in Iraq. Iraq has the possibility of becoming a peaceful country as well as a democratic state in the Middle East - and a US ally. The US found the right strategy for Iraq.

Can we get the same result in Afghanistan? The EU (and liberals, in general) believe that we have to bring the Taliban into negotiations. What kind of compromise can you envision with the seventh century Taliban?

I met a twenty-six year old woman from Afghanistan, recently. She just finished her degree at Boise State. Their family moved from Afghanistan in about 1995 when the Taliban was removing girls from schools and imposing their fundamentalist philosophy on the Afghan society. Her family is Shiite. The Taliban refused to negotiate a settlement with the Shiites, and instead, tried to wipe them out (Iran helped the Shiite population).

There is no compromising with the Taliban, so we have no choice but to win (despite the Europeans belief that you can’t win this war). Village by village, the US needs to develop a security system to pay and protect the tribal Afghan people from the Taliban.

blund Author Profile Page :


As I have previously stated I don't care who wins. I just one side or the other would so this conflict could be resolved.

My only real worry is Israeli's nuclear capability. If Israel is put in a position where they are losing a conventional war will they resort to nuclear weapons? This scenario bothers me greatly as I believe they will based on their history. Currently, there is no policy of mutually assured destruction to slow them down. As long as the only two countries in the region are Israel and Pakistan Israel has the upper hand. If I was Iran, Iraq or any other ME country I'd want nukes too to balance the power of Israel. If Israel thinks Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have the potential of being turned into mushroom clouds they will be forced to modigy their behavior.

Frankly, simply as a betting person my money is on the Arabs. I think sooner or later they will get their act together and push Israel back into the sea. When? I don't know. 50 years, a hundred years, 200 years. However, sooner or later they will prevail. I don't care if this upsets the US or Britian or the UN. They simply outnumber their opponent by such a great margin sooner or later they will over run Israel. It took them a couple of centuries to rid themselves of the Christian Crusaders and it might take a couple hundred years to rid themselves of Isreal, but I do not doubt for a minute that is their goal. Until that day approaches I think you will see nothing but death, despair, starvation and lack of medical facilities for the people in immediate contact with Israel.

The US should have given the Jews Alaska and renamed it Israel. They could have built New Jerusalam and developed a State in peace. The British and the US really screwed up in creating Israel in the "promised land."

yeolds Author Profile Page :


Your analysis is correct and describes the present situation both from Israeli and Palestininan standpoint. I even agree with your short term prognosis.
We part company, however, on longer than 5-10+ years forward:
1., Peak oil is here, marginal NEW production is in excess of $80.00 a barrel - which transfers economic power to oil/gas producers from consumers
2.;, Israel's present backers are among the largest consumers -they will feel the pinch - China/Japan India will try to protect the producers for their own livelyhood.
3., Uncle Sam is broke, and I hope that Mr. Obama's administration gets away with stabilizing the USA without Hperinflation. The USa is past her power in economics, in military and in moral fields.
4., Without Uncle Sam Israel is a dead duck, possibly ostracized as South Africa was in the near future.
5., Nuclear Bombs are no defence against encompassing Trade Sanctions.
6., Ecological constrains on the land from Jordan River to Mediterrean Sea are such that there is no room for further human growth - e.g Sea Water is infiltating, Jordan River /Dead Sea have almost disappeared - without water there is no life on Earth.
7., Two State Solution is dead
8., Only reamins a single state possibility, which the ZIONIST-s abhor - theocracy is dead!.
9., Colonial wars can not be won in the xxi-st century as Uncle Sam has found out in Iraq, and is about to find out in Afganiztan.
10., in short time no nation will be able to devote so much wealth to armamnets as Israel and USA pursuing now - except if they turn against their own citizen's well being.

WSo prognosis: short of WWIII Israel will loose in the long run if she maintains her present course of indicriminate killings, starvation of Palestinians, etc.

blund Author Profile Page :


In essence the majority of the arguments for and against Israel and the surrounding Arab popluations are circular. They all keep coming back to the same two points. First, Israel believes it has a right to exist. Second, the Arabs don't.

The Israelis are outnumbered in the region (pick a number as it differs based on how far you expand the circle) 10:1, 100:1, 500:1. This is why they have basically militarized their country. Their survival depends on a strong military that involves almost everyone in the country to either be involved directly with or provide support. The militarization of Israel combined with some of the best weapons and training on the planet make them a formidable force. On the other hand we have the inept Arabs. They are splintered, constantly fighting among themselves and ill-equipped. They are no match for a standard war with Israel today. One of the few things Arabs can agree on is Israel should go away. However, they have no effect means of making that happen. Israel knows it is stuck right in the middle of the Muslim world and that the Muslims are their enemies. That's no secret to anyone in that part of the world. Israel also knows the longer they can keep the Muslims splintered and ill-equipped the greater the chances are that someday peace might actually break out. (I don't agree with this point, but I've heard it over and over through the years). So far I assume we are in agreement.

Here's probably where we're going to part company. I don't believe the Muslim groups who refuse to recognize Israel, fire rockets into their zone and engage in suicide bombings are terrorists. I think they are in their minds freedom fighters trying to reclaim Arab land and rid the ME of a Jewish State. I believe a Palestinian would view their situation as the British and US stole their land, gave it away and then went on to give the State of Israel massive amounts of military hardware and money. Personally, they have a legitimate point. Historically, that's pretty accurate.

Nobody is going to be able to wave a magic wand and make the Arabs accept the State of Israel. In absence of this magical wand we will see more of the same. Israel will periodically squash different regions surrounding them and the Arabs will continue to use the tactics they have available to them to continue to pick away at Israel. If the Arabs in Syria, Lebanon, Jordon, Egypt, the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq, Iran, Saudi, etc., ever get their act together (and there is no chance of that happening anytime soon) Israel will be in a very precarious situation at best.

If I was leading Israel today I'm pretty sure I would follow the same path we've seen. My objective would be to ensure the existance of the State and I would have to look at my neighbors as enemies and treat them as such. If that meant starving the people of Gaza I would probably starve them. It's not exactly like these people wouldn't hurt me if they had the chance. If I was leading Hamas I probably do what they've been doing. I'd keep chipping away and chipping away. Over time I would like to find new and more powerful weapons to kill more Israelis. I understand they are my enemy and they will kill me and my people when the opportunity presents itself so I have no sympathy for them.

In a nutshell that's what we're dealing with and that's why nothing is going to change in the foresseable future. Blood will continue to flow from both sides. They are both guilty of atrocities and will commit more. They are in a state of war that is only tempered by world opinion which effects money and arms shipments to both sides.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

OK. It looks like Israel will stop her military campaign in Gaza tonight, the blockade of Gaza will end and 1.5 billion dollars will be sent to Gaza for reconstruction. I also heard today that the Islamic Republic in Iran is deducting a substantial portion of salaries of all government employees including retirement payments in order to send the sum to Gaza. All of this is being done while Hamas is announcing it will continue to fight the Israeli army and fire the missiles. How many more people need to die before the world agrees that this problem does not have a military solution?

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

On this subject, time to talk, time for blah blah blah is over.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

From Soaren Kern, Brussels Journal, Jan 17, 2009, “Anti-Semitism Sweeps Europe in Wake of Gaza Operation”

“…In one of the more outrageous examples of anti-Israel [European] media bias, France 2 national public television used an outdated amateur video of Palestinian casualties from an accidental truck explosion in 2005 as current footage demonstrating the violence in Gaza. The video shows dead bodies of babies being laid out on white sheets. France 2 was forced to come clean when a French political blog uncovered the trickery. (France 2 also was responsible for a September 2000 report, accused of being a fake, of the supposed shooting death of Mohammed al-Dura, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, by the Israeli army.)…”

yeolds Author Profile Page :

Your rhetoric is compelling lawyerese, unfortunately devoid of logical meaning. you are right the UN Imposed sanction on Iraq were legalized GENOCIDE. Intent WAS THERE , as no action is possible without intent to do so - the result counts: the UK/US cohort KNEW that their action was causing death to children, yet they continued. The US/UK bombing and missile attacks during the so called SANCTION YEARS were also crimes against HUMANITY. THE USA/UK present and past Imperial powers do not give a hoot about non-whites' lives, never did and never will until the whites become minority [in the USA in 20-30 odd years].

For your education the pertinent sections of international law on GENOCIDE:

The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

Article II describes two elements of the crime of genocide:

1) the mental element, meaning the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such", and

2) the physical element which includes five acts described in sections a, b, c, d and e. A crime must include both elements to be called "genocide."

Article III described five punishable forms of the crime of genocide: genocide; conspiracy, incitement, attempt and complicity.

Excerpt from the Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of Genocide (For full text click here)
"Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide. "

It is a crime to plan or incite genocide, even before killing starts, and to aid or abet genocide: Criminal acts include conspiracy, direct and public incitement, attempts to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide.
Punishable Acts The following are genocidal acts when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence:

Killing members of the group includes direct killing and actions causing death.

Causing serious bodily or mental harm includes inflicting trauma on members of the group through widespread torture, rape, sexual violence, forced or coerced use of drugs, and mutilation.

Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival, such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services. Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.

Prevention of births includes involuntary sterilization, forced abortion, prohibition of marriage, and long-term separation of men and women intended to prevent procreation.

Forcible transfer of children may be imposed by direct force or by fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or other methods of coercion. The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines children as persons under the age of 18 years.

Genocidal acts need not kill or cause the death of members of a group. Causing serious bodily or mental harm, prevention of births and transfer of children are acts of genocide when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence.

The law protects four groups - national, ethnical, racial or religious groups.

A national group means a set of individuals whose identity is defined by a common country of nationality or national origin.

An ethnical group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common cultural traditions, language or heritage.

A racial group means a set of individuals whose identity is defined by physical characteristics.

A religious group is a set of individuals whose identity is defined by common religious creeds, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals.

Key Terms

The crime of genocide has two elements: intent and action. “Intentional” means purposeful. Intent can be proven directly from statements or orders. But more often, it must be inferred from a systematic pattern of coordinated acts.

Intent is different from motive. Whatever may be the motive for the crime (land expropriation, national security, territorrial integrity, etc.), if the perpetrators commit acts intended to destroy a group, even part of a group, it is genocide.

The phrase "in whole or in part" is important. Perpetrators need not intend to destroy the entire group. Destruction of only part of a group (such as its educated members, or members living in one region) is also genocide. Most authorities require intent to destroy a substantial number of group members – mass murder. But an individual criminal may be guilty of genocide even if he kills only one person, so long as he knew he was participating in a larger plan to destroy the group

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob and Salamon

“Collective punishment“, or a “disproportionate response” by Israel are your best bets, not genocide.

The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 1,500.000 Iraqis, but the aim or INTENT of the sanctions was not genocide of the population, but were aimed at Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. How many Palestinian deaths can be attributed to the boycott by Israel, and is the intent of Israel to kill everyone in Gaza or stop the rocket and mortar fire by Hamas? In addition, Israel refuses to recognize the Hamas leadership in Gaza (which came by way of a coup), and why should they? Hamas wants to destroy Israel.

The crime of genocide is unique. Morales (Bolivia) and Chavez (Venezuela) cheapen the meaning, i.e., use the term “genocide” for political reasons to advance an agenda.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page :

UN chooses right moment to exercise a bit of eminent domain jurisdiction and imposes 2 state solution. Most of the new palestine already exists. It is called Jordan. International community makes massive investments into 'palestine' to compensate people.

It always sucks to be on the wrong end of eminent domain claims but these people are not going to get along.

Gaza could be turned into independent city state which I think is what it has always been historically.

Why drag this out? Set clear goals. Be tough where necessary and make it happen. There will again be peace and prosperity.

blund Author Profile Page :

By the UN's admission Gaza has one of the most malnourished populations on this planet? How is that possible? The UN along with other concerned countries are willing and able to supply Gaza with enough food to turn this horrible situation around. Could it possibly be, in the name of security, Israel won't let enough of it in to abate this situation? Of course it is. Israel's argument is since weapons are being smuggled into Gaza they need to keep tight controls on Gaza's borders. In keeping tight controls on their borders they only allow so much into the country. If this isn't a form of genocide I don't know what is. Israel is fully capable of inspecting food and medicine shipments which aren't smuggled in. In essence they are doing their best to deprive the people of Gaza both food and medical care. The last I knew these were both essentials to human life and intentionally depriving people of food and medical care is a form of genocide.

However, if one buys the concept of good and evil as defined by people who think like the US are good and those that don't are evil it is easy to turn a blind eye to Israel's transgressions.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

you seem to have left out any mention of USA perpetrated genocides:
Nicaraqua, [via proxies paid by CIA et5c]
El Slavador [ibid\
Somalia [ibid]
Yugoslavia [ one sided bombing including interntional bridges]
Lebanon [via Israel with USA weapons numerous times]
Gaza [via USA made amd supplied weapons and finance]
West Bank with USA weaponws, and finance
Wherein all cases the instigator was the USA, or covering the actor, Israel

So please get real: admit the obvious, accordfing to International Law Israel is a genocide promoting Zionist entity, whose very exsitence depends on criminals of the USA Government [as per Nurnberg Trial, re too many instances to list here]

This note does not mean That I dispute the validity of your list, nor does it mean that the USA has done its best to stop any of the genocides listed by you [in fact we know that the USA did its best to evade any and all involvement in most cases]

timothy2me Author Profile Page :

"What's the most likely outcome of Israel's invasion of Gaza? A wider war? A Hamas defeat? Just more of the same?"

The rule of right-wingers leads to war. When threatened by a right wing led foreign entity people will accept their own right-wingers lust for war. Who better to fight foreign right-winger than a homegrown right-winger?

Thus the right-wingers perpetuate each other. Their tools are fear and hate and it is all about power and always has been.

The condition has existed long before Mussolini gave it a name, fascism. Its roots are as deep as human history. If ever there was something called original sin, something embedded in the human genome, this is it.

rantizo Author Profile Page :


AP News: BY Rafiqu El Mahdi

David Miliband - Dumb and Dumber

In a phone conversation with one of Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani close advisers the visit of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to the region could not have been viewed with more derision or disgust, which, in its way, is one of the most unifying jokes among Indian and Pakistanis.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said “Mr Miliband is entitled to his views, which are clearly his own and are constantly evolving with surprising vicissitudes, views like those of someone afflicted with severe Attention Deficit Disorder he stumbles here he stumbles there where will he land nobody knows.”

As his visit painfully progressed Mr Miliband said at the Taj Mahal hotel “As you know and I know, well I am sure, not as well as you know, but still I know something which I know you don’t know or maybe you do know but will not say you know, well, you know... terrorism was not invented or started or emerged or initiated on 9/11. But since then, the notion of a ‘war on terror’ coined by the Bush Administration, which is thankfully is not with us any longer, has defined the terrain... and that terrain is strewn with quicksands, pitfalls, quagmires and assorted venomous snakes of all color and description... well, you know... but you know that... so, it is incumbent on great democratic governments, like you, who are wrestling with striking the right balance between protecting its citizens and preserving the civil liberties of those who have sworn to kill you... well, you must be alive to the impact of counter-terrorism strategies on poor Islamic minorities and try to love them more... like we do, in England... you know, I guess... maybe building more mosques... or asking your women to cover their faces... with a newspaper or something... you know... hey from what i have seen of your women, it could only improve matters...
And as to the insightful advice Mr Miliband offered to his hosts Mr. Prakash replied “listen, I told him, go back to England you fu***ing homo.”

rantizi11 Author Profile Page :


AP News: BY Baquwia Garmush

In a private villa in Kuwait City, a Saudi official responsible for the Arab Economic Summit scheduled for Monday, has commented on the irony of the Middle East evolving situation "it is no secret that we, the Arabs, view the Iranian nuclear advances with increasing trepidations, and a nuclear Iran will usher in destabilizing tectonic shifts in the region; and we are well aware that we can't achieve any parity on the nuclear front with Iran for the foreseeable future; so we have asked for the protection of Israel vis-a-vis Iran. Today, as we speak, Israel, which boast the highest PhD's per capita in the world, is the rock on which stability in the region depends."

rantiz1 Author Profile Page :


AP News: BY Baquwia Garmush

Late last night, a conference call between Egyptian State Security Investigation at a conference in the Netherlands and the Jordanian Special Forces القوات المسلحة الأردنية in Aman revealed growing regional concern with respect to Iranian sponsored Terror cells gaining considerable strength among Palestinian factions.

Iran is actively engaged in attempts to undermine Egyptian and Jordanian security structures through bribes and intimidation. It is believed that Iranian efforts have yielded substantial gains and considerably degraded Egyptian internal security structures, but the Jordanians are not as placid. One Egyptian official divulged to me that "the Jordanian are not as squeamish as the Israelis, they will suffer no compunctions obliterating the whole Palestinian population."

rantizi1 Author Profile Page :

AP News: BY Baquwia Garmush

The urgent international push for Gaza ceasefire met fierce opposition with Egyptian Security Officials who met at a conference in the Netherlands. Many of whom have warned that Hamas survival will undermine internal Egyptian security and create a State within a State analogous to Hezbollah undermine Lebanese sovereignty. In a secret internal memo the conference has issued a request to the UN monitoring committee pleading for few more days until the world body issues a formal request for Israel to withdraw from Gaza.

In a sequestered private interviews the Egyptians acknowledged their country inability to offer any effective response to Hamas militants due to rampant corruption and lack of accountability within their internal security structure. "it is very difficult for us to mount any meaningful opposition to Palestinian militants at this time" one official lamented.

rantizi Author Profile Page :

AP News: By

Yesterday in Jerusalem, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon heard testimony from human rights campaigner in Gaza, detailing the harrowing experience of dozens of Palestinians who were forced to kneel on gravel for hours and beaten on the soles of their feet with iron bars during interrogations by Hamas Security services.
Some witnesses displayed horrific wounds to their kneecaps made by pegs driven into holes deliberately made by electric drills. "my neighbors have done this to me" Shaffiq El Battuti was heard crying, "because i did not attend one demonstration." These and other horrific testimonies against Hamas members were gathered by UN representatives in an apparent effort at further investigation of Human rights violations.
Hundreds of Gaza Palestinians including dozens of teenage girls with disfiguring acid burns on their faces are in protective custody in Israeli hospitals; victims of atrocities by Islamic Squads of Hamas. The mother of one of these girls who was undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery was heard crying "God will punish us for killing his chosen people, Islam should rise up and protect the people of the book"

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

One of the most ridiculous statements (lacking any basis in reality) I’ve heard is the charge of genocide against Israel.


Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995, 200,000 deaths

Rwanda: 1994, 800,000 deaths

Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979, 2,000,000 deaths

Nazi Holocaust (denied by Ahmadinejad): 1938-1945, 6,000,000

Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938, 300,000 deaths

Stalin’s forced famine: 1932-1933, 7,000,000 deaths

Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918, 1,500,000 deaths

Gaza (?): 2008-2009, 550 deaths (civilians)

The Chechens fought two separatist wars against Russia. According to Wikipedia, in the first war (1994-1996):

“…The war was disastrous for both sides. Most estimates give figures of between 3,500 and 7,500 Russian military dead, between 3,000 and 15,000 Chechen militants dead, and no fewer than 35,000 civilian deaths—a minimum total of 41,500 dead. Others have cited figures in the range 80,000 to 100,000...”

According to Azizudin El-Kaissouni, a staff writer for IslamOnline:

“…Chechnya has been subject to a brutal “cleansing” campaign in the wake of the Russian occupation of Grozny in 1999. The Russian campaign against the small mountain nation can only be referred to as genocidal. By the most conservative estimates, 120,000 Chechens were killed in the course of the two Russo-Chechen wars between 1994 and 2000.…”

In one of the densest populations in the world, Israel has taken great pains to limit casualties within the Palestinian civilian population. Those casualties, in my opinion, should be blamed on Iran and their proxy, Hamas.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

Schools, hospitals, ambulances, media buildings, even cemeteries... and the white phosphorus... and the reports from foreign doctors, from foreign aid workers, from true humanitarians.

Deafening silence!

And now the UN aid compound... and the gentleman, outraged at last, speaks up, then shuts up.

That US choice, that Ban, that Ki-moon is a human disgrace.

whistling Author Profile Page :

Here's what will happen.

The Jews, detested world wide,
once again, after depleting savagely the sympathy and lies of the holocaust...

in Europe, where the temperature of anti semitism is notable everywhere over Gaza, andcertainly in the Middle East and in Asia,

will reap what they've always EVERY century, in EVERY country where they've appeared.

THe world won't tolerate their savagery. And will cheer whoever repeats history.

WHY DOES ANYONE THINK OTHERWISE? The stage has been set, this time with missiles and bombs.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

an interesting article by a jewish blogger [USA citizen, lived in Israel, now a person of leaisure and interesting blogger fronm Spain, I think - do read his commentary often for the pqast years]

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The Crisis Rant

found at:


yeolds Author Profile Page :

To all:

A funny, somewhat biting analysis of the USA during this fianncial crisis. It is also prescient [right spelling?], meaning foretells a probable future [past peak oil maybe sooner]

yeolds Author Profile Page :

first a short video by an American Jeewish lady - not war related, but on Palestine:

second your comment on the Nuclear bombs of Israel - they do not represent security even contemplation of their use would and will lead to a progrom which would call Hitler a Joke. Without doubt, the Zionist land would be destroyed, at a great loss to ALL the major Western Religious Traditions - where Islam is included [Islam is another outshoot of Yahweh's teaching as are all Christian Faiths].

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I think you are right - from the point of view of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and other Islamists. Islamists are not in a hurry, as they calculate that time is on their side, thus, as I posted earlier (quoted from Michael Young), Islamists are pragmatic, and will continue to support small gains toward their final goal. Its not the result of the Gaza operation, however, its the result of being a Jewish state in the Middle East - on Muslim land.

People (generally liberals) who believe that peace can be achieved by bringing Hamas into the political process are wrong. Only a temporary and shaky cease fire will result. Temporary can mean years, however. From Israel's point of view, a Palestinian state is in their best interest to turn world opinion (at least partially) in their favor.

One billion Muslims don't have to worry about surviving since Israel hasn't threatened one billion Muslims.

The great equalizer - for the time being - is nuclear weapons.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

@ Tom: if peace is not possible, and a 1-state solution not possible, I see only regime-change in Israel as the only lasting historical solution.

Once the USA is completely broke, they will send less and less military equipment, but also less money from the jewish diaspora (à la Madoff ?) so in a few years time, there will be 5 million jews with old military equipment against 1 billion muslims with old military equipment.

And every-body knows-it, so all the muslims have to do is survive, but the time is running out for the Zionists.

The writing is on the wall.

So "what's the likely outcome of Israel's invasion of Gaza?" : the end of the jewish state of Israel.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


Thanks for the post. As I said to Shiveh (I think) a cease fire with Hamas and Hezbollah is possible and likely, but peace is not possible.

No possibility of a South Africa-type single state solution - pushed by Canadians such as Virginia Tilley.

The US, EU and Canada boycotted the Hamas election in Gaza.

Hamas has total control over rocket and mortar fire in Gaza - if they want.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


Well, I think your theory will be tested to a certain extent - some I agree with totally. The Iranian leadership pulled a masterful chess move by turning Hamas loose to start this war, in my opinion - for a lot of reasons (provided Hamas doesn‘t take a crushing defeat). World opinion is squarely against Israel because of the predictable “disproportionate response” - making the attack of Iran’s nuclear facilities much less likely by the Israelis - although still a possibility. The US will not attack Iran or help Israel. We know that already.

Iran’s population has vigorously protested the Israeli onslaught, thus, at least temporarily, the failures of Iran’s economy has been forgotten. In addition, Ahmadinejad will only gain more popularity in the Middle East. Israel is not the only ME country with coming elections!

In addition, Iran has been critical of Egypt who is seen as helping the Israelis. Iran and Egypt have been at odds, anyway. Of course, Iran would love to see the Muslim Brotherhood come to power in a popular uprising against Mubarak. That would put another fundamentalist Islamist organization in power on Israel’s border. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The theocratic leadership in Iran is firmly entrenched and has complete control of the Revolutionary Guard. I don’t see a democracy or an armed uprising in their near future (although many Iranians are westernized).

Unfortunately, the Iranian proxies will only be emboldened when Iran develops a nuclear weapon. Denuclearization will not take place for the foreseeable future - if at all. In fact, expect an arms race. Clearly Israel will begin a process of building their nuclear arsenal and defense against a nuclear attack. They have no choice.

What does Iran have in common with al-Qaeda? They both benefit at the expense of the suffering of the Palestinians. The truth of the matter is that the Iranian leaders and al-Qaeda would consider it a gift if Israel was, in fact, committing genocide against the Palestinians. Of course, they are not.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


You asked about my opinion regarding how Iran’s nuclear ambitions can be halted. This is what I think.

1. Contrary to their declarations, Iran is working towards nuclear capability.
2. Present sanctions and even harsher ones in the future will not deter Iran; they will only solidify their resolve.
3. Iranian atomic capability will work only as deterrence in the same manner that Israeli nuclear capability is meant to deter.
4. A limited attack on known Iranian nuclear facilities can delay but will not end Iran’s program. The attack will further solidify Iranian resolve and further destabilize the region while strengthening the Mullahs grip on Iran.
5. A devastating attack on all Iranian Infrastructure will not topple the Islamic theocracy and will move the quest for atomic weapons further underground adding a strong revenge factor that may eventually cause an atomic explosion in Israeli cities.
6. Destabilization of a nuclear Iran by an armed revolution or civil war can force the ruling party out, but there is no guaranty that the nuclear bombs won’t end up in the wrong hands.

Considering the above, I have only one solution to recommend. Great majority of the Iranian people want to live a prosperous life in a peaceful and democratic society. They are gradually changing the tide toward this goal. Anytime there is a foreign threat or declaration of hostility toward Iranian sovereignty, these moderating forces lose a step; when tensions subside they get the upper hand. So, normalize the inside of the country as much as possible by lifting off the sanctions and helping to improve the economy thru mutual trade while at the same time making Islamic Republic's adventurism in the Middle East too expensive. In other words, fight them outside of Iran while helping people inside with a stronger argument for peace and prosperity. This will put the Iranian atomic arsenal in safer and more rational hands. Eventually, a democratically elected government in Iran can be persuaded to participate in denuclearization of the region.

Does this make sense to you?

By the way, I think it was the assasination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan that caused president Bush to stop the attack at the time. It made the situation too unpredictable.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

Ostracism for Israel.

Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, says he is breaking off ties with Israel in protest against its war in Gaza, which has left more than 1,000 Palestinians dead.

Morales said on Wednesday that he would seek to get top Israeli officials, including Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, charged with "genocide" in the International Criminal Court.

The Bolivian president also dismissed the United Nations and its "Insecurity Council" for its "lukewarm" response to the crisis and said the general assembly should hold an emergency session to condemn the invasion.

"Considering these grave attacks against ... humanity, Bolivia will stop having diplomatic relations with Israel," Morales told diplomats in the Bolivian capital, La Paz.

He also said that Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, should be stripped of
his Nobel Peace Prize for failing to stop the invasion.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

That imperialist ANTISEMETIC nations [UK, USA, France, USSR, and their lackeys: the other 35 odd states in the UN in 1948/9] decided that a big part of the British Mandate -another imperialistic creation, should be the home of the EUROPEAN JEWS while possibly defensible at the time of the Balfour Declaration [though already too late as the British Empira was falling apart] can not be justified in post colonial ages, except by Imperialist Hubris [e.g. USA with its "possessions" - all won by imperialistic wars, Uk with drems of past Empires, Jewish Presidents of France, etc].

Were Isreal to have followed the ruling of UN 242 [If my memory is right] then there would be no GAZA, no 250000 or so Jewish settlement on West BANK, no wall, no East Jerusalem dispossessions etc -- ERGO NO COLONIAL WAR.
Were NOT the Bush neo-con cabal, the fundamentalist babtist creationist cabal, with the help of AIPAC, Weekly Standard and USA bank rolling ISRAEL's IDF and economy etc; BUT RULE OF LAW IN AND FOR USA as per GENEVA CONVENTION, ICC, LAWS of WAr -- there would be 2 nations where we have a clolonial war.

You do recall that according to the SUpreme Court USA , the Geneva Conventions are part of the USA Constitution -whether you and neo-cons like it or not. Same applies to all other international covenenants which were signed by Uncle Sam with the advise and consent of the USA Senate.

Whereas Genocide as per International Law has occured in numerous occasions under various leaders of Israel, whereas the USA condoned and furthered such transgressions by Israel with respect to International Law, it therefore appears that the USA has NO RULE OF LAW, but in reality is a Fascist State [now turning into a new type of Socialism: protect the wealthy at the expense of the little people].

The Above is not meant to excuse the rocketfire [mostly of psychological damage, not fatalities] by various resistance movements [some not under the COMPLETE control of Hamas].
That the IDIOT DECIDER decided that there should be internationally supervised election for the Palestinians, then renege on the choice of the voters [a la Algeria 20 odd years ago] - completely negates the MORAL STANDING OF THE USA. The following overt and covert effort to undermine the election results by the USA/Israel allience has greatly damaged the name of both.
Since Israel Government has decided that only "ZIONIST APPROVED POLITICAL PARTIES MAY TAKE PART IN ISRAELI ELECTIONS" and the USA condoned it, thereby lowering the moral stature of both parties of the allience.

The problem with this colonial war is that you can not win it. There is no defence against illegal immigrants who can cause havoc anywhere. If Hamas disappears, then somne other more fundamentalist group will take over - with backing from the numerous palestinians whose friends and relatives were EXTERMINATED BY SHOCK AND WAVE BOMBING, WHITE PHOSPHORUS,

Israel has tow major worries vis-a-vis Palestine:
1., Demographics - NO DEFENCE POSSIBLE, especially that youger jews are leaving Israel.
2.,Decline of the USA IMPERIAL power - certain, as the USA reached her absolute military and economical power in the past, and now is on a natural decline [too lazy to work like a slave, when others are willing] compounded by the financial mess courtesy of the brightest mathematicians and uneducated [thou well schooled] leaders of WALL STREET].

My own belief is that ISrael has at most 5-10 years to settle in a moral manner the Palestinian issue. Thereafter the economic pressures of civilization will forbid any and all nations to finance war, as the costs of ecological degradation and shortage of numerous VITAL RARE EARTH METALS [for we do not recycle enough] will lead to a world wide decrease in median standard of living - where the major suffering will be borne by the DEVELOPED NATIONS. which expect extremely high level of consumption with as little effort as possible.
There is no technological miracle answer to the shortage of WATER, shortage of ARABLE LAND between the JORDAN RIVER and THE MEDDITEREAN SEA. to support the population [JEWS and Palestininans], desalinbation plants, major irrigation plans have to be created, where all organic waste is recyled for compost - for without CHEAP OIL there is no FERTILIZER, no TRANPORT OF PHOSPHATE and other Natural Fertilizers accross the seas [from Russia, Morrocco, Canada, etc].

\PLEASE TOM: Forget the pseudo justifications of the presnet colonial war, and think of the Future 10 years down the line [recall IOUSA - Taxes wilol have to double in USA in 10 years].

Good luck and do not be bloodthirsty, especially not for Arab/Jewish blood.

mohammad_allam Author Profile Page :

The question sense is something very important.This Gaza adventure in the name of the security Israel could not be accepted.As the timing of the attack and the development in middle east was not for this adventure.There is no question of defaet of Hamas and victory of Israel as there is no match of both.The real problems is the outcome of the Israel adventure in Gaza.In long term perspective Israel loosing the ground.
1See the protest around the world against this attack of Israel.This will erase the sympathy of Israel and will incraese the sympathy for the cause of Palestine.which will aganist the very basic interest of the Israel.Due to this reason Hamas will try to make the Gaza war more long and death of more palestianian.
2 The Israel responce to UNO call will more devasting for Israel cause.If Israel can defy UNO call without any sanction then why not Iran have also the same right on Nuclear weapon programme?The west who are friend of Israel will loss the ground to pressurise the Iran or any other nations about the UNO.Israel think twice that it was UNO which promoted the interest of Israel.More than 1360 resolution regarding Israel-Palestine case were passed.But in how many sanctions came.Usa can save but cannot save all the time when USA economy and military facing a tough time.The Humiliation of secreatary of state of USA in UNO is another matter for relief.First time USA had to absent from the resolution which was finalised by secreatary state of USA.What is Irony that C. rice which always prefenced the right of Israel was humiliated by his leaders.
3 The Israel adventure cannot be accepted by enlighted opinion of world community so easliy.The picture of death of children and hardship through internet would bring the loss of jews state sympathy with HITLER concentration camp.
4 the adventure of Israel weakened the effort of American led western and Islaim world to wipe out the terrorism.The case of radical groups of islamic world would be more strong,the position of moderat Muslims will be weakend and the world will be more volatie ti violence.
The demand from the islamic nations people to go for nuclear weapon will be increase.and the sidelining of UNO will be more.
The work of Israel for new president of USA is also not of friend.the mess which this attack created will force OBAMA to divert and not get full support.this act of Israel will bring a new wave of violence in many Muslims nations where USA is at war.Can other assume that Israel wants that USA should continue to be in these countries to handl the problem?
on the basis of all these one can say that Israel adventure is not in interest of peace of world.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I hope you have a really cold winter in Canada (just kidding).

When Israel was granted a state by the UN - and its a legal state - how does your theory of genocide fit when Israel was attacked by Palestinians resisting the new state, and five Arab countries?

It seems to me that the Arabs were attempting to exterminate the Jews.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


Fair enough. I appreciate the post. I have pretty much limited my post to the present time on this question (not the history of the conflict), that is, how is there going to be peace with Hamas?

I can foresee a cease fire, but not peace.

You have an interesting history. I can't think of another country that has gone through more changes - from one extreme to another - than Iran.

What do you think will deter Iran from nuclear weapons, if anything? As you probably read, Bush (the neocon?) nixed the Israeli mission to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. That's a guarantee that the US will not help Israel despite H. Clinton's saying at her confirmation hearing today that no option is off the table. In fact two options are off the table - bombing Iran and helping Israel bomb Iran.

This story (NYT) undermined US deterrence - just like the US intelligence report on Iran's nuclear weapons program.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Islamic terrorism

“…A little reminder of who [Samir] Kuntar is and what he did is instructive about the motives of Hezbollah, as if we needed the reminder. Here is an account from Bradley Burston in the online edition of the Israeli Newspaper Haaretz, in a column that actually argues for Kuntar's release as part of a prisoner exchange:

In 1979, Kuntar led a group of gunmen on an attack in Nahariya, during which broke into an apartment and took hostage Danny Haran, 28, and his four-year-old daughter, Einat.

"I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades," Danny's wife, Smadar, wrote three years ago in an account in the Washington Post, describing in part how she hid from the terrorists with her other daughter, Yael, just two.

"I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

"As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

"By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her."…”

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I ran a word check on my post but I couldn’t find where I said the Israelis were “better” than the Palestinians? Maybe you can help me out.

No country in the world besides the US could possibly bomb one of the densest population centers in the world and produce as few of civilian casualties as the Israelis. The intense bombing has been carried out for seventeen straight days.

On the use of Phosphorus, Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2009, “Leaflets May Counter ‘War Crime’ claims“:

“…White phosphorous has been in military use since World War I, and is permitted under international humanitarian law when used to create smoke-screens or to provide light. It is forbidden to use the substance as an anti-personnel munition. A report by Human Rights Watch that blasted Israel for the substance's use did not, however, allege that Israel used it for this purpose.
Instead, the group argued, "the use of WP in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life“….“

TomMiller1 Author Profile Page :

No doubt this will be just more of the same senseless violence and endless debates between two sides who have neither respect nor understanding of each other even though culturally and mentally they really aren't that different.

Hamas will not be defeated until Iran ceases to support their acts of terrorism with funds and weapons. And why would Iran do that when it can bask in the glory of successful propaganda toward the West while using Palestinian, not Iranian blood? It's just too convenient for the hate mongers of Iran.

There must be areas of the world where problems can be solved and where peoples are willing to work together to solve them. I say we look for that and leave the dog fights to the dogs.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


From al-Jazeera:

“…D'Escoto, a former Roman Catholic priest and Nicaragua foreign minister, is known for his outspoken criticism of Israel and last year likened Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to the racist apartheid system previously used in South Africa.

Gabriela Shalev, Israel's ambassador to the UN, called d'Escoto an "Israel hater" for having hugged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president and a vocal critic of Israel.

D'Escoto also said the UN had to bear some responsibility for the long-standing conflict in the Middle East as it had allowed the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, leaving the Palestinians stateless…”

From Wikipedia:

“…On November 24, 2008 D'Escoto called for the world to support the international campaign of “boycott, sanctions and divestment” which aims to pressure Israel to change its current treatment of the Palestinians.”...“D'Escoto also accused Israel of “crucifying our Palestinian brothers and sisters."…“

D'Escoto is certainly an unbiased observer - wouldn’t you say? Ahmadinejad is not only a vocal critic of Israel (Al-Jazeera stopped a little short here), but he hosted the holocaust denial conference in Iran, and has threatened the destruction of Israel on numerous occasions i.e., threatened genocide. Also note that an estimated 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated in the “genocide“.

I recognize there are different types of genocides, for example, cultural genocide (China was accused of cultural genocide in their treatment of the Tibetans), but the deaths of the 450 Palestinians in Gaza is anything but genocide.

Also see Rwanda for genocide.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

From "the Nobel society":

“There has to be a guaranteed zone of the sacrosanct, even among the self-righteous, a zone that, when breached, draws down a sustained universal response. The one of children is one such, and remains beyond expediency. Acceptance of any such violation makes moral cowards of us all, and leaves us in complicity with other cowards of any struggle who lay siege on the helpless...

... the doctrine of “There are no innocents” must be strategically and morally repudiated. To do less is to surrender our self-esteem, deny ourselves all dignity, diminish our own humanity, and indeed forgo our fundamental right to existence.” (Nobel Wole Soyinka’s Reith Lectures, delivered at Oxford, “Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World”.) *


Shiveh Author Profile Page :

An interesting piece of news from IPS:

Read all of it at:

"According to Olmert, he called the White House upon hearing of the upcoming U.N. Security Council resolution. "I said, 'Get me President Bush on the phone'. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn't care: 'I need to talk to him now'. He got off the podium and spoke to me," Olmert said, according to multiple media reports.

As a result of his conversation with President Bush, Olmert claimed, the president called Rice and forced her to abstain from voting on the measure, which she herself had helped author.

"He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged," Olmert said."

One wonders that who is the boss!

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

The true genocide and in fact threat to the whole intellectual future of man is the muslim hordes trying to overcome one of the most intelligent peoples in the world: the Jews. If you are jewish you are more likely to win a nobel prize than any other people. fact--look it up. The nobel society is the true world authority....

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

Israel accused of Gaza genocide

The president of the UN General Assembly has condemned Israel's killings of Palestinians in its Gaza offensive as "genocide".

"The number of victims in Gaza is increasing by the day... The situation is untenable. It's genocide," d'Escoto said at the UN in New York.

"It's unbelievable that a country that owes its existence to a general assembly resolution could be so disdainful of the resolutions that emanate from the UN."

"You have to attack problems at their root cause and the Palestinian people have been subjected to subhuman treatment for decades and this [the Israeli offensive] is going to make matters worse."

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

To Mike and Zolko. I am well aware of Islamic history--and that you two should bring it up makes exactly my point: where has Islamic society been since the twelfth century? you can talk all you want about this and that occuring in the heyday of Islam, but the fact remains that Islam has been the predominant thing about Islam--and the Koran has stifled all progress since the twelfth century. For all the intelligence of the Muslims they prefered the Koran to any intellectual breakthroughs. The West on the other hand has seized the best of all civilizations that it has come into contact with and been responsible for the scientific revolution and essentially the foundations for modern society. I quite simply do not trust muslim intellects. Everything must be under Islam for them. For all their insights they have nowhere near the celebration of individuality of the West--nor the respect toward neighbor inculcated in Eastern societies.

blund Author Profile Page :


Just off the wire. It appears Israel is using White Phospherous in Gaza. What was that about them conforming to international law?

blund Author Profile Page :


I am not frustrated and didn't pull the race card. That would be very difficult since I'm already on record as stating I don't like either side. All I was trying to do was figure out why you support one terrorist state over another. When I hear you say the Terrorist State of Israel is better then the Arab Terrorist's I'm just curious as how you came to this conclusion.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


I said the conflict started as a land dispute and then changed into a blood feud. And I suggested that we can not revert to the original problem until we first reduce the fever of this feud. Arabs and Jews have been living next to each other for centuries and nothing more than usual skirmishes among neighbors disturbed their peace. I do believe that a democratic non-religious federation of Jews and Arabs could work in the beginning.

I called your opinions too black & white and simple for my taste because I think you emphasis on the effect without looking at the cause. That makes your views mostly one-sided while I can’t be satisfied until I see all sides of each story. For example - you have mentioned several times that Moslems demonstrate violently only when it’s against Israel but not when Moslems are killed by other Moslems. It is true for the Moslems that demonstrate! Those are the ones you see on TV and base your verdicts on. But If you look a little deeper you’ll see that while TV screen shows thousands of Moslems that are violently demonstrating, it misses millions of Moslems that are sitting calmly at home and do not approve and are bothered by the same demonstrations. They are just not the demonstrating type, so they are easy to miss. Imagine I watch news clips from the New York City black-outs and Los Angeles Riots and find it enough to make my mind about America.

You are a good debate partner. You do not frustrate me. You are challenging and I learn from our exchange. All I hope for is that you expand your attention to cover all sides and base your conclusions on the common good rather than personal preference. My birth country, Iran, has suffered tremendously from Arab invasions, Arab culture and Arab Religion. The Iranian revolution that I abhor was helped and partly financed by Arabs, and Palestinian mercenaries did kill many Iranian patriots. Both in Iran and here in America I have been blessed by having many Jewish friends that I enjoy communicating and working with. I appreciate Israel’s help in Iran-Iraq war. If I can still keep an impartial opinion about what can bring the Arab-Israeli conflict to a just and durable conclusion, I can certainly expect the same from others.

12346543 Author Profile Page :

I was a soldier in Gaza, had many Palestinians friends, the funny things that some of them they told me, "we missed the time that you was here inside Gaza", i have asked them why, they said that life was good and the quility of life was much better, beacuse we took care of them.
Hamas cant take care of his own people, he is getting orders from Iran that their main target to destroy Israel.

i think eventually that the first solution need to be new occupation of Gaza for the first stap,
of course many factors in the world will not like it but this what needed to stable this place,

second, economic solution, work and employment, when the Palestinians will feel the "good life" comapring what they have today, their prespective will start to change, even a little its worth it.

Education, the majot problem over there is the education,childrens learning how to shot a gun etc,

this changes will sure make somthing to the Palestinians

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

ZOLKO - Interesting, although Wikipedia can be of uneven value as a source. I was taught in school that Al-Jabr was a person, an Arab mathematician. If that is incorrect, I stand corrected. Nonetheless, even if Persian, algebra would be a development of classic Muslim culture and still wold stand as an example against the comment that "Arabs" are ignorant, uncivilized, etc. Most people, even though it isn't the case, assume that Iranian and Persian culture is the same as Arab culture. Persian culture is every bit as rich, however.

saberman1 Author Profile Page :

The most likely outcome of the present fighting is a Hamas defeat. In fact, that is virtually assured at this point. The big question are

a) will this be a virtually total Hamas defeat which leaves Hamas military power and terroristic capabilities in total shambles or will a last minute cease fire save them. And,

b) will fresh thinking emerge afterwards with regard to the solution to Israeli security and the settling of territorial disputes related to regions that Israel won in battle but which she has been willing to exchange for complete recognition by her neighbors and secure borders.

In my view, the idea of another separate Palestinian state is dead. Other Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria etc. should take responsibility for resettling the refugees now living around Israel. Gaza and the West Bank should largely become lightly populated demilitarized zones with guaranteed secure access for religious pilgrims who wish to visit certain "holy" areas. But the so-called "Palestinian" peoples should be dispersed among the other Arab nations and Israel's neighbors should grant her complete recognition. I think that is the only reasonable solution.

yeolds Author Profile Page :


Annapolis was nothiing, was never made to be anything but political noise: I AM DOING SOMETHING [as I, USA, am Arming Fatah, and trying top destroy Hamas, which I made with Israel's help to undermine Fatah in years past].

If you are trying to be ridiculous, you achieved that ignoble state, for you said:

"The charge of genocide is absolutely ridiculous."

To substantiate this claim, you will have to refute Israel's actions in the last 12 months [nay, the last 60 years] by going over the International Laws sections, and showing how Israel did not transgress thereon.

The Revelant sections on Genocide [as per international law] were cited on this site more than once by American....

If you CAN NOT refute the charge [to each and every section/subsection] then you have to apologize to the bloggers for being absolutely wrong.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


The accusation of genocide and the accusations of war crimes are absurd.

Israel has taken all the correct steps such as dropping leaflets warning civilians of Israel's intent to attack (required under international law), but I am sure that both of those accusations will be tested in court.

Good luck getting getting a conviction.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :


"Genocide" is the right word to use. What has been happening in Gaza for so long, what has been happening in Gaza recently and what continues to happen in Gaza is genocide.

The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

Anyone can look it up and whoever can read will understand. All those responsible need only be forced to stand trial in an international court of justice for those crimes to be confirmed.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Yeolds (Salamon)

Anti Semitism has been on the rise for quite some time. Gaza will make things worse. At least (because of Annapolis), Israel and the Palestinians were talking, however, who do you suppose undermined this latest attempt at peace? What a surprise. Hamas and their sugar-daddy nation - Iran. Proxy wars are dangerous, but effective.

If you believe that the election is the primary reason for the invasion of Gaza, then someone should have sent the message to Hamas that maybe this is not the best time to lob hundreds of missiles and mortar shells into Israel. Or maybe that was the idea. Hamas is responsible for the war, and the deaths of civilians in Gaza. No one else. Georgia initiated the war against Russia, and liberals were very quick to put the blame on Georgia (and, of course, US imperialism).

The charge of genocide is absolutely ridiculous.

Recently, the NYT ran an article (front page) which blamed Bush for the entire financial crisis. Bush deserves his share of the blame, no doubt, but there is plenty of blame to go around - Dems and Republicans. Of course, the NYT is nothing more than a wing of the Democratic Party, so its not surprising, but it does indicate the media strategy for the next four years. What goes wrong will be blamed entirely on Bush (the decider), and Obama will be given credit for anything that goes right.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

@ mibrooks27 :

"Algebra was invented by a Muslim scholar Al-Jabr."

according to Wikipedia, algebra (derived from the arab: al-jabr = reunion) was invented by Moslem Persians (= Iranian) and summarised first in a book by the Islamic Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī. Al-Jabr seems to be the concept rather than a person.

quoting daniel12: "man for man the jews are more valuable."

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh says:

“Your world view is too black & white and simplistic for my taste! According to your divisions, there are only [good or bad (evil) people] (cultures, nations, [races?], religions) in this world.

Bob says:

“Oh, I get it. You just [hate the Arab/Muslims]. If they don't agree with with our concept and support of Israel then they are evil.”

The level of frustration you both exhibit amazes me. I’m not a Republican running for office so pulling the race card is a waste of time (yes, its a very effective tactic in politics, however).

Its interesting to me. Jews kill hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza, and Muslims everywhere (with their liberal friends) gather in the streets to protest (nothing wrong with that). Muslims kill 250,000 Muslims in Darfur - no big deal. Seen any Muslims protesting? Seen any Middle Eastern Arab countries offer a peace plan? Or involved in any way? Nope. Mostly the “West” cares about Darfur (Certainly not China). Anyway, I digress.

Shiveh, You are right, I don’t believe this is just a land dispute. In my opinion, it is a religious-political war. How can you call me simplistic when you believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just a land dispute?

The primary goal of Hamas isn’t to get the best deal possible for the Palestinians - its to get the (infidel) Jews off of Muslim land, and that’s why this isn’t JUST a land dispute - and why its non negotiable for Hamas.

From Michael Young, Opinion editor, The Daily Star, Lebanon, “The Islamist are True Believers”, March 27, 2008:

“…But when it comes to Israel, where the lines are far clearer, Nasrallah [Hezbollah] actually does mean what he says, and has been saying it with considerable consistency for quite a long time…. Why is the topic important? Because over the years academics, analysts, journalists, and others, particularly the Westerners among them, who write about militant Islamist groups, have tended to project their own liberal attitudes and desires onto such groups, misinterpreting their intentions and largely ignoring what these groups say about themselves. Inasmuch as most such observers cannot really fathom the totalitarian strain in the aims and language of armed Islamists, totalitarian in the sense of pursuing a total idea, total in its purity, they cannot accept that the total idea can also be apocalyptic. Where Nasrallah and the leaders of Hamas will repeat that Israel's elimination is a quasi-religious duty, the sympathetic Westernized observer, for whom the concept of elimination is intolerable, will think much more benignly in terms of well-intentioned "bargaining." Hamas and Hizbullah are pragmatic, they will argue, so that their statements and deeds are only leverage to achieve specific political ends that, once attained, will allow a return to harmonious equilibrium.
This argument, so tirelessly made, is tiresomely irrelevant. No one has seriously suggested that Hizbullah or Hamas are not pragmatic. But one can be pragmatic in the means and not in the ends. If anything, pragmatism is obligatory in the pursuit of an absolute idea…”

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

DANIEL12 - First I have to defend American culture, now I have t defend Islamic culture. Have you read the works of Plato or Aristotle, plays by Aristophanes? All were preserved, honored, by the actions of classic Islamic culture. Algebra was invented by a Muslim scholar Al-Jabr. Islamic scholars developed the notion of zero, set theory, boolean algebra (without which computers would be impossible), water purification, distillation, refined sugar, stained glass, the rifle (a 12th Century Arab example exists), asphalt paving, the windmill, the worlds first public university,public libraries and hospitals, all were inventions of Arab culture. There is nothing second rate about Arabic culture. Oh, and about all of that oil. The Arab's were drilling for it, extracting from it asphalt and lamp oil, while European's were running around in furs, fighting the Roman armies with fire hardened wooden spears. Before insulting an entire people because it has produced a few dangerous kooks, take a trip to Northern Idaho or Oklahoma or a few other places in this country where ignorant twits seem to be the rule. All cultures produce beasts and thugs and fools, but very very few produce the flights of greatness observed in the writings of our Founding Fathers, in the Old Testament, or that found in classic Islamic culture. We have a lot more in common than what separates us from each other.

yeolds Author Profile Page :


A few months ago on another topic I told you [and the rest of the bloggers here] that in my opinion Bush was not destroying Iraq [though he aimed to], but his idiotic actions as DECIDER will destroy the USA - if he did not destroy her, gave it a hell of a try.
In Similar vein I indicated my opinion that for Israel to follw USA lead and be a major source of wars, proposed wars, attempts at genocide [as per international law - which includes the recent effort to starve Palestinians] will in the long run destroy Isreal as a moral nation. The electioneering fever, the real cause of this stupid invasion and destruction in Gaza, has managed to do something neither AIPAC nor Isreali politicians really wanted: A RISE IN ANTISEMITISM, aside from a rise in ANTIZIONISM

Now that Bush with Wall Street help managed to rock the world's economy - casung great anguish world wide, the last thing the USA needs is APIUCTURE OF constant supply of modern ordinance to ISrael while Israel is on a self-defeating program in GAZA.

No amount of spin will negate in the world's view the damage caused by USA war material [from F-16 to Apache Choppers, to bunker busting and other bombs] when the news how these armaments are shipped to ISreal is on the net: amount in tonnage, time of delivery and, in some instances itemized as per shipment [some of these news come form Uncle Sam][.

Were you f the mind top cause tr4oubel to both your homeland [USA] and your love land [Israel], keep up your propaganda efforts --- it be read all over the world, and reflect on the honor [or lack thereof] of the USA as a nation of moral standing. I assure you such cinicism petaining to USA lack of morality is totally unnecessary after 8 years of Republican Presidency.

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

To Zolko from Daniel. Zolko, you are truly ridiculous. Everything I posted as to I.Q. is fact--look it up. Observing that muslims are not as bright as jews is no piece of racism, it is just a fact whether you want to go by I.Q. or culture. The Jews have produced Einstein--the greatest physicist in four hundred years, the greatest physicist since Newton. They produced Sigmund Freud, Kafka, director Steven Spielberg (probably the best director of the past forty years). It really goes on and on. Please give us a list of muslims within the last hundred years which western civilization cannot do without. Name these towering muslim geniuses. Put up or shut up Zolko. What makes me most angry is I am white--as I posted to you earlier--and yet I have the courage to observe that Jews and certain groups of asians have the highest I.Q.'s in the world and you call me racist. Sorry Zolko, I am not racist. What you should be proving is what out of muslim civilization all other nations should be interested in but oil. Jews disproportionately to their numbers produce Nobel prize winners--which is to say if you are a Jew you more likely to win a Nobel prize than any other race or ethnic group or religious group. Look it up. Muslims these days give us nothing but oil--and the Muslims never even knew about the oil let alone could have brought it to the surface without Western know-how and equipment. Islamic civilization is totally dysfunctional and out of step with globalization.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

I find myself in the unaccustomed position of being an AMerican defender in the face of a lot of anti-American comments here. What other country or society on the face of the earth would have elected, even nominated, a "minority" as their leader. This country, *MY COUNTRY* elected Barak Obama, as President. Lily white Oregon, Iowa, and on and on voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama. It is so absurd to call American's racists or bigots that it hardly bears commenting upon. Sure, we are, for the most part, pro-Israel, but "rich Jews" no more control this country than than Martian's control Turkey. The whole notion is silly. We do have an overwhelming feeling of quilt about the Holocaust and all we have to see is some twisted and perverted little group like Hamas or some misguided nut in Iran call for the extinction of Israel and the slaughter of all Jews to get us ginned up enough to send Israel anything and everything they need for wiping these nasty little kooks of the face of the earth. Now, I happen to have a lot of friends who are Pakistani's. I like them and have written about the plight of their relatives in Kashmir and the talk of the loonies in Hamas makes me into a fire breathing supporter of Israel so I can only imagine how it effects my fellow countrymen who don't have Arab friends. If you want peace, start by getting rid of Hamas and Hezbolla and the like.

whistling Author Profile Page :

There were tens of thousands of demonstrators against Israel yesterday in Europe and all over the world.

Rage. Anti Jewish and anti-semetic things not seen since mid century.

No one sides with American support of Gaza. Just because the American Jewish media censored it, apparently succwessfully, doesn't mean it isn't
a major move.

Does any fool think this won't translate into
a change? America in abubble, and it gets more dangerous by the day.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom W,

Your world view is too black & white and simplistic for my taste! According to your divisions, there are only good or bad (evil) people (cultures, nations, races?, religions) in this world. Therefore one side can not do harm (or if they do it’s because they are forced to) and the other side can do no good. By accepting this simplistic view of the world you have achieved a level of comfort with your ideas that I do not what to ever have.

From your reply to Zolko:
“Oh, I see. It’s a cultural thing. To Muslims, immigrants are terrorist - especially if they buy Muslim land. Cultivate the land in Palestine and build a thriving, civil society? You are a violent terrorists. If you are a Jewish farmer swinging a hoe on Muslim land? Pure terrorism.”

What is going to happen if the Mexican population of California, Arizona, Texas … decide to force the rest of the occupants out and start their own country with Mexican only identity; beat the US army and occupy parts of Nevada and Idaho too? I know that I’ll fight them. What about you?

From your reply to Bob:
“Muslims tend to think collectively. They “tend” to have an us against the world viewpoint. They tend to quietly accept (support?) violence against non Muslims (like Mumbai). Collectively, Islam is a very powerful religion. Agree or disagree, BobL, Shiveh, anyone?”

Moslems (I do not like the other variation of the word, “Muslim” sounds funny!) like other people of religion have vast differences among them. Shia and Sunni are the 2 that you are most familiar with. The Moslems that you refer to are sympathizers of the Palestinian refugees and show their support. In my view the present Moslems are as violent as most other groups of people. The difference you have witnessed is in crudeness of their violence not the resulting destruction. They are not equipped to do mass destruction in levels that happened in Europe during 2 world wars or in Iraq by us. They do it in a crude and dirty way that sometimes is most graphic. Give them all sophisticated weaponry that we enjoy, and I’m sure they’ll step up to the plate!

I was born and raised in Iran. Thru my upbringing, I see all people and followers of all religions as variations of a singularity called the human race. You may find it hard to believe that my upbringing was the norm in my birth country not the exception. What has changed during last half century is that some people that happen to be Jewish started a land dispute with local residents that happen to be Moslem. This land dispute lingered and expanded to what is now a blood feud between many Jews and many Moslems. Your European memory is full of instances of prejudice toward the Jews because of their ethnicity. You are expanding that memory to present dispute between Arabs and Israelis and reject the fact that it started as a land dispute.

Let me say why I tend to be sympathetic to the Palestinian side of the conflict. (It has nothing to do with the liberal agenda!) I believe the smart policy to end this land dispute is to first end the present blood feud by bringing dignity and humanity back into the process. This can be achieved by listening to the Palestinian (the weaker party) grievances and helping them to change their miserable life to a more bearable one. It is only after doing this that the initial land dispute can be resolved. And resolution of this dispute is what I am really yearning for because it is holding great many people back and humanity hostage.

blund Author Profile Page :


Oh, I get it. You just hate the Arab/Muslims. If they don't agree with with our concept and support of Israel then they are evil. Since it's pretty fair to assume they are not about to change their beliefs anytime soon when are you going to support just killing them all?

Also, I'm so tired of hearing how despicable minority forces are for using tactics that superior military forces aren't required to use. What should Hamas do? Should they line up all their soldiers on a battle field and engage the Israeli military head on? That battle would last about 10 minutes. When our own revolution started we couldn't stand up to the British on the battle field either. We hid guns and munitions in private houses, used churches, etc.. We also hid behind trees to fire our weapons which was considered barbaric. Inferior forces will always use the tactics they have available to them to maximize their chances. That's just common sense. Ragging on Hamas for essentially doing what we did in our own revolution is hypocracy.

As long as we feel Hamas evil, Israel good, there is no chance of anything other then violence. Meaningful negotiations can never happen under this premise.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Hamas holds full responsibility for the deaths of civilians that they were “elected” to serve.

Hamas is a complex, well organized and large Islamic organization. Patterned after Hezbollah, Hamas has social, political and military wings. Hamas has a very deep grip on Palestinian society - especially in Gaza. Hamas propaganda has infiltrated schools, mosque and society, in general. Palestinians learn at a very early age to hate Jews and the Jewish state.

From the New York Times, April 1, 2008, “In Gaza, Hamas’s Insults to Jews Complicate Peace“:

"...At Al Omari mosque, the imam cursed the Jews and the “Crusaders,” or Christians, and the Danes, for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. He referred to Jews as “the brothers of apes and pigs,” while the Hamas television station, Al Aksa, praises suicide bombing and holy war until Palestine is free of Jewish control. Its videos praise fighters and rocket-launching teams; its broadcasts insult the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, for talking to Israel and the United States; its children’s programs praise “martyrdom,” teach what it calls the perfidy of the Jews and the need to end Israeli occupation over Palestinian land, meaning any part of the state of Israel.”

Hamas understands they are in a win-win situation. If the response by Israel is “disproportionate” (and when has it not been), then Hamas rallies support from their friends in the western media (especially the BBC), Europe and the Arab world - all who have been highly critical of Israel in the past. If Israel doesn’t respond to the rocket fire, then Israel looks weak, and invites more and possibly bolder attacks. Either way, Hamas is viewed by the Palestinian people, and by the Arab world, as standing up to the powerful Israeli military (Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad are two of the most revered people in the Middle East for that reason) . In addition, this undercuts Palestinian support for Abbas who is viewed as weak, or worse, as supporting Israel. Thus Hamas is empowered either way.

Who is really responsible for the deaths of the Palestinians - now numbering about 400 civilians? After the six month cease fire expired, Hamas sent a barrage of missiles into Israel. The intensity of the attacks delivered a challenge to Israel still reeling from a psychological loss in the 2006 war with Hezbollah. Clearly the rocket fire was meant to provoke a response from Israel - and Hamas was well aware of the potential consequences. During the six month cease fire, Hamas fortified their positions and smuggled Iranian weaponry into Gaza to plan and prepare for the war. Iran, with near certainty, approved this latest phase of Hamas aggression. Israel’s well planned response is still in progress with no end in sight.

Innocent Palestinians are now paying the price - the sacrificial lambs of Hamas. That’s the way this game has worked in the past. Many more Palestinians die than Israelis - but Hamas didn’t miscalculate. On the contrary, the operation is unfolding precisely as planned. Child martyrs? Fits right into their campaign of propaganda.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

From Sultan Al-Qassemi - “Hamas Must Step Down as Gaza’s Keeper”, The Daily Star, Lebanon, January 6, 2009

“...Many thought that Gaza and the West Bank were inseparable entities until Hamas' bloody takeover of Gaza in summer 2007 undermined that promise. The movement's 18-month rule has been marred by lawlessness, extrajudicial public killings, and gang warfare reminiscent of Somalia.
Time magazine reported on the violence that followed the takeover, observing that "[g]angs have tossed enemies alive off 15-story buildings, shot one another's children and burst into hospitals to finish off wounded foes lying helplessly in bed." Recently, Taghreed El-Khodary of The New York Times reported that militants in civilian clothing had again resorted to killing wounded former inmates of Gaza's central jail who were accused of collaboration with Israel. These alleged collaborators were executed in public even though Palestinian human rights groups repeatedly claimed that "most of these people are completely innocent." Hamas seemed to be either unable or unwilling to stop these extrajudicial executions.  
On the first anniversary of Hamas' takeover of Gaza, reporters from The Christian Science Monitor found a lack of medicines in hospitals, as well as a lack of clean drinking water in the territory and raw sewage streaming into the sea. And this wasn't because Hamas' dignity prevented it from meeting with the enemy. Hamas' propaganda machine around the Arab world mysteriously failed to report on meetings between some of its members and Israeli representatives. For example, according to the BBC, in early 2006 the Hamas-affiliated acting mayor of the West Bank town of Qalqilya met for 90 minutes with an official from the Israeli state electricity company in order to sort out the town's electricity needs. The Palestinian official, Hashem Masri, told the station: "It was civil, without any problem between him and I."
By any standards Hamas has failed. It has failed in peace, it has failed in governance, and it is failing in war. In addition to Hamas' ambiguous political agenda, the movement's goal seems to be resistance for the sake of resistance, where it is the journey that ends up being the destination. It is time for Khaled Meshaal to step down before he causes even more damage to the Palestinian cause. He must allow more competent leaders to emerge...”

The last part of this commentary deserves careful scrutiny. Hamas purposely creates misery for the people of Gaza - for purposes of propaganda. Additionally, the people of Gaza must face a perpetual near-state of war. Finally, Hamas started a major conflict with a powerful military in one of the most densely populated urban settings on earth.

They use civilians as shields, and store weapons and bombs at Mosque, schools, medical clinics, etc. Deaths of Palestinian civilians and children? To Hamas the more the better.

Citizen of the Post Gaza World

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I generally agree with much of what you say in your post on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. As you know, I’m not neutral on this conflict, and Israel enjoys strong support from American citizens, in general. If you reread all my post, you would get an idea of why I support Israel, and its for various reasons.

They simply have the “right to exist” as a Jewish state in their present location (not in Texas as Rick used to say). That right means FREE OF TERRORISM. In addition, they are a legal state and a democracy. I support democratic states, in general, because they are the best package deal out there for human rights. In that respect, I’m a very strong supporter of India and that should be obvious from my previous posts on Mumbai. The “right to self determination” is controversial in terms of nation states, but I support the idea in principal. I supported the independence of Kosovo, although, admittedly, I was on the fence with that one because of strong arguments both for and against independence. I would not oppose independence for Kashmir, but not under the present conditions, i.e., war by Islamic terrorist. Nations generally will not allow a part of their country to secede, however. Finally, Israel is a US ally - and has been for a long time.

I’ve stated in the past my opposition to settlements in the West Bank. If they are worried about security, then occupy the area with your army. A portion of their population radically believes the West Bank is a part of Israel (same with part of Jordan - the Land of Israel). World opinion has turned very strongly against their occupation of the West Bank.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

Five days ago, I attempted to answer the question put to us, as to the most likely outcome. Here are elements of confirmation from Mark LeVine, professor of Middle East history at the University of California, Irvine, who writes today:

“… Israel's image as an enlightened and moral democracy - is falling apart… The Red Cross… sharply criticised Israel for preventing medical personnel from reaching wounded Palestinians, some of whom remained trapped for days, slowly starving and dying in the Gazan rubble amidst their dead relatives. Meanwhile, the United Nations has flatly denied Israeli claims that Palestinian fighters were using the UNRWA school compound bombed on January 6, in which 40 civilians were killed, to launch attacks, and has challenged Israel to prove otherwise.

Additionally, numerous flippant remarks by senior Israeli politicians and generals, including Tzipi Livni… are rightly being seen as admissions of war crimes… (Major-General Gadi) Eisenkot's description of this planning ("this is a plan that has already been authorised.") in light of what is now unfolding in Gaza is a clear admission of conspiracy and intent to commit war crimes… On the ground, the evidence mounts ever higher that Israel is systematically violating a host of international laws, including but not limited to Article 56 of the IV Hague Convention of 1907, the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Convention, the Fourth Geneva Convention (more specifically known as the "Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949", the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the principles of Customary International Humanitarian Law. Israeli commentators and scholars, self-described "loyal" Zionists who served proudly in the army in wars past, are now publicly describing their country, in the words of Oxford University professor Avi Shlaim, as a "rogue" and gangster" state led by "completely unscrupulous leaders".”

Professor LeVine goes on to ask: “Who will save Israel from herself?

Israelis are clearly incapable. Their addiction as a society to the illusion of violence-as-power has reached the level of collective mental illness. Not Palestinians… Not the Middle East Quartet, the European Union, the United Nations, or the Arab League… Not the organised Jewish leadership in the US and Europe… Not the growing progressive Jewish community… and not senior American politicians and policy-makers … During the US presidential race, Barack Obama was ridiculed for being a messiah-like figure. The idea does not sound so funny now. It is hard to imagine anyone less saving Israel… from another four years of mindless violence.” (

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


Thank goodness there are people that are not afraid to discuss controversial topics - even investigate them - and that includes IQ amongst humans. The idea that IQ is exactly the same for all humans is (by ethnicity, etc.) is completely absurd. Think about it. Humans migrate and enough time elapses (isolation) so that physical differences evolve. What would lead anyone to believe that man's ability to learn wouldn't evolve - differently - as well? What environmental factors influence the evolution of man's ability to learn i.e., IQ?

I had never heard of the book “IQ and the Wealth of Nations” until I looked up IQ by nation on Wikipedia (after reading your post), but the author suggests (statistically) the possibility of (gasp) differences between humans based on the wealth of nations. Maybe he’s right , maybe not, but he had the guts to investigate the possibility.

Studies may eventually show that by ethnicity, etc. differences are negligible, but calling someone a racist for bringing up the topic is simply meant to stifle debate. The probability of all human groups (no matter how you break them down) having the same exact IQ is basically zero.

I have to admit, I am gutless, so I tend to avoid complex issues. Anyway, that's my foray into the unknown.

blund Author Profile Page :


Can you give me a reason why you seem to support the State of Israel? Starting with the 1948 conflict there has been nothing but hostilities and there is no end in sight.

Personally, I believe the creation of Israel was legal, I also believe it was ill-advised. Neither the British nor the US took into account the ineveitable consequences of their actions.

Do I think Israel has shown restraint in how it deals with the Arabs? Absolutely not. I don't believe if they did show restraint they would still be around. There continued existance depends heavily on controlling the Arabs in the West Bank and the people of Gaza. They have done this out of necessity. Human rights and humanitarian actions towards your neighbors always take a back seat to your security goals.

Do I think Israels incursion into Gaza was because of the rocket attacks? Peripherally. Gaza has shot off over 6000 rockets at Israel. The majority of those rockets were home made and had limited ranges. The last 1,200-1,500 were supposedly Iranian made that had greater range. The end result of these 6,000 missles was 3 dead Israeli's. (And you wonder why I keep saying the Arabs are inept?) Of course I think stopping the missle attacks, if nothing more, was a pyschological issue for the people living in southern Israel. However, more importantly, I think this is just another example of Israel using it's military to break up and fracture Hamas for a period of time. The rockets were a good excuse to do this. The longer Israel can keep militant groups splintered and weakened the greater the possibility that some day they may finally get sick of it and sue for peace. I don't agree with logic, but I think it exists. From an Israeli standpoint there is little downside to blowing up a strip of land to let the citizens know who really is in control.

Finally, do I believe Israel is interested in peace? Yes, but only on their terms which means no. Do I believe the Arabs want peace with Israel? No, I don't. I believe they want to drive them out of the ME. If my memory serves me correct we are both about the same age. In our entire lives we have seen nothing but Israel/Arab conflict. We've witnessed nothing but death and destruction in this area on a regular basis. That's why I'm curious to know why you seem to back Israel.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


I think it would have taken about a month to answer all the questions you posed. Its much easier for me to write about liberalism. Israel is a reality, and how does Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran fit into that reality? Today.

I think you hit on an important point in your last post. ( “I have no doubt if you ran a poll in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Kuwaitt, UAE, etc. 98% would state Israel has no rights to the land…”) Thomas Friedman had a very interesting article a month ago ("Calling All Pakistanis", December 2, 2008). He basically wondered why there were no Muslim protest in Pakistan over the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Yet, when Israel goes on the offensive, Muslims come out of the woodwork to protest (liberals also). Flush a copy of the Koran down the toilet - mass protest. They supported Kosovo independence, and, no doubt funnel money to Kashmir separatist. But one Jewish state on Muslim land? Fogitaboutit.

Muslims tend to think collectively. They “tend” to have an us against the world viewpoint. They tend to quietly accept (support?) violence against non Muslims (like Mumbai). Collectively, Islam is a very powerful religion. Agree or disagree, BobL, Shiveh, anyone?

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

A case for the H.Q.

“There are many psychological tests that measure everything from the intelligence quotient to social quotient. How come there is isn’t a test to measure the human quotient? (…) The way I see it … being human is not an all or nothing deal. I wouldn’t call some serial killers human for instance. Maybe some people are a throwback to the Neanderthals. There should be a human quotient where being human can be quantified. When I meet someone and try to get to know them I like to put some kind of label as to how human they are… (…) There are sub humans among us in everyday life; they look human, they sound human but in fact they are somewhere between the apes and Mother Teresa for example… (…) What do you think?” *


TomW2 Author Profile Page :


“Except that this private land property is not necessarily an arab notion, especially not for nomad people. If you count by occidental jewish standards, Israel will not look as inhuman, but if you look by arab standards (who have lived in that area for 17 centuries) jews stole that land through violence and terrorism.”

Oh, I see. It’s a cultural thing. To Muslims, immigrants are terrorist - especially if they buy Muslim land. Cultivate the land in Palestine and build a thriving, civil society? You are a violent terrorists. If you are a Jewish farmer swinging a hoe on Muslim land? Pure terrorism. Discover oil on Muslim land? OK, there are some excusable Western behaviors.

Thanks Zolko. Admittedly, I’m a dumb westerner (Idaho, you know - KKK). I think I understand Muslim culture much better now.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

@ daniel12 :

"Why israel does not score higher as to I.Q. could be because of other types of jews not to mention the muslims within the population."

That's pure racism: I thought that the WaPo charter forbid racist posts. To say that the white jews are more intelligent than the muslims.... says a lot about the author of such words. Or is there some authorized racism in the USA ?

"What I was (simply) trying to say was that the Jewish immigrants did not force Palestinians off of private holdings."

Except that this private land property is not necessarily an arab notion, especially not for nomad people. If you count by occidental jewish standards, Israel will not look as inhuman, but if you look by arab standards (who have lived in that area for 17 centuries) jews stole that land through violence and terrorism.

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

To Shiveh from Daniel. Sorry for taking so long to reply. I would have thought Israelis would be ranked higher as to I.Q. And I also should have been clearer when I meant jews. I read that Ashkenazi Jews have high I.Q.s--Jews from eastern parts of europe--in general those killed by the nazis. Why israel does not score higher as to I.Q. could be because of other types of jews not to mention the muslims within the population. I suspect if you were to take the I.Q.s of the Israelis we generally see on television--typically of lighter skin--probably ashkenazi jews--you would find the average I.Q. rivaling those of the high I.Q. Asians. In fact I heard that not only the muslims within Israeli society are treated as third class citizens. I heard that the lighter skin Israelis discriminate against the darker skin ones. Whether that is true or not I have no idea. As for India lagging so far behind, they are really the only people I would say culture is affecting their I.Q.--and affecting it for the worse. Indians write some of the best novels these days and they also excel at mathematics. in the U.S. I heard that the indians are the most highly educated immigrant group--in other words indian immigrants tend to go on to higher education more than any other immigrant group now. Whether that too is true or not I am not sure--but I read it somewhere (I think in an english language magazine for indians in an indian food store). As for Israel's prospects for survival, I think peace and demographics are more threatening to them than a war. but then again maybe as the muslims get more and more powerful weapons and get more organized militarily...I really have no idea. I seem to go back and forth on this problem, unable to make up my mind.

blund Author Profile Page :


First, I didn't accuse you of having an IQ of 50. I said you would have a hard time getting people to believe your argument who had an IQ over 50.

When it comes to the Israeli/Arab problem I probably am a lot like Fish. In so much as I don't really care which side ultimately prevails and until there is a resolution I'll point out discrepancies on both sides of the conflict. If you've noted I pick on the Arabs for being inept and making excuses for their ineptness. I pick on the Israeli's for being heavy handed and using ludicrous arguments to justify it.

Whether Israel had a legal right to the land really isn't the point that merits discussion. They have the land and they are building a society there. Through military force they are securing it. They've been there for over 60 years now so whether it was a legal grab of land or not is moot. I have no doubt if you ran a poll in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Kuwaitt, UAE, etc. 98% would state Israel has no rights to the land. The other 2 percent are probably mental patients. And this is the crux of the problem. Two polar opposites in position in the same region of the world.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

You know Bob, I have a great deal of respect for modern liberalism:

Modern liberals (progressives) derive their philosophy from modern social liberalism. Social liberals believe that humans are entitled to civil rights, human rights and civil liberties. These rights form the basis for our liberal democracy. Social liberalism gave birth to human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Typically, in the past, “liberals” believed that liberal democracies were the best vehicle to spread human rights throughout the world. People from all corners of earth have benefited from liberal philosophy - and the idea that all people have a right to receive basic human rights and with that - human dignity.

“Reconciliation” liberalism is an off shoot of Modern Social liberalism. Multiculturalism is the central focus of reconciliation liberalism, but “peace” (at all costs) drives this evolving liberal philosophy. American imperialism and the Israeli occupation are the rallying cries of today’s movement. Human rights abuses are overlooked in the name of peace and/or cultural relativism. On the world stage, reform liberalism is nothing more than a strategy of appeasement and a sellout to human rights in the hope of attaining an elusive world peace.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with your post. That’s exactly what I think about your post to me.

I can’t cite anything I’ve said that can be interpreted as “selling” anything. I've never passed judgment on the British mandate - one way or another. I certainly do not believe that Israel is committing genocide, in fact, that assertion is absurd.

What I was (simply) trying to say was that the Jewish immigrants did not force Palestinians off of private holdings. They didn't immigrate as a military force. That's all. The same for the creation of Israel. Really simple. Now I might be completely wrong about that, but that's all I intended to say. Just for the record, if you add the IQ of my wife, myself and my three kids, its right at 250 - way above the 50 you had me at…

By the way, I haven’t really been able to put my finger on it until recently, but liberalism has changed (not for the better - in my opinion). Remember Stanley Fish?

blund Author Profile Page :


Now there's a history lesson I'm not about to teach my children. Israel is basically made up of the land the British gave them. While technically true it leaves out some very important points. First, how long did the British have it? Hmmmm, not very long. Second, how long did the Palestinians use the land basically uninterrupted? (with the exception of the Crusades) About 17 centuries seems about right. At the turn of last century how many Palestinians were still nomadic? Even most zionists don't try a legal argument for the land. They always revert to it was promised to them by God and it's their right to have the land. We, of all people considering our history, should understand the land wasn't Britian's to give. I have vague recollections of Colonists with the help of the French throwing the British out of North America. Then we didn't consider the American Indians legitimate owners of the land so we took it by force and made a serious attempt at systematically committing genocide. Somewhat similar to the State of Israel. They don't consider the Palestinians the rightful owners of the land and they will also engage in genocide to keep what they have and expand their territory when they can get away with it.

And we wonder why Muslims hate Jews? We consider Hamas some terrorist organization for wanting what they consider their land back. Then we go so far as to say only about 18% of it was actually yours the rest was given by the British who had just acquired it with the fall of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. I wish you a great deal of luck trying to sell this argument to anyone with an IQ above 50. Just revert back to God gave them the land and it's their right to have it. At least this argument is tough to argue with since I don't anyone who has talked to God lately to verify it.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


It’s deceptive because while the Jewish settlers owned about 6-8% of the land, the Palestinians privately owned only about 21% - not the 90%(+) that could be interpreted from your statistics. About 70%(+/-) was Palestinian land administered by the British under their mandate (which the colonial powers obtained by winning WWI) - not privately owned land.

1. Jewish immigrants did not displace Palestinians during the process of immigration. That’s an important point. Palestinians also immigrated and settled around Jewish centers creating a higher standard of living for their population relative to other Arabic countries. Certainly, if Jewish immigrants bought land that was leased by Palestinians and moved them off the land, then there would be displacement of Palestinians, but not unfairly.

2. The creation of Israel did not result in the loss of a massive amount of privately owned Palestinian land.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Tom W,

It looks like I’m stock on the meaning of the words today! You used “deceptive” twice on your second paragraph. First because 6-8% land ownership by the Jews suggest Arabs were displaced from private ownership. I’m sure many were, but if there is anything deceptive here is ownership of land in Palestine by British thru mandates! Your added remark to the 3rd paragraph is telling in this matter. 6-8% land does not tell the whole story (its 6-8% verses ~30% not ~97%) but it is not deceptive because Arabs were displaced.

You used “deceptive” a second time referring to the Jewish claim. Your comment shows the claim is not practical but why deceptive? Your ownership of the Queen’s palace is not documented and probably not true (deceptive), but the Jewish claim is deceptive only when it adds the God’s will to it not because of the historical facts.

It’s a slow Saturday!

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Shiveh (Mike)

In 1880, Jews numbered about 5-10,000 or about 2% of the population. Palestinian Arabs constituted the majority of the rest of the population of Palestine which totaled about 500,000.

It’s a little deceptive to indicate that the Jews only owned 6-8% of the land because it suggests that Arabs were displaced from land under private ownership which was not the case. Its also deceptive on the part of Israelis to claim ties that existed a couple of thousand years ago (the Land of Israel), as well. While the claim is true, can you imagine the mess if all peoples in the world decided to claim land from 2000 years ago? I could have sworn my ancestors owned Buckingham Palace.

Jewish Virtual Library:

“According to British statistics, more than 70% of the land in what would become Israel was not owned by Arab farmers, it belonged to the mandatory government. Those lands reverted to Israeli control after the departure of the British. Nearly 9% of the land was owned by Jews and about 3% by Arabs who became citizens of Israel. That means only about 18% belonged to Arabs who left [left?] the country before and after the Arab invasion of Israel.” I added the bracketed comment.

Mideast Web:

“…An Anglo-American commission of inquiry in 1945 and 1946 examined the status of Palestine. No official census figures were available, as no census had been conducted in Palestine in 1940, so all their surmises and figures are based on extrapolations and surmises. According to the report, at the end of 1946, About 1,220,000 Arabs and 608,000 Jews resided within the borders of Mandate Palestine. Jews had purchased 6 to 8 percent of the total land area of Palestine. This was about 20% of the land that could be settled and cultivated. About 46% of the land was registered in the tax registers to Arab villages, to Arabs living on the land,  or absentee owners, and about the same amount was government land. However, most of this land was not privately owned…”

Also (Mideast Web),

“Zionist settlement between 1880 and 1948 did not displace or dispossess Palestinians. Every indication is that there was net Arab immigration into Palestine in this period, and that the economic situation of Palestinian Arabs improved tremendously under the British Mandate relative to surrounding countries. By 1948, there were approximately 1.35 million Arabs and 650,000  Jews living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, more Arabs than had ever lived in Palestine before, and more Jews than had lived there since Roman times. Analysis of population by sub-districts shows that Arab population tended to increase the most between 1931 and 1948 in the same areas where there were large proportions of Jews. Therefore, Zionist immigration did not displace Arabs…”

Also under the British mandate for Palestine, Jewish immigrants were not allowed to purchase land in Transjordan which was the majority of land under the mandate.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


The article you suggested for reading is very interesting. It’s a long history of how colonial powers including the Turks and Europeans played with lives and destiny of the local people. It still did not help with the statistics that you posted, but gave close estimations to my first post regarding this matter. The following are some pieces I cut from that article:

“Demographics, 1920

In 1920, the majority of the approximately 750,000 people in this multi-ethnic region were Arabic-speaking Muslims, including a Bedouin population (estimated at 103,331 at the time of the 1922 census[96] and concentrated in the Beersheba area and the region south and east of it), as well as Jews (who comprised some 11% of the total) and smaller groups of Druze, Syrians, Sudanese, Circassians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Hejazi Arabs.

1922- First British census of Palestine shows population of 757,182, with 78% Muslim, 11% Jewish and 9.6% Christian. 1931- Second British census of Palestine shows total population of 1,035,154 with 73.4% Muslim, 16.9% Jewish and 8.6% Christian.. There were no further censuses but statistics were maintained by counting births, deaths and migration. Some components such as illegal immigration could only be estimated approximately. The White Paper of 1939, which placed immigration restrictions on Jews, stated that the Jewish population "has risen to some 450,000" and was "approaching a third of the entire population of the country". In 1945, a demographic study showed that the population had grown to 1,764,520, comprising 1,061,270 Muslims, 553,600 Jews, 135,550 Christians and 14,100 people of other groups.

1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine

The Revolt resulted in the deaths of 5,000 Palestinians and the wounding of 10,000. In total 10 percent of the adult male population was killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled.[85] By the time it concluded in March 1939, more than 5,000 Arabs, 400 Jews, and 200 Britons had been killed and at least 15,000 Arabs were wounded.[86] From 1936 to 1945, whilst establishing collaborative security arrangements with the Jewish Agency, the British confiscated 13,200 firearms from Arabs and 521 weapons from Jews.[87]

Land ownership

As of 1931, the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine was 26,625,600 dunums, of which 8,252,900 dunums or 33% were cultivable.[98]Official statistics show that Jews privately and collectively owned 1,393,531 dunums of land in 1945.[99] Estimates of the total volume of land that Jews had acquired by 15 May 1948 are complicated by illegal and unregistered land transfers, as well as by the lack of data on land concessions from the Palestine administration after 31 March 1936.[100] According to Avneri, Jews held 1,850,000 dunums of land in 1947.[101] Stein gives the estimate of 2,000,000 dunums as of May 1948.[102]”

As you said it Mike, this God forsaken land has seen too much racism and bigotry already. I think that at this point it really does not matter much that who did what and when. A fair and dignified peace for all the present occupants is the only practical way out of this mess.

Think2 Author Profile Page :

People of Israel are waking up and taking action. Israeli Intel targets this what US billions goes to support?

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

SHIVEH - On a side note, you might read the Wikipedia article on the British Mandate of Palestine, here:

In e long and sad history of Palestine, please note the Arab Revolt of 1936 until 1939, when tens of thousands of Jews were slaughtered and their farms, homes, and businesses were appropriated by the Arab authorities. *MOST* of the present day claims of Palestinian "right of return" and ownership of land stem from that mess. Arab leaders essentially declared that all Jewish ownership of land or homes or businesses was illegal and expropriated them. Likewise, the rapid decrease of the Jewish population of Palestine was due to riots and widespread violence (actually, wholesale slaughter of Jews) directed against Jews that took place on 1921, 1929, and 1936 - 1940. It is estimated that at least 80% of the Jewish population was either outright killed and forced out of Palestine by these pogroms. I want it noted, however, that I am not an Israeli apologist. I think that Muslims have ben treated horribly by the British, the French, Germans, Indian's, and others and think that Kashmir, for example, ought to be a part of Pakistan. Likewise, the original Arab Jewish population of Israel has a second class status (at best) in Israel. Racism and bigotry are the rule in that God forsaken land.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


Thanks for the info. I try to find some independent references.

blund Author Profile Page :


It gives me no pleasure to have been right about this issue. Being right only means human suffering and death.

I have always found it curious people keep looking for a political solution to a religous war. Israel has and will continue to do whatever they deem in their security issues first with the approval of the US. If that means starving the people in Gaza they will do it. If that means invading Lebanon they will do it. If that means air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities they will do it. The US will back them up no matter what. I don't agree with this position, but it is our current position and I don't see anything on the political horizon that will change this policy.

Zolko rightfully pointed out there are far fewer citizens of Israel then there are Muslims in the region. Israel has been able to survive this long because of it's military might alone. Granted, a significant portion of the arms and tactics have been provided by the US, but they are a significant force in their own right. The Arabs on the other hand have really never been able to pull together a well funded, well trained, well armed cohesive movement to seriously threaten Israel's military. When, and if, that happens we'll see a whole new ball game. The only question that will remain to be answered at that point is whether Israel will use it's nuclear weapons to defend itself. My personal opinion is they will. I don't know if this is 10 years, 20 years or 50 years down the road, but I have a firm belief it will happen. Until that day comes we will witness more of the same. Israel will exist simply based on it's over whelming military superiority. Once that is gone their existence is highly questionable. The two sides both have God on their side and they both hate each other too much for there to be any other outcome.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

SHIVEH - I'm not sure where you are getting your information. If you read any of the mainstream census data, however, it reflects a very different picture. In 1910 the population for the whole of that area of Palestine that became Israel was 64.4% Jewish, and about equally divided at 12% each Muslim and Christian. The statistical discrepancies between the various partisan studies seem to arise over the terminology of what constitutes "Jewish" and "Arab". About half of the Jewish population were "Arab Jews" and a majority of those referred to as Christian were "Arab Christian" (Actually of Egyptian ancestry and primarily Coptic). This was true going back to census' conducted by the Ottoman's from the early 1800's until 1919. Beginning at the turn of the 20th Century, the Zionist Movement and backlashes to it by Ottoman authorities caused enormous population swings that have not yet stabilized. Following WWI, and the end of Ottoman control over Palestine, the was a huge movement by ZIonists to "Israel" by "European Jews".

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


Thanks for raising my curiosity to check an IQ table in Wikipedia. According to the list, Hong Kong has a 107 IQ and sits at the top. After S. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Austria, Germany, Italy, . . we have China, New Zealand and our own US of A with a 100 IQ sharing the 12th spot; Israel with 94 IQ is 33rd and India falls to the 60th place with an IQ of 81.

This does not exactly support your points and certainly brings factors other than genetics into play. As you know, people of Hong Kong are from Chinese origin and North Koreans have the same genetic structure as S. Koreans, and probably Jews living around the world do not score relatively the same IQ. I believe culture has a lot to do with this and also that these IQs have changed considerably thru different times in the history and will not stay the same relative to each other in the future. Culture in its essence is a derivative of historical circumstances.

I have always appreciated the Jewish culture’s emphasis on pursuit of Knowledge and value the Jewish culture for it. But I can not bring myself to value a person based on the place of his birth. I hope we can get beyond that. Was it that you used “value” when you meant “ability” when you wrote “. . . man for man the jews are more valuable?”

Citizen has a point although he didn't have to say it so harshly. I would say be careful to not fall in the prejudice trap. Zolko’s remark in my opinion was a cheap attack but he tastelessly pointed to something that both you and I have agreed with in this thread. Passage of time does not favor Israel.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

"man for man the jews are more valuable"

at 1:1 who knows but at 1:100 man !!!!!

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

Try this citizen of the post american farce: The evidence of I.Q. tests and cultural accomplishments. The jews test higher than all people with the possible exception of certain asian groups (singapore, hong kong, japan). Jews disproportionately win nobel prizes. Whites are somewhat a step behind Jews and certain asians on I.Q. I am white. sorry post american farce, I just dumped your accusations of xenophobia, etc. in the water of the toilet. I face up to facts. japan with limited resources but so evidentally civilized. the same with singapore and hong kong. Iceland with the highest literacy rate in the world and no real resources to speak of. Not to mention the accomplishments of ancient greece on that rocky, quite limited soil. The more advanced a people is the more the most important resource to them is themselves, their capacity for invention, discovery, creativity. In general people at the equator and below lag behind. If you want to try educating them go ahead. But I suspect as the biological sciences advance both right and left wing pretensions will be shoved aside. Religion will decline (so much for the right wing) and left wing pretensions to educating everybody to total equality will fail. But I suspect before the human race wises up let alone faces this dilemma we will have the usual anti-intellectualism we have today and the world dumbed down precisely as technology works its way toward capacity for the extremes of good and evil. And the evil will outway the good due to the stupidity of the human race. Pollution, proliferation of WMD, global warming, masses of people not being up to the heights of modernity as displayed by advanced nations such as the U.S., europe, japan, israel, etc. One last and important note: I consider the people of india among the most intelligent people. they will jump ahead with the dissolution of the caste system and further integration of their disparate peoples and dialects. I suggest citizen of the post american farce that you take a good hard look at the facts and try to invent a solution to the real problems facing us rather than facing a quite limited set of problems as you do and positing such utopian nonsense such as citizen of the post american world.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


Interesting point.

Islamic theology puts great emphasis on afterlife. According to its teachings a good Moslem should always be afraid of burning in hell fire and in pursuit of reaching heaven throughout his life. Worldly pleasure and prosperity is downplayed; excessive praying and helping the weak is praised. Pursuit of knowledge is considered worthy but its philosophical and theological knowledge that is emphasized.

Majority of Moslems only marginally live this way. But for the ones that do, there are two major problems with this way of life. One is that living this way for 1400 years keeps one back in a race for technological advancements, the other and perhaps more important problem is that by obeying God’s edicts a devoted Moslem can buy his passage to heaven, hence living by human standards becomes inconsequential. These edicts reach him through human authorities who always have their own agenda and too often try to inflict God’s wrath on their enemies through devoted Moslems!

Now the good news Daniel! As our world becomes smaller and knowledge and prosperity spreads, great majority of Moslems also turn their attention to the world they are living in and leave the afterlife to after their death! They are human first and Moslem by habit. Very nice people among them!!!

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

daniel12 wrote: “The Muslims quite simply do not consider themselves in their persons valuable capital. They cannot imagine themselves being an important resource… The Jews on the other hand know that they themselves in their persons are the most important human resource imaginable… man for man the Jews are more valuable.”

Daniel, I find your statements altogether offensive (i.e. a cause of anger, displeasure, resentment, and affront) and repugnant (i.e. a source of disgust). That, I know. So far so good, I understand. Yet I remain confused on the diagnosis. Please help me.

Which is it, Daniel?

Is it bigotry (=df: obtuse or narrow-minded intolerance, especially of other races or religions)?

Is it xenophobia (=df: an abnormal fear or hatred of foreigners and strange things)?

Is it ethnocentrism (=df: belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group)?

Is it racism (=df: the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others; discrimination or prejudice based on race)?

Which is it, Daniel?

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

To Zolko from Daniel. You said the Israelis have nothing but sand and salt water while the muslims have oil...That I am afraid is typical muslim reasoning which sheds great light on why the muslim nations have so many problems trying to modernize. The muslims quite simply do not consider themselves in their persons valuable capitol. They cannot imagine themselves being an important resource--in fact that reasoning is consistent with them blowing themselves up and terrorists hiding among their innocents. The Jews on the other hand know that they themselves in their persons are the most important human resource imaginable--in short they depend as any modern society should on their intelligence, resourcefulness rather than on natural resources as the more primitive peoples do. Sand and salt water for the Israelis? Fine, because great intelligence can subsist anywhere. Perhaps the muslims outnumber them, but man for man the jews are more valuable. An intelligent person is more valuable than a saudi sucking up oil from the ground....

Shiveh Author Profile Page :


Dear Mike, please see the following in response to your post. Apparently population of the Palestine in 1917 was 90% Arab (Christian and Moslem.) Also in 1947 right before UN partition plan, Jews owned 7% of the land……… A lot of Mexicans! attracted to so few people at such a small land!

"The Zionist movement was established in the late 19th century, to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine, it had established dozens of settlements in the region and had attracted influential supporters throughout Europe and the United States. Among them were members of the famous Rothschild banking family of France and Britain. In late 1917 the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, wrote a letter to Baron Lionel Rothschild, in which Balfour declared Britain's support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine (but not, the letter stipulated, at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs). Thus the conceptual basis of the League of Nations mandate system "preparing populations of mandated territories for independence" was subverted in the case of Palestine. Balfour hoped the declaration would rouse Jewish support, particularly in the United States, for the Allies in the war. He also thought a pro-British Jewish presence in Palestine might help protect the Suez canal. The numerically dominant native Arab population (90% in 1917) mounted an unsuccessful campaign of resistance against British rule, while Jewish immigration into Palestine increased the level of instability there. In light of these tensions, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 in November 29, 1947, which proposed the partitioning of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with Jerusalem and Bethlehem under a special international regime. The UN Partition Plan granted the Jews over 56% of the area at a time when they owned less than 7% of the land and constituted approximately one-third of the population. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was declared and the first Arab-Israeli War began."


Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

Honestly, the expression of so much inhumanity on PG makes me feel utter despair. Please allow me to try and contribute as positively as I can to this discussion. This is from Nobel Wole Soyinka’s Reith Lectures, delivered at Oxford, “Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World”. *

“There has to be a guaranteed zone of the sacrosanct, even among the self-righteous, a zone that, when breached, draws down a sustained universal response. The one of children is one such, and remains beyond expediency. Acceptance of any such violation makes moral cowards of us all, and leaves us in complicity with other cowards of any struggle who lay siege on the helpless….

… this assault took place under the nose of the United Nations… If we have to look for defining moments of despair and desperation within the Community that embraces the Palestinian people, its consciousness of the disdainful dismissal of its worth in international opinion, this surely must rank as one of the foremost --- and there have been, alas, uncountable numbers…

The time for tergiversation is over, it is time for a holistic confrontation of a global dilemma.
No Community, true, dares succumb to an arrogation of power over the lives of its innocents, and the doctrine of “There are not innocents” must be strategically and morally repudiated. To do less is to surrender our self-esteem, deny ourselves all dignity, diminish our own humanity, and indeed forgo our fundamental right to existence.”


“I consider it perhaps of some value, however limited, to co-opt… the following excerpt from a letter I recently received… “I am glad that for once I can send good news from Palestine… Reading your Reith Lecture “The Quest for Dignity”… was certainly an uplifting event and certainly an evening where the dignity and nobility of man reigned supreme… You might be interested to know that a relative of ours… sent your article to the commander in chief of the Occupation Israeli forces in our area.”” (Wole Soyinka, Introduction, May 2004)

Let there be hope.


Zolko Author Profile Page :

"What's the most likely outcome ?"

There are 5 million jews and 1 billion muslims in that reagion (Middel-East). The muslims have petrol, the jews have nothing but sand and salted water. And unconditional support of a declining empire.

So, either the jews play nice, or they are slaughtered.

backroads Author Profile Page :

The most likely outcome? Considering the hypocrisy of Islamic extremists and Islamist governments, more of the same. It's really too bad that the Palestinians don't vomit out Hamas, which exists only to slaughter Israel. Most offensive of all is the stillness with which Khartoum can slaughter and gang rape -- where is the outcry from other Muslims about this ongoing atrocity? Extremism and hypocrisy are Islam's greatest enemies, not Israel. Yet, Israel is Islam's hated-based rallying cry -- Islam's only rallying cry.

AnjuChandel Author Profile Page :

The most likely and immediate outcome of Israel's invasion of Gaza would be "just more of the same thing".

Increasing international diplomatic pressure will force Israel to abandon its incursion - though unproportionate but certainly not un-justified - and Hamas after being severely destroyed, albeit temporarily, will be forced to call 'truce' - again temporarily - with the state of Israel. And the age-old conflict will continue to go on ...

The solutions could be:

A complete ban on Hamas which is nothing but a militant outfit engaged into "jihad" inspired by its twisted and exclusionist religious ideology, though being presented to Palestinians and the world as their fight for their homeland.

Palestinians have to understand that inspite of their "sole" claim to the disputed land of Palestine, Israel does have a "right to exist" and by accepting this "fact" only can a sustainable peaceful solution be arrived at. By being in the perpetual denial mode about Israel till perpetuity will not serve the purpose or solve the problem.

The international community - being led the US as it has the maximum leverage with Israel and has the might to pressurise Palestine - will have to come together strongly and force both the sides to sit together and negotiate a peaceful deal. In the entire process, the Muslim and Arab world will have to support a peaceful dialogue and truce-till-then and not support at all the terrorist outfit that the Hamas is.

Though the Israel-Palestine conflict is a highly complicated geopolitical problem, nevertheless, it can be solved if serious efforts are applied with sincere intent following the motto of "Live and Let Live".

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

The amount of ignorance and vile hatred being posted over this is sickening. In "protests" in Miami, Paris, Gothenburg, London, and all over Germany, mobs are baying for "putting Jews back in the ovens" and attacks are being directed a Jews. Ordinarily peaceful Muslim people are being ginned by by nut case "leaders" right and left and the press isn't helping matters. First, Israel is and always has been the homeland of the Jewish people. Just prior to the turn of the 20th Century, 2/3 of the population of modern day Israel were either Jewish or Christian. The Palestinian's were the homeless, the desperately poor , the outcasts of the Arab world and were attracted to Israel by Jewish economic activity. They were really no different than the millions of illegal Mexican immigrants who flock to the U.S. These are people who merely want and wanted to feed their families. They were fed a stream of lies about the Jews stealing what was rightfully theirs, fed a diet of hatred and bigotry. When Israel pulled out of Gaza, they left greenhouses and equipment intact so that the new Palestinian's could have a means of making a living. They left hospitals and schools and homes. The Palestinian "leaders" dismantled that equipment and SOLD it. Now, those same leaders have managed to convince the entire world that Israel is to blame for the the disaster in Gaza.

Forget a Palestinian state! Force Egypt to take responsibility for governing Gaza. Let them get rid of Hamas and the other ragtag wannabe dictators and assorted fanatics. Force Jordan, in turn, to take responsibility for the West bank. Most of the settlers' families in those areas came from those countries. Make them take the territory and people and responsibility back. The average Palestinian merely wants to live, to have a roof over their heads, to feed their children, and have some hope for a better life. They will never have that chance so long as some collection of crooks and nutbags like Hamas has the remotest chance of running things. Those people need and deserve stability and that will only happen when they are a part of a civilized country.

1littlegrey Author Profile Page :

Islam’s moslem’s fight under many names, such as PLO, Hizbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaida, Taliban, etc; Islam has declared War on the World, it’s called a Jihad and it is global. Islam wants to rule the world under Sharia Law, so Islam has called to arms all able-bodied Moslems to fight for Islam in this Global Jihad or World War. Islam’s Moslems must kill all Jews, crusaders and infidels in no particular order. Al-Taqqiya is the Muslim teaching of deception... it's OK to lie to infidels in order to Kill. Islam’s war cry is Kill-Kill-Kill. If any Government thinks that is peaceful, then they are idiots. Hezbollah has not stopped with rocket attacks on Israel and now these terrorists are crying foul as if it is their god given right to kill with impunity.
Islam’s moslem’s are killing people all around the globe.

daniel12 Author Profile Page :

The most worrying trend I see between Israel and her enemies is that for the past 60 years Israel has increasingly become vilified by the international community. She has become by and large the guilty party, not least because she has been the more powerful party over the past 60 years.

But the Muslims have slowly but surely moved in the direction of acquiring more powerful and accurate weapons and have become more intelligent as to tactics as well. So the end result seems to be that eventually a nuclear warhead will be lobbed into Israel and the international community will not lift a hand--on the contrary Israel will by and large be seen as having deserved that outcome.

I have a pretty pessimistic view of Israel in relationship to her enemies. What we have been having is a low level mutual ethnic cleansing in the immediate area of Israel. It seems as though the Muslims acquiring more and more powerful weapons will only lead to a greater and more noticable ethnic cleansing on both sides. Right now the enemy is launching rockets and Israel has been responding with her mighty force.

Tomorrow most likely we will have Muslims launching more deadly weapons and Israel striking our more and more effectively and cruelly. As for a solution to the problem, I agree with the solution proposed by John Bolton, that Jordan incorporate the West Bank and Egypt Gaza. No two state solution is possible. Maybe no solution is possible at all. We have Douad Kuttab writing in the Wash. Post that Israel is merely being "nagged" by rockets, that the rockets the Muslims are firing are a "mere Nuisance". Then we have Turki Al Faisal writing in the post that Israel is asking a lot to merely be recognized as a state but that the Muslims will do so if Israel not only goes back to '67 borders but complies with the international community in preventing WMD in the middle east.

Essentially we have the Muslims at best for Israel demanding that she be defanged and subordinate to Islam in the middle east. The worst to be expected by Israel is to be annihilated. Let us hope there will be moral clarity in the middle east. The Muslims must simply back off or they will be attacked by Israel. If the Muslims acquire WMD and attempt to use them we can speculate that Israel will strike Damascus or Tehran or--.

God help us toward a solution to be found to the middle east (muslims) concerning her strikings at all civilizations. The Islamic peoples in my opinion are the guilty party. They outnumber the terrorists in their midst and they can put an end to terrorism by policing themselves. But they do not police themselves. They allow the terrorists free will. It seems there are no moderate muslims in the middle east or anywhere really. I think what we have here is a true clash of civilizations. Samuel Huntington was correct.

sushmavb Author Profile Page :

I think I'm one of the few standing that still believes in the art of negotiation between the Israelis and Palestinians. It's never to late and though I might be criticized for wistful thinking, I strongly believe with a strong, diplomatic leader, there is a chance for peace. However, with the brutal military action taking place, the situation is likely to deteriorate even further maybe even leading to more anger and violence. Even if Hamas is defeated, Israel will still have enemies. Either way, this is will do nothing but complicate things and isolate the Islamic world even further. Violence breeds more violence and peace will just be a distant dream.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

Israel is trying to manage the situation in Gaza. Managing a problem instead of solving it usually does not change the final outcome, it just delays it.

A good example is President Bush’s management of a mild recession in the early days of his presidency. He poured cheap money into the markets and asked people to spend. It worked for a while but never solved the real problem of American’s spending more than they are producing, hence today’s larger recession.

Israel has to solve one basic problem and one emerging one. Her basic problem is that her Arab neighbors do not accept the status quo; and her immerging problem is that she is losing the battles over public opinion. Since 9/11 American people noticed that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a distant nuisance but an immediate danger to their lives and prosperity. They are getting involved and watching the events more closely than before. Many are finding Israeli actions and reactions distasteful and the cost to US taxpayers excessive. In Europe many people are already tired of the whole situation and starting to show sympathy toward Palestinian refugees. In addition, an increasing number of the Jews around the world and inside Israel is questioning government policies and behavior. As time passes and status quo is not broken, Israel may find this emerging problem increasingly harder to overcome.

The current Gaza insertion most likely will result in minor changes in Gazan passages thru Israel and Egypt and substitute most of missile attacks with retaliatory suicide bombings by Gazan youth presently being dehumanized! Next year, Israel will still have her two main problems and less time to solve them.

leerhok Author Profile Page :

Israel in Gaza is just like the US in Iraq: Winning the war easy. Winning the peace almost impossible. I might be satisfied with no more rockets across the Border - full stop. H and the 1.5 million population in Gaza are satisfied with no less than a permanent end to being kept in a living hell of an outdoor prison sealed off from the world on land, sea and air.

Still a peace in Gaza should be easier than in the West Bank: Gaza has no Jerusalem problem and not the one of settlements and roads that has reduced the region to a collection of mini bantustans mutually unreachable.

I has to accept that to obtain peace you have to negotiate with your enemy without preconditions. And understand that H de facto surrenders its hope of dismantling the state of Israel the same moment it enters into serious negotiations - just as IRA gave up NI becoming a part of Ireland.

The greatest obstacles to peace so far has been both parties being willing to only accept a treaty the other side cannot live with. In the West Bank tricky unsolved problems lie behind. In Gaza a deal no rockets/open the jail should be only a question of accepting mutual benefit.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :


“What's the most likely outcome of Israel's invasion of Gaza? A wider war? A Hamas defeat? Just more of the same?”

The reason for the war is obvious. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been launching rockets into Gaza for the past eight years. This past year (2008) was the peak year for rockets and mortars landing in Israel - 3278. One million Israelis are now within range of mortar and rocket fire from Gaza - and the rockets are becoming more sophisticated. Israel cannot allow Hamas to continue their foray into rocketry with impunity.

The most likely outcome is a cease fire that will be favorable to Israel (although Hamas will claim victory), but removing Hamas from power is a possibility.

1. “A wider war?” If Israel decides to remove Hamas from power - and that would require a long, bloody conflict - Hezbollah could certainly enter the conflict. That being said, Hezbollah completely underestimated Israel’s response to the kidnapping of their soldiers, and Lebanon suffered the consequences, so if a truce can be reached relatively quickly, then the war will not spread at least into Lebanon.

2. “A Hamas defeat?” Israel and Hezbollah fought to a draw in 2006. In affect, Hezbollah won a big psychological victory over Israel’s ability to deter her enemies. Clearly, the barrage of rockets fired into Israel after the cease fire ended showed a lack of respect for Israel’s military power. In my opinion, they dared Israel to respond, so Israel’s reaction was completely predictable. There was no miscalculation on the part of Hamas in that respect, however, what they may have miscalculated is how well this operation was planned by Israel (so far) - much like the Russian blitzkrieg of Georgia.

Israel can remove Hamas from power - at a great cost in Israeli lives as well as international standing (because of civilian deaths - which Hamas offers as sacrificial lambs for purposes of propaganda - only they’re called martyrs). Defeating 15,000-20,000 highly trained (terrorist) fighters in an urban setting would take considerable amount of time to accomplish. Depending on how Hamas responds to cease fire conditions, this war could drag on for awhile.

Israel must continue this operation until they receive a favorable cease fire, or remove Hamas from power. A decisive victory will also send a strong message to Iran

3. “Just more of the same?” Without a doubt (OK, Bob, you‘ve been predicting that for the past two years). Islamists are committed to the destruction of Israel. From Petra Marquardt-Bigman, January 5, 2009, “The Problem With Hamas”:

“A few days ago, on Jan. 1, an Israeli air strike targeted and killed Nizar Rayyan (sometimes also spelled Ghayan). He was a Hamas military commander who was regarded as one of the most popular and influential Hamas leaders in Gaza; in addition, he served as a "spiritual" leader for Hamas's armed wing and taught at the Islamic University in Gaza City, where his students reportedly revered him as a prominent Muslim scholar. 

Jeffrey Goldberg, who has met and interviewed Rayyan, recounts in a recent post on his blog at the Atlantic that he once asked Rayyan "if he could envision a 50-year hudna (or ceasefire) with Israel." Rayyan explained in response: "The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don't need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel." According to Goldberg, Rayyan argued that "true Islam" could never accept a Jewish state in the Muslim Middle East, because "Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God."“

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, PG posed the hypothetical question:

“If India discovers that another Mumbai plot is on the way from Pakistan, what should it do? What right of unilateral self-defense should international law allow?”

Rewording your question.

“If Israel discovers that another round of mortar and rocket attacks has been ordered from Iran, what should it do? What right of unilateral self-defense should international law allow?

The escalation by Hamas, after the cease fire ended, was approved, if not ordered, by Iran - the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East. The Islamist Iranian leadership is fighting a dangerous proxy war against Israel, yet the immediate danger from Hamas pales in comparison to a nuclear Iran. Ahmadinejad has threatened their destruction on numerous occasions.

No matter what anyone else thinks, Israel considers Iran to be an existential threat. The war with Hamas is a reminder of who Israel is really fighting, and will certainly reinforce the hardliners in Israel who favor destroying the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The war with Hamas could lead to a war with Iran (provided that decision has not already been finalized).

President-elect Obama will have some difficult decisions to ponder after inauguration day - especially in the Middle East.

ebgeorgeorwell Author Profile Page :

It is not like Mexico firing rockets into the Texas. It is more like a group of Native Americans fire some rockets at Texas and kill one person, and then the governement goes in and kills 500 Native Americans including hundreds of civilians. That would be a better analogy. Such a response would be extremely disproportionate. The Israelis' response is unjust because it has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

Most likely outcome?

On the one hand, from both the vast majority of the world population and the community of nations, more moral and political ostracism for Israel.

On the other hand, more human understanding for the Palestinians.

Long term: a much more compromised future for Israel.

Gandhi (in essence): "In the end, Britain will leave India."

--- : (hum hum) "And how shall we leave, pray tell?"

Gandhi: "You will leave just as you came."

Think2 Author Profile Page :

Can you bomb your way to peace? Can you disrespect a people, restrict their freedoms and occupy their land, limit their potentals, rule their future and expect anything other than bitterness and even hatred in return?

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