Vivian Salama at PostGlobal

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University. Close.

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award-winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. more »

Main Page | Vivian Salama Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Israel's Merciless Reputation

Israel's deadly response on Hamas and an already beleaguered Gaza Strip is increasingly looking like retaliation and less like a strategic counterattack.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (272)

Jackson44 Author Profile Page:

To CITIZENOFTHEPOST

Uh, what!? Did you just try to take scriptures out of context to give anti-Semitism justification? Did you just say that you were going to prove the Word of God (Bible) correct by participating in wicked ways and curse Israel?

Here's the dilemma for you. You left out of your, “Hey, I’m going to try to sound like a Bible scholar”, comments that the Bible says those who curse Israel will be cursed and those who bless Israel will be blessed. Did you see that one Sparky, or were you drinking too much Kool-Aid at the time.

I’ll prove it to you. Where’re Babylonians, Romans, Greeks, Nazis, Pharaohs, etc. All had strong policies to persecute the Jewish people. Throughout the times of these nations, Jews have suffered the most inhumane persecutions ever in the history of man. Now, what nations have prospered within the last century more so than any nations in the world? United States and Israel. I would give credit to U.S. prosperity to blessing of Israel.

The Palestinians are some of the most inhumane people who strap bombs to their children for suicide bombings. For those of you who think that suicide bombings and other acts of terror are justified because of so called “occupation” by Israel, you are sick and need help.

Ask the defected Hamas member whose father is one of the founding members of Hamas. He now lives in the U.S. after converting to Christianity and condemning Islam for hatred ideology, contradiction, and lack of respect to human life. He also quoted, “There will be no peace because of teachings of Islam”.

Israel has video proof that Hamas are insane enough to use schools and mosques as military bases and launching pads. For all the propaganda media to leave that out of stories, give a little more effort to see who really puts civilians in danger.

alfahi Author Profile Page:

This typical of the Israelis . Every time one of their leaders decides to advance one small inch towards peace they do some thing to go back to square one . Never giving nor leaving any thing for the Plestinians . Hamas has been using the missels for years . All what they killed were no more 20 persons . This is like the number being killed by road accident in a week . So why this unjustified war . It is because Olmert decided to make peace with Syria and made one or two positive comments in favor of peace with the Palestinians . Also both the War & the foreign ministers needed to prove they are strong and can rule so they get the support of the Israeli masses to be elected .

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

"Those Americans who still do not understand why their nation was attacked on 9/11 need only look to Gaza, for which the US is now being blamed as much as Israel."(Eric S. Margolis, english.aljazeera.net)

PRD1 Author Profile Page:

This is the most unintellectual, lopsided analysis of the facts and history that has plagued the Israel-Palestinian conflict. I'm not sure what qualified this as a respectable "analysis" to be published in the Washington Post, but I would hope the common reader would see through the bias and disregard for non-Palestinian grievances.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

Jackson44 : “Oh, by the way, the Bible also says that people and nations will try to curse Israel just for existing and being the chosen people by God. So all the rhetoric and propaganda against Israel proves the Truth of God's Word.”

Most interesting dilemma, for sure: should one be pro-Israel and cheer for the Israeli side, one will thereby prove God’s Word to be false; yet should one be critical of (and even curse!) Israel, one will thereby prove the Truth of God’s Word.

Honestly, Jackson44, you leave me with no choice, really. So I’d rather stay on God’s side by remaining critical of Israel: I understand the Ol’ Man does not appreciate those who contradict Him, least of all those who prove Him wrong.

Jackson44 Author Profile Page:

My referencing to YOWCOW was inaccurate to who I meant to reference. Disregard my referencing to YOWCOW as my content was not meant to disagree with the author's (YOWCOW) views, but others.

Jackson44 Author Profile Page:

To understand what is really going on, just read the Bible. It tells what has happened and what will happen with the nation of Israel.

For those of you who think that Israel does not have the right to exist, like YOWCOW, should try reading the Bible and see that scriptures written thousands of years ago are being proven today.

The nation of Israel is obviously blessed by God as you can see what they have accomplished since 1948. They have never lost a war and will never lose a war. If the terrorists want to claim victory of a war because they killed only a few Israeli soldiers or citizens, then I guess that's a criteria that someone is willing to accept.

What is interesting is that groups like Hamas, who are completely responsible for the tragedy of Gaza, are willing to sacrifice hundreds to kill only a few Jews. This can only mean that people influenced by Satan must also believe that the Jewish people are chosen people of God for the everlasting covenant. Therefore, threatening the theology of Islam.

As long as the nation of Israel continues to exist and prosper by the blessings of God, the more Islam has to be fabricated and adjusted to define what are blessings to the Muslim people.

This is not made up. Just read the Bible. Oh, by the way, the Bible also says that people and nations will try to curse Israel just for existing and being the chosen people by God. So all the rhetoric and propaganda against Israel proves the Truth of God's Word.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

"Israeli has never won a war without the US's help and they never will"

Cite how the US "helped," other than with arms. Money and arms don't win wars - remember Vietnam?

Israel won every war on its own, numbskull. On the contrary, in the 1967 conflict, the U.S. forced Israel to turn back when they were within 35 miles of Damascus and 50 miles of Cairo (in 1967 the Arab armies amassed over 1,000,000 troops on Israel's border - THEN Israel attacked these troops first, before the Arabs had a chance to overrun Israel - sure sounds like Israel started it, huh?)

As for Lebanon, the reports of the "defeat" of the IDF were grossly exaggerated. For example:

"In fighting that was described as heroic by Brig.-Gen. Gal Hirsh, commander of Division 91, soldiers from the Golani and Paratrooper Brigades took up positions around the town of Bint Jbail clashing with Hizbullah and killed close to 50 gunmen. In Maroun al-Ras, another village in southern Lebanon, IDF troops killed five Hizbullah gunmen, including the organization's regional commander. Three soldiers were lightly wounded in the clashes and were evacuated under fire to Rambam Hospital in Haifa."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1153291993055&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

The number of Hezbollah fighters killed by Israel far outnumbered the number of Israeli soldiers lost - it just wasn't the blowout it usually is, due to the pathetic leadership of the Olmert government.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

@yowcow

UN and British government is not the ultimate moral authority in the world.
UN has made many egregious mistakes since it came into being. One of them was the creation of Israel. Don't forget UN general assembly had around 60 members in those days and US under Zionist pressure threatened many countries to vote in favor of UN resolution.
As for Prime minister Lloyd George of Britain - He was a christian Evangelist blinded by dogma like the present day Neocons.
The point I am trying to make is - Creation of Israel at the expense of Arabs was unjust and until inhabitants of Israel realize this, you will not move towards peace.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

crazyam wrote

"IDF has a history of having a weak ground game"

Yeah, that must be why they are still around after all those Arab wars of aggression, including the early years when there was almost no air force. You obviously are clueless about the history of the IDF, they have been the envy of the world for decades. Ever hear of Entebbe?

The biggest problem the IDF has is that they are held to "standards of warfare" no other country in the world is. It is precisely their respect for civilian life that handicaps them. Additionally, the indecision of the Olmert government tied the hands of the army behind its back in 2006, when the army wanted to press forward with a ground campaign.

Hezbollah hasn't shown their face this time around because they know after 2006, the next time the gloves come off.

crazyams50 Author Profile Page:

"Perhaps Hezbollah knows that they're next on Israel's 'do list'."

Thats hillarious, Hez has been on Israels list from day one, only IDF can't stop them. A military who can't fight anyone in hand to hand with out techonology cannot beat hez. We saw this in the last Hez victory. IDF's biggest losses were when they went on foot into Lebanon. IDF has a history of having a weak ground game. If it wasn't for US technology IDF would loose a lot more

tarekamer Author Profile Page:

Where is humanity? Why is everybody so afraid of Israel ? Where is Europe and America and their human rights slogans ? Where are the Arabs and the true moslems? where are the true christians ?
Where are the great leaders? is any one worth self respect any more !!
What a selfish criminal world it has become...

crazyams50 Author Profile Page:

Hours befire the rockets started coming from Gaza, Israel went into Gaza to "destroy a tunnel" and killed many peolple while doing this.

Israel broke the cease fire, if the Israeli people can't see that it is the actions of their goverment and their leaders that are causing rocket fire then I'm all for Gazans defending their land (concentration camp) any way they can.

Gazans have the right to defend and fortify their positions i.e. the tunnels just like Israelis have that right.

It's fun to watch foreign newws casts compared to our golorious Fox, Cnn, Msnbc, etc. blame Hamas in breaking the cease fire by ignoring Israels actions. Good thing other foreighn networks aren't as bought out by Israel supporters as ours are.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

seeker wrote:

"Israel was created through violence and terrorism and to this day it remains a terrorist entity."

As accurate as the rest of your posts. Israel was created by a vote for Partition of Palestine in the UN in 1947. The Arab countries declared war and attacked shortly afterwards.

Prior to that Palestine was ruled under mandate by the British, who had promised a Jewish homeland in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

Cutting of all Military aid to Israel should be first order of business by Obama, if he is really serious about peace in the Middle east.

JoeDD3 Author Profile Page:

It is noteworthy that Lebanon's Hezbollah have refrained for launching rockets into northern Israel during IDF's Gaza operations. Perhaps Hezbollah knows that they're next on Israel's 'do list'. After them, the Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran. Israel is fighting for its right to exist. Go IDF!

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

@JSHear
Your knowledge about India-Pakistan dispute is superficial. Whatever dispute India and Pakistan has - is over muslim majority Kashmir. India is occupying Kashmir with half million soldiers and daily atrocities are commonplace there yet it cannot subdue the genuine aspiration of Kashmiris to become a Free nation. Majority Kashmiris do not want to join with Pakistan - They want to be a free nation with good relations with both India and Pakistan. Kashmir and Palestine situation are analogous in that they are both occupied.
As for the violence, Both Palestinians and Jihadi Kashmiris are wrong to pursue armed struggle.
Israel was created through violence and terrorism and to this day it remains a terrorist entity.
Palestinians in my opinion should cease armed struggle - it has only made them terrorists just like the Israelis are. Only through non-violent methods, Palestinians can ever achieve their goal.

TomfromNJ1 Author Profile Page:

Being neither Muslim nor Jew, I do not have "a dog in this fight" as the saying goes so I feel that I look at it more objectively than some of the posters. It does seem to me that if someone were sending missiles into the US (no matter how crude), I would expect the country to retaliate with enough power that it stop and certainly not to call cease fires that allow them to rearm. That is not only irrational but suicidal.

And as for who was there first, the fact that a mosque is built on top of an old temple sort of speaks for itself.

In fact, I as a Christian must admit that before there were any Christians or Muslims in that part of the world, there were Jews. It is just a matter of how long ago who was driven out.

I remember as a boy that that land was under British control and there was a proposal that it be split. As I recall, the Jews accepted that but it was turned down by all of their neighbors. Subsequent attempts at peaceful negotiations have gone nowhere.

Although there may be moral problems with this idea, I have a feeling that the best thing might have been if the rest of the world had not stepped in when Israel was winning the war in which they gained these lands from those who attacked them and just let them go until an end. One thing that seems to be true in all of the conflicts I have seen in my lifetime going back to WWII is that it seems an un-conditional surrender looks like the only solution that actually works best for all concerned.

It is sad that people cannot learn from Ghandi's principles. I think the Palestinians etc. might make more progress that way and get a lot more sympathy. But when they launch missiles (albeit crude ones), one can only conclude with what most of us learned on the playgrounds that it you start a fight with a big kid, don't be surprised when he returns the attack with more power than you have.

And, if I am not mistaken, the people there elected Hammas as the government. If that is the case, then it is not a bunch of random civilians who are attacking, but the government. What country would not retaliate? And if the army hides among civilians, what does that say about them?


ttraub Author Profile Page:

The current Israeli action in Gaza is really directed at Iran. Hamas and an autonomous Gaza by themselves pose little threat to Israel.

But a Hamas based in an autonomous Gaza, funded and trained and armed by Iran (both directly and via the Lebanese Hezbollah organization) is indeed a serious threat.

The Grad and Katyusha missiles with which Hamas has been supplied by its Iranian and Syrian patrons are a significant step beyond the homemade kassam firecrackers which were a mere annoyance, albeit rather dangerous to the border communities. Israel has little choice but to destroy them and to get rid of the tunnels by which they were smuggled through.

tarquinis Author Profile Page:


MichaelNJ writes: “Some people just love to recycle the Arab propaganda machine's trope of equating any anti-terror action to the Warsaw ghetto. I would call them morally depraved, but that would be too mild.”

What in truth is “morally depraved” are not commentator words but the deeds of the Zionist state. And actions speak louder than words.

Bottom line: Israel conquered a people that had nothing to do with the Holocaust, drove some four million people from their homes and homeland by such tactics as the infamous Deir Yassin Massacre, have inflicted a most cruel apartheid on those remaining within the circle of their polity, have confiscated and colonized whatever land they coveted, and periodically inflict vast devastation and mass death on the Palestinians and the neighboring states.

Blasting helpless people in the prison of Gaza with F-16’s, advanced amour and heavy artillery certainly does match the Nazi’s dealing with the Warsaw Ghetto.

They learned well from their Nazi masters. All too well.

They refuse a SC 242 peace that is the only possible peaceful alternative to the continuation of such war crimes. Such policies have failed and will never bring Israel to acceptance as a normal state. No justice, no peace. QED.

Carl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz is famous for the single most quoted dictum in conflict theory in his famous “On War”: that "War is merely a continuation of politics by other means," ("Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln")
All can see how Israel has totally failed to gain security by use of terror and force, because their politics can never succeed.

Winning debate points changes nothing. These Zionist rationalizers (and certainly many Jewish people are not at all within this group, some on this thread speaking very eloquently) seem to exist in the dreamland that as long as they can via AIPAC and its affiliated propagandist groups maintain a hammerlock on American foreign policy, Israel will be OK. Yet this condition cannot last much longer. The US has been drawn into two unending conflicts with Islam by their efforts, and is approaching quickly the point of military and financial exhaustion.

They are like the Bourbon kings of France, of whom it is said that they forgot nothing, and learned nothing. In reality they are actively facilitating the ultimate doom of Israel. And for my part, welcome to the ruin you deserve, and the dustbin of history. Just do not take America into such ruin along with your “chosen” factions of poisonous Zionism.

dmfarooq Author Profile Page:

I agree with you that President - elect Obama has an unique opportunity to make history in the Middle East. A Special Envoy and /or the new Seceratary of State will have to spend a lot of time to bring the parties once again to a continued negotiations . I believe that there must be an approach toward a policy of comprehensive peace in the region. I would also like to submit for consideration of Mr. Obama and the new Administration , that their should be a new strategy for a lasting peace for the Arab - Israel disputes. I believe that it is about time, that based on the principles of unification of Germany , let there be one State for all the peoples of Land of old Palestine. U. S. with its Arab friends, Europeans and Israel should start working for one State , based on one man one vote for all the people. If and when this goal of united Arab - Israel people's State in the Land of old Palestine is ever achieved , it will overcome most of the disputes in the region. Understandably, there there will be great opposition to this idea, specially from lobbyists and other interest groups opposed to peace between Arabs and Israel. But nothing has been easy between Arabs and Israel ever. This is their final destiny , peace for both the peoples.

elizabeth6 Author Profile Page:

MICHAELNJ :
Elizabeth6:
That's what I said. Some people just love to recycle the Arab propaganda machine's trope of equating any anti-terror action to the Warsaw ghetto. I ---would call them morally depraved, but that would be too mild.
-------------------------------------------------
Yes indeed and for the want of a better label "morally depraved" may well do . It is a daunting task to attempt to categorise the seriously misinformed, the unread,the biased and the prejudiced. Sadly they come in all shapes, sizes and colours and most puzzling of all, intellects.

MichaelNJ Author Profile Page:

Elizabeth6:

That's what I said. Some people just love to recycle the Arab propaganda machine's trope of equating any anti-terror action to the Warsaw ghetto. I would call them morally depraved, but that would be too mild.

elizabeth6 Author Profile Page:


MICHAELNJ :
"Gaza is today's version of the Warsaw ghetto. At least back then the mayhem was not done on live TV, with the 'civilized' world quietly watching."
-----------------------------------------------
How in the world can one equate the Warsaw Ghetto massacre with this situation? These were Polish citizens trapped like rats by an occupying murderous force bent on genocide. The unfortunate civilians killed here are tragic shields outrageously used by the Hamas which is terrorist force attacking a sovereign country, which in turn is rightfully defending itself.

SdeP Author Profile Page:

Let me see now, hmmmm.... OK, I understand now. It's OK for Hamas to launch rockets into Israel and kill people. However, Israel is not allowed to eliminate the source of these attacks. Wow! And I thought self defense was OK. I better go back and rethink my entire life. Really now, do you think that Israel is doing this as a pretext for an invasion? How would you react if your neighbor is throwing hand granades at your house? You never mention that Hamas started this mess. Don't get me wrong, I am very much in favor of a Palestinian state, the sooner the better. But with the terrorist organization Hamas at the helm I'm afraid it won't happen in my lifetime. It's about time that reporting, blogging, whatever you want to call it, becomes a fair trade, not just simply one-sided (left-winged?) rhetoric. My sympathy for Palestine is waining.

drihl Author Profile Page:

YOWCOW:

There are plenty of tragedies on both sides. The violence that continues severs neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians. I do not suggest that there can't be an argument made for an Israeli response to the launching of rockets into southern Israel. What I do argue is this:

1. Hammas, the PLO, Hezbollah, and all the other "Palestinian" groups that promote and perpetrate violence against Israel are monsters of Israel's own making. They exist as a direct response to the actions and policies of Israel in and towards the occupied territories.

2. The majority of the Palestinians are unwitting victims of Israeli policies and actions. Hammas only received 40% of the vote, but under the parliamentary system, they had the largest block and therefore were the ones to form the government. Fattah, those loyal to Yasser Arafat/Abbu Mazen, was rife with corruption and failed to provide adequate governance. As a result they were voted out. Hammas did use armed force to throw out Fattah; however that does not imply that Hammas did so with a majority approval. Resistance to Israeli policy does enjoy majority support, but that does not suggest that the majority supports Hammas and its actions. But even if the average Gazen doesn't support Hammas, where is he to go? All 1.5 million Gazens are locked into the overcrowded and squalid conditions with no reasonable means of supporting themselves or proving for themselves. They can't even produce their own electricity. It must all come from Israel.

3. Armed resistance is a reasonable and predictable response to Israeli policies and actions. The American Revolution was started because the educated colonists perceived the English government as infringing on their rights as English citizens. The colonists never were forced to give up their land and livelihoods. They never had their right to move about restricted by military check points except perhaps in Boston. They did not suffer the daily indignities of an occupied people, and yet we Americans hold as heroes those who resisted English tyranny. The colonists did not have suicide bombers or katusha rockets, they did not attack civilian targets, but their armed response is applauded by history. Are the Palestinians to be expected to endure indefinitely the hardships and privations imposed upon them by a government that they never associated with before the 1967 war, and now have no representation in? I don’t support the attacks on civilian targets by Palestinians, but I see those actions as predictable.

The only solution to this entire issue is the end of Israeli Occupation, and the establishment of a self-supporting Palestinian state. Only then will we see an end in the violence.

MichaelNJ Author Profile Page:

"Gaza is today's version of the Warsaw ghetto. At least back then the mayhem was not done on live TV, with the 'civilized' world quietly watching."

Yes, the similarity is just striking. 300 terrorists being killed so that they would no longer bombard towns and villages with rockets is exactly the same as 468,000 (four hundred sixty eight thousand) civilians being led to the slaughter for having done absolutely nothing.

AMviennaVA Author Profile Page:

Gaza is today's version of the Warsaw ghetto. At least back then the mayhem was not done on live TV, with the 'civilized' world quietly watching.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

You yourself bring your grievances to the attention of your Canadian friends, Yowcow.

elizabeth6 Author Profile Page:


I would like someone to please tell me. What have the Arab leaders done to help their fellow Arabs, namely the Palestinians, during the the last decades? They have failed miserably. They have shown neither compassion nor intent. Clearly they prefer to keep this trump card alive and play it at will. Leaders ready to announce to the world their self righteous indignation towards Israel, aimed at stirring the crowds into a frenzy of theatrics, burning of flags, hysterical outrage. This always when Israel decides to understandably react when they have had enough with the harassment. Otherwise, silence. Saying this, In Iraq countless footage has been shown depicting American tanks burning and soldiers dying in the inferno while men and youths stand around, hands in pockets,staring. Why were those idle hands not grasping guns and fighting for their own country?

yowcow Author Profile Page:

Citizen wrote:

"On the Native Americans issue, I am all in favour of following the latest Canadian model, something I have been supporting all along and that I still actively support. I consider our policies toward Native Americans have been nothing less than genocidal. Why ought I stand behind them? Why should you assume I do?"

Are you a Native American yourself? If not, you are an invader, and you are still in favor of "the latest Canadian model," which does not include packing up and returning to Europe.

Yes, being aware of the Canada's Indian Residential schools, which existed even just a few years ago, I also consider the Canadian history with respect to Native Americans reprehensible (as is the annoying tendency of many Canadians to consider themselves morally superior).

Canada also has a history wrt anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Have you ever heard the phrase "None is too many?"

http://christianactionforisrael.org/antiholo/non2many.html

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

Sorry about the unintended double post. Lost control, somehow, while making corrections. The last is the final one.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

yowcow wrote: "Let me know when you turn your keys over to the Native Americans. Or perhaps over to the Mexicans, whose land we also stole. Until then, keep your hypocritical mouth shut."

That is an excellent point.

On the Native Americans issue, I am all in favour of following the latest Canadian model, something I have been supporting all along and that I still actively support. I consider our policies toward Native Americans have been nothing less than genocidal. No heroes, no glory.

I am a free man. Why ought I stand behind them? Why should you assume that I do?

With regard to Mexico, I advocate we first put an end to our imperialistic stance and treat Mexicans as equals, both on the international scene and at home. Long and arduous negotiations need take place with Mexico on economic matters, on emigration/immigration, and on compensation for past abuse of power.

That said, and to repeat, there is nothing more disgusting than to see the sons and daughters of victims join the ranks of the oppressors and of the executioners. Their doing so is the worst possible insult to the memory of their forebearers.

I hope you understand, for this mouth is nowhere near being shut by anybody, as long as we continue to live under democracy and freedom.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

yowcow wrote: "Let me know when you turn your keys over to the Native Americans. Or perhaps over to the Mexicans, whose land we also stole. Until then, keep your hypocritical mouth shut."

That is an excellent point.

On the Native Americans issue, I am all in favour of following the latest Canadian model, something I have been supporting all along and that I still actively support. I consider our policies toward Native Americans have been nothing less than genocidal. Why ought I stand behind them? Why should you assume I do?

No heroes, no glory.

With regard to Mexico, I believe we should first put an end to our imperialistic stance and treat Mexicans as equals, on the international scene and at home. Long and arduous negotiations need take place with Mexico on economic matters, on emigration/immigration, and on compensation for past abuse of power.

That said, and to repeat, there is nothing more disgusting than to see the sons and daughters of victims join the ranks of the oppressors and of the executioners. Their doing so is the worst possible insult to the memory of their forebearers.

I hope you understand, for this mouth is nowhere near being shut by anybody, under democracy and freedom.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

drihl wrote:

"but can you find no compassion for the man who lost 5 daughters to Israeli bombing?"

Of course I have compassion for the man. It is a terrible accident that happens in war. This is why Hamas commits yet another war crime in keeping their weapons and rockets in civilian areas. However, I'm sure you understand it was not intentional. If it were, there would be many thousands (or tens of thousands) of civilian deaths.

Compare this to the death of the pregnant Tali Hatuel, and her four little daughters, age 2 to 11, who were shot to death at point blank range. This would be the fate of every Israeli if it were in Hamas's capacity.

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Memorial/2004/Tali+Hatuel.htm (scroll down)

Hamas has brought and continues to bring tragedy to the Palestinians. Every poster who professes the right of Hamas to pointlessly send rockets into Israel validates their strategy.

When Israeli settlers left Gaza in 2005, the Palestinians gleefully destroyed the Israeli hothouses, which had provided 1/3 of the Gazan economy, rather than use them for constructive purposes. The Palestinians continue to choose death over live. It's a poor choice. If you still don't understand this, see:

http://www.pmw.org.il/tv%20part1.html

to learn how the Palestinians indoctrinate their children.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

CITIZEN wrote:

"Yowcow, in my experience, people who took the time to study the history of the region, including all pertinent documentation produced by the Community of Nations (available at the UN upon request) have invariably concluded the Palestinians have held the moral upper ground all along, which is all that matters, fundamentally"

The United Nations, now that's a laugh. As if Israel would ever get a fair shake in an organization which is comprised of more than 1/3 Muslim countries, and 0.5% Jewish countries. The same organization where the Human Rights committee is headed by China and Sudan, and previously Libya.

"The UN Human Rights Council, like its predecessor the UN Human Rights Commission, has been criticised by mainly Western countries for focusing too much on Israel.[19] By April 2007, the Council had passed nine resolutions condemning Israel, the only country which it had specifically condemned.[20][21] By comparison, toward Sudan, a country with severe human rights abuses in Darfur as documented by the Council's work groups, it has only expressed "deep concern."[20]

...snip

The council voted on 30 June 2006 to make a review of possible human rights abuses by Israel a permanent feature of every council session. The Council’s special rapporteur on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is its only expert mandate with no year of expiry. The resolution, which was sponsored by Organization of the Islamic Conference, passed by a vote of 29 to 12 with five abstentions. Human Rights Watch urged it to look at international human rights and humanitarian law violations committed by Palestinian armed groups as well. Human Rights Watch called on the council to avoid the selectivity that discredited its predecessor and urged it to hold special sessions on other urgent situations, such as Darfur.[24]

**********************************************

I'll again point out that as terrible as the loss of a single life is, there have been less than 100 civilian casualties during the current Israeli response, compared to anywhere from 200,000 to 2,000,000 Iraqi civilians killed since 2003, untold numbers in Darfur, etc. Yet you expect me to care what the United Nations (which should have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in Darfur, Rwanda, etc but is incapable of even censuring Sudan) thinks. If the tables were turned, there would be tens or hundreds of thousands of dead Israelis, which by itself shows how absurd the title of Salama's column is.

MichaelNJ Author Profile Page:

Citizenofwhatever:

First, your darling Community of Nations is made up of a whole bunch of Muslim states who blindly vote for their coreligionists, and a whole bunch of others who have no knowledge and no interest one way or another in this conflict, and just follow the bigger bloc of votes like the lemmings that they are. For centuries, some of this so called community of nations was taking an active part in the systematic persecution, and ultimately wholesale slaughter of the Jews, and the rest of the nations were just indifferent to it. So you can take your upper moral grounds and put it to a good use in the smallest room in your house, exactly where it belongs.

Second, no one is trying to bully the Palestinians into submission. The Palestinians can have peace plus their own country any time they want. All they have to do is stop attacking Israel. So far they have not shown any interest in that.

drihl Author Profile Page:

YOWCOW -

If you had read my post, you would have seen that I did say that the Palestinians should halt the rocket attacks, but it appears to me that you ignore the realities of the situation. For all those who demonize the Palestinians (as an entire people) for acts of terror ignore the causes of hostility. There were no significant violent actions by Arabs in Palestine until the second Intifada. I do not include the acts of the PLO in this, because their acts before that time were generally outside of Israel or the occupied territories. The Palestinians, or if it suits you better, the Arab populations in the areas occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, have been subjected to humiliation, robed of their land, denied fair treatment in the courts, subject to heavy-handed military action and otherwise denied the same kind of rights we take for granted and supposedly promote world wide. After 3 generations or more, to act surprised and appalled by a violent response is simply naiveté' or ignorance.

Yes, I have Christian compassion for the Jews who have lost family members as a result of this violence, but can you find no compassion for the man who lost 5 daughters to Israeli bombing? What did those 5 little girls do to deserve a violent death? Do you condemn them because they are Arab rather than Jew?

How would you respond to 19 months of blockade? How would you respond to another nation impeding your ability to earn a living, or get decent food for your family, or even marginal medical care? Do you blame the dog for biting the man that has beaten it? Their response, though meager at best, has been perfectly predictable and, in many ways understandable.

The analogy I made about Canada is apt, yours is not. We are not talking about one large industrial nation sending rockets over the border at another large industrial nation. We are talking about the most advanced nation in the Middle East enforcing its will on an essentially defenseless people. Whether other Arabs countries have responded appropriately or not is immaterial. In the end it remains occupiers and the occupied. Those in power and those with no power. We used to stand up for the little guy. Now we sit by in our nice safe lives and condemn the oppressed while supporting the despots.

Jefferson and Washington are spinning in their graves!

yowcow Author Profile Page:

INTELVET wrote:

The fact of the matter is, Israel has learned well from their former Nazi oppressors.

******************************************

As a child of Holocaust survivors, I find this offensive in the extreme. Unlike the Palestinians, my murdered grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins did nothing to the Nazis. Furthermore, the Nazis were committed to the destruction of the entire Jewish people. If Israel were similarly committed, the Palestinian casualties would be in the tens or hundreds of thousands. As regrettable as the loss of a single civilian life is, that the civilian death toll is less than one hundred is remarkable, especially when you compare it to the number of civilian casualties the US has caused in Iraq (estimated to be anywhere from 200,000 to 2,000,000 according to different sources).

Any comparison of Israel to the Nazis is absurd, inaccurate, and offensive in the extreme.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld wrote:

Just to set the record straight....

I hold it from friendly, reliable Canadian sources that should the US some day invade Canada's territory, annex and colonize parts of it and occupy others, Americans, should have enough sense to expect rockets and other uninvited war material to rain on the annexed parts of Canadian territory, and until such time (60 years? 120 years?) as those parts of Canada be liberated.

*******************************************

Let me know when you turn your keys over to the Native Americans. Or perhaps over to the Mexicans, whose land we also stole. Until then, keep your hypocritical mouth shut.

Perhaps there is a magic number greater than 60 and less than 200 that makes it all OK. So Israel has 140 years maximum before it gets your blessing.

Jewish claims on the land of Israel go back many millenia. For that matter, Jews lived on the Arabian Peninsula until they were massacred or expelled by Mohammed. Perhaps we should investigate Jewish land claims in Saudi Arabia, where Jews are forbidden to live?

Or more to the point, there were a million Jews living in Arab countries in 1948. Many of those countries are now Juden rein (Jew free). Others still have Jews in the single, double, or triple digits. Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, who were about equal in number to the original Arab refugees, while the Arabs cynically kept their "brothers" in poverty and despair to be used as a weapon. See for example the official Fatah website as recently as 2007. You can still see it using the Internet Archive:

Fateh stance which should be adhered to in the final solution (catchy phrase, no?) negotiations calls for abiding by the international resolutions.

To us, the refugees issue is the winning card which means the end of the Israeli state.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070807003353/http://www.fateh.net/e_public/refugees.htm

The Arabs control over 99% of the land mass of the Middle East, yet they continue to begrudge Israel and the Jews the tiny state that has been origin of the Jewish people.

As I said before, the ignorance of many on this issue is staggering. See also for example:

http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~peters/different.html

Get over it. Am Yisrael chai.

dknj50 Author Profile Page:

"Winning the hearts and minds..."? Won't happen. Ever. The Jews and Israel will never be able to live in peace as long as the "Palestinians" refuse to acknowledge Israel as the home of the Jews. It's that simple. Israel has opened their arms to the Arab world time and time again, only to be killed for it. The world, for the most part, has always and will always continue to hate the Jews. Now the Jews have been fighting back, quite effectively, it ticks everyone off even more.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

yowcow: "Most of the "pro-Palestinian" voices posting here have shown they have NO sense or knowledge of history of the region."

Yowcow, in my experience, people who took the time to study the history of the region, including all pertinent documentation produced by the Community of Nations (available at the UN upon request) have invariably concluded the Palestinians have held the moral upper ground all along, which is all that matters, fundamentally. --- The latest episode is no exception: it is clearly turning the Community of Nations, once again, against Israel.

As is shown on this thread, those whose only "reasonable" option is to continue to try and militarily bully Palestinians into submission commonly: 1. will not listen, and/or 2. will reject explicitly any opinion but their own, and/or 3. will systematically refuse to examine the Palestinian issue in its proper historical context, and/or 4. will make a mockery of both words and facts in their attempt to justify the unjustifiable, and/or 5. will insist the debate be limited to investigating, out of their historical context, the latest skirmishes.

All that is part of what is called, on the one hand, personal "delusion" and fanaticism, and on the other hand, mediatic brainwashing, under so-called freedom.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

dontblamemeivoted4gore wrote:

The problem is this, how many Millionaire and Billionaire Palestinians are there that contributed to the US Presidential and Congressional elections? I would wager a guess that a lot more money was donated from wealthy Israel friendly sources.

Until campaign laws are changed to public financing, we will always have this kind of uneven-handed disparity.

********************************************

It's not the money you see, my friend, it's the money you don't see that talks. Consider the many millions in contributions to the Bush (I) and Clinton libraries from Arab sources, the huge Arab investments in US bonds and equities, the Arab interest in the Carlyle group etc, and a very different picture emerges.

Moreover, money doesn't always talk. Sometimes even politicians can do the right thing.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/10/11/rec.giuliani.prince/index.html

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

yowcow writes: drihl wrote:"If Canada were to invade and occupy Buffalo, and shut off food and medicine, I assume you would be one of the first voices to cheer an armed resistance. Is it so unimaginable that the Gazans would respond in a similar manner?" --- And if Canada were to continuously fire rockets at the US, I assume you would be one of the first voices to cheer an armed response? --- Or perhaps your "Christian compassion for human suffering" doesn't extend to Jews?

Just to set the record straight....

I hold it from friendly, reliable Canadian sources that should the US some day invade Canada's territory, annex and colonize parts of it and occupy others, Americans, should have enough sense to expect rockets and other uninvited war material to rain on the annexed parts of Canadian territory, and until such time (60 years? 120 years?) as those parts of Canada be liberated.

I am confident Canadians themselves have enough sense as well, to know that should they some day, pursuing the dream of a Greater Canada, invade, annex and colonize Pennsylvania -- with the intent of pressing their luck all the way to New York and, ultimately, Washington, they should not begin to whine and cry in front of all the world's cameras, the day American retaliation and revenge strike, both on occupied, annexed and colonized American soil, as well as in every part of Canada.

All parties here seem to agree this is only a matter of common sense.

dontblamemeivoted4gore Author Profile Page:

The problem is this, how many Millionaire and Billionaire Palistinians are there that contributed to the US Presidential and Congressional elections? I would wager a guess that a lot more money was donated from wealthy Israel friendly sources.

Until campaign laws are changed to public financing, we will always have this kind of uneven-handed disparity.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

WISHISWASON wrote:

"But Israel cannot continue to occupy a country and treat its residents like dogs and not expect them to get angry about it."

Israel left Gaza more than 3 years ago. How much closer has that brought us towards peace.

As for "occupation," the Partition of Palestine in 1948 was the 2nd partition. The first, in 1922, gave 76% of historical Palestine to the Arabs.

Much of that territory became the modern state of Jordan, which has profited from its peace with Israel. The Palestinians could too, if they would give up their commitment to the destruction of the State of Israel.

P.S. Most of the "pro-Palestinian" voices posting here have shown they have NO sense or knowledge of history of the region. Until 1967, Arabs insisted there was never such a place as Palestine or people as the Palestinians. Gaza was controlled by Egypt, and the West Bank by Jordan. It was only after these territories were lost in the Arab aggression of 1967 that the "Palestinian people" became an issue.

wishIwasOn Author Profile Page:

Funny, not a single person has addressed my previous post, and yet people continue to repeat the same claims!

There are a few problems with some of the analogies that people are making on this comment board.

#1. Israel violated the truce long before Hamas fired rockets once the truce ended. You see, Israel agreed to open the borders, and yet they don't even consistently allow food and medicine to enter. 80% of Gazans are on food aid and yet food is being held up by Israel- is it any surprise that the people resort to violence when they cannot feed their families?

#2. "No country would sit back and allow rockets to be fired at its civilians." True enough. But, I would also venture to say that no country that calls itself a democracy that has occupied another country for 40+ years wouldn't expect those people to eventually demand independence. After years and years of failed peaceful demands for an end to brutal occupation, and failed peace talks, what other recourse would Israel suggest?

Both Israel and Palestine are not perfect, neither are its citizens. But Israel cannot continue to occupy a country and treat its residents like dogs and not expect them to get angry about it. The only way for a true peace and security is to end the occupation.

elizabeth6 Author Profile Page:


INTELVET :
The fact of the matter is, Israel has learned well from their former Nazi oppressors.
-----------------------------------------------
They did. They learned from the climax of centuries of persecution, hate, ignorance, bigotry and finally attempted genocide that clearly they were entitled to a place to call their own. They are fighting for their lives,their right to survive and preserve that place.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

drihl wrote:

"If Canada were to invade and occupy Buffalo, and shut off food and medicine, I assume you would be one of the first voices to cheer an armed resistance. Is it so unimaginable that the Gazans would respond in a similar manner?"

And if Canada were to continuously fire rockets at the US, I assume you would be one of the first voices to cheer an armed response?

Or perhaps your "Christian compassion for human suffering" doesn't extend to Jews?

IntelVet Author Profile Page:

The fact of the matter is, Israel has learned well from their former Nazi oppressors.

DrMike2 Author Profile Page:

If rockets were falling on YOUR head, and not some Jew's, your response would be completely different. Nothing but anti-sematism and a call to wingnuts here. You want to make certain that there's no peace? Just keep doing what your doing. Only the two state solution will bring peace.

elizabeth6 Author Profile Page:

Why does Israel attack Gaza? The simple fact is they have had enough. The Israelis are tired of being attacked by the terrorist group Hamas. They are tired of losing their citizens to constant harassment. They withdrew from Gaza and still this was not enough. Clearly Peace cannot be achieved if this illegal organisation continues to exist, this cowardly group which hides behind innocent citizens. One cannot start a dialogue with a bunch of murderous thugs bent on committing ethnic genocide. There are none so blind as those to do not want to see.

drihl Author Profile Page:

GMW112252:
Your response is typical of the closed minded Israel First mentality that has helped to perpetuate the problems that have been brewing for 60 years. Where is your Christian compassion for human suffering? Is it OK to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the bulk of the Gazans who don't have blood on their hands? Is there no consideration of the conditions that lead those people to support a violent response to their suffering?

If Canada were to invade and occupy Buffalo, and shut off food and medicine, I assume you would be one of the first voices to cheer an armed resistance. Is it so unimaginable that the Gazans would respond in a similar manner?

There is no excuse for suicide bombings. But it is high time this nation take a real look at the hardships, deprivation, and Israeli arrogance that created this situation in the first place. Should Hammas stop sending rockets into Israel? Certainly. But before you condemn them for their actions, you must understand the motivations. Ignoring the realities on the ground and blindly supporting Israel will serve no purpose other than continued suffering and hardship. The vast majority of Israelis will go to bed tonight with full stomachs, safe in their homes, and certain that world class medical help is moments away. The same can not be said for the average Palestinian inside of Gaza or out. They have lived under the boot of Israeli occupation for 41 years. They have suffered through privation, discrimination and violence virtually the entire time.

When Jefferson wrote than "All men are created equal with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" he did not mean those words to apply only to the American colonists. They we words that established a principle by which every American and every human should aspire. To ignore the hardships of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation, and support blindly the expansionist policies of the Israeli government is to forget the standards that we as Americans hold up as the pinnacle of human endeavor.

There is no honor in the Israeli response. It is akin to a child stomping on an anthill because he was bitten in the ankle. It is time to force Israel to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions, and drive through a comprehensive peace that will ultimately serve both peoples. Put your petty bigotry away. That will serve no purpose other than continued unrest.

calred912 Author Profile Page:

I have been reading all the comments and who do you believe...the Israelis or the Palestinians.
How sad that these two countries cannot co-exist and provide for their people. It seems so simple.
I realize they have been fighting for centuries but aren't they sick and tired of this. Course we had an I can do anything president/VP for the last 8 years and look what that got us.
I guess we are just as bad. I apologize what we have done to the Iraqis.

padmanabhan40 Author Profile Page:

What is the purpose of Israel's massive attack against Hamas in the Gaza strip?

Is it to bludgeon Hamas into submission? This will not happen as Arab nationalism will ensure continuing financial and military support to them. Like the 2006 Israeli stalemate against Hezbollah in South Lebanon, this expedition too will not chasten Hamas.

Will it help Israel's cause in the rest of the world? No - because of the complete asymmetry of the "warfare". 90% of deaths are of civilians. This does no good to Israel's standing.

Will it help Israel with the Obama administration? The jury is out. Why? The American public is likely to adopt a hands off attitude - no condemnation or support of Israel. Because Americans are today absorbed in their own economic problems and are tired of wars. Will Obama get the Bill Clinton plan of 2000 to be updated as a basis of a larger settlement? Dont know as it depends on Israel and Saudi Arabia besides very deep involvement by Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton.

What about impact within Israel? Crushing Hamas in Gaza may provide a short uptick to the battered image of the Israeli army, but for real peace to prevail, Israel must commit to agree withdrawal from all post 1973 occupied Arab territories and recognize an independent Palestine State with East Jerusalem as its capital. In return all Arab nations and Iran must sign an entente cordiale with Israel recognizing its right to exist in peace.

Failure on the part of the Obama administration to deal with this festering problem will only energize Islamic radicals and will prolong US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan and lock it in a no win situation.

yameenzusnet Author Profile Page:

While the occupied has a given right to do whatever is in their power to free themselves, here Hamas is to be blamed for being unwise. You do not walk up to a sleeping/tired lion and kick him in the behind and not expect a violent response without getting into semantics. The rocket attacks of Hamas had little pragmatic purpose.

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

Surprise, Surprise! There is the expected Arab outrage over the bombing of Hamas Terrorist, Jihadist Infrastructure and resulting collateral damage! Well, let’s talk about Arab outrage and non-collateral damage from Arab terrorism first:

Where were these "outraged" people when Arabs in Fallujah mutilated four American soldiers by stepping on their burnt skulls and hung their burnt bodies from a bridge?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when "Palestinians" mutilated and
dragged the bodies of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when 19 Muslims blew up the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01 killing over 3,000 and when "Palestinians" handed out candies celebrating the deaths?

Where were these “outraged” Arabs when Muslims blew up Pan Am Flight 103 killing over 300?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Muslims bombed the marine
barracks in Lebanon killing 241 Americans in 1983?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Muslims bombed the American embassies in Africa killing 231 people?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Abu Abbas threw the wheel-chair bound Leon Klinghoffer overboard on the Achille Lauro?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when simultaneous blasts rocked two of downtown Istanbul's synagogues killing at least 15 people and wounding at least 140?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Jemaah Islamiyah suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 150 at the J.W. Marriott in Jakarta,Indonesia?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when bomb attacks in Morocco killed at least 28 people and injure more than 100?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when suicide bombers killed 12 people at an Israeli-owned beach hotel in Kenya and two missiles narrowly
missing an airliner carrying over 300 Israelis?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when nearly 200 people, including seven Americans, were killed in bombings in a nightclub district of the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when 300,000 Iraqi's bodies were found in mass graves?

Where was their indignation, folks? You know where? NOWHERE.It was nowhere because Arab outrage when someone non-Arab is a victim just does not rate. Why? The culture is a cohesive political glob of people united simply by political identity and not at all by morality.

It's time for the rest of us who DO know the difference between right and wrong, to tell the world that these "outraged" idiots are too pathetic to warrant any sympathy from the rest of us. We're waiting for these "outraged" Arabs to get up the manhood to be disgusted by their OWN PEOPLE for the disgusting crimes they have committed against others. Then we'll shed a tear for the innocent victims whom by the way the terrorists are ALSO responsible for in Gaza!!
UNTIL THEN, To hell with Arab outrage and to HELL with HAMAS!!!

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

There is Arab outrage over the bombing of Hamas Terrorist, Jihadist Infrastructure and collateral damage! Well, let’s talk about Arab outrage and collateral damage from Arab terrorism first:

Where were these "outraged" people when Arabs in Fallujah mutilated four American soldiers by stepping on their burnt skulls and hung their burnt bodies from a bridge?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when "Palestinians" mutilated and
dragged the bodies of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when 19 Muslims blew up the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01 killing over 3,000 and when "Palestinians" handed out candies celebrating the deaths?

Where were these “outraged” Arabs when Muslims blew up Pan Am Flight 103 killing over 300?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Muslims bombed the marine
barracks in Lebanon killing 241 Americans in 1983?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Muslims bombed the American embassies in Africa killing 231 people?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Abu Abbas threw the wheel-chair bound Leon Klinghoffer overboard on the Achille Lauro?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when simultaneous blasts rocked two of downtown Istanbul's synagogues killing at least 15 people and wounding at least 140?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Jemaah Islamiyah suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 150 at the J.W. Marriott in Jakarta,Indonesia?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when bomb attacks in Morocco killed at least 28 people and injure more than 100?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when suicide bombers killed 12 people at an Israeli-owned beach hotel in Kenya and two missiles narrowly
missing an airliner carrying over 300 Israelis?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when nearly 200 people, including seven Americans, were killed in bombings in a nightclub district of the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when 300,000 Iraqi's bodies were found in mass graves?

Where was their indignation, folks? You know where? NOWHERE.It was nowhere because Arab outrage when someone non-Arab is a victim just does not rate. Why? The culture is a cohesive political glob of people united simply by political identity and not at all by morality.

It's time for the rest of us who DO know the difference between right and wrong, to tell the world that these "outraged" idiots are too pathetic to warrant any sympathy from the rest of us. We're waiting for these "outraged" Arabs to get up the manhood to be disgusted by their OWN PEOPLE for the disgusting crimes they have committed against others. Then we'll shed a tear for the innocent victims whom by the way the terrorists are ALSO responsible for in Gaza!!
UNTIL THEN, To hell with Arab outrage and to HELL with HAMAS!!!

dr_vaman Author Profile Page:

The problem with this article is the author herself. She reminds of me of CNN in US who is very close to being branded as anti-USA and almost a traiter in the way they handled US elections. The problem with the Arab world is that they want to play the card of Muslims rather than countries. Israel is a tiny country and why is that all Arabs resent Isrel. If Arabs did not provoke a war even in earlier times, Israel would have kept within its borders and not worry about it. Gaza and Westbank were part of Jordan. During the time of Jordan, Palestinians did the same thing. No body wrote about it. Many leaders in the middle east would rather follow terrorism and not administer states. It is easy to be terrorist and very difficult to be an administrator. This is the root cause of problems in the middle east. As countries in middle east became richer due to oil, terrorism was increasing. In almost all of the muslim world between India and Algeria, terrorism is part of life and is fueled by the increased wealth. If some country acts to protect itself all these countries will go on street demonstrations. I remember that Palestinians rejoiced and celebrated when 9/11 occured. You can see the people love to kill other citizens. Why is that no writer address this issue. With all the wealth middle east has amassed with oil, they have not addressed the issues to bring each nation to civility. I guess there has been no leader like Mahatma Gandhi in the middle east. Everything there is violent and the world can get sick of seeing this although many innocent lives are lost. Hamas never cared about its own citizens when it started throwing rockets at Israeli citizens and I am sure people were expecting Israel to keep quiet. There is no difference between what happened in Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists and Hamas in Israel. If India had acted similar to Israel, even in Mumbai massacre, this author would have written about Pakistanis' plight and critical comments about India and forget that there was a Mumbai massacre in India, because India is a majority Hindu country and the author could not care less about Hindus. It looks like author has two types of citizens - one Muslims and two, others who are not to be treated in civility. I would like to ask the author what should these countries do when citizens of terrorist nations go and massacre their people. I am sure the correct answer from the author will have consequences and she will be killed by the same terrorists. Writing articles that do not address the basic facts has been the CNN directive and the author chose to be like CNN. The US press is uneducated and they write for making money, but these kinds of critical issues requires great leadership and stand up to the real facts. In the end, this article neither brings the world closer to solution of civlity nor brings people live together. All it does is bring fame to the author. Again CNN syndrome has won.

PanhandleWilly Author Profile Page:

Another HAMAS apologizer attempts to rationalize HAMAS' responsibility for its own troubles. If HAMAS chooses war with Israel...why then does it cry foul when Israel responds in kind? If the Arabs lay down there weapons tomorrow, there will be no more war. If the Israelis lay down their weapons tomorrow, there will be no more Israel. This is a simple truth and you know it.

Vinnie2 Author Profile Page:

Thanks to the Post for allowing Salama's column. There needs to be a balanced view in US newspapers, and this is a start. Her summary of the situation is fair. It is a shame that intellectual power in the US and Israel does not produce the ability to mediate, to say nothing of recognising a fairly elected government: both countries rather focus on a violent approach. The old-fashioned way of "divide and rule" method the US and Israel are so fond of will never work in the era of guerilla warfare,in this situation, in Irag, in Afghanistan or anywhere. Talking and equity are the only means to any solution.

MikeAl Author Profile Page:

Show some integrity. You know well that Israel did not choose the timing of this conflict. It was Hamas that refused all pleas from the moderate Arab States to continue with the cease-fire and started attacking Israel.

Maybe they should have taken a closer look at the calendar. Maybe next time they'll consult you before starting to bombard Israeli cities.

wishIwasOn Author Profile Page:

There are a few problems with some of the analogies that people are making on this comment board.

#1. Israel violated the truce long before Hamas fired rockets once the truce ended. You see, Israel agreed to open the borders, and yet they don't even consistently allow food and medicine to enter. 80% of Gazans are on food aid and yet food is being held up by Israel- is it any surprise that the people resort to violence when they cannot feed their families?

#2. "No country would sit back and allow rockets to be fired at its civilians." True enough. But, I would also venture to say that no country that calls itself a democracy that has occupied another country for 40+ years wouldn't expect those people to eventually demand independence. After years and years of failed peaceful demands for an end to brutal occupation, and failed peace talks, what other recourse would Israel suggest?

Both Israel and Palestine are not perfect, neither are its citizens. But Israel cannot continue to occupy a country and treat its residents like dogs and not expect them to get angry about it. The only way for a true peace and security is to end the occupation.

Usama1 Author Profile Page:

Israel's complete blockade on Gaza was and is an act of war on a people without a military. Palestinians are in their right to attack Israel precisely because it is denying it to live.

In contrast, Israel has been protected by America from the world's opinion and condemnation. In fact Salama failed to mention that the Sep 2008 Georgia incident that Israel was directly involved. It turns out that Russia thwarted the planned Israeli strike on Iran via Georgian airbases further diminishing Israel's aire of indestructibility. But the reality is Israel is protected by America from "destruction". And the people of Palestine are just that, a group of people, a city, too weak to defeat Israel. So Israel, the 4th biggest military protected by the world's most powerful empire, is merely attacking a city of people. How difficult is that?

As well, Salama failed to mention that this Israeli assault was timed to draw Obama into the niche Bush has filled: protect and defend- worship- Israel even if it diminishes America's global standing. By simply siding with Israel, Obama will immediately loose face in the rest of the world. And quite frankly, a bunch of homemade rockets is not a serious threat to Israel, its merely a pretext for Israeli aggression. So Obama already is showing his face to be with Bush and Olmert. So be it.

gary4books Author Profile Page:

The first step to "a fair and genuine solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict" is an Arab population that does not expect demographics to win everything they want in time. They need a reason for peace now. A decisive response to all rockets is one way. The need to negotiate to stop settlements is another.

allaire Author Profile Page:

This dispute is so thick and goes so far back that it’s hard to see the end. Now and historically, Israel has shown its resolve to create and defend its country regardless of popular opinion. World sensibilities have changed. We don't believe in ethnic cleansing any more than suicide bombers. They’re both wrong. Israel could do better at administering a more appropriate amount of force. Hamas could demonstrate better diplomacy. This latest confrontation can be seen as the classic abuse triangle. Hamas pesters Israel with rockets. They eventually lash out at Hamas that in turn declares they are being victimized by Israel’s heavy handedness, and on it goes. The deaths are unacceptable. In 2007, everyone was behind the Arab Peace Initiative. It’s time to get back to that and sign on the dotted line and bring peace. Palestine and Israel must bring peace for themselves. It is not America’s responsibility (or failure) to give them peace. It’s their responsibility.

ccbc81 Author Profile Page:

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Watch here the neutral truth

abelito Author Profile Page:

Yup. Sure looks like Israel is in its own hubrus, "Freedom Fries" mode, much like the Bush/Repubs of 2003 during first days of the Iraq invasion/occupation.

clearthinking1 Author Profile Page:

People from Morocco to Pakistan need to figure out how to win the hearts and minds of people from America, Israel, India, Russia, etc...

Right now they are losing not just hearts and minds in civilized nations, but they are losing in everyway.

JamesRaider Author Profile Page:

AN OLD RITUAL REPEATING ITSELF

Where is the outrage from the Arab community for the Hamas tactics?

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/12/israel-hamas-lebanon-here-we-go-again.html

That is where any hope for a real solution lies.

Paladin2 Author Profile Page:

Ms. Salama,

Your post reads like an essay created by middle school children after reading their history books too quickly. In their effort to demonstrate possession of some salient facts they ride roughshod over the truth of what has occurred. You have chosen to focus on how merciless Israel has been, and you cite facts you believe support your thesis. But you demonstrate a complete lack of perceptivity. You fail to mention the 10,000 rockets hailed down on Israeli targets over the past 7 years. And the increased numbers and range of missiles being fired since the cease fire ended. Only a fool would report that these are homemade rockets. (In one sense, then, you have demonstrated you are no fool, since by failing to even take note of this continuous provocation by Hamas and its Iranian arms suppliers you need not worry about their source, nor the effect they are having on Israelis living within 30 miles of Hamastan.)

What surprises me, however, is your failure to note Iran's support of their proxies, first Hezbollah, and now Hamas, the concerns of the Arab world because of Iran's actions, and the desire of Hamas that Israel attack where it has deliberately chosen to hide it's missiles---among the civilian population. Such an attack would cause world opinion to rain down vilification on Israel, albeit completely unwarranted. For which country would have waited for 7 years while terrorists fired missiles and launched homicide bombers against innocent civilians. How long would it take any other country to attack a neighboring force committing such unacceptable acts of aggression? Would the US wait 7 years if Mexico was permitting such missile launchings and homicide bombings to occur in Texas? Of course not.

Let us all hope that those who will attempt to address the current problems with Hamas have a more rudimentary understanding of what has occurred in the past, are willing to view the issues without blinders on, and will bring more than a middle schooler's methods of interpretation and insight to the effort.

Complicated problems will not be resolved by so called reporters throwing poorly researched pieces up on a blog to meet a deadline. It amazes me so many reporters believe we want to read what they think. Objectivity is the name of the game. Would that you could find some. Please just go back to reporting the facts. Leave interpretation to those with a demonstrated capacity for the art.

yowcow Author Profile Page:

seekeroftruth writes:

"Obama needs to stop hiding behind 'One President at a time' and denounce Israeli aggression.
If he wants to be an honest broker of peace, he would have to swallow his "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night." speech and come out strongly against this unprovoked Israeli agression."

How odd that someone who calls themself a "seekeroftruth" could possibly talk about "this unprovoked Israeli agression"

As for Obama's comment "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night..." how would "seekeroftruth" feel about rockets being fired at his home by disgruntled Mexicans who felt the US had stolen their land (a claim far more recent and clear cut, given that Jews have lived in Israel continuously for millenia)

yowcow Author Profile Page:

Salama seems to be blissfully unaware of the Arab and Palestinian commitment to the destruction of the State of Israel and the extermination of its inhabitants. Nothing less has satisfied them, nothing less will satisfy them.

It really is a shame that the Washington Post saw fit to allow someone with so little perspective to write this column. Salama, from the safety and comfort of the the US, writes of the "merciless retribution" of Israel. She should read what angelic 12 year old Palestinian girls have to say:

http://www.pmw.org.il/tv%20part1.html

"Interviewer: What is better, peace and full rights for the Palestinian people or Shahada?

Walla: Shahada. I will achieve my rights after becoming a shahid. We won't stay children forever."

If the Palestinians had the military advantage the Israelis have, there would not be a living Jew in all of Israel. Consider that when you describe the response of Israel to ceaseless, useless rocket attacks. Consider how long the US would tolerate rocket attacks coming from Mexico or Canada.

Even during the "ceasefire" the rocket attacks continued. All the Palestinians had to do was stop their aggression, and there would be no Israeli response. But the number one weapon of the Palestinians is their "victimhood," and the world is finally getting weary of their self-inflicted wounds.

There is a lot more to say, but it requires an open mind to hear.

schesnin Author Profile Page:

Let me see...When the 6 month truce expired, Hamas fired only one rocket to Israel, which failed to explode because it had no warhead. The Israelis responded with this ferocious attack with abolutely no provocation. Is that your version?

iubica2 Author Profile Page:

This policy of Israel is completely insane. This business of imprisoning Palestinians in their own land, destroying their homes, killing civilians in the hundreds. How does a sane person justify all this?

The conflict in Palestine goes on not because both sides are right, but because killing is eminently acceptable to both sides.

morrizarif Author Profile Page:

A few insights.
The naitivity of Ms. Salama is besides what i would like to recognize in this article. It is her narrow-minded view of the war and the crisis that should be analyzed. Using her own words "it was not untill the yom kippur war of 1973 that israel would fall from grace"not only is this in accurate since most military personell study and analyze the tactics used to win the war, but it is down right twisted that Ms. Samala would have the nerve to call Israel's conscience in 1973 to question and not shed light on the fact that israels neighbors attacked when the ENTIRE nation was fasting for over 24 hours.
Secondly the use of the words "unforgiving" and "merciless" is down right degrading, misleading, intellectually unstable-ing, and a completely ridiculous claim, the fact that Ms. Samali is justifying Hamas' RANDOM bombardment of missiles into israel targeting civilians is a revelation to the character of Ms. Samali.

To compare the israeli strategy of Bombing Gaza strip with carefully chosen targets to reduce the numbers of civilian casualties, to that of the hamas strategy; that being using their own citizens as shields, knowing that two advantages come out of it (first, israelis won't attack citizens, second if they try to go around the barricade and inevitably kill a few citizens at least the world will look at them with sympathy) is just sad.


Further, to believe that the Hamas militia has anyone's best interests at heart, especially their citizen's, besides for their sick twisted violent version of the Koran (or atleast what their extremist clerics tell them is the koran) is beyond being naive, it shows that anyone with this type of misunderstanding should take a long hard look at themselves and and expand their horizons.

While i sympathize for all those innocent citizens being killed due to the bombings, i do not believe their citizens want or care to change their government's behaviors, do to their inaction (which often speaks louder than action) such as not overthrowing the government, or not protesting the random rocket fire in to israel (for their own safety and MORAL PRINCIPLES).

Welcome to reality Ms. Salama, open your eyes and smell the hasheesh.

mikapc Author Profile Page:

This is a mess; a complete mess and there is a lot of blame to go around. The Western powers that decided to support the creation of Israel in an area where there already was a sizable population already living there was complete stupidity. As a U.S. citizen I believe that the U.S. should always put it's own national interest first before Israel's national interest. By giving Israel money, weapons, and the green light to do whatever they want we are putting our own nation in danger for what? Israel is not the United States and we are no longer in a cold war where Israel was our proxy nation in the middle east. We give Israel, money, weapons, political support, and in return we get loss of moral standing in the world, intense hatred and terrorist attacks. While I'm definetly not in support of terrorist attacks on civilians I also am not in support of a nation state essentially incarcerating and relocating an entire people from where they lived. The U.S. should not be supporting either side. The over 1 billion muslims in the world would certainly hate the United States a lot less if we seen as being impartial and truly fair rather then so obviously pandering to whatever Israel wants to do.

harharli Author Profile Page:


Where people are headed that is what they will get back.
Hamas is planing war and destruction they are getting it.
Peace will only come if they will change their
plannings.
Belittling their enemy is not smart.

spidermean2 Author Profile Page:

The real problem to this terrorism mess are people like Ms. Salima.They always blame the cure and not the disease. They don't realize that they too are part of the DISEASE.

lapodaca Author Profile Page:

Salama is nuts. She would have us believe that the Israelis simply decided, as a show of strength, to launch this "unforgiving" attack on Hamas strongholds along with other strategic targets. Over the last several months, many hundreds of rockets and mortars have been launched into Israel, a fact that seems to elude Salama. Israel showed extreme tolerance up to a point where something had to be done. Killing innocent civilians is particularly offensive, but when the military hides itself in civilian enclaves, little can be done to minimize civilian casualties. Unlike Hamas,Israel does not target civilians, but when the rocket launchers are in close proximity to schools, hospitals and other civilian social services, one can expect non-combatant casualties. Salama should simply take a long, impartial look at both sides before writing such tripe.

istanbuli Author Profile Page:

Ms. Salama:

After about 6,000 rocket attacks over the past three years, or at the clip of about five per day, I think that the citizens of Israel became tired of being killed as target practice. That is the root of the issue and the root of their response.

Free people understand and support the Israeli military reponse as necessary, just, and proper. There is no other way to stop the murderous rocket attacks by a foe that is committed, through hate education and indoctrination of the young, ceaseless propaganda, and donated oil money, to murder every Jew living in Israel.

In the past, Israel's supporters in times of trouble included free people like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. They have passed the torch to current supporters like Barack Obama. Unfortunately those who espouse the Palestinian Arab cause tend towards totalitarian tendencies, like Adolf Hitler who housed, fed, and trained the Palestinian leadership in Berlin during World War II, Soviet leaders who trained and supported Arab terrorists, Sirhan Sirhan, and current folks like Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

In conclusion, is Israel being "merciless"? By any standard, why should anyone or any country show any mercy to the cruel. If Hamas and the voters who voted it into power by a vast majority wish mercy, they know where to find it. They need only cease the rocket attacks and they can then resume living undisturbed in their Islamic paradise of honor killings and political bloodlettings.

Best regards

MiddlePath1 Author Profile Page:

No matter who is right or wrong, and I believe each side has their merits, the people are the ones are suffer the most. As Hamas fights Israel in the name of Palenstine and Israel fights Hamas in the name of self defense, the common people will die. The Israelis for all intensive purposes are invaders who, over time, have become natives. Their merciless aggression is not without cause just as the rocket attacks by Hamas are not without their merit.
I believe there can be no solution until Israel withdraws from the Gaza strip completely, ends it's economic blockade, and acknowledges Hamas as a legitimate gov't authority that was voted in through free and fair elections. On the other end, Hamas has to stop its militant activity. There are other ways of booting an invader from your homeland. Just look at Gandhi's work in British India.
Until then, there will never be peace btw Israel and Palenstine.

dannyboyrules Author Profile Page:

Please it such a game - Hamas launches rockets in the middle of civilian neighborhoods and then crys when Israel is forced to defend themselves. Hamas wants innocent people to die for their cause.
It will never end becuase the Arabs and the rest of Middle East sympathize with terroist who constantly attempt deliberate murder of innocents and then cry rivers when they are struck down with mighty justice.


Imagine a reversal of the Power roles.... what mercy do think would come from Palestine.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

Obama needs to stop hiding behind 'One President at a time' and denounce Israeli aggression.
If he wants to be an honest broker of peace, he would have to swallow his "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night." speech and come out strongly against this unprovoked Israeli agression.

dummypants Author Profile Page:

The road to fixing the diplomatic disaster created by the Bush Administration in Iraq runs through Jerusalem.
*******

geez, you think if you were going to expose yourself as ignorant that you would do it a less public forum.

the middle east has been a diplomatic disaster for 40 years.

it might be a nice comforting idea, that bush is responsible for EVERY disaster in this world, as it allows to think the solution to all the worlds problems is just around the corner (jan. 20), but its immature and counterproductive more than anything else.

dummypants Author Profile Page:

has it ever occured to the author that an air of industructibility could be part of a the defense strategy?

and im not sure "merciless" is really what were seeing here. a few hundred palestinians have died, undoubtedly a few innocent civilans (last count i heard was 50). doesnt sound merciless to me, im sure israel could do much much worse.

sbvbj Author Profile Page:

Both sides need to grow up and each give in order to have a compromise which would enable Palestine to once again be a state with sovereign borders so Israel can't just prance across any old time they felt they had been wronged. I guess one Israeli life is worth 300 Palestians' lives.

dummypants Author Profile Page:

this is an important lesson we need to reflect on among this season of "bailouts" and trillon dollar 'stimulus' plans.

the state of israel is proof positive that governments--national or world--should never be allowed to engineer sweeping "solutions", which usually end up creating another set of problems which are just as bad, and soak up untold numbers of resources that could have been used to fund more modest (i.e, realistic and achievable) goals and projects.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

South Israel is experiencing the rocket attacks because those who live in Gaza once used to live there until they were kicked out.
So now 'if someone attacks my house house, blah blah..' does not work here, because you are living in someone else's house in the first place. Israel is a lie.

Manoo Author Profile Page:

WHILE people throughout the world are in a state of shock at Israel's murderous attacks in Gaza that have killed 374 civilians, including women and children, Israel's announcement that the military operation would continue for an indefinite period reflects its disregard of Palestinian life. The US categorical backing of Israel is a sad commentary on its commitments for a just Middle East solution and obligation to prevent human rights violations. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak intends to launch a ground offensive as well. The firing of rockets by Hamas that most of the times land in the buffer territory fades into insignificance when compared with the past three days' massacre. Israel is providing grist to the mill of those who accuse it of state terrorism. In the face of culpable indifference by powerful states that have only made feeble pronouncements condemning the attacks, the only ray of hope is the public conscious around the globe, which has brought large crowds to the streets in protest.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

If my family and friends had been attacked by intruders and I were, after the fact, to go on a rampage and destroy the whole neighbourhood, better the whole region, killing everybody in sight by the hundreds, by the thousands, claiming all the while I was only "defending my family, my friends and myself", I would rightly be considered both a murderer and an illiterate criminal.

If my family and friends had been attacked by intruders and I were, after the fact, to go on a rampage and destroy, thousands of miles away, a whole country having nothing to do with the attack, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent people, claiming all along I was only "defending my family, my friends and myself", I would rightly be considered both a murderer and an illiterate criminal.

The above describe those responsible for the carnage that has taken place in Iraq, the carnage that took place in Lebanon, and the carnage that is now taking place in Palestine. Anyone familiar with the meaning of words knows those crimes have nothing to do with "defending one's family, one's friends and oneself". For anyone to claim that they do is a revolting imposture.

There is nothing more disgusting than to see the sons and daughters of victims join the ranks of the oppressors and of the executioners. Their doing so is the worst possible insult to the memory of their forebearers.

deborahzaki Author Profile Page:


TO: Mackiejw

Just like the Israeli army is doing to the children and civilians of Palestine today...or the little girl a couple of weeks ago that a Israeli military person shot her head off!

I am sure that the Nazis felt that they were doing the right thing too...

However, all you have to be is "goyum" the insulting term used for "non jews" and you are
worthless to Israel. A racist nation that is similar to the Nazi Regieme.

Kill as many Palestinian people held in a concentration camp and if they fight back they are to blame. It doesn't take much to see the
evil in Isrevil.

Follow UNSC and World Court rulings! The rulings have been clear too all except USA and Israel only!

marge9 Author Profile Page:

It is no coincidence that Israel planned this attack on Gaza 6 months before executing it one month before Pres. Bush leaves office. Israel knew it could count on the unconditional support of the US and the Bush Adm. for its attack on Gaza and the Palestinians, under the guise of defending Israel from the so-called Hamas terrorists.

Israel took the opportunity to massacre approximately 300 innocent Palestinian civilians and to terrorize 1.5 million others, as well as to cause maximal destruction of Gaza. Israel ignored the fact that Hamas is an organization and not a state or country. Israel, a state and the 4th most powerful military in the world, cannot justify using its military power and sophiscated weapons against an organization. Israel has airplanes, bulldozers, tanks, AK47s, F16s, pistols, rifles, and the most sophiscated weapons available. Hamas is a self made military with no airplanes, tanks, bulldozers, or sophiscated weapons.

Israel's claims to be at war with Hamas is ludricous. Israel is fighting a one-sided that's comparable to adults killing young children. Israel is slaughtering defenseless, innocent Palestinian civilians, and that is called genocide. The US should not be supporting genocide, racism, or terrorism, all of which Israel practices. The US has to either separate from Israel, or pressure Israel into making a just peace with the Palestinian. Otherwise, the US will permanently lose its standing in the world as a just nation.

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

Israel and the United States are fighting the same enemy. This enemy wants nothing short of the annihilation of the free world and will stop at nothing to achieve its end. This is an enemy that values not its children and that worships death. It is a cancer that must be eradicated before it wreaks utter devastation. For the Israelis, they must find the courage to transcend the pressures of global politics and commit themselves to terrorism's swift defeat, without apology for collateral damage and destruction. A world body that places greater value on Palestinian buildings and unintended casualties resulting from surgical strikes than on terrorists who PURPOSELY and indiscriminately target Jewish civilians is a body infected with hypocrisy and lacking any moral compass. Its judgments must be cast aside and ignored. If Israel does this, then they may yet be a light unto the nations by leading in the example of how to eradicate evil from the world.

To win this war, America must acknowledge that good and evil cannot coexist and it must, therefore, unequivocally choose to vanquish evil. It must stop trying to be an "honest broker", playing both sides of the coin so as to curry the favor of the morally depraved Arab world and the morally confused Europeans. Furthermore, America must stop the call for the creation of a Palestinian terror state, any claim for which has been nullified by the PA's failure to abide by any covenant engaged, and by its planting the cancer of murder and terror.

deborahzaki Author Profile Page:


TO: Mackiejw

Just like the Israeli army is doing to the children and civilians of Palestine today...or the little girl a couple of weeks ago that a Israeli military person shot her head off!

I am sure that the Nazis felt that they were doing the right thing too...

However, all you have to be is "goyum" the insulting term used for "non jews" and you are
worthless to Israel. A racist nation that is similar to the Nazi Regieme.

Kill as many Palestinian people held in a concentration camp and if they fight back they are to blame. It doesn't take much to see the
evil in Isrevil.

Follow UNSC and World Court rulings! The rulings have been clear too all except USA and Israel only!

GetAGrip2 Author Profile Page:

deborahzaki and mackiejw,

You are both exactly the same. It is people like you who perpetuate this madness.

deborahzaki Author Profile Page:


TO: Mackiejw

Just like the Israeli army is doing to the children and civilians of Palestine today...or the little girl a couple of weeks ago that a Israeli military person shot her head off!

I am sure that the Nazis felt that they were doing the right thing too...

However, all you have to be is "goyum" the insulting term used for "non jews" and you are
worthless to Israel. A racist nation that is similar to the Nazi Regieme.

Kill as many Palestinian people held in a concentration camp and if they fight back they are to blame. It doesn't take much to see the
evil in Isrevil.

Follow UNSC and World Court rulings! The rulings have been clear too all except USA and Israel only!

deborahzaki Author Profile Page:


TO: Mackiejw

Just like the Israeli army is doing to the children and civilians of Palestine today...or the little girl a couple of weeks ago that a Israeli military person shot her head off!

I am sure that the Nazis felt that they were doing the right thing too...

However, all you have to be is "goyum" the insulting term used for "non jews" and you are
worthless to Israel. A racist nation that is similar to the Nazi Regieme.

Kill as many Palestinian people held in a concentration camp and if they fight back they are to blame. It doesn't take much to see the
evil in Isrevil.

Follow UNSC and World Court rulings! The rulings have been clear too all except USA and Israel only!

GetAGrip2 Author Profile Page:

mackiejw

that already happened on 9/11. We have seen it and it is YOUR/THEIR conflict putting the rest of the world at risk. I don't support Arabs or Jews or whoever else. This behavior puts us all at risk and it HAS TO STOP. Don't try to support or condemn Palestine or Israel because they are ALL RESPONSIBLE.

mackiejw Author Profile Page:

to deborahzaki:

Come back after the first ISRAELI suicide bomber walks down a West Bank or Gaza Strip street and blows himself and 50 innocent women and children to pieces.

Until then, just shut up an adore your terrosist friends

deborahzaki Author Profile Page:

Israel is not following UN Securtiy Council rulings and is not following World Court rulings for their boundries.

Rocket attacks are to gain back their own land THAT THE PREJUDICE JEWISH POPULATION ARE TAKING MORE AND MORE OF!

The population of Israel are like the Nazis and ARE COMMITING WAR CRIMES they treat the Palestinians like they are in a concentration camp.

The USA should switch the Jewish Halocaust Museums into just Halocaust History Museums and include the American Indians and the Palestinians also. I do not understand why the Jewish population controls the USA even in Museums of Halocaust!

Many ethnic cleaning have occured through out history and the Jews are just acting out what they learned from the Nazis on the population of Palestine. No different.

The dumb and nauseating president, and the war cabinet of the USA, just like senile compliant war criminals just turns their heads.

STOP THIS SLAUGHTER OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND STOP LETTING THE ISRAELI LOBBIES RUN THIS COUNTRY!

madmax8600 Author Profile Page:

How do you negotiate rationally with irrational people? Arabs are currently attacking their own allies, namely Egypt (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_egypt_gaza), because they believe Egypt condoned the assault.

I saw an "impartial" documentary that went to an Arab elementary school. The teacher was showing a picture of a deer in the wild and one in a cage and asking the children (kindergartners I believe) if they thought the deer was happier being free or caged up. When that is the kind of brainwashing that is going on, no wonder there is no peace in the Middle East.

fighttheman Author Profile Page:

Purposeful play on words, or did the author (and the editor) really mean "one fell swoop" instead of "one foul swoop"?

mackiejw Author Profile Page:

GetAGrip2

read again. I was quoting Philly76

My comment starts with

Fistly

GetAGrip2 Author Profile Page:

mackiejw,

you said:

"Ironicly, Gaza is too crowded for Israelis so the people of the West Bank will continue to have their land taken away instead."

What gives Israel the right to take anyone's land?

HillMan Author Profile Page:

"but in the middle east against a helpless people who never attacked until after being forced into half of their geographic boundaries"

Um, those 'helpless' people have been attacking Israel since days after Israel was declared a nation. And their stated goal is to drive Israelis out of Israel altogether.

They tried in 1967, and lost miserably.

When you lose a war that you started you suffer the consequences.

You can't then claim victim status.

mackiejw Author Profile Page:

philly76 said, among other stupid things

"The point is this is murder, and not justifiable. Repeated disproportionate use of force on Palestinians is like wife beating on a monsterous scale and it never ends. They are passing this on through generations.

Ironicly, Gaza is too crowded for Israelis so the people of the West Bank will continue to have their land taken away instead.

And to those who say Hamas brought this onto themselves, that is like saying the Jews of the ghetto uprising in Poland brought Aushwitz onto themselves for daring to fight the Nazis rather than freeze and starve in the slums".

Firstly, Hamas started shelling Israel, not military objects, but indiscriminately aimed at civilians. Retaliation and fight back is a pisser. Unfortunately, the cowardly terrorist hide behind women and children, so collateral damage occurs

Secondly, the Palestinians and Hamas got what they wanted. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Now they want the rest of Israel. Their choice of life is TERRORISM. Plain and simple. Who in their right mind would strap a bomb around his body and blow himself and a lot of innocent people up. Almost on a daily basis.

Thirdly, don't you dare to compare the Warshaw Ghetto situation to whats going on in Gaza. Hamas asked for the Gaza Strip, they got it. They were not forced into it like the Jews back then in Nazi Germany.

Please spare us your uneducated venom


GetAGrip2 Author Profile Page:

I live in New York City and these conflicts make me feel unsafe! No matter who started this or who is responsible I DO NOT CARE!! This nonsense puts EVERYONE around the world at risk. Stupid Palestinians and Jews are both responsible, if they can't work out the problems everyone needs to get involved. NO MORE FUNDING FOR ISRAELI WEAPONS AND NO MORE JIHAD NONSENSE FROM ARABS!

democratus Author Profile Page:

I am by no means a fan of Isreal. I think they are abusive and belligerent. I believe Ariel Sharon started the current troubles when he announced at the Temple Mount in 1999 that Jerusalem would always be an Isreali city and that Islam would never have a home there.

That said, I agree with Obama. IF people were shooting rockets and mortars at my house trying to kill me and my children, I would do anything I could to make them stop. If that means overwhelming fire power and the risk of innocent deaths, then so be it. Hamas is a terrorist group that has no problem killing innocent civilians, in fact that is their desire. They also care nothing about Palestinian civilians in that they hide their weapons in Mosques and at Universities.

If Hamas would limit their attacks on Isreali military targets, I would have no problem. When innocents are involved then they have lost the moral highground and have just become thugs that need to be exterminated.

chkpointe Author Profile Page:

The Israeli position is almost identical to the stance of the euros who came to what is now the US and stole the land from all native peoples. They did this through treachery, murder, and displacement. Those they couldn't starve to death they shot or sent them off to reservations. Gaza is now that reservation, devoid of human rights. The ordinary Palestinian has no influence on Hamas and the Israelis know this. They recruit settlers to steal the land from Palestinians, Those they can't steal from, they attempt to starve out by destroying their farms. There will be no peace until Israel ships all settlers back to where they came from and returns Gaza to Palestinians. The government which would result may be far from perfect or democratic but it will be Palestinian.

mackiejw Author Profile Page:

Vivian Salama

You are wrong. Israel is fighting back and it is of no matter if you and others think it is "merciless". You shoot at me, be sure I will shoot back, until I get you and the shooting will stop. Tell that to your beloved terrorists.

Would you like to live next to a neighbor that attacks your next of kin and yourself day after day?

Would you just take it and write another meaningless column like this one?

I doubt it. And to all of you terrorist supporters:

Go over there and fight if you think it is a just and holy war.

regularjoe Author Profile Page:

The people commenting here enjoy attacking each other but lets get to a solution.
As an American the only real solution that I think has a shot at working is one state with a true Democracy letting all people on the land vote. A religious State - Whether its Jewish, Muslim, Christian or any religion - is inherently discriminatory and America should not support with our tax dollars discrimination against any religion or race. Clearly there were millions of Muslims and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Christians in the Bethlehem and in the Nazareth area who pre-date the 1948 creation of Israel. (As a Christian I especially appalled at the discrimination by Israel against these Christians.) America needs to hold Israel -as well as all countries we provide billions of dollars in our tax dollars to - to a standard that comports with our American principles of equality and fairness. It's time America brings democracy to the Middle East not based on religion or race - lets start with Israel and then we can have the credibility we need to export it to other parts of the Middle East. Plus if we give the Palestinians and Israelis a viable electoral process that they can all participate in it will undermine the militants on both sides.

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

There is Arab outrage over the bombing of Hamas Terrorist, Jihadist Infrastructure and collateral damage! Well, let’s talk about Arab outrage and collateral damage from Arab terrorism first:

Where were these "outraged" people when Arabs in Fallujah mutilated four American soldiers by stepping on their burnt skulls and hung their burnt bodies from a bridge?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when "Palestinians" mutilated and
dragged the bodies of two IDF soldiers in Ramallah?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when 19 Muslims blew up the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01 killing over 3,000 and when "Palestinians" handed out candies celebrating the deaths?

Where were these “outraged” Arabs when Muslims blew up Pan Am Flight 103 killing over 300?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Muslims bombed the marine
barracks in Lebanon killing 241 Americans in 1983?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Muslims bombed the American embassies in Africa killing 231 people?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Abu Abbas threw the wheel-chair bound Leon Klinghoffer overboard on the Achille Lauro?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when simultaneous blasts rocked two of downtown Istanbul's synagogues killing at least 15 people and wounding at least 140?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when Jemaah Islamiyah suicide bombers killed 12 people and injured 150 at the J.W. Marriott in Jakarta,Indonesia?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when bomb attacks in Morocco killed at least 28 people and injure more than 100?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when suicide bombers killed 12 people at an Israeli-owned beach hotel in Kenya and two missiles narrowly
missing an airliner carrying over 300 Israelis?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when nearly 200 people, including seven Americans, were killed in bombings in a nightclub district of the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali?

Where were these "outraged" Arabs when 300,000 Iraqi's bodies were found in mass graves?

Where was their indignation, folks? You know where? NOWHERE.It was nowhere because Arab outrage when someone non-Arab is a victim, it does not rate. Why? The culture is a cohesive political glob of people united simply by political identity and not at all by morality.

It's time for the rest of us who DO know the difference between right and wrong, to tell the world that these "outraged" idiots are too pathetic to warrant any sympathy from the rest of us. We're waiting for these "outraged" Arabs to get up the manhood to be disgusted by their OWN PEOPLE for the disgusting crimes they have committed against others. Then we'll shed a tear for the innocent victims whom by the way the terrorists are ALSO responsible for in Gaza!!
UNTIL THEN, To hell with Arab outrage and to HELL with HAMAS!!!

markdino Author Profile Page:

i'd feel more comfortable with vivian's comments if she wore a burkha - or at least had the decency to cover her face when speaking such tripe.

rentianxiang Author Profile Page:

It is interesting that 1967 and 1973 are referenced. 1967 followed the blockade of Eilat (an act of war) by Egypt and the obvious positioning of Egyptian and other Arab nations to attack Israel. 1973 saw an attack on Israel by Arab nations, not "military resistance." Both times Israel was forced to use the military option due to Arab instigation. No different here. The only way one can say that Israel is not justified is if you do not recognize it as a sovereign country defending its citizens and soil from foreign (Hamas in Gaza) attacks. To not recognize Israel is to not accept reality.

It is amazing that there is so much talk of how Gaza is shut off from supplies but somehow Hamas has no difficulty getting rockets into Gaza. Perhaps if they focused on food and medicine and teaching their children science instead of religious hatred they would be able to build a future instead of spending all their energies on destroying Israel.

faithfulservant3 Author Profile Page:

The Hebrew citizen-soldiers rush once again to man the ramparts.

Aren't you weary? Aren't you tired of manning the watchtowers?

You've been living like this for thousands of years...when will it end?

Do not forget, God has not always allowed you to win.

samchannar Author Profile Page:

Israel has every right to destroy Hamas and all other Jihadi movements in her neighborhood who are hell bent on destroying her. The first responsibility of any government is the safety and welfare of its own citizens. Israel is free to use every available means to destroy those who attempt to kill or maim her people.

Hamas, like every other jihadi movement, is run by cowards who inspire stupid and ignorant fools to go and blow themselves up for glory in heaven. The leaders themselves seldom venture into harms way. They have no qualms in using women, children and other innocent people as shields while shooting rockets into population centers in Israel.

It is unfortunate that many innocent people die when Israel retaliates. There is no doubt that Israel makes every effort to prevent civilian casualties. However, war is cruel. There is no such thing as a compassionate war. The responsibility for the safety and welfare of the people of Gaza rests with Hamas and not with Israel. Israel has to do what she has to do to survive among some of the most barbaric minded people on the planet.

Pacifism does not buy security and friendship in the region. Witness Pakistan and the Jihadi attack on Mumbai. Ten devils lived and died for the sole purpose of killing 170 innocent people. Burying their heads in sand will not bring security to the Israelis. They know that.

deptofentropy Author Profile Page:

The level of ignorance, bigotry and hatred displayed by the majority of posters here is appalling. They seem to know nothing about Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians over the last four decades, its usurpation of land and resources, and its political parties that are devoted to the ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from Israel and the occupied territories.

And these are the thoughts of "informed" Americans who do bother to read the newspaper? Perhaps the editors of the Washington Post could explain why their readers know so little about Middle East compared to people in other countries...

Kingofkings1 Author Profile Page:

You must be naive if you think there is going to be change from the new administration, especially in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Obama got what he wanted on Nov 4. All indications are now that he will keep the things ideally at pre-2000 level or at least at the current level.

chevychasedesigns Author Profile Page:

JEWISH HISTORY + BETRAYAL:
Under Islam
v.
Under Christian Europe

The difference is vast. V-A-S-T.
Maybe bacause many Jews view non-Jews as all being the same pile of crap, they can't see this difference.

Under Islamic rule in Spain - JEWS had their Renaissance.
Jews in Persia - Have had relative peace - and in 2,500 never expelled. (While European history is rife with ethinic cleansing of Jews ) The Jews of Iran have been there since the times of Cyrus.

The holocausts and pogroms of Europe have never been undertaken to such a vast scale in Islamic countries.

And yet, suddenly, Islam is the enemy?

I feel stabbed in the BACK for the Moslems. What a betrayal.

agarfield Author Profile Page:

The Arab World wants the destruction of Israel
Israel dosent agree.

mharwick Author Profile Page:

Israel has been appeasing the Hamas for much too long now. The Hamas is a terrorist jidadist organization that wants all Israelis and Jews dead. They want America destroyed. They have committed acts of terrorism since their beginnings. They hide behind the children and women to make headlines when the Israelis shoot back.
The Israelis have allowed food, clothing, machinery, medicines and so much more to go into Gaza for the benefit of the people who mostly support the Hamas.

Israel should invade and wipe out Hamas entirely. Hamas is now killing those whom they suspect support Israel. Hamas targets children's schools in Israel.

There is nothing more to say about Hamas. They are scorpions that will not change their nature. They must be crushed.

agarfield Author Profile Page:

The arab World wants the destruction of Israel.
Israel dosent agree.

mike85 Author Profile Page:

Vivian. I fail to see the point of your article.

lamoitte Author Profile Page:

Apropos Salame article:
"Certain ideas are so stupid, only an intellectual could believe in them"

George Orwell

Jackson44 Author Profile Page:

What do you suggest Salama? Sign another piece of worthless agreement that the Palestians are going to break? There is another lens to look through with the situation and that is the religious lens. What do you suggest, Salama, when certain groups of Muslims, such as Hamas, vow to destroy Israel/Jews from the face of the earth because of religious views, not political? Some comments on this blog would suggest that the authors share the same views as the terrorists. Salama, do you share this same view? Surely not, because you think this is about occupation and the U.S. is just as at fault. Most of you journalists are shallow minded and anti-Semetic who really don't have a clue of what is really going on. I find it interest that you bias journalists are always the ones getting the awards. It's not an agenda thing, right?

martin011 Author Profile Page:

Denial of the right to existence of the Israeli state... you can feel guilt about Israelis but nothing about another Middle East country.

ottothewise Author Profile Page:

no government should be acknowledged, whose party platform includes the denial of the right to existence of the Israeli state or any existing state.

Hamas was not a legitimate candidate because they officially deny Israel's right to exist. The west should have made that understanding a clear understanding and requirement for the election but they didnt have the sense nor decency, on the part of the all-polltics French, nor the courage, on the part of the Americans. No Peace can exist for long where one of the states denies the right to exist to neighbors. Iran and Syria can feel proud today. Their surrogate started another war vs Israel.
When the UN addresses Iran's statements about the right of Israel to exist, we will get to the bottom of this. Someday, the USA can give visas to all the Jews in Israel, and let the area go back to pre-48 levels. The Holy Land should be preserved from national borders and all peoples free to worship at their respective holy sites. If the area becomes a UN mandate, the venom of the fundamentalists will be ended. No nation of Israel to push against.

msternlicht Author Profile Page:

Is Vivian Salama another woman who thinks she is a Middle East expert because she can see Gaza on her Dubai TV set.
Ms. Salama is a very young and naive person to think she has a handle on this unfortunate conflict.
The world knows Hamas are the protagonists. In fact the only reason why there has not been more condemnation of Israel is the Arabs themselves wish Hamas to be silenced.

martin011 Author Profile Page:

If you look through the past, you will see many atrocities commited by both nations. The question isn't who started... but how can we done it.

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

Every war and every act of agression that provokes a response in the Middle East was started by the Arab nations who have used the Palistine issue as a proxy to make it look like "BIig Bad Israel" is picking on "Poor little Palestine" when it is really 23 HUGE ARAB States picking on tiny Israel and seeking Total DESTRUCTION of the one Jewish state in the whole world. Wanna talk "Warsaw Ghetto," then look at the big picture not the Arab Propaganda. Israel is really the Ghetto and the Palestinians are pawns of the oil-rich fascist arab puppeteers. Is it "their land? or the arabs. I trust my Bible and the deed is written right there so as far as I'm concerned, the Arabs are the ones occupying Jewish land and the so-called end game is up to the one who gave the land in the first place, God. Remember him?

guyfawkes1 Author Profile Page:

Fact: Hamas is firing rockets at unquestionable civilian targets in Israel. That's unabashed terrorism.
Fact: Israel is hitting targets in Gaza that are Hamas strongholds. The vast majority of those killed or injured by Israeli attacks are Hamas members. While the collateral civilian damage is tragic, the irrefutable case is that Israel is waging war against a self-proclaimed military organization, which has been committing acts of terrorism against civilians.
If the Muslim world wants to be seen as opposed to terrorism, unaggressive, and peaceful, then Arabs should be assisting in the destruction of terrorist organizations such as Hamas. At the very least, peace-loving Muslims should be silent, if they can't restrain themselves from condemning Israel every time they speak.
Hamas has convinced me, an agnostic, that the Muslim world is engaged in jihad against all non-Muslims, be they military men, or civilian women and children. Those who condemn Israel for attempting to destroy Hamas simply reinforce that conviction.

msternlicht Author Profile Page:

Is Vivian Salama another woman who thinks she is a Middle East expert because she can see Gaza on her Dubai TV screen?
Ms. Salama is a very young and naive person to think she has a handle on this unfortunate conflict.
The world knows Hamas are the protagonists. In fact the only reason why there has not been more condemnation of Israel is the Arabs them selves wish Hamas to be silenced.

eliasbwick Author Profile Page:

For all those who are mentioning the rocket attacks, check the facts. In the six months of ceasefire there were very few rocket attacks. During that time Israel didn't uphold its part of the deal and I am not even talking freeing water ways and airspace. They didn't even open border crossings or let in humanitarian aid and medical supplies. They constantly cut power to the giant prison. They are not even letting foreign journalists in there to tell the world of the desperate conditions. This makes it very easy to label all the dead as Hamas or militant.

If Israel has any good faith then that was the time to show it. But they don't. Killing innocent people only make the ground fertile for more violence. I am beginning to think that Israel actually wants this happen to allow it to eventually annex Gaza completely.

Longterm... There is no two state solution. Unfortunately there will be a lot of violence and blood letting before the two sides realize that.

rocx Author Profile Page:

to continue ms salama: as you said the west has been entrenched in their celebrations and planning for christmas and new years. do you think anyone in hamas could have figured that out? or is it only the israelis and you? maybe hamas couldn't figure it out using your logic and they decided to poke the lion in the eye knowing full well there would be retaliation, but, they didn't know noone would care because they were too busy celebrating. then again perhaps they thought they would get their hand slapped as they gushed at the israeli response to hezbolla's kidnapping and murdering of israeli soldiers in northern israel in 2006. would an invitation to share milk and cookies been the right response? if that would work to stem the tide of attacks, i'm certain israel would make the invite; not so sure if it would be accepted. what do you think?

henryhoople Author Profile Page:

Thank you to Vivian Salama for putting a little levity in the absurd coverage of this conflict by most american media. The rabid comments of the pro Israel-carnage minded, is disgusting and full of unbelievable hatred toward their fellow man. If Jesus came back today, you can be certain he would be standing in front of the Israeli bulldozers. Being Jewish does not justify being racist and hate-filled toward all arabs.

martin011 Author Profile Page:

But, do you think that you can stop the aggresion droping bombs, desconstructing and reconstructing Gaza strip facade several times through eternity ?

BigBuck1 Author Profile Page:

How is the author’s information legitimate? This article should be taken down for lack of credibility.

You paint the Israelis as merciless and then follow it up with making excuses for the President elect.

George Bush does not go anywhere with his tail between his legs. That is the reason you hate him, remember?

The truth has eluded you. The merciless rocket attacks come from one side. And when the goliath awakes from rocks falling on his head and smashes the stone throwers, you cry.

You can’t stop Hezbollah from launching attacks, I can’t and neither can the world. Free people can not stand and have rockets dropped on them. No one can! To fight back is natural, not merciless.

Israel is a powerful nation, and powerful nations can be dangerous. Israel should be respected as a power regardless of her stands. It is no secret that at any time, Israel could wipe the globe clean of any Arab state. The world has witnessed their constraint when others would have attacked.

If Hezbollah wanted the aggression to stop, they would communicate surrender. This would start the process of sending in aid. But Hezbollah would look at that as failure. How small minded? Lets see, face certain death or find a way to work with you enemy that benefits you both. That is what you fail to communicate.

How you make the assertion that Iraq and this conflict are related is really grabbing at straws. Your hate makes you blind to all reason. Stop your hate and start thinking

The slimy ways you take your argument to the heights of imagination are staggering. Your writhing style looks like a freshmen college student. Did you simply look up your facts on wikipedia or something? You should be in Hollywood not on a political web page.

martin011 Author Profile Page:

Factsrule: From my point of view, I'm not seeing this article 'offensive' as you marked, and you cannot make responsible about this tragedy a single faction, every country and organization blame Hamas, I think that's the first mistake making a generalisation.

The title header says a fact, seen on the commented events by the author.

jimlub Author Profile Page:

Quite simply, any valid points Ms Salama may make are undercut by her completely ignoring the issue of what Israel should have done in the face of years of rocket attacks by Hamas. Does she doubt that if Hamas had more powerful and accurate rockets, they would have tried to hit Tel Aviv?

aribussel Author Profile Page:

Ari Bussel writes regularly for Muslim World Today. Bussel is now in Israel reporting about Operation "Cast Lead."

Ms. Salama's article reference to "Hamas militants" is quite misleading. Hamas, like Hizbollah, terrorists are well trained (usually in Iran). Their intention is quite simple: to destroy the Jewish State. The Hamas Charter clearly calls to do so. It also promotes anti-Semitism in the form of the celebrated best seller The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and calls for Jihad.

I would urge Ms. Salama to come and visit the militants in their own backyard. Ms. Salama would find that the local population would rather live separate from Hamas. Israel has gone to great lengths to use medical precision in targeting only the terrorists. At the same time, the terrorists (Ms. Salama's "militants") hide within the local population, using women and children as collateral, one that pays hefty dividends.

Yesterday, 23 truck loads of humanitarian aid crossed from Israel to Gaza. Another 100 trucks passed today. I would urge caution before calling a crisis that does not exist.

In a visit, Ms. Salama would further find that she cannot report as she pleases. Hamas will threaten her life if she reports anything unfavorable to it or to its Jihad. Other journalists were kidnapped in the past, still others had to convert to Islam.

I concur with Ms. Salama's vision for the future: We - Western Society - need to win the hearts and minds of people from Morocco to Pakistan and we better do so in a positive way. One way to do so is invite them to visit Israel, witness the freedoms afforded here, breathe the history and centuries of worshipping different religions, see the places where the Cell Phone and the Computers we use were invented, where medication we use on a daily basis was developed.

Most importantly, if we follow Ms. Salama's analysis, we would understand that Israel is the last fort preventing the spread of radical Islam in its Jihad to establish a global caliphate. I doubt countries from Pakistan to Morocco, from India to Spain, would want to be under Muslim rule. We live in the 21st Century, not the 7th Century, and I - much like Ms. Salama - enjoy the benefits 2009 affords us.

tomj1 Author Profile Page:

The Jewish/Israeli self-righteousness and victimization in these posts is absolutely amazing. It’s unbelievable that anyone would have the gall to write that the American media is controlled by Palestinians and their sympathizers. Or the unspeakable deprivation suffered by Israel. Really?

Everyone also knows that bombing “Hamas” in Gaza will not deter one single rocket attack on Israel or dissuade one single Palestinian from growing up to hate Israel. But that’s not the point. The point for the Israel political establishment to demonstrate to its constituencies that it will retaliate with overwhelming, brutal military force -- that it won’t be “pushed around.”

Of course, everyone -- including the Hamas numbskulls -- knows that Israel is hardly the model of self-restraint or proportionality. (That’s what happens when you are convinced that God is on your side.) That’s the point from their side: keep firing their pipe bombs with fins until provoking the overwhelming, brutal military reaction that everyone knows to be inevitable.

With Hamas and Israel wallowing in their respective senses of victimization, this would make for wonderful political theater -- except that a lot of perfectly innocent human beings are living in absolute squalor and terror.

In a way, Israel is like the crazy guy in the house on the corner with a shotgun and a bunch of Dobermans. By launching its pissant rockets at Israel, Hamas is the like the drunk who hauls his whole family down to corner to watch him throw rocks at the crazy guy’s windows. When the crazy guy starts screeching about his windows and blasting away at the drunk (piously exclaiming that he takes great care to avoid the stroller that the drunk’s wife is pushing), we end up with an incident in which everyone can revel in their respective narratives of perpetual victimhood.

The problem is that this isn’t just political theater. One side is armed with F-16s, the other with slingshots.

Where exactly is the morality in dropping tons of bombs on a massively-overpopulated slum that has been under occupation for 40 years and blockaded for more than a year? Such actions are ONLY acceptable in a moral universe in which one denies the basic humanity of class of human beings to which one’s political foes belong -- labeling them “Untermenschen,” “terrorists,” etc. The saddest thing about the Holocaust is that, despite all the monuments and remembrances, so many people, directly and terribly affected, haven’t learned a damned thing.

DavidinVA Author Profile Page:

The premise of this story is that retaliation per se is somehow immoral. Perhaps there is some confusion in the meaning or connotation of the term. When one party _initiates the use of force, the victims (more properly their government) responds in retaliation. A strategic counter-attack is just one mode of retaliation. The use of force is only moral in the context of retaliation. Israel’s closing of the Gaza border is an act of force. But one done in retaliation to the officially stated and real efforts of Hamas, with support of other states, to work towards the eventual destruction of Israel. All geopolitical interactions in the region must be seen in that context.

Contrary to popular assumptions, US policy in the region has gravely undermined Israel’s ability to act decisively on this basic premise.

It is important to note that a truly free country cannot be based on a theological foundation, but rather only on the secular defense of individual rights. To the extent that either Israel or Gaza is governed under a religious premise reflects the extent to which individuals will face government coercion. That said, Israel is by far the freest country in the region. The US has also erred by advancing the idea that freedom is somehow synonymous with democracy, thus granting stature to elected Islamist governments. Domestically, the proper role of government is to protect individuals (the smallest minority) against the threats and whims of the majority, not serve as its enforcer.

FactsRule Author Profile Page:

Vivian Salama's article is offensive.
Protocol 1, Article 51 of the 4th Geneva Convention and Article 28 of the Geneva Convention make clear that "the deliberate intermingling of civilians and combatants, designed to create a situation in which any attack against combatants would necessarily entail an excessive number of casualties is a flagrant breach of the Law of International Armed Conflict," according to international law scholar Yoram Dinstein (see his The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 129 - 130). It is clear that Hamas bears complete and full responsibility for civilian casualties in Gaza as they are operating their deadly terrorist operations from there. Of course the overwhelming majority of Gazan savage barbarians voted for & support Hamas' goal of destroying Israel by all means. The population there views dying for that cause as the highest form of human endeavor. They claim to be happy when babies, children, women, & men die fighting Israel. Then they play victim for 60 years. Where in history in this world is there another "people" (in this case a fictitious one, as they are a mix of 55 nations and there has never been a "Palestinian people, music, culture, etc. They are Arabs or, truthfully, a mixture of 55 nations. See "From Time Immemorial," by Joan Peters.) who are called "refugees" of war into the 4th generation living in cities called refugee camps? It's outrageous that the UN gives our hard earned food to savages whose lives are bent solely on destruction.

martin011 Author Profile Page:

All I'm saying is, think on diplomacy, assistance and aid on recovery and reconstruction, business relationships, roads, communications, investments.

You cannot help this situation with bombs, slaughtering civilians, creating fences, safe conducts, strict and xenophobic policies against another race, nation or religion.

Jackson44 Author Profile Page:

The author does a great job writing a piece that sounds intelligent, but lacks common wisdom if you ask me. Salama does not comment on Hamas being a terrorist group using civilians as human shields because it would obviously undermind the side she is bias towards. How crazy is it to think that a nation like Israel is going to lessen its aggression, while still being fire upon by rockets, because the world media thinks it should be more of a fair fight. Look at it this way Salama, if Hamas continued rocket fire into Israel after being warned of retaliation, wouldn't Hamas ultimately be responsible for the lives of civilians? Of course! Hamas are the real murderers who use civilians as propaganda meat. You think they're surprised that Israel is attacking them the way they are? We use racism as political leverage in this country but turn our heads, especially those like Salama, to anti-Semitism. What is the difference from a moral stance? I think Israel has interest beyond world opinion after the world allowed 6 million Jews to be slaughtered back in the early 20th century. Israel has always been the ones with its back to the walls. Look who they are surrounded by.

delmarrun Author Profile Page:

This is not news but rather an anti-Israel biased blog. I had higher expectations of the Washington Post that I will need to adjust. Are the randomly aimed Hamas rockets into Israel somehow merciful? If terrorists in control of Tijuana and dedicated to the destruction of the State of California launched rocket attacks from there how would we react? There can be no tolerance of such actions. The Gazan Palestinians need to wise-up, give up their perpetual victimhood and stop being stooges for their Arab and Muslim brethren to exploit for their own causes for the last 40 years while not lifting a finger to help Palestinians live better. If they pursued real peace with Israel then commerce and a better life would ensue. But Hamas cannot survive under such favorable circumstances nor would it yield control even if was the will of the Palestinians to pursue such a course. Israel will be doing Palestinians a great favor if it rid Gaza of Hamas. That would be merciful.

BMW2 Author Profile Page:

Almost lost in the author's criticism of Israel's "merciless" retaliation (for what, she doesn't say), its "one foul (sic., or nasty, I can't tell which) swoop" of a conquest in 1967, and her Orwellien-like description of Hizballah's "resistance campaign" in 2006, is a solid recommendation: "Israel should halt all attacks and give Hamas a hard deadline for compliance". In fact, this option may well be germinating as I write. When Hamas doesn't comply, and Israel resumes its military operations, will the author then turn her keyboard against Hamas?

Gecko164 Author Profile Page:

Historically, the Jews have no right to the land that was given to them as a payback for WWII. The population of Jews in 1918 in Palestine was only 5%. From the early 1500 until 1918, Palestine was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, during which, they re-built the country. If anything, the Turks have more of a claim on that land anyone else.

Having said that, now Israel treats Palestinians as Hitler treated them. They are prisoners in their Country. While Jews from all over the world (with no ties to the region) can travel to Israel, Palestinians are forbidden to travel in and out of their own Country. During the World Cup, Israel did not allow Palestinian soccer players to leave for a game (how sad). The list goes on. Cutting power to sewer plants, hospitals, bulldozing people's homes, bombing innocents, torture ..... its a long list and Israel proudly dishes them out, after all they have our government's blessing.

Ms. Vivian is pretty accurate in her article in the events that have taken place. Calling her jew hater or a muslim lover only shows ignorance.

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

The Palestinians danced, cheered and handed out candy on September 11, 2001

Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, American Jews, were kidnapped and tortuously beheaded by Arab jihadist supporters of the Palistinians. The murderers filmed the deed and proudly displayed their severed heads.

After killing six Israeli soldiers in an attack on an armored vehicle in Gaza on May 11, 2004, the Arabs near the scene of the carnage gleefully held aloft human body parts in front of rolling cameras. One of the Arab terrorists was later interviewed on film with what appeared to be a human head in front of him.

The week before, after shooting at Tali Hatuel's car, causing it to skid and stop, Arab terrorists walked over to the vehicle to finish the occupants off. They looked at the heavily pregnant mother and her four no-doubt frightened girls; the youngest was two years old. And then shot them all. At point-blank range. With sadistic satisfaction, the palistinians systematically murdered Tali Hatuel and her unborn son, as well as all of Tali's daughters - Hila, age 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and two-year-old Meirav.

In Fallujah in March that same year, crowds of Arab civillians dragged four American contractors out of their vehicles, shot or beat them to death, mutilated their bodies, dragged them through the streets, suspended them from a bridge and burned them.

And they danced and cheered. With their children.

In Ramallah in 2000, two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped, beaten, stabbed countless times, had their eyes gouged out, and were literally disemboweled and dismembered by an Arab lynch mob.

Let me try to understand this, for all of you who decry the "disproportionate response" of Israel to these terrorists. Are these the people you are crying crocadile tears for? If so, then maybe you need to turn off your PC and TV screens and speak to the widows and family of these victims before you are so quick to blame the victims and glorify their murderers.

jshear1 Author Profile Page:

Re, "Seekeroftruth": "In 1938, Mohandas Gandhi wrote..." I was wondering if the author of this clattering and failed Gandhian logic would also suggest that the same conditions that pertain to Israel should also pertain to Gandhi's Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh -- created from the same post-war, post-colonial conditions that created Israel...? Yes, Gandhi didn't want partition, but he took it over civil war. Perhaps "Seekeroftruth" should pose his Gandhi quote to the citizens of Mumbia, or to the Jews who were singled out in that city for murder, directed from (partitioned) Pakistan?

musicman2 Author Profile Page:

Just to get the ball rolling a plan for peace, here are my suggestions:
1. The Palestinians–all of them–should recognize the right of Israel to exist free from all forms of terrorist attacks from within or without its borders. Rational: Whatever claims the Palestinians have regarding the alleged illegality of the State of Israel, that country has the military power to survive for many generations to come whether or not the Palestinians recognize its right to exist. No peace can be achieved in the absence of such recognition.
2. Israel’s border should be as established by the 1949 armistice. Rational: A country should not be permitted to expand its borders as the consequence of warfare. Israel has no more right to occupy such lands than the United States has a right to occupy and control Japan.
3. Jerusalem should be placed under the control of the United Nations. Rational: The City holds tremendous religious significance for many religions and should not be dominated by a country representing only one such religion.
4. As provided for in U.N. Resolution 194, refugees from Israel should be compensated for the property which they left behind. An international commission should be established to fairly arbitrate claims. Such refugees should not, however, be granted a “right of return”. Rational: It is only fair that persons who lost property as a consequence of the conflict should be compensated for their loss. A “right of return” would quite possibly result in the destruction of Israel.

chad5 Author Profile Page:

I'm sick of this endless fighting. Let's just split up the Middle East 50/50 between Israel and the Arabs.

PANELMAN Author Profile Page:

There is nothing more precious than life. Since the first seed, since the first magical spark life has been persistent. Life has struggled through unimaginable turmoil. Life is incredibly diverse but there is an underlying oneness to it all. Each branch of the human family can be traced back to the one, the first human, the first common ancestor, the first cell. It is beyond comprehension that with all the uncertainties of time that any of us find ourselves standing here today. If history had not unfolded in exactly the way it did many of us might not be here. Speaking from the selfish perspective I do not feel the world would be a better place without me or my family. It is equally amazing from my perspective that life seams to be deliberately striving for awareness. Whether trough random processes, universal laws, or calculated design. People we are there we have become aware. We should be able to see that life is indeed the only thing of true value. Through the ages society has served humans well, some more than others. Initially we gathered for the benefits of group life and they were many. Now here we are cognizant beings in the age of information. We can look around and assess for ourselves if our social group is going to provide the best chance for our children’s survival. If the answer is no then for the love of life, the love of your children, you must change your group or change groups.

Life is for the living, let us live together, let us live well.

martin011 Author Profile Page:

My concern is, making retaliation against the people you will gain as consequence more anger, desperation... and more resistance.

Terrorism is a serious issue for this century, you cannot solve it in the strict sense of the word, by military power. The senseless 'War for Freedom', try to walk on the streets now on Baghdad, that's the result of null tolerence. Should be equally on Gaza, the world big concentration camp.

I feel regret what we learned about Nazi.

The fact is, every family destroyed will come as revenge.

zackw Author Profile Page:

Your peace is good, but one sided.

1. Rockets over Israel equate to rockets over London in 1944. Hamas needs to stop attacking Israel and hiding behind women and children.

2. There are more Palestinians than Jews; Israel can not afford to take chances, their very existence depends on vigilance.

3. I have heard the argument, that if Israel did not exist their would be peace, tell that to India!!!

Shalom!

asizk Author Profile Page:

Hamas has no nuclear weapons,no airforce of F-16,s, F-15, Apache gunships,tanks,navy and dolphin nuclear submarines...as israel does...

Hamas has water pipes cutup and filled with crude dynamite...these are not eaxcatly ICBM's=intercontinetel ballistic missiles...these are the weapons of the desperate bseiged Palestinians...

75 % rpt 75% of the Gaza population are refugees-those who were ethnically cleanesed by jewish terrorist gangs such as Hagnah,Palmac,Shtern and Irgun...Ram manual's father was a terrorist member of the Irgu...and Ram is an israeli and fought with the occupying jews in Palestine on two occasions.....

Like apartheid nuclear armed white south africa,isreal is a passing phenomenon and will vanish into oblivion...oppression and injustice are ultimately short-lived......

Turk2 Author Profile Page:

I don't know why people even respond to her bias. She should thumped with the soul of boots.

danielkahane Author Profile Page:

I would like to ask the author of this extremely biased article how she would feel if terrorists, unprovoked, were firing rockets at her home for YEARS.

“If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing”
-- Barack Obama, in July, while visiting Israel as a U.S. presidential candidate

FYI: The Palestinian Authority, leading Saudi papers, and Egypt blame Hamas.

zedinger Author Profile Page:

Ms. Salama "forgets" what actually led to the recent airstrikes. On Friday, December 19, 2008, Hamas celebrated the end of a six month truce, by firing rockets at Israeli cities. This is fact. See the Washington Post headlines on Dec.20.

Why is this not mentioned in Ms. Salama's opinion piece? Because it utterly destroys her biased thesis that Israel's airstrikes were a long planned response to its perceived failure in Lebanon last year.

Ms. Salama's opinion here is inane. "It can be suggested that the build-up to this crisis in the Middle East began in 1967" Is this relevant at all. In 1967, Israel defeated the Egyptian Army and conquered the Sinai. Up until that time, the Gaza strip was part of Egypt. As a result of peace negotiations held with Egypt in 1976/77, The Sinai was returned to Egypt. All except the Gaza strip. Why? Because Anwar Sadat refused to "take back" Gaza. It was offered by Israel and rejected by Egypt. Thus the build up to this present crisis, was Egypt's refusal to accept the return of Gaza.

Of course none of this is relevant to the present conflict. Ms. Salama clearly thinks that there are sinister forces at hand here. The truth is Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel, and Israel is sworn to protect its citizens. As President-Elect Obama noted - no country should stand by while its cities are attacked by terrorists. Israel's current action, while regrettable, is most assuredly neccessary.

azieibr Author Profile Page:

it is amascare in gaza where the so called free world has been blinded by its own democracey
an occupid city not a country is beeing bombarded
with out discramenation just because the people in gaza voted freely on an elction which was monterd by the whole world and hammas won clearly
if you are a palestinian and you said no to the occupation of more than 35 years you deserve to die either by american made jets or by hunger or lack of medical care, free warld you are the judge will you give me the right to choose how to die ? sorry I forgot that I do not have this right
I am not asking for answers, only I want some one from the free democratic warld to define to me the word of Holcast ,
where in the hill a country has been occupied for over 35 years on this earth and no one dare to say end the occuoation and let those people breath under a sunny day

bbig Author Profile Page:

I SAY ,

UNLEASH THE DOGS OF WAR AND END THIS THING ONCE AND FOR ALL!

WOOF!

FEED ALL THE HAMAS CARCASSES TO THE DOGS!

THEN NEGOTIATE A LASTING PEACE WITH FATAH DEALING
FROM STRENGTH.

catherinelegge Author Profile Page:

Salama, thank you for your objective and factual report on the Israeli/Gaza conflict. One of the key issues that must be resolved is that all the illegal Israeli settlers must be moved back across the green-line. Until that is resolved, the fighting will continue.

prooney Author Profile Page:

Vivian:

You clearly are not a scholar of history - just an opining student of the Islam-politico establishment. It's remarkable that you quote the critical analysis of an Israeli citizen - published in a mainstream Israeli newspaper. Are there any mainstream Arab newspapers willing or capable of providing similar analysis? There seems to be an Arab allegiance in this world which surmounts freedom and liberty. It’s as though any critical reflection upon other Arab deeds is blasphemous. Why must the Arab voice remain behind the Arab "Team" regardless if they’re losing and wrong? Perhaps it’s an internal plight to the Arab culture: the intra-cultural Arab ramifications of (contrary) expression are more deadly and will certainly illicit a response far greater than Israel's defensive one.

tnguesman Author Profile Page:

It is my firm opinion that, regardless of anyone's opinion on this topic, or lack thereof, the author of this piece, Vivian Salama, lacks the very qualities that Western journalists have prided themselves on for years. To display such blatant bias would likely result in Vivian's college professors losing respect for her and their once-shared craft.
For the record, it is high-time that Israel stopped taking these attacks. The U.N. and the Allied powers at the end of WWII all agreed on the formation of Israel. Attacks against her are indeed tantamount to attacking the Allies and their collective judgement.
It is my extreme hope that the U.S. continues to back Israel in all of her endeavors, especially killing terrorists and those who support and protect them.
I would hope even more, though, that the whole world would simply grow up and stop believing in fairy tales (religion). That goes for the Jews and Christians just as much as it goes for the Muslims. The entire situation would not likely exist at all if it weren't for the belief, of adults, in concepts like talking bushes and talking snakes.
I also think it may help (or may do nothing to help) if Israel, as a "democracy", would remove religious symbols from their flag. C'mon, folks, you are knowingly giving into 10,000-year-old fables and myths and in the process leaving non-Jews feeling completely disconnected from their government. Let's remove "God," "Yahweh," and "Alah," from our earth, already.
Can't people just be good, for goodness' sake?

allanmcfad Author Profile Page:

This article does not consider the position of the Israeli population who have been the subject of rocket attacks during the so called "truce". It is obvious that Hamas cares little for the population whom they allegedly "govern" and are quite prepared to sacrifice their interests, safety and well-being to further their beliefs. The siting of rocket firing points beside schools, hospitals and residential areas illustrates this.
The most logical method of ensuring the integrity of Palestine and Israel's borders would be to install a United Nations military presence. This will not happen of course as Hamas would then turn their attention to the peace keepers and this would deprive countries such as France of their position of sitting on the fence or defending the actions of Hamas, a terrorist organization.

nmauricer Author Profile Page:

What a silly article. All Hamas has to do is to recognize Israel and stop attacking it and calling for its destruction. How on earth has this writer won an award? Maybe from the loony left but hardly from the rational.

tanoli Author Profile Page:

Apart from USA, the entire world has condemned the Israeli massacre on innocent civilians.
To put salt in the wounds, USA has sided with Israel! Wonder why 9/11 happened??

commoner3 Author Profile Page:


The world is weary of this continuous carnage; it must stop, and we must find other ways to negotiate peaceful living situations.
My proposal:

1. Male leadership must relinquish their seats at the negotiation tables.

2. ONLY women with sons who are adamantly opposed to bearing children to be trained as killers, or to be killed by someone else's son, would be allowed to sit at the negotiating tables. These women would need to demonstrate their skills in negotiating practical and fair solutions in problem resolutions.

3. Women need to teach and demand peace in their own homes. "As a man thinketh, so is he." If children hear and are allowed to mimic and elaborate on derogatory and discriminating language about other human beings, eventually, they will think and do evil to others. These women/and men should be noted in their community and required to attend peace resolution-education classes. Remove their children from the home if they don't resolve their own destructive issues.

"The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world." It is our (women's) choice to live in violence of not. Women who support discrimination against other human beings and are unwilling to work towards peace, are terrorists.

MontaniWV Author Profile Page:

I don't see why Israel puts up with the thorn in its side called Gaza. The people of Israel have been subjected to many acts of terror for years. If a homeland for Palestinians is so important to the rest of the Arab world, why doesn't a large rich Arab country take the people of Gaza in and support them? Because the same thing would happen to that country that happened to the peaceful and prosperous Lebanon when they took some of the refugees in. Their country would become a target of the terrorist supporting Iran too. Iran is behind most of the problems of the Middle East, but the rich Arab countries are too cowardly to confront them. They would rather hide in the wings and let Iran develop a nuclear bomb to further intimidate them with. Barack Obama is too cowardly too. He will never resolve this problem without hurting the people of Israel and shaming the friends of Israel in the USA. I hope and pray Israel ends the source of the problem by taking out the nuclear facilities in Iran, since the Democrat controlled congress and the incoming president are both friends and supporters of the Hamas and Hezbolla.

krystal1 Author Profile Page:

Oh those poor Hamas terrorists. Israel has some nerve what with getting fed up with dodging rocks, home made bombs and what not. After all, with Iran funding them, you'd think they'd get more respect. Maybe the world should just stop what they're doing and throw a pity party for them. Count me out. Israel is being way too nice.

naire Author Profile Page:

What a single-sided article. Not a single word about the constant bombing of Israel. Name a single nation that could live in peace when even during the so-cold truce there are rockets fired into its territory; fired with hope they would hit civilians; fired from densely populated civilian areas by criminals of Hamas who hide behind their own civilian population.

Oh, and back to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. It looks good on posters (especially when photographers put on blood-like make up to take "realistic" pics of a dead Palestinian girl that is, in fact, a pretty darn alive Palestinian boy.. that pic is actually on Google News, top spot right now. Wow).

But in reality nobody wants to take ownership of the mess. Arab countries prevent Palestinians in their camps from going to school, getting good jobs.. Why? 'Cause it looks good as an argument against Israel.
Egypt was offered control of Gaza by Israel after one of the wars, and refused it. Why? Cause it is a mess. It's looks good as an argument, but it's a catastrophe if you're the one responsible for providing people there with a decent life.

JoshuaFriedes Author Profile Page:

If the situation were not so tragic this column would make me laugh. It always amazes me how people outside Israel think everything Israel does is based on external events. Why is this carnage happening at this particular moment? The answer has very little to do with Israeli or American politics. Hamas chose not to renew a cease fire and started lobbing missiles into Israel. Israel responded. Israel has the right to respond and frankly as tragic as the deaths are, what was Hamas expecting. Hamas not Israel must take responsibility for the carnage, but Israel must quickly regain the restrain for which it is known and respected. The world must put all pressure possible on Hamas to stop attacking Israel.

salaheddine Author Profile Page:

There is a saying in Arabic that goes along those lines. "The wagon is rolling and dogs are barking".
It must be really frustrating for the Zionist to see their dream crumble. Just a century ago, Theodore Hertzel had a big dream. A dream of a nation for the jews from the Euphrates to the Nile (hence the two blue strips on the Israeli flag).
Fast-forward to the 21st century, Israel is still struggling, the dream is a nightmare, and the borders are now a self built wall, few thousands kilometers away from the two great rivers.
It must be really frustrating!

ccolby1 Author Profile Page:

The editorial is interesting, but the author is ignoring the reality that Israel is responding to the barrages of missiles being fired on its population areas, which created internal political pressure to act, the real motive for the conflict. Another reality is that it is hard for a country like Israel to make peace with an entity that is pledged to destroy it, which explains why Gaza has not gotten the best treatment; there is an understandable concern that an open border will lead to an importation of arms and an exportation of suicide bombers. I agree with many readers that the Post has a subtle anti-Israel bias. For instance, instead of saying rockets were fired by "fighters", its coverage should say rockets fired "from within Gaza" or "fired by militants" the way mainstream media do it, the reason being the rockets target civilians and are meant to foster terror.

jcaveliz Author Profile Page:

i think it's unfair that when Israel has been atacked from this Middle East cancer, no body opens their big mouth...but when this brats start to cry like little girls, then everybody puts the scream on heaven...saying that Israel is merciless; and then the media used children with blood on their faces traying to gain worlds simpathy, ignoring that this Country surround from a bunch of cobards allways shield on the innocent...go,go Israel kill this cobards Hamas

Turk2 Author Profile Page:

If you have read any of Salama's stories you'll notice they have an Arab slant to them. She is not unbiased as any reporter should be. If she wants to blog her Islamic heart away on a private blog that is one thing, but for WP to post her rants of her own hate towards the Jew that is just wrong.
Everyone asks why this is happening, People, please go read your bible. If you don't believe in GOD or Christ, use it for a history book, and a prophecy book. You be surprised what you learn. If you can take the time to read JR TOLKIN, you can take the time to read the bible!

asizk Author Profile Page:

"israel" is an absloute Evil planted in the heart of Arab homeland...and financed by American taxpayers.

Let us take inventory of the jewish barbaric assult on helpless Palestinian refugees in Gaza:

390 murdered Palestinians,over two thousand maimed and wounded;

Only five jews occupying Palestinian land killed.

Not one single jews killed by Hamas fire crakers during all of 2008-except the last 72 hours.

That is the story of jewish barbarities:a so called jewish state built on systamatic violence , terrorism and ethnic cleanesing and survives on state terrorism.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

@limejunction
you have hit the nail on the head. Jews may still have a chance to live in what they call Israel if they make peace with arabs and abolish Israel and bring back all those palestinians that were kicked out. Otherwise, as you say, it is a funeral pyre waiting to happen.

lademain Author Profile Page:

Ms. Salama: Why were you sitting on your computer thumbs when the Islamics, posing as "palestinians," were knifing Jewish children in their beds? And when Arafat used his goon gangs to silence his Muslim critics with shot gun blasts to their heads, why did you hold your tongue? You can write reams of garbage piles of Islamic propaganda because this is a free country, so what kept you silent whilst tons of missiles rained down on he heads of innocent Israeli civilians? Selective extermination of Israelis? Now that you publish your prognoses and invent motiviations for people you chose not to know, what makes you think any decent person will find your thoughts credible?

cemcarn Author Profile Page:

I simply do not understand your postion. Hamas launches rockets in to Israel daily...but Israel is wrong to use force to protect her people and her boundaries?!? Israel has a right and obligation to protect her borders and her citizens. Israel has not attacked Gaza in absence of provication. If the Arab community is unable to prevent Hamas from launching daily rocket attacks, then Israel is justified to bring an end to the terrorism...by any means neccessary. Once again history repeats itself. The pityful citizens of Palestine suffer because of poor Arab leadership. I am sure your view would be different if your family was being subjected to the daily attack of Hamas rockets.

regularjoe Author Profile Page:

Vivian - you really pissed these "Americans." I must say I honestly never met an Arab-American born in the US who volunteered to serve in the military of an Arab country but have met many Jewish-Americans who voluntarily served in the Israeli military - not the US military when we needed them. To me and most Americans - if you chose to serve in a military other than our own, you should lose you US citizenship!

bartoct99 Author Profile Page:

When is responsible journalists recognize the horror that terrorists throw at Israel every day. Why is it okay for Hamas to rocket Israel hundreds of artillery and expect no response. Is there any country in the world that would allow this type of barrage at its citizens. Why does no one criticize that terrorism. Yet, when Israel responds, whether it be a small or large response, the entire (antisemitic) world comes raining down on Israel.

Israel is the most advanced country in the world for its size, contributes more to the world in science, industry, and the arts, and only wants peace and the ability to exist.

Journalists are helping destroy this gift to the world by making the Palestinians the victims all the time. Can't any one just say:
Stop lobbing bombs on Israel, and peace can come for everyone in the middle east!

Israel's merciless reputation was created by the media, who is not showing regard for a country exposed daily to terror, and is trying to act responsibly, but with no help from most of the world.

Skerns0301 Author Profile Page:

You know, the Arabs could always try NOT shooting rockets. Most of the land occupied was occupied in an effort to halt the rain of rockets. It being, otherwise perfectly good land, naturally the Israelites settled there--after all no rockets EVER are shot at Israel from the back yards of Israeli settlers.

Remember, within the first day of its existence SIX Arab countries declared war on Israel. Israel remains the ONLY country in the middle east where any Muslim, of what ever faction can practice his version of Islam freely. As for the poor Arabs, a people who tolerate terrorists in their midst are the soil that grows them. They could try outing them. What baffles me the most is women, otherwise considered liberated, do not wildly protest the treatment of their sisters in typical Muslim culture--to say "that is there way" is to say "well, maybe slaves liked chopping cotton" .

Were Mexico or Canada showering us with missiles you would see a response from us that was both quicker and more to the point than anything we will witness in Gaza--Israel is doing its best to limit civilian casualties--but Hamas delights in placing missile launchers near schools and neighborhoods in hopes that its own people will be killed as grist for their propaganda mill.

ZionismMustGo Author Profile Page:

The State of Israel is trying to use its military power to preserve its ethnocracy and is demanding that the world community watch silently as they continue to hammer the Palestinian People year after year with welfare money from the US. This cannot go on any longer! The state-sponsored terrorism and collective punishment practiced by the State of Israel must be condemned and stopped!

yeshua_lives1127 Author Profile Page:

I am afraid I have to disagree very strongly, while I know that Israel has been no saint in the peace process. Put yourself in there situation, you have a neighbor country, that doesn't even recognize you as a nation and says the only peace can be established with your destruction. Not only that, but the government endorses when people shoot deadly rockets into your country with the sole purpose of killing your citizens. Its like Mexico doesn't recognize the US and wants it to be destroyed, wouldn't you want the US to do something to protect it's citizens? Thats all Israel is doing, it was Hamas who broke the cease fire, and brought this upon themselves.

sroth30524 Author Profile Page:

I is truly sad that you chose to publish Ms. Salama's one sided Anti - Israel opinion, and consider it newsworthy.
Ms. Salama seems to blame Israel for everything that goes wrong in the Middle East, forgetting that it was Hamas who were the ones who continuously violated the cease-fire, and escalating the violence until israel had no choice but to attack to protect its citizens. What other country in the world would have waited as long as Israel did to respond ? Israel has a right and responsiblity to protect its citizens from daily Terror Attacks.
Ms. Salama blames Israel for chosing the "timing
...to wage this unforgiving show of strength" It seems that ms. Salama does not keep up with the News. After all, it was Hamas who chose to chose to fire 80 rockets onto Civilian targets last Friday, after 60 were fired the day before. It was not Israel who chose the timing, it wqas Hamas.
Ms. Salama also seems to forget that Hamas' attacks specifically civilian targets, while Israel specifically tries to avoid civilian targets. The reason that there are so many civilian casualties in Gaza is because Hamas places their fighters and Military installations among the civilian population, hoping to use the innocent citizens of gaza as shields.
Perhaps Ms. Salama should take a realistic view of the cause of the violence in Gaza.

Steve Roth

awunsch Author Profile Page:

Vivian Salama's piece is nothing but opinion mixed with facts and errors in fact. This kind of "reporting" is the reason many people no longer read rags like the NYT, WP, Boston Globe, LA Times etc. I don't know about you folks but if someone/country lobs rockets into my country, I would expect my country to counter by wiping them out. Nothing will ever be gained by taking the side of Hammas, Hezbollah or other terrorists. They live to kill. Only when Hammas is subdued and Palistine decides to run it's territory like a country will there be peace. A good start would be for Egypt and Israel to move toward each other in Gaza, clean it up and split it between each country. It was dumb to take two split pieces of land to make up Palestine anyway. In any case, none of us will know what is the right thing to do so long as the reporting is of the calibre of this one by Mz Salama.

jkusa04 Author Profile Page:

Israel's "one foul swoop" in response to Nasser's STRANGLEHOLD? Who selected YOU as some sort of "commentator"?

ZionismMustGo Author Profile Page:

The State of Israel is trying to use its military power to preserve its ethnocracy and is demanding that the world community watch silently as they continue to hammer the Palestinian People year after year with welfare money they are getting from the US. This cannot go on any longer. The state-sponsored terrorism and collective punishment practiced by the State of Israel must be condemned and stopped.

Please ignore & forget about all the Zionist comments before and after this post. An outstanding, well written article with a real view on the conflict.

hlbenton Author Profile Page:

Isreal has every right to defend itself. The people of Gaza elected Hamas knowing they are a terrorist organization. They support Hamas now. They have the government they deserve as do we in the United States. We deserve Bush and Obama because we elected them. We deserve ALL that goes with that choice. The people of Gaza deserve what they are getting because they made that choice. Hamas broke the Cease-Fire, not Isreal.

HillMan Author Profile Page:

The Palestinian people voted in Hamas, knowing full well what their agenda was.

And they have supported these rocket launchings.

And they supported the 1967 planned invasion and overthrow of Israel.

They got their butts kicked then. And at that point they lost all moral rights to anything, after trying to invade Israel and literally end their existence.

Funny how the neighboring Arabs states don't want Hamas or the Palestinians. Not even Jordan, the country that took half of the "Palestian homeland" for themselves after the British set it up way back when.

Funny how you don't hear any Arabs demanding that Jordan give that back.

Why not?

limejunction Author Profile Page:

I am of mixed minds when it comes to Gaza. On the one hand if I lived in San Diego and the folks in Tijuana started lobbing rockets into my town it would not be long before I would create the Tijuana crater.

On the other hand, I have never liked the idea of Israel. I remember back to the sixties when there was still real debate about this among Jews and non-Jews in the US. The problems seen then remain. Israel is a religious state that was established by outsiders using western property rules in an area that is not western and not Jewish. Further, Israel continues to exist only because the US gives almost all its foreign aide to it. Without that money Israel could not afford to mount its defense.

But worst of all, Israel is not large enough to be survivable in the long run. Which is to say that once nuclear weapons and cruise missile technology have finished proliferating, Israel will be unable to defend itself. It is simnply too small to absorb those kinds of hits and continue. Personally, I'd rather bring all the Jews here than witness that funeral pyre.

So I don't like the Gaza business because it is just more of the same crap that will in the end see Israel burning and until then is endless suffering. I don't like it because I think it is un-American to support religious states, Jewish or other. And I also don't expect Israel to stop because if it was San Diego I not only would not stop, I would make it Lake Tijuana.

We humans have a penchant for damnable boxes of our own invention. Israel is one. We invented the place out of the fantasies of a few Jews who, like Marcus Garvey, came up with a return to the homeland answer to ongoing opression. Add this to our own national and anti-semitic avoidance of taking responsibility even after the holocaust and now we have 7 or so million of the 16 million Jews worldwide trying to hang on against 1 billion Muslims worldwide. You would think we could do better, eh?

philly76 Author Profile Page:

The point is this is murder, and not justifiable. Repeated disproportionate use of force on Palestinians is like wife beating on a monsterous scale and it never ends. They are passing this on through generations.

What happened to an eye for and eye or a tooth for a tooth? If there is no proportion you only ask for escallation or continuation. The sad thing is that I think the Israeli leadership knows this and uses it to continue the fighting so they can keep taking more land.

Ironicly, Gaza is too crowded for Israelis so the people of the West Bank will continue to have their land taken away instead.

And to those who say Hamas brought this onto themselves, that is like saying the Jews of the ghetto uprising in Poland brought Aushwitz onto themselves for daring to fight the Nazis rather than freeze and starve in the slums.

gmw112252 Author Profile Page:

It is said, if the Arabs would lay down their arms there would be peace. If Israel would lay down her arms there would be no Israel.
1) The 23 Arab countries surrounding Israel do not want peace. They need a state of simmering hostility to take minds off of the poverty and economic inequity and lack of democracy.
2) There is a land of Palestine today. It is called Jordan. Jordan is 90% 'Palestinian' and only 10% Bedouin.
3) While there were 600,000 Arabs who voluntarily left Israel at the beginning of the 1948 War, there were over 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries at the exact same time.
4) Western minds cannot accept the fact that this conflict has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH DISPUTED TERRITORY. It has to do with Arab/Islamic hatred of Israel's existence. There are no concessions that Israel can make to satisfy their opponents.
5) It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to say that the source of the dispute is the so-called 'Occupied Territories' known biblically as Judea and Samaria (and Gaza). The Arabs were in control of these territories in 1948, 1956, and 1967 when they started wars against Israel. If these territories were the source of the problem, then what was the reason for those conflicts? Simple, the hatred of Israel is unrelated to the territories Israel captured in the Six Day War of 1967.
6) There is a Western need to find Israel at fault, or at least to find Israel equally culpable. Why? Some say anti-Semitism but I think that's only part of the story. The most important resource in the world is oil. The Arabs have it. How can we justify our sending tens of billions of dollars to these countries if they are evil sponsors of jihad and terrorism? How can we support them against tiny Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East? The only way to sleep at night is through moral equivalence - by seeing the 5 million Israelis in a country 9 miles wide as the aggressor and the 300 million Arabs as the victims.
7) Finally, how would any country respond to missiles being lobbed daily at its population centers, killing civilians indiscriminately? How would the US respond if the Mexican government started bombing San Diego or El Paso? How would the Greeks respond to Turkey? The Chinese to India? The double standard applied to Israel is ridiculous.

msager1 Author Profile Page:

The writer is basically ignoring her own article: there'd be no 'counterattack' if there had been no attack in the first place.

To rail at the Israelis for disproportionate response is to ignore the obvious: Stop shooting rockets at them, and they won't bomb you. Stop sending suicide bombers into their cafes and buses, and they won't build fences.

It's impossible to believe that the apologists for and perpetrators of the Palestinians' multifront, multidecade debacle are stupid enough to actually believe what they're saying; the logical disconnect is too great.

It is equally impossible to believe that the Palestinians genuinely want peace. There have been too many opportunities squandered, and too many provocations.

Barack Obama was right: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

If you love the Palestinian people, tell them to Stop. Trying. To. Kill. Their. Neighbors. No pun intended, this isn't rocket science.

USDefender Author Profile Page:

Vivian Salama is certainly accomplished with her pen and definite pronouncements. However, as a war veteran myself in the U.S. Air Force I cannot imagine anything more debilitating for the Israeli people to withstand more than constant bombarbment with missiles.
Israel is entitled to defend themselves and are doing so as best they can! Israel is not merciless as Vivian alleges. Afraid she wanders into the area of strict propaganda in some of her allegations. That distorts any positve informative message she might have.
I wish Israel all success in defeating the Hamas terrorist. Now that group IS INSANE, and more than merciless, based on their own record...
What about the terrorist Vivian?
Shameful that children and innocents die in war.
It has always been that way and always will be as long as wars are necessary.
Someday the Hamas terrorist groups will be routed, defeated, abd dissolved forever. Until that day many will suffer...

bbig Author Profile Page:

Salama,Salama,baloney

lehammurabi Author Profile Page:

@TWJOHNSON: i can agree, but only if we apply that evenly to the rest of the world, bringing the Middle East back to King David's time, China to several fragmented clans, Germany back into Prussia and the other 300 territories...and def. put Languadoc back into France. Your comment is pointless to progress.

lewsnut Author Profile Page:

MS Salama apparently has no clue about what is going on in Israel or what has transpired the last several years. Israel has been ridiculously patient with these terrorists and 'enough is enough'. The so-called Palestinians have been targeting civilians for years and the Israelies target only military targets with very few civilian casualties.
Global warming caused by MAN is another theory only idiots could come up with!
I don't see President Bush with his tail between his legs at all. Perhaps you are looking at some other behind.
Barack has been steadily backpedaling on his promises since he won the nomination and I think you will see him going back on his promises until he has pretty much aligned himself with the President Bush policies.

glsrini Author Profile Page:

hi all
I, Vivian Salama is a spokeswoman cum secretary for
- HAMAS
- LET
- Palestine
- Pakistan
- ISLAM & Muslims only.

hence this article...

ElMugroso Author Profile Page:

The fake story of the "Promised Land" and all kinds of delusions and mis-interpretations about "God's word" are shrewdly used and abused to persue earthly gains. Relocate all Israelis to Alaska and all problems will end. That'd be in perfect accord with the Sarah Palin Doctrine, that Alaska is the ultimate refuge from Armagediondo, and Bush agreed with her, and Exxon, and McCain, and millions of Americans. So, I'm not kidding.

regularjoe Author Profile Page:

Great stuff that needed to be said and which truly reflects the view of the average American who has no vested interest. Hamas is wrong for the missile strikes which have killed 18 people over 8 years - Israel is wrong for killing over 350 people in 3 days. You really hit a nerve - keep writing -although you will probably be fired for having the nerve to criticize Israel.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

What most bloggers here do not understand is the fact Israel is not UK,France or USA for that matter.

Conflict of Palestine in rooted in the fact that Israel was born through terrorism and uprooting palestinians from their homeland.

Why the French dont send rockets to London but the Palestinians do to southern Israel?
If you can answer this question without bias, you will have a better understanding of the situation.

KevenP Author Profile Page:

I'm an American Christian guy who doesn't really have any business commenting on Middle East problems, however one Israeli lady on the nightly news from about ten years ago has stuck with me. She said that if a lost Palestinian child wandered into a Jewish settlement he'd be taken into a Jewish home and fed and taken care of until the authorities arrived to pick him up, but if a Jewish child wandered into a Palestinian controlled area he'd be torn to pieces and have a crowd chanting while displaying his body parts. Whether this is true or not I don't know, but from what I've seen on TV I can tell who the true aggressors are, the Palestinians teach their kids that Jewish people (and Americans) are "the enemy." Israel built itself into the country it is today and while it'd be nice if non-Jews weren't second class citizens, it seems as though as a group the Palestinians have brought it on themselves with these terrorist acts. Something tells me six (or is it 12?) million Middle Eastern Jews aren't going anywhere no matter how many little rockets are fired at them. And one more thing, the Palestinians aren't exactly owed that land any more than anyone else, how about the Christians, or the Turks, or any number of other people over the last ten thousand years? Leave Israel alone and they'll leave you alone! They are who lives there now, and they have every right to live there, let the Palestinians make their own little paradise in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, you think Iran would fund it, except it seems most Arab countries are racist (or at least from a religious standpoint) and merely want everybody to see thing their way or die.

BrianK299 Author Profile Page:

If you throw a rock at a Hornet's Nest... you WILL get stung.

Hamas has been launching rockets into Israel. What did they expect?

I have no mercy for a terrorist organization that sets up in residential areas, near homes, schools, and churches/mosques/temples.

I too hope for peace - not only between Israel and Palestine, but everywhere. Sadly, there always seems to be a bad apple somewhere in the barrel. Get Hamas out of Gaza, and we'll have a shot at peace.

chalkholder Author Profile Page:

How many months have the people of southern Israel had to endure rocket attacks and life in bomb shelters? Do these rocket attacks even make what constitutes "daily news" in the USA? Don't think so. Our media isn't interested in attacks on Israelis.

But when the Israelis strike back in desperation, and really, justifiable determination to survive, the US media--as one--accuses the Israelis of disproportionate or asymmetrical response. What prejudicial crock! And a sadness.

Regrettably IMO, the USA being, effectively , a mediaocracy, this outrage is sadly effective.

Darkrider9 Author Profile Page:

You show your bias in your misuse of the phrase "one foul swoop" when it should be "one fell swoop". If the Israelis want to defend themselves against terrorist rocket attacks, they, like EVERY other nation, have the right to attack those terrorists. Hamas is a bunch of cowards, hiding behind innocent civilians (war crime)to launch their cowardly attacks. The author of this article should probably see a doctor to get her cranium removed from her lower intesinal tract, as it is obvious that she has fecal matter impacted in her ears, and can't think straight because of this. I wish her luck.

alee21 Author Profile Page:

I always want to know the ethnicity/upbringing of someone who exhibits such bias in their writings.
While I don't know anything about Vivian Salama -- who does not appear to have a wiki entry -- when I googled Salama, only Arabic associations come up. So I have to surmise that V. Salama is writing from the point of view of an Arab who can't see past their hatred of Israeli Jews.

Correct me if I am wrong but it sure seems that way.

Paulsmith1 Author Profile Page:

By the way why does the author not comment on how Hamas locates all of its military operations in civilian areas. Is it becuase they do not value their own population. It seems they want their civilians to be killed so they can cry on the world stage.

wa_idaho_lonewolf Author Profile Page:

this appears more and more with each and every day to resemble the nazi seige of the ghettos of warsaw during WW2. how can israel possibly expect to be seen as a coherent and rational state when judged by its' actions in gaza and lebanon? while continuously sabotaging any talk(S) of a two-state solution does israel just expect hamas or hizbullah to just simply go away? what can be the long-term goals of the israeli govt. other than to continue to paint itself into a corner while ignoring all world opinion? it seems to this blogger that they have entered themselves into some type of a contest with george bush to see who, in the end, will be the winners of the foreign policy dumb and dumber awards. after suffering their own genocidal purge during the second world war does this mean that they are in any way justified as to their continual genocidal assaults upon innocent palestinian and lebanese civilians? in the end, even they should be intelligent enough to realize that hamas, like hizbullah, is dug in far to deep to just simply go away and in fact are setting a trap for israeli forces and especially for their armored groups. if israel invades it will simply be a repeat of southern lebanon just two short years ago. israels options are limited to lose, lose, and then lose some more. they have nothing strategic to gain here. nothing whatsoever.

MosinM9159 Author Profile Page:

Your bias against a county that continually fights for it's existence is very obvious. Your use the term "in one foul swoop" instead of the proper "in one fell swoop"is an obvious slam against Israel.

A real journalist would never use such terminology to color a story, nor would they seek to add their own bias to a story without balancing it wity opposite views.

Of course, if you think having 3000+ rockets launched into your country by terrorist thugs is allowable behavior, feel free to move to that country and see if you feel that way after a while.....

MN

twjohnson Author Profile Page:

The dismantlement of Israel is the only middle east solution. To think that you can take over a people and land by military force and then make them accept you is really unworkable. Bush should have invaded Israel, wiped out its weapons of mass destruction, set up a middle east country of states with equal representation. That would have worked. Now we see yet again that Israel can never live in Peace, because of the way it was founded. The US arming it, and militarily and financially supporting it against UN sanctions and security council actions was a vast mistake and brought about 9/11 and those justified attacks yet to come. We all should have listened to David Ben Gurions quote on the rightness of Palestinian resistance.

david2307 Author Profile Page:

An amusing article, but complete nonsense. Israel is responsing to Hamas rocket attacks on its citizens. If there were no rocket attacks there would be no Israeli reprisals.

lehammurabi Author Profile Page:

I have to remark that I am disappointed by the comments posted on this article, regardless of the quality of V. Salama's writing. They throw away all notions of Tikkun, and restoring calm--both from commentators that have a bias toward each side. I have to agree that Hamas'--for the sake of progressive debate, call it--failure to stop rocket launches into Israel must be dealt with, out of a pure rational self-interest to protect it's citizens, and maintain it's territorial integrity.

I understand that these recent attacks were particularly brutal. We (readers and commentators) must pay respect to the fact that so many lives are lost in these causes, and it seems extremely insensitive for both sides to keep pushing a "wipe them off the face of the planet" in the face of that.

So, please, for future commentators, keep that in mind. Attacks on the author's photo, or her writing style, if you so choose to address that, belong in a gossip magazine, and are not worthy for publication or attention.

Lives are continually being lost on both sides. Both sides live in fear. Accept this. But work from there to create something sustainable. If you comment that both sides will never get along, you're already setting yourself up for failure.

The miracle of Channukah, I might add, a miracle that has applications not just for Jewish people, is that with the effort of searching for pure candle oil that had not been contaminated, is those in the temple were rewarded with eight days of light...

What the Israeli-Palestinian, and Israeli-Arab conflict needs is a dose of the miraculous, supported by pragmatism that involve not just talks between leaders, but programs that involve both sides to work together.

Hasn't anyone seen "West Bank Story?"

DanInBoston Author Profile Page:

Literally thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists over the last few years, hundreds in the weeks before the Israei response. Israel warned clearly and repeatedly that its hesitation to use force should not be seen as weakness. But the rocket attacks intensified and Israel was forced to act to defend it's inhabitants. Israel has made clear that is has nothing against innocent Palestinians who want to coexist and build a peaceful society. It is clear to anyone with knowledge of the subject that Israel wants peace. They have said so. And it is equally clear that Hamas wants the destruction of Israel. They have said so, and continue to say so.

gw3wins Author Profile Page:

I can't believe what you media types write about anymore. That is not news, it is your one-sided, bias opinion that does nothing but make you and your terrorist sympathizing friends look real intelligent. That is sarcasm by the way. If you and your kids sat in your living room everynight and someone out of nowhere throws rocks through your window...never mind you'll never get it

acousticyid-fido Author Profile Page:

Ms. Salama,

Your report above contains (at least one) factual inaccuracy. You state "In 2006, Israeli forces launched an unforgiving attack on Hezbollah strongholds in Southern Lebanon responding to the abduction of IDF officers both in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip.". The abductions of Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Galid Shalit occured while all three officers were in ISRAELI terrority - not in Southern Lebanon and the Gaza strip as you suggest.

jshear1 Author Profile Page:

It's amazing to me that when the Palestinians in Gaza finally got their wish -- an end to the occupation -- that they purchased weapons and prepared for war. Instead of turning what may be some of the Mediterranean's finest beach-side real estate into a prosperous haven and tourist destination, they chose a militant Hammas government. Where's the logic? Gaza fronts an ocean paradise, but instead of creating a Miami Beach, Hammas chose to establish hell on Earth. What's the bumper sticker: "Better to Fight Than Farm"? Yes, Gaza needs security, but does that mean they must be aggressive? What's wrong with developing the beachfront and enriching their people? Does Hammas oppose peaceful prosperity for Gazans? One wonders. Is it more important for Hammas to oppose the existence of Israel than it is to create a future for the people they were elected to govern? I don't believe that Islam opposes liberal progressive thinking, or the betterment of all humanity. After all, the very stars above in the heavens are named by great Islamic scholars: Altair, Aldebaran, etc. So why when the chance to live in peace finally arrived did Hammas decide to maintain Gaza as a war zone? What incentive does that provide to Israel to leave the other occupied territories? What does Hammas tell the world about its values, its dreams of the future, when it chooses rockets over rebuilding? Everyone in the Middle East has blood on their hands, but Hammas has had two years to clean up and take care of its own. Instead it pursued the nonsensical idea of destroying Israel. Hammas should realize that the answer is in the stars, which their pathetic rockets can never reach.

lindybsnist Author Profile Page:

The rules of engagement are so different for both sides. The international community says nothing when Hamas targets innocent civilians, but when Israel goes after the military and infrastructure of a terrorist organization, while trying to keep civilian deaths at a minimum the whole world condemns them. Israel states that its goal is to prevent Hamas from sending any more missiles into southern Israel. But Hamas can claim victory as long as it can remain defiant by shooting off even one missile and no amount of air bombing or any ground assault will completely prevent this. We have to change their minds by playing their own game and matching their own ruthlessness--responding with civilian attacks for every one of theirs.

mewcomm Author Profile Page:


Ms Salama's column is like so many of those who are apologists for the Palestenians.

Israel's attack has been largely restrained. Just shy of 400 dead, with remarkably small collateral losses. The Israeli military has acted with integrity and clear objectives.

Oh but for Ms Salama to have lived (or any of us!) when hard and ruthless men commanded armies of destruction. (One thinks of Russian Field Marshalls Rossokovsky and Zuhkov as examples.) Men who inflicted casualty levels in the 10's of thousands in a single day.

On this day, when young Israeli infantry and armour troopers feel the warm wind blowing on their face, as they await the order to roll into Gaza.....I wish them well. May their aim be true and their methods brutal. For Hamas deserves no less.

BostonAl Author Profile Page:

"unforgiving show of strength"? Vivian, if some morons started lobbing rockets into the US or any other large nation, they and everyone they knew would be killed.

Why don't you go into the zoo and heroically slap a bear in the snout and see what happens to you. Dummy.

I am sick and tired of these "freedom fighters" killing at will and hiding behind children. The Muslim culture of death is reaping what it sows.

bjkalmba Author Profile Page:

Thanks WaPo for publishing this point of view. You'll probably be getting a visit from AIPAC soon.

Richard12 Author Profile Page:

"Hamas may have gone too far with it's rockets"
This author is a either a total fool or is an agent for the Iran-Hamas axis. Can you imagine the response if the United States was being bombed every day for weeks at a time?

Iseeihearithinkihurt Author Profile Page:

Oh,so Israel started planning this way back in 1967?

hershele Author Profile Page:

Are you by any chance paid or supported by Arab Governments as Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter? please give us a full disclosure about your unbiased journalism,
the same goes for the Washington Post record, how many times have you covered the Arab terrosim by Hamas which has killed and was aimed against Kindergartens and preschools in Israel? Jewish Blood is always Free! Shame on You!!!!

Paulsmith1 Author Profile Page:

I wonder what the writer would say as rockets crashed down on her home everyday. She obviously does not understand democracy. There is no democratically elected government in the world that could stay in power if it allowed 5-10 rockets to fall in its border let alone the hundreds that the Israeli population has suffered. Why hasn't this writer complained about the 40 citizens killed in Pakastan yesterday in a bombing my muslims or the 14 little kids in Afganistan. I guess she not value their lives.

clfrdj Author Profile Page:

Israel's response does seem, at first glance, to be pretty far overboard. But let's boil this problem down.

Take two hypothetical scenarios and predict the outcomes. If all the Arab/Muslim entities simply left Isreal alone to go about their business, would there be any conflict in the region. Anyone with half a brain knows that the answer is no, the Isrealis would be more than happy to live a peaceful existence. Now, let's put the shoe on the other foot. If Isreal just left all their Arab/Muslim neighbors alone, how do you think that would work out? How do you think all the intolerant fanatics who don't even think that Isreal has a right to exist would react to total freedom? Isreal would become the scene of one of the worst bloodbaths in recent history.

It is always horrific and terrible when innocent people are slaughtered. All of those mourning their losses in Gaza need to realize that the cause of their suffering walks is right in front of them - the militants who walk among them every day. But their hatred and intolerance will not allow them to recognize the truth that is right in front of their faces. For that reason, sadly, this type of tragedy will continue to happen, maybe for centuries.

mortimersanderson Author Profile Page:

I don't think anyone ever claimed it was mere "retaliation" or even a simple counterattack; The primary purpose is deterrence, or prevention. It may not work, and Hamas may continue to fire rockets across the border forever, but the destruction of Hamas weapons and security sites and rocket launch sites was the main goal - to hinder and deter Hamas efforts to fire rockets, etc.

bisons-54830 Author Profile Page:

Since when does anyone in their right mind consider deadly rockets fly swatters? How many times can anyone continue to get burned daily before he or she has the right to demand a stop to aggression?
Vivan, it certainly is a good thing that you write this with the guarantee that you can get it published only because we live in a free society. And to the Washington Post--have you been wiling to publish something that makes sense in this conflict????

sbeach1 Author Profile Page:

Don't stop Israel until each and every hamas member is dead or dieing!

No tolerance for terrorism!!!

bostonbrahmin Author Profile Page:

Firstly, this particular timing of the attack seems to be a pre-emtive strike against the Obama administration, and an attempt to create "facts on the ground".

It is a futile attempt, something that is almost suicidal in nature, and the reason is not economic or political in nature. The reason is in the development of technology.

With the development in technology, the individual is now much more powerful than he ever was in all of human history, compared to the powers of the state. It is now possible for a small group of people with a cause and with limited funding, to disrupt the most powerful nation.

At the same time, technology has hindered the hiding of state-funded brutality, with the advent of cell phone camera and satellite communication. Now it will not be possible to murder the entire population of a city, without everyone witnessing in live color the gory nature of that act.

Without such widespread brutality, where every living creature is eliminated, there is no way to stop low level conflicts. And there is no way to conduct such an act without everybody seeing and smelling the carnage.

It is time for people to accept these two facts. The time for a permanent settlement of disputes by means of war is over.

jonescrs Author Profile Page:

It's easy to blame the big military power for using to much force. It's a typical defense used by insurgent groups or any smaller force when they wish to cause harm to others. They throw little jabs aimed at disrupting Isreal's way of life and sense of security. Then they have the audicity to call foul when the guy with the bigger gun retaliates.
However, Isreal isn't the one refusing to acknowledge the existence of it's neighbors. If the "innocent" civilians in the Gaza strip wish peace and a better life, then acknowledge Isreal's right to exist and stop shooting rockets indiscriminately into Isreal...at civilian targets as well.

kenyalover2003 Author Profile Page:

How can anyone blame Israel for its response? Hamas started it so Israel is simply trying to end it. I hope they bomb Hamas out of existence. If the US had the set of nuts they have we would not still be in Iraq or Afghanistan. WE need to take their example in dealing with enemies. I have absolutely no sympathy for the Gaza strip or Hamas. And I have even less tolerance for the ones in the US out on the streets demonstrating. Why our government allows that makes me understand why there are so many militias in this country. We can not count on our own government to protect us. I say death to Hamas and death to all the militant Islamic movements. ALl they know is death and fear so lets give some back to them.

Thependulumswings Author Profile Page:

Vivian Salama doesn't live up to her "award winning" credentials with this "article".

somewhatcynical Author Profile Page:

I got as far as "the timing of the attack" before I concluded this is worthless propaganda.
The lesson for Hamas is that if your enemy is a big, tough guy you can't lick, don't shoot things at him.
The lesson for the people is don't support a government that does not grasp the above lesson.

SanFernandoCurt Author Profile Page:

It looks like the strategy for Israel, in this... what?... atrocity?... may be to hand a questionable Barak Obama a fait accompli when he takes office as President next month: All paths to peace have been erased, you must start over at square-one, and Israel will tell you where square-one is located. Nothing personal; Israel has done this for the past half-dozen or so chief executives. There has been some noise - mainly from Netanyahu - that the removal of Hamas is also on the agenda, but that has as much chance of success as the Israelis had of whiling away carefree afternoons on the banks of the Litani two years ago. Israel has two chief enemies in the new milliennium: asymmetrical warfare and world opinion. It's a toss-up whether the former will surface in this new conflict; but damage to Israel's reputation in the court of world opinion will be as great as in Lebanon. In the past, Israel could snub its nose at such considerations, but now, things are changing. Opinions are changing - even here in America. Your column, and its refreshing honesty, appearing in the Washington Post is an indication of that.

impressed2 Author Profile Page:

How naive to think it was Israel that waited for this time to react to months of escalating rocket attacks. You are blind to the fact that this was orchastrated by Hamas as a way to move their agenda to the front burner. I guess every terrorist group needs it's fan club. Welcome to the club.

marknesop Author Profile Page:

That's one "fell swoop", not one "foul swoop". Not a big deal, but something an award-winning journalist probably ought to know.

I'm afraid I can't agree with the comments suggesting that the Palestinian side simply needs to stop launching rockets into Israel, and everything will be fine. These rockets are basically made of stovepipe and baling wire, are unguided and the vast majority hit nothing at all. I appreciate that's not much consolation to any family who loses a member to a rocket attack, but more people die in a year from falling down the stairs. Certainly not grounds for a military rampage that kills hundreds, mostly civilians.

Besides, actual recorded history - rather than uninformed speculation by armchair strategists - supports that the gobbling up of Palestinian land by Israel goes on apace regardless of any peace overtures by either side. Jewish settlements continue to sprout and expand, and most of the choice farmland and water are annexed by Israel with jigs and jogs of its Security Barrier.

This suggests passive resistance and pleading bring no result but mockery, contempt and continued encroachment. Does it feel better to go out on your feet, or on your knees?

DavidZ2 Author Profile Page:

The logic that solutions to any and myriads of Muslim world problems lay through Jerusalem and always in a form of removing the "merciless" in this case Jewish state is so absurd and emblematic of single-minded agenda, that it is a shame of WP to publish this author's compilation of grievances packaged as historical evidence.

SeekerOfTruth1 Author Profile Page:

What most Zionists either don't understand or would not admit is the fact that Israel is not a country like the UK or France. Yes it is a country that was hastily rubber-stamped by the UN 60 years ago but that does not make its creation just.
In 1938, Mohandas Gandhi wrote:
"Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home."

This is still valid after 60 years. Years of occupation does not make the creation of Israel just. Wholesale killing of arabs in Gaza is unacceptable and only reinforces what Israel is truly all about - a terrorist state.

A few months before his assassination, Gandhi answered the question "What is the solution to the Palestine problem?" raised by a reporter of Reuters:

"It has become a problem which seems almost insoluble. If I were a Jew, I would tell them: 'Do not be so silly as to resort to terrorism...' The Jews should meet the Arabs, make friends with them and not depend on British aid or American aid, save what descends from Jehovah."

But as we know the state terrorism continues to this day with impunity thanks to unstinted support of Neocons and Pro-israel lobby in the US.
It will be upto Barack Obama to deal with what Israel is - a cancer in Middle east.

jlowryusa Author Profile Page:

This situation is sad for everyone, and so easy to fix. There are two simple fixes: 1)The people of Palestine realize that Israel is a fact and put down all guns, bombs, etc. Within 10 years Palestine will be prosperous, forced by world opinion and geo-political pressure. 2)The people of Palestine hold on to the preposterous notion that Israel can be forced out of existance. Then the Israelies must kill all the Hamas, Hesbollah and outside leaders and reduce Palestine to a rubble heap as is now being done. Its time for the rest of the world to quit wringing its hands over the Palestinian people and support Israel in its elimination of the killer terrorists. Now was that so hard!

The world, particularly the Arab states and Europeans, should strongly support whichever approach the Palestinians choose and get on with solving this problem. It's easy. Just do it!

rollomoss2 Author Profile Page:

Perhaps I'm insensitive, but I fail to understand why a nation that is attacked cannot "retaliate," but meet Vivian Salama's definition--whatever that is--of a "strategic counterattack."

After what Hamas has done, Israel has every right to retaliate.

katyaZ Author Profile Page:

"there is nothing brutal or merciless about defending your citizens from daily rocket attacks that land in people's homes, school, kindergartens- what would Vivian do if rockets from Cuba landed in her home and the US did nothing?"

HUH?

In that case, there is nothing brutal or merciless about defending your homeland and your children by launching homemade rockets against an occupying force...

The small and unsubstantial homemade "rockets" being fired into Israel by stupid militants (and yes, they are stupid and I don't condone it, no matter who is doing it) are paltry compared to the huge arsenal of weapons supplied to Israel by our United States.

The ceasefire was not broken by Hamas:
“The escalation towards war could, and should, have been avoided. It was the State of Israel which broke the truce, in the 'ticking tunnel' raid ... two months ago,” the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom wrote in a press release. “Since then, the army went on stoking the fires of escalation with calculated raids and killings, whenever the shooting of missiles on Israel decreased.”

Second, the reason they are building and launching the rockets is because Israel's merciless actions are killing their families and those of their friends and countrymen; Israel stops the delivery of humanitarian aid - food, medical supplies and water - INTENDED for the Palestinian people, and necessary to sustain them because of Israels cruel treatment of the people of Palestine, which has been made into a virtual prison. Look at the comments from those in the region - on numerous occasions this most recent action by Israel has been called nothing but a holocaust. There's a word you pro-Israelis should understand.

Kudos to the author; I wish more of the paid-for media in this country would do some actual reporting.

check out: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/30/democracy/index.html

albas Author Profile Page:

After the battle of Stalingrad Hitler ordered the deaths of 50 Russian POW's for every slain German.

It's ironic to see Israel adopting a similar policy as Nazi Germany did. Next thing you know they will announce that their goal is to exterminate "all life unworthy of life" in Gaza.

Hypocrisy.

scarygary Author Profile Page:

Peace through superior fighting power. The ancient mentality of Hamas members and the rest of the world's terrorists will only respond to a consistent and overwhelming military response. Don't stop now Israel.

rklein01 Author Profile Page:

The writer reveals her bias when she misquotes Shakespeare's "fell swoop" as "foul swoop."

A fell swoop is a fighting hawk's sudden attack. It's not the low blow that "foul" implies.

judah1j Author Profile Page:

I live in sunny Orange County California, where the Jews are few and the Muslims are a plenty. I feared lighting my Hanukkah candles this year after the bombing as the mosque is but a few blocks from my house. It isn't actually a mosque, it is called a cultural center.

Anyhow, on the very first day of the bombing, I went across the street to my Muslim neighbor. The wife answered the door. She was praying in her whites. We spoke for fifteen or twenty minutes and we both cried for peace. But my crying was phony. I just didn't want any violence directed at me.

I equate this to the Israelis who are surrounded by over one billion Muslims, with an unknown number wanting to see this little nation be pushed into the sea.

So to the lady who wrote this hateful op-ed, let her open her eyes to the oneness of God and not the sword of Allah!

rhigdon Author Profile Page:

You are repeating the same tiresome drivel as the majority of the PC crowd. You blame Israel for defending itself from terrorist. Hamas targets civilians and hides behind civilians and yet you attack Israel. It appears that you do not have the ability or desire to call a spade a spade. Hamas and other militant Islamic groups are the cause of the problem. All they have to do is stop firing rockets and committing other acts of terrorism against Israel (and others) and there can be peace. The fact of the matter is, Hamas and their ilk do not want peace, they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Israel has every right to defend itself as it should and as long as cowardly terrorist groups hide behind civilians, then innocents will suffer casualties.

wanderingjoe Author Profile Page:

Personally, I am in favor of treating the Muslims like Shia treat Sunni and visa versa. Carpet bomb them until they beg for mercy.

Moslems have shown no tolerance, understanding or compassion for non believers. Mohammed was a false prophet; Islam is a manufactured religion which exists solely to impose dictates on the world.

All things being equal, the moslems will rape, burn and murder every Jew they get their hands on. Like Mohammed, Moslems are not worthy of the value and consideration Israelis give them.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

"Gaza ... more of an open-air prison for its 1.5 million residents."

In view of the revolting manner in which Palestinian civilians (women, children and old people) have been treated there by Israel, in recent days, the word "merciless" is at best a misnomer, at worst an unwelcome euphemism.

After so many similar adventures throughout the years, including the latest in Lebanon, "subhuman" would have been more appropriate.

xchall1 Author Profile Page:

I found it difficult to take Vivian Salama seriously while reading her USA/Middle East piece because of the grinning, little girl with head tilted to one side to look adorable, photo. What's up with that? You pullin' a Sarah Palin on us, Viv?

Mark53 Author Profile Page:

How many Israelis do Hamas and their sponsors have to murder before they enter into the merciless category?

lis2 Author Profile Page:

Award-winning journalist, not award winning journalist. Please edit before posting.

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:

Folks ! I think there is a case to be made against Washington Post's Vivian Salama. She has in her blogs supported and sympathized with Pakistan and Gazan terrorists (Hamas).

What is immoral about her position is that apparently she believes that Pakistan's Mumbai attack and Hamas's policy of destroying Israel at any and every cost are less important than, Israel's and India's willingness to shake hands with Hamas and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), respectively.

One can imagine what Obama administration may mean to these countries, as there is really no shortage of leftist kooks like Vivian Salama.

LeT's Hafeez Muhammad Saeed has declared that Jews and Hindus are the worst enemies of Islam.

What more can I say/write ?

bryuer Author Profile Page:

Viv,
I hope you don't like that version of your name.

How is it that you've failed to point out that in 1948 the Palistinians were offered 80% of the land that is now Israel, but instead decided they wanted it all. What idiocy!

How do you leave out that in 1998 they could have had 95% of their demands, but Arafat decided NOT to sign the peace agreement?

How do you leave out of your article that Hamas refused to continue this cease-fire, not Israel. Hamas chose the timing, not Israel.

How do you leave out of your article that Hamas sends the rockets to Israel while surrounded by women and children?

Hamas hides behind women's skirts and children's toys.

Why don't you say what you're really thinking. "Let all the Jews in Israel die." That's what you really want, isn't it? Then YOU can lead the way and strike the Jews in the U.S.

steve007 Author Profile Page:

Terrorist enablers and sympathizers like this biased columnist are Islamofascism's base of support.

Does anyone think that if Hamas had an atomic bomb, they woudn't use it inmmediately?

When Palestinian militants launch rocket attacks intentionally from within civilian Palestinian areas against Israeli civilians, they are themselves responsible--and no one else is--for the civilian deaths caused by Israeli counterfire. Period.

Don't stop, Israel.

postal1 Author Profile Page:

the timing couldn't have been more crass or cynical.
strike while your western buddies are drunk or shopping..or whatever. they're not watching t.v.
classic bully move.
the idea of comparing israel and gaza to america and cuba is ludicrous.
ok, so i get your point.
and to further that point, if troops from some foreign country came barging into the u.s. on the faulty assumption that you MIGHT have threatened them and proceeded to tear the country to pieces what would you do?
huh? what would you do?
go to iraq and take some notes.

t_golstch Author Profile Page:

Is there anyone posting here that doesn't have a double american-israeli citizenship? Hamas hit israel with a fly swatter and the Isralei's sends missles into an apratment buildings. I guess it is time for Israel to start yet another war and invade another country. It's not ok for anyone else, just israel, cause their special. You know, the Jewish heavenly alpha male told them the country was theirs.

mahaseer Author Profile Page:

Dear author of this article,

Your biased view perfectly reflects your shallow writing skills. Who gave you awards? Hamas?

The only way to peace is to take on your terrorists and smash them once and for all.

Do us all a favor and stop pretending to be a reporter.

davevk Author Profile Page:

I believe that Israel feels more mercy for the Arabs of gaza than Hamas. I also have no doubt that Hamas feels no mercy for Israelis or any jews through out the world. So please, Vivian, save us all your meaningless comments. As someone else has said, all they need to do is stop shooting rockets. That is something that the Arabs have yet to try.

redtailgary Author Profile Page:

Why is it that the hearts and minds of Arab people must be won when they refuse to do the same for others. The first step is for the Arabs to quit refusing to do their part for peace. A ceasefire is approved and the Israelis follow the ceasefire but the Arabs do not and then they get upset when Israel strikes back. Then the "NEWS" keeps showing stories of the poor civilians. The same civilians that voted for Hamas to be in power. How about showing the poor Israelis that have been bombed over the years. Oh, that does not sell well does it? Don't tell the whole story, just the parts that make the biggest headlines.

mgw1 Author Profile Page:

The timing of the attack appears to be in response to the end of the informal truce. What kind of journalist would totally ignore that very obvious event?

craigslsst Author Profile Page:

Yeah!
Picking on the "merciful" Hamas.

cwh2 Author Profile Page:

Israel no doubt wanted to get this massive attack launched, and maybe even finished, so that it would be a fait accompli for Barack Obama to have to live with on Day One of his administration. Way to go, Israel. A whole face for an eye, and a whole head for a tooth.

As for Hamas, those turkeys should grow up.

MichaelNJ Author Profile Page:

Pearls of wisdom from Salama: "The timing of the attack, when U.S. President George Bush is leaving office, the global economy is in crisis, and many in the Western world are celebrating the new year, suggests that Israel waited to choose an ideal time to wage this unforgiving show of strength."

You forgot to mention global warming, the price of soybeans and the position of Jupiter in Aquarius. Rule No. 3 in understanding the Middle East: If you can't explain something to Middle Easterners with a conspiracy theory, then don't try to explain it at all -- they won't believe it.

Here is a novel idea, Ms. Salama, for you and for the Arabs and for their useful dupes in the West: Instead of constantly complaining about a deadly response or a merciless response or a disproportionate response, try not attacking Israel, and then there will be no response at all.

I know it's a radical and unprecedented concept, but try it some time anyway.

mikefich Author Profile Page:

Vivian Salama likes to use words to describe Israel's actions as "brutal" "merciless" "deadly" ect. at every moment- there is nothing brutal or merciless about defending your citizens from daily rocket attacks that land in people's homes, school, kindergartens- what would Vivian do if rockets from Cuba landed in her home and the US did nothing? impossible to even comtimplate. Is it unthinkably viciousto target an organization that blows up civilian busses, stabs people in their homes, and send their own women and children to blow themselves up in hopes of killing as many women and children as possible- whose declared purpose is to destroy the state of Israel? I don't know how she won awards, she is either anti-Israel or anti-semitic (which both point to inherent bias and anti intellectualism) or she is really responding after careful analysis (her quoting Yossi Sarid is absurd in the light that he is a rabid anti Israelist who is looked down upon even in Israel's lefts movement)and her conclusions are borne our from being a little stupid. But I'm betting on her pro-palestinian, anti-Israel-defending-itself-like-any-normal-country attitude.

andio76 Author Profile Page:

We are tired of you all.....Kill each other and let God sort it out

Eytan Author Profile Page:

It is curious that secular Jews and many others seem to have a double standard when it comes to Israel's right to defend itself. When Israel gave Gaza to the Palestinians to rule, it was pretty clear to many people that it would become an arms dump and that the people there would not have their lives improved. This has turned out to be the case. There is plenty of money in the Arab world to have turned the areas controlled by the Palestinians into garden towns instead of poverty stricken 'refugee' camps.
It would be interesting to see how the people who propose that Israel is being too harsh in its response would respond when rockets have fallen for years in their towns.
There is much to say in this discussion, but that will do for now.

RWR1911 Author Profile Page:

The author posits that "The first step toward winning the hearts and minds of people from Morocco to Pakistan lies in a fair and genuine solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict." The U.S has tried for decades to find ways to solve the conflict and has enjoyed some success and many failures.

People expect that a quick conference will fix all problems. Problems will be fixed only when all parties convening have the same goal in mind: peace and fairness. When the desire for peace was real and substantial on the part of Israel and Egypt, peace was won, territories returned, and a war front ended. When the desire for peace, commerce and tranquility was genuine, Israel and Jordan achieved peace.

The same is necessary on the part of Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, (as well as Iran and others). If people want peace, they need to be serious about peace and about compromise. The U.S. can not pull hats out of its hat, nor should it be expected to do so.

To imply that the only way the U.S. will gain "hearts and minds" in the Arab world is to turn on Israel is not good advice and is just plain wrong. Were it to do so, the U.S. would not truly gain much and lose much.

Viennacommuter1 Author Profile Page:

So Vivian, what is your point? Tell Hamas to quit launching rockets into to Isreal, and Isreal will quit trying to wipe out Hamas.

DrCha Author Profile Page:

"Response on Hamas is increasingly looking like retaliation and less like a strategic counterattack."
Sometimes retaliation is the strategy. It tries to establish the fact that certain actions will eventually be retaliated.

There is no doubt that Middle East conflict resolution must have preceded any actions in Iraq. Our order of execution was incorrect and has negative consequences.

The conflict itself seems to provide a rich ground for exploitation by the religion exploiting political parties in Palestine, Israel and America. The political interest is in direct conflict with the interest of civilians. At some point if there is a strong enough revolt from the public there is hope. Left to politicians, they would like status quo.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.