Yossi Melman at PostGlobal

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. Close.

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. more »

Main Page | Yossi Melman Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Hopeful for Bethlehem

I drove to Bethlehem today full of hope, but found none of the vibrancy of thirty years ago. But I don’t think it has to be this way.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (38)

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Quinn,

I am sorry that our good friend is ill. Please give him my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Zionism is not responsible for the common cold and dandruff, but it is responsible for the atrocities being perpetrated on the Palestinian people and the resulting turmoil in the Middle East. Here is my best advice to you my friend:

1. Read the excellent post above by Jdledell @ December 27, 2007 7:26 AM. He is a fellow Jew with Zionist family members and can give you some valuable insights on the evils and danger to Israel of settlement activity in the occupied territories.

2. Adopt the recommendations of the Road Map to Peace, beginning with the immediate abandonment of all settlements.

3. Stop your unequal (80/20) distribution of the critical water resources of the region. Give the Palestinians their proper 50/50 share of the water supply.

This will buy some time for you but will not be sufficient. The duly elected and sovereign government of Hamas will not tolerate the so called “State of Israel” in historic Palestine. The collaborator/appeaser Abbas will not save you.

So it’s time to saddle up amigo and bring your family and friends to America, pronto. We eagerly await your arrival.

Quinn:

Rick : Pale Rider is ill. I see now that you feel Israel caused Bhutto's death. I can't help but feel you believe Israel and Jews caused the common cold and dandruff as well. As you know I am a Zionist, as I define the term. Zionism is good, Rick. The USA, Italy and Israel will florish, with G-D help,

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

WITH RESPECT TO THE ASSASSINATION OF BENAZIR BHUTTO

This is a glimpse of the world’s future if the Zionist so called “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA don’t wise up and vacate the Middle East.

That’s right Victoria, they can’t blame this one on the general Muslim population.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/yossi_melman/2007/12/bhutto_conspiracy_theories_wil/all_comments.html

We may find out, however, that the culprit is the Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) who are enabled by the foolish greed of the colonial USA and Israel.

Certainly Musharraf is one of those with the most to gain. He can now postpone elections indefinitely and hold onto his power, although he may have quite a revolt on his hands if he does so.

On the other hand, Bhutto was a strong ally of the US and an outspoken opponent of the Islamic fundamentalists. That is the kiss of death in this region of the world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/28/world/asia/28pakistan.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

“In October, Ms. Bhutto survived another deadly suicide attack in the southern city of Karachi on the day she returned from years of self-imposed exile abroad to contest the parliamentary elections. Ms. Bhutto blamed extremist Islamic groups who she said wanted to take over the country for that attack, which narrowly missed her but killed 134 people. But she also complained that the government had taken insufficient steps to safeguard her parade…

She was openly critical of Mr. Musharraf’s ineffectiveness at dealing with Islamic militants and welcomed American involvement…

The assassination comes just days after Mr. Musharraf lifted a state of emergency in the country, which he had used to suspend the Constitution and arrest thousands of political opponents, and which he said he had imposed in part because of terrorist threats by extremists in Pakistan…”

So this is how my crystal ball has it. We just took another step along the path to WW III. The Islamist fundamentalists (Al Qaeda and the Taliban) hold all the cards. Musharraf may or may not be making a serious effort to rein them in. He may be playing live and let live as they build their strength in NW Pakistan and continue to weaken Afghanistan.

The Zionist invader in Palestine keeps the entire Middle East inflamed at both them and the USA for supporting them. Of course our preemptive attack on Iraq and continued occupation of Afghanistan just adds fuel to the flames.

China, India and Pakistan’s thirst for Middle East oil makes them natural allies of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Arabian Gulf oil states. They will be eager to supply whatever these countries need in the way of precision guided land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) like the US Tomahawk. These are precision, Global Position System (GPS) satellite guided, low flying cruise missiles that hug the earth and can be programmed to attack Israel from multiple directions. Israel will never know what hit them. These will not be like the thousands of ballistic Katyusha rockets fired from Southern Lebanon, which mostly land in the olive orchards and sage brush fields. These missiles will each have a high rise building or other high value target and street number programmed in them like our Tomahawk attacks on Baghdad in 1991 and 2003.

Our thirst for oil and 10 Trillion dollar national debt, with much of it owed to China, puts us in a very weak strategic position. China could bankrupt us at will by flooding the market with our worthless paper IOUs. That’s why the US dollar has lost ~33% of its value relative to the Euro, which is on its way to becoming the world standard currency. The US dollar will soon be known as the US Peso.

Israel only produces ~1% of its required oil from its own oil wells, and must import 99%, 90% from Russia. Russia is anything but a reliable ally and is known to have used its natural gas supplied to Eastern Europe as a political tool in the past.

So standby for action the so called Zionist “State of Israel” and its number one ally the USA. We live in interesting times.

no fan:

I'd like very much to believe that the ugly writings of Mr. Melman in this space, heretofore, were the
exception...and thing he wrote today all
sweetness and light, his real self.

But crap, he is what he wrote later today on
the assassination of bhutto. Go read that. The real Muslim hating, Muslim baiting, Israeli

The question is, what was Melman trying to pretend or campaign for in the dear little Christams piece? Does he think we're stupid?

NO believee. No fan.

justice itself:

Pale Rider, et. al.

I can only hope for you, a forward screamer on behalf of the most hated people in the world,
now as always,
in every century,
in EVERY country they have appeared..

...that you and yours will be awarded what you deserve, in the manner that you have deserved it. In absolute justice.

It is almost certain that you will.

VICTORIA:

i support ricks right to express himself-

that youtube vido was scary and chilling

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Pale Rider,

We meet again Kemo Sabi. I’m sorry to hear such words of anger my friend. If this is where we must part company, then so be it, and happy trails to you.

But don’t hang your ant-Semite label on me. I have always liked you and your Zionist partner Quinn. I want Quinn and his 5.7 Million Zionist friends to come to America and join his 5 Million brethren in a true, legitimate homeland for the Jews with 80% of the Jewish population on the planet.

You say: “We are not racist. I don't see anything wrong with Zionism being political or nationalistic.”

Even though that means and always has meant policies of ethnic-cleansing, apartheid and general persecution of the indigenous non-Jews of that land, the Arab Muslim and Christian Palestinians.

You say: “The Syrian bath party is political and nationalistic. So is the Muslim Brotherhood. Talk about racist!”

Stay focused. Don’t change the subject. My country and my tax dollars are sponsoring the atrocities being perpetrated on the Palestinian people. That is our problem, and the problem of our making.

You say: “I don't know who the indigenous folks are. Rick, Jews have always lived in the mandate. They’re indigenous Rick.”

As you well know, the Jews were expelled from the region over 1,800 years ago by the Romans, except for a small ~2% minority. This was the Jewish population at the turn of the 20th century and this is what it should still be. They had no right to return with an assist from the world’s super powers and displace the native Palestinians whose ancestors had lived on and farmed this land and tended their flocks and orchards for over 15,000 years.

You say: “I also don't know how the Jews are persecuting the poor Muslims and specifically those tough dudes the Christians!”

Sure you do. You are not deaf, dumb and blind. You can see the millions of native Palestinian families who have been terrorized by Menachem Begin’s Irgun and chased from their homes and land into refugee camps with unimaginably horrid living conditions. You know that Palestinians do not even have what the UN and the US government both regard as the minimum necessary to sustain human life, while Jewish settlers - accustomed to living in their native Europe or America - water grass lawns and fill swimming pools with water taken from under the feet of the Palestinians, while the Palestinians are rarely allowed to drill wells.

Even B’Tselem, the Zionist human rights group says:

“Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

You say: “Jews had nothing to do with 9/11, except in the minds of Arabs and conspiracy nuts.”

Don’t hang that nonsense on me. I have heard those theories too, that the CIA and Jews were behind 9/11, but I have never accepted that. But it is true that our support for the Zionist invader of Palestine and persecutor of Palestinians has made us a pariah in the Middle East and is the source of the Arab hatred for us. Ben Laden has stated that our occupation of Palestine was the principle reason for the attack of 9/11. Of course our huge and continued military footprint in the Middle East was responsible as well and will bring future attacks.

We must attain energy independence and return the Middle East to the Arabs and Persians. The Zionists must vacate their ill begotten land. To know this is true, you merely have to read the excellent post of Jdledell above.

You say: “I see you now claim the Jews also own and control the media.”

They have way too much influence. You tell me why so little media exposure is given to the root source of the unrest in the Middle East; i.e. the immoral and illegal Zionist invasion and occupation of Palestine. Yes, the Zionists were “given” part of the land by the Brits and the UN, but the land was not theirs to give. The land was taken by force from the rightful owners and will be taken back by force. And we will pay the price with more 9/11s.

You say: “You’re a fruitcake and a few clowns short of a full circus.”

Aw, thank you Kemo Sabi; I love you too. You had me worried there for a minute, but I’m glad that we are still partners. Give my best to Quinn, and until we meet again:

Happy trails to you...

jdledell:

Yossi - Pay no attention to the extremists on both sides, that populate this blog. I am extremely pessimistic about the chances for peace. I have dozens of relatives living in West Bank settlements and I have been going to Israel, at least annually, for more than 40 years. I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly of this situation.

It's easy to put the blame on the Palestinians for they have made numerous mistakes which have significantly aggrevated the problem. Suicide bombers, rockets and armed resistance are just a few of the well known errors. However, Jewish mistakes are less well known. The settlement enterprise is the primary problem. My sister and her family were one of the first to move from Haifa to the West Bank after the 67 war. Settlements were planned with three express goals: first, dividing up the west bank with Jews so that a viable Palestinian state could never emerge. Second, to surround Jerusalem with Jewish settlements so that Palestinians could never use it as their capital (to that end, in 1967 Israel tripled the size of Jerusalem's historical dimensions). Third, to build on top of and control the West Bank aquifers.

I’m sure you are aware that Israel is not really trying to forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The settlement game is still being played. Some of my settler relatives are being recruited to seed a new settlement in Atarot, for a 11,000 person city on the doorstep of Ramallah. Others are being recruited to seed Giv’at Yael, a 20,000 person settlement near Bethlehem. Plans have been developed to build another new settlement, Shimo’n Hatsedeeq , near Abu Dis.

Eventually the world will catch on to Israel’s word games. Like Jerusalem's expanded boundries, Ma’ale Adumim's municipal boundries extend all the way to Jericho, empty land that can accomodate hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Ariel city boundries are proposed to expand to encompass all the small surrounding settlements that will make Ariel geographically 4 times larger, on the theory Ariel will be allowed to stay under a peace agreement. These kind of games will not lead to “land for peace” or “peace for peace”.

Look at the maps the settlers pass around, you will see four “reservations” for Palestinians with Israel taking all the rest, including the Jordan Valley. This is the game plan and I don’t think any Israeli politician is strong enough to stop it or slow it down. There is no such thing as the status quo, if peace is delayed Israeli settlement expansion will surely prevent the birth of a viable Palestinian state.

This is a recipe for disaster as internal and external Palestinians demand citizenship and a bi-national state. Yossi, our mutual dream of a Jewish homeland will disappear as it has so many times in the past few thousand years. I, for one, find that to be an unforgivable mistake. However, an even worse outcome is possible, the loss of the jewish soul. I have seen IDF and settler depravity first hand in the West Bank. I have two nephews serving in the IDF and they are thugs, who have already lost their souls to hatred, along with numerous of my relatives. I cherish my Jewish faith and the wisdom of the Torah but I see too many Israelis abandoning this wisdom in their greed and visceral hatred for “others”. If we lose our soul, land will not matter.

JandD:

For those of you hurt by ethnic cleansing, there is an ethnic cleansing comming the likes if you were told the details you would scream yourself to death. All who hate the children of God known as the nation of Israel will be annhilated off the face of the earth. Oh glad day!

Gmoney:

Although I am generally discouraged about the middle east, I become more optimistic when I listen to people like you and I see others give of themselves to see a better world. One individual that has done that is John Hermina, an attorney, an American Citizen, born in Egypt but made a life time of sacrifices. John Hermina gave up significant earnings and volunteered for reforms in the middle east. John Hermina worked with Amideast in Israel and assisted the PNA with their legislative reforms. People like you and john Hermina are refreshing. I wish I was able to do the same. By way of another example, John Hermina spent over a full year away from his family in Bahrain for a judicial reform project.

I would like to thank you and John Hermina for highlighting the problems in the middle east and encouraging people like John Hermina to take action.

Pale Rider:

Rick : I see Rick of Arabia and the camel herders have arrived with all their venom. Now Rick, Quinn is a Zionist. He believes in a safe haven for Jews in the former British mandate. So do I Rick. We are not racist. I don't see anything wrong with Zionism being political or nationalistic. So is Hamas and Hizzbollah. Talk about racist and ethic cleansing ! The Syrian bath party is political and nationalistic. So is the Muslim Brotherhood. Talk about racist ! Now Rick, Quinn does not understand this apartheid and persecution rant you have disgorged. This seems to come from Arab web sites or Peace now folks. I don't know who the indigenous folks are. Rick, Jews have always lived in the mandate. Their indigenous Rick. I also don't know how the Jews are persecuting the poor Muslims and specifically those tough dudes the Christians ! Rick you are treading on Jew hating discourse. I used to like you. I am begining to think you suck ! Jews had nothing to do with 9/11, except in the minds of Arabs and conspiracy nuts. I see you now claim the Jews also own and control the media. Do you also see 10 evil looking bearded men pulling strings ? Rick I can't even think about your other rants and ravings. Your a fruitcake and a few clowns short of a full circus. My God, you sound like a 13th century monk or serf blaming the Jews for crop failure and drought. I'm leaving town for a while Rick. I am getting ill.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

MOST AMERICANS DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT ZIONISM IS, US MEDIA LIKES
TO KEEP IT THAT WAY

Most Americans don't even know what Zionism is. In a nutshell, it is a racist, nationalistic, political ideology conceived by Theodor Hertzl, an Austrian Jew in the 1890s, that maintains that there must be a Jewish state in Palestine, although that means and always has meant policies of ethnic-cleansing, apartheid and general persecution of the indigenous non-Jews of that land, the Arab Muslim and Christian Palestinians. In a nutshell, advocates of this racist Zionist ideology are driving our US foreign policy. What ever happened to separation of synagogue/church and state? Isn't it time to openly discuss this? Why are double standards allowed for Israel and for Zionists?

However the US media does not want Americans to even think about these things, never mind discuss them! Certainly, the pro-Israel media does not want Americans to question our government's support of Zionist Israel. That is why there is never any mention in mainstream US media of the Israeli connection to 9-11, to the war on Iraq, to the so-called "war on terror", and to the subject of Israel's quest for oil.

This intentional covering up by the Zionized US media of the Israeli connection to anything that impacts the US negatively has been going on for decades.

newageblues:

We're all pretty familiar with what what Arab hatred of Israel and America sounds like. But if you want to read the racist rants of Arab hating Jews, they are all too easy to find in the online forums of Haaretz. Americans should also be aware that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) isn't fully under civilian control these days, or overly interested in peace with the Pals.

JandD:

Amit, your fathers killed Jesus. Therefore you too are guilty. But God IS gracious and will forgive you if you put your trust in the risen Christ. But be careful what comes out of your mouth from this point on...

brian mcc, the arctic:

Now this is what I call a forum. The democracy to exchange all ideas, pro and con. The forum seems split down the middle, while the best comment states the 2 concerned party's are both insane after millenea of conflict. And the rest of us recognise this Arab/Israeli mess has a solution, were it not for an agenda.

Palestine is fractured and divided.
Israel is building a 'wall of China.'


Somebody lobbied Congress and the White House to invade Iraq. Someone lobbies for an invassion of Iran. The UN can condemm the settlements, the innocent of Gaza, and a wall that contains within its boundary, land under dispute.

Why listen to the UN now, you never have before.

Were it not for an agenda.

Christmas message from ultra-orthodox settlers:


here's a clip of the kind of people our country (the US) is supporting with our tax dollars and non-quantifiable levels of national prestige (any left?) - see for yourselves!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c-1nnTrrb0&eurl=

thank you!

Anonymous:

Yossi
As a Palestinian and American, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I hate all of our leaders. It is as if they feed off making sure we all hate each other. Abu Mazen just offered my father 3 million for my dads house. The house isnt worth 500k. Its in Ramallah. These jerks have nothing for us but their own spending on themselves and teaching us hatred of the other. May God D#$m Israeli leaders, Pali leaders, American leaders and especially arab leaders.

Amit:

Who killed Jesus? The Jews. No wonder the jews now want to wipe out the population in Bethlehem and fill it with Jews. Evangilical Christians are satan worshiping jews in the guise of christianity to have infiltrated the religion to destroy it from within. Enough said.

The Only Solution For Peace:


Disarm Israel Now

Yossi, you are so wrong...:

Yossi, you may be a an expert on Israeli intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. You are not an expert on WaPo audience.

You write for Haaretz, the left wing paper with a an agenda. You are used to free exchange of ideas in Israeli press.

Here at WaPo, anyone who is against the Israeli Jews killing themselves in order to please the Palestinians, the Europeans, the UN and the rest of them is considered a "racist Zionist war criminal".

Know your audience, Yossi. By being reasonable, you are just encouraging every antisemitic shmack out there.

Best wishes...

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Sorry, Anon was me.

Anonymous:

SO WHAT IS REALLY THE PRO-ISRAEL AGENDA WITH REGARDS TO OIL?

First of all, the ethno-centric Jewish state of Israel is a small, resource-poor country, with no natural oil resources, and is almost completely dependent on US support in the form of not only massive financial support (billions of US tax dollars yearly) but US military and political cover as well. Israel, quite simply, would not survive as the apartheid, imperialistic, war-mongering Jewish state that it is, without the massive support of the US government. Israel is surrounded by well-deserved, self-made enemies thanks to the initial injustice of the UN unilaterally giving away Arab land that was not theirs to give away in the first place to Eastern European Zionist Jews who have been committing ethnic cleansing and persecution of the indigenous non-Jewish Palestinians ever since 1948. Since that time, Israel has continued to aggressively steal even more Arab land and has blatant ambitions to control the entire Middle East, using the power and might of the United States.

If more Americans were truly aware of how racist and imperialistic Israel is, they would most likely demand that our government stop supporting Israel at all until it is transformed into a true democracy for all regardless of religion, race or gender, as the world pressured South Africa to transform from an apartheid country to a true democracy ten years ago. If more Americans knew how support of Israel increases anti-American sentiment worldwide and ensures endless unjust wars, they might very well question their government's support of Israel. There are many reasons for Americans to question their government's support of Israel including first and foremost for real financial and security concerns as well as our country's hard-won reputation as a democracy for all, regardless of religion, race or gender.

The fact is that the pro-Israel, Zionist-dominated US media very rarely even mentions the topic of Israel outside of incidents that involve Palestinian suicide bombers, which then make the screaming front page headlines. The footage of the aftermath of such an attack is played over and over again, back to back on CNN and Fox News and all the other US media. These isolated attacks by Palestinian suicide bombers are thus over-reported while the context in which these desperate acts occur is usually completely ignored. The on-going brutal persecution of the non-Jewish Palestinian people, including the killing of innocent civilians and children, since 1948 by the Israeli army goes almost totally unreported and is generally veiled from view by the American public.

MaryA.:

Let us remember: Jesus was a Jew.

Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, Isaiah and Jeremiah, all the Prophets, Kings David and Solomon, Isaac and Jacob were ALL Jews.

The Old Testament was recorded by the Jewish People and the New Testament, with the exception of Luke, was written entirely by Jews.

Bethlehem is historically a Jewish town from the time of Judea.

Its root, Beit Lechem, means "House of Bread or Plenty," in Hebrew.

The Jews were living, working and praying in Israel, Judea, and their capital Jerusalem for over 1700 years before the birth of Mohammad.

Indeed, the earliest reference to Israel is the inscription of the Eygptian Pharoah Merneptah, found today in museum in Cairo, in 1209 B.C.!!!

The only reason the Jews left their homeland was due to the forced exile by Emperor Hadrian and the Roman Empire.

So, how, oh how--I ask anyone to answer me rationally--can Israel be colonialist when the Jewish People ARE the native people?????


Jim:

As long as Israel rules Palestine with an iron fist backed by the west, things can only get worse. Like any prisoner serving a life in prison without bail and without a legitimate appeal process the Palestinians have nothing to gain from peace. Israel believes that God has ordained their dominance over Palestine. The Palestinians believes that God has ordained their dominance over Israel. If either case was true why have they been fighting for thousands of years? Shouldn't the years spent murdering and conquering each other somehow resonated in both of their collective minds that both are wrong and that they are chasing an illusion that borders on insanity? But then who can tell an insane person that he or she is insane? END THE WAR IN IRAQ.

JandD:

Bethlehem is where Jesus, a Jew, was born and it was under Roman occupation. Just outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and where He rose from the dead. It too was a Jewish territory occupied by the Roman empire. Under rules enjoyed by every nation in her midst the Israeli territory is historically Jewish. Any other argument is only anti Israeli propaganda made by those who in the end will burn in hell. The Lord Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father WAITING for God to make Christs enemies a footstool for His feet. Oh Glad Day.

chasemonster:

God is not a real estate agent!
He never promised any land to anyone named Abraham!
A revised edition of the Bible is due to be released one day very soon!
Yes the REAL truth is finally going to be revealed!
The jews were never God's chosen people as it turns out!
It was the Chinese railroad workers all along but you jews changed the words!

Father Christmas:

Rick:

Thanks for all the useful information about the Jews controlling U.S. foreign policy and the secret plan to control Mid East oil reported only in the Jewish newspapers.

Hope you got your Morroccan leather bound copy of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" for Christmas.

I'm sure you'll find more undiscovered truths there.

Merry Christmas, Habibi.

So glad you are working for the brotherhood of man in this season of peace!

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

PRO-ISRAEL FORCES WANT TO RE-OPEN A PIPELINE FROM IRAQ TO HAIFA, ISRAEL

The fact that American-Israelis in our government are endeavoring to use the war on Iraq as a way for Israel to gain control over oil in the Middle East is rarely reported in the mainstream pro-Israel US media with your average American readership, however it has been reported in Jewish newspapers with Jewish readership and in Israeli papers.

A case in point is the fact that American-Israelis in our government want to "re-open" or re-instate, the pipeline that used to exist between Iraq and Palestine, which is now specifically Haifa, Israel. When Israel was created in 1948, that pipeline was re-directed by Iraq to Syria. Now pro-Israel forces are actively seeking to cut off the pipeline to Syria and re-direct it to Haifa, Israel. For more information on this, please do a Google-search using such keywords such as "Iraq oil pipeline to Haifa, Israel" and see what you come up with.

Just as Israel's connection to the war on Iraq has been kept out of the US mainstream media (as you may have noticed, Israel has not even been mentioned as one of our "allies" in the war on Iraq), this choice nugget of information with regards to Israel's ambition to get a basically free supply of Iraqi oil is also kept out of view for vast American public consumption.

brian mcc, the arctic:

Did you open any presents today, or attend midnight mass? The Russians tested new ICBM technology, while Israel will be gifted with a new missile defence system, c/o Raytheon, and Bethlehem tourists saw the massive walls and checkpoints surrounding a holy city.
Re-patriation is at record lows but new settlements are planned.

If you did not recieve what was asked of St. Nick, you were either:

naughty and not nice
or
humble and was sold out to the highest bidder.

2007 was the last year his sliegh circled the earth without being shot in midair.

Hondo:

Merry Christmas Rick of Arabia and other Bigots. Shall we kill a Jew for Christ to-day ?

Chaotician:

Peace and Good Will towards mankind? How can there be Peace when one racist group of people take land and resources that belong to another racial group? Wait, Jewish-ness is not racial, it is some mystical religious rite, unless you are one of those who only claim the true Jews are mothered only by a Jewish mother...who knows the father, eh?

I imagine that if Jews where analyzed for their DNA roots, most would find their lineage closely resembles that of their implacable foes, the Islamic Palestinian and the Armenian Christians!

The sacrilege for all of these religious terrorists, is to have some vain claim to a special relationship with an indifferent God; justifying their brutality and murder on the blessings of this same Jealous God. These people are simply opportunistic thieves using power, greed, and lust in clear violation of their 10 commandments, supported by ignorant Christian bigots who choose to see the dawning of their very own apocalypse in the occupation of Palestine by the Jews!

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Merry Christmas to all, and to the Zionist invaders and war criminals:

1. The Zionist invader is occupying stolen land that it acquired by force, with an assist from the world’s superpowers, and so has no grounds for complaint when it is attacked in return by the displaced native population.

2. Israel continues to increase its illegal acquisition of Palestinian land in the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza. It has withdrawn from Gaza (for the moment) but continues to suppress the economy and limit access to vital resources such as water, fuel and electricity.

3. Israel's policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the occupied population and to respect the Palestinians' human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.”

4. Israel is violating the international law on water since the water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources…

5. Israel’s use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements is a breach of article 55 of the Hague Regulations.

6. Israel is in breach of Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory; since the quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians.

7. Israel is in breach of article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. Examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

8. Even Israel’s own human rights organization considers them to be racist, illegal and “discriminates on racial grounds”.

9. Israel hogs 80% of the regions water supply to keep their swimming pools full and lawns green, while leaving the Palestinians less than half the amount considered necessary of minimum health requirements by the WHO and USAID organizations.

10. The Zionist war criminals have killed more than 6 times the number of Palestinian civilians, as Palestinians have killed Israeli civilians.

11. The Zionist war criminals have killed more than 17 times the number of Palestinian children, as Palestinians have killed Israeli children.

12. Your repeated excuses that you drop leaflets to warn civilian population centers that are about to be bombed back to the stone ages, and apologize after the fact, are disgusting.

13. Your constant whining that suicide bombers kill women and children, a tiny fraction of the women and children slaughtered by the Zionist war criminal, is disgusting in the extreme.

H:

no hope? no joy? Christianity is getting wiped out of its own birthplace.. all result of the occupation! Shame on you! Shame on Israel and all Israelis, on this Christmas day!

Ghost of Christmas Future:

I am the Ghost of Christmas future, and I have come to show you the future, habibi.

If your Arab friends manage to drive out the Zionists all that will be left are the Arab invaders and racist Islamists terrorist and totalitarians. Once that happens you will have the pleasure of dancing on Jewish graves and paving your streets with their tombstones, but there surely will be no peace, prosperity, or future for anyone in the Middle East.

Be careful what you wish for.

Merry Christmas, habibi!

I am the last Spirit that will visit you this Christmas Eve.

There is still time to change and alter the future
Ebeneezer, uhhh I mean Rick....

Pale Rider:

Rick,Rick : Rick of Arabia has arrived. Now Rick, you have been chastized in other blogs for telling un-truths. Rick, you know that the Jews are not racist; that they did not steal any land; that there is no occupation; and there is no "Palestine".Zionism is good because it desires a Jewish safe-haven for persecuted Jews in its ancient lands. Now Rick, you know Zionism is not a perjoritive. Quinn sugests you use fewer adjatives and think a little. Well, I must leave now for a meeting. Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims are going to show us the way to peace. The Kurds were excluded.

bitter harvest:

imposing a jewish state in the area was a bad idea from the start---as 60 plus years have proven.

Lisa:

Very fitting and poignant piece Mr. Melman! and ever so accurate description in regard to the decline of civil society under the occupation...for an even more HARROWING account of life in Bethlehem and in particular, the sad reality of the lives of Christian Arabs, and all Palestinians, both Muslim and Christians Arabs now caught in the middle of of an aggressive generational occupation, roving gangs of thugs, corrupt politicians, read Matt Beynon Rees 's novel (an intriguing detective story set in Bethlehem) ..."The Collaborator of Bethlehem."
YM writes :"They argue about history, archeological excavations, ancient walls, divine rights and forget the most important value: life." All too true. I think the so called leaders on both sides should for the time being focus on 2 lives: Hamas should free Gilad Shalit and Israel should free Marwan Barghouti...there is a time for every season...and it's high time for that deal to be made. Happy Holidays to all.

Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA:

Yossi says:

“I want to be optimistic on this special day. I don't think that it needs to be this way. I wholeheartedly believe that the majority of people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are more far-sighted and daring to see peace and ready to accept concessions than are their leaders. Frankly, both of us, Israelis and Palestinians deserve better leaders than the ones we have.”

Amen Bro’, but it ain’t going to happen. As long as the racist Zionist invaders and land thieves occupy the West Bank and Gaza there will never be peace. Oh yes, they may have withdrawn from Gaza, but they still control its borders, suppress its economy, and limit its basic resources like water, fuel and electricity.

As long as the racist Zionist war criminals continue to hog 80% of the water supply while denying the Palestinians the minimum required to maintain health, there will never be peace.

Actually, it is not just the “occupied territories” that is the problem. It is the occupation of the entire pre-1947 Palestine that is the problem. Until the racist Zionist war criminals vacate the Middle East, there will be no peace.

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.