Smart move Sherlock

So a Palestinian faction kidnaps an Israeli soldier and all hell breaks loose. Tens of Palestinians get killed, hundreds homeless, Palestinian ministers get kidnapped, houses get demolished, orchards get destroyed, all to secure the release of one single kid who is not yet 20.

hizbollah.jpgHizbollah obviously thinks that they can do better.. so they go ahead and kidnap two Israeli soldiers! You think that Hamas is bad, damn man they’re badder! They kicked the Israelis out of Southern Lebanon, and they’re banking on that legacy to drive them now into the sea!

Israel, so far, killed 27 people, 10 kids, 17 adults. They took Beirut Airport out of commission, they shelled the South, destroyed bridges and communication systems and their air raids are continuing with impunity. Hizbollah is not backing down.

They’re men.

And the kidnapped soldiers? Are they going to be released? How are they going to be released? Hizbollah insisted the two would only be returned via talks.” But after what? After hundreds more human beings and everything else in Israel’s path perish needlessly?

Look: Israel, whether we like it or not, has the upper hand and has had it for an awful long time. Politically, militarily and even morally in the eyes of the world. We have lost the battle on so many fronts that it boggles the mind that we still don’t recognise that the only way forward is swallowing our pride – even momentarily – and making peace. Because if the Palestinians really think that Arabs will come to their rescue, they are dreaming! Unfortunate, but true. Arabs and their leaders are more concerned with rhetoric and their cushy existence, not to carry a weapon and go fight, at least not to “drive the Jew out of the Promised Land”, they’re more than happy to kill each other in Iraq.

So facing reality, what have we really benefited over the last 60 years of waging wars with Israel and the whole world other than bigger cemeteries for both sides?

Isn’t it high time for the olive branch?

489 thoughts on “Smart move Sherlock”

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  4. Good commentary.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Israel isn’t going anywhere. Whether one loves, hates or is neutral about her existence, failure to recognize this fact can only mean that the observer has withdrawn into a fantasy world.

    Jordan, and to a lesser extent Egypt, have normalized relations with Israel. Jordan in particular (which has no reason to love or trust Fatah,, Hamas or the PA–remember the attempt by the former to seize control in Jordan during ‘Black September’) has benefitted greatly by normalized trade with Israel; Jordan’s own military has benefitted: ‘One of the main benefits Jordan has reaped from its peace treaty with Israel is the removal of a hostile military danger on its western border. Jordan has thus been able to freeze the process of conscription, making the conversion to an all-volunteer army’ (source: http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/government5.html)

    Unfortunately, the Palestinians have been woefully ill-served by their own leadership, such as it is. Israel has repeatedly offered peace, peace and more peace, and even accepted the idea of a Palestinian state; the Palestinian Authority.

    I suspect, however, that it is NOT in the interest of the PA’s leadership, much less of various terror groups, to see a peaceful, prosperous ‘Palestine’ coexisting with Israel. The entire raison d’etre for many terror groups would vanish. If the PA no longer needs ‘liberating’, what purpose terror? And, more crassly, if the PA become peaceful and prosperous, what need to endless international aid monies which usually tend to end up (ahem!) in Swiss bank accounts?

    Mahmood, the whole thing reeks of hypocrisy. Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese–everyone in the neighborhood, in fact–is being hurt. They and their children are maimed or killed, and all in pursuit of a chimera.

    I pray that the day arises when the Palestinians themselves say ENOUGH to an ideology which seeks to murder their own children and to keep themselves in poverty and despair for the benefit of terror groups and corrupt politicians.

    Peace.

  5. Rayyash:

    Greetings. I’m not sure I understood your comment. Do you feel that an all-out war between Hamas, Hezbollah and Israel is good? Or did I misunderstand?

    I hope I just misunderstood!

    Peace!

  6. Bravo? For what? For a little publicity stunt? For short-sighted gains? Your pride as an Arab has been restored? What is it about this news exactly that is good, Rayyash? I cant see anything good about it – except we as Arab citizens get jerked around by one person in power and then the next, happy to think we’ve gained anything. I think we are so politically bankrupt that we think the kidnapping of 2 soldiers is a victory. Thats really sad.

  7. Eric, while I think Hizbollah’s move was shortsighted and stupid, thats not to say Israel has been an angel spreading peace and love. Israel is morally bankrupt, yet it has learnt to play the game very well, turning the world around to think its a victim of some sorts here. What we Arabs should have learnt is to strategize too, play the political game, like Israel.

  8. Kidnap the State

    Backstrap the hate
    Meditate on the intricacies of David’s mind.

    My rhetoric is little
    to do with Arab pride
    Long ago died
    Buried like forgotten truths in the emblem of the star’s eye

    Kidnap the State
    Btchslap its fate

  9. I almost agree with everything you said Mohammed. I might add that we cannot forget the relationship between Syria and HizbAllah .. and Iran as well .. and how such relationship influnce the actions of HizbAllah..

    However .. did Israel wait for such actions to kill?
    Palastinians were killed before the recent incidents.. and will be killed afterwards!.

    Israel .. and most of the world didn’t recognize the choice of Palastinans when they selected Hamas!. So seriously .. why shall they trust the promises of peace!. Unless peace is taken exactly as Israel define .. which means that Palastinians will have a country with no army .. with pieaces of land shattered all over with no direct connection between the land except through Israeli controlled roads .. and yeah .. if someone did a bad thing to Israel (and Israel has the sole mean of defining what is bad) .. Israel will come after him.. and possibly after all others who Israel think it should!!.
    Gime a break!.

    As much as Palastinians don’t get the point that Israel will not disapear tomorrow .. Israel didn’t learn the same exact lesson .. After all these years .. Palastinians do exist .. and will keep being .. regardless how many Israel will kill .. they will be there!.

    As for HizbAllah .. yeah .. I don’t like what they did yesterday .. but tell them when they will get their prisioners in Israel?!.

    Eric
    Talking so positively about Jordan benefits out of peace with Israel ignores the fact that when peace is based mainly on me (Jordan) is weak and Isreal is strong .. it won’t last!.
    Israel never showed real interest in co-existance with the rest of the Arab countries .. it talked about it .. yeah .. but then kept killing Palastinians for a reason .. or no reason!.

  10. Eric Jacobson said:

    Israel has repeatedly offered peace, peace and more peace, and even accepted the idea of a Palestinian state; the Palestinian Authority.

    oh my GOD, poor peace seeking Israel, and very bad you invading, land occupying ‘people’, go find yourself another land to live in, and leave the ‘promised land’. it is not yours.

    how funny.

  11. My view from a millions miles away:

    Israel, so far, killed 27 people, 10 kids, 17 adults.
    Israel was stupid. They fell straight into the trap the kidnappers (and Hamas) set for them. Now they look like the bad guys and get called state-sponsored terrorists by Hamas (of all people) and the Western media are just lapping it up. It probably won’t get the kid(s) back in one piece in any case.

    We have lost the battle on so many fronts that it boggles the mind that we still don’t recognise that the only way forward is swallowing our pride – even momentarily – and making peace.
    They tried that. Then factions within both sides decided that they missed blowing one another up.

    Isn’t it high time for the olive branch?
    Yeah, but who gets the credit and the political capital? The biggest problem facing Palestine is that the government doesn’t run the country, the gangs do. What Israel (and the rest of the world) really needs to do is help the Palestinian government (any government) to get rid of the gangs and assert control. But nobody is interested in that because it’s too hard and deemed an internal matter. So what we end up with is the gangs (admittedly probably at the behest of rogue members of the government) to stir up trouble for political gain and the Palestinian people paying for it. But taking out power stations and airports is just stupid. Can you imagine if some Mexican gangs kidnapped a US solider and the US started taking out the power stations and airports in Mexico City?

    Just stupid. They deserve one another.

  12. Please read without prejudice, Thanks.

    As an Israeli, i do agree that my nation is morally corrupt. We’ve been corrupt since we’ve held two nations under military occupation for the last 40 years. the Palestinian and the Israeli nations have both been under occupation. I Served in the Israeli army, just to strengthen my beliefs that the use of force is wrong.

    However, Terrorist bombing – as terrorism – Violence against citizens (and not soldiers) is wrong. no matter what – whether it is the suicide bombers who exploded 100 ft from my house, the ones who murdered my good friend’s grandparents, the ones who kidnapped an 18 year old pupil two weeks ago and killed him cold blooded – And the ones who bomb houses with no discretion; the ones who kill without a trial and only encourage violence on both sides.

    I Do believe that violence encourages violence, and that the Bullhide had no excuse to wage war on behalf of the Lebanese people against Israel. the kidnapping of the two soldiers was unjust and unacceptable.

    However, I still remember, as an Israeli, that the unjust war waged on Lebanon took many lives on our side and i still remember my last night at the army, sitting in a barren settlement in the midst of the west bank and hearing on the radio about leaving Lebanon.

    I do not encourage violence on my side, and i do hope that people will do realise that coexistence is possible. I have had several business enterprises with Jordan, but in none was i the “strong” and they were “weak”, we were partners – mutual friends which did business.

    Please bare in mind that the internet enables us to communicate and do decrease hate, and that when people know people then there are better ways to solve disputes.

    I do not think that the Bullhide has any reason to do what they did after Israel withdrew from Lebanon six years ago.

    I know that the Israeli operation in the gaza strip is not only because of Gilad Shalit (the solider kidnapped) but because of the will to revoke the Hamas from government. I do criticise my government, and i do it often – but i do want my peers from Palestine to criticise their government as well.

    And i do think that whilst some may think that Israel is the illegitimate son of the middle east, we are here to stay, and we are here to live together with mutual benefits.

  13. Jonathan, I agree that trade bridges a lot of gaps and brings cultures together. It also accelerates peace, because prosperous people want nothing more than stability to get even more prosperous. That’s human nature.

    I also applaud your stance for peace, we (Arabs) need to hear this message a lot more from normal Israelis so that the traditionally portrayed image of “Israelis = Monsters” should dissipate. The same of course must be reciprocated for Palestinians as well and they should show the world and normal Israelis that they want peace too and they are a peaceful people; in time both nations will see each other in this light to bridge that huge chasm.

    The problems between us are most certainly not going to disappear nor are they going to be solved over night, it requires honest work and diligence from all parties to recognise the negotiation, not violence, is the only way forward.

  14. Good comments, Jonathan.

    Contrary to what one poster appears to believe, I myself don’t live in Israel, nor am I Israeli, nor even Jewish.

    The simple facts are these:

    Israel is not going to go away. Her people are not going to suicide, nor is she going to relocate to Madagascar or Finland or even Swabia (as Iran’s President recently suggested).

    The Palestinian people are not going to go away, either.

    Therefore, unless we want to indulge in blood-crazed fantasies about ‘Jews drowning in rivers of blood’ or ‘extermination of all Palestinians’, we need to realize that both sides must co-exist.

    It’s quite simple, really: unless both sides are willing to stop fighting–and to forcibly eject those elements who wish to continue doing so–the cycle will continue until some nutcase detonates a nuke in Tel Aviv or Haifa.

    And then all hell will let out for noon. It’s one thing to scream for the death of one’s enemy, quite another when large-scale destruction is imminent. I don’t think anyone can seriously doubt that Israel, should she see herself being destroyed, will let loose with every one of those 200+ nukes she possesses.

    And then we all lose, forever.

    This is not an outcome anyone in their right senses can possibly want. As Mahmood observes, it’s time for an olive branch, and frankly, as long as both sides realize they must concede something in return for permanent peace, then the latter is possible. Israel is not going to ‘own the West Bank'; the mere fact that she subscribed to Oslo and has in fact withdrawn from Gaza and nearly all the WB, given de facto recognition to the PA, and even gone so far as to take the passive approach of building a barrier (rather than going in and blowing up people’s houses, etc) to deter terror attacks indicates that she’s willing to ‘give peace a chance’.

    I suspect many Palestinians are willing to do so, too–but their leadership, all too clearly, has powerful reasons (aided by Syria and others) to keep the fires stoked.

    Doing so can have only one result, in the end, and I pray that we–all humans of good will–decide to achieve peace while it’s still possible. The road of hate and bloodlust will only lead to hell for all of us.

  15. I Agree, that’s why the internet must serve as a bridging function, it must help people not only to trade money, but to trade ideas and ideals, to make friends – with friends it is harder to wage war.

    I agree that the only way is through negotiations, but neither the Israeli nor the Arab countries (with the exceptions of Egypt and Jordan) are willing to do so; that’s why bloggers are the only people who can go through borders and speak out for their ideas, since if i called for a peace conference in Baharain i would be most likely be arrested.

  16. Mahmood:

    I truly enjoy your blog, and have been recommending it to various friends of mine (yes, it’s probably my fault that your server is showing more and more traffic; I apologize).

    As a Westerner, I think it’s important–and I am NOT being patronizing–for more of my fellow Westerners to read blogs such as yours. All too often, Europeans, Americans, Canadians, etc. tend to see ‘the Mideast’ as a sort of monolithic entity, one culture, one set of beliefs. All the men wear checkered kaffiyehs or robes, all the women are in burqhas, and it’s all generally either ‘Lawrence of Arabia/Lion of the Desert’ or else ‘Run for your lives, it’s a terrorist!’

    Sad to say, those tend to be the stereotypes in the West (and doubtless the Mideast has many stereotypes for the West, too), and of course they are both wildly wrong and deeply unfair, since they blanket a vast territory comprising dozens of separate cultures, hundreds of millions of souls, and widely different points of view on culture, religion, politics, history and much else.

    Thanks for a great blog, and for many intriguing comments. While I don’t always agree with all your opinions (that would be boring) I’m always engaged by them.

    Peace!

  17. I got here via Jonathan’s blog, I read his comments and the follow ups by both sides here in this conversation. I would like to add my bit.

    It seems that neither sides actually want to be at war with eachother but the ‘situation’ takes both sides to a corner they must act.

    I don’t believe words over ip may cause alot of change but I do believe people that read them can quite change things, especially people like Jon.

    PLEASE do your best to let other people on both sides see that there is an alternative of talking and setteling things by words and not by bullets, it will be important for our future and our kids future and I do trust our kids future is a common objective for both nations.

    peace.

  18. Eric Jacobson:
    If it was me you are refering too, be assured that I didn’t think that you live in Israel, nor an Israeli, nor even a Jewish. I don’t think my comment implied this, but just in case.
    I quote you

    Israel, should she see herself being destroyed, will let loose with every one of those 200+ nukes she possesses.

    well, they are doing almost everything now sans the nukes, and is it because ‘she’ sees herself being destroyed?! killing tens of civilians, damaging airports and power stations, and destroying infra structure in both palestine and Lebanon, for what? for a one small ‘military base’? being attacked and 2 ‘soldiers’ taken as prisoners and 8 killed in the process? didn’t Israel do the same very recently and kidnapped palestinian prisoners, leaders, from the heart of the palestinian terretories, and they are kidnapping and killing tens of civilans every day including children.
    Why does Israel still keep prisoners from Lebanon, some of them for more than quarter a century, and still fill more in every day from the palestinians? You asks Lebanon to negotiate? why don’t you ask Israel to do the same, instead of unleasing its deadly force every now and then?
    Or do you think that israel value ‘her’ soldiers and we don’t value our people,
    When you come ask for negotiations and peace, we should be on an equal bases, imagine a peaceful world where Israel coexists with its neighbours, arm-less neighbours since they will not be allowed that for the safety of Israel, and suddenly something happened, a crazy man ‘kiddnapped’ an Israeli soldier? I am sure that we will be back to square number zero again. People are happy about withdrawals but at the first test the Israeli tanks are back to occupy.
    and Jonathan, just remember that the land you are living in belonged to some other people before you or your (grand?) father came. Those people are currently living in refugee camps for the past several decades looking at you enjoying the land and defending it for enemies!

  19. Hi Salman:

    Okay, no problem, I just wanted to make clear that I’m not Israeli, in case you’d thought I was :)

    As my comment below will illustrate (I hope) I sincerely want peace for EVERYONE. Nobody is winning in this current state of affairs. Now, indeed, I’m reading that Syria and IRAN are mobilizing. This could rapidly become a regional conflict, and that deeply alarms me.

    Regarding ‘being destroyed’, what I’m referring to is the repeatedly stated goal of ‘pushing Israel into the sea’ made by some groups. Mind, I suspect that many Palestinians have no such desire, and only want to live in peace, but their leaders seem to be setting the agenda here.

    Yes, innocent Palestinians are suffering, as are innocent Lebanese; and so have hundreds of innocent Israelis, who have had to endure bombings in their shopping malls and on busses, or rocket attacks on their homes.

    The ONLY way out of this is for BOTH sides to take positive steps, on their own. It’s no good each side saying ‘you first!’ because neither side trusts the other, and neither side is going to put down their guns at the other’s request.

    There are ways out of this: first and foremost, by building an infrastructure which allows people to better their lives. It’s pretty much a truth that if people have reasonably happy lives, they won’t be highly motivated to start wars with others and risk losing all they have. That’s been the theory behind the megamillions of aid which have been poured into Gaza and the West Bank. Unfortunately, nearly all the aid–as the PA itself admits–has ‘gone missing’, most likely into the pockets of completely corrupt politicians. In that sense, the hapless Palestinians are being governed by people who share a lot in common with central African dictators. I don’t believe for a second that the PA leadership, much less the various terror groups, give a darn about their own people–if they did, they could have peace tomorrow, and heaven knows enough aid funds have been provided that the PA could long since have had a well-established economy.

    But when the leaders’ goal is to incite hate (for without the hate, they’d have no power), then nobody wins–except those leaders, who are making lots of money, no doubt.

    I submit that Israel HAS made good-faith efforts, just as she did with Egypt and Jordan. Anwar Sadat, a courageous man to the end, had the vision to make peace with Israel, which meant that his country could begin to progress economically. Jordan, which of all Israel’s enemies fought the best (by far) and has an excellent military, also had the wisdom to give over the fight in favor of normalized trade and peace. Now, instead of sending her young men to kill, and be killed by, Israeli young men, she has peace and prosperity.

    I’m only urging the PA (and Syria) to do likewise. To do so, however, both will need leaders of vision (perhaps Mahmood could volunteer? –we need people like him in charge).

    If this doesn’t happen, and Israel is one day ‘pushed into the sea’ as her enemies want, she will unleash hell on the Mideast. None of us want that (except possibly the Iranian President). That’s all I was saying….

  20. Hold on, Eric, I dont know where you got your news that Syria is mobilizing, but I wish you would stick to facts, not fabrications. Syria hasnt mobilized in 30 years and will likely never mobilize. Both Syria and Israel know that. However it is typical Israeli propoganda – start widening the framework. Every time a Palestinian attacks an Israeli soldier, it is Syria’s prodding (or Iran’s or Nicaragua’s or Timbuktu’s) and not the Israeli occupation that is to blame.

    As for your repeated claim that Palestinians want to throw Jews into the sea, I think we both know that many Israelis in power, from Begin to Rabin to Ovadia Yossef, have voiced exactly such a fate for the Palestinians.

    If you really want to be taken for a moderate, you’re going to have to work on that agenda of yours.

  21. Aaaarghh-Gwahh, pardon me while I try to choke back the posturing and the rhetoric….

    Peace is a wonderful thing, but considering the history of mankind has been written in blood (and the freshest wounds are in this part of the world), it is a bit of pipe-dream, methinks. I mean, they are still celebrating a Serbian victory from over 600 years ago which they believe lays claim to their (the Serbs) right to rule, so why does anyone think it is going to be different here?

    What I think we are witnessing is the demise of the zionist ideal. They have failed to create a ‘safe’ homeland for the jews and have created a state – by force – which has managed to gain the enmity of every single state around them, Egypt and Jordan, notwithstanding since those were political decisions taken by their paymasters (I still consider Sadat one of the greatest arab leaders of the modern era – more honest than nasser).

    The kidnapping of soldiers is hardly a bargaining tactic as much as it is a scare tactic that drives to the heart of jewish funeral rites. You can have them back, but in pieces, and not all the pieces. And this is a direct reaction the use of exessive force.

    Do you really think that demolishing the homes of suicide bombers will stop them? Or that bombing the airport in beirut will somehow affect hizbollah (other than making them the scapegoat and turning public opinion against them)? I just drove through the Bekaa Valley about a month ago, on the sixth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawl, and let me tell you, there is no lebanese governement there, only hizbollah. And in the south, who has been resisting the israeli occupation of southern lebanon? These institutions (Hamas and Hezbollah both) have become defacto governments and have earned the respect and support of the people there because they are the ones that are providing food, healthcare and education, not the so-called governments.

    Finally, the rules of engagement are changing…the palestinians are getting smarter and more capable (this is also evidenced in Iraq with a couple of snipers holding off a battalion of US troops in Fallujah). Sharon recognised this early on, but could not find an alternative to retreating from Gaza, as they did from lebanon earlier. Now, they are fighting a war on two fronts, neither one of which they are capable of winning.

    The nuclear option? radioactive oil for the rest of the world? destruction of the cradle of human civilisation? can anyone hum the tune to that Sting song, “I hope the russians love their children too”

    Side note: not only did the zionists establish a homeland in palestine, they also redrew the continental map of Europe as Israeli teams compete with Europe due to the fact that all of its neighbors don’t want to play with them…hilarious…

  22. Lujayn, Bikeshed, I regret to say that Syria’s military has mobilized much more recently than ’30 years ago’. Ask any citizen of Lebanon; I’m sure they’ll point out that Syrian forces controlled their country until, well, quite recently. That occupation alone required an ongoing mobilization of Syrian forces, a fact which nobody in the region is likely to forget. It’s also no accident that the last time Israel had to go after terrorists in Lebanon, into whom did they run? Syrian armed forces! Both in and above the Bekaa, mobilized Syrian forces were present in Lebanon BEFORE the IDF entered the country.

    And yes, Syria is mobilizing. They’d have to be insane not to, at the moment. An Israel which is busily calling up her reserve forces and going to a war footing (Damascus is roughly 10 minutes from Israeli airfields); which owns the high ground of the Golan and which, from there, can easily sweep down onto Damascus proper. Yes, I wager Syria is indeed mobilizing, if she has any sense at all, and the reports are correct. As for Iran, that country is already alerting her own forces, though doubtless more as a gesture of moral support than anything else.

    I’ve tried to illustrate that both sides need to compromise. For that effort I’ve been labelled as immoderate (amazingly) Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but until Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier, Israel was OUT of Gaza entirely and had been for a year. The Hezbollah thugs kidnapped two more soldiers on Israeli territory, merely to stir up more trouble.

    Israel has tried repeatedly to offer peace. Each time, her actions have emboldened her enemies to launch further attacks. Playtime is now over, it appears.

    The problem is, ‘hate’–hate for Israel, hate for the Jooz, hate for the US, hate for the West, hate for Britain, India, Christians, Russians–heck, just about everyone else–seems to be the operative emotion over much of the Mideast, and has spread its lethal results to places like NYC, London, Madrid, Beslan, Bali, Bombay, Somalia, Nigeria, etc, etc.–Some 5300 separate terror attacks since 9/11, or some three a day, worldwide, year on year.

    It appears that a culture of death has gripped large parts of the Mideast, and we in the West are learning that, though we want to live in peace with others, we are going to experience precisely what the Israelis have had to learn the hard way: there’s a whole subculture out there who appear infatuated with death. They don’t want peace; they want Israel dead; they don’t want to coexist with the West; they want us dead or under their rule, no matter what.

    So let me repeat: we have far, far more power than the death-lovers. Provoke us–or the Israelis–enough, and you will see us rising to defend OUR children and our relatives with a wrath you cannot even imagine.

    We will no longer be bullied, or terrorized, in the name of Islam. Those Muslims of true good will are going to have to recognize Israel’s right to exist, recognize that other cultures and faiths have the right to exist in peace, and take matters into their own hands to rid Islam of the vileness which is hijacking it.

    Nothing else will do. Israel is NOT going to go away, nor will she tolerate endless slaughter of her people indefinitely. She’s done her best to offer peace, and been kicked in the essentials each time. And with each new Islamist atrocity around the world, the other 5.3 billion of us are beginning to say ‘now we understand what Israel’s been enduring’.

    The Palestinians can drop the victimization complex and accept Israel’s right to exist, or suffer complete, total defeat. I opt for the former. What do you wish for?

    Personally, though I know people who lost friends and relatives on 9/11 and am convulsed by rage when I think of it–I, I say, am trying desperately to find a way out. However, if I find that the peace offering is slapped aside in blind hate every time I make it, sooner or later I too will just say ‘f**k the lot of you, if you attack us any more will exterminate you all’. Is that what we want? Any of us? Do we really want hatred and violence to run over into a catastrophe?

  23. Bikeshed:

    The Mideast’s oil will become less relevant over time. First off, several of the largest fields are already declining (ie in Kuwait and SA); estimates are that overall Mideast production will be dropping drastically by 2030 at latest (at current demand rates), and probably earlier if world demand continues to rise.

    Canada’s oil sands are probably the sole remaining long term supply, and even they will only supply some 5 Mb/day at peak production.

    IOW, the times, they are a’changing, for better or worse. OPEC’s power, and with it the income of its member states, is going to dwindle both quickly and by a large margin, to be replaced by alternative energies or alternative oil sources.

    And so far as Israel and her nukes go, do you really think if she’s being destroyed? Really?

  24. Syria has not mobilized against Israel for 30 years, thats what I said. Dont go widening the scope again. Incidentally, the Syrians entered Lebanon on request from the Lebanese president, which is not something the Israelis can claim. However, the Syrian’s stay became unwelcome later and the request by the Lebanese government that they leave was a valid request.

    Second of all, Israel does not own the high ground of the Golan Heights, it only occupies it from Syria. Thirdly, Syria will not mobilize because it is not in its interests to be drawn into a conflict it cannot and will not win, militarily. Syria has never been that suicidal. Israel, apart from a minor cosmetic blow to Syria, will not swoop down on anything. I hardly think Israel wants any change to the status quo in the Syrian leadership – now that would be suicidal for Israel and Israel is not stupid. If you had any sense at all, you wouldnt have said that if Syria has any sense it would mobilize.

    Fourth, I hardly think anyone in their right mind believes Israel has been peacefully existing alongside the Palestinians, even since their withdrawal from a sliver of land. What is your definition of the peace it is offering the Palestinians? The way I see it, that is usually reffered to as mass-destruction, not peace. Random indiscriminate killings, strangling of the economy, continued occupation of the west bank, and continued assassinations. Where can I get some of that peace?

    Fifth, glad you dropped the facade altogether and showed your true colors. Go right ahead and say “‘f**k the lot of us” and do your best to exterminate us (those are your words). I love the threats littering your argument! I really cant understand how people like you make a valid peace partner.

  25. Oh come on, Eric, you’re quoting Memri? Give us a break. Thats like me quoting Hizbollah’s news agency as a valid source of news on the Israeli state.

  26. Israel’s murderous actions disgust me.

    The Palestinians have been totally let down by their leaders especially Yaser Arafat (RIP)

    Forget the conceopt of the Umma – where are you now Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, KSA, Iraq? Where are you now other Muslim countries? Puring money in for arms? What a waste? Helping rebiuoild the countries? Nope

    I can see no resolution

  27. In line with Mahmood’s original sentiments on Hezbollah’s HareBrained Hoopla, some comments from others in the area:

    “Even more surprising for Hezbollah was the Sunni response to the bombing of both the old and new roads at Damour. The Sunni in Saida explained this Israeli aggression away noting that the Israelis were trying to block Palestinian militants at Naameh from going on the attack.

    According to three Sunni shop owners in Beirut from Saida, they and their families are more upset with Hezbollah than they are with Israel. In fact, they understand the Israeli position.”

    http://lebop.blogspot.com/2006/07/hezbollah-surprised-by-their-own.html

    This blogger doesn’t sound very happy with Hezbollah, either…

    http://lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com/2006/07/breaking-news-flowing.html

    Nor this fellow:

    http://www.beirutnotes.blogspot.com/

    I’m guessing a lot of folks in Lebanon, in fact, would like Hezbollah to commit collective suicide. It’d be a good thing for the Lebanese, for Israel, and for the world…

  28. Salman,

    Just to answer a few of your points, in effort to clear out things.

    first of all, i oppose holding the prisoners held in israel (without trial) for more than a quarter of a century. If you will check you will see the pictures of my friends and mine in demonstrations against the occupation in Gaza and the West Bank and in demonstrations against country enduced terror on citizens. I work for peace since i became an adult and i have lobbied peace both on the Israeli side and the PA; I went to Geneva to the signing of the Geneva Accord and i worked alongside Palestinians to arrange bilatteral demonstrations for peace.

    On the other hand, I am trying to defend my life, when my Great-Great Grandparents came here after being persecuted in Europe for being jewish, they bought land from friendly neighbours and worked alongside them, as did most of the Jews who came to israel pre-1948.

    On 1948 was a terrible disaster. Most of the Palestinian people living in Sovereign Israel were forced out of their homes; However, this can only be compensated with Money – in the same manner that i cannot be compensated for the land taken from my Great Grandfather’s house in Poland while my grandfather escaped and while i cannot ask for my best friend’s parent’s house in Iraq where they were persecuted.

    Mistakes are made constantly, it is human. What is more human is to understand these mistakes and take means to correct them. That’s why the Geneva Initiative offered a solution for the refugee problem, a good solution that is possible.

    Bikeshed,
    I am against demolishing houses since i am a humanist, i do not believe in collective punishment. However, i do not think that there’s a need for the Zionist ideal. Israel was created as a country further to the holocaust and was a home for the jewish refugees worldwide. Once israel was established, the Zionist movement died and became more pragmatic, it became political and not ideological.

    I do believe that we were on a good route to peace before Rabin was assasinated on 04.11.95 (i was there in the square as a demonstrator for peace) and afterwards Nethanyahu and Sharon made great damage. I think that Olmert and Peretz are able to fix these damages.

    Peretz was born in Morroco. He is fluent in Arabic and knows the culture, he can talk, he can smile and he can act not as a general but as a friend. He was one of the establishers of “Peace Now” and called to withdraw from lebanon as early as 1982. He is a good person and i believe that if he were the prime minister, things would have been different (he is also a social democrat, which is closer to me).

    However, both the Hamas and Hizbullah give him a hard time, they are unwilling to speak about peace and are unwilling to end this conflict.

    When they will be ready, i hope that they will still have some of the israeli left to back them up in negotiations.

  29. I am quickly typing before my little one wakes up. I will say only this and I will add I did not read everyone’s comments.
    Years ago, in my middle eastern political science class, there was one thing that stood out to me. That when our professor told us how Israel, or the Jewish settlers at the time, got the land from the British to start up ‘Israel’..the Palestinians lost. They lost not only land, they lost because they could not relate and understand the British. The Jewish settlers were Europeans who knew ‘how to play the game’. They knew about quite a few thing but the Palestinians, understandably, dug their heels in and acted upon the ‘it’s our right, you cannot possibly take our land after we have been living on it for a few thousand years’ kinda thing.
    Israel still knows how to deal with the Western culture(s). They have learned a big thing which has gotten them the US in their pocket; AIPAC, the pr lobby and the monied interests. If only any Arab leader who was truly interested in helping the Palestinians (and so many are really not), they could have used the money to counter the public relations to bring home the plight and injustices done to the Palestinian better than allowing the terrorist actions of any Palestinian group which always has given Israel the ‘see?’ attitude. The Israeli lobby has gotten to these fundamental christian types and many of them feel that ‘we’/US needs to protect Israel. Never mind that millions and millions of tax dollars go to a country that equally has engaged in terrorist acts from and before day one.
    Ingrid

  30. Lujayn:

    Um, what issue do you have precisely with the article I cited fromMEMRI? I trust you were able to look up the citations within the piece? It’s not an ‘op-ed’ piece by MEMRI, but an article recounting factual material, readily available elsewhere on the web, as indeed practically all of MEMRI’s material is.

    I trust, too, that you realize MEMRI quotes and translates the material of others? When it publishes comments from the Arab press, for example, they are merely translations, not MEMRI commentary.

    Your stance is puzzling.

    As for ‘thirty years’, you made an erroneous statement, and I’m merely correcting you on it. I’m sorry that you forgot about Lebanon and the fact that Syrian forces had mobilized to enter that nation, but that’s your affair, not mine. Israel has had to fight for her existence, repeatedly. Keep it up, and I guarantee she will, if pushed to it, vaporize every Muslim city from Marrakesh to Islamabad as she goes down. If there’s going to be a second Holocaust, don’t be surprised if Israel makes sure a whole lot of people come along for the ride.

    And I’m glad you appreciate my candor. Here’s the thing: we in the West have done NOTHING to warrant seeing our relatives blown apart, terrorized, murdered, and if you take my calm, considered promise–and it’s a promise the whole world is beginning to make, by the by, as we realize Islamism wants all of us dead or subjugated, as a ‘threat’, that’s your problem, not mine.

    Here’s the bottom line: we will no longer be bullied. We will no longer sit by while Muslims complain that THEY are being ‘victimized’ because we look on them with suspicion. This is a pattern we’ve seen so often that nobody believes it any more: some terrorist atrocity is committed, and immediately, if you please, MUSLIMS complain that they are being ‘oppressed’ or feel ‘unwelcome’. Boo hoo.

    Worldwide, we–the other 5.3 billion of us–have good reason NOT to trust Muslims. It’s not Jews, not Buddhists, nor Christians or animists or Bahai’s or Shintoists or atheists who are slaughtering all and sundry in the name of their religion. There is one religion whose name IS being used to justify such atrocities, and these acts are being carried out right around the planet, every day.

    If you don’t like that fact–and if you don’t like the fact that the victims are now turning around, gun in hand, to say ‘back off NOW’, then I suggest you start adopting a more peaceful attitude. You can start with Israel, and continue with the rest of the planet. As I think Mahmood himself has remarked here, ‘Islam’ is becoming synonymous with ‘death, hate, violence, oppression of women, torture, intolerance’.

    That’s not my doing; it’s not Israel’s doing, or the West’s, or India’s.

    Your choice. You can feel all victimized and sorry for yourself, or you can learn to live in peace with everyone else. Until Muslims decide to clean their own house of the filth that’s attacking me, mine, and all other non-Muslims, there will be no peace.

    Your choice.

  31. Jonathan, I really dont know what I feel about the point that Palestinians who were forcibly evicted from their homes in 1948 should only be recompensed with money. I really dont. I have close friends who hail from Yaffa and villages in the north of Israel, who currently live as on refugee-status in different Arab countries. They dont want money, they want to go home. Maybe some Palestinians dont want to go back, but some do. If you wanted to reclaim your home in Poland, would you readily accept that the Polish government refuses to even consider your claim?

  32. Eric sorry bub..but speak for yourself. There are plenty of actions you can accuse certain Muslims of, but make no mistake, there are plenty of actions that Muslims can blame Western countries of as well. However, you already are inclined to not look any further nor past the end of your nose (Dutch expression) so I do not think that there is any point turning this into an argumentative match. The history of injustices and perpetrations on the many sides (it’s not a simple black and white history, there are plenty of players involved) is long and even Mahmoud’s humble lil’ blog could not do it justice to write on it. Not too many people can discern and critique information (alternative, ‘official’, or ‘propaganda’ what have you) nor are many people interested in such. Your own attitude is all too clear that you brush all Muslims with one broad stroke which is pretty common. However, if I have learned one thing from having lived and traveled in different countries it’s this; there are some stereo types, and there plenty who don’t. There is always more going on than what you read anywhere as nothing happens in a vacuum. Especially when it comes to Israeli actions towards the Palestinians, military, economically , for those who follow alternative news sources and rely on journalists who do not censore themselves; there is a whole different picture than what the mainstream American media portrays.
    Please do not speak for all the other ‘billions’ of people. I am on the board of a home owner’s association, I know how easily people disagree over even the most petty of things..and don’t act all petty over one little attack when you have never been invaded, bombed, or threatened..other countries have far more experience than you, in case you have been asleep at the wheel..it’s all about the oil.
    Ingrid

  33. I have started the comment on this articl with my personal feeling, but the world and the pepole changed dramatically when it come to Israil the peace maker in the region!!
    the win/win agreement Israil made with the Arab is i will kill you and attack you every day and you just close your F**King mouth.
    Sorry I’m happy and i will be happy with every Israily soldiers going down or kidnapped.

    “Eric” I pray that the day arises when all the Israil pepole is out from all the Arabi world and from Palestin not by Peack talk but by bombing them out.

  34. Basically, if a religion becomes more important than the human him self, this is the result. a Jewish state! and hell to other humans and other religions, hell to arabs, hell to those who lived for generations in these lands, as far as the DREAM is fulfilled! what dream is this?! it is a nightmare if you tell me, for the arabs and for the ‘Jewish state’ that does not allow anyone but jewish to live! The conflict is not between muslims and jewish, because the christians are also suffering from the occupation by the Jewish state. a state that is man made to gather all jewish from all around the world in one spot. interesting!

    Read the following comments from;

    http://news.netscape.com/story/2006/07/13/isreal-fires-on-lebanese-airport/

    asalf:

    You don’t have a clue what’s going on in the middle east!!! You don’t have a clue who are the Arabs are!!!
    Even though they look like humans, they are just animals!!!
    advanced animal!!!
    They can think, they dress and so on, but the behavior of 99% of them is totally animaly.
    This is accordingly to almost day-to-day life with them!
    They do things, not just not accordingly to their not existing “religion”, but opposite of it!!!
    Their leaders do all the terror for money, in disguise of religion!!!
    They settle in our country, and just beacause of the “bleeding heart” euopeans, we can’t bring back our lands!!!
    I wish the all Arabs were dead!!! And that all the ornery and cruel creatures which lead them were in hell forever!!!

  35. Good grief.

    Well, I tried. I tried to be calm, measured and open.

    In return, I’ve seen screeds praying and hoping that Israel is utterly destroyed, that Israel is always in the wrong, that she has no right to exist.

    What can one say to such invincible hate and blindness, except: this is PRECISELY why the world increasingly distrusts Islam. What we’re seeing is, over and over, screams of hate, threats, bullying, and when anyone says ‘enough’, the response is either ‘you’re being mean to us’ or yet more threats and firebreathing.

    The reality is this: Israel will not be going away, that is, the only way it’ll be destroyed is by some sort of nuclear attack, and if that happens, you can kiss the entire Arab Mideast goodbye. First on the target list will be Mecca and Medinah, followed by Alexandria, Damascus, Beirut, Amman, Riyadh, Tunis, Marrakesh, Fars, Tehran, etc, etc.

    I–and many others–have warned repeatedly that this unreasoning savagery toward Israel will result in either the destruction of her enemies, or the destruction of Israel plus her enemies. In either case, note that the Mideast goes to hell in a handbasket. The response, unfortunately, has mainly been vituperation and yet more hate.

    And that’s why the rest of the planet is beginning to despair of the region: like it or not, the place is being viewed as the home of utter and complete lunatics who no longer no how to love, but only how to bring death and terror to everyone else.

    Is that what you all want? I know that Mahmood, at least, doesn’t, but the voices of rage and hate and intolerance and smug self-righteousness seem to be in the majority.

    Just remember: Israel has nukes. Lots of them.

  36. Scared… very scared… for friends, neighbors and the potential of Lebanon returning to failed state status….

    Did you hear Nasrallahs speech? He sweated his way through the thing, and didn’t maintain his usual tone… Irani strings are more then evident and I think he very well realizes he’s selling the country down the gutter for another countries political motives (history repeats itself, then and again).

  37. many innocent people will pay the price as they have in the past, present and future.

    Israel at the moment is more powerful, but that doesnt mean that will always be the case….one day I am sure there will be a role reversal.

    I also believe that when (big WHEN) the Arabs are more powerful, it wont mean we will be better or offer a better quality of life for everyone..

    One solution, one country for everybody..doesnt matter who is majority/minority or what religion they follow…so long as their law and order and respect..

    Israel can enjoy its days of glory , but in the long run i doubt if it will always maintain the upper hand.

    Empires come and go even if they last for thousands of years whether it be for the Arabs or Isrealis. Civilizations flourish and cease, even languages. We dont know what the future holds.

    Being an Arab, I am wishful that the coming days are to our favour but not at the cost of human life. At the same time, I am not ready to bow down and swallow whats “fed” to me because Israel has the upper hand at the moment. Maybe a little bit of pride is involved, and pride does indeed very often come before a fall. I disagree with Mahmood that Arabs should accept the status quo and wag their tails for any leftovers :)

    Time for people to see each other as equals and learn to live with one another (as opposed to living behind a fence and exchanging false greetings and kisses) otherwise we will just be at each others necks as we have been for the past @# years. Just waiting for the chance to destroy each other.

    One state for all! :) Let some superpower impose it on all sides and give us no option but to live TOGETHER. Maybe in a generation or two the people involved can then manage it on their own!

    If its possible for people to live together in other parts of the world, I am sure we can do it too if we believe in peace. A peace between cultures and religions and not a handshake betwen two leaders , where one tells the others sign on the dotted line.

    Imagine not being able to sleep because you think theres an axe murderer around just waiting for you to shut your eyes. Imagine not being able to sleep because you are too afraid to sleep. Imagine being not able to sleep because you are no longer in your own house and the wife has sent you to spend the night in the garden. People who dont get enough sleep become Monsters on either side.

    Just some thoughts, wish everyone a monster free evening.

    ps i dont own an axe

  38. I think this is the worst thing you have ever written (that I’ve read so far). Offer peace under what terms? The west bank and Gazza under Israeli control?

    Peace is a lovely lofty ideal but I think you’ll find that the approach was tried and it failed. Israel don’t want a two state solution and they don’t want to give the West Bank to Palestinians (maybe Gazza only because its more trouble than its worth).

    But hey, maybe your right. Lets swallow our pride and make peace. While we’re at it, lets hand them Gazza, the west bank, and heck let’s not stop there, there’s always Sinai and the Gollan Hights.

  39. Anon, figure out a way that all the domestic monarchies would be willing to succeed power to a single state… or to have religous or non-religous laws imposed…. everyone is at disagreement, and borders to a lot of these people are becoming more and more important to keep the “other” out … whoever the “other” may be.

    If Arabs ever got the upper hand, I’d only hope the people in charge would have a sense of mind to practice restraint and forgivness for the past and future, friends and enemies…. its sad everyone has to be so conflicted today, that when it all boils up it leads to these sorts of situations

    *ducks and covers for the onslaught of nationalists, ‘patriots’ and realists*

  40. Hi all!

    Sorry for the extra long hiatus Mahmood – I have been lurking for a while now, enjoying summer now that exams are over. Hope all is well. I am happy to see that the majority of people dont take Steve seriously anymore – afterall, the very act of debating someone means you – in some little way – sanction their point of view.

    Recent events have yet again managed to pull me back to writing, and hopefully, I will have the time to reply. I mainly want to address Eric Jacobson in the next post.

    -Ibn

  41. It’s at times like these that you’re reminded that Zionism’s one of those late-19th Century ideologies like Marxism and fascism that was meant to transform the bourgeois man through struggle into the man of destiny. Like its sister ideologies its been a moral and intellectual black hole that’s corrupted all concerned. Violence, like today’s scenes in Lebanon, is built into its ideology since its impossible to found a nation-state comprised of migrants on top of the area’s indigenous inhabitants without struggle. The removal of the Palestinians – and all the subsequent consequences – was implicit in the ideology from the start.

    The irony is that while Israel is the region’s superpower, it cannot gain the legitimacy it seeks through war, only through the acquiesence of the Palestinians. Bombing Lebanon or fencing off Gaza turning it into the world’s biggest ghetto ain’t going to change this.

  42. Mahmood,

    I knew that you were an American apologist and a “Native Informant“, but I never expected that you’d be that for Israel as well.

    You think that the reason hizbollah and palestinians are doing this is because they want to show “they’re men and big baddies”????? I want you to stand up and say that to the millions of palestinians living in exile because of 1948 and after. I want you to stand up and say your sarcastic remark to the families of all who’ve been killed in the intifada, those imprisoned, and those who’ve had they’re land confiscated by the Jewish National Fund. Of course, the reason they’re doing that is because “they want to be called men.” What about Al Nakbah and the more than 500 villages wiped out in it, what about the two intifadhas, what about the biggest refugee community in the world, what about the confiscated lands, what about the ongoing killings and suffering?

    Of course, you’re solution is empty and vacuous rubbish put forward to keep your legion of american neocon readers happy. Let us make peace right now and extend the olive branch! Ahh… how nice. and can you care to explain to me what kind of peace oh you most knowledgable one proposes? Is it a two state or a one state solution? Or is it just some nice word you like throwing around to make yourself look nice? Any concrete proposals? Does it include the right of return? does it include dismantling all of the major settlements that are taking up a massive chunk of the remainder of the 23% of historic palestine in the west bank and gaza? Do you know that Israel has categorically refused to do both? Do you know what those are the twO MINIMUM, the least, that the palestinians need and demand in order to have a viable state and lasting peace? Is that too much to ask? Let me go back to my country and give me some sort of a land that is not a joke collection of bantustans?

    What peace are you talking about? Is it just giving up and surrendering while the only benefit being that Israeli military bombardments are ended, while no right of return is given and the palestinians are given land crumbs that are a pathetic excuse for a state?

    Did you know that just before the Israeli soldier was arrested in Palestine, “Israel entered Gaza and took two Palestinians hostage ? Did you know that this happens on a very regular basis, and rarely does a media outlet bat an eyelid to it? Of course you wouldn’t have known. I doubt the news sources you go to would report such trivialities. Israel regularly arrests Palestinians. No one gives a toss. An Israeli soldier is arrested and people describe it as a brutal act that has brought the end of the world. It is not the Israeli act that is disgusting, where bridges, electricity plants, and airports are targetted, affecting hundreds of thousands, but it is the abducting of the soldier that is a henious crime. So terrorism is described as abhorrent and unjusitifiable under any circumstances, and then targetting soldiers is also considered unjustifiable!!!!!!!! In fact it’s also called terrorism! Of course, the only thing you should do is lay your arms and give up unconditionally.

    You ask what have we gained in the last sixty years from the conflict with Israel. Materially… nothing. I guess for a neoliberal neocon and an apologist like you you cannot fathom what the hell is the point if we haven’t gained any material riches, trade, or money. The point is you don’t give up your right, dignity, land, and the blood of the people of your country for nothing less than a tangible and proper solution. You do not go and become all friends with the person who just raped your sister, your mother, and your daughter just so that you get some money from them. You can go and do that if you want, but we won’t.

    To all Arabs who are Israeli and neocon apologists and just want the Palestinians to shut up and give it a rest because it’s too much of a hassle for them, I dedicate the following poem:

    القدس عروس عروبتكم ؟!!
    فلماذا ادخلتم كل زناة الليل إلى حجرتها
    ووقفتم تسترقون السمع وراء الأبواب لصرخات بكارتها
    وسحبتم كل خماجركن ، وتنافختم شرفاً
    وصرختم فيها أن تسكت صوناً للعرض ؟؟!!
    فما أشرفكم !
    أولاد القحبة هل تسكت مغتصبه ؟؟!
    أولاد القحبة !
    لست خجولاً حين أصارحكم بحقيقتكم
    إن حظيرة خنزير أطهر من أطهركم
    تتحرك دكة غسل الموتى ،
    أمَّا أنتم
    لا تهتز لكم قصبه !
    الآن اعريكم
    في كل عواصم هذا الوطن العربيّ قتلتم فرحي

  43. Eric Jacobson,

    Ahh, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I dont call it the “Islamic – Jewish” conflict, because really, this has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with territory. In fact, technically it is not even the Israeli-Arab conflict, because Morrocans have almost no beef with Israel. Understandably the Arabs around the Palestinians go irked once that disaster happened in 1948, because they realized it could just as easily have been them. But I digress. Here is my main post:

    Eric Jacobson, I have read your posts on this section, and after inviting you to wipe that saliva that drooled down your mouth, I would like to debate this with you.

    Eric Jacobson, as far as I see it, Israel has no right to exist. Thats right, you heard me right – does NOT have a right to exist. My reasoning for this is very simple. I do not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, anymore than I would acknowledge a burglar’s right to my house.

    How so? Let me make an analogy:

    I have a house I am living in. In comes an individual, who is physically more powerfull than me, and manages to kick me out into my neighbours front yard. I try to regain my terrirotry, but to no avail. My neighbour sees me camped out on his front yard, and offers minimal assistance, but does not allow me to live in his house.

    A week later, on my latest attempt to regain my house, the burglar says:

    Burglar: “Peace! I offer peace! How about you live in the basement, and ill live in the rest of the house?”

    I say: “F*** you, get out of my house.”

    The burglar replies: “Why do you hate me? why do you hate my race? you only hate! See! He cant even agree to peace! He just wants violence! Ahh! I get it! He wants to commit violence against me because im Jewish! War monger! Hate monger!”

    ———————————–

    Now, who is the “wrong” party in this scenario? The burglar. Period. The neighbour, well he can be said to be very un-neighbourly, but at the end of the day, it is still HIS right, who he wants to let inside HIS house.

    Now Mr Eric Jacobson, I trust you will agree with me that the burglar is the scumbag in this scenario. What you will probably take issue with however, is how this analogy fits real life. I motion that it does near perfectly. I predict yours will be that it is way off the mark. Suffice it is to say that I reached this conclusion after about 7 years of on and off research. I have talked to Israeli groups, gone to their lectures, asked questions, gone to their parties – I even has the pleasure of conversing repeatedly with some HARD core Zionists, who beleive Palestinians were planted en masse by Egypt and other equally crazy consipiracy theories. These are my accumulated sources. Ive used to know an Israeli tank commander. I do know one of their soldiers. So those are a sample of the sources I am basing my opinions on, 7 years later. I even remember going to the library and checking out BBC news from the 40s, and would you believe they used to call the early Israeli Jews terrorists? On screen? Big bold letters. Its very telling. So anyway, whichever way you slice it,you cannot change the fact that Israel was founded on one big giant crime.

    On a deeper note: Why do I really think Israel doesnt have the right to exist? Because Eric Jacobson, I do not agree with the premise of might-makes-right. I do not want to live in a world where the latest sect who has been wronged, has a carte-blanche to simply take over another territory that has already been occupied. I dont want to live in that kind of world. For me to accept Israel’s right to exist, means I have to accept, that at ANY time, for whatever reason, a group of people have the right to rob me of my home, for no reason at all. That is the main reason, I simply CANNOT accept Israel’s right to exist.

    Therefore, any chest pounding along the lines of “Israel has nukes…” is just the equivalent of the burglar in my example saying: “I have an uzi, and if you do not stop pertering me, I will moe you down.” I believe this is called bullying. If that is Israel’s/your stance, fine! It gives my counterpoint even more credance – talking about nuking every major Arab capital because of a nation of 6 million just makes you look bad, not me. That statement is actually a treasure – for it gives us rare – very rare – insight into the true mind of Israel, allowing us to see how barbaric it is to its core. Killing 10 for 1? Wow. You’ve even beaten Hammourabi’s an eye for an eye! Either way, it gives more credance to the counter points.

    Similarly, the stance of “We’re here, live with it.” does no good. It is simply intimidation. For example, when you are held at gun point by a robber, you comply with his every demand – you are “living with it”. But still, that does not make what he is doing right. Should half a chance arise, there is no doubt you would annihilate the robber, and rightly so. Again, bullishness on your/Israel’s part gives the counter points even more credance. Good job. I couldnt have called you out without you. Literally.

    ——————————–

    Although my stance is that Israel does not have a right to exist, I do in fact sympathize with the ordeal the Jews had to indure suring WWII. Obviously, the holocaust was a crime unheard of in history, and Hitler is evil incarnate. So I can sympathize with their plight. From plight, people work to create solutions. Unfortunately, some Jews chose a late 19th century ideology, namely, Zionism. And unfortunately, Zionism steps on my toes. As it does yours. If the Zionists had picked Wyoming instead of Palestine, there is no doubt the Americans would have their own “martyr’s square”.

    So,

    Plight –> Zionism.

    Plight: OK. I sympathize.
    Zionism: NOT OK. Because it is ok to confiscate my home and property if it serves the purpose of founding a Jewish homeland.

    I do not support Israel.

    -Ibn

  44. Eric, when I commented, I made the comment with reference to Syria, as I remember, and nowhere in the Memri “translation” is there any reference to Syria saying anything about mobilizing. There is one unidentified source that says they discussed the situation in Lebanon with Iran and Palestine, and how to deal with the situation. How did an unidentified source become a credible source on Syria mobilizing.

    As for Memri, I believe Memri translates with a slant, an agenda. How many pro-Western Arab articles have you read translated on Memri? Not many, I think, eh? Memri aims to translate (and I use the word translate, loosely) what paints Muslims in a bad light, especially since many in the West hardly try to corroborate facts, and take Memri as the holy word.

    I reiterate. Syria has not mobilized against Israel. It has mobilized inside Lebanon. Not against Israel. What part of that dont you understand?

    The Arab-Israeli conflict has very little to do with Islam, so dont go dragging Islam into the argument. Its a territorial, national conflict. Christian Arabs are just as incensed by Israel’s transgressions and live under occupation too in Palestine.

    We are not discussing you being bullied by Muslim terrorists here. We are discussing the Israeli/Arab conflict. How on earth did it become about Muslim terrorists again? However, if you insist on insulting Islam indiscrimately, then I think I’m allowed to respond. I dont believe I insulted the West nor Israel. The only “savagery” has been your rant, nowhere have I been anywhere close to “savage”. I was just pointing out your spin.

    May I remind you, too, that the Jewish holocaust was perpetrated by Christians, Europeans. Not Muslims, not Arabs. In fact, ideologically, Islam and Judiasm are very close. However, the conflict that arose between the two is purely territorial. It has nothing to do with religion.

    I pray that a people that has been subjected to the horror of the holocaust would not perpetrate it against others.

    Lastly, I’m glad you know the name of a few cities in the Arab world, however, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of the region and realize that Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt have all normalized relations with Israel and hardly constitute a “threat”.

    Oh, and this “its your problem, not mine” thing you’ve got going – so juvenile.

  45. Loki, nobody said anything about giving them Gaza or West Bank or Golan Heights or Sinai. Those are non-negotiable. However, throwing firecrackers at Israel every once in a while and getting slaughtered afterwards is hardly a smart tactical move, is it? Israel plays the political game wonderfully. I suggest we learn to play the game too. Lets stop all warfare, all attacks. Once we’ve done that, lets turn to the West and turn on some smart marketing tactics. That’s what Israel does. Lets keep it going for a while. Lets not give up, even if we don’t achieve results immediately. Eventually, the West will look at us differently, and realize they can speak to us. I think that’s what Ingrid mentioned. We don’t know how to speak to the West and they definitely don’t know how to speak to us. Lets learn to speak. Especially since attacks are hardly getting us anywhere. Five years ago, the people of Gaza were in a far better state. I don’t believe our pride should come at the expense of their lives.

    Loki, nobody said anything about giving them Gaza or West Bank or Golan Heights or Sinai. Those are non-negotiable. However, throwing firecrackers at Israel every once in a while and getting slaughtered afterwards is hardly a smart tactical move, is it? Israel plays the political game wonderfully. I suggest we learn to play the game too. Lets stop all warfare, all attacks. Once we’ve done that, lets turn to the West and turn on some smart marketing tactics. That’s what Israel does. Lets keep it going for a while. Lets not give up, even if we don’t achieve results immediately. Eventually, the West will look at us differently, and realize they can speak to us. I think that’s what Ingrid mentioned. We don’t know how to speak to the West and they definitely don’t know how to speak to us. Lets learn to speak. Especially since attacks are hardly getting us anywhere. Five years ago, the people of Gaza were in a far better state. I don’t believe our pride should come at the expense of their lives.

    AntiApologists, I am not an apologist. I am trying to be a realist. I believe that there is something wrong with our approach, if after 58 years, we are no closer to a solution and the Palestinian people who we all are supposedly defending are in a far more miserable state than they were years ago. Do you really believe that these minor slaps are going to have any effect on the Israeli state? If we cannot do anything to change the course of events, then I believe we need to bow down and try a different strategy, until we develop ourselves into full citizens, not half-humans, not-half-citizens. I truly believe that we deserve the name you called us in the poem, only because we really are useless. We sit back and allow our fates to be decided by every tom, dick and harry, and we grumble a bit, then take it. We have no power, no say. However, judging by the many intelligent people conversing here and elsewhere in countless Arab blogs, I believe we do have control over one thing only in the Arab world and that is our ability to develop as intelligent, productive beings.

    Can you imagine the force of 300 million educated and advanced Arabs in the Arab world? Right now we might as well be 300, for all the power we have. I am not advocating violence in any which way. If there is anything I believe strongly in, is that violence is not an option, it’s a loser’s tool. However, our power as productive, developed citizens will shrink Israel back to a normal size. It currently enjoys unimaginable financial and moral support, because it’s the “victim” in the midst of “hostile” nations. If we are no longer “hostile”, what makes Israel any more special than Madagascar?

  46. Btw..Ibn (long time no see), zionism originally was just a spiritual quest and Martin Buber, a Jewish philosopher, equated zionism with the search for heaven in christianity..but a spiritual one. Not an actual place for people to congregate in the afterlife, but a state of spiritual being in the here and now..as someone mentioned (might have been you), it’s been perverted..like so many things.
    I also agree with your stance on Israel. It is a very very emotional one for many Jews even or especially those in the US an emotional one, less so with European Jews who are a bit more realistic. Menachim Begin was a terrorist and wanted by the British I think it was during the 20s or 30s..don’t remember. When Israel became a state and Begin was its prime minister scheduled for a visit to the UK, the officials had to quickly take him off the terrorist list to prevent ‘embarrasment’..too bad..
    Ingrid

  47. Not all arabs are the same as bahrainis…we don’t buy US marines watches and laptops. From I heard, marines are going out with bahraini girls and their fathers like it.
    why can’t you call yourself a pakistani or indian and not arab. you are insulting us.
    And as described by an indian blogger: ” BAHRAIN -The Whore of Arabia.”
    lOOK FOR YOURSELF:

    http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/06/20/042635.php

  48. I think the two biggest mistakes in the past 20 years occurred recently. Hammas’s refusal to renounce terrorism and the US’s cutting off aid to Palestine. I’m so sick of the saving face routine. So people bleed and die again and face is saved.

    billT

  49. So people’s nerves are raw, everyone views this issue as very emotive and existential to all sides. May I suggest, please, stay off the personal attacks and keep on discussing ideas. I do not expect that the conversations we have here will solve the deep Palestinian/Israeli conflict, not by a long shot, but if it contributes to bringing both sides closer in their views by a single atom space, then I’m happy.

    Thanks all for taking the time to comment.

  50. Mahmood:

    How about Israel being another oppressor to add to the list of the internal oppressors such as the many dictators. the problem with your thesis is that it fails (deliberately, I think) to put things in context. Somehow, we the arab masses, are so sutpid and ignorant that we’re suckered into hating israel instead of concentating on our own problems. Now, how delusional is that when Israel kills on daily basis dozens upon dozens of people IT SAYS are “terrorists” ?? and has a long track of killing its enemies while deliberately ignoring the by-standers’ being harm’s way. Why should I be sympathetic to Israel or to its kidnapped and killed soldiers?? they’re not even civilians.

    The problem is not a “pride” problem it is an issue of propotion and disproportion. Oh, by the way, speak for yourself, you don’t represent or speak for Arabs.

  51. Another thing, how come you’re silent on Israel’s Human Rights record??

    Yeah, I forgot, the only democracy in the middle-east…… Oh no, my bad, I meant Cyprus.

  52. Could you re-read what I have originally written? Where does it say that I condone Israel’s barbarism, or that of any other oppressor and terrorist? Where does it even show my personal position on this conflict? But it seems that some simply want to attack rather than understand.

    Debate, my friends, has the principal of trying to reach a conclusion with discussion. Not with personal attacks, not with raised voices, not with violence, and not with skewing the truth to suit you own argument.

    So let me tell you very briefly what is at hand here, and again, the premise is discussion. If you want to continue to attack me rather than my ideas, then be my guest, you will only show yourself off rather than put me (or force me?) into a bad light:

    1. Israel exists.
    2. Palestinians have accepted its existance.
    3. Arabs, by virtue of the King Abdulla’s plan, accepted its existance.
    4. It is a fully fledged member of the United Nations.

    These are all inescapable facts. If you want to persue an emotional path, then that’s your problem. The reality is that it exists, and the Palestinians themselves – who are the first party here – accept, condone, and recognise that fact.

    Now, is the Israeli state saintly and without fault? No.
    Is Hamas saintly? No.
    Is Hizbollah saintly? No.
    Is there any country or regime on earth saintly? No, of course not.

    Are their transgressions by Israel against the Palestinians? Yes.
    Are they fair in their actions? No.
    Do they practice collective punishment? Yes.
    Do they practice state-sponsored terror campains? Most definitely.
    Do I condone their actions? No, nor do I condone violent actions by the various factions.

    What’s the solution to this problem then?

    Dialogue.

    And that’s what we’re doing here.

    So get off your soap box and get off your emotional masturbation, review the facts and debate objectively. Otherwise, save your own prejudices to yourselves regardless of where you stand on the divide. And don’t you dare put words in my mouth and do not even pretend to know me and my motives.

    Have a wonderful Friday.

  53. Who’s hand is strengthened? Why, tis everyone (except for the government of Lebanon). Hamas, I think, is one of those political entities that gains popularity when it can point to the perfidity of the “other” (I suspect that Hamas prefers this to headlines about civil servants not being paid for three months). The current Israeli government surely must be happy because Hamas is nice and predictable (so was Nixon in the eyes of the USSR). Hezbollah is elated now that it can show strikes against the hated Zionist opressor, and then take credit for Israels withdrawl when this stupid operation is over. For Israel, shores up the bona-fides with American and Israeli conservatives by showing “bold, decisive action”, distracts everyone else. Its a win-win!

    Unless you actually run Lebanon, in which case your response to violation of territorial soverignty has just been shown to be as limp as Rush Limbaugh before Viagra. Or are actually Palestinian, Israeli, Lebaneese, or have any personal or business interests in the Middle East at all.

  54. Mahmood:

    You didn’t say one word about Israel’s barbarism in that posting, not one word. Besides, how is it that you frame the issue as if Israel’s existance was in question?? As a matter of fact, ALL the arab states have recognized israel’s right of existance either through diplomatic relationships or direct negociations (syria) or by virtue of their adherance to King Fahad’s peace initiative which, by the way, israel squarely rejected.

    So much for dialogue, now, admitting for a second that the existance of Israel was somehow in question in the Arab states, What can they possibly do about it as it can soundly beat any combination of armies, alphabetically or out of order? How’s israel de facto existance related to stating the obvious: its disproportionate use of of violence and crimes and against civilians??Please, give me a break!!

    Now, how come you didn’t deem it worthy of your time to point out that it is Israel that is rampaging left and right and exacting a huge human toll on the Palestinians and Lebanese?? you don’t see a story there, or it is Arabs “emotional masturbation” that is the story??

    I thought that you’re a human rights activist, how can you remain silent when civilian are being collectively punished and killed by israel??

    Too many quesitons, at least I appreciate you addressing my first message, others would have just erased the inconvient comments for it doesn’t look too good in the west to criticize israel; maybe it is a sign of arab “denial”.

  55. What break do you need? If you had bothered to read my article without blinkers, and without prejudgement you would have understood that I was addressing a single facet of this whole equation, but you happily inferred from it my position on a myriad of subjects which I had not come close to mentioning.

    I understand that this whole issue hurts a lot, I recognise that. I also recognise that passion and the raw emotions associated with it. I; however, chose not to digress from an important issue which I have raised and you are more than welcome to debate it. Other than that, you’re more than welcome to write as much as you want and rant as much as people could take in your blog if you have one. Just don’t pour your own prejudices on me.

    Get back to the issue.

  56. In other words, you can’t or wouldn’t respond to the raised issues. So much for human rights activism, you would not take a stand on what is going on, you’d rather criticize Hezbollah, but not a word on the indiscriminate killing israel has inflicted. Interesting sense of morality…

  57. Ah, so it’s my criticism of HIzbollah which pushed your buttons then… and nothing else.

    Ok, good. Now think objectively about their actions, the results, and how they are going to respond.

    Do you like what you see? If so, then you might want to consider moving to Southern Lebanon for a while, rather than the precincts of that mighty North American river!

  58. Getting Ad-hominem here, nonetheless my point stands. It is your total silence on the suffering of the civilians that discredits you, by the way, a simple word of rememberance of the lebanese, palestinain and israeli civilian victims would have gotten you some credibility. Thank you though for taking the time to answer-or avoid answering- some tough questions.

  59. Let me repeat: Ok, good. Now think objectively about their actions, the results, and how they are going to respond.

    As to the rememberence of the victims, I did, several times, over several years. But I guess you want to feel important enought to answer you specifically? Ok, re-read my articles here and you’ll find my position amply explained.

    Now, let’s get back on track and answer the simple question above.

  60. What I would have like to have seen…one (1) Palestinian try to build a school in Gaza..or maybe a hospital. Since the Israeli’s pulled out how of Gaza how many Palestinians have tried to make it a better place? Oh yeah..none. No..they shot rockets out of Gaza…and build a tunnel to kidnap a soldier. Good freakin idea. It doesn’t matter that they probably couldn’t have built a hospital or school..but had they shown to the rest of the world they wanted to try instead of letting ski mask wearing fools launch rockets out of Gaza ..maybe the rest of the world would have a different opinion of the Palestinian plight.

  61. Jett, have you been to Gaza? do you speak from experience? People in Gaza are not war-crazy lunatics. They’re human beings just like you. And they build and develop DESPITE every attempt by the Israelis to drag them back down with continued assaults, massacres and aggression. I say despite, because the Israelis have done everything possible to strangle the Palestinian economy and their livelihood. Please say something meaningful, instead of regurgitating racist arguments.

  62. Hi everyone,
    I’ve been a lurker here for some time and I don’t know whether me posting here is a good idea as I really do not want to add to the tensions but I’ll give it a go.

    This is an emotive issue but that does not mean we should throw ourselves into this from that standpoint. Instead of he said- she said arguments we should be debating and discussing how to bring lasting peace and security for all parties. I think a good start would be a simple petition that would simply express the desire for peace and abhorrance to violence with no qualifying statements. Those that want peace should work to have that petition signed by the israeli people, the palestinian people, all the people in other arab states and let it build a momentum so that government ministers have to sit up and pay attention and if they’re smart they will also sign it. At this point I’m sure you think that I am a naive idiot but such a simple idea got the warmongers on either side of the Northern Ireland conflict to sit up and finally listen to the people whose lives they were playing with. It forced them to sit down and talk or face obseletion. That spawned the Good Friday agreement otherwise known as Sunningdale for slow learners :) A petition of this scale would take a massive amount of effort to get off the ground and actually work, so who wants to work for peace? Remember war is easy peace is hard.

    Maybe my suggestion is stupid but I am looking to the future and thinking how can I make it a positive one because whatever some of you might think there can be no winners from a conflict like this, only losers. The sooner everybody realises this and stops the blame game, the sooner we can make a happy future.

    ibn: with regard to your statement about Israel’s right to exist, I don’t think there is any problem in questioning any states right to exist but in your scenario where do you draw the statute of limitations? Is it ok for me to say I’ll throw out my protestant neighbours because I dont think their ancestors should have been in “my country” in the first place? Or lets get the Normans out of Britain?
    Borders, countries and people are fluid, they change over time and despite what anyone says, borders are not drawn by god. I doubt the middle east’s clean straight borders will last forever, they will change just as they have before everywhere. Look at the lines of Europe, they make no sense but it works for most and when it doesn’t it will change. Countries do not have a right to exist, they just exist. It is people who have the right to exist. At the moment borders are negotiated through violence in the future that will negotiated through talks, where liberal democracies will talk to other liberal democracies. That is the future.

    Lujayn: while I don’t agree with what Jett was saying or certainly the tone at least, it is not fair to call it racist nor is it fair to disqualify him from an opinion because he has not been to Gaza. This shuts down discussion and both sides only talk among themselves. It is counter-productive

    Sorry for the long post and I’m not here to attack anyone, just give my opinions

    Great blog by the way Mahmood!

    Solas

  63. “Countries do not have a right to exist, they just exist. It is people who have the right to exist.” That is a good point.

    Let me add one thing,
    if Isreal wants peace, I recommend allowing ALL native people to return to their home land, and treat them under the civil rights, all are equal, not based on relgion or anything else, stop the naturisation process, make the constitution agreed by all sectors, arabs and non arabs, regardless of the religion. So one country for all…

  64. Your article has touched me.
    I whish your voice of reason will spread in the Arab world.
    I served as a soldier in Gaza where Arafat came in.
    The people where vary happy and cry “now we have a state”
    Since then billiards of dollars came to the Palestinian and what they do with it?
    Build school, factories, and parks for children? No!!!!!!!!!!
    They will rather starve and buy more guns.
    We also buy guns, but we also build, and think how to make the future better for our children.
    Now I am a father.
    And if I will have to go to war I will go to defend my family.
    But every day i think how I can teach my girl, how can I make her happy.
    That’s why we move forward and most of the Arabs stay foot.
    We have a say “he who run after pride ‘ the pride runs away from him” and the poor Arab leaders always run after the pride…

  65. hi all
    its nice to see people can talk freely and chat though the situation.
    no one here in israel hate lebanonise,more than that,we see lebanon people the real peace seekers and toerd of wars.
    the problem with your poor country is that christians hate the muslims,and muslims fanatics are rolling you by the suport of syria.
    we just want a clean boarder with no missiles on us with no reason!!
    israel gave lebanon her lands as the UN asked for,but steel,there are some terror groups that want us to extinced,and just cant get enough.
    its not a war against lebanon,WE WANT PEACE!!!
    we are more tierd than you from all this situation belive me.
    take out hizbullah from your country,they are only 4000 soilidgers and your army is 75000.
    the army should be on the border and not terror groups.
    i pray for you saftey as i pray for my family.
    i wish one day we can all sit together and hug each other.
    WE ARE ALL PEOPLE!!!
    asher

  66. History is toxic. It keeps one stuck in the past, when the past doesn’t really exist at all. Just look at the clock. Look at a Calender. We are all here now.

    And I am afraid that until ALL of us learn that, we will continue to re-enact the pain and suffering of the past. We have become a world filled with children. “I can hit him because he hit me.” That is the logic of a child.

    So for me, the question is, what do we do with what exists NOW. Based on what is right now. What is the best way forward? This is a difficult questions, more difficult than deciding what to do based on the past, because it requires that all involved be willing to grow up and leave the past behind. It requires that all of us be willing to embrace the idea of change. None of us are innocent (only children are) . . . and I will also say that is something that is “right” for me isn’t also “right” for anyone else, it is wrong. In other words, my “right” to hate the “other” is just as wrong as their hatred for me. Hatred is hatred is hatred. And it only begets more.

    And indeed the world is changing (whether or not we like it or want it) very quickly. The question is, whether or not we humans can find the inner resources and the courage to embrace this change, rather than fight it. If we can embrace that things MUST change, then I sincerely believe that is possible to discover new ways to learn to live together. If we don’t we will only suceed in destroying each other.

    We are indeed ALL people. And none of us are perfect, so it logically follows that we have no right to “blame” others for their lack of perfection. We need to not only forgive each other, but we need to forgive ourselves and just move on. With courage, compassion and hopefully informed with just a little more wisdom.

  67. i would like to join those from israel calling for a dialogue between the nations, via blogs and the network.
    i believe, as an israeli, that we’re into this whole deep shit mainly because of those people holding power in israel and in the hezbollah.
    i believe that as human beings, christians, jews, muslims and aetheists, we should, and could, co operate and make the middle east a beautiful place.
    call me naive, call me whatever. i do believe so.
    i happened to meet a few lebanese abroad, we can co-operate much better as human beings than as the entity of are nationality is forcing us to. we can understand each other so much better than we can understand europeans (but that only comes from my experience), and we can live a great life of peace between ourselves, without our poor governments and organizations of fanatics forcing us to live in constant sorrow.
    let us prove the world that a country consists of people and not of high chiefs and artillery assaults.
    we can make a change, co-operating, rather than hating and fearing each other.
    israelis do not want to conquer the middle east.
    we do not want to kill and destroy.
    we want to live and support our families quietly, like all human beings.
    and we also do not want to force suffer and pain on our neighbours.
    let us prove that the thing postponing it is the leaders.
    i think i have said enough. i am sorry if i am not coherent or repetative too much.
    it’s a burst of feelings and emotions.
    thanks, and sorry,
    mark

  68. no hizbollah know peace……no hamas know peace….. this should be a mantra for lebanon palestine and isreal may peace find them all

  69. Solas,

    ibn: with regard to your statement about Israel’s right to exist, I don’t think there is any problem in questioning any states right to exist but in your scenario where do you draw the statute of limitations? Is it ok for me to say I’ll throw out my protestant neighbours because I dont think their ancestors should have been in “my country” in the first place? Or lets get the Normans out of Britain?

    The Statute of limitations. I assume you are talking about Palestinian refugees (and their decendants) from the 1948 war. In this case, it was the Israeli state that put the original refugees into their current predicament. Because the world didnt help their decendants, is not something we can demand. You cant demand someone help someone else. Its inhumane, yes, but you cannot demand it. But we can demand that Israel (which still exsits) allow the refugees that they originally kicked out (some of which still exist) to come back in, because both of those entities still exist. Thats the first part. So as far as the statute of limitations goes, yes, I believe one can make the argument that say, after x number of decades, the great-great-great-decendants of the original 1948 refugees have no claim, but we are not at that stage yet. Your Protestant neighbours go back 4 centuries. We are still talking about 4 decades.

    But there is a second more important point to the statute of limitations in this context. I predicted that someone would bring it up, so I waited. Here is what you also have to remember:

    One of the traps of the statute of limitations here, is that eventually over time, we will be forced to say “ahh, forget about it. It happened so long ago.” and move on. Correct? We will say: “Israel came, now they are here, ahh what the hell.” No doubt the Israelis will be very very happy. But here is the problem: If the Israelis dont even acknowledge that their country was founded on violence, ..then…

    …what garuantee do we have it will not happen again? What garuantee do we have, that in the year 2046, Israel will not AGAIN decide to redraw its borders through violence, just as in 1948? And what garuantee do we have that Israel will not do the same in 2132? In fact, what garuantee do we have, that another beaten up sect from, say, Indonesia will ride on Israel’s example and decide that it is going to set up a national homeland in Bahrain? “Afterall, if Israel could do it, why cant we?” is what they would ask. So a precedent has now been set:

    Israel’s Precedent:

    *If you can forcefully take over a territory in the name if you sect, remove most of its inhabitants, and hold on to it for a couple decades, then you can get away with it.*

    Is this the precedent you want to set? Might = right? Its either yes or no.

    If yes, then you must agree that Israel immediately face consequences for the crimes it has commited, indeed, for its illigitimacy. Among those would be reinstatement of ALL refugees it has kicked out over the period of 60 years, and a nice big fat cash bill to all the families of all those people who have had a family member killed by her. Thats a good start.

    If no, then we cannot raise one PEEP about what Hezbollah and what the Palestinians are doing. Know why? Because just as Israel redrew its borders through violence in 1948, so too are the Palestinians trying to redraw their borders with violence in 2006.

    Pick one.

    -Ibn

  70. Can’t really add anything useful, so I’m just dropping in to voice my support for Jonathan, Lujauyne, Mahmood, and any others I’ve missed who support the spirit of truthfulness, realism, and respectful dialog.

    Jared

  71. “What’s the solution to this problem then?

    Dialogue”

    right, you mean like the dialogue atCamp David, Oslo, and the “road map.” Israel is not interested in dialogue. Every cease fire was broken by Israel assisinating (sorry, did I say assisinating? I meant targetted killing) a member of Hamas, Fath,etc when the retaliation in the form of a suicide bomber occurs, THEN it gets the world’s attention. Dialogue is great for the side that has a veto-excersizing super power backing it all the way. I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick, dialogue has been tried and tested and shown to be ineffective.

    Clearly, Hamas , Hizb, etc have done themselves no favors in many of their militant activities. But frankly, who the hell are we to go telling them to turn the cheek for some imaginary moral high ground? When you’re houses get destroyed, you’re children imprisoned or killed (accidently by the IDF with gun shot wounds to the head and chest!?), when everything you own is seized, when relatives are separated by a “fence” (which brings to mind images of the Berlin “fence”) and all the while you were holding on to the olive branch.Then, you might consider that the pursuit of a perceived moral high ground to be of a pointless (and rather painful) exercise.

    You can have all the dialogue you want, and you know what? allot of people want dialogue, the palestinians want it, the arabs want it, even the Israeli public want it. Just one problem, the Israeli government has never been interested and this won’t change in the foreseeable future.

  72. Ibn said:

    If you can forcefully take over a territory in the name if you sect, remove most of its inhabitants, and hold on to it for a couple decades, then you can get away with it.*

    Is this the precedent you want to set? Might = right? Its either yes or no.

    I’m afraid that logic appears faulty. If not, then virtually no country in the world has the right to exist:

    Bahrain: 250 year or so, a raiding tribe came in from the Arabian Peninsula, via Zubara in modern day Qatar, invaded Bahrain, used violence to perpetrate their rule.

    So is the regime illigitimate after 250 years? Should Bahrain – based on the fact that it was taken under a violent raid, has no right to exist.

    Ok, let’s take an even more recent country, not 25 kilometers to our west: Saudi Arabia: by most accounts it’s only some 70 years old, and it was amalgamated under violence, in which some estimate more than 500,000 people perished due directly to the vilence employed by Al-Saud to initiate and then perpetuate their rule. Does Saudi Arabia – in this context – have a right to exist?

    If you (not you Ibn, you’re much more intelligent than that, but others) are going to come back to me now and call me an “apologist”, save your breath, I wouldn’t care what you think. But if you can find fault in this premite, then please correct me objectively.

    Like most people on earth, I’m here to learn.

  73. Loki said:

    Just one problem, the Israeli government has never been interested and this won’t change in the foreseeable future.

    Ok, how do you think it best to solve this particular problem? Leave everything else, everything. Just tell me, how would YOU solve this particular problem?

  74. Hi Ibn thanks for your reply,

    I wasn’t particularly talking about the refugee issue, more about how far we are willing to go back in history to deal with the present. If I was talking about the refugee issue I would hardly go back as far as the Normans in order to draw a parallel. Although I agree with you on the refugee issue, it still begs the question of where is the line drawn?

    Whether we like it or not, in reality there is a statute of limitations in play, only nobody is quite sure where to draw the line. I appreciate what you are saying about the precedent being set by Israel, but with all due respect Israel was not the first such case nor do I think it will be the last (why I think that is, is a discussion for another day). In this respect there is nothing stopping anyone (as per your example) from taking over anywhere if they had the power anyway. Precedent or no precedent. Almost every year I have to buy a new map, but this is no break from the past. In such a situation there are three possible options:

    1. Ultimate victory for one side
    2. Protracted conflict
    3. Negotiation and accommodation

    In this conflict no one has won an ultimate victory, protracted conflict is not working for either and is causing misery, so in my book we are left with negotiation and accommodation. Where would you start? would you advise any accommodation on the Palestinian side?

    Of course all of the above is pointless if you view Israel as illegitimate and are waiting for it to disappear or for the UN to put back everything the way it was. This is highly unlikely. If you want to set good precendents for the future, getting rid of the UN would be a good first step. It is a safe haven for tyrants and dictators which makes it virtually impossible to intervene on behalf of the weak or be a force of unbiased good anywhere.

    I don’t believe in your either/or ultimatum. Israel can negotiate on all the above without saying that it shouldn’t exist. As for the second option, I don’t believe the Palestinians are capable militarily of forcibly redrawing its borders, so instead of victory we have protracted conflict – nobody wants that.

    What future do you see for the conflict if you could draw it yourself?

  75. “Do you like what you see? If so, then you might want to consider moving to Southern Lebanon for a while, rather than the precincts of that mighty North American river”

    A lot of people here that are cheering on Hezbollah for what they’ve done are very much detached from the situation in terms of geography, and connected in terms of ideology and a sense of a shared historical identity. – I wonder if they’d feel the same way had the situation been much closer to home, friends and family.

  76. It appears that there was a demonstration in support of Hizbollah after the Diraz Friday prayers, judging by the amount of empty water bottles and cartons on the Saar roundabout and the thrown bottles between it and the Diraz roundabout. I unfortunately came after the fun has already ended as I would have loved to take some pictures. No doubt we’ll see them in the papers tomorrow.

    There wasn’t any such impromptu demonstration for the last two weeks in support of Hamas in Gaza, or against Israel, as far as I can remember during this particular phase of hostilities.

    I wonder why?

  77. the issue here is not whether or not the state of israel has the right to exist, it does, un fait accompli. Its about how the israeli’s and arabs wish to continue living with each other’s presence. Both parties have used violence & terrorism and continue to do so. Israel used it and continue to do so in order to gain and keep their existence while the arabs have used it and are using it to defend their interests.

  78. Solas,

    I wasn’t particularly talking about the refugee issue, more about how far we are willing to go back in history to deal with the present.

    How far back does your credit-union/bank go into your history to deal with that housing loan you want to take out in the present?

    Although I agree with you on the refugee issue, it still begs the question of where is the line drawn?

    Like I said earlier, both Israel, and the refugees it kicked out in 1948 are still in existance, as of today. Both players are still in existance. Thus, the concept of Justice can still be applied as it pertains to both players. So I am not saying the statute of limitations has no limit in this case. Wherever it is in time, I know that we definately havent reached that limit yet.

    I appreciate what you are saying about the precedent being set by Israel, but with all due respect Israel was not the first such case nor do I think it will be the last.

    In ancient history, yes. In Modern 20th century history, there was a major push by the (some) countries in the West, to put an end to the constant un-ending wars that were plaguing mankind from the beginning of time. Naturally, one of those things that had to end was the forcefull seizure of territories. They even saw the Genava conventions be written up in that century. So there was a MAJOR push, to elevate mankind from constant war, to civility. With that, comes precedent. The last three countries to try that policy were met with total annihilation: Germany, Italy, and Japan. All three had taken it upon themselves to forcefully take territory, based on some form of nationalism.

    So when you state…

    In this respect there is nothing stopping anyone (as per your example) from taking over anywhere if they had the power anyway. Precedent or no precedent.

    …that is wrong, because the precedent has made an impact. Chezkoslovakia redrew its own borders peacefully, into Chezk Republic and Slovak. The UAE settled its own territorial disputes with Qatar and Oman peacefully. This is precedent in the works. Had this been 100 years ago, all those scenarios would have involved a war of some kind. So yes, precedent makes a difference. And as I said before, Israel has set a precedent that is contrary to the motions undertaken in the 20th century.

    So your last statement about “there is nothing stopping anyone anywhere from taking over a territory” is, I am sorry to say, BS. This planet is simple AWASH in countries that make the power to turn Earth into a cinderblock, yet cannot, because of their underlying ideologies. Your statement here is BS because you also fail to take their past performances into account. When was the last time Switzerland invaded anyone? Yet I am sure they have sufficient capabilities to do some real damage. The last time Mongolia bothered anyone was 1000 years ago when Genghis Khan decided to take over Europe and Asia. We havent heard from the Mongolians since. And we also havent heard from the Norwegians ever since they sent Vikings over to kill Englishmen. Norway today can do alot of damage, but:

    1) They do not have that a modern history report of forcefull territorial acquisition.
    2) They follow the precedent set off for the 20th century.
    3) Their country’s ideology and constitution is not an exclusivist borderline-racist ideology like Zionism.

    So yes, precedent makes a difference. And looking at a country’s past actions makes a difference. And yes, looking at a country’s current constitution and laws makes a difference. (A big debate inside Israel right now is “what to do when the Arab population inside Israel becomes more than the Jewish population”. Wow. An ethino-demographic nightmare. Surely the stuff of free democracies.

    In this conflict no one has won an ultimate victory, protracted conflict is not working for either and is causing misery, so in my book we are left with negotiation and accommodation.

    I think you are confusing the moral stance with the tactical stance. Seeing as how the Palestinians are currently outgunned, it is probably tactically smart and correct to accomodate the Israelis. (And I say probably because maybe I havent considered all possible strategies yet). But by virtue of Israel being illigitimate and criminal to begin with, it is morally correct to fight them.

    So:

    Tactically: Accomodate. Just as how you accomodate a robber when he points a gun at you and asks you for your money.
    Morally: Do not accomodate. Resist and fight. Just as how it would be morally correct for you to fight the destroy the robber.

    If you want to set good precendents for the future, getting rid of the UN would be a good first step.

    Agreed. The fact that Saudi Arabia is on the human rights commission is a joke. And besides, it was a UN-mandated vote that gave the Zionists the green light to mark their invasion of Palestine and the catastrophe that lead to its foundation in 1948.

    Israel can negotiate on all the above without saying that it shouldn’t exist.

    Israel, as state governed by Zionism, is illegitimate and should not exist. Should Israel convert to a different ideology, I would support its right to exist. For example, South Africa during the apartied era, had no right to exist as a state, as as such was illegitimate. However since then, it has mended its ways, and ridded itself of its exclusivist Aryan-only ideology. So today, I have no problem with South Africa, as it has become a ligitimate nation, which I plan to visit some day. Should Israel rid itself of its own exclusivist Jew-only ideology, I too will support it. (Option “yes” in my previous post). Until that happens, I will not be spending one dime of my tourist dollars on it. Ill go to South Africa instead.

  79. JJ: not Syria for God’s sake… not tonight, let my lovely young niece Yara, her paternal grandmother and aunt – who were visiting their relatives in Southern Lebanon and then attempting to holiday on the mountain – finally get extricated from Lebanon via Damascus to come to Bahrain first before that country is annihilated!

    They’ve been in a bus on the road now since 10am this morning and we are all praying for their and everyone else’s safety.

    And welcome back! I missed you.

  80. Ibn got his history wrong, the arab states (all 6 at the time) opposed the partition of 1947 in the U.N and declared war on Israel. If the mufti of Jerusalem (in Beirut that year with exiles from mandatory Palestine) choose to recognize a small jewish state with Jerusalem internationalized the fate of the Palestinians would have been other. The Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Barak as prime minister in 1999 offered Arafat more than symbolic recognition in the right of return regarding 50,000 refugees in to the state of Israel plus the division of Jerusalem and a Palastinian state under Abu Mazan Beilin formula. Arafat failed to deliver pusing center left Israelis out of power. This was the government to pull out of Lebanon under strong criticism As for the Lebanese – Israeli border it has been the most stable since 1948 or maybe as early as the post world war 1 era. Israeli over reaction always appears with what we concieve as a justified cause that rests on our unique psychlogy combind with the normal dynamics of ethnic conflicts. Ibn is wrong expansionism is limited to a very small group of religious settelers. one side effect of recent events is the delay in more disengagements that open way for some soulotion in the long run. With referance to 2046 i hope all of as will be able to be more relaxed about borders and nation states it looks gloom tonight.

  81. yowza! there’s been some action going on here, eh?

    What happened to eric and his canadian bitumen theory? The reason they are refining bitumen from solid form is because it has only recently become economical due to the current price of oil, and anyway, refining it is too inefficient to be reliable source of energy. And what is up with the Dr Strangelove schtick – scary –

    Mark, seriously, I hear you, man. Keep up those bursts and I will believe we can actually get somewhere…lets get it on…

    A shout out to mahmood for his excellent electronic salon. I believe they call it manifest destiny.

  82. Ibn: “Israel’s Precedent: *If you can forcefully take over a territory in the name if you sect, remove most of its inhabitants, and hold on to it for a couple decades, then you can get away with it.* Is this the precedent you want to set? Might = right? Its either yes or no.”

    Isn’t this really Islam’s precedent? After all, virtually the entire Islamic world has been taken from others by force. Muslims forcefully took over the Mediterranean basin from the Christians and others, killed and chased off its inhabitants, and then held on to it. It worked for them. Many Muslims even believe that Spain/Andalusia still belongs to them after the Christians chased them back out after a few centuries of Muslim occupation. In fact, Israel and Palestine were Christian countries before the Muslims took them by force.

    So, Ibn, is this the precedent you want to set? Yes or no? Or do you exclude Muslims from this particular moral objection of yours? Perhaps you would claim that since the Muslims have held on to their stolen land for so long that it’s rightfully theirs, eh?

    Ibn: “If yes, then you must agree that Israel immediately face consequences for the crimes it has commited, indeed, for its illigitimacy. Among those would be reinstatement of ALL refugees it has kicked out over the period of 60 years, and a nice big fat cash bill to all the families of all those people who have had a family member killed by her. Thats a good start.”

    And the Arab Muslim countries would reinstate all the Jews they have kicked out over the last sixty years, too, right? And the Arab Muslim countries would pay for all the infidels they have killed, right? I have a list of 2985 people killed on Sep 11 murdered by Muslim nutcases in the pay of Muslim countries which would make a good start for these payments you crave in the name of justice. I’m sure their families would accept it in twenties.

    Steve

  83. Ibn,

    You’re splitting hairs with me now and arguing with me about things I agree with you. Mahmood explained best what I meant by illegitimacy and a statute of limitations. As regards precendent, I am actually aware of the 20th century and I benefitted much from it, thank you. However, when the world is divided into two camps: one of universal freedoms for all and another for tin pot thugs, I don’t feel safe with precedent. Moral arguments are for those who at least appreciate morality.

    Ibn, there was no need to call what I said BS or be condescending, besides the fact that its not a valid argument, it is impolite. I have been polite while addressing you, I expect the same back.

    Solas

  84. I don’t know who you are.
    I don’t hate you for what you said that my country is illegitimate.
    If you are full of hate, it’s your problem.

    If you can see me as a human that can be your friend, o.k. .
    If you try to harm me, I will defend myself.

    I’m spending most of my time in making a better future for me and my family.

    I advise you to do the same instead of life full of hate because it will take you nowhere.
    Just see what’s going in Iraq between Arabs, the same as in Ireland between Christians.

    Read some history and see if you can take the will back.
    Should the Indians try to kill all American and Spanish for what they did?
    Should the Scottish try to kill all English for taking Scotland 400 years ago?
    Should black people try to kill all white people for killing them and robbing all treasures of Africa for centuries?

    Be reasonable. Israel is a fact. Let’s try to live together instead of being right.

  85. Solas,

    You’re splitting hairs with me now and arguing with me about things I agree with you.

    Solas, I am vocalizing my responses to you. To the extent that you agree with them, great! Perhaps now you can join me in condemning Israel, and its right to exist! :)

    Ibn, there was no need to call what I said BS or be condescending, besides the fact that its not a valid argument, it is impolite. I have been polite while addressing you, I expect the same back.

    Come now. I have not called you anything. I happen to think that statement of yours is BS. The statement. Not you. Please know that it is that particular statement that I think is widely inaccurate and BS. So far you seem to be polite and a good debater. So please do not take it personally. …I think you are a good person to talk to.. :)

    Mahmood explained best what I meant by illegitimacy and a statute of limitations.

    I will be addressing him in the next post.

    As regards precendent, I am actually aware of the 20th century and I benefitted much from it, thank you. However, when the world is divided into two camps: one of universal freedoms for all and another for tin pot thugs, I don’t feel safe with precedent. Moral arguments are for those who at least appreciate morality.

    You claim you do not feel safe with precedent, yet also claim that you owe your current life to it.

    But I am glad that you benefited from 20th century precedent of going against forcefull territorial acquisitions. Unfortunately, many Palestinians did not have that pleasure. And they did not have that pleausre as you or I because they did not benefit from that precedent. Rather, they were victims to a new country that went against that precedent.

    To the extent that you do not feel good with tin pot dictators either, also has alot to do with precedent. Afterall, they do not follow precedent. That is what makes them outcasts. In this case, the precedent is a good thing, (no to forcefull territorial acquisitions), thereby making them bad. And again, just as those dictators do not follow precedent, neither does Israel, not its foundation, and not its ethno-centric laws, or constitution. In fact, their Jew-only ideology Zionism has more in common with early European colonial racist ideologies, than with modern liberal democratic institutions. And they call themselves “free and democratic”. And this is the 21st century.

    I look forward to you commenting on the rest of my previous post.

    -Ibn

  86. abaC said:

    I don’t know who you are.
    I don’t hate you for what you said that my country is illegitimate.
    If you are full of hate, it’s your problem.

    …and the burglar said: (taken from my previous post:)

    **************************
    Burglar: “Peace! I offer peace! How about you live in the basement, and ill live in the rest of the house?”

    I say: “F*** you, get out of my house.”

    The burglar replies: “Why do you hate me? why do you hate my race? you only hate! See! He cant even agree to peace! He just wants violence! Ahh! I get it! He wants to commit violence against me because im Jewish! War monger! Hate monger!”
    **************************

    I dont hate you for your race abaC. I am not a racist. I have a couple good Jewish friends.

    I dont hate you for your religious orientation abaC. I am not a fundamentalist.

    I hate you, abaC, for taking an oath of allegiance to a country that came into existance on the biggest territorial burglary known to our times. You have sworn allegiance to this entity, and you were a soldier in its army, holding a gun, in her name, being one more pawn in the executive branch of a nation whose ideology is Zionist. You held a gun, to defend a country that subsribes to an exclusivist Jew-only ideology. You defended the burglary. You defended a modern “democratic” nation that debates what it must do when the number of Arabs outnumbers the number of Jews. You picked up a gun, in the defence of this sickening reality.

    THAT is why I hate you.

    —————————————

    What more do you want me to say to you? Do you want me to ask you how you could live in good conscience in a Israeli town like Haifa, in houses on mount Carmel whose true owners live 20 miles to your east in squalor, while you wine and dine in them? Do you want me to ask you this?

    If you want to talk about peace, talk to me about what you plan to do about those owners sitting in Nablus right now, and how you plan to petition your government to re-instate them, or at the very least, compensate them. Talk to me about how you, an Israeli, plan on going on national television, and claim that ethno-demographic debates on the number of Arabs inside Israel is disgusting, and not the speech of free countries. Talk to me about how you plan to implement checks and balances inside Israel such that forcefull territorial acquisitions by Israel become a thing of the past.

    Oh whats that? You dont want to? Ok, so what do you want to talk about then? The weather? Nice hot travel spots? Work? Women? Would you rub elbows with a former SS soldier? I sure wouldnt. Would you hob-nob with a convicted burglar, who destroyed lives and property? I wouldnt. I dont respect such people. I cannot respect them. I hate them. And its justified.

    Does such hate swallow me? No. I do not think of them all day. I prefer doing other things that I enjoy. Reading books. Going to school. Playing soccer with my buddies. Chasing girls. One day when I have a family, I will concentrate on them too, and not worry myself too much on the affairs of the world. So you do not need to worry your little head about my “hating”.

    I control my justified hate. It doesnt control me.

    -Ibn

  87. Ibn,

    Everyone who hates feels “justified.” And while much hatred is ‘understandable’ — in the end, “justified” hatred is just as destructive as “unjustified” hatred (I won’t even begin to try to differentiate between the two).

    My personal opinion is that the creation of the state of Israel was a collosal disaster, not only for the Arabs who once did and still do live their, but for the Jewish people as well. But mistakes generally can’t be undone, particularly when they are almost 60 years in the making. And if 60 years of bloddshed has shown us anything, it is that it won’t be undone through violence.

    At some point, we all have to grow up and deal with the facts on the ground. Israel is “there.” So are many Palestinian people. Somehow the violence has to stop. Then — and only then, can other questions be addressed.

    Will peace be perfect? Never in this situation. But at least it would be peace and a good place to begin.

    Like you, I think that the idea of a “Jewish” state is inherently racist and unjust, just as I think that the plight of women in Saudi Arabia is sexist and unjust (on some level I think the idea of national borders is silly, even though I see the “practical” necessity in the current world) — and in my mind one is as bad as the other. While I don’t believe that Israel will ever dissapear in yours or my lifetime, I do think that perhaps, after a period of peace, the zionist part of it could be fixed. I personally know many Israelis who are uncomfortable with that idea, though they (like me) firmly believe that the Jews who live their now should have the right to stay and like the Palestinians, live in peace.

    But war and violence will never create a just and equitable life in either place. It will only generate more trauma — particularly in the children who are so vulnerable. People need the opportunity to develop secure lives for themselves and their children before they can even think of “opening” their minds. That takes time, education, and I submit a certain degree of prosperity. And freedom from violence.

    My gut feeling is that the extremists on both sides of the equation are desperate to keep this conflict going. And so hizbollah kidnaps soldiers and Israel bombs a nation and voila, another generation of violent extremists are born. Just in time to keep the memories of trauma and pain alive (which is always what is behind hatred) for another 20 years or so.

    In my youth, there was a slogan, “you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.” Never more apt than now when we are living in world in which great powers and terrorists fight each other down to the lowest slimy common denominator.

    As for reparations, something needs to be done about the large number of virtually stateless Palestinians, not all of whom will ever fit into the West Bank and Gaza. The entire world community needs to take that one on board and pony up with cash and offers of citizenship — since in some respects the entire world community is responsible for allowing and aiding and abetting an intenuous situation.

  88. Ibn,

    You’re awesome man. Keep up the good arguments. It’s good to see more and more people who’ve actually sat down and read serious scholarly work on this subject and who are able to expose Israel for what it is: a racist settler colonial state that, unfortunately to them and all kudos to the palestinians, has not been able to kill off the spirit of the indiginous population yet as other settler colonial states have done.

    To those who keep comparing Israel’s actions to Spanish inquisitions or other colonialists in the past. Good! You can identify Israel as a colonising country! Perfect! That’s the main argument against it! The fact that back then European colonialists were not held accountable to what they did does not make it right! It was atrocious and disgusting! And it is seriously misguided to try to and to say the atrocities that happened in Palestine are somehow something in the past that should be left there. They are ever continuing, and rightfully should be condemned, resisted against, and eliminated. Just take a look at the policies of “Judaizing the Galilee”, “Judaizing the Negev”, the Jewish National Fund land policies, the laws allowing anyone with Jewish decent to become Israeli, while not allowing any Palestinians the right of return. In fact, an Arab Israeli is not allowed to naturalize his wife, even if she was born right across the border in Ramallah!

    Of course, these are only serious violations against Palestinians with Israeli passports. Palesitinians in the west bank or gaza fare even worse. More than 300 checkpoints in the West Bank alone (can you imagine that???), a wall that completely encloses and envelopes a community as if they are a plague to be contained in a small piece of land, and a policy of bantustanization reminiscent of that in Sourth Africa. This is not to mention the regular killings, imprisonment, and torture in prison of Palestinians. I stress, these are all present-day continuous atrocities; one does not even has to hark back to the 1948 nakba or other atrocities.

    We can all help in playing our part in ending one of the most disgusting, enduring, and continuing oppressions of the modern age. To anyone sympathetic with the Palestinian plight on a humanistic level, I urge you to visit this website and go to the section called Resources: Palestine.

    http://www.endisraeliapartheid.net/

    Obviously it’s pro-Palestinian (and proud of it!!). It has well researched and detailed articles, fact sheets, and maps about the ongoing human crisis in Palestine. If anything, it also lends us heart to know that there are lots of Arab students out there who are able to produce such well researched, thought provoking, and smart material on the subject. Hopefully there are many more to emerge, which is how we will eventually win this mother of all struggles, hopefully as well as winning the other struggles against injustices in the Arabic world. After all, knowledge is what will give us the power!

    In the end, a quote from leila khalid:

    ‘In today’s world, no one is innocent, no one is neutral. You are either on the side of the oppressors, or the side of the oppressed.’

  89. File this under “Be Careful What You Wish For”:

    Sheik Hassan Nasrallah threatens Israel on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television: “You wanted an open war, and we are heading for an open war. We are ready for it.”

    It looks like the only thing Hezbollah is ready for is to get the crap beat out of it.

    Nasrallah: “You (Israelis) must take responsibility for what your government has done. You will soon discover how stupid and foolish your new government is.”

    Somehow, Israel doesn’t look like the stupid, foolish, irresponsible party to this conflict. When Hezbollah kept lofting rockets into Israel neighborhoods, did they think they would respond with a thank you note and a nice fruit basket?

    Nasrallah again: “The surprises that I have promised you will start now. Now in the middle of the sea, facing Beirut, the Israeli warship that has attacked the infrastructure, people’s homes and civilians – look at it burning. It will sink and with it will sink scores of Israeli Zionist soldiers. This is just the beginning.”

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, it appears a Hezbollah rocket hit an Israeli ship but caused little damage. Looks like Nasrallah is playing Hezbollah’s Baghdad Bob. Next thing you know, Nasrallah will be announcing Israel’s defeat as Israeli tanks cruise in the background.

    Nasrallah again: “I promise you a new victory, just as I always have.”

    Looks like Nasrallah is full of promises. Old Nasrallah is sounding a lot like Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War Mother of All Battles, promising victory while running for his life. The next step is for Hezbollah to define victory down like Saddam where victory doesn’t mean victory but rather it means not completely losing.

    Steve

  90. Ibn,

    I understand that you called a statement BS and it is not a personal attack. I just do not like that style of debate, especially on emotive issues because I think it is a slippery slope, that is all. I never take debate personally, but I do enjoy them.

    I am not clear about where you stand on the right of return. Do you want the right of return of refugees and their decendents? If so should this be an amnesty situation, as in a one time opportunity and not something someone can do 50 years from now?

    Yes Ibn I fully agree with you, that the 20th century advancements in democracy, human rights. WWII was in my opinion one of the most just wars ever fought. It is great that many countries will now consider peasceful settlement of disputes an attractive alternative to all out war. Some countries who have the power to do so, do not wage wage because of their ideologies like you say, while others consider the trade-off not to be worth the effort.

    When was the last time Switzerland invaded anyone? Yet I am sure they have sufficient capabilities to do some real damage. The last time Mongolia bothered anyone was 1000 years ago when Genghis Khan decided to take over Europe and Asia. We havent heard from the Mongolians since. And we also havent heard from the Norwegians ever since they sent Vikings over to kill Englishmen.

    I did not think I would have to explain this. Obviously, countries have to have intent as well as power. If I am going to sit down and eat a meal, I will need both food and an appetite. What’s your point? I wasn’t exactly losing sleep over Genghis Khan.

    I agree with you that racial or religious based citizenship is disgusting. Israel does not stand out in the region for that though. Naturalisation is not an exactly free and fair process in the Arab world. I denounce all such racial citizenship in the region, you should too.

    Tactically: Accomodate. Just as how you accomodate a robber when he points a gun at you and asks you for your money.
    Morally: Do not accomodate. Resist and fight. Just as how it would be morally correct for you to fight the destroy the robber.

    First of all I dislike using these analogies because it is putting everything on your terms. If you are robbed you either accomodate or resist, you can’t do both. Germany, Italy and Japan were all dealt with within a reasonable time frame. You view Israel as the same, but they were not dealt with at any time. How much back pay do you propose giving them? What will you do with all the Israel’s citizens? You said yourself that if they changed their racial citizenship you would support them. I say excellent! This is a brilliant opportunity for you to launch a campaign encouraging all states in the region to abandon racial citizenship

    You claim you do not feel safe with precedent, yet also claim that you owe your current life to it.

    You are trying to make this seem contradictory, it is not. Liberal democracy flourished around me and I benefitted. Unfortunately this is only one part of the world, and it is not enough, all people are entitled to it. I believe that these are universal values that should spread to the entire world, and even then there is always going to be threats from the power hungry and there’s not much precedent will do about that.

    No I will not say Israel has no right to exist. This is not the way forward, this is not the future. I really don’t think there is a future in saying Israel has no right to exist, you do, but apart from that I dont know what you want from the future. A two state solution with peace and reconciliation talks and compensation? the destruction of Israel?

    I’m sorry I don’t have enough time to address you post in more detail, but I’m slightly preoccupied.

    Solas

  91. Mahmood,

    First of all, thanks for opening my eyes to a part of The Arab world that I never saw during my 11 years there. That is, a part that can say: “Let’s talk about this subject without resorting to threats of violance of one sort or the other”.

    You mentioned “the olive branch” in your first comment. I also noticed your comment about “swallowing our pride”.

    I know pride is a big part of your culture (and one that sometimes has a sour taste) , but, as far as I know the Quaran also talks about accepting conditions where an enemy has the upper hand for a certain period of time. I don’t see many of the comments here that say something like: “Let’s try the way the “oppressors” give us and see what comes out of that”. If they were given 10 years they might prefer that to what Hizbollah has to offer!

    As far as I can see, the “olive branch” is almost completely missing in a lot of the comments here and, unfortunately, from a lot of comments from the leaders that are involved in this conflict

    Do you see any way out of this? I know it has worked in other parts of the world, like Ireland where my wife comes from?

    Milter

  92. AntiApologist: “In the end, a quote from leila khalid: ‘In today’s world, no one is innocent, no one is neutral. You are either on the side of the oppressors, or the side of the oppressed.’ “

    It’s hardly surprising that a violent skyjacker like Leila Khaled would divide the world into two opposing black & white sides with no shades of gray, with anyone who doesn’t support her automatically classified as an enemy, like those passengers she was intending to blow up with the grenades in her bra. Let me take a wild guess that the Muslims are the ones who are oppressed and the oppressors are the non-Muslims, right? In other words, the world is divided into the Muslim Dar al Salaam and the non-Muslim Dar al Harb.

    Steve

  93. There is only one road to peace , and that is locking up the jewish pmsing rabbis and politicians that have an 80 year old agenda of controlling the world (they are almost there).
    Israel has been the cause of almost every war in the last century, all because Europe decided to dump its garbage on someone else’s backyard !

    You ignorant self-hating arabs keep praising “moderate” jewish fanatics pretending to like arabs, while at the same time they knot a few webs to trap you in and tell you oops that was an accident “USS Liberty , anyone?” .

    It’s quite sad to see arabs swallowing their arab pride (which is the only arab thing they have left) for a sarcastic dream called “peace” .
    Peace, when you are a 3rd class citizen (or even 10th class) is like having lobster picked off someone else’s shoe !

    What Hezbollah (just an organization) did, the entire arab world couldnt even dream of (and im talking after they sank the israeli warship) .
    I wonder if you would have said the same if you had a son in an israeli prison rotting for 10 years for no crime and now you got some hope of seeing him again ! (they drove israel out of lebanon 6 years ago !! )

    Vive la Resistance , Vive Hezbollah !
    (or arabs not cool enough for you to have their own resistance ?)

  94. Ohh and Mr. Steve, heard the latest news “Hezbollah drone “batters” Israeli warship” . Please dont use too much salt when you eat your heart out , its not very good for you !

    And when you go fill up your car tank , please do remember your israeli friends that care for you after you gave them thousands of your hard earned tax money .

    I remember back in 2000 when Mr. Nasrallah said they will drive israel out of lebanon , and he kept his promise. Unlike your war-loving president that failed every single promise he “or his secretary” gave !

    I hope you feel more secure now after his awesome war on terror , war on afghanistan , war on iraq and war on the Americans themselves ! haha

  95. Monkey Steve,

    No! Actually I lump neocons, dictators, closed-minded salafist, and apologists all in there! You see Steve, I know that you see the world in terms of Muslims and Non-Muslims, with Muslims being baddies, you racist excuse for a human being. Your incessant addiction and fetishness with everything to do with Islam and muslimsn has really blinded your eyes. How else can you explain you spending half of your life on Middle Eastern blogs crassly dissing Islam?

    I, thank god, don’t see things in terms of Islam versus the rest of the world. I believe that one can identify when there is someone clearly being oppressed and that who is oppressing them, regardless of religion, race, or creed. Whether they are Palestinians, black people back in Apartheid South Africa, or shias in the days of Taleban Afghanistan.

    Anyway, I know I’m talking a brick wall here that has been blinded by its hate and fetishness of a religion. You’re no difference than a closed minded wahhabist, except that you’re fundamental in your hate of Islam! Sheesh. Talk about a fucked up obsession!

  96. Mahmood,

    Well said.

    The point in this conflict is not to do what is ‘right’ but what will work. For as long as both sides are trying to sort it out by justifying our fears and tribal identities, we will find the proof in the other’s actions to perpetuate the cycle of violence onto yet another round of ‘he started first’.

    In my meager opinion, because Israel has the upper hand, the onus is on us to try harder and change. However, leaderships on both sides have failed continuously to give this new era a chance. “Insanity”, said someone (Einstein?), “is trying the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result…”. Worse still, there are enough madmen on both sides to derail almost any good will.

    In blogs and chat rooms, emails and text messages that the next revolution is made. There is hope. Keep writing for sanity.

  97. AntiApologists: “No! Actually I lump neocons, dictators, closed-minded salafist, and apologists all in there! You see Steve, I know that you see the world in terms of Muslims and Non-Muslims, with Muslims being baddies, you racist excuse for a human being.”

    Non-responsive to my point, which is that the terrorist skyjacker Leila Khaled is mouthing a variation on the ancient Muslim division of the world into Muslim and non-Muslim, good and bad, peaceful and warlike. She simply substitutes oppressed and oppressor for Muslim and infidel.

    Such a division of the world is not my invention, but Islam’s. That point has been forcefully and repeatedly brought to my attention by the many terrorist attacks committed by Muslims on non-Muslims all around the world from New York to Bali.

    And by the way, Islam is not a race.

    AntiApologists: “Your incessant addiction and fetishness with everything to do with Islam and muslimsn has really blinded your eyes. How else can you explain you spending half of your life on Middle Eastern blogs crassly dissing Islam?”

    Crashing jumbo jets into buildings to kill thousands of Americans was a powerful attention getter. The continual Muslim threats to do more and worse attacks holds my attention. Should this insane Muslim hatred cease, my attention will no doubt wander elsewhere.

    And I only spend a few hours a week on this forum. I cheerfully educate folks on other forums as well, sort of my public service. And I do read a lot, an awful lot. And I’m learning Dreamweaver and seeing the sights in Washington. Of course, there’s work. So I appreciate your concern for my apparent obsession but assure you my life is healthily balanced.

    AntiApologists: “I, thank god, don’t see things in terms of Islam versus the rest of the world. I believe that one can identify when there is someone clearly being oppressed and that who is oppressing them, regardless of religion, race, or creed. Whether they are Palestinians, black people back in Apartheid South Africa, or shias in the days of Taleban Afghanistan.”

    Or Israeli kids having a slice of pepperoni pizza in Sbarros?

    AntiApologists: “Anyway, I know I’m talking a brick wall here that has been blinded by its hate and fetishness of a religion. You’re no difference than a closed minded wahhabist, except that you’re fundamental in your hate of Islam! Sheesh. Talk about a fucked up obsession!”

    My criticism of Islam will continue until Muslims stop killing people to propagate their religion. It’s that simple.

    Have a nice day!

    Steve

  98. Somehow, Israel doesn’t look like the stupid, foolish, irresponsible party to this conflict. When Hezbollah kept lofting rockets into Israel neighborhoods, did they think they would respond with a thank you note and a nice fruit basket?

    The problem is, Steve, is that Hezbollah like the Lebanese government almost as much as they like Israel. They’re trying to set up an Islamic state in southern Lebanon. When Israel attacks the Lebanese infrastructure they’re actually harming the Lebanese government and not Hezbollah. In any case collective punishment has never worked. Ever.

    Ideally what Israel should be trying to do is work with the Lebanese to wipe out Hezbollah. But that’s wishful thinking on my part.

  99. Lujayn: “However, throwing firecrackers at Israel every once in a while and getting slaughtered afterwards is hardly a smart tactical move, is it? Israel plays the political game wonderfully. I suggest we learn to play the game too. Lets stop all warfare, all attacks. Once we’ve done that, lets turn to the West and turn on some smart marketing tactics. That’s what Israel does. Lets keep it going for a while. Lets not give up, even if we don’t achieve results immediately. Eventually, the West will look at us differently, and realize they can speak to us. I think that’s what Ingrid mentioned. We don’t know how to speak to the West and they definitely don’t know how to speak to us. Lets learn to speak. Especially since attacks are hardly getting us anywhere.”

    Well said, Lujayn. The Palestinians would have made better progress with peaceful tactics than terror tactics.

    Israel’s weak points are its contradictions: it’s a democracy dedicated to a specific religion surrounded by authoritarian states dedicated to a hostile religion. A democracy founded on individual liberty can not logically deny those same liberties to citizens of a minority religion. It can either remain a democracy or a theocracy but there will always be tension between the two states of being, pulling it one way or the other. It seems difficult to straddle those two poles indefinitely. Being surrounded by Arab Muslims, Israel will inevitably fill up with Arab Muslims merely by osmosis through its borders.

    If the Palestinians focused their energy on building up their community and taking their case to the world through legal means, their cause could well become irresistable. When they blow up people in shopping centers and lionize mothers who take money to send their sons off as suicide bombers, it really doesn’t matter what legitimate grievances they may have. Their reputation becomes so bad that no decent person cares about their welfare.

    The terror blocks a fair hearing for the Palestinians. Remove it and you’ve made the first steps toward gaining the favor of the world.

    Steve

  100. Dear Fundamentalist,

    Those are great arguments. I’m won over and completely converted. Just two small factual errors in your response that you may want to correct them for the next time you release a brainfart.

    1. Did you know that Leila Khaled was a marxist Leninst and member of the PFLP. Now I doubt your pea of a brain knows what marixst leninist means (you’re probably saying, “They’re all COMMIEESSS!”), but suffice to say islamic fundamentalism or a division of the world into two groups of Muslims and Non-Muslims is not part of their ideology. You can take your best shot, however, at trying to link them and making us laugh along the way.
    This is why I called you racist. Now I know you’re anti-Muslim, but you also assume that somehow all Arabs are by nature corrupted and tainted by Islam. This is why you assumed Leila’s words must derive from fundamentalist Islam, and this is why you assumed that by quoting (oppressor and oppressed) I, being an Arab, surely was dividing the world into Muslim and non-Muslim spheres! Dar El Salam and Dar and 7arb! What a brain fart…. So there you go! You have the elite honour of being anti-Muslim and a racist!

    2. This is from a different post, but heck, let’s combine them anyway for brevity. You accuse a guy called Omar non-challantly of practicing Taqqiya under the “Big Religion Chart” post. Now anyone worth his salt who knows the bare basics of Islam would laugh his ass off at such a ridiculous insinuation. You see, Omar is a very sunni name, and it’s one of the most hated names for shias. Taqqiya, on the other hand, is invariable associated with shias, and it is one of the issues that causes most conflilcts between sunnis and shias. By making such a ridiculous statement, you are embarassing yourself in front that has the most basic knowledge of Islam. You may read a lot, oh big bragger, but it looks like most of what you read is shit. Although bashing Islam is your main fetish, you are astonishingly poor at grasping some of its most basic concepts.

    Seriously Steve, I’m saying this for your own good. You’re making a fool and a mockery out of yourself in front of everyone for the past god knows how long. It’s entertaining, I’ll give you that, but it must get really bad with everyone taking the piss out of you after a while. Still, can’t blame a jackass for being ever so committed even after so long!

    Ahh, who am I kidding, you’re just gonna take it on the chin, store the info I’ve just given you and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes when you invariably spill your vile again. Also, who am I kidding that I seriously want to help you. I just think it’s mildly entertaining to embarass you in front of the readers!

  101. Hi Ibn, all

    Sorry for joining the conversation so late in the game. Yes, I’m Israeli.

    Ibn, I have a small clarification question for you, if I may. Let’s start with an hypothetical situation. The year is 1948. Ben Gurion has just declared the state of Israel, soverning over the area that the UN gave the Jews, based on where they already were (bought land, at this point, as the official war has not started yet). Everyone in the Jewish community understands that this will result in war, and are scrambling to unite the Hagana and Ezel into what everyone hopes will live long enough to become the IDF. Great hopes, mingled with great fear, as the enemy forces seem excessive in both equipment and numbers. So far, this is just History. It later turned out that they were excessive in equipment, but about the same scale in terms of numbers. War ensued, the Arab nations aiming at eliminating the newly formed Jewish state, but losing. During that war, the events you complain over occured.

    But I digress. Let’s suppose, for a second, that the Arab states pulled in twice the number of volunteers they managed to in actuality. The Jewish state is slowly forced to retreat into the large settelment areas (Tel Aviv proper, the new Jerusalem areas, the south). Do you think that the Arab army would have stopped then, while it was winning?

    If so, would you support that refugees of Petach Tikva, Lod and Haifa be able to return to their old homes?

    Shachar

  102. Mahmood, regarding http://daoudkuttab.com/?item=perspective-narratives, here’s my point of view.

    There is no such thing as “a just piece”. It’s a logical impossibility.

    The reason is a simple one. Suppose we look at a piece offer, and ask whether it is just. The immediate followup question is “just to whom?”. Obviously, we would like the answer to be “just for everybody”. This is where the inherent contradiction lies. It is impossible to simultaneously be just toward a Jewish mother who’s son was killed while waiting in line to enter a pub by suicide bomber, and toward a Palestinian mother who only wishes her son back from jail, where he was sentenced for many years for planning that very same bombing. And these are just the easy dillemas, those involving people who are still alive.

    This, however, does not mean that piece is impossible. It just means that piece, when achieved, will not be just. It can be fair. It can be respectful. It had better be mutually beneficial, or it will not last (see “Nash’s Equalibrium” for details). It will not be just.

    Knowing this, I think we can answer the perspective narrative problem, and in particular, the time line question. When do we clean the slate, forgive all past wrong doings and start afresh? At the moment the piece contract is signed. No past injustices can be accounted for, or we will have to account for ALL past injustices. Like I think I showed above, this is simply impossible to do.

    For the Israelies, this would probably mean that ALL palestinian prisoners involved in terrorist activity will have to be released. If we forgive all past injustices, surely there is no reason to hold them in prison. For the palestinians, this means no return of refugees. These are hard things to swallow, I know. I just don’t see any actual lasting piece without them.

    Shachar

  103. It is impossible to simultaneously be just toward a Jewish mother who’s son was killed while waiting in line to enter a pub by suicide bomber, and toward a Palestinian mother who only wishes her son back from jail, where he was sentenced for many years for planning that very same bombing.

    Actually, I don’t think that one is too hard. Nations deal with similar issues every day. The Palestinian did the crime, he does the time.

    A much thornier issue would be the Israeli mother, as in your example above, and a Palestinian mother whose child becomes collateral damage in an Israeli assassination. Who did the crime in that case? The guy that pulled the trigger? The General that ordered him to do it? The politicians that ordered him? Or, being the ultimate power in a democratic country, the Israeli people? It is much harder to find justice in any case like that.

  104. AntiApologists: “Did you know that Leila Khaled was a marxist Leninst and member of the PFLP. Now I doubt your pea of a brain knows what marixst leninist means (you’re probably saying, “They’re all COMMIEESSS!”), but suffice to say islamic fundamentalism or a division of the world into two groups of Muslims and Non-Muslims is not part of their ideology. You can take your best shot, however, at trying to link them and making us laugh along the way.”

    The Marxists shared the same binary view of the world as Muslims. In Lenin’s view, you were either a Communist or an enemy of Communism, ie a reactionary. I would imagine that Leila Khaled, raised in a culture that sees the world as the Dar al Salaam versus the Dar al Harb, believers versus unbelievers, would readily take to the analogous view of Marxism which also broke the world down into believers and unbelievers. It would not be much of a transition at all.

    AntiApologists: “2. This is from a different post, but heck, let’s combine them anyway for brevity. You accuse a guy called Omar non-challantly of practicing Taqqiya under the “Big Religion Chart” post. Now anyone worth his salt who knows the bare basics of Islam would laugh his ass off at such a ridiculous insinuation. You see, Omar is a very sunni name, and it’s one of the most hated names for shias. Taqqiya, on the other hand, is invariable associated with shias, and it is one of the issues that causes most conflilcts between sunnis and shias. By making such a ridiculous statement, you are embarassing yourself in front that has the most basic knowledge of Islam. You may read a lot, oh big bragger, but it looks like most of what you read is shit. Although bashing Islam is your main fetish, you are astonishingly poor at grasping some of its most basic concepts.”

    From Wikipedia: “Although Taqiyya is generally thought of as a Shi’a term, according to principles defined by the great Sunni theologian al-Ghazali, lying, including protection of oneself or others, is permissible under certain circumstances:

    “Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish it through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible…, and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory. …One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie…”

    On the other hand, most Sunnis generally assert that the Shi’a doctrine of Taqiyya is an act of hypocrisy that serves to conceal the truth. According to them, Taqiyya constitutes a lack of faith and trust in God because the person who conceals his beliefs to spare himself from danger is fearful of humans, when he should be fearful of God only. Nevertheless, some Sunni Muslims in fifteenth-century Spain went to the extent of eating pork and denying the Prophet in public, while practicing Islam secretly, to save their lives during the Spanish Inquisition. Other Muslims left Spain or were killed for their belief.”

    How about that, AntiApologists? It seems that taqqiya was established in Sunni Islam a thousand years ago by al Ghazali.

    Nice taqqiya, AntiApologists.

    Steve

  105. skribe: “A much thornier issue would be the Israeli mother, as in your example above, and a Palestinian mother whose child becomes collateral damage in an Israeli assassination. Who did the crime in that case? The guy that pulled the trigger? The General that ordered him to do it? The politicians that ordered him? Or, being the ultimate power in a democratic country, the Israeli people? It is much harder to find justice in any case like that.”

    You forgot to include the target of the assassination, the terror chieftain who hides among the civilian population while making his attacks, cynically using them as human shields. Wouldn’t you agree that he bears the blame for attracting violence to the innocent?

    Steve

  106. Wow. Stubbornly conflating Leninism and fundamentalist Islam, taqqiya and omar, and still be beligerent about it and call those who try to point his errors liars and practicers of Takiya. You are something else Steve.

  107. You forgot to include the target of the assassination, the terror chieftain who hides among the civilian population while making his attacks, cynically using them as human shields. Wouldn’t you agree that he bears the blame for attracting violence to the innocent?

    Of course all targets for assassination should boldly and openly declare themselves and make it easy for the assassin to limit any collateral damage by moving to a safe, deserted area immediately before the time of the planned assassination. In fact both sides should have predesignated areas where those targeted for termination would be encarcerated during the period of the contract. In fact it could be a massive tourist attraction, a bit like a zoo for ideologues where you could pay your $20 and have a shot at Yasser or Ariel. $100 for 10 shots. I like the idea, Steve.

  108. let my lovely young niece Yara, her paternal grandmother and aunt – who were visiting their relatives in Southern Lebanon and then attempting to holiday on the mountain – finally get extricated from Lebanon via Damascus to come to Bahrain first before that country is annihilated!

    I wish them all the best and safe journey. There are several THOUSAND Australians trapped in Lebanon at the moment and our ineffectual government are telling people to stay where they are and try not to get shot. It’s a bloody disgrace.

  109. Ibn,

    Your statement “Israel has no right to exist” has come as a surprise to me. I have been reading Mahmoods posts for some time and occasionaly popping up myself to add my little bit to the pot. Your opinions, although invariably flawed, tend to have an intelligent point to make. Your input into this post is usually structured and informed.
    However, this statement you make is nothing short of ignoRANT, racist sensationlism. If Israel has no right to exist because they forced their way onto land that seemingly wasnt theirs, then this must also be applied to almost every other country in the world. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan etc etc. Your hope that the “time limit” argument might work is also ridiculous. How can we say that becuase Germany attempted to turn the world into a Nazi state in the 40s that they should now no longer have the right to exist. Even though they were unsuccessful, they still fall into the same boat (and a bigger boat at that). Or can we say that the UK has no right to exist because less than a century ago it had conquered the best part of the world. which would mean that I, being British, also have no right to exist.
    Now I am not saying that their actions are correct, far from it. It sickens me to think that my ancestors conquered countries throughout the world in the name of the “Empire”. Just because countries gain territory (through whichever means , war, sanctions, etc) does not mean that they or their people have “NO RIGHT TO EXIST”. If we all believed your opninion, then I think you will find that almost of all of us have no right to exist, yourself included, except people from Switzerland, who are just basically pretty nice chaps.
    But lets face facts, this world we live in is ever changing. Territories are being redefined all the time. We have to move on, and try and stop any future territorial battles where possible but not live in the past and make ignorant statements about events that happened 60 years ago before even mobile phones were invented!

  110. Skribe,

    It’s very easy, while two people with widely different interpretations of the same acts, to get sidetracked. I am very surprised by your view that the palestinian prisoners should remain encarserated. I doubt it is a view shared by many of your peers.

    Either way, let’s just agree that no agreement that ends the violance can be just, and move on to the other points I made.

    Shachar

  111. Sachas,

    Do you think that the Arab army would have stopped then, while it was winning?

    Umm…gosh I wouldnt know. But I would hazard a guess that they wouldnt have stopped.

    If so, would you support that refugees of Petach Tikva, Lod and Haifa be able to return to their old homes?

    Since you are using the towns’ Israeli names, I would assume you are talking about Jewish refugees, or as the British used to call them, illegal immigrants. Yes, I would support them being able to return to their old homes in Europe.

    …I have the distinct feeling that is not the answer you were looking for. Although in all honesty, I do not all quite understand the question either…kindly clarify.

    Solas,

    I agree with you that racial or religious based citizenship is disgusting. Israel does not stand out in the region for that though.

    True, it doesnt. But it is the only country that refers to itself as a “liberal free and democratic country” all the while its constitution, laws, and foundation are contrary to this. That is the difference. And to the extent that it does, it does stick out in the region like a sore thumb.

    Naturalisation is not an exactly free and fair process in the Arab world. I denounce all such racial citizenship in the region, you should too.

    Please do not take my anti-Israeli stance, to mean a pro-Arab-dictatorship stance. I will be the first to denounce them, as evidenced from my previous threads on Mahmoods forum. Their actions do not excuse you from repeating them though.

    How much back pay do you propose giving them? What will you do with all the Israel’s citizens? You said yourself that if they changed their racial citizenship you would support them. I say excellent! This is a brilliant opportunity for you to launch a campaign encouraging all states in the region to abandon racial citizenship

    By your statement you are implicitly stating that Israel is now on the same moral level more or less as other dictatorial regimes. Dictatorial regimes like Saddam’s Iraq that believed in Sunni nationalism. A close parallel can also be drawn on Iran, where they have Shitte nationalism.

    What would I do with Israel’s citizens? What would I do with Israel?
    Well the US dealt with Saddam’s Iraq by annihilating its government, and is currently occupying it. Every now and then a couple Iraqis die due to collateral damage, through no fault of their own. Since you have already implicitly agreed that both Israel and other dictatorships in the general region are somewhat the same in form, (racist constitutions, laws, forcefull territorial acquisitions being the norm, etc), then I would support an invasion of Israel to wipe out its government, institutions, and executive branch. The goal would be to remove its inherent Zionism, just as I supported the US in going into Iraq to remove its Ba’athism, which was also a racist ideology. (At least its Iraqi version. The original Ba’ath party stood for nationalism and socialism).

    To the Israeli civilians who die due to collateral damage, well, such is war. Every attempt must be made to avoid civilian casualties of course, but dont consult the Israeli Army manual for guidance on that. Maybe they will meet their Iraqi counter parts with the big guy upstairs and laugh together over a heavenly drink of Arak.

    That is what I would do. Of course, there is also a peacefull option. Like I said earlier in my post yesterday, Israel must pick option “yes”, from my post: (Ibn – July 14th, 2006 at 7:25 pm) as a start.

    Truth be told however, I would be harsher in invading Israel, than I would be with Iraq. The difference being that Israel’s citizens actually had the audacity to choose and vote for a continuation of existance of a racist constitution and laws. They never voted it out, even though they are free in that regard. They actually chose to defend Zionism. Their Iraqi counter parts however had no such luxury. They were held under the yoke of a tyrrant, which there was next to nothing they could anything about. So I pity the Iraqi. But I despise the Israeli. So if the Israelis choose racism, then they must face the consequences of it. And we all know how Germany was dealt with after they voted a racist madman into power.

    That is my stance on the solution. War is horrible. But sometimes the only way for justice to be served is through war. It is regrattable, but such is life.

    I really don’t think there is a future in saying Israel has no right to exist, you do, but apart from that I dont know what you want from the future. A two state solution with peace and reconciliation talks and compensation? the destruction of Israel?

    If by destruction of Israel you mean what I described above, then yes. Absolutely. 100%. Even though its populace DOES in fact support racist Zionism, (by virtue of them not having voted it out), and thus ARE responsible for its crimes, I am not sadistic. I dont kill for the sake of killing. Once Israel’s institutions and executive branches are utterly destroyed, they no longer pose a risk. They must be occupied, and given a chance to create a true liberal democracy, one that respects ALL human rights, regardless of race or religion, unlike Zionism. To the individuals and underground Zionist groups that resist, they must be annihilated, since they obviously hate freedom.

    Of course, as before, there is the peacefull option. If the Israelis come to their senses just as their South African counterparts and dismantle Israel’s Zionist core, retract its Jew-only laws, and re-instate the refugees it helped create, then it would have my full support. It would have become a truly free and ligitimate country, one that is open to people of all creeds, race, and faiths. If change can come from the inside, all the better. Fat chance though. Afterall, this is a country where its people openly worry about the racial makeup of its majority.

    Anonymous,

    If Israel has no right to exist because they forced their way onto land that seemingly wasnt theirs, then this must also be applied to almost every other country in the world. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan etc etc

    The short answer is that no country exists today that matches Israel’s exclusivity and audacity for kicking people out en masse simply because they are of the wrong creed. The last ones who tried got firebombed. One got nuked.

    The long answer is for you to read all I have said so far. Its alot of material, but please do your homework.

    -Ibn

  112. Ibn

    First, thanks for taking the time to correctly spell my name. I know it is not an easy one to follow in Latin characters, and the minute attention for details says something about the person applying it.

    All of the uprooting claims I have heared to date relate to supposed acts of horrors done by the Israelies during the 1948 war. Historically, however, there was a rather extensive Jewish settelment throughout the country long before that. This was done in two ways. The first is outright buying (i.e. – paying money, getting ownership) of land. The other is settling in land no one, in his right mind, would want. Petach Tikva actually bought a whole village (Melabes), who was almost entirely depopulated at the time (we’re talking 1878).

    So, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Jews had no right to buy land. You equate buying land by Jews to burglery, despite the fact it was done with the full consent of the sellers.

    Was it a large scale? Apparently, most of the land Jewish setllers used was like that. The proof is that the UN commity that decided to divide the country between a Jewish and an Arab states did so based on demographics. All the locations that were given to the Jewish state were densly populated with Jewish people, and lightly populated with Arab people, long before 1948. Will you claim all of these areas are “Burglers”? If so, based on what claim?

    Shachar

  113. Thanks Skribe they arrived in Bahrain at 7am this morning, after a 12 hour bus ride to Damascus via Northern Lebanon and Allepo (I think), then had to wait in the airplane for other refugees for a few hours before they could fly back to Bahrain.

    I understand that the North was bombed last night, so it was very close, and we are thankful for their safety, and thankful too for the Bahraini government to have acted swiftly to rescue its citizens to bring them home.

  114. [b]The Marxists shared the same binary view of the world as Muslims. In Lenin’s view, you were either a Communist or an enemy of Communism, ie a reactionary. I would imagine that Leila Khaled, raised in a culture that sees the world as the Dar al Salaam versus the Dar al Harb, believers versus unbelievers, would readily take to the analogous view of Marxism which also broke the world down into believers and unbelievers. It would not be much of a transition at all.[/b]

    Doesnt this remind you of someone you know very well ? *cough*Bush*cough*
    ‘You are either with us or against us’
    http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/11/06/gen.attack.on.terror/

    Ohh sorry i forgot its alright for Mr. Pretzel to divide the world to two camps. He is here to save the planet !

  115. Good to hear, Mahmood.

    It’s come out that there are nearly 3000 Aussie tourists in Lebanon at the moment plus 20,000 Lebanese Australians living there. Meanwhile our government continues to sit on its hands and even fails to provide information to their families.

  116. I am very surprised by your view that the palestinian prisoners should remain encarserated. I doubt it is a view shared by many of your peers.

    I daresay that most of my peers believe that nuking the entire site from orbit is the only way to be sure.

    I thinking you’re confusing me with someone that has a vested interest in the saga. I assure you I do not. I think both sides have made henious wrongs. I also understand why both sides believe it is their right.

    I have a Palestinian friend who believes there will never be peace. Not because he wants to drive the Israelis into the sea because, as he says, ‘They’ve been fighting for thousands of years. It’s in the blood now.’ I prefer to be optomistic like my Israeli friend who believes that eventually the two sides will realise that they have more in common that they thought and will (re)unite.

    We’ll have to wait to see what happens. I wouldn’t expect to see it in your lifetime, however.

  117. Mahmood wrote:

    “Ok, how do you think it best to solve this particular problem? Leave everything else, everything. Just tell me, how would YOU solve this particular problem? “

    And actually leave the comfort this nice ivory tower I have going here?!
    Seriously though, its a fair question and my answer is simply this, I dont know. That is my answer. it may be Rubbish, but I AM sick of the “we need to rise above it ” approach which has failed time and time again.

    The one time Israel made genuine offers is when it was beaten out of them with a stick. Namely, 1973. Egypt and Syria put Israel on the back foot and all of a sudden genuine offers were flowing out of Israel. This is the ONLY time Israel actually gave back any of the land it occupied. Everything since then has been flowery rhetoric backed by snipers bullets and gunship rockets.
    The next most promising initiative (in my opinion) was the King Abdullah plan. This is would have defined a rather critical common foreign policy and given Israel a genuine Carrot. But that’s been done and it failed, Egypt and Syria did their best to torpedo it (God forbid a good idea should originate from those Bedouins in the Gulf). The failure of dialogue in this case is the dialogue between Arab states .

    So where does this leave us? to make peace without any terms that satisfy the Palestinians (namely Gaza and the West Bank )? That is NOT an option. The UN is a joke, and Israel bombing and blockading a sovereign country is treated as a mere “disproportionate response”. If I could do it, I would make all Arab and Muslim Nations leave the UN. But since that will only happy when the Saudi football team wins the world cup, I won’t bother going into what I would do after that.

    Back to my initial answer, I don’t know. I truly believe there is no answer that doesn’t involve any bloody shed. Unless, Unless, an Israeli government comes to power that has the courage to do what’s right and give the Palestinians back their land ( or rather, that small part of it that they are asking for). As I said before, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  118. Thank you Loki. You have just increased the level of hope that I have. I’m glad that you too do not see a dead-end in negotiation, no matter how onerous that path is. The first step then, is fixing our own house, and gain the trust of our other fellow Arabs that we in the Gulf also have good and honest ideas, regardless of the way they (other Arabs) continue to look down on us.

  119. Loki,

    Imagine how your personal life look if you will think that you and only you are right?

    If you want to solve a problem, you must look some time at the other point of view.

    Is it possible that even Egypt realize after 73 that she could not win Israel and should try a peaceful solution?
    Just read some war history about 73 and you will find that idf move deep forword into Ismailia and 40 km from Damascus at the end of the war!
    Some victory for the Arabs ha?

    Do you really believe that all blame is on Israel?
    Since we let Arafat to come to Gaza we suffered from suicide bombers.
    Each time by different group wile he doesn’t take action or responsibility
    When we said that those who glorify the suicide bombers will suffer the same, nobody believes us.
    Now it spared all over the world including Arab sates like Saudi, Egypt, Tunisia,
    Iraq and even in Syria.

    You like ibn choose to ignore our history in this land that started more then 1500 years before Mohammad.
    You choose to ignore that Arab states always threaten to destroy Israel, but Israel never threaten to destroy any Arab state.
    In fact Israel is the only state in the world that is in such danger.
    You choose to ignore that in this conflict Iran is raping Lebanon in its own interest
    to divert the worlds from her nuke bombs.

    The only way to solve this is to except that we have a right to one very small state,
    And all parties should compromise their dreams of unconditional demands.

    Lets hope that common sense and peace will win at the end.

  120. Skribe: “Of course all targets for assassination should boldly and openly declare themselves and make it easy for the assassin to limit any collateral damage by moving to a safe, deserted area immediately before the time of the planned assassination. … “

    Skribe, the Geneva Convention requires as a condition of civilized warfare for the combatants to identify themselves with insignia or uniform. The civilized countries have no trouble complying with this condition and clothe their troops in uniforms and mark their equipment with their nationality. Are you in opposition to the Geneva Convention because of this condition?

    Steve

  121. Ibn: “The short answer is that no country exists today that matches Israel’s exclusivity and audacity for kicking people out en masse simply because they are of the wrong creed.”

    Not so, Ibn. Virtually all of the Muslim world was taken by force, kicking out or killing people of the “wrong” creed. Arabia was full of non-Muslims before Mohammed. The Muslims had to kill a lot of people, including three Jewish tribes, to establish their hold on Arabia. The whole of the Mediterranean basin was largely Christian when the Muslims conquered most of it, giving the inhabitants the classic Koranic choice of converting, accepting subjugation as dhimmis, or death. Palestine was Christian. So was Egypt when Muslim armies annihilated whole villages which resisted. Beheading was very popular with Muslim conquerers then, just as it is with Muslim jihadis today. All the Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East and Europe are the product of Muslim aggression, of Muslims imposing their religion on others through insane violence. And of course, the Muslims did the same in their push to India.

    All those Muslims countries exist today because of Islam’s exclusivity and audacity for kicking people out en masse simply because they were of the wrong creed. Some Muslims even claim Spain/Andalusia because they had conquered it once.

    So, Ibn, would you claim that because Islam has held these countries for long enough, that such possession has been sanctified by time? If so, does that not sanctify Israel’s claim, by your logic? If not, are you urging that Muslims give up their lands to their rightful and original infidel owners?

    Steve

  122. History of Islam according to Steve. How would Steve explain that certain countries in South-East Asia are Islamic when a Moslim army never landed there? Google it Steve, maybe some obscure website can provide an answer that fits into your worldview.

    Odd that the large majority of Christians in the world today are the results of Christian military expansion in both in the New and Old World. Go on, read about it and learn about how popular beheading and other killings were by the soldiers of the church.

    Given the superior moral standard that Steve is sharing with us all the time, would he think of the genocide on the American natives during thanksgiving day?

    Makes us wonder what “right” creed is followed by Steve.

  123. AbaC

    I never said the Arabs were victorious, I said they beat Israel with a stick and had them on the back foot. Neither side can claim victory (though both do). I know the history of 73 well enough. Well enough to know the american military stock pile in Germany disappeared shortly before military hardware bearing american stars was being used by the IDF.

    “Do you really believe that all blame is on Israel?” – yes and indirectly on european countries for a) allowing the holocaust to occur . B) allowing their guilt on this to be shouldered by the Palestinians.

    “Since we let Arafat to come to Gaza we suffered from suicide bombers. “- Oh dear, those inconsiderate arabs, we take their land and now they send suicide bombers. How very bloody inconsiderate of them.

    “You like ibn choose to ignore our history in this land that started more then 1500 years before Mohammad. ” - Tell that to the millions of palestinians living as refugees, I’m sure they’d be fascinated. Especially the bit where the europeans commit genocide against you and they had to pay the price along with you even though they had nothing to do with it.

    “You choose to ignore that Arab states always threaten to destroy Israel, but Israel never threaten to destroy any Arab state. In fact Israel is the only state in the world that is in such danger. ” – examples please? What arab states are always threatening to destroy Israel? be specific. All Arab states have directly or indirectly indicated that they would make peace with Israel (this btw, includes Hamas). See King Abdullah plan.

    “The only way to solve this is to except that we have a right to one very small state, And all parties should compromise their dreams of unconditional demands.”

    I’m sorry I must be confused?? Are you Palestinian?? You know what friend, you are so right. The only way to solve this is to accept that they have a right to one very small state. You’ve got your state, don’t you think its time to give the Palestinians thiers?

  124. Steve the Confederate said:

    “Not so, Ibn. Virtually all of the Muslim world was taken by force, kicking out or killing people of the “wrong” creed. Arabia was full of non-Muslims before Mohammed. The Muslims had to kill a lot of people, including three Jewish tribes, to establish their hold on Arabia.”

    Nevermind, that I had said no modern COUNTRY exists today that matches Israel’s en-masse evictive ideology. This means, that within the context of the 20th century, when a major drive to stop forcefull territorial acquisitions, no country can match Israel’s forcefull evictions. So the context here is the modern era – after the major push to set the proper precedent that has been mentioned in the above posts.

    In ancient history, not only did the Islamic Arabs invade and pillage, but so did the Persians, the Greeks, the Vikings, the Romans, the Mongols, and the Samurai. Back then, if one had an empire, why of course! You had to invade and pillage.

    But since they are oh so very far back though, the statute of limitations applies very nicely to them.The statute of limitations doesnt apply to Israel’s crimes just yet, because both Israel, as well as the refugees are still in existance. Thus, Steve the Confederate’s point is moot.

    Shachar,

    I will reply to your post later. I am in a bit of a hurry because I have my sprint running to attend to right now, but this will also give you a chance to calm down due to my mis-spelling of your name.

    -Ibn

  125. This must be the statement of the week: “Arabia was full of non-Muslims before Mohammed”

  126. Mahmood, I’m very glad to hear that your family is home safely, and very sorry for all the fear and anguish they experienced on their way back.

    Jared

  127. Anon: “History of Islam according to Steve. How would Steve explain that certain countries in South-East Asia are Islamic when a Moslim army never landed there? Google it Steve, maybe some obscure website can provide an answer that fits into your worldview.”

    You’ll note that I did not includee SEA in the list of Muslim conquests by force. It does not speak well for Islam that SEA is the exception to forcible conversion rather than the rule.

    Anon: “Odd that the large majority of Christians in the world today are the results of Christian military expansion in both in the New and Old World. Go on, read about it and learn about how popular beheading and other killings were by the soldiers of the church.”

    There’s a kernel of truth to your assertion. Certainly the Spanish tried to forcibly convert South American Indians to Catholicism much as the Muslims had previously done them with respect to Islam. However, there was little such coercive conversion in North America under English colonization.

    In America, missionaries to the Indians relied on persuasion, with few takers. The missionaries were a bit too alien and aloof for most Indians to imitate them. However, Indians continue to practice their original religions in America today. The US government concedes to their religious demands in most cases with respect to the treatment of ancient remains and the use of peyote in ceremonies.

    You’re way off base as to the spread of Christianity by violence in the Old World. Christians were the oppressed for the first few centuries after Jesus. Christian missionaries relied mainly on persuasion and their own example to make conversions covertly. While Christianity benefitted from the transportation net laid down by the Romans, the legions did not spread Christianity by force.

    You might also note that the US, like the rest of the civilized world, maintains the right of freedom of worship.

    Anon: “Given the superior moral standard that Steve is sharing with us all the time, would he think of the genocide on the American natives during thanksgiving day?

    Despite what your Middle Eastern textbooks and media say, there was no genocide of the Indians. They’re still around. There were about two million of them in America when Columbus landed. There are two million of them now. Genocide better describes how the Wahhabis conquered Arabia.

    I have no doubt that wildly biased sources in the Muslim world might claim that Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by slaughtering the Indians. What happenned in the real world is that the English colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated a thanksgiving meal together. Those colonists would not have survived without the Wampanoags, who traded food for English goods. The Wampanoags were not annihilated, but rather their numbers were reduced by epidemics. The remainder declared war on the colonists and lost. They now live on in Rhode Island and Massachussetts.

    Anon: “Makes us wonder what “right” creed is followed by Steve.”

    Any creed that believes in live and let live. In more concrete terms, any religion that is not planting a bomb on my train or making snuff videos or skyjacking jets to fly them into crowds. Other religions don’t have any problem with letting each other worship whatever god they chose or no god at all. It’s time the Muslims cast off their murderous intolerance and adopted such modern cultural norms as religious tolerance and freedom of thought.

    Steve

  128. Ibn: “In ancient history, not only did the Islamic Arabs invade and pillage, but so did the Persians, the Greeks, the Vikings, the Romans, the Mongols, and the Samurai. Back then, if one had an empire, why of course! You had to invade and pillage.”

    Except for the Japanese, the Muslims are unique among all those civilizations for imposing their religion on the vanquished by force. The Romans and Mongols were particularly tolerant of diverse religions. The Vikings didn’t care what religion you were. They just wanted your stuff and your women. The Persian empire didn’t have a religion they pushed, being a multi-cultural empire with an army composed of many disparate ethnic groups. As long as you accepted the Persian emperor as divine, they were OK with you.

    However, it’s nice to see that you agree that Muslims of old were as evil in your eyes as the modern Israelis but that time sanctifies their atrocities.

    Steve

  129. I think he needs to get a life, and stop obsessing about other men !

    Steve, nothing else to do in your trailer park ? =)

  130. Ibn,

    Sure, let me know when you have assembled an answer. You seem like an intelligent person, which is what makes this discussion interesting. I also have the impression you are hate driven, but feel free to prove me wrong. After all, what’s the point of discussing things with people who agree with you?

    Shachar

  131. Ibn,

    You write “Nevermind, that I had said no modern COUNTRY exists today that matches Israel’s en-masse evictive ideology”.

    Just like to correct you if I may, you did not say “modern” in your post. This makes quite a difference to your argument.

    Keep up the entertainment!

  132. Salman and others
    I too am an Israeli, a daughter of two survivors of the Holocaust, born a few years after the inception of the state of Israel. One wonderful legacy my parents taught me is to forgive but never to forget. I ask all of you who are Arabs or Palestinians: if my parents were willing to forgive the German and their Nazi past for the atrocities they had committed against them, move on with their lives and try and raise a normal family with a promising future for their children, why can’t you forgive, not forget, what injustices, if any, were done to you by the Israelis and the founders of their state and move on with your life?
    It is time to heal wounds on both sides! Why not start now?

  133. Batzi,

    I hate to state the glaringly obvious, but here goes. Your parents can forgive because the Holocaust occured in the past. We cannot forget because injustices against the Palestinians occur to this very day. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.

    Regards,
    An Arab.

  134. I was taught that the best reason to forgive for the sake of one’s own soul. Until one does, peace can never be found.

    I am thinking of Nelson Mandela, as one example of a person who came to this realization while he was still imprisoned by the Apartheid gov of South Africa. Another person who advocates this approach is the Dalai Lama, even though the Chinese still occupy his homeland, while he continues to speak out on the behalf of Tibetan refugees.

    If one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus immediately on pulling out the arrow. Shakyamuni, the Buddha

    In spite of the difficulties still confronting the people of South Africa and Tibet, the suffering of the people of the middle east far surpasses it . . . and I would argue that the reason for it is an addiction to anger and revenge. It makes most people do really really dumb things which only engender more suffering for more and more people — like lob missles at Israel and bombing civilian targets in Lebanon.

  135. Dear Arab,
    The scars that were inflicted on my parents lasted their whole lifetime. Those scars affected my whole life. My father was 70 percent disabled from the tortures inflicted upon his body. Emotionally, he was an invalid. Yet, he forgave. He taught me not to hate for hatred consumes one’s soul and diverts too much energy away from more productive tasks. Try to forgive and you shall see how much further forgiveness will take you. Just try please.

  136. Batzi,

    My intention was neither to question the seriousness of the Holocaust nor to question the role forgiving plays in cleansing one’s soul (if you will). I simply wanted to point out that forgiving for past atrocities is a whole different ballgame than forgiving one for crimes that continue to occur. It is impossible to forgive the Israeli government for its continued use of state sponsored terrorism, unless such activities come to an end.

    Do not take this post to mean that I am supporting Hizballah, Hamas, et al. All I intended to point out was that the parallel you are trying to draw between two situations just doesn’t exist.

    Regards,
    An Arab.

  137. Are you in opposition to the Geneva Convention because of this condition?

    Of course not, Steve. In fact I think everyone should be forced to wear uniforms. It woud just make it so much easier for the authorities to identify the ‘evil doers’. We could have pink one for the gays, white ones for the atheists and yellow and black for the tourists. The best ones, black of course, would be limited to the officer class.

    In fact I particularly like Bushcos interpretation of the GCs. I’m just a little disappointed that they just haven’t pushed it far enough. It could solve so many problems. Illegal narcotics are a clear and present danger to the security of the free world. The dealers are heavily armed militia. Obviously illegal combatants in the war on drugs. Who needs a DA and a costly trial, where a suspect may use trickery to get off, when a Hellfire solves the problem permanently? You’re all for eliminating the illegal narcotics aren’t you, Steve?

  138. skribe,

    We can also have all arabs wear Hamas-esque green. Better yet Steve, just go ahead an open up the gates at gitmo, and we’ll just walk in, eh?

    -3arabiun Ana

  139. Hi again, Arab,
    If you you state that the injustices inflicted by the Israelis upon the Palestinians is the reason for their ongoing hatred, then please tell me why was there hatred for as long as i rememeber even before there were any Palestinians under any Israeli rule i.e prior to 1967? I very well remember growing up in Israel hearing the hate speeches by Arab leaders threatening to throw us into the sea… Both sides have reason to hate….
    As others said on this blog, we, the Israelis, are not going anywhere and neither are you people. So we might as well learn to live together. There are numerous examples of Jews and Arabs living side by side and having a productive relationship.

  140. The siant prisoners the arabs want to free is Samir Contar, the brave man that shoot unarmad family from short range. until arabs twisted mine will straighten Israel is the defender of common sense east border.

  141. Batzi, what is it with you guys that you cannot understand that you did not only occupy Gaza and the West Bank, but all of Palestine??? The reason for ongoing hatred is the continued occupation of Palestinian land. You allow the right of “return” for Jewish people who hail from Lithuania and Ethopia, who have no connection whatsoever to Palestine, yet Palestinians who lived there only 58 years ago and who hail from the land for generations and generations are not allowed to “return”. For every Arab that wanted to throw an Israeli in the sea, there was an Israeli who felt exactly the same about the Arabs. For as long as I remember, I’ve heard Israelis voice the most despicable things about Arabs. Dont go getting up on your moral high-horse, please.

    You arent going anywhere? Fair enough. You feel entitled to live on that land? Fair enough. But just consider that the original Palestinian inhabitants of the land are just as entitled to live there as a blond, blue-eyed American Jew who decides he wants to live in Israel because he wants to “return home”. Living together doesnt mean you living in a house that originally belonged to a Palestinian and him living in a squalid refugee camp in Gaza or in some other country close-by. It means living together. Have you actually thought what the words living together mean? It means you accepting that the Palestinian has the right to live in your same city (his originally), your neighborhood, your street. Its you acknowledging that you’ve usurped his home.

    How is it that the Jewish people want the world to apologize for the atrocities that they committed against them, yet they refuse to acknowledge the atrocities that they themselves have commited? How is it that you demand compensation and acknowledgement, generations down the line from the Holocaust, yet you refuse to recompense or acknowledge the Palestinians, just as many generations down the line too?

  142. nostedamous,
    As I understand from your English, you’re saying that Samir Kantar shot un-armed families at close range? Hmmmmmmmmm. Have you been watching TV at all in the last few days? Have you seen the number of un-armed families that the Israelis have killed in Lebanon using missiles launched from the air, the sea and every other means possible? Samir used a gun (and I’m not saying he was right), the Israelis are now using banned weapons including phosphorus bombs on the Lebanese. Please, if we have a twisted mind, and you are the defendors of common sense, then this world is really screwed up.

  143. Israel is a fun ,peace loving country, but the war came upon us and when thats happens -you fight.
    Isreal tried already any goverment and any way to bring peace, and got in return more terror.
    all along i knew thats what going to happen.
    thats why i stick to the old saying:

    “one arab in the sea=pullution
    All the arabs in the sea=Solution ! “

  144. Avi,
    As a fellow Israeli, I am sorry to hear you express yourself like this. No one is asking you to love your Arab neighbours but for goodness sake, act in accordance with our Jewish heritage and don’t rejoice when your enemy is falling,please!
    Lujayn,
    One cannot replay history.
    The Jews did not take over Palestine. if you learn your history, you will realize that the United Nations voted for the establishment of both Jewish state and an Arab state. It was an international decision. The Arabs unfortunately decided to reject it. Is it my fault that I was born in Israel, a legal entity whose inception was voted for by an international organization? The Arabs keep pointing out that Israel does not abide by resolutions 242 and 338. Why did not the Arabs of 1947 abide by UN resolution calling for the establishment of two states? You cannot pick and choose what suites you people when it comes to UN resolutions. Neither should we.
    For your information, I recently visited Lithuania (both my parents are from there) and i stood on two pieces of property that my grandfather owned. The deed to these properties is in his name. I am the righful owner. Many told me that I am entitled to reclaim the land. There are people living there right now, if I were to reclaim the property where would these people go to?
    On another example. I recnetly moved from new zealand where I had been living for ten years. Many Maori people feel that the whites should leave New Zealand. Where should they go to then?
    You cannot replay history. Wars over lands have always claimed their costs. We just cannot keep reminiscing about a past when the circumstances have changed. I cannot reclaim land that is still mine and expect people to just vacate it for me, neither can you or anyone else.

  145. Batzi, if you decided to give up the deed to your land, out of the goodness of your soul, fine. It was your choice. However, should you have wanted to claim the land, wouldnt you agree it was your right? Would you have accepted the fact if the new people in your grandfather’s land told you to bugger off? What if you didnt have anywhere to go to? No New Zealand, no Israel? Would you be so accomodating? Would you accept the eviction of the Maoris from New Zealand so you could live there?

    The two-state solution proposed by the UN at the time called for exactly that. That the people that hailed from Yaffa and Acca accept that they no longer had a right to live in their land. Who would gratefully accept that solution??

    People must be accountable for occupation. You just cant say, well, its done and we’re here, therefore its right. What would your reaction be now if say, Australia decided to take over New Zealand, and managed to occupy it? Would you accept the fact, just because Australia shipped over thousands and thousands of Australians to populate New Zealand? Does that make it ok, or would you hold Australia accountable? See, Batzi, I am baffled by the inability of Israelis to acknowledge that what they have done is take over someone else’s land and home. Jewish people living in Palestine were not evicted from their homes to make way for the incoming settlers. Arabs were. Arabs and Jews were living together in Palestine pre-Zionism. However, Zionism sought to eject Arabs to make way for a Jewish homeland. Does that seem fair to you? What do you feel when people deny the Holocaust? Do you not care when people say the Holocaust didnt happen? Why do you then deny that you yourself perpetuated similar injustice?

  146. As a Jew can I also utterly repudiate the sickening bit of infantile verse at the end of Avi’s last comment.

    But I would also question the view of history of Lujayn. The Jews did not sieze Arab land. The Jewish National Fund and Jewish individuals bought up land. In 1948, the leaders of the Arab Palestinians told the inhabitants to evacuate for a few weeks, during which time the Jewish forces would be defeated. Well, it was not to be.

    During the Mandate period, when Britain was mandated by the League of Nations to govern Palestine with the intention of setting up a Jewish state, the British Government Peel Commission of 1937 recommended partitioning Palestine into 2 states – the larger one Arab, the much smaller one Jewish. The Jews accepted this plan, the Arabs rejected it. Ten years later the United Nations again proposed partition, and again the Jews accepted it, the Arabs rejected it. As soon as the State of Israel was declared in 1948, all Arab countries around attacked it.

    In 2000, at Camp David, Israeli PM Ehud Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian state consisting of 94 percent of the West Bank, with a further land allocation from within Israel equivalent to the remaining 6 percent. Palestine would have control of the Temple Mount and the Arab and Christian Quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem. Arafat’s response was not to say, “OK, that’s a start – let’s talk”. His response was to storm out of the talks, say that Barak could go to hell, and start the Intifada.

    Let’s face it, perhaps the Palestinians, when looking who to blame, could look to their own leadership, and it’s total refusal throughout to compromise in any way.

  147. Lujayn,
    I can feel the pain in your words.
    What would you like me to do as an Israeli? What can I do? Would you want me to apologize for deeds that took place before I was born, action over which I had no control?
    Under the circumstances, Israel has offered some solutions. Did Arafat not want to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and the west bank? Did Israel under Barak not offer him almost all of his wishes which he rejected?
    If the Palestinians had indeed proven to the Israelis and the world that they are deserving of being entitled for a law of return, I think eventually something would have been granted. However, if after the pullout from Gaza and the opportunity for the Palestinians to prove that they are deserving of it, the Palestianians are still refusing to accept us in the region. What guarrantee do we have that if they are allowed in our midst, they will not destroy us from within?Please try and understand our point since you are so eager for me to understand yours.
    Some things in life have to be earned. I truly believe that enough opportunities have been presented to the Palestinians to show us and the world that they are indeed deserving of returning to live amongst us. Unfortunately, they have missed all of them.
    Life is not a dress reharsal. Please don’t ask us, Israelis to commit suicide. At least, at this stage that is what it seems to me we will be doing if we were to allow Hamas and Hizballah into our midst.

  148. Batzi, thanks for coming across as human, even if i dont agree with everything you are saying. Its funny how we see history and events differently. If we were born into each other’s communities, we would have the opposite viewpoints. Where you see Palestinians as undeserving of living amongst you, Palestinians see Israelis as untrustworthy, as they really have gotten nothing in return for their participation in the peace process but a sliver of land called Gaza and a West Bank riddled with settler enclaves and Israeli military presence.

    I dont want you to commit suicide, Batzi, not at all. I am asking you to understand that from our point of view, Israel has not really been a deserving partner itself.

  149. For any retard that thinks Israel is a fun loving disneyland :

    Zionist Jewish Hatred Part 1:

    1. “There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies ­not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy.” Israeli president Moshe Katsav. The Jerusalem Post, May 10, 2001

    2. “The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more”…. Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time – August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

    3. ” [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs.” Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the Beasts”. New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

    4. “The Palestinians” would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” ” Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

    5. “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

    6. “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” Golda Maier, March 8, 1969.

    7. “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

    8. “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha’aretz, 19 March 1972.

    9. David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): “If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti – Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?” Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.

    10. Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 : “We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return.” Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. “The old will die and the young will forget.”

  150. Would you accept the fact, just because Australia shipped over thousands and thousands of Australians to populate New Zealand?

    I’m sure the kiwis would be very accommodating. After all 10% (over 400,000) of the kiwi population have settled in Oz. We could just ship the bastards home and bang! instant invasion =).

  151. Lujayn,
    Thanks for your comments which I accept and fully understand. Believe me, I really hope that the day will come when we could live together in peace and harmony. We need to build mutual trust and that takes years, generations. But the eternal optimist in me truly believes it is possible. As long as there are peope like you and me, people who discuss debate and try to understand rather than belittle and show utter disrespect, there is hope, hope for us, for our children and for the world. Best wishes for Peace, Salaam, Shalom
    Batzi

  152. Lujayne and Batzi, As a secular American Jew, I’ve really appreciated reading your exchange. You’ve both helped me to better understand your respective positions and heartfelt arguments. I feel deeply for you both.

    I don’t supose I’m adding anything by saying this, but I’d just like to contribute my opinion that the best opportunity for peace was the offer by Ehud Barak which included a divided Jerusalem. It wasn’t everything that Palestinians wanted, but it was most of it. Arafat did great disservice to Palestinians in many instances, but I think rejecting that offer was the greatest.

    Regarding a section of Brian’s post, I think the idea that all the Palestinians left for a few weeks waiting for the impending defeat of the Jews has long been a part of Israeli national mythology. I know the the historical record is controversial, but my interpretation is that some Palestinians did indeed leave under this assuption, but many were terrorised out of their homes.

    I can post some links, but I’m still reading about this and trying to determine how best to judge which sources are most reliable, or at least making a good faith attempt to evaluate the evidence fairly.

    Jared

  153. Give us back East Jerusalem, Ghaza, and the West Bank. Get off our f’ing land.

    ’nuff said.

  154. Jared,
    Thanks for acknowledging both Lujayn and my views. As always, there are two sides to every issue. The problem is that very rarely are people ready to engage in dialogues. I am a firm believer in communication and first and foremost try and understand where people are coming from.
    Brian’s detailed response gave some very hard facts. Again, it is a question of what is a reliable source and what isn’t.
    Honest reporting is unfortunately a rarity nowadays. I therefore believe that you are absolutely right in trying to sift and evaluate the evidence. Please share your findings with us.
    All the best
    Batzi

  155. Dear Arab,
    You can have the West bank and Gaza (which you have had already for a year and unfortunately did not do much with it other than dig tunnels). You could have also had East Jerusalem had your leaders accepted Barak’s offer. Also,it would be nice to use a more civilized way of expressing oneself, if I may add.
    Batzi

  156. Civilized? You preach being civilized when your leader acts like a modern day Atilla the Hun? Are you kidding me?

    Batzi, I am sorry but it is pretty disgusting how you go about portraying yourself as a liberal pacifist while failing to question the actions of your government against the Palestinian people.

    Palestinian territories remain under Israeli occupation to this very day. You ask why there is so much hatred, yet have not experienced first-hand the feeling of being thrown out of your land after having lived their for centuries. Israel is here to stay, absolutely. But so are the Palestinians, and until an honest effort to implement the two-state solution is attempted, things will not look as rosy as you want them to. Checkpoints and barriers keep the palestinians from getting home, going to pray, and giving birth, for God’s sake! Israli settlements are being built on land that is not rightfuly theirs, and despicable human rights violations continue to be committed to this very day.

    Civilized? Please don’t preach being civilized to me.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=peace+propaganda

  157. Sam

    You have compiled “Zionist Jewish Hatred Part 1:” out of 50-plus years of Israeli speeches.

    I am sure that a much longer “Arab hatred” list could be compiled out of any single day’s Arab press, or single day’s Arab cartoon output, or even Arab school mathematics lessons.

    So what have you proven?

    When one sees, on the news, three-year-old children dressed as ‘martyrs’, or wielding machine guns, then I think one can judge who is being educated to hate.

  158. Dear arab,
    Your attidute, I am afraid is part of the reason there is not going to be peace any time soon. You are so filled with hatred towards me. You have never even met me. You have problems with my leaders? So do I sometimes as you should have with yours. I have not done anything to hurt you or your people. On the contrary through my being a teacher and a university lecturer I am trying to educat people about the needs of our region. I try to make people aware that the Palestinians, like any other nation, are deserving of a homeland. I wonder what they will think when they read your hateful commets? Antagonism., accusations and sheer hatred are not going to help your cause!
    When I ask you to act in a civilized manner, it is more for the sake of your own people for those who read your lines may see them in the same way that they see you, rude and hateful!
    And despite all your accusations, I am still sincerely Yours
    Batzi

  159. Excuse me, Batzi, but I dont think “An Arab’s” attitude is the reason there isnt going to be peace. He’s not filled with hatred, he’s stating his opinion. He is also angry, but he isnt out of line, he hasnt threatened or expressed explicit hatred. He has said he doesnt buy your slant on things. You cant really expect people to hand out flowers when they’re feeling wronged. He’s stated exactly why he feels wronged, and nothing sounds out of place. He’s acknowledged the Israelis are here to stay, but he asked that you accept that the Palestinians are too.

    If you really want to communicate, you need to get over your prejudices, and listen honestly. If you dont hear something you like, it doesnt mean its wrong.

  160. Sunrunner: “Steve, You really need to read up a bit more on European history. Actually, a lot more.”

    Sunrunner, if you have some point to pick with my argument, do so. It appears that you are posing as being better educated in European history without actually doing the homework, as arrogant and intellectually lazy liberals are prone to do. I suppose you think that the goofy politically correct myths that those such as you are prone to favor trump real study, travel, and experience. Your empty and vacuous rebuttal demonstrates your empty and vacuous knowledge of European history.

    Sam: I think he needs to get a life, and stop obsessing about other men ! Steve, nothing else to do in your trailer park ? =)”

    Ad hominem slander based on homosexual, class & lifestyle prejudice; the signature of Neanderthal lefties who lack the intellect to make their case based on knowledge, facts, and reason.

    It’s pretty easy to win an argument when rebutted by such unwashed lefty knuckleheads, like paying chess with chimps.

    Steve

  161. By the way, I was the ‘Anonymous’ writing to Sam on 9:35 pm.

    Regarding “An Arab”‘s video, I understand how dehumanising the checkpoints have been – but remember, they have been put in place to keep out suicide bombers and other ‘militants’.

    As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Arabs were offered their state in 1937, 1947, 2000, and refused.

    Which brings us to 1967. The video lays a lot of stress on Israel “illegally occupying” land it won in the 1967 war (without pointing out Nasser’s role in bringing the war about).

    Let me quote, unedited, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khartoum_Resolution

    “The Khartoum Resolution of September 1, 1967 was issued at the conclusion of a meeting between the leaders of eight Arab countries in the wake of the Six-Day War. The resolution, which formed a basis of the policies of these governments toward Israel until the Yom Kippur War of 1973 called for:

    1. Continued struggle against Israel
    2. Ending the Arab oil boycott declared during the Six-Day War
    3. An end to the war in Yemen
    4. Economic assistance for Egypt and Jordan

    The resolution contains in paragraph 3 what became known as “the three nos” of Arab-Israel relations at that time.

    1. No peace with Israel
    2. No recognition of Israel
    3. No negotiations with Israel

    So, “An Arab”, is that history an object lesson in how to conduct diplomacy?

    Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel. Palestine could have also, if it had had more reasonable rulers.

  162. My accusations are anything but baseless.

    There is no hatred in my comments, just disgust. Disgust with how complacent people can be, operating under the banner of pacifism. I am as concerned as yourself with the situation. Yet you should realize that your view of the glass as half-full is not going to solve the problem.

    I am sorry if you view my comments as full of hate, I am just providing what is, in my opinion, a realistic view of the situation. You ask for people to forget, yet atrocities are being committed to this very day. That is the simple fact. Until those atrocities are halted, there will be unfortunate loss of life on both ends. And don’t get me wrong, I neither approve of nor condone such actions. I am simply aware that they will continue to take place until such issues are addressed.

    You will probably point to this post again, say I am full of hatred and that people like me are the root of all evil in Middle East. If that’s not an accusation, I don’t know what is. You say my posts are full of accusations, then turn around and accuse me of being hateful. And you say I generalize?

    Yours,
    An Arab.

  163. Steve the Confederate said:

    Except for the Japanese, the Muslims are unique among all those civilizations for imposing their religion on the vanquished by force.

    haha! Please! please!…someone….anyone…haha…please! Tell Steve to stop tickling me!…ahaha! ooo hehe!

    Lets test Steve The Confederate’s hypthethis: “Only the Muslims would impose their religion upon the vanquished”.

    The Romans and Mongols were particularly tolerant of diverse religions.

    Uhh…the Romans forced all conquered cultures to accept Jupiter as their god, and perform the rites associated with them. If you remember, it was the Romans who invaded Judea and blugeoned the Jews, and sent them to exile. It was the Romans who drove the Christians underground, and burned their bodies alive at gatherings because they did not accept Jupiter. Many empererors like Nero and Diocletian among others are famous for religious crackdowns.

    So when you say: As long as you accepted the Persian emperor as divine, they were OK with you.

    The same can be applied with respects to the Muslims, where, as long as you accepted Allah, they were ok with you.
    The same can be applied with respects to the Romans, where, as long as you accepted Jupiter, they were ok with you.

    And the vikings? At least with the previous mentioned cultures, there was a way out. All you had to do was perform some stupid ritual and convert your faith to believe in Jupiter, Allah, or Darius, and you became a citizen of an Empire.

    So when a Muslim invader came up to you, you would say:
    “Allah is my god”.
    When a Roman invader came up to you, you would say:
    “Jupiter is my god”.

    …but what do you tell a Viking?…

    In fact, where would Steve rather be? In front of a Muslim horde that demanded you take the shahada and become a Muslim, or in front of a Viking horde that was sharpening their horns and swords, demanding nothing but your death, treasure, and sister?

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

    The statute of limitations translated into plain English says: “An immoral atrocity happened, but so much time has passed by that no justice can now be brought to bear.”

    Your statement:
    However, it’s nice to see that you agree that Muslims of old were as evil in your eyes as the modern Israelis but that time sanctifies their atrocities.

    Sanctify? I sanctify their atrocities? I sanction the use of force of ancient empires against individuals? To sanction means to give approval to, meaning I give approval to all those atrocities done in the past? I somehow approve of them? Meaning I think they are moral?

    There is a STARK difference, between saying:

    “An immoral atrocity has happened, but so much time has gone by that no justice can be brought to bear upon it.”

    and

    “An immoral atrocity has happened, but so much time has gone by that in retrospect it was a moral thing to do.”

    BIG difference. So when you claim I “sanctify their atrocities”, you are pinning me to the latter. I mentioned the statute of limitations, meaning I subscribe to the former.

    I know you can see the difference. This is dishonesty on your side at best. At worst, well, I cant say it. I can insult an mentally retarded person in good conscience.

    -Ibn

  164. Brian,

    Who ever said that diplomacy should be conducted in that way? Why do you assume that I would approve of the 3 No’s?

    A number of Arab states today, including Egypt, Qatar and Jordan have recognized Israel as a soverign nation and engage in bilateral trade with her. I am absolutely fine with that. Yet, Israel continues to illegaly occupy land that should have been returned decades ago. That, I am not fine with.

    Regards,
    An Arab

  165. Lujayn,
    All I was asking was that he not use fowl language. Was I wrong for asking this?
    He said he wanted the West Bank, I told him he could have it. he said he wanted Gaza I told him that the Palestinias were given Gaza a year earlier and did not really do much other than dig tunnels (which is the truth).
    He said he wanted east Jerusalem, i told him that if his leaders had accepted Barak’s plan, they could have had East Jerusalem too.
    What else should I have said. Have you perhaps thought that An Arab did not appreciate my response because perhaps I did not give him the answer he wanted?
    How about that, Lujayn. We can continue to have a civilized conversation on the net just like you and I have had. obviously, it is possible among intelligent human beings who tend to differ in their views .Nothing wrong with it. There is no need to resort to curses and ugliness just because someone is not getting the answers they want.

  166. Brian, watch the whole thing, you cant possibly have seen the whole video, cause its an hour and 20 minutes long. I’m still watching it. If you had seen the video, you would know its about a lot more than dehumanizing checkpoints.

    The 1967 resolution is long past. A lot of Arab states have negotiated peace deals with Israel and all have recognized it. Hashing up that resolution is irrelevent to the present.

  167. He didnt use foul language, he was being sarcastic. You cant be sarcastic and utterly polite. :) I respect his viewpoint, its extremely accomodating and moderate. Please read beyond his anger and frustration and you’ll find an engaging viewpoint

  168. skribe: “Of course not, Steve. In fact I think everyone should be forced to wear uniforms. It woud just make it so much easier for the authorities to identify the ‘evil doers’. We could have pink one for the gays, white ones for the atheists and yellow and black for the tourists. The best ones, black of course, would be limited to the officer class.”

    Your rebuttal is literally a joke, which makes your argument a joke as well. You exempt Muslim terrorists from complying with the international law governing war while presumably seeking to handicap their targets by demanding they fully comply, eh? Your position puts you in bed with the suicide bombers seeking crowds of kids to kill.

    Steve

  169. And to you dear ‘An Arab’, like Brian, I am upset at the sight of the checkpoints Israel had erected. I realize that many of the people trying to get through them are just like you and me, people who want to get on with their lives. However, with the slight likelihood that one of them might have a belt full of explosives strapped around their waist, Israle cannot afford that chance.
    Keep well
    Batzi

  170. And Batzi (I’m going to be a little bit sarcastic here, in fun, so please dont get offended) I just realized you’ve got the power to give away the West Bank. You just granted it to An Arab. :D

  171. Yeah Batzi, thanks for giving me the West Bank. I truly appreciate the gesture. Since I am an Arab (read terrorist), I will now ask all my people to stop strapping theirselves with explosives and walking through your checkpoints.

    Regards,
    An Arab.

    P.S. Thanks again for giving me the West Bank.
    P.P.S. Your patronizing tone “and to you dear ‘An Arab'” is unnecessary.
    P.P.P.S. Lujayn, party in the West Bank! And you’re invited!

  172. Cant, but appreciate the invite :)

    Batzi, I really appreciate your willingness to try and listen and talk. I find that very encouraging. Good night, time to call it a night.

  173. Same here actually!

    Some of the discussion has been quite thrilling and has contributed a lot to my understanding of the situation. My wish now is for people to continue to be positive, and honestly try to understand the other side without getting overly emotional, attacking, or disrespectful to opinions and people.

    G’night all. I hope tomorrow is a better day for all of us.

  174. Steve: The Romans and Mongols were particularly tolerant of diverse religions.

    Ibn: “Uhh…the Romans forced all conquered cultures to accept Jupiter as their god, and perform the rites associated with them. If you remember, it was the Romans who invaded Judea and blugeoned the Jews, and sent them to exile. It was the Romans who drove the Christians underground, and burned their bodies alive at gatherings because they did not accept Jupiter. Many empererors like Nero and Diocletian among others are famous for religious crackdowns.”

    The Romans allowed other religions to practice freely within their empire, even within Rome, as documented by Edward Gibbon in “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” The Romans tended to adopt foreign religions, like the Greek gods, and incorporate them into their empire. The Romans were interested in physical conquest, indifferent to religious conquest. Their invasion of Judea isn’t any different than their conquest of other lands like Gaul.

    My favorite wacky religion which set up shop in Rome was the worship of Cybele, whose worshippers would ritually castrate themselves, go running through the streets bleeding, and hurl their member through an open window. If the Romans could tolerate that religion, they could tolerate anything.

    Steve: “So when you say: As long as you accepted the Persian emperor as divine, they were OK with you. The same can be applied with respects to the Muslims, where, as long as you accepted Allah, they were ok with you. The same can be applied with respects to the Romans, where, as long as you accepted Jupiter, they were ok with you.”

    That’s understating the bigotry of the Muslim invaders quite a bit. You had a choice of converting, accepting subjugation as a dhimmi, or dying. If you were conquered by Romans and survived somehow, your prospects improved as you benefitted by Roman infrastructure, laws, and physical protection. Your prospects markedly declined under Muslim occupation where you were subject to a whole host of laws that made you a second class citizen and subject to the whims of any Muslim who wished to do you evil. You could not even raise your arm in defense to a Muslim who attacked you. Your life was worth nothing in a Muslim court. You had to pay for being non-Muslim, during which the Muslim who took your jizaya was obliged to make you feel subjugated by grabbing your beard and striking you. No infidel was ever OK with Muslims.

    Steve: “And the vikings? At least with the previous mentioned cultures, there was a way out. All you had to do was perform some stupid ritual and convert your faith to believe in Jupiter, Allah, or Darius, and you became a citizen of an Empire.”

    The Vikings did not have an empire. They did not impose their Norse gods on their victims nor neighborhoods, but rather incorporated the gods they came across into their own religion. That’s how the ended up going Christian.

    Steve: “In fact, where would Steve rather be? In front of a Muslim horde that demanded you take the shahada and become a Muslim, or in front of a Viking horde that was sharpening their horns and swords, demanding nothing but your death, treasure, and sister?”

    I’d rather be in America where I can think and worship freely, rather than be conquered by Muslim or Viking barbarians and live in tyranny.

    Steve

  175. Dear ‘An Arab’ and dear lujayn,
    I have always wished for you to have the West Bank. Never for one second believed it was ours!We have enough land as it is…. I hope we can all celebrate together and once you do have your State, please do not forget to invite me to join in the party. and by the way, ‘An Arab’, I did not have any intetions of being patronizing in any way. So sorry if this is how I came across.
    Good night to you all.
    Take care
    Batzi

  176. Mahmood: “G’night all. I hope tomorrow is a better day for all of us.”

    Good night, Mahmood. I think it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

    Steve

  177. Its amazing how islam can be so fascinating that it actually takes up a non-muslim’s entire life !!

    Great job steve !

    P.S: So you did not deny living in a trailer park !!

  178. You didn’t answer my question, Steve. Why don’t you want to protect our children? In a war that is literally at our doorstep: In our schools. On our streets. In our homes. Why are you so weak on drugs? Your position puts you in bed with the drug cartels getting rich off killing our kids.

  179. Skribe,

    What does the war on the drugs have to do with Beirut? If you want to start a thread on it, I’d be happy to argue it, but my view on it is pretty conventional. It looks to me like you’re just wandering around fishing by making random accusations. Try focusing.

    Steve

  180. It has everything to do with Beiruit. If you believe that it is okay to fire missiles into civilian areas to eliminate militants then you must also believe that it is okay to do the same with drug dealers, who are presenting a far greater tangible threat here and now. Try not to get distracted by what is happening half-a-world away, you’ll miss what is happening in your own backyard.

  181. Mahmood, I went to the site you have linked; http://siegeoflebanon.blogspot.com/

    Very disturbing pictures and text but I would not recommend it as a source for good argument. It is completely one sided and doesnt attempt to see it from the Israeli point of view.

    Are we missing the point here? Hizbollah kidnapped two Iraeli soldiers, killed Israelis in the process, bombed Haifa and have threatened the Israelis with more of the same.

    Sorry everyone, but this to me warrants the actions we are seeing now. Dont try and hide from the blatant and very concerning fact that once again extremist Islamic organisations are responsible for another vicious bloody war.

    Israel has a right to defend itself from yet more threatening action from the Islamic world. They have to put up with that physco in Iran threatening to “wipe Israel off the map”. Now they have Hizbollah raiding their army camps and bombing their cities and warships.

    Why is it that the majority of Arabs are quick to condemn Israel and yet, lets face it, do nothing about it, except bitch all day on blogsites or at worthless summits!
    I think its because the majority of Arabs do not want to associatte themselves with Islamic militant (or should I say terrorist) orgainsations.

    I agree that Israel is using its superior military might to prove its point, but what do you expect? Some kids in the street throwing stones over the border? A group of Israeli villagers staging a demonstration? The Israeli army buying up all the crappy missiles from defunct Soviet militant groups and using them instaed of their high technology “Mossad” warfare?

    Get real, you sow the seeds, get ready for the fallout.

  182. Steve The Confederate said:

    If the Romans could tolerate that religion, they could tolerate anything.

    The Romans could tolerate people who cut their balls off in public while doing somersaults in the heart of Rome, but they couldnt tolerate an offshoot of the Jewish religion that preached “love they neighbour” in some godforsaken Judean desert?

    That by itself screams intolerance on their part.

    But here is the real reason. All cults and religions of conquered cultures had to do one thing: Owe allegiance to the Roman State, and its god, Jupiter. Failure to do so would mean certain death.

    By the time Islam came around, most pagan sects and other small religions had disappeared, thanks to Christianity killing them off, or conversions, whether forced on concensual. So by the time Islam rolled around, it was the Christians, and the Jews. Maybe some Zorasters in the east.

    And those cultures were allowed to operate, after they were conquered, on condition that they payed a jizya. To not pay the jizya, they could simply take an oath to the Islamic State, with Allah as its god.

    So there were ALWAYS conditions attached, to the practice of your faith.

    The Romans imposed the conditions that at the end of the day, those peoples’ ultimate god was Jupiter. Whatever wacko ritual they still wanted to do was their business.

    The Muslims imposed the conditions that at the end of the day, you had to pay more tax money, and then you can maintain your Christianity, or Judaism.

    Thus, you have no point. Again.

    f you were conquered by Romans and survived somehow, your prospects improved as you benefitted by Roman infrastructure, laws, and physical protection.

    Really?! Tell that to the Carthiginians, Egyptians, hell – even the Jews of the time. Ask the Jews how THEIR conditions survived! LOL! Stop tickling me!

    When conquered by Rome, not only did you have to swear allegiance to their god, (change you religion), but if you were a slave, you stayed a slave. In fact, entire cultures were enslaved by Rome, to do its bidding and grand constructions. What “improvement” are you talking about? Even WITHIN Roman society, soldiers would come back to their homes in Italy to find that some nobleman had confiscated them, without reason. Conqured peoples were often given choices between being a gladiator, or a slave. Roman citizenship was bestowed only if you converted religions. Even then, in some cases, this was impossible.

    Your prospects markedly declined under Muslim occupation where you were subject to a whole host of laws that made you a second class citizen and subject to the whims of any Muslim who wished to do you evil.

    The punishment for a non-Roman striking a Roman citizen was death.

    The Vikings did not have an empire. They did not impose their Norse gods on their victims nor neighborhoods, but rather incorporated the gods they came across into their own religion. That’s how the ended up going Christian.

    Umm, ok. In the meantime, they would kill you and burn your village, with no possibility of escape. What would Steve rather be, I ask again: In front of a Muslim horde ready to take the shahada, or in front of a viking horde ready to take your mother? You are not entirely insane, so I would imagine you would take the Islamic shahada for your mother. :)

    Wow! Steve would convert to Islam for his mother!

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

    So ladies an gentlemen, what is really being argued here? Does Steve have a point, or is he merely making noise because no one will pay attention to him on the “Definition of Terrorism” thread? Is this a pissing contest between the Roman empire and the Islamic one? No. Both of them had their goods and bads, and both of them did things that would be murderous and criminal today. So thats now the real issue.

    The real issue is when Steve The Confederate decided to draw a parallel between the crimes of Israel today, and the crimes of the Islamic Empire yester-millenium. There is nothing we can do about those crimes then. (Even though for within the context of their time, Islam was indeed good). But Israel is with us today, and because of its crimes, we can do something about it in the present.

    This was adequately mentioned in my last post, (which Steve has failed to comment on), when he said:

    However, it’s nice to see that you agree that Muslims of old were as evil in your eyes as the modern Israelis but that time sanctifies their atrocities.

    …and I replied:

    “Sanctify? I sanctify their atrocities? I sanction the use of force of ancient empires against individuals? To sanction means to give approval to, meaning I give approval to all those atrocities done in the past? I somehow approve of them? Meaning I think they are moral?

    There is a STARK difference, between saying:

    “An immoral atrocity has happened, but so much time has gone by that no justice can be brought to bear upon it.”

    and

    “An immoral atrocity has happened, but so much time has gone by that in retrospect it was a moral thing to do.”

    BIG difference. So when you claim I “sanctify their atrocities”, you are pinning me to the latter. I mentioned the statute of limitations, meaning I subscribe to the former.

    I know you can see the difference. This is dishonesty on your side at best. At worst, well, I cant say it. I can insult an mentally retarded person in good conscience.

    -Ibn ”

    Nuff said. If indeed some Muslim did rape Steve The Confederate’s great-great grandmother, sorry, there is nothing you can do about it today. :)

    -Ibn

  183. Ok Sarchar,

    I promised you a response, so here it is. And I certainly hope you do not shed any tears or get angry at me if I happen to mis-spell some words in the process. Unlike the Israeli state, I am but a humble, imperfect creature, who is prone to errors, as I am held hostage by my fallible humanity. Please…please, forgive me. :)

    Jesus. hehehe. Ok, onwards then!

    So, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Jews had no right to buy land.

    No, I hold no grudges against Jews who decide to buy real estate. Ill have you know that I am very capitalistic, so no, I am not against that.

    All of the uprooting claims I have heared to date relate to supposed acts of horrors done by the Israelies during the 1948 war. Historically, however, there was a rather extensive Jewish settelment throughout the country long before that. This was done in two ways. The first is outright buying (i.e. – paying money, getting ownership) of land. The other is settling in land no one, in his right mind, would want.

    The proof is that the UN commity that decided to divide the country between a Jewish and an Arab states did so based on demographics.

    Ok. I see where you are going with this. Basically you are saying, the Jews
    bought up land, and where barren land that no one wanted was just sitting there, went in and …umm…settled on it. Enough Jews eventually moved there are reporoduced, and the good-doing UN decides to split the land among ethnic lines.

    Fair enough! Essentially, this can be broken down into 5 distinct acts:

    1) Jews buying up land in Palestine.
    2) Jews settling in barren land in Palestine.
    3) The Jews wishing to set up a Zionist (read racially pure) Nation in the land that they predominantly own, in Palestine.
    4) An outside mob, (lets call it the UN), granting the Jews permission to set up a Zionist (read racially exclusivist) Nation in the land that they predominantly own in Palestine.
    5) The Declaration of Independance of a racially pure Israel, followed by an
    attack by Arab nations, who, very unfortunately, lost. Hence, the catastrophe.

    Now, lets disect those points, one by one:

    1) Jews buying up land in Palestine: I have no problem with this. Like I said before, I am capitalistic, and free trade is the way to go. If Jews wanted to buy up Palestinian real estate, more power to them. No problem here.

    2) Jews settling in barren-land in Palestine: On the surface, I would not object to this either. All land is at some point or another under a soverignty of some sort, so I suspect they would be termed squatters, but this is a minor point. Ok, no big deal here.

    3) The Jews wishing to set up a Zionist (read racially pure) Nation in the land that they predominantly own, in Palestine:

    Ok, this is where we will have a problem. The problem here, is that ownership of land, never means soverignty over it.

    Imagine if you will, that you and a couple of Zionist Jews decided to buy up some prime real-estate in Phoenix. Furthermore, imagine that you and your racially exclusive friends also decide to simply squat out in the god forsaken barren deserts of Nevada, “because no one wants to live here”.
    Eventually you and your friends have bought up so much land in Nevada, that you practically own all of Phoenix, and the surrounding deserts. So far so good.

    Then one fine day, you declare a new country, along racial lines. So naturally, since this demographic is mostly Jews, we are going to now make a nation, for Jews!

    What do you think would immediately follow? Thats right. An invasion.

    Even if it had nothing to do with Jews, and it was a country dedicated to growing pineapples, it would still be invaded. Because you have declared
    soverignty over this land now.

    The point here Sarchar, is that there is a BIG difference, between
    ownership of land, and soverignty of land. Just because you own it, doesnt mean you have soverignty over it. And just because you have soverignty over it, doesnt mean you own it. So the question becomes, by what RIGHT did the Jews even THINK about exercising soverignty over land, even if they owned it, with their property deeds? Majority demographic?

    If that is the case, then should little Italy in NewYork declare statehood by
    virtue of it being mostly ethnic Italians in that particular region, and by
    virtue of them owning most land there? Should Chinatowne declare statehood along ethnic lines in downtown LA since “they own most of the land” and they are the “majority ethnicity” in that particular region? Should California declare independance along racial lines because it is full of Hispanics, and they own mucho real estate there? If not, then why was it ok for Zionist gangs to declare sovereignty over Palestine along racial lines?

    One counter point that you might raise is that it would be wrong for Zionists to declare statehood in the USA, because it is already a country, whilst at the time, Palestine was not a country, therefore meaning that it was an open buffet for first come first serve.

    The counter point to that counter point is that: Yes. It is true, Palestine was not a country. It had been a province of the Ottoman Empire up until WW I, when the British took it over. They were the ones in charge, up until the catastrophe in 1948. Whether you consider the Ottoman rule occupation or not, is irrelevant. Either way, the British rule over it was definately a foreign occupation.

    So it is not ok for Zionists to declare statehood in the USA because it is
    already a country. But if someone takes over another country/territory, then that territory is open for the taking, once the foreign occupier leaves, and the planet votes on it. That is the equivalent of “kicking them while they’re down”. In essence, you are doing something in spite of the occupied. You are taking advantage of the situation.

    So to recap, it is currently not ok for Zionists to declare statehood in the US. But should the US fall, and become occupied by a foreign entity, it would be ok for the Zionists to declare Arizona “Israel”, provided the occupier has left, and the world has voted “yes” even though it is done in spite of the previously occupied Americans. Afterall, as in the example above, “no one in their right mind would want Arizona’s barren deserts, and besides, the area is full of Jews”.

    This is the burglary. This is Crime Number 1.

    4) An outside mob, (lets call it the UN), granting the Jews permission to set up a Zionist (read racially exclusivist) Nation in the land that they predominantly own in Palestine.:

    Maybe the UN should vote on whether ChinaTown in downtown LA should be made its own country. I have a better example. Perhaps the UN should vote on which one of the latest endangered-wronged-sect gets to live in Iraq, once the American occupation of it is over. It would be just like the good old times back in ’48!

    5) The Declaration of Independance of a racially pure Israel, followed by an attack by Arab nations, who, very unfortunately, lost. Hence, the catastrophe.

    In order to rectify Crime Number 1, Arab nations went to war against the newly founded illegal state of Israel. They lost. The Arabs worried that the Israelis were nothing but Zionist land grabbers interested in cleansing area of non-Jews. The Zionist gangs that had merged into the IDF conveniently proved them quite right, in proceeding to massacre some Arab villages as the war drew on, and kicking Palestinian Arabs out of their homes in areas they occupied outside and inside the UN voted lines, because they were of the wrong race. (non-Jews). (See Sam’s post above on the real and disgusting quotes provided by early Israeli leaders).

    These actions, perpetrated by your leaders, whose motivation came from the Israel’s Zionist constitution – which continues to exist today, is the second burglary.

    This is Crime number 2.

    And of course, here we are, 60 years later, this racist constitution still in
    existance, a gross failure for Israel to own up to its Crimes 1 and 2, in
    contrast with other countries who have rectified their ways, and in contradiction of the precedent for civilized life set forth in the 20th century. The crime of Israelis the continual support for this Zionist constitution, laws, and its institutions. The same ones that provided the ideology and motivation for Crimes 1 and 2. The current Israelis are not under its yoke. They are part of it. They support it.

    That is Crime number 3.

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

    So Mr Sarchar, there you have it. You are right about one thing though. Yes, I AM hate driven. But I do not know why you would state the obvious. If a murderer murdered my kin, I would hunt them down, hate driven. If a gang stole my property, I would be hate-driven to find them. Hate is a natural, human emotion. Maybe even mamallian. Hating something for the wrong reasons is wrong. (eg, Nazis hating Jews simply for their race). Hating something for the right reasons, is, well, right.

    So in the end of it, I invite you, an Israeli, to follow your South African
    counterparts, in ridding your country of its racist foundations, practices,
    constitution, and laws. I invite you to take part in a home grown movement in your illegitimate country, to change it such that it does become legitimate. I invite you to talk about the immorality of debates on “what shall we do when the Arabs are more than the Jews!?”, and other racial-demographic debates. I invite you to partake in a movement inside Israel, to dismantle Zionism, rectifiy what wrongs you can, and publically at least acknowledge the wrong beginnings of this country. I invite you to preach and try to bring about true liberal democracy into your illegitimate country, so that it stands for true peace, and becomes legitimate. I urge you to look at the South African example for guidance. If they
    can do it, Im sure you can.

    If are you incapable of this, I understand. If however you are capable of it, but do not do it, then you tacitly support Zionism, and its racial elements. And to that end, the world doesnt need you.

    -Ibn

  184. Ibn,
    Quite elaborate and well presented!
    Before I move on, let me just say that if one starts a war and one loses, one should expect to lose land.It is that simple.
    With regards to Israel being what you term “a racially pure” country.
    Let’s face it, Israel is not perfect and its attitude towards its Arab citizens as much as it tried to offer them equal rights has not always been what it would like the world to believe it is, I admit.
    If you come to Israel though, you will see that those that stayed there after 1948, have fared far better than those who fled or those who were forced to leave or for that matter, many Arabs in their own Arab lands.
    The Israeli Arabs have also been better off than the Jews who had lived in Arab countries, who suffered while being treated as second class citizens, forced to leave and whose properties were confiscated and about whom not much is being said. That of course does not justify any wrongdoings to Arabs in Israel. So as I said before, there are two sides to every issue and none is absolutely right. Using this as a ground rule for starting a dialogue is far better than mutual accusations, reminiscing on the past and enciting more hatred. It is time to move on and move on as equal partners towards a common cause.
    Best wishes
    Batzi

  185. Hello from Israel.

    I learned about your blog from an Israeli blogger.
    And i want to tell you that i think you are very brave!
    I wish there will be many more people such as you – it is the only way we can fight terror and reach the peace for all of us.

  186. Wow, many comments from inside Israel and from non-Israeli Jews. All good, the odd moron aside probably a useful exchange all round. A tribute to this web site and its writer.

  187. If you come to Israel though, you will see that those that stayed there after 1948, have fared far better than those who fled or those who were forced to leave or for that matter, many Arabs in their own Arab lands.

    Umm….yeah, the Arab citizens of Israel (who cannot be allowed to top the number of Jews) have more economical opportunity that some Arabs in, say, Egypt, so yes, of course! That invalidates the entire argument presented in my post above.

    With ALL due respect Batzi, please say something relevant. Perhaps a counterpoint or two.

    Using this as a ground rule for starting a dialogue is far better than mutual accusations, reminiscing on the past and enciting more hatred.

    Dialogue? You want a dialogue? Ok Batzi, just what in the hell would you like to talk about then? Talk to me. Start a dialogue. Lets talk about how we can achieve “peace”, without talking about any events that happened more than 1 minute ago. Afterall, we dont want to reminise about the past. Oh and lets not talk about wrongdoings either. We dont want to entice hatred.

    In fact, lets just look at each other while sitting in some grassy park and compliment each other. I can compliment your skirt, and you can compliment my latest pair of shoes. I brought a volleyball that we can toss around. Then Ill pretend to spike it towards you, and you let out a light scream. I run over to you and tickle you, and we both start laughing. The sun is out, and we dont want to get burned, so lets rub suntan lotion on each other. I can tell you about how my grandma likes to talk alot and is very superstitious. You can tell me about how your grandma moved into an abandoned home that used to belong to Arabs in Haifa. “Silly grandmas!” we say – as we giggle away. Here we are, a Jew, and an Arab, just having a nice time on a warm, lazy, summer afternoon. We get along great!

    Then I will go home, and you will go home too. I will go back to work a week later, and you will go to your work in Israel. The elections are coming up, and you do not know whether to vote for likud, or labour. You cant vote today, because you were invited over for dinner by your friends located in a settlement deep in the heart of the west bank. Tonight’s theme is:

    “Zionist singles!”: Kick out your old spouses, and take over a new one! ..No pun intended.

    The next day you will have found time to vote, and you will cast your vote for either labour or likud. Both parties want to maintain Zionism. Your friend at the west bank Jewish settlement from the night before calls you. “Good news” he says. “They are expanding our community in Samarra”. “What about the Palestinians?” you ask. “No problem.” your friend replies. “The old will die, and the young will forget.”

    You cast your vote.

    -Ibn

  188. Ibn, with much respect for yourself and your arguments, I can’t help but think that your overriding thought is that of revenge and throw all the Jews in the sea. I know; however, having followed your comments for a few months now that you are much more intelligent and peaceful than your comments portray you as.

    Yes, I agree with you totally that Israel should reject exclusionist policies.
    Yes, I agree with you that injustices to Palestinians have been performed by Israel, government or its people.
    Yes, I agree with you that sovereignty does not equate to ownership and vice versa.

    I have also read all your comments and arguments in this regard. Now, can you please tell me, in a practical and doable manner, how do you expect to resolve the situation? Given the fact that you cannot and will not drive the Jews into the sea?

    Maybe if you give thought to some positive aspects people would listen, but – again with complete due respect – your comments are begining to read as a mirror copy of Steve’s, diametrically opposite of course, passionate I grant you and based on well thought out arguments, but at the end of the day they are argumentative rather than seeking a solution.

    Please dedicate some time to tell us what your practical solution to this problem is.

  189. Thank you Mahmood. I don’t think anyone could have put it in a better way. Your even handed and realistic approach is what we need more of!
    Keep up the good work.
    All the best
    Batzi

  190. Mahmood,

    I can’t help but think that your overriding thought is that of revenge and throw all the Jews in the sea. I know; however, having followed your comments for a few months now that you are much more intelligent and peaceful than your comments portray you as.

    Mahmood, thanks for the compliment. But with due respect, you are mis-representing me – I do not call for throwing the Jews into the Mediterranean. Israel is a state based on racism, as I have outlined in the myriad posts above. It needs to change. I would prefer change come from the inside, and peacefully. If that fails, and somehow, somewhere, war falls upon it for this reason, that is 100% fine with me too. I would have said the same thing for South Africa during the apartied. I would have said the same thing for Nazi Germany (if I was alive back then). And I say the same for Israel today. Its nothing against the South-Africans. Its nothing against the Germans. Its nothing against the Jews. Its against the dangerous ideologies that govern them.

    Now, can you please tell me, in a practical and doable manner, how do you expect to resolve the situation?

    Fair enough.

    In fact, you know what? Im not going to even bother with grandoise speeches on “Israel needs to do this”, and “Israel needs to pull out of that”. I am not going to give suggesstions on what the IDF must do, and what Ehud Olmert must not do. Lets forget about governments for the moment. One human being to another human being. I am going to talk about the smallest atom of Israeli society – the Israeli individual. The Israeli citizen. Batzi for example.

    So, you know what my solution begins with? Something very simple: And this is directed to all the Israelis who are reading this right now -. Lets talk. You know what my start for the solution is?

    Here it is: Acknowledgement.

    One Israeli citizen, to one Arab, Batzi. Me and you. All I want from you right now, for a solution to the end of the conflict is one thing: Not money. Not land. Not Jerusalem. One thing only: Acknowledgement. This is the way in which any healing can begin, and progress be made.

    So. Do you, Batzi, as an Israeli citizen, acknowledge, in simple words and plain English, that Israel was wrong in commiting Crimes 1, 2 and is wrong in currently commiting Crime number 3 in what I outlined in my previous post?

    -Ibn

  191. Sunrunner,

    I thought that article was a pretty dishonest representation of neo-conservatism. It talks about an ‘American global empire’, proxy wars, ‘American corporate domination of the world as a path to expand democracy and human rights’ and ‘neo-con fantasy’. Some of these don’t represent anyones position but most represent a realist position, not neo-conservative. Most of the things it accuses neo-conservatism of is what neo-conservatists hate about realism. Whatever anyone thinks of neo-conservatism, it should be at least critiqued honestly and without mud-slinging and generalisations. To be honest I don’t know how genuine this article is i.e. whether or not it is an acknowledegment or just an opportunity to have a pop at Bush. That’s the way American politics is right now, absolute polarisation.
    I think the following statement is a dead giveaway of intent:
    “(The neo-con fastasy of) the Iraq invasion and subsequent tragedy has removed it from any level of plausibility”
    Those on the left who are obsessed by Bush never, ever, ever seem to constructively criticise America’s invasion of Iraq. Rather, their statements give away a wish for failure in Iraq and nothing else. It’s a cheap shot and that’s what I think this article is about.

    Sorry to be all negative, I just don’t think this is an acknowledgment of anything other than his own political agenda.

    Solas

  192. Sunrunner,

    That is exactly what I was talking about. You have given a link to Michael Lerner’s own site for people who want to learn about him but you have given a link a left-wing site that openly says it is against neo-conservatism for people who want to find out about neo-conservatism.

    Hardly fair is it?

    This guy is a neo-con and an Irish one at that:
    http://markhumphrys.com

    I am not a neo-con, but I do like honest debate.

    Solas

  193. Ibn: “So. Do you, Batzi, as an Israeli citizen, acknowledge, in simple words and plain English, that Israel was wrong in commiting Crimes 1, 2 and is wrong in currently commiting Crime number 3 in what I outlined in my previous post?”

    This seems a rather one-sided approach, Ibn. You want Israelis to admit wrong-doing, but you don’t seem to believe in it yourself for your side. I’ve read several Israelis criticize their government in this forum but have not read any criticism of Palestine nor Hezbollah from their supporters. Any casual observer can see that Hezbollah is a festival of wrongdoing. The Palestinians hardly have clean hands, either. To be fair, the Israelis have jacked around the Arabs pretty good. It seems to me that you’re trying to gain an advantage by tricking the other side into making a concession you yourself refuse to make. It doesn’t come across as an opening for a dialogue but rather as a ploy.

    If you think acknowledgement of wrongdoing is in order, shouldn’t you go first to demonstrate your good faith?

    Steve

  194. Israel’s not racist. Israel’s in war since day 1. That’s a difference.
    If Israel was racists, how come all its Arab citizens got voting rights the same way as any other citizen?
    They’ve got Parliament members, they’ve got parties, they’ve got Islamic movements, mosques – they, the Arab citizens of Israel, can do whatever any other citizen can do.
    I don’t recall Jews in Germany had ANY rights, civil or religious, nor do I remember that balcks in South-Africa had the right to vote.

    The Arabs REFUSED the UN resolution in 1947 that gave the jews some small parts of their historic land (mostly the empty desert parts).
    The arabs started the attacks the day after, and this is one single war ever since.

    Those “Palestinians” had their chance building their nation between 1948-1967 in the “occuppied territories” that were held by Egypt and Jordan. Why didn’t they do that?
    Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Arab nations and went to Israel. Israel had put those in refugee camps (they had a name in Hebrew: Maabarot). How come you don’t hear about “Maabarot” any more?
    The reason is – we didn’t let our brothers waste their lives and their childrens’ lives with dreams about the old land of Europe and the Arab countries they were expelled from. We didn’t let them cry too much about their old homes and their stolen property in these places.
    Instead, we built new towns and cities for them and destroyed the refugee camps. That’s why you don’t hear about them anymore. They live in present-time, not in the past.

    As long as the Palestinians continue fight for 1948 territories (either by force, or by demographic war – “the right to return”) there would be no peace. (you see, you can’t FIGHT and make peace in the same time. That’s why the peace process failed time after time. One side wanted to make peace, and the other continued his war, either by terror or by demographic means. As Arafat said once: Our womens’ uterus is our weapon. – not exact quote)
    Once Palestinians accept the right of Israel to exist – everything’s open to negotiations; like Arafat and Barak did just before the last Intifada; with the exception that Arafat never truely recognized Israel’s right to exist.

    I believe Abu-Mazen does. He’s a really good person. Wants peace. But is weak. He doesn’t control his own people. Much like the Lebanese government who’s unable to govern its own southern border.

  195. Dear Ibn,
    I just saw your response, thank you. I am on my way to work now, I will have to re-read your previous statements before I respond to the last one. Will do that later.
    Cheers
    Batzi

  196. Dear Sam,
    I am on a short break and have had a chance to look at your video.
    Sad indeed.
    However as the famous saying goes:
    “Anyone who goes to sleep with dogs, should expect to wake up with flees.”
    If Lebanon had not allowed the Hizballah to operate against Istaeli civilians from within its territory, we would not be seeing the pictures that you so wish us to spead on.
    Batzi

  197. Dear Ibn,
    I have now had a second look at “Crimes 1,2, and 3.”
    I will tell you outright that I am not going to outright acknowledge what you claim to be crimes of Zionism without putting up an argument. That would be too simplistic. Above all, it would be stupid on my part.
    So if you expected just that, you can disregard the rest of my statement.
    If you are intelligent as you initially impressed me (see my earlier notice) and as you evidently impressed Mahmood, than you will agree that the history of the region is far more complicated than what you would like us to believe. You might even want to continue reading what I write.
    I would like to refer the readers to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947:http://www.mideastweb.org/181.htm
    Even a bird’s eye view of its language immediately reveals that any suggested comparison between the China Town, or Little Italy in New York or Phoenix Arizona which you keep referring to and the Establishment of the State of Israel is not only irrelevant it is also somewhat verging on the absurd.
    Israel, as the readers will see to themselves in the language of the Resolution was established legitimately with the full support of the United Nations.
    Hence, “Crime number one” is hereby rejected.
    Also, if the UN is what you describe as just “an outside mob,” then let’s just dissolve it and ignore EVERY decision it has ever made including 242 and 338 which the Arabs continually keep referring to, complaining that Israel is not in compliance with it. Let’s face it, you cannot have the cake and eat it too.
    “Crime Number 2″
    I believe you are specifically referring to the “Declaration of Independence” of May 1948, a document which you keep referring to as: “The Declaration of Independence of a racially pure Israel, ” or The “Zionist Constitution.”
    I would like to refer the readers of this blog to the following excerpts from the aforementioned Declaration of Independence:
    “…THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations….” what is wrong with that, Ibn? Where exactly do you see the “racism?”
    Are you upset that they offer in it a right of return to the Jews? Why not, the UN specifically voted it to be a “Jewish State.” Where does it say that it excludes non-Jews from living there?
    Does America, New Zealand, The Uk or any other country automatically accept everyone who is not its citizen and wants to live there? When was the last time you tried to emigrate anywhere?
    The “Declaration of Independence” of the Stateof Israel further states:

    THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947, and will take steps to bring about the economic union of the whole of Eretz-Israel.

    WE APPEAL to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building-up of its State and to receive the State of Israel into the comity of nations.”

    But this, Ibn, is what the world needs to see:
    ———————————————-

    “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

    WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East…”

    Where, Ibn, is the racism that you say was written into this Declaration of Independence?

    Do you know, Ibn, that Arabic, along with English is one of the OFFICIAL languages in Israel? Do you know that my family physician in Israel at some stage (and probably the best one I have ever had) was an Arab? Would a white South African during Apartheid times be seen in a black or coloured physician’s office?!?!
    Yes, Sam was right, Many times our leaders some of whom are far from being perfect (as are any humans) expressed themselves in an ugly manner. That I am willing to acknowledge. But between that and claiming that Israel is constitutionally a racist nation, there is a big distance. Hence I will not acknowledge “Crime Number 2″.
    For the rest of Israel’s Declaration of Independence please I refer the readers to:

    http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace%20Process/Guide%20to%20the%20Peace%20Process/Declaration%20of%20Establishment%20of%20State%20of%20Israel

    We are now in “Crime number 3.”

    You define “Crime number 3″ as:
    “… 60 years later, this racist constitution still in existence, a gross failure for Israel to own up to its Crimes 1 and 2, in contrast with other countries who have rectified their ways, and in contradiction of the precedent for civilized life set forth in the 20th century. The crime of Israelis the continual support for this Zionist constitution, laws, and its institutions. The same ones that provided the ideology and motivation for Crimes 1 and 2. The current Israelis are not under its yoke. They are part of it. They support it.

    That is Crime number 3.”

    Since I have shown to you why I would not acknowledge crimes numbers one and two, by default I cannot acknowledge “Crime number 3″ which consists of perpetuating the first two which, as I hopefully proven to you and others, have no legs to stand on.

  198. Ibn

    Concerning crimes 1, 2, 3:

    You talk of Sovereignity being stolen. Let’s go back in history. Up to 1917, the whole of the middle east was under the sovereignity of the Turkish Ottoman empire. Largely as a result of Britain’s victories over the Turks in 1917 and 1918, more than ten million Arabs were liberated from Turkish rule. The total area of Arab lands in Arabia was 1,184,000 square miles. Palestine, the only portion of former Turkish territory set aside for a Jewish National Home, covered less than 11,000 square miles – less than 1 per cent of the area liberated.

    In June 1922 the League of Nations passed the Palestine Mandate. The Palestine Mandate was an explicit document regarding Britain’s responsibilities and powers of administration in Palestine including “secur[ing] the establishment of the Jewish national home”, and “safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine”. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_Mandate)

    So the middle east was under the sovereignity of the Turks. Then Britain (and France) won back that sovereignity. More than 99% of the area liberated was given for Muslim sovereignity. Under the auspices of the League of Nations, the foremost international authority in the world, less than 1% was given for Jewish sovereignity.

    Ibn, it sounds to me you are saying Israel has no right to exist. I hope I have demonstrated otherwise.

    I end with a quote by A.J. Balfour dated 12 July 1920

    “So far as the Arabs are concerned, I hope they will remember that it is we who have established an independent Arab sovereignity of the Hedjaz. I hope they will remember it is we who desire in Mesopotamia to prepare the way for the future of a self-governing, autonomous Arab State, and I hope that, remembering all that, they will not grudge that small notch – for it is no more than that geographically, whatever it may be historically – that small notch in what are now Arab territories being given to the people who for all these hundreds of years have been separated from it.”

  199. Thanks Brian.
    That complements my rebuttle to Ibn.
    It is only a pity (or a blessing) that we have to resort to historical documets to justify our presence in the region. I only wonder how many will actually remember our quotes and research efforts. We will just have to hope that they have shed more light on the complicated nature of the mideast conflict, a conflict which like any other has two sides. Thanks for your contributions.
    Batzi

  200. Sunrunner,

    Same thing as far as I am concerned, whether it is democrat or republican. Attempting to make neo-con a dirty word without actually engaging with its ideas. How can there be any sort of good debate if the two side are actually the same side? Might as well not bother.

    Solas

  201. In all three articles, I read plenty of engagement with the neocon “ideas.” Now if you don’t approve of the criticism which has been leveled — by both [so-called] liberals and conservatives, then that is your perogative.

    Also: it is not the word “neo-con” which is the dirty word here (esp considering that it was a term that was coined by the so-called neoconservatives themselves, and is a word which simply means “new conservative”) it is the premises/ideas that inform the mindset which are being criticised.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=3000&R=785F27881

  202. Hi all,
    From my point of view the most critical problem of the Palestinian is that they have no strong central law & order.
    Every group of few hundreds militant gunmen decide for herself.
    The first thing David Ben Gurion did after declaring the state of Israel is:
    Declaring that from now on there will be only one government and one army.
    And he forced his will by force for the benefit of the people and the future.
    The Palestinian on the other hand have no true lieder to that can decide for them.
    There for they are in constant self Anarchy.

    Without one voice and one leadership, there can be no valid agreement that can be trusted by the other side.
    Just look how Israel and Syria keeps their border quite for more then 30 years, although they consider each other as a bitter enemy.
    The same is between Kuban and USA and even between U.K and France.
    They still don’t really like each other after hundreds years of wars but learned the benefits of peace.

  203. Sunrunner,

    I understand your point. My point was that it was hardly fair to put a link to Michael Lerner’s own site, so he can present his ideas while putting up links that are against neo-conservativism to present the neo-conservative side of the argument. That’s a pretty one-sided debate. Rather than ‘is neo-conservatism bad?’ it is ‘how bad is neo-conservatism?’. It is treating it as a fait accompli. Why put neocon ideas in inverted commas?

    And yes, amazingly, I did know that neo meant new.

    “Solas”

  204. Solas, I put up the link to Michael Lerner’s own site as I thought (correct me if I am wrong) that you were questioning his credibility in terms of his knowledge/experience with the Arab-Israeli conflict. I thought it most appropriate to “let him speak for himself” and that it his cv would make it clear that he has been thinking and writing about this topic for a long time; certainly his thinking and writing pre-dates GW Bush’s arrival on the national scene. And the neo-cons, for that matter.

    I like to use “quotes” when I intend to highlight a word. Much easier and faster than puting in bold/italic html code. The reason I highlighted ideas (now that was a pain in the ass thing to do) was because I wanted to make it clear that from my perspective it was the “ideas of the neo-cons” which are being discussed, not the word “neo-con.”

    At any rate, I have no wish to try to persuade you or anyone else who already has their mind made up. I certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers, though — from my perspective — the use of force on both sides has not worked well “then,” nor is it working well “now” — and some new and much more imaginative strategy is needed. I post things that I find interesting and informative — and perhaps others may also. I should also say that it is not my intention to offend anyone, and also, I do not take personal offense when people disagree with me.

  205. Sunrunner,

    I’m not offended at all and I’m glad you are not either. I have not made my mind up at all, that’s why I want debate and lots of it. I have left the left and don’t know where to go. I read lots of political blogs, magazines and journals and it seems more and more people think that glib remarks and general smart ass comments will suffice, when debating the oppositions policies (note: I am not talking about you or Mahmood’s blog). It seems everyone is in a camp and I am not. I’m willing to be won over and anything I have made my mind up about I am willing to change, if the argument is both rational and superior to my own.

    Solas

    p.s. – I did take time to read carefully all the links you had posted

  206. Solas, I am completely with you regarding extreme rhetoric! Not that I haven’t been guilty of it myself, but when human passions are aroused, you know how it gets!

    I think terms/ideas like “left” and “right” are not helpful or necessarily accurate. Perhaps we should start a new wing — like the “reasonable” one? :-)

  207. Sunrunner,

    Completely agree about left and right, in most cases they are not applicable anymore. I like your reasonable wing idea, I think I’ll join you. Mostly because its vague and I can change my mind alot :) Although I may change its name to to the ‘Great wing’ or the ‘Best wing in the world’ :)

    What’s happening now is really scary, because it looks just like a Cold War proxy war. The only way I can see out of it, is either one side is cowed into submission or else an all out war. If this doesn’t happen, will we be looking at more Lebanons? or looking at Lebanon for longer?

    The problem with ending all of this is that most of the players involved are not accountable to their people or to anyone. It’s out of our hands.

  208. Batzi,
    I have been following your comments on this blog.
    Thanks for all of your very enlightening and educational comments. The historical facts you provided have helped me understand the Israeli point of view and the origins of the state of Israel.
    I have greatly enjoyed reading your exchanges with your fellow Arabs. Keep them coming.
    Mahmood, thank you for providing the setting and opportunity for such exchanges.

  209. Thanks for your kind words, Josephine.
    I would be much happier if such exchanges would eventually lead to good dialogues, better understanding and long lasting peace.
    All the best
    Batzi

  210. well, well, well, what can i say…..i don`t know where y’all get your information from or in which planet y’all have been living….

    The problem in the first place is not Palestine or Lebanon or Hizbollah the problem in the beginning is in ISRAEL itself.

    Hizbollah, Hamas and all the organisations you say that are now terrorists wouldn`t have existed if there were no israeli invasion and daily massacres against the lebanese and the palestinians.

    If defending your country is terrorism, well i think its not….

    Imagine your grand father is in his bedroom in the year 1948 and suddenly a ‘foreigner’ who is not even a neighbor or a citizen from your country comes and takes this bedroom sleeps with your women, kicks you out and builds walls between you and the bedroom so that you cannot see what he is doing inside. In addition, he kills your kids, fights with your friends and destroys all your belongings.

    Then after if you or your grandsons want to pass by the bedroom they will kill you.

    This Monster is the Israel government backed by the American government.

    Then comes the story of Lebanon, the invasion in 1982 and the continuous intelligence acts by the Mossad which opened the civil war.

    Israel will disappear oppressed people will not die as long as it takes,

    If the Israelis have suffered their holocaust they are doing the same to the Lebanese and Palestinians…just remember how it felt for you israelis and put yourselves in these peoples shoes…

    Hope my message is clear and please don`t listen to the converted western zionist media…..see the other side of the story, the other point of view, documented with photos and videos, Israel is massacring….killing innocent lives…… i can`t believe where did your humanity go?

    Why is this happening to humans?

    This is not about the 2 israel soldiers anymore, this is about killing the lebanese children and women and destroying lebanon and just for the sake of it.

    FYI the people are now more attached to Hizbollah, the people in Lebanon are united because of this brutal war Israel is doing against Lebanon…..
    Lebanese still have prisoners in Israel let them out and we will let yours out!!!!!!

    Thanks

  211. Ramy,
    I don’t know who your comments are directed at (Josephone for reading some actual facts and expressing gratitude, or me for digging them up?) but first let me acknowledge your pain and anger.
    As a human being and as an Israeli I am not enjoying seeing the suffering that is inflicted on the Lebanese civilian population. I have not enjoyed the suffering inflicted on the Palestinians either by the Israelis or their own leaders either.
    We need, however, to separate between emotions and cold facts.
    One cannot just say that the Jews came and took over Palestine, an area which as Brian showed in his detailed response, was not a political entity or a sovereign country. It was just an area that had changed hands from one empire to the other. Incidentally, the name “Palestine” was arbitrarily given to the place by the Romans. In an effort to add insult to injury, following their destruction of Jerusalem and exile of the Jews, they renamed it after the Philistines, a nation that inhabted the southern coastal area of the Mediterenean (close to Gaza), a nation that was one of the worst enemies of Ancient Israel.
    I wrote at length to show the readers that Israel, unlike what some would like the world to believe, is not just some pirate state , illegally establishing itself in the midst of the region.
    It is a state established by an International organization and according to international rules and laws.
    To say that the Israelis came “took” your”bedroom” and “slept with” your “women” is unfair. If you have problems with Jews being given a state, you need to address your complaints to those who have done that, not to those who were on the receiving end of such decisions.
    What ensued following that decision is that both sides have suffered greatly. Like you, we have women, children, grandparents who died as a result of a war waged by politicians. I would very much like to believe that the average man on the Palestinian streets wants to live in peace, be able to lead a normal life, raise a healthy and happy family just like anyone else.
    It is clear that under the current Israeli occupation, such aspirations cannot materialize. As I have said on other occasions on this blog, Israel needs to get out of the occupied territories, dismantle the settlements and let you people (even help you if you wish) create a state with a stable regime (an important factor as abAc has pointed out), create an infrastructure and move on.
    I know, I like many other Israelis will support you on that issue.
    Finally, you write:
    “Lebanese still have prisoners in Israel let them out and we will let yours out!!!!!!”
    Can I ask you who you are representing with this statement?
    Batzi

  212. Ibn,

    First, please do try to spell my name correctly, if no other reason than the fact that if you don’t, I find it hard to find your replies to me, and answer them in a timely manner. At the very least, do try to mis-spell it the same way each time. If you wish, you can use “Sun” as a nickname for me (the meaning of my sir name). I used to in the past, to make it easier for Latin letters readers, before people pointed out to me it sounds vein. Thanks.

    I will not relate to your specific “crimes”, for the simple reason they are based on factual errors. I’ll point out a few, but this is really not the point of this post.
    – Agression, mostly Arab, was the reason for the U.N. commity that decided to split Palestine up between Arab and Jewish states. Not the other way around.
    – Sovernty over the land belonged first to the Ottoman, and then to the British empires. At some point, the U.N. gave the British empire a mandate to resolve the matters and get out of there. That took over 40 years, at which point the British simply folded all bases and got the hell out of there, leaving it up to the Jews and the Arabs to sort it out among themselves. Into this vacum, Ben Gurion decided to declare an independent state.
    – The actual 48 war (called by the Israelies “the war of independance”, but I’m trying to use side neutral terminology here) is actually considered by Israeli historians to have started in 1936, in what was then referred to as “the great Arab strike”. Unlike what the name suggests, it was a very prolonged period of active violent clashing, and was the primary drive for getting the British to leave. The declaration of independance of Israel only made that clashing into a formal war.

    The reason this is not the point of this post is this. You say: “Hating something for the right reasons, is, well, right.” Then again, I did not state the obvious by saying you are hate driven. I said that you let your hate drive your logic. Your reasoning is based on your hate, rather than on actual historical facts. You were not even aware of the fact that there was any legitimate (by your own words) buying of land by Jews in Palestine prior to 1948, and yet you felt justified in stating that Israel has no right to exist. When your hate drives your logic, how can you be so sure that it is right?

    I will gladly and fully acknowledge that Israel, and the Jewish settlment in Israel prior to that, have not always been in the moral right, nor always took the wisest course of action (two distinct things). I acknowledge this not because you ask me to, but because I fully think this is the case. HOWEVER, focusing only on one side is only good for one thing – nurturing hate. If you want to resolve a conflict you have to understand that BOTH sides have not always been in the moral right, nor always took the wisest course of action, and that both sides did so from the very begining.

    You can quibble about the precise meaning of who was less morally right, or you can decide that we want to stop doing things that are not morally right. I doubt you can do both, however. See my post about “just piece” above for why.

    Shachar

  213. Shachar and Batzi,
    This is Josephine again.
    I must commend and congratulate you both for the great pateince and understanding that you have displayed in the face of the abuse and hatred that some of the posters shoot at you.
    I am not Israeli and not Jewish and until recently knew very little about the history of the middle east. You have both, especially you Batzi, educated me about the history of that part of the world. You have done it with facts, kindness and a wonderful passion to educate the world about your situation. I can only hope that your opponenets could learn one day to respond in kind (at least debate and respond gracefully and intelligently) as I am certain that they, too, have some valid points and arguments.
    Yours
    Josephine

  214. I don’t in any way mean to deny the tragedy of what is happening and what has happened. But could I ask anyone reading Ramy’s bedroom imaginations in his post of 10 a.m. today to read my previous comments in this thread for a less imaginative history.
    Brian

  215. Brian,
    In one of my previous posts, I wrote:
    “I only wonder how many will actually remember our quotes and research efforts…”
    Having to refer and refer again to them(as done by you, Shachar and myself) answers my question. Thanks for helping to refocus this whole dialogue and constantly remind the readers what unfortunately people so easily tend to forget.
    I guess we will just have to resort to doing that.
    Thanks for your comments, Josephine. It is encouraging to know that historical facts do not always fall on deaf ears.
    Batzi

  216. Josephine,

    Personally, I think (like Mahmood), that dwelling on the nitpickings is pointless. It serves no purpose other than to give a moral high ground, which makes no sense in any practical way. My only reason for participating in a “find the facts” type argument with Ibn is his statement that Israel has no right to even exist. I wanted to understand where that came from, and now that I’ve fairly well understood that it stems from not caring enough to form his opinion on the facts, I’m content to let it go at that. I’ll keep tracking here to see if his reply adds anything new, but I’m not holding my breath.

    I think the best thing all round would be if the Palestinian adopted Lujayn advice, and “out smart” us by stopping terror. You see, I don’t think that, fundementally, the Israelies and Palestinian’s interests are so much conflicting. The problem is that the mutual distrust does not allow any real dialog. A time of real quiet from the Palestinian side would allow Israel to lower the level of intrusion into the Palestinian society, which in turn will make it easier for the Palestinians to continue not bringing violence on Israel, and so on.

    There is just one catch with this ideal plan. We’ve tried it, and it failed. It was called “Hoodna” (the Arabic speakers here are welcome to correct me, but if my understanding is correct, it roughly translates to “regrouping sieze fire”). It was a result of a genuine need by Hamass and Islamic Jihad to regroup, after a particularily agressive round of Israeli assasinations of Hamass and others’ leaders (I’m not sure what the nationality neutral form is). Almost all factions of the Palestinian society agreed to it, without Israel being a side to it. It even worked, after a fashion. It even allowed Israel to start pulling out of the Palestinian population.

    The result? Hamass started losing support from the general population. After al, if Israel is pulling out because it’s quiet, why support Hamass? So it broke the Hoodna and started sending suicide bombers again. It had some pretext about Israel violating the Hoodna (it was not a part of it, remember?), but that real point to bear in mind here is that it’s very easy for fundementalists (on both sides) to nullify any achievement torward mutual trust that the mainstream is trying to make.

    Shachar

  217. Hi all, and sorry for the long delay,

    Batzi,

    If you are intelligent as you initially impressed me (see my earlier notice) and as you evidently impressed Mahmood, than you will agree that the history of the region is far more complicated than what you would like us to believe.

    A minor point my dear: I am not trying to paint a picture of the facts that I only “want you to believe”. I am filtering the relevant data from over a century’s worth and commenting on it in a small comments box. Lets be clear on that. After data is decided to be relevant, it is commented on. If you think other data is relevant, add it to the mix. Anyway, here is the real meat:

    Even a bird’s eye view of its language immediately reveals that any suggested comparison between the China Town, or Little Italy in New York or Phoenix Arizona which you keep referring to and the Establishment of the State of Israel is not only irrelevant it is also somewhat verging on the absurd.

    …eh? Absurd? Batzi, didnt I already say: “One counter point that you might raise is that it would be wrong for Zionists to declare statehood in the USA, because it is already a country, whilst at the time, Palestine was not a country, therefore meaning that it was an open buffet for first come first serve. ”

    I already said this. Meaning I already predicted the counterpoint that you are now raising, of “chinatown and little italy analogy is absurd.” And because I predicted it, I ALREADY mentioned the counter point to the point which you now raise. Its the 3rd and 4th paragraph in my previous post. Where is your counterpoint to THAT? And just for us to be clear, this is what you must defend:

    1) Jews buy up most land in Phoenix.
    2) Jews settle in “barren deserts of Arizona that no one wants.”
    3) Foreign entity invades, and occupies the part of the USA.
    4) Foreign entity allows more Jewish immigration into the occupied state of Arizona, under its mandate.
    5) Foreign entity decides to leave the partly-occupied USA.
    6) Foreign entity hands off its mandate to the UN.
    7) Foreign entity leaves.
    8) UN takes a vote. World sees no apparent problem with making Arizona, “the new Israel”.
    9) Jews declare Arizona “Eretz-Israel”, “because, this area is full of Jews and no one wants to live in the barren deserts of Arizona anyway.”

    Now, in you heart of hearts Batzi, do you see ANYTHING in this scenario, that might possibly be immoral to you?

    a) If “yes, what the Jews did is criminal”, then me and you are making progress, as we both see eye-to-eye on this scenario’s criminality. You can read on.

    b) If “well, Im not sure” then you need to elaborate.

    c) If “no, the Jews had every right to call Arizona the new Israel”, then there is no need for you to read any further, because you are essentially a criminal. We can stop this discussion, and my point as to why Israel is criminal is hereby made.

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

    Now, assuming you picked (a) above, do this simple experiment:

    Set:

    “Foreign entity” = “Britain”.
    “Phoenix” = “Jerusalem”.
    “USA” = “Ottoman Empire”.
    “Arizona” = “Palestine”.

    Go back and re-read the scenario with those substitutions Batzi. What about now? In your heart of hearts habibti, do you think that anything in this scenario constitutes being immoral?

    a) If “yes, what the Jews did is criminal”, then congratulations! You have just acknowledged “Crime Number 1″ mentioned in my above post! (Ibn: July 17th, 2006 at 9:01 am). :) This is fantastic. The healing can begin. You have taken the first, brave step for lasting peace in the Middle East. You may continue reading.

    b) If “well, Im not sure” then you need to elaborate.
    Specifically, why do you not see the parallel?

    c) If “no, the Jews had every right to call Palestine the new Israel”, then, again, there is no need for you to read any further, because you are essentially a criminal. More to that, you are a hypocrite, since you picked (a) there, and ( c) here. We can stop this discussion, and once again, my point as to why Israel is criminal is hereby made. There can be no REAL peace between us, (different from infinate cease-fire). We are now relegated to the law of the jungle. Words cannot change Israel’s position. Force is our comman language.

    Israel, as the readers will see to themselves in the language of the Resolution was established legitimately with the full support of the United Nations.

    Heh. Wow. Listen to yourself.

    I say (paraphrased):
    “The UN had no right to come in and divide land up along racial lines.”
    You say (paraphrased):
    “Yes, the UN was right to divide up land along racial lines because the UN did it.”

    Thats circular logic habibti. Try again.

    Hence, “Crime number one” is hereby rejected.

    That depends on your answers to a, b, and c above.

    Also, if the UN is what you describe as just “an outside mob,” then let’s just dissolve it and ignore EVERY decision it has ever made including 242 and 338 which the Arabs continually keep referring to, complaining that Israel is not in compliance with it. Let’s face it, you cannot have the cake and eat it too.

    Agreed! Better to be a Master of your own fate than have a mob hover above you that sometimes helps you in words, and other times screws you with force. Lets remember, the UN is that mob that:

    1) Allowed Saudi Arabia and China of all countries to sit on its “human rights commission”.
    2) Does just about nothing about the inter-African genocides.
    3) Was responsible for the oil-for-food scandal involving its highest heads and Saddam.
    4) Wanted to introduce legistlation a couple years back on banning the American citizenry from carrying arms, in clear violation of the second ammendment. (In effect, an affront to the US’s sovreignty).

    This is your mob. Oh, and it gave the Zionists in Palestine what they wanted – the biggest legal burglary of land known to mankind. (This is already covered above). (Crime number 1).

    (But Lord help us when the UN passes resolutions that Israel doesnt like – all hell breaks lose, and Israeli papers waste no time in condemning the UN as being “anti-semitic”. Yet you conveniently cherry pick its decisions that suit you, ignoring the rest).

    “…THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel;

    Lets talk about “freedom, justice, and peace”. Where is the “freedom and justice” for the Palestinian refugees that got kicked out by Israel’s early Zionist gangs in the 1948 war? In fact, the top reason why Israel refuses to re-settle them is primarily because it will “upset the demographic and jewish character of the state of Israel.” In other words, racism. They dont see justice simply because of their race.

    Sorry. Crime number 2 stands.

    Why not, the UN specifically voted it to be a “Jewish State.”

    What will you do I wonder if the UN votes Israel to be a Muslim state? Would you respect the vote? Or would you fight it?

    Where does it say that it excludes non-Jews from living there?

    Im with you on that. It doesnt. So why is there a refugee camp in Nablus?

    “WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

    One point: Arabs take over Israel. They declare that this new country, must always remain “predominantly Muslim”. Then, they tell the Jews living there, “we appeal to you, to participate in the upbuilding of the Arab-State, on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions”. What would you do? Reject it, or approve it?

    …establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.

    This very statement of saying that the Jewish people have “settled” onto “their own land” is “Crime number 1″ mentioned above. This statement is merely saying “Crime number 1 is ok”. And this is from your own declaration?? Wow. A declaration santioning theft. Sanctioning Crime Number 1. heh. I ALMOST rested my case. :)

    Where, Ibn, is the racism that you say was written into this Declaration of Independence?

    As I have shown above, there seems to be a major disconnect between Israel’s goodie-two-shows declaration of independance, (except for that last part thats blatantly criminal), and its actions.

    As I am sure you know, just about every single country has rosy constitutions and declarations that make it seem like they are utopias. Afghanistan’s constitution looks nice and rosy on the surface, yet the government almost murdered a person because he decided to convert to a different religion. Idi Amin of Africa pretty much xerox’d the US’s constitution, yet became one hell of a big bloody dictator.

    So the same with Israel. Your declaration states that freedom, justice and peace are what it aspires to, yet:

    1) Palestinian inhabitants that were kicked out/killed during the foundation of the state, because they were of the wrong race.
    2) Those Palestinian refugees that survived that were/are denied entry back into their homes because they are – with a straight face – of the wrong race
    3) Israeli Arabs that are “full citizens” are a thorn on the side of the state, because their numbers threaten the very CORE of Israel. Why? Because they are of the wrong race. This is probably the only country in the world where the race of its own citizens is considered a “threat to the state”.
    4) While countries have a right to set their own immigration laws, Israel choses one that is based on race. Non-Jews cannot immigrate because they are of the wrong-race. Technically, this is legal, although you would hope mankind stops thinking in terms of race.

    There you go Batzi. Thats where your racism lies. Its origin is Zionism. Your constitutions and laws are based on Zionism. And this is what governs your institutions, laws, and opinions. That is where your racism is.

    Do you know that my family physician in Israel at some stage (and probably the best one I have ever had) was an Arab?

    And my nanny was a Jew. Plus I like Seinfeld. Whats your point? That he was treated well enough to become a doctor, yet debates abound on what to do with this doctor when his children outnumber yours because of his race? Ask him how he feels about that. The next time you have an ear infection, ask him: “Doctor, what should Israel do to garuantee that its Arab populus never exceeds its Jewish population?” Wonder what prescription he would write for that problem. Tell him: “Doctor, your children, your childrens children, and your children children’s children threaten the Zionist foundation of my country, because they arent Jews. Something needs to be done.”

    Do you NEED anything more Batzi?

    Yes, Sam was right, Many times our leaders some of whom are far from being perfect (as are any humans) expressed themselves in an ugly manner.

    They are not isolated incidents. Rather, they were raw instantiations of policies that continue to guide your country Batzi. Those quotes give insight into the true Zionist mind. You can’t “apologise” for them, because you live in a country that practices them. So long as you pay your taxes, vote, and not speak out against those practices, means that you tacitly support those practices.

    And as said before, thats Crime Number 3, Batzi. Crimes 1 and 2 I have shown are still relevant, more than ever. Should you chose (a) and (a) in the questions given above, means you acknowledge that Israel is founded on a theft, of unspeakable proportions. And to add insult to injury, its governance is based on race. I have shown this all above.

    Acknowledgement is needed, before we can make peace.

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

    Shachar,

    I will reply to you tomorrow, since I am tired now. Time to watch Seinfeld reruns!

    -Ibn

  218. Ibn,
    Thanks for your reply.
    If the the block letteres are supposed to be “quotes” of my own words (as most seem to ne), then let me state for the record that NEVER, NEVER in any of my posts did I ever say that :“yes, what the Jews did is criminal.” I will never admit to allegations that are baseless, Ibn!!!
    I am beginning toi unsderstad what Shachar was trying to say to Josephine. If I understood it correctly, even if anyone does acknowledge the “crimes” you are so desprprately trying to make the Jews admit to, and if anyone will be stupid or ignorant of historical facts to admit to them, I am beginning to believe more and more that you will only use them as a call for our anahilation.

    Kind regards
    Batzi

  219. Batzi,

    My comments were directed to all the people reading and blogging this site. There is a huge mis-understanding, I am in pain and i am angry but the facts you are talking about are inaccurate.

    You are saying that we should separate between emotions and cold facts, well i tell you my friend, the fact is that a part of the lebanese is still occupied by your state, the other fact is that there are lebanese hostages that have been in israeli prisons for over 27 years. Another fact is that Lebanon has suffered huge losses in life (over 300 dead, most of them civilians and people who were fleeing out of the villages and over 1000 wounded in 1 week) over 5 billion USD losses because of the current attack on Lebanon.

    Now my friend regarding separating emotions, who is being angry, Olmert is saying that no one will make Israel bow down, all this anger, revenge and huge death toll who caused all this? just because we want to free our prisoners who have been in proison for over 27 years with no proper prosecution.

    I tell you man this thing could have just ended if only the Israelis have showed they want to free the lebanese prisoners but no your emotions went too far…..

    On the other hand in your description to philistine, you disregarded that there were people who have lived in this state, who had owned lands in this ‘transitional’ state….who are being kicked out of their homes and lands by the israeli bulldozers and security forces…you disregarded all this by just saying that this was a transitional state…there were no humans living in that land? wasn`t it their land? weren`t they kicked out of it.

    In addition, the traditional videos of israeli soldiers shooting with their latest guns at kids who are only armed with stones….do you think this is fair?

    Please i don`t need this history lesson you gave me facts are different than history, maybe the history that is being tought in Israel. Compare it to the Zionist media that only broadcasts what it likes making a Public Relations Campaign against the Arabs to position them as terrorists. ( this is another subject)

    I have no problem for jews being given a land, i have a problem with the way the jews are taking this land….why are 200 million arabs against the practices of Israel in Palestine and in Lebanon? they are all wrong i assume. This is not because of the constant killing and by the way how many palestinian prisoners are in israel? 10 000? I think arround this number….

    I am speaking on behalf of the hurt lebanese people being increasingly attached to their resistance forces (Hizbollah) because they are the only party protecting their dignity and their lands against the zionist armies.

    Finally, I just would like to say that it is an unfair war for both of us….we are suffering a lot more than you are….and i hope peace will be upon the region soon.

    Kind regards,

  220. Ibn;

    Israeli Arabs that are “full citizens” are a thorn on the side of the state, because their numbers threaten the very CORE of Israel. Why? Because they are of the wrong race

    Aren’t a large part of the Jewish Israeli population Sephardic Jews? That means they are Arab as well. I think your designation of this being a racial issue is incorrect – it is a religious one.

  221. Dear Brian and Batzi,

    Please visit the below link,

    http://www.fromisraeltolebanon.org/

    I stumbled upon these pictures,
    These pictures should be shown to the whole world.

    I also have a few questions to ask the world upon seeing these pictures:
    Are the parents of these Israeli children trying to set an example?
    And what type of example is it?

    Do these children know that what they are writing on these rockets are
    actually striking other children on the opposite side of the border?

    How do you think the families of the victims would feel if and when
    they read these messages? How would you feel?

    Do you really think these children going to grow up and be future
    advocates of tolerance and peace in the Middle East?

    Regards,

  222. Ramy;

    Hezbollah bears a lot of blame for those pictures too, Ramy. They set up their offices and their operating centers in apartment blocks and shopping districts. They install their arsenals in population centers and fire from them too! They are, in effect, hiding behind women and children. Not very supportive of the people they claim to be defending, is it?

    If they had any sense at all, they should set up shop away from innocent people and stop putting them in the way of retaliatory rockets. The government of Lebanon knew Hezbollah was building up an arsenal down south, knew what that could lead to, and did nothing about it. It is a victim in this mess, just not an innocent one.

    And yes, those parents are bad news.

  223. Batzi,

    If the the block letteres are supposed to be “quotes” of my own words (as most seem to ne), then let me state for the record that NEVER, NEVER in any of my posts did I ever say that :“yes, what the Jews did is criminal.” I will never admit to allegations that are baseless, Ibn!!!

    Oh my GOD woman! The quote in blocks are not what you said. The quote in blocks are a “choice” that I asked you to make!! Jesus. Please, please, do me a favour and actually READ my post!

    You mention that my historical facts are “ignorant”, and “stupid”. Care to point them out? I have taken the time and effort to put together several arguments up top, yet you do not make a counter-argument.

    If you think my historical facts which the arguments are based on are “ignorant” and “stupid”, then please be kind enough to point them out.

    Bear in mind, only two posts ago, you yourself were making counter-arguments. Then I made my counter to that. Now my facts are somehow “ignorant”, even though I havent added new facts. Just counters.

    -Ibn

  224. Shachar,

    If you wish, you can use “Sun” as a nickname for me (the meaning of my sir name).

    …your surname is “shamesh”?…

    First, please do try to spell my name correctly, if no other reason than the fact that if you don’t, I find it hard to find your replies to me, and answer them in a timely manner.

    lol! Fair enough! Although a part of me does laugh alot when I constantly see your excessive and over-the-top reaction to my minor infraction of getting your name spelled wrong. Kinda reminds me of when Israel and Lebanon…oh never mind! :)

    I will not relate to your specific “crimes”, for the simple reason they are based on factual errors. I’ll point out a few, but this is really not the point of this post.

    Ok, fair enough. Point them out.

    - Agression, mostly Arab, was the reason for the U.N. commity that decided to split Palestine up between Arab and Jewish states. Not the other way around.

    …and this is contested where? This pertains to “Crime number 1″ in my list. And I have made several paragraphs worth of arguments on that to show why the UN action was wrong. Where is the “factual error”?

    - Sovernty over the land belonged first to the Ottoman, and then to the British empires. At some point, the U.N. gave the British empire a mandate to resolve the matters and get out of there. That took over 40 years, at which point the British simply folded all bases and got the hell out of there, leaving it up to the Jews and the Arabs to sort it out among themselves. Into this vacum, Ben Gurion decided to declare an independent state.

    …right. And I said the exact same thing. Sovereignty was first Ottoman, then British, then declaration of statehood. I said so myself in post: (Ibn, July 17th, 2006 at 9:01 am, paragraph 9. Starting words are “One counter point…”) Have you not read this? And have you not read the argument that is based off of that? Again, where is the “factual error”?

    The actual 48 war (called by the Israelies “the war of independance”, but I’m trying to use side neutral terminology here) is actually considered by Israeli historians to have started in 1936, in what was then referred to as “the great Arab strike”. Unlike what the name suggests, it was a very prolonged period of active violent clashing, and was the primary drive for getting the British to leave. The declaration of independance of Israel only made that clashing into a formal war.

    Ok. Good to know. …where is the argument?

    -Ibn

  225. Shachar,

    I write this post to focus on “hate”, which you were talking about, and its underpinnings. You raise a good question, and your answer lies here, after the **asterisks*** at the bottom of the post.

    You were not even aware of the fact that there was any legitimate (by your own words) buying of land by Jews in Palestine prior to 1948, and yet you felt justified in stating that Israel has no right to exist.

    Eh??….where?? Where did I indicate that I was not aware of Jews in Palestine buying land? And the reason my stance is that Israel as it is currently run has no right to exist was not based on that simple fact. There is a whole argument behind it, which, again, I must refer you to on my posts above. You simplify my arguments and mis-attribute what you think-I-know. Thats not being very honest.

    I said that you let your hate drive your logic. Your reasoning is based on your hate, rather than on actual historical facts.

    Again, you state that my reasoning is based on hate, rather than actual historical facts. And as per the top of this posting, I have challenged you to
    show me, where exactly, I got my facts “wrong”. If you really think so, then I invite you to copy/paste a statement that I said, put it in quotes, and label it: “Wrong fact”, alongside with the right fact. This way we can be clear as to where exactly you think I am “factually wrong”.

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

    But really, the above statement, is a statement about my psychology. Please bear one thing in mind though:

    *The emotional motivation for an argument, is entirely different from the argument itself. *

    One thing that can in fact happen however, is that emotional states can filter out data which the conscience mind decides to use. If this is what you are alluding to, then you are right.

    However! The sequence of this is very important. Allow me to elaborate:

    A mind that starts off in the default position of hate, is very likely to learn and process facts that only resonate with the hate. In effect, the hatefull emotional background, will filter out data and give the conscience mind only hatefull data to process. This is true.

    But my position is different. With me, I first learned alot of the facts over a period of about 7 years, and then had an emotional
    reaction to them. Thus, the processing of my conscience mind was never colored by an overwhelming emotional background noise as I was learning the facts, and hence, there was never any filtering done.

    To recap:

    Hatefull emotional background noise –> Trying to learn facts –> Only facts that resonate with the emotional background will be learned, or perceived to be relevant. Final emotional reaction –> more hate.

    The OPPOSITE of this, is:

    Zero emotional background noise –> Trying to learn facts –> All facts are perceived as relevant, simply because they are facts. Nothing is filtered.
    Final emotional reaction –> Unknown. (Could be happy, indifferent, hatefull, angry, etc).

    So there you have it Shachar.

    The current hate you are seeing is not a cause of the arguments and facts.
    The current hate you are seeing, is a reaction to the argument and facts.

    You had your causality reversed.

    Thus, to remove the hate, you must address the arguments that created them, Shachar. And that is where the acknowledgement comes in. You acknowledge, that the facts that gave rise to the hate, were wrong. No one has to die. The only death, would be of the hateful emotion. Its that simple. Acknowledge. It is then, that the primal emotional mind can be free to go from hate…to forgiveness, and acceptance…

    Free some minds Shachar. Free some minds.

    -Ibn

  226. Ibn,

    I’ll keep my arguments very short and very to the point, as I suspect that it is trying to encompass everything that leads to such bad communication (you calling my arguments malicious, for example).

    I’ll try to keep the discussion focused on specific times, because I believe your accusations are ignoring context. Beleive me, this is no attempt to evade discussing later events, just doing a first thing’s first.

    You claim that “Crime #1″ took place in 1948. What, then, is the excuse for the violence against Jews prior to that year, and for the entire first half of the 20th centuray?

    Thanks,
    Shachar

    P.s.
    How do you format text in this blog? I.e. – bold, etc.

  227. Ibn, my dear,
    Here you go again, misquoting.
    Where did I say that your ” historical facts are “ignorant”, and “stupid”?
    All I said is that : “If I understood it correctly, even if anyone does acknowledge the “crimes” you are so desprprately trying to make the Jews admit to, and if anyone will be stupid or ignorant of historical facts to admit to them, I am beginning to believe more and more that you will only use them as a call for our anahilation.”
    Please stop putting words in our mouths. What do you think that if you keep misquoting us and do it often enough, you will win your case?
    I have news for you. For every misrepresented fact that you bring up we will offer a rebuttle.
    We are not just going to sit there, let anyone patronize us, blame us for all the problems of the world and let us just accept it.
    So either you wish for all of us to move forward and try and develop some kind of a dialogue or just hammer in accusation after accusation, misquoting some of us and hoping that you will win world sympathy. Very few Israelis will admit to comitting ‘Crimes 1,2 and3″ which you seem to consider as a precondition to starting a dialogue. I doubt that many other people would fall for such a trap.
    As Abraham Lincoln said : “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
    Batzi

  228. Shachar, formatting text follows the html standards; ie:

    bold would be <b>bold</b>
    italic would be <i>italic</i>

    etc.

    When I have a chance I’ll find out how to put the help text above the comment box…

  229. Dear Ramy

    Anyone with humanity is distressed at any needless death and so it is utterly distressed at what is happening in Lebanon. But it is a very complicated situation. Israel feels that it must destroy Hezbollah because Hezbollah is an organisation devoted to only one objective: destroying Israel.

    Hezbollah has set itself up as a state within a state, controlling South Lebanon and using it as a base from which to bombard Israel. Israeli bombing is closely targeted at Hezbollah, but Hezbollah is installing itself within civilian areas, in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is commonly believed that it does this precisely to achieve newsworthy civilian casualties.

    Thank you Mahmood for pointing us at Sandmonkey

    Brian

  230. Ibn & Batzi:

    BOTH sides now have so much blood on their hands that — really there are only two ways forward: 1) Each side admit to its own crimes and begin to figure out how to move forward or 2) Both sides agree to let the past be the past and figure out how to move forward.

    (btw — there are reports that Hizbollah has now kidnapped 2 foreign journalists. Conscienceless idiots.)

  231. In case the good people of the Middle East don’t have enough to worry about, let me throw something else on the pile: Iran sent observers to the North Korean missile tests. That’s the same Iran which pulls Hezbollah’s strings and supplies them with shore-to-ship missiles, among other things.

    Let me break this down for you. Iran is developing nukes. North Korea has already developed nukes and is so strapped for cash it counterfeits US hundred dollar bills (along with Iran) and sells narcotics wholesale through their embassies. Would North Korea, being a model of restraint and peace, sell nuclear technology and fissile material to Iran? Could that speed up the Iranian nuke program considerably? Would they lend a nuke or two to Hezbollah to see what use they could make of it? Could events come to a head sooner than later?

    For those of you not worried about this, just ignore it and place your heads back in the sand like nice ostriches. Mmmmm. Sand. Comforting. Can’t see anything bad here. All is well.

    Steve

  232. Shachar: “How do you format text in this blog? I.e. – bold, etc.”

    Do what Mahmood says. Then go to the Webmonkey HTML Cheatsheet. Take a look at Text Tags for bold & italic; Links for a hyperlink to an article on the net; Formatting for the blockquote.

    Put your text between the tags. Try it in the “Your comment” box and see what it does in the “Preview” below. It’s as easy as it looks.

    Steve

  233. Mahmood: Thanks for the explanation. I hope that you made sure that all the cross site scripting problems do not affect your site. I’d hate to see it vandalized.

    Steve: Thanks, but I really do know HTML. I just didn’t know it was HTML that was how you do it here. Most blog comments code use different codes, and turn all ‘<‘ into ‘&lt;’ to avoid above mentioned XSS problems.

    Shachar

  234. Dear sunrunner,
    Sometimes I am wondering if we are all reading the same blog.
    I would like to remind you and other readers of previous posts by Batzi where she offered to do both of your suggestions, i.e.either forgive and move on or that both sides admit to wrongdoings and then move on.
    In previous communications with An Aran and with Lujayn, she used her parents’ experiences in the Holocaust as an example of people who are willing to forgive, though not forget. She wrote:
    if my parents were willing to forgive the German and their Nazi past for the atrocities they had committed against them, move on with their lives and try and raise a normal family with a promising future for their children, why can’t you forgive, not forget, what injustices, if any, were done to you by the Israelis and the founders of their state and move on with your life?”
    To that An Arab responded:
    “I hate to state the glaringly obvious, but here goes. Your parents can forgive because the Holocaust occured in the past. We cannot forget because injustices against the Palestinians occur to this very day. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.”
    Batzi seems to have also tried to admit to wrongdoing by Israelis and their government. Though she was not explicitly apologizing for their mistakes, she admited that there were some. It is quite clear that she is not always in sinc with Israeli government policies. She does not accept the occupation of the West Bank. If I am not wrong in one of her posts she also said that she never believed the West bank was part of Israel. She was also calling for the dismanteling of the settlements.
    This, it seems rather clear to me, is admitting to wrongdoings. This is more than what I have read any of the Arab and the Palestians were ready to admit to so far.
    All I see and read is that everyone expects Batzi and her fellow Israelis to admit to some rather serious crimes (racism and more racism) on the part of Israel, yet are not willing to take responsibility for any wrongdoings by their own leaders and people.
    As I said before, I am not Israeli and not Jewish but so far I have seen more goodwill gestures on the part of the Israeli (exclude some rude comments by a couple) writers on this blog to move forward towards coexistence.
    Josephine

    She suiggested that An Arab accept that suggestion

  235. Thanks Shachar, I use a standard installation of WordPress and hope tha the engine knows the difference between legal and illegal use of html code! I could find a plug-in that specifically allow people to enter bbcode I guess, but am not sure what the impact on the previous comments entered would be, and if that plug-in would actually disallow the use of html any more.. must look into this.

  236. Mahmoud,

    I am a Public Relations Manager I know all about media manipulation and crisis management. This is a typical crisis management situation…..but a bad one….bad solution…..

    But the problem is that people will believe it because Israel will definitely broadcast it on CNN the zionist channel which is known for its channeled news…..each country receives the news that CNN wants it to receive especially the politics news.

    And, If you notice its a conversation between two people he is telling her to explain, first who is she? and he told her to come up with a sweet and short version. Honestly, this is a big lie, if you notice at the back of the photos, there were parents there watching them. the kids were not manipulated and used. The rockets were all full of messages. I dont believe that these kids only wrote all this and the words which are used on the bombs are full of hatered.

    If the kids are not educated how can they write so well?

    I thought the literacy rate in Israel was quite high….I think this is hiding behind the finger.

    Brian,

    Hezbollah does not want to destroy Israel,
    Hezbollah wants to free the prisoners and free the last inch of the lebanese land

    as long as these two rights for Lebanon are not fullfilled, Hezbollah will continue to exist and be stronger

    So do yourselves a favor and ourselves a favor free these prisoners who have been in Israel prisons for 27 years without proper prosecution and for no reason ……and think about releasing half of the 10 000 palestinian prisoners, for the ‘human’ and civilised image that Israel is trying to project.

    Hezbollah are not fighting from the homes and hiding behind families, Only 5 martyrs were announced from the forces of Hezbollah and i tell you my friend, these people are proud when they die in Jihad.

    and according to their leader Hassan Nasrallah, these people are afraid not to die in this battle because it might be the last battle.

    These people have nothing to lose anymore. Israel has played all its cards, Hezbollah still has a looooooottttttttt of ‘surprises’, and they are only exerting 20% of its force.

    Ah one more thing, Nasrallah yesterday apologised for the civilians his bombs have hit…..who apologised from Israel, all i heard was we will do more from your sides…..

    God is there to judge and see who is right and who is wrong but i am trying to make you people realise the lies that you are living in….. in your history, in your media and in your goverment……Wake up….

    Regards,

  237. Ramy,

    A tiny, factual correction, if I may. Nasrallah did not appologize for the civilians he hit. Nasrallah appologised for the ARAB civilians he hit (while “promoting” them to the status of “martyrs”. It seems that Nasrallah’s cause is so devine, 2 years old people now stand in line to be forceably be volunteered to die for it).

    I guess it makes some kind of sense, if you assume that all Jewish people in Israel must die anyways. The only innocent around must be the non-Jews.

    Wait, you said that is NOT what Nasrallah wants. No, sorry, didn’t follow your logic after all.

    Shachar

  238. Ramy, you seem to have inside sources. Please share them to lend credibility to your statements.

    Yes, Israel is wrong to detain people without trials, as is the States for their Guantanmo and Bahrain even in the past. Yes, they all should immediately release all of those not held for a crime and who are not afforded due process.

    Yes, at best those children and their parents are stupid for what they wrote on those missiles, and at worst they are criminal. No argument there. The argument is if it had been a PR exercise, and in your position you should be able to judge if it has any semblance of truth.

    Finally, Hizballah are not as innocent and heroic as you make them to be. In the game of war, I’m afraid, there is no such thing for any side. Some would argue that as Hizballah is not a regular army, and as they do not wear uniform or insignia to differentiate them from civilians, they are an illegal guerilla force which should be tried for war crimes.

  239. Ramy,
    Are you in any way representing Hezbollah?

    “These people have nothing to lose anymore. Israel has played all its cards, Hezbollah still has a looooooottttttttt of ’surprises’, and they are only exerting 20% of its force. ” Or is your public relations manager’s skill that you employ when you come up with these statements.
    As I said before, two wrongs don’t make it right.
    If ( I stress IF ) indeed it is the case that the Israeli children were writing these kind of messages than it is really sad and unfortunate.
    However, you people are forcing me to bring up issues that I had long ago wished they were burried.
    When my brother came back from the Six Day War of 1967, he brought along with him some math school books that he found in Gaza.
    Those books (published prior to 1967 and the issue of occupied territories) were using anti Israeli slogans and examples to teach simple math. For instance one of the questions was along these lines:
    If 5 ugly horrible zionist cowards were attacking us and our heroic glamourous soldiers killed three, how many slimy zionist soldiers remained?
    Do you really think that any of those kids would remember their math? I can almost guarrantee that the memories of such lessons boiled down to hatred, hatred and more hatred.
    Is it part of your Public Relations tactics to perpetrate pride through hatred, death and jihad ?
    Why are you trying to intimidate Brian by bringing G-d into the equation? We, as human beings, have been given choices. We could choose to forgive, move on and live, or we can choose to spread hatred,death and martydom.
    Yours in the choice of life
    Batzi

  240. Ramy

    “Hezbollah does not want to destroy Israel,
    Hezbollah wants to free the prisoners and free the last inch of the lebanese land”

    Israel withdrew completely from Lebanon in 2000 (I believe that was the year)

    So has Hezbollah built up its massive arsenal (“Hezbollah still has a looooooottttttttt of ’surprises’, and they are only exerting 20% of its force.”)
    and taken over South Lebanon ‘just to free prisoners’?
    Brian

  241. Brian;

    I don’t think this is about two captured Israeli solders. Hezbollah has been building up that arsenal for a long time under the patronage of Iran and with the acquiesence of the Lebanese government. I think the Israelis knew about it, knew it was pointed at them, and used the excuse of the kidnapped soldiers to take it down. I think the purpose of that arsenal was to use it against Israel after Tehran provoked Israel into attacking Iran.

    Just a theory.

  242. Josephine:

    “I would like to remind you and other readers of previous posts by Batzi where she offered to do both of your suggestions, i.e.either forgive and move on or that both sides admit to wrongdoings and then move on.”

    I agree that Batzi has made this point very clear. I was attempting to say that at this point, any kind of tit for tat argument is futile.

  243. Sunrunner,
    Perhaps you and I need to use a louder megaphone.
    We could go on forever here and never get anywhere….
    Why do people refuse to take responsibility or get out of the tiny square that they have either been raised in or simply chose to erect around themselves?
    Very frustrating!
    Thanks for your sensibility (and not because we share the same view but simply because Jews and Muslims, Israelis and palestinians have simply reached a dead end).
    Shalom
    Batzi

  244. I agree with all my heart, Batzi!

    I should also say that I I continue to hope and pray that this “dead end” will reveal that there are other roads available. Sadly, the current situation in the Middle East is a consequence of practice/viewpoint that is thousands of years in the making. But the miraculous thing about human nature is that it is capable of change, of growth and of vision.

    We really can all be better than we have been and are now. It is up to each of us as individuals to strive to be our best and not our worst! We also need to call upon our reserves of compassion, for ourselves and for all others who have been forced to live with and through pain, suffering and trauma.

    Shalom indeed!

    Sunrunner

  245. Ramy :

    “Hezbollah does not want to destroy Israel,
    Hezbollah wants to free the prisoners and free the last inch of the lebanese land”

    In that case Hezbollah had no reason to fire hundreds of missiles at Israeli cities. All they had to do was wait for Israel to make limited incursions into their mined and fortified positions. After Israel had sustained enough casualties it would have exchanged prisoners as it has done many times in the past. Without the missile attacks Israel would have had no excuse to blow up more than a bridge or two in southern Lebanon.

    Hezbollah accumulated those 13,000 missiles in order to start a war. If Israel weren’t the target they’d end up on the heads of Lebanese Sunnis, Christians and Druze. If Iraq has taught us anything it is the virulence of sectarian violence and hatred among Arabs.

  246. Shachar,

    I will try to keep my answers short too.

    You claim that “Crime #1″ took place in 1948. What, then, is the excuse for the violence against Jews prior to that year, and for the entire first half of the 20th centuray?

    The excuse for the violence was that it was after the Balfour Declaration (1917 I believe?) , that the Arabs became conscience of the Zionist-Jews grand plans to create “A Jewish State”, as per Theodore Herzl’s vision.

    If you are going to say: “But a Jewish state is no threat to the non-Jewish Arabs”, then my response to that is in the form of a question:

    How do you found a Jewish state when the majority of the population is non-Jewish?

    a) If the answer is: “You cant”, then I rest my case. The declaration of the intention to found a Jewish state in the midst of a majority of non-Jews in already occupied land was an implicit declaration of war. This justifies the violence.

    b) But if the answer is: “You sure can”, then I trust there will be no problem in re-institutiing the Palestinian refugees back into Israel proper, since obviously there is going to be no racial-religious issue.

    I hope that answers your first question.
    Thank you

    -Ibn

  247. Ibn:

    Shortly before the establishment of the state of Israel, Poland and Czechoslovakia expelled 10 million citizens of German descent into what became Communist East Germany. Why aren’t they and their descendants clamoring for a “right of return”?

    A few years before that, the US and its allies really did target innocent civilians, killing hundreds of millions in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They then occupied the living hell out of Germany and Japan and took away from them substantial pieces of territoty. Why aren’t Germans and Japanese strapping on suicide belts?

    No war is lost without consequences, and among them are occupation, forced resettlement and redrawing of boundaries. You call upon history for justification, yet insist Palestinians be an historical anomaly.

    My own country is full of people whose ancestors lost everything. It grew from its original thirteen colonies by warfare and purchase from other aggressive occupying powers. Can you claim any better for your own or any other Arab country?

  248. Actually, Ibn (someone should hit me for getting involved in this!) — I honestly don’t think you go back far enough in history . . . to a point in which both Jews and Arabs should be able to find common cause.

    Western / European Imperialism.

    & centuries of institutionalized Christian religious bigotry, racism and anti-semitism.

    The sad fact is that after centuries of religious crusading, conquest, genocide (the Americas), slave trading (from Africa), pogroms, and a holocaust, the middle east is currently living with the consequences.

    That is the guilt which runs in my blood and to which I freely admit.

    And for which the west (particularly the allies) did not accept responsibility in 1946 or 1947 or 1948. Or 1967. Etc.

    After the Nazi death camps were “liberated” many / most Jews (being shut out of the “news” of the war) tried to return to their homes in Eastern Europe. Do you know what happened to them? They were driven out once again by their former Gentile neighbors & in some cases murdered. Imagine! Murdered after surviving Aushwitz. So a flood of refugees moved into territory controlled by the west, into refugee camps, where they were once again held under lock and key under abyssmal conditions (courtesy of the great racitst and anti-semite Gen George Patton).

    No one wanted them. Not western Europe, not the US, not Canada, and not Australia. The holocaust survivors who made it to the US in that time were able to only if they had a relative who was already a US citizen. Not an option for most.

    So when the hope of a “Jewish Homeland” was held out, they understandably did what any traumatized people in their situation would do — they tried to get there. I wonder if Batzi’s parents were among them. (it is important to note that as “misquided” as the original Zionists may have been, they were reacting — in the late 19th century — to the horrific progoms in Russia. In this respect, their situation, then, is not much different than that of Palestinians, today.)

    As you know from watching what has happened in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, desperate and tramatized people will become willing to resort to desperate strategies. And ruthless “strong-men” types like Yassir Arafat and Menacham Begin (of Deir Yassin & King David Hotel infamy) will have ample opportunity to flame the fires of panic and desperation. And play out their psychopathy on the weak and the vulnerable.

    I only mention this because at this point, none of what has gone on can be undone. It is all too horrible and too long ago. All of this — what is happening throughout the Middle East (not only in Israel & Lebanon, but in many respects Iraq as well, another British Mandate country gone horribly wrong) — began in violence and cannot end due to violence.

    Which is why, I believe the only way to move foreward is to move forward. I also believe that the West owes a HUGE dept to both Jews and Arabs, which it has not come close to acknowledging or atoning for. Perhaps sensible people on both sides can agree with this, and use it as a common ground to begin to both fight together to insist that the world not stand by as “little genocides” continue, unhindered.

    As I said earlier, there are no innocents left among us. We all have generations of blood on our hands. And it is high time for the killing, the oppression, the hatred — all of it — to stop. Which can only happen when all the excuses and the blaming and the rationalizations stop.

    Salaam Aleikum.

  249. Sunrunner

    “genocide (the Americas)”

    Most of the native population of the Americas was wiped out by diseases brought by the Europeans. It wasn’t intentional and no historian has ever called it genocide.

    “We all have generations of blood on our hands”

    Speak for yourself, kemosabe. I’m not responsible for the sins of my ancestors.

  250. Oh, in addition to the list of sins mentioned above, I forgot to include perhaps the worst of all.

    Denial.

    Anonymous – I am not going to get sucked into providing you with a primer of the history of the European conquest of the Americas (which does include South and Central America, btw) or even India for that matter.

    If you are generally interested in learning more than you think you already know, the history is out there, all you have to do is read about it.

    One more thing: None of us are “responsible” for the sins committed by our ancestors, however we are responsible for seeing that they do not occur again, and for that reason they must be, as Ibn points out, acknowledged.

    However, it might be worth pointing out that in estate law, before an inheritance can be paid out, outstanding depts must be paid first. Both my father and grandfather fought in WW II. (Both my parents are still alive.) In the sense that they as American citizens never really cared all that much about the fate of European Jewry or the Arabs, who are both still suffering due, in part, to policies (or lack of concern) on the part of my (and their) government, I feel it my responsibility to pressure my government to take a much more constructive role than it has thus far. My fellow citizens may not agree with me — but in a democracy, I have the right and the responsibility to be true to my convictions. Ditto for Native Americans and the American descendents of African slaves.

  251. Dear Ramos Washington,Sunrunner
    It is really heartwarming to see the conciliatory note that both your comments convey. I hope this note spreads and engulfs other readers of this blog ( I know I am overly optimistice but I’d rather be consumed by optimism and hope than by hatred!). Thank you both.
    Anonymous, I do not think you should take Sunrunner’s comments so personally. No one is accusing you of anything specific hence no need to resort to antagonism.
    I believe that all Sunrunner meant is what he has been preaching all along, acknowledge wrongdoings of our forefathers, learn to forgive those who you feel have wronged you and move on.
    And there is not better time to start than now.
    Batzi

  252. Sunrunner

    “Oh, in addition to the list of sins mentioned above, I forgot to include perhaps the worst of all.Denial. I am not going to get sucked into providing you with a primer of the history of the European conquest of the Americas (which does include South and Central America, btw)”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_American_indigenous_peoples

    Excerpt: “Many European immigrants who arrived after the epidemics had already killed massive numbers of American natives assumed that the natives had always been few in number. The scope of the epidemics over the years was enormous, killing millions of people—in excess of 90% of the population in the hardest hit areas—and creating “the greatest human catastrophe in history, far exceeding even the disaster of the Black Death of medieval Europe.”

    If you deny that the majority of indigneous americans was wiped out by disease, please provide a link supporting that point. If not, better recheck that primer.

    “however we are responsible for seeing that they do not occur again, and for that reason they must be, as Ibn points out, acknowledged.”

    That’s very nice in theory, but in reality, many genocides have come and gone since the Holocaust and no one’s done anything about them. You can’t fix every atrocity that’s out there. Look how long the situation in Darfur has been going on.

  253. Ibn,
    Do you really believe that Israel is the problem of the region?
    That the goal of the Arab world is to turn back the weal of history?

    I suspect that the Arab world have much more fundamental problem, and Israel is just an excuse to divert the Arabs people from dealing with there true problems.
    Such as lack of true democracy, freedom of opinions, rights for women.
    Religious problems between the deferent currents of the Islamic world.

    Do you know that from the beginning of the conflict between Israel and the Arab countries, more Arabs died in internal wars then in this conflict?

    • More then a million in Iraq & Iran war.
    • Tens of thousands casualties in the Yamane war which include the use of chemical weapons by Egypt.
    • Black September in Jordan.
    • The latest Civilian war in Algeria
    • Massacre of el Hama by Assad in Syria.
    • The Sahara war of Morocco.
    • Civilian war in Sudan continuing a quarter of a century.
    • The first gulf war.
    • The internal war in Iraq which kills more the 100 people per day!!!
    War which include blasting of musk, hijacks, decapitating people…

    There for we must give this conflict proportional size, which will lead for proportional demands and a chance for peace.

  254. Darfur could end tomorrow if more human beings in this world truly valued the sanctity of ALL human life (particularly the already born).

    And since you brought it up, what are you doing (if anything) about the situation in Africa, other than using it to rationalize the deaths of other people.

    From the exact same article you linked to:

    The earliest European immigrants offered two principal explanations for the population decline of the American natives. The first was the brutal practices of the Spanish conquistadores, as recorded by the Spanish themselves, most notably by the Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas, whose writings vividly depict atrocities committed on the natives by the Spanish. The second explanation was religious: God had removed the natives as part of His divine plan in order to make way for a new Christian civilization. Many natives of the Americas also understood their troubles in terms of religious or supernatural causes. Scholars now believe that, among the various contributing factors, epidemic disease was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the American natives.[5]

    And

    However, there is at least one documented incident in which British soldiers in North America attempted to intentionally infect native people. During Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763, a number of Native Americans launched a widespread war against British soldiers and settlers in an attempt to drive the British out of the Great Lakes region. In what is now western Pennsylvania, Native Americans (primarily Delawares) laid siege to Fort Pitt on June 22, 1763. Surrounded and isolated, and with over 200 women and children in the fort, the commander of Fort Pitt gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets that had been exposed to smallpox in an attempt to infect the natives and end the siege.

    At any rate, this is all a red herring since those who were not killed by disease were subsequently driven from their land or killed while defending it or literally starved to death. See this article and this one.

    However, all of this is a distraction from my original point, which is that todays conditions in the Middle East are largely (though not only) a thousand year history of Christian “crimes against humanity” in the form of religious bigotry, oppression, conquest & etc.

  255. Ibn,
    In your response to Shachar, you write:

    “The excuse for the violence was that it was after the Balfour Declaration (1917 I believe?) ,
    The declaration of the intention to found a Jewish state in the midst of a majority of non-Jews in already occupied land was an implicit declaration of war. This justifies the violence.”
    If I understand you correctly, then the Balfour Declaration calling for the establishment for a Jewish State is the justification for the violence since it was “an implicit declaration of war.” Should you then not wage your war against the British since Lord Balfour was British not Jewish and since he issued that declaration?
    Will you please make up your mind as to who is the culprit for starting the middle East conflict? Should the Jews have been stupid and rejected the offer? I don’t suggest that you send suicide bombers to England, G-d forbid, or aim the Hezbaollah’s rockets towards London, but if this is the cause for your anger, aren’t you Arabs directing it at the wrong entity?
    Batzi

  256. Sunrunner:

    The Native Americans gave Europe tobacco, so I think we’re about even.

  257. Ibn

    For you the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was an act of war – the idea that there should be one country in the entire world that might welcome Jews – Jews who would buy their land, cultivate the land, cultivate the desert. Just in case there might be more pogroms or worse (fairly prophetic, don’t you think?)

    Hypothetically, if a resident of Palestine hated Jews so much that he could not bear to have them in the same country, why couldn’t he just sell up and move to another part of the more than one million square miles that the British had liberated from the Ottoman empire for Muslim sovreignity?

    By the way, Arabs have bought up much of Central London. Is this an act of war? or would it only be an act of war if my local member of parliament was an Arab?

    Brian

  258. salam aleicum

    puppet on wires
    if wish to cut them down
    must first be aware how
    manipulated by words and
    history fragments we consume
    war as we know it all and must be right about.
    isn’t it a war and agression again
    willing to fight and kill other thoughts
    for peace?
    let us be wiser for our children
    let us make this world better than the one we found
    look and obsserve
    why now after this violent mondial had end
    other discontrolld agression takes place

    why?

  259. Batzi,

    First, I am not in anyway representing Hezbollah, I am not even living in Lebanon.

    For the quotes i am using, these are Nasrallah`s words. If you watch the news and see his interviews, you would understand that these are not my words, i am just trying to communicate the facts here.

    ‘when my brother came back from the Six Day War of 1967, he brought along with him some math school books that he found in Gaza.
    Those books (published prior to 1967 and the issue of occupied territories) were using anti Israeli slogans and examples to teach simple math. For instance one of the questions was along these lines:
    If 5 ugly horrible zionist cowards were attacking us and our heroic glamourous soldiers killed three, how many slimy zionist soldiers remained?
    Do you really think that any of those kids would remember their math? I can almost guarrantee that the memories of such lessons boiled down to hatred, hatred and more hatred’

    I doubt this is right, this is impossible actually….it made me laugh..really.

    Why are you defending brian if i may ask? and no this is not intimidation, this is a personal opinion…..

    I am not trying to perpetrate pride through Jihad or hatred, i am communicating facts which are documented. I am proud because a small guerilla force is standing in the way of a giant monster (Israel) Hezbollah are only using AK 47 and Katioucha missiles and they are making Israel shake and piss in its pants. In addition, the Israeli politicians are getting mad because no one has insulted their pride. And Israel is now using their top military capabilities to destroy Lebanon. (we are used to it, we are survivors and we will keep building our country no matter what).

    My choice is that Israel is a coward state, fighting the palestinians and the Lebanese with the latest guns and latest intelligence while we only use stones and the humble ressources they have and they both are winning at the end. US will build israel back while lebanese will build lebanon with their sweat, which will get them more and more attached to their land and country.
    ———————————————————————————————–
    Brian,

    Israel did not withdraw completely from Lebanon to be accurate, Hezbollah kicked them out. and they left one small piece of Land called the Chebaa farms, 15,000 Lebanese people are still waiting to get their lands back, (check if i am wrong).

    Southern Lebanon is the land of Hezbollah since the beginning of their resistance caused by Israel existence in their land.

    Again in addition to the land, lebanon has prisoners in Israeli prisons without prosecution for 27 years and have kept them i don`t know why….since they are claiming that they want peace with Lebanon.

    Imagine this, If Chebaa is returned back to Lebanon and if the lebanese prisoners are freed, what is the reason for Hezbollah to exist? Hezbollah is called the national resistance forces for your information, (I stress on National)…….
    ———————————————————————————————–

    Ramos,

    Eheeemmmm, Israel started firing Missiles on the Airport to begin with….Israel started killing citizens and destroying Infrastructure….Eheeeemmmmmm……why should they even make incursions in lebanon, just because we want our prisoners to be free? or want our land back?

    Eheeeemmmmm, 362 killed in Lebanon while only 30 in Israel……What casualties are you talking about???????EHHEEEEEMMMMMMMM, would Israel have exchanged prisoners if Hezbollah did not take hostages???They have been there for 27 YEARSSSSS……

    Why should Israel even bomb a bridge or two? what is the logic that you are using? This is a country, a people, a land you disregarded all this you disregarded the sovereignty of Lebanon, This is very insulting and this is too much…..Think before you write my friend.

    Imagine the Lebanese army tomorrow invades Israel, destroys its roads and kills its people recklessly, makes a sea, air and land attack because Israel has 2 prisoners and wants its land back…..put yourself in our position…..how would you feel?

    ‘Hezbollah accumulated those 13,000 missiles in order to start a war. If Israel weren’t the target they’d end up on the heads of Lebanese Sunnis, Christians and Druze. If Iraq has taught us anything it is the virulence of sectarian violence and hatred among Arabs’.

    Don`t talk about this……please, you have no right of adressing this subject, this is a lebanese national issue and if you don`t have information about something, don`t talk about it…..Anyway i will be better than you are and i will explain to you and to everyone reading as this is very misleading and this is very dangerous and this is what the zionist media and the US media are communicating……

    1- Hezbollah has never and i mean never even fired one bullet towards the lebanese land or people even during the civil war. (you can check on that)

    2-Hezbollah has accumulated these missiles to make this final war, either they win, free the prisoners and free the land or they loose and disappear from existance.

    3- Hezbollah and all the parties before this war stroke, were sitting on a table and discussing ways to live together in Lebanon and ensure a sovereign country.

    4-The only reason why Hezbollah are not disarmed is because we still have Chebaa farms not free and because we have the prisoners not free……The Lebanese army cannot fight with Israel because we basically don`t have an army, the only way is through these tactics, the resistance tactics.

    5- Actually, Israel will do itself and the lebanese people a favor by freeing our land and freeing our prisoners, then there would be no reason for Hezbollah to exist.

    6- Iraq…..lets not talk about this……nor you or me know what is happening there, and i frankly don`t trust our media and the US and zionist media.

    ———————————————————————————————–
    Shachar,

    At least Hezbollah did apologise and aren`t these arab Israelis what is the wrong in that? you also have racism against the Arab israelis?
    ‘It seems that Nasrallah’s cause is so devine, 2 years old people now stand in line to be forceably be volunteered to die for it’

    Well this is more than devine, this is way more, it is a national cause….if you ever heard about that, in history people were killing themselves to free their lands all through history and why look far, what did the jews do to come back to their ‘promised land’. I dont follow your logic anymore. Is it wrong for the Arabs to be free? Or only Israel and US know about freedom and democracy….Eheeemmmmm I think you are very very very mistaken. Yeah even 2 year olds would die for their land because there is nothing more important than dignity a sovereign country and respect. Israel does not respect the Lebanese but soon they will.,…..

    ‘I guess it makes some kind of sense, if you assume that all Jewish people in Israel must die anyways. The only innocent around must be the non-Jews’.

    This sounds pathetic….wake up man….who is dying? ask yourself….who is being killed in masses? ask yourself, open your eyes and mind….stop sounding like victims….You want to make the arabs pay for all the suffering of your history….and what is the meaning of the Israeli flag? can you explain to us? from the Nile to the Eufrates and all the lands within i guesss….your flag explains it all…..

    Nasrallah again, just wants to free the last lebanese inch and free the last lebanese prisoners.
    ———————————————————————————————–
    AbaC,

    ‘Such as lack of true democracy, freedom of opinions, rights for women.
    Religious problems between the deferent currents of the Islamic world’

    I quot you on this, I think you are wrong if you are right, we don`t need foreign intervention to ‘help us’ in this…..we can all see what is happening in Iraq because of the democracy that Bush is tryin to apply. We never had problems till the west came and started interfering….in what right you want to impose a system on us?
    ———————————————————————————————–
    To all,

    I am not attacking anyone and i am not intimidating anyone, i am just trying to prove a point which is that this is unfair….unfair

    Israel is commiting crimes to humanity, they are disrespecting the sovereignty of a country and they are helpless against a small guerilla called hezbollah which are winning using their Katiocha missiles and their AK 47 which are almost like fireworks comparing to the bombs that israel is using….hahahaha…..I love it!

    take care and hope you guys will not get defensive just read between the lines in the media other wise you will be blinded…..and will become stereotypes….this is FYI….

    Take care y`all

    Awaiting impatiently for your defense…..I feel like i am in a court room…..

    :-)

  260. Dear Ramy,
    If trying to refute your arguments in what, I consider, a logical and
    constructive manner, makes you feel that the whole world is against you, then perhaps you need to reconsider your argument, my friend.
    No one, Ramy, is accusing you of being a liar. Yet you seem to be doing that to us.
    If I had known that almost thirty years after the effect, I would have to produce evidence to the hatred that I witnessed with my own eyes in the form of that school math book that my brother brought with him when he came back from the Six Day War just so because someone would one day insinute that I am lying, I would have laughed. As I said, those are very sad memories. I tried to bury them a long time ago. I am trying to move on with my, our lives and not accummulate evidence to incriminate anyone for what was perpetrated years ago.
    The reason I am defendoing Brian is the reason I would defend anyone who makes sense in my opinion. I have defended others on this blog as others have defended me.
    I can appreciate your zeal to defend the Arabs’ and the Palestinians’ actions and what they consider their form of justice.
    However Ramy, if your form of defence is offence don’t expect us or anyone in the west to easily welcome your argument or take on board some of your points.
    From the second you started your response, you have only accused everyone, Israelis, Americans and the west and glorified Hezbollah and its “resistance.”
    There is saying that no hunchback sees his hunch….
    Perhaps you need to re-examine some of the actions of your fellow Arabs. Surely, they have not always been flawless.
    You present the Lebanese people’s relationship with Hezbollah as complete harmony. In fact, one might get the impression from your response that the Lebanese have entrusted Hezbollah with the role of representing them in the world community.
    Well, let me tell you, my dear Ramy, I do not think it is entirely accurate.
    Enclosed, (and I apologize to the readers for including the whole article, I do not have the link to it), please find a message from some Lebanese:

    “Thank you Israel ”

    By Brigitte Gabriel

    For the millions of Christian Lebanese, driven out of our
    homeland, “Thank you Israel,” is the sentiment echoing from
    around the world. The Lebanese Foundation for Peace, an
    international group of Lebanese Christians, made the
    following statement in a press release to Israeli Prime
    Minister Ehud Olmert concerning the latest Israeli attacks
    against Hezbollah:

    “We urge you to hit them hard and destroy their terror
    infrastructure. It is not [only] Israel who is fed up with
    this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in
    Lebanon who are fed up with Hezbollah and are powerless to
    do anything out of fear of terror retaliation.”

    Their statement continues,

    “On behalf of thousands of Lebanese, we ask you to open the
    doors of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to thousands of
    volunteers in the Diaspora willing to bear arms and liberate
    their homeland from [Islamic] fundamentalism. We ask you for
    support, facilitation and logistics in order to win this
    struggle and achieve together the same objectives: Peace and
    Security for Lebanon and Israel and our future generations
    to come.”

    The once dominate Lebanese Christians responsible for giving
    the world “the Paris of the Middle East” as Lebanon used to
    be known, have been killed, massacred, driven out of their
    homes and scattered around the world as radical Islam
    declared its holy war in the 70s and took hold of the
    country. They voice an opinion that they and Israel have
    learned from personal experience, which is now belatedly
    being discovered by the rest of the world.

    While the world protected the PLO withdrawing from Lebanon
    in 1983 with Israel hot on their heals, another more
    volatile and religiously idealistic organization was being
    born: Hezbollah, “the Party of God,” founded by Ayatollah
    Khomeini and financed by Iran. It was Hezbollah who blew up
    the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in October,1983 killing
    241 Americans and 67 French paratroopers that same day.
    President Reagan ordered U.S. Multilateral Force units to
    withdraw and closed the books on the marine massacre and US
    involvement in Lebanon February 1984.

    The civilized world, which erroneously vilified the
    Christians and Israel back then and continues to vilify
    Israel now, was not paying attention. While America and the
    rest of the world were concerned about the Israeli / PLO
    problem, terrorist regimes in Syria and Iran fanned Islamic
    radicalism in Lebanon and around the world. Hezbollah’s
    Shiite extremists began multiplying like proverbial rabbits
    out-producing moderate Sunnis and Christians. Twenty-five
    years later they have produced enough people to vote
    themselves into 24 seats in the Lebanese parliament. Since
    the Israeli pull out in 2000, Lebanon has become a terrorist
    base completely run and controlled by Syria with its puppet
    Lebanese President Lahood and the Hezbollah “state within a
    state.”

    The Lebanese army has less than 10,000 military troops.
    Hezbollah has over 4,000 trained militia forces and there
    are approximately 700 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in
    Southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. So why can’t the army
    do the job? Because the majority of Lebanese Muslims making
    up the army will split and unite along religious lines with
    the Islamic forces just like what happened in 1976 at the
    start of the Lebanese civil war.

    It all boils down to a war of Islamic Jihad ideology vs.
    Judeo Christian Westernism. Muslims who are now the majority
    of Lebanon’s population, support Hezbollah because they are
    part of the Islamic Ummah-the nation. This is the taboo
    subject everyone is trying to avoid.

    The latest attacks on Israel have been orchestrated by Iran
    and Syria driven by two different interests. Syria considers
    Lebanon a part of “greater” Syria. Young Syrian President
    Assad and his Ba’athist military intelligence henchmen in
    Damascus are using this latest eruption of violence to prove
    to the Lebanese that they need the Syrian presence to
    protect them from the Israeli aggression and to stabilize
    the country. Iran is conveniently using its Lebanese puppet
    army Hezbollah, to distract the attention of world leaders
    meeting at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, from its
    pursuit of nuclear weapons. Apocalyptic Iranian President
    Ahmadinejad and the ruling Mullah clerics in Tehran want to
    assert hegemony in the Islamic world under the banner of
    Shia Mahdist madness. Ahmadinejad wants to seal his place as
    top Jihadist for Allah by make good his promise to “wipe
    Israel off the map.

    No matter how much the west avoids facing the reality of
    Islamic extremism of the Middle East, the west cannot hide
    from the fact that the same Hamas and Hezbollah that Israel
    is fighting over there, are of the same radical Islamic
    ideology that has fomented carnage and death through
    terrorism that America and the world are fighting. This is
    the same Hezbollah that Iran is threatening to unleash in
    America with suicide bomb attacks if America tries to stop
    Iran from developing nuclear weapon. They have cells in over
    10 cities in the United States. Hamas, has the largest
    terrorist infrastructure on American soil. This is what
    happens when you turn a blind eye to evil for decades,
    hoping it will go away.

    Sheik Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, is an Iranian agent.
    He is not a free actor in this play. He has been involved in
    terrorism for over 25 years. Iran with its Islamic vision
    for a Shia Middle East now has its agents, troops and money
    in Gaza in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria, and
    Iraq. Behind this is this vision that drives the Iranian
    President Ahmadinejad who believes he is Allah’s “tool and
    facilitator” bringing the end of the world as we know it and
    the ushering in of the era of the Mahdi. He has a blind
    messianic belief in the Shiite tradition of the 12th or
    “hidden” Islamic savior who will emerge from a well in the
    holy city of Qum in Iran after global chaos, catastrophes
    and mass deaths and establish the era of Islamic Justice and
    everlasting peace.

    President Ahmadinejad has refused so far to respond to
    proposals from the U.S., EU, Russia and China on the UN
    Security Council to cease Iran’s relentless quest for
    nuclear enrichment and weapons development program until
    August 22nd. Why August 22nd? Because August 22nd, coincides
    with the Islamic date of Rajab 28, the day the great Salah
    El-Din conquered Jerusalem.

    Ahmadinejad’s extremists ideology in triggering Armageddon
    gives great concerns to the intelligence community.

    At this point the civilized world must unite in fighting the
    same enemies plaguing Israel and the world with terrorism.
    We need to stop analyzing the enemies’ differences as
    Sunni-Hamas or Shiite-Hezbollah, and start understanding
    that their common bond in their fight against us is radical
    Islam.

    I think it speaks for itself.

    Batzi

  261. Batzi, I cannot help but feel that the above article, while containing some truths, is rather racist in its undertones, which robs it of its impact. It is also far fetched as it plays on the West’s insecurity about their shallow understanding of Islam’s details; merging Sunni/Shia ideologies and fears to force through sympathy for Lebanese Christians while pleading with Israel to act as an entry portal for Christian “freedom fighters” is rather thin and discountable as fact.

  262. Fair enough, Mahamood.
    It was merely presented as proof that Ramy’s claim of Hezbollah representing ALL Lebanese is baseless.
    Sorry if my including it has offended you or anyone else. It was certainly not my intention to do that.
    My apologies
    Batzi

  263. No worries Batzi.

    Yes, I understand how some Lebanese must feel about this issue, they have finally gotten their country back when they threw the Syrians out, now they’re in a war not of their doing, and more and more it is looking like various fingers are in the pie; all to what? Hundreds of innocents killed or maimed or injured on all sides.

    Some would of course argue that it is a sacrifice which must be paid in order to regain disputed land, and the release of prisoners.. I beg to differ with the methods employed by both sides of the conflict.

  264. Hi Ibn,

    I actually started writing an extremely long reply, summarizing my view of “what went wrong”. I decided to scrap it (I have a copy saved, don’t worry :-) because:
    1. It was very long, and was not even close to being finished
    2. It does not answer your question.

    If I gather your point correctly (and please do stop making points on my behalf and then disproving them. I already know you can win an argument against yourself) you are stating that the mere thought of a Jewish state is morally wrong. Buying land is not a valid option. Drying up marsh land is not a valid option. Even the urbnization processes that moved a lot of Arabs from villages to cities are not a valid option.

    This position is based on belief, and I am not fooling myself into thinking that I can change yours. This is precisely the reason why I stated previously that your logic is based on your hatred, rather than (as you claim) the other way around.

    I will give one point to try and show why it was not as an impossible concept to grasp as you try to portrait it. In 1918, Haim Weizmann talked to the Emir Faisal, and they reached an agreement how an Arabic state, which was meant to cover most of today’s middle east (by promise of the British) and a Jewish state are not mutually exclusive.

    Was it authorative? Obviously not. It was never very consequential, but it does show that the matter was never as clear cut as you are trying to put it.

    Of all the “crimes” you accuse Israel, the only one I’ll actually acknowledge as a crime is #2. Delibiratly killing civilians is unjustifiable, and uprouting people from their homes is something that should be avoided. It is a shame that the IDF did both during the war of 1948, and it is a shame that the Arabs did both before that.

    Both of those, however, pale in comparison to the problem of continuing to do so. Israel is often misguided in its actions, has been known to be vein in its offers, and have leaders that suffer from extreme short-sightedness. HOWEVER:

    Over the past 20 years (which is what I can attest to personally) there have been several cases where the stars aligned, and Israel managed to get enough of a clue to make a genuine good will offer to the Palestinians, or at least negotiate in good will what said offer should be like. The Palestinians never, once, took said offer.
    Over same 20 years, not once did a genuine offer came from the Palestinians. Instead, they had:
    Yasser Arafat, who never saw beyond the next minute’s gains, and who kept preferring a few minutes of fame for “outsmarting Israel” to actually solving the problem that made Israel the enemy, thus eliminating good will tolerance in Israel (and giving birth to such things as the fence idea).
    Abu Masen, with all the good will and understanding of the conflict one could hope for in a Palestinian leader, but zero execution ability (much thanks to his predecessor) and a corrupt ruling system that starved the people from every dollar that was meant to help them
    Ismail Hania, so bent on violence that he says his condition for conducting talks is that Israel eliminate all of the things worth talking about, mainly as an excuse to not talking.

    As you can gather, I think the Palestinians are every bit to be blamed for “Crime 3″ as Israel. The only way to think otherwise is to assume that Israel will not try to defend itself when attacked, and thus think of the Palestinian terror attacks as disconnected from the Israeli response.

    Which leaves us with one simple fact. The water are too muddled to determine “guilt” or “legitimacy”. There were many more than 3 Israeli crimes over the past 100 years. They were done, mostly, as result of Palestininan crimes, which were done in answer to Israeli crimes, and so on. The point is, they were done, and there really is nothing that can be done about it. If you want to prevent the NEXT crime, however, what can you offer as a way to move forward? I offered my view in the very first comment I made (seek for the first occurance of “Shachar”). Mahmood offered his in the very very very top of this page, waaay up there. I believe the two views are concurring.

    What do you have to offer?

    Shachar

  265. Ramy

    You claim Hezbollah exists just to free prisoners and to liberate Chebaa.

    I just looked up Chebaa on google – top link is http://chebaa.pipop.org/
    It is Chebaa’s own website
    That has a short History section which I quote in full here:

    Ancient History-

    There isn’t any written documentation about the history of Chebaa, however there are roman as well as Phoenician tombs on the peripheries of the village.However, the interviewee believed that Chebaa existed since 400 years BC.

    The oldest written document about land ownership in Chebaa dates back to the year 1914 (land ownership document is called Hijja, and it dates back to the days of the Ottoman empire)

    Recent History- The Israeli army first invaded the village in 1977, following the occupation of the Chebaa farms in 1968. there was a second invasion and occupation in 1982 till the year 2000. Under the occupation, some 5000 persons resided in the village while the others fled it to the different Lebanese regions

    ============
    So Chebaa themselves say the occupation ended in 2000.

    Perhaps you had better write to them and tell them they are under occupation – they don’t know it themselves

    Brian

  266. Mahmood,

    Thanks for the explanation, it actually is my point of view as well….As you said, This is a racist release which undermines all the values of national unity that lebanon has been trying to achieve.

    It is because of this type of people that lebanon has suffered all these wars. This release is nothing but a flash back to me when the lebanese were killing each other on the ID….If your ID states that you are muslim or christian they would be be-headed on the spot……anyway this still exists but fortunately its minimal in Lebanon and these people have fled lebanon in deed because of the crimes they committed in Lebanon. Actually how can these consider themselves Lebanese when:

    1- They are thanking the official enemy of Lebanon for killing their fellow lebanese

    2-When This woman is claiming that Hezbollah have killed the christians and i tell you hezbollah has never fired one bullet towards lebanon.

    3-I don`t want to talk also about the Sabra and Chatila Genocide done in coalition between the party that this woman is talking on behalf and te Israeli soldiers…..

    So let`s not base our comments on people claiming to be lebanese while they are traitors.

    ———————————————————————————————–
    However, Batzi,

    I have not offended anyone on this site, all i was trying to do is to reply point by point to your claims so kindly justify what you are ssaying and tell me where i have went wrong.

    I have adressed each and every point stated at this site by each and everyone an i agreed with some and i disagree with most. So instead of just arguing with me because of my approach…..please i would appreciate it if you tell me where i have went wrong….i am trying to have a civilised negotiation here and you are accusing me of being offensive….Or is it because you don`t have a reply? so you go attacking…..

    Brian,

    I don`t who are the editors of this site but i assure you, this is wrong, Chebaa is still under occupation….

    What about the prisoner?

    Please i want answers on where i have went wrong in my facts…..

    And if i am right, please tell me.

    This is actually very beneficial for me as i am getting to know new ideologies….

    And by the way i rarely do blogs but this site interested me and i like the fast paced communication…..

    Awaiting your reply……

    regards,

  267. Ramy

    Well, I’ve demonstrated to you that Chebaa is not under occupation. Your turn to demonstrate to me that they are. Where is your proof?

    Regarding “What about the prisoner?” – I answered that already in my reply to you of July 21st, 3:36 pm, where I wrote:

    So has Hezbollah built up its massive arsenal (”Hezbollah still has a looooooottttttttt of ’surprises’, and they are only exerting 20% of its force.”)
    and taken over South Lebanon ‘just to free prisoners’?

    Brian

  268. Batzi,

    I did not say you were a liar, i just said that this is impossible, + ok if this is true, then it is not related to our debate here, at least this is not happening in Lebanon nor in any of your neighbor countries. And i am positive that Hezbollah does not have these teachings…..

    ‘However Ramy, if your form of defence is offence don’t expect us or anyone in the west to easily welcome your argument or take on board some of your points’.

    Well first of all i would like to ask you did you try to take some of my points? i am not being defensive and i am not being offensive…..i told you before, i am trying to communicate facts so again please tell me where i have went wrong??

    ‘From the second you started your response, you have only accused everyone, Israelis, Americans and the west and glorified Hezbollah and its “resistance.”

    Well yes Hezbollah are a very powerful and effective tool the Lebanese are using to face the enemy….Israel and i glory them….. don`t take it personal ask any lebanese, true lebanese and he would tell you who is the enemy.

    And…..any problem with being proud? i am proud and i will be more proud when i see the glory of freeing the last inch of my country and the prisoners……Hezbollah are the only party in the World which is standing in the face of Israel and its godfather US…..Actually, it is an honor for me that they are lebanese….. and only lebanese.

    These people are not forced to fight, these people have suffered from israel by losing their houses or a brother or a friend or a parent or whatever and are convinced that this state will kill them too if they don`t resist…. this is their right….

    take care man

    don`t be angry and don`t take it personal.

  269. To all, but in answer to Ramy

    Some days ago I looked up Brigitte Gabriel, who had been cropping up in emails etc, and saw her interview at the bottom left of the page http://www.americancongressfortruth.com/

    Being English, I of course find the website name rather risible. But leave that aside, and just go to the link and hear the testimony of a Lebanese Christian rather than just allow Ramy to write her off as a traitor

    Brian

  270. Thanks for the link – very interesting. I didn’t see any politics at all in it, so I read it all. After all, objectively, you shouldn’t shield my eyes from bits you don’t want me to see

    Regards

    Brian

  271. Brian,

    she is american now i guess….she is talking as an american citizen and attacking Lebanon as a whole here….there still are christians living in perfect harmony with the muslim….

    this woman is not talking about the fundamental muslims this woman is attacking the whole of lebanon…and the arab nation, i think she is not credible at all and insults all the arabs actually.

    I think she is also trying to run for congress in the US therefor she is playing the US game….9/11…what has lebanon got to do with it….why are you linking hezbollah in this war to this?

    This woman is an extremist, full of lies and is making money from making the Judeo-christians listen wot what you want to hear from a calimed arab perspective.

    And not a national at all,

    this link proves the point as well,

    http://www.scottishfriendsofisrael.org/Brigitte_Gabriel.htm

    This is not at all a reliable fact, she is a speaker and that`s it. She is also talking on behalf of the America and on behalf of Israel

    Find something more powerful.

    Regards,

  272. Ramy, Clearly Hezbollah think you are right. As for the United Nations:

    The United Nations states:

    “On 15 May 2000, the United Nations received a map, dated 1966, from the Government of Lebanon which reflected the Government’s position that these farmlands were located in Lebanon. However, the United Nations is in possession of 10 other maps issued after 1966 by various Lebanese government institutions, including the Ministry of Defense and the army, all of which place the farmlands inside the Syrian Arab Republic. The United Nations has also examined six maps issued by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, including three maps since 1966, which place the farmlands inside the Syrian Arab Republic.”[1]

    “On May 22, 2000, Israel completed its withdrawal from the south of Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 425 [1]. The UN certified Israel’s pullout [2]. The January 20, 2005 UN Secretary-General’s report on Lebanon explicitly stated: “The continually asserted position of the Government of Lebanon that the Blue Line is not valid in the Shab’a farms area is not compatible with Security Council resolutions. The Council has recognized the Blue Line as valid for purposes of confirming Israel’s withdrawal pursuant to resolution 425 (1978). The Government of Lebanon should heed the Council’s repeated calls for the parties to respect the Blue Line in its entirety.” [3]”

    Those are taken from your own source, which I suggested should be read in its entirety. I am amazed that you cite a source, and then suggest I should ignore parts of it.

  273. Ramy

    You write

    “this link proves the point as well,

    http://www.scottishfriendsofisrael.org/Brigitte_Gabriel.htm

    Many thanks for the link. It means readers without Broadband can see what she has to say.

    You call her a “traitor”, “extremist”, “full of lies”

    Well, let’s let others read her story and form their own judgement.

    Unless you can demonstrate that her story is untrue.

    Brian

  274. Dear Ramy,
    I agree that this is a fast paced blog and I truly appreciate your and others’ prompt responses.
    You write:
    “you are accusing me of being offensive….Or is it because you don`t have a reply? so you go attacking…..”
    If you read the comments I made on previous occurences on this blog, you might realize that I have had plenty of replies to many. So no, I do not “go attacking…” because I “don’t have a reply.”
    Firstly, I hope I was not coming across as attacking. All I was trying to do is merely reflect how I felt about accusations that I am defending people like Brian. And yes, I was offended that you ridiculed the example I brought forth and I am more offended that you are telling me now that “it is not related to the debate here….”
    Who are you to decide whether my point of educating people to hate is not related to anything? The allegation of hatred has come up a few times in this debate. Whether hatred against Zionism was espoused by Egypt, Syria, Iran or Lebanon does not matter as hatred knows no boundaries and tends to easily and swiftly infect people across borders. So education children to hate whether in Israel, Palestine or anywhere else is the source of today’s world’s problems.
    About being proud, you write:
    “…any problem with being proud? i am proud and i will be more proud…” Did I tell you that there is anything wrong with being proud? On the contrary, I expressed understanding of “your zeal
    to defend the Arabs’ and Palestinians’actions and what they consider their form of justice.” And I will continue to encourage you to be proud of your heritage, as I would expect me to be proud of mine and of which I incidentally am.
    Lastly, I have offered my apologies to Mahmood and anyone else if my inclusion of Brigtte Gabriel’s article offended them.
    I cannot do more than that.
    All the best
    Batzi
    .

  275. Brigette Gabriel has become a darling of the neo-con right over here. All over Faux News. If you look around American rightwing blogs you will see that she is being celebrated and her words used to advocate even MORE war om the middle east.

    Beyond Lebanon, that is.

    Also, Batzi, I should mention that I live in NYC — and the anti-Arab racism on the part of some Jews (some, folks, not all) is astounding. You may know the type I am speaking about — who end up on “settlements” in “Judea” and “Sumaria.” Who are also raised on a steady diet of anti-Arab hatred in their Yeshivas (and I know because I have a sister-in-law who teaches music in several).

    For a particularly noxious (secular) example go to this hugely popular woman’s blog (who is also touting Gabriel): Atlas Shrugs (I guess she sees herself as the 2nd coming of Ayn Rand). Check out the post at the top in which she compares the children in bomb shelters to photo of Elie Weisel in Buchanwald (?!?!), and then compares Muslims to Nazis.

    If you will scroll down, you will see this post:

    I am not buying into the innocent civilians meme. If by ignorance, complicity, neglect or helplessness the Lebanese wouldn’t throw Hezbollah out and establish a strong government, then they must pay the price for the sins of Hizbollah. And if people put up with dictatorships, theocracies, totalitarian regimes – as they did in Nazi Germany — they deserve what Hezbollah deserves. Our only concern should be who started the war. Hezbollah/Hamas initiated the use of force and so stepped outside the principle of rights.

    And this racist video.

    Much of what she says appears in the mainstream news in terms of an attitude — cleaned up and all.

    I will also say that I know MANY Jews who find this woman’s attitude abhorrent. I also know American Jews who would largely agree with Ibn’s perspective (without the hatred part — !).

    Frankly, I have yet to encounter a culture anywhere which doesn’t habor racist and/or xenophobic tendencies to one extent or another. It varies only by percentages and extremity (and as anyone who has been a target of racism can tell you, the “subtle” racisms can be as painful as the more overt forms). And the more rigid a culture becomes either religiously or politically, the more extreme these kinds of views become. Like in Saudi Arabia or the Christian evangelical south. And yes, the Orthodox Yeshivas in Brooklyn.

  276. i did not say so just because there from 1966 there was war in Lebanon and actually Lebanon had no government from 1975 till 1990…so i can not trust this…

    ‘1964 a joint Lebanese-Syrian border committee concluded that the Shebaa Farms area was Lebanese and that the international border should be redefined consistent with that conclusion (Kaufman, p590). On 16 May 2000 the Syrian Foreign Minister, Farouq al-Shara, confirmed to Annan that the Syrian Arab Republic supported Lebanon’s claim.[1]’

    You disregarded the above and took the Kofi Anan words only which were recently said.

    The Shebaa farms lie between Syria and Lebanon and both countries agree that they belong to Lebanon. Why should anyone believe Israel on this?

    Regards,

  277. Batzi,

    You are taking it personally….

    so both of us are right you are trying to say? both Israel and the arabs are doing wrong?

    In conclusion, where did i go wrong in my facts you did not answer me all you are talking about is what i adressed to you….tell me….where did i go wrong take the objective point of view….

    Don`t take it personally it so happens that we are having this conversation and you are the person who is representing Israel and i am the person representing Lebanon and Hezbollah….

    So tell me from all this debate, who are the people who have lost the most?

    Who are the people who are paying the highest price?

    Who are the people who are being opressed and violated on a daily basis whenever israel feels like it….befor this incident…..

    Who are the people who are trying to build some kind of a sovereignty against a monster?

    Who came and established a state in the middle of a state?

    Who invaded Lebanon ?

    Who has thousands of Mossad in the Lebanese lands?

    Who is losing? who is winning?

    Answer these questions please and stop taking it personally like a crying baby, me accusing you of being a liar.

    yalllaaaaaaaa tell me……i still did not get any reply nor from you nor from Brian…..Am I right or wrong????

    Admit it guys…..

  278. Ramy

    You write “You disregarded the above”.

    In your post citing Wikipedia (2:23 pm) you wrote:

    click on the link below and disregard the politics of the article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chebaa_Farms

    Now for my posts:

    I have not disregarded anything. In my first post regarding your Wikipedia source (2:46 pm) I wrote “I didn’t see any politics at all in it, so I read it all. After all, objectively, you shouldn’t shield my eyes from bits you don’t want me to see”

    In my second post on the subject (3:08 pm) I wrote “Those are taken from your own source, which I suggested should be read in its entirety. I am amazed that you cite a source, and then suggest I should ignore parts of it.”

    Ramy, you are the one saying: “here’s my source but disregard parts of it.”
    I emphatically said in both replies: READ IT ALL!
    You then accuse me of disregarding!

    To any reader: please, just read the whole thing and form your own view

    Brian

  279. I will tell you who is losing, Ramy: EVERYONE-Lebanon, Hezbollah, Israel and the world.
    There are innocent people suffering on both sides of the conflict.
    There are no winners in conflicts like these.
    We might be winning battles, both Israel or Hezbollah, but everyone is losing the war.
    What is happening now as we speak will affect generations to come.
    Again, I hate to bring up the past but let me tell you, I too have reasons to hate.
    In the 1950’s when I was just a child, my parent had a little farm on our small backyard not far from Kalkilya in the West Bank. They raised some cows, and had some chickens.
    The times were when the Fedayeens used to launch attacks on Israelis, indiscriminately.
    I will never forget the morning when we woke up to see the dead cows laying in their blood after the murderers coldbloodedly slaughtered them.
    I don’t need to tell you what effect such sights can have on a young child.
    Did I grow up to hate Arabs or Palestinians? No! And please do not tell me that it is not related to our current discussion or that it happened so long ago that it has no significance (as did An Arab at some point). Moreover, please do not tell me that you find it very hard to believe that such an incident really did happen. If you do, I will terminate any dialogue with you.
    You cannot expect us to sit hear and listen to your constant accusations and should one of us dare bring up issues that pain them, you dismiss them as either difficult to believe, or irrelevant. It is disrespectful. If you want us to respect you, your pain and your point of view, you will just have to respond in kind. And that, I believe is not asking too much.
    Kind regards
    Batzi

  280. Ramy, I know it is an emotional issue, but calm down please. You’re beginning to sound like a lunatic rather than a debating rational human being. And refrain from insults. That might help in getting your argument across much quicker.

  281. Mahmood, for some reason my last post is hanging out in moderation. I have a feeling that it is because it exceeded some sort of link quota, and if so can you let it out?
    thanks :-)

  282. Sunrunner,
    I have just seen your post. It was posted at: 3.37 p.m
    We, Jews, like anyone else, are not perfect. But Iguess that as long as there are others like Schachar, Jonathan, your humble servant and others who are willing to admit to that, we can be forgiven :-)
    Take care
    Batzi

  283. Mahmood,

    Forget it…it seems that it is getting too much… I dont know where i am insulting….

    And i still havent got a proper response to my questions…..please copy my questions and answer them one by one.

    That`s it!

    answer my questions one by one…..and i will be satisfied…..

    And Batzi,

    I don`t know what to tell you— but u r really taking it way too personal calm down and answer my questions…..

    Thnks

  284. My comment from July 20th 9:59pm :

    Dear Ramy

    Anyone with humanity is distressed at any needless death and so it is utterly distressed at what is happening in Lebanon. But it is a very complicated situation. Israel feels that it must destroy Hezbollah because Hezbollah is an organisation devoted to only one objective: destroying Israel.

    Hezbollah has set itself up as a state within a state, controlling South Lebanon and using it as a base from which to bombard Israel. Israeli bombing is closely targeted at Hezbollah, but Hezbollah is installing itself within civilian areas, in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is commonly believed that it does this precisely to achieve newsworthy civilian casualties.

    =====

    So I repeat, I abhor civilian casualties. Where are the Hezbollah soldiers you ask? In complete control of Southern Lebanon, in defiance of UN resolution 1559. If they were not there, there would be no war and there would be none of the casualties depicted in the state-controlled news broadcast.

  285. Ramy,
    I have run out of answers for you. If you want my answers, please feel free to scroll up and down this post. I am confident that you will find them.
    Finally, as one human being to another, as a Jew to an Arab and as
    an Israeli to a Lebanese I can only tell you that I feel your pain. All that is left for us to do at this stage is hope for the best and wish that none of us knows pain and sorrow ever again.
    inshallah
    Batzi

  286. Batzi,

    That was precisely my point. None of us are perfect or without ‘sin’ — as individuals or as cultures.

    I think that after watching this, I have come to realize how futile it is to depabte.

    It is sort of like in a marriage. Both parties can argue and point their finger, and depending on how each defines the terms and premises with which each structures their side of the debate, each has a valid argument. But it is only that — an argument. On the other hand, when a marrigage works it is because each party has learned (often through great pain and effort) to focus on improving themselves, while exercising patience and understanding for their partner, even (esp) when s/eh is at their most maddening.

    AS time goes by, I think more and more that we must as humans, take these lessons we learn from living in our own families and apply them to the world. Extremely hard at first — but as time goes by, behaviors and atttitudes change, as I have seen in my lifetime on the part of men, who when I was a child regarded women as either chattle or pleasant “children” to indulge. Not any more!

    (btw – I am a “she!”)

    Sunrunner

  287. Ramy: “I am sure you don`t receive this news,this is the lebanese news…..where are the hezbollah soldiers? Tell me?”

    I imagine they are the people who live next door, dressed in civilian clothes, so that they mix in with the civilian population and can use these poor dead children as human shields.

    Does the Lebanese news also show the stockpiles of Katyushas stored in the basements next to such wrecked homes? Does that ever happen?

    Shouldn’t your anger be properly directed at the Hezbollah who fire their missiles at Israeli civilians over the shoulders of Lebanese civilians?

    Steve

  288. Sunrunner: “Extremely hard at first — but as time goes by, behaviors and atttitudes change, as I have seen in my lifetime on the part of men, who when I was a child regarded women as either chattle or pleasant “children” to indulge. Not any more!”

    Have you also seen women give up chasing rich men so they can enjoy a free ride through life? Or women who take responsibility for their own lives instead of blaming the men in their lives for their problems? Or women who chase bad boys and when they get burned blame all men? Tell me, Sunrunner, when was the last time you heard a divorced woman admit it was her fault?

    Something you might consider, Sunrunner, is that many women are children, and not especially pleasant ones, either. Many women demand to be indulged no matter how unreasonable they are. While most men have given up thinking of women as possessions there are many women who see men as sugar daddies.

    So, while we still love ya women, we men are waiting up ahead, holding your purse, waiting for you to catch up.

    Steve

  289. Dear Sunrunner,
    Thanks for introducing objectivity on issues that are so emotional for some of us.
    I persoally feel that we have exhausted all of our arguments on this topic.
    Again, I will conclude with hopes for increased understanding through education( I am a teacher, a university lecturer and a firm believer in the value of education as bringing out the best of us, for we all, I believe have some good in us!) which will eventually
    lead to peace.
    And lest we forget, I wish Mahmood a fast recovery from his back pain so that we can continue to visit his den for more ” intelligent… informative… and fun!” experiences :-)
    Talk soon and good night to all of you out there.
    Batzi

  290. Batzi: “I will never forget the morning when we woke up to see the dead cows laying in their blood after the murderers coldbloodedly slaughtered them.”

    The Commanches used to do the same thing to the cattle of Texas settlers back in the middle 1800s. The Commanches probably have a lot in common with Hezbollah. Feral hate.

    Steve

  291. Steve

    You’re gonna find you get less of those hugs and kisses you yearn for if you start saying things like that!

    With a warm manly handshake

    Brian

  292. Steve

    In my last post I was referring of course to your comment of 10:42 pm, about the fairer sex

    Brian

  293. Sunrunner: “However, all of this is a distraction from my original point, which is that todays conditions in the Middle East are largely (though not only) a thousand year history of Christian “crimes against humanity” in the form of religious bigotry, oppression, conquest & etc.”

    What pure nonsense. Up until the high tide of Islam at Battle of Vienna in 1683, Muslims had been whittling away Christendom for a thousand years, conquering two thirds of it in total. During that time, the Middle East got rich off Europe by its monopoly on the spice trade which could only run through Muslim lands. The history of the Middle East has been one of constant violence back to the beginning of recorded history in 4004 BC and continues to this day. The Middle East hardly needs help with religious bigotry, oppression, nor conquest. While the modern history of colonialism is not a particularly splendid chapter in European history, you might also consider how squalid life might be in the Middle East had the West not discovered oil there. Take away oil revenues, and the whole of the Middle East has an economic equivalent to Portugal.

    Your idea that the Europeans killed off all the North American Indians is likewise a big steaming pile of lefty crap. For example, your idea that the Spanish killed off the Aztecs is nonsense. About 80% of the Aztec population died off. Close to 97% of that was due to disease, mostly smallpox. The remainder were killed in war in which the Spaniards were far outnumbered by their Indian allies, who fought to be free of the Aztec empire and its demands for tribute and human sacrifices. The Indian subjects didn’t much care to see their daughters flayed alive and their skins worn by Aztec priests in their religious ceremonies. I might point out that war was a natural condition of these Indians, who would normally suffer a percent or two dead every year in combat.

    Steve

  294. Brian: “In my last post I was referring of course to your comment of 10:42 pm, about the fairer sex.”

    Brian, I note that you didn’t disagree with my criticism, but rather said there was no profit in making it. However, I’m sure that all the fine women on this forum don’t fit in any of those sad categories I listed of dysfunctional women.

    Steve

  295. Steve,

    Please check where the Hezbollah are fighting from…..They are in the fields far away from the civilians but Israel is used to hurt them, so they hit their families and relatives. But this only makes more hate.

    And if they are fighting from these grounds, how come they haven`t annonced but a few deaths from their men?

    Another thing, I tell you man these people are proud to die for this cause… they would be proud to announce that they are dead for this cause.

    And one more thing, Thanks Batzi,

    May peace be upon you and us….still did not get the answers but i like what you said, it`s enough.

  296. Ramy,
    You put it well.
    That is exactly the difference between Israel and Hezbollah.

    These people are proud to die.

    We are proud to build, to create, to invent.

    These people are proud to terrorize people, to bring horrors and despair where ever they set their foot on.

    We are proud to plant, to sing, to write.

    They cheer for their dead.

    We cry for each lost Soule.

    I pray that one day the majority of good, quite, peaceful Moslems all over will raise their voice and vomit those fanatics out.

  297. abac,

    but who is killing the civilians? who is making enough massacres to cover up for the holocaust because they have the international back up ?

    I wonder who….Yeah maybe as a people youi are cheering and dancing, but as a people we too are cheering and dancing but there are some commitments that have to be achieved as Israel is Sovereign, Lebanon has to be and it seems we cannot do it except by force…So Hezbollah is doing that, thanks god.

    ramy

  298. Abac,

    One more thing, they cheer for their dead because they are martyrs of a noble cause…. not because they are dead.because they died while defending the country. we do cry for each lost soul, you are also proud of the mass-destruction you create and ashamed of the deaths and the minor destruction that Hezbollah is causing and that is demonstrated by the media monitoring,…..and not allowing the media to cover what is happening in North Israel…..

    Take care .

  299. Ramy,
    As an Israeli I can tell you that we are not cheering (there are the odd lunatics or morons who would) witnessing the death and destruction taking place in Lebanon just as we are not happy to see death among us or anyone else.
    The sanctity of life is a very important value in Judaism and if given the choice, I am confident we would rather not do what the world witnesses us doing for the sake of protectig our people.
    You have talked a lot about “dying for a noble cause,” on this blog, I hope the day comes when I hear you talking about noble causes to live for.
    Best wishes
    Your friend in pain
    Batzi

  300. Ramy,
    Every time there is a suicide bomber in Israel, people in Arab cities gives candy to the crowed.

    You won’t see people dancing or celebrating in Israel when a bomb hit Beirut or Gaza.

    When a rocket hit Nazareth in israel and killed 2 small Arab children, their father said that they are shahids. That he prepare to scarify all his children for the cause.

    You will never find a Jewish mother or father that express nothing but sorrow for their lost children.
    That would rather give their live instead.

    Mother all over the Islamic world calls their baby on the name of Nasralla.
    Why?
    For returning the Arab honor?
    All Nasralla did is to bring grief, ruin and despair for the Lebanese people.
    Did you hear about a Jewish mother call her baby after a general?

    My dear friend
    Honor is like love.
    You can’t force someone to love you. If you give love you shell receive twice as much.
    And if you honor you’re neighbors you will be considered by them as an honorable partner.

    Sadat was a bitter enemy, but when he decided to go on the road for peace, and kept his word, he succeeded for the entire honor he could get from the Israelis people and leaders +
    ** all what his big army could not succeed to do in 30 years of war.****
    The same goes for great king Husain who was truly beloved by us.

    You keep ignoring the fact that Israel withdrew from Lebanon to the international border by the inch.
    A border that was recognizes by the entire world!!!
    if someone dont agree, come and talk don’t shoot!

    That Hezbollah attack our soldier on Israel land without any provocation!

    That Hezbollah is raping Lebanon for the interests of Iran.

    What Hezbollah did for Lebanon other then bring for her destruction?

    Who will repair the damages? Hezbollah? Iran? Syria?
    All they do is to spend money on more wepones.

    I pray for flowering beautiful Lebanon.
    An independence Lebanon free from others evil fanatic counties like Iran and Syria.
    A peaceful border and true friendship between our peoples.

    Best wishes
    Your friend in pain
    Avi

  301. ‘Mother all over the Islamic world calls their baby on the name of Nasralla.
    Why?’

    Please don`t generalise….this is not a rule….

    ‘For returning the Arab honor?’

    Yes for returning the lost Lebanese honor, raped land and this is a big issue….the thing is that you came to this land and you don`t know how your neighbours think and what are their cultures and traditions….Honor is the most important thing…and if you kill someone even if by mistake, the relative has to take the revenge from that person and unfortunately, there is a revenge thing between Lebanon and Israel and between Palestine and Israel.

    ‘All Nasralla did is to bring grief, ruin and despair for the Lebanese people.
    Did you hear about a Jewish mother call her baby after a general?’

    My friend, Nasrallah is a consequence caused by the Israeli existance in our land (Shebaa) and is a consequence of the Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. and previously a consequence of the Israeli occupation. So remove the cause, the consequences will disappear.

    ‘My dear friend
    Honor is like love.
    You can’t force someone to love you. If you give love you shell receive twice as much’

    My dear friend, Did Israel show any love to Lebanon? so that Lebanon loves it back ??

    ‘And if you honor you’re neighbors you will be considered by them as an honorable partner’

    I don`t think we should start the honoring, Israel came and it a was a brutal existence if you are not with us you are dead….right? why should we honor?

    ‘Sadat was a bitter enemy, but when he decided to go on the road for peace, and kept his word, he succeeded for the entire honor he could get from the Israelis people and leaders +’
    ** all what his big army could not succeed to do in 30 years of war.****
    The same goes for great king Husain who was truly beloved by us.

    I agree with you peace can achieve a lot more than war… but war went way too much with Israel, this is not about the 2 soldiers anymore…this is a general war over lebanon.

    ‘You keep ignoring the fact that Israel withdrew from Lebanon to the international border by the inch’

    No there is still Shebaa farms…you can check in Wikipedia.
    And what about the prisoners?

    “That Hezbollah attack our soldier on Israel land without any provocation!”

    I say the provocation is to negotiate freeing Shebaa and freeing the prisoners which are in Israeli prisons for 27 years without a reason.

    ‘That Hezbollah is raping Lebanon for the interests of Iran’

    Maybe yes maybe no we cannot assume. This is all media propaganda….if supporting a national resistance force is an interest of Iran than explain it to me. I guess than Israel is raping Lebanon for US interests as well, because i believe 3 days ago, a huge arms deal was done between Israel and US…..remember?

    ‘What Hezbollah did for Lebanon other then bring for her destruction?’

    Hezbollah? My friend…..open your eyes….Israel airforce, IDF, the Sea force…the illegal bombs the illegal killing of civilians…..what are you talking about …..All this is because Hezbollah Kidnapped 2 soldiers and they are fine and in good health and all we want to do is negotiate the land and the hostages which are there illegally for 27 years….why? total destruction of Lebanon is it worth all that?

    “I pray for flowering beautiful Lebanon. An independence Lebanon free from others evil fanatic counties like Iran and Syria.”
    “A peaceful border and true friendship between our peoples.

    Same here my friend, but there are some points we have to solve first.

    Ramy

  302. Dear Batzi and Avi,
    I was really touched by your humanity and kind words for Ramy and his fellow Arabs. I have yet to see them expressing sympathy for the plight of some Israelis.
    As I am learning more and more about the mideast conflict, I realize that Israel is indeed in constant danger from its enemies. Like many others, I was strongly influenced by world media which was my primary source for learning about the conflict. The ongoing debate on this site has educated me and allowed me to see a different facet to this conflict.
    As much as it hurts me (who would not hurt!) to see children and other innocent civilians getting hurt in the course of this war which was imposed on Israel, I must admit that I finally understand the plight that the Israeli people has been facing since the inception of their country.
    Please know Avi and Batzi that your country is not alone in its struggle for peace as aren’t the Lebanese.
    I only hope the day will come when we can discuss an everlasting peace for the region and instead of world opinion being divided about your region that it is united for your region and the future of its peoples.
    Josephine

  303. Dear Josephine,
    Thanks for all of your support.

    “I only hope the day will come when we can discuss an everlasting peace for the region and instead of world opinion being divided about your region that it is united for your region and the future of its peoples,” to which I can only say: AMEN!!!

    Kindest regards
    Batzi

  304. Ramy;

    All this is because Hezbollah Kidnapped 2 soldiers and they are fine and in good health

    And you know this how …?

  305. Wow. I leave for a couple of days and THIS is what happens to the thread? Tangential flame wars and irrelevant discussions! Tsk tsk.

    Ramos Washington,

    They then occupied the living hell out of Germany and Japan and took away from them substantial pieces of territoty. Why aren’t Germans and Japanese strapping on suicide belts?

    Your analogy of the US invasion of Japan and the Zionist invasion of Palestine is faulty. The US invaded Japan (after the nukes) out of self-defence. The Zionists invaded Palestine to settle. That is a momumental difference. To the extent that the Japanese do not resist the Americans and blow them up today is because the Americans are no occupying their land illegitimately. The Zionists are currently occupying illegitimately. Hence, your difference.

    You call upon history for justification, yet insist Palestinians be an historical anomaly.

    I am not calling so much for justification, as much as I am for acknowledgement. Please see my posts above. My position is that the very first step – and I really mean the very first one – must start with acknowledgement of Israeli Crimes 1, 2 and 3.

    Shortly before the establishment of the state of Israel, Poland and Czechoslovakia expelled 10 million citizens of German descent into what became Communist East Germany. Why aren’t they and their descendants clamoring for a “right of return”?

    Probably for the same reason that Americans of Palestinian decent are not demanding the “right of return” to their ancestral homelands of 50 years ago, even though the Zionists have established one that allows the “right of return” for Jews whose ancestors last saw Jerusalem when the Romans were there. Ahh the irony. Either way, the right of return is for the Palestinian refugees. Not Palestinian-Americans, or Germans who were then made Soviet subjects. So again, your parallel is flawed.

    My own country is full of people whose ancestors lost everything. It grew from its original thirteen colonies by warfare and purchase from other aggressive occupying powers. Can you claim any better for your own or any other Arab country?

    No I cannot Mr Ramos. But here is the stark difference:

    You acknowledge the crimes of your country.
    Your country ammended its constitution several times before it got it right.
    You stand by those ammendmends.
    The mainstream today acknowledge’s America’s past grevious crimes.
    Your countrymen are determined on how never to repeat them.

    And the Israelis? They do no such thing. They have been right since day 1.

    THAT, Mr Ramos, is the stark difference between the two. They are lightyears apart.

    —————————————————

    Anyway, since Shachar hasnt replied to the answers I gave him, I wanted to make one final point about an issue that I have pushed, and that so far seems to be mis-understood.

    Acknowledgement:

    Contrary to what others are saying, acknowledgement doesnt have anything to do with the past. It has everything to do with the future.

    Why?

    Because through acknowledgement, ladies and gentlemen, is how we as human beings can improve our life on Earth.

    It is through acknowledgement, that we can say: “This was wrong.”
    It is through acknowledgement, that we can say: “This was a black stain on human history.”
    It is through acknowledgement, that we can say: “Let justice be served.”

    And if the winds of time have stolen the ability of Justice to do her job, then it is through acknowledgement that we can then say:
    “Let this never happen again.”, and damn those who might try.

    That, people, is the root of my push, for Israel to acknowledge, crimes 1, 2 and 3 as I have outlined above.

    Acknowledgement is not for justice that was stolen from my grandparents.
    Acknowledgement is so that justice never does get stolen from my grand-children.

    -Ibn

  306. dear Ramy,

    ‘But war went way too much with Israel, this is not about the 2 soldiers anymore…this is a general war over Lebanon.’

    I remind you that one million of our citizens are living in shelter for more then
    2 weeks.
    More then 2500 rockets has been fired on our civilians.

    If you say Lebanon suffered from more bombs, I agree.
    War is never about being fair.
    War is always cruel and its aim to get victory on the other side in any cost!

    There never was a fair war and will never be!
    You can always know how you start a war, but you never know where it will get you.
    World War 1 started after one man was assassin, and ended with 25 millions dead people!

    Just imagine a child swearing or spitting on the big boy in the neighborhood.
    What do you think will happen?

    The big boy will probably beat the small child so good, that he will never dream on doing that again.

    And what should the small child do?
    Think about hate and revenge forever?
    What will he achieve doing so?

    There are plenty of examples of land that was taken by other country.
    The difference is in what the other country does.

    For example: apart of north Syria is held by the Turkish.
    Moldova a former Romanians land is held by Russia.
    Few days before the end of World War 2 Russia declared war on Japan and capture 2 islands.

    Now imagine how would the economy and the life of Japanese people look like if Japan decided to fight Russia for 50 years?

    Not a single rocket was fired on an American house by the germens.
    Now there are 250000 Americans soldiers in Germany 60 years later!

    This is the story of history since ever…

    There are times when a man or a nation must decide to cut lost and move on.
    To think about the future, or stick to his principles and live like a looser.

    so let’s cut our lost and move on together for a better future. (-:

    Yours sincerely
    Avi

  307. Yesterday (jndirectly because of reading this blog) I watched an interview with Brigitte Gabriel – it’s at the bottom left of the page http://www.americancongressfortruth.com

    Brigette appears to think that Israeli cultur eand values are superior to palestinian culture and values. (Apologies if i misunderstood her.)

    What are the differences between israeli and palestian culture and values?
    Is one better than the other?

    David

  308. Ibn,

    To the extent that the Japanese do not resist the Americans and blow them up today is because the Americans are no occupying their land illegitimately. The Zionists are currently occupying illegitimately. Hence, your difference.

    The Chinese are occupying Tibet illegitimately too. They did far worse things to the Tibetans than the Israelis did to the Palestinians – and they are also bringing in settlers. So why aren’t the Tibetans strapping on bombs?

  309. Shachar,

    Apologies for having missed your reply-post.

    …Buying land is not a valid option. Drying up marsh land is not a valid option. Even the urbnization processes that moved a lot of Arabs from villages to cities are not a valid option.

    *sigh*.

    It is a pity that after all I have said – even me having said explicitly, that “I have no problem with Jews buying land”, here you are, a week later, saying that I think that “buying land was not a valid option”.

    What do you want me to tell you? To go re-read my post? Specifically, post: (Ibn – July 17th, 2006 at 9:01 am, point 1)

    Let me say, AGAIN:

    *I-have-NO-problem-with-Jews-buying-land. *

    Clear?

    What I have-a-problem with, Mr Shachar, is the entire concept of “Jewish Sovreignty”. In my post (Ibn-July 17th, 2006 at 9:01 am), I devoted an entire half explaining how ownership of land cannot and should not translate to sovreignty of land. Again, please re-read that. I dont type to excercise my fingers. I type to make points.

    You are correct on this point however:

    you are stating that the mere thought of a Jewish state is morally wrong.

    Yes. The concept is exclusivist, and racist. And I re-itterate my question to you about it:

    How do you found a Jewish state when the majority of the population is non-Jewish?

    If you cant, I rest my case. Israel was founded in spite of non-Jews who were already occupied.
    If you can, please contact your leader in the Knesset tomorrow and ask him why those Palestinian refugees are still outside the ’48 border, and not inside Israel proper.

    By the way, I have said all this before. If you would like to discuss this as much as I do, please make an effort to answer questions I pose to you.

    This is precisely the reason why I stated previously that your logic is based on your hatred, rather than (as you claim) the other way around.

    The position is not based on hatred. Rather, the hatred is based on the position.

    You keep accusing me of random hatred, even when I made the argument against this in: Ibn-July 20th, 2006 at 8:01 pm. You didnt address this argument either.

    In 1918, Haim Weizmann talked to the Emir Faisal, and they reached an agreement how an Arabic state, which was meant to cover most of today’s middle east (by promise of the British) and a Jewish state are not mutually exclusive.

    Thats a strawman. I didnt claim that a Jewish and Arab state are mutually exclusive. I claimed that a Jewish state and freedom and democracy for all are mutually exclusive. I claimed that a Jewish state must, by virtue of being “Jewish”, involve the voluntary or non-voluntary removal of non-Jews. (Unless you want to found Israel on Mars). Should the non-Jews chose not to leave, you are left with forcibly removing them. Because thats the only way you can create a “Jewish State”.

    Here’s a simple analogy:

    You have a great-big bowl of apples, and a little number of oranges. You tell me, I hope one day that this bowl is going to be filled with oranges, and little number of apples instead. If I ask you, how are you going to do this, maybe you say: “I will remove the apples”. The question then becomes, “by what right?”. Or you may say: “I will add more and more oranges.” The question again becomes, “By what right”?

    The first question pertains to what right does one have to kick out non-Jews from their homes?
    The second questions pertains to what right do you have to partake in immigration policies of a land set by its occupiers?

    Of all the “crimes” you accuse Israel, the only one I’ll actually acknowledge as a crime is #2. Delibiratly killing civilians is unjustifiable, and uprouting people from their homes is something that should be avoided. It is a shame that the IDF did both during the war of 1948, and it is a shame that the Arabs did both before that

    I have alot of respect for you, now that you have acknowledged Israeli Crime # 2. Like I said before, peace first comes through acknowledgement, and you have taken the first and brave step.

    The Palestinians never, once, took said offer.

    I owe no allegience to the Palestinian government. You however, owe full allegience to the Israeli government. To the extend that the Palestinians did not take said “good” offers, is a tactical decision. We are not after tactical peace. We are getting to the root of the problem, and talking about a real, moral peace.

    As you can gather, I think the Palestinians are every bit to be blamed for “Crime 3″ as Israel.

    I beg to differ. The first affront to the Palestinians by the Zionist-Jews was Crime # 1, which I have talked about. That came first. The Palestinian actions thereafter have been a reaction to that, and reactions to your reactions, and so forth. But the original affront, was Crime # 1. And this is what we are currently discussing. You refuse to acknowledge it was a crime to begin with, meaning you would probably do it ALL over again if you had the half the chance.

    Which leaves us with one simple fact. The water are too muddled to determine “guilt” or “legitimacy”.

    No its not. Acknowledge Crime Number 1.

    The point is, they were done, and there really is nothing that can be done about it. If you want to prevent the NEXT crime, however, what can you offer as a way to move forward?

    I agree. Lets move forward. The first step to that is to acknowledge obvious wrongs, so that we make a point to say that this must never happen again. Acknowledge Crime number 1.

    What do you have to offer?

    Ill tell you what I have to offer Mr Shachar: Israel, through your Knesset or, through its citizenry, must overwhelmingly accept the following:


    1) The state of Israel recognises that Zionism is a racist and exclusivist ideology.
    2) The state of Israel recognises that the methodology of its foundation, due to Zionism, was immoral, and wrong.
    3) Thus, the state of Israel will hereby acknowledge Crime Number 1.
    4) The state of Israel will hereby acknowledge Crime Number 2.
    5) The state of Israel will give Palestinian refugees and their decendants of the ’48 war, the option of returning into Israel proper, with full citizenship.
    6) The state of Israel hereby disavows Zionism.
    7) The state of Israel will hereby replace the star of david of its flag with a baklava…

    …Ok, maybe not number 7.

    So let me tell you Mr Shachar, if Israel adopts those points tomorrow, then I garuantee you, I will be on the next flight to Tel-Aviv, to go and personally kiss the feet of every Knesset member in Israel. Israel will cease to become Zionist, and will be open to all mankind. We can focus on art, music, parties, and life, instead of who is and is not a Jew.

    If this were to happen tomorrow Mr Shachar, anyone who fights against it will be a genuine sadist.

    I will support Israel 110% with everything that I can if this were to happen, Mr Shachar.

    I hope to see you in Tel-Aviv.

    -Ibn

  310. The Chinese are occupying Tibet illegitimately too. They did far worse things to the Tibetans than the Israelis did to the Palestinians – and they are also bringing in settlers. So why aren’t the Tibetans strapping on bombs?

    Tibetan Buddhism does not mandate that nonbelievers who impugn the honor of believers be slaughtered “wherever you find them”.

  311. Hi Ibn,
    Is this part of your “Logic Revolution” idea, the one you crystalized so well on the blog entitled “If they are not with us?”
    Batzi

  312. Batzi,

    Is this part of your “Logic Revolution” idea, the one you crystalized so well on the blog entitled “If they are not with us?”

    Thats one part of it Batzi. Sure is. Care to make logical counter points? Or would you rather remain in your status quo supporting the racist and exclusivist ideology, Zionism, which your country so eloquently practices?

    I will never be Zionist. But will you ever be logical?
    My door is open.

    -Ibn

  313. My very dear Ibn,
    I hope you have better luck with bringing Shachar to admit that he is opposed to Zionism than you have had with me. You promise him that you will “go and personally kiss the feet of every Knesset member in Israel.” You also promise that you will “support Israel 110%.”
    All of these Ibn, I am afraid are not enough compared to what you expect (in a very patronizing and unrealistic manner, I might add) Israel to give in return which is:
    “1) The state of Israel recognises that Zionism is a racist and exclusivist ideology.
    2) The state of Israel recognises that the methodology of its foundation, due to Zionism, was immoral, and wrong.
    3) Thus, the state of Israel will hereby acknowledge Crime Number 1.
    4) The state of Israel will hereby acknowledge Crime Number 2.
    5) The state of Israel will give Palestinian refugees and their decendants of the ‘48 war, the option of returning into Israel proper, with full citizenship.
    6) The state of Israel hereby disavows Zionism.
    7) The state of Israel will hereby replace the star of david of its flag with a baklava…

    …Ok, maybe not number 7. ”
    I find it hard to believe that you are the same guy who when he preached for the Logical Revolution had this to say:
    “It is quite a funny irony, that it is the religious Imam, who is actually indirectly HINDERING our ability to fight Israel and other hegemonies properly.”

    If Shachar does accept your host of requirments in order for you to recognize Israel, will you bring along with you a whole entourage of religious imams and fundumental muslims to “personally kiss the feet of every Knesset member in Israel… and support Israel 110%?” How many do you actually represent? I hope you do not expect me or anyone else to deny the very basis for our existence as a state merely to be able to see (with all due respect to you…) your smiling face in Tel-Aviv? It is almost like asking a Christian to deny Christ in return for what?

    Batzi

  314. Abac,

    `I remind you that one million of our citizens are living in shelter for more then2 weeks. More then 2500 rockets has been fired on our civilians.`

    My friend i remind you that 2,5 million lebanese are out of their land and all lebanon is under complete siege….within 2 hours 40 tonnes of bombs were dropped over lebanon.

    ‘Just imagine a child swearing or spitting on the big boy in the neighborhood.’ The big boy will probably beat the small child so good, that he will never dream on doing that again.”

    well i think that this is the problem of israel….you think you are the big boys….you don`t want anyone to adress you….imagine all the boys in the neighborhood are suffering from this ‘Bully’who thinks he is very tough and whoever passses through he kills him….and this is what israel has been doing since 1948…. my friend, the time has come for someone to stand up against him and this what Hizbollah is doing, there must be someone who will stand up against this and they get accused of being terrorists….I am proud that Hizbollah are Lebanese fighters who have stood up against the Israelis cry unlike the other arabs who surrendered….

    you say: ‘There are plenty of examples of land that was taken by other country.

    My friend, your inspiration was one of loss and despair, my inspiration is one of victory and pride…so check the Salah el din Al Ayoubi story, his land was liberated after 400 years of occupation and this is what will happen,

    right will win over wrong…..and the history will prove so…..these videos and photos are real and they are proof of the brutality of the Israelis against the arabs, lebanon, palestine….

    Hezbollah have proved very succesful in the fight and are up to Israel…..so the bully is going down

    “Victory is coming, coming, coming” Hasan Nasrallah

    Ramy

  315. Ibn

    For you, a Jewish state is racist. What about a Muslim state – is that racist?

    For example, where it is a crime to preach Christinity?

    Is it racist that non-Muslims are not allowed in Mecca?

    I noticed you coming on hard (no reference to your earlier, rather illogical, references to male sexuality) at Shachar for not answering your question(s).

    Why did you not answer mine of July 22nd 12:22 am?

    Ibn

    For you the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was an act of war – the idea that there should be one country in the entire world that might welcome Jews – Jews who would buy their land, cultivate the land, cultivate the desert. Just in case there might be more pogroms or worse (fairly prophetic, don’t you think?)

    Hypothetically, if a resident of Palestine hated Jews so much that he could not bear to have them in the same country, why couldn’t he just sell up and move to another part of the more than one million square miles that the British had liberated from the Ottoman empire for Muslim sovreignity?

    By the way, Arabs have bought up much of Central London. Is this an act of war? or would it only be an act of war if my local member of parliament was an Arab?

    Brian

  316. ultimately – this will all end in peace. either the peace of annihilation or the
    peace of a meeting room of people quietly drinking coffee and sorting things out.

    surely it makes sense to identify the things we all as humans have in common
    – that we are one group not separate groups; that life is short

    racism is about thinking your culture and values are superior to some other group – do some israelis believe this – do some palestinians believe this?

    david

  317. Hi David

    Zionism is generally regarded as starting with Herzl, who initially believed that the solution of the ‘Jewish problem’ (i.e anti-semitism, pogroms) was for Jews to assimilate and disappear, but then, strongly influenced by the rabid anti-semitism brought out in France by the Dreyfus affair, changed his mind and decided that Jews should have a land of their own.

    The area of Israel is 8367 square miles. The area of Saudi is 756,982 square miles. The area of Iran is 636,292 square miles.

    It is laughable that the same people who equate Zionism with racism see no problems with Muslim states, or seek a Caliphate – a huge state governed by Muslim law – and regard the idea of a Jewish state as a ‘cancer’, or (to quote Ibn) an act of war.

    Regarding culture and values, everyone chooses their own values. Does that make them racist, just because other groups have different values?

  318. Ramy,

    If you can wait 400 years to victory’ it’s o.k. by me.

    It is well known you’ve got so many victories even more then the French army in the 20th century ….
    War after war after war…

    That explains why most of the people in the Arab world live in poverty in spite of the oil.
    Why Arabs from all over Sudan, Egypt, and Jordan cross the Israeli border looking for work
    That over 1000 Arab children comes every YEAR to Israel.
    From Iraq to Sudan, Mauritania to Jordan for special surgical treatment free of charge because there so many Hisbulla doctors to help them.
    That all the gulf state drink purified water made by Israelis companies.

    You just keep winning and earn more and more honor.

    And we just keep doing some less honorable things then Jihad like invent, build and sell small insignificant companies like MERCURY, ISCAR, TEVA, ELBIT and more.…

    Good luck and happy winnings

    Avi

  319. “That all the gulf state drink purified water made by Israelis companies.”

    You’re saying that Israelis are “making water” and we in
    the Gulf are drinking it?.

    But seriously, which brands of water are bottled by Israelis
    and consumed in the Gulf. I’m curious.

    Scott

  320. Mahmood,
    “OUCH! ”
    Sorry but Ramy had it coming!
    Avi has gone out of his way to offer support, sympathy and hope for Ramy and the Palestinians.
    In return, Ramy just kept hammering :revenge, revenge and some more revenge.
    It is his choice, he can continue to bathe in a sombre mood and bask in his “One thousand and one nights” fantasy of Sheik Nassrallah fighting his wars. Or, he can move on and immerse himself in the efforts to progress and contribute not only to his people but to humanity as a whole!
    Batzi

  321. Brian,

    Why did you not answer mine of July 22nd 12:22 am?

    Because it has already been answered, Brian. Maybe you came in late to the discussion, but the answer is here: Ibn: July 17th, 2006 at 9:01 am. Read point number 3. :)

    ——————————–

    Batzi,

    How many do you actually represent?

    I represent Me, Myself and I.

    If Shachar does accept your host of requirments in order for you to recognize Israel, will you bring along with you a whole entourage of religious imams and fundumental muslims to “personally kiss the feet of every Knesset member in Israel… and support Israel 110%?”

    Ahh, I see! …So you dont really care about what is right and wrong – you only want to admit wrongdoing if it benefits you somehow – like by having hordes of imams come by! Haha! Wow! Such a moral person you are! hahaha..

    Interesting…very interesting… I will only speak out against murder and crime, but only if it benefits me to do so, and I get some benefit out of it. Wow Batzi, you must be a philosophy professor – maybe you can write a book about your new definition of morality.

    I didnt ask for land. I didnt ask for money. I didnt ask for concessions. I only asked you to acknowledge Crime 1, 2 and 3. Or maybe even just one of them – like number 2 which is probably the easiest. I tell you that if you do, it would be a breakthrough – and that I, personally, would be so happy I will give you a backrub to prove it. Even today, many Arabs can bring themselves to make “peace” with you without you admitting anything, and then you some in here telling me, (paraphrased) “Why should I admit that Israeli murders and kicking out of non-Jews in 48 were a crime and wrong, since I will get no benefit out of it.” Wow!

    Batzi cannot just simply, admit that murder is wrong, unless there is some benefit to doing so.

    hehehe…well, ok. What more can one say. Either you are a lawyer, or a Zionist. :)

    -Ibn

  322. Scott,

    I meant that the gulf states using Israeli technology for purifying sea water.
    Israel has some of the top companies who develop this technology. More than 100 companies in water technology from compute irrigation to Purifying sea water
    Like BERMAD Company who develops state-of-the-art control valves and related products.
    Even the biggest dam in the world in China is using their products.
    Some say that water will be the oil of the 21st century.
    At last we will have some oil too. (-:

    Avi

  323. Thanks for replying to my question 5 days before I asked it.

    My interpretation of your answer is that if Arabs buy up Central London, that is fine, because there is no sovereignity involved. But if they then voted in an Arab Member of Parliament, thus taking a role in sovereignity, then this is an act of war.

    Have I got you right?

  324. Ibn,
    Just read your comment here.
    You write (paraphrasing me):

    ““Why should I admit that Israeli murders and kicking out of non-Jews in 48 were a crime and wrong, since I will get no benefit out of it.” Wow!

    Ibn, If you read the language of Crime Number 2 on your July 17th post, it says:
    “The Zionist gangs that had merged into the IDF conveniently proved them quite right, in proceeding to massacre some Arab villages as the war drew on, and kicking Palestinian Arabs out of their homes in areas they occupied outside and inside the UN voted lines, because they were of the wrong race.”
    Now it is my turn, Ibn, to tell you that you are misquoting me through paraphrazing.
    You claim in the last paragraph that I just quoted that Arabs were kicked out of their homes ‘because they were of the wrong race.”
    Ibn, I will never deny that Arabs were kicked out of their homes during the 1948 war. I disagree, however, that they were kicked because they were of “the wrong race.” They were kicked because they were the enemy. That of course does not make it right, but that is a by product of wars, I am afraid.
    You were trying to accuse us Zionists of turning the 1948 war, War of Independence, into a racial war. I will acknowledge, Ibn, that Arabs were kicked out of their homes but not for racial reasons. And before you rush to congratulate me, let the record state that I agree that they were kicked out of their homes but not because they were of the wrong race but because they were the enemy. It was a political war not a racial war.
    If you are willing to accept that stipulation and change the language of the crime by eliminating the reference to “race,” then yes, I will admit to that. But as it stands now, I cannot acknowledge it because it is simply not true.
    Batzi
    P.S. I am a lecturer of European Jewish History, not Philosophy :-)

  325. In my posting just now, I was referring to your statement of July 21st, 8:57 pm

    “The declaration of the intention to found a Jewish state in the midst of a majority of non-Jews in already occupied land was an implicit declaration of war. This justifies the violence.”

    I notice you are also very concerned to gain acknowledgement for Crime Number 2.

    Yes, I admit that bad things happened in the 1948 war.

    I admit it.

    But bad things happen on all sides in EVERY war. You yourself admit, in the quote I have made at the start of this posting, that there was continuing violence against the Jews for fifty years before 1948.

    Yes, bad things happen on all sides in EVERY war. And it was the Arab nations – all the surrounding nations – that declared war in a combined attack on Israel in 1948, folllowing on from 50 years of violence towards the Jews beforehand.

    And I guess you would not call that racism.

  326. Brian,

    Thanks for replying to my question 5 days before I asked it.

    Amazing how other people can beat you to the punch eh?

    My interpretation of your answer is that if Arabs buy up Central London, that is fine, because there is no sovereignity involved. But if they then voted in an Arab Member of Parliament, thus taking a role in sovereignity, then this is an act of war.

    Have I got you right?

    Almost.

    There is nothing wrong in Arab voters who are British citizens from voting in an Arab Member (also British citizen) of parliament. Because so far, we are still talking about British subjects, voting in other British subjects.

    But there is something very wrong, if say, Norway occupied Britain, opened the flood gates of Morrocan immigrants into Britain, and then on top of that, the Morrocans decide to declare sovreignty over central London, “as a new national homeland for the Muslim Morrocans.”, where the requirement of this sovreignty is that central London must have “a majority of Muslim Morrocans” from now on.

    That would be the equivalent, in your analogy. Hope that helps.

    – Ibn

  327. Batzi,

    I didn’t see this earlier.

    From my perspective, I think you make an interesting point. I don’t think that a credible case can be made that Israeli Jews — as a group– were any more or any less racist than anyone else of that time. My own personal viewpoint was that it was a an extremely traumatic period in Jewish history, and anyone who knows anything about human nature understand that traumatized people tend to either “react strongly” or “overreact” (depending on your persperspective) in the face of real of percieved danger. Everyone becomes a potential enemy. I know this is an over-simplification, but I think that it might be worthwhile to acknowledge that people are not machines who can just “get over things.” And I think that if there is ever going to be real healing, the world community — particularly the wealthy Gulf states as well as Europe and the US, who owe it to themselves and the Jews and Arabs to begin to really make it a priority to nurture the region back to health.

  328. Batzi,

    I will never deny that Arabs were kicked out of their homes during the 1948 war. I disagree, however, that they were kicked because they were of “the wrong race.” They were kicked because they were the enemy.

    “The enemy!” LOL! haha! wow! Congratulations! You have just accused the entire batch of 1948 non-Jewish Palestinian exiles of being “the enemy”! The grandmothers, the sons, the young girls, the farmers, the shepards, the bakers, the butchers, and teachers, and the village idiots – they are all the enemy! I… I am trying really hard to contain my laughter, and my jubilation. I couldnt have painted a better picture of how Zionism is evil better myself Batzi! Thank you!

    This is too good to be true – I now have proof, that you, as a self-admitted Zionist, think that the entire – I repeat – the entire Palestinian exiled populace were “the enemy”. Nevermind that all the people kicked out were civilians to begin with, they were “the enemy”. Somehow, they threatened the Israeli state.

    But there is a second point to your ludicrous sentence:

    I disagree, however, that they were kicked because they were of “the wrong race.”

    Really? So I would imagine, that if they were Jews, they would also have been kicked out, and have been considered “the enemy”? I challenge you to answer this.

    All those villages, towns, and centers with Palestinian Arab populations who were killed, or lucky enough to be exiled by the young IDF were all, “the enemy”, says our resident Zionist Batzi.

    You are truly showing yourself to be one great saint Batzi – first she will not acknowledge any wrongdoing or even murder, unless there is some benefit to her, and now, she is calling all the Palestinian exiles who are today’s refugees “Enemies of the state of Israel” – simply because they happened to live in Palestine and were non-Jews.

    Unfortunately, this is a racial war.

    You Zionists brought it upon yourselves, the minute you declared your intentions to found a “Jewish state”, on land that was occupied by what you consider “Goyim”, thank you Theodore Herzl.

    You Zionists brought it upon yourselves when you pleaded with the British for the Balfour Declaration, to allow you to set up a “Jewish State”.

    You Zionists brought it upon yourselves when your top leaders made their hopes clear that the non-Jews’ old would die and their young would forget.

    At every turn for a Zionist, it is a question of Jew, Jew, Jew. Everything to you is tinged with racial elements.

    It is you, and your Zionist ilk Batzi, that inserted the racial element into this. No one else. And to the extent that this is to be fought, it is not against the Jews. Never was. It is against the Zionist-Jews.

    -Ibn

  329. Ibn

    The Arab violence that you admit to as dating from the Balfour Declaration of 1916 or 1917, was orchestrated by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni.

    Here, unedited, is the introduction to the Wikipedia article on him:

    Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Mohammad Amin al-Husayni

    Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (ca. 1895 – July 4, 1974, أمين الحسيني, alternatively spelt al-Husseini), the Mufti of Jerusalem, was a Palestinian Pan-Arab nationalist and a Sunni Muslim religious leader. More commonly known for his anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, al-Husayni fought against the establishment of a Jewish state in the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine. To this end, Husayni collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II and helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS.

    =====
    He was the man who was the principal orator to, and motivator of, the Arab population.

    I will let the reader judge whether there was not racism on the Arab side as well.

    Given that al-Husayni was the main man forming the hearts and minds of the Arab population, isn’t Batzi reasonable in characterising them as the enemy? Was their allegiance to al-Husayni, or was it not? And if their allegiance is to a man who “helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS”, then isn’t it understandable if they were seen by the Jews as the enemy?

  330. Ibn

    Mahmood suggested, in the ‘If you’re not with us’ thread, that we engage in a group hug. You seem to have gone into an orgy of sadistic mirth (“I am trying really hard to contain my laughter, and my jubilation”) that discredits your own humanity. I am sorry about that

    Brian

  331. I promised myself I will take a break from this now.
    But I wanted to comment on your post Sunrunner.
    Yes, there will always be the odd nutter who will act in a racist manner. However, generalizations is always something we need to shy away from.
    Jews, Arabs, muslims, blacks or any other religious or ethnic group all suffer from some degree, intentional or unintentional, towards the outsider.
    We the Jews, have had our very own odd ones. We have had Kahana who was banned from the Knesset. We have had Baruch Goldstein who maliciously murdered innocent civilians. Yes,we are not perfect. All I can do is admit their wrong doings, apologize for their conduct and move on.
    Again, thanks for your comments and above all thanks for your understanding.
    Kind regards
    Batzi

  332. Abac,

    see guys this is typical Jew thinking, the material thinking, you think that being poor is wrong?pluys we never die of hunger…this is the important. As long as we have sovereignty, respect and pride, this is all that matters,

    I don`t care about your eloquant ways of talking, the problem is that you haven`t found any way to defend yourselves so you went on attacking our poverty which is mainly caused by your presence and the instability you are causing in the region….and don`compare the arabs to the Lebanese….we proved Israel wrong on may occasions…other than the puppet arabs….

    Mahmood,

    You think this hurt me? i think this reinforced me. There is a material side of life which fades and a spiritual side, dying with pride is better than dying rich and greedy..

    and one more thing it will not take 400 years, it is very close…

  333. Brian,

    Hold up! You have a half cooked egg from your last analogy of central-london. Conveniently forgot about it?

    What is your reply to my post: Ibn, July 27th, 2006 at 10:03 pm
    Specifically, I said:

    But there is something very wrong, if say, Norway occupied Britain, opened the flood gates of Morrocan immigrants into Britain, and then on top of that, the Morrocans decide to declare sovreignty over central London, “as a new national homeland for the Muslim Morrocans.”, where the requirement of this sovreignty is that central London must have “a majority of Muslim Morrocans” from now on.

    What is your position on this? Yea, or Nay? Good or bad? Right or wrong?

    … al-Husayni fought against the establishment of a Jewish state in the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine…

    If he hated Jews from a racial point of view, then yes, that is indeed bad and evil. I abhore racism. However, it says he was also an anti-Zionist. In that regard, he was right. But he was wrong to be a racist, if that is indeed the case.

    Given that al-Husayni was the main man forming the hearts and minds of the Arab population, isn’t Batzi reasonable in characterising them as the enemy?

    Of course she is. That is the entire point – what weird ideology does one have to belong to, in order to think that people who are protesting the intent to found a racist state are an enemy?

    It is like a bank robber, calling the bank teller “a sworn enemy”, because she resists handing him over some money. What twisted ideology does one have to belong to in order to start to think of bank-tellers as enemies?

    -Ibn

  334. Ibn

    I am not writing on this site to influence you. I am quite happy for the answers to your questions to be formed in the minds of readers, based on the evidence they have seen, from you, from me and from others – if indeed they think they are reasonable questions. I am quite happy for the readers to
    form any opinions about you and me and our writings.

    If you think you have ‘won’ then fine. This is a discussion forum where the readers will form their own conclusions.

    Brian

  335. Brian,

    If you think you have ‘won’ then fine. This is a discussion forum where the readers will form their own conclusions.

    …..I…I dont know where you are getting this from, but uhhhh… ok dude.

    -Ibn

  336. Ramy,

    ‘See guys this is typical Jew thinking, the material thinking’

    What can I say more? You reviled your cards!

    Hundreds of thousands of Jews fled with only shirt on their bodies from genocide all over Europe, persecution in Russia, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Syria and more…
    They lived in refugee camps for many years, with poor conditions.

    But there is the difference. It is not about money as an ideal.
    Money is a tool which like any tool can be use for better or for worst.
    Like buying thousands on thousands off rockets, ring a bell?

    Being poor is not wrong unless it leads you to hell in form of ignorance, extreme ideals and denial of human rights.

    Just look around on what is the similarity between the poor people in Sun Paulo,Manila, Memphis, Tucson AZ, Mexico City and Brazil City?

    High poverty rates leads to ignorance, high crime and life without hope.

    A man or a nation who keep blaming others for his condition is a LOOSER!

    On the other hand there are examples like Taiwan, Japan, Ireland and…
    O yes, I keep forgetting to add ISRAEL to that list.

    YOU CAN KEEP ON THE GOOD JOB OF PROVING OTHERS WRONG.

    Avi

  337. Ramy,

    “….see guys this is typical Jew thinking, the material thinking, ”

    Sorry, Ramy but this is a very dangerous generalization- one we all need to be very careful of! It brings to mind the nuance of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a subject, I am, unfortunately, too well familiar with through my university lecturing on European Jewish History.

    For readers unfamiliar with this pseudo document here are some links to it:

    http://shamash.org/holocaust/denial/protocols.txt

    http://www.factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000469.html

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,982458,00.htm

    I beg of you, please weigh your words carefully….

    Batzi

  338. You guys ask me to weigh my words carefully….

    ‘Like buying thousands on thousands off rockets, ring a bell?’

    ehem what about the ministry of war in Israel?
    what about the deal of billions of dollars for weapons and fighter jet fuel?

    what about the racist laws against the arab israelis in northern Israel? Jews get shelters the others don`t get…..

    What about the mass killing of palestinians and the mass imprisonment of arabs?

    what about throwing people out on the streets and bulding houses for Israelis?

    All this is history now,

    Well yeah thank you i am proving you guys wrong….

    i tried to be gentle at the beginning but it seems when you run out of arguments, you guys just get very offensive attacking me personally….
    I never attacked anyone personally and you can check my previous comments, i am only talking about israel but you guys are taking it personal…..

    well, yes i am proving you guys wrong….the problem is that you are going arround the subject and not tackling my questions, if you have the guts, answer all my questions and don`t just show sympathy we don`t need it…

    Please check my previous comments avi and batzi and answer them one by one stop the bullshit……

    I am sick of this shit!!!!!!

  339. you know what?

    i`ll go on and i`ll tell you what is the opinion, you guys are intruiders here in this region and we will not let you rest!!!

    we will not rest until y`all are out~!!!!

  340. Hi,

    I know I have joined this this discussion rather late. I am a 20
    year-old student studying Law. My studies have made me take quite an
    analytical and objective view to issues. I am Jewish. I am an Israeli(although I do not live in Israel now)
    and perhaps some of you would classify me as Zionist (I do not deny
    this ‘allegation’). Being an Israeli, it is on my conscience to make
    all possible efforts to bridge gaps between Jews and Arabs. I was
    active to such a cause and did volunteer work in Israel where i taught
    English in Arab and Bedouin villages. Seeing how effective taking
    positive action is to the cause of bridge-gapping, I continue to
    strive and make such a change.

    Seems like arguments continue to jump backwards and forwards and no
    progress is made. In fact, what is the point of this Blog? Would i be
    correct in saying it is for establishing dialogue to to bridge the
    ever-growing gap?

    Let me share this with you. I get excited whenever I come across
    Middle-Eastern looking people. For some reason I do not question
    whether they are Israeli or Arab, as I feel i have more in common with
    Middle Easterners than I do with ‘Westerners’. When I do come across
    such people, I make the effort to pre-empt some conversation. If they
    are Israeli, I speak Hebrew to them. If they are Arab, I ‘show off’
    the little Arabic i know. Also, I bring up common foods we share
    (Falafel, Shawarma, Knafe etc…) and perhaps music. When I asked how
    I know Arabic, I do not hesitate to say that I learned the language
    because I am Israeli and believe it is important. I also mention how
    similar Arabic and Hebrew are, after all, they are both Semitic
    languages. I have made friends with many Arabs around my university.
    Yes, I do refrain from discussing politics but nevertheless we
    continue to share much in common. I am proud to say that I have made
    friends with them, eventhough our families are torn over the saddening
    situation going on at the moment. I can now say, “I do have Arab
    friends” and likewise, they can say “I do know an Israeli/Jew”. We
    have both broken down the stereotype that seems to characterise both
    our people,- of course not on a political level, but at least on a
    humane, every day person kind of level.

    Again, I am only 20 years old, so some of you may belittle my words.
    However, I am part of the generation that believe they can make a
    change. I would like to believe that my predecessors could set an
    example for us. Do you believe it is too late?

    With regards to being a Zionist. Some believe this connotes an
    extremist ideology. When I declare myself as a Zionist, I believe it
    entails recognising the right of there bing a Jewish state. I do not
    believe this takes away the right of a Palestinian state to exist. I
    believe we are neighbours, afterall my Arab friends are my cousins (as
    i call them)- what better neighbours to have, no? Perhaps I am young
    and naive, but you cannot call me ignorant.

  341. No Rachel, you are not ignorant.
    It is encouraging to see young people getting involved in the tasks that you engage in: dialogue leading to better understanding which will hopefully bring people closer to each other.
    Keep up the good work
    Batzi

  342. Rachel,

    Welcome. Thank you for your post. I know some Israelis similar to you, and I can say that like anyone else, they are human beings and have their own wishes and dreams, etc.

    One thing I take care to do however is not associate on a personal level with anyone who claims to be a Zionist, because this is a very dirty word in my dictionary.

    I am curious Rachel, about how you reconcile your belief in Zionism, with your treatment of your Arab “cousins”. Here is my question:

    You claim to be a Zionist, because you believe in the right for a Jewish State to exist. Tell me something Rachel: Do you view your Arab friends as potential threats to the state of Israel, because of their potential population numbers?

    More to the point – what are your thoughts on what must happen, should the number of Arabs in your Zionist country outnumber the number of Jews? Does that mean anything to you? Do you think it is a threat to the state? At first glance, surely, you, deep down, must hope to never see the day that the number of Arabs outnumber the number of Jews. Because if they do, Israel ceases to become a Jewish state. If so, then how do you reconcile that with yourself?

    -Ibn

  343. ibn,
    should the number of Arabs in France or Denmark or in Spain outnumber the number of France,Denmark,Spain,how do you think they will react?

    One thing I take care to do however is not associate on a personal level with anyone who claims to be a SHAHID, because this is a very dirty word in my dictionary

    Avi

  344. Hi Ibn,
    If I may….
    You raise a very valid point with your question to Rachel.
    I take the liberty to answer this question as I feel that can help you understand what being a Zionist means to me.
    Like Rachel, I believe that being a Zionist is the belief in the right of the Jews to have a country of their own, a country where they will be free of persecution, a country that would grant them shelter should they be persecuted anywhere else in the world and need a haven.
    Like Rachel, I believe in the right of the Palestinians to have a state of their own (and I have said that on more than one occasion on this and other posts) for the very same reason.
    Now, to your present question.
    No, I do not, as a Zionist have a problem with the number of Arabs outnumbering that of the Jews in Israel. It may very well happen if not in my lifetime than in that of my children. It is a very probable and realistic expectation. At that stage,it will indeed cease to be a Jewish State.
    Towards that end, all I would expect would be a committment from the majority of that state, a committment that it will not persecute Jews and continue to allow Jews to enter the country in accordance with the law of return.
    I would have no problem with that at all.
    I hope you do not have one either.
    Kind regards
    Batzi

  345. Avi,
    Avoiding answering this question is being an Ostrich. You and I know it will happen one day, better face to it and prepare for such an eventuality than simply ignore it.
    Batzi

  346. Hi again,

    I’m glad to see that though I am probably the youngest member to join this blog, my comments were not overlooked. Thank you, I appreciate that people recognise the fact that it is my generation that will go to be the future leaders and I sure hope you have faith in us.

    As to your question, Ibn. I belong to Jewish Youth Movement(with whom I did the volunteer work in Israel) and what we get taught is to challenge our views. We seem to develop on from our
    Parents’ views which seem to be engrained in them, while we try and
    progress. With all sencerity, I would love to see a Country in the Middle east that can be a home to both Jews and Arabs. I believe i agree
    with Batzi’s reply. I care for my people as i’m sure you, Ibn, care
    for yours. I would not compromise my people’s right to exist but nevertheless I do not wish that their existence at the expense of others. Of course, there is always an element of subjectivity instilled in people no matter how ‘objective’ they would like to believe they truly are.

    Ibn, you asked me for my personal views. i attempted to refrain from this in my first comment. The reason obvious. We seem to get no where because we are not listening to each other. Instead my intention was to remind you (all) that taking away the politics, you are left with people. the media is also a factor which draws us all apart. Both sides are right and wrong at the same time. Stating facts will not better anything. Enabling ourselves to establish a relationship with each other could be more effective. After all, who wants a neighbour that you cannot talk to, befriend or even have a barbeque with??

    Again, I am aware that I am naive to this whole situation but I know and have faith in making a change – I would not like to believe hope has been lost by any of the participants in this blog. Knowing my ‘cousins’ (as opposed to ‘enemy’), them seeing me as a real person rather than an ‘enemy’ is what counts for me. I cannot change the world by declaring my opinions, but I can when I engage with those in my immediate life, bridging those gaps.

    Ibn, I’m saddened to hear that you don’t feel comfortable associating yourself with Zionists. Another word for a Zionist is an Israeli, when they declare themselves Israeli, they recognise the Jewish State. I would be a completely different person if i did not want to associate myself with an Arab or Palestinian (yes, I have friends who are the latter too). However, being a member of this blog does this mean you are wanting to change that view? Waiting to break that mold?

    To share another story with you, when i first approached one of my Middle Eastern looking friends (I soon found out he was a Palestinian) i saw they took a step back when I stated I was Israeli. They couldn’t believe I was, was it beacuse I was friendly to them? If so, then I believe I already made a change in someone’s life. I am not wanting to be self-righteous sounding, but to me that is the way of solving conflicts- breaking down those stereotypes.

    I would like to mention a beautiful museum in Israel. It is called “Museum on the Seam”. It is a museum celebrating the idea of co-existence. It shows conflicts from around the world. I would highly recommend checking it out as it truly inspired me to believe that change can happen on a one-to-one level.

    I will continue to read comments posted on this blog, but I am not intending on becoming too involved- I have a lot of reading to do for my studies and this blog could be an unhealthy obsession for my grades!
    Thank you,
    Rachel

  347. Rachel,

    Umm… so are you saying, that your response to my questions is the same as Batzi’s response?

    …and dont feel too alone with the age part – im only 4 years older than you. :)

    -Ibn

  348. Batzi,

    You state in your post above that “Towards that end, all I would expect would be a committment from the majority of that state, a committment that it will not persecute Jews and continue to allow Jews to enter the country in accordance with the law of return.”

    Errm .. so you expect that at some point in 2020, the Arab Israeli majority in Israel will maintain the policy of ‘right of return’ to all Jews in the world, but not extend it to the Palestinian Diaspora?

    Smacks of an apartheid state to me.

  349. Good day to you, Jasra Jedi,
    Where did I say in my whole response that they should not extend “right of return to Palestinians?”
    I was only saying that they should: “continue to allow Jews to enter the country in accordance with the law of return.”
    If at any stage they want, being no longer a Jewish majority state, to introduce a similar law of return for palestinians, it is up to them. I did not say anything against that, did I?
    So where is the apartheid, if I may ask?
    Can you please acknowledge that no where in my response did I say :no law of return for palestinians under Arab majority? it would only be fair!(unfortunately, on these kinds of debates can sometimes turn into Chinese whispers…
    Batzi

  350. Batzi …

    Today, the policy of Israel, is that there is no extension of right of return for Palestinians. From what I understand, this is a non negotiable position that is not even allowed to be part of any negotiations.

    I just find it interesting that your vision for the future contains a policy that you would want extended to the Jews, yet it is currently not extended to the those ‘once upon a time’ citizens who are laregly Palestinan.

    I am just curious how you would reconcile this aparthied state of affairs (no pun intended) in your vision of the future.

    In order to ensure fair and equal policies, would you extend the right of return to the Palestinians? Or would you remove it from the Jews? Maintaing status quo leads to apartheid.

  351. Hi again, jasra jedi,

    Today, the policy of Israel, is that there is no extension of right of return for Palestinians. From what I understand, this is a non negotiable position that is not even allowed to be part of any negotiations.

    Yes, you are right about this one. As I stated in a previuos post, it was established as a “Jewish state” by the UN resolution 181. However, it did not exclude non-Jews from living there. Did it ever state “no Arabs are allowed into this country?” Mind you, as an Israeli, I am not allowed even as a tourist into many Arab countries, let alone reclaim lands that my ancestors might have owned there.
    Do Arab countries allow Jews who once used to live there, owned lands and very successful businesses to reclaim their lands? Do they have a simillar ” law of return” as you expect Israel to have for Palestinians? Each country is its own sovereign and should be able to establish its owns governing rules, modify them, change them or do away with them. Can we respect that? Or would we respect it only when it suits our belief system?

    Again, you asked me about 2020 or when ever Arab majority takes effect in Israel. You asked what my vision of that future is. I responded to that question.
    Are you telling me you do not like my answer?
    Hope your day gets even better :-)
    Batzi

  352. And by the way, jesra jedi,
    I want to congratulate you on the civil tone of your polemics. I hope that we could maintain this kind of a tone throughout our communications. And should we reach a time where our differences are beyond bridging (hopefully only for a short time), that we at least “agree to disagree.”
    Fair enough?
    Batzi

  353. Batzi my darling …

    ” Do Arab countries allow Jews who once used to live there, owned lands and very successful businesses to reclaim their lands? ”

    You forget that there are many Arab Jews who used to live in Yemen, Iraq, Alexandria and even Bahrain. The ones who left were not forced out. they chose to leave, with their deeds and their money. Land was NEVER confiscated from them.

    The ones who stayed (and there are a few in Bahrain) enjoy the same rights as every other Bahraini citizen regardless of religious affiliation. They still own their businesses and are very much an integral part of our community. We even have a synagogue on the island.

    Back to my question.

    Your vision of 2020 calls for one law for the Jews abroad (right to return) and none for the Palestinian Diaspora.

    Again, aparthied. Racial discrimination.

    Unless you have another solution?

  354. Jasra jedi,
    Can you please re-read my previous posts…
    I said:

    If at any stage they want, being no longer a Jewish majority state, to introduce a similar law of return for palestinians, it is up to them. I did not say anything against that, did I?

    Could I be clearer?
    Let me try.
    If at any stage, (after 2020) they want being no longer “Jewish State” as the majority are Arabs then to introduce a Law of Return” for the “Palestinian Diaspora”, then I have no problem with it because at that stage, they will be the majority and they can vote for introducing it and being the majority, it will probably pass.
    Now to the other point you raise.
    Have you ever been to Israel?
    If you come, you will see that Arabs Palestinians who remained there after 1948, have flourished under the Israeli government.
    They live in their own villagesin some very nice homes. They even have representation in the Israeli Knesset. Many Arabs own joint businesses with Jews. My brother in law owns a very successful seafood restaurant in Jaffa. And by the way, we also have many mosques.
    On a more personal note, as I mentioned on a previous post, my personal physician (who unfortunately has retired by now) was a Muslim Arab. The chef at my mother’s retirement facility is a Muslim Arab… I could give you numerous examples about co-existence between Arabs and Jews. that is why I am so optinistic in my vision for the region. I know that on a one to one basis Israelis/Jews and Arabs/ Muslims could live very well together if we remove the fanatics and religious zealots on both sides!
    Yours
    Batzi

  355. I meant to say, that my brother in law owns together with a palestinian (I say a Palestinian as he was born before 1948) and they are best friends!
    Batzi

  356. Jasra jedi,

    ‘You forget that there are many Arab Jews who used to live in Yemen, Iraq, Alexandria and even Bahrain. The ones who left were not forced out. they chose to leave, with their deeds and their money’

    This is simply NOT TRUE!

    Jews fled from Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and Morocco mostly by cover of the dark nights without any property, and in danger of being killed or jailed by the reign.

    There where 856000 Jews living in Arabs countries in the Middle East and North Africa, most of them left why?

    In 1949 there was a law in Syria to freeze all Jews bank accounts.
    In 1948 many Jews where jailed by laws against Zionism.
    In 1956 there harsh measures where taken by the Egyptian government against Jews.
    And in 1967 they where declared as enemies.

    Please check history books.
    Look at the map of Europe and Africa before and after 1848.
    Before and after 1914-1918, or 1939-1946, or 1990 or 2000.
    New countries are formed, others vanish. This is the story of history since Babylon, Rome, bezants, Othman, British empire and so on…

    I believe that Jews are entitled to have their own state like every other nation.

    Nobody calls Australia an apartheid state even thaw she expel thousands of Asian immigrants every year!
    The same goes for Spain and other European countries with immigrants from Africa.

    There more then 2 millions foreigner in Saudi.
    They don’t have Saudi citizenship and have LESS right in Saudi courthouse then a Muslim!

    There are endless examples all over.

    So the solution is to start to the best with what the Palestinian and others got and make the best of it.
    The Jews who fled from horrors all over the world lived also in refugee camps for 2 decades, but one after another we build beautiful cities and destroy the refugee camps.
    So should do the Palestinian.
    Instead of buying more arms, buy more tractors and machinery.
    Start to build beautiful houses and destroy the refugee camps.
    Gaze can be as beautiful as lass Vegas or Hong Kong or remain as ruble.
    It’s up to them.

    Avi.

  357. Avi.

    Two points.

    1. It was the Europeans who put the Jews in ghettos and treated them like dirt on the basis of religion. Not the Arabs. The Arabs took issue with Zionism. But only after the Zionists held the world hostage by guilt after the Holocaust and got Eretz Israel as a landgrab ignoring the indigenous peoples.

    2. The Jews were not the only victims of horror in the world. They are not the only victims. There are also the Armenians. the Cambodians (to name but a few) Hitler was not the worst of all murderers. There is Pol Pot. Stalin. Assad. (to name but a few).

    And, by the way, a wrong does not justify another wrong.

    And, two wrongs do not make a right.

    Bottom line, if there is to be any sort of Middle East that is to be safe for our children, Israel has got to find a way to live with its neighbours. Military might will not win the battle. It hasn’t since 1948. Even with superior air power and military and money and US relationships, Israel is still finding itself trying to justify its existance.

    We need real peace in the region. And as long as there are people on both sides who are willing to die for their version of peace, tiis will become a war of attrition until the last man is left standing with nothing.

    At this stage, not being either Palestinian or Israeli myself, I am just really sick and tired of watching the bloodhsed on TV.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    Sorry, I forgot. That’s not for me to say. That’s for Condi to say once she has been prepped by Olmert.

  358. jasra jedi, You write in response to Avi:

    “if there is to be any sort of Middle East that is to be safe for our children, Israel has got to find a way to live with its neighbours. Military might will not win the battle. It hasn’t since 1948. Even with superior air power and military and money and US relationships, Israel is still finding itself trying to justify its existance. ”

    How about this (other side of the coin version. After all there are two sides to this conflict):

    if there is to be any sort of Middle East that is to be safe for our children, Arab countries got to find a way to live with Israel. Terrorism and acts of war will not win the battle. Even with Katyushas supplied by Iran and Syria and oil money, Arabs are still struggling to annhilate Israel.

    Which version is more convincing?

    My answer : NONE!!!!

    We just have to learn to accept each other, engage in dialogue and try to ensure a better and safer future for our children!
    Batzi

  359. dear jasra jedi,

    ‘ two wrongs do not make a right.’
    I could not agree more.

    A man can realize that trying to solve a problem by force is wrong after a day or a year.
    For nations it can take even centuries.
    Like between England and French.
    They still don’t like each other after 1000 years of war, but now prefer the benefits of peace.

    War between Jews and Arabs is over 100 years.
    I hope it will end much sooner then in Europe.

    Yours
    Avi

  360. abaC:

    I believe that Jews are entitled to have their own state like every other nation.

    Why should Jews be entitled to have their own state. I don’t see any reason why. If anyone can just demand a state and steal some land for it, then what about women? I think all women should be entitled to their own state. Women have been persecuted throughout history far more than the Jews, so they deserve to have a state of their own. And blondes should have their own state. And left-handed people should have their own state. Computer geeks should have their own state. So where should we form this state for computer geeks? How about Argentina? No, Argentina is too far away. I know! Let’s build this state for computer geeks in the city that is presently known as Tel Aviv. Who cares if there are people living there already. We’ll just kick them out, because “we are entitled to our own state”.

    abaC:

    Nobody calls Australia an apartheid state even thaw she expel thousands of Asian immigrants every year!
    The same goes for Spain and other European countries with immigrants from Africa.

    Are you kidding me? Asian immigrants in Australia are IMMIGRANTS! The Palestinians in Palestine are NOT immigrants. The Zionists migrated to Palestine and kicked them out of that land by using the argument that “my ancestors 3000 years ago lived here (it says so in this unbiased history book called the Torah), so I should be allowed to kick out who ever has been living there for the past few centuries”.

    A more appropriate comparison would be when European settlers took the land occupied by the Aborigines in Australia, or when they butchered the natives of South America, or when they stole land from the natives of South Africa, or even when the Muslim armies invaded and stole land from the natives of North Africa. These are all examples of apartheid, and so too is Zionism a form of apartheid.

    Having said this, I recognize the right of Israel to exist TODAY. The new generation of Israelis know no home other than Israel, so it would be wrong to try to kick them out for the mistakes of their parents. But we need to look back at history and see that the way in which Israel was created was wrong.

    And I know someone will respond and say “you are criticizing Israel and ignoring the faults of Arabs and Muslims”. No, I realize that Arabs and Muslims have committed equal acts of terror, so when I debate with my fellow Arabs then I do argue the other side, because they are the people who need to be convinced of it.

  361. Polemicist,
    Thanks for a very well written post! Congratulations as I finally see some ‘window of opportunity’ for moving forward. Thank you, Thank you.

    I must admit that I find your logic very agreeable on almost of the points you raise in it other than one, this one:

    But we need to look back at history and see that the way in which Israel was created was wrong.

    My questions about it are:

    Who created Israel?

    How would an admission that the way Israel was created was wrong advance us in our efforts to try and move on in our dialogue?

    What can we, modern day Israelis do now to change that?

    I await your response.
    Yours most gratefully and sincerely
    Batzi

  362. At this stage, not being either Palestinian or Israeli myself, I am just really sick and tired of watching the bloodhsed on TV.

    Second that. To bad we dont have a real say in this.

  363. BillT,

    All the lands of israel where bough in good money!!!

    In your logic maby we should return the land to the British or to the Turkish who ruled for 400 years, or to Byzantium…
    And America belongs to the Indians…

    You allso ignore the fact that there where jewish living in Jerusalem, Safed, haifa all the time since Rome even before 1882 where we started to go back to our land.

    All the countries around us didn’t exsist at that time!
    There was never in history jordan, Iraq as it is today, Syria, Lebanon…. at list not as they are today.
    Greate babilon was not arab.so should we dismantel Iraq for this.
    That gose for more then half the states in the globe today.
    Please check how many nations where in 1948 when the un was astablished and how many are today.

    Just look at the map and see there borders, they where drawn by a ruler as the territories where divided by the super power off that time.

    The discussion can go on and on, but there is no point is it.

    Nobody remeber today who started the wars betwwen England and Franch for many Centuries, or between Catholic and Protestant, or between Shi’ite Muslim and Sunni.

    So to stop this circle of violence it is irrelevand who did what.
    Peace will come only by compromise.

    Yours
    Avi

  364. To bad we dont have a real say in this.

    Damn I’m quoting myself now.

    Avi dont try to teach your granddad to suck eggs. I’ve got as good a grasp of the history of the region as you do. I’m looking forward to people in the region compromising although I know full well that neither side understands the word compromise.

  365. BillT,

    ‘neither side understands the word compromise’
    Is it?

    And how was achieved peace with Egypt and Jordan?

    How arafat was allowed to come to Gaza?
    In 10 years did he dismantle and rehabilitate even one refugee camp tp try and heal the wounds?

    Avi

  366. Peace was achieved with Egypt because they were tired of having their chain yanked by both the US and Russia and had to make a choice, As an aside of their choice they got to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Jordan had a leader who put his people first. Arafat was a terrorist who was mistakenly allowed to power by the west in a failed attempt for peace.

  367. Anon.

    I am not so sure that Israel has really achieved peace with Egypt and Jordan. Their governments signed a peace treaty, yes. But, I think that Hamas, Hizbollah and whatever other militia emerge has shown that the tough peace needs to be forged with the people, not the governments.

    Israel isn’t playing fair either. She is holding the Lebanese government accountable for Hizbollah by bombing the hell out of Beirut’s infrastructure. Not the Syrian government.

    Its interesting. I am doing some reading about the Haganah and the Irgun. And I am also doing some reading about Hizbollah and Hamas. Lots of similarities.

    BillT .. this is going to go on for a while. As I mention before in some other post, Hizbollah has already done today what the governments of Egpyt, Jordan and whoemever else were not able to do in 1967. It has managed to take on the IDF and survive longer than 6 days. With much more inferior airpower and ground power. Without a formally trained army.

    Unfortunately for Israel, Hizbollah is starting to win the PR war. Not through brilliant planning of its own.But, because the IDF has killed more civilian children in Southern Lebanon than they have Hizbollah soldiers. Not good. This is going to entrench the whole area for a longer period of time.

    BillT: Sadat had vision. King Hussein of Jordan (RIP) put his country first. He knew that the Israelis had a vision of dumping all the Palestinians in Jordan, and wanted to protect against that. Also, he knew that US aid to Jordan was contingent of providing a good buffer zone for Israel. so, not sure he put his people first. He put real politique first. As for Arafat? He wanted peace as much as Sharon wanted peace.

    Avi: How long did it take the Jews to heal the wounds of the holocaust? The Nurenberg Trials, Eichmann, etc. It took years. Many many years. And lots of blood was shed. And revenge was extracted. One member at a time. One assasination at a time. To expect Arafat to do it in 10 years is not reasonable. (And no, I am not a fan of Arafat at all. I am just pointing out to you that your expectations are unrealistic. Also, how many settlements did Sharon allow to expand on Arab soil??? Was that really a compromise on the Israeli part?

  368. Day 18 update of the war on Lebanon:

    Over 600 deceased.
    Over 3220 injured.
    Over 800 000 displaced.

    I don’t like to give numbers. I don’t know how significant they are. I believe that, from the moment one person is murdered, from the moment one person is suffering, finding a solution is a must because people’s right to a lead a decent life should not even be asked for. I should simply be there.

    Today, a friend of mine told us a funny event that happened to her, and I have been hearing the same story from people around me. She received an international call on her cellular phone, at 3:30 in the morning. Being too tired to wake up and answer, she ignored the sound and went back to sleep. As the phone rang back at 4:30 in the morning, she answered and heard: “The State of Israel speaking.” In a state of panic, she hanged up, refusing to hear what they had to say next. But all the stories I have heard give some insights about the content of the phone call being: “Beware of Hezbollah.”

    I cannot but express, once again, all my respects to the integrity and pride of the Israeli Government. Killing civilians is not enough. Nor is bombing bridges, roads, homes, hospitals, trucks, cars and motorcycles (which makes you want to live in a tent and move on the back of a donkey). Now, they start their psychological bombing, similar to the one expressed in American movies where the murderer traumatizes his victim with a series of threatening phone calls. My friend actually woke up in the morning, thinking she had been hallucinating, then checked her sanity by browsing the “received calls” section of her cellular phone. Brilliant strategy. I hope they are aware of how desperate their approach is. Personal phone calls? There’s really nothing I can say about this.

    On television, Marcel Ghanem is hosting the war photographers, who have been exposing some of their unpublished photographs and video shoots. Unpublished because, if people see them in the morning on their daily newspaper, their very desire to go through the day will be compromised. And I am seeing things I have never seen before. Hands, detached. Masses of flesh, what once was a human being living his life. A man killed in his own living room. An elderly holding a box with what’s left of his belongings, trying to circulate in the core of his pulverized neighborhood. And that is only a selection. The photographers are talking about their experiences, how many times death skipped them by pure chance. They talk, and show photographs, and it sounds like a story, a nightmare, our current reality. I am thinking how beautiful it would be to organize a live exhibit of these photographs, not through the net, but printed, framed, exhibited in a glossy museum. So that people can look and see, so that nobody says that the media is distorting the facts and numbers.

    An exhibit now, so that people can watch and actually react. If we do it in ten years, it will be just another human disaster that we regret and cry. It is just a thought… Because it seems to me that, if there’s one thing that can (barely) still shake humans around the world, it is frozen moment of suffering printed on Kodak paper.

    As a closure, I would like to propose to the Israeli Government other means of puzzling our heads via the phone, probably less costly:

    Missed calls, our favorite Lebanese code system One missed call: “beware”. Two missed calls: “evacuate”. Three missed calls: “too late, you’re dead”.
    If missed calls seem too fuzzy, they can still resort to SMS. “Feeling safe? Don’t! We are constantly watching” or “Please purchase candles ASAP, we will be bombing electricity plants soon”

    So much care brings tears to my eyes, really.

    Oh and just now: as soon as i am closing this, i hear that there is a genocide, 55 civilians, most of them kids and women and elderly, it seems they did not receive the phone call….. or the SMS or the missed call.

    It seems that israel bombed a shelter…..Thank you god for giving us such lovely neighbours.

  369. jasra jedi,

    Israel sign diplomatic relation with Germany less then 10 years after the holocaust!
    No jewish mother sent her sons to bombe german buses or restorants.
    Yes there are wounds but we remember and do not open new one.

    Israel allso had refugee camps for jews and we rehabilitate them and with much less money than the billion of donation the world gave to Arafat in order to build a country.

    I can not understand how you ignore israel compromises for peace with Egypt and Jordan.
    I remide you that in more then one incident AFRTER THE PEACE Israelies tourists where attacked and murded by both Egyptian and Jordanian soldeirs.
    There was never an opposite case!

    ‘Israel isn’t playing fair either. She is holding the Lebanese government accountable for Hizbollah’

    YES YES AND YES!
    A govermnet is responsible for any action taken from her territory!
    otherwise there is anarchy.

    The first thing Ben Gurion did after the establishment of Israel is declaring that there is ONE GOVERMENT AND ONE ARMY!
    And he didn’t hesitate to enforce it by force!

    In order to keep a treaty you have to deal with a reliable partner.
    That is the only reason peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and Jordan hold on
    And that is the same reason why it fail with Arafat and Lebanon.

    I pray for the benefit of Lebanese and Palestinians to be ruled by one leader, one government and one voice for better and for worst.

    Avi

  370. “The first thing Ben Gurion did after the establishment of Israel is declaring that there is ONE GOVERMENT AND ONE ARMY!”

    Yes. But only AFTER Ben Gurion got what he wanted in 1948. But, look back to pre 1948. Who created the Haganah, and the Irgun. And what was Ben Gurion’s role?!

    Its like Saddam Hussein killing everyone off in the military after he created the Baath Republic in Iraq.

    If you come to power from the outside, you will always look to kill off potential 5th columns. Ben Gurion. Saddam.

    Avi Avi Avi …
    The Lebanese and Palestinians today are much more likely to look to your friend Nasrallah as one leader and one voice than they were 2 weeks ago. Thanks to the IDF.

  371. jasra jedi,

    As I mentioned to you, there are always two sides to every issue. Let me reverse the coin.
    Will it be fair on my part to state that just as Hezbollah and Hamas have gained popularity on the Arab street, so have their actions (Hezbollah and Hamas) created polarization towards the extreme right wing in Israel?
    Last year when Israel evacuated Gaza, I watched with much pain yet supported the move as those who have seen my posts would know by now that I am in favour of returning to the pre-1967 borders. What did we get in return?
    Kassams and underground tunnels! So should the IDF fold its tail and sit quietly. It is called IDF (Israel Defence Forces) for a reason!

    Incidentally, I watched Sky News last night. The correspondent (whose name escapes me) reported live from Lebanon. As he was reporting, he witnessed a few rockets being launched towards Israel. He said he could not disclose the exact location of the launchers as Hezbollah threated him should he (which I can appreciate). However, the greatest idiot could see that the general area of the launching was an inner city.
    So much for Hezbollah not hiding among civilians.
    And yes, I am horrified at the deaths of so many civilians, who wouldn’t be?

    I really need to start packing!!

    Batzi

  372. Jasra Jedi,

    You see the anger in Abac’s post, this is a reflection of the Israelis psychologic status now, they are bad losers….

  373. About my point re: Hezbollah and civilians…
    Just in case you missed it on the other post, Israel may not be perfect, but neither are those to whom the Arab world is looking as their next leaders…

    Just read this and thought I should share it with you.
    Now I know that some are going to say: “now, now, Batzi. You are quoting the Jerusalem Post, another Zionist publication.”
    Those of you with some gray matter will soon realize that the Jerusalem Post is only reporting what retired Canadian Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie told Canada’s CBC
    radio.
    And BTW, neither MacKenzie, nor Paeta
    Hess-von Kruedener, are Jewish names!
    So please read and judge for yourself!

    Batzi

    Jul. 30, 2006 2:32 | Updated Jul. 30, 2006 12:30
    Jerusalem Post

    ‘UN post not deliberately targeted’
    By NATHANIEL ROSEN

    Retired Canadian Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie told Canada’s CBC
    radio last week that the Canadian officer Maj. Paeta
    Hess-von Kruedener, killed by IDF fire at a UN post in
    Lebanon last Tuesday, had complained in e-mails that
    Hizbullah fighters were all over his position. “They use the
    UN as shields knowing that they can’t be punished for it,”
    said MacKenzie

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan slammed Israel for the
    attack, which killed three other UNTSO observers, claiming
    that it had been intentional. Israel apologized asserting
    that UN post had been targeted accidentally.

    Hess-von Kruedener observed, in e-mails to MacKenzie, his
    former commander in the Canadian army: “We have on a daily
    basis had numerous occasions where our position has come
    under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial
    bombing. The closest artillery has landed within two metres
    of our position and the closest 1,000 [pound] aerial bomb
    has landed 100 metres from our patrol base.

    “This has not been deliberate targeting,” Kruedener said,
    “but has rather been due to tactical necessity.”

    That last line has been read to imply that Hizbullah
    fighters used the UN posts as cover from which to launch
    their rocket attacks and Israel had tried to target them.

    Mackenzie noted that the IAF’s strikes have resulted in an
    extremely low number of casualties given the amount of
    ammunition fired.

    “Please don’t think I’m being cavalier about life here, I’m
    not, by any stretch of the imagination, but with the amount
    of firepower that’s gone into Lebanon over the last couple
    of weeks, the death toll is unbelievably low in accordance
    with the delivery of that firepower, which means that
    targets are being selected pretty darn closely,” said
    Mackenzie in his radio interview.

    “Beirut is not being flattened, Beirut’s not being
    bombarded, I heard one CNN reporter say this area is being
    bombarded, we’ve had six bombs in 20 minutes. Bombardment is
    six bombs a second, I mean that’s what bombardment is, it’s
    using all the resources you have.”

    When asked about the future of the war and the region,
    Mackenzie told Canadian radio: “Heaven forbid that the UN
    would go in, I have no problem at all with a UN resolution.

    “It has to be an international force, a robust force, and
    that means mechanized troops, at least 25,000 going in under
    competent leadership. It could be Turkey, it could be a
    number of other possible leadership contenders, NATO for
    example. But, it has to be non-UN with a UN resolution
    authorizing it, and that’s going to take a month plus,” said
    the retired general.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=11532
    92028882&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  374. jasra jedi,

    ‘Its like Saddam Hussein killing everyone off in the military after he created the Baath Republic in Iraq.’

    Are you serious?!
    You go far far from the truth like east to west!

    There was only one incident of the ALTALENA ship.
    Both Menachem Begin and Ben Gurion decided the poin was clear
    and that all pre-state organization will join to one IDF army.

    ‘The Lebanese and Palestinians today are much more likely to look to your friend Nasrallah as one leader ‘

    As i said previously in my post :
    ‘I pray for the benefit of Lebanese and Palestinians to be ruled by one leader, one government and one voice for better and for WORST’

    as long as they speak in one voice you have better chance to reach an agreement.
    A good example is Haphez al Assad.
    He was a bitter enemy, but he kept the cease-fire agreement after 1973 to the letter.

    as for the tragedy in Cana.
    I truly hope it will be the last one.

    war are allways ugly and brutal.
    But the bleme is on Hisbulla who started the war and conscienceless fire deadly rockets on our civilian wile hiding amongst Lebanies civilians and UN position.

    Avi

  375. Avi your losing the real war which is the PR war. Israel really needs to solve the Palestenian problem even if you have to give up more than you want to.

  376. Yes,
    As usual, if you say something loud enough and enough times it looks like truth even if it is the opposite.

    Each time we keep losing the PR war, but each time we get stronger, keep build and plant and create a beautiful country piece by piece.

    And the Palestinian & … wins the pr war each time. But do nothing to improve their life conditions.
    Do nothing to heal the wounds.
    The only mass production they have is produce more martyrs.

    I don’t like it but I can live with that trying to make the best of it.

    One day peace will come simply because he must. (-:

    Avi

  377. Ibn,

    I am between flights now and just happened to check the most exciting site on http://www... :-)

    This is what I found much to my surprise.
    In a response to one of Brian’s posts on “The Tide Turns”, Scharchar had this to say:
    “I did not “admit” to Ibn’s stated motives. I don’t think they are true. Still, one cannot deny that during 48, regrettable things did happen. ”
    Sorry Ibn, your argument that Shachar admitted to Crime number 2 as you defined it (and as a result of which you have a lot of respect for him and are thus ready to jump on a plane to Tel Aviv) is hereby refuted. I guess you should take it up with Schachar.
    I don’t believe you will find many Israelis who will admit to what you are so desperate to hear them admit.
    They will though acknowledge as did Shachar and myself the fact that many wrongdoings were carried out. You might have to just learn to accept it as we are ready to learn to accept some issues that you may not be ready to admit and simply move on.
    I surely hope we can.
    All the best to you, Ibn
    Batzi

  378. Ramy,

    “And I am seeing things I have never seen before. Hands, detached. Masses of flesh, what once was a human being living his life. A man killed in his own living room.”

    A truth shocking description of the horrors of war.

    I want to ask you, how do you think looks like an exploded bus?
    Is legitimate to explode a restorant with families like Sbaro in Jerusalem? Like Maxim in Hifa? Like Park hotel in Netania, there where over 40 deads all civilian who where blown up to pieces during holiday meal.

    Is a hospital bombed in Naharia is legitimate target for Hisbula?

    I wonder what will happen to a foreign journalist if he will photo a Hisbulla katuisha truck hiding in a garage under a skyscraper in Beirut.
    Will he be shot or decapitated like they do so well in Iraq.

    Please check how many journalist , aid agency ,foreign engineers et cetera where kidnapped and filmed wile decapitated in Iraq.

    Do you recall a similar act to be carried out by the IDF?

    Avi

  379. Batzi,

    Sorry Ibn, your argument that Shachar admitted to Crime number 2 as you defined it (and as a result of which you have a lot of respect for him and are thus ready to jump on a plane to Tel Aviv) is hereby refuted.

    Wrong. Shachar made the following statement here:

    Acknowledgement of Crime # 2

    Shachar said: Of all the “crimes” you accuse Israel, the only one I’ll actually acknowledge as a crime is #2.

    He has acknowledged. I respect him alot for that. You havent.

    —————————————–

    Now, regarding the questions that I had posed to Rachel, and your answers. You, Batzi, said this:

    Now, to your present question.
    No, I do not, as a Zionist have a problem with the number of Arabs outnumbering that of the Jews in Israel. It may very well happen if not in my lifetime than in that of my children. It is a very probable and realistic expectation. At that stage,it will indeed cease to be a Jewish State.

    Fair enough. However, let us look at the definition of Zionism. I have taken this from the “Jewish Virtual Library”. This is my source:

    Definition of Zionism

    And this is what it says:

    Zionism, the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

    Please fixate your attention to the phrase “Jewish Sovereignty” in the definition. Next, fixate your attention to what you said Batzi, of “..it might cease to be a Jewish state..”.

    Those two are in contradiction. You cannot have “Jewish Sovereignty” over land that is not simultaneously a “Jewish state”. Even if you stretch the definitions, those two concepts are inseperable. Thus, when you claim that it does not bother you that Israel might someday cease to become a Jewish state based on Arab demographics, you are essentially saying, (by the definition), that it does not bother you that Israel will cease to have Jewish sovereignty. (Again, by the definition). Thus, your statement flies smack into contradiction with the definition of Zionism, as any seasoned Zionist will tell you. Logically, this leaves us with two possibilities:

    Either:

    1) You are not really a Zionist.

    or

    2) The definition of Zionism given from the “Jewish Virtual Library” is wrong.

    Please take your pick. Once you do, I will ask you again, what I asked on “Ibn: July 28th, 2006 at 9:34 pm”:

    Do you see the Arab populace in Israel as a potential threat to the state, and to its Jewish sovereignty, based on their race? (non-Jews)

    -Ibn

  380. A hypothetical vision of peace.

    Assuming that in the near future a Palestinian state will be established.
    And Israel will retreat from the west bank to the borders of 1967, same as in Gaza.

    Will the Palestinian except the Jews who wants to live there as Palestinian citizen with full rights as the Israelis Arab citizens?

    Will they allow 5 millions Jews from all over the world to come there (the promised biblical land. The land where are holy fathers graves of Abraham, Yitzhak , and Ya’akov) as they demands from Israel?

    Will the Arabs except that Israel will rule according to the Jewish biblical law as the Islamic religious law in other Arabic countries?

    Avi

  381. Ibn,
    If you ask JJ, she will tell you that definitions change over time. That is the idea of adaptations. If we did not adapt to new realities we would long be gone as a human race and as Jews.
    I am sorry that I cannot expand on that as I am in an Internet Cafe now.
    As far as your statement that you respect schachar and I haven’t (see above),
    Well Schachar, I want you to know that I respect you for your views even if they differ from mine. Ibn does not speak for me!
    Also if you cross paths with Ibn in any of these sites (which I hope you do) will you please a) clarify to him what your reall views are as far as to the reasons Arabs were kicked out of their homes in 1948
    b) please tell Ibn that I also respect his views as even though they differ from mine! If I did not I would not be typing this message now!
    Kind regards
    Batzi

  382. hi,

    I saw documentary film about Bahrain.
    W O W !!!
    So beautiful and amazing.
    I hope one day my family I could come with our Israeli passports as tourists.

    Just imagine another palm island on the beach of Lebanon.
    Come to think of it the Lebanese will probably build a cedar island (-;

    If Lebanon will succeed to drive out the radicals foreigner and be a tourist attraction like Bahrain then they will pay no attention to the radical ideas who poison their land and mind with unnecessary wars.

    I truly hope that a strong multi national active force will come to help to release Lebanon from the grasp of Syria and Iran for the benefit of the Lebanese people.

    Avi

  383. Avi.

    You state “I truly hope that a strong multi national active force will come to help to release Lebanon from the grasp of Syria and Iran for the benefit of the Lebanese people.”

    1. No-one in their right mind today thinks that this is about the benefit of the Lebanese people. it has as much credibility as the Iraq war for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

    2. What strong multi national active force are youy talking about? An Israeli one? Or an American one?

    3. Don’t you think that everyone in the region today is realizing that this war is about the ‘New Middle East’ that might have new borders?

    For the love of God .. be a zionist if you wish. But, please do not insult every person who has spent time on this post by pretending that Israel did this out of the goodwill of its heart for the benfit of the Lebanese people. You forget, your planes bombed Lebanon. Not Syria. Or Iran.

  384. jasra jedi,

    1 you are correct, this war is about removing the threat of rockets from the Israeli citizen.
    2 The multi national active force will be mostly French and with the help of Egypt , Jordan and any other who care for Lebanon.
    USA & U.K already announced they will not send their force and I do believe it is a wise decision because this force should be from states who are considered by the Lebanese people as their FRIENDS.
    3. This war in Lebanon can exist forever in that format.
    Syria & Iran couldn’t care less for the suffer of Lebanese.
    Iran via Syria continues to supply rockets to Hisbulla.
    And why not, it is Lebanon’s infrastructures that are being destroyed.
    The Syrian minority corrupt government cannot justify the harsh conditions, poor economy and lack of human right in Syria unless it is because they are in constant state of war with Israel.
    Don’t forget who for more then 25 years robed the Lebanese and continue to control through a puppet president.
    Look at the Lebanese cities and see who are those who aspire for prosperity and those who drive for fundamental lagging state.

    Lebanon was prior 1975 the Paris of Middle East, but then she let in the same negative elements that wise and brave King Hussain drive out.
    Remove them and Lebanon will flourish again.
    I hope that Lebanon will look like Bahrain and Kuwait then like Syria and Iran.

    Avi

  385. At the rate Israel is going, Bahrain and Kuwait have more of a chance of looking like Lebanon today than Syria or Iran.

    Keep up the good work Avi.

    Take the WHOLE region down, why don’t you …

  386. abaC,

    I hope one day my family I could come with our Israeli passports as tourists.

    I certainly hope not. I for one hope never to have to accomodate and/or host you and your family, as citizens of a country that has legalized racism, and support Zionism.

    -Ibn

  387. jasra jedi,

    You run out of arguments and turn to propaganda and slogens?
    I expected more from you.

    And yes we will keep up the good work of Demolishing Hisbula.
    On the long run both Israel , Lebanon and other moderate forces in the Arab world will benefit from it.

    And as for Kuwait, they know for sure who is really on their side, and who saved their ass from another fanatic megalomaniac, go a head ask them.

    Avi

  388. Avi …

    “You run out of arguments and turn to propaganda and slogens?”

    Please explain what you mean by that? I am talking about the fact that the Saudi Shia marched yesterday, the Bahraini Shia have been protesting and the Iraqi Shia also marched under Sadr today.

    Israel has done more to promote extremism and sectarianism than any other country, exept maybe the US.

    Where are the slogans?

  389. Jasra Jedi,

    The Saudi Shia marched? Where and how many? Did the Saudi Gov respond in any way? This is getting no play in the western mdei — though the Sadr City March is all over the news. Apparently they bused demonstrators in from the south in convoys — which seems like an unbelievably risky, determined thing to do. Considering the kinds of attacks that crowds of people tend to attract there.

  390. Jasra;

    Israel has done more to promote extremism and sectarianism than any other country, exept maybe the US.

    I knew the US was to blame somehow. Sectarianism and extremism had nothing to do with the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, right? Or the founding of Jamaah-a -islamiya in 1941, right? Or Sayid Qutb’s rants against Westernization in 1950, right? Or the Deobandis during the time of the British Raj, right?

    It’s the Jooz and the ‘Mericans that done it.

  391. Israel has done more to promote extremism and sectarianism than any other country, exept maybe the US.

    Jasra,

    I guess you’re saying that sectarian strife and violent fundamentalism are mostly the cause and effect result of American and Israeli foreign policy. I acknowledge there’s substance is in this position, but think it offers less than half an explanation, considering all other factors. If you would expand on this, I’d honestly like to understand your position better.

    Jared

  392. Jared,

    What Israel has done in the last 3 weeks, and what Hizbollah has been able to withstand, has given alot of extremist groups in the Middle East an impetus and a model to follow.

    I never said that the Israelis and the US caused this phenomenon. I said that the Israeli actions has significantly strengthened the hand of the extremists.

    Even if there was a ceasefire tomorrow, every splinter group in the ME today has living proof that guirella (sp?) warfare works under a Moslem banner. Today, this banner is one that is worn by the Shia.

    Does this explain or should I expand more?

  393. the Israeli actions has significantly strengthened the hand of the extremists.

    I understand better now Jasra, you’re referring to just the most recent events, and I agree. We probably don’t see eye to eye on which side has the most culpability in this context, but I realize that’s not the sort of thing people can sway each others views about. I appreciate your explanation, thanks.

  394. There is an earthquake going on the Moslem world.
    Suddenly the Shia take the lead in the fight against Israel.
    I was astounded to here about Iraqi Shia marched against Israel.
    What can i say , the Shia have in Iraq are being butchered by hundreds EVERY SINGLE DAY, their musk are being exploded by the El Kaida fanatics, and know their leaders find the time for …

    I wonder who has a BIG interest to divert the Islamic world far from their real problems.

  395. Jared in NYC ..

    I should have been more clear. Incidentally, although Hizbollah ‘initiated’ this, I am convinced that Israel would have found a pretext to get invilved militarily at some point. 6 years of rocket build up is not accpetable. So, whether the two soliders were captured or whether someone in the IDF got up on the wrong side of bed, there is no doubt in my mind that we would still be where we are today. And I tend to give some credibility to Mahmood’s conspiracy theories about the real objective behind this war.

    And, note how Israel recently started hitting the Christian Parts of Beurit right after the Nasrallah speech. Interesting strategy. Aimed at stirring up sectarian strife in Lebanon again.

    By the way, does anyone know anything about the Human Rights Watch articles on the IDF’s use of Chemical warfare?

  396. Jasra Jedi,

    I really love your arguments and energy, you seem to have held your ground well, given the interesting counter-arguments. I gave up a while back, it got to me.

    However, I do want to comment though on what you said in reply to AbaC, that “Israel bombed Lebanon, not Syria, not Iran”; its something that keeps coming up in a lot of comments, like bombing Lebanon is wrong, but bombing Syria and Iran is ok, because of the premise that Syria and Iran support Hezbollah’s action and its their proxy war in Lebanon. Hezbollah is a legal Lebanese party, which took a decision, right or wrong, to kidnap 2 Israeli soldiers. While Syria or Iran may or may not benefit from this decision, Hezbollah is carrying out what it believes is a move beneficial for itself, first and foremost, and Lebanon. I doubt anyone dictates to Nasrallah. Israel’s aggression against Lebanon is terrible enough, without it going after Syria and Iran based on flimsy premises.

  397. JJ,

    I have been reading your comments for a while on this subject, and it seems to me you place majority of the blame for the current incident on Israel for looking for “a pretext to get involved militarily at some point” even though you agree Hezbollah initiated it. As they say, you are entitled to your opinion.

    While we get very limited and selective news from the ME here in the states, I do remember reports of rockets being launched into Israel over the last year(s) on several occasions as well as some other attempts to kidnap soldiers. If 20 rockets a day were being lobed into Bahrain on an ongoing basis, how long do you think it would be before it’s citizens were demanding the government do something? I am curious, and guess my question to you is why you hold Israel to a different standard than Lebanon/Hezbollah?

  398. Jasra Jedi,

    ‘By the way, does anyone know anything about the Human Rights Watch articles on the IDF’s use of Chemical warfare? ‘

    Seemingly, an innocent question.

    With your permission I will remind the readers and enlighten you as to who really used chemical warfare in this region and against whom.
    Egypt in the Yamane war during the 60s
    Iraq and Iran against each other during the 80s
    Sadam in Iraq, against the Kurdish people in the 90s
    Iraq against the US.
    And who has the biggest chemical warfare industry?
    Iraq had some, and Syria, Iran, Egypt and Libya still carry chemical weapons.

    Avi

  399. Hizbulla don’t discriminate between arabs and jews in Israel.
    that what his terorists achieved today:

    ” Western Galilee: 3 women killed in rocket attack

    Heavy rocket barrage hits north Saturday afternoon: Some 120 rockets land in Ma’alot, Tiberias, Nahariya, Shlomi and Kiryat Shmona within 90 minutes.
    Mother, her two daughters killed in village of Arab al-Aramshe, near Shlomi, after house suffers direct hit. Two people lightly injured in Kiryat Shmona “

  400. Sunrunner: I read an article in al jazeera referring to it. I just went back and tried to look for it and couldnt find it. Will keep trying.

    Lujayn: Thank you. Re Syria and Iran, I am just trying to understand the Israeli position. If, as they beleive, Hizbollah is a refelction of the Lebanese, Syrian and Iranian governments, then why have they only bombed Lebanon and not the other two?

    M: I dont doubt that the rockets being lobbied into Israel from southern Lebanon are dirving Israel mad. I am intrigued as to why Israel chose to respond now, and not a year ago, or a year from now. I doubt that the only aim of this war is to disarm Hizbollah. I think that a year or two ago, the US still beleived that Iraq would be a pro US entity, with diplomatic relationships with Israel, and a counter weight to Iranian influence in the Gulf. Today, Iraq is in the middle of a civil war, Iran is even more arrogant and powerful, and the US needs to counter balance that. How? Ask Israel to help by facilitating a ‘situation’ in the ME to justify a redressal of the balance of power to something that the US can live with.

    abaC: A wrong and a wrong don’t make a right, do they? Besides, I thought Israel was a democracy? The only democracy in the Middle East? Part of the civilized world? Leading the light to freedom and prosperity for all men against evil (and the Moslem world, of course).

    Anon: You refer to Hizbollah as a terrorist. Errm … only 3 countries in the world claim Hizbollah is a terrorist organization. Israel, the UK and the US.

  401. Not sure if this has been posted before, but the Wikipedia link on Hezbollah is really very good. I’ve been reading up on this topic, and this page, IMO, does a good job of summing it up. It only takes about 10 minutes to read it thoroughly:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah

    It’s more clear to me now why people of good conscience disagree on whether they are a terrorist organization.

    Jared

  402. jasra jedi,

    1 ” A wrong and a wrong don’t make a right, do they?
    2 Besides, I thought Israel was a democracy
    3 …against evil (and the Moslem world, of course)”

    1 correct, but you imply that Israel used chemical warfare, and this is simply slander!

    2 absolute truth. We have more then 10% of Arab parliament members who express time after time sympathy to our worst enemies.
    Do have a similar example in one of 22 Arab states?

    3 Israel is absolutely not against the Moslem world!
    Israel have good relations with Turkey, Morocco, Algiers, Jordan, and with Egypt cold peace, yet it is much better then war isn’t it?
    Even with Iran years ago, hopefully again one day.
    Also Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Mauritania, and low profile with Kuwait, Dubai and Bahrain.

    Arab food, music , culture are very popular in Israel, and why not.
    Knowing each other rich beautiful culture can only enrich us.

    Let us once get out of this ongoing useless circle of accusations and self-righteousness.
    Let us see the big picture.
    Is one bold ugly mountain like Shaba farm worth all this mutual suffer?
    For once i would like to hear from you something good about Israel, something that will show that there are same people like you.

    Yours
    Avi

  403. Avi: Is one bold ugly mountain like Shaba farm worth all this mutual suffer?

    You have an intriguing end to war in Lebanon with just that simple statement; and as you implied, that piece of turf is not worth all this suffering, so why not write your government to give that piece of land up? Once that is done, Hizballah will simply have no more reason to exist.

    Problem solved!

  404. mahmood,

    Do you really believe that?
    I never heard such a statement from Hizballah, give us Shaba and we shell give you peace or at list cold peace.
    I did heard they want to release Metula, Jerusalem et cetera….
    If the UN recognize that Israel retreated to the blue line why not accept it.
    Isn’t there a Lebanese government to decide what are their true demands?
    Is their any other state in the world that one political party decide for itself to go to war?

    Israel and Egypt had dispute about Taba.
    They formed an international committee.
    After 7 years !!! the committee decide it belongs to Egypt and Israel returned it to Egypt peacefully.

    Israel and Jordan had dispute about some lands and there was some switch of lands between them.
    Further more some Israelis framers continue to farm their land in Jordanian territory.
    That is real peace that come out of genuine good will.

    I who’d like to here Arab voices that demand that only the Lebanese government has the legitimate right to place demands regarding her borders and to try and solve the dispute honorably like Egypt an Jordan.

    Then i and many others will believe there is true base for negotiation

    Sincerely
    Avi

  405. JJ,

    “How? Ask Israel to help by facilitating a ’situation’ in the ME to justify a redressal of the balance of power to something that the US can live with.”

    Thanks for your honest assessment about the situation and why Israel has choosen to respond so strongly; it may be the case, but I doubt it. Your theory hangs on the assumption that the US, a year or two ago, believed Iraq would be a pro US entity. Having watched events unfold for the last 50 years in the area, I cannot imagine any American ever would make the assumption that Iraq would be a Pro US entity. Favorable, hopefully, but not Pro. As well, I fail to see the logic of Israel facilitating a “situation” using the tactics that she has that would obviously strengthen Hezbollah and Iran’s hand as Mahmood has pointed out. So unless you are saying Israel just got it wrong, I don’t think that is the case.

    Does it not bother you that you may have, in fact, been played by Hezbollah and Iran? Might Hezbollah and Iran fear the Cedar Revolution, that was NOT instigated by the US by the way, and their loss of power and decided to “facilitate” something to gain back their place in the hearts and minds of people in the area? Maybe someone was trying to tilt back the balance of power in the Gulf back to the way it was.

  406. Might Hezbollah and Iran fear the Cedar Revolution, that was NOT instigated by the US by the way, and their loss of power and decided to “facilitate” something to gain back their place in the hearts and minds of people in the area? Maybe someone was trying to tilt back the balance of power in the Gulf back to the way it was.

    On tack, M. This is a very astute analysis, but the goals are greater than that:

    Iran’s Mullahs don’t want a return to the status quo, however. They’ve been clamoring for regional control, a ‘caliphate’ based in Tehran if you will. To do this, they need power. The Shia are a minority – and they have to somehow rally the Sunni to their cause. How better than to ‘wag the dog’ – destroy Israel. That’s something every Muslim can get behind. Damn those Jooooz. They’ve held us back since the time of the Prophet! We, Iran, destroyed them in accordance with the Koran and Hadith.

    Iran wants far more than to destroy Israel. They crave rule over the Middle East and the world (in the long term).

  407. It’s more clear to me now why people of good conscience disagree on whether they are a terrorist organization

    The machine gun on the Hezbollah flag would not make me think it was a charitable institution.

  408. Ethan,

    “Iran wants far more than to destroy Israel. They crave rule over the Middle East and the world (in the long term).”

    Agreed, and it is not because of religion for those guys; it is for the same old power and money song and dance they rail against the West for. It is one thing to understand that is the game and be able to speak out against it when it is wrong as we in the West do; it is another to bemoan the fact that you daily live with the fear of the bad guys completely taking over and turning back time and then actively support them because you hate their enemy more or feel the need to go tribal. I honestly don’t get.

  409. Agreed, and it is not because of religion for those guys; it is for the same old power and money song and dance they rail against the West for.

    I agree and disagree. To the old guard, like Rafasjani, there’s more politics than religion. The whole Islamic Revolution was more about gaining control of the populace with religious dogma that the ‘bien peasants’ could understand and would support.

    On the other hand, the new governmental ideology is very religious. Ahmedinejad is no secularist in a mullah’s turban. He’s a certifiable nutcase. The revolution created him, and all of the ones like him. “Death to America” as religion, not politics.

  410. Ethan,

    “Death to America” as religion, not politcs.

    You’re probably right. I forgot he was a product of the Islamic Revolution.

  411. abaC: Do you really believe that?
    I never heard such a statement from Hizballah, give us Shaba and we shell give you peace or at list cold peace.

    Avi yes I believe that. Hizballah, to my knowledge, have no interest beyond Lebanese borders. Nasrallah said so in so many speeches. He doesn’t want to liberate Palestine, as that is not his core demand.

    Now if you ask me if Nasrallah will build on his “second success” in once again driving Israel from Lebanese territories, I must confess that I do not know as I cannot read the future, nor can you or Nasrallah for that matter. The essence is that Nasrallah’s demands have always been (for 6 years now) to retrieve the Sheb’aa Farms from Israeli occupation.

    And 1,000,000 people get destitute, 1,000 lose their lives and 3,000 get injured because of a strip of land that is no more than 50 square kilometers that the UN decided it is Syrian, while the obtuse Syrians said that it’s actually Lebanese?

    Let me be the one who pins the tail on the donkey then: here it is: it’s Lebanese. Now get out of Lebanon and Sheb’aa Farms.

    Once you do and Nasrallah still continues to come after you, then that’s another story all together and I shall be your first supporter. He would have lost his legitimacy then.

  412. The machine gun on the Hezbollah flag would not make me think it was a charitable institution.

    Anon – Millions of people in the ME don’t acknowledge Hezbollah as a terrorist organization because of the hospitals, schools, and social service organizations they run. Millions of westerners see them as terrorists because of their accumulation and use of missiles specifically designed to maximize civilian casualties at the target destination, and launched from locations intended to maximize civilian casualties at the launch site.

    Mahmood – I don’t know Hezbollah’s position on Sheb’aa Farms, but defer to your information on this. I believe Hezbollah is also committed to the destruction of Israel. Nasrallah has been consistent in this position:

    http://www.unb.ca/web/bruns/9900/issue14/intnews/israel.html
    http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/Hiz_letter.htm

    Jared

  413. Jared,

    Thanks for the links. Interesting reading; looks like they hired OBL’s PR guy……zzzzzzzzzzz

  414. I wonder if some of Hizbulla supporters here have the dignity to apologize for the ugly propaganda against Israel revealed by the bloggers.

    ” The Reuters news agency said it has cut its ties with a Beirut-based freelance photographer who it found had manipulated photographs ”

    Not to mention live picture in CNN showing rockets fired from down town Sidon to civilian targets in Israel.
    Where are Rami, ibn et cetera to admit the crime of soothing behind the cover of innocent civilians?

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/

    http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php

  415. I’m not making this up. Public radio had this on this morning. In Iraq grocers have been killed for arranging their fruit suggestively. Sheppard’s killed for not putting diapers on their sheep. Granted I take things with a grain of salt and realize that media sometimes prints for effect but damn are middle eastern men really that easy to arouse and as free of blame.

    billT