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Bombs or Diplomacy?


Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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Civilians have paid a horrific price in the ongoing violence in Gaza.

I hope my members of Congress will support and work for a lasting ceasefire that includes lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The U.S. has particular responsibility to help end the killing since U.S. weapons are fueling this conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross has called the blockade collective punishment against a civilian population. U.S. policymakers must call for lifting the blockade to ensure a durable ceasefire.

While it’s imperative to address the immediate crisis, I also hope the U.S. will support long-term stability by shifting from a militarized approach in the Middle East to one rooted in inclusive, diplomatic solutions. The success of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran and the agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons demonstrates that the world can be made a safer place through diplomacy, not more bombing.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Hopefully we can, once again, push for the diplomatic solution of Arab Spring and empowering these forward thinking cave persons.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2014 at 7:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Great letter, Ms. Ellis, and once we get beyond terms like "forward thinking cave persons" and continuous vilification of "the other side" there may be a chance for peace. Not all in Gaza are Hamas, nomore. Two-State solution, Israel trades land (pretensions to West Bank, illegal colonies there masquerading as "settlements") for peace after Abbas and the Palestinian Authority win an election in Gaza. Note, nomore, the West Bank has not blown up or sent rockets into Israel. Do you really thing a continuous cycle of violence helps ANY of the children?

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2014 at 8:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Diplomacy. Hopefully, one day mankind will look back and wonder why we ever killed as much as we did, and how barbaric it was.

I am glad that Obama & Biden are trying diplomatically with economic clout to back it up. No matter how much they are ridiculed or panned, sticking to diplomacy is the right way to go.

And yes, the Palestinians are not the same as Hamas. Just as the freedom fighters in Syria are not ISIS, the Libyan revolution was hijacked by ISIS, and fundamentalists almost succeeded in Egypt, although the replacement by the military, well supported, is hopefully a step toward freedom and not a step back.

I guess it is a journey along the mental evolution of mankind to use more reason and communication and less brute force.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2014 at 9:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

There was hope of diplomacy working when we still had a good relationship with Russia. Obama made a mistake in Syria in supporting rebels. Now we have ISIS and region of growing chaos. The Iran situation also had the chance of resolving well to everyone's benefit, but again, Russia is a critical factor.

It was a HUGE mistake to mess around in Ukraine. Joe Biden probably deserves the blame on this along with Nuland, Brennan, and Kerry. The damage to US relations with Russia is severe and getting worse. Any economic payoff for the oil and gas industry or for the IMF won't even be worth it.

The US and Russia together could have increased the peace in the Middle East, but with a rivalry on that front, I don't see how peace stands a chance. If anyone running this show gives a damn, they would call Putin up and sort it out, but I don't think they care about anything but money.

random_kook (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2014 at 12:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank goodness that:

1. Hamas didn't pass Sharia law, which pounds women in Gaza into the middle ages (actually they did pass this recently and are imposing it).

2. Hamas didn't fire rockets purposely intended to kill civilians for years before Israel took action a few weeks ago (actually they have fired thousands of their crappy rockets that could kill for years).

3. Hamas didn't commit war crimes by *purposely* targeting Israeli civilians and firing weapons explicitly from behind and around women, children and other Gaza civilians. Actually they DID do this.

Thank goodness that:
4. Hamas recognizes Israel's right to exist (they don't)

5. For years, Hamas as NOT been smuggling in weapons by sea and ground (actually Hamas HAS been doing this) forcing Israel and Egypt to implement blockades that hurt Gaza civilians.

6. Hamas spent millions on international aid building infrastructure and industry for Gaza (they instead spend it on tunnels and rockets to try and kill and terrorize Israeli civilians).

It's great that Hamas:
- Was voted into power democratically by Palestinian's - who clearly bear some responsibility for their votes - as we all do in democracies.
- Succeeded in getting Israel to completely leave and turn over Gaza to Palestinians... which Israel did in 2006.

Luckily, 90% of Indy readers believe Hamas is great and all the list of items above are meaningless and should motivate Israel to do nothing.

and meanwhile, while people march and scream about Israel reacting to the above and *during the same 3 weeks time period* 40x the number of civilians were killed by ISIS, in Syria, Libya, etc.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 1:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank goodness that Israel doesn't keep Palestinians in military occupied fenced off concentration camps and steals their land and resources. Oh wait, actually they do.

Hamas only exists because of Israel's theft and occupation of the Palestinian land and people. In fact, Hamas was originally started and funded by Israel. Hamas is Israel's fault.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 2:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Both your posts should illustrate that neither Hamas or Netanyahu are heroes. Quite the opposite. But its the civiilans on both sides who get killed.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 2:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Israeli civilian deaths and the Palestinian civilian deaths are ultimately Israel's fault for keeping the Palestinians in concentration camps.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 2:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Hamas is STILL controlled by Israel"

This guy gets it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 7, 2014 at 4:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt,

Israel blockades Gaza because otherwise Hamas would have unlimited access to bring in more weapons from Iran to attack them with.

Your claim that Israel keeps the "Palestinians in concentration camps" is vulgar anti-semitic hate speech.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 9, 2014 at 7:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I see both sides of this; realitycheck this statement proves you are truly clueless: "Luckily, 90% of Indy readers believe Hamas is great" -- demonstrably false; try reading some of the threads and Letters carefully.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 9, 2014 at 7:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

90% is too high, but I too have been surprised how many people seem to have a deep hatred for Israel and Jews. In real life it's not so obvious, but on anonymous comment areas like this one, the number of closet anti-semites is astounding.

There are so many unjustifiable terrible attorcities taking place in the world, yet for some reason all the media focus is on civilian causulties in Gaza, where the Israelies have no other choice but to attempt to stop Hamas from killing Israelies with rockets and other means. If you read between the lines, it doesn't take a genious to see the truth.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

pretty much agree, Lars, and you ought to check out the disgusting anti-Semitic and, yes, your good term, "closet" anti-Semitic postings beneath Mark Silverberg's letter. I've called dewdley out, and there are others.
At the same time, Netanyahu (not Israel) is something of a monster, his use of the IDF in bombarding civilians in Gaza is horrible, a war crime, totally disproportionate to the effect of Hamas's rockets, AND Netanyahu and the extreme right Israeli government are engendering more anti-Israeli sentiment. Netanyahu will not bargain with Abbas of West Bank over the illegal colonies (NOT "settlements") in the Palestinian West Bank. YES, Hamas is horrible as well. It's a terrible tragedy for the civilians and children on BOTH sides.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 12:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dr. Dan sums it up nicely.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My favorite thoughtful comment from Lars:

I'm not going to waste my time anymore. Believe what garbage you want. Goodbye!"

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/randy...

When it comes to (verified) anti-Semitism, it goes both ways. I'm on the email joke list of a few retired co-workers who happen to be Jewish. Unfortunately, the anti-Arab vitriol that oozes from their "jokes" tells me I really didn't get to know them as well as I thought.

To me, there is hope in the younger generations of Jewish Americans. I think they can stand for a moment in someone else's shoes and see though their eyes.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 2:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"When it comes to (verified) anti-Semitism, it goes both ways. I'm on the email joke list of a few retired co-workers who happen to be Jewish. Unfortunately, the anti-Arab vitriol that oozes from their 'jokes' tells me I really didn't get to know them as well as I thought." -EastBeach-

...Which is why I think the U.S. should probably stay our of this conflict.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 3:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars, the last time I checked, the Palestinian people are of the Semitic racial ethnotype. Your 'antisemitic' slur is manipulative, inaccurate, biased and plain wrong.

*

Regarding death statistics in this asymmetrical war, the *huge, overwhelming majority* of the almost 2000 Palestinian deaths and 10,000+ injuries are 80%+ CIVILIAN, including 400+ children. Meanwhile on the Israeli side, 3 (three) of their dead are civilians, while the overwhelming majority of Israelis killed in the conflict (65) , or some 95%, are members of the Israeli Defense Force, namely military personnel. From this it appears that the Israelis are targeting primarily civilians, while Hamas are going for primarily Israeli military personnel. The numbers speak for themselves, for those who are not pressing their fingers in their ears.

A very standard definition of TERRORISM is as follows: The "targeting of a civilian population for political gain". It is abundantly clear here who the actual terrorists are: the Israelis, and the primary sponsor and supporter of this outrage and mass slaughter are the US and UK governments. The blood of thousands of innocents are on their hands, along with the corporate welfare queens in the US military-industrial-security complex who supply them with $billions of US taxpayer-funded instruments of death.

We also hear in the US corporate media that Hamas have been using civilians as "human shields". There has never been any hard evidence to support these accusations, but in the general climate of opinion in the US that "allPalestinians are terrorists and all Israelis are angelic", who needs proof and evidence? Of course, we also have to realize that the entire content of news from the region is translated into English for the US consumer by the Mid East Media Research Institute, aka MEMRI. This is an organization set up in the mid 1990s by two extremist Islamophobic "Israeli Expansionist" hardliners: Yigal Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser. As such, we are being denied reality by an Israeli propaganda device, with official support from not only the Pentagon but also other government bodies, and the owners of the US mainstream media. One can safely assume that not a single person of Palestinian heritage, or the Muslim faith, sits on their boards of directors.

bloggulator (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 3:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

(continued from above)

As regards Israel's conduct and track record, history speaks for itself, with hundreds of outrages against the civilian population of the region over the last several decades, from the bombing of the King David Hotel back in the 1950s where Israeli agents - disguised as Arabs - killed almost 100 people, the unprovoked bombing attack against the USS Liberty killing and injuring many US Navy personnel, to the massacres in the towns of Sabra and Shatila (1000s dead) in the 1980s, as 3 prominent examples. In more recent years, the previous attack by the Israelis against Gaza was launched to coincide with when Gaza schoolkids were walking home from school and ended up being strafed and cut down by Israeli helicopter gunships and fighter jets. Did we hear about this on the mainstream news? No? Why not? Duh. Who owns our media?

Of course, we ALL heard about those Palestinian kids who were dancing in the streets when the US was hit in the September 11, 2001 attacks... it was broadcast ad nauseam all over the mainstream media. But what did we NOT hear about, in sharp contrast? The group of Mossad (Israeli Intelligence) agents dancing and high fiving while filming the attack and destruction of the Twin Towers. These men, who ran a front company named Urban Moving Systems, were arrested by the FBI that morning, and in their possession were false passports, $3400 in cash stuffed in a sock, maps of Manhattan with the World Trade Center highlighted in marker pen, and video recordings capturing both plane impacts. They were quietly sent back to Israel in the wake of the attacks, but clearly had been "accessory before the fact" to mass murder - punishable to the same extent as perpetrating the crime. Yet, the US authorities made sure they were let go, and once back in Israel even admitted that they had been sent (to the US) by their government to document the event". Imagine f it had been 5 Palestinians, or Iranians who had been caught redhanded in the same circumstances? Incidentally, this story was ironically broadcast by Fox News (Carl Cameron did a piece on it) before they were ordered to drop the story - and all reference disappeared from the Fox archives. Thankfully, the original footage can still be viewed on youtube and elsewhere.

Incidentally, at the time of the that attack, a huge majority of the senior members of the Bush cabinet were dual US-Israeli citizens. I wonder to which nation their primary loyalty lay? Israel or the US? I hope people can see and understand what has been going down there for decades, despite it running up against our comfort zone, and what we have been collectively programmed to think is "politically correct"

bloggulator (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 4 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks, bloggulator, you just proved my point.

DrDan and Eastbeach, how to you propose Israel stop all the rockets that are being launched daily from Gaza into Israel without killing innocent civilians? If Isreal opens their blockade, Hamas will just bring in more rockets and cement to build more tunnels. Egypt is keeping their side closed for the same reason. Anything the "give" Hamas will be used against them "next time."

What other choice do the Israelies have? They can't cower daily in bomb shelters, which they are currently forced to do whenever the alarms go off.

They certainly have no moral responsibilty to wait for hundreds or thousands more Israelies to die before responding to the problem at hand.

Also, I doubt very much that Muslim extremist hatred for Israel and Jews can get any stronger than it currently is, and you have to believe that by killing hundreds of Hamas soldiers, Israel is in fact saving lives.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Operation Iron Dome defense seems to knock the missiles from the sky before they can hit Israeli territory. Why is it necessary to destroy schools etc? The Netanyahu has choices, he just chooses the one he thinks makes him look tough.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For over a hundred years the Zionists from Russia have been recognized by world powers as representing ALL Jewry. These Talmudists have used the State of Israel to establish themselves as a major political and military force and no matter what they do the rest of Jewry is acquiescent. Israel represents Zionist triumph and liberal Jews know it.

Before 1967 the politics of American Jews tended to be left-wing and supportive of workers' revolutions worldwide, but after the Vietnam War Zionism triumphed among American Jews in the guise of neo conservatism.

After eight years of neo conservatism under George W. Bush we have a Democrat in the White House whose policies in the Middle East are indistinguishable from those of Bush and the neo cons. This is clear evidence that Zionism is triumphant in American politics - that both Democrats and Republicans are there to do the bidding of the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And for the past few months "dewdly" has been recognized as representing all dirtbags.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken,

I don't get it. If 100 rockets were being launched at Santa Barbara from Carpinteria every day but only 10 succeeded in hitting Santa Barbara, you're saying that's fine. We should spend our days hiding in our basements and stop complaining?

For some reason, when it come to Jews and Israel, otherwise rational people say the most ludicrous things.

Israel has absolutely no other choice. No country allows rockets to be launched at it's populace for any reason whatsoever from enemy territory on a daily basis. Blaming Israel for civilian deaths is idiotic. The responsibility for their deaths lies squarely on Hamas, and whoever supports them.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nobody should be firing rockets at anybody. I don't understand why they just don't use Mossad and get the people responsible for firing rockets into Israel directly instead of risking civilian deaths.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A new truce has been agreed to, that's good news.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)


And for the past few months "dewdly" has been recognized as representing all dirtbags.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 6:40 p.m

What R U talking about?...He doesn't represent ME.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 7:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars writes, "What other choice do the Israelies have? " They DO have other choices...land for peace. Look back to the 1967 Six-Day War: bargain for a Two-State solution by withdrawing the ILLEGAL COLONIES in West Bank in exchange for eliminating Hamas (deal with Abbas, not Hamas)....Rabin did this in giving up the Sinai in return for peace with Egypt. Israelis have to "choose" to vote out Netanyahu and his theocratic cronies and put in a moderate coalition ready to deal with West Bank. The West Bank has NOT (yet) exploded: recognize that, parley with them. SEE David Grossman article. next post. Believe me, Lars, I am for Israel's survival.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 9 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars,

The "rockets" are not missles - they have no payloads, they do not explode on impact. They are fireworks, not weapons.

It is virtually impossible for inmates of a concentration camp to acquire weapons. Gaza has been blockaded on all sides for seven years. All the Jews were evacuated from Gaza in 2005 to allow Israel to bomb Gaza indiscriminantly. In 2008 the Israelis had "Operation Cast Lead" which lasted 22 days and killed 1400 people - 80% civilians. The UNRWA investigated in 2008 and found that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians. Nothing was ever done, and now Israel is doing the same thing again.

You have to remember that the main expulsion of Palestinians occured before 1948 when nearly 3/4 of a million Palestinians were killed or expelled - never to return. Gaza and the West Bank are tiny remnants of what used to be the Palestinian people.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 9:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's the very thoughtful David Grossman piece, Lars: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/28/opi...
Ignore dewdly, closet anti-Semite, KV's completely correct about him. One point, dewdly lies stating "It is virtually impossible for inmates of a concentration camp to acquire weapons."
Hamas certainly is well-armed, they are determined to eliminate Israel, the best way is to strengthen Abu Mazen (Abbas) of the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) who runs the West Bank. Hamas's leaders are cowards hiding in Cairo and Qatar.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 9:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dr. Dan - Abbas already tried to eliminate Hamas but failed. You are asking Abbas to promise something he won't be able to deliver. Unless you're suggesting that he OK Israel doing the job for him? That won't go well either.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 9:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How does Hamas get arms into a camp that has been blockaded on all sides for seven years? Blockaded with only two checkpoints for entry and exit? Blockaded, guarded, and surrounded by a no man's land buffer zone in which the Israelis shoot anything that moves? The reason 80% of the casualties in Gaza are civilians is that Gaza is a civilian camp, not a military fortress.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 10, 2014 at 11:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly - how long does it take to google to get your answer?

"The Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels are passages that have been dug under the Philadelphi Corridor, a narrow strip of land, 14 km (8.699 miles) in length, situated along the border between Gaza Strip and Egypt. After the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979[1] the town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, was split by this Corridor. One half of the town belongs to Egypt, and the other half is located in the southern part of Gaza. After Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the Philadelphi Corridor was placed under the control of the Palestine Authority until 2007. When the Hamas seized power in 2007, Egypt and Israel closed borders with Gaza.[2][3]

In 2009, Egypt began the construction of an underground barrier to block existing tunnels and make new ones harder to dig. In 2011, Egypt relaxed restrictions at its border with the Gaza Strip, allowing Palestinians to cross freely.[2]

In 2013-2014, Egypt's military has destroyed most of the 1,200 smuggling tunnels which were used to smuggle food, weapons and other goods into Gaza.[4]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_Str...

There are many more results in the search on this topic - read them.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 12:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

it's a good point, Botany. I understood that in 2006 somehow Israel let Gazans hold a plebiscite and "they" (under duress? I don't know) ahem 'elected' Hamas...there has always been severe hassle between Abbas's Fatah and Hamas. Right now Hamas has lost support in Egypt and also from Iran... yeah, try to get Abbas -- whom everyone says NEEDS TO STEP UP!! -- to crush their leadership, get back in control of Gaza... BUT it's a complex minuet: Abbas is strengthened when the Israeli gov't and people signal they will deal. Bargain land (2-state solution) for peace. Do it now.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 12:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Picture a boxing match:

In one corner, we have a wealthy, musclebound competitor who lives in a palace in the hills with all the finest training facilities and staff - he is decked out in all the latest athletic gear, with big sponsors and all the publicity - he's also got a gun hidden under his shorts, but hey, the rules only apply to the other guy. He's the darling of the crowd - a regular superstar - and has been promoted as such.

In the other corner - we see a homeless guy, less than half his size. He used to live in a shack nearby until kicked out by the landlord who happens to be the first cousin of the fight promoter. The referee, the son of the promoter, is also the adoring brother of the favorite. He signals the start of the fight. Ding ding, let's box. The little guy comes out swinging, blindly aims a haymaker punch and misses. The superstar pulls a right hook and sends his opponent sprawling onto the deck. He then he takes out his gun and shoots the fallen fighter - in the leg, not fatally; the promoter needs to not only give the audience their money's worth, but retain an opponent for the next match.

The adoring crowd cheers: End of round one, or perhaps round 12?

bloggulator (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 10:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wait a minute, I'm certainly not anti-Semitic and I don't think dewdly is anti-Semitic either, who are these anti-Semitic posters that post here? I don't hate Jewish people and neither does dewdly from anything I've read, what we both hate as well as many others here is the actions of Israel. I also hate the actions of the country that I live in, the US, does that mean I'm anti-loonpt??

I do occasionally sense that dewdly has entertained the Storm Front crowd who does tend to have racist and anti-Semitic people in their ranks which is unfortunate, but that doesn't mean that they also don't see many of the realities that others don't see and dewdly can and probably has had a change of heart on some issues just like everybody else here has, I would hope, at some point.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 11:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Checkout Israel's cool new laser toy:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/wp-conte...

How's that whole civilian human shield working out for the Palestinians?

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 2:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The CIA is supplying Russian weaponry to the Kurds - posted just in case Russia later gets blamed for supplying arms to the Kurds.....

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014...

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 3 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt,

Using words like racist, anti-Semite, denier, conspiracy theorist, Nazi, sexist, homophobe, wingnut, Bible thumper, and hater, is a method of ending any discussion - and is especially useful when one is losing an argument or is in danger of facing inconvenient facts.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 4:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Loonpt, assuming your accusations against Dewdly are correct, who among the audience is part of the Storm Front crowd?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually, I;ve never posted on Storm Front; most of my internet posting was done on Liberty Forum which was discontinued in 2006.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 6:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Watch out guys, dont tell too much truth or this thread and letter will be taken down like the last one.

redbunz (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 10:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

redbunz (anonymous profile)
August 11, 2014 at 10:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

Land for peace? BS. Hamas won't stop until Israel no longer exists.
Do you want Iraq to give ISIS land too? Muslim extremists can't really be negotiated with. Their goal is total domination, extermination of all infidels on "their" land, and they won't stop unless they're wiped out first.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 12:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Land for peace was tried and failed. The Olso negotiations aimed to do precisely that. But in the end, the extremists won and negotiations failed. Without armed conflict, these terrorist organizations will cease to exist. There own existance depends on the continuation of armed conflict.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 12:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Most of the anti-Israel commentors know Hamas and other terrorist organizations can't be negotiated with in good faith. They don't care about Israel, or the deaths of Israelies, and probably hate all Jews. Otherwise, they wouldn't begrudge Israel for defending itself from rocket attacks and hidden tunnel intrusions.

If the Palestinians tried peaceful resistence, they might make big gains, but they don't want peace -- hence the election of Hamas. These Muslim extremists won't rest until Israel ceases to exist. And even if they achieved this unobtainable goal, as we're seeing all over the Arab world, then they would just start killing each other.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I care about the innocent Israelis who have died, but I care about the thousands of innocent Palestinians who have died, there signfiicantly more of them and they are just as innocent and I blame their deaths on Israel.

It is hard to negotiate with people who you have been murdering, taking land a resources and have militarily occupied their country for the last several decades, but that should be expected. It is hard to negotiate with a terrorist organization like Hamas whose sole purpose has always been to continue the violence and is actually controlled by Israel and used as an excuse to continue to massacre innocent Palestinians so they can continue to plunder their land and resources. That is the whole point. You get to keep making your argument about Israel defending itself and Israel gets to keep massacring innocent Palestinians. Israel doesn't want peace with Palestinians, and they ensure it and are responsible for the rockets being fired at them.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 2:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Islamic countries occupy over 99% of the land in the Middle East. Israel isn't giving up it's less than 1%. It's land doesn't belong to the Palestinians, and more important, Israel will simply not give it up -- no matter what.

The Palestinians can have peace and properity if they work for it, but war-mongering actions (like electing Hamas) and allowing Hamas to turn their territory into a war embattlement, has been a direct result of their choosing. Unless the Palestinians kick out the terrorists/Hamas, and completely renounce terrorism and it's supporters, innocent civilian causualties will unfortunately continue because Israel will never stop defending itself.

The idea that Israel controls Hamas is total malarky and not worthy of reply.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabatha,

The Israeli reports of "tunnels" and "rockets" are meant to act as equalizers in a conflict that is shockingly unequal.

Gaza is a concentration camp that has been under seige for the last seven years. The existence of tunnels signals desperation and verifies Palestinian status as defeated and defenseless inmates.

You have likened the conflict to both sides circling the wagons, but there are no wars in which both sides circle the wagons. The circle is defensive and indicates attack from all sides; it also indicates a last stand. For your analogy to work Israel much draw itself into a defensive circle in the area that was theirs under the British Mandate - which was 7% of the land.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 4:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the Gazans kicked out Hamas, renounced terrorism, and left Israel alone, I'm sure Egypt, on its side, and Israel on the other, would end their blockades. But as long as weapons and terrorists are crossing into Gaza, the Gazan's self imposed isolation will continue.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 4:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars,

Why do you suppose the Israelis removed ALL the Jews in Gaza in 2005? They forcibly removed those who did not want to leave.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 6:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Israel removed all Jewish settlers from Gaza in 2005 in an attempt to show goodwill and make peace with the Palestinians. Sadly, their honorable efforts didn't make an iota of difference. When Israel concurrently pulled it's troops out of Gaza, the Palestinians responded by electing Hamas, extremists dedicated to destroying Israel. Sadly, they've been suffering the consequences ever since.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 6:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dewdly, the answer is "trading land for peace" as DrDan assures us is a legitimate and rational choice that Israel should do with the West Bank.

Clearly DrDan is correct, because when Israel turned over Gaza to the Palestinians and evacuated it, they got nothing but peace from the Palestinians that now live there.

- no rockets, no tunnels, no bombs, no hatred at Israel, full recognition of Israel's right to exist and Israel even got the gift of democratically elected terrorist group Hamas! Now unicorns dance on rainbows and peace exists throughout the land of milk and honey.

You are so right DrDan. We can also go to sleep tonight confident that when Israel exits the West Bank peace will prevail and threats to Israel will end from groups like Hamas.

What a joke.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 6:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Does anybody have the actual results from the election that put Hamas in power? How many candidates were there? What were their differences? Did saner heads get diluted in the outcome? Was the election monitored? I think these are important questions before we condemn the populace and citizenry of the Gaza Strip as a whole.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 7:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars,

Egypt is a Muslim country populated by Arabs, many of whom are Palestinian refugees. For over thirty years the U.S. paid Hosni Mubarak 1.5 billion dollars annually to stand down in Israel's genocide against the Palestinians. The new leadership in Egypt is continuing Mubarak's policies, though we may not be paying them as much to do so. The blockade on the Southern border is Israel's blockade - Egypt is simply paid to police it.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

realitycheck,

In 1947 the Jews owned 7% of the land in Palestine and they had been under the military protection of the British for 25 years as they arrived from Eastern Europe. Remarkably, no one ever seems to wonder what the Jews indigenous to Palestine thought of the influx of Talmudists that had come in since the Mandate. It might surprise you to know that Palestinian Jews wanted the Zionists to accept Britain's offer of Uganda when it was made in 1904. As late as 1945 they were still hoping to be able to accept Uganda and immigrate there from Palestine. For that desire they were considered traitors to Zionism by the Jewish newcomers.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 7:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars wrote, " They don't care about Israel, or the deaths of Israelies..." Can you read? 3 Israelis have been killed by Hamas rockets; the IDF has killed at least 1600 (more likely over 2000) Gazans, including hundreds of kids. Try to be realistic, and honest, eh?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 8:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Many American Jews are horrified by what the IDF and rightwing extremist PM Netanyahu have done, and they are speaking out; as an example see http://independent.com/news/2014/jul/...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 12, 2014 at 8:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So dewdly, what do you think of district vs citywide elections ? Oh that's right you're not an SB local, you're only here to sow divisiveness in our community- you don't actually live here. Noting you don't have an opinion on local issues, not even the gang injunction. Go away outsider.
Next...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 12:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This map, thoughtfully researched by history professor Juan Cole, illustrates a powerful reality. That truth is, since 1946, the Palestinians continue to have more and more land taken away from them as the years go by:

http://www.juancole.com/2014/07/pales...

If you took this much land from them by fiat and force of arms, took away their farms and homes with no compensation, took the best and most productive lands for yourself, then subjugated them under inhumane conditions, is it a surprise some of them would rise up in arms?

Even an unjustly persecuted people doesn't have the right to do this.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 12:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

American Jews might be horrified by what the current Israeli regime is doing, but how does it differ from what they were doing in 1948? How does it differ from what the first Zionists intended and worked for - men like Benzion Netanyahu, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon? It may not have been what Herzl had in mind, but Herzl was pushed aside by Russian Jews as soon as he seriously considered Britain's offer of Uganda.

Britain's offer was made to the Zionists as representatives of ALL Jewry Assimilationist Jews, socialist and communist Jews, Jews content to be American - all their ideas, allegiances, criticisms and protests were rendered powerless in 1904! Zionism is triumphant and you will have to be content with being perpetually horrified, but not horrified enough to question "Israel's right to exist".

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 2:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dewdly is an agent provocateur/cum/closet anti-Semite, unworthy of response: why feed this troll?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 2:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

thank you for injecting some factual/cartographic data into this discussion that definitely needs it, EB. In refusing to come to be table and negotiate honestly, or at all, Netanyahu pursues a policy like the Chinese to in Tibet: if we [Israel/China] wait long enough, and COLONIZE enough of OUR people in the contested area [West Bank/Tibet], eventually WE will be the majority. Bingo! Why negotiate?? Over the long view, say 30 - 50 years, the Israelis/Han Chinese get what they want. It's gross and really nasty. Got an opinion on these FACTS, eh Lars??

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 2:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Israel exists because it used military force and terrorism to expel Palestinians and confiscate their lands. Jews in 1922 owned 3% of the land of Palestine; by 1947 purchases had raised the total owned by the immigrant Jews to 7% of the whole area of the country. After the general armistice of the 1948 war, Israel had captured over 77% of Palestine and more than 95% of the good soil. The newly sovereign state of Israel also expropriated 80% of privately owned Palestinian land and confiscated at least 40% of properties held by Palestinian Arabs who remained on the land and became citizens. The total losses of Palestinians are estimated to be 7.43 billion pounds.

If Israel has the "right to exist", doesn't it follow that the means by which it came to exist and continues to exist are beyond reproach? Negotiating with the inmates of a concentration camp is preposterous - they don't have anything left with which to bargain.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 3:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hmmm-Arafat got 97% of what he wanted and still weaseled out of helping his own people. The factual and acknowledged record proves this.
This Palestinians voted in Hamas in a hilarious free election that shocked the Bush administration. You cannot overwhelmingly vote in avowed terrorists and then disavow their actions.
Israel has the least to give of all countries in the region but is solely expected to create the two state solution while the rest of the Arab world, that could easily help accommodate this solution, refuses.
Hamas intentionally hides weapons and terrorists and shoots rockets from hospitals and houses and houses of worship. The Palestinians refuse to seek shelter the mourn over being killed while knowingly hiding next to the Army in order to create martyrs.
Finally world opinion, including our own impotent White House, embarrassed by Hamas using the tunnels to kill people during a cease fire, is acknowledging that the equation for peace is different than the old Progressive mantra or the old Conservative mantra.
This comment thread proves there is no current hope since people keep proposing the same failed strategies that have proven irrelevant for over 50 years.
Y'all also act as though the entire world is not going nuts from crazy Muslims, Has anyone noticed that nearly all African terror is Muslim based. How about the 100% Muslim attempted genocide of all Christians in and around Iraq? Anyone check on how wonderful Malaysia has become with their conservative Muslim party? But somehow Hamas is not evil and Israel is the bad guy?

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan,

Why does it matter that few Israeli citizens have died from the rocket attacks? Hundreds of been badly injured. Hundreds of thousands are forced into bomb shelters daily when the rocket alarms ring. But you know this, and simply don't give a sh%t. If your family was forced to live in fear of deadly rockets, your tune would change completely. But you're sitting at home, hating Jews, and feel otherwise.

Negotiation with terrorists doesn't work. Hamas is out to destroy Israel. You keep mentioning Isreali casualties versus Palestinian casualties, but that's simply not the point. One country has been relentlessly attacking the other for years. Israel has been incredibly patient. They've tried over and over to "negotiate," with no success.

Blasting the terrorist fu%kers to smithereens was a last resort. Unfortunately, innocent civilians were killed, but again, it was a last resort, and Israel has every justification for its actions.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 11:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Also, DrDan, your numbers are way off. Hundreds of the Gazans killed were Hamas terrorists, the guys launching rockets, and planning attacks against Israel. Considering Israel was forced by the terrorists to fight in highly populated areas near schools and hostpitals, it's amazing the civilian causualty count wasn't much higher.

Lars (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 11:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars is a foil for DrDan. He makes DrDan look reasonable, concerned, and peace-loving when in reality DrDan supports everything the Zionists have done since the British Mandate was imposed on Palestine.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 12:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

nomoresanity says: "You cannot overwhelmingly vote in avowed terrorists and then disavow their actions"

Isn't that statement true of Israel as well as the Palestinians? The Likud Party has repeatedly elected "avowed terrorists" as Prime Ministers - Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and is now led by the son of a man who unabashedly says that Jews must not stop until they kill all the Arabs in Palestine. The Zionists even used terror tactics against the British who had been their protectors during the years in which Zionists were acquiring arms to launch an agressive war against the Palestinians.

It is disingenuous for critics of Israel to pretend that what Netanyahu is doing now does not have its roots in the Zionist program to create a "homeland" in a land belonging to others.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
August 13, 2014 at 3:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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