How Can the World Be Blind to Israel’s Existential Threats?

Published: 01 February 2009

I heard Benjamin Netanyahu, the person who could soon become Israel’s new prime minister, speak this week at the Jerusalem Conference. The most pressing point that he talked about was that under no circumstances should Jerusalem be divided. Many believe that if Jerusalem were to divide, the terrorist group Hamas would set up a headquarters here, which would result in Iranian agents — who also wish to see genocide against the Israelis — setting up shop within the confines of Jerusalem.

It is amazing to me, as an American who travels the world on a near-constant basis, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance. Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. I could sit right here in Jerusalem and write bad things about Israel and Jews, and nothing would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t get invited somewhere or would be called an anti-Semite, but that would be it. Neither the Jews nor the Israelis would harm me, though they likely would write bad things about me. I came to Israel with no press accreditation and at the airport they knew that I was a writer. Yet they let me in and have allowed me to freely roam the country. Today I was in very close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu talked about how, in this very hotel, Rehavam Ze’evi had been murdered just a few floors above our heads. The security seemed incredibly lax by American standards. Bernard Lewis and other extremely smart people were there.

Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead. Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it’s not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere. Complete genocide.

And when Iran has the capacity to launch rockets over to Europe or the United States, one can count on it happening. If they can manage to hatch nuclear weapons, we could see Israeli cities annihilated, leaving Israelis with little choice other than to respond with nuclear weapons, which could leave millions dead. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, Iraq will want them, as will other nations who are threatened by Iran. I’ve lived in Europe for about six years, and it is easy to imagine Europe being engulfed in a massive religious and race war. America is relatively sedate on the racial front, but Europe could explode if a serious terrorism wave were to sweep through.

It is simply astounding that many foreign governments do not see this for what it is. Good Muslims are murdered by Muslim extremists in probably dozens of countries, yet certain European governments insist that there is some sort of moral equivalence between Hamas and the democracy called Israel. At this conference, I hear incredulous Jews who are concerned that their soldiers and political leaders might be charged with war crimes and arrested if they travel to Europe. This is just one example of the racism that vexes Europe and keeps it behind where it could be. Imagine for a moment that Cuba were launching missiles at Florida. We would sink their navy, shoot down their air force, wipe out their army, and kill Castro. Yet thousands of rockets have been raining down on Israel, while many members of the international community demand that Israel do nothing. These rockets are advertised to be small and not much of a nuisance, but each one carries about 15 times more explosives than a hand grenade. Hamas favors launching the rockets when kids are going to or coming from school. Clearly they are trying to murder the children who are growing up under attack. The Israelis have proven time and again that they will choose peace if given a chance. Hamas, when given a chance, chooses war.

I hear great concern that our new administration will turn its back on Israel, leaving Israelis to fend for themselves. But these feelings are not limited to the Israelis. Concern comes from numerous allies that the United States might go cold. I’m hearing these concerns from Iraqis, British, Lithuanians, and Israelis, to name a few.

I can safely be called anti-war. But being anti-war does not mean we can hide our heads in the sand in regard to the proximate and growing threat from Iran. If you want to see World War III unfold, just sit quietly about Iran. Iran could be the opening chapter of an apocalyptic era.


Comments   

 
# rachel 2009-02-01 22:01
When I see how the world governments take the side of Hamas, then I know for sure that what I always suspected is really true....THE LUNATICS ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM. Whether out of greed, or evil, it doesn't matter. Because the reality of it is very dangerous and scary.
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# Chip Seiple 2009-02-01 22:26
"It is not possible to negotiate peace with an enemy that only wants war and sees that you only want peace"

"Negotiating with a terrorist is like arguing w/ a fool".
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-1 # toxicseagull 2009-02-01 22:30
"By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead"
isreal has often targetted journalists in documented cases over the last few decades. simply because you as a american writer had a good time does not mean others are extended the same courtesy.

"Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law."
no it doesnt. it is still breaching international law, and has been in its treatment of land rights for almost half a century. despite promising on 3 occasions to return to lawful borders. the UN has often stated concern for law breaking on humanitarian and social grounds.

"Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy "
this could have something to do with isreal being able to obliterate buildings of government and infrastructure whenever it feels like for again, decades. the bombing of gaza power plant? shelling of international airports and roads and bridges? these are not strikes against "terrorist cells". they are crippling strikes so that the region can never hope to govern itself. isreal has as much on its hands in the way that its neighbour has ended up as they themselves. it is not just Palestinians that are refusing to recognise sovereignty. there is such a thing as "state terrorism". just because a nation is a democracy does not mean it is incapable of doing horrific things or acting wrongly. this is a mentality i have only experienced in america.

". Yet thousands of rockets "
last time i checked it was about 60 a month. causing maybe one or two injuries. during the peacefire hamas fired 0 rockets, until the peacefire was broken by isreal (you can see isreal's government spokesman admitting this on international news sites).

"This is just one example of the racism that vexes Europe and keeps it behind where it could be"
this is not racism. it is the abhorrence of mindlessly punishing a population of over a million people on the actions of a few. would you side with the spanish if they did the same to the basque region? or how about britain to the welsh? would you not be in uproar (and indeed america supported the terrorist actions in NI) if the british started shelling northern ireland indiscriminatel y? we decry the killing of civilians on bloody sunday, would it not be hypocritical if we then applauded the slaughter of over a thousand civilians for the political weight it gains in isreal's parliment to be seen to "act tough"

as someone who often impresses the need to talk and support those on both sides to talk to gain stability as you have in your articles. im pretty disappointed, but not shocked unfortunately. both sides have severe issues before any can claim the moral highground, but to mindlessly support isreals militancy is pretty sickening. your war reporting is top notch but the commentary is incredibly biased which doesnt do the on the ground reporting justice.
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# Chip Seiple 2009-02-01 22:37
"It is not possible to negotiate peace with an enemy that only wants war and sees that you only want peace"

"Negotiating with a terrorist is like arguing w/ a fool".
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# Dale 2009-02-01 22:41
Yes, the age old question of truth. It sounds so simple to just advocate truth and this is clearly seen effective when to children most things are plainly obvious. However adults have a way of complicating things to the point where some no longer care about truth.

Its an unfortunate reality and a transparent evil. How could Hitler rise to power with European and some American sympathies and have an entire country so enthralled that they never turned on him no matter the years of failed warfare and the hundreds of thousands of lives lost of sons, fathers, and husbands. Patton realized that there could be no compromised peace with this force but only complete and utter defeat whatever the human suffering exacted.

It is strange as I read Victor Hanson Davis' 'The Heart of Battle' that though Patton proved himself superior and extraordinarily successful that his contemporaries and superiors didn't let him achieve his maximum effect as a commander. Why didn't Bradley and Eisenhower support their effective General? There's a scripture that talks about how 'a man's heart is deep waters' and is difficult to fully grasp. This muddying of moral clarity and even simple facts seems often to only be magnified when you group several people together when a committee, a classroom, a newsroom, a congress, or a nation. I've seen though that when it comes to people unifying around God and a pure hearted effort to doing whats' truly best that the contrary effect has a great potential of happening.
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# gachong 2009-02-01 22:43
Michael,
While I agree with your comments on Hamas and Iran, I'm surprised at your whitewashing of Israel. Please do some more homework, perhaps from the perspective of a Palestinian or "Arab" trying to work and send his children to school and university in Israel.

While I don't pretend to be an expert on Israel, I've spent time in Jerusalem and the West Bank, more than just a few days or weeks. The history of Israeli zionists--initi ating "terrorism" in this area in the 20th century against British and Palestinians--d ecimating Palestinian villages, illegally driving Palestinians off their property and stealing their land, blocking Palestinians from professions and university education, the use of The Wall (presented to the world as a defensive action) to steal more Palestinan land.. . C'mon. You're visiting as a U.S. (where most of the money to support the Israeli economy comes from) celebrity and telling us you're freedoms are not impinged? Go figure. Now try passing as a Palestinian and see how you do.
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# Sonny 2009-02-01 23:09
Obviously you are well familiar with the Hamas "talking points". If I needed a public relations firm, I would hire Hamas. They know how to get out the most persuasive propaganda of any organization on the planet. Anti-Semites eat it up and spew it out with such sincerity. However, they really don't understand what the real issues are all about.

Israel is NOT the bad guy in this conflict. They have done more for the development of this region in 50 years than the Arabs have done in 5000.

The parallel in our nation is how the African-America ns have been protrayed in this country since the Civil War. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and their types have brain-washed 90% of that community into believing they are the only ones that can deliver them from oppression.

The same thing is happening in Gaza. Hamas has the world believing they are only trying to give back to the Palestinians what they say is rightfully theirs. To say that Israel has no "rights" to the land they occupy is the same thing as saying the people who landed in Plymouth Rock and developed America to what it is have no "rights' to be here.

If you want Israel to give back its land, then you have to say the same thing about America: All the Euro-Centric people of this country must abandon everything they own and return to their homeland - whereever that is.

Get real. It's never going to happen.
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# jono39 2009-02-01 23:27
There are one million Arab, Muslim and Christian, Israelis who hold citizenship and passports in Israel. Explain what rights they do not have in Israel with respect to education and work, other than being excused from the military, although there are Arabs in the IDF. Undoubtedly there are issues of contention which can be inflamed from time to time, but there is no evidence that many of them wish to live under Syrian or Egyptian rule which will be their fate I expect without the presence of Israel, nor do I see many of them wishing to live under the jurisdiction of the PLO or Hamas. There are challenges enough for these people without your inventing silly slanders. I am not suggesting relations within Israel are perfect but they are nothing even beginning to compare with segregation in the United States for example.
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# Hank 2009-02-02 01:47
Micheal, personally I feel you are pretty much right on in your views. You are one of the few people in the world that has been there and has the experience to tell the truth. Most of the other people here that are commenting are merely stating talking points of American media or possibly Hamas themselves. Keep up the good work and keep the truth coming. Doesn't matter if some can't see or understand the truth, that don't change anything. And some day soon when God gets enough, everyone will see the truth with their own eyes!!! By the way, love your book, it is awesome!!!!!!!
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# kenny komodo 2009-02-02 01:52
Michael you are correct in stating that Hamas wants to destroy Israel and kill not just Israeli Jews but all the Jews in all the world. But do not think for a moment that Hamas would be content to stop there, oh no, that would just be the beginning. Hamas would then start on the worlds Christians, and then the other religions until there is no religion other then Islam and the world bows down under an Islamic caliphate. This is why Israel is the canary in the mine for the world. Now of course the reason why the world is not up in arms over the continual firing of rockets, missiles and mortars at Israel, the use of suicide bombers/terrori sts and the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers is simple. They are only Jews, after all. Who cares, really. It's the same old anti semitism that has been around for eons and has never vanished. Today it's as strong as ever. Jews the world over should arm themselves and prepare for the final days when Iran goes nuclear and Islamists everywhere think they have a free pass to kill Jews anywhere and everywhere.
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# swift boater 2009-02-02 01:58
the comments by #3 are just abhorrent and his response to all of them are deceitful. He really lets his true colors out with this statement:

"last time i checked it was about 60 a month. causing maybe one or two injuries. during the peacefire hamas fired 0 rockets, until the peacefire was broken by isreal (you can see isreal's government spokesman admitting this on international news sites). "

"Only" 60 a month. And who really cares anyway, they're only dirty, stinking Jews afterall. Why not finish your thought?

Last I read the IDF called the Gazans to warn them that after several more rocket and mortar rounds crashed into Israel from hamas they were going to respond. Didn't catch the last time the Hamas baby killers called into Israel, perhaps you can enlighten all of us.

No, there is no moral equivalency at all. Like the article implies, if Hamas puts down their guns there is peace. If Israel puts down their guns its complete slaughter, down to the last infant. If you don't believe that you are more a fool than you appear to be.
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# McHermann 2009-02-02 02:02
Very good article, as usual Mr. Yon. I agree that Israel is a law-abiding country...The citizens of Israel abide by the laws of Israel as they should. Our country would be much better off if we would return to abiding and respecting our own laws...but our own country is a good example of what goes wrong when the citizens lose respect for the laws and have only contempt for authority. And the way our system is set up, is exactly the way the Israeli system is set up...tolerant, even lax...to the point of allowing evil to thrive. We must change our hearts if we are to reverse the slide into the ash-heap of history. We must return to the sanctity of the Constitution. These sniveling whiners think that anarchy is freedom, until they have to pay the price.

Keep up the good work Michael.
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# PeterInMN 2009-02-02 02:28
Now the LORD said to Abram, ƒ??Go from your country and your kindred and your fatherƒ??s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.ƒ?

Now doubt about it, Michael you are going to be blessed!!
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# IhateHamas 2009-02-02 03:04
Just keep kicking their asses Israel, until they stop firing rockets
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# Matthew Gonzalez 2009-02-02 03:15
Well, while Iran appears to still be a threat, why are we so worried about their nuclear facilities if we're currently unconcerned about Egypt's nuclear facilities?
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# Paul S. 2009-02-02 05:54
"many foreign governments do not see this for what it is."

Don't see it? Or choose not to make the admittedly hard decisions---and face the inevitable consequences--- by confronting it. The restraints some NATO countries put on their "peacekeepers" speak volumes. The evidence of fruitless years of "dialog" with Iran's mullahs and other irreconcilables should have settled the case beyond doubt by now.

Reality is an excellent instructor, but only if its lessons are heeded.

Tick, tock...
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# Nathan Loizeaux 2009-02-02 06:26
Caveat - I've no formal schooling in the way of Middle East Studies.

Shameless Plug - I've a good deal of schooling in psychological and sociological analysis.

So, for what it's worth, here's how I've been breaking down Middle East conflicts while debating with friends, and enemies. It works fairly well.

No one loves the Palestinians. Sometines not even themselves. Most people simply settle for hating Israel.

Hating Israelis and loving Palestinians are not the same thing. Most Americans, especially those in academic circles, unwittingly confuse the two, and think that decrying Israeli atrocities while ignoring Palestinian atrocities somehow puts them on a high ground. To be fair, pro-Israeli Americans do the same thing, although it's harder to find good information on Israeli atrocities in most American press. And, to be more fair, most Israeli "atrocities" pale in comparison to things like strapping bombs to a teenage girl and sending her into an Israeli marketplace. But Israel isn't innocent by any stretch of the imagination - they've stood by while people are slaughtered (Sabra and Shatila massacres). They've imprisoned many hundreds of Palestinian suspects without trial. And in the end, I don't think it matters if we (Americans, anyway) support them emotionally or not. The money issue aside, Israel can take care of herself. She beat three Arab nations at war with her in six days, in part because her spies were everywhere. One of them, one Eli Cohen, nearly became Syria's Minister of Defense.

Think about that - six days, and almost running an arm of government for a hostile nation. That's absolutely insane. Israel can take care of herself.

Anyway, among those people I talk to concerning themselves with the Middle East, the angriest ones have always chosen a side. They'll debate all day about whose atrocities are worst, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. The point of being angry at Israel is, in theory, to give the Palestinians a peaceful home of their own. Arab countries instead use the Palestinians as a buffer with which to fight Israel - they'll gladly let the PLO set up shop in their borders, just so long as they're shooting at Israel, and they'll gladly pass the blame on to them when the world complains. And if the angry world needs to hear anything, it is this - unless your anger is directed towards a goal of a peaceful Palestine, all you're doing is giving yourself the satisfaction of thinking yourself morally upright, but at the expense of the victims you supposedly speak for.

If you side with Palestine, you should be just as angry with Jordan and Syria as you are with Israel. Both those countries hold Palestinian land, land they took the same day that Israel took Gaza. Of those three countries, only Israel has given land back, even if halfheartedly. But no one mentions Jordan or Syria. No one mentions that the rare instance when Palestinians staged a nonviolent protest and refused to go to work in Israel, the only support money coming in to help broke families came from America and France. Not a single Arab country sent a dime. They don't love the Palestinians. Neither does Hamas, which is why they have no problem placing their governed in harms way while goading the defensive mechanisms of a country comprised of people who have been perpetually persecuted and now find themselves permanently cornered by hostile neighbors. No other government in the world would have gotten away with something that stupid.

No one loves the Palestinians. Everyone hates Israel. It's kind of sad when you think about it.
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# DagneyT 2009-02-02 10:57
Thank you, Michael, for posting this! I really do appreciate it, as a Christian grafted on to God's Chosen. Those of us, Christians that is, who are studying eschatology, are well aware of the threat of Magog [Iran]. The Lord's word has been shown to be unfailingly true, and in the threat of Iran, I am both fearful and yet strangely joyous. Which is why Ahmadinejad scares the daylights out of me, if you catch my drift. Armageddon is exactly his goal. Even Arab Christians are ignorant to the old testament, and the fact that Jesus was a Jew, God's chosen people to whom He gave the land of Israel. I sat next to an Arab Christian on my flight from Israel last year. He asked why my church group had come to Israel? When I told him we wanted to reconnect with our roots, he gave me a look that said, "HUH?", so I told him, "Well, you know Jesus was a Jew, right?". Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian who is now an American, was unfamiliar with the old testament, so is it any surprise?

His Story is history, and it's also the future forecast.
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# ret7 2009-02-02 11:54
Thousands of rockets, as in 3000-4000... even if you were to call it "only" 60 a month that is 720 rockets, fired in time to coincide with people going to work, children going to school, etc.

Question for you, do you live in a bomb shelter? Do you need to? Life gets rather interesting when you have to think about finding shelterr in 15 seconds (Sderot, Israel) to a minute (some other places)

International law? Is that so? And who gave these internationalis ts the right to say what the laws were? Did they elect a world ruler? Is there an international constitution for the world? No, there is not the UN has no legal force in any of their resolutions and its only strength comes from its member nations... nor do their "laws" have any force within a nation.

"the slaughter of over 1,000 civilians" ?? Oh and where was Hamas during all this? Did they evacuate Gaza before the Israeli invasion? Of the "over 1,000" killed more than 2/3rds were Hamas... of the regrettable incidents that did occur, it was certain that Hamas violated the Geneva accords (not they were a signatory to them). However, Israels response, to attack the locations from which the attacks occurred, was (according to the Geneva accords, which Israel is signatory to) justifiable and proportionate. Proportionate means not that Israel has to let Hamas kill one Israeli for every Hamas killed, but rather it is sufficient to stop Hamas from continuing their attacks upon Israel. In light of that, Israel has not yet achieved proportionality in this conflict for Hamas continues, after this latest cease fire, to attack Israel with rockets.
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# melk 2009-02-02 12:07
"I hear great concern that our new administration will turn its back on Israel, leaving Israelis to fend for themselves"

Highly unlikely, Michael. It is US pressure that keeps the Israelis from doing what they should do. Imagine an unfettered Netanyahu in charge of the next response to Hamas or Hezbollah.
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# Danger Girl 2009-02-02 13:45
Matthew, there is no need to be concerned about Egypt.

While frustrated over Iranian nuclear weapons capabilities, Egypt still remains member in good standing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferati on of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the leading proponent of establishing a weapon-of-mass- destruction-fre e zone in the Middle East.

Egypt receives HUGE amounts of financial foreign aid from the US, which they know will cease should they change they steer away from the non - nuclear course.

As for the various Hamas talking points aka as terrorist lies & propaganda -being spewed forth by various people -- they are not worthy of being addressed. The US doesn't negotiate with terrorists, and I don't engage in conversation or debate with those who adopt Hamas/Hezbullah /Iraninan talking points disguised as "truths" from "knowledgeable" people.

The homeless dude on my street corner provides more intelligent conversation.
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# Andy 2009-02-02 14:36
Simple answer to that question is the Media they control all the information that we get. We need fair and balanced reporting on both sides that gets reported in all nations every day. Maybe the UN could set up a broadcasting news station. I think we might all be a bit surprised, shocked etc of the daily events that happening over there. Yon why dont you go undercover in Gaza as an ordinary Palestinian, try to work, feed your family etc for a month and give us a report from the Palestinian point of view.?
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# toxicseagull 2009-02-02 17:16
good debating tactic. trying to insinuate im somehow a puppet of hamas just for pointing out isreal's wrongs as well. did you not read my final paragraph? by the way commenting against Israel is not anti-Semitism and isreal is not made up completely of jews. its being even handed.
do you not think (as micheal has so often pointed out correctly) that the media you intake is not biased in some way or another either?
amusingly, micheal mentions racism holding back europe, perhaps i could turn that round on america and suggest it is holding back america on the world stage? the irony of anger over the economic bailouts when over 3 billion dollars a year are sent abroad on a no questions asked basis that helps zero americans. and yet they still dictate how you vote on the international stage no matter if it is not in your interests.

"They have done more for the development of this region in 50 years than the Arabs have done in 5000."
they have not developed the region, they have developed themselves with american tax payers money, that is all. the more developed a nation is, the more it should treat people humanly. micheal mentions the religious squads in Palestine willing to punish on moral grounds, but fails to acknowledge the significant zionist movement in isreal, which includes...."mo desty police".

he also fails to acknowledge the millions of ordinary Palestinians just trying to get by. hamas is not every person in palestine.

"The parallel in our nation is how the African-America ns have been protrayed in this country since the Civil War. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and their types have brain-washed 90% of that community into believing they are the only ones that can deliver them from oppression."
your civil problems are your own. i fail to see the comparison however. you are aware hamas only recently gained power and the more moderate parties were bombed into oblivion by isreal previously? same goes for the one isreali prime minister who was prepared to talk with palestine. he was shot by a isreali zionist. i would love you to point out a alternative for palestinians which doesnt involved them being forced out of their own land by the way.

"To say that Israel has no "rights" to the land they occupy "
isreal itself on several occasions has admitted it has no right under international law for the area's under contest, and on 3 separate occasions promised to return the land. they have not, and simply introduced settlement, including replacing Palestinian settlements with their own. violently if need be.

"same thing as saying the people who landed in Plymouth Rock and developed America to what it is have no "rights' to be here."
inadequate strawman argument im afraid. try again.

"If you want Israel to give back its land, then you have to say the same thing about America"
the two are not comparable, i must however point out that the area's under contest is not isreal itself, it is the additional land settles since the 60's. running by your logic, the british empire should still be in power over most of its old dominion and can legitimately claim it back.
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# toxicseagull 2009-02-02 17:18
to number 11
""Only" 60 a month. And who really cares anyway, they're only dirty, stinking Jews after all. Why not finish your thought?"
i wouldnt like to put words in other peoples mouths and i expect the same back. the fact is micheal was overstating the numbers involved, thus the word "only" was comparative. i would also expect some reaction from a populace when they are being shelled whilst living in poverty, their national sovereignty is being destroyed daily and they are getting cut down or arrested without trail by its neighbour.
would you expect them to just sit down and take it? both sides are at fault, but isreal must withdraw from the illegal settlements then they will have a position to complain about their citizens safety.as so far they are little more than settled human shields put there by their government.

"Last I read the IDF called the Gazans to warn them that after several more rocket and mortar rounds crashed into Israel from hamas they were going to respond."
oh, and where could they go? isreal keeps a sealed border. the area is grossly overcrowded already and isreal is happy to shell schools and homes. tell me, where is a safe place for innocent people to go in gaza? a warning does nothing when they have no options to protect themselves.

"if Hamas puts down their guns there is peace. If Israel puts down their guns its complete slaughter"
well thats not true at all is it? the ceasefire held for several months with both sides not killing each other. isreal has as much to gain as anyone by keeping this going. just as they refuse to acknowledge the state of Palestine (sound familiar to isreal's main complaint doesnt it? not being recognised).

"If you don't believe that you are more a fool than you appear to be."
and you seem unable to view one side in a two sided problem. you treat the millions of people in gaza and the west bank as though they are mindless animals and all have a bomb strapped to their chests. it is not idiocy to view both sides of the argument, no matter how you attempt to portray it. its such a shame instead of facing the issues, you resort to flinging accusations of racism with no basis on reality.
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# Lani 2009-02-02 17:36
Michael: I am a big fan of yours and have read every post on your website. I have turned many people on to you and have donated to you to keep you where you need to be to help us get the truth. I want you to know that a am a military historian and I supported Israel until the USS Liberty incident. I would like you to ask the Israeli government for the truth about their assault on the USS Liberty.

Assault on the USS Liberty: 34 killed and 121 wounded. Ships Captain receives Medal of Honor

In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel's attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship.

Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel.

A few hours later more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns.

A few minutes later a second wave of planes streaked overhead, French-built Mystere jets, which not only pelted the ship with gunfire but also with napalm bomblets, coating the deck with the flaming jelly. By now, the Liberty was on fire and dozens were wounded and killed, excluding several of the ship's top officers.

The Liberty's radio team tried to issue a distress call, but discovered the frequencies had been jammed by the Israeli planes with what one communications specialist called "a buzzsaw sound." Finally, an open channel was found and the Liberty got out a message it was under attack to the USS America, the Sixth Fleet's large aircraft carrier.

Two F-4s left the carrier to come to the Liberty's aid. Apparently, the jets were armed only with nuclear weapons. When word reached the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara became irate and ordered the jets to return. "Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately," he barked. McNamara's injunction was reiterated in saltier terms by Admiral David L. McDonald, the chief of Naval Operations: "You get those [censored] airplanes back on deck, and you get them back down." The planes turned around. And the attack on the Liberty continued.

After the Israeli fighter jets had emptied their arsenal of rockets, three Israeli attack boats approached the Liberty. Two torpedoes were launched at the crippled ship, one tore a 40-foot wide hole in the hull, flooding the lower compartments, and killing more than a dozen American sailors.

As the Liberty listed in the choppy seas, its deck aflame, crew members dropped life rafts into the water and prepared to scuttle the ship. Given the number of wounded, this was going to be a dangerous operation. But it soon proved impossible, as the Israeli attack boats strafed the rafts with machine gun fire. No body was going to get out alive that way.

After more than two hours of unremitting assault, the Israelis finally halted their attack. One of the torpedo boats approached the Liberty. An officer asked in English over a bullhorn: "Do you need any help?"

The wounded commander of the Liberty, Lt. William McGonagle, instructed the quartermaster to respond emphatically: "Fuck you." The Israeli boat turned and left.

See Part two
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# Lani 2009-02-02 17:38
Assault on the USS Liberty Part II

A Soviet destroyer responded before the US Navy, even though a US submarine, on a covert mission, was apparently in the area and had monitored the attack. The Soviet ship reached the Liberty six hours before the USS Davis. The captain of the Soviet ship offered his aid, but the Liberty's conning officer refused.

Finally, 16 hours after the attack two US destroyers reached the Liberty. By that time, 34 US sailors were dead and 174 injured, many seriously. As the wounded were being evacuated, an officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence instructed the men not to talk about their ordeal with the press.

The following morning Israel launched a surprise invasion of Syria, breaching the new cease-fire agreement and seizing control of the Golan Heights.A former Navy attorney who helped lead the military investigation of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 American servicemen says former President Lyndon Johnson and his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, ordered that the inquiry conclude the incident was an accident.

In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Capt. Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy's inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

It was "one of the classic all-American cover-ups," said retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who spent a year investigating the attack as part of an independent panel he formed with other former military officials. The panel also included a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins.

"Why would our government put Israel's interests ahead of our own?" Moorer asked from his wheelchair at the news conference. He was chief of naval operations at the time of the attack. Moorer, who has long held that the attack was a deliberate act, wants Congress to investigate. [Newsday]

Israel claims the USS Liberty was mistaken for the out-of-service Egyptian horse carrier El Quseir - can you spot the difference?
According to a 1981 NSA report on the incident, the El Quseir "was approximately one-quarter of the Liberty's tonnage, about one-half its length, and offered a radically different silhouette."

Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot's radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.

The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery. [Washington Report]
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# Daniel in Brookline 2009-02-02 18:53
I would recommend that you research the attack on the USS Liberty from the perspective of intelligence, both American and Israeli.

A lot of military intelligence is still classified, of course, even from 1967. But some books have been published, and some information is available.

In particular, I have read that one of the reasons for Israel's spectacular successes in 1967 is that they had broken Egyptian and Syrian military ciphers, and were able to 'cook' those transmissions: intercept them, rewrite them, and rebroadcast them. (As I understand it, in 1973 the Egyptians and Syrians had learned their lesson, and depended more on landlines than on coded radio transmissions; the 1973 war was thus a more conventional one.) In 1967, however, the USS Liberty was also intercepting coded transmissions -- and, according to the accounts I've read, raised the dangerous possibility of spilling the beans to the Egyptians and the Syrians while the fighting still raged.

For that reason, Israel ordered the United States to get the USS Liberty the hell out of the war zone, or face the consequences. From what I've read, the US Navy did indeed order the Liberty to retreat to a safe distance, but the order was not received by the Liberty -- at which point Israel, winning a war for her existence that could turn at any moment, saw no choice but to remove the threat that (to Israeli eyes) had refused to remove herself.

As I understand it, the incredible embarrassment over the entire incident -- America spying on Israel during wartime, Israel finding out about it and realizing what harm American intelligence could do in the wrong hands, Israel warning the ship away and a communications snafu preventing the message from getting through, Israel making the awful decision to fire upon an American ship -- caused the American and Israeli intelligence communities to come up with the (admittedly lame) cover story, of mistaken identification of the ship etc.

I believe Israel compensated the families of the killed and wounded American sailors generously, along with a profuse apology... but refused to compensate the U.S. government for damage to the ship itself, because it was the U.S. government's fault that the ship was in a war zone in the first place.

I regret that I can't recall, at the moment, where I read about this. As I said, you should research the incident in accounts of American and Israeli intelligence regarding the 1967 war.

I would also suggest that you not let this one incident color your entire perspective on Israel and her fight for her existence. As a wise man once said, you should not compare an isolated incident on one side -- which is profusely apologized for and compensated for -- with the daily standard practices of the other side.

In 1967, Israel fought for her existence against three national armies, each of them (on paper) far stronger than Israel -- and, in the process, had to deal with a friendly in the way who refused to move. Today, Israel fights to protect her women and children, against an enemy that cowers behind its own women and children; Israel also fights a media war against people who don't understand, incredibly, that Israel is more careful to protect Palestinian lives than the Palestinian Authority is.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline
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# laura 2009-02-02 19:42
And doesn't it make you feel grand that our new President has signed over$20 million to aid the Palestinians?

We all know that money will go right to Hamas.

Great move, Obama. Great move.

Let's not forget that failure comes to those nations who turn their back on Israel. i hope the US doesn't go down that slippery slope.
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# Jason 2009-02-02 22:14
You are not very familiar with Israel's contributions to the world are you? You stated in #23, "the irony of anger over the economic bailouts when over 3 billion dollars a year are sent abroad on a no questions asked basis that helps zero americans."

I assume you are referring to the aid the US provides to Israel in regards to military and financial assistance. You are 100% correct that the US provides Israel with enormous amounts of aid. Do you know why we provide that aid? I am guessing the answer is "No". The US provides a large portion of that aid as part of its commitment in the Israel-Eygpt Peace. When the US negotiated that peace agreement, in part for Israel returning the Sinai Penninsula to Eygpt, and the oil resources in the area, the US agreed to provide aid.

You are however, 110% incorrect when you state that this aid helps zero Americans. Unlike the Palestinians who also get aid, we get many, many things in return from Israel. Israel shares the technology it develops with the entire world, not just Americans.

Israel is responsible for: Email, Instant Messaging, Text Messaging, Cellular Phones, Firewalls, Medical Stint and much much more. Here is a list of some of the achievements of the Israeli people. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1600302/posts


In Response 24, you seem to harp on the cease-fire that lasted for 6 months, the only problem is, that cease-fire didn't last for 6 months, it lasted for 5 days. After the 5th day of the 6-month cease-fire, one of the many Militias in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel. It was not Hamas, but it did come from Gaza, and Hamas rules Gaza, therefore, they were responsible for the attack. When Israel did not respond in any way, they saw it as a sign of weakness, and started firing more rockets at Israel. It never escalated to an absurd amount until in December, when 70 rockets were fired in a single day, but a single violation is still a violation.

The Western Media never reported on any of the attacks coming from Gaza during that 6 month period, and only reported on the violation in November when Israel attacked a "Defensive Tunnel" as Dhimmi Carter called it, that was being dug to kidnap another Israeli soldier. I was in Sderot on at least 3 occasions during that supposed "cease-fire" when only Israel was really holding its fire.

Contrary to what you understand of the conflict, they entire time that Israel was bombing and fighting in Gaza City, all of Southern Gaza was quiet. It is not the easiest thing to do, hell, it might not have been possible at all, but when the call came in that Israel was going to attack an area, the civilians could have left to go to Southern Gaza, if they could have found a way to get there. At the same time, can you say definitively that Hamas was not forcing the people to stay in their houses? I can't, but I have seen enough reports of Hamas using Human Shields, and enough videos of Hamas Gunmen pushing little kids in front of them or grabbing a child by the back of his shirt and dragging him along to protect the brave soldier to at least accept that there is a possibility.


Don't go comparing the West Bank and Gaza. They are two completely separate entities at this point. One is ruled by a "Moderate who pretends to be peaceful, and for that, gets international recognition, as well as more freedom to control his territory. The West Bank is starting to prosper. The economy is starting to gain ground, and the citizens in the West Bank do not fear Israeli attacks. They are taking over complete control from Israel in areas slowly but surely. Don't get me wrong, life in the West Bank is not great, but it is drastically better than Gaza, and is improving everyday, and will continue to improve as long as they can control the terror that is trying to emanate from there.
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# spewking 2009-02-02 23:28
Laura writes "And doesn't it make you feel grand that our new President has signed over$20 million to aid the Palestinians?"
Yes it does.
It's an addtion to the aid that has already been alloted by President Bush, brought on by the destruction caused by the Israeli defensive actions taken against Hamas.
Some $13.5m. of the funds, which comes on top of $85m. in relief the US had already committed for 2009, will go primarily to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Another $6m. will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross and $800,000 will be given to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
US State Department acting spokesman Robert Woods acknowledged that this money was being distributed through the independent agencies of UNRWA, the Red Cross and OCHA because "they're the primary conduits of assistance to the Palestinians" in Gaza now.
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# kidoist 2009-02-02 23:49
It continues to baffle the rational, sane mind how anyone can compare the backward thinking, cowardly Islamofascist Hamas, or any other irrational Jihadist to the forward thinking, Democracy of Israel. Is Israel, perfect? Of course not. Do they bust an occasional head during a crackdown on the same old Islamic terrorists? Yes. Those things happen in an imperfect world where thugs and murderers are allowed to roam the streets, respectively. Compare any Christian country, even the ones that are trying to hide their Christian heritage(for some insane, cowardly reason) in their worst state to any Islamic despot of a state. There's no comparrison. That's why they're flocking to the wide open borders of Europe. Islam is a backward, violent worldview, incompatible with any peaceful people...
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# Daniel in Brookline 2009-02-03 04:21
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/07/gaza-hamas-unrwa-oped-cx_cr_0108rosett.html

There's more where that came from; look around.

Or just take it from an expatriate Israeli that UNRWA, at best, turns a blind eye to things that ought to be war crimes; and, at worst, is basically a front for murderous terrorists disguised as UN workers.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline
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# JerryT 2009-02-03 04:41
Iran.

tick...tick....tick...tick...
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# Andy 2009-02-03 06:42
I won't hijack this thread by refuting toxicseagull point by point. I'll simply quote the following:

"micheal mentions the religious squads in Palestine willing to punish on moral grounds, but fails to acknowledge the significant zionist movement in isreal, which includes....'mo desty police'."

...
...
WTF?! Where can I get those hallucinogens you're on?
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# Steve J. 2009-02-03 08:58
"Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance."

Hamas will hunt down Jews all over the world. AYFKM?
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# Steve J. 2009-02-03 09:04
" we get many, many things in return from Israel"

All we get is grief. Israel is essentially a parasite on America.
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# Jason 2009-02-03 13:44
If all we get from Israel is grief, then boycott Israel.

Start by turning off your computer, since the Intel chip that is most likely in it was created and built in Israel. Turn off your cellular phone and throw that in the trash because, as I said before, Cell Phones are Israeli inventions.

Next time you get sick, don't go to the doctors because most likely, they will prescribe a medication that was created and manufactured in Israel.

You know, it is much easier for me to paste a link rather than type this all out to refute you, so here you go. The ultimate guide to boycotting Israel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saeky9I5T9c
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# Dave 2009-02-03 13:55
It is time to wipe out Hamas and put them at the bottom of the sea. I have had enough of the fanatic Muslims and the fashionable tolerance of them.

Godspeed Israel, may you leave no tree rooted in Gaza, may it be reduced to rubble so that the nations will know the futility of attempted destruction of God's people. May the word Hamas be a curse and a byword to the world - the only remaining legacy of a shameful and idolatrous people.
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# Jason 2009-02-03 16:44
For all those who claim that a cease-fire will work, or that Israel broke the last cease-fire, please see the linked to Calendars. This link provides information on a daily basis of what was fired into Israel from Gaza.

Contrary to popular belief, and of course, thanks greatly to the Mainstream Media for completely ignoring every single violation here, except for when Israel finally retaliates, most of the world thinks that the cease-fire actually held. The truth is, after just 5 days, the first violation of the cease-fire occurred, but since Israel absorbed the hit, nobody outside the Middle East reported on it.

As I mentioned in previous comments, the cease-fire did not last. There was a period of 2 months, September and October, where there were only a few violations. Over that 2 month period, only about 5 violations, however, a violation is a violation. A Cease-fire means, No Firing.

So, during the 6-month Cease-fire, a total of 230 attacks occurred against Israel, with them not responding. That is not a Cease-fire, that is one side being restrained, and the other seeing the restraint as a sign of weakness.
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# mcarroll 2009-02-03 17:06
The time is now to attack Iran. The longer we give them to prepare, the more lives will be lost in the futurre. What are we waiting for? We definitley cannot wait for the cowards in europe to act.
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# mcarroll 2009-02-03 17:14
....and the same lunatics that support hamas around the world are now running our country. think about it...a good portion of those that voted for mr. obama couldn't give a rip about israel and in fact cower to the fanatical muslims....thin king that we can somehow be "friends" with them. heck, our commander in chief even thinks we can sit down and talk with them. 2nd american revolution?.... .stay tuned.
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# Mike McC 2009-02-03 19:58
You make some excellent points about the freedoms and institutions of Israel relative to most of its neighbors. I came to the site today, hoping that you would have some insight on the current elections in Iraq. The NY Times had an Op Ed piece quoting the reactions of three Iraqi bloggers (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/opinion/03intro.ready.html). I'd be interested in your take as well.
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# Eyes Wide Open 2009-02-03 21:35
Steve J
"Hamas will hunt down Jews all over the world. AYFKM?"


From Article 7 of Hamas' Charter:

...; nevertheless, the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allahƒ??s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!...
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# Jason 2009-02-03 21:54
No, we are not f'ing kidding you.

However, although the Hamas Charter calls for killing Jews anywhere in the world they are found, Hamas has not attacked Jews outside the Middle East. That is not to say that it won't happen in the future, especially if the State of Israel is eventually destroyed.

Hezbollah on the other hand, is responsible for a slew of attacks on Jewish assets around the world. Hezbollah is responsible for at least 2 attacks in Argentina, as well as at least 1 attack in South America, and several in Africa.
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# Jason 2009-02-03 22:00
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2008/12/rocket-calendars.html

For all those who claim that a cease-fire will work, or that Israel broke the last cease-fire, please see the linked to Calendars. This link provides information on a daily basis of what was fired into Israel from Gaza.

Contrary to popular belief, and of course, thanks greatly to the Mainstream Media for completely ignoring every single violation here, except for when Israel finally retaliates, most of the world thinks that the cease-fire actually held. The truth is, after just 5 days, the first violation of the cease-fire occurred, but since Israel absorbed the hit, nobody outside the Middle East reported on it.

As I mentioned in previous comments, the cease-fire did not last. There was a period of 2 months, September and October, where there were only a few violations. Over that 2 month period, only about 5 violations, however, a violation is a violation. A Cease-fire means, No Firing.

So, during the 6-month Cease-fire, a total of 230 attacks occurred against Israel, with them not responding. That is not a Cease-fire, that is one side being restrained, and the other seeing the restraint as a sign of weakness.
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# spewking 2009-02-04 00:40
Daniel in Brookline notes "Or just take it from an expatriate Israeli that UNRWA, at best, turns a blind eye to things that ought to be war crimes; and, at worst, is basically a front for murderous terrorists disguised as UN workers."

The point of my comment wasn't to dispute that there are issues with UNRWA, which is well documented, but that it's not just the "new" president who is responsible for providing funding for this activity. Laura's statement was purely political and misleading. As the article you mention clearly points out, the US has been providing money to UNRWA since 1949, through various Republican and Democratic administrations . The article doesn't suggest that aid money be stopped but be more transparent in it's distribution. The alternative is something I don't think even Israel wants i.e. a humanitarian castastrope with hundreds of thousands dying for which Israel will be blamed even though it's only exercising it's right to self defense. That's why Israel has been sending truck loads of aid into Gaza. And that's why the US continues to send money.
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# Lori 2009-02-04 15:19
Jason and Andy....your points are spot on, however, when you try to debate an issue with toxicseagull it is like trying to promote peace with the terrorists in Hamas. Won't happen! His name should be your first clue. If you look back through the articles on this web site you will see what I am talking about. Toxicseagull stirs the pot of BS and likes to get his "facts" from google. Democracy doesn't exist for him and he is anti-American, anti-Israeli and believes that all countries be "perfect". Peace, love and rock and roll baby.

With that piece of bitterness aside....

I agree totally with Michael. Let us not forget who supplies Hamas with their weapons. Iran supports the terrorists in Gaza and has said so. It amazes me that there are those who forget the daily assault that Israel endures. Hamas = Jihad and in case there are those among us that forget what jihad means....Holy war against those who aren't Muslim extremists = death to anyone who doesn't believe like they do. In this case it is death to all Israeli's. Now...let us all remember who said that the Holocaust didn't happen. You CAN NOT have peace with those whose sole purpose on this earth is to kill all non believers of Muslim extremism. How many people have to be killed before that little nugget gets embedded into the brains of those who think they can negotiate with them???

Fact: On Jan. 19 Hamas "agreed" to a cease fire for a week which was later extended in the hopes that an agreement could be reached through the Egyptian initiative. Israel began withdrawls on the 19th and was completely withdrawn on Jan. 21. Since this "cease fire" was agreed upon there have been 12 attacks BY Hamas.

On Jan. 20 terrorists opened fire on IDF soldiers near the border security fence in the Kissufim region.
On Jan. 25 a PFLP squad tried to launch rockets into Israeli territory that fell inside the Gaza Strip. (I am sure this was blamed on Israel...can't admit idiocy to the masses)
On Jan. 27 an IED was detonated on an IDF patrol along the border fence north of Kissufim. An anti-tank missle was also fired at them.
On Jan. 28 a rocket was fired from the central Gaza strip landing on Israeli territory.
On Jan. 29 a rocket was fired and landed near Sderot.
On Jan. 31 a rocket was fired and hit south of the city of Ashqelon.
On Feb. 1 three rockets were fired at western Negev villages. One fell outside of a school for kindergarteners . Palestinian terrorists also shot at the IDF forces patrolling the border fence in the Kissufim area. Nine mortar shells were then fired into Israeli territory.
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# Lori 2009-02-04 15:38
Someone needs to address the human rights abuses that are perpetuated by Hamas. Not ALL Palestinians believe like they do and are merely pawns to their terrorist tactics. I read an article in the New York Times that highlighted these abuses. When Israel strikes back at Hamas let us all remember the tactics that they use. When their leadership's war room is a bunker underneath Gaza's largest hosptial, let us not scream foul when it gets hit. When Hamas hides weapons in mosques, schoolyards and in Palestinian homes, let us not scream foul when these places are hit. Hamas militants fight in civilian clothes and have ordered the police officers to take off their uniforms. I truly believe that Israel tries their best not to inflict harm on the non-combatant Palestinians, but when Hamas uses civilians and its own children as human shields how can they not be the unfortunate victims of war?? There are those that would say just don't attack but tell that to the Israeli mother who just buried her child because Hamas shot another rocket into a group of children just leaving school. There were no warnings or leaflets dropped on their behalf. Hamas wants to kill ALL Israeli's. Israel wants only to deseminate Hamas. NOT THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. Why would they open up their own Israeli hospitals to treat the injured Palestinians if they wanted to kill them??

If the world doesn't think that the drama being played out in Israel doesn't or won't affect them at some point in the future, then this is a world of fools. Iran has a maniacal leader and he is the puppet master to what is happening in Israel. Iran has just launched its very first sattelite. Do you not realize that a country that can launch a rocket into space can launch a rocket across continents??? Iran is seeking to enrich its nuclear program. Still think this has nothing to do with you? If you aren't a Muslim extremist....I would worry.
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# Bluejammy 2009-02-04 18:36
Interesting take on Israel. I would consider myself pro-Israel and cannot fathom what it's like to live in an environment where a person sending ONLY 60 rockets a month into my backyard is ok. So "toxic seagull" you may want to move yourself and your family there because it's not THAT bad. I mean it's only 60... That would be one every morning and evening or one every twelve hours. You should be able to revise your schedule to accommodate that. Just put it in your outlook calendar with subject of "wait for rocket attack".

No doubt that Israel soldiers have done things that are bad, I believe every military has certain individuals who drag them through the dirt. But to insinuate that Israel hates everyone who is Palestinian seems a bit of a stretch. I am not naive though and would imagine there is a certain level of animosity between the two based on current and historical actions.

For the Love of the Heavenly Father, Please never mention anything the UN does. Talk about a bunch of people who stand around and watch people starve, get blown up, or simply allow genocide, they should be stripped of any sort of authority. Its ironic how people want to quote the UN policy when it suits them but don't talk about them being useless (still waiting for them to give back all of the money that has been stolen from its coffers). Please....

No disrespect Michael, but I don't think you are considered a celebrity and quite honestly I would not know you if you slapped me in the face. Well maybe after you slapped me I would know, but I digress.

What continues to dumbfound me is the talk about Hamas and hating Israel. Do people just not get that its not just Israel they hate? They hate us (Americans) the infidel, Christians (this include all protestants and catholics), Jews, any person who disagrees with them, and tragically even Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. So gives us all a break, you terrorist lovers, when you think that Hamas would stop if Israel just rolled over. We know youƒ??re ignorant so please stop trying to convince us. I know you think that if we just had dialog between Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda (sorry for leaving out the others in my shout out) about our foreign policy the twin towers would be still standing. Itƒ??s our fault and its Israelƒ??s fault that our people get bloodied on their actions.
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# Jim Forrest 2009-02-04 18:56
Michael Yon files excellent reports, when he is embedded. On the other hand, when he attempts to provide commentary his lack of a formal education shows up in awful writing and simplistic opinions... like this one that boils down to, "Israel is a democracy so Israel should be able to kill as many kids as they want".
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# Mr.Furious 2009-02-04 19:54
Hey, Michael, while in Jerusalem, see if you can still get a Turkish Coffee under the Damascus Gate in the little Arab booth. I used to be able to steer a neutral course between the sides. Jaffa Road at night is lovely; see all the Jewish kids selling jewellry and scarves, and take in a couple of beers(not necessarily Maccabees either).
But around 1990 things went a bit sour; I could still wander, but the East Jerusalem Arabs at the Hotel Damascus(if memory serves) tried to confiscate my passport for a few days. Maybe they were making a copy. There were also Arab guys on street corners keeping watch. They stood out because they weren't doing anything useful. As for the poor bloody Israelis, they were in denial; couldn't believe anything nasty was coming(nastier than usual). Something happens to the kids once they do national service. A lot of them turn into assholes and get promoted. But a lot of them stay cool too.
Israel's got the makings of a beautiful land.
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# Steamboat Jack 2009-02-04 21:02
As I see it, the thesis of this post is puzzlement as to why the Israelis are condemned and the Islamo-fascists are glorified.

Most of the responses involved are arguing as to who is at fault; a worthwhile argument but beside the point.

There is a large group of people that see an alternate reality; something from ƒ??1984ƒ? by George Orwell.

They are the ones that believe in Communism/Socia lism and will accept the sacrifice of millions of people (other peoples children anyway) to that end. Even though there is not one example that it ever worked.

They are the ones that will ƒ??understandƒ?  the machine gunning of a pregnant mother and her two daughters because she is Jewish.

They are the ones that believe that choosing to kill your child (abortion) is a heroic act that should be supported and paid for by society.

(The vast majority, perhaps 60% of abortions are committed by Liberals. Some 2,000 a day in these United States. Liberals are slaughtering their children. Thatƒ??s too bad for the children but if they hadnƒ??t done it Al Gore would have easily been elected President. Thank God for Choice!)

I can spend all day giving you examples of this over the last 100 years.

The bottom line is you feel a certain disconnect because these people actually believe that genocide committed against the Jews is too bad but understandable because of some nebulous crime committed by them. Black is White and Peace is War.

Itƒ??s irrational. Itƒ??s Liberal.
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# allarmy164 2009-02-04 22:08
At risk of being branded anti-Semite let me offer some opposing thoughts to your piece Michael. I agree with your assessment of Hamas, however, I disagree with your unconditional support of Israel. A couple of points. One, Israel appears to be headed down the road of religious fundamentalism if not fanaticism and that is problematic to ever achieving a semblance of peace in the region. The coming election is actually quite troubling as it appears the most extreme hard-liners might gain considerable backing. Second, while you can talk about Hamas and their atrocities, you fail to mention Israel's virtual imprisonment of millions in Gaza, restraint of trade, blockades, mistreatment and degradation of fellow human beings, their illegal (attested as such by countless Israeli court rulings) land grabs, their blatant disregard for basic human rights as witness their latest tactics in Gaza; and on and on. Third, America's blind allegiance to Israel is a huge stumbling block and I for one am sick and tired of having my country's security and defense so closely tied to an Israeli state which talks democracy but practices dictatorial rule over the Palestinians. Lastly, if you truly respect Israel and desire them to remain a viable nation-state in the middle of the Arab world then I suggest that we strive to see both sides of the issue.
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# Jason 2009-02-05 15:12
Although I agree with you that Israel is not perfect, you are completely buying into the Palestinian propaganda. If you would have read any of the previous comments, your argument that Israel doesn't treat its minorities fairly has already been debunked.

Israels virtual imprisonment of Gaza is not just Israel, so place some blame on Egypt, and understand that if they won't open their borders to these people, then maybe it is not just Israel that sees a problem with them.

Restraint of trade comes in response to rocket attacks. If Israel were not constantly under rocket fire, they would have no reason to close down their border crossings, and trade would commence freely.

For Blockade, see above.

Mistreatment and degradation of Human Beings? Israel allows Arabs to participate in its government, and live within its borders. They are free to move around, to work and partake in life. In the Palestinian territories, there is not a single Jew allowed to live. Jews must be in Israel and have no part in Palestinian society.
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# allarmy164 2009-02-11 15:47
Jason. I am no more buying Palestinian propoganda then I am Israel's and frankly I haven't seen the "debunking" that you do. None of the parties involved are "pure as driven snow" and contrary to the beliefs of the former US administration and its supporters, the world isn't black and white no matter how much we wish that were true. Here's the bottom line: There are ALWAYS at least two sides to a conflict and in this case the "Truth" is ALWAYS found closer to the middle of an argument then the extremes. Can you nit-pick and rationalize one side is more "just" then the other. Certainly. Does that resolve the dispute? Nope, never will. There are dozens of independent sources that informs a reader and gives a better understanding of life as an Israeli-Arab ... which oh by the way is about to get much worse with the right wing gains in Israel's latest election ... I would recommend Human Rights Watch as a start. Here's the bottom line. They aren't free to "roam around Israel". They aren't free to remain on their lands when they are claimed by some whacked-out right wing zealot settler; they aren't free to cross borders; they are treated as second and third class citizens in nearly every aspect of life and no sugar-coating of Israel's policies changes those facts. Is there a huge problem in Middle East, you bet. Is it going to ever get fixed as long as America backs Israel unconditionally . Absolutely not. Is Israel's fture in doubt, yup. Can their future be guaranteed by military force, not indefinitely. Eventually there must be a political-econo mic answer to this problem. Perhaps if the Israelis begin to fully accept and integrate their citizens of Arab descent into the social and economic system and respect their human rights, the world might see some progress.
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