Violence in Gaza

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

David Makovsky, a senior fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at The Washington Institute, and Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and editor-at-large of The Daily Star newspaper, analyze the increasing violence in Gaza and what it means for the Middle East region.


Rami Khouri and David Makovsky

Comments [65]

Pave from Qeens, NY

It's folks like Markus Gaupas Johansen, the post above, who truly understand what's really happening in the Middle East.

It's people like that who look at the situation and can clearly see that the root of the problem was and is the Israeli aggression and occupation of the Palestinian lands, esp since '67.

Yes, the others will just dance around the subject....will blame it on Hamas, blame it on Arafat, blame it on PLO and maybe even the little red riding hood, but at the end of it, it's clear that the sheer misery and hopelessness the Palestinian people find themselves today, mostly due to being forced out of their homes by Israeli colonialists AND the ever-present Israeli abuse and mistreatment

Jan. 15 2009 01:32 AM
Markus Gaupas Johansen

It is quite stunning to see the American media's coverage of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. From the outside it is nearly unbelieveable that two nations (Israel and the US) view the conflict comletely different from the rest of the world. It is simply impossible to equate the tiny Hamas rockets with the fourth biggest army in the world. The Palestinian resistance is not a security problem, it is resistance against the (according to the UN) illegal occupation. Keep in mind that the nazis also tried to label the European resistance as a security problem, as acts of terrorists and accusing them for hiding amongst the civilians. In retrospect this is now viewed as a legitimate and even heroic tactic, why can't the inhabitants of the US see that this is the only way the Palestinians can fight back against this military super power.

Palestine used to be a very secular area in the Middle East, but the Israeli stranglehold on the Palestineans has forced Hamas, the more radical movement, to power. The recent slaughtering of Palestinians will only make Hamas stronger. Unless the Palestinians are completely ericated, off course.

Jan. 04 2009 12:51 PM

I'm sure you're not suggesting that Hellenism was restricted to "epicureanism?"
That would be as shallow as insisting that the Maccabees were mere fundamentalists.
Also, I wasn't aware the Hellenists were pushing "pork" so specifically. I though the issue was more of secularism vs. religious autonomy, evidenced mostly by the insistence on the display of pagan idols in the temples.

Dec. 31 2008 05:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Peter

Earlier in the show, there was a nostalgic segment that bemoaned the decline and passing of bistros and eateries that Manhattan liberals so adore and made the center of their lives. Good Broadway shows, elegant cuisine, and all the "fine" epicurean delights became the "religion" of NY liberal Jewry - you know the ones that "control" our media. They bemoan their fall far, far more than the fall of our ancient Temple and the occupation of our original homeland. Isn't it ironic that this came around Hannuka this year? What was Hannukah all about?

Epicurean Hellenism had burst upon the Middle east, spread by Alexander and the Greeks, and many Jews in Judea too took to it like a duck to water. Okay, the more conservative Jews could put up with Greek theater, and even appreciate the philosophies, and even put up with nude wrestling and the like. But when it came down to prohibition of circumcision, and forcing pork and idolatry into the Temple, the traditional Jews had had enough, and a rebel resistance movement, the Hasmonean Maccabis began to strike back until they finally and miraculously managed to retake the Temple (for a short while anyway) and rededicate it. And Judea regained a period of independence, at least until internal bickering and infighting eventually led to the Romans occupying it.

Frankly, I fear the extreme liberal Jews more than I do the Arabs. But the loss of their "spiritual centers" on Broadway and the Upper West Side might hopefully sober up some of them, though frankly I doubt it.

Dec. 31 2008 12:34 PM
Peter from Sunset Park


The media feels the need to collectively say, "the Jews are as bad as the Palestinians." It is the PC way.

You watch, a few years from now, WNYC may even be calling people who fly airplanes into buildings "militants." I only point out WNYC because I hold the station in high regard and expect more of it then I do any other news source.

Dec. 31 2008 12:13 PM
Josh from Brooklyn

Arab youths just fired and shot Israeli jews working at a mall in Denmark. I do not see Jews going out to malls and killing Arabs. I don't understand how people can justify this. Even 8000 miles away from Gaza, Jews are attacked by Arabs. I don't like to say this, but its necessary. These Arabs are nothing but vengeful hateful thugs. How do palestinians support this? How can you condemn Israel for its actions without taking these unconscionable acts in account. Do you not see the hatred?

Dec. 31 2008 11:58 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Jericho is the oldest city in the world, 6000 years old. Notice how the Jewish calendar is up to year 5769. It was part of Judea,ruled by King David, inhabited by Jews. Its not called Judea by Accident. Its not the Jews fault that over thousands of years they were conquered and slaughtered, had to leave. This went back and forth like a yo-yo. Aren't they allowed to come back? The bottom line is, the Palestinians DO NOT recognise Israel's right to exist. How do you make peace with someone, who doesn't believe that? Only a two state solution is fair, but Palestinians don't want one. If there was an end to the rockets and suicide bombs, and true committment to peace, they'd have it. Israel has proven its committment. They have offered several proposals, but the Palestinians have only said no, and haven't even made a counter proposal.

Dec. 31 2008 11:51 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I want to explain to Clif and others that it's not only the Bible that gives Jews rights to that land. The Council of the League of Nations in 1920 approved the British Balfour Declaration, and in the Mandate of 1922, gave Jews the right to return, settle and reestablish the "Jewish National Home." It gave Jews the right to settle and develop "wastelands" and former Ottoman "state lands" and to buy land from the non-Jewish inhabitants for the purpose of reestablishing a Jewish majority and eventual Jewish autonomy in Palestine. The non-JEwish minorities, most Muslim and Christian Arabs, would have full civil and religious rights, but the League of Nations did not recognize any "Palestinian nation."
The Arabs themselves called themselves either "Arabs" or "southern Syrians." Only a very tiny intellectual group began to use the name "Filastin." In any case, the legal basis for the Zionist Jewish return is based on international law, as embodied in the charter of the League of Nations' Mandate of 1922, some 20 years before the Holocaust. To download and read it, mearly "google" San Remo text 1922. You can read it all in 10 minutes.

Dec. 31 2008 11:48 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Israel offered Egypt to take back Gaza many times, especially to Sadat. He said, "No way, Jose." Nobody wants to be left holding a hornets nest. IN the '70s and early '80s Israel was trying to get then King Hussein to take back the West Bank, and he didn't want it back either.
They are both very happy to keep the Palestinians in refugee camps, rather than letting them in and giving them freedom and citizenship, to remain a weapon of war against Israel.

Dec. 31 2008 11:40 AM
ann from nyc

It was Golda Meir who said (not exact quote) When the Palestinians love their children more than they hate the jews, there will be peace.

Dec. 31 2008 11:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Palestinians are not "Indians." Neither the Hebrews or the Canaanites were indigenous. THe Canaanites displaced previous inhabitants circa 3000 BC. The native American "INdians" are TRULY indigenous, as they can be traced back for at least 17,000 years, and the best evidence is that they were the first inhabitants of this place we call North America.
But the constant claim that the "Palestinians" are the INDIGENOUS people is totally bogus and flat out lie. Even the Canaanites weren't indigenous. But native American "INdians" are indeed indigenous, and have been reduced to an insignificant minority, mostly cloistered in small reservations. I wonder why they don't fire rockets and put on suicide belts? Maybe that's what they need to do to get darling media attention too?

Dec. 31 2008 11:36 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

"Liberal Jewish Media"? Are you kidding? Look at the world. The Palestinians have been winning the PR war for years. The UN passes resolutions left and right condeming Israel. they have been charged by the International Criminal Court. France gives millions of dollars in aid to Palestine. Britain just sent $10 million to Gaza. almost every major newspaper in Europe backs the Arabs, citing crimes against humanity. What about crimes the Palestinians inflict on the Israelis. Why are there accusations agains Israel, but nobody says a thing about suicide bombers on buses. Why is it ok for Israel to be attacked but the Arabs aren't? In New York, the Post, Daily News and Fox all support Palestinians. The Times refuses to take a postition.

Dec. 31 2008 11:35 AM
samir from Bay Ridge

#55 Gaza was Egypt and should be Egypt now.

The problem is Egypt doesn't want the "Palestinians". Neither does Lebanon.

Arafat & the PLO were kicked out of Lebanon.

Parts of the West Bank were Jordan.

there should be no "Palestine" just expanded peace treaties / land deals with Egypt and Jordan

The whole myth of a Palestinian people as a seperate people and needing a 57th Islamic country is a way for the Arab/Islamic world to destroy Israel.

Most people in the region know this - despite all the blustery Arab PR.

Dec. 31 2008 11:35 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


Because Arabs don’t want anything to do with the Palestinians. Remember, the Palestinians have tried numerous times to overthrow Jordan and Lebanon and to destabilize Egypt. When the PLO occupied Jordan and tried to assassinate the king, and were finally driven back, they actually retreated into Israel and surrendered to Israel because they knew the Jordanians would kill them.

Dec. 31 2008 11:34 AM
Matt from Manhattan

Here's a story centered on the University that was bombed from much earlier: "Kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit spent most of his time in captivity imprisoned on the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza, said senior Palestinian sources on Monday... The Islamic University is under complete Hamas control, with faculty members and students alike all loyal to the organization. ",7340,L-3361595,00.html

Dec. 31 2008 11:33 AM
Ingo from Brooklyn, NY

I think both Israel and violent pro-Palestinian organizations like Hamasor Hezbollah are entirely responsible themselves for this never-ending drama, mess and recurring war, and they have been dragging the whole world further and further into it for decades and centuries (i.e. global terrorism), for their cause. They behave like stubborn little children that can't reach a compromise, that can't give up a little bit that would be enough, in order to make lasting peace. I think the problem is that both are extremely strong-minded and selfish, and I don't think that any American president can, nor should be responsible to, solve their problems. Most Israelis and Arabs are irresponsible themselves for what's happening in their home turf, and constantly cause the whole world to brace for the horrible things that go on there. If only they could reach a peaceful deal that would most certainly reverberate very deeply and positively in west - middle-east / Arab, or Muslim - Zionist / Christian sentiment...

Dec. 31 2008 11:31 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


So, the rockets landing in Israel with Russian writing on them are made by Palestinians? Interesting theory. I didn't know that so many Palestinian terrorists took the time to learn Russian and to write in Russian on their bombs.

Dec. 31 2008 11:31 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

They don't want "peace." They want "Palestine" which includes Haifa, Jaffa, Ramle, Lod, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and, of course, Jerusalem. It doesn't matter what tactic or strategy they employ, whether it is acting "mnoderate" like the present day Fatah, or more up-front about it like Hamas. The objectives are the same; only the tactics change to suit sensibilities of the outside clueless publics.

Dec. 31 2008 11:31 AM
hjs from 11211

a handful of extremists on both sides are holding peace hostage

Dec. 31 2008 11:30 AM
KC from Brooklyn

"Collateral damage" is the most immoral term created in the last thousand years. Call it what it is: children blown to pieces.

Dec. 31 2008 11:30 AM
samir from Bay Ridge

Rami Khouri is bloviating again claiming Israel can't solve this militarily.

HEre's the real question:

Hamas can't solve their Islamist terror goals in a diplomatic way or in a military way.

What has Hamas gained in the last 2 weeks and in the last 2 decades? Nothing. A society that is full of corruption, poverty and hatred.

Khouri, to continue to be alive in his hostile region always has to shift blame on Israel.

He's a moderate sounding lackey.

Dec. 31 2008 11:30 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


Good points. So, when are you going to give everything you own to American Indians and then cease to exist? Or do your views only work against Jews and no one else? Oh, and by the way, Jews have always been in Israel, but you will deny that because of your anti-Semitism.

Dec. 31 2008 11:29 AM

Why not put the Arab league or Egypt in legal control of Gaza Strip?

This way there is responsibility on both sides rather than neither.

Dec. 31 2008 11:29 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To sally again.

If I had rockets coming down on my head, I'd leave and go to a country. The Arabs have 22 countries; the Jews barely have one. I was a refugee too. My mother had a home and properties and a mother and brothers and a first baby and others all of which were lost and murdered. So after the war, having managed to survive, and when I was born in the Bavarian refugee camp, did she teach to kill GErmans or Poles, brainwash me into being a terrorist to get revenge for the deaths, or to get our properties back?

Are the native American "Indians" teaching their children to be terrorists and go out and hate and kill Anglo-Americans, or sending rockets into nearby suburban shopping malls?
They certainly have more of a legitimate grievance than the so-called "Palestinians."

Dec. 31 2008 11:28 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I can't say enough how much I agree with Samir and Peter.

Dec. 31 2008 11:28 AM
samir from Bay Ridge

Hi Peter,

I'm from Lebanon - and spent many years in this region.

This is all about Iran/Hizbollah/Hamas and the larger Islamist axis of hatred and terror trying to control Islamic Middle East and using Israel & Palestinians as a scapegoat to foment hatred and whip up fervor.

Frankly I'm tired of the Arab "street" - and the Arab/Muslim world wasting tens of millions in aid to buy weapons - while nothing is used to build civil society. And all is blamed on the Large and Small "satans"

I think the jig is up with the phony nationalism of Hamas and it's pupetters in Teheran.

Dec. 31 2008 11:27 AM

Trust Hamas.

Dec. 31 2008 11:26 AM
Clif from Brooklyn

I find this entire situation to be a travesty of humanity. What's happening is the same thing that happened in America when we came in and slaughtered the Native Americans. We (America) should have never been involved. The Palestinians were there first and, religion or not, the Isreali's should respect that and find another place to live. Why are we surprised that Hamas is not agreeing to Isreals terms? What if I came in to your home and declare that it is now mine because the Bible says so? Would you not fight?

Dec. 31 2008 11:25 AM
John-Paul G from Elizabeth, NJ

Just a point - no one can say the rockets are being smuggled in. These are small home made rockets, so easy to assemble. As long as humans can urinate, we can make explosives which contains potential materials for making bleach - a component more potent than just cleaning your clothes and floors.

Dec. 31 2008 11:24 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Brian too, like with most media, has to consider the bottom line, and since Muslims outnumber Jews by 100 to 1, which audience is going to pay the salaries? It's all part of the LIBERAL "Jewish controlled media" that constantly bends over to appease and placate the wrong side of this issue, and refuses to honestly represent the Jewish Zionist side of it. When was the last time anyone interviewed a right winger to get a different point of view?
And it's only natural if liberal Jews, who have the bully pulpit, refuse to bring on representatives of the Zionist pov, why would anyone else do so? The only ones still standing by Israel are the dwindling number of Evangelicals.

Dec. 31 2008 11:20 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


Good points. The Palestinians turn down statehood year after year yet have never made a single peace offer back to Israel. It is so odd that after all of these years, the Palestinians are unable to put together a single counter offer. Makes one wonder if the Palestinians want peace at all.

Dec. 31 2008 11:19 AM
samir from Bay Ridge

Fatah Loyalists: Gaza Operation Is Allah's Revenge for Hamas Actions

"Many people blame Hamas for the recent deterioration, but they are afraid to say anything," said A., a resident of Jabalya in Gaza.
"Most Palestinians will not say anything bad about Hamas. They are afraid for their lives....But in private conversations you hear the true criticism against them."

Dec. 31 2008 11:17 AM
samir from Bay Ridge

No matter how much diplomatic aid, sympathy, or money the West gives Hamas—and it has saved Hamas and the PLO over and over from their own mistakes—they will not become grateful or pro-Western. Anti-Western and anti-American sentiment is too valuable and too widespread to disappear. The Palestinians—and Iran’s regime, and Syria’s government, and Hizballah, and other Islamists—need scapegoats. Who else are they going to blame for their problems, themselves?

If you save the terrorists today, they will commit more terrorism tomorrow. If you let them escape the consequences of their own extremism, you can guarantee they will stay extremist and take a lot of the masses with them.

Dec. 31 2008 11:15 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Finally an objective guest!

Dec. 31 2008 11:14 AM
samir from Bay Ridge

Time Once More to Blame the Jews

The Israelis finally get enough of the constant rain of rockets on their border towns and villages, fired by Hamas thugs recognized by nearly everybody as international jackals, and strike back to stop it. Guess who the villains are.
Those thugs have become expert at retail death, killing one or two Jews one day, occasionally three or four on another. Death-by-rocket in Ashkelon and other cities in southern Israel is bad, but, like other urban inconveniences, not something to "overreact" to.
Because the Hamas terrorists have perfected provocation as an art of war, the blame is attached to Israel by those always eager to "blame it on the Jews," and by a media unable to make distinctions and eager to draw moral equivalence between provocateur and the provoked.
Much of the world long ago decided that it would no longer be moved by the suffering of the Israelis, nor impressed by their patience in the face of extreme provocation. The Israelis are friends of the Great Satan, after all, and so deserve whatever retail death their enemies can deal. We must give the provocateur a pass.
The tragedy is that none of this is necessary. The Palestinians could have a two-state solution if they would only take it. But they are determined to win a one-state solution bought at the price of a second Holocaust. This is the reality that Israel's critics in the West willfully refuse to acknowledge. The Jews can expect to be made the villains of the piece - again.

Dec. 31 2008 11:13 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

IF an Israeli missile hits a school?....IF!

Dec. 31 2008 11:13 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I love Sunset Park, very nice people. Funny though, the dollar stores all sell these maps that don't have Israel on them. At first, I thought it was because a lot of Muslims live in Sunset Park, but they probably just get the maps and globes from Europe or the Middle East and don't even care to look.

Your family story is a good one, but most people in the media are scared to suggest that Palestinians are creators of their own problems. It is safer to simply play into Palestinian victim culture.

My family was chased out of Russia with pitchforks for being Jewish, where is my check!
Where is my right of return!

Dec. 31 2008 11:13 AM
Tonky from Brooklyn

Aren't there elections coming up in Israel soon?
Could this new escalation be their "December surprise."

Dec. 31 2008 11:09 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Peter from Manhattan:

Thank you for proving my point. I ask you to name a single country that does a better job of targeted bombings and all you can say is that bombs leave holes in the ground.

Its a shame you refuse to discuss the issue. Maybe next you will tell me that water is wet and pizza tastes good.

Nice job of refusing to discuss the issue my fellow Peter.

Dec. 31 2008 11:08 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Peter.

How is Sunset Park? I used to have a store on 5th avenue back in the '70s there when most of my customers were Dominicans.

Anyhow, of course you are right. I was born in a refugee (displaced persons) camp in Bavaria after WWII, and my parents who barely survived the war (though both lost their first families in it) waiting to try to get to Palestine, but as luck would have it, Harry Truman issued a decree allowing 50,000 displaced Jews to come to America, where we arrived in 1949. America gave us freedom and eventual citizenship, but the Arab countries put the Palestinians into squalid camps and refused to give them citizenship. Israel absorbed over 1.2 million refugees from Europe and the Muslim countries, and later from Africa and elsewhere, but the Arabs chose to leave their Palestinian "brothers" to languish on UN welfare checks for many decades, where they had little to do but have many children to brainwash and turn into terrorists. So that's the main difference.

Dec. 31 2008 11:07 AM
Bonsoo from nyc

Peter from Manhattan: Explain, genius, how to pinpoint strikes back at peoples backyards after someone launched a rocket from next to their 3 year old kid's jungle gym in their private backyard. Your education is now over.

Dec. 31 2008 11:06 AM
Bonsoo from nyc

A 48 hour break, is only okay to the Arabs, if the smuggling tunnels and border crossings remain open. Surely, this is because those openings and passageways are for humanitarian efforts. Ahem.

Dec. 31 2008 11:05 AM
Lisa from nyc

Witty: B/c brian is a super host non biased nothing just a super host!!!!!!!!!!

Dec. 31 2008 11:02 AM
peter from manhatten

peter from sunset park: rights have nothing to do with it. israel has the advanced military technology necessary for mass slaughter and uses it frequently. as for 'pinpoint bombing' - i would recommend you look at the giant craters left in gaza from the airstrikes; they are larger than pinpoints.

Dec. 31 2008 11:01 AM
Gonzi from nyc

How come every reasonable, and there have been one after the other, offers to the Plst rejected over the years rejected them one after the other. THe British Mandate was the best one then Arabfat rejected one after the other, then they elect terrorists as their govt Israel pulls out settlements and the arabs use those vacant settlements to launch rockets out of what used to be hydroponic tomato raising facilities. So good will, good actions, good offers mean nothing to these animals. Their idea of newly vacated land is a new place to launch violence from. Their idea of a 48 hour break is an opportunity to use smuggling tunnels to import weapons. Absolute animals.

Dec. 31 2008 11:01 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Sally states that the Hamas haven't done an effective enough job in killing Jews, because their targeting systems are not yet sophisticated, and so ISrael should wait until Hamas acquires more accurate weapons to kill many more Jews to justify an Israeli counterattack. Did I miss something? Not enough Jewish corpses?

Dec. 31 2008 10:59 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I disagree. The civilian death count in Iraq is staggering. That would never happen in Gaza because Israel takes huge steps to prevent it.

Dec. 31 2008 10:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Both Arabic and Islam are foreign imports into the Land of Israel. At least Christianity was born within in our Jewish homeland, and therefore have a legitimate presence, but both Islam and the Arabic language were imports that came with the caliph Umar in the early 7th century and are in no way indigenous to the country. Muhammad never stepped a foot into the land except in his dreams. Jerusalem is never mentioned even once in the Quran. Their claim to the Jewish homeland is bogus from head to toe.It would be as if Jews claimed Ireland. Arabs have a right to live, but only in peace and cooperation with the Jewish people in the Jewish homeland. If not, they have to return to Arabia.

Dec. 31 2008 10:56 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I have raised your question countless times over the years. While I love this show, it is poorly lacking in context. Jews won't settle for refugee camps. We make life out of sand and dust. Palestinian hate for Jews is greater then their love of the future. Case in point: Gaza.

Israel turns over Gaza to the Palestinians and what have they done besides smuggle and launch weapons? Even the Egyptians won't let them in their own country. This whole occupation thing is a joke. Gaza is like the US, it has two long borders, Israel and Egypt. Egypt could easily have an open border with Gaza but chooses to keep Palestinians out because Egypt doesn't want a culture of suicide bombers on its streets.

Dec. 31 2008 10:55 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Peter from Manhattan:

Can you name one single country that does a better job than Israel of making targeted attacks and keeping civilian causalities low? Tell me just one other country that does a better job of pinpoint bombing. Name one other country that is able to keep civilian deaths lower then Israel during war. You can’t. So what you are really saying is that Israel does a real good job of respecting civilians, but at the end of the day, Israel isn’t allowed to defend herself. I disagree. Israel has the right to self defense.

Dec. 31 2008 10:49 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

One million Jews were driven out of the Arab and Muslim lands after 1948. How come the Brian Lehrer show has never had a representative of the Sephardic or Mizrachi organizations representing those who lost their homes and properties and 4 times as much land in the Muslim countries as did the Palestinians in Israel? What happened to the Jewish properties in Morocco, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and all the rest? Why, at the very least, weren't the Palestinian refugees allowed to use those in exchange?

Dec. 31 2008 10:42 AM
Bob from nyc

Is there anything that the international community can do to stop the Palestinians from using mosques as commando control posts, and/or launching rockets from private house backyards?

Dec. 31 2008 10:42 AM
peter from manhatten

they might 'target' adults (although i doubt that it true), but the air strikes drop enormous explosives from a great height, the disaster zone on the ground does not distinguish between age or whether they are holding rockets or not. war always involves killing countless innocent people (including children) - can you at least admit that? i frankly see little difference between a child who dies from a suicide bomber and one who dies in an air strike.

Dec. 31 2008 10:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Why is it that when Japan attacked killing 2,400 mostly US naval personnel in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the US killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians by aerial bombardment, including the use of two atomic bombs? Didn't they know that Tokyo, Hirsohima and Nagasaki were densely populated cities?

Dec. 31 2008 10:39 AM
Anti-Zionist Jew

Please remember that the State of Israel and its supporters are not synonymous with the Jewish people. In fact, the very ideology of Zionism is in direct violation of the Torah.

More information at

Peace and justice for ALL.

Dec. 31 2008 10:36 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

If you want to argue who has right to the land, the answer is both. Jews were there 6000 years ago. There were Jews ages before there were Arabs/Muslims. Who do you think wrote the 2000 year old Dead Sea Scrolls? Jews. The problem is they kept getting conquered and forced to flea. But, Arabs over time have been able to lay claim. One could argue the Palistinians stole the jews land. In 1948, the UN partitioned the land. jews abided by the mandate, the Arabs attacked and lost. In 1967, the Arabs sought to invade again, and lost their land fair and square in their act of war. In 1994 at Oslo, Israel offered 97% of the West bank, with full free movement, all of Gaza, East Jerusalem and a bridge over Israel connecting the two areas. The Palestinians response was no and the intifada. Israel recognises Palestine, the Palestinians do not recognise the right of Israel to exist. While I agree Israel has violated peace prospects, the truth is, it has a right to defend itself. How would you feel if mexico lobbed 200 missles a week into texas and blew up buses in San Antonio. Do you honestly think the US would do nothing?

Dec. 31 2008 10:35 AM
peter from manhatten

why is it that when palestinians attack israel its called 'terrorism' but when israel bombs palestinians its called 'defense'?

Dec. 31 2008 10:25 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


The United Nations created Israel. I find it interesting that many anti-Israel folks only seem to mention the UN when it is to discuss all of the useless UN resolutions against Israel. How easily you forget that Israel was created by a more then 2/3 vote of the UN.

You bring up WWII – great topic! The Palestinians chose to support Germany during WWII and even had plans to build a concentration camp in what is now Israel. The Palestinians lost the war, yet were still offered half the land. Not bad for a group of people who backed Hitler.

Dec. 31 2008 10:21 AM
mgduke from hel's kitchen

No discussion of the Palestine/Israel question can be respectful, measured, or even minimally honest, unless it keeps in constant focus the cause of the conflict, namely, the criminal theft of the lands, homes, and governance of the native Palestinian peoples by WWII era colonialist powers to create a homeland in southwest Asia for mostly European Jews.

There can be no just, enduring peace until this crime is redressed completely, which means not only restoring the Palestinians to all the lands and properties that belonged to them, but also full compensation for the 60 years of suffering and blighted living that they have had to endure since 1947.

Israel’s claims to want peace and security are deliberate distortions of the truth. What Israel actually wants is to continue enjoying everything stolen from the Palestinians. True peace and security can never exist in a nation created by colonialism and the continuing theft of the lands and rights of the native population. Such nations are always in a state of frozen war, holding on to their stolen lands by state terrorism. It is no accident that Israel was apartheid South Africa’s major ally, and the world movement toward democracy, which brought an end to the terrorist crime of white South Africa will also bring an end to the terrorist crime of Jewish Israel.

Dec. 31 2008 10:09 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


There is nothing vicious about wanting to protect Palestinian children from folks in their community who choose to hide and launch weapons around them. I strongly believe that human shield laws have to be re-written and strengthened to protect Palestinian children.

Using pinpoint strikes to stop Palestinian terrorists is always justified. Palestinians broke the truce and Palestinians launch rockets from civilian areas. It is time for the international community to protect Palestinian children from the Palestinian adults who endanger them.

Dec. 31 2008 09:55 AM
BL Show from Varick St. Studios

[[BL Moderator Writes: Please remember the WNYC posting policy and keep your comments civil and productive. During our discussion of the conflict in Gaza yesterday, we did an admirable job of making the comments board a place for measured and respectful dialog. Let's try to do the same today.
Thank you,
-BL Show-]]

Dec. 31 2008 08:57 AM
Robert from NYC

I see David Makovsky and Richard Holbrooke use the same personal adviso--one who seems to dislike glasses. Well, it makes no difference, we still recognize them and their opinions and policies still smell bad. it's getting boring to see these same ol'tired "talking heads" blathering here, on CNN, on PBS, and on and on. Why should I support my local public radio station when I can get the same sludge free elsewhere!? What happened to public radio?

Dec. 31 2008 08:53 AM
Salome from New York

Peter, I think your comment is insidiously vicious. It intentionally seeks to justify the use of major artillery against the most densely populated area in the world. In the age of instant and unrestricted communication, how much longer can this kind of rhetoric be effective? Perhaps you’ll notice, it’s getting harder and harder to skew the truth.

Dec. 31 2008 08:36 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Is there anything that the international community can do to stop the Palestinians from using their own people as human shields? Why hasn’t the United Nations passed a resolution demanding that Palestinians stop hiding their weapons and terrorists among children? I hope that the international community steps in to stop these Palestinian war crimes against Palestinian children.

Dec. 31 2008 07:16 AM
martha rosler from brooklyn

thank you for your coverage of the attacks upon Gaza.

Dec. 31 2008 01:42 AM

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