Streams

Gaza Latest

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jim Sleeper, lecturer in political science at Yale University, blogger, and former Daily News columnist, discusses the ongoing war in Gaza.

Guests:

Jim Sleeper
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [135]

samir from Bay Ridge

Kiki -- we are all frustrated at the violence in the world (while everyone is obsessed w/Gaza, 1000 people were butchered in the Congo)

but childishly demanding a Plan B is kind of silly wishful thinking.

If fighting Radical Islam were so simple, there would be dozens of conflicts in the world that disappear, and millions of people still alive.

Jan. 15 2009 02:56 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

IDF kills Hamas Interior Minister; Hamas security chief, militant leader also thought dead

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055899.html

A reference for Kiki.

Jan. 15 2009 02:55 PM
Kiki from NJ

Sorry girls - have to get back to work.

Parting words - Samir and Peter - you are both great at Plan A - but you have no plan B, and census figures will tell you....we need a plan B...unless you two are single-handedly (or other body parts) planning on maintaining the entire earth's jewry poplulation, you need a different approach.

Jan. 15 2009 02:44 PM
mc from Brooklyn

kiki #127,
I stand by my choice. Sometimes using shocking terms does further the debate. If you are so sensitive to this, try editing your own comments (see "short yellow bus.")

Jan. 15 2009 02:39 PM
eva

mc,
just logged back on, only up to #108, your post:

"Yes, the Gazans elected Hamas, but "we" also elected GW Bush twice. Should the punishment for his sins be visited on the entire American civilian population? "

I was thinking the exact same thing over the last week. Exact same thing. I love my uncle, but would not want to be punished for how he voted. In fact, I think our entire country is being punished for W's lack of leadership. So are other countries. I want Condi to get some credit here, too. She was instrumental in setting up the elections that brought in Hamas - then she didn't want to work with the people who won.

Just a few more days and we can be rid of the Bush team. Seems like it's been decades since they came in.

Jan. 15 2009 02:38 PM
samir from Bay Ridge

Egypt has also supported the Israeli action by its refusal to aid Hamas.

Rather than condemn Israel for legitimately defending itself, other Arab states could make a contribution to peace if they were to pressure Hamas to cease its missile launches into Israel.

No other country would have tolerated attacks on its population for as long as Israel endured them. Until Israel can guarantee the security of its own citizens, most of the world understands that Israel has every right to continue its operation.

Jan. 15 2009 02:33 PM
samir from Bay Ridge

#125 you got it right...100%

nothing has changed since the time Israeli PM Golda Meir said:

"There will be peace in Israel when the Arabs love their own children more than they hate the Jews."

And it seems like concessions to the Arabs don't really help. They just embolden the Arabs to inflict more violence for more concessions.

So instead of endless concessions, Israel fights violence by physically trying to destroy the source of the violence - the best they can do.

And despite the Hamas bluster & misinformation (We are defeating Israel in Gaza! Victory to Allah!) , it's working.

Perhaps the most surprising defenders of the Israeli defensive operation in Gaza are PA, PLO and Fatah leaders. While PA President Mahmoud Abbas insists that Israel must cease its airstrikes on Gaza, he also suggests that Hamas is truly to blame in this situation. Hamas allowed the official ceasefire to lapse without renewing it and, despite fair warnings from the Israeli government in the week leading up to the operation, did not prepare itself for a possible incursion by the IDF.

Abbas's advisor, Nimr Hammad, stated that “The one responsible for the massacres is Hamas, and not the Zionist entity, which in its own view reacted to the firing of Palestinian missiles.” The firing of missiles into Israel's southern towns, the PA maintains, is a typically reckless move by Hamas who does not understand the consequences of their actions. Hamas's daily terror attacks prohibit any peace negotiations and possible two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority media have also criticized Hamas claiming that the organization is in the grips of “megalomania” in which Hamas sees itself as a superpower with the strength of the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon.

Jan. 15 2009 02:33 PM
BL Producers

It is important to The Brian Lehrer Show that you are able to post comments to each show segment. Our listeners often provide great reporting tips, thoughtful questions for our guests and information that augments many of our segments.

As you can understand, this is a difficult subject matter, and has made moderating comments a particularly imperfect task. Our moderation is done in the spirit of trying to encourage respectful and productive dialogue. We urge all of you to review our brief list of guidelines and please use our forum to participate in the conversation started by our show. To prevent posts that violate our guidelines, this thread will close at the end of today's show.

This is sure to displease some. You can always contact listener services – they exist for this very reason – at listenerservices@wnyc.org or at 646.829.4000.

Jan. 15 2009 02:31 PM
Kiki from NJ

MC,

Knee-jerk reaction - yes...but really, you must admit that it does not further the debate - nor does it keep us on the higher ground. I appreciate what you were intending - I simply find that term, and all its connotations, offensive.

Jan. 15 2009 02:30 PM
samir from Bay Ridge

@ #122

the problems is that while that only the Arabs/Muslim world can educate their kids for peace....

and in the meantime, as Arabs/Muslims use violence against civilians all over the world you can't fight back with flowers...

when it's not in your backyard, it's 1000's of miles away, it's easy do say - why can't they get along? why can't they be peaceful? why should Israel fight back?

but if your neighborhood had thousands of rockets landing - as Southern Israel has over the last few years, you'd be singing a different tune.

Remember how the whole DC/Virginia/ Maryland area was shut down because of 2 fanatic Muslim snipers during three weeks in October 2002. (10 ten people were killed and 3 critically injured)

If your neighborhood was being rocketed for 8 years, would you want maximum police/army protection?

Be honest.

Jan. 15 2009 02:22 PM
mc from Brooklyn

hjs ,
Wow! Some unusually long posts from you--nice to see. Unfortunately you speak my mind. Israel cannot really be safe with the status quo, the status quo is unbearable for the Palestinians, one state won't work if Israel wants to remain majority Jewish, two state solution looks less and less doable, and Jordan, Egypt and Syria do not want the Palestinians either. As you said, war without end until enough people have had enough.

Jan. 15 2009 02:20 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

kiki,

Still waiting for your requests for info.

take care,

Peter

Jan. 15 2009 02:18 PM
mc from Brooklyn

kiki #111
Your knee-jerk response to my admittedly provocative choice just makes my point. That is exactly how the Palestinians are being treated. Think of the Irish in the early 20th century; exactly the same thing was said about them. Perhaps more attention to the point made rather than an instinctive reaction to the word which is one of many offensive words and a word that I did not actually print.

Jan. 15 2009 02:17 PM
Kiki from NJ

hjs - good point. Question is how do we dissuade those children from what they are being taught/brainwashed (with) and attempt to move forward towards peace. I believe that our bombs are not the answer.

Jan. 15 2009 02:10 PM
hjs from 11211

samir
some palestinians/arabs are hateful nasty people who have more faith in myths than modernity. does that make all arabs subhuman?

just watched Wafa Sultan. great clip thanks for sharing that one.
it shows arabs are able to debate modernity! and she 100% correct including her secularism

does any feel the USA, who has supported mid east dictators for the last 50 years are one of the causes of arab ignorance?
did the jews and arabs live peacefully before 1917?

Jan. 15 2009 02:09 PM
Kiki from NJ

samir,

Your point is well made. I have only watched the first video in post 118, and frankly, I am disgusted. Truly disgusted.

My question to you is simple: how as a people who are proportionally shrinking in numbers over the course of time to survive? Military might only can get us so far. I loathe Hamas and all for which it stands. That being said, we are also not innocent, more importantly, not furthering our own survival. We cannot drop bombs indiscrimately and expect the world to view our actions, everytime, as self-defense. We need a better approach.

I have yet to view the link in post 119, but will.

Jan. 15 2009 02:06 PM
hjs from 11211

samir
so what
some palestinians/arabs are hateful nasty people who have more faith in myths than modernity. does that make all arabs subhuman?

Jan. 15 2009 01:57 PM
samir from Bay Ridge

WOW

http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=nul

It is extremely surprising that the Arab financed TV in Dubai would allow this to air. I imagine this woman now has a very large price on her head. I also have no doubt it won't be on the air long . Here is a powerful and amazing statement on Al Jezeera television. The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles . I would suggest watching it ASAP because I don't know how long the link will be active. This film clip should be shown around the world repeatedly.

Jan. 15 2009 01:49 PM
samir from Bay Ridge

1. Palestinian Hate "Education" Videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeZzSgKUde8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xR8Tfd0i4lY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM-XeaIn06g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeii225G-HM

There are dozens more....

2. Palestinian Peace Education Videos

None available :<

Jan. 15 2009 01:48 PM
Kiki from NJ

One of my favorite quotes is from Groucho Marx - "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

Jan. 15 2009 01:42 PM
Kiki from NJ

My apologies for my incoherent sentence in post 113 - I'm actually trying to work and follow the posts. It should have read "More telling of your interest may be the fact that I have made the same request 4 times."

Jan. 15 2009 01:39 PM
Kiki from NJ

FYI - I'll take the direct source. Give me the link to the Palestinian tv shows.

Jan. 15 2009 01:32 PM
Kiki from NJ

I must have stuttered. Comments 80 and 81.

More telling you may have any interest as you I have made the same request 4 times.

be well

Jan. 15 2009 01:31 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Kiki,

Israel and the IDF have a Web site which compiles Palestinian TV shows calling on their own people to use children as human shields. Does this source count for you? Or will you ingore such Palestinian made videos played on Palestinian state tv becuase the IDF links to it?

I have no interest in guessing what you want. When you are ready to request a specific reference, I will give it to you, but right now, you are just playing games.

Jan. 15 2009 01:26 PM
Kiki from NJ

mc

OMG - Really? While I agree with your position on the issue, please refrain from implying that the term "n..." is acceptable to post.

Jan. 15 2009 01:22 PM
Kiki from NJ

Thanks for caring boys.

Apparently, 1)I was wholly ambiguous when I stated "every allegation" from a recognize[d] source, 2) you not remember your own statements/allegations, or 3)your mouse does not allow you the luxury of scrolling. As an aside, asking for a source is not an allegation. ( See http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/allegation) In any event, specifically, I ask for the recognized source as to comments 80 and 81. As to comment 83, thank you for citing Fox citing Jonathan Halevi, a former IDF officer. Very credible indeed. In fact, if the citations you will provide come from IDF, an objective and unbiased source beyond reproach or question, then simply state so and I will accept is as the gospel. Indeed.

Jan. 15 2009 01:18 PM
hjs from 11211

mc
"what is Israel to do when rockets are being fire at them?"
empower moderates. remove west bank settlements (which are illegal and some have don't have the approval of the israeli government.) end the war with syria, reach out to abbas, educate Palestinians, rebuild the economy of the west bank.
I've been looking for a quote but have had no luck I thought I was from rabin (the israeli PM killed by an israeli extremist) something like fight the war as though there is no hope for peace and talk about peace as though there is no war
I have little hope for the 2 state solution but I've been wrong about many things, northern ireland and OHB winning the election for example. never the less I see no one on either side would cares about peace. the arab leaders don't seem to care much about life (cause they know 'heaven' wll be better) and israel knows it's basically safe so the status quo is fine for them. reading some of the posts one can see how some are intractable, they twist the facts, play word games, they tow the party line.
war without end

Jan. 15 2009 01:16 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva,
I share your appreciation for the guest, Sleeper.

More on not having a "dog"
The Palestinians are the n****rs in this conflict. Jordan does not want them because Jordan does not want to be majority Palestinian. Egypt is afraid of Islamic extremsim. Yes, the Gazans elected Hamas, but "we" also elected GW Bush twice. Should the punishment for his sins be visited on the entire American civilian population? The Palestinians cannot get good leadership. For the first time Palestinian police tear-gassed their own people during demostrations in the West Bank. Why won't Israel stop building settlements in the West Bank? How can the offer of the West Bank and Gaza be taken seriously when Israel controls all air space, sea access and water? How can we truly marginalize Hamas in the eyes of the Palestinians, especially now?

Jan. 15 2009 01:03 PM
hjs from 11211

vg
how many people were killed in these rocket attacks?

Jan. 15 2009 12:58 PM
VG from NJ

I urge Mr. Sleeper to view the following vlip that shows how Mosques are being used in Gaza:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zd55Zhj5gQ

Jan. 15 2009 12:57 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Peter:
Sorry had to go away for awhile and there have been many posts since my question to you. I was not trying to make a point, really just asking you what you thought. If I were making a point it would be that I think that a "military solution" is an oxymoron; war will always leave at least one side bitter and angry unless you are willing to opt for indescriminate destruction (see WW II).

I do not have a dog in this fight except for innocent people on both sides. The stance that Hamas has taken on Israel's existence is ridiculous. But Israel's unwillingness to improve the lives of Palestinians stuck in Gaza after the withdrawal strengthened Hamas. At the same time, what is Israel to do when rockets are being fire at them? Only when enough people on both sides have decided that a soloution is more important than the fight will it get solved. We cannot do this for them.

Jan. 15 2009 12:57 PM
VG from NJ

Mr. Sleeper and Brian Lehrer should check from time to time the accuracy of their facts in:

www.honestreporting.org

VG

Jan. 15 2009 12:56 PM
VG from NJ


I urged Mr. Jim Sleeper as well as Brian Lehrer and listeners to his show to read some of HonestReporting.org articles, and to be honest when judging Israel's just right to protect and defend its population and its sole existance.

http://honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/Media_War_Crimes.asp

Mosques are not just for praying

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zd55Zhj5gQ

Humanitarian Aid

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2009/01/15/segments/121047

VG

Jan. 15 2009 12:51 PM
hjs from 11211

peter
your comment 97 was silly not you!

Jan. 15 2009 12:34 PM
Edward from Washington Heights aka pretentious "Hudson Heights"

Why doesn't Hamas or Fatah permit the ICRC, International Red Cross access to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit?

What is Hamas et al hiding?

"10-12-2008 Interview
Gaza: still no ICRC access to Gilad Shalit
It has been almost 900 days since the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was captured by Palestinian armed factions from Gaza. To date, the ICRC's attempts to visit him and to establish contact between him and his family have been unsuccessful."

http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/israel-interview-111208

Jan. 15 2009 12:28 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

hjs,

Calling me names like silly is not a civil argument. In fact, it suggests to me that you don't have a better point.

kiki,

I guess you just didn't want those citations afterall. I am happy to supply you with any information you ask for...if you really want it. What would you like references to kiki?

Jan. 15 2009 12:27 PM
hjs from 11211

pet 97
don't be too sure about that!
but you're being a bit silly now
i do not deny israel in the 67 borders.
the palestinians have tough job of negotiating a 2 state solution. extremist and war profiteers on BOTH sides stand in the way of peace.

Jan. 15 2009 12:23 PM
Samir from Bay Ridge

90 - KIKI
If there is a specific comment I made that you dispute, let me know. Otherwise, please refrain from making blanket accusations.

In the meantime, in reference to your false allegation that ISrael has closed all "borders" have you had a chance to look at at any map of Gaza yet?

What country besides Israel borders Gaza?

It's a simple question you may want to ask your relatives in Israel.

Peace is what we all (should) want, Kiki.
However, ignorance is not the way to peace.
And phony allegations in Israel don't bring peace either.

Jan. 15 2009 12:14 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

jgarbuz,

Great question, the problem is, the world treats Jews differently then everyone else. It seems to be a liberal guilt thing which I really don't understand. I wonder if hjs would give his/her house to American Indians? - probably not.

Jan. 15 2009 12:14 PM
hjs from 11211

peter
you're taking about fairness now?
i did not know about that info in post 89
thanks. another good reason they don't want the palestinians in their country.

Jan. 15 2009 12:13 PM
Edward from Washington Heights aka pretentious "Hudson Heights"

I suggest that the United Nations, lock stock and barrel and unpaid parking ticket, be relocated to Gaza to study the situation first-hand.

Lets see whether Hamas permits business as usual.

Gaza will benefit from the lunch and dinner time parties economy of the UN delegates, and the internationalization of Gaza will enlighten the people and might enlighten Hamas.

Jan. 15 2009 12:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

What if the native American Indians, whose lands have been occupied for over 3 centuries, began to fortify their reservations, build homemade missiles (or smuggled in some from Iran), put suicide belts on their young braves, and started rocketing and blowing up nearby "gringo" shopping centers and suburbs of the "white eyes?" What would we do? What would Jesus do? :)

Jan. 15 2009 12:09 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Kiki,

I am happy to help Samir out. What citations do you want?

Jan. 15 2009 12:09 PM
Kiki from NJ

back to work. be well all.

Jan. 15 2009 12:09 PM
hjs from 11211

jeffery 76
do the homemade rockets have that kind of range?
it's my understanding that most rocket don't hit anything

Jan. 15 2009 12:07 PM
Kiki from NJ

Samir,

Please provide credible citation from a recognize news authority as to every allegation you make.

Jan. 15 2009 12:05 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

hjs:

Of course, you forget to mention that the Palestinians have tried 3-4 times to otherthrow Jordan and Hamas's brothers (the Muslim Brotherhood) have tried the same in Egypt. Your points would be heard better if you were a bit more fair.

Jan. 15 2009 12:04 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Peace will come ONLY when 56 Muslim states acknowledge Israel's RIGHT to exist, and welcome their half-brothers back into their rightful homeland. Ishmael and Isaac were half brothers, with different mothers but the same father, but Ishmael got most of the land. Nonetheless, Israel is entitled to that sliver between the Jordan and the Mediterranean and when the Muslims fully recognize it, then peace will come.

Jan. 15 2009 12:02 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Voter,

Yes, I think you are wrong. Gaza was handed to the Palestinians and Israel has tried numerous times to give back West Bank and more. Bill Clinton put ALL of the blame on the Palestinians for rejecting peace offers and NEVER making a counter offer.

Now, as far as apartheid South Africa, I think that is similar to calling Israeli a fascist state. Like the US and Britain, Israel is not a perfect democracy, but resorting to the ole apartheid South Africa argument is a non-starter.

Jan. 15 2009 12:02 PM
Kiki from NJ

Samir,

At the risk of repeating myself from previous days, I am the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor with family in Israel. Please do not presume you know me or my knowledge base.

Furthermore, if I am advocating for a position that will actually result in Israel surviving and thriving 60 years from now,not just now, then I am guilty as charged. Peace is the only solution. The U.S. is not doing us any favors nor are our politicians. What happens when the U.S. decides we are no longer their close friend and ally?

Finally, I am no longer going to address false statements. As previously stated, the internet is wonderful tool.

Jan. 15 2009 11:58 AM
hjs from 11211

why won't jordan or egypt take palestine back? it would be a nightmare. israel would blame them for the actions of every palestinian extremist. palestine would need every infrastructure rebuilt, after years of IDF bombings.

Jan. 15 2009 11:58 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I lived in Beersheba, and worked in Sderot for three years in the mid-1980s, a poor town at the time that was inhabited by mostly Jews who had left Morocco, or had fled the Arab countries after 1948. Before the first intifada of 1988, my ex-father in law would bring in his car to a garage in Gaza for servicing. Gazans routinely came into Israel to work, and mostly got paid relatively well, not to mention access to mostly free Israeli health services. Of course, this began to change radically with outbreak of the first intifada in Dec. of 1987. Israel had wanted to give Gaza back to the EGyptians, but Sadat didn't want it. He took back the rest of the Sinai in exchange for a peace treaty. What has befallen Gaza today is mainly the result of very sick "leadership" on their part. Indeed, most of what happened since 1947 has been due to the same.

Jan. 15 2009 11:58 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

KIKI

UN Agency That Runs School Hit in Gaza Employed Hamas and Islamic Jihad Members -

The UN agency that administers a school in Gaza - where Hamas operatives firing mortars at Israelis led to the deaths of civilians by Israeli return fire last week - has admitted to employing terrorists to work at its Palestinian schools in the past, has no system in place to keep members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad off its payroll, and provides textbooks to children that contain hate speech and other incendiary information.

There is evidence that students educated in UNRWA schools are much more likely to become homicide bombers, said Jonathan Halevi, a former Israel Defense Forces intelligence officer who specializes in Palestinian terrorist organizations. Halevi has spent several years building an extensive database for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs of terrorist attacks by Hamas and other Islamic extremist groups. Halevi estimated that over 60% of homicide bombers were educated in UNRWA schools.

Jan. 15 2009 11:55 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Yes Peter, but Israel is no more a democracy than apartheid South Africa or pre 15th and 19th amendment United States. Correct me if I am wrong, but are not Gaza and the West Bank de facto parts of Israel? Not all Israelis are able vote in Israeli elections, and three Arab parties have recently been prevented in participating in upcoming elections.

Jan. 15 2009 11:54 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge


During Operation Cast Lead, Hamas set up an independent hospital, which would treat only its own fighters, for which it was thieving a significant portion of the medical supplies entering Gaza from aid organizations. There were further reports of Hamas confiscating flour donations in Dir-al Balech and reselling them through two Hamas-owned bakeries in the city for exorbitant prices.

Israel continues to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, but Hamas prevents it from reaching the hands of those who need it. Tragically, the plight of the Palestinians will deteriorate if the terrorists don’t end their attacks on Israel’s civilian poulation.

Jan. 15 2009 11:53 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

DEBUNKING PALESTINIAN PROPOGANDA ABOUT THE "HUMANITARIAN CRISIS"

In preparation for Operation Cast Lead, Israel opened the crossings to the Gaza Strip to allow in humanitarian supplies as early as November 24, 2008. Since the launch of the operation, Israel has allowed humanitarian aid from a variety of international organizations into Gaza as well as contributing hundreds of truckloads of its own supplies.

Beginning January 7, 2009, the IDF implemented daily three-hour humanitarian recesses to facilitate international aid organization access to Gaza.

Between December 27, 2008, and January 11, 2009, approximately 20,000 tons of humanitarian supplies were delivered to Gaza through border-crossings with Israel.16 An inventory of daily deliveries is made public daily by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to dispel false claims, media inaccuracies, and Hamas propaganda accusing Israel with preventing humanitarian supplies from reaching Gaza via blockade.

It is not surprising that Hamas would try to deflect blame to Israel for the suffering of the Palestinian people caused by its rocket attacks and use of civilians as shields. The people know, however, that Hamas leaders also protect themselves from the deprivations they create. The group has a history of stealing from local companies, in one case 60,000 liters of fuel, and then reporting there is a fuel shortage as a result of the blockade.

Jan. 15 2009 11:53 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Samir,

Good point, Gaza does have a border with their Arab brothers. Of course, Egypt doesn't want terrorsits in their country either. Palestinians limit all of their opportunities by using violence. Perhaps the Palestinians could make a single peace offer to Israel - they have never tried that.

Jan. 15 2009 11:51 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Kiki

a little context would help you understand the phony claims you make of Israel's closing down Gaza.

Israel did not impose tighter restrictions on Gaza until June 2007, two years after withdrawing, when Hamas forcibly seized control of Gaza from Abbas and their fellow Palestinians. From 2005 to 2007, Israel suffered 1,908 Qassam rocket attacks, yet continued to allow necessary supplies into the Gaza Strip and kept commercial crossings open.

During the six-month “state of calm” brokered by Egypt that went into effect on June 19, 2008, these open border-crossings allowed for a 50 percent increase of material goods into Gaza, including medicine and medical supplies, food, fuel, and building materials. In addition, Gazans needing medical attention have been allowed into Israel for treatment.

Jan. 15 2009 11:50 AM
Kiki from NJ

Actually citing a headline is not a tactic. Once again, as reported in Haaretz, there was NO GUNFIRE coming from the UN school.

http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/1054284.html

Further, can someone please explain to me why reporters are banned from entering Gaza?

Jan. 15 2009 11:46 AM
Jeffrey from West Village

Jim Sleeper describes Hamas rockets as being no more than a nuisance but how does he think Israel is going to react when a rocket hits a Continental Airlines 777 at Ben Gurion Airport and the airport is closed down?

Jan. 15 2009 11:45 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Aid to Egypt - $55 billion

American taxpayers should be asking US - what have we got from this relationship - besides a steady parade of American-flag bruning and protests by the goons and other members of the Arab "street"?

Waht tangoble benefits has US gotten from Egypt?

Jan. 15 2009 11:42 AM
Kiki from NJ

Samir,

You state, "America would never sit still if terrorists were lobbing missiles across our border into Texas or Montana"

What would America do if Mexico closed all of its borders, had control over land, sea and air, would allow Americans to leave, and would not allow and food, medicine or fuel into the area? And please do not try to argue that Israel is not blocking aid - we all obviously have access to the internet and the fact can be easily proven.

By the way, the U.N. estimates that there are approximately one million gazans without electricity and running water. Proportionally, that would be about 200 million Americans

Jan. 15 2009 11:41 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Josh,

Unfortonuately, the Jews have always treated Palestinians with more respect then their Arab brothers. Perhaps the Arab street is so upset because they know that their governments don't really care at all about the Palestinians.

Jan. 15 2009 11:40 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Leo,

Democracies share values and support one another. That seems like a pretty good thing to me.

Jan. 15 2009 11:38 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

jeffrey, great point. Egypt doesn't want Gaza either. When israel tried to return it (it was part of Egypt after the UN mandate) they refused to take it. Almost half of Jordan's population are Palestinian refugees. Why do you think they refused to accept the West bank back?

Jan. 15 2009 11:36 AM
Leo from queens, NY

Voter From Brooklyn. - Unfortunately I agree with you. This is why it's so deplorable and why the Palestinian-Israeli problem is underminding OUR society and OUR standing.

This problem IS a CANCER on America and a drain on the American Taxpayer who continues to fund the status quo

Jan. 15 2009 11:33 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Benna,

Your refusal to discuss an issue only undermines your position. Funny how you refuse to asnwer this simple question:

Does the Palestinian government go on TV and instruct its people to use Palestinian children as human shields? Yes or no?

Does the answer bother you?

Jan. 15 2009 11:31 AM
Jeffrey from West Village

Why is there no discussion of the role of Egypt in this conflict? Egypt seems to do a great job in sealing its Gaza border against Palestinians wishing to leave but clearly fails to control the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. The Egyptian territory bordering Gaza is barely populated - is this not a logical place for Gaza to expand? If Muslims are true brothers then why is Gaza sealed off along an Arab border from a vast deserted land?

Jan. 15 2009 11:31 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Thank you Mr. Sleeper for you brilliant reality-based insight.

I would also love to see a massive non-violent Ghandi like movement coming from Arabs in the Middle East.

And yes, Israel would be "flumoxxed" and there would be a Palestinian state in a nano-second, because Israel is dying for peace.

Let me know when the Muslim/Arab world adopts values of non-violence.

You can email me or call my cell.

Jan. 15 2009 11:31 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

The only reason less israelis have died is because Hamas misses. How does that justify that its ok to shoot them to begin with. If hamas had any aim, 1000 Jews would die a week.

Jan. 15 2009 11:28 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Though the United States has helped to create the mess, I’m inclined to agree with you. (BTW: the reason the government of the US cares is because none of them would be elected into office if they didn’t feign interest)

Jan. 15 2009 11:28 AM
robert from park slope

A Palestinian "Ghandi" could replicate Joshua's victory at Jericho

Jan. 15 2009 11:28 AM
hjs from 11211

samir
an eye for an eye?
immoral meets immoral

Jan. 15 2009 11:27 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Great guest! I agree.

Jan. 15 2009 11:27 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Hamas Prefers War as an Alternative to Progress

Hamas, which came to power in 2006 through a democratic election, has since hijacked Gaza and established rocket factories in residential areas, in bunkers under mosques, schools and hospitals. Over the past three years, the Hamas jihadis and their affiliates have frequently targeted their Kassam rockets at residential areas in Israel.

According to a clandestine survey by Bielefeld University (Germany) conducted in Syria and Egypt (2006), over 70% of the population in these countries want peace with Israel. They are "sick and tired," as many put it, of the belligerent discourse of the Islamists and the biased and instigatory propaganda of their national media, though they don't dare say that openly.

Jan. 15 2009 11:26 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Kiki,

Well of course it could have been a mistake, but the facts stands that it is roundly reported that Hamas was firing from a UN school.

As far as Haaretz, I have supplied links, so you can't try that tactic.

Jan. 15 2009 11:26 AM
aaron from UWS Manhattan

A palestinian Gandhi? It must be nice inside his head with Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny! Moderates are slaughtered, a pacifist? This guy is such a dreamer it is LAUGHABLE!!!

Jan. 15 2009 11:25 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

The he said/she said approach that Brian Lehrer invariably returns to merely betrays his own inability or unwillingness to go beyond saying that "Israel has done some not-very-nice things".

Lehrer's silence on Israeli atrocities amounts to tacit endorsement.

What Israel is doing is simply _not_ self-defense. And we _know_ Israel's position on bombing civilian targets. To this day, Israel champions the bombing of the King David Hotel -- an act of terrorism. So if it's "resistance" then bombing civilians is okay in the eyes of Israelis.

It was Shaul Mofaz who threatened to bring the "Shoah" down upon Palestinians. Can Mr. Lehrer even recognize that?

Just the other day, Thomas Friedman joined the chorus of explicit endorsement of bring terror ("fear") to Palestinians to force their hands against Hamas.

Jan. 15 2009 11:25 AM
Norman from NYC

So Jim Sleeper is recommending that more people do what Rachel Corrie did?

Jan. 15 2009 11:25 AM
Venny from Jersey City

Israel would never allow a Palestinian Gandhi.

Jan. 15 2009 11:24 AM
chris from brooklyn

sometimes one side is wrong and the other side is right. wouldn't orwell agree with that too- depending on circumstances? Israel created the awful circumstances from whence came hamas. sorry if the zionists don't like the monster they created- and they did encourage hamas in the early days as an alternative to the PLO.

you're right brian- there is no moral equivalency here. The Israelis are killing in "self defense" as they always do. They are not victims- they are victimizers. believe it or not.

Jan. 15 2009 11:24 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

kiki, while it is true that no foreign journalists are now allowed in to gaza to report, there were journalists there already who now can't get out. The NYTimes, Al-Jezeera (which I do read by the way), the BBC and Reuters who are stuck there.

Jan. 15 2009 11:24 AM
Karen from Manhattan

The moral equivalency argument is bogus and a red herring. Nobody is holier than thou in this conflict. More to the point is whether invading Gaza and, now, bombing the UN is going to stop rocket bomb harassment of Southern Israel and create a peaceful, two state solution, and the answer is "No, no more than suicide bombing accomplished the Palestinian's goal."

Enough already. Enough! We need for all the nations in the region, including Israel, to sit down with the U.S. and a U.N. commission and forge a peace agreement. Anyone -- including Israel -- that fails to adhere to the agreement gets sanctioned. Let the gods determine who has the moral highroad; the point is to stop the violence.

Jan. 15 2009 11:24 AM
eva

BL Show -
thank you for bringing on a guest who can see a better possibility for everyone. Where has this guy been hiding?

Jan. 15 2009 11:24 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Brian,
Britain (in the 19th century) was the original aggressor followed by the UN. Discuss that fact. If Europe and the United States stayed out of the Middle East (Oh yean, and if Europe didn’t slaughter it’s Jews) we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

A Defensive War

During this difficult war in the Gaza Strip, we stand with Israel. Prior to military action, Israel tried a number of other options to stop the rockets, all to no avail. Like most Americans, we identify strongly with Israel's ongoing, elusive quest to achieve peace and security in a dangerous part of the world. We recognize that by arming and training Hamas, Iran has made this latest Israel-Hamas war a key front in its effort to remake the region in its own radical image.

America would never sit still if terrorists were lobbing missiles across our border into Texas or Montana; and just as we assert our right to defend ourselves, Israel has every right to protect its own citizens. Support for Israel in her time of need, from both Democrats and Republicans, is not just the logical choice. It is both a strategic and moral imperative.

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
Leo from queens, NY

Samir, stop quoting all of these radical neocons. Do you suggest that Hamas should target military bases instead? - They are not allowed to have a military force like Israel. These rockets, though dangerous to Israeli civilians, show the lopsided power which the Israeli military and corrupt politicians hold on the Palestinians

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
Chuck Wooldridge from Manhattan

Orwell was a socialist -- his criticism of Stalinism was precisely that it was a perversion of socialism.

In this conflict, he would not have approved of the arming of either side, would not at all have approved of the language employed in the conflict, or of the alliances that have developed. The difference here is that Orwell would not have much sympathy with either side -- he did not see national preservation as a terribly important goal.

Also, Orwell didn't like Ghandi, either.

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
jill Nanfeldt from wWest Caldwell, NJ

FINALLY!!! A balanced view from a guest. I am really tired of your UNbalnced support of Israel. But I otherwise love your show.
Jill Nanfeldt,
Quaker

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Gaza's True "Disproportion"

Israelis are being accused of suffering too few casualties in their confrontation with the Hamas terrorists. Until this conflict began, history books everywhere always expressed great satisfaction and a certain chauvinistic pride when a nation's army inflicted on the enemy a large number of casualties. Israel is the only country expected to behave differently and, in fact, it does; I know of no other nation that announces where and when it will drop its bombs, thus enabling civilians to evacuate the territory.

In turn, Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties. All it wants is to stop Hamas' attacks the only way it can: by eliminating the terrorists and destroying their arsenals. There's no other way to deal with them.

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
ramatu

i am disgusted by the israeli invasion and am frustrated with palestine. this will sound hokey (but, hey we haven't tried hokey yet) but i think the mistake the palestinians make is the lack of visionary leadership. you don't battle a power like israel and win with rockets and violence. you proactively take the moral highground (apartheid struggle, civil rights, ghandi)

.... nevamind Sleeper just made my point.

Jan. 15 2009 11:23 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Is Hamas suicide bombings and shooting of rockets and missles not collective punishment?

Jan. 15 2009 11:21 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Peter, why don't you set up your own FaceBook page?

Jan. 15 2009 11:21 AM
Leo from queens, NY

THank you Mr. Sleeper for stating some truths.. Though I do recognize that Hamas is a repressive, theocratic, undemocratic group, you must recognize that it has been radicalized to a great extent by Israeli policy.
Also, you suggest that Fatah, the Egyptian Dictatorship and the Israeli government are somewhat better. They are not!!. Also, you have some very radical, theocratic political parties in Israel that are JUST as dangerous as Hamas

Jan. 15 2009 11:20 AM
Neil from Manhattan

Israel needs to face its original sin: having taken another people's land by force, terror, and deceit, and creating refugees out of them.

Until that is done, there is no way forward.

Jan. 15 2009 11:20 AM
hjs from 11211

is Collective punishment moral?

Jan. 15 2009 11:19 AM
Kiki from NJ

Peter,

I am not sure which Haaretz you are reading, but the headline from Haaretz is below. Maybe you do not realize that they list the day, then month. The only plausible reason I can imagine as to why you would say " Independent sources such as the BBC, NY Times and Haaretz have reported that Palestinian terrorists fired from within the UN School compound. Israeli government officials report the same. "

More laughable, there are no independent "sources" allowed into Gaza to actually report, despite the Israel S.C. decision. I ask that you please keep the conversation honest and constructive - not a platform for your hyperbole.

Last update - 08:51 11/01/2009
IDF investigation shows errant mortar hit UN building in Gaza
By Amos Harel

Jan. 15 2009 11:19 AM
aaron from UWS Manhattan

He hasn't mentioned Hamas firing THOUSANDS of rockets, many of them from SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS ETC. Also kidnapping children to use as HUMAN SHIELDS! He seems to be ignorant of the fact that two-thirds of "Palestine" were already given to the Arabs to create Jordan by the Brits, that there has never been a national entity of "Palestine", and that 850,000 Jews had to leave Muslim countries in '48 as refugees (according to the UN)

Jan. 15 2009 11:19 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

3. Third, "the misuse and abuse of humanitarian symbols for purposes of launching attacks is called the perfidy principle. For example, using an ambulance to transport fighters or weapons or disguising oneself as a doctor in a hospital, or using a UN logo or flag, are war crimes."

4. The fourth violation "is the prohibition in the Fourth Geneva Convention and international jurisprudence against the direct and public incitement to genocide. The Hamas covenant itself is a standing incitement to genocide."

5. The fifth crime relates to the scope of the attack on civilians, which upgrades the violation to a crime against humanity. "When you deliberately hit civilians not infrequently but in a systematic, widespread attack, that's defined in the treaty of the International Criminal Court and international humanitarian law as a crime against humanity."

6. The final war crime for which Hamas is responsible is the recruitment of children into armed conflict.
"When Israel responds and civilians are killed because Israel is targeting an area from which rockets were launched, then it is Hamas which bears responsibility for the deaths, and not Israel, according to international law."

Jan. 15 2009 11:19 AM
Samir from Bay Ridge

Hamas War Crimes

The fighting tactics and ideology of Hamas are a "case study par excellence" of a systematic violation of international humanitarian law, according to Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian justice minister and a leading expert in international law.

1. "First, the deliberate targeting of civilians is in and of itself a war crime," he noted, referring to the Hamas rockets fired at southern towns for eight years.

2. "A second war crime is when Hamas attacks [from within] civilian areas and civilian structures, whether it be an apartment building, a mosque or a hospital, in order to be immune from a response from Israel....Civilians are protected persons, and civilian areas are protected areas. Any use of a civilian infrastructure to launch bombs is itself a war crime."

Jan. 15 2009 11:17 AM
Robert from NYC

I call it Camp Gaza.

Jan. 15 2009 11:16 AM
Venny from Jersey City

My big question is "WHY DOES AMERICA CARE AT ALL?"

We need to stop wasting our money and blood on this issue. Let them figure it out. Americans need to focus on OUR country. Israel is not a US State.

Jan. 15 2009 11:16 AM
barak from Park Slope

Jim Sleeper should go back to sleep....

He adds nothing to the conversation and sounds like a typical ego-driven elitist telling everyone form his high-horse: "a pox on both your houses"

Wonder if he's ever spent time in the area.

Jan. 15 2009 11:15 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Benna,

I will check out your link - thank you. But you haven't answered mny question?

Does the Palestinian government go on TV and instruct its people to use Palestinian children as human shields? Yes or no?

Why are you so scared of answering this question?

Jan. 15 2009 11:14 AM
chris from brooklyn

why don't you discuss the immoral blockade and starvation of gaza that has been going on since 2007- and is much worse than rockets that Hamas has sent.

you can't separate hamas from the awful way that Isarel has traeted the palestinians. it has not been "boneheaded" at has been inhumane and evil.

Jan. 15 2009 11:14 AM
Sally from Ridgewood

Look at the media bias EVEN ON YAHOO!

http://www.postimage.org/image.php?v=gx2BBFyA

Jan. 15 2009 11:14 AM
Benna from UES

Debunking the “Human Shield” Myth
by Chris Floyd

http://waronyou.com/forums/index.php?topic=5674.0

Jan. 15 2009 11:13 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

asgt:

Yes, I agree, responses would be nice. Does the Palestinian government go on TV and instruct its people to use Palestinian children as human shields? Yes or no?

Jan. 15 2009 11:13 AM
asgt

barry, benna --

don't let peter accuse you of dropping your statements w silence when presented with what he considers provable facts! responses?

Jan. 15 2009 11:11 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I have been posting here for a few days now. First lets look at the UN mandate. The jews abided by it, the Arabs attacked seeking to push the jews into the sea. Notice how the Jews set up a fully democratic nation that belongs to the UN. Notice that all the Arabs do is try to blow up Jews. While I do believe passionately in a two state solution, palestinians have done nothing to try to form a state. There were no elections under Arafat, he ruled with an iron hand and stole millions of dollars. The elections in 2006, saw Hamas take jursidiction by force as opposed to political fairness. I am not saying that Israel has not behaved horribly, they have. But time and time again they offer an olive branch and rather than negotiate (they have never offered one plan or even a counteroffer.) They simply say no to what ever it is and bomb Israel. Palestine's answer to Oslo was the second Intifada. Jews want peace and are willing to accept a two state solution. The Arabs refuse to recognise israel and push them into the sea.

Jan. 15 2009 11:11 AM
Norman from NYC

I also sent an email to listenerservices@wnyc.org protesting the deletion of messages, and I (eventually) got a polite reply.

On grounds of free speech, I personally would rather have comments left on the message board, no matter how stupid or offensive (except for obvious spam). I'd rather read through a lot of nonsense rather than worry that legitimate viewpoints have been deleted.

I would also point out that if a message doesn't get to the point quickly and is longer than about 1 screen, I usually skip it.

So if you want me to read your message, get to the point at the beginning.

This might be the subject of a future program.

Jan. 15 2009 11:10 AM
Rob

What do you do if you don't care what happens in Israel and Palestine? Can Mr. Sleeper explain from a geo-poltical, real politic standpoint the value Israel brings to the USA?

I can see the value of Saudi Arabia OIL. What does Israel do for the USA that warrants this special relationship?

It seems that they are the one's holding us back from developing relationships with key countries in the Muslim world which we need to stablize Iraq and Afganistan.

Jan. 15 2009 11:10 AM
eva

"On his blog, Mr. Sleeper seems to suggest that Israel's onslaught in Gaza is wrong because of what it does _to Israel_."

Hugh, that's because Sleeper cares about Israel AND the Palestinians. Many people have legitimate concerns that the actions Israel is now taking are harming Israel's longterm security - independent of what is happening to people in Gaza.

Jan. 15 2009 11:09 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

On his blog, Mr. Sleeper seems to suggest that Israel's onslaught in Gaza is wrong because of what it does _to Israel_. What about the terror and misery it visits upon Gazans?!

Jan. 15 2009 11:05 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Barry,

Independent sources such as the BBC, NY Times and Haaretz have reported that Palestinian terrorists fired from within the UN School compound. Israeli government officials report the same.

Benna,

Instead of saying that something is “BS”, perhaps you could explain your position. For example, do you deny that the Palestinian government has directed its people to use their children as human shields? Perhaps Benna, you can answer a simple question for me. Has the democratically elected Palestinian government gone onto official Palestinian government television and asked its people to use their own children as human shields? Yes or no?

Now as far as the Lebanon war of 2006 goes, I disagree with you completely. The Israelis have clearly learned from their mistakes in that war. For example, it seems pretty evident now that the Israelis are winning this time and will not have to settle for a military draw and a political failure. This looks like it is going to be an Israeli military victory, and eventually, a Fatah victory as well. Chances are, Israel is going to pull a political victory out as well. For example, the question of the day seems to be,"Why did the Palestinian's start this?" Clear win for Israel.

Thanks for sharing Benna.

Jan. 15 2009 11:03 AM
eva

I guess what strikes me about the Sleeper article in Dissent is how much flavor New York seems to have lost. And not just New York, but the country.

In 1987, the noisy and passionate Bella Abzug was still active in civic life, and New Yorkers were engaged in politics, which were often divisive and messy.

But they were engaged in politics nonetheless, not having yet been co-opted into the bubbly 401K obsession that would supposedly free them from the reality of civic life.

As a counterpoint, the NY women who come to mind for the era now ending are Hamptons-infused Candace Bushnell or Betsy Madoff - "lifestyle" and money-centered, and utterly disengaged from anything resembling civic life. (No offense to either of those women, I just don't understand why their lifestyles came to be considered exemplary.)

Abzug's hats were pretty awful, and her waistline unimaginable for a woman in public life today, but her heart was in the right place.

Jan. 15 2009 10:55 AM
Kiki from NJ

Barry,

What is the basis of your comment that the UN is harboring terrorists?

As already been proven, IDF has admitted that there wasn't any gunfire coming from the UN school Moveover, the alleged video the IDF used was two years old.

Why is it that everyone else is always wrong except the IDF?

Jan. 15 2009 10:51 AM
Benna from UES

That "human shield" is just BS. Israel is indiscriminately hitting targets all over Gaza.

Why one Earth is it taking Israel SO LONG to accomplish it's "goal" and what is that goal?

The facts are that Israelis are more likely to be hit by lightening than any Hamas rocket.

I totally support the state of Israel but I do not support the political state it is in. I am disgusted by Olmert and this horrible leadership. Why is it the 2006 war with Lebanon is all but forgotten? Apparently the only neighbors Israel is comfortable with are unstable states that have no running water and fractured terrorist states.

Jan. 15 2009 10:50 AM
eva

Where has Jim Sleeper been? Thank you for bringing him on the show.

For anyone struggling in this economy in New York, here's Jim Sleeper's weirdly prescient and lively article from 1987 (the year that other bubble burst) in the journal Dissent on the changing demographics of New York.

It's strange to read it now, thinking of the incredible changes (and non-changes) over the last 21 years since he wrote it.

http://jimsleeper.com/articles/signature-pieces/Empire%20City%20(NYC%20in%201987).pdf

Jan. 15 2009 10:33 AM
sanony

Between inane and sometimes bating and hateful comments -- and the sometimes juvenile censorship choices made by BL and his staff -- I'd be curious to know how many people aside from the actual posters even bother wading into message boards when they relate to Israel (and in the case of Lopate's show, anything relating to Judaism). It's a shame because there are a lot of really interesting comments and ideas here that get lost in the mess. And so much ambivalence among what I am guessing is the majority of listeners.

Jan. 15 2009 10:21 AM
hjs from 11211

seth 2
agreed 100%
yesterday when the gaza thread was closed at 12.39 i felt like a 3rd grader sent to the principal's office. I sent an email to listenerservices@wnyc.org
but no one thought they should reply to me.

Jan. 15 2009 10:18 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Susan,

Thanks for sharing. I believe strongly that discussing this topic is important. My views on many topics have been strongly influenced by discussions on this board. I value the board and the BL Show and am thankful that the discussions on this board have been more open and less moderated in recent days.

Again, thanks for sharing.

Jan. 15 2009 10:16 AM
Cory from Manhattan

I am appalled to hear that any comment has been taken down without disclosure that it was censored. WNYC bills this program and Lopate's program as news program, yet it deletes comments and allows undisclosed muting of callers (disclosed muting would at least be honest) when they press featured guests harder than the tame interviewer/entertainer is comfortable with. If these programs are just entertainment, fine, but say so. If they are intelligent news programs for intelligent listeners, stop censoring without full disclosure of what was censored, not general statements.

Jan. 15 2009 10:15 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

MC:

I meant to also say to you that yes, a ceasefire with terms as strong as the ones I summarized in post #1 would be a clear Israeli victory. If the reports from Egypt end up being true, this would mean taht Israel pounded Hamas until Hamas said:

-we will stop firing rockets,
-we will let Fatah back into Gaza to control the borders and stop smuggling, and
-we no longer make any preconditions on you (Israel) for the cessation of Palestinian rocket fire.

In my eyes, this would constitute a clear Israeli military victory even if (or when) the rockets started again.

Jan. 15 2009 10:12 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Instead of letting Brian set the tone of his show, Peter seems to be bent on setting it here day after day. Why don't wait for the show to begin........ We know by now, what you think, Peter....

Jan. 15 2009 10:08 AM
seth from Long Island

Peter #4,

I've also asked myself these questions. The silence from the Arab street regarding Palestinian war crimes is deafening. There are few acts more vile or despicable than using civilians as human shields.

Jan. 15 2009 10:03 AM
barry from Manhattan

Hamas uses UN sites for both personal and personnel protection and to engender maximum outrage when Israel returns fire. It's a clever PR move by Hamas but it also reflects just how useless UN troops are in the region.

If the UN cannot keep its facilities from being used as Hamas outposts -- and it can't -- the UN needs to withdraw completely from the region.

While we can all empathize with the plight of the innocent residents of Gaza suffering and dying, for the UN to -- effectively -- harbor this terrorist group and then cry foul when their facilities are struck is the very height of hypocrisy and/or UN's emasculation.

Jan. 15 2009 09:58 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

MC,

All of your points are valid. Yes, Fatah may be weakened, but there is a very good chance that they will come out stronger, maybe not this week, but certainly during rebuilding. I can see a situation in which the EU and others say, “Let’s rebuild Gaza, but we will only give money to Fatah.”

I think the Israelis are just trying to protect their people and create calm until Hamas is elected out of power, until a situation arises in which negotiations can resume, until the Syria track (which was well on course just a few weeks ago) nears a peace deal or some other move towards a two state solution presents itself.

Yesterday on this show, Martin Indyk made a very wise comment. He said that the light at the end of the tunnel is clear, but that the tunnel does not exist. Until a Palestinian/Israeli peace tunnel emerges (or remerges), Israel seems to just be trying to protect its people while reminding the world that it will not tolerate terrorism. The final deal is clear as day.

We can disagree on this, but Hamas is just not interested in peace and a two state solution. So at this point, Israel just wants to protect its people. At least, that is my opinion.

Jan. 15 2009 09:56 AM
Chris Nelson from Brooklyn, NY

I have been completely ignorant to the events in Gaza (Palestine or Israel) for some time now. Recently, I read about how Israel was formed and it only confuses me more and more.

If the Brittish were to come and give a portion of the United States to the recently freed slaves, the US would have exploded into another civil war. Isn't it crazy and unrealistic for people to think that Arabs (which were the majority of Palestine about 70%/30% when Israel was formed)would ever be happy or content with Israel's presence and expandinig into Palestine further?

I don't trust any depiction of violence in Palestine/Israel because it appears heavily biased. I am sure that Palestinians view Israeli attacks as Israel attacking innocent people as well. I trust the media coverage of this war as much as I trusted the coverage/propaganda leading to the war in Iraq.

Jan. 15 2009 09:54 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Peter:
By the way, I agree with you about Muslim silence in general about the use of civilians as shields and also acts of terror against Muslims by Muslims.

Jan. 15 2009 09:52 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Peter: re: #1
First of all, I'm sorry your comment about Israeli military victory was deleted. Second, I asked you in this forum that same day about how you defined military victory. If, as you say, they are on the brink of a truce in Egypt, do you characterize that as military victory?

Some of what I have read has said that the IDF wants to dismantle Hamas completely. Leaving aside whether or not that is a good idea, who do you think should then administer Gaza? Won't Fatah be weakened in the eyes of Palestinians because of perceived collaboration with Israel during this time?

Jan. 15 2009 09:46 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

The NY Times reported this morning:

“…nine Israeli human rights groups called for an investigation into whether Israeli officials had committed war crimes in Gaza.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/world/middleeast/16mideast.html?hp

Where are the Palestinian and Arab groups demanding investigations into possible Palestinian war crimes? Official Palestinian government run television has called on Palestinians to use their own children as human shields. See the videos here:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Hamas+exploitation+of+civilians+as+human+shields+-+Photographic+evidence.htm

Where is the Palestinian outcry about Palestinian war crimes against their own people? Where are the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim protests regarding the specific targeting of Jewish children and war crimes against Israelis? I am no scholar of the Koran, but surely Islam is against the specific targeting of children. Where are the protests on the so called Arab street regarding Palestinian war crimes?

Jan. 15 2009 09:29 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

At times, Jim Sleeper does a nice job of countering the argument that somehow, Jews don’t belong in Israel and should have never established a state. Could you ask Mr. Sleeper to discuss this? For example, Mr. Sleeper has mentioned that many Israeli Jews grew up speaking Arabic.

Jan. 15 2009 08:46 AM
seth from Long Island

I'm tired of the constant reminders from BL's staff regarding the tone of remarks posted on this board concerning Israel and Gaza.

It's demeaning and degrading for BL's staff to treat his listeners like children with these reminders to play nice with each other.

As long as people don't post physical threats against one another or post 1 of the 7 dirty words, I see no valid reason for deleting comments.

What do you expect from listeners when discussing a hot button issue? The posters to this board are people not robots.

If BL's staff is so uptight by people posting strong opinions, they should BAN ALL COMMENTS from segments dealing with Israel.

Jan. 15 2009 08:45 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

The reports coming out of Egypt are that Hamas is ready to make deep concessions for a truce including:

- stopping the rockets,
- allowing Fatah back into Gaza to control the crossings and stop the smuggling, and
- initiating the ceasefire first, without Israel conceding anything.

This article (and other articles in Haaretz) discuss what I just summarized:

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055543.html

A few days ago I mentioned on this forum that an Israeli military victory against Hamas was in fact possible. WNYC promptly deleted my comment. Now it turns out, I was probably right. I hope the moderators for this forum are taking note that sometimes, people who you may disagree with politically, make valid points.

Thanks for continuing to follow this story.

Jan. 15 2009 08:02 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.