The Palestinian Question

There are NO Palestinians, only Arabs.

The one passage on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict that the mainstream media will never print

The Arab refugees were not driven from Palestine by anyone. The vast majority left, whether of their own free will or at the orders or exhortations of their leaders, always with the same reassurance that their departure would help in the war against Israel. Attacks by Palestinian Arabs on the Jews had begun two days after the United Nations adopted its decision of November 29, 1947, to divide western Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state. The seven neighboring Arab states Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Egypt then prepared to invade the country as soon as the birth of the infant State of Israel was announced.

…As the local Arab offensive spread during the late winter and early spring of 1948, the Palestinian Arabs were urged to take to the hills, so as to leave the invading Arab armies unencumbered by a civilian population. Before the State of Israel had been formally declared – and while the British still ruled the country – over 200,000 Arabs left their homes in the coastal plain of Palestine.

…The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade. . . . He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean. . . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.

Gaza: New Hamas Law Mandates Lashes, Amputations

Hamas could have chosen peace. Instead, it made Gaza suffer.

By Dennis Ross August 8

Dennis Ross, counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served as President Bill Clinton’s Middle East negotiator and was a special assistant to President Obama from 2009 to 2011.

In the winter of 2005, Ziad Abu Amr, a Gaza representative in the Palestinian Legislative Council, invited me to speak in Gaza City. As I entered the building for the event, I saw Mahmoud al-Zahar, one of the co-founders of Hamas. Before I could say anything, Ziad explained: “We decided to invite the opposition to hear you. We think it is important that they do so.”

I had not expected senior Hamas leaders to be there, but it didn’t alter my main message. Israel was slated to withdraw from the Gaza Strip in several months, so I emphasized that this was a time of opportunity for Palestinians — they should seize it. I told the audience of roughly 200 Gazans that this was a moment to promote Palestinian national aspirations.

If they took advantage of the Israeli withdrawal to peacefully develop Gaza, the international community and the Israelis would see that what was working in Gaza could also be applied to the West Bank. However, I then asked rhetorically: If Palestinians instead turn Gaza into a platform for attacks against Israel, who is going to favor an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the creation of a Palestinian state?

Much of Palestinians’ history might have been imposed on them by others, I said. But this time they had the power to shape their future. If they made the wrong choice, they could not blame the Arabs, the Europeans, the Americans — or the Israelis.

While the audience was not shy about criticizing the U.S. role in peacemaking, no one challenged my main message that day.

Unfortunately, we know the path Hamas chose. Even as Israel was completing the process of withdrawing all its settlers and soldiers from Gaza, Hamas carried out a bus-station bombing in Israel. Then, from late 2005 to early 2006, Hamas conducted multiple attacks on the very crossing points that allowed people and goods to move into and out of Gaza. For Hamas, it was more important to continue “resistance” than to allow Gazans to constructively test their new freedom — or to give Israelis a reason to think that withdrawal could work. Some argue that Israel withdrew but imposed a siege on Gaza. In reality, Hamas produced the siege. Israel’s tight embargo on Gaza came only after ongoing Hamas attacks.

The embargo on Gaza might have hurt the Palestinians who live there, but it did not stop Hamas from building a labyrinth of underground tunnels, bunkers, command posts and shelters for its leaders, fighters and rockets. The tunnels are under houses, schools, hospitals and mosques; they allow Hamas fighters to go down one shaft and depart from another. According to the Israeli army, an estimated 600,000 tons of cement — some of it smuggled through tunnels from Egypt, some diverted from construction materials allowed into Gaza — was used for Hamas’s underground network.

At times, I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built. They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right. Developing Gaza — fostering a future for its people and protecting them — was not Hamas’s goal.

So long as Israel exists, Hamas will seek to fight it. It was not Israel’s opposition to the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) that led to this latest round of warfare. Rather, it was Hamas’s political isolation and increasingly desperate financial situation. The group was broke after Egypt closed the smuggling tunnels into Gaza, Iran cut off funding because of Hamas’s opposition to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and Qatar was unable to send money through the Rafah border crossing, which Egypt controls.

The reconciliation deal relieved Hamas of the need to govern Gaza and meet its financial obligations there — without relieving it of its weapons. But the PA wasn’t willing to pay the Hamas salaries, including to its security forces, so Hamas did what it does best: use force to alter the political landscape.

In the 1990s, when I was the U.S. negotiator on Middle East peace, every time we made progress or seemed to be on the verge of a breakthrough, Hamas suicide bombers would strike Israeli cities. Six months before Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995, he told me that the next Israeli election and Israel’s position toward the Palestinians would be determined not by anything he did but by whether Hamas carried out bombings in Israel. His message was that his security forces — and especially those of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat — had to do a better job of rooting out Hamas or our hopes for peace would be thwarted.

With its finances dwindling, Hamas initiated the recent conflict. This time, however, its leaders held the people of Gaza hostage to its needs, hoping that Egypt would feel the need to open Rafah, that Qatar would deliver money and that Israel would be forced to release Palestinian prisoners.

The Israelis will certainly resist an outcome that offers Hamas any gains. Having destroyed the tunnels that could penetrate Israel, the Israelis have pulled out of Gaza and were willing to extend the 72-hour truce that ended Friday. Hamas was not willing to do so. If Israel hopes to build broader international pressure on the group to stop firing, the Israel Defense Forces will need to avoid targets such as U.N. schools and hospitals. Of course, that is easier said than done, given that Hamas often fires rockets from or near such sites.

At some point, Hamas will stop firing rockets — if for no other reason than its arsenal is depleted. For the people of Gaza, however, the price has been staggering. But Hamas’s leaders have never been concerned about that. For them, Palestinians’ pain and suffering are tools to exploit, not conditions to end.

When relative calm returns, there will understandably be a push for a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas now even less able politically to tackle the core issues , a permanent agreement between the two sides is not in the cards. U.S. diplomacy, therefore, needs to be guided by several considerations and achievable aims.

First, the new strategic alignment in the region must be recognized. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates see the Muslim Brotherhood as an existential threat, and they will be natural partners in denying Hamas, the Palestinian wing of the Brotherhood, potential gains and assisting the PA’s reentry into Gaza.

Second, because Hamas is incapable of changing, it needs to be discredited. In the short term, humanitarian and reconstruction aid in Gaza must be managed so that Hamas cannot exploit it politically or militarily. The Obama administration should insist that the crossing points cannot be reopened until adequate safeguards are in place to prevent the diversion of the assistance. Not only would this permit the PA to reestablish itself at the Gaza crossing points, but it could also prevent Hamas from seizing materials shipped into the Gaza Strip. For the longer term, the United States should organize a Marshall Plan for Gaza contingent on Hamas disarming. If Hamas chooses arms over civilian investment and development, it should be exposed before Palestinians and the international community.

Third, it is important to build the political capital of Abbas and the PA by showing that they can deliver something in the West Bank. Consistent with its security concerns, Israel can expedite the movement of goods and materials destined for the West Bank, preventing them from needlessly getting held up in Israeli ports.

Fourth, focus on conflict management, not conflict resolution. The United States should try to broker unilateral steps that could change the dynamic between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For example, in what is referred to as Area C of the West Bank, Israel controls all planning, zoning and security. We would ask Israel to open Area C, which is 60 percent of the West Bank, to the Palestinians for housing construction and industrial parks. In exchange, we would ask the Palestinians to forgo moves in international organizations designed to symbolize statehood and pressure Israel.

Fifth, try to persuade Netanyahu to declare that Israel’s settlement construction will be made consistent with its two-state policy, meaning it will not build in areas that it thinks will be part of a Palestinian state. This would not only defuse the movement to delegitimize Israel internationally, but it would also make it easier for the Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis and Emirates to work more openly with Israel.

The point would be to create some positive movement on peace and Israel’s relations with its neighbors. The United States would publicly maintain its commitment to achieving two states for two peoples. Our diplomacy after this recent conflict must foster tangible changes on the ground, not promise a vision that is unachievable. That is the essence of good statecraft, and rarely has it been more needed.

Hakuna Matata
3:03 AM EST

Albert Einstein 1938: I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.”

3:13 AM ES

And by 1947, Einstein’s thinking was more like this: When President Harry Truman recognized Israel in May 1948, Einstein declared it “the fulfillment of our (Jewish) dreams.” Einstein served on the Board of Governors of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his Will of 1950, Einstein bequeathed literary rights to his writings to The Hebrew University, where many of his original documents are held in the Albert Einstein Archives.[26] When President Chaim Weizmann died in 1952, Einstein was asked to be Israel’s second president, but he declined, stating that he had “neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings.”[27] He wrote: “I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it.”[10]

6:21 AM EST
Why should we care what Einstein thought?

9:13 AM EST
You don’t care because your a dumbo!

2:30 AM EST

Another faulty premise I see on the Wapo boards is that because there was no nation-state called Palestine, that there are no people in that region with any rights. How silly. As if the only way for humans to have rights is for there to exist a government that represents them. During the Ottoman Empire, those lands were governed from afar. But there were still people living there, and the region was referred to as Palestine, a term going back to the Roman Empire or beyond. The name of the land as Israel was tied to a short-lived kingdom that like many other outfits that claimed that land, dried up and blew away thousands of years ago. The Arab people living there, whose ancestors for generations before them lived there, had homes, businesses, schools, traditions, and cultures. But some people claim that because they didn’t have a local government running things, they did not exist or don’t matter. Just wipe them out of the history books so a bunch of Europeans and Russians can take over the land. Genocide by semantics.

2:26 AM EST

I’m not sure I’m following you regarding the article but Israel won that land when it was attacked from it. It has every right to do what it wants to morally therefore and legally because that is unclaimed land.

1:41 AM EST

Mr Ross, what if you were a prisoner for so many years in Gaza, discriminated against, treated as sub humans by Israel? What if Israel proceeds on daily arrests and assassination of Gaza citizens whenever it feels like killing someone, just for the fun of it or, to instill fear by sending helicopter gunships and missiles? What if children playing football or little girls playing on rooftops are considered as free target practice for the Israeli air force? This list is far from exhaustive and my belief is that Israel did not, does not and will never want peace with Palestine. Land stealing is still on the agenda as the expansionist attitude of a greater Israel is the dream of all its leaders.

2:23 AM EST

I see not reading the article hasn’t stopped you from commenting on it

1:32 AM EST

These so called “Palestinians” were Jordanians (another recent British invention, as there has never been any people known as “Jordanians”), and after the Six-Day War in which Israel utterly defeated the coalition of nine Arab states and took legitimate possession of Judea and Samaria, the Arab dwellers in those regions underwent a kind of anthropological miracle and discovered that they were Palestinians – something they did not know the day before. Of course, these people having a new identity had to build themselves a history, namely, had to steal some others’ history, and the only way that the victims of the theft would not complain is if those victims do no longer exist. Therefore, the Palestinian leaders claimed two contradictory lineages from ancient peoples that inhabited in the Land of Israel: the Canaanites and the Philistines.

2:19 AM EST [Edited]

This article repeatedly assumes the false position that there is any relationship between the fighting between Israel and Hamas, and the settlement of the West Bank. The premise that it’s OK for Israel to colonize the territories of the West Bank because there’s fighting in Gaza is simply crazy. But, that’s what US negotiators keep coming back to, playing right into the hands of the Israeli settlement bloc. The idea that Israel would set aside an area in lands outside its own borders to not expand settlements (as if that’s asking anything) also plays into the Israeli position, that it’s entitled to create those settlements and therefore is giving something up by not building them. That’s crazy too. Israel is not entitled to build those settlements, period. What’s worse is knowing that Israel regards the entire West Bank as future parts of Israel — there IS no part of the West Bank that Israel will acknowledge won’t be part of Israel in the future. Dreamy, false thinking in place of hard reality, hidden behind the fighting in Gaza which is irrelevant to the important part of Palestine, the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem.

2:26 AM EST

I’m not sure I’m following you regarding the article but Israel won that land when it was attacked from it. It has every right to do what it wants to morally therefore and legally because that is unclaimed land.

4:30 AM EST

I hope you recognize the Palestinians and Hamas have the right to stop waging war.

2:22 AM EST

There hasn’t been a place called Judea and Samaria for centuries. Try to get your facts out of history books written more recently, say, AD instead of BC.

2:28 AM EST

Well now it’s ISRAEL.

1:29 AM EST

This declaration by a true “Palestinian” should have some significance for a sincerely neutral observer. Indeed, there is no such a thing like a Palestinian people, or a Palestinian culture, or a Palestinian language, or a Palestinian history. There has never been any Palestinian state, neither any Palestinian archaeological find nor coinage. The present-day “Palestinians” are an Arab people, with Arab culture, Arabic language and Arab history. They have their own Arab states from where they came into the Land of Israel about one century ago to contrast the Jewish immigration. That is the historical truth.

1:29 AM EST

This declaration by a true “Palestinian” should have some significance for a sincerely neutral observer. Indeed, there is no such a thing like a Palestinian people, or a Palestinian culture, or a Palestinian language, or a Palestinian history. There has never been any Palestinian state, neither any Palestinian archaeological find nor coinage. The present-day “Palestinians” are an Arab people, with Arab culture, Arabic language and Arab history. They have their own Arab states from where they came into the Land of Israel about one century ago to contrast the Jewish immigration. That is the historical truth.

1:33 AM EST

Cultures do not precede people. And the more you talk the more you look idiotic.

1:34 AM EST [Edited]

Actually, it is the truth But you would rather listen to the liar of the year for your “truth”

1:35 AM EST

There is no such thing as truth. You can keep your folk lore stories and skewer it however you like. 1+1=2

4:38 AM EST

kumarswamy 1:35 AM EDT There is no such thing as truth. You can keep your folk lore stories and skewer it however you like. For some weird reason the left does not believe in the objective truth. I have seen much evidence of this odd ideology.

1:19 AM EST

They are the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. They are indistinguishable from those Arabs who live in the surrounding artificial states such as Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the other entities throughout the Middle East created by the colonial powers, France and Britain. Both powers were victorious after the Ottoman Turkish Empire lay defeated at the end of World War I. Both of these European powers carved artificial borders across the corpse of what had been Turkey’s empire in the Middle East, and both France and Britain have left a resulting legacy of war and violence ever since. One such territory, previously occupied by Ottoman Turkey for 400 years, was the geographical entity known sometimes as Palestine.
But there is no such thing as a Palestinian people; no such thing as a Palestinian history; and no Palestinian language exists. There has never been any independent, sovereign Palestinian state in all of recorded history – let alone an Arab independent state of Palestine.

2:34 AM EST

But the people who lived in Palestine were human beings, with human rights. This argument that because there was no nation-state running that particular area, that the people who lived there have no claim to the land, is ridiculous.

4:41 AM EST

The Palestinians waged war and lost. Palestinians have zero land.

1:18 AM EST

When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist. Golda Meir As quoted in Sunday Times (15 June 1969), also in The Washington Post (16 June 1969)

Separated by Israel, Palestinians are forgetting how to stand together

Israeli soldiers check the IDs of Palestinian cars as they man a checkpoint on the way into the West Bank town of Hebron on June 14. (Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images)

12:42 AM EST

Her students seem like intelligent people. Sure the Palestinian may be oppressed but if they’re intend on killing their neighbors what would you expect your neighbors. There’s enough blames to go around so why not just forget the past and try to come up with a workable solution for today. In a compromise neither side is completely happy with the outcome. The Palestinians are going to have to prove to the Israeli’s that they can be trustworthy partners.

8/8/2014 11:10 PM EST [Edited]

Palestinians working together? When did that ever happen? I have never seen them do that and I have been interested since the 60s… See “Life of Bryan” as an example of Palestinian infighting … with a laugh See Black September … no laughs

8/8/2014 10:41 PM EST

It seems all the Palestinians can do is to give a description but never able to venture into more deeper understanding and analyze reasons. This is one of the best descriptions I read so far. Yes, Gaza and the West Bank are divided by culture, religion, politics, etc. There is very little in common between these two enclaves. Gaza was part of Egypt and the West Bank part of Jordan, two different states with different political systems. Gaza needs missiles and tonnels and the West Bank doesn’t. There was always more ties between Israelis and the West Bankers than between Israelis and Gazans. Both areas profited from connection to Israel but there were always more Palestinians from the West Bank working in Israel than from Gaza. Many Gazans have no idea about Israel and that is why it is so easy for Hamas to rule Gaza. While I came to Israel from Russia in 1972 the Arabs were all over Israel and occasionally were harassed by the pretty female soldiers. By the way immigrants from the Arab countries were also often stopped to check their documents. With my Israeli friend, Gideon who was fluent in Arabic, I visited Ramallah to talk with an Arab lawyer who defended some Palestinian having problems with the army. For about an hour I quietly walked around without anyone drawing any attention to me but when I came to the empty streets at the end of town I felt some fear and returned back to the center of Ramallah. The West Bank has numerous beautiful villas of the rich people but the Obama TV will never talk about this.

1:35 AM EST

can you please post this long winded crap over at the nytimes ? Thanks

8/8/2014 5:29 PM EST

Maybe you should erect a big sign over your Bantustan: ‘President Obama. Emancipation Or Occupation?’ Keep it simple. Israelis may be your overseers but America holds the keys to your plantation and,while Americans are a simple people with short attention spans they’re not complete moral degenerates yet.

8/8/2014 7:24 PM EST

You know a doctor could probably fix that with Haldol.

1:33 AM EST [Edited]

>> Americans are a simple people with short attention spans >> they’re not complete moral degenerates

not complete, still working towards it
8/8/2014 5:25 PM EST

Poor woman, her ancestors began a war of extermination against their Jewish neighbors and lost. Even worse from her perspective is the fact that repeated attempts to reverse the results of that war and make the land Judenrein have all failed. Having lost the major wars they initiated, some Arabs persist in attacking Jews using terrorism. So, they kill a family here, blow up a bus there, attacks kindergarten, etc. Having grown tired of being targeted, the Israelis set up check points to prevent terror attacks. Yes, as a consequence, the average Palestinian living on the so-called West Bank faces inconveniences. But, that’s the price to be paid for attempting to kill your neighbor, especially when that neighbor can fight back.

8/8/2014 5:38 PM EST

The author seems to want Palestinians united — while not seeking a better life for themselves. But seeking a better life for themselves and their families is what will advance the Palestinians much more than ‘unifying’ behind the atrocious actions of hamas.

Jack Foreigner Brit
8/8/2014 5:44 PM EST

Hmmm…I don’t see Hamas doing anything different from Lehi, Irgun, Hagannah, Betar…you know, those blood-first reich-wingers who founded Israel by killing Arabs, Englishmen, and dissident Jews….

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 6:00 PM EST

Poor fool, impressed by Israel’s offer of thirty bucks while ignorant of Israel having stolen a hundred first! AIPAC has so buried the history of Zionism’s colonial roots that we’re here talking about Israel like it’s existed since the Iron Age of the Bible (a work of fiction, BTW) The Resurrection isn’t fiction…atheism is. when in fact Israel is, as Tony Judt, British Jewish intellectual volunteer ambulance driver in many of Israel’s wars, had put it, a 19th Century philosophy — colonialism — foisted onto 20th Century realities — globalization, democratization, and secularization….

8/8/2014 11:13 PM EST

Same answer

1:24 AM GMT+0200

You know a doctor could probably fix that with Haldol.

8/8/2014 5:16 PM EST

The main challenge for the Palestinians is to find a way to cut a deal with Israel. But that seems beyond them. The longer they delay the harder it gets. The UN gave them a state in 1947. Israel said OK. The Arab states said no. All along Israel has looked for a piece partner. The Arabs never stopped shooting. They insisted that the green line was an armistice line where the shooting stopped and not a boarder. A boarder would imply recognition. How many times will the Palestinians pick a fight and get beaten back? The definition of insanity is to keep doing something that isn’t working. The insanity is religous intolerance and hatred. Not that Israel doesn’t have it’s radical fringe also. But if the Palestinians want a state they must earn it by proving that they can coexist with their neighbors. Hamas is never going to get them there.

Frederick Cross
8/8/2014 5:18 PM EST

They gave the Palestinians 42% of the then British Mandate when they had 66% of the population. Does that sound like a good deal to you?

8/8/2014 5:35 PM EST

Fred Cross claims that the Palestinians only got 42% of the Mandate. That’s a gross distortion. Almost 2/3 of the British mandate in Palestine was given to the Arabs by the UK in the form of Transjordan. The remaining 1/3 was then partitioned into 3 portions- one for the Jews, one for the Arabs and one, the Jerusalem area, for the international community. At the time, the Jews were the majority of the population in Jerusalem. The point made is that neither the Jews nor the Arabs got the deal they wanted. The difference, however, is that the Jews accepted the partition plan; the Arab not only rejected it, but pledged to drive the Jews into the Sea. Thus, even before the Mandate ended, the Arabs of Palestine were making war on the Jews because the Arabs didn’t want the Jews to get any land. In sum, percentage of land assigned is a total red herring used by the Arabs to explain their racist intolerance for non-Muslims.

Frederick Cross
8/8/2014 11:31 PM EST

It was given to the Hashamite tribe. Why do idiots like you conflate all Arabs into one bag? Its like trying to say people in Peru and Mexicans are the same people with the same culture and people. I guess your Arabphobia has gotten the best of you sparky. By the way Trans Jordan was again given to the Hashemite tribe and not to created to shove the Palestinians into. Yes there is a high number of Palestinians now in Jordan but that is the doing of the Israelis both in 1948 and 1967 with their ethnic cleansing. Jews accept the partition as a starting point to get a lot of land they did not deserve and remember the bulk of those Jews in 1947 were recent arrivals of the last 30 years. By 1948 they only owned 7% of the land, not a big amount to claimed they owned it.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:41 PM EST

Of course Israel said “okay” — if the government through the doctrine of eminent domain gave your land over to Home Depot, of course that company will say “okay, sure, here’s a couple of thousand in compensation”…. The UN was a Western old boys’ club back then…when the UN finally had the upstart non-whites voting contrary to the West, America and Israel started ignoring it. Why selectively cite the UN only when it serves Zionist hasbara?? Israel is gonna get its come-uppance one day, and then Jews will have yet another episode of “persecution” to kvetch over. Zionism is colonialism, and colonialism won’t last. Rabid anti-Jews are fools who not accept that these people are part of Western civilization while Muslims are not.

8/8/2014 5:47 PM EST

Yes, colonialism won’t last long… but murderers and blood thirsty vagabonds last even shorter… Most of the Islamic world in the Middle East subscribe to the later… unfortunate but true…

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:56 PM EST

Oh, no doubt — but let’s not forget who created the Islamic world: the West. Instead of encouraging secular democracy, the West repeatedly undermined it throughout the world (not just the Middle East)…and now that the chickens are comin’ home to roost, the West wants to talk about Islamofascism (which does exist, but it’s the West’s love-child)…. So let’s not forget who’s to blame. ‘Cause otherwise we go chasing the wrong suspects while the perps remain perpetuating their enterprises in perpetuity….

8/8/2014 11:19 PM EST

Jack, Blame is all many can come up with? We all did that in grade school. Once adults, it is solutions that need to be found. Stamping feet and finding excuses for oneself and blame for others … is just current “victims” mentality and/or Democrat / Obama like politics that get no one anywhere. Could we grow up?

8/8/2014 4:39 PM EST

It’s a good idea not to lose wars.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:10 PM EST

But no one wins all wars…Israel is going to have its day of reckoning eventually, rivaling any period of persecution in Jewish history. Edwin Montagu, the sole Jew in Lloyd George’s War Cabinet and the only one that did not sign the Balfour Declaration, thought Zionism “a mischievous creed” and believed it would only increase antisemitism: “I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference…perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.” Or as the late Tony Judt, a British Jewish intellectual that volunteered as an ambulance driver in one of Israel’s many wars, had put it: “The problem with Israel is that it came too late. It’s a colonial enterprise — a 19th century philosophy — that came into being in the 20th c. Israel claims that right to privilege a group based on ethnicity and religion when the world is becoming globalized and democratized.”

Frederick Cross
8/8/2014 5:22 PM EST

Japan lost the war and we did not take Iwo Jima or Okinawa and make it part of America.

8/8/2014 5:32 PM EST

Japan surrendered… There will be peace when Palestinians surrender… and accept to live in peace. If they value killing Israelis more than the life of their own children, then the suffering will continue as well atleast until Israel gets tired of them and decimates Gaza and its residents.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:37 PM EST

The US wasn’t trying to invade Japan before Pearl Harbor. The Palestinians, however, were occupied by the British, who simply sold them over to the Zionists. Israel exists on stolen land like the US, Australia, Russia, China…. Israel makes a big show about wanting peace but sits on stolen land!!

Frederick Cross
8/8/2014 11:33 PM EST

West Bank Palestinians did have peace with the Israelis and what do they get for their good behavior, more Jewish settlements surrounding their population centers.

8/8/2014 4:32 PM EST

Unfortunately the conflict is unending unless we start to look at the constant war in new ways of solving it and not just political solutions with no long-term basis for peace and development for the people of the Middle East. Indeed these political failures have continued infinitum as history has shown through the continual death toll of the long-term so-called political solutions ever since Israel became a sovereign state in 1948. ISRAEL- PALESTINE WAR – The only Solution to what will be a never-ending Conflict if mindsets do not change to applied economic solutions…

8/8/2014 4:22 PM EST

Her story gives a wonderful example of part of the problem, the idea of only the two extreme options taken by the student(s) – it’s either despair or violent actions bring reprisals.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:13 PM EST

No, it’s only your simple-mindedness that makes for an either/or choice. One can sometimes still live a life while also resisting: the first president of the Irish Republic once wrote “we defeat the British Empire by ignoring it”…. It should be noted, of course, that the man was behind many a terrorist incident. Uh, same as Israel’s founders in the Hagannah, Lehi, Betar, Irgun, et cetera. Israel was founded by ? and destroyed by the Romans.

8/8/2014 4:07 PM EST

That is the entire point of the Israeli strategy. Oppress them until they leave. Remember, Hamas was enabled by Israel in the beginning to weaken the PLO. Israel will never win this war. You cannot oppress people for ever.

8/8/2014 4:01 PM EST

You seem to forget that Hamas overthrew Fatah and ejected them from Gaza in a military coup. It’s easy to blame Israel for the lack of Palestinian solidarity – after all Israel is square in the middle of it. On the other hand, without Israel there’s little doubt the area would devolve into violent tribal disputes as elsewhere (Lebanon, Syria, Egypt). Can the Palestinians find any other reason for reunification besides their mutual contempt for Israel?

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:16 PM EST

Israel exists on stolen land like the US, Australia, Russia…. Israel is like a thief that stole a hundred dollars making a big show out of possibly returning thirty bucks! Who wouldn’t be contemptuous of the constant lies AIPCA spews, such as about the Middle East’s sole “democracy” — but what democracy has religious tests for its citizens?? Who wouldn’t be contemptuous of a foreign country that gets the ~2% of Americans who are Jewish to drive 99% of United States policy towards that country???

8/8/2014 10:02 PM EST [Edited]

Tel Aviv was built on land purchased (yes purchased) in the outskirts of Jaffa in the 1920′s. But tell us what you would do about all the Jewish-owned property in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan that was taken and the Jewish population driven out. In the 1920′s the population of Bagdhad was 40% Jewish and Jews owned substantial amounts of property in those Arab-majority lands, from which they were driven. Inasmuch as there is NO place on earth where the Muslims are a majority and where other religions are given full rights, I suggest you tell us what would be a fair solution. Christians are being driven from Iraq (70% out in just a few years) and the once Christian majority of Lebanon is now a persecuted minority. It seems as if your anti-semitic attitude is pretty blatant.

8/8/2014 5:18 PM EST

Palestinian society should be divided. The idea that Palestinians should all be good with what hamas ‘has done/is doing’ in Gaza — that is what is absurd.

Frederick Cross
8/8/2014 5:21 PM EST

What about the occupation that has lasted for the last 47 years. Your mum on that.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:32 PM EST

Funny, Israel’s founders (Betar, Irgun, Hagannah, Lehi, etc.) murdered Jews who didn’t approve of their truck bombs and targeting of Arabs and British officials…why should others be divided but Israeli terrorists united are okay??

8/8/2014 7:15 PM EST

You can’t excuse Palestinian terrorism over some land dispute. And in fact, not all countries were created by terrorists as you seem to suggest. American revolutionists were not terrorists – they attacked legitimate British military targets.

8/8/2014 3:44 PM EST

Suppose this life is a moral test, maybe a moral education. If so, what are we supposed to learn from the situation in Gaza? Let me suggest a solution. What would Jesus recommend that the Palestinians do? Maybe he would say that there is NO SUCH THING AS HOLY LAND. It’s just dirt. Life/People can be sacred, ideas can be sacred, but the mere fact that a sacred religious person once walked on a particular spot is not enough reason to fight and kill for the possession of it. Maybe we should offer the Palestinians the option of relocating to somewhere else. Yes, the Israelis ran them off their own land, but the only thing stopping us from compensating them fairly is the superstition that that particular location is so important that no other location in the world, and no amount of money is enough to justify moving. Is it rational to adhere to a superstition that gets your children shelled, when a safer homeland would only require the abandonment of the superstition that one spot on earth is more holy than another? We should encourage the Palestinians to let the superstitious Israelis have Gaza, find a place for them that they are wanted, get Israel, the US and the rest of the world to compensate them for the expense of moving, and stop this killing forever. The killing is all about a superstition that is not necessary in any of the religions of the world.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:33 PM EST

Ah, wonderful…something Europe did, the Holocaust, had to be paid for by the Palestinians — and now something Israel does you propose to have the rest of the world pay for??

8/8/2014 3:03 PM EST

“Whether or not a cease-fire agreement is reached, the Israeli occupation will continue to divide us from one another. Our main challenge is to find ways to counter that division and the selfishness it inspires.” Equally challenging but much more practical, try to convince your fellow Palestinians of the need to adhere to a culture of life and not death. Will spare both sides from pizza places being blown up by Islamist monsters and the tragic unintended death of innocent Palestinians living next to rocket launchers.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:30 PM EST

Funny, this sounds like the kind of advice given to every oppressed people on earth: why don’t you just get with The Program already…. If that’s such fine advice, why did Israel’s founders (Betar, Hagannah, Irgun, Lehi, etc.) feel the need to bomb the British and kill fellow Jews that didn’t want violence??

8/8/2014 2:44 PM EST

Interesting view point, thank you for sharing. However, is it possible that the Palestinian people divided themselves when Gaza voted for Hamas to run the government instead of the Palestinian authority? Statehood will never come when tactics include blowing up buses, night clubs, and cafes. It will only come through peace, education and understanding. Your students are right to care about finishing their studies, getting jobs, and financing mortgages. Everyone wants to be able to provide for their family. If elected officials in Gaza prioritize those same things – instead of sending rockets across the border – I firmly believe moderates from both sides can develop agreements for lasting peace.

8/8/2014 4:55 PM EST

The amount of disrespect the author shows for people wanting a better life for themselves and their families is appalling — and mind-boggling stupid. You don’t build a better ‘culture’ based on failure. The author seems to think there is an inverse correlation between Palestinian national goals and young adults trying to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. You want young people aspiring to something useful.

Frederick Cross
8/8/2014 5:20 PM EST

Funny you have not said a thing about the occupation. Are you saying they should accept it forever?

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:22 PM EST

Hey, why don’t the Israelis take your fine advice — Jews are wildly successful in the West, the wealthiest single demographic by far in the United States for example…why the constant blood-letting over Palestine, then?? Ohhh, that’s right: it’s special for one people but others should just make do and behave.

8/8/2014 5:33 PM EST

Did I say that Palestinians shouldn’t try to change things? I could have sworn I mentioned Palestinian national goals will be helped by more people trying to build better lives for themselves. Something the author of this piece looks down at.

8/8/2014 2:41 PM EST
“What can we do to gain such freedoms?” Answer: Move to Jordan, where there are no Israeli oppressors. It’s a nice Arab Muslim country with a king. You’ll love it there!

8/8/2014 3:02 PM EST

What a stupid response!

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:24 PM EST

How about Israelis go back to Europe?? Or even just go to the US — Jews are wildly successful here and no politician would ever dare utter anything against them so no fear of pogroms. Oh, that’s right: Zionists are afraid of assimilation as much as annihilation…never satisfied, eh? And assimilation is so bad because…??

8/8/2014 8:58 PM EST

Right. Like the Muslims assimilate when they move into new countries. ‘European Softening’ Dr. Kedar claimed that this is a process known in advance, ending with the disintegration of Europe in its current state. “It is all a result of a European softening, which the Muslims see as a weakness, as if they received Europe in their hands for free. They do not voluntarily blend in, entire neighborhoods perpetuate the culture they brought with them, they are not aware of the language and economy and stay in their enclaves. Once a French man of Algerian descent told me that they didn’t move from Algeria to France, they brought Algeria to France. According to many, demographics, which is the topic for many studies, is the red light. It points to the path in which the continent is headed – the European birthrate is at a continuous standstill while Muslim immigrants are doubling their rates. “If they wanted to integrate within the society, as European leaders had hoped, this wouldn’t be an issue,” said Keidar. “But since they want to keep their identities and change Europe, it is obviously a big issue. Every year more Muslims than non-Muslims are born in France. Japan has no Muslims because they don’t allow them in. Racism? Maybe. Superiority? Maybe. They don’t care. They want to sustain Japan and are looking down on everyone.”

8/8/2014 2:40 PM EST

Bibi should have to face a war crimes court.

8/8/2014 8:48 PM EST

And those 11,000 rockets fired at Israel, but no court for hamas?

8/8/2014 11:52 PM EST

Hold the trial at the impartial UN

8/8/2014 2:39 PM EST

I guess those who were once slaves know better than most how to inflict slavery on others. But wait, that was thousands of years ago. Maybe its a requirement in Israeli schools to inflict what they have learned.

8/8/2014 3:26 PM EST

Really? Enslavement? Next time you see Israeli children dressed up in IDF uniforms holding toy guns and chanting death to Arabs – let us know. One people want peace – the other side wants nothing but war and hides behind woman and children and uses them as cannon fodder. And that side ain’t the Jews. Pity the fool.

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:28 PM EST

Actually, the whole slaves-out-of-Egypt thing is a myth. Read “The Bible Unearthed” — Read it; Israel Finkelstein; no Moses – no Exodusby some REAL Jews (folks who respect thinking and honesty)…. But the vicious psychology of collective victimhood practically assures a people will behave as bad as they imagine others to have been towards them — and nothing is as bitter as fratricide (Jews and Arabs even acknowledge one another as cousins)!

8/8/2014 5:36 PM EST

Well, the Bible that you just called “myth” gives the exact relationship between Jews and Arabs….

Jack Foreigner
8/8/2014 5:52 PM EST

Yeah, and it gives the exact raison d’etre for European Jewry’s claim to Palestine. Crazy, init?? White folks wonder why blacks can’t get over slavery and Jim Crow and here we have Jews who suppose that after two thousand years they have a right to the so-called Holy Land…. And the Irish can’t get over Cromwell…William Wallce

About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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