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Hopeless in Gaza; Israel’s tragically futile war

22 July 2014

22 July 2014

Travelling back from holiday yesterday we had Jeremy Vine’s show on the car radio and the Radio 2 man was talking about the fighting in Gaza and as is often the case with such matters how the subject is framed is at least as interesting as anything that is subsequently said during the discussion.

In this instance, the debate was pitched on the premise that there was something unfair about the fighting. Even something grotesque. Israel, after all, is so very strong and Gaza’s Palestinians so terribly weak. What’s more even if you accept – and not everyone does! – that Israel has been sorely provoked there’s still the question of the proportionality of its response. I mean, aren’t they just flying off the handle just a teensy wee bit? Aren’t Hamas’s rockets little more than glorified fireworks anyway? And, lordy, who thinks it’s fair for a heavyweight to fight a featherweight?

You get the idea.

I did my best to suppress the suspicion some people think this would be a better, fairer struggle if, like, more jews were killed but I don’t think I quite succeeded.

Don’t we know by now that weakness is often strength disguised and apparent strength actually weakness? Have we learned so little from this century’s wars?

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But perhaps this is part of the problem too. We spend so much time arguing about responsibility and blame, so much effort constructing excuses for this or that or reasons to explain why such and such an action is, if viewed in the correct context, understandable to the point of being legitimate that we lose sight of the greater truth that none of it helps and none of it really matters.

All that really matters is that time is running out. Everyone ‘knows’ what a two-state solution would look like; no-one knows how to get there. (Though how can Israel make peace with Hamas?) The New Republic has just published a magisterial account of the latest American attempt to broker new talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It is a grim, depressing, vital read. Consider this snippet:

[Netanyahu] opened the meeting by playing Kerry a video on one of his favorite topics: Palestinian incitement. It showed Palestinian children in Gaza being taught to glorify martyrdom and seek Israel’s destruction. “This is the true obstacle to peace,” Netanyahu told Kerry.

“It’s a major issue,” Kerry replied. “And nothing justifies incitement. I hate it. I’ve read Abbas the riot act about it. You know I have. But it is worthwhile to try to understand what life looks like from the Palestinian point of view.”

“This has nothing to do with the occupation and the settlements,” Netanyahu said.

Kerry pressed on: “When I fought in Vietnam, I used to look at the faces of the local population and the looks they gave us. I’ll never forget it. It gave me clarity that we saw the situation in completely different ways.”

“This isn’t Vietnam!” Netanyahu shouted. “No one understands Israel but Israel.”

Kerry tried explaining himself again: “No one is saying it’s Vietnam. But I’ve been coming here for thirty years, and I’m telling you, what’s building up in the Palestinians has only gotten worse. I’ve seen it. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong; it just is. It can’t be solved if you can’t see it how they see it.”

Kerry is right, of course. ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong; it just is’ stands as about as useful a summary of the whole ghastly business as anything else. Israel’s tragedy – or rather, one strand of the several tragedies threatening Israel – is that it feels obliged to follow a course of action in which it cannot quite believe. It must do something, make some response to Palestinian provocation even though any such response offers at best a period of temporary relief and, quite probably, will make matters worse in the longer-term. But what else can she do? Doing nothing is not an option either.

The rockets fired from Gaza are a kind of trap. Hamas knows that and so does Israel and so do all the rest of us. But Israel will fight anyway because it cannot avoid doing so even though if fights on ground that is not of its choosing and on terrain upon which, in terms of international opinion, it cannot possibly win. Is is futile and counter-productive and unavoidable. Tragic, in other words.

Both sides, in truth, are besieged and Israel’s military strength conceals its weakening strategic and political position. As Hugo Rifkind wrote in this paper earlier this month, Israel is drifting away from us. If by ‘us’ you mean western liberals and, rather importantly, Israel’s idea of itself too. If the two-state solution perishes forever what is left for Israel? How can it remain a democratic but also jewish state? Considered in those terms even Gaza is just a bloody sideshow tangential – despite its horrors – to the real and horrendous questions that loom large in Israel’s future.

The occupation is unsustainable and so is everything else. As the TNR article concludes:

 [F]ew of the people we spoke to expected progress any time soon. With Netanyahu entrenched, Abbas on his way out, settlements and rocket ranges expanding, and the populations increasingly hardline, we seem to have reached the end of an era in the peace process. And no one harbors much hope for what comes next.

“I see it from a mathematical point of view,” said Avi Dichter, the former chief of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency. “The American effort will always be multiplied by the amount of trust between the two leaders. So if Kerry’s pressure represents the number five, and then Obama’s help brings the American effort to ten, it really doesn’t matter. You’re still multiplying it by zero. The final result will always be zero.”

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. It just is. It’s a zero sum game with no winners but in which Israel risks losing more than its opponents. There they stand and there they can do no other even though they know it will not, cannot, be anything like enough. Hopeless in Gaza and Jerusalem alike. Until the next time when everything will be worse again.

 

 


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    • Pigoon Rancher

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  • Albert Royal

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  • Hegelguy

    Every serious person knows what Israel must do: Offer the Palestinians a real peace deal, which means control over all the territories lost in 1967. No ifs or buts on this. Israeli settlements in that land to be pulled out. Joint sovereignty over Jerusalem. In return, Israel to get the right to monitor the peace with international collaboration; Palestinian disarmament; military neutrality of Palestine. Right to self-defence if Palestinians break the peace.

    • jjjj

      Your post is more sensible than your previous one. Now we have something to discuss.
      Control over territories – Israel withdrew from Gaza city and then later from the Strip. Before that they had been under Israeli occupation and prior to 1967, under Egyptian control. But Egypt treated the Palestinians in Gaza abominably. Regardless, Israel fought a war with Egypt in 1967 and Gaza, which was exploited by Egypt to send terrorists out was conquered in the 67 war. Egypt today is also part of the blocade on Gaza, something the many antisemites don’t mention, though they know better.
      Anyway, Hamas controls Gaza. And what good does Hamas do in Gaza? Did they use the cement that Israel sold them to build shelters for their people? No. As the world can see, they built terror tunnels to Israel. They are dedicated to an extreme version of Islam which calls for the death of Jews everywhere. Their charter is genocidal. And the world prefers to ignore this. Tough. Israel doesn’t have to and people like me will do all they can so that people will not forget this.

      As to the West Bank: Agree with withdrawals with security guarantees. This will mean dismantling settlements. However, there are some settlements that cannot simply pulled out just like that. This is because they serve a security purpose too. But as to the vast majority of settlements, i agree with you.

      Jerusalem – I don’t know how much you know about Jerusalem. I can assure you that a return to the pre-1967 status is impossible because there is no willingness among Islamists to accept that there are Jewish holy places in Jerusalem. The Muslims built their temple on the ruins of Jewish holy places. The Jews do not allow other Jews to go to Temple Mount for religious reasons but also pragmatic ones. Israel allows Muslims full rights of worship to Muslims.
      Do you think the Arabs would grant the same rights to Jews? It’s absurd to think so. Before 1967, the Jordanians used paving stones from the Wailing Wall as paving stones. They utterly disrespected the Jewish artefacts and symbols of the Jewish Quarter. Muslims have Mecca and they have Medina and now they should ALSO have Jerusalem as a holy place? And the Jews cannot have their one holy city? Jerusalem can never be divided again. Remember Berlin? But i agree that there should be a creative solution so that all peoples are satisfied.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Seconded.

      • Augustus

        Remember that ISIS stands for: The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (Arabic for the Levant), which is an area that includes Jordan, even though they have now taken to calling themselves simply The Islamic State. So where are these jihadist warriors going to go next? Baghdad would doubtless be their destination of choice, but the capital is unlikely to fall easily, as did such cities like Mosul. So where? These warriors could very possibly turn their lethal attentions on Jordan. And what if Jordan’s military couldn’t seize back their territory while IS exploits the wealth it has seized (including oil), continues to get along with its Baathist allies (who know a thing or two about imposing order and authority) and build its military capabilities (attracting volunteer jihadists from just about every corner of the world), could it not then pose a danger to Jordan? And where does that leave Israel and America in such a scenario?

        • MikeChuk21

          Taking on Israel at this point, or at any point in the near future, would be absolute suicide for ISIS, and you’d have to think they’re well aware of that.

    • Ken Kelso

      Jerusalem has had a Jewish population majority since the late 1850s – that’s 130 years already, before ‘Palestinianism’ was invented:

      Jews were expelled from East-Jerusalem by the Jordanian occupation at 1948. They lived in East-Jerusalem for thousands of years. They returned to their homes after Israel liberated the city in 67.Jerusalem was never in history the capitol of any Arab country. Jerusalem has been only the Capitol of Israel.

      The Palestinians Capitol is Ramallah.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Israel did this shortly after she captured the territories in a defensive war in 1967. The reply was the “three no’s” of Khartoum.

      • Hegelguy

        There is no doubt that the Arabs have always played their hand very badly.

        • MikeChuk21

          And if they do it again, then they (the Arabs) have no right to complain. I lost a lot of sympathy for the Palestinians when Arafat said no to the Wye accords, and a lot of sympathy for the Israelis when Netanyanhu refused to even concede that the settlements might be a problem. Alas, history might have been different if Rabin and Abbas had been in power at the same time.

  • haywardsward

    significant fact: Hamas can be said to be a creation of the Israelis
    themselves.
    Hamas emerged as a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood after the latter
    had received the support of the Israeli government. This is what Middle
    East scholar Donald Neff has written about this interesting phenomenon in
    the September 1999 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

    “Israeli authorities saw the Brotherhood as a useful counterbalance to the
    largely secular PLO. Israel began secretly to contribute to the
    Brotherhood’s cause through favors and donations to mosques and schools.

    • Ken Kelso

      Donald Neff and the Washington Report are paid off by the Saudis

    • MikeChuk21

      More history lessons that don’t help. People are dying NOW. Focus, please.

  • Hegelguy

    Here is what Gabor Mate, a survivor of the Hitler genocide, has to say on Israelim policy:

    “They don’t care about life,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, abetted by the Obamas and Harpers of this world, “we do.” Netanyahu, you who with surgical precision slaughter innocents, the young and the old, you who have cruelly blockaded Gaza for years, starving it of necessities, you who deprive Palestinians of more and more of their land, their water, their crops, their trees — you care about life?

    There is no understanding Gaza out of context — Hamas rockets or unjustifiable terrorist attacks on civilians — and that context is the longest ongoing ethnic cleansing operation in the recent and present centuries, the ongoing attempt to destroy Palestinian nationhood.

    The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto. Unlike Israel, Palestinians lack Apache helicopters, guided drones, jet fighters with bombs, laser-guided artillery. Out of impotent defiance, they fire inept rockets, causing terror for innocent Israelis but rarely physical harm. With such a gross imbalance of power, there is no equivalence of culpability.

    Israel wants peace? Perhaps, but as the veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has pointed out, it does not want a just peace. Occupation and creeping annexation, an inhumane blockade, the destruction of olive groves, the arbitrary imprisonment of thousands, torture, daily humiliation of civilians, house demolitions: these are not policies compatible with any desire for a just peace. In Tel Aviv Gideon Levy now moves around with a bodyguard, the price of speaking the truth.”

    • Ken Kelso

      ― Golda Meir
      “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

      • MikeChuk21

        Again, not gonna help.

    • Ken Kelso

      Gideon Levy is a well known liar.
      Levy supported the kidnapping of the 3 Israel teens and Hamas firing rockets.
      Levy thinks Israel should just do nothing to Hamas missiles and accept Palestinian terrorism.

    • Ken Kelso

      Here is a great site that responds to all of Gideon Levy lies.
      Read the responses.
      https://jtf.org/forum/index.php?topic=71528.0

    • MikeChuk21

      Again, this is one side accusatory stuff that DOES NOTHING to solve the problem. Palestinian terrorists do attack Israelis. That also happens. Let’s stop the finger-pointing and work towards a solution. It’s obviously the Israelis and the Palestinians won’t do it themselves. The rest of the world should be helping, not piling on.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    “Hopeless in Gaza; Israel’s tragically futile war”

    Of course, and that’s the purpose of the Arab governments’ “new” strategy vis-a-vis Israel, signed onto in 1964 at the second Arab League summit in 1964 (the first Arab League summit taking place in January 1964, where preliminary details were ironed out; the Arab League was founded in 1945, so whatever happened in 1963 was of a critical nature that spurred its first two summits the next year…

    The incessant, never-ending dueling between Hamas and Israel will be used by Arab governments to implement the next stage of their proxy war with Israel (and used to get rid of Hamas) …

    And everyone forgets the 1974 Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus (the 40th anniversary being Sunday, July 20 ironically enough, as tens of thousands demonstrate in European cites citing the evils of Israel), a real occupation, where Greek Cypriots were driven from their homes. In the case of Gaza and the West Bank, Israel never gave up her claim to those territories when the 1949 armistice was signed with her Arab neighbors. In fact, the term “Palestinian” was resurrected in 1963* by Arab governments as a means to continue the war with Israel via proxy, since Arab nations could never again wage a war of annihilation against Israel due to Israel’s acquisition of the atomic bomb that year.

    To operationalize the new Arab strategy, Israel had to acquire Gaza and the West Bank, hence the explanation for the intentionally botched Arab governments’ Six-Day War (1967), where, now get this, Egyptian land forces cross the demilitarized Sinai all the way up to Israel’s border and stops in its tracks there, waiting for the inevitable IDF response! For those not attuned to military tactics, that’s called intentional sabotage for the purpose of losing the war, thereby allowing for the implementation of a more subtle strategy to defeat the “Zionist entity”. Every time I hear that phrase I have to chuckle. Arab governments need new script writers!

    So, what’s next you ask? Watch for “Palestinians” renouncing a ‘two-state option’ for a ‘one-state option’, the excuses given (1) that they’re tired of incessant conflicts that only results in massive numbers of “Palestinian” deaths; buttressed by (2) the sudden memory recollection that, in fact, they are also Israeli citizens! Of course, a ‘one-state option’ will mean the electoral defeat of the Jewish state, exactly what the new Arab strategy was implemented for!

    However, there is one card Israel holds that can nullify the Arab governments’ new proxy strategy vis-a-vis Israel, and that is Israel affording world Jewry the right of Israeli citizenship! This should have been policy back in 1948, but maybe Israel was holding in reserve this checkmate move until it was really needed.

    By the way, the 40th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus is the 20th of this month (20 July – 18 August 1974). I can’t wait to hear the silence of (1) the Arab media; and (2) the media in the West.

    ———————————————

    *History of Palestine:

    It was Emperor Hadrian who renamed the area Syria Palæstina, after the Second Jewish Revolt in 135 AD, merging the Roman provinces of Syria and Judea with several other formerly nominally independent territories…

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

    Before 135 AD, what is today Israel consisted of the nominally independent Jewish territory of Galilee and the Roman administered province of Judea, contradicting Arab governments’ propaganda that those areas were ever called Palestine.

    The Roman Latin word ‘Palæstina’ means Philistia, the arch enemy of ancient Israel, whose people, defunct by the 7th century BC, inhabited the southwest corner of what is today Israel…

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Philistines

    Knowing the historical accounts of the animosity between the two peoples, Israelites and Philistines, Hadrian chose the disagreeable name ‘Palæstina’ as a slight against the Jews for their revolt against Rome, which is why the name of the Palestine Mandated home for the Jews, Palestine, was changed to Israel upon the territory’s declared independence on May 14, 1948.

    With the fall of Syria (inclusive of the region east of the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Euphrates River, north of the Arabian Desert and south of the Taurus Mountains) to the Ottoman Sultan Selim I in 1516, we have one province (though divided into various administrative districts by Selim I), where the citizens before the conquest of Selim I already call themselves Syrian…

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

    There never was a “Palestinian” nationality in the Ottoman Empire (“Palestinian” was a new nationality created by the League of Nations for the Jewish Homeland when the area was carved out of Ottoman Syria). The area of Ottoman Palestine was a part of the Ottoman province of Syria (akin to Central Park in New York City), where the inhabitants called themselves Syrian. That’s why after World War I Arabs living in Palestine wanted to merge the area with Syria…

    “The First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations (in Jerusalem, February 1919), which met for the purpose of selecting a Palestinian Arab representative for the Paris Peace Conference, adopted the following resolution: ‘We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.'” — Wikipedia, “Palestinian People”.

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

    The “Palestinian People” of today are a fiction, officially created at the first Arab League summit held in Cairo, Egypt in January 1964, where the Palestine Liberation was also created. The acquisition of the atomic bomb by Israel in 1963 spurred Arab governments to hold not only the league’s first summit in January of ’64 (the Arab League was founded in 1945), but its second summit that September in order to regroup and implement a new strategy towards Israel…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_Arab_League_summit_(Cairo)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_Arab_League_summit_(Alexandria)

    After World War I the Allies/League of Nations demarcated areas of the former Ottoman Middle East for national homes of the various ethnic groups residing in the region. Arabs received what’s today called Syria, Iraq and Jordan; the Druze were provided with the defunct Jabal al Druze; the Alawites were provided with the defunct Alawite State; the Jews were provided Palestine (which territory under the Ottoman Empire was also composed of the southern half of Lebanon, ending just south of Beirut. After World War I the southern Lebanon portion was given to France, and Ottoman southern Syria was given to Britain and merged with the Palestine Mandate for the Jewish Homeland. One month later the British remove from the Jewish mandate the area of Palestine east of the Jordan River–Ottoman southern Syria–giving the area to Saudi Hashemites instead.); the Maronite Christians were provided with Lebanon. The Kurds and Armenians too were allotted their national homelands, but before the League of Nations could legalize the mandates, Turkish military forces moved back into those territories. Those Arabs living in the new mandated homeland for the Jews–Palestine–called themselves SYRIAN, and wanted to merge Palestine into the newly reconstituted nation of Syria; they detested the concept of a “Palestinian State” for Jews and Arabs, because the new “Palestinian” nationality included Jews who would have the upper hand, naturally, in the future new Jewish nation.

    As the successor organization to the League of Nations, the UN initially followed the League of Nations Palestine Mandate of 1922, and the territory of Palestine under the mandate includes Gaza and the West Bank. The non-binding 1947 UN Resolution 181 sought to divide Palestine into two states, one for the Jews, and one for the Arabs, which the Jews accepted, but Arab governments rejected…

    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

    Note: Arab GOVERNMENTS rejected, not Arabs living in Palestine!

    Note that UN Resolution 181 mentions a state for the Jews and a state for the Arabs. Nowhere in the document does it mention a state for the “Palestinians”. Why? Because there was no indigenous Arab Palestinian ethnic group, simply the existing new Palestinian nationality that was created by the League of Nations in 1922 for the Jewish Homeland…

    “Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below.”

    UN Resolution 181 mentions “Jewish” for the ethnic Jews of Palestine, but not Palestinian for the ethnic Arabs of Palestine. It calls Arabs–Arabs, and the League of nations created many Arab nations in the former Ottoman Middle East after World War I, where Gaza and West Bank Arabs can move to if they don’t like Israel. That’s precisely why so many nations were created by the League of Nations in the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire–to act as a remedy for persecuted groups. Why would Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank want to be persecuted and killed in large numbers there, when they can move to neighboring kindred Arab nations? Oh, I forgot. Those kindred Arab neighbors won’t allow such relocation, because that would (1) be a recognition of Israel’s right to exist; and (2) make Israel stronger.

    • MikeChuk21

      Again, THIS DOESN’T HELP. We need to deal with what’s happening now, not what Emperor Hadrian or Balfour or Ben-Gurion or Nasser did. Last I checked, they were all dead. How many more have to die while we hold history lessons?

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “We need to deal with what’s happening now, not what Emperor Hadrian or Balfour or Ben-Gurion or Nasser did.”

        I already told you what’s happening now and why it’s happening! The historical record is for a clearer understanding of the present situation, spotlighting the lies Arab governments spew to wage a proxy war against Israel.

        My comment was very clear on all aspects of the situation occurring vis-a-vis Israel and her neighbors, so I don’t understand your reply.

  • Hegelguy

    Had the Jews been in the position of the Palestinians they would never have accepted a Palestinian state to be imposed on them by people coming from thousands of miles away claiming they were the majority there two thousand years ago.

  • Augustus

    “It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong”?

    You try functioning with alarms going off every ten minutes and having to flee to the air-raid shelter. How can you sleep and unwind properly? After a few days you’d go crazy. But Israel and the Jewish people will overcome this battle, no matter the cost and human lives. And it is now clear that there never will be a Palestinian State alongside Israel.

  • Jack

    This is a much more nuanced article than previous Israel/Gaza pieces, in the past week anyway. Good to see a little balance.

  • Liberty

    This is not a war of Israel’s choosing but imposed on them. At first, Israel’s Arab neighbours tried to invade but ended up losing more land. Israel tried to give it back in exchange for peace but the Arabs would not make peace so Israel was left with the land and its people.

    The PLO then tried terrorism which forced Israel to build the fence and re-occupy the West Bank [Gaza was at that time peripheral]. Then the ‘dead baby strategy’ was developed; that is, shoot from homes, schools, etc, force Israel to defend itself thereby killing babies, call every Palestinian death the death of an innocent civilian, all of it filmed by or sent to the world’s media which then forces Israel to desist before it can finish the job.

    The Dead Baby Strategy has been fully developed by Hamas that has built a vast underground city full of of 1000s of rockets where the elite can shelter, with hatches in and around schools, hospitals, homes, etc up through which terrorists can pop and fire at 50% of Israel forcing Israel to defend itself thereby killing people – all of whom are called civilians and all of it filmed by or sent to the worlds media who downplay the Hamas strategy and methods forcing Israel to pull back too soon. Israel had to do this in Lebanon in 2006 with the UN policing it but the UN allowed Hezbollah to rebuild with 1000s more and better rockets.

    Hamas forced Israel to defend itself three times but each time Israel did not have the time to destroy its military infrastructure so Hamas could rebuild and return stronger. Israel are finding now that the underground city is massive, The Hamas bunker is under the main hospital and filled with 1000s of powerful rockets protected by the teeming millions of poor Palestinian human shields above.

    Iran’s plan was to use the Dead Baby Strategy in Lebanon, The West Bank and Gaza to build up their offensive capability then all three attack at once overwhelming Israel’s defences. The West Bank was dealt with last month, Gaza is being dealt with now but it is a tough nut to crack.

    Israel was forced to go in to Gaza and finding that it now has the conditions to finish the job, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAR want Hamas gone too so will not agree to a ceasefire that leaves Hamas intact [unless Israel looks like losing] so Israel may just have enough time now to finish Hamas before it is forced to withdraw and leave Hamas to rebuild and fight again with even more powerful rockets, Israel I think now realise this and want to clear Hamas and its infrastructure out so that they can never come back. Lets hope they succeed.

    • Ken Kelso

      http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/joseph-klein/a-tale-of-two-gazas/
      A Tale of Two Gazas
      July 21, 2014 by Joseph Klein

      This perfectly describes Hamas leaders.

      As Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor described Hamas’s exploitation of civilians to the Security Council: “From the safety of their luxury hotels in Qatar, Hamas leaders like Khaled Mashaal order room service with one hand and order Hamas to use Palestinians as human shields with the other.”

  • Hexhamgeezer
  • Mynydd

    Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Forget all the media talk and images, the only way to deal with terrorists is to have the will and strength to destroy them, one by one, man and boy until none are left. Israel must ignore the world and continue their action and destroy the terrorist organisation that is Hamas once and for all time. This applies to all terrorist organisation any where in the world, and the UK should support/aid those countries with the will and courage to take them on with all the force at their command.

    • Damaris Tighe

      I’m afraid if they succeed in destroying Hamas another terrorist organisation will pop up.

      • Mynydd

        You then destroy that organisation.

    • dado_trunking

      … worked in Northern Ireland, didn’t it – loon!

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …it’d never work with your infinite army of sockpuppets, eh lad?

      • Mynydd

        The beginning of the end in Northern Ireland was when Mrs Thatcher had the will and courage to tell the hunger strikers, no matter the media reports and images, the world wide anti-government propaganda I’ll not change and you will die.

        • MikeChuk21

          No, the beginning of the end in Northern Ireland was when the mainstream Gerry Adams/Martin McGuiness faction of hard core Republicanism and the mainstream Ian Paisley faction of hard core Loyalism decided it was no longer in their interest to fight each other, and in effect stopped fighting each other. That had everything to do with Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern and George Mitchell and the pressure imposed in the 1990s and absolutely nothing to do with Margaret Thatcher. The IRA was setting off bombs in central London when Thatcher was PM; that’s how succesful she was.

          • P_S_W

            When Blair felt the hand of history on his shoulder, it was actually John Major’s.

  • Damaris Tighe

    I see that the Spectator has discovered that the secret of attracting traffic to this site is to publish articles on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    • HookesLaw

      No – its immigration – This one has a dual role in that it includes Muslims. Jews are just a catch-all bonus.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Ha!

      • Makroon

        Immigration, EU, Scottish independence, Nigel Farage (the name alone is enough), and latterly Vlad Putin and Mike Gove.
        A nice selection of buttons to push to stimulate the post count.

  • Advocatus_Diaboli_69

    Hama have proved themselves to be inventive and dedicated tunnel builders. They have created a vast underground network with the sole purpose of attacking Israel and storing weapons, but they have not put one ounce of energy into building air raid shelters for the Gazaans. Nor have they put that energy into improving the infrastructure of Gaza City.

    Bill Clinton was right in this summary on NDTV recently. Hamas will provoke Israel for as long as it takes to get them to strike back with the inevitable consequences for the civilians who are coerced or forced into martyrdom, and Hamas and its Islamist allies will then cash in on the propaganda value and gleefully watch as support for Israel from abroad begins to weaken.

  • foramerica

    It seems to me the Israel – so-called Palestinian conflict is very easy to understand. On the one hand you have Muslims living in Palestine who have as part of their constitution the destruction of Israel. They do not accept Israel or Jews no matter where they live. In my world this is called “hate”. These Muslims have continuously called for the destruction of every Jew hundreds of times. To back up their hate they send rockets into Israel on a regular basis (do not even try to defend this. It may not make it into the main stream media, but it is happening). They refuse to accept a two state solution. Israel on the other has said over and over again they will accept the two state solution. They have given up land several times and have stated a desire of peace. Not only that muslims living within their borders have been treated fairly and have even been represented in their government. Now the American government totally ignores the threats of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority towards Israel and comes in thinking they can some how make peace with one side bent on killing the other. If anything the world should be coming down hard on Hamas, not Israel. Israel uses the iron dome to intercept the incoming missiles. Hamas uses innocent civilians, yet the world condemns Israel. Hamas kills three Israeli teens, the world says nothing. Some Jews kill one Palestinian teen and Israel’s response it to catch the perps and send them to jail. When a ceasefire was brokered for, what was it five hours, Israel ceased fire, but Hamas continued. Yet the world continues to support Hamas. This is absolutely baffling to me. The only explanation is that our world is turned upside down. Right is wrong and wrong is right. The world has lost its moral compass.

    • HookesLaw

      Well Egypt accepts the state of Israel as does Jordan. Syria…? Otherwise, yes you are broadly right.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Not Syria.

        • HookesLaw

          Yes I know – but whither goes Syria?

          • MissDemeanor

            what’s ‘syria’?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …Syria goes where your islamofascist buddies want it to go, or at least the Christian part of it goes… to be beheaded… as you Camerloons and your islamofascist buddies desire.

    • Mohammed

      The Arabs of Palestine has lost their land and in complete occupation. Muslims, Jews and Christians have historically lived in peace in that land but Zionism changed that. And Hamas are willing to recognise the State of Israel as they are open to the Arab initiative, Israel are not!!

      • Damaris Tighe

        Hamas are willing to recognise Israel? Since when? Have they changed their Charter?

      • Augustus

        Hamas are not willing to recognise the State of Israel. Their charter calls, in the name of God, for Israel’s destruction. “The Palestinian problem is a religious problem,” the charter states. This is not just standard-issue terrorism, it’s Islam. It’s an institutionalized religion rooted in a structured ideology which galvanizes millions of people worldwide. Just look around, there are mass killings going on in Iraq and Syria, and thousands of Christians fled Mosul this week fearing the new Islamic caliphate. The Israeli response feeds the international media as if this actually were a conflict between neighbours and not a decisively ideological war. Not all Islamic values may be negative, but the ones fueling this war certainly are. But the post-modern liberal West doesn’t want to say that.

      • Pembroke

        The Arabs may have lost their land, true. But, for example, look at the liberties and opportunities the Palestinian (Muslim) women have under an Israeli jurisdiction compared to an Islamic one. Take Arabia for example:

        – Muslim women can drive in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can vote in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can become MPs in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can wear whatever they want in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can show their hair in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim we can sing in the streets in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can criticise Islam in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can criticise Judaism in Israel, Arabia doesn’t allow anyone to practice Judaism

        – Muslim women can go outside unattended in Israel, not in Arabia

        – Muslim women can freely talk to men they don’t know in Israel, not in Arabia.

        – Muslim women can make films in Israel, not in Arabia.

        – Muslim women can purchase a house without a man in Israel, not in Arabia.

        – Muslim women can win Miss Israel – Search Rana Raslan, there is no Miss Saudi Arabia we could recognise behind a mask.

        etc, etc

        Why would a Muslim woman want to live under an Arabian (Muslim) jurisdiction over an Israeli one when their liberties would be far less? Say it wasn’t the Jews, but Martians (with the same secular values towards liberties as the Jews) who came into Palestine; wouldn’t your average Arab woman prefer life under the Martian regime which provided more liberties?

        You have to admit that the relentless hostility and beligerence towards non-Believers, commonly considered for the most part as Jews and Christians, that is found in the Quran, is responsible for the base animosity of the Arabs (Muslims) towards the Jews.

        Given what has happened to Gaza after the Israelis pulled out, an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank of the Jordan will never happen, as if it were to happen and the Israelis pulled out, ISIS would flood in within days. Let’s face reality, if anything, the second state is Jordan. Jordan was drawn by the Brits and France, the people on the West Bank are the same people on the East Bank.

        • Mohammed

          “- Muslim women can purchase a house without a man in Israel, not in Arabia.” – Are you sure? Can Muslim Women buy a house in Judea??

          Saudi Arabia is not a democracy and has a totally different history. They never claim to be a democracy and don’t preach to other country’s about human rights and what not…

          Anyway, wasn’t bothered reading all of you comment as it just bore me!!! Can a Jewish man marry a muslim women in Israel? Can a Jewish person sell their property to a Muslim is israel?

          • Pembroke

            Can Muslim Women buy a house in Judea??
            > Yes. Though buying one in a ‘Settler’ estate would be highly problematic, which is wrong, I’m not sure that it is illegal.

            Can a Jewish man marry a muslim women in Israel?
            > Of course, it is a secular state.

            Can a Jewish person sell their property to a Muslim in Israel?
            > Yes.

    • Pigoon Rancher

      “If anything the world should be coming down hard on Hamas”

      That’s a little simpleminded, don’t you think? What would that do to US interests in the entire eastern world, from Israel to China’s borders?

      “Right is wrong and wrong is right.”

      More like: “it’s complicated”

  • Augustus

    Gaza is an almost unimaginable killing machine. An entire city of weapons that uses its poor civilians as a thin cover for the demonic mechanism rumbling away underneath it. Billions of dollars in humanitarian aid and international support, tens of thousands of tons of concrete and construction materials, the electricity and water that Israel has supplied to Gaza for years, have been used for one purpose only: to build these tunnels, which are intended to supply death to as many Israelis as possible. Not new hospitals, not schools, not public institutions, Just missiles, rockets, and terror.

    • Advocatus_Diaboli_69

      Exactly what I was alluding to below.

      • Augustus

        Yes, quite right. You’d think the media, with their bullet-proof vests, standing there in the middle of the street against a background of ruins left as a result of IDF strikes, as women, children and wounded scurry around them, would make some reference to Underground Gaza where the real perpetrators are hiding like rats ready to move to the next attack post once the film crew has left..

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  • swatnan

    I used to have some sympathy for Israel, but after 1967 not any more.
    There expansionism and concept of being the master race simply sickens me.

    • Augustus

      What expansionism? From 11% of the territory originally allocated to them under international covenant for the Jewish National Home to 17.5% after winning the Six-day War in 1967. Following which Israel made an offer for peace that included the return of most of those captured territories.

  • FF42

    I get the impression as we go through exactly the same performance every time that Israel and Hamas are just playing their parts in a script that neither can be bothered to change.There’s a trigger – in this case the death of three teenagers. Israel blames Hamas. There’s probably some basis but it isn’t important whether there is. They launch a fierce attack on Gaza, which is limited by the Americans to a number of days and a thousand or so dead. Israel wants to be seen to teach the Palestinians a lesson; Hamas wants to be seen to resist. They both claim their victories and then settle down again for a year or two until the next time.

    And really it is all futile.

  • allymax bruce

    Alex, you said, “Israel’s military strength conceals its weakening strategic and political position. … If the two-state
    solution perishes forever what is left for Israel? How can it remain a
    democratic but also jewish state?”

    In this, you speak Truth; Israel has no intention nor consideration of any ‘two-state solution’, Israel is only interested in complete annihilation of any ‘form’ of ‘Palestine’. Once israel has ethically cleansed all Palestinians from Israel’s borders, Israel will then move its ‘focus’ onto palestinians living elsewhere in the world.
    If you cannot understand this ideal, then you don’t fully understand Zionism.
    The only way to stop the mad Zionists is for The United States of America to disintegrate as a formal union, and re-constitute itself as 50 individual self-autonomous states. What’s about to happen in East Ukraine, with the ‘buffer-zone’ of East Ukraine Self-Proclaimed republics, is what is most likely to happen to USA in the near future. The world is changing ‘fundamentally’; Zionism is the all-too-obvious insincerity we, you, are elucidating in this article. Your sympathy will soon become empathy if I’m not right!

    • GUBU

      Time to line your hat with tin foil…

      • allymax bruce

        let me go.

    • RaymondDance

      Paranoid? Moi?

      • allymax bruce

        Hi RaymondDance. Paranoia is a naturally occurring Primary Defence Mechanism; its normal to be/have paranoia. Paranoia exists to a degree; only when its function becomes debilitating is it considered abnormal. Most ‘functions’ manifest themselves in soma irregularities; like compulsions. I have no compulsions as such. Besides, if you’ve ever spent any time with those that are clinically diagnosed ‘as such’, you would know they have highly sensitive perceptions. Being aware of what’s a danger to existence /survival is not paranoid to a debilitating degree; some genius’ / savants have this ‘talent’.

    • Kerr Mudgeon

      I hadn’t realised that allymax was barking. Or an anti-semite.

      • allymax bruce

        Your comment is simplistic as an argument, and ignorant as a judgment. My comment is premised on Alex Massie’s disappointment a political solution is unattainable in the Israel Palestine war. My argument is supporting Alex’s allusion with an explanation that Fundamentalism, of all sides, is the only driver of this situation. There’s nothing anti-semetic about my comment at all. In-deed, the only anti-semetic content is between the Jewish & Islamic Semites murdering each other in this war. I’m a Christian; I see both sides; I don’t have to choose. Even though your nasty fundamental Zionist omnipotent thinking tried to force me to choose your side by trying to insult and demean me. It doesn’t work fuk-face. Your ignorance only allows your thinking to your problem is you’re an anti-Christ.

        • Kerr Mudgeon

          Your prognosis for the USA is bonkers; your anti-semitism is naked and ugly. Your assumption that I am possessed by “nasty fundamental Zionist omnipotent thinking” is bizarre. Your assertion that I was trying to force you to choose my side supposes both that you have the wit to infer my views, and that I would waste time in such a forlorn pursuit.

          • allymax bruce

            You’re an idiot; that’s why you attack the person, rather than the persons’ argument. You know nothing of Politics let alone International Relation. You spout your indoctrined indifferences as proof that your meandering inane blogos ramblings might somehow appear coherent; but are nothing but said innocuous indoctrined indifferences. Like I said; you’re an idiot. Look up the definition for ‘idiot’, and your fuk-face photo will be right there!

          • allymax bruce

            Oh-yeh, nearly forgot; stop using your pathetic self-imposed slur of ‘anti-semetic’; you think it means something; it doesn’t. You look like a dip-shit loser. The whole World is sick & tired of your pathetic hate for anyone that doesn’t slavishly follow your mantra!
            It means fuk-all to everyone now!

          • allymax bruce

            Truth is, when you call someone ‘anti-semetic’, what you really mean is that they’re not those who hate you, but those that you hate!

  • BillRees

    This isn’t a futile war on the part of Israel.

    Hamas is dedicated to the genocide of the Jewish (not just Israeli) people.

    It inculcates those beliefs into its children when they are in school.

    Until Hamas and its influence is totally destroyed, there can be no progress in Palestine.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Sadly another group will take its place. ‘Mole-bashing’ it’s called.

    • FF42

      The last thing Israel wants to do is destroy Hamas in Gaza. If you know your enemy, you can to some extent control it.

    • Mohammed

      You mean commit genocide?? Hamas are part and parcel of Palestinian identity and society. Just like Sinn Fein is in Northern Ireland.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Quite.

  • PeteCW

    “This isn’t Vietnam!” Netanyahu shouted. “No one understands Israel but Israel.”

    Then no-one need be responsible for Israel but Israel, surely.

    • Augustus

      Out of context. Kerry had been alluding to his fighting in Vietnam which had apparently given him some insightful clarity into the nature of warfare and victimhood. Netanyahu was simply numpty bashing.

  • UniteAgainstSocialism

    As Israel armed and equiped Argentina during the Falklands war, im quite happy for the Palestinians to attack Israel.

    As Palestinians seem to celebrate every time muslims carry out acts of terrorism against Britain, im quite happy for Israel to attack the Palestinians.

    i wish them both luck in killing each other

    • Pigoon Rancher

      OMG! Is that true? I have to google that, because if that’s true … WTF, Israel?

  • laurence

    It’s ‘Jews’, Massie, not ‘jews’.

  • P_S_W

    Kerry summarises the situation quite succinctly. The reasons for the conflict or the response of either side is completely irrelevant now. It just is.

    Hamas will never be in a position to broker peace until they change their minds about the existence of Israel, which is not likely to happen any time soon.
    Israel cannot ignore the rockets being rained down upon them, no matter how futile they may be as the average Israeli citizen will become more hardline and in turn vote for more hardline politicians.

    I can’t see a way out of this without Hamas going through a damascene conversion about the right of Israel to exist. And they proved just the other day that they’re not interested in peace by firing rockets just a ceasefire.

    • Kitty MLB

      P-S-W. As a gentleman who understands what’s happening
      out in the Middle East far better then most here.You must
      know that they all wish for an eternal war.
      Hamas believe Israel have no right to exist and if Israel put
      down her weapons she is using to defend herself they would
      sent her to oblivion. Then continue killing each other and
      will kill us in the West also..

    • Makroon

      Yes, Kerry is right.
      Taking Massie’s scenario to a logical conclusion, Israel will eventually feel the need to deploy the nuclear option.
      I don’t believe the Israeli population is “increasingly hardline”, where is the evidence ? As Massie implies, the Israeli political system is as grid-locked as the Palestinian one.

      • P_S_W

        I’m not saying that they are increasingly hardline at this point.

        What I AM saying is that as the attacks increase the Israeli population will not appreciate missiles continuing to rain down on them, who would? Therefore if nothing changes, the population will become more hardline and elect more hardline politicians.

        I thought that was clear, sorry.

      • Damaris Tighe

        But who could blame them? Didn’t the British become very ‘hard-line’ with regard to Germany after only ten years of war in the 20th century? Israel has been at war for over 70 years. People aren’t saints; this is what happens.

        • Makroon

          Forget justifications – on either side, as Kerry said, that is pointless and arid.
          I happen to believe there is probably a balance of common sense amongst the citizenry of both sides. However, their defunct political systems prevent the sane majority from having their voices heard.

    • MaxSceptic

      “I can’t see a way out of this without Hamas going through a damascene conversion about the right of Israel to exist.”

      Indeed. I’d give it a further century or two of Islamist idiocy and Sunni-Shia fratricide and maybe – just maybe – Hamas and other Islamists of all kinds will emerge into the 18th Century and enjoy an Enlightenment.

    • East London

      Why doesn’t someone point the finger at the new Egyptian regime? They have killed, locked up and sentenced to death well over a thousand members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Hamas is connected, and I gather that the regime hates Hamas. I haven’t heard any of Israel’s critics calling on Egypt to open their border with Gaza; but if they did open that border, the Palestinian civilians would have a refuge. Perhaps that celebrated peacemaker Tony Blair could advise his new pals in Cairo that they have a responsibility to help the civilian Arabs escape the killing in Gaza. After all, it was Egypt that occupied Gaza before the Six-Day War.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    This guy’s record is intact. I couldn’t make it past the trolling blog title again. No need. The “tragically futile war” nonsense is rather like the troll’s previous months ago “Putin has already lost” nonsense.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Pathetic isn’t it? Our media think that if Israel just shut up and went away we would all live together in perfect har-mon-ee.

      And yes. Read the headline and time to move on…

      • Kitty MLB

        They’re nothing but fools with heads in the sand.
        Those in that region want Jews and Christians to go
        away..they will continue building a Islamic State
        and will continue the downfall of the West- their
        Ultimate goal being world domination..
        There was no ‘Arab Spring’ what a foolish word.

    • dado_trunking

      Free news needs to be read in the Mirror to be right.
      Of course the uneducated plebs will never grasp this basic fact of life.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        All of your sock puppets are uneducated EU sponsored plebs laddie and they all spout unintelligible gibberish.

    • laurence

      Couldn’t agree more, although I got to paragraph four. Massie has no idea of how to write: concision, accuracy, development and the ability to sustain the reader’s interest are seemingly outwith his powers. Someone needs to acquaint him with the notion and practice of brevity.

      • edlancey

        No need, he’s obviously a mate of Nelson.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        His Dad for example.

        • laurence

          His father is an excellent writer. His many novels are well worth reading. Seriously.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …so did the poolboy slip-in quietly or what?

  • dougthedug

    Israel is drifting away from us. If by ‘us’ you mean western liberals…

    I never realised that western liberals previously supported a colonial state.

    Everyone ‘knows’ what a two-state solution would look like; no-one knows how to get there.

    Because that road is closed. The colonial settlement of the West Bank has gone too far to ever make a viable state out of it. Israel does not want to bring the remaining Palestinian bantustan populations into Israel proper but by its colonial policy in the West Bank there is now no other alternative to a one state solution but to continue with its policy of apartheid.

  • Julio Jurenito

    Is there any just one Brtish media that is not a Hamas propaganda outlet?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      No.

    • Jack

      There’s one called The Spectator where the columnists are pretty hardcore in their support of Israel, you should check it out

      • jjjj

        It’s only to counterbalance the rabid antiZionism of the Indie and the Graun.

  • dado_trunking

    I need to get this one in early after the Douglas Murray devastation and address all the rather frantic pork haters here. This is for you:
    .
    Where there are bangers there will be mash!

    • Inverted Meniscus

      And endless gibberish from you.

      • dado_trunking

        Learn English, you fool!
        It’s jibber-jabber, not gibberish.

        Quit yo Jibber-jabber! If I ever catch you acting like a crazy fool again, you’re gonna meet my friend pain!

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Hilarious coming from gibberish spouting euro trash sock puppets like you.

          • HookesLaw

            You hate everybody except men in bedsheets

            • allymax bruce

              You do realise your statement is a double-entendre ?

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Youve lost me there old chap. I think you have mistaken me for the Viceroy’s Gin.

              • dado_trunking

                Learn to spell!

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  It is called a typo. Why dont all of your sockpuppets just FO. Can you spell that laddie.

          • you_kid

            Oh look who we have here. Our failed bankster of pork despising Greek origin. Just cannot make my mind up as to which ‘trait’ to trash first.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Oh its your shift is it laddie? I thought it might be the Goat. So hard to keep up with all your gibberish spouting sock puppets. When is Dalai Guevara coming on shift lad?

  • monty61

    Certainly more thoughtful than the brazen propaganda from one side or another (or worse, their sadly blinkered camp followers such as the otherwise impeccable Melanie Phillips).

  • Roger Hudson

    I see the Israelis have a UN ambassador who can tell a bare faced lie with a smile. Proof of the old saying about ambassadors.

    • adamber

      What lie?

  • HookesLaw

    Isn’t this Palestine’s tragically futile war?

    • Roger Hudson

      A war created by Balfour, Sykes, Picot and a totally failed mandate.
      A field of Arab( moslem and christian) and Jewish terror since 1929, what did we expect?

      • Julio Jurenito

        I suggest you to mind your own business. You made enough problems around the world with you fucking British Empire. Just don’t interfere and all will be fine

        • monty61

          The state the world is in now just proves what a good job we did when we were running the show, old chap.

          In any case watch out… the next time the map of the world gets painted red the flag flying over it will have five stars in the top left hand corner. And you might just come to appreciate just how well we did by comparison.

        • HookesLaw

          eff off yourself Mr Gobshite.

          • Wessex Man

            oh Hooky babe getting a bit more down with the boyos now but correct this time anyhow.

            • allymax bruce

              Yeh, it’s about time we had a bout of swearing loonies in da house!
              Just fir a wee break; a light-hearted interval; ye ken.

              • Kitty MLB

                And spoken with a Scottish accent which in
                my humble opinion, lovely Ally happens to be
                sublime.

                • allymax bruce

                  Hi Kitty. I remember a few months ago somebody logged-on with their username as ‘Fuck Off’.
                  I thought it was brilliantly funny.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Oh I remember.Probably a little granny from
                  Suffolk or Dundee. Who knits and bakes cakes
                  but has a secret blogging life.

            • HookesLaw

              ‘British Empire’, then there was the French Belgian Spanish Portugese Dutch and German – not counting the Russian. Who have I left out – there must be somebody’s. Ours did not do too badly in comparison.

        • Pootles

          How is this a response to Roger Hudson’s post? I doubt if it was ‘his’ British Empire, anyway. And why is your avatar that silly little Guy Fawkes mask – you do know that the original Guido Fawkes wanted an absolutist, Catholic dictatorship in Britain, don’t you?

        • jjjj

          Do calm down. Have a cup of tea and what is clearly troubling you will go away. And while you are at it Julio, fetch my shoes will you?

      • mightymark

        I’m always dubious about these kinds of claim because subsequent to independence – even in the lead up to it – it is open to the peoples themselves to undo what the colonialists have thrust on them. In the case of Israel there were several proposals to split the land, which already had a substantial Jewish population, between Jews and Arabs in a way far more the Arabs’ favour than looks possible now with at best a two state solution.

        Needless to say the Arabs rejected that preferring a Judenrein Palestine – as many do today. That isn’t the fault of Balfour, Sykes or Picot.

        • Patriccia Shaw

          Forget Colonial powers and UN Mandates.
          Focus on the 3 wars, the annexation of true Arab Lands.
          Focus on the provocation of the illegal settlements on those lands.
          Think now of the proportionality of the current situation.
          By noontime yesterday:
          548 Gaza Palestinian Citizens dead.
          2 Israeli citizens dead.

          Please stop this senseless slaughter

          • mightymark

            I was responding to a post from someone else who had raised the point. I wonder why you answered my post rather than Mr Hudson’s?

            And you know very well why the numbers are uneven. Israel uses its arms to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons.

            • Mohammed

              Do you actually believe that?? Palestinians are human beings, please accept that fact. All they want is a homeland and Hamas is open to the Saudi initiative for a two state solution. The Israelis are not.

              • mightymark

                Palestinians are of course human beings – I think however that you need to address your point to Hamas who seem to see them and their lives instead as propaganda fodder – and also who, by the way, do most certainly NOT accept a two state solution.

                • Mohammed

                  They do accept the two state solution as they are willing to accept the Arab initiative which calls for the two state solution. Hamas leaders are open to that and that’s the reason they have united with Fatah. They have too much pressure from Qatar now, to accept this as Iran is out of the equation. Why did Israel arrest all those Palestinians when the unity gov was formed? The truth is the settler israelis never wants peace. The people from Tel Aviv and other places does but not the powerful settler movement, this is the harsh reality.

                • mightymark

                  What Hamas want is a Hudnah – enough time to bulid up more weapons the better to destroy Israel. No Israeli government is going to be stupid enough to give them that.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  There is truth in what you say Mohammed. The people in Tel Aviv and most of Israel do want peace, but the settlers are mostly poison. I can’t deny that.

                • Mohammed

                  Thank you. There is a lot of peaceful Israelis!!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Thank you for acknowledging that.

                • Ken Kelso

                  Tell the Arabs to accept a Kurdish state in Iraqi Kurdistan.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  There are friendly informal relations between some (muslim) Kurds & Israel out of sympathy for a similar situation.

                • Mohammed

                  Yeah the Kurds does deserve a state, The Sykes-Picot borders stinks!!!

              • mohdanga

                Is that why 3 year old Palestinian children are groomed to be suicide bombers?

                • Ken Kelso

                  post of the year

              • Ken Kelso

                Really, is this why they rejected the Barak and Olmert offers

                THE REAL ESSENSE OF ”MIDEAST” CONFLICT”
                Arabs want to destroy Israel, but Israel doesn’t want to be destroyed.
                The obstacle to peace remains Arab terrorism perpetrated by Arabs to annihilate an Israel of any size. And the inability of Arabs to live side by side with Jews, or anyone else.

                • East London

                  What about the million or so Arabs who are citizens of the Jewish State, Ken?

              • Ken Kelso

                Barak and Olmert offered the Palestinians a state, something no Arab or Islamic country ever did.
                Israel offered the Palestinians a state, even though there was never in history any state called Palestine governed by Palestinians.
                The Palestinians’ plight is due to their own fanaticism, hatred, intolerance and intransigence.
                The reason the Palestinians do not accept any peace offers, no matter how generous as Barak and Olmert tried to do.

                The Palestinian fascists need to see the Israelis suffering (either through physical annihilation or demographic submission) in order to feel good with themselves. Any win-win solution to the conflict cannot satisfy them, because it would leave the Israelis happy too.

                The Palestinians are not interested in becoming happy. They want to make the Jews suffer.

                Just look how many streets the Palestinian Arabs have named for terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians.
                The Palestinians have run out of streets and are now naming park benches after terrorists!

                The Palestinians continually initiate the violence. The Israelis have not fired the first shots.
                Do the Palestinians expect not to be fired back on? Its ok for them to blow up Israeli school kids on buses, shopping malls, disco’s, pizzeria’s and Passover seders.
                Someone please explain to me how the Israelis could possibly live next to such a violent people.

                I personally don’t see how it can be done at this point. All I see is the Palestinians provoking war and using any method they can to get all of Israel.

                It seems that after 5 decades of terror and murder against Israel.
                The Palestinians might have realized that this campaign of terrorism and rejectionism has failed.

                By the way, how many Muslims have been killed by Muslims this week in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria?
                How many have been killed by Jews? Numbers please.

                Palestinians should get one thing into their heads: the world does not revolve around them. They share the blame for their situation, because they always wanted everything and never wanted to compromise. First and foremost that NOBODY, and least Israel owes them anything.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Spot on. I’d only add that much that you’ve said about the Palestinians is down to their leaders. Never has a group been so misled by their leadership.

          • Mohammed

            Thank you for the Truth. But Israelis would never accept a Palestinian State. The Jewish Home Party and other right wing settler parties call for the Genocide of the Palestinian people!!

            • Damaris Tighe

              Well, as the Palestinian population is enjoying exponential growth partly due to the improved health facilities the Israelis set up after 1967, the genocide doesn’t seem to be working.

              • Hegelguy

                Here you are speaking like a typical old style Western colonialist: We brought them medical care and their numbers are shooting up.

                As if the Palestinians would never have modern medical care without Israeli seizure of their homeland and other states in the Middle East have no modern achievements to show.

                You must know this is a despicable, patronising and ultimately stupid line to take.

                You must know that had the Jews been in the position of the Palestinians they would never have accepted a Palestianian state to be imposed on them by people coming from thousands of miles away claiming they were the majority there two thousand years ago.

                Once and for all have the honesty to admit the case of Israel is outrageous from any normal view of international law or legitimacy and was only imposed on the Arabs because the international order was completely dominated by Europe and the US in the 1940s. Such a UN vote would never be possible today.

                We cannot abolish Israel but we can have the honesty to recognise the Arabs have an unarguable case against its founding.

                We can tell them they will have to live with Israel all the same though we sympathise with their anger. And we can tell the Israelis not to be so self-righteous about the Palestinians. It was not they who committed the Holocaust and it is they who lost their homeland as a result.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  No, I was simply pointing out how utterly absurd the accusation of genocide is.

                  Please note my use of the words ‘partly due to’.

                • Hegelguy

                  We cannot abolish Israel but we can have the honesty to recognise the Palestinians have an unarguable case against its founding.

                  Your medical drivel reminds me of the British in India.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Look, if you don’t like me pointing out how absurd your accusations of genocide are, don’t make them. There is no inevitable link between accepting that Israel is not attempting genocide & being pro-Israel. Even most Palestinians know that the genocide accusation isn’t true. They use it because useful idiots like you pick it up & run with it.

              • Mohammed

                Are you on drugs??

                • Damaris Tighe

                  On another thread you spoke about the necessity for reasoned argument. ‘Genocide’ is Auschwitz, Rwanda, Biafra, Cambodia. The Jews lost around two thirds of their population in Europe in the 20th century. That’s genocide. So far out of a population of several million people in Gaza, around 400 have died as a result of war. The Palestinian population in all its areas IS growing very fast.

                  It’s also a documented fact that after 1967 when Israel put in place much improved medical facilities in the Palestinian territories, infant mortality & lifesplan went up.

                  To say ‘genocide’ is lazy & simply plays into the hands of those propaganda experts Hamas.

                • Mohammed

                  Maybe Genocide is being lazy, I am just upset and angry of the situation that’s all. Watching headless children does make a sane person go nuts, I have kids and cannot imagine what the people of Gaza are going through now.

                  The Palestinians want their own state, you maybe right about the medical facilities and everything else, but please understand they are have rights as everyone else in the world. You seem like a rational person unlike others here but please understand they are human beings are well.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Of course. I suspect I’ve done more for Palestinians in a material sense than most of the pro-Palestinian posters here.

                • Ken Kelso

                  Palestinian Arabs – The People Who Always Refuse a State
                  Lee S. Bender and Jerome R. Verlin
                  FEBRUARY 18, 2014

                  There are many peoples on this planet that would do anything for their independence, sovereignty, and a state of their own if it was offered to them. Just ask the Kurds, Tibetans, Basques, and Chechens. ‎

                  Yet there is one singular group that continues to spurn offers of statehood, missing and wasting numerous opportunities, and blaming others for its “victimhood”- and then commits horrendous acts of terrorism and violence when offered almost all of what it wants. We are referring, of course, to the Palestinian Arabs – a people who, unlike the Kurds, do not have their own religion, language, or culture that’s different in essence from their Arab brethren in neighboring ‎Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The Palestinian Arabs have answered every peace offer for their own “Palestinian” state with one unequivocal word, “no,” and then initiated a wave of hatred, violence, and terrorism. The reason? Because it would also mean recognition of and co-existence with a non-Arab people, the Jews.

                  Actually, there has been a Palestinian Arab state in the region since 1921, located in the eastern 78 percent of the Palestine Mandate designated for a Jewish National Home: ‎Jordan. Even today, more than two-thirds of the people of Jordan are Palestinian Arabs. The offers of another Palestinian Arab state (which would be the 23rd Arab state) in the remaining western portion of the Palestine Mandate date back to the 1937 Peel Commission. That began a consistent pattern of rejected offers through to the present: 1947 UN Partition Plan, 1967 at Khartoum, 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba, the 2008 Olmert Plan. The current Kerry-led negotiations also appear to be heading in that direction. Yet the Palestinian Arabs still adamantly reject the “two state solution” of an “Arab State” and “Jewish State” referenced in the 1947 UN partition resolution.

                  So it is instructive to ask, what do the Palestinian Arabs really want? If we would only listen to what they persistently say and read their charters, we would understand: the eradication of ‎Israel through armed struggle, replacing the Jewish state with a Palestinian Arab state. Just read the charters of the Palestinian Authority, PLO, Fatah, and Hamas, and it is laid out in straightforward unambiguous terms. It really is no wonder they say “no” to a state if it also means that they have to recognize the tiny Jewish state alongside it. There are already 22 Arab states with a population of 400 million and land mass 625 times that of Israel, versus 6.2 million Jews in a sliver of land the size of New Jersey.

                  We have seen a preview of what their state will be like: ‎Gaza, which has become a terrorist launching pad for tens of thousands of rockets and missiles into Israel since Israel left and uprooted 8,000 citizens from their homes in 2005. It is a failed entity ruled by the corrupt, genocidal, terrorist entity Hamas, which steadfastly refuses to recognize Israel.

                  A Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank/Judea-Samaria, the cradle of Jewish civilization, on the high ground overlooking the heart of Israel’s population centers from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, will only pose a more lethal danger to the safety and security of Israel. And the Jewish claim does not rest just on security, but on a continuous three-millennia presence in the land.

                  The pathology of the Palestinian Arab movement, which is actually a part of the larger Arab war on Israel, is violent rejection. It is partly fueled by Islamic beliefs that any Jewish presence on the land is a crime against the Islamic “natural order of things,” the crime of a ‎dhimmi people, the Jews, having sovereignty in their midst.

                  Yet Westerners fantasize and delude themselves that the Palestinian Arabs actually want to live in peace alongside ‎Israel. This was recently epitomized by Israel’s chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who told Knesset members that they should “expect to be surprised” regarding Palestinian Authority willingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. But her fairy-tale beliefs defy reality, and the bubble was burst immediately when PA negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated yet again that the Palestinian Arabs would never accept Israel as a Jewish State.

                  Sheikh Jabari, the strongman of ‎Hebron, put it concisely: “We can never recognize the Jewish state. I can’t. It goes against the Koran. Tel Aviv is Waqf [Muslim] holy land. I can’t recognize you de jure, but I also recognize that you’re not going anywhere. You’re here to stay.”

                  Western intervention only makes things worse, and leads the PA to believe that it can maintain a culture of victimhood and pay no price for its maximalist, uncompromising beliefs. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Arab culture of incitement, terrorism, and resort to lawfare has only increased, in absolute violation of their commitments to teach and preach peace, dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, confiscate weapons, and arrest terrorists.

                  The PA has not kept those international commitments; so what gives ‎Israel and Western diplomats confidence that any future accords – which will presumably involve Israel relinquishing vital land areas necessary for its security – will be honored? In Arab-Muslim culture, agreements tend to be broken when one side gains the strength to overcome the other, i.e. hudna. In the Middle East, the current status is what peace actually looks like: no paper agreements. At best, a détente, where only force and power prevail and are respected. That is what has enabled Israel to miraculously survive as an oasis of hope, democracy, and freedom in the midst of Arab-Muslim dominated totalitarian states, military dictatorships, and theocracies.‎

                  Israel ‎‎has no reliable “peace partner” in the Western sense, no matter how the mainstream media, EU, diplomats, and elites want to spin it. These apologists will always somehow find a way to rationalize and justify the Palestinian Arabs’ predictable resort to violence and in turn seek to delegitimize Israel for not making further concessions – regardless of whether it puts the Jewish State in deadly danger. The diplomatic process is not working. There must be far more onus on the PA to make true peace and prepare its own people for it. If and when Palestinian Arabs are ready, willing and able to say “yes,” Israel will be there – but not any sooner.

            • jjjj

              Mohammed, you talk about Hamas accepting the Saudi plan…But it is Saudi Arabia that is behind the Egyptian plan. Saudi Arabia isn’t behind the Turkish and Qatari plan. Also, the Arabs have been calling for a genocide of the Jews for most of the 20th century to this day. The riots in the 20s when Jewish women and children were suddenly massacred by their neighbours in Hebron. They had been living among them for years! The other massacres of Jews in Haifa and other places. Then in WW2, the Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini broadcast from Berlin praising Hitler for the extermination of the Jews.
              Until you and your people accept that the Jewish national home is in Israel there will never ever be peace. The Palestinians had the chance for their own state in 1947. You rejected it preferring to fight, You lost the war. What has happened to the refugees is a tragedy and I am also against the settlements in the West Bank. I support a 2 state solution. But the Jews must be allowed to keep their little state west of the Jordan River.

              • Damaris Tighe

                At last. A post re Israel that isn’t frothing at the mouth. Couldn’t agree with you more.

              • Hegelguy

                In a famous conversation with Nahum Goldmann, an eminent Zionist, a conversation that Goldmann reported in his book “The Jewish Paradox”, Ben Gurion said:

                “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out.”

                • jjjj

                  You are not arguing in good faith. If you were, you would have mentioned that I said in the above post that I agree to a 2 state solution and am against the settlements. Therefore, it is clear you are not to listen but to preach.

                  Your description in your second paragraph is a-historical: There was never a Palestinian people, as a defined national unit. Jews have always lived in Palestine (a name given to the province by the Romans). Jews were palestinians. My father was a Jew living in Palestine and was called a ‘Palestinian’. Perhaps difficult for you to accept but the truth.

                  There were Arab people living in Palestine and they only defined themselves in national terms following the Jewish immigration to the land. This immigration was a prepetual phenomena for centuries. Therefore, the Jews didn’t arrive one day like aliens from outer space. The powers controlling the region recognised the Jewish claim to Palestine because that land had always been the Jewish national home. In the Middle Ages, Jewish poets in spain whose ancestors had been exiled to Spain would write laments about wanting to return to Palestine.

                  The Muslims conquered Palestine in the 6th century, Why should their claim be worth more than the Jewish claim which is far older?

                  The whole Middle East is a product of colonial machinations. To focus on Israel to the exclusion of every single dispute is antisemitic and a denial of the Jewish people to their legitimate self -determination.

                  In 1947 the UN voted to partition the land. The Jews accepted and the Arabs decided to commit another genocide against the Jews. You know the rest.

                • Hegelguy

                  Ben Gurion said:

                  “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out.”

                • jjjj

                  Who said i’m Israeli? So two can play at this game: You are a Stalinist antisemite…

                  One aspect of the propagandists for your side is that you fabricate quotes about what some Zionist is supposed to have said. There is absolutely no evidence that Ben-Gurion ever said that. He was dead when Goldman published the book, and could not respond. There are other reasons which cast doubt on the veracity of the quote.

                  And actually, it can also be read as an attempt to understand the other side. He says that an Arab leader would never make peace but actually Egypt and Jordan DID make peace with Israel. So the quote is wrong. And yes, the Arabs may think what Ben Gurion said. So? Does this mean that they are right? That by not attempting to make peace with Israel they are doing the right thing by their people?
                  And yes, Israel does have to maintain a strong army etc. because as you very well know (but try and ignore it), Israel is under mortal threat.

                  I utterly object to your ad hominem attacks on me.

              • Mohammed

                Zionism!!! It was the Jewish terrorists that killed Arabs first. The Irgun started the genocide, and who the f*** is Britain to give one set of people a state over another?? Anyway, your argument doesn’t wash with me.

                • jjjj

                  Never was a Palestinian people. The terrorists were the Arabs who murdered the Jews wherever they could find them. F*** your terrrorist allies. AM YISRAEL CHAI!!

            • Ken Kelso

              Ha, go on Palmediawatch to see how laughable your comment is.
              http://www.palwatch.org

            • Zak

              This is completely untrue. I live in Israel and everyone here accepts a Palestinian state (the ones who does not, don’t really matter). Hamas calls for Genocide but no sane Israeli does that. The public debate now is Israel is the sad sad trade-off between being extremely careful when trying to attack terrorists hidden among innocent Palestinian civilians. This “carefulness” costs us the lives of our soldiers.

              • Damaris Tighe

                Stay safe.

              • Mohammed

                It was Hamas infiltration unit went inside Israeli territory and killed the soldiers. This didn’t happen inside Gaza. Then Israeli soldiers took revenge by indiscriminately killing civilians in Gaza. Anyway the Palestinian people are human beings and any human being has the right to resist military occupation. Period.

          • Ken Kelso

            So tell Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.
            As long as Hamas is firing missiles at Israel, ofcourse Israel will respond.
            Why are you blaming Israel for defending itself and not Hamas who refuses a ceasefire and Hamas who uses Gazans as human shields.

      • Jambo25

        Or possibly the Ottoman Empire, or the Mamelukes, or the Mongols, Crusaders etc etc.

      • Ken Kelso

        Palestinians and Arabs are indoctrinated from the cradle to the grave to hate the Jews and the infidels.

        Arabs hate anyone that dare not believe and behave like them.
        Strange that a race that does not advance intellectually/spiritually over the millennium still manages to exist.
        Maybe its their hate that keeps the Arabs going.

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