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Advocating Israel Talk to Hamas is Criminal Offense

mahmoud ramahi

Why is this man a danger to the existence of the State of Israel? (Amira Hass)

If you’re a much-decorated IDF general advocating the radical step that Israel recognize Hamas and negotiate with it you’ll merit a front page article in Haaretz.  That’s what Gen. Giora Eiland, a former national security advisor, did during the height of last week’s fighting.  Sure, some of your fellow generals and pals in intelligence, not to mention right-wing politicians, may think you’ve lost your marbles or your nerve.  But the repercussions end there.

But if you’re a Hamas leader in the West Bank, advocating virtually the same approach will bring a late night visit from the secret police and get you locked in a Shin Bet cell.  That’s unfortunately what happened to Dr. Mahmoud Ramachi, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, who advocated at the height of the Operation Pillar of Sand (I call it that, the IDF called it Pillar of Cloud), that Israel talk to Hamas and that Fatah and Hamas form a unity government.  He added that such a government could, under Abbas’ leadership resume talks with Israel.

He made the seditious statement (Hebrew) that Israel’s moral standing had been harmed by its attack on Gaza and that Hamas’ legitimacy had been strengthened by it, along with the daily visits of regional leaders to Gaza during the height of the fighting.

He added that what should be occupying the minds of Israelis isn’t negotiating with the PA or whether there will be a Palestinian state, but whether there be an Israel.  It’s current leadership under Lieberman and Netanyahu was leading it to certain destruction.  Israelis would profit far more from considering which leaders would guarantee Israel has a future.  The leaders of the country only think about the future as far ahead as an election, when they should be thinking about a different, more long-term future: the survival of the nation.  That’s why they can assassinate an Ahmed Jabari, who was in the midst of negotiations with Gershom Baskin and the Egyptian government over a long-term ceasefire that would’ve guaranteed the lifting of the siege.

Another highly dangerous idea Ramahi advanced was to clarify the distinctions between Hamas and Al Qaeda, which Israeli military, intelligence and political officials love to yoke together.  “We [in Hamas] deliberate on every matter and are willing to reach agreements with anyone including Israel.  Netanyahu, on the other hand, sealed off any possibility of compromise with the PA and shut off any avenues of dialogue with Gaza.”  Though Ramahi doesn’t make this explicit comparison, one could argue that Netanyahu, in his rejectionism and preference for violence over negotiation, has more in common with Al Qaeda than Hamas does.

A few other outrageous comments illustrating Ramahi’s extremism: he insists upon ending the siege and freedom of movement for all Gazans, including the building of a new port there.  Why is this dangerous?  Because a Gaza that is prosperous is a Gaza that is not under Israel’s boot.

He closes his interview by saying that if Israel wishes to survive it must open a dialogue with political Islam in the region including with Hamas.  Israel needs a leadership that is willing to conduct negotiations with others, not one that sees every dispute as a reason to let loose the Dogs of War.  Israel can arrest hundreds, even thousands of us.  It can kill Jabari, and Yassine and what does it have to show for it?  Peace?  Security?  You be the judge.

If you’re naïve like me you think those are expressions of political beliefs and should warrant some form of protection, if not consideration.  Not in the National Security State formerly known as Israel.  There, it’ll get you locked up for threatening the consensus that there can be no dialogue with terrorists, and that rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas threatens Israeli supremacy.  A strong Palestine might force Israel to negotiate with as an equal partner, God forbid.

The dark humor in all this is that the secret police told Israel’s military reporters that it had rounded up 55 Hamas officials in the West Bank when they were all safely in the bosom of their families. The report that they were in Shabak cells was news to them.  Eventually, they were arrested.  Apparently, the intelligence services hadn’t yet devised the reason why they threatened the well-being of the state enough to deserve arrest.

Ramahi and over 20 of his colleagues were previously imprisoned for long periods (he served three years) by Israel for having the temerity to participate in and win seats in the 2006 democratic elections for the PA.  Apparently, in Israel democracy is a good thing as long as only Jews exercise it.  When Palestinians do it poses a threat to the nation.  Israel later arrested him yet again (for 20 months).  This time it offered no reason at all.  Yet another administrative detention.  He begged the judges to tell him what was in the “secret” dossier the Shin Bet had prepared to justify his arrest.  He was met by silence.  In all, he has spent eight eventful years in Israeli dungeons.  Is this any way to run a democracy?  You bet it isn’t.

Oh and what does this terribly dangerous terrorist do for a living?  He’s an anesthesiologist.  Probably seeking methods of converting drugs and chemicals used in medicine into suicide vests.

Oh and just to prove his extremist intentions, let’s quote some of his interview with Amira Hass:

“Israel and the United States are preventing the PA from reaching reconciliation with Hamas. It’s in Israel’s interest not to prevent this reconciliation.  But the Israelis don’t listen to us. They come to talk to us once we are in prison, they send us people from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Last time I refused, I said that I don’t negotiate when I’m under detention. When I get out we’ll talk, you and I.”

…At the next stage, Ramahi said: “We will rehabilitate Gaza and the West Bank and the society that is divided due to the political rift. We know that these changes are possible because change is taking place in the world. We think that some day Israel will accept the two-state solution, otherwise it won’t continue to exist. If there’s a national unity government we’ll support Abu Mazen in his policy of obtaining the rights of that state. Strengthened, Abbas will negotiate with Israel about implementing the UN resolutions. That’s preferable to what exists now. Hamas hasn’t said that it wants a two-state solution, but it didn’t object. When [Hamas' founder] Sheikh Yassin said in 1999 that a Palestinian state would be established within the 1967 borders, he in effect said that there’s a second state within the 1948 borders.

Israel, this is a dangerous man.  You must put him away so he doesn’t spread his poison among the rest of his fellow Palestinians.  God only knows what might happen.  Murder.  Riots.  Mayhem. Bombings.  Israel’s destruction.

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{ 65 comments… add one }
  • mary November 27, 2012, 2:11 AM

    Hooey. This guy is just as evil as they come.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4311450,00.html

    “Had there been an ongoing shortage of water and fuel in Gaza, had the power system been seriously damage, had the landline communication system gone out of order, had the roads connecting the different parts of the Strip been destroyed, and had the government buildings and police stations been destructed, we could have estimated with greater confidence that deterrence had been achieved.”

    As the entire piece illustrates clearly, this hawkish, murderous thug wishes Israel had done more damage and killed more people.

  • yankel November 27, 2012, 4:00 AM

    Considering potential peace initiative as existential threats, Israel silently nurtured the nascent Hamas, decades ago, in order to counter the ever more pragmatist PLO. The thought was that immutable religion being their underlying resistance-ideology, Hamas would showcase Israel’s long-standing claim that “there’s none to talk with” on the other side.

    A compromise-prone Hamas is indeed an existential threat to Israel’s modus-operandi of hoodwinking the international community into letting it annex ever more Palestinian lands while denying Palestinians basic human (let alone civil) rights.

    What Israel right-wingers (an ever growing majority) can live with are suicide bombers, not peace seekers.

  • EXTRA-שמאל November 27, 2012, 4:10 AM

    Mr Silverstein I salute you, may your re elected president be able to save Israel from itself in his second term in office.

  • pabelmont November 27, 2012, 6:17 AM

    “There, it’ll get you locked up for threatening the consensus that there can be no dialogue with terrorists.”

    In The Jewish Security State (formerly known as Israel) (hereafter, surely, “JSSfkaI”), what is forbidden is TALKING to Israelis (or, at least, “talking while Palestinian”). Pure racism.

    In the glorious USA, bastion of democratic freedoms, speech is (for the most part) not forbidden (but Bradley Manning and Julian Assange?). But the president can always detain you permanently (or so people are saying) and, of course, “off you” with drones. We Americans have freedom to speak while still alive, so to speak (oops).

    • Dave Terry November 27, 2012, 9:55 AM

      The “photo” says more than the words. How can you trust a man with NOTHING on his desk?

      • Richard Silverstein November 27, 2012, 1:59 PM

        Don’t be a jerk. Plenty of business people & professionals would clear their desk if Haaretz was going to photograph them. I can’t believe you’d actually make such an idiotic comment.

    • dub November 28, 2012, 8:46 PM

      Manning isn’t in jail for engaging in free speech, as you well know.

      and Julian Assange isn’t in America or forbidden to speak.

      where you sober when you typed that tripe?

      • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 2:51 AM

        He’s in jail for embarrassing the hell out of the U.S. government.

        • dub November 30, 2012, 3:28 PM

          he’s in jail for theft and quite a few other violations of the UCMJ..

          “causing embarrassment” isn’t on the charge sheet, Richard.

          luckily for some folks, Richard, that’s not a felony.

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 6:13 PM

            Oh please. Theft? That’s nonsense. Amira Hass says he was imprisoned for belonging to a banned organization, Hamas. Don’t make up shit (and I dare you to offer credible evidence that this indeed is the charge against him). And even if he was accused of theft, Shin Bet charges sheets aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. “Make it up” is Shabak’s middle name.

          • dub November 30, 2012, 6:43 PM

            @ Richard below……

            I think that you lost track of the thread, old buddy.

            we were talking about why Bradley manning is in the jug…….

            if Amira Hass is saying that he’s imprisoned because the little dude is a member of Hamas, I would reaaly like to see that in black and white.

            ( and mind your language Richard don’t be accusing people of making up shit lest it be smeared over you, you confused little person.)

  • Marilyn November 27, 2012, 11:55 AM

    One small piece of good news is that Australia will no longer vote NO on Thursday. OUr disgraceful PM who constantly lives in the pockets of the Melbourne zionist lobby and takes free trips to Israel was rolled by all but two of her own caucus.

    During Cast Lead she openly stated that while children were being slaughtered by the Israeli war machine that Israel had the right to defend herself from tiny little rockets and stones.

  • Deïr Yassin November 27, 2012, 1:27 PM

    OFF-TOPIC
    France is going to vote YES to the Palestinain UN-bid on Thursday :-) How many ‘major’ European countries are going to follow ? I read that the UK might say yes too.
    And Hamas has given their support too, all Palestinian political factions in Gaza have decided to make a joint rally on Thursday.

    • Richard Silverstein November 27, 2012, 1:58 PM

      Wow, good stuff! Especially surprised to hear Hamas & IJ joining in support. That’s fascinating since they’re been pretty dismissive of this till now.

    • mary November 27, 2012, 3:16 PM

      The UK said it will back the bid if the PA promises it won’t take Israel to the ICC for war crimes.

      • Richard Silverstein November 27, 2012, 8:01 PM

        Yes, UK will back it when Hell freezes over & Abbas serenades Bibi with his rendition of HaTikvah!

      • Davey November 27, 2012, 8:10 PM

        The UK will do the right thing provided a wrong thing is sheltered from justice. That’s some bewildering moral thinking. It says that that the UK recognizes grounds for the indictment of Israel, but will not do anything to facilitate indictment. It’s pretty clear how the UK once ruled much of the world without a second thought. Perfidious Albion.

        • Davey November 28, 2012, 9:18 AM

          Indeed — what does one legitimate claim have to do with another? Why shouldn’t Israel defend itself in an international court? What fabulous hypocrites!

  • Arie Brand November 27, 2012, 10:11 PM

    Andre Gide once said that the quickest way to gauge a stranger’s character is to involve him/her in a conversation about politics. I would like to be a bit more specific: steer the conversation to the Israel/Palestine problem. There is of course a proviso here: the person concerned should be well informed (which probably excludes most Israelis).

    From that point of view I find it hard to believe in Julia Gillard’s “good character”. Can you Marilyn? She has spoken very feelingly about the Shoah. She has referred with admiration to such “righteous among the nations” as Raoul Wallenberg etc. and publicly asked herself the question whether under similar circumstances she would have the same moral courage. But she has, to my knowledge, never been able to say anything about the plight of the Palestinians. When the Operation Cast Lead was going on she defended Israel’s action with the lie that Hamas had broken the truce.

    A former Australian ambassador to Israel, Ross Burns, has stated publicly that she was “remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions”. He pointed out that her partner, Tim Mathieson, a former hairdresser, was now employed by the property developer Albert Dadon as a real estate agent. It was Albert Dadon, the founder of the Australia Israel Forum, who organised a visit by Australian politicians, including Gillard, to Israel in 2009. Gillard has defended herself against the charge implied here by stating that she had made her views on Israel publicly known before there was any suggestion that her partner would work for Dadon. It is also said that Dadon is very close to Michael Danby – a fanatical pro-Israel Labor MP who allegedly has played a role in Gillard’s “coup” against her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, who had a more distant attitude towards Israel.

    I have been unable to verify this but at any case this particular explanation of our Prime Minister’s bias seems a tad too simple to me. On the other hand, if one searches for a more substantial reason one can hardly do anything else than refer to a particular kind of moral obtuseness. – a moral sensitivity that is on high alert for the suffering of one ethnic group and remarkably unresponsive to that of another.

    It baffles me.

    It is good that this time she didn’t get her way on her preference for a “No” vote. I am inclined to particularly thank our Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, for that. As far as I am concerned he showed his moral fibre earlier when he refused to buckle under the pressure of the pro-Israel lobby and persisted in his plan to personally hand the price of the Sydney Peace Foundation to Hannah Asrawi.

  • davidL November 27, 2012, 11:04 PM

    And if your a Palestinian living in Gaza and come out against Hamas… you live your life in fear, can be arrested and tortured for days and weeks and possibly end up dead. This was reported in today’s Yediot Aharanot Hebrew paper (28 Nov pages 4-5 “24 Hours” section).

    The article shares what we don’t hear about Hamas and what you certainly wouldn’t share- how they hold their “elected power” by terror, threats and murder. The relatives of that murdered Palestinian, Rabhi Bedoui, dragged savagely behind that now infamous motorcycle “brigage” tell how he was anything BUT a collaborator. He was simply anti-Hamas. The war was an excuse for Hamas to “clean house” of some of their enemies… of which there are a lot of in Gaza, just too scared to talk.

    According to the article he and others were anti-Israel and very nationalistic Palestinians… they just didn’t buy Hamas’s brand of politics. Hamas rules with an iron fist and crushes any attempted challenge with violence.

    Yes, Hamas may be the de facto “leaders” in Gaza, but it seems that they are in power more by terror than by electoral vote. As for forming a unity government with Fatah… from what this article shows about Gaza’s dissenters, good luck with that.

    • Deïr Yassin November 28, 2012, 12:16 AM

      Nice to see your empathy with the Palestinians for once. Hopefully that includes the two protestors killed by the IDF in the West Bank last week: one of them, 31-years old Rushdi Al-Tamimi from Nabi Saleh the brother-in-law of Bassem al-Tamimi was prevented by Israeli soldiers to have life important medical care while lying on the ground wounded by a bullet in his stomach.
      Tell me if you want a video of the incident, please.

      • Dave Terry November 28, 2012, 10:29 AM

        Please, I would like a copy of this video.
        davet41@comcast.net.

        • Deïr Yassin November 28, 2012, 11:28 AM

          You’ll find the video embedded in lots of articles (Maan News, ElectronicIntifada, Mondoweiss). It was filmed by Rushdi al-Tamimi’s sister Bushra al-Tamimi (filming for B’Tselem). I’ll give you Nabi Saleh Solidarity’s link (article Nov 19, still the last one at the time being), because there’s some context in the article (Electronic Intifada’s too). Hopefully someone will take the time to tranlate it. It starts from around minute 4:00
          http://nabisalehsolidarity.wordpress.com
          Their cousin, Mustafa al-Tamimi was killed by the IDF in december 2011 by a live bullet from the back of a IDF-jeep. It was caught on video too.

    • Richard Silverstein November 28, 2012, 2:51 AM

      First, this comment is OFF-TOPIC. Second, I’ve already written very clearly that the issue of execution of collaborators, which Hamas has condmened is a non-story as far as this blog is concerned. Many have raised it before. In fact, it sounds like talking points from Hasbara Central. Yet you flagrantly ignore my editorial direction.

      But since you brought it up…Yediot, which has no correspondent based in Gaza now has an expose about why a Gazan was murdered during the Gaza assault? And it got this story how? And from whom? And we know Hamas murdered him how? This is why I’ve canned this hasbara meme here. I don’t want it brought up again. Do you understand?

      • DavidL November 28, 2012, 3:00 AM

        Off course you’d think it’s off topic, even though it relates to what you’re thread discussed- just from the opposite side of the coin… not supporting Hamas, but what happens if you don’t.

        You read Hebrew, you have your sources, you claim to review the Israeli media- answer your own questions. As to Yediot’s ability to get facts and stories… They have their journalistic sources….I trust them more than I trust you as far as journalism goes.

        It’s perfectly clear why for THIS BLOG it’s a “non-story”. BTW- the article claimed the poor soul was NOT a collaborator.

        • mary November 28, 2012, 4:15 AM

          The Hamas-is-so-evil stuff is pure bullshit on your part, just hypocrisy. You don’t give a flying shit about any “poor souls” in Gaza, and you know it. If you cared about the people of Gaza, you’d be making bigger noise about the wholesale slaughter Israel commits and relishes against the Gazans. Your hasbara is hypocritical and tasteless.

          • DavidL November 28, 2012, 8:55 AM

            Mary… quite contrary! The “BS” is right out of the mouths of Palestinians… those whom support Fatah, and are under threat from Hamas. They are not lovers of Israel, which is their right to express…. but of course, not if they don’t kiss-up to Hamas.

            The only hipocrisy here is believing that Hamas has the free support of all the Palestinians… even just in Gaza, which ignores ALL the past history of their bloody take-over and years of threat and harrassment of those who believe different than them.

            If you actually believe the tripe you write, then either you lie to yourself or you don’t get any varied news where you live. And most likely in “that shitty little country” any news about Hamas and Fatah dissention probably doesn’t even make the papers…. Don’t know how much free press exists their.

            As for who or what I care about- you dont’ have the slightest idea. But what I certainly don’t care for or about is your more than tasteless, highly biggoted and ignorant comments. You wish to challenge what was written… show me some counter-proof, othewise zip it.

          • Davey November 28, 2012, 9:23 AM

            It is Israel that claims the dubious legitimacy of a “Western” democracy: It is Israel that demonstrates repeatedly that this is far from the truth across several important dimensions. Lastly, it is Israel’s claim here that is disreputable. A response that redirects to another state that touts no such cliam is therefore irrelevant. So, DavidL’s remarks are irrelevant.

          • Deïr Yassin November 28, 2012, 10:12 AM

            @ DavidL (wonder whether ‘L’ stands for Likudnik or Lieberman-fan…..)
            If you care about the Palestinians, how come we didn’t hear anything from you during the recent massacres in Gaza ? (tell me if you want the names, ages, time and place of death of all the children) How come you haven’t criticized the shooting of demonstrators in the West Bank during their solidarity rallies with the people of Gaza. Yeah, how come, now that I think about it, that we’ve never heard anything from you criticizing the Israeli behaviour towards the Palestinians ?
            For your information: “that shitty little country” is a registered trademark and can only be used about Israel according to the will of the late French ambassador to London, Daniel Bernard…..

          • mary November 28, 2012, 12:50 PM

            DavidL, you’re trying really hard, aren’t you, but nobody’s buying your nonsense. You’re also going way off topic and trying to rehash old ground which, of course, is a comment rule violation. What happened in 2006 in Gaza, for example, is old ground.

            I don’t get any varied news where I live? I get my news off the internet, no matter where I am. I am an activist for the Palestinian cause, and trust me, I probably get more news than you do, and from many more sources. Sorry your knickers are in a twist, but your phony sympathy for the Gazans is just too much to stomach. As I said, if you really gave a damn you would work for this whole occupation to end. There is, after all, one Palestinian people, and they don’t all live in Gaza. They are also suffering under this brutal occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and still living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Where is your sympathy for them?

  • Daniel November 28, 2012, 12:37 AM

    [ed., comment deleted for comment rule violation--no one is interested in your guesses why Dr. Ramahi was arrested. The comment rules call for facts and evidence, the opposite of guesses. Read the rules and respect them.]

    • Dave Terry November 28, 2012, 10:27 AM

      DavidL wrote:

      >”The only hipocrisy here is believing that Hamas has the free support of all the Palestinians… even just in Gaza, which ignores ALL the past history of their bloody take-over and years of threat and harrassment of those who believe different than them.”

      Second ONLY to the legal fiction that Israel is liberal democracy that is supported by a majority of its citizens.

      • davidL November 28, 2012, 11:46 AM

        Israel has legal elections which even includes Arab political parties. And there is a lot more freedom of speech, political cross-critizism and open society…. a lot more like Democracy than anything Hamas can even come near, not to mention a lot of other countries who claim to have “elections”.

        • Dave Terry November 28, 2012, 9:26 PM

          YEAH, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had “legal elections” Big Whoop! What do you consider democracy,
          two Israeli Jews deciding what and how much an Arab has for lunch? Mob rule is not democracy!.

          On second thought, that is EXACTLY what democracy is!

  • davidL November 28, 2012, 11:38 AM

    To Deir Yassin-
    (L is the intial of my last name… not a political plug like your name).

    Yes, I probably should have removed the quotation marks on that comment, as I did refer to Mary’s place of residence and not Israel.

    As to your questions about what I comment on etc… I would ask the same to you. When’s the last (first?) time you ever came out condemning any of the terrorist attacks on Jews or Israelis, especially without trying to add some sort of mitigating and “softening” rationale to the events? Where is your outrage at the henious acts carried out by Palestinian terrorists on innocent Jewish and Israeli men, women and especially children, such as the recent case where a terrorist infiltrated a home in the Negev near the Gaza border (had the women in the home not had the fortitude to fight off the terrorist she and her four young children would have been murdered in their beds)? Have you ever critisized the injustices that happen in the Palestinian community, such as the treatment of women and religious minorities, such as Christians? Where is your fact finding and information about the corruption within the Palestinian Authority? What about the anti-Israel propoganda garbage spewed out by Palestinian State TV. Hasbara you say? Tell me there isn’t any truth in anything I’ve noted here.

    Regarding what happened during the Pillar of Smoke camapign, I was worried about my friends and relatives whose lives were terrorized day and night by the constant threat of indiscriminent rockets being fired at them. Did you even think about those Israelis being terrorized?? Well believe it or not I thought about those Palestinians being bombed and the destruction going on in Gaza as well… it IS terrible and I kept wondering when and hoping that the madness would stop. Yet we both clearly disagree on who started this madness (among many other topics).

    As for when I comment or on what I comment…. first of all my work and time doesn’t allow me to sit and read Richard’s comments every day (or week). When I do I try and avoid commenting on what has been said already. If any of you (including the likes of Mary and others) had seen my other comments, I have on several occasions expressed my distaste and outrage about ANY human injustice, whether it is done by/to Palestinians or Israelis.

    I firmly do believe that violence DOES NOT solve the problems at hand and the loss of innocent life is a tragedy no matter WHOM the person is. An unfortuante factor of this conflict is that errors do happen and innocents suffer… doesn’t make their loss any less of a tragedy or something to be ignored. You and others claim it is on purpose, I don’t trust all Palestinain reports and don’t believe children were targeted on purpose … and if not, I agree legal retribution should follow. I also believe that any rocket fired hap-hazardly and indiscriminately toward civilian population is an outright war crime and THAT should be followed by legal retribution as well (I’m sure the UN and Hamas will begin it’s investigations tomorrow).

    Any other questions?

    • Deïr Yassin November 28, 2012, 11:59 AM

      “Any other questions ?”
      Yeah, how do you say a hypocrite in hebrew….

      • DavidL November 28, 2012, 12:16 PM

        I noticed you didn’t answer any of my questions… it seems to me then that if your looking for a hypocrite, check your mirror.

        Nothing I stated was meant hypocritically I stand by statements. You, on the other hand seem full of hypocrasy in your lack of ability to show any empathy for victims on the Israeli side of the conflict while constantly talk about casualties on the Palestinian side.

        • mary November 28, 2012, 12:58 PM

          How many Israeli families have been slaughtered by Palestinian rockets lately, DavidL? If you want to play the old game of who has the most victims, who is the most terrorized, Israel would certainly lose, so don’t even go there, there is no point.

          And back to the topic – how do you think ignoring Hamas is going to help to bring peace? Spreading gruesome little stories about the boogeymen Hamas is helpful?

          • Davey November 28, 2012, 4:24 PM

            Sure — homemade rockets must be awful, fizzing out over deserted areas. DavidL should worry about the possibility of Palestinians gaining an army, tanks, jets and US support. THAT would be truly scary. But that’s exactly what Palestinians face, locked up in camps, Gaza and the West Bank. The violence is so utterly incommensurate as to be one-sided. This is what Israelis can’t fathom: They have been lucky thus far.

            Second, the violence against Israel is not terrorism but legitimate defense of land, property and rights taken at gunpoint by foreigners. This blow back will never end until the original issue is treated justly. It is shameful to defend Israel in the first place, and then to do so under such incommensurate conditions, is just added hypocrisy, the icing on the expropriated cake.

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 2:57 AM

            I think any attacks that kill civilians on either side should be classified as terrorism or at least violations of international law.

          • Daniel November 30, 2012, 3:27 AM

            I cannot agree more.
            Any attacks on civilians is terrorism and a violation of the international law.
            This statement does not however mean that Jihad is not a central pillar of Islam, although while it is interpreted differently across different streams, I can showcase numerous examples of how Jihad is practiced around the globe (Chechnia, Lybia, Yemen, Sudan, Ethiopia – should I continue ?).
            Nothing Islamophobic about it, reality check plz.
            Giving modern weapons to Jihadists will most certainly result in them attacking the civilian Infidels, this is the reason for the siege on Gaza.
            As per showing off the dead – indeed, this is offensive to anyone of western culture (most of Israel included), however looking at the Arab media (not necessarily related to the Israeli-Gaza conflict) you would find it quite common.
            Perhaps this results from the Wahhabist narrative of glorifying death.
            Need any links to prove it ?

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 9:50 AM

            This is a thoroughly racist, disgusting comment, which implies that those “of western culture” bridle at the sight or knowledge of dead babies, when precisely the opposite is true. It is actually unfeeling brutes like you and Israel’s permanent war state who violate the norms of “western civilization,” if there even is such a concept given the record of said civilization over the past several centuries or so. Would you care to compare the record of wartime mayhem of “western” versus Arab civilizations over that period?

            You have just crossed the red line in terms of violating my comment rules regarding racist comments. I put you on notice that future violations could result in moderation or banning.

          • Daniel November 30, 2012, 1:43 PM

            Dear Richard,
            While you may not like what I am saying, there is nothing remotely racist about it.
            I claim that the conflict is religious and not territorial, and thus is an extremely complex one.
            I totally agree with you that looking at the past record of the “western civilizations” we see examples of extreme cruelty and brutality (no need to look further than the bible), yet the “western civilizations” have evolved since then, while others have not.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0wJXf2nt4Y

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 5:59 PM

            You’re not only an Islamophobic racist, but you’re simply wrong. Wrong historically. Wrong factually. The conflict isn’t complex. It’s simple. The solution is simple. It’s the people, largely the Israeli leadership who make it endlessly complicated. And you help them along. Which makes you part of the problem.

            Yes, western civilization has evolved. It now has drones for silent killing of civilians and other innocents. It has atom bombs which it’s dropped killing millions. We have chemical weapons, WMD. All brought to you by yr precious western civilization.

          • Davey November 30, 2012, 11:59 AM

            Shall we now list how sanctimonious Israel operates around the globe with bombs, targeted assassinations etc.? To be blunt: Israel is something more than “Western” as a society, perhaps we should say it is Best Western.

          • mary November 30, 2012, 12:38 PM

            How incredibly ignorant and hateful you are. In your arrogance have you ever considered that anyone commenting on or reading Richard’s blog may be a Muslim? And that perhaps you would be digging yourself a deep hole, losing any credibility or respect anyone may have for your views?

            What you don’t know about our religion would fill an ocean. And I’m sure any so-called proof you have is as disgusting, hateful and ignorant as you are.

          • Daniel November 30, 2012, 1:13 PM

            Dear Mary,
            As surprising as it may be, I might not be as ignorant as you hope.
            Neither am I hateful, or arrogant, and I have definitely considered that someone commenting here is a Muslim.
            I invite you to challenge what I have claimed, since as much as I respect your emotional response, you can either prove me wrong or zip it.

          • mary November 30, 2012, 3:02 PM

            It is not up to me to challenge your claims. As Richard has already told you, it is up to you to back up your claims with proof. He has already cautioned you about making racist comments, yet you so stupidly persist in making your asinine assertions. Zip it? I don’t think so.

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 5:48 PM

            I can confirm you are far more ignorant than you believe and also concur with Mary that you’ve gone too far in violating the ban on racism & Islamophobia here. I’ve put you on notice & reaffirm this. Next offense is moderation, after that banning.

            If you don’t understand why snarky references to “infidels” which you’ve put into the mouth of Hamas is deeply offensive then you’re a lout. Don’t do this again. And I won’t warn you again.

            I would never let anyone here make a similarly snarky reference to Jewish beliefs. And by God I won’t let you either.

          • Daniel November 28, 2012, 8:42 PM

            @ Mary
            Trying to compare the number of casualties is not the best KPI for this conflict as Israel is trying to do everything possible to reduce its casualties while the Hamas is interested to show off both its own dead as well as brag about Israeli civilian killed, in order to get the money from their patrons.

            Back to the topic – Ignoring Hamas is definitely not helping, recognizing its statehood in Gaza and treating it as a responsible enemy, rather then a guerrilla terrorist organization might prove much more effective.

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 2:53 AM

            Israel is trying to do everything possible to reduce its casualties

            Bradley Burston, who should know better, wrote precisely the same crap tonight. If they did “everything possible to reduce” civilians casualties why were over half those killed civilians??

            Hamas is interested to show off both its own dead as well as brag about Israeli civilian killed, in order to get the money from their patrons.

            I find this comment deeply offensive, racist, & repugnant. If you want to express yourself in as heartless & cruel a way you will not do it here.

          • Daniel November 28, 2012, 8:49 PM

            @ Davey

            Trying to manipulate history and misrepresent the situation on the ground is not going to work, regardless of how repetitive you are. Lets just pause to remember how and why did Israel take control of the so called “Palestinian” territories.
            http://youtu.be/iTKh5szd0y8

            I cannot agree more with your first statement though, having Hamas armed with tanks and jets would be truly scary, as they would probably turn all this arsenal against the infidels, civilian or not, this is exactly why Israel is trying to contain the military buildup in Gaza via what you refer to as the “Blockade”

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 2:50 AM

            they would probably turn all this arsenal against the infidels

            I find this Islamophobic babble offensive. If you want to be cute or witty or even snarky do it elsewhere.

          • DavidL November 28, 2012, 10:53 PM

            Mary-

            Again… I’m not spreading any stories… this is the reality of political “leadership” in Gaza. Deny it all you want, it’s there and from many sources.

            To stay on topic…. I, frankly have no problem talking with Hamas, as they are the de facto leaders in Gaza. Yet I won’t let them get away with an image of being some democratically elected “liberal” government. They terrorize any opposition, and seem to run the Gaza strip like a dictatorship. It doesn’t look like they are going away any time soon and if anything is going to happen… any peace with Gaza, it’s seems it’s going to have to happen through them- to the detriment of the rest of the non-Hamas supporters for sure.

            So how about Hamas talking with Israel. Isn’t THAT is a bigger problem. Do they/will they talk directly to Israel?? Will they try and negotiate any long-term status with Israel, with the current (or elected) leadership of today?

            About the rest of your comment- As you’ve said- getting off topic. Just simply stated. You can’t deny that both sides have had terror and suffering. It isn’t about the numbers but rather that it is happening at all. Perhaps when the Israeli feels the pain of the Palestinian AND the Palestinian feels the pain of the Israeli, though they may not agree or see eye-to-eye…. then some steps can go forward towards peace. NOT meant hypocrtically, or flipant… I have my beliefs, others have their’s and they are in conflict for sure… but seeing the other’s sides perspective is the first step towards understanding and moving towards a real resolution. I have YET to see that other perspective from you or anybody else at this blog.

          • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 2:40 AM

            They run Gaza not as a dictatorship, but not as a democracy either. But the PA is hardly a democracy either. The fact is that Hamas won the last PA election & the only reason it runs Gaza in as authoritarian a fashion as it does is because Fatah tried a violent U.S. sponsored coup to topple it. You’d be paranoid too if you were Hamas.

            Why is it too that Israelis say the suffering “isn’t about the numbers” when those numbers are always on their side? 26 to 1 (169 Palestinian dead to 6 Israelis) to be exact. Do you think we could have Israelis experience 26 times the amount of pain Palestinians suffer? WOuld Israeli then be more sympathetic & amenable to a solution?

    • Dave Terry November 29, 2012, 9:05 PM

      David L wrote: “I have on several occasions expressed my distaste and outrage about ANY human injustice, whether it is done by/to Palestinians or Israelis.”

      You are dealing from the bottom of the deck, because you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the Zionist State and it’s spiritual base, “Jewish Exceptionalism” may be the ultimate cause of the overwhelming majority of
      the death, destruction and suffering for the past 60 years.

      > ” I also believe that any rocket fired hap-hazardly and indiscriminately toward civilian population is an outright war > crime and THAT should be followed by legal retribution as well (I’m sure the UN and Hamas will begin it’s > investigations tomorrow).

      HYPOCRITICAL in the extreme. I suppose you’d say that attacks against white settlers in North America by the aboriginal inhabitants, was proof of how savage and uncivilized they were. I am ONLY sorry that my Cherokee and Chickasaw ancestors didn’t have missiles to fire at that OTHER group of European colonizers. I can SAY that, even
      IF the majority of my ancestry is Anglo-Saxon.

      WE as bystanders can empathize with both innocent Israeli and Palestinian victims, but it is a different matter to expect those people personally made homeless, landless and nationless to have any sympathy for those folks who
      now occupy their land, homes and ‘nation’.

      • davidL November 30, 2012, 5:12 AM

        Your comment is a bit unclear. Are you trying to tell me that my statement that I made above:
        “… any rocket fired hap-hazardly and indiscriminately toward civilian population is an outright war crime” is hypocritical?

        That’s sheer insanity. Nobody can condone the bombing of innocent civilian population, especially if their location/actions have no direct connection to an attack of any kind from another location. The rockets launched from Gaza INDISCRIMINATELY hit civilian targets bucko, THAT’S a war crime– full stop.

        You want to argue the plight of the Palestinians and argue how bad things have gone for them go ahead. But don’t tell me that whatever claims you/they make about their history gives them… or anyone, for that matter, the right to lob rockets on another civilian population like those from Gaza… YOUR the hypocrite… even worse a supporter of outright terrorism and warcrimes. Pick a better point to argue cause I don’t think you’ll find much agreement from any sane human being.

        • Richard Silverstein November 30, 2012, 9:42 AM

          You’re the hypocrite for arguing the war crimes are only on one-side, bucko. And what’s with “bucko” nonsense? Did you read too much Treasure Island when you were 12?

        • Davey November 30, 2012, 12:47 PM

          davidL — by your own definition, Israeli war crimes are many times larger and more heinous by magnitude than Palestinian war crimes. The fact that Israel claims to aim for military targets is irrelevant as its advanced weapons seem to incur over 50% civilians casualties, just as though the weapons were either not so “advanced” or Israel claims that all civilians are military targets. “Just as though” is a pretty strong argument.

        • Dave Terry November 30, 2012, 7:46 PM

          YES! That is exactly what I am saying. You are hypocritical in arguing that 1. there are innocent Israeli civilians now living in Palestine. 2. the State of Israeli is NOT responsible for their precarious position.

          You claim: ” Nobody can condone the bombing of innocent civilian population, especially if their location/actions have no direct connection to an attack of any kind from another location.” Do you mean, EXCEPT for the B-29 carpet napalm bombing of 69 (SIXTY-NINE Japanese cities resulting over 350,000 civilian deaths. Even General LeMay acknowledged that, (quoted by Robert McNamara – LeMay’s aide de camp), “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” “And I think he’s right,” says McNamara. “He, and I’d say We, were behaving as war criminals.” . . . “LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side has lost.

          The Germans bombed British cities killing thousands of” innocent’ civilians and the British and, to a lesser extent,
          American forces bombed German cities also killing thousands of “innocent” civilians. IN EACH AND EVERY CASE
          those citizens had lived in their homes for generations. None of them; English, German or Japanese were invading colonists living in the homes of those who were doing the bombing. This is NOT the case in Israel.

          The overwhelming majority of Israelis killed by Palestinian missiles are emigrants or children of emigrants who came to Palestine to replace the native population, as the divine Zionist plan required.

          I certainly feel sorrow for those victims. BUT, I feel absolutely no remorse OR guilt regarding it. The causal agent
          is the Israeli Zionist state. THEY are the ones who justly deserve your condemnation. THEY are ultimately, the
          party responsible for virtually all of the devastation and suffering in the area.
          NO

      • Davey November 30, 2012, 11:54 AM

        For “Daniel” — Israel “took control” (i.e. invaded) the “so-called” Palestinian areas (they ARE Palestinian areas!) by precipitating aggressive campaigns to enlarge so-called “Israel.” The history is clear: These campaigns were not defensive at all as they were not fought on Israeli territory (among other reasons) but the result of Dayan and other conspirators in Israel. Therefore, your phrase “in the first place” means roughly conquest, occupation, dispossession of Palestinians (ethnic cleansing in current parlance) and exploitation of the land and rights. The program has some parallel to German expansion in the late 30’s and 40’s. That regime also claimed “self-defense” to hide the need to plunder and exploit for a “naturally” growing population.

  • Dave Terry November 28, 2012, 9:29 PM

    Daniel asks: Lets just pause to remember how and why did Israel take control of the so called “Palestinian” territories.

    Because they could?

  • mary November 29, 2012, 12:19 AM

    I know quite a few people living in Gaza, and I want to say this. Hamas is not well liked, not because of any alleged brutality (which is for the most part an aspect of Israeli hasbara) but because of its corruption. It also levies high taxes and occasionally does stupid things such as closing down NGO’s where little boys and little girls play together. But it’s mostly become more moderate in its religiosity.

    What is the cause of misery in Gaza? Israel. The siege, the constant drones and planes flying overhead, the bombings, the shootings, the lack of jobs and trade, the isolation and poverty, the lack of decent water. Israel, not Hamas.

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