52 thoughts on “Gaza: We’ve Heard from Barak, But Not Barack – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. i’m surprised at you. you know barack’s postion on gaza and hamas – he has articulated it many times. he supports israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism and rocket attacks. he calls it common sense. hamas is a sworn enemy of israel. they ended their cease fire thus inviting the current attacks designed to weaken them and to diminish the danger to israeli civilians. i’m for peace just as much as you are. but here in the face of active enemy attacks you need to do whatever it takes to weaken and eliminate the threats. to do this unfortunately israel must escalate its efforts in this area in the near term. unless of course hamas waves a white flag in which case israel will stop on a dime.

  2. Richard,

    Obama isn’t President yet. He did not condemn the raid. But all Axelrod said on the Sunday morning shows was that Obama understood “the urge” to retaliate. That’s it. Nothing more.

    And what more do you expect? That he’s gonna actually defend Hamas, which stupidly lobbed shells into a sovereign state?

    I am positive that Obama understands the context of shelling and the response, and that when he’s President he’ll do something about this. But give it time. He needs to take office first and consolidate power.

  3. @tzvee:

    i’m for peace just as much as you are

    Not true. If you were for peace as much as I am you would be calling for Israel to end the siege of Gaza alongside Hamas’ ending the rocket attacks. That is the ONLY solution that will work. When you come to that view, then you will be for peace as much as I am. Till then you are for peace on your & Israel’s terms, which will simply not work. Hamas is a legitimate political entity representing 1.5 million Gazans. It wouldn’t be my choice, but it’s theirs. Israel can simply do nothing to change that nor to force Hamas to accepts its terms. Period, full stop.

    I’m afraid anything else such as the arguments you propose are a waste of breath because they’re not based on reality (or I should say they’re based on reality as Israel sees it, which is not as it is).

  4. As I wrote today, “Barak’s war has become Barack’s war — unless he breaks his silence.”

    If Ehud Barak can stand in front of the Knesset and use Obama’s words in justifying a “war to the end,” then Obama only has two options. By staying silent he implicitly endorses Barak’s representation of his views. Alternatively, Obama can speak out and say, “this operation will not improve Israel’s security.”

    The excuse of only-one-president-at-a-time becomes flimsier by the minute and progressively more obscene as the body count rises. Obama’s silence is on the way to becoming the equivalent of Condoleezza Rice’s “birth pangs of the Middle East.”

    I’ve fleshed out my argument in greater detail here:
    http://warincontext.org/2008/12/29/editorial-silence-has-become-complicity/

  5. Because you say “Hamas is a legitimate political entity” I say you have no credibility. It is a terrorist organization that lobs rockets into shopping centers and schools and has no legitimacy in a civilized world. Period, full stop.

  6. tzvee,

    i suppose the israeli army is also a terrorist organization as well, for they have indisriminately bombed hundreds of civilians not with home-made crude rockets, but with massive and sophisticated weaponry and bombs designed to rip multitudes to shreds and heavy-handed strikes….over three hundred dead and counting, i just received a picture of children BLOWN TO BITS by the israeli army. richard has an unquestionable credibilty while you i’m sorry to say, may not have any humanity in you. if my government was doing the same to your people i would be outraged.

  7. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that..” B. Obama, 07/08

  8. “they have indisriminately bombed hundreds of civilians” no sir, you are speaking falsehoods when you say that. the israelis do whatever they can to avoid indiscriminate bombing. their aim is to weaken the capability of the enemy who’s policy is exactly that – indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets. so indiscriminate that on sunday hamas killed its own children – “GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A crude rocket fired by Palestinian militants fell short of its target in Israel on Friday, striking a house in the northern Gaza Strip and killing two schoolgirls.” perhaps sir that is the picture that you saw – gaza of children BLOWN TO BITS by hamas.

  9. richard, you know what Barack’s official stance has been on this question: “All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this. Gaza is governed by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction, and Israeli civilians are being bombarded by rockets on an almost daily basis. That is unacceptable and Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.” (letter of 1/22/08) don’t pretend like you don’t know what obama believes…

  10. If I were Obama I would not be quick to say anything in order to think more deeply on an effective response and a course of action. With the financial crisis he has been thinking long and hard enough to be more certain, but I do not get the senses that this issue has been a focus for him. Soon enough we will know his wisdom ( if any) and direction.

  11. tzvee, You are in complete denial as to what you said. Check this article out by Professor Ira Chernus http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/12/29-0 which appeared on the Commondreams website. The Israeli government has been starving the people in Gaza for a long time. From Chernus’ column: “About the same time, Israel cut off transport of food, medical supplies, and electricity to Gaza. “Food insecurity in Gaza currently runs at 56 percent and is deteriorating rapidly, 42 percent of the Strip’s population is unemployed and 76 percent is receiving humanitarian assistance (all UN figures).” “A million and a half human beings . live in the conditions of a giant jail.” “Why should Gazan citizens tolerate such a long and severe siege for so long?” When Barack Obama takes office, he will have to make settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute a top priority. Obama will have to put pressure on all sides including Israel. Hamas will have to be brought into the negotiations. I strongly believe that Obama will do this, because he knows very well that if he does not, that there will be an explosion that among other things will destroy his administration. Note that the Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismael Heneyah stated that Hamas recognizes Israel within the pre-June 1967 borders. Anyone who believes that Israel can continue the occupation and refuse to deal with the Palestinians, is living in a fantasy world.

    Walter

  12. a person claiming leadership of 1.5 million humans who professes to accept onto a 41 year old reality (1967 borders) as if it were today is the one who is living in a fantasy, no?

  13. “a person claiming leadership of 1.5 million humans who professes to accept onto a 41 year old reality (1967 borders) as if it were today is the one who is living in a fantasy, no?”

    Tzvee, For goodness sake, this can serve as a basis for negotiations! The point is that Israel with our government’s support has been accusing Hamas of NOT recognizing Israel’s right to exist, so I just made a point that this is false. BTW, Chernus who wrote the article happens to have family members in Israel, and many Israelis don’t agree with the current policy. It is you who lives in a fantasy world. By you nonsensical expressions, your views are bankrupt and you’re just throwing up straws.

  14. “a person claiming leadership of 1.5 million humans who professes to accept onto a 41 year old reality (1967 borders) as if it were today is the one who is living in a fantasy, no?”

    This attitude is why Palestinians may give up on the two state solution and go for “one man, one vote.”

  15. Donald said regarding Tzvee’s comments “This attitude is why Palestinians may give up on the two state solution and go for “one man, one vote.”

    If Israel is not willing to accept a two-state solution very soon and I’m not talking about swiss cheese, that is very well might happen. The Palestinian population is growing, and Israel cannot exist occupying and oppressing all of the Palestinians.

  16. @tzvee: Oh please Tzvee. For someone who clearly is quite intelligent it’s as if you’ve turned off yr intellect. Hamas’ attacks are “indiscriminate?” Who did Hamas kill or even injure during the most recent barrage (until yesterday)? A few Israelis suffered shock. I’m not arguing that the missile barrages were right or just. But you’ve got to use yr common sense. It is Israel who is being indiscriminate just as it was in Lebanon. It is Israelis who have killed 350 Gazans in revenge for Hamas attacks which until yesterday hadn’t killed anyone.

  17. @mia: But when Obama made that statement he wasn’t thinking that his children actually might not be in Sderot, but rather in Gaza. Then his children not only wouldn’t sleep at night, they wouldn’t get enough to eat and if they were hurt they couldn’t be treated adequately. I’d say you & the Obama who made that statement have insufficient empathy for Gaza’s children.

  18. @tzvee:

    I say you have no credibility

    Not only does yr analysis not have credibility it’s devoid of sense. Hamas is no more a terrorist organization than the IAF which has murdered 350 Gazans, most of whom have played no military role whatsoever. You’re morally blind I’m afraid to say, Tzvee.

    I’ve found you to be a person who has much sense on other issues. But I’m sorry to say that you seem to have turned off yr mind or common sense when it comes to this issue.

  19. @tzvee: 67 borders aren’t a fantasy. They’re actually the international consensus position for resolving the conflict. ANd in fact they will w. a few adjustments BE the final agreed upon borders. If you deny this I’m afraid it is you who are living a fantasy.

  20. richard, you want to go back 41 years – and that will resolve things? oy. the IAF is acting on sound intelligence, advanced military principles and is backed by diplomatic know how that supports a vibrant state. how do you have the unadulterated gaul to equate them with hamas and call them murderers? oy. no, you appear to have left this planet on this gaza chapter my good friend.

  21. tzvee said: “richard, you want to go back 41 years – and that will resolve things? oy. the IAF is acting on sound intelligence, advanced military principles and is backed by diplomatic know how that supports a vibrant state. how do you have the unadulterated gaul to equate them with hamas and call them murderers?”

    Tzvee, Let’s see. Israel kills more than 300 people to only 1 killed by the Palestinians, not to mention Israel’s barbaric treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza already mentioned. Oh, and I guess in your eyes it’s ok for Israel to bulldoze Palestinians homes and farms and build settlements for Jews including many from this country, to settle in. Well I say, not in my name! If there isn’t a just settlement to this dispute soon, I hope that Israel will cease to exist and I think that is what will happen if it is not settled. Also Tzvee, while I am a Jew I am a citizen of the world first, an American 2nd, and then a Jew. I care about ALL people, and not only Jewish people.

  22. Hamas has never recognized Israel’s right to exist. Personally I could care less if they do, but in fact they haven’t and have never said they would. Walter, if you have a link proving otherwise, I’d be happy to read it.

    Hamas has engaged a war on terror on Israeli civilians and I’m happy there were few casualties. I will not apologize that more Isrealis weren’t killed and will not wait for a Kassam to land in a kindergarten before acting.

    The majority of Gazans killed were not civilians. If you have proof otherwise I would be happy to read it. The UN counted about 50 civilians when the toll was 300.

    Now that the surprise is over more civilians might get harmed as the Hamas takes cover in the usual places.

  23. Amir said: “Hamas has never recognized Israel’s right to exist. Personally I could care less if they do, but in fact they haven’t and have never said they would. Walter, if you have a link proving otherwise, I’d be happy to read it.”

    Amir, Since you choose to wear blinders and not read, that’s what you will believe and you talk this nonsense. However here are some links to articles about Hamas recognizing Israel within the pre-June 1967 borders and their leaders also informed former President Jimmy Carter of this http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1035414.html AND http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/21/8429/
    AND http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0227/p07s02-wome.html However from what you just said, it doesn’t matter in your eyes if Hamas recognizes Israel. I guess that Israel is entitled to all of Palestine, and perhaps all of the land between the Nile and the Euphrates or whatever too. Well I got news for you! This country can no longer afford to provide unconditional support to Israel, while it bulldozes Palestinian homes and farms so that settlements can be built for Jewish religious fanatics from other countries including the U.S. settling in Palestine. As I said, I’m a citizen of the world first, an American 2nd, and then a Jew and I care about ALL people, and not only Jewish people.

  24. @tzvee:

    the IAF is acting on sound intelligence, advanced military principles…

    They were doing that too in Lebanon, weren’t they? All that sound intelligence killed over 1,000 Lebanese well over half of whom were civilians. In Gaza, at least 20% of those killed so far are civilians. And this of course assumes the IAF won’t make a huge blunder of the kind the IDF is known for & drop a bomb directly on a hospital, school or some other civilian refuge. YOu should know it’s only a matter of time before that happens. Remember Qana? So what will be Gaza’s Qana? Let’s see how many more days this outrage continues & we’ll discover what it is.

    how do you have the unadulterated gaul to equate them with hamas and call them murderers?

    375 Gazan dead/4 Israeli dead. That’s what gives me the “unmitigated gall” to equate the IDF with Hamas. What do YOU call killing innocent civlians? Collateral damage? I call it bloody murder whether it’s Israel or Hamas that does it.

    As for leaving the planet, my feet are firmly planted on it. Yours are planted in Israeli soil & it’s separated from your usual sense of empathy & compassion for yr fellow suffering humanity in Gaza.

  25. Hello Richard, I am glad you wrote this post, and I admire the way you have kept the discussion one about ethics and whether it is right to drop bombs over Gaza where there are obviously going to be many deaths (if they are policemen or civilians should make NO difference! Why would Israel want to eliminate policemen anyway?) Just look at the pictures that maybe aren’t circulating in the mainstream media of the children who have been slaughtered, the university and pharmacy that have been devastated, the mosque, the homes, the roads… Do we need to wonder if this is “disproportionate response” or if it is closer to pure terrorism?

    I think you hit the point on the head. With Obama saying nothing, he condones it. How could he do otherwise, we knew he would! He didn’t come out of some hidden place in his training, he was trained to uphold the special interests of the powerful in the USA, and that always means Israel and it’s powerful lobby and money.

    Also, questioning whether or not Israel has the right to exist, whether Hamas is a terrorist group and all of these things is almost at this point “silly”. What needs to be done now is to admit that there are serious war crimes being committed by Israel, which will not remain unculpable for eternity, and that the Arab masses (which is not a mob, but millions of humans who see this carnage and feel a righteous indignation and anger, as well as a threat to their very lives) will not forever stand on the sidelines and wait for it to end. Their leaders do that, but the people themselves will throw their leaders out if things like this continue, and then the USA will not be able to get the oil they covet for all the promises of “reconstruction” on heaven or earth.

  26. Amir said: “Walter – I read the Haaretz article and nowhere does it say that Hamas recognizes Israel.”

    Amir, I guess that you must have trouble reading. Perhaps you should read it again slower http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1035414.html This is the Headline: “Haniyeh: Hamas willing to accept Palestinian state with 1967 borders.” Here’s a quote from the article “Clare Short, who served in the cabinet of former British prime minister Tony Blair, asked Haniyeh to repeat his offer. He said the Hamas government had agreed to accept a Palestinian state that followed the 1967 borders and to offer Israel a long-term hudna, or truce, if Israel recognized the Palestinians’ national rights.”

  27. The quote from Obama reads:

    “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” he told reporters in Sderot, a small city on the edge of Gaza that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire. “And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

    then the Myers/Cooper report in the NYT goes on to say…..
    “Now, Mr. Obama’s presidency will begin facing the consequences of just such a counterattack, one of Israel’s deadliest against Palestinians in decades, presenting him with yet another foreign crisis to deal with the moment he steps into the White House on Jan. 20, even as he and his advisers have struggled mightily to focus on the country’s economic problems.”

    Others here have said that Obama thus gave the “green light” for this attack.

    Talk about wisdom and nonsense….. Obama said what he said: “I am going to do everything in my power to stop that”. So how does this somehow mean a green light for this attack? We know that Obama is FOR talking to your enemies right? Does “everything in my power to stop this” mean getting out the guns and bombs? If Obama means this then we once again elected the wrong person. I prefer to think that he was deliberately neutral and the sentiment was one of solidarity with those who were terrorized by the rockets AND it was during the campaign. We have yet to see what Obama’s idea is of how to stop this. And he is totally correct in not even saying something like ” this will not bring peace or security to Israel”. He is not in office yet and should not interfere with foreign policy in the last days of Bush.

    As far as Barack making use of this quote- of course it is despicable, and if I were Obama I would say something regarding using that quote. I think that would be fair and not crossing the line.

  28. Obama is turning out to be a routine US politician; why are you surprised?

    Bush et al. are hoping for the Rapture.

    Zhu Bajie

  29. Tzvee: “the israelis do whatever they can to avoid indiscriminate bombing.”

    Reality: “A couple of months ago, journalist Amos Harel quoted an article of a leading military figure regarding Israel’s next war policy, be it in Lebanon, Syria, or Gaza: “Using power without any proportion to the enemy’s threat and actions, in order to damage and punish to an extent that would require long and expensive rehabilitation processes.” Another Israeli general explained that villages from which shots are fired will be devastated; “we consider them as military bases” (Ha’aretz, Oct. 5; the names of the two generals – for The Hague’s ICC – are Gaby Siboni and Gadi Eisenkot). Once the war started, Maj.-Gen. (Reserve) Giora Island – former head of the National Security Council – spelled it all out on television, without a shade of shame: Israel should not confine its attacks to military facilities, he said, but must hit civilian targets as well. The damage to the civil population should be maximized, because the worse the humanitarian crisis is, the better and the sooner the operation would end. It’s the same major-general, by the way, who just a year ago caused outrage by urging the Israeli government to negotiate directly with Hamas. Do not to look for consistency, integrity, or intelligence where war criminals are involved.”
    http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/?articleid=13970

    Compared with nearly 400 dead and around 1700 injured in only 4 days, the latter is being executed. If the IAF really trys to “avoid indiscriminate bombing” it copes with this job pretty poorly.

  30. There’s really nothing worse than a self-hating Jew( and that’s the mentality of some the posters to this blog, based on their comments)
    Those that would attempt to deny Israel the right to defend itself are not living in reality. If you want to be a martyr do so with your own life and the lives of your own loved ones, but don’t ask Israel to cower in order to appease those that won’t be satisfied until all Jews are driven into the Dead Sea.

  31. @len: Who’s claiming Israel has no right to defend itself. This is a chimera you’ve invented. Israel has a right to defend itself. But the pt is that Israel would not HAVE TO defend itself if it lifted the Gaza siege & allowed the enclave to be free of the suffocating blockade.

    I’m disappointed at the quality of the hasbaraniks. If anything, their comments are of even lower quality than when there’s no war happening. Perhaps that’s a sign of the inferior quality of the new recruits who come to the fold only during military crises like this one. Really, folks can’t you do better than that old saw “they won’t be happy till all Jews are pushed into the Dead Sea.” That goes back to 1967 you realize, don’t you? What about something a little fresher & original fr. the hasbara crowd?

  32. Amir wrote: “Walter, accepting a Palestinian state is not the same as recognizing a Jewish one.”

    Amir, You’re just talking and not reading. Read this article. If the link doesn’t work here, copy and paste it into your web browser http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Farticle%2F2006%2F02%2F24%2FAR2006022402317_pf.html&ei=sR9fSaKmO5KasAPB-t2ZDQ&usg=AFQjCNGV4IFEZjORZtHNMigArBSzVNPd6w&sig2=DgPlr9gEn1bBeTonA6qf6w Haniyeh will agree to a Jewish and Palestinian state. I will say that as has been said before here, if Israel with U.S. support insists on continuing the occupation and oppression and is not willing to settle this dispute, then it won’t be long when the Palestinians will insist on a one-state solution as opposed to a two-state one. Israel cannot exist much longer being an occupier, as there will be more Palestinians than Israelis.

  33. len wrote: “There’s really nothing worse than a self-hating Jew( and that’s the mentality of some the posters to this blog, based on their comments)”

    len, you have a ghetto mentality. I agree with what Richard said, and I also want to add that the words that you use “self-hating Jews” as well as those Jews who refer to people who disagree with our government’s UNCONDITIONAL support for Israel with its occupation and oppression of the Palestinians, as “anti-semitic.” This is a ghetto mentality, and these phrases are meant to SILENCE people, and no we will not be silent! As Jews have been oppressed over the centuries, it is wrong when Jews act as oppressors and we must stand up against oppression everywhere.

  34. Walter, I read that article and it says that Israel should withdraw to the 67 border and then Hamas will think about it. Even in the article you linked to Haniyeh was retracting his statements “Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza Sunday that he “did not tackle the issue of recognizing [Israel] in my interview with the Washington Post.” Rather, he restated the Hamas position that was outlined by the group’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and which other senior members of the organization have repeated in the weeks since the group’s surprise victory on Jan. 25: If Israel withdraws from land it captured in the 1967 war to make way for a Palestinian state and allows Palestinian refugees to return, Hamas would consider a long-term truce, or hudna.”

  35. barry obama’s silence should clue you in on where his administration will stand.

    the Palestinians elected Hamas(a terrorist organization). Hamas has proven time and again their goal is the death of the Jewish state.
    If the Palestinians want to live in peace in the future they would do themselves a favor to elect leaders whom have peaceful intentions at heart.

    Why is that Israel turned a desert into a lush, viable land for its people while much of the middle east is totalitarian and hate filled? why is it that Arab states will not allow Palestinians to emigrate?

    it’s a peculiar thing that the world is Not outraged when Hamas continually breaks the cease fire, yet the world is outraged when Israel finally begins to defend itself with some intensity.

    Who was it that said “There will be peace in Israel when the Palestinians LOVE their children MORE than they HATE the Jews” (?) I a can’t remember who said that, but obviously it hasn’t happened yet.

  36. @amir: No, Hamas hasn’t said it would “think about” peace with Israel. Whatever reporter wrote the text you quote above got it wrong. Numberous sources have reported Hamas statements verbatim that it flat out would institute a long term (decades long) ceasefire in return for withdrawal.

    And this is what it’s said publicly without any negotiations. Parties always concede issues when there are serious negotiations. I believe Hamas would further soften its position if Israel were willing to engage in serious negotiations with Hamas, which it has so far refused to do.

  37. @len:

    barry obama

    THanks for showing your racist neocon colors by using the same tired stupid insults Republicans attempted to use (& failed) during the election campaign. If you think my comment threads are a place to rehash this crap you’re mistaken. Call our future president by his proper name or go peddle your trash somewhere else.

    Hamas has proven time and again their goal is the death of the Jewish state.
    If the Palestinians want to live in peace in the future they would do themselves a favor to elect leaders whom have peaceful intentions at heart.

    Taken right out of the hasbara handbook. Hamas leaders have consistenly offered Israel a long term end of hostilities in return for 1967 borders. Doesn’t sound like “death of the Jewish state” to me. Where have you been reading these things? Frontpagemagazine, Maariv & Jpost?

    much of the middle east is totalitarian and hate filled?

    Your comment contains unfounded out & out racism. This is unacceptable in this blog (read the comment rules). If you want to use overbroad generalizations & stereotypes you should find somewhere else to do so. Your next comment violation will result in losing yr privileges.

    why is it that Arab states will not allow Palestinians to emigrate?

    Why is it that Israel will not allow Gazans to emigrate? And besides, the solution is not for Palestinians to emigrate unless you favor transfer (do you?). THe solution is for there to be peace & 2 states living in peace.

  38. Question Richard: Why , in your opinion, doesn’t the Hamas just say they are interested in a two state solution with Israel and Palestine side by side? Why do they say that they will only grant israel a Hudna in return for Israel withdrawing to ’67 border?

  39. richard,

    me racist? no dear, i’m black myself and a woman and proud of it, thank you. nothing i stated was racist, but liberals are infamous for throwing the rrrrrrracist card around when they hear or see something that’s not pc enough for them to digest. sorry, i don’t share your diversified sensibilities(nor do i want to) and i will call barry whatever i chose.

    best to you.

  40. @len:

    i’m black myself and a woman and proud of it

    You’re about as much a black and a woman as my grandpa was the pope himself. When you state such patently false things it makes you look like an utter fraud & charlatan, which indeed you must be.

    Thanks for resigning yr privileges as well. This site is clearly not racist enough for you but I can recommend many where you’d be more comfortable.

  41. @amir: Let me throw it back at you: why doesn’t Israel state clearly that it is willing to negotiate with Hamas or that it is willing to accept Hamas as a legitimate political party for the Palestinians as long as it renounces terror, etc.???

    You can’t place the onus all on Hamas. There are 2 equally stubborn parties here.

    For Hamas, the only really valuable card it has is recognition. Why play the card even before there are serious negotiations? When a negotiating party has only a single card to play they save it for the dramatic moment in the negotiation & then they play the card as long as they feel they will gain something by playing it. In other words, I’m relatively sure if Israel were to negotiate in good faith with Hamas on comprehensive issues that Hamas would either be willing to recognize Israel or accept enough security guarantees that Israel could feel it would be safe even w/o such recognition. But Israel will never know this because it refuses to enter into such negotiations.

  42. Do you even know where the middle east is, because you obviously dont know anything that were doing there or the recent history of that area. The only thing i think you understand about the middle east is that “bad stuff happens there”, i would go further but by the list of comments it looks like its all been said before.

    1. A very slick comment fella. Fully of substantive ideas that are terribly hard to refute. Regarding whether “it’s all been said before”…I wouldn’t know since you didn’t “say” anything except snark.

  43. Israel has already accepted a two-state solution at the Annapolis conference. By accepting a two-state solution Hamas is not giving up any cards. If you go into negotiatins, you should know what the goal of negotiatins are. Hamas has said if Israel withdraws to ’67 borders they will offer a long term Hudna, this is nothing but a mockery. “land for hudna” is a non-starter.

    1. If you go into negotiatins [sic], you should know what the goal of negotiatins [sic] are

      That’s saying nothing. If you go into negotiations you know where you’d like to end up, but you don’t know how you’ll get there & you don’t have certainty you’ll get there; & both parties know that neither will end up precisely where IT would like to be. That’s why neither side reveals fully what it’s willing to give up BEFORE neogiations begin. That in effect concedes to the other party what you’re holding in reserve in order to seal a deal.

      Haven’t you ever bargained in a shouk?? Do you tell the seller what the absolute highest price you’ll pay is BEFORE you begin haggling?

  44. When you haggle at the market you know what the goal is: to buy a shirt, for example, and you haggle over the price. The seller doesn’t start off by saying: pay the full price for the shirt and I’ll lend it to you “for a really long time.”
    At the very least Hamas should honor, at least in principle, agreement reached by Fatah before them.

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