67 thoughts on “Hamas’ Meshal Offers New Pragmatism, Renounces Violence (For Now) – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I find the insistence of the heirs of George Washington and David Ben-Gurion that the Palestinians must “renounce violence” amusing, if ridiculous.

    1. Did the heirs of Washington and Ben-Gurion and just themselves have suicide bombers, screaming ‘Allah Akbar’?

      1. Major comment rule violation. One nickname, period. If you assume more than one identity you will be banned. Pick one ID & use it & it alone.

        Suicide bombing is completely off topic. Besides there isn’t even an argument here. It’s entirely propaganda.

        1. “Suicide bombing is completely off topic”
          I think that committing suicide by the name of God and praising it has a lot to do with your ‘fight for freedom’.
          Is it always propaganda when it clashes with your views?
          Or do you fail to see anyone’s point that differs from yours?
          Don’t you think those ways just make Muslims look terrible?

          1. Hamas hasn’t sent suicide bombers in years. THis post was not about suicide bombing. In fact, quite the opposite, it was about Hamas’ turn against violent resistance. So suicide bombing if off topic. You can say whatever you like about my logic or reasoning but them’s the rules ’round here. Don’t like ’em? Sorry, but that’s too bad.

      2. No, we have the infinitely more civilized way of killing others without risking, let alone sacrificing, or own lives.

    2. Pretty sure religion wasn’t the most important thing in defining the US.
      On David Ben-Gurion we can argue for hours.

    3. There’s also the little problem that Susan Rice (Obama’s ambassador to the UN) said the US saw no evidence Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza. link There’s no reason any Palestinian should take US sermonizing seriously.

      (That said, I don’t think the Palestinians should use violence. But Americans in general are not in a position to lecture them.)

    4. @Bill, it rather less than amusing if you realize that the insistence that they “renounce violence” is only part of the thought. You need to factor in the unstated, but very real alternative, which is that if they don’t they’ll continue to have violence returned to them many times over and they’ll continue to live in misery.

      1. We seem to forget that if “they” live in misery & face constant violence from the IDF that in turn all of southern Israel will share in the pain & misery. So who wins here? Can Israel force its will on Gaza forever & not pay an awful price for it? Do you want 1 million Israelis living in virtually constant fear of rocket attacks? Is that any way to live? Bring up children? Wouldn’t a renunciation of violence on BOTH SIDES be a whole lot better than the current mess?

        1. of course the end to both sides’ violence would be immeasurably, Richard, and both sides it must be.
          until Hamas proves that it will cease, and they’re starting to SOUND as though they’re questioning their previously consistent full-throated commitment to the use of violence, it’s way too soon to credit them.

          let’s hope for the best.

          1. Israel has just as much if not more to prove regarding ending violence. Israel has broken as many or more ceasefires than Hamas and killed far more civilians than Hamas has. So I think both sides have something to prove.

  2. Hey, Richard, any reason for dropping my comment (plus one other) to this post? Both earlier appeared before the one above. Banned without warning? Hmmm. I know we disagree about a lot of things, but if I remember it, there was nothing untoward worth censoring.

  3. you guys are all wrong,why not give peace a chance?even that the israelis do not want peace,lets give a try

  4. So which Mashel has more credibility ? the one who gave an interview to the WSJ or the one that Gave an interview today to Reuters in which he stated:
    “What is needed today … is to have resistance in all forms, armed and public ones,” he said adding that he intends to try to persuade Fatah to adopt his approach to force Israel to end its occupation. “Any occupier in the world never retreats voluntarily … It only retreats under pressure and force.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/08/us-hamas-khaled-meshaal-interview-idUSTRE74725S20110508

    Palestinians always spoke in two voices, one thing was stated in Arabic, and another was stated in English. seems to me that now they are speaking in 3.

    1. Frankly, I find Hamas more consistent than Bibi, who is basically all force all the time. Bibi doesn’t talk about of both sides of his mouth, he talks out of 3 or even 4.

      I don’t find this much of a contradiction to the previous interview. Meshal is saying that Hamas reserves the right to use force to pressure Israel to end the Occupation if non violence doesn’t work.

      You also neglected to quote another important pragmatic development in Meshal’s position. He said that he would be willing to see Hamas recognize Israel after Israel recognizes a Palestinian state. That’s a position that is new if I’m not mistaken.

      1. You are spinning what Mashel said.
        and to prevent any misunderstanding by your readers, this is what he stated:
        “Meshaal told Reuters in an interview that the issue of Palestinian recognition of Israel could only be addressed after an independent state was set up in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

        That doesn’t mean they are willing to recognize the state of Israel, it means that they want the state of Israel to recognize them and then they will see.

        1. Yes, & it’s an opening public bargaining position which may moderate even further if Israel & the U.S. would actually include them in negotiations & respect them as the new Egyptian gov’t has done, to positive effect.

          1. I think it would be a great equalizer if both sides recognized the other’s right to exist as a starting point.

            Once Israel AND Hamas/Fatah (will they come out with a joint new name?) honors each others right to exist, then you can begin to discuss other issues such as borders etc.

            There is so much rhetoric going on by both sides and various “representatives” from both sides, it is sometimes hard to understand just what Israel “really” wants and what the Palestinians “really” want.

            So let’s start with the basics, even before trying to establish a border line (1967 or any other time).

            Have Israel’s PM say ” Israel agrees and respects the right of the Palestinians to have a state of their own”, and have the Hamas/Fatah group say ” The Palestinian Authority/Hamas agrees and respects the right of the Israelis to have a state of their own”.

            No other preconditions… that statement ALONE.

            In my eyes it is a “baby step” that will lead to larger and more meaningful steps by both sides.

          2. I think it would be a great equalizer if both sides recognized the other’s right to exist as a starting point.

            Fatah has done so. Hamas hasn’t. But there’s no reason this should be a condition of talks which is what Israel & the world community are saying so far.

            No other preconditions… that statement ALONE.

            That is a preconditon & there’s no reason for any preconditions.

            It’s a baby step for you because you may already agree to recognize a Palestinian state. But it’s not a baby step for Hamas, nor is it critical to the overall success of negotiations. Recognition would be the end result of negotiations but there is no reason it needs to be a precondition for them.

          3. Excuse me, i didn’t read a statement by Mr. Meshaal or Mr. Abu-Marzuk hence you are speaking on behalf of Richard Silverstein’s opinion.
            as i read (actually i think i have seen it on Zinor Layla) your background is with raising funds for Jewish non profits and not with international diplomacy, So your spin of Meshaal statement really has no grip in reality,
            if Hamas really wants to be treated with respect by the US and Europe, Hamas should accept the Quartet conditions.
            unfortunately i do not see it happening any time soon.
            You are letting your imagination run wild.

          4. You don’t know anything about my background. I’ve been a non profit fundraiser in the past. But for the past 8 yrs I’ve written a blog which a good number of people have come to see as a source a information & opinion on this subject. So don’t talk to me about my grip on reality.

            If Israel wants to be treated with respect it too should respect the Quartet conditions & renounce violence against the Palestinians & recognize their right to a State and respect past international agreements it has signed–none of which it has done.

          5. @ David
            All israeli PM since Rabin (including Bibi) recognized the right of the Palestinian state to exist.
            this is what bibi stated in his Bar Ilan speech
            “But, friends, we must state the whole truth here. The truth is that in the area of our homeland, in the heart of our Jewish Homeland, now lives a large population of Palestinians. We do not want to rule over them. We do not want to run their lives. We do not want to force our flag and our culture on them. In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor’s security and existence.”

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/full-text-of-netanyahu-s-foreign-policy-speech-at-bar-ilan-1.277922

          6. Bibi SAYS he recognizes a right to a Palestinian state but meanwhile makes war on the Palestinians & does nothing to realize what he claims to believe. He’s a fraud & a liar & anyone here or anywhere who tries to peddle the nonsense that Bibi is a peacemaker or supports such a state is either living in a fantasy world or a liar.

            Besides, Bibi”s statement above could be interpreted as wished to expel Israeli Palestinians to this new state, which is a view he’s expressed before in his career. And btw, Israel is the one threatening its Palestinian neighbor’s existence far more than the other way around.

          7. On the “right to exist”
            A long, dense and very interesting article by Joseph Massad, a Palestinian Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics at Columbia University.

            Massad states that “in international law, countries are recognized as existing de facto and de jure, but there is no notion that any country has a “right to exist”, let alone that other countries should recognize such a right”.
            http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/20115684218533873.html

          8. @ Hala
            “All Israeli PM since Rabin (including Bibi) have recognized the right of the Palestinian state to exist”

            Wow, as soon as one is banned, a new Hasbara-spinner is landing in Richard’s backyard.
            You’re really wasting your time: nobody here is that ignorant.

            PS. And you’re not fooling anyone with your Arab pen name !

          9. @ Deïr Yassin
            Nice to meet you to.
            I am not trying to fool anyone, Hala is my name since the day i was born.
            I do not really understand why you claim that bringing a quote from Bibi’s speech is considered propaganda.

            His words were quoted by haaretz, are you claiming Bibi didn’t state what i quoted, and haaretz fabricated his statement ?

            Is this empty claim is the level of debate this site is pride itself on ?

          10. I’m claiming the fabrication was on Bibi’s part, not Haaretz’s. Any Israeli leader can say anything he wants. Words clearly mean nothing to them since they do just the opposite anyway. Actions are what counts & BIbi’s actions show us the true Bibi.

          11. @ Richard
            The fact that you are writing a blog, and many people read what you write doesn’t make you an expert on the subject, it makes you a blog writer.
            correct me if i am wrong but you have no background in international Studies, nor in Islamic culture, you did spend approximately 2 years in Israel almost 41 years ago – so you are not an expert on Israeli culture as well.
            You have a vision and that is great but you are bending reality to fit your vision, look at what you wrote above about Meshaal statement. it’s great that you are so optimistic, yet as an american if you are wrong about Hamas, you will not pay the price as you live in the US. i’m not saying that your opinion doesn’t count just that you have a lot less to loose.

          12. This is about the 40th time we’ve gone over this arid, ridiculous terrain. I began to respond but I’m not going to. My expertise speaks for itself & needs no justification, defense or explanation. If you don’t think I have anything to offer you know where the exit is. There are hundreds of thousands of visitors here in any give yr who think differently.

            And if you are wrong about Israel then you will not pay the price either as you live in Israel. Your neighbors will all bear that price. And you too have a lot less to lose.

          13. Your ending sentence: “And if you are wrong about Israel then you will not pay the price either as you live in Israel. Your neighbors will all bear that price. And you too have a lot less to lose.”

            isn’t a coherent sentence, could you please explain ? i thought the people of Sderot pay a hefty price during the last 6 years, for well… just living there, and yet You support experimenting with Hamas some more.
            Don’t get me wrong i am a firm believer that you negotiate with your enemies and not with your friends, but your enemies need to recognize you have the right for a safe existence before the negotiations starts. That’s exactly what Sadat did by arriving to Jerusalem. There is no one courageous enough within Hamas for a similar act.

          14. Yes, Sderot pays a price. But if Israel continues its rampages as it did in Lebanon & Gaza (as it surely will) the frontline states will bear a far heavier cost in human life than anyone anywhere in Israel will. That is unless Bibi goes completely off the deep end & attacks Iran, which in turn unleashes its own rocket supply on Israel. Then all bets are off.

          15. Iמ September 11 2005, Israel withdrew it’s last soldier from the Gaza strip.
            in the year 2005 179 Qassam Rockets & 238 Mortar shells were fired from Gaza (not by UFO’s) onto southern Israel (mostly around Sderot)in the year 2006 946 Qassam and 229 Mortar’s were fired onto souther israel (mostly Sderot), in the year 2007: 783 Qassam & 640 Mortars (http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%A1%D7%90%D7%9D) let’s not include 2008, at the end of 2008 israel conducted operation cast lead, after 1908 Qassam rockets & 1107 Mortars – and you call it rampage ?

          16. My God, this is what feels like the 800th time a hasbarist has come with this nonsensical meme. First, I’m not nearly prepared to accept whatever numbers you offer esp. since they’re from Hebrew Wikipedia, which has a decidedly right wing slant in some political articles. But even if we do accept those numbers, what they neglect is the fact that in many of these cases it was ISRAEL that broke the ceasefire to which Hamas and other militant groups responded by firing rockets. Further, many of those rockets were not fired by Hamas, but by other militant groups.

            This argument you’ve raised is a sham. We’ve had it here before. I will quickly lose patience if you continue attempting to raise hasbarist shibboleths here. What an utter waste of time. Not to mention that Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel (except in very limited numbers) since Cast Lead.

          17. Richard,
            the only sham (and shame) around here, is the fact that you dismiss every piece of information given by the people you debate with as Hasbara, Not Credibale etc.
            This is not a real debate, this is Propaganda, you are much better then the Pravda in its glory days.
            why can’t you deal with substance ?

  5. There was no “reply” below the comment, so for Deir Yassin…

    Okay, what terminology or verbage do you suggest
    can be that “point of origin” between
    israel and the Palestinians to start a dialogue and build some form of common ground.

    The idea i was trying to express is that to even get these two entities to a table of negotiation the both have to back up to a beginning statement where they both can agree on something and then move forward.

    So if equal recognition of the other’s right to exist isn’t that… any idea wht might work?

        1. I don’t give a frig about a settlement freeze. I want a peace agreement NOW. If there is one in 6 months who cares about a settlement freeze. But if an agreement is going to take a yr or more, then hell yes a settlement freeze is in order.

          1. So you are in favor of preconditions. You are trying to hold both ends of the stick.
            so what is is that you support.
            and besides, you think anyone cares what You want ? it’s not about You, it’s about Israeli’s an Palestinians living in the land, working, raising families etc. it’s not about some ideological zealot from the other side of the world.

          2. No, & if you persist in mauling my words & ideas I’ll quickly lose patience with you. Read it again. I said if a quick peace agreement can be reached there is no need for any preconditions, but if it will take a longer period of time then I think a settlement freeze is warranted because Israel gobbles up Palestinian land on a massive scale.

            you think anyone cares what You want ?

            Yes, in fact I think a lot of people care what I think though clearly not you. Even a lot of Israelis care about what I think about the issues because my blog is ranking around 7,000 of all Israeli blogs in Alexa rankings. So I’m sorry to disappoint you (who came here to visit this irrelevant, presumptuous blog with no impact on anyone), but I have impact & will continue to do so.

          3. You expect Israel to freeze the settlements, but you won’t even demand the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist.

            What?

          4. @ Shai)
            There is no such thing a ‘the right to exist’ in international law. If you read the article by Joseph Massad that I ‘ve posted further up the file or the interview with Norman Finkelstein further down. International law has not been created to serve the state of Israel, though I sometimes get the impression that most Israelis think so.
            Israel exists de facto, that’s it.

          5. Richard, when you say no precondition only IF negotiation etc. then preconditions will be implemented, then you favor preconditions. This is logic 101 it has nothing to do with opinion or debate. and this is why i said you hold both ends of the stick.

            As for your ranking,
            your ranking is a bit higher in israel – 2335, but with comparison to other news sites, and other forums like Rotter (53) Fresh (285) and of course the main news sites, you are no where near them to be found.

            besides those numbers are meaningless, the real numbers are the numbers of unique daily visitors, from Israel, which only you know.

    1. @ David)
      The UN declared Kosovo an independant state without direct negociations between the Serbs and the Albanian Kosovar.
      If the UN General Assembly and later the Security Council recognize an independant Palestinian state based on the ’67-borders, Israelis and Palestinians don’t have to negociate.
      The Israelis are never going to do anything if they aren’t obliged by the international community, so there’s no need for the Palestinian Authority to continue making fools out of themselves.

      Here an great interview with Norman Finkelstein on the Danish national television where he’s talking about Hamas’s refusal of recognizing the State of Israel. He mentions Gandhi’s refusal of recognizing Pakistan too.
      After in introduction in Danish, English from 00:40 min. On the recognition 3:00min:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6x0S7lCIWA
      Personnally I’m not a partisan of the Two State-solution, and never has been. I think, like many Palestinians, that the political agenda should be switched to claiming equal rights in a de facto One State.
      PS. I know the article by Massad is long, but it’s really worth it.

      1. Massad’s article is long and you may find it to be of interest, but it’s pure crap in regard to the point of recognizing Israel’s right to exist. The idea behind the demand is to secure an unequivocal expression of renunciation of a war aimed at wiping out Israel.

        (comment #3 of the day, Richard)

        1. Again, when Israel renounces the use of force against Palestinians & recognizes 1967 borders I think that is when it can legitimately demand that Hamas do the same thing. Why should any Palestinian group be compelled to recognize Israel’s right to exist when Israel still has done absolutely nothing of any practical value to show it recognizes Palestine’s right to exit??

          1. What utter nonsense, Israel recognized the right of the Palestinian state to exist, in the Oslo accord.
            second, forcing all the settlers out of the Gaza strip, was a step of a great practical value. unfortunately it was answered democratically by Qasam Rockets, and Mortar Shells.

          2. As far as I’m concerned Bibi & his govt DO NOT recognize the right of a Palestinian state to exist. They have done nothing besides miuthing platitudes on that score. Actions not words. There have been no actions only words. Words are cheap, actions aren’t.

          3. According to the information Deir Yassin mentions above there is no need, by international law, for Israel to express the right for a State of Palestine to exist. I disagree and think both sides should do so.

            Be that as it may, I like to go back a bit in time to 1947-8.

            It was claimed above that Hamas/Fatach De Facto recognize Israel by making their claim to a Palestinian State based on 1967 borders… Once the British Mandate ended in 1948, The Jewish Provisional Government of Israel at that time declared acceptance of the UN Partion of Palestine (res. 181) and a formation of the State of israel according to that resolution (and boundries). By the above logic, they then De Facto showed their agreement and recognition of a Palestinian State?

            If not, then why would someone assume Hamas/Fatah wold De Facto recognize the State of Israel just because H/F claim a state based on a 1967 border?

          4. Here is a list of few statements by Hamas from Today

            Hamas: Recognizing Israel jeopardizes rights
            “Hamas will accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, but will maintain its refusal to recognize Israel, party leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar said Wednesday”

            “Az-Zahhar also said, however, that a formal recognition of Israel would “cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands”

            the paragraph above means : even if Israel would withdraw from the west bank, and a Palestinian state is to be created, this is not the end of the conflict, and not the end of demands.

            “At the same time, the Hamas leader confirmed the decision reached with Fatah to maintain the truce with Israel, calling the move “part of the resistance, not a cancellation,” and noting that “truce is not peace.””

            So….Azahar said it itself, and under the current provisions and stipulations noted by Hamas, i wouldn’t even negotiate with them.

            Seems that the US congress is thinking in similar terms and puts pressure on the president to cu aid to the Palestinian authority.
            http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/ss_terror0560_05_10.asp

            P.S
            Az-Azahhar quotes was taken from Maan News, and i hope Richard, that you do not consider Maan as an Hasbara/ propaganda site.

            http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=386651

          5. @ David
            “The Jewish Provisional Government if Israel …delared acceptance of the UN Partition of Palestine (res 181) and a formation of the State of Israel according to that resolution and boundaries”
            You are aware that the ’67-borders anr not the ones defined by the 181, aren’t you ? And that at least 800.000 Palestinians were expulsed or prevented from returning home, aren’t you ? And that the equality of all citizens, no matter their religious and ethnic origin, demanded in the 181 too, is NOT respected in Israel, aren’t you ?

  6. @DY-
    Yes, I am well aware of the borders for Israel based on the UN Resolution 181, and the final borders set up in 1948 after the War of Independence due to the Arab League and Palestinian leaders not accepting that resolution who tried to destroy the nacent state. I know the 1967 borders which were created after the Six Day War- which was a response once again to Arab troop build-up and aggression.

    The difference between the actual borders has nothing to do with my comment… Do YOU realize you did not respond to my comment?

    I simply pointed out that by declaring statehood based on a resolution with defined borders means de facto that Israel recognized a Palestinian State.

    As to your issue with the refugees I don’t agree that was as simple or as plain as you’re “Palestinain Hasbara” spin is trying to claim. So yes I know about it and NO I DON”T agree with your claim.

    As to the religious freedom and rights of citizens in Israel… I admit as in EVERY country, there are improvements to be made in social justice. Which, by the way is one of the reasons I view Richards blog… I agree it is important to critically look at a country’s short-comings and do battle for justice. Though I don’t agree with many of his political comments- some of his social justice issues are points that need addressing.

    Yet beside the “glass half empty” approach, I see great freedom of expression, an open social society and freedom of religion for ALL faiths. Israel’s issues with the Palestinians is political, not religious…

    Has a Christian, Muslim or Jew ever been denied the RIGHT to pray… it may happen and I’d see it as the exception NOT the rule. Actually, one exception I know is the rights of Jews visiting the Temple Mount- they cannot even move their lips in prayer and are followed around being ever-so-carefully watched by an Muslim attendant.

    I will take Israel’s level of religious and social freedom, even with the improvemetns it needs- over places such as Saudia Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lybia, Afghanistan AND the Palestinian Authority ANY day of the year.

    1. @ David)
      The resolution 181 was voted by the General Assembly – and NOT the Security Council – and it was thus a mere recommandation. This topic of the 7, 17 or 27 Arab
      armies has been discussed here hundreds of times, and I really don’t want to repeat what has been written. Why don’t you read some of the New Historians ? Avi Shlaim is the best on the ’48 war itself. He’s been a professor at Oxford for decades.

      The rest of your comment is just plain Hasbara:
      > Israel is a better place to live than Saudi Arabia or Syria. Well, they don’t claim to be Western democracies
      > The religious freedom: do you know how many thousand Christian Palestinians were denied entrance to Jerusalem during Easter ? Do you think they ever get the right to enter Israel properly to pray in, let’s say, Nazareth ?

      Why don’t you google dicrimination+Arabs+Israel ?

      1. DY Thanks for your suggestion. Good to learn new things. I was unaware of some of these issues.

        I’d suggest YOU google iscrimination+Christians+Palestine.

        I came up with this interesting (and certainly NOT pro-Israel) article:

        http://www.thehumanrightsblog.com/?p=290

        I discovered that in some cases israeli Christian Arabs have difficulty in freedom of movement and accessing some religious sites. This is due to their location and the wall that has been built. Their suffering is political and georaphical… though not pleasant. NOT religious persecution.

        While in the Palestinian territories… the Palestinian Christian fairs far worse and has direct RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION at the hands of their Muslim “brothers”. Beatings, harassment and intimidation are not uncommon.

        Both situations need to be addressed. I would want to better understand the issue of freedom of movement. Is it reallly attributed to security issues and safety only. If there is an element of discrimination, yes I am opposed to that.

        In the Palestinian case against Christians…. there is no question..it is much clearer… purely Hama-style(not my words… see the article) religious discrimination at work.

        1. Gisha is THE Israeli NGO dedicated to the issue of freedom of movement. I’ve linked to their site here & you can Google it to find their website or locate it through a quick external Google search. They’re a great NGO.

    2. the Six Day War- which was a response once again to Arab troop build-up and aggression.

      Why the hell are we fighting the 1967 war again? Listen people, I’ve written this comment what feels like 500 times. Stay on topic. We’re not fighting the 6 Day War here. If you want or need to do that go elsewhere. Stay on topic.

      the Six Day War- which was a response once again to Arab troop build-up and aggression.

      You mean Israel’s aggressive, pre-emptive attack on Egypt was justified because a crazy Arab leader threatened war. I don’t believe you’re correct about an Arab troop buildup & at any rate, even if you are the Israeli build up was far more intensive since it actually intended to start a war & the other Arab states didn’t (though a few may’ve talked as if they did).

      de facto that Israel recognized a Palestinian State.

      Look. YOu may think an idea you’ve come up w. is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But trust us, it ain’t. When Israel declared itself a state in 1948 it didn’t say a word about recognizing a Palestinian state & it did NOT.

      I admit as in EVERY country, there are improvements to be made in social justice

      Israel isn’t “every country.” Israel is beset with its own unique set of sins & flaws which it has done very little to address beginning with the Original Sin of Nakba. Israel faces obstacles to becoming a normal democratic state. Pretending it faces the avg. garden variety problems faced by any western democratic country is burying yr head in the sand.

      I see great freedom of expression, an open social society and freedom of religion for ALL faiths

      I think you mean you see freedom of expression for Jews, an open society for Jews (only some btw) and freedom of religion for Jews (only Orthodox ones btw). If you consider Israeli Palestinians in this mix they enjoy none of these so-called freedoms.

      Has a Christian, Muslim or Jew ever been denied the RIGHT to pray

      Just wait till you see what happens to an Israeli Palestinian refugee who attempts to return to his village mosque to pray after it was destroyed in 1948. Just see what would happen if such a person attempt to restore such a mosque. Freedom of religion is a very relative concept inside Israel.

    1. Aha, so you try to post this anti-Muslim shit on the sly. I’m not sure Richard appreciates that you’re using his blog to spread “Obsession” and I know for sure that he’s not fond of the Clarion Fund.

    2. Oh Lord. We’ve got another live one. I’ve got news for ya buster. We’re inoculated here against anti Muslim rants like this one. And read my comment rules. If you try to promote anti Muslim propaganda here again you’ll be gone. Pronto.

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