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Total number of comments: 187 (since 2011-08-12 11:15:59)

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  • Historical evidence does not support Zionist claims re the Western Wall
  • 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' -- Really?
    • 1. Matt Rosenberg is not a Chabad rabbi neither is he affiliated with the Chabad movement. Why is Chabad theology relevant to his position?
      2. Chabad is a subset of Chareidi Judaism which is a subset of observant Judaism which is itself a subset of general Judaism. Saying that Chabad positions reflect the opinion of the average Jew is like claiming that the Amish reflect the average American.
      3. Israel's national anthem does not discuss Jewish souls nor does it claim that Jewish souls are unique or superior to non-Jewish souls. It merely describes the millennial yearning of Jews to return to Zion. In fact, Israeli law definitely does not recognize a difference between Jewish and non-Jewish souls since it grants automatic citizenship to 3d generation descendants of Jews although halachicly they are not recognized as Jews.

  • Boycott, from within and without
    • Hi ofir-

      Thank you for your detailed and lengthy response.

      I see that you agree with me that the ultimate result of BDS will be the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. No wonder most Israeli Jews support measures that will hinder BDS and ensure its failure, inshalla. Many Palestinians object to the judaization of Jerusalem. It is only natural that many Jews will object the arabization of Israel.

      As for the seven million refugees, they won't be "returning" to Israel since, except for some elderly Palestinians, very few of them ever lived in Israel/Palestine to begin with. Instead of relocating them to Israel and causing enormous social turmoil (very probably turning Israel into a failed state similar to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq), A far more reasonable and moral plan will have them remain where they are (what's the problem in living in the east or west bank?) or help them move to other parts of the world just as millions of Africans and middle easterns are doing now days.

      Perhaps you and annie are right that "Most Palestinians regard the goal of a Zionist state as deeply offensive". But I am not a Palestinian. I am an Israeli.

      Nevertheless I believe that Israelis and Palestinians can reach a pragmatic solution based on realistic expectations. Unfortunately the BDS movement is not headed in that direction.

    • Hi Ofir-
      The issue is not whether to boycott or not but what are the goals of the boycott. In the case of BDS the ultimate goal is to destroy the Jewish state. Most Israelis regard this goal as deeply offensive and dangerous hence the attitude to those who support it. Assuming the goals of BDS will ever materialize it will risk the lives of countless Israeli jews and dash the hope for jewish independence. Why should any sane Israeli support such goals?

  • 'To defend western freedom,' U.S. must preserve Egyptian tyranny
    • Regarding the transfer of the islands Egyptian consultation with Israel was required by its possible affect on the Israel - Egypt peace agreement.

  • Israel's political crisis wouldn't be happening if not for violent Palestinian resistance
    • random killing as a tool for precipitating political change?

      what a novel idea worthy of a great intellectual like philip weiss!

      but, wait, isn't that exactly how the extreme right justifies israeli massacres in Gaza?

      how interesting that Weiss is now using arguments strait out of the hasbara hand book.

  • Thousands of Israelis fill Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in support for soldier who executed Palestinian
  • Zionism is finally in the news, as officials seek to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    • echinococcus,

      since you are aiming for minimum disruption and maximum justice i have a better one:

      everybody gets to stay where they are today.

      the lines are redrawn so that "jordan", parts of palestine, parts of south "syria" with palestinian population and parts of lebanon with the same become the nation state of the arab palestinian people. most of israel+area c and golan become the nation state of the jewish palestinian people.

      compensations are paid by all sides to all sides based on international arbitration.

      considering the current ME situation my plan (the B plan) is much more feasible them an imaginary and disruptive 1SS.

      are you in?

    • wh-

      the differences are enormous. USA is not a nation state. the blacks were not attempting to change or replace the character of the state, and even if they would be attempting to do so they were numerically too small to effect such a change, therefore they were not perceived as a threat by most white americans.

      so, yes, under these very unique and limited circumstances the american white majority was willing to accept the small black minority on a second degree citizenship basis for the next 100 years in a process of integration that is far from being a success story even today.

      if this is the best you can come up with, then the 1SS for palestine/israel doesn't solve anything.

      if i would be you i wouldn't use this example ase proof of ISS efficiency when there is a raging national/ethnic/religous conflict with conflicting national desires.

      but why bring an example from the 19th century? look at the ME or africa honestly and point out a convincing case were 1SS did not end in bloodshed or dysfunctional states.

    • am-ee-goz-

      attempting to have two different people share the same country didn't work out in middle east. hell. its not working in belgium.

      i suggest a 1SS based on annexing parts of the west bang and galil, including the bedouin of the naqab to the "kingdom" of "jordan" which is in practice a palestinian state. in return israel is recognized as the nation-state of the jewish people and gets to keep area C and the golan.

      fair enough.

    • marnie-

      all the mitzvot you mention are part of the Torah, but so is the land of israel.

      obviously the Torah does not consider the connection to a particular piece of land as being idolatry.

      of course being a free person you can choose to not observe the Torah. in fact, from my experience that is what most anti-zionists usually do. but that does not give you the right to distort judaism.

      as for not caring about talmud classical judaism does not differentiate between them. obe is the written torah the other the oral torah. both are equally binding.

    • marnie-

      i'm not saying it. i'm just quoting what the Torah says in describing the covenant between god and abraham. it talks about 3 points: montheism, abraham and descendents being chosen. the land of israel. all of them immutable.

      perhaps you don't like it but that's what judaism says.

    • "mooser"

      i was referring to pabls claim that the jewish religion has no "israel fixation". well it does.

      by observant i mean in the widest definition - anybody who feels a connection and commitment to the jewish people not in the sense of keeping all mitzvot. i would guestimate that includes most israeli jews and about half non israeli jews. that's about 8-9 million people or about 70% of jews.

      oh, and they're not falling. in fact they happen to be the fastest growing segment of the jewish people.

    • "mooser" - i don't have the slightest idea what you are trying to say.

    • what works for the USA doesn't necessarily work for other countries.

      a 1ss would lead to disaster and won't solve anything.

      just look how the 1SS is working out in Syria or Iraq.

    • Pabel-
      The land of Israel is a central and important tenet of Judaism. Just look up genesis 17/8: "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.' This is the basis of the famous Midrash: "one who lives in the land of israel has a god; one who lives out of israel is like he has no god". In other words, just as there is no judaism without monotheism so there is no judaism without Israel. And just as god is everlasting so is the land of Israel. Indeed even after being exiled the Torah promises an eventual restoration of jewish sovereignty in Israel.
      When observant jews say "next year in Jerusalem" they mean it quit literally. The methods differ: haredi jews will say that the restoration will be affected by spiritual/mystical means, others will say that the restoration will be assisted by practical efforts, but even the most fervently ultra-orthodox jew believes in an eventual return to Zion. That part and parcel of basic Judaism.
      As long as was feasible jews tried to achieve restoration by practical means – the Bar Kochba revolt, the jewish-persian collaboration in the 6th century, the early jewish-arab colabration etc. once practical means stopped being feasible (because of demographic changes in the land, and because the shift in geopolitics following the Arab conquest) the pendulum turned to achieving restoration thru mystical means (the sabatean movement, the pupils of the gaon of vilna etc).
      in the early 19th century practical restoration seemed to become feasible gain leading to numerous waves of immigration to Israel, the hovivei zion movement and eventually political Zionism.

  • Hectored by Zionist wannabe archaeologists, 'NYT' recasts article on Jewish temples
    • Keith, MDM-
      You are simply quoting shlomo Sand, but sand got his history wrong neither did he carefully think thru his argument.
      1. The argument that "Romans never exiled people" is simply wrong. In fact Romans occasionally did much worse than merely exiling people. Massacre was an acceptable method of Rome in its wars against enemies in general and against rebels in particular. Despite its drawbacks massacre has advantages: (a) achieving military superiority if not possible by other means; (b) deterrence; (c) establishing absolute control over areas of strategic importance` (d) political necessity. In the case of provincia iudea all four factors were present. The Romans did not bother to distinguish between combatants and civilians. The history of Rome is full of wars ending with the massacre of entire populations even without any “operational justification”.
      I recommend the book by Benjamin Isaac “The invention of racism in classic antiquity”. Two examples will suffice. Augustus , founder of the Roman Empire, writes on a monument erected at Rome: “I preferred not to destroy foreign nations when I could forgive them without fear”. Obviously there was no fundamental prohibition on the destruction of foreign population’s. That was the fate of people’s that the rulers of Rome could not “forgive without fear”.
      The philosopher Seneca (committed suicide in 65 AD, a year before the outbreak of the Great Jewish Revolt) writes: “We complain about killings of individuals – but boast of wars in which we butcher entire people “.
      Slaughter and massacre where an integral part of the history of Rome and as history shows, there is no example of genocide that is not accompanied by a phenomenon called nowadays “forced displacement” or “forced migration”.
      2. Nobody knows whether there was a roman formal edict of exile. No official documentation survived from that period. Nevertheless Exile can be the outcome of a brutal struggle whether it is declared policy or not.
      The loss of political self-rule, the utter annihilation of the largest and most important city in which where trapped many tens of thousands of visitors who came for Passover, the economic havoc created as a result in the surrounding countryside, the massive land confiscations in Judea, hundreds of thousands dead and sold to slavery. in any context, modern or ancient, these conditions will inevitably lead to mass exile of refugees similar to what we see in Syria today.
      Indeed the crushing of the great rebellion (and the Qitos war and Bar kosba war that followed) was the beginning of a prolonged but consistent process that ultimately reduced the Jewish majority in all parts of Israel to a tiny minority.
      3. The argument that the Romans "didn’t have the means to move large populations" is really silly. It seems that Sand never heard about the flourishing slave trade in the roman times in which huge populations where moved all over the Mediterranean. In fact the center of slave trade was the tiny Aegean island of Delos.

    • Exile is not a myth. It is the plain and simple understanding of what happened in Israel following the destruction of Jerusalem based on all available sources. I have a pretty good knowledge of ancient jewish sources and non of the, says otherwise.

  • How Israel legitimizes vigilante terror
    • echino-

      You claim that the Jews in JLM had no need to protect themselves despite the fact that they were exposed to severe attacks in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1937.

      It is a curious fact that in many cases the brunt of Arab violence was focused not on "Zionist invaders" but on the devout communities of the non-Zionist old yishuv in places like Gaza, hebron, jaffa, safed, the old city of JLM, meah shearim, beit yisrael. The fact that they were non-zionist didn’t protect them. In fact it made them more vulnerable to arab violence since the Zionists hade arms and the old yishuv didn’t.

      Similarly, during 1948 Arab artillery pounded all parts of JLM equally including the most devout haredi areas. The arab siege equally effected all Jewish inhabitants. And the entire population of the Jewish quarter was ethnically cleaned. Obviously, by 1948 and probably much earlier the arab violence was aimed at all jews, not only at extreme Zionist. Hence the need for self protection.

    • Both sides claimed self defense.
      Operation nachshon was an effort by jewish forces to break the Arab siege on the Jewish parts of Jerusalem, a clear act of self defense. Deir yassin was a small part of operation nachshon. Does that justify the massacre? Of course not.
      Same with the hadasah convoy or any other arab atrocity.

    • echino-

      Right of self defense cuts both ways.
      Pjdude was arguing that by protecting themselves from anticipated attack hadasah convoy became a legitimate military target. Io just pointed out that by using this standard most IDF actions during 1948 can by similarly excused.
      The jews of Jerusalem had the same right to defend themselves as the Arabs. They had absolutely no obligation to go anywhere.

    • pjdud

      In the weeks proceeding the hadasa slaughter jewish convoys were routinely attacked by arab forces. Dozens of civilians were killed in these atakes. Indeed attacking convoys was a major pillar of the arab offensive aimed at weakening the yishuv.
      Your argument basically justifies the behavior of IDF during naqba since in most cases villages attacked and destroyed included fighters who picked up arms and became combatants.

    • a blah -

      How do you ever hope to implement a 1SS when you refuse to recognize that the ibrahimi mosque is as holy and important to jews as it is to Muslims?

    • Annie-
      Why be so obtuse? It is common for IDF spokespeople to claim that so-snd-so place was bombed because rockets were fired close by, or because fighters were using it as a positions. In fact the excuses offered by right wingers about deir yassin are remarkably similar.
      Somehow when arabs use the same lame excuses you tend to be much more understanding. It almost seems as though you truly believe that Palestinian arabes are incapable of acting murderously. Why do you think so? Is the human nature of Palestinian Arabs inherently different then Palestinian Jews?

    • tree

      So then murdering 78 doctors and nurses becomes OK if they happen to be traveling in a convoy that happens to be carrying some weapons? That seems awfully similar to the excuse offered by Israeli hasbara in justifying attacks on schools and hospitals in Gaza. Amazing how hasbara of all nationalities turns out to be so similar.

      It also sounds amazingly similar to the excuses offered by irgun in justifying deir yassin. After all the villagers were sheltering a unit of Iraqi soldiers and arab irregulars. And the deir yassin was part of the arab siege on jewish Jerusalem. So then everything goes and all forms of bloodshed are justified. How lovely.

    • 1. I don’t recall any case in which hamas paid compensation to Israeli victims of terrorism. Why is it automatically assumed that Israel must compensate Palestinian victims of terrorism? In any case the family can make a special appeal to a committee in the Defense Ministry to request compensation. Considering the current public climate the appeal will probably be approved.
      2. You don’t even mention that ibrahimi mosque is also a jewish holy site known as me'arat ha'makhpela. (In fact the jewish designation of the site predates Islamic times being copiously mentioned by Josephus and talmud). Dividing the site seems to be the most sensible move considering the conflicting claims. I would expect a future Palestinian administration to do the same.
      3. The writing on a private tomb does not reflect the position of Israel's gvt. Tha treatment of Goldstein's tomb is not different then to one given to the tomb of the notorious arab terrorist iz addin el kassam in the old arab cemetery next to nesher.
      4. According sharik kanana's authoritative study, number of unarmed people killed at deir yassin was about 100, with another 12 armed dead. The massacre was denounced by all mainstream jewish parties.
      5. The Irgun didn’t become Israel army. In fact the irgun was forced to disband and its members accepted to the IDF on an individual basis. About 3 months after deir yassin IDF forces (under command of yitzkhak rabin) actually shelled the irgun's main supply ship, killing a score of irgun members and almost killing Begin himself.
      6. A day after deir yassin 78 docters etc. where murdered in the Hadassah convoy. No arab leader condemned the massacre. Based on dan cohen's warped logic that is proof that Palestinians have a pattern of condoning terrorism against jews.

  • Israel's race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy
    • shingo

      The separation wall runs mostly along the green line. Final border agreements will anyway entail land sweeps so I don’t think the walls exact route is that important. Walls, you know, can easily be dismantled. It is true that the wall causes hardship to some Palestinians but it serves the greater good of preventing suicide bombing that ultimately hurt both populations.
      Fighting suicide bombers is a statistical process in which every obstacle diminishes the bombers chance to achieve his goal. So will the wall doesn't give an absolute solution to the problem it definitely makes the life of suicide bombers more difficult. The fact is that since the wall both suicide bombings and property crime (stealing cars in Israel) has dramatically diminished, so obviously the wall is having the desired effect. If and when peace comes the wall will be removed. Inshalla!
      I find it amusing you think me a "white guy". I can trace my lineage in Palestine back at least 14 generations (the Rivlin and Azoulay families – just like our president). I think that makes me more a "DARK MAN" then a third generation American of Palestinian extraction.
      As of today there are no separate roads for Palestinians. Neither are there separate license plates for Arab drivers. There are separate license plates to non Israeli Palestinians, just as there are separate license plates to any non Israeli car whether Jewish, American or Jordanian.

    • marnie

      Walls are quite normal. There is a wall separating USA and Mexico. There is a wall between Spain and morocco. The Israel-west bank wall was built in response to the wave of Palestinian suicide bombers coming from the WB during the el aksa intifada. I don’t see any moral problem in that.
      I have driven over most roads in my country and never encountered separate roads "for Arabs". In the disputed territories there used to be separate roads for Palestinians as a result of the frequent drive-by shooting of Israeli cars. Following the relative calm of the last couple of years almost all of these roads where reopened for general traffic.
      There are no different license plates for Arab drivers.

    • Amigo-
      There is an ongoing blood feud going on between Jews and Arabs in Palestine for the last century, so a certain level of animosity is to be expected. It has nothing to do with "segregation" and everything to do with normal human psychology.
      Nevertheless the fact that only a couple dozen out of Israel's thousands of rabbis signed a letter against renting apartments to arabs is an encouraging sign that moderation and common decency are still prevalent in Israeli society. That very fact that this bunch of rabbis felt a need to publish their letter is itself an indication that renting apartments to arabs is prevalent. Indeed there are thousands of arab families that rent or own apartments in the "jewish" parts of Jlm, and in "jewish" towns such as dimona and beer sheva to name only places I know personally. Finally, the public outcry and condemnation against the rabbis letter is in itself a tribute to Israelis robust sense of democracy.
      As for your claim that in bnei brack public officials where ordering foreigners to leave that’s simply untrue.
      Israel has declared its borders in relation to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Its border with Palestine is up to negotiations. Pray tell, amigo, what are Palestine's borders?

    • Because, as an Israeli living in Israel, I don’t think what's going on in Israel can be honestly described as segregation.

    • shingo-

      Obviously you know very little about hareidi society – past or present.
      Fifty years ago the "learning society" was a small sub-culture within hareidi society.
      The phenomenal growth of the learning society is phenomenon of the eighties and nineties.
      As the relative size of the hareidi sector increases economic and social factors are driving an opposite dynamic of work and self sufficiency. Today there are a half a dozen hareidi colleges, a term that didn’t even exist a decade ago. There are close to ten thousand hareidi students, men and women, In various academic fields. The trend will only grow in the future.

    • Seriously? How is Israel's economic edge riding on its "segregation"?

    • That doesn’t make too much sense. Most Israeli high-tech innovation is civilian. Even military innovation doesn't require occupation. Sweden, UK, and Germany enjoy thriving military export without occupation.

    • It is quite obvious that Cook didn’t read the Israeli study. The study, by economist Asaf Geva, predicts that based on current demographic trends (aging of population, growth of hareidi & arab sectors), by the year 2059 Israel will be running an annual deficit of about 800 million dollars, increasing its public debt to 88% of GDP (compared to the current level of 67%). To counter this Israel will need to adjust its fiscal policy by raising taxes or reducing spending. Considering his extremely long range prediction Geva's recommendations are quite moderate and definitely do not indicate Israeli bankruptcy in the foreseeable future.
      It is almost amusing to see how Cooks anti Israeli bias gets the better of him. He so desperately wants to be the harbinger of good tides (Israel's imminent demise) that he replaces cold facts with wishful thinking. Cook naively pegs his hope on Israeli hareidim maintaining their current relatively low employment level, not realizing that already today there is a dynamic of change within hareidi society. There can be no doubt that hareidi society in fifty years will be very different then today, just as current hareidim are different then hareidim of 30-40 years ago. Change is inevitable.
      Cook tries to argue that Israel's economic prowess is tied to the occupation, yet his argument is weak and unconvincing. Why shouldn’t Israel be able to maintain its high tech edge without the occupation?

  • 'This land is ours. All of it is ours': Meet the Netanyahu cabinet members focused on fighting BDS & annexing the West Bank
    • Hotovely is not a cabinet minister.

    • Allison
      You made a major mistake. Hotovely is not haredi (ultra-orthodox). I don’t know where you got that strange piece of information about Hotovely being the only female haredi in the parliament. In fact she is national-religious just like Bennet.

  • Ilan Pappe on the western awakening and what it means for Israel/Palestine
    • Pape keeps repeating the claim that Israel is a "European colonial project". However 80% of Israeli Jews are either Israeli born or from Arab countries. Only 20% where born in Europe/USA. Israel is a middle eastern "project".

  • 'Most reactionary government in Israel's history' -- when will liberal Zionists hit bottom?
  • Haneen Zoabi's power and vision (and answers to Theodore)
  • 'We aim to shape the democratic and moral alternative in this country' -- an interview with Ayman Odeh
    • 1. The 20% figure includes E. jlm who mostly elect not to have voting rights in Israel. Without them the percentage is about 16-17%.
      2. Fertility among Arab pop. Generally higher then Jews so a lower percentage of adult voters.
      3. Around 15-20% of Arabs vote for non-Arab partys.

  • Cycle '48: Remapping the Nakba
    • [email protected]
      I don’t believe in perpetual rights of any kind. I am a pragmatist.

      If the year was 1900 I might have agreed with you that the preferable solution to the problem of Jewish refugees is to have them settled in America (as millions of them actually did). I also happen to believe that if other venues beside Palestine where open for Jews between 1920-1930 Zionism would have developed in a very different direction.

      None of this makes a difference since we are now in 2015. The existence of Israel does not depend on events that happened 2000 years ago but on the fact that there are 6 million Jews currently living in Israel. It's the present that creates Israel, not the past.

      "Returning" millions of Palestinians will cause enormous turmoil in an already unstable area. Since the authors of this piece obviously don’t think that nationalism is a valid parameter for action, I see no reason that the obvious misery of stateless Palestinians must be solved by moving them to Israel, a step that will only cause more trouble.

      Stateless Palestinians should be relocated to myriad locations: Israel, Palestine, Arab countries, Europe, Canada, USA etc. Compensation should be paid for Palestinian property. That is the most human and reasonable solution. Only a nationalist will insist on the "right of return".

    • Your ideology doesn’t make any sense. At the one hand you resist any form of privilege based on nationality. Yet you insist that the only legitimate solutions to the problem of Palestinian refugee descendents most take a nationalistic form – the "return" of those descendents to a particular location based on the fact that there forefather used to live there 70 years ago.
      If nationalism is bad why not find non-nationalistic solutions like settling Palestinians in other parts of the ME (plenty of empty space) or assisting there emigration to the west as Millions of Muslims have been doing in the last two decades?

  • As AJC and CAMERA go after Jebreal for writing up Israeli 'hate policies,' 'NYT' backs her up
    • seafoid,

      why mamluks? why not like the ottomans?

    • Because experience teaches that all previous terror attakes on Israeli transportation where done by Arabs/Palestinian.

      Experience is the best teacher.

    • Sorry, annie, but I don’t see your logic.

      The threat of terrorism in the Middle East is acute and palpable. In Israel itself public transportation was the target of numerous terror attacks. Being searched is unpleasant but neither is being blown to bits by a terrorist bomb. Israeli Jews are also commonly searched to. Every time I enter a government building in Israel I am expected to empty my pockets, to pass through a metal detector and sometimes to present an ID. It is a cheap price I gladly pay for increased public safety.

      The rest of rula's article is full of similar astonishing distortions.

      If I will have time I will point out some of them.

    • As an Israeli I can tell you that the article is full of lies and distortions. I will point out some.
      Strip search: an inevitable result of the security threats Israel is facing. Nothing discriminatory about it.
      Citizenship : Rula states that she and her daughter have dual American-israeki citizenship. Then claims an official refused to renew here daughters citizenship since she is not Jewish. There is no such thing.
      "Death to arabs": an unfortunate slure of some extremist. Rejected by mainstream Israeli society. Unfortunately similar hate slogans can be found against Jews to.

    • there is nothing illegal about israels occupation of territory beyond the partition line.

  • Another New York Times' reporter's son is in the Israeli army
  • Netanyahu vows, ‘we will win’ as family members of Jerusalem attacker are arrested
  • Ethnic Cleansing by All Means: The real Israeli ‘peace’ policy
    • An amazing amount of false information in an article purportedly written by an academic.

      "The pine is generally a European species which before the 20th century was not seen in the Middle East" – that’s simply not true. Pinus halepensis (known in Israel as Jerusalem pine) is an endemic species in the land of Israel. Natural patches of pine have survived till modern times in places such as carmel range and lower Galilee.

      There is nothing uniquely European about pinus halapensis. In fact its natural habitat is Mediterranean – from Spain all the way to Syria and Jordan. If the Zionists where indeed looking for trees that will remind them of eastern Europe they would have gone for maple, ash, birch and oak.

      In fact there are very good professional reasons to pick pine for a forestry renewal project in a semi arid hot climate. Pines are hardy, they grow quickly, they stop soil erosion and provide shade that protects the ground and allows the growth of secondary trees and bushes. Contrary to claims, pines are not more flammable then others trees nor do they create "ecological deserts".

      As for the carmel national park – it was actually started by the British way before the state and is one of the few natural forests that survived in Israel till modern times.

  • Jodi Rudoren effectively annexes Golan Heights to Israel
    • There is no such thing as 'Syria'. There is only a set of arbitrary lines drawn by colonialist powers encompassing a variety of ethnic/religious groups currently involved in a murderous tribal conflict.

      Calling this chaotic amalgamation a state or applying international law to a regime that uses chemical weapons on its own 'people' is a sick joke.

  • Thousands of displaced Palestinians take shelter on the fringes of Gaza City
    • of course. but how do we know what the people of gaza want?

    • Does hamas believe in western liberal values?

      what difference should that make in the context of the occupation? israel has a deputy speaker of the Knesset who advocates ethnic cleansing

      That’s a mother of 'whataboutry' argument. I won't even attempt to go down that rabbit hole.

      israel and ‘western powers’ have colluded time and again to prevent another election in palestine. note how they freaked out w/the new unity gov. but the last election hamas won fair and square.

      yes indeed. But that was in 2006. For someone who cares deeply about human rights you seem to have an amazingly cavalier approach to what constitutes basic principles of representative democracy. If a right wing tea party member in the USA would suggest to hold elections once every 10-20 years (after all In the last elections the RIGHT party won…) you would probably trounce him and justly so. But in the case of gaza you somehow are ready to acquiesce to a much lower form of democracy. Why does a women of gaza deserve les then a woman of malibu?

      You would never agree that Social media, street demonstrations, or plain authority (abu mazen, hatim, whatever) should replace democratic debate, elections and fair representation in the USA. Then way not expect the same democratic standard from the govt. Of gaza?

      the absurdity of imagining a supporter of the entity ethnically cleansing palestine caring about the people of gaza a full transparent account as if you were looking out for them, or advocating for them, is laughable.

      that only shows the limits of your imagination. Annie. Nothing more.

      so this whole diversion into what palestinians really want, it's none of our business.

      wow. The I/P conflict is non of my business living in Israel, but its your business living in California. That’s rich.

      where's the opposition in palestinian society scrutinizing hamas? for the most part, it doesn't exist outside your hasbara lalala land.

      Exactly. Where is it? Where is it allowed to express itself without fearing its safety? The funny thing, annie, is that you live in a country predicated on the idea that without checks and balances ultimate corruption rules. Yet you somehow can get used to the idea that what is true for a western advanced nation is true for an indigenous tribe. Human nature is the same all over.

      i can't believe how hypocritical this line of questioning is. you do know why hamas won the election right? because the political entity our country was supporting was transparently financially corrupt.

      sure enough. And lacking checks and balances why shouldn’t the sane corruption happen to hamas?

      i’ve been to gaza. the people were wonderful

      I'm sure they are. But how about their regime? Imagine a Christian pastor running for government in your town with a political agenda based on a parochial fundamentalist understanding of the NT. Think you would voting for him. Then why support hamas?

    • Annie-

      The questions YOU ask are standard fair in this website. I can obviously answer them and be tarred by the customary "hasbara" retort etc. absolutely boring and predictable.

      MY questions may elicit a more curios response. Does hamas believe in western liberal values? Lacking democratic elections and a free political discourse how can we know that hamas positions actually reflect the wishes of the people of gaza? Following Lebanon 2 PM olmert resigned as a result of what was perceived to be an Israeli failure. Will hamas leadership be expected to face similar public scrutiny for its handling of the crisis? How will that scrutiny be achieved? When was the last time hamas gave the people of gaza a full transparent account of its use of public money?

      Would you, annie, be willing to live under a hamas-style regime? And assuming the answer is no, why do you lower your standard when dealing with gaza? Don’t they deserve the same as you?

    • Allison-

      Walking around gaza can you please find a hamas gunman and try to understand from him what was the idea of building tunnels into Israeli territory? Also, if he can explain how indiscriminate rocket fire jibes with international law?


  • Seven congresspeople go to Israel on AIPAC's dime-- and one gets defensive about it
  • With nearly half a million displaced in Gaza, UNRWA head calls on Israel to take responsibility
    • Krahenbuhl got it wrong.

      The people of Gaza have an elected (?) government. They should ask their government why it decided to drag them all into this pointless war. They should also ask Mr. Haniyeh why he wasted 40 percent of hamas budget on building a vast system of military attack tunnels instead of using the money to provide for the peoples actual needs. They should also demand transparency and a full disclosure of how their money was used and to what purpose. If they don’t like the answers they get, they should be able to replace their government with a different one.

      Whats the chance that the hamas regime will allow any of this to happen?

  • 10,000 march on Qalandia in solidarity with Gaza
    • The IAF does not use BG airport.
      You still didn’t explain why hamas is attempting war crimes?

    • pixel

      gaza has no liberty in any case.

      hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim brotherhood. hamas does not believe in western principles of liberalism and human rights. Under hamas there is no freedom of speech nor freedom of assembly, no elections and no democracy. there is no political opposition to speak of in gaza. The last time there was an opposition (fatah) its members where thrown of the roofs of gaza – as we all remember.)

      Hamas dragged gaza into a dubious military adventure without any plebiscite or democratic process. Under hamas rule there is no separation of powers and not even a semblance of normal western political process.

      absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hamas has absolute power in gaza and thus necessarily becomes corrupted. Gazans should learn a lesson from the Egyptians and kick out MB/hamas. The sooner the better.

    • bilal a

      shooting down a passenger plane whould be a war crime. why is hamas attempting a war crime?

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • why not abolish hamas?

    • kay-

      The amount of hypocrisy over here is mind blowing.
      Say hamas would have succeeded in taken over kibbutz sufa as they were trying to do this morning. Do you think they would have spared babies and women? Does hamas spare women and children when it indiscriminately rockets Israeli towns? Did hamas spare women and children during their suicide bombing campaigns?

      Kick out hamas "government" and stop the suffering of gaza.

  • 'We’re Like Toys for Them': Young Gazans speak about Operation Protective Edge
    • justice

      Gazans can do whatever they feel like doing. But actions have consequences. If you decide to use violence against me don’t play surprised when I hit you back as strong as I can. And if you realize that I am tougher, stronger, and more resilient then you, then perhaps opting for a different path then violence is a VERY good idea.

      The most pernicious and dangerous illusion spread by hamas is there idea of "free Palestine" under Islamic rule from the sea to the river. Won't happen today. Won't happen tomorrow. Instead of bashing your head against the wall, get rid of the useless idea (who in the world once hamas religious primitive rule anyway?). become practical and move forward.

      The idea of "Palestine ha'shlema" cost the Palestinians to much. Enough.

    • Obviously this shows that turkey has no idea who the Nazis where. Perhaps turkey should improve its history education.

    • kay-

      Unfortunately that’s what happens when terrorist overtake a civilian area and turn it into a war zone. Things would have been a lot different without the extremist ideology of the Muslim brothers who prefer idiotic religious goals – such as "destroy israel" – over the welfare of there own people.

      As an Israeli I can telly ou simply: if you even THREATEN me and my family with rockets I will punch back with everything I have. No hamas rockets – no Israeli counter attacks.

      If the hamas chooses to behave irresponsibly perhaps Palestinians should replace them with better leadership. They definitely deserve better.

  • Settler leader Dani Dayan given yet another platform in the NY Times
  • Soldiers' violent confessions from 'Breaking the Silence' make the 'Guardian'
    • eye witness with no context is worthless.

      i dont know why you call this "faux military tactics" when the american army whould probably do the same under combat conditions.

      i think you are the pompous armchair general. not the actual oficers that have to moke split second decisions under dificult conditions.

    • realy? american snipers in iraq or afganistan never took down "a guy on the roof acting as a spotter"? i find that hard to believe.

    • How how does the US army deal with enemy spotters?

      there are periods of intense fighting when spotters are as Dangerous as shooters.

    • Testimonies lack any context making it impossible to pass moral judgment. For instance, during active combat "takeing down" an unarmed spotter is perfectly legitimate even if it is based on the judgment a 26 year old guy with no legal experience. Any army in the world would have done the same.
      That tactic of drawing out the enemy and engaging him in fire fights is also well known military doctrine used in appropriate circumstances like active warfare.
      What counts are the circumstance's and context of the action. Unfortunately they do not appear here rendering moral judgment impossible.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • And yet despite the “oppression” and “apartheid” of Israeli arabs the demonstration was allowed to take place right in front of the army HQ.

      I wonder what would have happened to a group of Lebanese jews waving Israeli flags in front of Hezbollah HQ. or to a group of Iranian jews waving the blue and white flag in front of the revolutionary guard HQ in central Teheran. Anybody wants to guess?

  • For wearing veil, woman is ordered off Jerusalem light rail and frisked
    • yea, that was 70 years ago.

      dont see its relevenc in understanding current reality.

    • Israeli jews didn’t move into Israel. Most of them where born there and belong there exactly like any Israeli born Muslim. And most people living in Israel (or jlm for that matter) are not Muslim.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • What does Qumsiye hope to achieve by denigrating Jewish symbols like the western wall?
      Netanyahu is perhaps a liar, but he surely isn’t polish. He’s as Palestinian as abu mazen is.
      Qumsiye must realize that regardless of how the Palestine conflict will ultimately be resolved 6 million Israelis will remain part of the solution and their attachment to the land must be respected.

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • Netanyahu is right and 2.5 billion people will probably agree with him.
      Fact is that both major religions – Islam and Christianity – borrowed a basic set of values, including ‘honor thy parents’, from Judaism. I think every believing Christian or Muslim will agree with Netanyahu in this point.
      Of course phil thinks otherwise since he isn’t a follower of any religion. He’s an atheist.

  • Journalist David Sheen delivers blistering indictment on Israel's racist war on African migrants
    • Annie,

      I am chareidi so I think that I can comment with some authority about the relevant issue.

      There nothing unique about the halachic concept of "rodef". In fact, it exists in all law systems I know about. What it basically means is that one is allowed to prevent greivieous damage to an intended victim by harming the intended attacker, if needed even by killing him. The classical cases in which rodef law applies and those quoted by Talmud is the case of an intended murderer or rapist pursuing his victim. One is allowed to save the victim by harming the attacker. However even in these extreme cases killing the attacker is forbidden if lesser injury will suffice.

      In a manner of generalization the law of rodef is used to describe any case in which an individual is actively harming/endangering other people.

      As was pointed out, nowhere does the document make use of the concept of rodef in connection to African apt. seekers. In fact, reading the document I see that it explicitly states that any action done must confirm to halachic and legal law. I don’t see how Mr. sheen sees this as a general call for violence against Africans.

  • Palestinians in Hebron demand Israel 'Open Shuhada Street' and protest twentieth anniversary of Ibrahimi mosque massacre
    • Alisson
      Why not mention that ‘ibrahimi mosque’ is also holy to the Jews as ma’arat ha’machpela?
      Mentioning the Jewish connection of the site will enhance your readers understanding of the complexity and nuance of the place without giving away anything important to the Palestinian.

  • 'Price-tag' attacks on Palestinians are as Israeli and common as matkot on a Tel Aviv beach
    • As adequately documented in the links I provided the police ARE making an effort to end tag mechir activity.
      Restraining orders are useful in cases when there are insufficient grounds for a formal conviction. What’s the problem?

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