Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 64 (since 2009-08-21 14:11:50)


Israeli grad student, supporter of a Two State solution.


Showing comments 64 - 1

  • Gag order lifted on two Israelis and two bodies held in Gaza
    • Two corrections: first, the yet unnamed Bedouin has been missing since April of this year (3 months ago), not since 2007. Second, the gag order was only about the two living Israelis in Gaza. It has not been a secret that the remains of soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul are still in Gaza ever since they went missing and were declared dead.

  • After brutal police beating, Palestinian-American Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, sentenced to home arrest without charge
    • "Of course the cowardly zionist leaders therefore are having second thoughts."

      Sounds like you want an all out war. How peaceful of you. Some on the right wing believe that the Palestinians and their supporters see moderation and patience as cowardice and weakness. I would like to think it isn't true about most, because then the only answer is always force, but it certainly is true about you.

    • Crone: LuLu probably meant that the FBI is investigating the attack on Tarek Abu Khdeir. She says Good Morning America reported it, but I couldn't find this information anywhere. Even if they are involved in the police brutality inquiry, they aren't involved in the investigation of the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir. Muhammed isn't American, so they wouldn't have jurisdiction. The arrest of the six Jewish terrorists is completely the work of Israeli police and perhaps the Shin Bet.

    • Two corrections: the 3,000 shekels are bail, not a fine. I assume this money will be returned to him at the end of his house arrest. Second, his house arrest isn't a "sentence" - he was remanded to house arrest, which is something that happens to suspects who haven't been convicted all the time, including in the United States.

      Having said that, I think he should have been released without conditions and all charges dropped. Hopefully, the policemen who brutally beat him will be punished. I also think Netanyahu should pull a King Hussein and offer to visit the Abu Khdeir family to demonstrate his opposition to racist attacks. If the family says no, which they probably would, he should respect their wishes. If they say yes, he should go, or at least invite them to his own residence if his presence in Shuafat would do more harm than good.

  • Editorializing
    • It would be a double standard if the New York Times implied voter turnout in the mayoral race was satisfactory. It didn't say that. It said it was low turnout. Just look at the title of the story:

      "New York Sees Light Turnout After Lopsided Mayoral Polls"

      And the line immediately preceding the paragraph you quoted reiterates the title:

      "The lopsided polls that have consistently showed Mr. de Blasio with a lead of as much as 40 points were expected to depress voter turnout."

  • Should dual citizen of US/Israel be vice chair of our Federal Reserve Bank?
    • This isn't the first time the question of Stanley Fischer's dual citizenship has come up. When he was appointed governor of the Bank of Israel, he became an Israeli citizen and there was a lot of debate about whether or not he should be forced to renounce his American citizenship. After all, other high ranking officials in the Israeli government are required to renounce any additional nationalities.

      I think it's reasonable to demand that the deputy chairman of the Fed only hold US citizenship, and it doesn't matter whether the other citizenship is Israeli, British, Australian or whatever. If he renounces his Israeli citizenship (which he has had for much shorter a time than his American citizenship), the dual-citizenship matter can be settled and his appointment can be debated based on his qualifications and policy.

  • Shocker: 'NYT' publishes fair story on Swarthmore Jews bucking Hillel guidelines
    • The New York Times Letter Section has reactions to the article. My personal favorite:

      I’m neither an “Israel right or wrong” person nor a supporter of what has come to be called “the Palestinian cause.” But one question keeps coming back to me when I read about objections to decisions by Jewish campus groups not to invite speakers hostile to Israel: Where is the push for Arab campus groups to roll out their red carpets to unabashed defenders of the Jewish state?

      (Rabbi) AVI SHAFRAN
      New York, Dec. 30, 2013

      The writer is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.

  • Organizers say pro-Israel filmmaker with controversial past deceives, disrupts Penn BDS conference (UPDATED)
    • Max Blumenthal distorts the truth. Yes, the people who said racist things in his videos really did say them, but how many non-racists are left on the cutting room floor to make Israelis or pro-Israel activists look like a racist bunch? Sounds like Matin Himel uses the same tactic - interviewing a lot of people who don't know who he is and cutting out anything that doesn't help him prove his point (at least from the descriptions here, since I've never heard of him before).

      Himel shouldn't use such tactics. Neither should Blumenthal.

    • How hypocritical of PennBDS to ban him. When Max Blumenthal uses the same tactics as Martin Himel, Blumenthal is praised by anti-Israel activists.

  • Cooking magazines dish on new trend: labeling Arabic food Israeli!
    • I know an Israeli whose family is Moroccan and pronounces it neither humus or khumus, but khomus. I have no way of knowing which pronounciation is correct. Maybe there are a few correct ones, because of the different dialects in Lebanon, Morocco, the Negev etc.?

    • I know that a lot of what Israelis consider their own isn't originally Israeli, like Israeli salad (which Israelis often actually call "Arab salad"), falafel, couscous, hummus, etc., but I'm surprised about the so-called "Israeli couscous" (which Israelis call "ptitim", literally meaning flakes). I was sure that was an Israeli invention.

      At least tell me please that we Israelis really did invent Bamba and Bisli!

  • A Lebanese shepherd looks at the land of Palestine
    • The API simply asked Israel to accept UN GA resolution 194. The resolution itself never called for negotiations. The refugees had a right to return to their country and homes, and those that aren’t willing have a right to personal compensation. The Arab States can’t legally assign third party claims to a second party.

      If that's the case, we can't accept that. I have no problem with compensating refugees, even letting a certain number into Israel, but we can't leave it entirely to the refugees' own choice. Israel has to agree to the number of refugees who would become Israeli citizens and also have the right not to accept certain people (let's say Khaled Mashal, for example).

      Of course they [forced solutions] do [work]. How do you think Israel came into existence?

      So you admit that Israel is a success story... :)

      More seriously though, the creation of Israel isn't exactly a good example for a forced solution working. Generally speaking, the solution proposed by the UN was supposed to achieve four things: creation of a Jewish state, creation of an Arab state, internationalization of the Jerusalem area and peace. Only one of those four came to fruition.

      Besides, I meant more specifically that a solution leading to peace can't be imposed. You need minimal trust for peace, and you can't force Israelis and Palestinians to trust each other.

    • Yes, there is. Your people are stealing other people’s land and destroying their lives for generations. That’s more than enough justification to get mad.

      Believe it or not, I agree with Annie (though the people she mentions - at least the ones I recognize - are to the left of me). You're angry at Israel so you're being aggressive and disrespectful towards me, an individual Israeli who is actually trying to engage you in serious, civil conversation.

      You know what? If you were to accept it with caveats, and demonstrate a good faith willingness to come to a far resolution, that would be one thing, but the Israelis have never acted in good faith.

      That's exactly what I'd do if I were in power - I'd accept it with caveats. The million dollar question is how to demonstrate good faith. Neither side believes in the other's good faith, and that's part of the problem. No solution can be reached without a minimum of mutual trust.

      Really. Then what, exactly, is the problem? It doesn’t require your victims to bow and scrape and kiss your ass?

      Drink a glass of water and take a deep breath. Take a walk around the block to cool down. If you want to continue this conversation you'll have to tone down your aggression.

    • No agreement would give Israelis exactly what hey want, which only goes to prove that a solution muyst be forced on Israel.

      I didn't mean that we'd only agree to exactly what we want. We won't get all we want, just like the Palestinians won't get all they want. There are some things in the Arab Initiative that Israel can't accept (for instance, we'd need to find some solution for East Jerusalem where we keep the Western Wall, which the Arab Initiative doesn't seem to allow for).

      Forced solutions don't work.

    • Woody, you and I have been able to have civil debates before. There's no reason to get aggressive.

      "You’ve been pulling this “as a basis for negotiations” nonsense for for decades."

      For argument's sake, let's say we accept every word of the Arab Peace Initiative. We'd still need to negotiate over it, since some of it is very general. For instance, the Initiative says this about refugees: "Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194". A solution can't be agreed upon without negotiations.

      "The plan, as it is, is a fair and comprehensive plan and provides the Jews occupying Palestine everything they claim they want."

      It's close to what most Israelis want, but not exactly. If it's a "take it or leave it" situation, we'd have to leave it. Palestinians and other Arabs wouldn't appreciate it if Israel proposed a plan and said "take it or leave it", either, and they'd be right to reject it. You just can't solve this conflict without negotiations over East Jerusalem, borders, etc.

    • Oh, please. If you want acceptance by the Arab world? Accept the Arab peace plan and stop acting ways which cause people to be repelled by your state’s actions.

      As I've said before, if it were up to me, Israel would accept the Arab Peace plan as the basis for negotiations with members of the Arab League.

      Now that I think of it, I wonder if the Arab Peace Plan will survive the Arab Spring. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Arab citizens hate Israel more than their governments do.

    • Is it because you have never been taught the true history of the Zionist project in Palestine that you find this information depressing es1982?

      I didn't say I'm surprised, just said it depresses me. The complete rejection of Israel by many Arabs is depressing to me. No matter what we've done, we exist, and I don't see how there can be peace (or even negotiations towards peace) if the other side doesn't even accept the reality of our existence.

    • Israelis would be willing to integegrate economically in the Middle East (in a two-state solution scenario, not one, which we'd never accept). We wouldn't be willing to integrate politically and culturally. We may like belly dancing and Middle Eastern music and food, but that's about as much of Arab culture as I see us adopting. We prefer to see ourselves as part of the West with much closer links to North America and Europe than to the sorrounding countries.

      Maybe if the Arab Spring succeeds and brings democracy to Arab countries, we'd be more willing to integrate. Only time will tell.

      By the way, I for one, refuse to accept that the two-state solution is dead, since it is the only solution that can work.

    • "Israel is in Palestine. One refers to country, the other to geographical area."

      True, Israel is in the historical area of Palestine, just like the West Bank and Gaza are in the historical Land of Israel (since Palestine/Land of Israel are pretty much interchangeable terms, though they're politically charged). The problem is that this isn't what this Lebanese man is saying. By adding the word "Occupied" to the word "Palestine" in reference to pre-1967 Israel, he's denying that such a country even exists.

      Since he says he's trying to keep the word "Palestine" alive, I hope that he'd at least be willing to say the word "Israel" once Palestine exists as a country in the West Bank and Gaza, and not just as a geographical designation.

    • What some find inspiring, others find utterly depressing.

  • Beinart says Israel must give citizenship to Palestinians under occupation
    • "Magic?"

      Why didn't I think of that before? I'll look for the peace in the Middle East incantation in my Wiccan guidebook!

    • BTW, you just used one of the most common little “liberal” Zionist subterfuges I see around here. They all want a “peace” but not one of them will say clearly, or at all, what compromises Israel must make, and what price Israel should pay to acheive this peace.

      Well, I have written details of my preferred solution on Mondoweiss, in other blogs' comment sections and on my own blog. If it weren't 1 AM now, I'd write my whole manifesto for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Maybe I'll do that some other time, but for now, if you wish, you can piece it together by searching my blog and MW profile for terms like "refugees", "East Jerusalem", "borders", etc.

    • I don't want to wait another decade. I'd rather see a peace treaty signed today, but unfortunately that's just not realistic.

      Remember that in 2006, just three years before being elected Prime Minister again, Netanyahu lead the Likud to a third-place finish in the elections, with just 13 seats in the Knesset. The party seemed like a gonner. Then, in 2009 it was Labor's turn to get 13 seats, and they too seemed like gonners. Now it looks like they're being revived and will be the second largest party in the next Knesset. They will lead the left, not Kadima (which doesn't call itself a leftist party).

      Now, in a few years, when a real left-wing government is elected, things won't magically get solved. There will still be a lot of problems and things will take time, but at least there will be more hope for things to get better than under the current government.

    • While the Likud is still in charge, no, there probably won't be a two-state solution. But the Likud won't stay in power forever. Netanyahu is likely to win the next election, but the one after that just might see the return of the left to power. A lot can change in Israeli politics.

    • Starting at the 16 minute mark, Beinart clearly states that he opposes a one state solution (emphasis mine):

      "For me, Zionism means a democratic Jewish state in some part of the biblical Land of Israel. But I think... and that makes me a political Zionist in the tradition of Theodore Herzl. But I actually think, one of the things that's interesting and emerging will be very very challenging to the American Jewish community in the next decade or so, if we have essentially the continued march towards a permanent one-state reality between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, and the increasing receding of the horizon of the possibility of a Palestinian state, more and more young American Jews will start to say I am actually a cultural Zionist in the tradition of Echad Ha'am, Ha'Shomer Ha'Tzair and like Martin Buber, I believe I can be a Zionist and still support some kind of secular binational entity. Again, that's not my view, but that view, which has a deep pedigree in Zionist history, will gain traction, precisely to the degree that Israel cannot remain a Jewish democratic state because its occupation of the West Bank becomes permanent."

      Beinart is warning against what will happen if the two-state solution is not implemented. Cultural/binational Zionism isn't his vision of what should be. When he says American Jews should listen to Palestinians from the West Bank, and not just to Israeli Jewish Zionists, he isn't saying they should become Israeli citizens, but that they should be heard, because as long as the occupation continues, they are ruled by Israel.

  • Haaretz names the top 10 pro-settlement Knesset members
    • They voice their opposition in the Knesset and elsewhere, but since they're currently the minority, they aren't able to block funding of the settlements. The Israeli media sometimes shows left-wing and right-wing politicians exchanging barbs over settlement construction, but I don't think foreign media is especially interested in that.

    • Are there any anti-settlement Knesset members? I mean besides the non-Jews who are routinely removed from Knesset sessions.

      Of course there are. The three Meretz MKs are the most vocal about it, especially Zehava Galon. There's also Dov Khanin of Chadash and the Labor Party MKs. There are also Kadima MKs (Kadima is quite a hodge-podge on this - Ze'ev Elkin, the number 2 pro-settlment MK, was a member of Kadima in the previous Knesset).

  • Netanyahu’s party platform 'flatly rejects' establishment of Palestinian state
    • I myself am not convinced that Likud has accepted the two-state solution. The big question is how the party platform will look like during the next elections. I expect a big fight at the party convention, not so much between those who support and oppose two states, but between those who want to seem moderate and those who don't.

      I disagree that Likud is the same as other parties when it comes to a Palestinian state. Labor, Kadima and Meretz truly support its establishment.

    • I'm no fan of Likud, but I feel the need to point out the inaccuracy of this post. This isn't the Likud "Charter", it is its party platform from the elections to the 15th Knesset in 1999, when Netanyahu lost his seat to Ehud Barak - that's ages ago in Israeli politics. Platforms change significantly from election to election. The line about the “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza", all in present tense, should be a clear sign that this is from long ago, before the disengagement plan.

      The Likud hasn't become a dovish party, but it has accepted the idea of a Palestinian state (though Netanyahu wouldn't be heartbroken if it never came to be).

  • The US media reports: Gilad Shalit swapped for 1000 non-people (per Blumenthal)
    • What kind of permit is this? Is it a daily permit or a residency permit?

      It isn't a residency permit. It's an entry permit, kind of like a short term visa. It is issued to Palestinians regularly.

    • Oh….Its Arab students….!!! How about Arab families living in that settlement on a permanent basis? Do you know if there are any Arab families living in that Ariel settlement?

      I don't know.

      Israeli Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories are ruled/governed under Israeli civilian law while Palestinians are ruled/governed under Israeli military law.

      Yes, Palestinians in the West Bank are governed under Israeli military law (or rather a mixture of Israeli military law, pre-1967 Jordanian law, British Mandate laws and Ottoman laws, to be exact), unless they have Israeli citizenship, in which case they're governed by the same laws as the Jewish settlers.

      Can these Palestinians enter East Jerusalem & pray/visit their respective holy sites (Christian/Moslem) without a permit?

      No, Palestinians without Israeli citizenship need a permit to enter East Jerusalem, since under Israeli law it is considered Israel proper.

    • Mental note: Annie calls me and anyone who isn't an anti-Zionist a troll (though she doesn't consider that ad hominem, for some reason) and tells me to buzz off. Never waste time replying to her again.

    • Do you how many? Are/were they Arab collaborators for Israel & that is their reward for their deeds…may be?

      I know there are a few hundred Arab students at Ariel College. They aren't collaborators, they just decided to study there for whatever reasons they have.

    • You are saying technically & legally, but in reality if Israel’s IDF/police catch an Israeli Arab or non-Israeli Arab or one of those “for Jews Only” paved roads, he/ she is in deep trouble.

      An Israeli Arab would probably get stopped by police/IDF, but once he shows his Israeli ID, they have to let him continue on his way - he won't be in trouble.

      In reality, non-Jews are not allowed to own or live in the settlements.

      True of most settlements, but not all.

      Is it true that Israeli citizens are not allowed to have Palestinians from the Occupied Territories as passengers in their vehicles?

      I think you're referring to the Israeli women who have driven Palestinians from the West Bank into Israel. There the problem isn't that they have Palestinians in their cars, the problem is that the Palestinians don't have permits to enter Israel. If the Palestinians have entry permits, there is no legal problem.

    • So you’ve claimed that this isn’t Israel, but is some “other regime,” but, yet, Israeli build roads for use by Israelis who live on this land, who are subject to the laws of Israel and enjoy the full benefits of Israeli citizenship, while, at the same time, the people whose land we’re talking about are subject to the whims of those same Israelis, are brutally and mercilessly oppressed, and have no say in the government which runs their lives, and you still insist that this is somehow not apartheid??

      It's occupation, not apartheid. These are different kinds of injustice, with different kinds of remedies.

      Do you oppose the separation or the fact that the Israelis are there at all?

      Both. The occupation should end, but even while Israelis are still there, at the very least there shouldn't be separate roads and towns for Israelis and Palestinians.

    • excuse me? i can’t recall the last time i even addressed you and as i do attack arguments quite regularly i’m not sure what you are referencing. care to link to these ad hominems or are you just flattering yourself ?

      Yes, you do attack arguments, but also people. In response to Taxi's comment about me you basically accused me of being a propagandist here:

      where do phil and adam find them? i don’t think they go out looking that’s for sure. obviously this site is a numero uno target of the israel action teams so they find us and stick to us like flies on shit. they like regurgitating zio lies 24/7.

      And here is just a little sample of you attacking someone else personally, rather than his arguments:

      don’t bother robert, i think he’s off his meds

    • but do they live in the bigger settlements and if so which ones? aren’t they still subject to the neighborhood committees? are they allowed to buy property in the settlements? do they get permits there to build? i heard of one family who went thru several court cases to finally be able to build but just one. perhaps i am mistaken.

      I know there are Palestinian-Israelis in Ariel, the fourth largest settlement in the West Bank. I don't know about other settlements.

    • Can Arabs/Moslems/Christians who are Israeli citizens live in those “For Jews Only” 232 plus settlements & can they use those “For Jews Only” paved roads in the West Bank? Do they have the same rights as Jewish citizens?

      Technically and legally, they are "Israeli only", not Jewish only - so Muslim and Christian Palestinians with Israeli citizenship can use those roads and live in the bigger settlements. The smaller settlements, of course, wouldn't accept Arabs. I oppose this entirely - there shouldn't be separate roads, whether based on citizenship, ethnicity or religion.

    • Es 1982 – can I call you la naranja ?

      Am I missing a reference? Why an orange?

      What do you consider to be the borders of “Israel proper”? In actual fact, Israel hasn’t existed since June 1967.

      Israel proper is Israel as it existed before the Six Day War in 1967.

    • When you people don’t hold millions of people in a state of perpetual statelessness while you steal their land and murder their children, then maybe I might give a damn whether someone treats you theives with courtesy.

      Actually, you weren't on my mind when I wrote that. You usually attack my arguments and not me, unlike Taxi, Annie and some others.

    • Woody, what you're describing isn't Israel. Though it is the same government that rules there, the West Bank is a different regime. There I would agree that there is an Apartheid-like regime (though, technically, Palestinian citizens of Israel who move to the West Bank would have the same rights as Jews, which is the case, for instance, with Palestinian-Israelis studying and living in Ariel). It's a reprehensible situation that should end even before Israel and the Palestinians reach a peace treaty.

    • You and I can be best friends if you lived OUTSIDE OF OCCUPIED PALESTINE.

      The core problem is our disagreement over the definition of Occupied Palestine. According to your definition, that's where I live. According to mine, I live outside of it, since I live in Israel proper.

      I have to say, I am repeatedly struck by how badly some commenters on this site need to take courses about civil discourse and anger management.

    • Oh, Taxi, I love you too.

      Apartheid Israel hasn't committed anything, good or bad, since it doesn't exist. As for the real Israel - yes, it has committed state terrorism in the past and I condemn that. Cast Lead wasn't a case of state terrorism. It was a case of a state trying to end the firing of rockets on its civilian population. Unfortunately, it didn't really succeed.

    • es1982, I am glad to hear you want those who planned, engineered and carried out the crime of Cast Lead should be put away.

      That's not what I said. Cast Lead itself was not a crime.

      You haven't answered my question: are Amna Muna and Ahlam Tamimi heroes in your opinion?

    • Woody and Robert: Israelis who use illegal weapons such as white phosphorous and/or purposely target civilians are not heroes - they're war criminals and should be prosecuted and go to prison.

    • Here's my question: do you see Ahlam Tamimi and Amna Muna as heroes?

    • Nice to see that two of the prisoners whose release you celebrate here are Ahlam Tamimi and Amna Muna. Tamimi drove a suicide bomber to the Sbarro restaurant, where he killed 15 civilians. Muna tricked 16-year old Ofir Rahum into coming to Ramallah, where she participated in his brutal murder. She later taunted Israeli investigators and prison guards by imitating how Rahum cried for help in his final moments.

      These are your heroes.

  • Release
    • Annie, Hamas regularly targets civilians, including children in its suicide bombings and rocket fire on Israeli towns in the south. They'd never take any precautions to make sure children aren't harmed. Israel takes such precautions regularly.

    • And would support the prosecution for those Israelis who ordered this strike without first determining whether these civilians and children were present? In other words, do you believe that an indifference to such a possibility is fine, so long as there isn’t actual knowledge beforehand?

      It depends on whether or not there was actual indifference - whether they mistakenly believed there were no civilians or didn't care.

    • Annie, if those who attacked the Hamas commanders knew there were children and civilians there, they shouldn't have attacked. That isn't a heroic action.

    • I do think that an individual Israeli, who is innocent of his state’s actions (i.e., refused or did not serve in the IDF, who only votes for party promoting full Palestinian liberation, who is actively working for that liberation) would be justified in complaining if they, personally, are touched by terrorism committed by the other side. But not the Israeli people as a whole. They, alone, have the power to end this conflict. They choose not to.

      Let's see if I can complain if I or one of my loved ones is blown up by a bomb on a bus or a Qassam on my house:

      * I've participated in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups, though I've never participated in a demonstration against the occupation - borderline

      * I voted for Meretz in the last elections, and before that voted for Labor and Shinui - I guess that's borderline again.

      * I've served in the IDF, though not in the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem, and neither was I in a combat unit - disqualified.

      So, it is unjust to kill me, but I can't complain. Do I understand you correctly?

    • wikileaks revealed that Israel were anxious that the ceasefire was holding and that Hamas were benefitting from the calm, so they decided that militarism was necessary to cut off Hamas at the knees.

      Can you provide a link to that? I've done a Google search and all I could find was Israel trying to coordinate with Egypt and Fatah - nothing about Israel intentionally breaking the ceasefire.

    • If you aren’t willing to change your behavior (and history has established beyond doubt that you are not) then you have no valid basis to complaint about others’ acts against you.

      In other words, terrorism is unjustified, but complaining about it is just as unjustified. By the same token, it could be said that neither side has a right to complain about injustices against it, because it inflicts pain and injustice on the other side.

      I'd say the exact opposite. Both sides have legitimate grievances, and both sides have the right to express them.

    • See, the problem is that very few people here would argue with the legitimacy of the motive-premise you assign to Israel. The problem is that not every action taken in response to that motive-premise is legitimate. That’s the problem.

      I don't think that if the motivation is justified, then every action is justified. There were many unjustified actions during Cast Lead, but there were far more justified ones. The targets of the operation were terrorists (not civilians) and weapons caches and those are absolutely justified targets.

    • you mean as opposed to blowing up market places and running away because that is so much more moral? tell me yonira dbg, what kind of tactics did the jewish terrorists use , the ones streets are named after in tel aviv? which ones were more moral than using their own body as part of the bomb.

      Annie, I find it disturbing that you just can't find it in yourself to condemn Palestinian terrorism. Instead, whenever asked about the subject, you always say Israelis are worse - either today's soldiers and settlers or the pre-1948 Jewish militias.

      Let me do something I doubt you'll ever do - acknowledge that both sides can do terrible, wrong things. I don't only condemn Palestinian terrorism, I condemn Jewish terrorism as well. The Irgun and Lehi were indeed terrorist organizations which targeted Arab civilians and that was an unjustified crime. The fanatic settlers who attack Palestinians and destroy their olive trees and fields are criminals who belong in jail. The policy of taking children to jail in the middle of the night is horrible. Israeli soldiers who target civilians (killing or abusing) are also criminals.

      I can criticize my own side without losing faith in it. The other side should be able to do the same.

    • I can’t speak for annie, so I’ll only speak for myself. While I abhor the killing of any innocent, if the Israelis persist in committing such unquestionable acts of war such as the occupation, the land theft for Jewish colonies in the West Bank, the ethnic cleansing of Arab East Jerusalem, the destruction of Arab town, villiages and homes, not to mention the killing of innocent Palestinians with their US-supplied arsenal, they simply have no valid basis to complaint that the acts of their opponents are not “valid.”

      A suicide bomb is as valid as a “settlement” or the blockading of Gaza.

      That's a twisted justification for terrorism. You know the old saying - two wrongs don't make a right. No Israeli action can validate terrorism against civilians.

    • According to AP:

      "Hamas militants were in the area as the interview was being set up. One of them stood behind Schalit's chair, wearing a black face mask, a green headband of the Qassam brigades – Hamas' military wing – and filming with a video camera in his hand."

    • "against his will? do you have any links..i’d be interested in reading about that."

      At worst it was forced, at best it was exploitation of a man in a very sensitive situation. The guy is in the middle of being released from five years of captivity and is still on foreign soil. I wouldn't think that he'd like to sit down for an interview, instead of crossing over to Israel and/or speaking with his family. In the interview itself he says seeing so many people after being in isolation is hard on him - another indication that he doesn't really want to be interviewed. Neither is he expected to give any more interviews anytime soon.

    • Annie:

      i’m glad the egyptians interviewed him. i liked seeing him smile for the first time when they asked about palestinian prisoners and he said he hoped they were all freed and could go back to their families.

      Notice that he said he'd like the Palestinian prisoners to be freed if they won't continue fighting Israel and it will be part of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

      As for the smile - who knows what it meant. He could have been thinking "I just got out of captivity and haven't even returned to my country yet and you're already asking me political questions? Seriously?"

      I think his response to the question was excellent, as was how he handled the whole interview. It was remarkable, especially considering the circumstances. But I also think putting him in that situation against his will was abusive and unethical on the journalist's part.

  • A mixture of feelings as prisoners near freedom
    • Elhanan Tannenbaum wasn't a spy. He was a drug dealer. That was perhaps the dumbest prisoner exchange Israel ever agreed to - three dead bodies and one living criminal in exchange for hundreds of prisoners.

    • Believe me, DBG, the Israeli leadership would be happy to do a 1:1 (or even 1:100) prisoner exchange. It's the Hamas that demanded so many prisoners.

  • The Ninety-Nine Percent
    • Chaos:

      If you only count Americans with an opinion, 55% support the protests - that's still a lot less than Israeli support for our own version. My whole point was that your assertion that Israelis call the OWS protesters anti-Semites is baseless. I didn't claim Americans opposed the protests.

      As for the occupation - it is our main political problem, but not necessarily our main economic problem. It is one of many. Israel definitely can survive without the territories - after all, the loss of revenue from natural resources there would be balanced out by a lot of the defense-related spending that would no longer exist (like military protection of settlements).

    • According to a Rasmussen poll 33% of Americans hold a favorable view of OWS (not 40% like I mistakenly said before), 27% hold an unfavorable view and 40% have no opinion. In July, 87% of Israelis supported the J14 movement. I couldn't find a more recent poll, but it is safe to assume that support remains at around 80%, if not more.

      As for Israeli support for OWS, there are no polls I know of on the subject.

    • I would imagine that there is more support among Israelis for the Occupy Wall Street movement than there is in the States. After all, something like 40% of Americans support OWS while at least 80% of Israelis support a similar movement - J14. Besides, it is an economic protest, which most OWS participants don't associate with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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