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jon s

An Israeli history teacher,long-time activist on the Israeli Left.

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  • 'Let them eat candy' – Israel’s ideological war against incendiary kites from Gaza
    • The kites were not launched "towards Gaza" , since the wind blows west to east. I heard an interview this morning with a resident of Nir Am who explained that they organized a kite activity for the kibbutz kids in order to remind themselves that flying kites used to considered a fun, peaceful , passtime and hopefully will return to being so. They knew that the kites would not reach Gaza and hadn't intended them to.

      Meanwhile yesterday and today were the most destructive since the incendiary kites and baloons were introduced. Yesterday 17 fires occured, today at least that much again. Thousands of dunams of crops and pasture and trees and farm equipment have been destroyed. Firefighters have been able to keep the flames and explosives away from homes and schools and other facilities but the damage is extensive. So far the IDF has only fired warning shots at the terrorist units responsible but so far they don't seem to be deterred, so the next step will probably be live fire . And then Hamas will cry that they're innocent victims...Does anyone expect the IDF to just sit by and watch our country burn?

  • Israeli drones drop Ramadan blessings leaflet on Gaza-- before four more are killed
    • Annie, eljay,
      Unarmed civilians protesting non-violently should not be targetted. Shooting unarmed civilians who pose no threat to anyone is a crime and should be treated as such.
      Armed terrorists attempting to cross the fence with guns, grenades and explosives, are, of course, in a different category. The challenge to the IDF is in making that distinction, especially when the terrorists are taking cover among the civilians, the usual Hamas strategy.
      And let's not forget that arson is not a form of non-violence. The burning kites and helium baloons have caused hundreds of fires, burning fields and crops, pasture and nature preserves,and endangering lives. Incidentally , the helium for the baloons is taken from supplies delivered for hospital use in Gaza

    • The Hamas leadership once again encouraged their people to attack the fence , hoping for as many casualties as possible. They must be disappointed by the relatively low turnout and relatively low casualty count.

      Meanwhile the flaming kites and weaponized baloons are causing extensive damage and are life threatening. Hopefully the IDF will come up with a solution .

  • Palestinian medic, 21, is killed by Israeli sniper as she tends wounded in Gaza
    • zaid,
      Right. That's why Yonifalic should hand himself in to Palestinian justice. Since the crimes he confesses to were perpetrated in Gaza and Yonifalic apparently regards Hamas favourably, he could ask to be tried by a Hamas tribunal.

  • Gaza massacre ends American political oath: Israel support is bipartisan
    • A Hamas spokesperson claimed today that 50 of the men killed at the fence on Monday were members of the Ezaddin al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, disguised as civilians. So much for "unarmed nonviolent civilians."
      As for not being controlled, look at how Hamas turned it off the next day, just like that.
      I hope that Phil finds the time and energy to visit the area bordering with Gaza and meet some of the people in Sderot and Nahal Oz...

  • Live Blog: Massacre in Gaza as US and Israel celebrate embassy move to Jerusalem
  • 'Superpowers will not give us freedom so we will take it with our own hands': scenes from Gaza's final Friday protest at the border
    • MHughes,
      Torching the border crossing may seem absurd or stupid, but actually it's consistent with the Hamas strategy designed to ensure that their own people remain as miserable as possible, and suffer large numbers of casualties, preferably women and children.

  • Six premature infants have died in Gaza this year due to lack of medication
    • Cazador,
      Have you actually read the report you're commenting on? One of the main points is the inter-Palestinian dispute between the PA and Hamas, causing shortages in medical supplies and difficulties in access to medical services.
      Basically, if the Hamas cared about their own people, they would provide them with decent health care.

  • In propaganda coup for Israel, NYT frontpager ascribes Gaza's misery to Palestinian infighting
  • Norman Finkelstein's new book on Gaza is a meticulous account of Israel's crimes
    • I haven't read Prof. Finkelstein's book, but, judging from this review, his "facts and hard evidence" are questionable:
      -Hamas use of hospitals, schools, mosques and civilian residences as launching sites and arms depots has been reported and documented by non-Israeli sources.
      -The Mavi Marmara was not carrying "medical and other supplies".
      -Hamas rockets and mortars are lethal and have caused civilian casualties. They haven't caused more casualties because , fortunately ,we have the "Iron Dome " sytem, an early warning system, shelters and " security rooms". Hamas wouldn't dream of investing in shelters for their people.
      Tunnels have not (yet) been used to attack Israeli civilians because the IDF so far has been on guard and has prevented such attacks. Are we supposed to wait for such attacks to occur?

  • From Spinoza to Vilkomerson, Jewish voices for peace have long been banned-- by Jews
    • amigo,
      North Cascadian produced a quote purporting to show that non-Jews studying the Talmud are subject to the death penalty, he didn't say that there's such a "law in the Talmud". You ought to improve your comprehension skills. There really is no such "law in the Talmud".
      As to myself :
      I'm not an illegal squatter, I don't live on stolen land, I am living in my people's historic homeland, and I am aware of the revised Hamas charter (I think that I even referred to the revision in a comment a while back).

  • On my sixth visit, I've never seen Gaza so devastated
    • Annie, I admire Amira Hass and her courageous reporting . She shows in reports like this that the occupation is a combination of evil and stupidity.

      On Gaza: the people of Gaza need peaceful development and reconstruction. The Hamas authorities have failed miserably on that count.

    • Hamas could have made addressing the needs of their people -all the items that I mentioned- their top priority. If peaceful civilian development would have been their top priority -and not trying to kill Jews- the people of Gaza could have been on the road to reconstruction and prosperity. But I suppose that expecting that kind of transformation from Hamas is like expecting a shark to become a vegetarian.

    • The people of Gaza should have better schools, better health care, massive investments in infrastructure, agriculture, industry and commerce. Hamas has utterly failed to address those needs.

    • Marnie,
      Maybe you should connect the dots: with Hamas rule, that's what they'll get. No development, no hope.

    • Maghlawatan,I would like to see the people of gaza free and prosperous.I would like to see a whole different government from the one we've got. How does that make me a supporter of the status quo?
      And Gaza is run by Hamas, not "by Jews".

    • I'm not a legal expert, but it makes sense to enforce a naval blockade of a territory under the control of a terrorist organization. In any case the terrible situation in Gaza -which may become uninhabitable within the next few years if things don't change - is not due to the naval blockade.
      I would like nothing more than to see a prosperous Gaza , not only for altruistic reasons: it's never a good idea to have a desperate and starving neighbor next door.
      Hamas has totally failed to provide anything but misery for their own people . This failure on the part of Hamas is apparently one of the reasons for the recent agreement with the PA.

  • The low-rent bullying of the Zionist ideologue
    • lyn 117,
      Until very recently the Hamas terrorists had a viciously anti-Jewish charter. I understand that they have a new one, so hopefully that's a step forward. As to Iran and Hizbullah- they were responsible for the single deadliest anti-Jewish atrocity since WW2, the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires.
      The Zionist movement didn't push for depopulating Palestine. Mainstream Zionism sought to live in peace with the non-Jewish population, not replace it.

  • Hamas and Fatah sign unity deal, but details remain unclear
    • MHughes,
      Are you saying that the PA-Hamas agreement is an Israeli triumph?
      You ought to notify the Israeli government, which has been bemoaning the agreement,especially since there seems to be no provision for disarming Hamas.
      (see the link provided by Ossinev, below)

  • Defying families, Israel moves four Palestinians' bodies to anonymous ‘Cemetery of Numbers’
    • I absolutely oppose the use of bodies as bargaining chips or as a way of applying pressure. It's morally offensive and practically ineffective. The dead, no matter what their crimes, should be returned to their families.
      This principle should apply to all sides. The bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin , held by the Hamas terrorists, and not mentioned in this report, should be returned to their families unconditionally.

  • As Israeli soldiers crushed Gaza, world Jewry united, and sent Ben & Jerry's ice cream to the front
    • 1. Tisha B'Av is not a "holiday". It's a day of fasting and mourning , a day for reflecting on the disasters asssociated with the day.

      2. There are no Jewish-only roads in Israel.

      3. The Hamas terrorists bear a large measure of responsibility for the civilian deaths in Gaza because of their strategy of using schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian residences for military purposes.

      4. Ben & Jerry's plant is in Israel, not in the settlements. Many other international corporations have such facilities here: Coke and Pepsi, Unilever and Nestle, Intel and Google and Microsoft and so on. Why pick on the ice cream? As to selling in the settlements: everyone does. All the corporations I mentioned, all the car makers... I haven't heard of any companies who won't sell their stuff there (except for McDonald's, thanks to the owner).
      I don't understand the focus on Ben & Jerry's.

  • Why are Israeli children brainwashed to hate?
    • The video does look authentic, unfortunately.
      The woman is probably not their teacher, she's a guest, maybe a reporter.
      Horrible, reminds me of Hamas.

  • I am not a jew
    • Absolutely, Yonifalic, I suggest that you surrender yourself to Palestinian authorities. Preferably Hamas.

  • You know your country's in trouble when you're afraid to put on a bumper sticker
    • amigo,
      So it will be easy to find you when and if I visit Ireland. You're the guy driving around with the "Boycott Israel " sticker.
      Annie, "Free Gaza" can be understood as an anti-Hamas slogan.

  • Read the full translated text of the leaked Hamas charter
    • 1. If Hamas has moved beyond the vile Anti-Semitism of its present charter it's a positive development. On the other hand the new charter in article 10 mentions only Muslim and Christian holy places, ignoring Jewish ones. The text , in general , denies the Jewish presence.

      2. There's a clear contradiction in article 19. Establishing a Palestinian state on the pre-67 lines implies accepting partition and two states. However in the very same article there's the "from the river to the sea" formulation. If the pragmatic line gains the upper hand it may be possible for Hamas to become part of the solution.

  • Trump is putting the crunch on liberal Zionism
    • Diasp0ra,
      "Nobody suggesting a one state solution is saying it will be Arab. "
      Really? Nobody? How about Hamas, for example?

      As you say, we disagree. The ultimate objective is to achieve a future in which Israelis and Palestinians live in peace, without fear and hatred and bloodshed. I think that partition, two states ,is the best and only realistic solution. I'm not getting into the precise borders and percentages. Once partition is agreed on in principle, all that can be discussed.
      And since you mentioned the refugees : two states is the only path to a resolution of that issue as well.

  • Palestinians demand Israeli authorities release the remains of slain loved ones
    • Holding on to bodies is both morally wrong and counter-productive. They should all be returned to their families unconditionally. And that principle also applies in regard to the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, fallen IDF soldiers, being held by the Hamas terrorists.

  • Trump is bad because Israeli Jews will love him and US Jews will see it -- NYT columnist
    • A few points in response to various comments:
      1. I find any analogy or comparison between the situation in Gaza and the Wasaw Ghetto highly offensive. I wouldn't be too difficult for me to point out similarities between groups like Hamas and Hizbullah and the Nazis, but I prefer not to go there. So again I suggest that we discuss the situation in Gaza and leave the Holocaust alone. Or we can discuss various aspects of the Holocaust, but without any comparison with Gaza.

      2. Regarding the use of civilian facilities by Hamas for military purposes, there seem to be two contradictory arguments. Are those accusations untrue, and Hamas wouldn't even dream of using hospitals, mosques, schools etc. as launch sites and arms depots? Or is it ok for Hamas to do so because 70 years ago the Jewish undergrounds hid arms in a synagogue? Which is it?

      3.Regarding military vs. civilian casualties, I looked at the breakdown of the data in the B'Tselem report I cited before. B'Tselem estimates that of the 2202 Palestinians killed in Gaza 1391 (63%) were civilians. On the Israeli side 6 of the 72 killed were civilians (8%).

    • rosross,
      Your comparison of the Hamas terrorists in Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto is obscene and offensive, an insult to the survivors and to the memory of the victims. It can even be regarded as a form of Holocaust denial.
      Unlike the Hamas terrorists ,the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto were not firing rockets at the civilian population in Germany, were not digging tunnels into Germany, they had no conflict at all with Germany. They were victims of genocide.
      Let's go back to discussing the situation in Gaza. What Hamas does, what the IDF does and so on...Forget the "concentration camp", "Warsaw Ghetto" ,analogy.

    • Donald, it's never ok to intentionally target civilians, on either side.
      However you're ignoring the Hamas terrorists cynical strategy of using civilian facilities -schools, mosques, hospitals and such for military purposes, using the civilian population as human shields, deliberately increasing civilian casualties among their own people. The Hamas terrorists bear a large measure of responsibility for those casualties.

  • Powerful new game 'Liyla and The Shadows of War' dramatizes 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza
    • Annie,
      "claiming a palestinian intent" -that's not what I wrote, I wrote about Hamas. And yes, Hamas willfully endangered their own people. (while trying to kill Israelis).

    • gamal,
      You want the"Hamas policy statement? "OK, I assume your joking.
      During the conflict in 2014, and also previously , the Hamas terrorists used hospitals, clinics, schools, kindergartens, mosques and civilian residences as launch sites, weapons depots, tunnel entrances, etc. They knew that by doing so they were endangering those facilities and their own people.
      I posted 3 links (from non-Israeli sources)
      One is from Finnish TV. If you know someone who knows Finnish you could check the accuracy of the translation.
      The second, from French tv, is my favourite, because of the startled reporter when the rocket is launched.
      The third, also from French tv (English language service), shows preparations to fire from a civilian area, with children playing nearby.
      I'm sure that there are other such videos on the web, feel free to look for them.

      I have to ask you again, gamal, are you really saying that Hamas did NOT do so? It's not really in dispute.

    • gamal,
      You're right: Palestinian civilians are also innocent (and long-suffering...)
      I find it hard to believe that anyone could deny what Hamas was doing, it's pretty much common knowledge by now . Anyway, I managed to find some of the items I posted at the time:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmQpiUvS2PQ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FtKU6f6ogA

      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fb5_1407300669

    • gamal,
      Are you seriously saying that Hamas did NOT use hospitals, mosques, schools...? Really?
      I recall personally posting such evidence two years ago.

    • I don't suppose that the game includes any mention of the terrorist rockets fired at innocent civilians in Israel, or the Hamas strategy of using hospitals, mosques, schools and civilian residences as launching sites, arms depots , etc., with the deliberate intention of increasing civilian casualties among their own people.

  • 'Washington Post' publishes article by Jewish leader urging boycott of Israel
  • Video: Gaza family mourns children who burned to death
    • wfleitz,
      I'm not an apologist for the Israeli government, I totally oppose it.
      In this case we have 3 chidren who died in a horrific, tragic, accidental fire.
      The link provided by the writer explains that the power shortages are caused by a PA-Hamas dispute and that Israel provides Gaza with a significant part of its electricity. Egypt used to provide Gaza with some electricity, (around 10%, I think), but not at present.
      And yet: let's blame Israel anyway. Talk about pathological.

    • A horrible tragedy, but blaming Israel for it?

      From the link in the article:

      "Most Gazans have no option but to rely on candles for light because power cuts currently leave them without electricity for up to 18 hours a day.

      Much of their anger is directed towards the Gaza Electricity Company, which has failed to deliver reliable supplies despite last year banking profits $13.6m.

      Others blame the shortages on the 'blue tax' on fuel imposed by the West Bank-based Fatah-run Palestinian Authority on industrial fuel imported into Gaza to power the strip's only electricity plant.

      Last month, the United Nations reported that Gaza's power plant had been forced to shut down because of the PA's gradual reduction in an exemption on the fuel tax which had previously been in place.

      Prior to its closing, Gaza's plant had provided close to 30 percent of the enclave's electricity requirements, even operating at only 50 percent capacity.

      The remainder of Gaza's required electricity is bought mostly from Israel but also from Egypt, according to the UN, although power lines from Egypt into southern Gaza are currently not working."
      - See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/toddlers-burn-death-gaza-blaze-blamed-electricity-blackouts-1142846960#sthash.I72kMW3R.dpuf

      So the power shortages are caused mainly by a PA-Hamas dispute, and Israel, in fact , PROVIDES some of Gaza's electricity.

  • Against Balance: Thoughts on teaching Israel/Palestine
    • eljay,
      Do you realize that the "accountability" that you're talking about would also entail the prosecution of much of the Palestinian leadership (the entire Hamas leadership and, possibly part of the PA authorities) for war crimes and terrorism?
      Much as history is important to me, I really think that our focus should be on the present and the future and not on settling past accounts.

  • Bon Jovi's Tel Aviv gig is upstaged by Roger Waters's incantation of Israeli victims, including Dawabshe boy
  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
    • Kris,
      Hamas is a vicious and cowardly terrorist organization, with a racist and genocidal agenda.
      Comparing it to the Warsaw ghetto fighters is obscene and offensive.

  • After a hard week in the news, Israeli gets valentines all weekend from NPR
    • talknic,

      "Seems jon s has run away"
      First of all, unfortunately, I can't spend my whole life commenting on MW, I have a family, a job (and last week was the History matriculation exam), and -believe it or not - other interests.
      Secondly, we're in way different time zones. A good many hours could pass before I see your comment, and can reply.

      Finally, on topic: I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe I had misunderstood you, and you were not really saying that the way Hamas uses civilian facilities for military purposes is perfectly legal. Once you made it clear that that's really your opinion, it was "case closed".
      It's noteworthy that other anti-Israel (and pro-Hamas) commenters have usually denied that Hamas has such a strategy at all.

    • eljay,
      In the link you provided, the IDF is listed as one of four major employers in Beer Sheva.
      It's undeniable that there are military and defense-related facilities in and around the city. That still doesn't mean that the civilian population is a legitimate target, any more than the civilian population in the DC suburbs could be seen as such because of the proximity to the Pentagon. And there are plenty of other cities in the US with military facilities , think of the naval bases in San Diego and Honolulu and elsewhere.
      The real point is that the IDF is not using hospitals, schools, synagogues and mosques and civilian homes as launching sites, weapons depots and so forth, unlike the Hamas terrorists.

    • oldgeezer, Again, I don't live on stolen land, unless you consider all of Israel as such.

      The IDF makes a real effort to reduce civilian casualties. Could it do even more? I suppose it could. On the other side, we've seen how the Hamas terrorists use hospitals, schools, mosques and civilian residences for military purposes, deliberately causing civilian casualties among their own people.

    • My family and I are civilians, living in Israel, not the occupied territories. In other words, we're not "settlers" , as the term is used these days. We don't live on stolen land.
      It's the Hamas terrorists who deliberately target innocent civilians.

    • When you're under rocket fire from the terrorists in Gaza, concerned with protecting your family, as described by Etgar Keret, it's very difficult to simultaneously feel sympathy for the people of Gaza. I tried to do so last summer, to remember that the people in Gaza were being deliberately sacrificed by Hamas, but it was an effort.

  • Gaza’s al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades prepares for next Israeli war
    • The Hamas military wing is still on Egypt's list of terror organizations.
      The explanation I've seen has to do with the appearance of ISIS-affiliated cells in Gaza, who have recently launched several rockets at Israel. Strange as it may sound, Hamas, Egypt and Israel may have to cooperate against ISIS.

    • Shingo,
      In this comment I linked to a report about Hamas' torture and execution of other Palestinians. That's the subject of this specific report , so it shouldn't be expected to include other issues , such as the Hamas' firing from the hospital, which was witnessed and reported by other sources.
      Are you saying that people willing to use a hospital as a torture facility for alleged traitors would be reluctant use the same hospital for launching rockets at Israel?
      And do you have anything to say, any comment, on the matter itself, the use of a hospital in such a way?

    • Donald,
      Yes, I've read reports, and I certainly will never condone deliberately targetting innocent civilians, by anyone.
      Among the reports I've seen recently is this one:

      https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2015/05/gaza-palestinians-tortured-summarily-killed-by-hamas-forces-during-2014-conflict/

      Note the use of a facility on the grounds of al-Shifa hospital as an interrogation-and-torture center by Hamas.

      And see Prof. Asa Kasher's essay from last summer:
      http://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/1104/the-ethics-of-protective-edge/

      As to "numbers matter": the terrorists launched thousands of rockets and mortars with the obvious intention of killing thousand of Israeli civilians. Are you saying that if they would have been more succesful -the moral balance would have changed? I can't accept that.
      We all know why we had relatively few civilian casualties : we have an early-warning alarm system, we have shelters and "security rooms", and we have "Iron Dome". It's not that the terrorists were not trying.

    • Now that I've calmed down:

      This "report" is certainly one of the lowest depths that Mondoweiss has ever sunk to.

      To be clear: I think that the fact that the terrorists are rebuilding their arsenal and their tunnels and capabilities is news-worthy , and should be reported far and wide.
      Dan Cohen's report , however, seeks to glorify these terrorists, who have tried to kill me and my family, my neighbors and friends. So, yes, I do hope that when they go out to launch their rockets, a drone will see them and take them out before they press the "launch " button.

      As to Hamas' strategy: is anyone here seriously claiming that they did NOT use hospitals, mosques, etc. for military (=terrorist) purposes?

    • The writer , Mr. Cohen, glorifies these terrorists by calling them the "resistance ".
      Actually they are cowardly terrorists, like Hamas, who hide behind their own civilians. We saw them last summer , employing a cynical strategy deliberately intended to increase civilian casualties among their own people - by using hospitals, mosques, schools and civilian residences as launching sites, arms depots and such.
      Now they're rebuilding: rockets, tunnels, bunkers for themselves- not homes for their people.
      Hopefully, next time they hear a drone, it will be the last thing they hear.

  • The grotesque injustice of Obama's speech at the Washington synagogue
  • Israeli army can't stop patting itself on the back for helping Nepal victims
  • Jewish and Palestinian women are segregated in Israeli maternity wards -- Chomsky
  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • Donald,
      First of all, for the record, I stand by what I wrote about Hamas bearing primary responsibility for the civilian casualties.
      Secondly, what does that have to do with my opinion on the Hartman Institute?
      Someone can be wrong on one topic and correct on another (unless you have a totalitarian mind-set).

      In the interview with the late Rabbi Hartman it's pretty obvious that he's saying "these are the views I'm hearing, this is what's being said", not that those were his views.
      In any case, what I wrote was not based on a line from an interview from 2002, but on my direct contact with the Hartman Institute in recent years.

      I agree with Prof. Sarna, quoted in tree's link:

      "Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, described the Hartman Institute as “a little island of pluralism amidst a sea of what was often religious fanaticism..."

  • Day 1 at JVP: lemon squares, pinkwashing and high rate of miscarriages in Gaza
  • On 'Birthright,' a checkpoint is called a tollbooth, and Jews have E-ZPass
    • Seafoid, Just,

      I think we can agree that it's good to see that infant mortality has declined. Also the horrible incidents of checkpoint births.
      Of course, a lot more can be done: on the Israeli side by reducing and streamlining the administrative restrictions. On the Palestinian side, it would be nice to see a serious effort to reduce smoking. (see the causes of death.)
      Clearly it's not true that "hospitals can only be guaranteed to jews", as seafoid stated.

      As to the medical facilities in Gaza: of course they should be immune from military attack, same as schools and mosques. However if they are used by the Hamas terrorists for military purposes, they lose their immunity.

  • Ros-Lehtinen removes pro-Palestinian activists from Congressional hearing on punishing PA for joining ICC
    • Marnie,
      As I tried to explain, I think it's worthwhile to try to inject some balance into a blog which is overwhelmingly one-sided. For myself, I don't see much point in engaging only with people who share my views, what would be the point? I've always been interested in trying to understand other points-of-view (one of the reasons why I participated in Israeli-Palestinian encounter groups). Some of the posters on MW are intelligent and knowledgeable, and I find some of the discussions to be intellectually stimulating.

      As to the "treachery of the British" : the ties connecting the Jewish people to our historic homeland predate British involvement. Even modern Zionism was founded prior to British involvement . The British , after the Balfour Declaration and a period of cooperation during the 1920s and 30s, changed their tune, pased the White Paper, and I'm sure you know what the British-Zionist relationship was like in the years leading to 1948. So, in the end, it wasn't "made possible by the British", it was despite the British.
      I certainly don't agree that people who don't live on settlements are "just as bad", that there's no difference. That's the attitude of Hamas and Hizbullah, and of Netanyahu and Bennet.

  • Caroline Glick says there were no Palestinian refugees
    • Shingo,
      Once again, you presume to tell me what I think, without any foundation in what I wrote.

      "Hamas are Palestinians and but(sic!) you think that labelling someone terrorists means they are forever incapable of moderation or reform, and that Israel has the right to attack them regardless of their actions. "

      "Forever" is a long time and I don't think that all terrorists are incapable of ever changing.
      I would certainly welcome any indication that Hamas is ready to abandon terrorism.
      Israel's right to defend itself is relevant to Hamas' actions, not "regardless".

    • Shingo,
      This is what you accused me of:

      "A week ago you stated that it doesn’t matter if ISrael attacks the Palestinians first or initiated the conflicts because Palestinians are terrorists and what they do is never self defense it’s terrorism. "

      You've also been kind enough to cite my original post.

      So anyone who can read can see that I referred to Hamas, who are, indeed, terrorists, and not to the Palestinians in general. Also, in that quote I didn't express an opinion one way or the other as to Israeli actions.
      So who's the liar?

    • Shingo,
      I certainly do criticize Hamas anti-semitism.
      I don't make excuses for racism from any side.

    • It's clear that Article 22 in the Hamas Charter is referring to the Jews, with all the classic anti-semitic themes, and not just "zionist interests". The Zionist movement, founded in 1897, could hardly have been behind the French Revolution in 1789.
      Zofia says that she agrees , at least in part, to the part about "trading in armaments".
      Article 22 states: " They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments ..."
      It takes an absolutely demented, hate-filled ,mind to accuse the Jews of profitting from WW2, when 6 million Jews , 1/3 of our people, perished.

    • Just to be clear on Article 22 of the Hamas Chater, which Zofia now says is " in some part true":

      "... With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

      You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it..."

    • Zofia and other commenters are ignoring a key point. Even if - just to make the point - I accept your claim that IDF strikes on Hamas targets preceded Hamas rocket fire - it doesn't matter!
      That's because firing rockets and mortars at a civilian population is a criminal, terrorist , act. Every rocket fired at Sderot and Beersheva and Ashkelon, every mortar round aimed at Nahal Oz and Nirim, represents a criminal act.

    • Zofia,
      Article 7 in the Hamas charter:
      You state:"The part mentioning Jews is a quote". Sure it's a quote, one that extols the murder of Jews.

      Article 22 recycles classic Anti-Semitic themes: Jewish control, Jewish wealth, blaming the Jews for the French Revolution, Communism , and both world wars.

      Again, if this was just some old, out-dated document, maybe we could just forget about it, but that's not the case. Hamas practices what it preaches in the charter, terrorism and murder. The Hamas attacks this summer were only the most recent examples,

    • Zofia,
      First of all , thanks for your comments, which are on-topic and informative, without resorting to name-calling and personal insults, as is so often the case on this forum.

      Of course I haven't had the time to go over all your links (and I'll try to do so in the next few days), but just a brief look leads to the question as to the relevancy of non-violence here. We are talking about Khaled Mashal, leader of Hamas, after all.
      Hamas' ideology is formulated in its covenant, which has never been repealed as far as I know:

      http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

      See especially the Introduction, Article 7 , and Article 22.

      If we were just talking about an ideology formulated in a document from 1988, one coud argue that it's outdated and irrelevant. But Hamas continuously practices its murderous anti-Jewish ideology, as we saw as recently as this past summer.

    • I don't know what Meshaal said in that specific speech, but he is, after all, leader of Hamas, an organization committed to killing Jews, in ideology and in practice.

  • Why I confronted Gregor Gysi
    • Seafoid,
      Somehow Hamas had the funds to acquire huge quantities of rockets and other weapons.
      And , surely, if they had the know-how, the budget , the material and the manpower to dig all those tunnels -they could have built some air-raid shelters.

    • The gist of my reply to Horizontal -which I believe to be true, Annie -was that Hamas bears primary respnsibility because they
      - fired thousands of rockets and mortars at our civilian population
      -used schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian residences as launching sites, weapons depots, etc.
      -invested virtually zero in providing shelters for their civilian population, while they , the Hamas leadership, had shelters.

    • Annie,
      Fine, let's remember that when this blog posts unconfirmed Hamas propaganda.

      Are you serious about telling me to stick "I believe" ? I think that it should be taken for granted that I believe that what I write is the truth.

    • Horizontal, I tried to reply, but my comment was critical of Hamas and didn't pass moderation.

      Mooser, Absolutely, check the archive.

    • " I was expecting him to defend the slaughter like Jon S did, a necessary cleansing to make Israel purer ..."
      I never "defended a slaughter". During the summer I was horrified by the bloodshed, especially the civilian casualties, and I placed primary blame on Hamas. And of course I never said any such nonsense about making israel " purer".

      Mr. Sheen and Mr. Blumenthal repeatedly compare Israel to the Nazis. Doing so in Germany is especially outrageous.

  • An exciting night at the opera: 'Klinghoffer' opening dominated by protest and heavy police presence
    • Annie,
      At least you admit the lack of fair play on Mondoweiss, so I don't have to worry that I've become paranoid.
      I assumed that the moderators' job is to make sure that the guidelines that appear in the "comments policy " are observed, and not to shoot down comments because he or she disagrees, or even thinks it's crap.

      I didn't say that the Palestinians want their own people to be slaughtered. I said Hamas.

      I didn't know that I have "co-horts".

      I express my own opinions and observations , the truth as I see it, -within the guidelines - and I would like to continue to do so. I'm not going to adjust my comments in order to avoid being censored .

    • Annie,
      Why should I have to hope for some other moderator?
      What is this, some kind of personal vendetta?
      This forum has a "comments policy", and I try to stay within those guidelines.
      According to your comment , it's ok to mention Hamas firing rockets, but not the strategy Bill Clinton was referring to? And it's prohibited to repeat the same point "over and over"? (What will talknic do?)

    • Annie,
      I haven' t "fabricated" anything.
      "a modicum of objectivity" - do you think Mondoweiss is objective, fair and balanced? When comments mentioning Hamas crimes are not allowed?

      I wasn't in Gaza, at Wafa hospital, in July - and neither were you, so I suppose it comes down to who is a reliable source, who do you believe?

      http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/07/28/hamas-uses-hospitals-ambulances-military-purposes/
      http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Terrorists-fire-anti-tank-missile-from-Al-Wafa-hospital-368818

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • Shingo,
      From the Central Bureau of Statistics .In fairness I should point out that the most recent year for which data is available is 2012, so if there was a significant shift this year, it doesn't show up there yet.
      I'm not aware of having been "thumped" regarding Hamas' crimes. I stand by everything I wrote on that topic.

  • In the last days of 'Operation Protective Edge' Israel focused on its final goal -- the destruction of Gaza's professional class
    • Dan Cohen ignores Hamas' strategy of using schools, mosques, hospitals and residential buildings as launching sites, arms depots, etc., thereby deliberately increasing casualties and destruction among their own people.

      As former President Bill Clinton said: "Hamas' strategy is to have Gaza civilians killed".

      see here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awAyL3haQ28

      Mr. Cohen notes that " the professional class, a key pillar of Palestinian society generally considered unsympathetic to the political goals of Hamas, " - which would give Hamas an added incentive in this case.

  • 'Jews Against Genocide' take the blood bucket challenge at Yad Vashem
    • Joer,
      I never ignored civilian Palestinian casualties. I was horrified by the death and destruction in Gaza but I said that Hamas bears primary responsibility.

      "Hypothetical friendly fire..." First, I wasn't snickering. Second, over 500 rockets and mortars fired by Hamas and the other terrorists landed in Gaza, on their own people , and that's a conservative estimate.

      Hamas targets civilians (and I make a distinction between the Palestinians and Hamas). That's not a "charge" I made, that's a fact , proven by thousands of rockets and mortars fired at our civilian population, causing casualties and damage. What does "the ratio" have to do with it? It's not for lack of trying, on Hamas' part.

      You may have read Hamas propaganda in disguise, maybe even here on MW.

    • Joer,

      "Parroting official propaganda " - of course I could accuse you of parroting Hamas propaganda. So please point out what, in my post, are you disputing? That many Hamas rockets fell inside Gaza? That their strategy was designed to cause civilian casualties on both sides?
      "Lack of empathy"? "total ignorance"? I've mentioned on several occasions the misery, the horrific casualties , the destruction , suffered by the people of Gaza. I'm sorry if my empathy wasn't clearer. As to ignorance- what am I supposed to be ignorant of? Would you like to compete in knowledge?

    • Actually , hundreds of Hamas rockets and mortars fell short of their intended targets in Israel and landed inside Gaza, so in that respect, they really were "dropping bombs on themselves".

      Aside from that, the hamas strategy was to try to cause civilian casualties in Israel and also among their own people.

    • Seafoid, How is Yad Vashem a fraud?
      Yad Vashem consists of:
      - a stunning museum, designed in its present form by the architect Moshe Safdie.
      - an educational center which attracts students and teachers from all over the country and from abroad.
      - a huge archive and research institute, arguably the foremost institute in the world for study of the Holocaust.
      -several memorials and monuments.
      -an excellent website.

      Where's the fraud?

      Oh, and I like your idea of an outreach centre in Gaza. Not much chance of getting approval from Hamas, though.

  • Israeli attack on Gaza damaged 75 kindergartens and day-care centers
  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • Annie,
      I don't recall ever "merging " Hamas and ISIS, but if you say so, I'll take your word for it. I think they are comparable . (Note that "comparable" doesn't mean "identical".) The similarities are in their fundamentalist-jihadi ideology and in their methods, namely terrorism. The difference is that ISIS is slaughtering all " infidels" (meaning anyone who doesn't share their ideology, Hamas focuses on trying to kill Jews (and the occasional "traitor").

      I absolutely plead guilty to making a distinction between the Palestinian people and Hamas.
      I wrote that Hamas love death and teach hatred, based on their own words.

      I'm convinced that our friend Shmuel was wrong in maintaining that the kidnap/ murder of the three teenagers was not a Hamas operation.

      So far you've failed to cite a single racist statement on my part.

  • Three ways Palestinians can hold Israel accountable for Gaza war crimes
    • Shingo, not lies, not "eviscerated " or debunked . Hamas launched hundreds of rockets and mortars from schools, mosques, hospitals and civilian residences. They also used those civilian facilities as weapons depots , command centers and entrace points to tunnels.

    • Annie, I don't think it was me who posted that video. I posted videos relating to rocket launches from Shifa Hospital.
      Are you justifying summary executions by Hamas because "Israel does it". Isn't that what you call "whataboutery"?

      Justpassingby, Hamas didn't send "a rocket", but thousands of potentially lethal rockets and mortars.

      Donald, Fine with me, too.

      Pjdude, I'm not a legal expert but I doubt that that's true. Wouldn't that justify deliberately targetting children? In any case, the civilian population in the Israeli South have not been "illegally transported into occupied territory" so your point is irrelevant.

      Talknic, What's hilarious is the notion of investigating alleged war crimes on the part of the one "player" in the entire Middle East that makes the most serious effort to minimize civilian casualties.
      It's not illegal to use civilian facilities for military purposes? It just changes their status to military? So you convinced me that it's ok to attack them.
      IDF headquarters: is it in the basement of Hadassah Hospital?
      Summary executions are consistent with Hamas practice. No surprises.

      Marnie, When we're attacked, we have the right to fight back. I admit that , when under rocket fire, there is an element of fear, I wouldn't be honest if I denied it. Completely natural.

    • As Alex Kane mentions in passing, if the Palestinians sign the Rome Statute, it will open the way for investigations into Hamas' crimes: the rocket and mortar fire directed at our civilian population (every single launch - a crime in itself); the criminal use of schools, mosques, hospitals and residential areas as launch sites, depots, command-and-control centers and so forth; the use of their civilians as human shields; summary executions of their own people...

  • 'The Hill' is to the left of the 'New York Review of Books'
    • "Left" and "Right " are confused here.
      Since when does supporting Hamas - or at least apologizing for it- put you on the Left?
      Fundamentalist -religious terrorists are not on the Left.

  • Cycling4Gaza to stage Philly to DC trek in mid-September
  • 'NYT' headline implicating Hamas in teen killings is a lie

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