A Braveheart Christmas in the Holy Land

December 29, 2008

In the big battle scene in the movie Braveheart, terrified whispers ran up and down the ragged ranks of sword-waving Scots that the English were ranged before them with “500 heavy horse” – armoured cavalry of devastating power in those days.

But the wild-haired hero-general William Wallace (actor-director Mel Gibson) rode his pony up and down the front ranks shouting: “We don’t have to beat them. We just have to fight them!”

That was in the 14th century. But 700 years later it seems to be the same cry  from the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian fighters allied to the Islamic fundamentalist cause led by Hamas pursue a lopsided battle against Israel, pitching erratic, homemade rockets into nearby Israeli lands, until they trigger a major offensive and start taking the heaviest casualties in 60 years of conflict, from Israel F-16s and Apache helicopters.

The warplane is today’s ‘heavy horse’, of course, but it can represent a far, far superior advantage. The Israelis fly with virtual impunity over the crowded Gaza enclave, picking out designated targets in their own good time, capable of selecting individual apartments in a block if they need to. Should it come to ground fighting, Israel has equally advanced tanks with state-of-the-art optics and sensors, plus plenty of modern armoured personnel carriers and artillery that the Islamists do not possess.

The score in Gaza, to state the facts in the crudest terms, was 300 to 1 dead in the first 48 hours.

Monday was day three of the air campaign. In 1999 NATO found itself in its first war, against Serbia over the conflict in Kosovo. The air campaign was conducted at the safety altitude of 22,000 feet because the Serbs, unlike Hamas, did indeed possess anti-aircraft missiles and cannon. A committee of 19 states, the 45-year-old alliance was a nervous newcomer to actual fighting. It gambled that air power would inflict just enough pain to persuade the Serbs to capitulate. But when that did not happen in the first five days, NATO was in a panic, and facing the unthinkable – an invasion.

Some generals had warned the allies that, if you start a war, you must be ready to go all the way and ‘put boots on the ground’. But they had preferred wishful thinking.

Israel, of course, is no newcomer to war, does not need lessons in the limits of air power, and knows that a ground offensive in Gaza cannot be ruled out. Even if Gaza’s Islamist militants number 35,000 as estimates say, there is little doubt who would be likely to come out on top. But it would probably be on top of a land of rubble, with a storm of Arab and Muslim defiance gathering above the entire region.

As the smoke rises from Gaza, anger and defiance seems to be spreading across the Arab world, fuelling protests and violence in the occupied West Bank, stoking anti-Israel sentiment in the wider Arab world, where the young, especially, despise seemingly weak, or complacent regimes unwilling or unable to do something. Islam is their “rock n roll” now, as one writer recently put it, and the militants of Islam have no moral problem with “asymmetric warfare” — the return of the suicide bomber to Israeli cities, the weapon no Apache or F-16 can stop.

If this is what the defiance of Gaza’s puny rockets begets, then Braveheart’s romantic injunction that “you just have to fight them” could prove to be correct.

(Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip December 28, 2008. Israel launched air strikes on Gaza for a second day on Sunday, piling pressure on Hamas after killing more than 270 people in one of the bloodiest days in 60 years of conflict between the Palestinians and the Jewish state. REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

56 comments

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Taking the scottish analogy as far as we can – Edward II (whom Wallace was fighting) and his ceaseless meddling, invasions and occupation was the single greatest contributing factor in uniting military opposition against him (that Wallace was to lead for a while). In the end, it was recognition, peace, then economics that achieved what Edward’s methods could not. Back to the ME. Israel’s strategy doesn’t leave any room for ‘moderate’ voices in Gaza; no one willing to make meaningful peace or do economics with – which suggests Israeli strategists believe they can profitably manage the local security backlash, and the wider geo-political implications . . .

just to be a pedant- the Battle of Stirling Bridge was 1297 i.e. 13th century!?

Posted by john anderson | Report as abusive

3 years ago, Israel cleared out off the Gaza strip. since then the hamas terror organization has been shooting missiles, killing Israeli civilians. this operation comes in response to that. why aren’t these details included in the above article? isn’t reuters committed to show both sides? or is this some anti Jewish say? in days when even arab leaders are saying hamas could have prevented this by not shooting missiles, this kind of article reminds me of Hitler’s minister of propaganda – Gebles.

Posted by Aby | Report as abusive

Why is Hammas shooting rockets, beacause they are under OCCUPATION anything that goes into gaza is Israeli controld. It is like the biggest prison in the world and dont tell me this site is biased it is the reality of Israeli state terror.

I think it is ok for the states to be terrorist but not organisations like Hammas. Irael put its tail betwen its legs and was on the run from Hizbullah and now same will happen agianst Hammas.

How long can USA protect Israel, so a wise solution to have proper peace with all its neighours and give palestinian their rights to have their state. Which should have been done long ago but the people who promote justice are truly blind to this unjustice, raep, muder and mass killing of innocents.

Where is the leaders of the world to stop this I dont hear any harsh words except “CEASFIRE” which goes on deaf Isralei ears. Because they know the biggest terrorst in the world USA is backing them. Like it or not this is the truth…then people wonder why do Muslims behave the way they do kos they see injustice only agianst Muslims.

Surely the Muslim ummah will wake up inshala, and i can only say thnaks to Israel for helping us do that!!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

i really do not understand what the international reaction is all about. the last 6month there was an official 6month trueth now in that period of time the Hamas was shooting rockets why did no one say something???ok so israel had to get rid of that problem by them self and tried a blockade with NO effect,and then 1min after the 6month of trueth the Hamas started the war on israel with 70rockets hitting in to israel.so first of all Hamas started the war second of all how long should the people suffer from the rockets i think its a disaster the way all the papers reacted but the Jewish nation is used to that they NEVER had someone backing them up for the last 5000years they always did everything by them self.

Taking a cue from the movie, perhaps Hamas could skip the homebrew missles and simply wave their bare butts at the Israelis.

Posted by Art Marriott, Seattle | Report as abusive

This article has a lot in common with “Braveheart” the movie – they are both make-believe.

Reuters should stick to reporting the NEWS – not peddling political fairy stories.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

If all the details were to be included in one article we better go a hundred years back to Balfour Declaration and subsequently draw our own conclusion if it can be any different from this article!!!

The simple fact is that where there is war there is a reason for it.

Posted by Shah | Report as abusive

Did I miss an article by Douglas Hamilton in which he complained about Hamas sending volley after volley of missiles into Israel? If so, I would appreciate if he sends me a mail pointing to the URL so I can read it. If not, Mr. Hamilton has (hopefully unwittingly) joined the ranks of the “blame the Jews” legions.
How many times must one “turn the other cheek” so as to become “acceptable” by Mr. Hamilton’s standards?

Posted by Nigel Derevy | Report as abusive

glad I’m not the only who drew this comparison, the defiance of the Hammas leader and his followers did remind me of the movie Braveheart, although i wouldn’t want to romanticize the whole thing, as it is still as ugly as ever..

Posted by gwash | Report as abusive

For Palestinians … under the brutal israeli occupation … under the brutal israeli siege … under the brutal israeli starvation of mass communities of refugees … the American support of the brutal occupation … LIFE WITHOUT FREEDOM – IS NO LIFE AT ALL … LIFE WITHOUT FREEDOM – IS NO LIFE AT ALL !!!

Posted by Hazem Awni Jarrar | Report as abusive

Several points need to be made.

A. Israel pulled out of Gaza 3 years ago – leaving Gaza to be ruled by Palestinian Arabs with no Israeli interference.

B. Israel controls only its border with Gaza and like any other country in the world, Israel is not obligated to open its borders to people who want to kill its citizens. Palestinian Arabs in gaza can always enter and leave Gaza through Egypt. That border has rarely been closed. The image of Gaza being closed by israel is a lie.

C. HAMAS has spent the past three years doing one thing – organizing for war and shelling israeli civilians. That’s a choice they made – assuming the world would prevent israel from doing anything.

Anyone – individual or International Organization or Government that did nothing and said nothing while Jews were terrorized and killed by Arab rockets – has no right to say anything now. Or has nothing been learned since World War II when the world kept quiet as long as it was just Jews being uprooted and murdered.

Posted by Roger Froikin | Report as abusive

On 9/12/01 the people of Gaza celebrated the attacks on American. We too have a long memory and while will never do something so classless, I’m glad the IDF is hitting them and I hope it goes on for years…….PS, this blog is a joke.

Posted by John Cummings | Report as abusive

The idea that this attack comes as the result of Hammas launched rockets into Israeli territory is flawed. At best. How many people have been killed or even injured by the rocket attacks? If you can’t answer that question then you need to seriously examine your belief that the air raids are somehow justified. After that maybe you should pick up a book or two and read about how many times over the last 60 years Israel has flouted international law in the pursuit of their dream of creating a “safe haven” for the Jews of the world. Israel is not the helpless victim its politicians and supporters would like to make it seem. It is an aggressive, unforgiving powerhouse of a nation. For us to think anything else is sheer madness. Security and peace are never won by the sword, they are won through compromise, negotiation and, above all, wisdom.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

It seems to me there is about as much to compare between the Palestine/Israel situation and Braveheart as there is to compare Braveheart and the situation ‘depicted’ in the film.
I sincerely don’t get the author’s point.
I am, however quite looking forward to reading the comments…
Happy hogmanay

Posted by T | Report as abusive

I’m proud of the middle east conflict. We will see nuclear weapons in this place of the world.

Posted by nublix | Report as abusive

several points that need to be made (and are the truth)

1.) although israel patrols its borders like anyone else, it is the only nation that stops fuel, medicine, and food from coming in whether by land, sea, or air, thus crippiling an entire population. this crime has been noted by several agenicies and nations and is not a lie.

2.) Palestinains and arabs do enter and leave as they wish thru the egyptions borders as stupidly stated in a previous comment. they are harrassed and attacked at the egyption border because that is part of an israeli sponsored agreement with egypt.

3.) israel has spent 60 years occupying a territory and that does not belong to it. it has spent 60 years bulidng illegal settlements that violate several UN and even their own accords.lessons of WW 2 have not been learned, arabs had no hand in the holocaust, instead the nation responsible for it Germany is, and it is to the fault of the U.S, UK and other european nations that it happend, so learn your history before you decide to lie about it.

4.) this is not the first time, israel has carried out massive attacks on civlian populations, they killed 1200 civilians in lebanon back in 2006 before hezbullah finally shamed them and forced them to retreat. they launch military attacks on a civilian population and make excuses about trying to go after militants with no regards for civilian casualties.

Posted by paul | Report as abusive

What does it say about a reporter who gets his history from a very inaccurate movie? Where’s the River, Mel?

Thanks, John Cummings, for bringing up the fact that the Palestinians celebrated on 9/11. Whatever sympathy I had for them I lost when I saw them cheering in the streets.

Posted by TJ | Report as abusive

Palestinians are crying babys… if they shot missiles at any real power such as Russia, Chine, the USA or Britian these contries would raise the palastinians to dust with relish. Get over it and learn Hebrew.

Posted by Bob golackowitz | Report as abusive

Again we are faced with a double standard surrounding the events in Gaza. For 7 months Israeli citizens in southern Israel have been subject to daily rocket attacks from Hamas with no effort by the United Nations to stop it. However, when Israel is forced to respond and attacks Hamas terrorists, then the United Nations rises in indignation to confront what they call a “humanitarian crisis”.

Where was that same moral indignation when a half million Israelis were terrorized by 3,000 rockets from Hamas?

We can DO BETTER IN WAR(for what ever reason we have either true or false) if we can AVOID CIVILIAN fatalities.
Do you like to see your mother, sisters, children and babies being burnt (or may be worst for slower dead – burried by ruins) alive with bomb?
If you don’t like it, they also don’t like it.
STOP CIVILIAN killing right now! You can do that.

Posted by Goodman | Report as abusive

Play with the cards you dealt with. Hamas wanted to end the 6-month Egyptian brokered ceasefire, not Israel.

From what I understand, if two states were formerly at war, agreed to a ceasefire, but did not agree on a peace treaty, once the ceasefire expires, the two states would be at war again. So when Hamas ended the ceasefire, Israel was also no longer bound by it. Now when Israel started opening fire, don’t complain because you gave up the chance of peace.

No nation is going to wait for you to start killing its citizens again before they act.

Posted by Maurice | Report as abusive

This is battle of Weak and Strong, Right n Wrong Opressed and the Agressor. I am ashamed of the worlds reaction when half of the number were killed in Mumbai the world leaders went bezerk. Where is the world leaders now instead of condemning the murders acts of the IDF they are supporting it. The biggest terrorist of all in the world USA is backing the Israel strategy.

To all the bloggers who are asking where is the Israeli right well firstly it is the palestinians that were living in that land for thousands years. Who sacrificied everything to give the unthankful Jews a land to live in, which no one else wanted to in the world. This is what they get in return illegal occupation, illegal settlements, target killing, murderers of innocent children.

Why dont you give the palestinians the same weapons and well see who wins. This is like David and Goliath, But I say to the palestinians dont cry and dont show your tears to your oppressors.

The people of Kashmir and all over the Muslim world are with you and understand your greif inshalah one day this occupation will come to end. They can bomb you, put you in prison which it is gaza as everything is controled what goes in and out.

I didnt see any rockets attacks, when the ceasfire was on however while Israle killed up to 30 people in gaza and target killing wasnt that the end of the ceasfire.

The images you see on your TVs of inncont children, mothers and helpless fathers. The worlds double standards which makes people to become sucide bombers and become terrorists.

Posted by Ali786 | Report as abusive

To the previous poster,

You see not the difference. When Mumbai was attacked, it was not because of self-defense; Nobody in India was firing rocket salvoes at Pakistan territory. However, in the Gaza strip, militants were launching their homemade rockets every other day at Israeli cities causing casualties.

If you don’t like to see your own people dying due to air strikes, please understand neither does your enemy, no matter how bad you think they are.

Posted by Maurice | Report as abusive

response to john cumming!!

I think you are sick in the head that you are glad what the IDF is doing in Gaza. Do you wonder why they are happy when USA gets attacked kos they know at least you felt what they have been feeling for the last 60years.

It is the biggest terrorist of the world USA which is sponsoring terrorism via IDF in the middle east and elsewhere in the world. For the last 8 years Israeli has carried on with the policy of extension, illegal settlements why arnt the UN resolutions binding on Israel I know why because the USA is sitting behind it and they know.

The Jews know USA is behind them the question I would like to ask is like every empire USA will go down that is nature. Then we will see who will Israel turn to, they will pay the price Mr John if your memory is not that bas so is the Arabs.

Even if it takes another thousand years the Israel Zionist regime will be hit where it hurts. They will b thrown into the sea. What goes around comes around, what happened against Hizbullag IDF put its tail between the legs and run off and now want to shwo the worlds how big, strong it is when all they do is fire from thousands of feets get on the ground. Even palestinians will stones will kill few.

Wake up world!!! Wake up! It was the Germans who mascarred you not Palestinians and give them their rights. Or history will repeat itself and when it does it will be worser then what happpend to you in Europe believe me!!!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Maurice—

Thanks for your input, you are telling at the same time it was the IDF that was target killing Hammas memebrs and still controling the flow of all goods going into Gaza, Gaza City is like a open prison. Why dont you go and stay there for a night maybe then you will feel how the Palestinians feel. Its ok for you to sit in Tel Aviv and say that, ever wondered why they are firing because they are still under illegal occupation, Israel still going ahead with illegal settlements.

Israel never wants peace because how will it carry on with the policy of expanstion. Jews from all people should feel how the Palestinians feel because they have suffered as well or have they? but I have my dougts now. Surely if they have been through it, how can they unleash such a force against inncocent children and if IDF thinks by killing so many they will achieve peace you are living in a dream world and need to wake up..

Posted by ali | Report as abusive

If Israel wants peace then all it needs to do is go back to 1967 border, it will never do that the policy of this Zionist regime is agression and to take as much land as possible from the weak palestinians.

Respect palestinian state help the people of palestine to get on their feet, give them hope and something to live for. But if you are going to kill, restrict all the movement and those people have no hope they will turn to Hamas.

At least the civilised people of the world can see the double standards of the world andthen wonder what makes these people sucide bombers, terrorist when they have no hope and it aint nothing to do with 72virgins etc. The fact is when you have no hope and all your family is mascarred vy the Jews and what is the point of you living so the mentality comes in if i am going taking you lot with me.

Posted by Hussain | Report as abusive

eply to Mr. Cummings comments, the world watched as Israelis backed by Americans invaded Palestine, slaughtered civilians and since has taken hostage millions of people. The world has watched as oppression, murder, and human rights were violated. Again the world is watching as more people are murdered and an entire population has become targets of your agendas. Murderers don’t get sympathy. As your economy continues to fall, your nation will become more irrelevant don’t expect the world to save you then

Posted by larry | Report as abusive

most of you act as if this problem began with hamas firing rockets into israel. yet you ignorantly ignore that israel has been doing is since its miserable inception. back in 2006 the attacked lebanon and killed 1200 people before they were chased out. now they are it again. they have been cutting off food, medicine, and electricity for decadeds into gaza and the west bank. palestinians are prisoners in their own land. of course it is easy most americans to side with israel considering the U.S did the same thing to native americans and african americans in their own country. israel is a product of an american creation and is stooge for american policy.

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

The kill ratio is still almost 100 to 1 in favor of Isreal with civilian deaths at about 62 so far. The leaders of Isreal say they will continue until Hamas is destroyed. Hamas was elected by the Palestinian citizenry in an open election.
It is against out constitution and against the concept of our bill of rights that we help overthrow a duely elected government regardless of whether we like them or not. Is self determination only for occidentals?
Within my parents life Isreal was created and the Palestinians ( primarily involved in agriculture 60 years ago) were pushed into the tightest living quarters on earth.
Like a modern Warsaw they are kept in what amounts to internmentment. While their resources dwindle and they starve for food, power, medicine and other staples the west condemns them as terrorists for defending themselves as best they can. The Isreali method of divide and conquer, sit and wait, starve them out has not worked ever to diffuse the military problem. Knowing this it is obviously a pogrom against Palestinians to continue.
America needs to stop all aid to Isreal and let the 2 parties determine their own fate. We look like hippocrites assisting one of the most powerful armies in the world as it stomps on a people armed with home made rockets and small arms. Every developed nation in the world except the US is shying away from the obvious brutality and unipolar view of Isreal. We should use the obscene amounts of aid money we give to Isreals military to revamp our medical and education systems domestically.

Posted by riverguide | Report as abusive

these terrorist don’t lack excuses. why can’t some of these islamic terrorist sect call muslims question hamas for firing missiles indescriminately into isreal. what did the world do when isreal was complaining, in fact eygypt is a withness of what has been taking place there for the past couple of years and thank God they have taken their stance. You the warmonger terrorist have to expect more, where on earth have u seen a nation stay silent while terrorist groups fire indescrimately into urban settelments without reponding.Isreal have the right to react, to me they should do more to send a clear message to the so call hamas and hezbolla and their supporters seria and iran. to hell with ur fact religion and idealogy.
the end of time is near, i wish u see how many of these islam worshipers are crying in hell. thats their home after death,

Posted by mohamed | Report as abusive

Ali,
Please stop propagating your damn Islamic attitudes here.
This is a battle of Terrorists and Civic society.
You must be ashamed of yourself for what your people (all Muslim Terrorists) are doing to this world.

Sigh… Whenever we watch any news channel, its become a damn irritating thing to see those sadistic faces with big beards, every extremist activities bears Islam name.

Someone has rightly said “Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslims”

You guys beg for dollars from US by blackmailing them, you guys want F-16 from US, and all items from US for your military, and now when US stops them they become a Terrorists to you. :P Typical denial religion.

Go Israel go… at least you have some nuts to break, we will follow you soon.

BTW don’t take India, Mumbai, Kashmir name from your filthy mouth.

Posted by The Indian | Report as abusive

“Hammas is a terrorist puppet with strings attached to its Iranian masters” this is a fact. Now, you and I can write million comments against Reuters, CNN, ABC,….etc, and the way the media reports the news, but the fact of the matter is that most of us don’t see who the real winner of this chaos is, the Iranians. Two years ago, they won a war with Israel through their servants, Hezbollah, currently they are the sole beneficiary of the Iraq war, and now they are trying to create a new war far away from their borders to keep the threat of their regime change at bay. In his speech three months ago, Ahmadinejad said that the US will have to fight Iran in the streets of Baghdad and at the borders of Israel. The Godfather of terrorism needs to be dealt with; we need to support the Iranian opposition (get info here: http://www.iranfocus.com) in its path to demolish the Mullahs theocracy and defeat the Islamic fascism in the Middle East, this is the only solution we all have.

Posted by I've been there | Report as abusive

Hamas is fighting for the people of Gaza, they have been democratly elected to represt people of Gaza. When democracy produces this why cant the west accept it. People of Gaza strip have been under constant hardship, daily humiliation, target killing Hamas was not firing any rockets.

Israel can do what it likes but but will never achieve its target. Till it does not stop daily occupation and gets out of palestinians land. Why is everone telling hamas to stop their firecrackers, at the same time allowing Israelis to commit muderers acts in Gaza.

Shame on you in the West, this is example of your civilised world. You backing a terrorist state which does not even recognise any UN resulutions but if a UN resultion was passed for Iraq or any other muslim copuntry it is implmented even enforced within hours. But at the same time Israeli is violating all international laws but no one gives a sh..t.

The real Muslim dont have any hope in the current system just like the league of nation was dismantled and noe the credibilty of UN has been in question for some time. It is just a instrument for the US to legalise its occupation in the far Muslim lands.

Posted by Magic | Report as abusive

indian

I guess you can agree on one thing as soon as anyone mention “kashmir” the indian start running around like headless chicken lol.

I wonder why, i l tell you your 6 million soldiers who are deployed in the occupied kashmir are commiting the rape, toture, stages killing the same violations of human tights as the Israelis. No wonder they are becoming good friends with you surely you can exchange views on how to opress the people and violate human rights.

As Israel has learned and will learn soon if they opress the will of the people they will never find security doesnt matter they are nuclear or have full backing of the biggest terrorist in the world the USA. Same goes to idiotic indians you can oppress the people of kashmir but you can not silence us kashmiris.

Who are you to tell me stop mentioning the kashmir name that is my land, my parents my grandparents I bet you are from orissa yourself one of those untouchables lol. No one wants you in the mainstream u idol worshiping monkeys.

You know u say that you ll do the same, Pakistan is not palestine and India aint Isreal. Thought i ll tel you we ll put nukes up your arse where all this rehetric is coming from and then push the trigger and send you all hindu fanatic on one way ticket to hell in business class lol.

I suggest you dont mention the word Kashmirm kos you have no right to you aint a kashmiri you are a khatri and stay like one. Remove this puppet regime from kashmir sponosred by delhi. They do not represent us kashmiris its all a staged drama to show the world.

The only one you can fool is urself not the world as you have made fools of urself accusing pakistan. You are all talk talk no substance so carry on barking surley you make a good guard dog my selfish neighour lol.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

The only voice coming out if Srinagar is – AZADI AZADI AZADI – FREEDOM FREEDOM N FREEDOM – So indians dogs get out of our beatiful kashmir. Before we make you, your army n security frces could not even control ten kids how are you ever going to match 160 million strong pakistanis you fools and carry on barking idiots sorry indian lol.

Posted by ali | Report as abusive

American tax payers’ money at work killing innocent children, men and women. That make us All Americans guilty of Accessory to Murder. Time to stop sending tax payers’ money to comment crimes of such proportion. Stand up America and be counted with those who support freedom and justice.

Posted by American one | Report as abusive

asianstud which planet are you from ? how will making love stop these disastrous wars from happening ? When the Israeli armys(in Palestine) and Indian army( in Kashmir) are torturing people, killing the man of th house, raping and killing the mother and sister and brutally beating kids to death as well as not allowing anyone to travel out of the hell that these armies are upholding, study abroad or study full stop, have medical treatment or even pray in peace, how can people even think of having love for the parties who kill and maim. Lately on CNN there was a programme about an Israeli doctor who by day performs operations for wounded Palestinians and by night he bombs their house. His face was obscured for the camera. How come the perpetrators are patted on the back and innocent victims are treated like terrorists ?

Posted by Imran | Report as abusive

I have the utmost respect for people like american one,not because they have similar views to mine. But the reason I respect him is because the see the truth, they see how the taxpayers money is not only wasted but also used to spread terror and to kill innocent children.

The media in the states is not free almost all of them are Jewish controled. I am not saying why USA should be friends with Israel but when friends are commiting thesse crimes agaisnt humanity for the last 60years surely its friends of Israel should inform erm what is right n wrong.

Just agreeing to any policy is not only unjust but gives american bad name all over the world. Why should oridinary american pay the price for what Jews are doing to inncent israelis.

If USA had spend half of the money used in the Iraq war, not only would USA be percieved as the good guy but that would be used to promote true democracy only if they want it.

Posted by ali | Report as abusive

I find it interesting that as in most cases people make judgements while not knowing all the facts. That is unless you live in that area. Even then your opinions would obviously be biased one way or another. I say this because as we all know there are two groups here that say they belong there and this is not something that only exists in this region alone. This particular debate is the same one heard all around the world all throughout time. It is a sad and very disheartening issue which I am glad I do not have to decide.

Having said that, A certain question comes to my mind and I think that it could never be answered. Hamas threw rockets into Israel but is there a reason the began attacking again? There is always the rule “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

The issue here is that each reaction has another and another and another. I understand I am an outside and I am american which would put me at complete disfavor among most of the bloggers I have read but, So maybe I am a stupid american but to me there is only one way this will be solved and accepted. I believe like every issue elsewhere a unilateral and unbiased panel should decide who gains this piece of property. Once accomplished reconciliation should begin. Of course someone will scream how it is unfair and in their eyes it probably will be unfair…but so is the death of so many…when it comes down to it…I will move a million miles away if it saves the life of my daughter…

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

First of all, I want to make it clear I do not agree with the tactics Israel is using in this conflict.

Now, in saying that, I want to also say that the Palestinians literally brought this onto themselves. One, they do not self-regulate. Why are you allowing a few extremists to create this violent situation? If civilians die, it’s not entirely the fault of Israel, it’s your own.

Second, this whole notion that Israel is “Goliath” and little Palestine is “David” is ridiculous. Israel is surrounded by Arab nations and supporters to their cause. Israel is the “David” amongst the “Goliaths” of the Arab nations. They only enact policies to maintain their own existence. Why allow arms and supplies into Gasa; allowing a beachhead for your enemies?

Finally, the Arab communities are stupid. Not because of their intelligence, but because they don’t know how to garner Western support. If all these “atrocities” inflicted by the Israeli border patrols are true, document them and send them out to Western media… Post them online. In this age of technology, NOTHING can be censored. Get yourself respectable news organizations to speak the truth and not spin it with religious or anti-Semitic sentiments. Ending a news article with “Israel must be obliterated” does not garner must sympathy.

Posted by WJ | Report as abusive

1948…1967 and 1972. the world forgets that Israel was attacked 3 times by the Arab world. The PLO still has the destruction of Israel as its prime mission. Look at the news footage. The Palestinians have war vioence and hatred in their minds and hearts.They need to be stopped once and for all!

Posted by Tony Roth | Report as abusive

To the Moderator of this blog.
I really must protest the fact that my response to this blog was deleted.
So much for unbaiased press.
Until the blog is removed again, just in case someone is interested in reading my unworthy thoughts, here they are

Untrue. Too bad you don’t LISTEN to what the Israeli leaders actually say, which is that Israel has no agenda to topple Hamas, although I don’t know any sane person who doesn’t think that the world would be a better place without Hamas, (and Hizbollah and El Quaida which are more of the same).The current attacks on Hamas targets is send a loud and clear message to the Hamas terrorists that from now on there will be price tag on terrorist acts against the Israeli people.
What Israel wants is peace and quiet, and a complete cessation of the indiscriminate rocket attacks against innocent bystanders. The Israeli public believed that the unilateral disengagement from Gaza (TWO years ago) and complete uprooting of Israeli settlements from Gaza would prompt a change in the insane pattern of rocket firing over Israel. And what did Israel get in return? More rockets!
You say “Hamas was elected by the Palestinian citizenry in an open election.”
Great! so was the Japanese Government that sent Kamikaze planes to bomb Pearl Harbor!” Are you saying that by the same token, The US should not have declared war upon Japan?
You say “Within my parents life Isreal was created and the Palestinians ( primarily involved in agriculture 60 years ago) were pushed into the tightest living quarters on earth.”
Read the Bible. The blame for the present situation in Gaza actually lies at the feet of its Arab “brethren”. If they had one percent of the compassion for the plight of the Palestinians that the Jews had for their own people after the Holocaust things would be different today. It has been in the vested interests of the Arab nations to perpetuate the terrible conditions under which the Palestinians have been living since modern day Israel came into being. If you actually read a little history in addition to the Arab hate propaganda you would know that Israel agreed to split “Palestine” between the Jews and the Palestinians in 1948. It was the Arabs who declared war upon Israel instead of agreeing to the proposal that was backed by the entire world.
You say “….While their resources dwindle and they starve for food, power, medicine and other staples the west condemns them as terrorists for defending themselves as best they can.”
How stupid can one be to take that kind of reasoning? If the Hamas had spent a little of the six months truce to bring provisions, medicine etc to Gaza through the tunnels instead of stockpiling rockets & arms, contrary to the cease fire agreement, maybe the Palestinians wouldn’t be in the situation they are in.
You say ” The Isreali method of divide and conquer, sit and wait, starve them out has not worked ever to diffuse the military problem. Knowing this it is obviously a pogrom against Palestinians to continue.”
The truth of the matter is that person who has decided to set himself and the Palestinian people apart from the Hamas terrorists is Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian authority. He is the one who has been engaged in talks and negotiations with the Israeli leaders. If there is anyone who can bring about a change on the Palestinian side it is he. Why don’t you check out the situation of the Palestinians in the West Bank, (which Israel still happens to be occupying as opposed to Gaza from which it withdrew two years ago)? You will see that life there is different. The standard of living on the West Bank is constantly improving. Bethlehem had a record tourist turnout this Christmas. Surely someone is doing something right? How come, Abbas as well as the Moubarack, the Egyptian President condemn Hamas for inciting the violence? Why does the Egyptian President refuse categorically to open the Rafiah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza?
You say “America needs to stop all aid to Isreal and let the 2 parties determine their own fate. We look like hippocrites (I guess you mean hypocrites) assisting one of the most powerful armies in the world as it stomps on a people armed with home made rockets and small arms.”
These “home made rockets” as you call them so endearingly have been raining over Israel for the last eight years. Israel is not a shooting gallery and we are not prepared to be ducks to be fired upon indiscriminately and blindly any longer. There comes a point where one says enough is enough, and we reached this point this week. I don’t know where you live but I would like to see you spend eight minutes (not eight years) in the shadow of constant rocket attacks and then hear what you have to say about who is to blame for the current situation. I want to hear you say, “please, pretty please no more attacks” to the El Quaida. By the way, more and more of the rockets being shot at Israel are by no means “home made” They actually arrive with the compliments of the Ayatollas of Iran, and with the help of Syria.
You say” Every developed nation in the world except the US is shying away from the obvious brutality and unipolar view of Isreal. We should use the obscene amounts of aid money we give to Isreals military to revamp our medical and education systems domestically.”
More wishful thinking on your part. Get on the internet and read some news. Almost the only governments condemning Israel are Islamic governments, and most of it is lip service. The last thing Egypt wants in her back yard is a militant fundamentalist Hamas state run by people who want nothing more than to stir things up in Egypt too, at the behest of Iran.
Why don’t you ask yourself honestly what the Hamas has to show its people after 8 years of terrorizing Israel? How closer are they to achieving Statehood for the Palestinians? What kind of future can the average Palestinian “Joe” expect in terms of education, health, prosperity etc if the Hamas continue to run things their way? Believe me, here in Israel the vast majority of the people are just waiting for a sane voice to come out from Gaza –the voice of reason.

Posted by Koushnir | Report as abusive

What are you smoking, and why aren’t you sharing?

Also, what color is the sky on your planet?

Israel is to be commended for the restraint they have shown. If it were Russia or China, we’d be looking at a parking lot paved in radioactive glass. That the IDF are minimizing the civilian casualties and the collateral damage speaks much for them and condemns Hamas.

Hamas goes out of their way to maximize civilian casualties, which useful idiots like Reuters then blame on Israel. Drop a dime and buy a clue.

Posted by Steffan | Report as abusive

Congratulations to the Zionist regime for minimising the civilian casulties but the fact is Picture coming out of besieged Gaza tell a totaly different story.

I see some posts saying its not the number of civilians killed, so for 4 Israilis killed (any loss of life is wrong)you go and kill 400 inncent Palestinians.

Israel needs to respect the UN resoulutions, stop acting like a bully.

Most of all why is Israel allowed to have Nuclear arsnal but not others on the same note of a resoultion was passed for Iraq you the West enforced it with force not even considering the death and destruction it brought to Iraq. But when it comes to Israel no one cares and they have freehand.

But Zionist regime should remember how long can this go on. The Pharihs come n gone, Romans come n gone, British empire came n gone how long will the USA be the superpower…What will happen after that… Treat others how you would like to treated and stop all the Palestinian humiliation we all know what they are.

If any Jew want to experience it go and stay a night in the Gaza Strip and your eyes may be lit up with reality.

Peace to all may the new year bring little bit of justice and less of double standards!!!

Posted by Khan | Report as abusive

How is Israel a bully? You have the surrounding Arab nations who aid and abet the Palestinian cause and profess openly to want Israel “wiped off the face of this planet”.
Without the technological advantage and nuclear capability, there would be no Israel. Is that what most Palestinian sympathizers on this blog want?

Posted by WJ | Report as abusive

It’s useless to argue whether Israel is right or wrong. The quantum of retaliation is surprising neither. What i wonder is why doesn’t Hammas and the palestinian people in general realize that violence is not their solution for sure. If anything i can see the extinction of palestine in a few years at this rate. When a ceasefire was in place they should not have violated it, not because it’s not the right thing but simply because it’s foolishness. It gives israel an opportunity and all the blame comes to them for starting it all. Today, Palestine faces a choice between dignity and survival, it’s high time they choose the latter.

Posted by ammar | Report as abusive

I am a yank, exhausted with paying taxes that the State of Israel bleeds out of America each. LET Israel pay for itself. U.S. taxpayers are completely fed up with footing the bill for Israel. Let Israel pay for itself. It CERTAINLY has that capability.

Posted by Rogue | Report as abusive

I suppose israel is proud that is was able to take out one of hammas’s leaders today. however i would like to see how they would justify killing 7 of his children and his wife? infact i would like any one of you to justify the murder of any of the kids that have been killed this far. most of of you think all this glorified and are condoning these actions. i guess its for the those whose lives are privilaged and ignorant about the real world to be able to confuse real like killing with that of the killing you might do in of your video games. this act of genocide is going to inspire hundreds more to commict acts of terrorisim. the terrorisim problem just got a whole lot worse and we have israel to thank for it

Posted by sammy | Report as abusive

response to WJ-

How is Israel a bully? By opressing the Palestinian people, humiliating them, murdering babies, occupiing their land as we speak, buldozing their homes n farms, violating human rights and all this for the past 60years under Zionist regime.

The strongest in the middle East is Israel and therefore has no security threat from any other country well at least not till USA is behind it.

Well which country in the Middle East is violating UN resoulution, Human Rights, Illegal settlements and still expanding? = Israel

Which country is occupying lands of different countries which it captured in 1965 war and still occupies it by force = Israel

Which Middle East and the only has Nuclear weapons = Israel

Wasnt it Israels Ariel Sharon that was involved in the mascre of palestinians in the shatila refugee camps. You argue it is sourouded by Arabs. Well more then half of those countries have peace treaty with Israel thanks to USA for installing puppet regimes in those countries so dont give me that Israel is scared of Arab Nations. It has inhilated Arabs can do so now…will till USA is behind it.

So stop your excuses and give Palestinians their homeland which they deserve after more then half a century of humilation and the only reason I can think why Israel does not want to agree is…HOW WILL IT CARRY ON WITH ITS EXPANSTION POLICY!!!!

Posted by ali | Report as abusive

koushnir….

You write a full page to justify the killing babaies, children, mothers, fathers, agression, occupation, land sezuire, illegal settlements and you should be ashamed of urself. These people the Palestinians sacrifieced everything and even their lands to give you selfish Jews a home which no one on this planet wanted to. This is how the treat the indegnious people but I guess you have learned from your masters in the West, how the red indians were opressed in USA, abrugnees in Australia and blacks in South Africa. But you are doing is worser then all, personaly I think you should be awarded for that by the West maybe a knighthood by the Queen or something.

The media has hidden the truth in such a deep grave, the agressor is shown in the Western media as the victim and the victim as aggressor.

Shame on all the Jews, Torah and the Western so called “civilised ” world…. SHAME ON YOU!!!

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

to the bloggers in this blog,I find in intereting how you like to call out the moderators and writers of this article on how they are moderationg this blog and what they are writing in order to get your opinions posted in here. I don’t know if most of you have realized that majority of the stuff posted in here by you is nonsense, baseless, and made up facts.most people in here trying to give justifications for the events that are currently taking place for what they have a biased for and not what is really happening. let’s state the facts and call it what is is:
1.) israel is waging a war on a helpless population. they are determined to cripple the palestinains more then they already were before.
2.) hamas did not help the situation at all by choosing to fire rockets and continuing to do so.
3.) israel has been violating every human rights accord ever written for decades now, with the U.S’s approval and the UN incapable of doing anything about it.
4.) israel is the “super power” backed by U.S tax payer dollars and U.S made weapons. hamas is a rag tag street gang with home made rockets. so who has the “power” to put an end to this?
5.) this is not the first time israel has done anything like this and it won’t be the last.
6.) actions like this will only create more resentment in the arab/muslim world, giving iran, syria and other to aquire more weapons and another reason to pursue nuclear weapons.
7.) these “islamist” terrorist groups were created based on the actions of the U.S and Israel to the people livign in these areas. the terrorits groups are a product of decades of oppresion and discrimination. so therefore the terrorist groups are a product of the creation U.S and israel.
8.) the egyption, jordanian, and saudi governments do no speak for the middle eastern countries. let’s face it, they are western stooges set in place and do not represent the people, and are part of the problem in this region
9.) iran exploits the palestinian situation do a certain extent and this type of chaos only benefits them.
10.) this situation will be the cause of WW3, with millions who will die because of it.

7.)

Posted by raymon | Report as abusive

Alan

My comments were not intended to justify anything, merely to describe the current situation as I see it.
I don’t feel a need to justify the right of my people to defend itself against unprovoked, indiscriminate, interminable rocket attacks that have been going on for the last six years, just as I don’t see the need to justify the existence of Israel, or my own very existence. As far as I’m concerned, vis-a-vis Hamas, it’s either them or us. We don’t deny the Palestinians’ right to exist in peace. Hamas denies the right of Israel to exist at all.

Now if you want to actually conduct a dialog based on the truth you will have to start reading something else beside Hamas propaganda on which to base your claims.

Firstly Israel does not target civilians. In fact Israel when possible has WARNED civilians about impending attacks on buildings CONTAINING WEAPONS by calling them by phone and urging them to escape. It is the custom of Hamas when forewarned to force their own civilians to stand on the rooftops of buildings to protect their weapons from being destroyed. Now that’s what I call priorities!!!!

Nizar Rayyan, the “cleric”, as called so sympathetically by a Reuters correspondent, who was targeted yesterday by Israel was killed along with his family, because he PREVENTED them from leaving his home after he was warned by his own Hamas friends that he was in danger. So who is “murdering babies”????. This top Hamas terrorist has been one of the major architects of the rocket attacks against Israel and even SENT HIS OWN SON ON A SUICIDE MISSION against Israel. What kind of religion has “clerics” who think nothing of dispatching their own children in the name of GOD?

No one has asked the Palestinians to “sacrifice” anything to give Jews a home. It was actually the leaders of the free world who saw the need to reinstate Israel in its historical homeland after the Holocaust. Our ties to this land are absolute, but still, in the Jewish tradition of peaceful coexistance we were prepared to “split” what was then called “Palestine” between ourselves and the Arabs. In return we were attacked by every Arab nation with which we share a border.

Unfortunately the Arab nations have made countless errors in their dealing with the existence of Israel, ordering up pointless wars, but leaving the Palestinians with the tab. It’s time moderate Palestinians let their voice be heard and put an end to being victimized by the Arab “brethren”

Posted by Koushnir | Report as abusive

Dear misguided Ali,

I ask you indeed “How is Israel a bully?”

Are you referring to the countless times that Israel has been attacked by its neighbours?

Or could it be the ridiculous and unprovoked shelling of Israel and kidnapping/murdering of Israeli soldiers By Nasrallah which provoked the war in Lebanon?

Or perhaps might it be the 6,464 rockets directed at Israel over the last three years?

Wake up and smell the smoke! It’s the Arab nations who put us where we are, not our need for expansion.

Please explain, does withdrawing from Gaza make us expand or shrink? Please take a look at a map of the Middle East. We were actually very lucky to win the war of 1967 between Israel and its Arab “neighbors” Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. (Not very “Neighborly”) especially since Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria also contributed troops and arms to the Arab cause.

But since then we have made a peace of sorts with Egypt and RETURNED SINAI, and also made peace with Jordan, also making territorial arrangements with Jordan.
So it is only the Palestinians who have a gripe with us. Perhaps the should go back a couple of years and blame Arafat, was offered about 95% of Palestine for peace and in return offered us ………….the Entifadah! One more brilliant decision by a Palestinian leader.

Israel has been far less than perfect in its relations with the Palestinians since 1967. There are indeed hugh moral issues involved in dealing with mostly innocent people at cticical junctures such as border crossings, checkposts, the enabling of religius practice etc. It is sad that the Palestinians are being misled by their leaders into thinking that violence is the solution to all their woes. The difference between the Israelis and the Palestinians is that we constantly put ourselves under a magnifying glass and debate our actions. We have not only freedom of thought but the need to think.
Many people here in Israel believe they have the solution to the Middle East crisis, but most will agree that someone else might actually be right. There is no such debate among the Palestinians. There is no moral dilemma in the sending of Rockets over Israel, no questions asked about the legitimacy of sending suicide bombers to explode in crowded malls or buses. The moral ground of the Palestinians is no higher that the depth of the tunnels used to smuggle rockets to be fired at Israel.

Posted by Koushnir | Report as abusive

Raymon

It’s so easy to throw words like “nonsense” “baseless” and “made up facts” without an iota of substantiation, (unless you are referring to your own unsubstantiated claims).

You say “Israel is waging a war on a helpless population. they are determined to cripple the palestinains more then they already were before.”

Absolutely untrue. Israel pulled out unilaterally from Gaza over two years ago. She had no choice but to do so as there was no-one on the other side prepared to negotiate a bilateral agreement. Since then the rocket attacks against innocent civilians have been unrelenting (unless you consider the population of Sderoth and other towns non-civilians). This started from day one after the pullout. Israel’s biggest mistake was not taking firm action with the first rocket, because by not doing so she lost the deterrent. The price both sides are having to pay because of this has escalated for this reason. I am truly sorry that there are civilians in Gaza who are picking up the tab run up by Hamas. However this is the only way to return the deterrent, and possibly by doing so finally sit down at the negotiating table to reach an agreement beween the two peoples. Hamas violence is not the solution.

You say “hamas did not help the situation at all by choosing to fire rockets and continuing to do so.”

Now here is something we can agree upon, but I must commend you on your excellent use of understatement. Hamas has knowingly and deceitfully to its own people provoked this situation. The only thing they want more than casualties on the Israeli side is casualties on their own side.

You say “israel has been violating every human rights accord ever written for decades now, with the U.S’s approval and the UN incapable of doing anything about it.”

Human rights issues are definitely a severe problem but I would like to ask you to come up with a solution that does not create the infrastructure to support human rights problems in the interim period till a solution is found. At least Israel acknowledges the problem and has High Court to which Palestinians can appeal and often receive solutions. This is true to the extent that many Israeli criticize the High Court for being too sympathetic to the Palestinians.

You say “Israel is the “super power” backed by U.S tax payer dollars and U.S made weapons. hamas is a rag tag street gang with home made rockets. so who has the “power” to put an end to this?”

Can we paraphrase to “The US is the “super power” backed by U.S tax payer dollars and U.S made weapons. El Quaida is a rag tag street gang with home made rockets. so who has the “power” to put an end to this?”

You say “this is not the first time israel has done anything like this and it won’t be the last.”

True, As long as we are attacked we reserve the right to defend ourselves.

You say “actions like this will only create more resentment in the arab/muslim world, giving iran, syria and other to aquire more weapons and another reason to pursue nuclear weapons.”

The demonic Arab states such as Iran and Syria have their own agenda and if they didn’t have Israel they would create a reason to aquire weapons and nuclear capability, probably to shoot at each other.

You say “these “islamist” terrorist groups were created based on the actions of the U.S and Israel to the people livign in these areas. the terrorits groups are a product of decades of oppresion and discrimination. so therefore the terrorist groups are a product of the creation U.S and israel.”

Islamic terrorism is based on an extreme and fundamentalistic interpretation of the Koran, which espouses zero tolerance towards all non-Islamic religions.

You say “the egyption, jordanian, and saudi governments do no speak for the middle eastern countries. let’s face it, they are western stooges set in place and do not represent the people, and are part of the problem in this region”

I suppose you think that Iranian and Syrian governments best represent the will of their people. Well if so thank God for the “Western Stooges”.

You say “Iran exploits the palestinian situation do a certain extent and this type of chaos only benefits them.”

Did you say “certain extent”? How about the possibility that Middle Eastern unrest is the Iranian cause d’etre? That Iranian wants only one thing, to institute Shariy’an law all over the world, including in your own back yard! Look over your shoulder, they’re just waiting for the opportunity.

You say “this situation will be the cause of WW3, with millions who will die because of it.”

Interesting prophecy, and if I read you correctly the Jews will be the ones held responsible again just like WW2.

Posted by Koushnir | Report as abusive

*As the rest of the world protest…
… the US voted a few hours ago to Block UN Condemnation and Sanctions against Israel .

Protester all over Europe by the thousands are Braving Freezing cold tempters and protesting the Deliberate Slaughter of unarmed civilians trapped and denied to flea the onslaught….Watch Live coverage at http://www.presstv.ir/watch_live3.aspx

All the Hospitals will run out of Fuel in a few Hours and all the Babies and Wounded Patience on Life support will Die.
_
Gaza

Obama, “WILL BE TESTED IN HIS FIRST 90 DAYS IN OFFICE”, THIS IS THE TEST……….. will he condemn Israel, will he pass the Test?

What an How he does and doesn’t reply to over the Gaza situation will be referenced and revered to by the other Middle East Nations and Political factions .

It will set the tone and mindset of the rest of his presidency, It Will Effect how our troops will be able to? operate even in Afghanistan .
_
UBUIBIOK
Have a Better Day !

Let me see if I’ve got this right, 400,000 black men , women, and children are murdered in Darfur in the worst genocide in recent memory,we do nothing. Four hundred Palestinians are killed and the world is coming to an end, wonderful.

Posted by eyeman1 | Report as abusive