In Gaza war, lions led by donkeys?

By Bernd Debusmann
January 15, 2009

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own -

It’s not often that a senior member of Washington’s usually staid and cautious foreign policy establishment likens Israeli political leaders to donkeys and questions their competence. But the fighting in Gaza prompted Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies to do just that.

“Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms? Will Israel’s action seriously damage the U.S. position in the region, and hope of peace, as well as moderate Arab regimes and voices in the process? To be blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.

“To paraphrase a comment about the British government’s management of the British Army in World War I, lions seem to be led by donkeys…The question is not whether the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) learned the tactical lessons of fighting in 2006 (in Lebanon). It is whether Israel’s top political leadership has even minimal competence to lead them,” he writes in an analysis on Gaza.

In Cordesman’s view, the leadership lacks a grand strategic purpose. Are the tactical gains the IDF is making in its assault on Hamas to stop it from firing rockets into Israel worth the political and strategic costs to the Jewish state?

Strong words from a respected authority on the Middle East, a member of an influential network of scholars who migrate from senior government jobs (his included director of intelligence assessment for the Secretary of Defense) to think tanks and from there often move back to government in Washington’s revolving door scene.

With the prospect of fighting in Gaza dragging on past next week’s inauguration of Barack Obama as the next U.S. president, analyses and advice have flowed freely on how the new administration should deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a problem that has plagued a string of presidents and shaped Arab perceptions that the U.S. backs Israel, no matter what.

Will the U.S. shift course under Obama? In her confirmation hearing this week, his nominee for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, ruled out negotiating with Hamas, the group Israel is fighting in Gaza, unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel. “That is just for me an absolute,” she said. No change on that front from George W. Bush.

No word either on Israeli settlements on the West Bank. They will remain standing once the guns fall silent in Gaza. Their continued growth – in violation of international law – bodes ill for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the so-called two state solution. In the past 15 years, the number of Israelis living on the West Bank rose from 116,000 to almost 300,000. In addition, another 190,000 Israelis live in the formerly Arab part of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

END WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS

If Obama is serious about making peace between Israelis and Palestinians, says Aaron David Miller, a scholar at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Institute, he will need to tackle the settlement question. In the past, U.S. involvement has been largely rhetorical. Miller, a former adviser on Arab-Israeli negotiations to six secretaries of state, said he could not recall one strategic meeting with an Israeli Prime Minister to discuss the damage the settlements did to peace negotiations.

“But it is a fact that settlements are incompatible with creating confidence, let alone creating an atmosphere of serious negotiations.” Why didn’t the U.S. press harder? “For one, we didn’t want a confrontation.”

If future American attempts to help negotiate peace are to be successful, Miller says, the U.S. must be equally firm in dissuading actions on either side that wreck chances of an agreement – rockets fired from Gaza, or Israelis settling on the West Bank. Agreeing to every idea proposed by an Israeli Prime Minister, as happened in the past, is not the right way to go.

The cause of even-handedness would also benefit if American politicians (and pundits) took statements from Israeli leaders with a grain of salt. Such as the analogy Defense Minister Ehud Barak provided to explain why the IDF launched the war on Hamas in Gaza, opening with a bombardment reminiscent of the shock-and-awe assault with which the U.S. tried to decapitate Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

“Contemplate what would happen if Kassem rockets were fired for years from Tijuana in Mexico to San Diego.”

There is no excuse for targeting civilians but Barak’s Tijuana-San Diego analogy is severely flawed. Tijuana has not been occupied by a foreign power, its citizens do not belong to families that were dislodged by a war in 1948, and the flow of goods into and out of Tijuana has not been subject to blockades. Unlike Gaza.

You can contact the author at Debusmann@reuters.com. For previous columns, click here.

189 comments

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America needs to stop funding the Isreali military.
Isreal is no longer the threatened little state that could barely make it. It is one of the best equipped, trained, and experienced armies in the world.
By sending vast amounts of uncontrolled aid to Isreal we only make ourselves pariahs in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Redirect that money to education and health care domestically and material humanitarin aid abroad.

Posted by riverguide | Report as abusive

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been going for way too long now, it is time for peace and negociations, leaving armies and armed groups in their barracks.

The Hamas is not only an armed group, but also a political entity active in many fields of palestine’s daily life. I would hope that with a State sharing power program with Mr Abbas they would simply switch to civil organization leaving their weapons for good.

At the same time Israel that stands countless UN security council resolutions not respected has to be understanding that negociations means both sides have to make efforts to find out a way that is simply acceptable for everyone (arrable land, water, settlements, and so on…)

None can really understand what life in Gaza means, not even the Israelis themselves, this is hell on earth even when there’s no fighting in their streets. The only way to see these people quit their stupid fundamentalism is to give them jobs and hope, and Israel is directly responsible for the level of misery palestinians have to deal with.

The US must support Israel that’s certain, but not unconditionaly, it’s been 60 years+ that we see them unable to provide conditions for peace to the arabs, we must help them to do so, being firm if needed.

Posted by jack | Report as abusive

Our late prime minister in the year 1969-1974 once said : “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”, (Golda Meir).
I’m sorry to say it is valid since those day and mostly today (!!).
If you don’t live this relationship you are not entitled to comment on it. We live it every day since we a born to this world and the only affect those extremists understand is power and demolition that we are FORCED to create.

Posted by Nir | Report as abusive

Israel reminds me of the bully who would snatch a prized possession of a weaker person and then try to resolve the matter by offering to exchange it with something else. You have, in your article, hit the nail on the head. As long as any U.S administration keeps imposing pre-conditions for a dialogue expecting Hamas to become nonviolent Gandhians while ignoring Israel’s ever growing hunger to grab more Palestine land, it may never succeed in bringing peace to the region or gaining world’s confidence as a peacemaker.

Who is not with us is against us.
If you are not on Israel side – you are anti-Semite
Jewish people are victims – always
The war is peace and the peace is a war
Who controls the past – controls the future
Question: could anyone write factually what was in the past or the history was re- written many times and we all forgot simple things? Answer is always very simple – find the TRUTH

I’ve read a number of comments and I keep hearing the term “Anti-Semitic” thrown around. Coming from both an Arab and Jewish background (weird huh?) I find the term “Aanti-Semitic” to be a bit misappropriated when applied toward Arabs. I’m not debating whether or not there is hatred from one party or another (frankly there’s hatred from ALL parties involved no matter what terminology is used to mask it), but the term “Anti-Semitic” itself seems, from its conception, to have been solely applied to Jews. The problem with the terminology is that both Jews and Arabs are Semitic peoples. So while you can say that some Arabs hate Jews and some Jews hate Arabs, to say that either group is “Anti-Semitic” is a bit stupid.

Needless to say, the loss of life from the current actions of both sides is awful. Religious differences aside, everyone would benefit greatly from a shared exchange of cultures. But this is an obvious ideal. I’m just speaking from the experience of having the benefit of both perspectives running through my blood.

Posted by G | Report as abusive

All this time majoring on hate has left the Palestinians with a hovel for a country. If they would concentrate on building a country, they would have a thriving metropolis. These rocket attacks & etc are only cutting off their noses to spite their face.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

so many millions have been spent since 1948 to ensure that the palestinians live in dignity .. they are still not living in dignity …. they have been driven to this situation by their corrupted leaders and the arab leaders who have been manipulating them (example assad) . israel in the meantime has thrived to become an economic, a military , a scientific power in the region.. palestinians have spent 60 years dreaming and waiting for hand out .. it is time they wake up and take their responsability and build a homeland by signing peace with israel .. all the rest is commentary

Posted by samir abukhdeir | Report as abusive

You have hit the nail exactly on the head. Israel needs to remove its settlements from the occupied West Bank as well as the wall and associated barriers it has created and to allow a corridor between the West Bank and Gaza to exist so that there can be a contiguous Palestinian state. The whole of the West Bank and Gaza (including Arab East Jerusalem) constitute 23 per cent of historical Palestine, without which the Palestinians cannot have a proper and viable state. If Israel really wants peace, it must recognise the injustices it has inflicted on the Palestinian people by establishing itself at their expense in 1947/48, further occupying what remained of it in 1967 and annexing those occupied territories piecemeal in all but name. This entails recognising the right of the Palestinians to genuine self-determination and sovereignty over 23 per cent of their historical homeland — the West Bank and Gaza. Without this, there will always be resistance amongst the Palestinian people. Such resistance will be led by Hamas or any other movement that might spring up.

It amazes me at how ignorant people are on history of middle eastern politics involving Israel and the Palestinians yet leave comments like they in fact know what their talking about. To blame Israel that the Palestinians haven’t got good jobs or education??? To blame Israel for not offering or giving up something for peace??? What rock have you people been living under??? Israel time and time again with the assistance of President’s from Kennedy to Clinton have given up land and terrorist prisoners for peace!!! But Arafat never wanted peace. Clinton was shocked how much Israel was willing to give up for peace but Arafat still would not agree to the agreement!!! Why, because if he did, his whole purpose would of been over!!! He was a leader of a terrorist organization and would of been seen as a weak person to agree with any agreement with Israel!!! The same is now true with Hamas and their leader. Under no circumstance will they ever give up fighting Israel!!! That is there soul mission to take over Israel. The Jewish people in Israel have had to fend for itself from its conception. Over the years Israel if they wanted to from wars could of ruled Egypt and taken over other Arab Countries if they wanted to but that’s not what the Jewish people wanted. They didn’t decide to destroy Arabs in those Countries that they were victorious over. Israeli Jews educated themselves and developed what was considered a worthless desert into a thriving amazing Country. The Palestinians could of done the same prior to rebirth of Israel but instead of doing things to better themselves they decided to fight with Israel. Israel also have over million Arabs in Israel that are part of the political system, are living better lives then the Arabs in some Arab Countries. They are also allowed to practice they’re religion and have Mosques in Israel. Israel unlike the Arab Countries, allows freedom of speech, and religion. Israel is a democratic Country like America. Why aren’t the Arabs that live in Jewish area’s of Israel leaving??? Because they have a better life there then in other Countries in the Middle East. They are not prisoners, they are not segregated, they are not being murdered at random, unlike Apartheid!!! IF Israel didn’t care at all about the Palestinian lives in Gaza and about genocide to their people they wouldn’t of risked they’re own soldiers lives on the ground, they would of just bombed them with nuclear bombs or other air bombs to cause total mass destruction to the whole Gaza region!!!

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

It surprise me over and over again to see articles whose writers sit behind their desks and write about issues they don’t know from the inside.

I do hope mr. Bernd Debusmann , that your home won’t be bombed for 8 long years by terorists, I do hope you won’t get shot by cowards hiding behind their own kids, I do hope your kids won’t need to get killed in the army trying to defend you.

Posted by tatale | Report as abusive

If Mrs. Clinton wants to go down in the history books with her time as Secretary of State being the pinnacle of her career, and as a visionary, then she should allow Hamas a seat at the negotiating table.

Posted by Hechicera | Report as abusive

The following is by Sir Gerald Kaufman, British Labour Member of Parliament

I was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.

I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.

I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.

My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians — the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that “500 of them were militants.”

That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.

Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.

The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said: “You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the west bank. They are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.

It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools.

Gerald Bernard Kaufman is a British Labour Member of Parliament. Sir Kaufman made the statement above during the 15 January 2009 House of Commons debate on Gaza in the United Kingdom.

This speech can also be seen on youtube: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/kaufman1 70109.html

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

The following speech by Sir Gerald Kaufman sums up the truth nicely:

I was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.

I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.

I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.

My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians — the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that “500 of them were militants.”

That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.

Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.

The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said: “You make peace by talking to your enemies.”

However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the west bank. They are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.

It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools.

Gerald Bernard Kaufman is a British Labour Member of Parliament. Sir Kaufman made the statement above during the 15 January 2009 House of Commons debate on Gaza in the United Kingdom.

It can also be viewed on youtube:http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/ kaufman170109.html

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Ask yourself this. If Hamas and Hezbolla mobilised an assault on Israel, what would the UN do? Ask them to stop? Demand a ceasefire?

If Hamas begins shooting rockets at Israel again, what is the UN going to do to stop it? What will the UN do if Hamas ignores them?

Is the UN going to arrest Hamas members now, for deliberately endangering civilians? Why not? Are they powerless to stop a terrorist group?

If the UN can’t stop Hamas, then they have no relevance to this matter. They and the anti-war protestors are just noise. Israel has more practical things to deal with.

This last conflict was a case in point. I felt sorry for the UN Security council president, as he came to grips with the true weakness of his position.

Posted by Tag | Report as abusive

I have to admit that you summed it up nicely.If only your government could see things the way you do, I am sure that all hostilities would be over in no time. Israel cannot talk in terms of defending itself for as long as it has military and civilian presence outside of its internationally recognized borders. Could we talk about Hitler defending himself when he invaded Poland? Saddam and Kuwait? There is more than half a million Jews living on land which according to the international law does not belong to them and that is the root of all evil in middle east. How can you talk about peace? How can you possibly justify shelling civilian compound ‘suspecting’ that militants might be hiding there? How can you shell UN school and execute 42 children? Would that shell be fired if Hamas was ‘allegedly’ hiding among Israeli children? I doubt that very much. How can you use white phosphorus ammunition against civilian population and sleep at night? Impartial observer would say that Palestinian lives are worth nothing and Israeli worth something. Who is the one to decide that? How can you set up a check point allowing everybody through and only keep Palestinians waiting for hours for no reason. Have we already forgotten WW2 and yellow star of David on Jewish sleeves? Not shelling every civilian house can be justified by saying that you saw a sniper on the roof. If Palestinians had so many snipers how come that only handful of Israeli soldiers died? I grew up watching black and white films about Nazis and WW2. I am watching the same film again but this time in color. What has changed? Uniforms and haircuts yes, but the ideology remains the same. Then there is Hamas. Hamas is product of 40 years of oppression, blatant violation of international law and total disregard for basic human rights of an entire nation. What annoys the hell out of me are comments from Israelis about how difficult life must be waiting for Hamas rocket to land on their roof. You invaded their country and took their land, what do you expect in return? Why are you building in East Jerusalem? Does it belong to you? No, it does not. Until recently, hatred of any kind never existed in my dictionary but it is so darn difficult to stay impartial and not to hate you right now. This is me who grew up in democracy, I can only imagine what those less privileged think of you and how much hatred you generated in the last 3 weeks. Olmert is talking about ‘victory’, what victory? Shelling Sderot and other Israeli towns cannot be justified either but what else can be done after 40 years of oppression and countless lies? The only thing that ever changes is the size of illegal settlements. I strongly believe that if illegal settlements were to be removed Hamas would have no legs to stand on, the whole Arab world would turn their back at them and rightly so. Until that happens they will always have a very strong card to play and Palestinians will continue to pay.

Posted by Damir | Report as abusive

Israel is on a path that has been walked down many times before.

Zionism opens the door to racism, and once that door is open anything can and everything will happen.

Israel is a tragedy.

A tragedy for the Palestinians, who have seen their land stolen and their lives truned inti hell on earth.

A tragedy for the Israelis, as they become monsters.

A tragedy for Jewish people all over the world, pushed to pledge allegience to Zionism, the cancer on their religion.

And perhaps some day, when the violence becomes impossible to ignore or rationalize, the propaganda of “Israel is Jewish, Jewish is Israel” will turn back uopn them as people say Israelis are bad so Jews are bad too.

They could always try explaining, saying “No, we’re the good Jews, they’re the bad Jews”.

I believe the Japanese Americans tried that during WW2.

Posted by rob | Report as abusive

Sir Gerald Kaufman’s comments sums up propaganda nicely not truth!!!

A friend of Arafat’s hmmm…If his grandmother hadn’t been killed by the Nazi’s he probably would of considered Hitler a friend as well! Because he is a Jewish turncoat he becomes the leader for those who have disdain for Israel!!! He omits, and grossly distorts a lot of facts about how Israel was created. They were not created out of terrorism, but self defense against pogroms against Jews by Arabs and guerrillas led by Syrians and also by British and U.N. agreements. There was rioting towards Jews in Palestine, incited by the Mufti’s who were in favor of Hitler’s policy’s. The Haganah were the major representatives for defending the Israeli Jews. They were not terrorist group!!!They acted according to the Jewish principle of havlaga or self-defense!!!Unfortunately like any or every Country , there are extremists!!! And out of riots in 1929, the Irgun Zvai Leumi, were created. They comprised about 1800 members versus 21,000 member of Haganah!!! The British executed some of the Irgun members and the Jewish Agency were outraged and demanded Irgun to stop. Please Lets have some perspective and context!!!

“The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians”. Never have I heard one member of the Israeli Parliament express such a thought, nor would they or do they subscribe to that belief!!! Sir Gerald Kaufman’s grandmother must be rolling in her grave over that comment!!! This is strictly and exclusively his own view, his own opinion nothing else. After all he’s making headlines!

Here is what an Archbishop thought of Kaufman’s remarks!

Cranmer is sorry (quite genuinely) that Sir Gerald’s grandmother was shot dead in her bed, but begs him to understand that there are quite a few Palestinians who think Hamas have more in common with the Nazis than Israel ever could. And to dismiss Israel as ‘war criminals’ and ‘fools’ is folly itself.

Also check out what Wafa Sultan , a Arab-American Psychologist has to say about Muslems, Jews, and Christians on youtube!!!

Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, “The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling.”

She went on, “We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people.”

She concluded, “Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.”
http://switch3.castupnet/cunet/gm.asp?ai =214&ar=1050wmv&ak

Posted by Donna | Report as abusive

Dave, what are you drinking? Gaza is the largest concentration camp in the human history, not allowing food or medical supplies as a way of torture exceed those of Hitler’s days, sober up, right now there is a holocaust in-the-making in Gaza. Where is rest of the free world.

Posted by dan | Report as abusive

Dave, what are you drinking? Gaza is the largest concentration camp in the human history, not allowing food or medical supplies as a way of torture exceed those of Hitler’s days, sober up, right now there is a holocaust in-the-making in Gaza. Where is rest of the free world?

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Dan, whatever im drinking its not the hallucinogenic that you must be on. To compare what happening in Gaza as exceeding what Hitler did??? Learn Learn Learn, read up on the Holocaust before you make such abhorrent ignorant statements!!! You obviously have no clue in what your saying!!! Its not remotely in the slightest of ways, scratch the surface as a possible comparable. Israel wants peace with all Palestinians not to destroy all or any of them for that matter!!!There are unfortunately casualties in wars, especially when militants disperse themselves among their own citizens and create tunnels to smuggle in weapons for war. Its a impossible situation in Israel. It’s sad innocent people have died on both sides. Its sad Hamas won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist,something which even Arafat accepted. There is a cease fire now, that is what now needs to be the focus again, and hopefully a sustainable one can be achieved for good, without any more rockets shooting into Israel or terrorist acts of violence, and a agreement with the two state solution so people can move forward with their lives and the generations ahead can live in safety, not fear and war!!!

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

I was wondering what happened to the boundry of original Israel and Palestinian state as in the link below. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co mmons/f/fe/1947-UN-Partition-Plan-1949-A rmistice-Comparison.png
I wonder who is the aggressor here. Then they should start from that point onward.

Posted by vj | Report as abusive

Thank you Burnd for summing quite fairly the situation. I am a Canadian and feel very sorry for many of our American neighbors who have been bombarded by one sides story mostly sympathizing with Israel (IDF) view of the story. Please wake up and try to read news stories from different prespective. BBC, Reuters, LeMonde, and many others from around the world. CNN, FoxNews, NBC, ABC news while they differ in reporting many of their stories, they seem to unite when reporting Middle East stories and they are hugely biased towards Israel.

Peace won’t simply come to the Middle East and to the rest of the world as matter of fact if US won’t look at this problem fairly (balanced way). The senate and Congress have been atrocioulsy pro-Israel for the past 40 or 50 years and they have been always the road block on any balanced peace initiative that has been proposed by some. Please wake up and don’t let the very strong proIsrael Lobby stain the presidency of Obama, whom the rest of the world is relying on to get things going the right direction.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

Is it too much to make a call to someone that can really make a difference? As I recall, some time ago this guy got fed up with all concerned and washed the slate clean. Perhaps we can appeal for a limited repeat act, say a flood of the Southeastern Mediterranean. It’s worth a shot.

Posted by Guy Thompto | Report as abusive

End of the day, Israel occupies the Palestinian lands. Hamas doesn’t occupy any Israeli land. Israel is in violation of numerous U.N. Resolutions. If Hamas is a “terrorist” organization because it targets civilians than Israel is full fledged terrorist state, much worst than Nazi Germany ever was.

Posted by Jon | Report as abusive

There really are so many inaccurate and propagandist comments here. For those interested knowing the real truth, the scholar Noam Chomsky accurately describes the situation in his article
“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/203 16

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

Here is an interesting analogy for consideration. The US continues to hit Pakistan with missles from time to time which causes far more death and destruction then those bottle rockets being fired out of Gaza.

So far Pakistan has yet to respond militarily. Here is the US double standar/hyprocrisy for all to see. Might makes right is the philosophy.

Posted by Cyric Renner | Report as abusive

What bothers me most in this whole eposide is the role of Egypt. Keeping the border closed whilst their bretheren get slaughtered. Such duplicity have rarely been seen in the Arab world.

I hope that after Israel gets finished with annexing Gaza and the West Bank that they move towards occupying the Sinai. That will be Mubarak’s just reward. However, Mubarak being the Quisling that he is, will likely assist in the occupation, just as the PA assists with the Israeli occupation in the west bank.

Posted by Wolfgang Brunner | Report as abusive

Two different groups have tried to create a home in Palestine. One has succeeded due to its determination and strength. The other has failed, due to its hatred and racism.

If the Palestinians had accepted the existence of Israel in 1948, this whole sorry state of affairs could have been avoided. They refused to share the land alongside the Jewish people, and rejected the UN Partition Plan. This is the result.

The Palestinians have repeatedly ignored the lessons of history. Every time they give in to hatred, they will lose more land, lives and homes to war. This is why they now live in shrunken enclaves, while Israel exists as a developed nation in the Middle East.

They should sit down, accept the UN aid, and build a life for themselves. If they can wean themselves off violence, then Israel will no longer need a blockade.

Posted by Tag | Report as abusive

Amos Gilad, the man who has been leading the ceasefire negotiations for Israel with Egypt, believes that in the end, Israel will have to destroy Hamas, because Hamas will never give up on destroying Israel. And if Amos Gilad says the ceasefire won’t last forever, you’d better believe him.

http://forecasthighs.com/2009/01/18/ceas efire-in-gaza-until-the-next-round/

Destroying Hamas would just lead to new, more violent, extremists. After Munich, I may have opted for same policy of finding those responsible and assassinating them. But the ultimate effect was that the power vaccuums left were filled by more extreme people. I know it’s easy for me to criticize Israelis for giving into fear, but Amos Gilad is not thinking beyond his fear. Israelis and Palestinians have both used “terrorist” tactics. It’s been that way since the bombing of the King David Hotel. The term is just an excuse to postpone real negotiations. This is a war, an ugly war that has gone on for a long time, but it can end.

Posted by Winchester73 | Report as abusive

Almost forgot my advice: let the Hamas leaders mellow a little with the years. Killing them off won’t bring about a more level-headed batch. The British didn’t opt to kill Menachem Begin after the King David Hotel bombing. If you think that was wise, you should see some utility in talking to Hamas.

Posted by Winchester73 | Report as abusive

Mr. Muller seems to be close to the mark. If Hamas refuses to accept Israel, this conflict will go on forever. Some of your commentators should be reminded that this war started because Hamas extremists had been shelling Israel for months. The Media had (has) a very biased view of what’s going on. And after 8 years of Bush we are to respect the Government’s Expert on the situation? One other media comment: Television news kept showing what I suspect is a BBC feed of children injured and dying during the conflict, as if to say that was the intent. Children and women have died in every war from the beginning of time. If Reuters had a TV Channel they would blow everybody else out of the market.

Posted by Andrew Franks | Report as abusive

The Israeli response to Hamas’ ineffective rockets was excessive and immoral. Why do the US and the EU continue to give unconditional support to Israel while it ignores international laws and basic human rights to the Palestinian people such as settlements in the West Bank and the fence built on Palestinians’ lands? The US can not negotiate peace in the Middle East if its uneven treatment continues. The UN should take the lead with full support of the EU and diplomacy persuasion with the US is the only hope. “Full support” means the implementation of UN resolutions is a MUST.

Posted by Nina Ruby | Report as abusive

The theory that Israel would disintegrate if peace is declared with the Arabs due to political and ethnic in-fighting might prove to be true soon.

The only unifying power in Israeli politics so far has been the war on the “enemy”. Once that is removed what possible unity could there be inside Israel.

Already serious rifts and cracks, quickly hushed up, have appeared between saphardi, Ashkenazi Israelis on one side and African/Indian and other ethnic “second class” Israeli citizens. These rift are bound to widen in the absence of a stronger survival threat were a peace treaty is signed.

The majority of critics of this theory are Israelis of course. But it provides the only logical deduction to forgotten internal religious and ethnic struggles threatening the very fabric of what is called Israel.

Posted by Ms Ada Bsiz | Report as abusive

going back to the tijuana vs. california statement, i believe he was purely using the idea of a border between the two countries rather than comparing gaza directly to tijuana. however, if you do want to compare them it is very possible. california is basically mexico’s version of israel. even though we bought california peacefully from mexico, we had to fight a whole war with them first (they were under spanish rule at the time). but for a while before that, there were many american’s living in california (occupation maybe?), granted, this isn’t the same as a military force, but it is similar. also, mexican families were displaced when california entered the union. i’m pretty sure there were a bunch of mexicans who didn’t want to live under US rule.

so basically, the comparison was pretty accurate, but again, i don’t belive he was going that far. he was just using a comparison that dealt with subjects close to home. he could have just as easily used a comparison between a city in canada firing rockets into michigan. there was some territorial disputes up there back in the day too.

anyways, israel is retaliating legitimately. just look at the ceasefire. a couple days in, hamas starts shooting more rockets into israel, and you expect them not to retaliate? ha. this war is never going to end. saying the phrase “peace in the middle east” is like saying “there’s a giant ice cube in the middle of the sun” it just doesn’t work.

Posted by L. Coleman | Report as abusive

Dave get YOUR fact straight, please, before regurgitating Zionist propaganda; the Zionists who make up the Israeli population have taken over the debate by framing it in their terms. Not all Jews agree with their agenda or their means remember Rabin (fyi a bonafide Israeli war hero assassinated by a Jew because he proposed a peace for land deal).
To put people in enclaves with no access; building walls around them and restricting all flow of goods and people through force; to invade and abuse the civil and human rights of a people because of their ethnicity guess whereof I speak sir.That is what the Germans did to the Jews and those European Jews have learned well but not well enough. Just as they were not crushed but were re borne so it shall be with the Palestinians. Mid East oil is not going to last for ever…

Posted by aqilmund | Report as abusive

There has been lots of talk about Hamas refusing to accept Israel’s right to… something. But Hamas does have a legitimate reason for refusing to register Israel as a state. Its because Israel has never restricted itself with known borders. This is a very peculiar situation and all known countries of the world has defined their boarders and yet Israel has not done this. So Hamas is right in saying no to an unknown sized country which has not brought nothing except misery and war to the region.

Posted by idrees from maldives | Report as abusive

Come on people wake up now… We have created this terrorist state of Israel by our tax money. So stop paying your tax money to Israel and this so called middle east problem will be solved. Simple as that.