Iran -- Instigator or Bystander?

Tehran is more than 900 miles from the scene of the fight, but the Iranian government stands at the heart of the Hezbollah-Israeli war, according to some international online commentators.

With Secretary Condoleezza Rice visiting the region for the first time since fighting between Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces erupted July 12, the role of Iran, patron and supporter of Hezbollah, is a key part of diplomatic efforts to arrange a cease-fire.

* U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday said he would press for "a truce and establishment of a buffer force" in southern Lebanon, adding that he expected Syria and Iran to help.

* Rice traveled to Jerusalem where she met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni late Monday in talks that addressed Iran's involvement, according to the Jerusalem Post.

* Meanwhile, Hezbollah's representative in Iran vowed that the group's military campaign will leave "no place safe" for Israelis.

Whether Iran is instigator or target of the war now entering its third week is much disputed. The Israeli and American view that Iran is mainly responsible for Hezbollah's attacks runs counter to the common view in the Iranian and Arab news sites that the Islamic Republic supports but does not control the Shiite militia of Lebanon.

Hezbollah was founded in 1982 by Shiites angered by Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon and dissatisifed with Amal, the traditional political party of Lebanese Shiites. The new party was assisted by religious Iranians interested in advancing the cause of a Shiite revolution as preached by Ayatollah Khomeini. They also received help from secular Syria, which was looking for allies in Lebanon. What began as a military organization evolved into a political party, a social welfare network and a militia -- a state within a state.

In Israel, Hezbollah is often seen as an instrument of Iran's foreign policy. Elsewhere, Hezbollah is seen as an ally of the Islamic Republic with its own agenda.

"This is a regional war," says Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations. "Iran is seeking to dominate Iraq, particularly its southern Shia areas -- the provinces where British troops are deployed -- and hopes to encircle both Israel and the Sunni heartland of the Arab world.... There is no question that Iran's main aim is to dominate the oil-producing areas by agitating the Shia populations of Kuwait, Bahrain, and the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia."

Iran hosted a conference of representatives of Hezbollah, Hamas and several Palestinian militant organizations in April, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. "Tehran has never tried to hide its support for these groups, which it views as legitimate resistance movements." Tehran is also encouraging volunteers to join the fight in Lebanon, reports RFE/RL.

"Hezbollah had its own reasons for attacking Israel," former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk told aljazeera.net, "but Syrian and Iranian interests were being served as well, otherwise they would've intervened to stop their client organisation.

One Iranian commentator welcomed the charge. Israel's supporters "are right to see Iran as the source of all the developments in the region," wrote Mohammad Imani in the Keyhan, a conservative daily in Tehran.

But the BBC says Iran's role is "murky."

Anthony Cordesman, a senior analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told the BBC it was "unrealistic to think that Iran somehow controls Hezbollah, that Syria doesn't need to be considered, that Hezbollah has no decision-making authority or capability on its own." In a paper for CSIS, Cordesman says there "no evidence" that Iran dominates Hezbollah.

That view is shared both inside and outside of Iran.

"It is misleading to say that Iran and Syria are carrying this out," Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said of Hezbollah's fight against the Jewish state. "These are careless statements."

"Despite the belligerent talk, Iran experts in the United States believe that Tehran is posturing, seeking to gain maximum geopolitical advantage while wanting to avoid a fight with Israel - at least for now," says a writer for Eurasianet, a news and commentary site.

Iran's strategy, says Trista Parsi, a Middle East specialist at the Johns Hopkins University, "is to continuously defy the U.S. but stop short of trapping itself in a military confrontation it knows it cannot win."

"While Ahmadinejad huffs and puffs -- he has warned Israel that it 'will face a crushing response' if it attacks Syria, and accused Arab leaders who have refused to cheer on Hezbollah of being 'complicit in the Zionist regime's barbarism' -- there is little evidence showing an active Iranian role in the fighting," Parsi writes.

"This is rhetoric, not actual policy," Mohammad Atrianfar, editor of the reformist Iranian newspaper Shargh, told Time Magazine's Azadeh Moaveni.

Editors of Le Monde, the French daily, say Iran is taking advantage of the war to advance its nuclear diplomacy.
.
"The war in Lebanon began at a time when the major powers, frustrated at having failed to secure a response from Tehran to their diplomatic offer, had announced their intention of resuming the Security Council talks on what sanctions could be imposed on Tehran. The evidence is lacking to establish a cause-and-effect link. What is obvious, however, is that, on the strength of its feeling of impunity and power granted to it by the revival of Shiism, Tehran has decided to capitalize on the conflict in the Near East. "

What the World Sees in Condi Rice's Diplomacy Tour

"America fails to address Lebanon's key players"
--Daily Telegraph, United Kingdom

"What is missing from her agenda is direct contact with the two key foreign players in Lebanon - the sponsors of Hizbollah: Syria and Iran. Washington may hope that Egypt and Saudi Arabia can persuade Bashar al-Assad to part company with Teheran and sever links with Hizbollah.

"In the best of circumstances, that would be a long shot ... the Administration should not rule out talking to the Syrians and Iranians. Direct diplomacy backed by the threat of sanctions, and even military force, is better than relying on proxies to put the American point of view."

"A new Middle East or Rice's fantasy ride?"
--Rami Khouri, Daily Star, Beirut

"If Rice pursues contacts in the coming five days that increase Washington's bias toward Israel, tighten its links with isolated, increasingly impotent Arab governments, and further alienate the masses of Arab public opinion, she will exacerbate the very problem she claims she wants to fix: the spread of violence and terror, practiced simultaneously by the armies of states like the US and Israel, by police-state governments in the Middle East who live by violence as a rule, and by non-state actors like Hizbullah and others like it."

"Go Home Condoleezza"
--Gulf News, United Arab Emirates

"Claims of impartiality are not credible. Arab patience has worn thin. Her bias and a US agenda driven by Israel, is there for all to see."

"How flourishing Beirut, Lebanon have been deflowered overnight: Rice "only brings empty words and rhetoric. It is obvious by now that her hands are tied and she or anyone in Washington is in no position to offer a solution to bring this war to an end. Thanks to the [Israel] Lobby, this administration is in no position to rein in Israel or ask it to call off this murderous offensive."
--Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates

By Jefferson Morley |  July 25, 2006; 9:05 AM ET  | Category:  Mideast
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Comments

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Everyone is complaining about Iran and Syria support of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians and no one mentions the total, unwavering material support being supplied by the United States Government. The support by my government supplied to Israel includes money, F-16s Fighter Jets, bombs, tanks, and other munitions. We have in fact created a Frankenstein Monster that can do no wrong in the eyes of the U. S. Government, yet we feel free to conplain about other countries doing the exact same thing that we are doing.

Posted by: R. L. Smith | July 25, 2006 11:34 AM

I am an Iranian who has lived in the West for the ast twenty years.I left Iran because the Ayatollahs. Since the invasion of Iraq my view has been changing. For years I was told that the Americans and Israilies are murderous and coward. I had always though differently but I have seen in front of my eyes (through mass media owned by US) the brutality and act of tyrany by US and the unlweful state of "Israel". I will soon go back to Iran and appologise to the Ayatollahs. By the way im not a Muslim i am a Jew, a proud Iranian one.

Posted by: zach | July 25, 2006 11:48 AM

This will continue until one of two things happens: Either Israel destroys Iran, or Iran destroys Israel. Personally, I'm rooting for the former. I can't understand why the people of the middle east vote Hamas and Hezbollah into power when they know their reward will be nothing but misery and suffering. I suppose they need it. After all, what would they do with peace? Build a real economy? Too hard.

Posted by: Richard Sittema | July 25, 2006 11:55 AM

Hezbolla's attacks against Israel and kidnapping of its soldiers were deliberate acts of war, a war for which they have been preparing ever since Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Hezbollah is shelling northern Israel constantly, with no intention of stopping, regardless of the casualties caused or international repercussions. Apparently, neither the government of Lebanon nor any other country is willing to stop Hezbollah's relentless attacks on Israel. Therefore, Israel has no other choice but to do whatever it takes to stop Hezbolla's attacks.

Posted by: Elan Bortniker | July 25, 2006 12:03 PM

Hezbolla's attacks against Israel and kidnapping of its soldiers were deliberate acts of war, a war for which they have been preparing ever since Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Hezbollah is shelling northern Israel constantly, with no intention of stopping, regardless of the casualties caused or international repercussions. Apparently, neither the government of Lebanon nor any other country is willing to stop Hezbollah's relentless attacks on Israel. Therefore, Israel has no other choice but to do whatever it takes to stop Hezbolla's attacks.

Posted by: Elan Bortniker | July 25, 2006 12:04 PM

The comments here are a bit ludicrous. Equating support for a legitimate government that is only trying to protect its citizens, with a terrorist group that's sole purpose is to attack civilians, is preposterous. "Flowering Lebanon" allowed an armed terrorist group to sieze control of the entire northern section of it's country, bring in 30,000 offensive missles with which to attack it's neighboring country, allows them to build fortified bunker systems under civilian areas, let's the terrorist group set up their headquarters in swank hotels in their capital and allows them free reign to attack a neighboring country. When the neighboring country counter-attacks, they then complain that they are a victim! It reminds me of the man who is found guilty of murdering his parents and then begs for mercy as he is now an orphan. You do the deed, you pay the price!

Posted by: David | July 25, 2006 12:05 PM

Hezbolla's attacks against Israel and kidnapping of its soldiers were deliberate acts of war, a war for which they have been preparing ever since Israel withdrew from Lebanon. Hezbollah is shelling northern Israel constantly, with no intention of stopping, regardless of the casualties caused or international repercussions. Apparently, neither the government of Lebanon nor any other country is willing to stop Hezbollah's relentless attacks on Israel. Therefore, Israel has no other choice but to do whatever it takes to stop Hezbolla's attacks.

Posted by: Elan Bortniker | July 25, 2006 12:05 PM

yea man. iran's gonna get it

Posted by: akash | July 25, 2006 12:10 PM

Now, isn't this ironic, all that endless talk about "our grand vision" of democracy in Middle East and here we are fighting and demonising those few who actualy got elected and have mandates from their people (Hamas, Hesbollah, Ahamdinejad, Sadrists), while the currupt dictators, kings, sheiks, emirs and the like are our "moderate" best friends - men of vision, heralds of "new middle east".

Posted by: Barabin | July 25, 2006 12:10 PM

How can anyone stop a war by sending more bombs and weapons to one side and promises to the other side?

Posted by: afshin | July 25, 2006 12:15 PM

Why do we keep beating this horse to death, "Iran instigator or bystander" There is irrefutable proof that Iran is directly involved in Lebanon. But the media and the powers that be are still scratching their chins,"Well Iran might be in involved, but we're not quite sure yet, this matter still needs to be further investigated."
It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar or Pulitzer prize winner to figure out that get Iran out of the picture, and Hezbollah/Hammas will dry up and blow away.

Posted by: Melvin Leigh Leppla | July 25, 2006 12:16 PM

I find it either unbelievable or unconscionable that an Iranian Jew would side with Ahmedinejad and those other deluded persons who reject both the truth of the Holocaust, and the right for a nation of Israel to exist. What modern-day diplomacy fails mainly at doing is assigning blame fairly, and bypassing unrealistic assertions by mindwashed religious zealots. It seems we are doomed to repeat history ad mortem. This, from a proud German-American.

Posted by: jonathan | July 25, 2006 12:23 PM

Thanks, Mr. Morley, for a timely and thorough report.

I agree with R. Sittema's statement that:
"This will continue until one of two things happens: Either Israel destroys Iran, or Iran destroys Israel." I think Israel is setting the stage for an attack, and that the US will be drawn in to help.

War is never desirable, but the Iranians in power are too dangerous.

Posted by: Wolcott | July 25, 2006 12:26 PM

Oh, i see, now the problem isn't a killing and kidnaping of IDF soldiers (please remind me, how many Lebanese and Arabs does Israel hold?) , it's those crude rockets, which happen to began raining on Israel after IDF flattened southeren Beirut.
Well, i guess the lesson U.S. is teaching the world is that self-defence or god forbid a deterrent will absolutely not be tolerated when you're weak.

Posted by: Barabin | July 25, 2006 12:27 PM

Yes, spreading "democracy" has always been a foolish endeavor. In the US vulgar vernacular, "democracy" really means democratic elections, rule of law, a strong judicial branch, a civilian-controlled military, a relatively free press, and a constitutionally limited executive branch. However, our government doesn't understand that and instead tries to spread just democratic elections, without the other essential elements. It has been shown ad infinitum that citizens in an insecure culture, having a weak economy and constant threats of war, will elect extreme governments who spout aphorisms of strength. Even in the US, a mature and vibrant democracy, you see this pattern. In moments of weakness after 9/11, we felt vulnerable, and the economy dropped. Suddenly, a majority of the country stopped thinking and starting supporting Bush, a president who lost the popular vote. Why? Because Bush bluffed strong, "If you're not with us, you're against us." Anyhow, it may be ironic, but it's also completely predictable and very sad.

Posted by: Al | July 25, 2006 12:33 PM

"Equating support for a legitimate government that is only trying to protect its citizens, with a terrorist group that's sole purpose is to attack civilians, is preposterous."
Yeah, preposterous if you ignore Israel's repeated violations of international law, of the rights of Palestinians, its repeated and ongoing land grabs by settlers, its violation of internationally recognized borders, and its history of killing far more Arab civilians than have been killed in Israel.
Remind me, please: which side of this conflict are the "terrorists" on?
Objectively, the answer would have to be Israel.

Posted by: Saul | July 25, 2006 12:36 PM

If Israel changed its name to something ethnically neutral, say "Harmonia", gave full citizenship to the Palestinians and renounced all racial, religious and ethnic discrimination then the whole conflict would be over. It is interesting that Bush talks about wanting democracy in the Middle East but then he also says people in the Middle East have to "acknowledge Israel's right to exist" which is nothing more than saying they have to agree to be subjected to segregation and discrimination. Talk about being a control freak, Bush doesn't just want to control whether people get what they want, he wants to control what they want - all in the name of "democracy".

Posted by: Wes | July 25, 2006 12:37 PM

"it's those crude rockets, which happen to began raining on Israel Before IDF flattened southeren Beirut.
"

Fixed for accuracy.

"god forbid a deterrent will absolutely not be tolerated when you're weak.
"

You know, deterence never work if you are to weak to back it up. A deterence is saying that you are stronger then your opponent.

Of course in the middle east deterence doesn't work to well. They don't seem to bother calculating balance of strength before they start wars over there.

Posted by: Duck | July 25, 2006 12:39 PM

"Oh, i see, now the problem isn't a killing and kidnaping of IDF soldiers (please remind me, how many Lebanese and Arabs does Israel hold?) , it's those crude rockets, which happen to began raining on Israel after IDF flattened southeren Beirut."

Please, look at the events on the ground. Hezbollah provoked this war. They have been fortifying southern Lebanon since Israel left, and they have been planning this war for just as long. Hezbollah is riding the recent wave of shiite power and is looking to claim the mantle of radical religious authority. Hezbollah is currently accomplishing what Hamas and al Qaeda (both Sunni organizations) have been unable to do: draw Israel into costly guerrilla warfare and rain down rockets upon populous Israeli cities.

Do not play stupid. Millions of Arabs and Muslims want to destroy Israel. Hezbollah is acting on those desires. Israel is defending itself...ruthlessly without mercy. How would you act if you lived in a neighborhood where everybody else wanted you dead? Yes, Israel's attacks worsen the situation, but do you honestly believe that the situation would improve if Israel never counter-attacked?

So, if Israel is never going to be loved by its neighbors, then maybe fear is the only option left to keep its citizens safe.

Posted by: Al | July 25, 2006 12:44 PM

Simple advice to all the terrorists,
Stop attacking Israel, take your rockets and stick them up your ass and Israel will withdraw. All you people who feel that Israel and the US are wrong on this issue have been brain washed too. If it wasn't Israel the terrorists were upset about, it would be something else. Arabs have been fighting for 1000's of years. They are not going to stop today. As for the Iranian "Jew" who made that comment above, you are not a Jew, you are a liar.

Posted by: ProudAmerican | July 25, 2006 12:45 PM

Due to sheer ignorance or on purpose, most people just focus on hamas and hezbollah's capture of the israel's soldiers as the trigger that justify this holocoust punishment both to the palestinians and the lebanese people. Happenings prior to those incidence in which Israel killed innocent civilians on the beach in Gaza and then it's incursion into Gaza to kidnap Hamas members were evaporated unnoticed. In conclusion the Arab blood is cheap thus don't require worthy world's attention. As long as this injustice is not addressed any peace accords or truce or cease fire will never hold in the Middle East. Furthermore Israel is given a blank check by the USA to do whatever it wants in the Middle East even the UN can't do anything about it. So just brace ourselves for more violence to come ....

Posted by: arrad malaysia | July 25, 2006 12:46 PM

In response to Barabin:

I don't feel that democracy is at all being undermined. The people can support anybody they like and vote for anybody they like. However, if they vote for a militaristic regime that instigates a war, they must accept the war. It is the same in any country. If Canada elected a group to power that then shelled America repeatedly, it would have to accept American retaliation. Accepting the consequences of your vote is part of how it works. If America were to kidnap some Canadians and hide in a suburb of Washignton DC, it would have to accept that that suburb would be a target because the party it elected into power acted in a way that was careless and dangerous to civilians.

Personally I feel that Hezbollah deliberately set up in civilian centers to make any Israeli retaliation appear all the worse. I find that very irresponsible of them; they clearly do not care at all about the people they are supposedly defending. They are at least as bad as Israel for making targets of refugee centers and public areas.

Blaming Syria and Iran for all of it is foolish--Hezbollah would be much weaker wihtout their support, but it's obvious that this militia would be fighting regardless.

I also would like to state that if Arabs did not want Jews in the area, they should not have sold the land to them prior to WWI--it is a documented fact that nearly 1/3 of what is currently Israel and the West Bank were purchased by Jews from Arabs legitimately. Whatever wrongdoing Israel has perpetrated since may have been wrong or overly militant, but you cannot refute the claim of a person to land they purchased from your grandparents.

Posted by: E.S. | July 25, 2006 12:48 PM

If people don't see through this thinly veiled - neo-con/zionist propaganda effort to drag the US into additional wars in Iran and then Syria then we will soon be seeing and hearing about American boots on the ground in Iran.

Just read dore gold's piece and see how the "message" is so similar to what netanyahu was saying on fox at the weekend ......

"Iran is seeking to dominate Iraq, particularly its southern Shia areas -- the provinces where British troops are deployed -- and hopes to encircle both Israel and the Sunni heartland of the Arab world.... There is no question that Iran's main aim is to dominate the oil-producing areas by agitating the Shia populations of Kuwait, Bahrain, and the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia."
....


this message is clearly a shift in israeli policy and is designed to forment a shia/sunni split...to serve its own ends...interestingly the brutal images coming out of Lebanon seem to have temporarily united the Arab voice when early on there was criticism of hezbollah..

Well if Israel wants to take on Iran thats their perogative but do it on your own and not with US Money and Equipment ...

Posted by: Angus | July 25, 2006 12:50 PM

America is losing so much money from two little wars that I fail to see how inviting a third one will help. And Iran, N Korea, and Syria are not Afganistan nor Iraq with the 10+ years of embargo and bad managment.
I think that it seems we are winning the war from sunny California, it doesn't look like that in other parts of the world.

Posted by: Marto | July 25, 2006 12:54 PM

"So, if Israel is never going to be loved by its neighbors, then maybe fear is the only option left to keep its citizens safe."

Of course it's never gonna be loved by neighbors, for god's sake, Israel is an artificial religious state (granted, a fairly liberal one) with first and second class citizens, militant society and expansionists policy. True, their unimaginable rough history and Arab stupidity and primitivism contributed, but in all fairness Israel isn't a lot more than apartheid colony.

Posted by: Barabin | July 25, 2006 01:03 PM

As long as Bush administration supports terrorist state of Israel there will not be any peace in ME, How can you tell resistance and democratic elected parties
of palestinian and lebonesse to give up their resistence and surrender to Israel aggression and occupation. Us instead of being pupet of Israel should force Israel to stop its aggression and occupation of palestinian and leboneese land.

Posted by: Kamal | July 25, 2006 01:03 PM

"...it is a documented fact that nearly 1/3 of what is currently Israel and the West Bank were purchased by Jews from Arabs legitimately."

So give back the more than 2/3 that wasn't purchased legitimately and call it even. :)

Posted by: Wes | July 25, 2006 01:05 PM

So the WOLFOWITZ PERLE FEITH LIBBY, ET.AL PLAN CONTINUES.
This is only the continuance, with a slight detour, that those jewish neocons began with the war in Iraq. To use American blood and treasure..starting with Invasion of Iraq, then Syria, then Iran. When the Iraq war failed and the American people got agut ful, Israel started killing Iran earlier than planned...then to Syria, Iran. Devastating Palestine was easy. So why all the discussion. Blood all over their hands, but that's mothers milk to them and theirs. And of course the whole thing had to be begun while the idiot Bush was still in the White House.
His terrible rambling appearance this morning shows he's not quite right.

Posted by: so sad | July 25, 2006 01:21 PM

Lets cut through the chase here, In every single conflict over the globe what is the one common denominator? Islam, Islam is the one common denominator in all the death and destruction that is currently engulfing the world.
The Iranian President has made no secret in wanting the destruction of Israel and Western culture. So why does Islamic posters refute this. At least he is being honest with the world in Iranian intentions. "Oh no, not Islam we only want peace and its those Zionist Bush pigs that are advocating war against poor defenseless Muslims." Camel Pucky, if the world believes this then the moon is really made out of Swiss Cheese.
Unfortunately many in the world do believe this hog wash spun by Islamic propagandists.
Muslims think they are so pious and pure, I'm sorry there is no purity or piousness in bashing in the head of a four year old Israeli girl with the butt of an AK-47.
If Islam truly wants peace then cease your hostilities and military operation all over the world, this won't happen because Islam wants to either convert, enslave, or murder the infidels all over the world. Peaceful religion my backside.

Posted by: Melvin Leigh Leppla | July 25, 2006 01:22 PM

Regarding democracy in ME:

That's really a no-brainer.

What people in the region want and what West has been actively denying them for centuries are peace, prosperity and Islam.
Peace - obvious enough, prosperity - denying the fruits of their oli wealth to be shared by the people (remember the mossadegh coup), Islam - well, you know your history.
We should simply support people's aspirations instead of actively undermining them and holding entire region hostage to whoever our current favorite set of strongmen and autocrat clients are.

Posted by: Barabin | July 25, 2006 01:24 PM

It's appparent that if Israel didnt have the supplies and weapons from the US that Israel wouldn't exist. If Hezbollah or Hamas didn't have weapons from Iran and Syria there would be peace. Go Israel! Defend yourself and ensure this doesn't happen again.

"Smile and be kind but always carry the biggest stick to ensure personal safety"

Posted by: KORSOBALIAS | July 25, 2006 01:28 PM

PROUD AMERICAN Given the number who pretend they AREN'T JEWISH on these posts, perhaps one who claims to be one should be applauded. And the question may not be moot in the future. Yes, even in America.
One hears frightening things around the water cooler that you'd not like.

Posted by: worried | July 25, 2006 01:52 PM

From Melvin.....

"Muslims think they are so pious and pure, I'm sorry there is no purity or piousness in bashing in the head of a four year old Israeli girl with the butt of an AK-47."

You know what Melvin - personally I think the person who did this should have his balls cut off and then be hanged .....having said that the israeli govt. is no better....there are so many Palestinian children who have been shot, crushed, blown up & beaten to death etc etc etc by the army & settlers it would take years to chronicle them all.

Seems to me that piety and purity are completely lacking in your neck of the woods ....you guys are just as bad..one main difference is they don't have an army of supporters in the US trying to justify their crimes...

Posted by: Angus | July 25, 2006 02:02 PM

In iran the people who are against the goverment call the people who are with the goverment "Hezbollahi", Hezbollah belongs to Iran. Not to say that Israil actions are justified, but they should also know that iranians are not Arabs. Thay are of an IndoAryian breed. On a final not, the last know time in history that any country was able to invade persia was in the time of Alexandre the great. Good Luck, Israil

Posted by: SS | July 25, 2006 02:10 PM

unfortunatlly U.S. is being deceived by israel and there is increasing possibility that the U.S. will be dragged into this war because israel has embarked on an adventure that can not finish under its own terms, and can not sustain for too long, therefore its only ally the United States (unfortunally) has to get physically involved to resolve it for her. the U.S resources is being wasted on israel. it is too costly for the U.S. to continue this relationship at this level. at some point the U.S. has to act as an honest broker to stop this nonsense that is also affecting her standing in the world.

Posted by: melvin | July 25, 2006 03:07 PM

All I know is in bush's math 40 is bigger than 400. This is why israil is innocent.

And congratulation my israili friends you are very successfull to made next generation of sucide bombers.

Posted by: resho | July 25, 2006 03:15 PM

I'm an iranian studentt in US. I never liked the government in Iran, because it limited my social life and imposed strict rules on it. However, here I'm trying to be honest with numbers and facts:

1. The death toll of lebanese side in this conflict is 422 people up to now, 27 of them from hizbollah fighters. The other 395 people were civilians. Israel has killed 15 innocent people to kill a single hizbollah gighter.
2. The death toll in Israel is 42, 24 soldiers and 18 civilians. Apparetly Hizbollah is trying hard just to atack Israel military.
(Those numbers are reported by Reuters, July 25th)

3. Terrorism is defined by the US Department of Defense as "the unlawful use of -- or threatened use of -- force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives."

Now please be honest. Who is doing an act of terrorism against innocent civilians here? Israel who has killed 15 innocent lives for each militant hit or Hizbollah?

4. Also as someone else already said, Hizbollah only started attacking Haifa after 2 days of Israeli air raids and bombardment of civilian infrastructurs and houses in different parts of Lebanon including Beirut. However, until yesterday that Israel's ground troops entered Lebanon and managed to kill some 25 Hizbollah fighters, they had solely killed civilians.

5. Israel has literally destructed all lebanese bridges and many industrial bases. Are they going to pay for the reconstruction later?

6. As my final note. let's see what sequence of actions brought us to the current situation:
6.1. prior to June 9th,2006, The situation had been almost calm. Hamas was elected in a democratic election, and there were political pressures on it to refrain from violence. But the situation was calm.
6.2. israel fired an artillary 155mm shell on a Gaza beach, in hope to hit some Hamas members, but killed some 7 civilians. Major-General Yoav Galant of IDF says "he was sorry for the loss of civilian life."
6.3. Hamas ends it's 16 month ceasefire with Israel as a consequence of this attack.
6.4. Hamas attacked an Israel guarding post and caught a soldier as hostage, and suggested a prisoner exchange.
6.5. Israel denied and started bombing Gaza. It used precision missiles to eliminate hamas heads of the elected government.
6.6. Hizbollah as an act of sympathy with Hamas attacks an IDF post in the disputed shebaa farms. Note that this territory does not belong to Israel, and the debate in UN is whether it belongs to Syria or Lebanon. However Israel has military presence in this occupied peice of land. Any way, Hizbollah kills 6 soldiers and takes another 2 soldiers as hostage, and suggests a priosoner echange.
6.3. Israel denies an exchange and starts bombing Beirut and other Lebanon cites. This continued until yesterday when IDF's ground troops entered Lebanon.

So as you can see, the Hizbollah attack on Israeli soldiers hasn't been totally a provocative act of war.

Posted by: Reza | July 25, 2006 03:37 PM

Reza Ur the man for putting some real afcts on the table. When are the people of this planet going to wake up

Posted by: ss | July 25, 2006 03:48 PM

REGARDING MIDDLE EAST PEACE I FEEL THAT THE CITIZENS OF ALL THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD,NEVER MIND JUST THE MID EAST ARE UNDER ATTACK BY GREED AND SELFISHNESS. IN THE SCRIPTURES JEWS AND MUSLIMS HOLD DEAR IT IS SAID BY JEHOVAH THE LAND IS NOT TO BE SOLD IT IS FOR THE PEOPLE. THEY ARE THOSE THAT WANT IT PRIVATIZED. UNFORTUNATELY THESE PEOPLE USE PROPOGANDA TO STRENGTHEN THIER CAUSE WHILE THE INNOCENT HARDWORKERS ARE THE VICTIMS. MY PROPOSAL IS TO BRING THE LAND TO ITS ORIGINAL NAME CANAAN W/TWO SEPERATE STATE/PROVINCES COMPRISING OF PALESTINE AND ISRAEL IT WAS CHANGED TO PALESTINE IN B.C. BUT TO BE FAIR WE WILL USE CANAAN
THIS WAR HAS NEVER ENDED AND WILL NEVER END TILL THE GREED ENDS AND IT IS DEEPLY IMBEDDED IN THE SOULS OF THE INDIVIDUALS IN CONTROL. ISRAEL STAYS WITH THE ORIGINAL LAND PURCHASED B4 WW1 AND THEY LIVE SIDE BY SIDE W/PALESTINE IN THE COUNTRY OF CANAAN. THE US BACKS ISRAEL THE SAME WAY IRAN/SYRIA BACKS HAMAS HEZBOLLAH SO THAT ARGUMENT HAS NO VALIDITY
EVERYONE HAS ALLIES AND NOT ONLY ONE SIDE SHOULD HAVE THE BENEFIT ONCE THE LAND IS NOT GRANTED AND DIVIDED BY THE ACTUAL PEOPLE THAT INHABITIT THEN THIS WILL NEVER END IT IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT BUT I BET THE CIVILIANS OF BOTH ISRAEL,PALESTINE AND LEBANON WILL HAVE NO ARGUEMENT WITH THAT IF IT MEANS PEACE
ALL THE WARS THAT HAVE BEEN OCCURRING OVER TIME ARE THE RESULT OF CLASSISM ONCE WE LEARN TO UNDERSTAND WE ARE ALL EQUAL AND HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO BRING TO THE TABLE THEN THIS WILL ALWAYS HAPPEN. IN THE GREAT USA WHERE I WAS BORN AND RAISED WE IGNORE THE PROBLEMS OF THE IMPOVERISHED AND PUT GREED B4 EDUCATION AMERICA WILL NEVER BE A REAL SUPERPOWER TILL THAT CYCLE STOPS A PUZZLE WOULD NOT BE A PUZZLE IF ALL THE PIECES WERE THE SAME

Posted by: LOOKING FOR UNITY | July 25, 2006 03:56 PM

I think that anyone who believes they have a direct line to God and can therefore act on behalf of God should not be allowed to have a gun, or worse, control of a military. This would include: George Bush, Hezbollah, Hammas, zionists, Iran, and many others.

What worries me is that no one with any authority is standing up to mediate these conflicts, or campaign against the war criminals in any of our countries.

A question for all: what will you tell your children and grandchildren you did to resist and oppose the approach of World War III?

Blair is visiting Washington DC tommorrow. Where will the protestors be?

Posted by: mel | July 25, 2006 04:05 PM

I think that anyone who believes they have a direct line to God and can therefore act on behalf of God should not be allowed to have a gun, or worse, control of a military. This would include: George Bush, Hezbollah, Hammas, zionists, Iran, and many others.

What worries me is that no one with any authority is standing up to mediate these conflicts, or campaign against the war criminals in any of our countries.

A question for all: what will you tell your children and grandchildren you did to resist and oppose the approach of World War III?

Blair is visiting Washington DC tommorrow. Where will the protestors be?

Posted by: mel | July 25, 2006 04:05 PM

Policy makers in America and Israel are absolultely stupid.

If you really see Shia muslims are moderate. Iran may be theocratic state and it is very closer to democratic state than any muslim state can be.

The best way to deal with Muslim religion is keep Iran as a friend. Bombing iran may not help unless america wipe out all civilians like Israel is killing labenese in south lebanon.

As far Iraq , Idiot Bush messed it up. Saddham hussein would have been forced to accept anything as he was weaker by day. Now It is a mess. It will be continue to be mess as long as US military in IRAQ.

America is the source of motivation for downtrodeen hopeless muslim. They think atleast i die for allah instead living like slave. Simplistic minded.

The way to solve Iraq problem is very simple. Replace US/British troops with EUropean or UN peacekeepers. Iraq will be back as democracy. It is so simple. All Bush has to do is accept he made a blunder and remove US army and just keep US army base somewhere near syria/Iraq border and disappear completely from normal iraq population.

Will right winge jews in Bush administration accept the defeat ? Or will they keep sacrificing americans for their own idiotic ideological goals?

As long as americans can't think on their own they will keep dying for these fools.

Iraq is not the center of the problem. The epic center is SAUDI ARABIA. hello? Wake up!. Wahabism in Saudi arabia.

Shia muslims are always moderate simply because iran is the source of so much cultural heritage that they are tolerant of it.

Someone has to listen to the opposite side and what they are asking. Unfortunately BUSH and JEWS are deaf.

If you ask me i will eliminate all sunni muslim countries. To do that you have to attract Iran. The way to get Iran is by talking to them and integrate them with western world. That way Iraq will become democratic.

Sunnis will be isolated and they will come in line. At that time palestenians will accept a deal.

I don't think there is any hibollah problem. They attacked israel to help palestenians when the world abandoned them.
it is simple as that.

Prisioner swap was a easy one for israel. It would have been cost effective. Now Israel lost ist moral advantage and killing 400 innocent civilians. Foolish right wing jews. Only anger and revenge on their mind.

Israel should hold position now and call for ceasfire as they have the advantage and in lebanon land and stop killing more civilians.

But they can't. The goal is bring fear to lebanse shia masses. Never going to happen as long as koran and allh exist in their mind.

I think Israel should n't exist in my mind. But allow to exist as they do the proxy war for america in fighting muslims. But on one condition they should n't look like aggressor. They have to be victim.

Israels action shouldn't look like crusade!.


Posted by: Alex | July 25, 2006 04:06 PM

Seems to me that Israel may end up on the losing end of this little war. Yes, they can blow up things but they seem to be running into the same problem as the US army which is what happens next. Up to now the answer was go in and occupy the land for a long period. But this does not seem to be an option anymore because of the associated risks and recent lessons learned by Israel and US. This may leave them in a much weaker position afterwards since it may also remove this bombing option off the table for future conflicts if it proves to be ineffective. Somebody suggested that they should rename the area, give everyone a vote and take religion out of this. I think his name was Ahmadinejad but I might be wrong. At any rate let us get past this the Redskins preseason games will be starting soon and I've got a good feeling about this year.

Posted by: Ahmad | July 25, 2006 04:12 PM

I AGREE TOTALLY REEZA AND SS WE NEED TO LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY
2 SOLDIERS CAPTURE CAN NEVER BE AN EXCUSE FOR THE DEMOLITION OF A COUNTRY

Posted by: LOOKING FOR UNITY | July 25, 2006 04:13 PM

Another important point.

Americas enemy is whoever jews enemy because jews taken over america.

Now america is fighting TRUE democratic institution HAMAS,HIZBOLLAH and IRAN. Calling them terrorists is absolutely laughable.

These are people. These are civilains elected. They fight for their rights. Israel is out of control in these scneario.

The terrorist countries are with dictators. PAKISTAN.SAUDI,EGYPT,ALLGULF STTAES and Jordan.

Where is the sense? Why fighting the wrong people?

It shows america is hypcrite. No one believes america. America is looks wounded 1000lbs gorilla swing blindly left and right.

Awful.

Posted by: Alex | July 25, 2006 04:14 PM

Reza did not put anything on the table but a bunch of out right lies. No one in their right mind believes that Hamas has honored any cease for 16 hours much less 16 months.

Israel has the absolute right to exist and not only that they need to have all of the rightful land. Which extend to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and parts of Saudi Arab?

We tend to make things to complicated. if I am out with my family and a person yells that he is going to kill all my family and then fires a shot in my direction but misses. I am going to unload on that individual with all the fury that I have.

I truly think that Arab community in the Middle East has underestimated the response that they are getting ready to have rain down on them. The world is getting tired and we are seeing them for who they are.

Posted by: Samuel | July 25, 2006 04:14 PM

Both Syria and Lebanon have land issues with Israel, and Iran's permission is not required to settle these problems. Hizbulla is a Lebanese organization and supports Lebanese national interest. If possible, it would be helpful if Syria and Lebanon's land claims were handled together as a package. I believe that the return of these captured lands combined with a non-aggression pact would bring peace to that part of the Middle East. You wouldn't need any foreign troops along their respective borders. Syria has sought negotiations with Israel, but it has been turned down a number of times.
Until the present conflict, it was not uncommon for Israel to exchange prisioners for captured soldiers. They have even traded soldier's bodies for prisoners. I believe that Hizbullah mean't to capture some IDF soldiers for trade. It wasn't looking for a war, but was ready for one.
I don't believe that European troops would not be appropriate as a buffer force, but troops from Egypt might be accepable to both sides. A cease fire should be declared as soon as possible.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | July 25, 2006 04:34 PM

THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST BECAUSE IT MAKES NO SENSE TO TRY TO HAVE A DISCUSSION OF VALUE WITH PEOPLE WHO LEARN HISTORY FROM THE MEDIA. FOR ALL THE RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS THE SCRIPTURES SAY THE LAND IS NOT TO BE SOLD IT IS FOR THE PEOPLE(JEW AND ARAB ALIKE) FOR ALL THE OTHER HYPOCRITES I WARNED PEOPLE OF THIS SCENARIO ABOUT 5YRS AGO WHEN BUSH NAMED THE AXIS OF EVIL THERE ARE 2 THINGS WORKING HERE US WANTS CONTROL OF THE ME OIL DUE TO DEPENDENCY AND TO UNDERMINE RUSSIA IN THE FUTURE WHEN THEY ONCE AGAIN BECOME STABLE AND ISRAEL OF COURSE WANTS THE LAND BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IT IS THIERS FROM THE SCRIPTURE(WHICH IS VERY DANGEROUS)
ALL THIS IS TIED TO AMERICA ALSO FEARING THE RISE OF CHINA AND THE HOPES THAT A UNIFIED KOREA W/JAPAN AS ALLY CAN UNDERMINE SO THAT WE WILL REMAIN LASTING SUPERPOWER ANYONE THAT READS HISTORY WILL LEARN THAT YOU WILL NEVER CONQUER ASIA OR THE MIDDLE EAST. WHY IS THAT?? THESE PEOPLE HAVE A VALUE SYSTEM AND CULTURE THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND THEY LIKE IT THAT WAY STOP OCCUPYING AND TRYING TO CHANGE PEOPLE I LEARNED THAT ON A SMALLER SCALE W/MY EX GIRLFRIEND YOU CANT CHANGE PEOPLE THEY CHANGE THEMSELVES IT ALL GOES BACK TO GREED NO ONE IS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT FOR A REASON DIFFERENT DOES NOT MEAN BAD OR EVIL MATH IS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE AND THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO GET THE SAME ANSWER DONT CRITISIZE BECAUSE IT WAS A DIFFERENT STRATEGY USED
THAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PUT AN ANALOGY THAT EVERYONE CAN RELATE TO

Posted by: LOOKING FOR UNITY | July 25, 2006 04:42 PM

I see postings crying for an Isreali child hit in the head with a gun, blame Islam, blame Muslims, why are Muslims so ready for war. 470 Muslim children have been killed by Isreali terrorist and the world says ok. The US gives them more bombs and wants to act like the moral authority. If this much injustice is being done to Muslims in Palestine, Lebanone, Iraq, Kashmir, Chechneya, does the world not expect one to fight back. The right wing Christian and Jews are murdering everyday but Muslims fight back after decades of being slaughtered and the great west calls them terrorists. Our eyes are so covered in blood we can no longer see the truth. Shame on us Americans.

Posted by: Jose | July 25, 2006 05:14 PM

I am not with muslim. I don't think islam should exist at all. That is a virus to humanity.

That being said , Israel is massacring Lebanese to make Greater Israel. Simple as that. All this hibollah firing rockets all an excuse.

Israelis mozzad create problems by hiding behind arabs and forment trouble constantly to keep occupying and killing palestenians.

As much as i say islam should n't exist. That can be said of Israel also. But they exist...they will fight to death.

Let me tell you something about future...

America has upperhand now with all nukes. So the balance tilted towards america. There will be a peace when few muslim countries get nukes. Then balance of the force will be equal and they will talk in even terms.

But the fear is though that Muslim countries will nuke israel for allah not for anything. They rather use it first than last.

Comparatively Iran is more sensible country than pakistan. Pakistan has lots of sunni extrem muslims in there. Sunni style is make more children and occupy the country.

Even in america if thengs let go , it will become muslim country.


Posted by: Alex | July 25, 2006 06:02 PM

Iran will never be defeated. It has been in existence for 2500 years and has ruled the known world. Israel is 50 years old and is a glass house of land thieves.

I am rooting for Iran to completely destroy Israel.

Posted by: Arya | July 25, 2006 06:12 PM

Reza is lying? Let's exam everthing he said:

1. the numbers look okay to me, matching what i got from MSM news reports;

2. this looks okay too;

3. i suggest move it down to 4., and move 4. up here to have the argument more connected;

4. to be swapped with 3.;

5. true, see MSM news reports;

6.1 no objection;
6.2 i remember that news;
6.3 the news i read said it's 15 (not 16) months before this incident;
6.4 & 6.5 mtaching news reports;
6.6 seem okay. but people would argue Hizbollah was also acting in Iran's interest. Thus their act is not fully justified.
And this is the point many argued about who started the war. They also would say Israel had COMPLETELY withdrawn from occupied lands in Lebanon in 2000 according to internationally recognized border agreement. Since, it was "calm"(same definition as the 15-month Hamas cease-fire, as Israel has constantly violated Lebanon's territory via land, air ,and sea incursions during the time span between 2000 and the abduction.)

6.3? 6.7?

----------------------------
I've known a few Iranians for a few years here in the U.S. Some of them secular, some Christian, and one Muslim. All of them are friendly, fairly open-minded (in comparison with some people here). None of them like the Ayatollahs and all of them think Cheney is nuts, if not as bad as the Ayatollahs.

Posted by: b.a.d. wu | July 25, 2006 06:19 PM

$100 to $200 million annually is spent by Iran in supporting Hezbollah. Iran bought the gun, the bullets, taught hezbollah to aim and told it when to pull the trigger: Hezbollah attacked Israel on the eve of the G8 summit at which Iran would have been the main topic.

Where would Hezbollah be now without Iranian support? Perhaps it would be a radical party with a group of Lebanese-style assassins and a couple of cronies in Damascus, capable of blowing holes in the Lebanese democracy. But there would be no need for such tactical prowess and staying power. Hezbollah is in all but name independent, it is in all but name a resistance movement. It is in all but name a foreign legion unit of the Iranian republican guard, created to draw Israel into a war that would take more than just a few days. It's supposed to take the spotlight away from Iran for quite a while.

Hezbollah receives ideological and military training; it received c-602 anti ship cruise missile systems that Hezbollah fired at the Israeli navy. Considering the sophistication of the fortifications along the border it has received training that Iran gained in the Iran-Iraq war. Given the presence of IEDs heavy enough to kill the 4 operators of a heavy Merkavah tank, has expertly incorporated Iraqi insurgency tactics as well.

The Shi'a revolution has been reactivated by President Ahmadinejad. One only has to google the news a bit to realize that Iran has named the USA and Israel as its targets multiple times and that it has vaguely hinted at the "new wave of confrontations" that are current at this time. For Iran to gain ascendancy it will need to be able to blackmail its neighbours with a bomb big enough to make an impression. It needs its bomb making capability off the agenda, and Hezbollah is the only weapon it has that isn't obvious enough to show a clear Iranian hand.

In the mean time the free nations of the west are debating if Israel's response is "proportional" while Iran has the world so exactly where it wants it that it would be funny if it wasn't so extremely dangerous.

Posted by: jvd70 | July 25, 2006 06:31 PM

i have a question about the buffer zone proposed by Rice. why is it on Lebanon side, not the other side of the border? to be fair, shouldn't both sides contribute part of their land for buffering.

and it also sounds to me like a proposal to have an international force working in Israel's interest.

can any one enlighten me on this issue?

Posted by: b.a.d. wu | July 25, 2006 06:36 PM

jvd70,

well, they also provided their constituency the social welfare system, namely schooling, health care, dare care, etc, with Iranian aids.

Israel and the U.S. could have replaced Iran in providing the aids to help the poor neighborhood in the south Lebanon. And they could have done it thru the Lebanese government. it might have changed things a bit.

but, unfortunately, they'd rather spend a huge amount of money on weapons than a relatively smaller amount on building social systems.

Posted by: | July 25, 2006 06:49 PM

"dare care"???
-->"day care"

Posted by: b.a.d. wu | July 25, 2006 06:50 PM

Interesting how the entire focus of all the media has conveniently been diverted towards Syria and Iran!

This is not about anyone but Israel indiscriminately murdering innocent people in Lebanon.

This operation must have been in the planning for months, so the entire garbage about Israeli soldier's being kidnapped is total 100% garbage!

I just read something that the Iranian President said which is "He who sows the wind will reap a hurricane". This would normally be amusing, but in this case it is very true and Israel should stop manipulating everything, just because it can.

It is time for us to tell Israel that what they are doing is wrong and they should get no support from us.
Unfortunately, Bush, Blair and our general media are still too frightened or blind or both to tell the king that "he has no cloths on"!

Posted by: James | July 25, 2006 07:10 PM

Leopol Weis, an Austrian born Jew, further, belonging to a family of rabbi's, who was a correspondent for a prominent newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, "then one of the most outstanding newspapers in Europe", recalls his brief discussion with Dr. Chaim Weizman, "the undisputed leader of the Zionist movement" in his book, My Discovery of Islam. asit is written in the book...
"'And what about the Arabs?'"
"I must ahave comitted a faux pas by thus bringing a jarring note into the conversation, for Dr. Weizmann turned his face slowly towards me, put down the cup he had been holding in his hand, and repeated my question."
"'What about the Arabs...?'"
"'Well-how can you ever hope to make Palestine your homeland in the face of the vehement opposition of the Arabs who, after all, are in the majority in this country?'"
"The Zionist leader shrugged his shoulders and answered drily: 'We expect they won't be in majority after a few years.'"
"'Perhaps so.... does not the moral aspect of the question ever bother you? Don't you think that it is wrong on your part to displace the people who have always lived in this country?'"
"'But it is our country ,' replied Dr. Weizmann... 'We are doing no more than taking back whta we have been wrongly deprived of.'
"'But you have been away from Palestine for nearly two thousand years! Befor that you had ruled this country, and hardly ever the whole of it, for less than five hundred years. Don't you think that the Arabs could with equal justification, demand Spain for themselves - for, after all, they held swey in Spain for nearly seven hundred years and lost it entirly only five hundred years ago?'"
"'Nonsence. The Arabs had only conquered Spain; it had never been their original homeland, and so it was right that in the end they were driven out by the Spaniards.'"
"'Forgive me' I retorted, 'but it seems to me that there is some historical oversight here. After all, the Hebrews also came as conquerers to Palestine. Long before them were many other semitic and non-semitic tribed settled here - the Amorites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Hittites. Those tribes continued living here even in the days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. They continued living here after the Romans drove our ancestors away. They are living here today. The Arabs who settled in Syria and Palestine after their conquest in the seventh century were always only a small minority of the population; the rest of what we describe today as Palestinian or Syrian "Arabs" are in reality only the Arabianized, original inhabitants of the country. Some of them becme muslims in the coarse of centuries, others remained christians; the muslims naturally inter-married with their co-relioionists from Arabia. But can you deny that the bulk of those people in Palestine, who speak Arabic, weather Muslims or Christians, are direct-line descendents of the original inhabitants: original in the sence of having lived in this county before Hebrews come to it?'"
" Dr. Weismann smiled politely at my outburst and turned the conversation to the other topics."
I did not feel happy about the outcome of my intervention. I.... . But I had hoped that my defence of the Arab cause would at least give rise to some sort of uneasiness which might bring about more introspection and thus.... . None of this had come about. Instead, I found myself facing a blank wall of staring eyes: a censorious disaproval of my temerity, which dared question the unquestionable right of the jews to the land of their forefatherss..."
" How was it possible, I wondered, for people endowed with so much creative intelligence as the Jews to think of the Zionist-Arab conflict in Jewish terms alone? Did they not realize that the problem of Jews in Palestine could, in the long run, be solve only through freindly co-operation with the Arabs? Were they so hopelessly blind to the painful future which their policy must bring?-to the struggles, the bitterness and hatred to which the Jewish island, even if temporarily successful, would forever remain exposed in the midst of a hostile Arab sea?"
" And how strange, I thought, that a nation which had suffered so many wrongs in the coarse of its long and sorrowful diaspora was now, in single-minded persuit of its own goal, ready to inflict a greivous wrong on another nation - and a nation, too, that was innocent of all that past Jewish suffering. Such a phenominon, I knew, was not unknown to history; but it made me, none the less, very sad to see it enacted before my eyes.
My Discovery of Islam; first published in London 1954 under the title of The Road to Mecca; later by Goodword Books 2001 in New Dehli.


Posted by: Sean 589 | July 25, 2006 07:10 PM

Leopol Weis, an Austrian born Jew, further, belonging to a family of rabbi's, who was a correspondent for a prominent newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, "then one of the most outstanding newspapers in Europe", recalls his brief discussion with Dr. Chaim Weizman, "the undisputed leader of the Zionist movement" in his book, My Discovery of Islam. asit is written in the book...
"'And what about the Arabs?'"
"I must ahave comitted a faux pas by thus bringing a jarring note into the conversation, for Dr. Weizmann turned his face slowly towards me, put down the cup he had been holding in his hand, and repeated my question."
"'What about the Arabs...?'"
"'Well-how can you ever hope to make Palestine your homeland in the face of the vehement opposition of the Arabs who, after all, are in the majority in this country?'"
"The Zionist leader shrugged his shoulders and answered drily: 'We expect they won't be in majority after a few years.'"
"'Perhaps so.... does not the moral aspect of the question ever bother you? Don't you think that it is wrong on your part to displace the people who have always lived in this country?'"
"'But it is our country ,' replied Dr. Weizmann... 'We are doing no more than taking back whta we have been wrongly deprived of.'
"'But you have been away from Palestine for nearly two thousand years! Befor that you had ruled this country, and hardly ever the whole of it, for less than five hundred years. Don't you think that the Arabs could with equal justification, demand Spain for themselves - for, after all, they held swey in Spain for nearly seven hundred years and lost it entirly only five hundred years ago?'"
"'Nonsence. The Arabs had only conquered Spain; it had never been their original homeland, and so it was right that in the end they were driven out by the Spaniards.'"
"'Forgive me' I retorted, 'but it seems to me that there is some historical oversight here. After all, the Hebrews also came as conquerers to Palestine. Long before them were many other semitic and non-semitic tribed settled here - the Amorites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Hittites. Those tribes continued living here even in the days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. They continued living here after the Romans drove our ancestors away. They are living here today. The Arabs who settled in Syria and Palestine after their conquest in the seventh century were always only a small minority of the population; the rest of what we describe today as Palestinian or Syrian "Arabs" are in reality only the Arabianized, original inhabitants of the country. Some of them becme muslims in the coarse of centuries, others remained christians; the muslims naturally inter-married with their co-relioionists from Arabia. But can you deny that the bulk of those people in Palestine, who speak Arabic, weather Muslims or Christians, are direct-line descendents of the original inhabitants: original in the sence of having lived in this county before Hebrews come to it?'"
" Dr. Weismann smiled politely at my outburst and turned the conversation to the other topics."
I did not feel happy about the outcome of my intervention. I.... . But I had hoped that my defence of the Arab cause would at least give rise to some sort of uneasiness which might bring about more introspection and thus.... . None of this had come about. Instead, I found myself facing a blank wall of staring eyes: a censorious disaproval of my temerity, which dared question the unquestionable right of the jews to the land of their forefatherss..."
" How was it possible, I wondered, for people endowed with so much creative intelligence as the Jews to think of the Zionist-Arab conflict in Jewish terms alone? Did they not realize that the problem of Jews in Palestine could, in the long run, be solve only through freindly co-operation with the Arabs? Were they so hopelessly blind to the painful future which their policy must bring?-to the struggles, the bitterness and hatred to which the Jewish island, even if temporarily successful, would forever remain exposed in the midst of a hostile Arab sea?"
" And how strange, I thought, that a nation which had suffered so many wrongs in the coarse of its long and sorrowful diaspora was now, in single-minded persuit of its own goal, ready to inflict a greivous wrong on another nation - and a nation, too, that was innocent of all that past Jewish suffering. Such a phenominon, I knew, was not unknown to history; but it made me, none the less, very sad to see it enacted before my eyes.
My Discovery of Islam; first published in London 1954 under the title of The Road to Mecca; later by Goodword Books 2001 in New Dehli.


Posted by: Sean 589 | July 25, 2006 07:11 PM

Interesting how the entire focus of all the media has conveniently been diverted towards Syria and Iran!

This is not about anyone but Israel indiscriminately murdering innocent people in Lebanon.

This operation must have been in the planning for months, so the entire garbage about Israeli soldier's being kidnapped is total 100% garbage!

I just read something that the Iranian President said which is "He who sows the wind will reap a hurricane". This would normally be amusing, but in this case it is very true and Israel should stop manipulating everything, just because it can.

It is time for us to tell Israel that what they are doing is wrong and they should get no support from us.
Unfortunately, Bush, Blair and our general media are still too frightened or blind or both to tell the king that "he has no cloths on"!

Posted by: James | July 25, 2006 07:11 PM

Leopol Weis, an Austrian born Jew, further, belonging to a family of rabbi's, who was a correspondent for a prominent newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, "then one of the most outstanding newspapers in Europe", recalls his brief discussion with Dr. Chaim Weizman, "the undisputed leader of the Zionist movement" in his book, My Discovery of Islam. asit is written in the book...
"'And what about the Arabs?'"
"I must ahave comitted a faux pas by thus bringing a jarring note into the conversation, for Dr. Weizmann turned his face slowly towards me, put down the cup he had been holding in his hand, and repeated my question."
"'What about the Arabs...?'"
"'Well-how can you ever hope to make Palestine your homeland in the face of the vehement opposition of the Arabs who, after all, are in the majority in this country?'"
"The Zionist leader shrugged his shoulders and answered drily: 'We expect they won't be in majority after a few years.'"
"'Perhaps so.... does not the moral aspect of the question ever bother you? Don't you think that it is wrong on your part to displace the people who have always lived in this country?'"
"'But it is our country ,' replied Dr. Weizmann... 'We are doing no more than taking back whta we have been wrongly deprived of.'
"'But you have been away from Palestine for nearly two thousand years! Befor that you had ruled this country, and hardly ever the whole of it, for less than five hundred years. Don't you think that the Arabs could with equal justification, demand Spain for themselves - for, after all, they held swey in Spain for nearly seven hundred years and lost it entirly only five hundred years ago?'"
"'Nonsence. The Arabs had only conquered Spain; it had never been their original homeland, and so it was right that in the end they were driven out by the Spaniards.'"
"'Forgive me' I retorted, 'but it seems to me that there is some historical oversight here. After all, the Hebrews also came as conquerers to Palestine. Long before them were many other semitic and non-semitic tribed settled here - the Amorites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Hittites. Those tribes continued living here even in the days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. They continued living here after the Romans drove our ancestors away. They are living here today. The Arabs who settled in Syria and Palestine after their conquest in the seventh century were always only a small minority of the population; the rest of what we describe today as Palestinian or Syrian "Arabs" are in reality only the Arabianized, original inhabitants of the country. Some of them becme muslims in the coarse of centuries, others remained christians; the muslims naturally inter-married with their co-relioionists from Arabia. But can you deny that the bulk of those people in Palestine, who speak Arabic, weather Muslims or Christians, are direct-line descendents of the original inhabitants: original in the sence of having lived in this county before Hebrews come to it?'"
" Dr. Weismann smiled politely at my outburst and turned the conversation to the other topics."
I did not feel happy about the outcome of my intervention. I.... . But I had hoped that my defence of the Arab cause would at least give rise to some sort of uneasiness which might bring about more introspection and thus.... . None of this had come about. Instead, I found myself facing a blank wall of staring eyes: a censorious disaproval of my temerity, which dared question the unquestionable right of the jews to the land of their forefatherss..."
" How was it possible, I wondered, for people endowed with so much creative intelligence as the Jews to think of the Zionist-Arab conflict in Jewish terms alone? Did they not realize that the problem of Jews in Palestine could, in the long run, be solve only through freindly co-operation with the Arabs? Were they so hopelessly blind to the painful future which their policy must bring?-to the struggles, the bitterness and hatred to which the Jewish island, even if temporarily successful, would forever remain exposed in the midst of a hostile Arab sea?"
" And how strange, I thought, that a nation which had suffered so many wrongs in the coarse of its long and sorrowful diaspora was now, in single-minded persuit of its own goal, ready to inflict a greivous wrong on another nation - and a nation, too, that was innocent of all that past Jewish suffering. Such a phenominon, I knew, was not unknown to history; but it made me, none the less, very sad to see it enacted before my eyes.
My Discovery of Islam; first published in London 1954 under the title of The Road to Mecca; later by Goodword Books 2001 in New Dehli.


Posted by: Sean 589 | July 25, 2006 07:13 PM

Interesting how the entire focus of all the media has conveniently been diverted towards Syria and Iran!

This is not about anyone but Israel indiscriminately murdering innocent people in Lebanon.

This operation must have been in the planning for months, so the entire garbage about Israeli soldier's being kidnapped is total 100% garbage!

I just read something that the Iranian President said which is "He who sows the wind will reap a hurricane". This would normally be amusing, but in this case it is very true and Israel should stop manipulating everything, just because it can.

It is time for us to tell Israel that what they are doing is wrong and they should get no support from us.
Unfortunately, Bush, Blair and our general media are still too frightened or blind or both to tell the king that "he has no cloths on"!

Posted by: James | July 25, 2006 07:13 PM

Interesting how the entire focus of all the media has conveniently been diverted towards Syria and Iran!

This is not about anyone but Israel indiscriminately murdering innocent people in Lebanon.

This operation must have been in the planning for months, so the entire garbage about Israeli soldier's being kidnapped is total 100% garbage!

I just read something that the Iranian President said which is "He who sows the wind will reap a hurricane". This would normally be amusing, but in this case it is very true and Israel should stop manipulating everything, just because it can.

It is time for us to tell Israel that what they are doing is wrong and they should get no support from us.
Unfortunately, Bush, Blair and our general media are still too frightened or blind or both to tell the king that "he has no cloths on"!

Posted by: James | July 25, 2006 07:13 PM

Leopol Weis, an Austrian born Jew, further, belonging to a family of rabbi's, who was a correspondent for a prominent newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, "then one of the most outstanding newspapers in Europe", recalls his brief discussion with Dr. Chaim Weizman, "the undisputed leader of the Zionist movement" in his book, My Discovery of Islam. asit is written in the book...
"'And what about the Arabs?'"
"I must ahave comitted a faux pas by thus bringing a jarring note into the conversation, for Dr. Weizmann turned his face slowly towards me, put down the cup he had been holding in his hand, and repeated my question."
"'What about the Arabs...?'"
"'Well-how can you ever hope to make Palestine your homeland in the face of the vehement opposition of the Arabs who, after all, are in the majority in this country?'"
"The Zionist leader shrugged his shoulders and answered drily: 'We expect they won't be in majority after a few years.'"
"'Perhaps so.... does not the moral aspect of the question ever bother you? Don't you think that it is wrong on your part to displace the people who have always lived in this country?'"
"'But it is our country ,' replied Dr. Weizmann... 'We are doing no more than taking back whta we have been wrongly deprived of.'
"'But you have been away from Palestine for nearly two thousand years! Befor that you had ruled this country, and hardly ever the whole of it, for less than five hundred years. Don't you think that the Arabs could with equal justification, demand Spain for themselves - for, after all, they held swey in Spain for nearly seven hundred years and lost it entirly only five hundred years ago?'"
"'Nonsence. The Arabs had only conquered Spain; it had never been their original homeland, and so it was right that in the end they were driven out by the Spaniards.'"
"'Forgive me' I retorted, 'but it seems to me that there is some historical oversight here. After all, the Hebrews also came as conquerers to Palestine. Long before them were many other semitic and non-semitic tribed settled here - the Amorites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the Moabites, the Hittites. Those tribes continued living here even in the days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. They continued living here after the Romans drove our ancestors away. They are living here today. The Arabs who settled in Syria and Palestine after their conquest in the seventh century were always only a small minority of the population; the rest of what we describe today as Palestinian or Syrian "Arabs" are in reality only the Arabianized, original inhabitants of the country. Some of them becme muslims in the coarse of centuries, others remained christians; the muslims naturally inter-married with their co-relioionists from Arabia. But can you deny that the bulk of those people in Palestine, who speak Arabic, weather Muslims or Christians, are direct-line descendents of the original inhabitants: original in the sence of having lived in this county before Hebrews come to it?'"
" Dr. Weismann smiled politely at my outburst and turned the conversation to the other topics."
I did not feel happy about the outcome of my intervention. I.... . But I had hoped that my defence of the Arab cause would at least give rise to some sort of uneasiness which might bring about more introspection and thus.... . None of this had come about. Instead, I found myself facing a blank wall of staring eyes: a censorious disaproval of my temerity, which dared question the unquestionable right of the jews to the land of their forefatherss..."
" How was it possible, I wondered, for people endowed with so much creative intelligence as the Jews to think of the Zionist-Arab conflict in Jewish terms alone? Did they not realize that the problem of Jews in Palestine could, in the long run, be solve only through freindly co-operation with the Arabs? Were they so hopelessly blind to the painful future which their policy must bring?-to the struggles, the bitterness and hatred to which the Jewish island, even if temporarily successful, would forever remain exposed in the midst of a hostile Arab sea?"
" And how strange, I thought, that a nation which had suffered so many wrongs in the coarse of its long and sorrowful diaspora was now, in single-minded persuit of its own goal, ready to inflict a greivous wrong on another nation - and a nation, too, that was innocent of all that past Jewish suffering. Such a phenominon, I knew, was not unknown to history; but it made me, none the less, very sad to see it enacted before my eyes.
My Discovery of Islam; first published in London 1954 under the title of The Road to Mecca; later by Goodword Books 2001 in New Dehli.

Posted by: Sean 589 | July 25, 2006 07:22 PM

So as soon as there is talk of a UN Peacekeeping Force in the area - Israel sends a message....

"NABATIYEH, Lebanon - An Israeli bomb destroyed a U.N. observer post on the border in southern Lebanon, killing two peacekeepers and leaving two others feared dead in what appeared to be a deliberate strike, U.N. chief Kofi Annan said.


The bomb made a direct hit on the building and shelter of the observer post in the town of Khiyam near the eastern end of the border with Israel, said Milos Struger, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL.

Annan issued a statement saying two U.N. military observers were killed with two more feared dead. Earlier, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the Security Council was informed that four officers were killed, but he had no other information.

Story continues below ↓
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Rescue workers were trying to clear the rubble, but Israeli firing "continued even during the rescue operation," Struger said.

As reports of the attack emerged, Annan rushed out of a hotel in Rome following a dinner with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. observer post in southern Lebanon," Annan said in the statement."


Why in the world are we supporting these people with money and weapons?

Posted by: Angus | July 25, 2006 07:47 PM

Who cares if Hamas and Hezbollah are democratic? Is that supposed to bolster support and earn them respect? Jesus, if anything these democratic elections are an indictment of the arabs' support for radical militant islamic groups. Fringe minority my ass. The jihad is at the top of the charts in the arab world.

Democracy does not necessarily mean GOOD. You can have a crowd of people who agree on the basis of majority rule to rape and kill a woman walking to her car. Does that make it right? No, Mohammed, it does not. It turns out that your people, the arabs, are savage barbarians that are behind almost every single armed conflict the world over. So if you people are voting, I'm definitely not pleased.

ps- I am against genocide, and killing people, but I would be delighted to see the religion of Islam be completely and eternally destroyed. It is a thing of evil.

Posted by: Jon M | July 25, 2006 07:59 PM

This is my impression of most of the comments posted here:

The Isrillis are bad, they are Zionest occupiers. The Jewws take over America, shame on them, pigs and apes, Inshallah they wil be killt by Allah the merciful.

-"Fred"

Posted by: observer | July 25, 2006 08:02 PM

"ps- I am against genocide, and killing people, but I would be delighted to see the religion of Islam be completely and eternally destroyed. It is a thing of evil."

So how do you propose you destroy the religion if you are against genocide and killing?

Posted by: Angus | July 25, 2006 08:29 PM

There are sentiments above that Islam is a "virus" and its a plague to the society and so forth... I find it a shortcomming in the study of Islam. For i came to find the opinions of many western scientists and rehtorics and people of other religions who have scrutinised Quran without any premeditated assumptions, have found it quiet close to reality, or "the work of a geneus". Its a living example very well to be implemented 14 centuries ago, when it was revealed, as well as today . Filled with scientific revelations such as " Read in the name of god who have created man with a sencitive drop of blood", one of seven stages of birth, and described in miraculous language combined with mathematical patterns which makes its claims of never being able to be reproduced true.
And quiet obvious to alienate any interpolation intruduced in its text.
Around 620 CE, its elliptical style of writing was well understood by the Arabs speeking the same language as vernacular. Which makes it a very difficult endeavor for its translator to be undertaken today as the idiom that is manifested in it could only be learned by being exposed to it scince childhood before. Today that idiom is almost lost due to cultural diffusion brought in by the post-oil frenzy.
Its original effect as it had on the people of Mecca at the time of its revelation can never be assimilated. Thus it can only be understood today by emmensley learnerd people, in Quran referred to as "alim". The word "alim" is understood by muslims today as religiously learned, while its intended meaning is scientist. Thus making it an obligation on every muslim to strive after education. Ironically, litteracy is one of the most neglected subject in muslim nations making Islam a mere ritualistic and confused ideology among muslims. "Islam", indeed means the submition to the will of god, but that will is also explained in the Quran and is ironically contrary to the scuecide bombing and goes as far as protecting the civilians on both sides even in the state of war. Most muslim countries today are proxy governments most under tyrany. Majority of the people biding most of their efforts on livlihood or how to sustain life are prone to any intoduced shortcommings in any ideology.

Posted by: Sean 589 | July 25, 2006 08:55 PM

"Sean589" is a textbook example of my observation. Or should I say "Kareem589"???

You're no Sean.

Posted by: observer | July 25, 2006 09:04 PM

Why america is become JEW country? America should be neutral.

What the fk is going on in america? Why people become so stupid?.

Why not get the thinsg done secretly ?

Why these open war?

Why america select idiot bush second time?. SO jews can control this idiot?.

Jews are part of america like everyone. America should protect israel but that does n't mean america should play Israels poodle role in killing civilians.

Enough of this nonsense.

Posted by: Alex | July 25, 2006 09:54 PM

Alex, compared to you George Bush is Shakespeare. Please don't share any more of your philosophy with us. We might drop IQ points by simply reading your posts.

Posted by: Jon M | July 25, 2006 10:12 PM

HAHAHA!.

America act stupid with so many smart people. The head is an idiot. He is controlled by rightw ing jewish fanatic.

IRAn has nothing to do with what is going on lebanon. Lebanese use weapons of russian, french and american. So blaming Iran for Leabanese weapons is completely laughable.

The only country responsible for this is ISrael. Israel just decide to capture lebanon and hope they can create fear in lebanse shias. Good luck to that.

Fear will be powerfulw hen you have moral authority.

Isreal do not have moral authority to kill Civilians and blatant attack on UN is a insult to the world.

Jews are pissing of lots of people in the world. Yes everyone hate muslims butjews don't misuse that chance for something else.

There should n't be greater israel or israel for that matter. No country should be allowed to exist on single religion. That will be like communism. Israel has to be cut to size.

But not yet. we have islam to tackle first.

Posted by: Alex | July 25, 2006 11:48 PM

HAHAHA!.

America act stupid with so many smart people. The head is an idiot. He is controlled by rightw ing jewish fanatic.

IRAn has nothing to do with what is going on lebanon. Lebanese use weapons of russian, french and american. So blaming Iran for Leabanese weapons is completely laughable.

The only country responsible for this is ISrael. Israel just decide to capture lebanon and hope they can create fear in lebanse shias. Good luck to that.

Fear will be powerfulw hen you have moral authority.

Isreal do not have moral authority to kill Civilians and blatant attack on UN is a insult to the world.

Jews are pissing of lots of people in the world. Yes everyone hate muslims butjews don't misuse that chance for something else.

There should n't be greater israel or israel for that matter. No country should be allowed to exist on single religion. That will be like communism. Israel has to be cut to size.

But not yet. we have islam to tackle first.

Posted by: Alex | July 25, 2006 11:49 PM

Richard Cohen and Howard Kurtz have been doing a great job making excuses for Israel's slaughter of hundreds of innocents in Lebanon.
The Holocaust is invoked. Israel's "retreat" from some of its illegally occupied territories is invoked. Hezbollah is blamed. As is Iran. As is Syria.
But Israel -- the country doing by far the vast majority of the killing?
Oh, no. Any such criticisms "fall on (Cohen's) ears "not as genteel expressions of fairness... but as ugly sentiments pregnant with antipathy toward the only democratic state in the Middle East."
Translation: In Cohen's world, you're an anti-Semitic bigot if you dare criticize Israel's slaughter of hundreds of innocent men, women and children in Lebanon.
Then there's Kurtz, doing somersaults to try to remind us that Hezbollah started it and that Hezbollah blends in with civilians (which makes it presumably okay, in Kurtz's world, for Israel to destroy all these expendable lives.)
I have no problem with committed Zionists and other supporters of Israel's wholesale slaughter in Lebanon being given a forum to air their views in the Washington Post.
But where's the balance? Where are the Post writers arguing Hezbollah's cause? Or at least writing from the perspective of a Lebanese Shiite? Or even a Lebanese Maronite, for that matter?
No, it seems the Post allows only members of the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd to peddle such casually dehumanizing sentiments toward the lives of others.

Posted by: Armand | July 25, 2006 11:58 PM

Who are non jew in Bush administration?

Posted by: Alex | July 26, 2006 12:06 AM

Armand:
"Where are the Post writers arguing Hezbollah's cause?"

Are you kidding? I don't believe a major newspaper is going to argue in favor of a TERRORIST organization's position. TERROR should NEVER be condoned, and their position should never be given a forum. When Hezbollah decides to enter into the modern world and act like civilized human beings, they may actually get some interest in their cause.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | July 26, 2006 12:07 AM

Thanks, I'd forgotten that other excuse for Israeli butchery -- that Israel's foes are "terrorists."
But it's so easy, isn't it, to dehumanize and delegitimize your enemies by labeling them as "terrorists" and, in so doing, to justify all manner of butchery.
What, though, is to stop a fair-minded observer of concluding that Israel practises terrorism every bit as much as its foes? Israel was, after all, founded in large part thanks to the terrorism against Arabs committed by the likes of Menachem Begin. And it is today inflicting unspeakable acts of terror on defenceless Lebanese civilians. Israel is today slaughtering 10 times as many innocent civilians as any of the armed groups it has chosen to designate as "terrorists."
So this "terrorism" word actually obscures more than it illuminates in this instance.
Sure, members of Hezollah have committed terrible crimes, just as members of the Israeli government and military have committed terrible crimes. But the fact remains that Hezbollah now has freely elected representatives in the Lebanese parliament, just as Israel has had freely elected terrorists (like Menachem Begin) elected on its soil.
Labeling one's enemy as a "terrorist" doesn't bring us any futher to peace. It's just an excuse to keep waging war.

Posted by: Armand | July 26, 2006 12:35 AM

Armand:
You are either completely brainwashed by propoganda or you're delusional. Or, I guess it must be that you're a Hezbollah supporter. Hezbollah has the bloodshed of people from around the world on its hands. Not just Israelis. But, I guess you can go ahead and lump all Jews together with Israelis. Something tells me that's your real issue. Am I right?

By the way, there are many, many Lebanese are are very unhappy that Hezbollah has taken up such a stronghold in their country. I guess that doesn't matter either?

Posted by: Voice of Reason | July 26, 2006 12:46 AM

Armand:
One more thing - - Israel is a legitimate country recognized by most of the world's countries. Hezbollah is recognized solely as a terrorist organization, so it really doesn't even matter how they've infiltrated the Lebanese Parliament. Even Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have recognized that Hezbollah has done something wrong in this instance.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | July 26, 2006 12:48 AM

Before discussing Iran, we must first understand the nature of Iranian society. In 1979, the Iranians created the current Islamic Republic of Iran. During the ensuing 28 years, the Iranians were 100% in charge of their own destiny. What did they accomplish? They created a failed, authoritarian society run by religious fanatics. The quality of life is substantially below that in the West.

Now, consider Japan. In 1947, the Japanese people created the present nation of Japan by adopting the postwar constitution. During the ensuing 28 years, the Japanese created a democratic society run by elected officials. Japan achieved the prosperity of the West.

We must condemn the failure called Iran. Iran is a failure because Iranian culture is a failure.

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 05:17 AM

Now that we have benchmarked Iran against a successful Western nation like Japan, we know that Iran is a horrible failure. The Iranians spend millions of dollars to export terrorism. Iran is a prime backer of Hezbollah.

By contrast, the Japanese spend millions of dollars in foreign-development aid to export democracy and free markets. Japan is a prime backer of the World Bank and of various initiatives to promote prosperity in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

Let's not mince words. We should kill the right people in Iran. We need a well-trained hit squad like the Korean Special Forces (KSF). The typical KSF soldier is the closest thing to a "universal" soldier. We should send a squad of about 100 KSF soldiers from Iraq and into Iran. The express purpose is to de-capitate the Iranian politicians and all the Iranian clerics.

After we kill the right Iranian thugs, we send the KSF team to Syria to decapitate the Syrian government.

I've been watching this terrorist violence unfolding on American television for the last 30 years. Sure. The Jews in Israel are a bunch of racists, but at least Israel is a democracy that enjoys some measure of prosperity. Is anyone sick and tired of this this Islamic violence year after year? What the hell is wrong with the Muslims in Syria and Iran?

Wafa Sultan, a well-respected Syrian-American scholar, has repeatedly warned that Islam (like that in Syria and Iran) is a scourge on the earth. We must wipe Islam off the face of the earth. I fully support Wafa Sultan and her condemnation of Islam.

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 05:29 AM

Are you clueless?. Israel is a democracy? Are you dreaming?. It is a religious fundie state.

Israel should n't exist at all if you ask me.

The issue is that Israel is in a position to accept anything that will make muslims think they won. That can't happen. Then they kill more.

Shia muslims are moderate muslim compared to violent sunnis.

The best way to deal with muslim is that make deal with iran.

The iranian accustomed to western world , they will not want to go back to muslim rituals.

Luxury and pleasure makes humans become slave easily. Especially for masses.

Bush's method will not work against iran. I believe iran is more visible now without saddham hussein hogging limlight.

Iran should be part of palestenian - israeli peace aggrement.

But again if killers in BUSH admin and right wing jews decide to murder million muslim in iran then no one can help the world.

War against iran will kill million muslim minimum as i believe nuke will explode.

Posted by: Alex | July 26, 2006 06:36 AM

http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article1197235.ece

Posted by: Angus | July 26, 2006 10:32 AM

Angus -

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

What's your point?

Posted by: | July 26, 2006 11:30 AM

Atheist:

Have you seen this site? Proves your point.

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

Posted by: | July 26, 2006 11:31 AM

I think It's an interesting article that people may care to read - if you don't like it too bad so sad....

Posted by: Angus | July 26, 2006 11:41 AM

Angus -
Interesting response to "Searching in vain." Couldn't provide a real answer, could you? There are plenty of Jewish people around the globe who are open about their criticism of Israel. There have even been anti-war protests in Tel Aviv. That's because these people are free thinkers, and they generally live in societies that allow freedom of speech.

Where are their counterparts in the Arab/Muslim world? In the countries that practice such horrible human rights abuses against their own citizens? What about how women are treated in the fundamentalist countries? Is there nothing to criticize about Islam? About Arab culture? Nothing at all?

Your rhetoric is unbearable. You are living with blinders on, and it's unfortunate that you are unable to see any side but your own. Boring.

Posted by: Voice of reason | July 26, 2006 11:43 AM

Voice of Reason (Sybil) wrote:

"Angus -
Interesting response to "Searching in vain." Couldn't provide a real answer, could you? There are plenty of Jewish people around the globe who are open about their criticism of Israel. There have even been anti-war protests in Tel Aviv. That's because these people are free thinkers, and they generally live in societies that allow freedom of speech.

Where are their counterparts in the Arab/Muslim world? In the countries that practice such horrible human rights abuses against their own citizens? What about how women are treated in the fundamentalist countries? Is there nothing to criticize about Islam? About Arab culture? Nothing at all?

Your rhetoric is unbearable. You are living with blinders on, and it's unfortunate that you are unable to see any side but your own. Boring.

Posted by: Voice of reason | July 26, 2006 11:43 AM "

So I guess since there is no "searching in vain" posting here you are referring to the anonymous whats your point questions - since you have quickly assigned a name to that I can only assume that this is your post and you forgot which name de jour you are using (disgusted) - so are you posting straw man arguments and then knocking them down - why not be consistent and post under one name?


You did not comment on the article I posted - you arrogantly ask what's my point - then assert that I failed to answer your question.

If you have some sort of mandate to dictate how and what people post please share it with us.

If not you have the choice to accept or not accept what I choose to write. If you don't like it c'est la vie.

Its a very interesting article that is worth reading in my opinion.

http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article1197235.ece


I am really happy that my rhetoric is so unbearable to you - so happy in fact that I will continue to share it with you from time to time.


Please try to remember which name you are posting under in future.

Posted by: Angus | July 26, 2006 12:06 PM

http://wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot.com/2006/07/israeli-children-sign-their-missiles_18.html

The only way there is going to be peace in the Middle East is for Israel to leave the occupied terroteries, release all arab prisoners and live with its neighbours on equal base and pay for the damages it has caused to Lebonan and palestine, When this happens there would be no need for hezbolah or anybody else to attack israel, Remember the Jews are still recieving compensations for what happened 60 years ago.

Israel will not follow this path unless america say so, By supporting israel us will enrage more people and in the long term will damage its own interest.

Hizbolah may be a terrorist organization but Israel is the biggest terrorist in the world, You do not see Hizolah encouraging children to sign Misslies to kill civilians ( what a savagery). The terror Isreali is inflicting on Lebonan is incomparable to what Hizbolah is doing, Up to now out of 42 Isreali killed 20 were Soldiers, I think is gone up now and most of Lenonan casulties are civilians. The Israeli are coward nazis and they can not use holocoust to carry on with their crimes, after what happened nobody will buy it now! They have destroyed a country rather than stand and fight Hizbolah in South Lebonan.
http://wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot.com/2006/07/israeli-children-sign-their-missiles_18.html

Posted by: Arash | July 26, 2006 12:24 PM

To Wahington Post Blog moderator:

It is really not nice to selectively ommit some comments. It's a shameful censorship.

Please show my previous comment.

Posted by: Reza | July 26, 2006 12:33 PM

What is the problem with the Iranians? They had 28 years since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to build a prosperous democracy. Yet, today, Iran is an authoritarian theocracy that exports terrorism. The quality of life in Iran is substantially below that in the West.

In 1947, the Japanese established the modern political system of Japan. During the ensuring 28 years, the Japanese built a prosperous democracy and achieved the quality of life in the West.

Note that the Iranian thugs had the advantage of billions of dollars of oil money, which continues to flow into Iran today. Japan is a barren rock.

What the hell is the problem with the Iranians? Iran is a horrible, sub-human society.

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 12:34 PM

Speaking of injustice, consider the Japanese occupation of Vietnam during World War II. The Vietnamese are, in some ways, horribly backwards.

Yet, the Vietnamese do not spend every waking moment plotting how to murder Japanese people. Also, the Vietnamese do not spend every waking moment plotting how to murder Americans even though Washington engaged in an unjust war against Vietnam, condemning thousands of Vietnamese to a miserable death from the effects of agent orange. The Vietnamese are busily building a prosperous society that may become a semi-democracy.

My Canon printer is actually built by Vietnamese labor.

Therein lies a symptom of Iranian thuggery and failure. What the hell is the problem with the Iranians? Even though their pockets are full of oil money, the Iranians failed to create a high quality society.

Why will even Vietnam surpass Iran society by 2015?

What the hell is the problem with the Iranians?

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 12:41 PM

Israel can not blame Iran or Syria for the the crimes it commits with unconditioal american supports, This problem existed before Hizbolah was created and is not going away even if Hizbolah disappears, It is caused by occupatin and aggression against everyone even Un who is trying to keep the peace. Israel with the backing and vetos of US is a law to itself, it talk about UN resolution 1595 as if it has followed all UN resolution itself (hypocray in action) It is also the bigger part of American plan for ME to pave the way for attack on Iran which will result in countless death and destruction and more hatred. Negotiation is the only way forward!

Posted by: Arash | July 26, 2006 12:45 PM

Instead of keeping quiet and assuming that all cultures are equal in value, we should benchmark these failed Middle Eastern societies against societies that had disadvantaged beginnings. Consider Eastern Europe. Consider Japan. Consider Vietnam.

Japan is my personal favorite because Japan is a barren rock with no natural resources. The Americans bombed Japan into a crater. Millions died from unending fires in Tokyo.

Now, just look at the progress in Eastern Europe, Japan, and Vietnam.

Look at the horrible failure in Iran, Saudia Arabia, Lebanon, etc. These Arabs want me to respect their culture? "Sorry", pal. I am not that stupid.

What the hell is the problem with Iran? Japan is a barren rock that became the richest nation in Asia. Iran is flush with oil cash, and the only significant "achievement" out of Iran is terrorism and Jihad. What is the problem with Iranians?

Can someone please tell me what is the problem with Iranians?

Does anyone see Vietnam trying to build a nuclear weapon? The Vietnamese are spending all their money on building their economy, not on building a nuclear weapon. Yet, we see the Iranians jumping for joy as they complete stage 2 of their grand plan to build a nuclear weapon. Please. Someone. Anyone. Tell me what is the problem with the Iranians. Why do they act and think like this?

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 12:50 PM

Angus -

Oooh - - you found me out!! I'm cowering in shame. What difference does it make what name I use? Since you're not the moderator of this forum, you can keep your arrogant comments about who should use what name to yourself and stick to the issues here. Or rather, your one issue since that's all you're able to comprehend.

I'll be glad to comment on the article you posted when you attempt to answer any of the questions I've posted previously. You seem to dodge ANYTHING that is remotely negative about Arabs, Muslims or terrorists. You won't even comment on the realities of what goes on other countries. How dare the U.S. intervene with the wonderful leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who regularly terrorized and killed his own people? And imagine that the big bad U.S. wanted to attempt to get a democratic political system there. And Afghanistan . . . we probably should have left the Taliban in power there. They were notoriously wonderful people in power. When they destroyed the ancient Buddhist statues, were you cheering?

No, your tirade is only about Israel. All the world's ills are because of Israel. Take off your blindfold and come into the light. Answer some of the tough questions and let's see how critically you're able to think.

Posted by: Name doesn't really matter | July 26, 2006 02:10 PM

So today on NPR I hear that 20 plus democrats wanted to try and ban the Iraqi PM from speaking to Congress because he had the nerve to castigate israel as an agressor.

At least they were not succesful but can noone else see how ludicrous a situation this is when our politicans are so beholden to aAipac that they feel they can dictate to foreign leaders what they can and cannot say.

Who in the hell am I gonna vote for - why are our choices so poor - Is there no politicians out there with the guts to stand up and play honest broker in this whole ME situation. If people have food in their bellies and see opportunities for their children - within 10 years the fundamentalists around the world will be talking to handfuls of crazies and not thousands.

What about you - Mr Colin Powell - I still have immense respect for you and believe that you were railroaded along by the current administration - the fact that we barely see you these days confirms to me that you are seen as a "problem" and that to me is badge of honor you should wear with pride.

Imagine the pride that African-American's and many others would feel if you ran succesfully and showed the World what a true Democracy/Meritocracy is capable of producing.

How about it? You have my vote and my money!


Posted by: Angus | July 26, 2006 02:24 PM

I believe you are valuing nations and cultures in your examples (Japan, Vietnem etc..) using economic factors. Basically, you are looking at whether or not they have prospered. While economy is important, nations don't seem to aspire to one single ideal, which in your view seems to be economic. That is something, we should all understand and respect about the nature of humans, in general.

Posted by: Response To Atheist | July 26, 2006 02:28 PM

Angus:
Don't even want to comment on what I wrote, do you? Just go ahead and divert interest to another topic when you can't come up with a response for questions you don't like. For once, you don't have an answer? Very interesting.

Posted by: Yet another name | July 26, 2006 02:28 PM

voice of No Reason/doesntreallymatter

I was writing my post before I even read your silly little tantrum post.

I suppose the fact that you have the decency to be "cowering in shame" means something.

So If this blog was about which one of the Telly Tubbies is Gay and how that affects our children I suppose it would be a shock to find out that someone is posting about Israel - but since the topics are the ME you probably should not be surprised that someone dares to criticise Israel. I understand that you would prefer all posters to unanimously favor Israel and perhaps all sing Hava Negila at the end of each day and post the wmv files on the blog but in a democracy you have to hear two sides to every argument.

If you had taken the time to read back through the numerous blogs you will see that I have criticed Hb for firing missiles at civilians - for me anyone who kills kids in the name of anything is a worthless sc*mbag - unfortunately for you in this case that includes your side too.

Also your attempts at linkage to Iraq and the Taliban are bordering on pathetic - personally I was extremely happy when the taliban were ran out of town and even happier when uday and qusay went to meet their makers - and I certainly won't lose any sleep when sadaam is finally perforated.

I realise it makes it easier for you and people like you to assume that anyone who is critical of israel/zionism is one dimensional and must be anti/bigot/racist whatever - it lets you off the hook - there is nothing wrong with our actions no matter how brutal..anyone who criticises us has the problem.

If coming into the light means condoning israels brutal policies vis a vis the Palestinians and the Lebanese Civilian population you can keep it.

Posted by: Angus | July 26, 2006 02:57 PM

Yeah, thanks for clearing that up, "Voice of Reason."
Hezbollah and the majority of Lebanese Shiites who support them are all evil terrorists and Israel is pure and good.
Never mind the death tolls, the fact that a whole order of magnitude more Arabs have been killed by Israel than Jews have been killed by Arabs.
Those facts only distract us from our comfortable assumptions, don't they?

Posted by: Armand | July 26, 2006 03:18 PM

Angus -

Or is it "Anger?" All I ever wanted to point out to you is that there are two sides (sometimes more!) to every issue. You, in your infinite wisdom (ha!) and arrogance, fail to see that. I feel absolutely no reason to defend my opinions, as that is all they are. Just as you are entitled to your opinions. Clearly, we disagree completely, and I won't lower myself to your level by continuing this ridiculous communication with you.

I never said that I expected all posters to
"unanimously favor Israel." In fact, it's more interesting when people have reasonable, intelligent observations or even critism to make about the issues. Instead, this blog has been a steady stream of hatred towards Jews, Israel and America. You're all in agreement with each other, so where's the discussion? It's merely a forum for people (especially Alex) to spread hatred and propoganda. I've become totally bored with all of this because it's almost all one opinion repeated about 300 times.

I will say this though. You wrote:

"I realise it makes it easier for you and people like you to assume that anyone who is critical of israel/zionism is one dimensional and must be anti/bigot/racist whatever - it lets you off the hook - there is nothing wrong with our actions no matter how brutal..anyone who criticises us has the problem."

I have read many of your previous postings over the past several days. You have made numerous assumptions about people who have written in here. As long as people agree with you, it's fine. Regarding your quote above, I could say the same about you with regard to criticizing Arab countries/Islam/Muslim fundamentalists, etc. Since you're such a genius, let me humbly borrow your words but re-phrase (and correct the spelling) them for my benefit:

"I realize it makes it easier for you and people like you to assume that anyone who is critical of the Arabs/Islam/Muslim fundamentalists is one dimensional and must be anti/bigot/racist whatever - it lets you off the hook - there is nothing wrong with our actions no matter how brutal..anyone who criticizes us has the problem."

So, you see? We are on opposite sides of the fence using just our words. Can you understand how the people of the Middle East feel when there are more than just words involved?

Please continue your tirade of hatred on your own. I have no interest in reading any more of this garbage.

Posted by: Final post to Angus | July 26, 2006 03:44 PM

"Why will even Vietnam surpass Iran society by 2015?

What the hell is the problem with the Iranians?"

I thought this blog was to discuss the alleged Iranian involvement in this latest conflict, not an economic comparison with South East Asian nations. But since you brought it up, maybe you want to provide us with statistics on how all developing countries rank up against each other. That way we can see where exactly Iran places amongst hundreds of others. Oh and please indicate whether you are using social, economic (or a mixture of both) factors for your rankings.

Posted by: Zain | July 26, 2006 04:11 PM

I do not think Iran is evil and neither is hizbollah. Hizbollah are freedom fighters.

Israel should n't exist at all. But again america need a proxy to fight islam.

But i don't mind israel fighting islam except that i don't want to see Greater Israel and americas policy should n't be israels policy.

America has to stand neutral and have to be moral authority. It has to stop being associated with murderers and thugs of Israels right wing jews.

Israel attack UN post because they do not want ceasefire , they intend on bomb the crap out of south lebanon to completely remove shia muslims in south lebanon and occupy it.

I don't want israel to get powerful with more land. It will create "new" problems for the world and even in america.

American policies of going to attack iran will be revenge of 1979. It will happen
sooner or later.

The only way iran can escape is with nukes. Without nukes it will be bombarded with fake reason just like Iraq.

Something wierd about american think tank methods. The intention is not make islam moderate. The intention is deliberate attempt to keep america in war to make and use weapons and kill as many muslims.

I do believe america will against all this "stupid" muslim countries initially but they motivate every muslim children to wait for oppurtunity to attack america.

Now the world start to understand the america is the sole reason for israels existance. There will big 'X' mark in the back of america.

Every muslim children will be born to wipe out america in someway. The hate will be universal.

America should stop looking at the world through the prism of Israel. Instead america look at the world though spreading freedom and champion of it. America should stop this war economy.

Again though there are different contexts. There are some people who think taking down iran will keep china and russia out of middle east. you can't argue with that also.

It is all about Power and Control. Humans are power hungry evil.


Posted by: Alex | July 26, 2006 04:23 PM

"I realize it makes it easier for you and people like you to assume that anyone who is critical of the Arabs/Islam/Muslim fundamentalists is one dimensional and must be anti/bigot/racist whatever - it lets you off the hook"

Angus posted earlier:

"If you had taken the time to read back through the numerous blogs you will see that I have criticed Hb for firing missiles at civilians - for me anyone who kills kids in the name of anything is a worthless sc*mbag"

"personally I was extremely happy when the taliban were ran out of town and even happier when uday and qusay went to meet their makers"

The only people I see wearing blinders and refusing to accept logical arguments are the rabid pro Israelis here (note: I am only referring to the rabid ones). You either give Israel carte blanche to do whatever it wants because it is a "democracy" (I suppose that means you are inherently good, but then there is the uncomfortable truth of Lebanon being a democracy and Hamas being a democratically elected administration) and of course a recourse to that Muslim and Arab bashing that has become the fashionable thing to do in Western circles since 911, or you are a terrorist sympathizing anti-semite.

Posted by: Zain | July 26, 2006 04:26 PM

An Iranian wrote, "I believe you are valuing nations and cultures in your examples (Japan, Vietnem etc..) using economic factors. Basically, you are looking at whether or not they have prospered. While economy is important, nations don't seem to aspire to one single ideal, which in your view seems to be economic. That is something, we should all understand and respect about the nature of humans, in general."

Note that economics is not the only goal of modernization. In Japan, Eastern Europe, and Vietnam, modernization means "improving the quality of life". Economics is just one aspect.

This quality of life is what drives hordes of Iranian bigoted hypocrites to fight tooth and nail to stay in the United States once they graduate from an American university.

I do agree with the Iranian when he states that Iranians in Iran have a very different set of goals from the goals of Japanese, Eastern Europeans, and Vietnamese. The Japanese aim to create a prosperous democracy. The Iranians want to create a religious authoritarian theocracy that exports terrorism.

Both have succeeded at their goals. The Japanese have succeeded at their goals. The Iranians have "succeeded" at their goals.

What I am asking is, "Why do the Iranians act and think in this way?" In other words, what is the problem with the Iranians? What the hell is the problem with the Iranians.

Vietnamese people simply do not act in this way. Vietnamese people do not spend every waking moment in figuring out a way to kill Americans even though Americans waged an unjust war against Vietnam and condemned thousands of Vietnamese to die painful deaths resulting from the Agent Orange.

Again, what the hell is the problem with the Iranians? Please. Someone. Anyone. Tell me what is the problem with the Iranians. Why do their act and think in this way?

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 04:31 PM

Don't let the door hit you on your way out, Zach. Maybe you can volunteer for human shield duty. Hezbollah's the US's enemy, too. We owe them some pay-back for 1983, among other things. The more of them we kill, the better.

Posted by: RC | July 26, 2006 05:11 PM

Terrorism, Definition:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons

Well, along with Hamas and Hezbollah, this definition applies perfectly to the Israelis. Though I have to ask, when would you have a lawful "use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group". Oh, of course! When the targets are Arabs or Muslims!

I like how the State Department's website specifically narrows down the definition to "sub national" groups thereby exonerating states (like Israel) from atrocities that, at least in magnitude, are far worse than those committed by "sub national" groups.

Posted by: Zain | July 26, 2006 05:26 PM

Voice of Reason under one his many pseudonyms wrote:

"Or is it "Anger?" All I ever wanted to point out to you is that there are two sides (sometimes more!) to every issue. You, in your infinite wisdom (ha!) and arrogance, fail to see that. I feel absolutely no reason to defend my opinions, as that is all they are. Just as you are entitled to your opinions. Clearly, we disagree completely, and I won't lower myself to your level by continuing this ridiculous communication with you."

First of all right after this you drifted off into a couple of paragraphs which is funny way of not continuing a conversation - but whatever.

So everyone else here is arrogant except you - all you want to do is show two sides - funny in reading back through your posts you don't really seem to be saying anything except everyone is really bad and muslims are horrible.

Here are your first postings one to J:

"J: I just read some of your previous posts. Why don't you stick to the issues instead of writing sarcastic and snide comments? You're not the only one with an opinion, and you're certainly not the expert in this area. There are many angles to this conflict, and you're only presenting one side. It doesn't mean you're right, so you really should try to control your arrogance a little."

and then the next one to me after I responded to Otis/Saxyboy for calling me an idiot....


"Hey Angus -
Otis' "arrogant style" is a refreshing balance to the ignorance and hatred that is being posted here.
Keep up the good work, Otis. It's a losing battle with the type of people who are responding, but I understand how important it is to at least get people to attempt to think outside their little minds.
Posted by: Voice of reason | July 20, 2006 09:34 PM "


Seems to me that you don't really have much to say except don't say bad things about israel and dont be mean to me - the sort of arguments 10 year olds make..maybe you should have paid more attention in debate class.

Since you're not reading I suppose this post is like the sound of tree falling in the woods ....does it exist!!!

Off to think of more things to add to my "tirade"

Posted by: Angus | July 26, 2006 07:47 PM

Thanks b.a.d. wu and SS. I'm sorry about the numbering problem.

Samuel, I haven't lived in Israel during that period to confirm the 16-month ceasefire myself. What I said was facts that I read in media here in US. For example consider this link from CNN:
or the same news from NewYork Times.

But, you maybe right. The violence between Palestinians and Israelis never came to a real cease fire. According to an Amnesty International report (published June 12th, 2006), "since the beginning of 2006 Israeli forces have killed more than 130 Palestinians, many of them unarmed and including more than 20 children. In the same period 16 Israelis, two of them children, have been killed by Palestinian armed groups." The group also reports that in the past two months alone "Israel has fired over 6,000 shells into the Gaza strip," and as many as 80 missiles, in response to about 200 home-made rockets.

Well I hope you don't consider the news reports from CNN, NY Times and a respected NGO like Amnesty international, which has a long history of pursuing neutrality within the context of its campaigning for the protection of human rights as lies. (Amnesty International is among the most widely respected human rights organizations in the world. It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.)

I'm not legitimizing Palestinian violence. What I mean to say is that if they commit acts of violence, it is in responce to much harsher actions from Israel (Which may be in responce to a previus act from Palestinians and so on).

1. I'm all for peace. Violence brings violence, and they make a violence cycle, which we have been experiencing since about 50 years ago.

2. However, it is said "an eye for an eye". Israel's actions in responce to Palestinian voilence is too strong and provocative in its nature. It's just like pouring gasoline on a small burning fire.

Note: I tried to post this comment with several internet links to sources of my claims, but this blog doesn't let them publish with web links. You can simply search google to make sure I'm telling the truth.

Posted by: Reza | July 26, 2006 08:01 PM

An Iranian (who is living safely and comfortably in the United States, just like other Iranians who have fought with tooth and nail to stay in the United States) claims that the Israeli reaction to years of periodic military attacks by Hezbollah against Israeli citizens is excessive.

Morality judgments are best made by framing the conflict in our local context. Again, consider a Mexican vigilante group, called "La Raza II" for the purposes of this discussion. La Raza II is fully integrated into Mexican society -- with the approval of the typical Mexican. This group periodically fires missiles into California in order to "liberate" California from the United States. La Raza II kidnaps an occasional American citizen. This activity continues for 10 years.

How would we, as Americans, deal with this crap?

Most Americans would support an immediate and aggressive military response. It includes the following activities.
1. Bomb in and around the areas containing La Raza II.
2. Destroy power plants and grocery stores.
3. Bring Mexico down to its knees.
4. Occupy Mexico and run it like colony for 25 years.

There is no way in hell that we would allow La Raza II to launch missiles at California and to kidnap Americans. Mexico should be subjugated. Any Mexican who supports La Raza II should be killed. La Raza II should be killed.

Washington did seize California in an illegal war with Mexico more than a century ago. So what? A historical war does not, in any way, justify the actions of La Raza II.

Further, the poverty in Mexico today is not due to Washington's seizing California. The poverty is due to the failure of Mexican culture.

In the same vein, Jerusalem is fully justified in killing Hezbollah. The following actions are justified.

1. Bomb in and around the areas containing Hezbollah.
2. Destroy power plants and grocery stores.
3. Bring Lebanon down to its knees.
4. Occupy Lebanon and run it like colony for 25 years.

Further, the poverty in most of the Middle East today is not due to Jerusalem's seizure of Palestinian territory. The poverty is due to the failure of Islam culture. A profound and sickening failure.

Posted by: atheist | July 26, 2006 10:02 PM

To Atheist:
Again, what the hell is the problem with the Iranians? Please. Someone. Anyone. Tell me what is the problem with the Iranians. Why do their act and think in this way?

Well I see all the negative propaganda has sunk in. As an Iranian, and a human, who has travelled much of the world, I can tell you that Iranians in Iran and outside of Iran are like people from America, Bolivia, Cameroon, etc. The notion that hordes of "Iranian bigoted hypocrites to fight tooth and nail to stay in the United States once they graduate from an American university" smacks like all the commie phobia rampant in the cold war (yeah, those moscovites were really out to kill us). Now as to why the governmnet of Iran acts in a way unpleasing to the government of the US, well, I suggest you look to historical and political (internal/external) reasons; ie, you may want to read a few books on 20th century Iran/CIA coup/1979 revolution/iran-Iraq war, etc.

Posted by: Mammad | July 26, 2006 10:32 PM

Atheist

Whether I'm from Iran, USA, Israel or Japan doesn't really change the credibility of what I say. You are more than welcome to provide reasons and logical proofs to counter my claims, but trying to reject my argument just on the basis of my origin isn't really going to work.

That said, I have to comment a little bit on your argument about the group La Raza II. As far as I knew previously, La Raza is a legal political movement that was found to and continues to encourage solidarity in favor of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, labor rights, and the human rights of immigrants. I did my homework, googled for an hour, and all I found was only confirming to what I already knew. "La Raza II" seems to be a song from a group called "Frost". Please provide me with some links if I'm wrong.

As for your arguments about what we should do about a group such as the one you assume exists, I should just say that I disagree with you. If such a group would exist and would shoot missiles inside USA, the response should be PROPORTIONAL. There's no reason to attack mexico city and kill 40,000 people if 25 Americans had died.

Moreover, if we decide to react militarily instead of pushing diplomacy (which is a powerful way to solve disputes), our aim should solely be the said militia group, NOT civilians. There is also no reason, and no use, in demolishing the economical and industrial infrustructure of that country. In other words, there is no way I can accept your solution of "1. Bomb in and around the areas containing Hezbollah. 2. Destroy power plants and grocery stores. 3. Bring Lebanon down to its knees. 4. Occupy Lebanon and run it like colony for 25 years." as a humane and reasonable solution.

Unfortunately that's what Israel does, and that's the whole point of my argument. And it shouldn't (and doesn't) matter who I am who speaks these words.

Posted by: Reza | July 27, 2006 12:13 AM

An Iranian supremacist wrote, "Now as to why the governmnet of Iran acts in a way unpleasing to the government of the US, well, I suggest you look to historical and political (internal/external) reasons; ie, you may want to read a few books on 20th century Iran/CIA coup/1979 revolution/iran-Iraq war, etc."

The comparison with Japan is apt. In 1979, the Iranians established the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranians were in 100% control of their nation. What did they do in the ensuing 28 years until 2006? They built a brutal theocracy that exports terrorism. The quality of life in Iran is substantially below the quality of life in the West.

In 1947, the Japanese established the government of modern-day Japan. In the ensuing 28 years until 1975, the Japanese built a prosperous democracy. The quality of life in Japan is comparable to the quality of life in the traditional West. In fact, Japan became a Western nation.

Note that in 1945, Japan had been cratered by thousands of conventional bombs and 2 nuclear bombs. Millions of Japanese died from Allied fire bombing.

We have 2 nations: Japan and Iran. Both had 28 years in which to build a prosperous democracy. The Japanese succeeded. The Iranians failed -- utterly and totally.

What is the problem with the Iranians? Why do they act and think in this way? What the hell is the problem with the Iranians. Please. Someone. Anyone. Can you tell me what is the problem with the Iranians?

Posted by: atheist | July 27, 2006 12:19 AM

An Iranian supremacist wrote, "Moreover, if we decide to react militarily instead of pushing diplomacy (which is a powerful way to solve disputes), our aim should solely be the said militia group, NOT civilians. There is also no reason, and no use, in demolishing the economical and industrial infrustructure of that country. In other words, there is no way I can accept your solution of '1. Bomb in and around the areas containing Hezbollah. 2. Destroy power plants and grocery stores. 3. Bring Lebanon down to its knees. 4. Occupy Lebanon and run it like colony for 25 years.' as a humane and reasonable solution."

Morality judgments are best made by framing the conflict in our local context. Again, consider a Mexican vigilante group, called "La Raza II" for the purposes of this discussion. La Raza II is fully integrated into Mexican society -- with the approval of the typical Mexican. This group periodically fires missiles into California in order to "liberate" California from the United States. La Raza II kidnaps an occasional American citizen. This activity continues for 10 years.

How would we, as Americans, deal with this crap?

Most Americans would support an immediate and aggressive military response. It includes the following activities.
1. Bomb in and around the areas containing La Raza II.
2. Destroy power plants and grocery stores.
3. Bring Mexico down to its knees.
4. Occupy Mexico and run it like colony for 25 years.

There is no way in hell that we would allow La Raza II to launch missiles at California and to kidnap Americans. Mexico should be subjugated. Any Mexican who supports La Raza II should be killed. La Raza II should be killed.

Washington did seize California in an illegal war with Mexico more than a century ago. So what? A historical war does not, in any way, justify the actions of La Raza II.

Further, the poverty in Mexico today is not due to Washington's seizing California. The poverty is due to the failure of Mexican culture.

In the same vein, Jerusalem is fully justified in killing Hezbollah. The following actions are justified.

1. Bomb in and around the areas containing Hezbollah.
2. Destroy power plants and grocery stores.
3. Bring Lebanon down to its knees.
4. Occupy Lebanon and run it like colony for 25 years.

Further, the poverty in most of the Middle East today is not due to Jerusalem's seizure of Palestinian territory. The poverty is due to the failure of Islam culture. A profound and sickening failure.

Hezbollah is tightly integrated into Lebanese society because the Lebanese people support Hezbollah. When the Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields, then the civilians deaths are the responsiblity of Hezbollah. Pursuing a Hezbollah thug into a grocery store and blowing up the store is just and appropriate.

When the American military launched missile after missile into Serbia and blew up piece after piece of the civilian infrastructure to force the Serbs to stop killing the Kosovo Muslims, the hypocrites known as "Arabs", "Muslims", and "Arab-Americans" cheered Washington. The Serbians even used human shields. Washington warned the Serbs that if any civilians died due to being shields for the civilian infrastructure, then the deaths would be the responsibility of the Serbians.

The same reasoning applies in the case of Lebanon. Civilian deaths in the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel are the responsibility of Hezbollah and of its Lebanese supporters. (Most Lebanese support Hezbollah.) No one gives a damn about the hypocrisy of the Muslims, the Arabs, the Arab-Americans, or the Iranians.

All evidence indicates that the Israelis aim at the Hezbollah thugs, but a Lebanese civilian supporter standing next to the thugs will also die. Human shields die. That is expected in war. That death is the responsibility of Hezbollah and its Lebanese supporters.

Posted by: atheist | July 27, 2006 01:20 AM

No Atheist, that is not expected in a war, and is in fact totally unacceptable in each and every war. Even if US did the same thing in Serbia, attacking civilians doesn't get legitimized.

Why don't you take a look at Geneva convention IV, "Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War". Specifically, look at Art 3, subsection 1:

-"Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."


Another note: You called me a supremacist. Tell me please if I have advocated the supremacy of any nationality in my posts. I am in fact an anti-supremacist. All I'm trying to say is that Israel doesn't have supremacy over other nationalities (Lebanese in this case), neither they are above law. If what they do (and for that matter what US has done in previous wars like Serbia) defies internatonal and humane laws, it's nothing to be proud of. Please note that I'm not saying that Iranians, Arabs or Japanese are "superior". Everybody is equal.

As a last note, I would be thankful if you didn't just repeat your earlier posts.

Posted by: Reza | July 27, 2006 01:44 AM

Atheist,

The La Raza II thing was weak the first time you posted it. It still is now and here is why:

I posted this inresponse to you last La Raza II attempt:

Atheist,

Here's why there is no "La Raza II".

The US does not hold a huge population of mexican people hostage in lands that we recently have stolen from them and are trying to settle ourselves. (In fact, Mexicans enjoy an equal shot at citizenship here and enjoy exactly the same rights as all other Americans once they acheive it, and can live virtually anywhere they want and marry whomever they choose, and own any property they choose, not so in any case for the Palestinians). Those Hostages have not spilled back over into mexico to try to gain support to free their brothers and regain their land, and then we have not virtully bombed every major city in mexico back into the stone age in an attempt to stop them from creating a wider insurgency agaisnt us and then occupied mexico for 18 years until the people of mexico formed a resistance and run us out.

Then, That nonexistant group of mexican freedom fighters has not sat on the border, freaking out that we might destroy their cities and occupy their country again
because we have not and we won't.

But you can rest assured that if we did to the mexicans what the Israelis have done to the palestinians , there would be a La Raza II, and we would not have money left to send Israel their welfare check (which they need because of the massive shortfall caused by the occupationa and settlement movement) because we would be too busy going broke with our own morally reprehensible and failed occupation and settlement movement and the terror that it inspires, although I must say that our support of Israels failed policies have begun to needlessly cost us in money, lives, prestige and security.


Hope that helps you understand the history a little better.

J


Posted by: J | July 27, 2006 01:45 AM

Thanks J,
Finally a voice of reason.

Posted by: Reza | July 27, 2006 02:19 AM

Israel has precision guided missiles with enhanced guidance capabilities and the Lebanese civilian death toll is around 400. Hezbollah has unguided rockets and the Israeli civilian death toll is around 40. Little disproportionate don't you think? Israel has a right to defend itself. But when it kills civilians, regardless of whether they are used as shields or not, in addition to destroying a vibrant country's infrastructure, they further isolate themselves and create an ideal situation for those who some label as "terrorists" to flourish. Israel can kill Nasrallah, kill many Hezbollah fighter, but many more will rise and take their places. Israel nor the west will be able to destroy the ideology which drives the party of God. May cooler heads prevail so that this does not escalate into a regional or even global conflict. However that may be hard to achieve considering that the world has "guided missiles but misguided men."

Posted by: Reason | July 27, 2006 10:47 AM

By Robert Fisk,
The Independent
This mother and son were in a convoy fleeing danger yesterday when the Israeli air force bombed the rear minibus, causing carnage.

They are in the schools, in empty hospitals, in halls and mosques and in the streets. The Shia Muslim refugees of southern Lebanon, driven from their homes by the Israelis, are arriving in Sidon by the thousand, cared for by Sunni Muslims and then sent north to join the 600,000 displaced Lebanese in Beirut. More than 34,000 have passed through here in the past four days alone, a tide of misery and anger. It will take years to heal their wounds, and billions of dollars to repair their damaged property.

And who can blame them for their flight? For the second time in eight days, the Israelis committed a war crime yesterday. They ordered the villagers of Taire, near the border, to leave their homes and then - as their convoy of cars and minibuses obediently trailed northwards - the Israeli air force fired a missile into the rear minibus, killing three refugees and seriously wounding 13 other civilians. The rocket that killed them is believed to have been a Hellfire missile made by Lockheed Martin in Florida.

Nine days ago, the Israeli army ordered the inhabitants of a neighboring village, Marwaheen, to leave their homes and then fired rockets into one of their evacuation trucks, blasting the women and children inside to their deaths. And this is the same Israeli air force which was praised last week by one of Israel's greatest defenders - Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz - because it "takes extraordinary steps to minimise civilian casualties".

Nor have the Israelis spared Sidon. A heap of rubble and pancaked walls is all that is left of the Fatima Zahra mosque, a Hizbollah institution in the centre of the city, its minaret crumbled and its dome now sitting on the concrete, a black flag still flying from its top. When Israeli warplanes came early yesterday morning, the 75-year-old caretaker had no time to run from the building; he died of his wounds hours later. His overturned white plastic chair still lies by the gate. The mosque is unlikely to have been used for military purposes; a school belonging to the Hariris, Sidon's all-powerful Sunni family, stands next door; they would never have allowed weapons into the building.

Not that Hizbollah - which killed two more Israeli civilians with their rockets in Haifa yesterday - have respected Sidon, whose population is 95 per cent Sunni. They tried to fire Iranian-made missiles at Israel from the seafront Corniche and from beside the city slaughterhouse last week. On both occasions, residents physically prevented them from opening fire.

The multimillion-dollar Hariri Foundation - created by the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated last year - has helped 24,000 Shia refugees out of the south and on to Beirut but its generosity has not always been happily received. One group of refugees sheltering in a technical school in Meheniyeh punched and taunted Hariri workers. Elsewhere, the foundation's staff have been cursed by fleeing families. "They are telling us that we are working for the Americans and that this is why we are taking them out," said Ghena Hariri - Rafik's niece and a Georgetown graduate. "It is something that drains our energy. We are working 24 hours a day and at the end of the day they curse us. But I feel so sorry for them. Now they are being told by the Israelis to leave their villages on foot and they have to walk dozens of kilometres in this heat."

It's not difficult to see how this war can damage the delicate sectarian framework that exists in Lebanon. One group of Shia families - housed in a school in the Druze mountains of the Chouf - tried to put Hizbollah's yellow banners on the roof and members of Walid Jumblatt's Druze Popular Socialist Party had to tear them down. Their act may have saved the refugees' lives.

Yet many of the Shia in this beautiful Crusader port have learnt how kind their Sunni neighbours can be. "We are here - where else can we go?" Nazek Kadnah asked as she sat in the corner of a mosque which Rafik Hariri built and dedicated to his father, Haj Baha'udin Hariri. "But they look after us here as their brothers and sisters and now we are safe."

These sentiments provoke some dark questions. Why, for example, can't these poor people be shown the same compassion from Tony Blair as he supposedly felt for the Muslims of Kosovo when they were being driven from their homes by the Serbs? These thousands are as terrified and homeless as the Kosovo Albanians who fled to Macedonia in 1998 and for whom Mr Blair claimed he was waging a moral war. But for the Shia Muslims sleeping homeless in Sidon there is to be no such moral posturing - and no ceasefire suggestions from Mr Blair, who has aligned himself with the Israelis and the Americans.

And what exactly is the purpose of driving more than half a million people from their homes? Many of these poor people sit clutching their front-door keys, just as the Palestinians of Galilee did when they arrived in Lebanon 58 years ago to spend the rest of their lives as refugees. Yes, the Shia Muslims of Lebanon probably will go home. But to what? A war between the Hizbollah and a Western intervention force? Or further bombardment by the Israelis?

The Sidon refugees now have 36 schools in which they can shelter - but they are the lucky ones. Across southern Lebanon, the innocent continued to die. One was an eight-year-old boy who was killed in an Israeli air raid on a village close to Tyre. Eight more civilians were wounded when an Israeli missile hit a vehicle outside the Najem hospital in Tyre. And during the morning, one of Lebanon's journalists, Layal Nejib, a photographer for the magazine Al-Jaras whose pictures were also transmitted by Agence France Press, was killed in her taxi by an Israeli air strike near Qana, the same village in which 106 civilians were massacred in a UN base by Israeli artillery shells in 1996. She was only 23.

In her marble-walled home above Sidon, Bahia Hariri - Ghena's mother, the sister of the murdered former prime minister and a local member of parliament - sat grim-faced, scarcely controlling her fury. "We are in this terrible situation but we haven't any window to resolve this situation," she said. "Rafik Hariri is no longer with us. The international community is not with us. Who is with us? God. And the old Lebanese. And the Arab world, we hope, will help us. The only resistance we can show is to be a united Lebanon. But we have only a small margin in which to dream."

Posted by: Angus | July 27, 2006 11:20 AM

Hey atheist take a look at this website for starts http://www.innovativegroup.tv/market-northamerica.html#

here is a little excerpt "The Persian spending power in the US is estimated at more than $400 billion, of which $80 billion is in Southern California alone.
Household income of Persian-Americans is estimated at more than 40% more than its American-born counterpart."

Many fight tooth and nail to stay here and live prosperously and you shouldn't make egregious stereotypes. Persians have more to offer than just Pho.

Posted by: Read More Atheist | July 27, 2006 11:21 AM

So on NPR yesterday there was a news report that said the IDF had moved into Gaza and 23 people had been killed...14 of whom were militants!!

I was waiting to hear what came next but that was it .....didn't reporting used to be "x were civilians".....

Looks like even NPR is starting to knuckle under...

Posted by: Angus | July 27, 2006 03:54 PM

Read it and let's see what you think:

Hezbollah was using UN post as 'shield'
Canadian wrote of militia's presence, 'necessity' of bombing

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=37278180-a261-421d-84a9-7f94d5fc6d50

Posted by: proIsrael and proud of it | July 27, 2006 05:30 PM

Well piapot...

I read it and basically all it is - is one UN guys interpretation of an email sent 9 days ago by a peacekeeper at the post - even the Israelis have not made this claim yet but the international zionist spin machine goes into overdrive to rationalize this...

Perhaps the most interesting part of the article is the last line...

"If indeed Israel was attempting to hit Hezbollah fighters in the area, it hasn't yet used the excuse to explain its actions because it wouldn't make it any less guilty in the world's eyes, Capt. Forsberg said."

Posted by: Angus | July 27, 2006 06:22 PM

Also you may want to do a little more research on the history of israel and then UN - I can think of two without even researching - the last one at Qana in Lebanon approximately 10 years ago when the israelis killed 110 plus civilains and UN Peacekeepers in another 'accident' in very similar circumstances...

And of course the terrible story of Count Bernadotte - a man who previously had saved many people including Jews from the Nazi's and who was assassinated by the Israeli Terrorist Group LEHI at the behest of one Yitshak Shamit who later of course became the Israeli PM....

There's many more....

Posted by: Angus | July 27, 2006 06:27 PM

since you're not the only one who can read, from wikipedia.org regarding qana

"Background"

"In April 1996, a cease-fire that had ended the July 1993 fighting between Hezbollah and Israel broke down due to violations, which involved several attacks on Israeli population centers by Hezbollah. During the five weeks of fighting between March 4 and April 10, seven Israeli soldiers, three Lebanese civilians and at least one Hezbollah fighter were killed. The tally of injured was sixteen Israeli soldiers, seven Lebanese civilians, and six Israeli civilians. On April 9, in response to the cease fire violations, Maj.-Gen. Amiram Levine declared: "The residents in south Lebanon who are under the responsibility of Hezbollah will be hit harder, and the Hezbollah will be hit harder, and we will find the way to act correctly and quickly." On April 11th, after initial strikes against Hezbollah positions, Israel, through SLA radio stations, warned residents in forty-four towns and villages in southern Lebanon, to evacuate within twenty four hours."

Please note the part that reads "a cease-fire that had ended the July 1993 fighting between Hezbollah and Israel broke down DUE TO VIOLATIONS, which involved several ATTACKS ON ISRAELI POPULATION CENTERS BY HEZBOLLAH." Sound familiar?

Please continue (also from wikipedia)...

"Response"

"Israel immediately expressed regret for the loss of innocent lives, saying that the Hezbollah position and not the UN compound was the intended target of the shelling, and that the compound was hit "due to incorrect targeting based on erroneous data." Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Matan Vilnai stated that the shells hit the base not because they were off target, but because Israeli gunners used outdated maps of the area. He also stated that the gunners miscalculated the firing range of the shells.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres claimed that "We did not know that several hundred people were concentrated in that camp. It came to us as a bitter surprise.""

Where's the immediately expressed regret from Hezbollah this time around for placing civilians to remain in harm's way? Also for killing innocent people in Israel?

Posted by: proIsrael and proud of it | July 27, 2006 10:31 PM

American's of Palestinian descent being forced from Gaza and the West Bank by Israel?


The same malign intent by Israel towards the Palestinians is stamped through its history like the lettering in a children's stick of seaside rock. But despite the consistent aim of Israeli policy, generation after generation of Western politicians, diplomats and journalists has shown a repeated inability to grasp what is happening before its very eyes.

The Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi once noted that the first goal of Israel's founders as they prepared to establish their Jewish state on a large swath of the Palestinian homeland in 1948 was to empty Palestine's urban heartlands of their educated elites.

Even before Israel's Declaration of Independence on 15 May 1948, most Palestinians had been terrified away from the two wealthiest cities in coastal Palestine, Jaffa and Haifa. Other Palestinian cities soon fell during the war of 1948: Israeli forces mostly cleansed Lydda, Ramle, Acre, Safad, Tiberias, Baysan and Bir Saba of their native populations. Today all these cities have been repopulated with Jews -- as well as renamed.

Khalidi has written: "These refugees from the urban areas of the country generally tended to be those Palestinians with the highest levels of literacy, skills, wealth, and education". Or, in other words, the small number of Palestinians allowed to remain in their homeland by Israel were peasant families living in isolated rural communities.

These Palestinians posed little threat to the new Jewish state: they lacked the education and tools to resist both the wholesale dispossession of their people and their own personal loss as their farm lands were expropriated by the state to establish the Jewish farming communes of the kibbutz and moshav movements.

And so history repeats itself. As Israel's violent siege of Gaza continues, the Associated Press reported this week that dozens of Palestinians with American passports have left Gaza, escorted out of the Strip in a convoy of United Nations vehicles. One Palestinian American mother said she and her children could no longer stand the terrifying sonic booms produced by Israeli aircraft flying overhead during the night.

These fleeing Palestinians have two things that most of their kin in Gaza lack: they have lots of money that they might have invested in rebuilding Gaza's economy were Israel not intent on destroying it; and they are familiar with a language and ideas that might have conveyed very effectively to Western audiences the horror currently being endured by Gaza's civilian population.

They are also among the least radicalised elements of Gaza's population and might have been the ones most willing to start a dialogue with Israel -- had Israel shown any interest in negotiating.

But of course their absence from Gaza, and flight to America, will not be mourned by Israel.

How much Israel fears the presence in the occupied territories of Palestinians who have lived in the West -- those who have money and influence, and speak in a language the non-Arab world can understand -- was highlighted in another piece of news this week that went mostly unnoticed.

According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israel's interior ministry has been quietly implementing a new rule since April that allows it to refuse entry to Palestinians holding foreign passports to Israel and the occupied territories. Most of those affected are Palestinians who today have citizenship in America or Europe.

Israel has this power over these Palestinians' lives because, since its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, it has usurped control of the borders of the Palestinian territories. In another sign of how mistaken Western observers are in believing that the occupation of Gaza somehow ended with the withdrawal of Jewish settlers last year, Israel is still able to prevent Palestinians with a foreign passport (as well as those from the West Bank) from entering Gaza.

This new policy of exclusion affects thousands of the wealthiest and most educated Palestinians, some of whom have been living in the occupied territories for a decade or more investing in the economy as entrepreneurs, teaching in the universities or establishing desperately needed civil society organisations.

In another irony, many of these Palestinians have a foreign passport only because Israel stripped them of their rights to residency in the occupied territories in violation of international law. Using its control of the area's borders since 1967, Israel revoked the residency of these Palestinians while they were studying or working abroad.

As the Israeli journalist Amira Hass has documented, some of these Palestinians eventually came back to the occupied territories after marrying a local Palestinian resident but were refused rights of residency they should be entitled to according to the normal principles of family unification.

Instead most Palestinians with foreign passports have remained in the occupied territories at Israel's discretion: as long as they renewed their tourist visa every three months by crossing the border into Jordan or Egypt, they were left in relative peace.

But Israel is now unilaterally changing the rules (as it always does), even if it has been too embarrassed to declare the fact openly. Apparently the US embassy has been aware of the change for some time but does not think it should intervene in the "sovereign decisions" of another country -- or, more accurately, in the decisions of a sovereign country, Israel, in violating the rights of an occupied people, the Palestinians.

Palestinians with US passports have been told by Israel that, when their three-month visas expire, they will no longer be entitled to enter the occupied territories to visit their families -- except in rare "humanitarian cases" such as a close relative dying. Some will be separated from their spouse and children, while others will lose their businesses and everything they have invested in them.

With these foreign passport holders forced to leave the occupied territories, the pressure is sure to grow on their families left behind in Gaza or the West Bank to seek ways to emigrate abroad to be with them again.

The purpose of Israel's current bureaucratic obscenity is the same as it was in 1948 when its highest priority was the clearing of the Palestinian cities of their elites to make way for the establishment of the Jewish state.

This time Israel needs to empty the ghettoes it is crafting for the Palestinians of the most educated and well-connected of their number so that it can more credibly claim that there is no one "moderate" to talk to. Any Palestinian with a stake in an Israeli-imposed peace, even one that damages Palestinian national interests, will have been forced out by Israel's policies long before.

Those who remain behind, trapped by walls of concrete and steel, will be powerless to resist the unilateral and illegal expansion of Israel's borders explicit in Ehud Olmert's convergence plan.

When the only noise heard from the Palestinians in their cages is the occasional whine of a home-made Qassam rocket flying out of the ghetto into the Jewish state, we will be told by Israel and its US ally that terror is the only language the Palestinians know.

But, in truth, it will be the only language we have left the Palestinians to speak.

Posted by: Angus | July 27, 2006 10:32 PM

Oh - puh-leaze!

Posted by: | July 27, 2006 10:52 PM

Angus

What you said sounds to be true, but I would like to see some references. Can you provide some reagrding the foriegn passport problem.

Posted by: Reza | July 27, 2006 11:42 PM

So pipot ...just say your July 27 posting on Qana ...problem is you are just cherry picking pieces of it...you neglected to add this piece...


" (a) The distribution of impacts at Qana shows two distinct concentrations, whose mean points of impact are about 140 metres apart. If the guns were converged, as stated by the Israeli forces, there should have been only one main point of impact.
(b) The pattern of impacts is inconsistent with a normal overshooting of the declared target (the mortar site) by a few rounds, as suggested by the Israeli forces.

(c) During the shelling, there was a perceptible shift in the weight of fire from the mortar site to the United Nations compound.

(d) The distribution of point impact detonations and air bursts makes it improbable that impact fuses and proximity fuses were employed in random order, as stated by the Israeli forces.

(e) There were no impacts in the second target area which the Israeli forces claim to have shelled.

(f) Contrary to repeated denials, two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.

While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors.[16]

Amnesty International conducted an on-site investigation of the incident in collaboration with military experts, using interviews with UNIFIL staff and civilians in the compound, and posing questions to the IDF, who did not reply. Amnesty concluded, "the IDF intentionally attacked the UN compound, although the motives for doing so remain unclear. The IDF have failed to substantiate their claim that the attack was a mistake. Even if they were to do so they would still bear responsibility for killing so many civilians by taking the risk to launch an attack so close to the UN compound."[17]

Human Rights Watch concurred, "The decision of those who planned the attack to choose a mix of high-explosive artillery shells that included deadly anti-personnel shells designed to maximize injuries on the ground -- and the sustained firing of such shells, without warning, in close proximity to a large concentration of civilians -- violated a key principle of international humanitarian law."[18]

A video recording made by a UNIFIL soldier showed an unmanned drone and a helicopter in the vicinity at the time of the shelling. Uri Dromi, an Israeli government spokesman, confirmed there was a drone in the area, but stated that it did not detect civilians in the compound. The Israel response to the report stated that "The IAF drone shown on videotape did not reach the area until after the UN position was hit and was not an operational component in the targeting of Israeli artillery fire in the area. There was no way in which it could see the camp, especially on a cloudy day," he said. "The shelling took place from six minutes past two to 13 minutes past two. It was only at 17 minutes past two that it was ordered to fly towards Qana. At 21 minutes past two it established contact with the camp for the first time, but the pictures were sketchy because of the cloud cover. It relayed pictures of the camp again at 2:30pm. The Israeli video was shown to the UN in New York . . . before they published their findings." [19]

On December 15, 2005, relatives of those killed filed suit in a Washington, DC, court against former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon for his role in the deaths. The lawsuit was prepared by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Yaalon, who is a visiting scholar in Washington, reportedly refused the papers serving the lawsuit"

The whole page is there for all to see at Wikipedia - Google Qana Shelling -

Posted by: Angus | July 28, 2006 03:48 PM

Reza -

This is the site of the guy who wrote the article regarding Palestinians and the Passport problem. He is a British journalist based in Nazareth. (He must be nuts)...

http://www.jkcook.net/Articles2/0265.htm#Top

Posted by: Angus | July 28, 2006 07:52 PM

Amazing how the Hezbollah leader (Nasrallah) might be hiding in the Iranian embassy. Just the guy I want to be fighting with. The guy who runs and hides while his soldiers are still fighting. And Iran, the innocent bystander in all of this drama. Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?

Posted by: Amazing, isn't it? | July 28, 2006 08:52 PM

Is Olmert on the front lines?

Posted by: Not really | July 29, 2006 09:52 PM

No, but he's not running scared for cover like a child into the safe haven of an embassy either. Nasrallah is great at shaking his big stick, threatening, talking big, etc. but deep down he's a coward. Just look at the way Hezbollah carries out its business of killing. Hiding weapons and missiles in bunkers under civilian homes. Suicide bombing innocent people in malls, buses, etc. Kidnapping soldiers from their own countries. If they really want to get the world to notice their demands and struggles, they need to grow up and act like civilized people. They need to work out their hostilities in a peaceful manner with diplomacy. They're terrorists to the rest of the world because of the barbaric way they behave.

Posted by: Amazing, isn't it? | July 29, 2006 10:13 PM

to: Amazing, isnt it,

You still seem to lack appreciation for what it means to kill 600 civilians (mnay of them children) to destroy teh infrastructure of an entire country and to displace (remove from thier homes, in many cases permanantly) up to 750,000 people.

What has happened in Israel is not even remoteley comparable to this. By the way , what do you have to say about the 30 innocent civilians Israel killed in seemingly random bombings in teh territories in the Two weeks BEFORE and of this happened? what reprisals should the Palestinans be allowd for the deaths of many innocent children?

I will say it again.

Tear down every settlement in the WB and EJ. They are teh oxyen that Hamas and Hezbollah breath and once they are gone for good, sympathy for Hezbollah and Hamas will fall sharply over the ensuing years.

This will translate into saving more Israeli, Palestinan, American and Lebanese lives.

But as it stands now, the settlement movement does not care how many lives are lost in any of these countries as long as they retain the hope of hanging onto the land they have stolen.

This is a crime which has fed the growth of terrosism world wide. You talk about you lack of respect for Nasrallah. How do you feel about the people sitting in stolen lands (WB, EJ) and lettin Israeli (and American) soldiers take fire in order to protect their settlements that the entire world condemns?

Complain about Nasrallah all you want, but only after the settlements are brought to the ground. anything less is the height of hypocrisy.

J

Posted by: J | July 30, 2006 05:16 AM

"By the way , what do you have to say about the 30 innocent civilians Israel killed in seemingly random bombings in teh territories in the Two weeks BEFORE and of this happened?"

J-Please provide me the source of your comment about the bombings in the territories that you mention above.

Posted by: Amazing, isn't it? | July 30, 2006 11:16 AM

The question: "Iran an bystander or instigator" is short sided and poorly formulated. The same can be said for always referring to HAMAS or HEZBOLLAH(sp) as fighting Israel. The war with Israel has reached the level of Palestine/Arabs against Israel. Somehow, somewhere all of the Arab nations are fighting Israel right now and it only will get worse. Israel is on the way out. If the USA doesn't get this the dangers for a WW3 are for real.

Posted by: Anagadir | July 30, 2006 02:14 PM

"Just look at the way Hezbollah carries out its business of killing. Hiding weapons and missiles in bunkers under civilian homes. Suicide bombing innocent people in malls, buses, etc. Kidnapping soldiers from their own countries. If they really want to get the world to notice their demands and struggles, they need to grow up and act like civilized people."


Unlike the brave israelis dropping bombs on children from 20,000 feet...crushing peace activists with bulldozers and assassinating journalists and peacekeepers....

Oh what a moral society you are.....

Posted by: Not really that amazing | July 30, 2006 11:12 PM

STATISTICS ABOUT LEBANON

1. Lebanon has 18 religious communities
2. It has 40 daily newspapers
3. It has 42 universities
4. It has over 100 banks (that is banks and not branches of a bank)
5. 70% of the students are in private schools
6. 40% of the Lebanese people are Christians (this is the highest
percent all the Arab countries)
7. There's 1 doctor per 10 people in Lebanon (In Europe & America,
there's 1 doctor per 100 people)
8. The name LEBANON appears 75 times in the Old Testament
9. The name CEDAR (Lebanon's tree) appears 75 times too in the Old
Testament!!
10. Beirut was destroyed and rebuilt 7 times (this is why it's
compared to The Phoenix).

11. There are 3.5 Million Lebanese in Lebanon
12. There are around 10 Million Lebanese outside Lebanon!

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS

1. Byblos (city in Lebanon) is the oldest, continuously living city in the world.
2. Lebanon's name has been around for 4,000 yrs non- stop (it's the oldest
country/ nation's name in the world!)
3. Lebanon is the only Asian/African country that doesn't have a desert.
4. There are 15 rivers in Lebanon (all of them coming from its own mountains)
5. Lebanon is one of the most populated countries in its archeological
sites, in the world!!!
6. The first alphabet was created in Byblos (city in Lebanon)
7. The only remaining temple of Jupiter (the main Roman god) is in
Baalbeck, Lebanon (The City of the Sun)
8. The name of BYBLOS comes from the BIBLE!!!
9. Lebanon is the country that has the most books written about it.
10. The Phoenicians (Original People of Lebanon) built the 1st boat, and
they were the first to sail ever!
11. Phoenicians also reached America long before Christopher Columbus did.
12. The 1st law school in the world was built in Lebanon, in Downtown
Beirut.
Isn't it a real Crime Against Humanity to destroy a country with such history?

Posted by: Why? | August 2, 2006 11:26 AM

"If you're going to kill, expect to be killed".
That is what I say to both sides. There are no clean hands in this conflict-which after all dates back decades. Israel also engages in kidnapping "leaders" in exchange for its soldiers; you might remember that is how the current incident began: Hezbollah "kidnapped" 2 soldiers to bargain for the return of its people.

They're both guilty. I say the US should wash its hands entirely of all sides there and let them fight it out: It seems to be what BOTH sides want anyway.

Posted by: Larry | August 2, 2006 02:47 PM

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