The Qana Conspiracy Theory

As Hezbollah wins support throughout the Middle East in the aftermath of the Israeli airstrike that killed at least 57 Lebanese civilians over the weekend, an alternative view of the attack is emerging in blogs -- that the incident was actually staged by Hezbollah.

This "story" is a useful companion to last week's post about watching the war as it unfolds on the Web. The Qana conspiracy theory not only underscores how the Internet can misinform (an old story), it also reveals a popular demand for online content that attempts to explain away news reports that Israel (and by proxy, its closest ally and arms supplier, the United States) was responsible for the deaths of dozens of women and children in a Hezbollah stronghold.

At a time when American and Israeli public opinion of the war diverge radically from the world opinion elsewhere, the emergence of a right-wing equivalent of the Sept. 11 conspiracy theories is worth noting.

The Qana "conspiracy theory" poses this question: If Israeli shells landed near the building that collapsed between midnight and 1 a.m., why didn't reports of the collapse emerge until about 8 a.m.? One site pushing this question on Tuesday was the Israeli Insider, published by a Tel Aviv company that bills the site as a "an independent, nonpartisan online publication that aims to provide an 'inside perspective' on the latest news, analysis and commentary from and about Israel."

Israeli Insider's Ruben Korvet contends that the Qana story has the hallmark of a Hollywood ending and called for the "revelation of the improbable and inconvenient truth." Citing news images of the event, Korvet said the bodies of 57 civilians "looked like they had been dead for days" and suggested that Hezbollah operatives planted them there.

On another site, British bloggers asserted that a "Hezbollah official" took control of the scene to orchestrate false photo opportunities with the dead bodies. Confederate Yankee, a onetime guest blogger for washingtonpost.com, sees "evidence of a most revolting Hezbollah fraud."

Confronted with photographs of dead children, Israeli Insider's Korvet insisted they must be something else: "The victims were non-residents who chose to shelter in the building that night," he writes. "They were 'too poor' to leave the down, one resident told CNN's [Jon] Wedeman. Who were these people?"

That question has been definitively answered in the mainstream press. Almost all of the victims belonged to two extended families, the Hashems and the Shalhoubs, who lived in the area, according to the independent accounts of The Washington Post's Anthony Shadid and the Daily Star's Nicholas Blanford.

Nevertheless, the Qana conspiracy theory is apparently being taken seriously in the blogosphere and in Israel. The American Thinker, a popular conservative site, says unnamed major media photographers were "willing" tools of Hezbollah. The EU Referendum blog claims its stories on the subject attracted 115,000 page views in a day, more than 50 times the average. YNet News, Web site of the country's largest newspaper, reported the story under the headline: "Blogs: Hizbullah 'Milked' the attacks."

The follow-up questions for the bloggers touting the alternative theory are obvious:

Who killed the Hashems and Shalhoubs, if it wasn't an Israel bomb? Korvet and the other bloggers don't offer any theories.

How did Hezbollah truck in bodies to the Qana site without the pervasive Israeli aerial surveillance catching it on film? Israel has released footage of what it says are Hezbollah fighters firing rockets from the area. Presumably, the Israeli Foreign Ministry is not covering up the story.

As for EU Referendum's claim that a Lebanese rescue worker seen in many photos from Qana was a "Hezbollah official," I e-mailed co-author of the site, Richard North, to ask for his evidence.

"All I have to go on is gut instinct," North replied.

I appreciate his candor. It confirms that he has no evidence to support the central claim of his blog posts.

North says he is just trying to "raise questions," which is certainly a legitimate goal. My question is: What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?

Editor's Note: There has been further dispute over the Qana incident since this post was first published. As The Washington Post reported Thursday, the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch issued a report Wednesday putting the Qana death toll at 28 ( the Lebanese government's initial count was 57) and called for an international inquiry into the airstrike.

By Jefferson Morley |  August 2, 2006; 10:30 AM ET  | Category:  Mideast
Previous: The Qana Tipping Point | Next: Taking a Break

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



No surprises here....the Israeli/Zionist propoganda machine takes very little time to get its wheels turning...

First of all -

a) we're sorry it was an accident

b) we only did it because there was a rocket launcher - missile - terrorist - beside/behind/on top of the building - here's a video to prove it

c) We thought there were no civilians there cos we scared them all away with our humane leaflets and voice mail message.

d) uh ..actually we did not do anything...it was a staged event by hezbollah,hamas, boogey man, michael jackson....anyone really it does not matter as long as we can create some doubt.


It's the same tactic Goebels used - the greater lie theory - this tired old crap comes out after virtually every israeli massacre & murder...

Pathetic!!

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 11:27 AM

I posted this in response to the last forum, although it seems even more appropriate for this disscusion. The quotations from israeli official that Buchanan prefaces his piece with shed greater light on the reasoning behind the whole offensive in Lebanon and especially the Qana Massacre.
I had not heard these quotes anywhere else and what they seem to imply is quite monsterous.

How can the government responsible for saying things like this deny qana with a straight face? I suppose the same way that they have denied responsibility for just about every other war crime they have committed.


_______________________________________

This included some Israeli military and governmental quotes that appear to give greater perspective to the high rate of civilian causulties. Not a big fan of Buchanan, but he is right on regarding our Policies concerning Israel.


From the Boston Herald:

Israel's overkill enabled by immoral U.S. policy
By Patrick J. Buchanan/ Syndicated Columnist
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

"Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hezbollah," roared Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon on July 27.

"Every village from which a Katyusha is fired must be destroyed," bellowed an Israeli general in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

The paper then summarized what the justice minister and general were saying: "In other words, a village from which rockets are fired at Israel will simply be destroyed by fire." That was Thursday.

Sunday, in Qana, 57 of Haim Ramon's "terrorists," 37 of them children, were massacred with precision-guided bombs. Apparently, Katyushas had been fired from Qana, near the destroyed building.

"One who goes to sleep with rockets shouldn't be surprised if he doesn't wake up in the morning," said Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman.

Today, we hear unctuous statements about how Israel takes pains to avoid civilian casualties, drops leaflets to warn civilians to flee target areas and conforms to all the rules of civilized warfare.

But Israel's words and deeds contradict her propaganda.

Gillerman, at a pro-Israel rally in New York, thundered, "To those countries who claim that we are using disproportionate force, I have only this to say: You're damn right we are."

Gillerman spoke the truth. No sooner had Hezbollah taken the two Israeli soldiers hostage than Israel unleashed an air war - on Lebanon. It was the moral equivalent of a municipal police ravaging an African-American community because Black Panthers had killed cops.

If Israel is not in violation of the principle of proportionality, by which Christians are to judge the conduct of a just war, what can that term mean? There are 600 civilian dead in Lebanon, 19 in Israel, a ratio of 30-1.

Yet, whatever one thinks of the morality of what Israel is doing, the stupidity is paralyzing. Now, 87 percent of Lebanese back Hezbollah, and the entire Arab and Islamic world is rallying behind Hassan Nasrallah.

And how does one defend our behavior?

When Gillerman was exulting in the disproportionality of Israel's attack on Lebanon, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton was smiling smugly beside him. When the U.N. Security Council tabled a resolution condemning Hezbollah's igniting of the war, but also the excesses of Israel's reprisals, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton vetoed it. When a few congressmen sought to moderate a pro-Israeli resolution by adding words urging "all sides to protect innocent life and infrastructure," GOP leader John Boehner ordered the words taken down.

America shares full moral and political responsibility for the massacre at Qana. Our Israeli friends appear to be playing us for fools."


J

Posted by: J | August 2, 2006 11:42 AM

I have talked to a few people (by cellphone) in the last 2 days. they say hezbollah is threatening anyone who provides information to reporters that makes hezbollah look bad.

you must realize, that it si like iraq. everyone in world thought iraquis liked saddam. when it was over, you can see they did not. same with hezbollah. many people fear to talk bad about them. once they are disarmed, people will give you information about hezbollah that will be shocking.

Posted by: Zaid Abdul Aziz | August 2, 2006 11:55 AM

Couldn't Qana's carnage have been avoided? Hezbollah made pawns out of Lebanese children
By Alan Dershowitz
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Sunday was a day of great triumph for Hezbollah. Its tactics had worked.
By launching rockets at Israeli civilians within yards of a building filled with refugees, Hezbollah had induced Israel to make a terrible mistake. Its defensive rocket had hit the civilian building.
That was Hezbollah's plan all along. As Israelis wept over the deaths of the Lebanese children, Hezbollah leaders celebrated its propaganda victory.
Yes, Hezbollah was happy that an Israeli rocket had killed Lebanese children. The children were now in paradise, martyrs to Hezbollah's cause. Israel was being condemned worldwide for "killing" children - "massacre" was the most common word used in the Arab media. Israel apologized, but that was not enough to put out the flames of anger or to quiet the shrill calls for revenge.
Israel produced evidence proving that it was largely Hezbollah's fault.
Hezbollah was using Lebanese children as human shields - surely a war crime. Hezbollah was preventing civilians - who had been repeatedly warned by Israel to leave the battle zone - from moving out of harm's way.
Hezbollah sympathizers were shown on TV defiantly tearing up the Israeli leaflets. Hezbollah had refused to build bomb shelters for ordinary civilians - only for its own leaders.
Hezbollah knew (and Israel didn't) that children were in the so-called safe house. That is why it used the safe house as a shield behind which to fire rockets at Israel.
Hezbollah used its rocket launchers as "bait" to induce Israel to fire at them in order to increase the chances that Israel's rocket would misfire and hit the "safe house."
It was a perfect plan. Hezbollah leaders knew they could count on the international community to finish their dirty work by condemning Israel rather than Hezbollah for the deaths caused deliberately by Hezbollah. Israel has, of course, rightly apologized for the deaths. Hezbollah never apologizes for deliberately causing civilian deaths, except when the deaths are of Arab children, as was the case in Nazareth.
When it comes to Israel, a lot of usually smart people stop thinking with their heads and start thinking with their guts. Most smart people know that when an armed criminal takes a hostage and fires from behind him, it is the criminal, not the policeman, who is guilty of murder if the policeman, in a reasonable effort to stop the criminal from firing, accidentally kills the hostage.
The same should be true during wartime. But you wouldn't know it if you listened only to the singular condemnations of Israel by so many in the international community.
But not all.
Just days before this Hezbollah-orchestrated tragedy, Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary general for Humanitarian Affairs, had essentially predicted it. He chided Hezbollah for being "a bunch of cowards hiding behind women and children." He said that he "cannot understand how someone could be proud that there were more women and children hurt than armed militants." And he called for the Hezbollah to stop mixing with the civilian population.
Instead, Hezbollah fired its Katyusha from behind the apartment in Qana, knowing that it was filled with civilians.
The president of Lebanon praised Hezbollah. For what? For using its children as shields? When was the last time a leader thanked the criminal for taking a hostage who was then killed in the shootout? The Arab world, the Islamic world and the rest of the Israel haters have now rallied behind Hezbollah. Hatred of Israel has even managed to heal the millennium long divisions between Shias and Sunnis.
Every day more Arabs and Muslims kill other Arabs and Muslims in the Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world than the Israelis have killed in three weeks of combat. But the international community - and the Arab world - turns a blind eye. Many Arab governments actually support the genocidal Sudanese government. Even "peaceful" nations, such as Egypt and Jordan, have killed more Muslim and Arab dissidents, extremists and terrorists than Israel has - and without much protest.
The real victory for Hezbollah is that it has caused grief and dissent in Israel over the death of the children. This will cause Israel to show more "restraint," as it has already done by declaring a 48-hour cessation of air attacks. This will give the terrorists a freer hand at launching rockets. The result will be more Israeli civilian casualties.
The sad truth is that the Israelis care more about the lives of innocent Lebanese children than Hezbollah does. As Golda Meir once said about her Arab enemies: "We can perhaps forgive them for killing our children, but we can never forgive them for making us kill their children." How prescient.

Posted by: Another View | August 2, 2006 11:55 AM

*tear rolls down cheek*

Posted by: Josh | August 2, 2006 11:58 AM

from the dershowitz piece...

"As Israelis wept over the deaths of the Lebanese children"


What a ludicrous statement - the only pictures of emotion I have seen from Israelis is little girls writing messages on bombs being sent to kill their neighbours.....

dershowitz is a disgrace as a human being, a professor at Harvard,and as an American ....

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 12:03 PM

It was very clear from the beginning that Israel wants to annex South Lebanon, either to expand it borders or to build the so called buffer zone. I guess they did not like the idea of leaving in 2000.

Their expansionist designs can also be seen in Palestine. When Hamas, the elected government, was ready to talk and negotiated peace; a very well staged distraction about a solider missing made sure that there was not room for peace talks.

If you have a little time please watch this documentary:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696

Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land - Google Video

Posted by: Y | August 2, 2006 12:11 PM

I thought the "arab style peace lovers" and the "Iranian style justice vowers" are groupped arround the very "legal" Radio Islam site. But I see these kind of small cowered hater parazits are overall on the net. I want just to tell you small dirty people. Israel and his people will never loose 6 milion again. Or if we have to disappear we will never again do it alone. This can be painful for you ... I understand. A Jew with an arm defending himself is not exactly the image you got when you were even smaller then now. One more questions to you small dirty hitler products: Where the hell was your humanitarian heart when young people in Israel were exploded in Pubs by "G-d believers" like you?

Posted by: ama | August 2, 2006 12:18 PM

Hezbollah cowardly hides behind innocent civilians while launching their rockets into Israeli -civilian- areas. The blood of the innocent is on Hezbollah's hands alone. Of course if you buy into the words of Kofi Annan and the good journalists at the Washington Post, you're probably inclined to believe that Israel -purposely- bombed a building full of civilians.

I don't know if Hezbollah purposely 'milked' the situation or not. I somehow find it difficult to put it past a group like Hezbollah to facilitate such a scene. I certainly doubt the ability of Jefferson Morley to discern the difference.

Posted by: Andrew | August 2, 2006 12:18 PM

Being one of those who questioned the conflicting, early reporting and what it might mean I have provided your answer in this post.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/2222

Hezbollah endangering citizens by hiding amongst them is a war crime. Clearly those children would not have died at the hands of Israelis if Hezbollah's base of operations was in the nearby fields or hills. But I do not need a conspiracy theory to challenge that clean, new blue pacifier tagged to the shirt of a baby's corpse. Killing the child was terrible. Using it as a propagande prop was criminal. When someone answers that question I would be more than happy to admit I jumped to a wrong conclusion.

AJStrata

Posted by: AJStrata | August 2, 2006 12:28 PM

I suppose the Hezbulla fighters should stand together in an open field to make it easier to drop bombs on them.

Calling them "cowards" for being among civilians is one thing, but last I checked it is the Israeli army that is dropping 500lb bombs from far up in the sky and inflicting heavy collateral damage so as not to have to actually engage in combat.

Playing the victim card at times may work given the history, but let's keep in mind that the civilian casualty rate is always 10-1 (20-1 in this one) in any conflict the Israeli's are involved in.

The "right to defend" has little relation to the concept of disproportionate response that the global community (minus the USA) is in concensous about.

Posted by: Bradely | August 2, 2006 12:59 PM

You can tell a lot about your opponent and his modus operandi by the sins that he accuses you of.

The GOP nasties in general and Bush & Co. in particular have taken this to an extreme, and it is no coincidence that their examples of their "rules of engagement" can be found ad nauseum in the Israel blogsphere.

This trait is infused with potency by the internet and the "rush" of seeing your words appear on the screen for all to read is a charge that escalates for those so inclined (where do they find the time, never mind the energy?). They hide behind nicknames like "SABRA" or "FU2" and rage on, and on, spinning wheels -- sound and fury and a whole lot of nothingness.

This is, of course, IMHO.

Posted by: Maura Lee | August 2, 2006 01:06 PM

curtius, you should seek help :)

Posted by: Andrew | August 2, 2006 01:12 PM

"What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?"

Are we now seeing a new form of "anti-Semitism" in the United States and some parts of Europe? Arabs and Muslims are now the subject of constant vitriol by these sections of the world population. Just as Jews were once considered the root of all trouble, for these people Muslims now carry the banner for barbarism, intolerance, being terrorist sympathizers, and a desire for world domination.

911, in my opinion, brought to the surface the undercurrents of anti-Muslim bias that had long existed amongst the neo-cons and certain Christian conservative groups. The Madrid and London bombings contributed to the sentiment in Europe, but for whatever reason, it does not seem to have attained the same intensity in Europe as it has in the U.S.
The desires to exonerate Israel for its excesses, that continue to be far greater in magnitude than those committed by Hizbullah, reflect that anti-Muslim/Arab bias. It is also reflected in past and especially current U.S foreign policy which can only kindly be described as pro-Israel (I suppose a case for the "Lobby" having some influence can be made ala Walt and Mersheimer).

Unfortunately the U.S is an integral part of attaining an equitable two state solution (Without its influence Israel will annex as much land as it possibly can and offer as little as it can get away with), and the Arab desire for the U.S to continue to play a vital role in mediating the conflict is a recognition of that fact, despite its one sided support to Israel.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 01:19 PM

I am appalled by those constant, repeated and monstrous attempts to "explain away news reports that Israel (and by proxy, its closest ally and arms supplier, the United States) was responsible for the deaths" of innocent civilians, most of them children, in Lebanon.

The Qana story is only one of the latest, followed yesterday by the central-eastern Bekaa Valley hospital battle (where patients were reported taken out of their beds as Israeli prisoners..), but where, of course, it has since been said by the Israelis that "there was no hospital to be found there, only Hizbollah fortifications"!!! -- Olmert).

As a Canadian, I ought to insist, for the record, that the most fanciful stories were heard from the Israelis after: 1. the entire Canadian Lebanese El-Akras family was murdered by the Israelis, in south Lebanon, 2. after Canadian Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener was assassinated by the Israelis, along with three other UN peacekeepers, while on duty along the Lebanese border.

The gist of the "arguments" is invariably that either it did not happen, or somehow Hizbollah did it! Need it be said that together with world opinion, we know better?

As it saves reason and honour, your question therefore deserves repeating and to be answered, "What is it... that makes Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?"

Posted by: Robert Rose, Canada | August 2, 2006 01:24 PM

You fail to address the most obvious indication of conspiracy: the appearance of a 30-foot tall photographic banner -- featuring a picture of Condi Rice, with text about the Qana "massacre" -- within hours of the building's collapse.

Any graphics professional will tell you that such a banner would be impossible to produce in less than 24 hours.

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/014843.php

Posted by: Bill Biggar | August 2, 2006 01:29 PM

Why is it that when someone merely points out that Israel committed an atrocity against civilians, people get upset and want to know why we're not crying over Israeli civilians who have also been killed?

We ARE upset over anyone who gets killed in this war. Any man, woman, child who dies in this conflict is one person too many.

There, are you happy now? Good.

Now, please admit that Israel CAN BE and IS responsible for the murders of men, women, and children in Qana, other parts of southern Lebanon, and in Gaza.

And let's remember something here: If the Lebanese death toll is 10 times higher than the Israeli death toll, who is the terrorist?

Posted by: Susan | August 2, 2006 01:31 PM

I think the passengers of the 9/11 planes and the workers in the World Trade Center would have appreciated a leaflet or 2. How about the 214 US marines killed by Hezbollah. I'm sure they would have appreciated a leaflet or 2. But Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda wouldn't provide leaflets because mass carnage was the goal, not the unfortunate side effect. The "plan" of terrorism is to kill innocents. The "plan" of Israel is to kill terrorists.

Posted by: Confused | August 2, 2006 01:31 PM

It speaks volume that the W.POST allows this kind of on sided "analysis of what the International Online Media Are Saying about QANA"
No mention /ref. of anything in regard with HIZBOLLAH's possible spin on staging victims in connection with their documented use of civilian facilities & lifes as shields...?
Wondering when W.P. will next post an op-ed from BIN LADEN's view of the question & its MEDIA coverage, finally showing their true idea of journalism ethics, balanced & accurate reporting & better undertsanding of what's behind ,hem "facts"...W.P. you are so over as a trustable news organization.

Posted by: ocale | August 2, 2006 01:32 PM

Here's a story: do you know why Israeli soldiers could never use women and children as "human shields" against our "freedom fighter" (terrorist) enemies? Because they willingly and delinerately _target_ women and children, e.g. in suicide bombings, to begin with.

On the other hand, the Israeli army makes every effort not to harm civilians. Yet civilians are constantly killed and injured. How so? Because we are not fighting an army, we are fighting a large group (several thousands) of cowardly guerillas shooting rockets at _our_ civilian cities and towns from _inside_ civilian concentrations in Lebanon. What are we supposed to do? Just sit there and be bombed by them?

Let me remind you this whole thing started when Hizbollah, with no prior provocation, kidnapped two soldiers from _inside_ the internationally recognized Israeli border and began shooting rockets at our northern towns. Only then did we begin our counter-attack in Lebanon. Don't believe me, check for yourselves.

Posted by: An Israeli citizen | August 2, 2006 01:34 PM

Also not mentioned was the interesting photographic evidence presented at the EU Referendum Blog that suggests the presence of the same individual at both Qana incidents. While this does not prove anything in particular, it certainly raises some questions, no?

Posted by: Steven Miller | August 2, 2006 01:36 PM

more from dershowitz ...(you mean I can get money for defending a man who basically decapitated his wife...cool bring it on I could sure use the money)...

"As Golda Meir once said about her Arab enemies: "We can perhaps forgive them for killing our children, but we can never forgive them for making us kill their children." How prescient."

So unforgivable that you have continued to kill "their" children for another 40 plus years....

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 01:37 PM

Yes yes, no surprises there, the internet can indeed misinform, especially if you read the above colom.

To note one thing, as to the number of casualties, ICRC reported thus far 37, where did the other 20 go? the writer of ths colom will probably tell us.

As for inconvenient truth, here is a blunder for you we all remember very well: the "Jenin Massacre". Some how the Palestinians reported 5000 civilians, then dropped to 500 and then, to their horror, came the UN and the ICRC and noted that 57 palestinians were killed out of which little less than half were Hamas terrorists who hid among civilians leaving the number of civilian casualties at 30. Quite a bit less than 5000 isn't it? I'll let you guess what number stuck in the memory of the writer of the above colom.

You want another inconvenient truth? Here goes. Jan Egeland, UN humanitarian aid coordinator and a known "supporter" of Israel noted in Cyprus a day after he criticized Israel for a disproportionate response that the majority of civilian casualties were the result of Hezbollah's tactic of hiding among civilians. He noted that Hezbollah was bolstering the civilian casualties as a PR weapon... sickening. To tink that in Israel they are more sad about civilian deaths in Lebanon than Hezbollah.

All these inconvenient truths along with the IDF video showing the rockets fired from Qana, make me think that if there is any misinforming internet source out there, it is the washington post who published coloms such as the one above.

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 2, 2006 01:37 PM

Mr. Morley,
I am upset that your column, normally very fair and balanced (sorry, for the Fox reference, but you are, and they are not), would even lend credence to this reprehensible attempt at spin.
I know that your column is called world opinion round-up, but this story has only showed up (with any attempt at credence) in Israel, of course, and in America.
The first time I heard this was from the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations on Meet the Press on Sunday. I couldn't beleive it then, and I can't beleive that ANYONE with two firing brain cells would swallow it.
I guess it just goes to show the gullibility of some people, and the way in which humans are willing to beleive anything that supports their skewed view of the world in general, and the conflict in Lebanon, and the West Bank and Gaza Specifically.
Thank you for all your effort, but next time, leave the Israeli propaganda to the rest of the Washington ComPost

Posted by: | August 2, 2006 01:39 PM

and of course lets not forget Golda Meir's brave decision to drop bombs on a Palestinian Refugee camp after the killing of the Israeli athletes in Munich - killing 200 plus women and children purely for guilt by association....the crime of being Palestinian within reach of israel...

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 01:44 PM

Who is the man known as "Green Helmet" who was in so many of these pictures, and why was he in other, similar photos dating back to 1996?


I think I can help you out with this one. This is from various articles that can be found on the web. Note that this same fellow was at Q in 1996.

As yet another body was removed from the wreckage yesterday morning, Naim Raqa, the head of the civil defence team searching the ruins, hung his head in grief: "When they found them, they were all huddled together at the back of the room ... Poor things, they thought the walls would protect them."

"Where is the humanity? Why are these massacres being committed against civilians?" asked Naim Raqa, the head of the Lebanese civil defence unit in nearby Jawaya, who was helping the rescue.

Naim Raqahead of civil defense in the nearby town of Jouaya, sat on a pile of rubble, his black uniform covered in a fine concrete powder.

"I was in Qana in '96," the exhausted rescue worker said. "Israel, when it is weakened, commits bigger massacres.

"We were told about this massacre -- I don't know what time it was. We couldn't move at night, even in ambulances, because of the shelling. They should allow us to move so we can work."

He wiped beads of sweat from his brow.

"They were still asleep, hiding. They were all near the walls, huddled in fear. We found many of them like this," he said, drawing his knees and elbows into his chest in a fetal-like position. "The poor things thought the walls would protect them. I had the honor of removing about 15 of them."

His break was interrupted by a colleague calling for stretchers as the bodies of two more young boys were removed, their tiny pajama shorts and T-shirts covered in soil and dust.

Raqa didn't wait for the stretchers to arrive. He scooped up one child; a bystander carried the other.

Posted by: | August 2, 2006 01:50 PM

Shoot and scoot! Common artillery tactic because your fired shells show up on your enemy's radar and they fire back at your guns or rocket launchers. It's counter battery fire.

So Hezbollah fires from next to an apartment building then scoots, knowing what will happen. IDF fires back, hits the apartment building. There's the basic facts of what occured. Happens all the time because Hezbollah likes the good press that furthers it's agenda.

The Washington Post and Hezbollah share an agenda, a sick one, and this silly "Conspiracy Theory" about bloggers article furthers it. I'm just sick of politicians and the media twisting everything to advance a selfish agenda rather than truth and the national interest. Shame on the Washington Post!

Posted by: Lawrence Roberts | August 2, 2006 01:51 PM

The only conspiracy theory is sept 11 which was planned by mozzad and executed to perfection.

Israelis are torturing Palestenians for 60 years. Most of the terrorist attacks on israel is sponsored by mozzad. Why Israelis kill israelis? Well. The plan is keep the war going so that they can wipe out palestenians with bulldozer. And world will side with them.

Even here mr Blog owner starting their own conspiracy theory. Israelis kill people and blame the dead for being innocent civilains.

I think there are limits to this kind of cruelty. I think israelis and jews are crossing mosral boundary.

People are not that stupid to see what is reality.

We all know islam is a virus and has to be curbed. But we also learn in this lebanese situation that Israel is a bad idea. It creates evil in people. Jews in america using american lives and weapons to create Greater Israel.

Stop this nonsense.

This is why world need two super power. If one goes to evil side , another has to bring them back.

America lost its moral superiority and high moral standard and behaving like nazi murderers. Actually it is not america but the people who is running america are right wing jews (leo strauss (nihilist fan) deciples)).

Posted by: Alex | August 2, 2006 01:51 PM

There was probably no conspiracy, but listen: In the Arab world they are all very happy with this tragedy proving once again the cruelty of the "Zionist Entity", In Israel the Generals and politicians are looking into this issue how to avoid such horrific events, while Israel aims at terrorists, Hizbullah is shooting at Israeli cities, and from where? They are shooting from mosques, kindergartens, schools, etc. just hoping that this sort of terrible tragedy would occur, holding women and children hostage on both sides of the border with total contempt to human lives.

Posted by: Observer | August 2, 2006 01:54 PM

"Confused":
You really are confused (Just like the Idiot in Chief and his coterie of anti-Muslim bigots was in Iraq) if you are equating Al Qaeda and Hizbullah. How about trying to explain the confusion surrounding the U.S support of a theocratic state (Israel) and its continued occupation and suppression of Palestinians?

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 01:58 PM

Morley ,

You lost it my respect. I know it is your blog. But there are limits to what you can post.

I have no beef with jews in america. They bring balance to american liberal society.

But israel is created to destroy muslims from the beginning.

I am for modernize Islma and make it fit to the democratic world. I am against killing civilians even if they are muslims. Muslims are humans just like anyother. It is just that they are canvassed with a belief that do not suit this century.

Israel is evil. Always was. I did n't realize until now. I just happen to read some of the quotes of israeli leaders. Just read them and see the gruesome thoughts they have.

Zionism In Their Own Words


'If I knew that it was possible tosave all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, andonly half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choosethe latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these childrenbut the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.'

-- David Ben-Gurion (Quoted on pp 855-56 in Shabtai Teveth's Ben-Gurion in a slightly different translation).


'This country exists as thefulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous toask it to account for its legitimacy.'

-- Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971


'We walked outside, Ben-Gurionaccompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done withthe Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesturewhich said 'Drive them out!'

-- Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.


'[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.'

-- Israeli Prime MinisterMenachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk,"Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.


'(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls.'

-- Israeli Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers, New York Times April 1, 1988


'If we thought that instead of 200Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting ata stroke, we would use much more force....'

-- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.


'It is the duty of Israeli leadersto explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certainnumber of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these isthat there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without theeviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.'

-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli ForeignMinister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wingTsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

'Everybody has to move, run and grabas many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish)settlements because everything we take now will stay ours...Everythingwe don't grab will go to them.'

-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

'Israel may have the right to putothers on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewishpeople and the State of Israel on trial.'

-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online


Posted by: Alex | August 2, 2006 01:58 PM

Is this a poor Hezbollah website? Poor Hezbollah? Supported by Iran and Syria to $20-$40 million dollars per year. Poor Hezbollah that seduces women and children into acting as human shields so that they can become "martyrs" for Allah while the cowardly guerillas can live to fight another day. Billboards litter southern lebanon with pictures of women holding their babies in their arms, encouraging them to give up their children to become suicide bombers.

Posted by: Confused | August 2, 2006 01:59 PM

To Zain

If you want to talk about displacement and history, I would suggest two sources:

The first is the Peel committee report from 1937. There the committee predicted huge problems due to the massive land sale to Jews by Arabs... raises an interesting question about displacment.

As for who displaced who, perhaps it is best that you look into Islamic tradition and see why it is that Hezbollah has chosen the name "Khaybar" for its most advanced missile so far fired at Afula, Israel. Khaybar is one of the two places in the Kuran from which Muhammad drove the Jews who sat there for ages. This is not some Zionist propaganda, this is the Kuran admiting the Jews were there first and that Muhammad drove them away.

Posted by: The News Addict | August 2, 2006 02:00 PM

Just so that you have the entire picture, Jefferson, quite a few more people than we lowly few bloggers are quite interested in the questions we raised about Qana.

According to the Jerusalem Post this morning, both the IDF and the International Red Cross are now quite interested in answer the many questions we raised, including:

When did the building collapse, and what caused the collapse?

Were the photos taken of the victims staged?

Why do the bodies of the victims not show the injuries/debris one would expect in any building collapse?

Why weren't journalists allowed near the building?

Why is their such a discrepancy in the initial casualty figures cited to the world (55-60) and the number of bodes recovered by the Lebanese Red Cross (28)?

Who is the man known as "Green Helmet" who was in so many of these pictures, and why was he in other, similar photos dating back to 1996?

Hezbollah is a past master of propaganda warfare, from the faked "Jenin Massacre" of 2002 that the world media accepted nearly unquestioningly even after the "dead" got out of caskets and walked, to the questionable death of Muhammad al-Durrah, the exposed "Pallywood" stage managing of Hezbollah in the past deserves a critical eye.

It is rather sad that this critical eye is not being wielded by the professional media.

Bob Owens
Confederate Yankee Blog
http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/
Former Washingtonpost.com guest blogger

Posted by: Bob Owens | August 2, 2006 02:00 PM

Read the following quotes of jewish leaders and see who has the motivation to kill civilians. I hope you havethe brain to see it.
-------------------------------------------

'If I knew that it was possible tosave all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, andonly half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choosethe latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these childrenbut the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.'

-- David Ben-Gurion (Quoted on pp 855-56 in Shabtai Teveth's Ben-Gurion in a slightly different translation).


'This country exists as thefulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous toask it to account for its legitimacy.'

-- Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971


'We walked outside, Ben-Gurionaccompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done withthe Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesturewhich said 'Drive them out!'

-- Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.


'[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.'

-- Israeli Prime MinisterMenachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk,"Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.


'(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls.'

-- Israeli Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers, New York Times April 1, 1988


'If we thought that instead of 200Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting ata stroke, we would use much more force....'

-- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.


'It is the duty of Israeli leadersto explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certainnumber of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these isthat there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without theeviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands.'

-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli ForeignMinister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wingTsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

'Everybody has to move, run and grabas many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish)settlements because everything we take now will stay ours...Everythingwe don't grab will go to them.'

-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

'Israel may have the right to putothers on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewishpeople and the State of Israel on trial.'

-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online

Posted by: Alex | August 2, 2006 02:01 PM

One simple question if the photos were not staged

why is the dirt UNDERNEATH the dead baby with the pacifier appear freshly dug as a trench.

If the baby was just pulled from the rubble how could there be a nice shovel tipped ditched underneath the baby? Clearly no matter what else happened this photo is staged

Where were all the men aged 16-45??? is it not odd to find a group of disabled and children with not men of fighting age? would you leave your family alone in a war?

Posted by: anon | August 2, 2006 02:02 PM

First, I would presume that for integrity purposes the photojournalists would make sure that their cameras were time-synced either to local or Zulu time. If they have done that, then go back and check the "raw" photos for their time stamps and then post those times with the pictures. Have an independent observer confirm the information for integrity's sake. Doing this can put the conspiracy to rest. Not doing so, will only lead to further speculation that the photos were staged to benefit Hezbollah and hurt Israel.

Posted by: Ray | August 2, 2006 02:05 PM

Observer:

"In the Arab world they are all very happy with this tragedy proving once again the cruelty of the "Zionist Entity", "

Would you care to share what evidence led you to this opinion? I have family in the Middle East and so far all I have heard of is shock, sadness and anger. I suppose in your world Muslims are savages who would rejoice at this barbarism.

That said, I see nothing wrong with projecting this Israeli atrocity for the world to see so that, if nothing else, Israel is more selective in picking its targets next time. Going by history though, it does not seem very likely.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 02:19 PM

The Neutral Facts are:

1. Their war is Jew vs. Arab.

2. No matter what "nice things" the Jews do, the Arabs will launch an attack. So it has become Tit-for-tat. Arabs attack, Jews counter-attack. Both sides know this. Arabs will not allow Jews to let loose their straggle hold on the Palestinians which results in more attacks on the Jews.

3. The Arabs attack civilian areas with young suicide bombers and rockets. Jews attempt surgical strikes on terrorist leaders which sometimes hit civilians.

4. Currently, Arabs rain down hundreds of missiles a day on towns and cities targeting civilians with no complaint from the world at large. Jews screw up a surgical strike and that's all you hear about. Very one sided.

5. Lebanon has an elected government. The people (parents) have allowed an Internationally recognized terrorist group to become a part of their government and are now paying the price. The Lebanon Government is just as responsible as the terrorist.

6. There will never be peace between Jews and Arabs until one or the other is utterly defeated.

Posted by: glider | August 2, 2006 02:23 PM

"Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents

The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."

All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)"

How can there only be innocents on one side?

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283720,00.html

Posted by: Thom | August 2, 2006 02:27 PM

B20 -

it is not hard to drive a wedge between modern hip christians in the north with scandalous western clothes and enforcement of shia islam on them... Do not think for one second if hizbollah takes over women in the north will not be able to dress as they currently do. There was one report about how the southern shia were shocked at the dress of the northerners (where they are now refugees).. theocratic islam versus western culture.

there is a lot of "noise" that hizbollah intimidates people and if anyone has watched enough news coverage they know hizbollah controls the streets and dictates when and where reporters can go.

Posted by: anon | August 2, 2006 02:30 PM

You want a conspiracy theory, how about this: There is no war, it never happened, this whole thing is nothing more than one more Karl Rove political stunt. It is all designed to draw either Syria or Iran into a war and it has to happen, and it will happen, surprise, surprise, by late October. The murdering of children is the ultimate provocation, and that's the exact intention. If Syria and or Iran cannot be goaded into war, bombing will begin in October regardless, so their message is, You might as well take the bait now because we just keep picking at you, humiliating the Arab people, destroying innocent villages and causing more damage until you come out and attack us. In the words of Karl's clueless drunk puppet, "Bring It On." This war the neo-cons have been manstrabating over for over a decade now.
Why the neo cons want this war goes back many years. It arose in Y2K apocalyptic Limbaugh triumphalism no reality based details can ever derail. For Cheney and von Rumsfield it goes back even further, the red menace, the bay of pigs and the compact Herbert Walker on the Grassy Knoll. Today as the details about 9/11 are beginning to unravel and more people are beginning to suspect something stinks, your O'Riley sarcasm over the very term conspiracy theory wares thin. Everything is a conspiracy theory unless both Fox News and Buzzflash.com are both always true at the same time. This invasion of Lebanon is Cheney's war, few doubt it. The right wing noise machine and even hate radio opinion masters have been told to call it a proxy war.
Why they want the war now is all politics. First it keeps the complete debacle in Iraq off the sheeple's minds and it keeps other troubling details off the front pages such as the complete and total full scale refusal of the people of Mexico to allow another election to be stolen. For almost a month now the nation on our southern border has not had a recognized president and it has never made the news in the US once, all thanks to Cheney's war. So you want a conspiracy theory here it is. Sure Qana happened. Murdering children and humiliating the entire non-Jewish Middle East is the exact mission at the moment so to goad Syrian and Iran into a war in time for the November elections. This is Cheney's war and even the Israeli military know it's a colossal disaster.

Posted by: curtius | August 2, 2006 02:31 PM

I particularly love the pacifist's 'fanciful' re-invention of facts. Funny, no mention is made of Hizbollah's deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, and the hypocrytical supporters that cheer when Americans, Europeans, non-muslims of all color (oh, and any muslims that aren't the right type of muslim), and yes, Canadians, die at the hands of terrorists, while whaling in disgust when their own "innocent" compatriots are caught in the crossfire. Wake up. Islamic terrorists like nothing more than to see innocent lives taken, including their own family members. Anything to justify their own spoiled, self-indulgent murderous behavior.

Posted by: Mike | August 2, 2006 02:34 PM

BESIDES THE SHEER REVULSION the attempted coverup outlined above causes, shows clearly the
deliberate lies and information we're fed
regarding Israel day after day.
We hear how Americans still support Israel...I doubt it. Well before Qana and particularly after it. But like the above, where would we see real polls?
Is this all going to end well?

Posted by: REVULSION | August 2, 2006 02:39 PM

QANA and Denial
Nazi supporters maintained long after Nuremberg that Auschwitz never existed. Equally interestingly, the averge person saw many times the Gestapo appearing and then jews disappearing from his neighborhood. Most denied that they knew what was happening to the jews.

Qana is by no means even remotely the tragedy of Auschwith, but it is interesting to see that human psychology has not changed. Denial comes easily when facts do not align with beliefs.

Posted by: Oscar | August 2, 2006 02:41 PM

Through your very long you ignored a basic fact:

From the village of Qana itself, from its streets and houses, the Hezbolla terrorists fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli towns and villages.
If I had the authoriy, I would have destroyed the entire village togehter with all its "innocent civillians".

Posted by: Mendy | August 2, 2006 02:45 PM

Blaming the victim, always a good excuse for doing something wrong.How can anyone seek the moral high ground by engaging in collective punishment? In light of who notoriously used this tactic during WWII, you would think the Israelis would be the last to use this tactic.

What value does Israel have to America, besides being a good customer to US defense contractors? Israel has nukes, a strong economy and infrastructure, also a well developed, efficient military, they can take care of themselves. The special relationship between our two countries is a net loss for America. Our foreign policy needs to reflect whats in our best interest.

Posted by: NonDualCitizen | August 2, 2006 02:49 PM

""Muslims are savages who rejoice in this barbarism", congratulations Zain for finally seeing the world as it is!"

You mean the fanciful fairy land that you and observer inhabit?
Actually ugly and bigoted would be more apt a description than fanciful.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 02:50 PM

When I decide which side to support, I picture myself living in the 2 different countries under the two different forms of rule and law. Let's see, southern Lebanon under Hezbollah or Tel Aviv under Israel. Iran under the Mullahs, or the U.S. under democracy. Please choose your side of support wisely because you may just get your wish to come true.

Posted by: Confused | August 2, 2006 02:55 PM

Mike:

"'fanciful' re-invention of facts."

What facts have been re-invented? Go scroll through the archives of CNN. You will find that Hizbullah did not start shelling Israeli towns until two days AFTER Israel started bombing Lebanon, had killed over sixty civilians and destroyed crucial civilian infrastructure.

The focus SHOULD be on what Israel is doing because it has killed 600 plus civilians and reduced a large part of the country to rubble. In contrast Hizbullah has killed 19 Israeli civilians and thirty soldiers. Hizbullah rockets have done minimal damage to Israeli towns. The "Fair and Balanced" thing to do would be to focus on criticizing the side causing the majority of the death and destruction ,and that is Israel.

Richard Johnson:

"Jews have as much right as Anglo-Saxons to defend themselves."

The Arabs under occupation also have a right to liberate themselves. The violence occurs because of the occupation and the continuing annexation of Arab land by Israel by virtue of the settlement movement. Get rid of the occupation, withdraw Israel to the 67 borders and then you can blame the Arabs for being violent. Until then Israel is the occupier and suppressor of a people who should do everything they can to win freedom.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 03:04 PM

Confused:

When you talk about choosing between Israel and Lebanon, please do not leave out that Israel is a Jewish theocracy that does not afford the gentiles (non Jews) the same rights as Jews. It is a nation that continues to occupy and suppress three and a half million Palestinians and refuses to let almost a million Palestinian refugees, displaced from what is now Israel (after its creation), return home. If this is the side you would choose you really are confused, and bereft of any humanistic values whatsoever.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 03:13 PM

In late April and on May 3, 2002, the UN, Amnesty International and HRW released reports about the Israeli military incursions into Jenin. The reports documented that approximately 30 Palestinian militants, 22 Palestinian civilians, and 23 Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting and thus felt no evidence that a massacre took place.


UN report

Fifty-two Palestinian deaths had been confirmed by the hospital in Jenin by the end of May 2002. IDF also places the death toll at approximately 52. A senior Palestinian Authority official alleged in mid-April that some 500 were killed, a figure that has not been substantiated in the light of the evidence that has emerged. Article (56).
UN Report was strongly criticized by Human Rights Watch as "flawed" for not having any first-hand evidence and failing to address serious questions[34].

[edit]

Human Rights Watch report

The HRW report found "no evidence to sustain claims of massacres or large-scale extrajudicial executions by the IDF".

Posted by: reason | August 2, 2006 03:17 PM

I am wondering about the facts from Qana. Mainly I am wondering about the timeline, I wasn't there so what I'm wondering is this, if the building was struck between midnight and 1 am, and it didn't collapse until around 8 am, what were all those people doing in that building at 8 am? The news stories all agree that most of the dead are women and children from 2 families, were they in the building before the bombing and they stayed in it all night or did they go into the building after it was hit but before it collapsed, if so why? Where were the rescue personal after the building was struck and before the building collapsed? So far there are no news stories that list rescue personal among those killed in the building collapse. Why did they wait for 7-8 hours ( until daylight) and after the building collapsed before they entered the building to look for people injured in the bombing? I believe that these questions are the basis for all the confusion so far. When one side in a war doesn't wear uniforms and builds firebases in residential neighborhoods that shoot unguided missile's indiscriminately at people who are not taking part in the actual conflict and build their headquarters in mosques, schools and hospitals, it does make a person wonder if we are hearing the truth about one specific bombing.

Posted by: James | August 2, 2006 03:22 PM

And with all of Israels negative attributes, it's still a much better place to live than southern lebanon. I am a lebanese christian. I very much support Israel helping Lebanon ride itself of the cancer that is Hezbollah, Iran, and Syrian influence. The democratic and rational portion of Lebanon is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran will never allow Lebanon to continue on this path towards peace and rational and that is why they must be removed from influencing Lebanon.

Posted by: Confused | August 2, 2006 03:25 PM

I believe your piece misses the real point and I'd encourage you to check my post below. I know I and many don't intend to be claiming Hizbollah killed the individuals, only that the perception of the event may have been managed and magnified. I also addressed where some number of bodies may have come from to augment the numbers.

Someone exploiting an actual incident is more in line with what I imagine most believe. And except perhaps for local stringers who editors will likely never come to really know, I doubt many think the press is complicit, but simply negligent when it comers to trying to get a scoop, or "money" shot. I wonder, how many of you would unendingly parade your or your neighbor's dead child around raised high for all to see. It at least suggests a lack of respect for that life in service of something else.


http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2006/07/a_tyre_for_qana.html

Posted by: Dan Riehl | August 2, 2006 03:32 PM

I used to gullibly believe the Arab claims, but then I read about the JENIN "MASSACRE". I remember Arab leaders like Saab Erekat trying to spin the lie that hundreds upon hundreds of Palestinians had been wantonly "massacred" in the city of Jenin.

But it turned out to be a complete falsehood. It turned out that maybe 50 people had been killed during warfare.

So, now I'm a bit more skeptical. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Hezbollah was cynically attempting to generate another "massacre" for public consumption. It certainly serves their cause, despite the shrill denials of Hezbollah partisans like Mr. Morley.

As they say, fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Posted by: APS | August 2, 2006 03:36 PM

Here is an account of the last time the Israelis massacred innocent civilians in Qana. This was a U.N refugee camp. What excuse was there for this?


Here is a link to a description of Robert Fisk.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Fisk

Robert Fisk
Qana, 19 April 1996

It was a massacre. Not since Sabra and Chatila had I seen the innocent slaughtered like this. The Lebanese refugee women and children and men lay in heaps, their hands or arms or legs missing, beheaded or disembowelled. There were well over a hundred of them. A baby lay without a head. The Israeli shells had scythed through them as they lay in the United Nations shelter, believing that they were safe under the world's protection. Like the Muslims of Srebrenica, the Muslims of Qana were wrong.

In front of a burning building of the UN's Fijian battalion headquarters, a girl held a corpse in her arms, the body of a grey- haired man whose eyes were staring at her, and she rocked the corpse back and forth in her arms, keening and weeping and crying the same words over and over: "My father, my father." A Fijian UN soldier stood amid a sea of bodies and, without saying a word, held aloft the body of a headless child.

"The Israelis have just told us they'll stop shelling the area", a UN soldier said, shaking with anger. "Are we supposed to thank them?" In the remains of a burning building - the conference room of the Fijian UN headquarters - a pile of corpses was burning. The roof had crashed in flames onto their bodies, cremating them in front of my eyes. When I walked towards them, I slipped on a human hand...

Israel's slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive - 206 by last night - has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 - the youngest was a four- day-old baby - when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.

Shortly afterwards, three Israeli jets dropped bombs only 250 metres from a UN convoy on which I was travelling, blasting a house 30 feet into the air in front of my eyes. Travelling back to Beirut to file my report on the Qana massacre to the Independent last night, I found two Israeli gunboats firing at the civilian cars on the river bridge north of Sidon.

Every foreign army comes to grief in Lebanon. The Sabra and Chatila massacre of Palestinians by Israel's militia allies in 1982 doomed Israel's 1982 invasion. Now the Israelis are stained again by the bloodbath at Qana, the scruffy little Lebanese hill town where the Lebanese believe Jesus turned water into wine.

The Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres may now wish to end this war. But the Hizbollah are not likely to let him. Israel is back in the Lebanese quagmire. Nor will the Arab world forget yesterday'a terrible scenes.

The blood of all the refugees ran quite literally in streams from the shell-smashed UN compound restaurant in which the Shiite Muslims from the hill villages of southern Lebanon - who had heeded Israel's order to leave their homes - had pathetically sought shelter. Fijian and French soldiers heaved another group of dead - they lay with their arms tightly wrapped around each other - into blankets.

A French UN trooper muttered oaths to himself as he opened a bag in which he was dropping feet, fingers, pieces of people's arms. And as we walked through this obscenity, a swarm of people burst into the compound. They had driven in wild convoys down from Tyre and began to pull the blankets off the mutilated corpses of their mothers and sons and daughters and to shriek "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great") and to threaten the UN troops.

We had suddenly become not UN troops and journalists but Westerners, Israel's allies, an object of hatred and venom. One bearded man with fierce eyes stared at us, his face dark with fury. "You are Americans", he screamed at us. "Americans are dogs. You did this. Americans are dogs."

President Bill Clinton has allied himself with Israel in its war against "terrorism" and the Lebanese, in their grief, had not forgotten this. Israel's official expression of sorrow was rubbing salt in their wounds. "I would like to be made into a bomb and blow myself up amid the Israelis", one old man said.

As for the Hizbollah, which has repeatedly promised that Israelis will pay for their killing of Lebanese civilians, its revenge cannot be long in coming. Operation Grapes of Wrath may then turn out then to be all too aptly named.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 03:39 PM

Thank you Alex for showing your true face.

Posted by: Confused | August 2, 2006 03:42 PM

There is only one word to characterize Mr. Morley's latest effort ("Qana Conspiracy Theory") DRIVEL!

Posted by: David G. Ward | August 2, 2006 03:43 PM

The Israeli government is at the least aiding propaganda squads that are attempting to bend the Internet buzz to their side through spamming boards (and I assume blog comments, creating blogs etc.) and also fixing Internet polls.

The thing I found interesting is that the same mean sprited people doing the pro Israel spam sound like the people who were first to jump to the defense of WalMart, Microsoft, and George Bush and other Republicans before 2002 and have been usually working 10-12 hours a day since on how great Christianity Republicans and now Israel are (which indicates that Faith Based Charity money is involved now).

There is a mainstream link to the evidence that Israel does have a propaganda machine going at my blog: http://dotcommonsense.blog-city.com/

The speculation of a possible American machine that may be drawing money from the FBC program comes from my years of experience with the overwhelming right wing Internet machine in the US.

I think this needs to be checked out thoroughly though. Maybe Israelis don't mind paying tax dollars for a propaganda machine, but it would be illegal in the US and I sure don't want my money going for it.

Posted by: Bill Lenner | August 2, 2006 03:56 PM

Zain: I am not unsympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians dispossessed of land in 1948, but it does not justify suicide bombing of civilians (let alone all the rejoicing we saw Palestinians engaging in on 9/11 -- they justly lost some friends that day).

Also, let's not forget that the U.N. created and approved the 1947 plan for the partition of Cis-Jordan between Israel and Palestine, and the Arabs rejected the world's plan, attacked the Jews, and started down a half-century long series of self-inflicted defeats. If Palestinians are angry, they should blame: (1) the whole world, including the U.N. which created Israel; (2) the other Arabs, who rejected the two-state solution that was much better for Palestinians than any solution they can hope to get now, and who themselves seized and occupied the Arab lands not taken by Israel during its defense of the 1948 aggression, and who themselves have herded Pelestinians into refugee camps, denied them citizenship and rights, and done absolutely nothing concrete to advance the Palestinian cause; (3) the U.N., which voted for partition, and, ever since the Palestinians rejected it, have coddled corrupt Palestinian leaders and helped to institutionalize Palestinian victimhood; and (4) themselves, for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity (responsibility: now there's a radical proposition).

You may be sore that the U.N. approved the creation of Israel in the first place, but it does not justify the slaughter of innocent civilians who have colonized Israel in reliance on the world body's creation of Israel.

We can see from the posts here, and from the reports in the world media, not to mention from just about anything one reads from the Arab street, that lots of people hate the Jews. (Clearly, lots also hate the Americans.) But G*d says that he will bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse Israel. Perhaps you don't believe it; but all the evidence confirms it. Do not be a such a sore loser in the geo-political contest. Life can still be good for Palestinian persons, just as it is good for Zoroastrians and others (including the Jews for 2000 years) who have been dispossessed of their original homelands by forces beyond their control. Palestinians have a bright future as eductated, productive, propserous urban professionals, if they take that chance. Sadly, too many (encouraged by radicals with no sympathy for the innocent victims of terror) have lost sight of the real possibilities G*d grants them in their own lives, and choose instead to waste their own lives by lashing out in shameless, self-indulgent, bloodthirsty attacks on the innocent. You terrorists and terrorist sypathizers are wasting your lives, and you will not be rewarded for it in the next life.

Posted by: Richard Johnson | August 2, 2006 04:00 PM

I am most struck that the media play a points game that is based on headlines and superficial moments called photo ops.

Kana = 2 points Hisbolla
Hizbolla attacks violates intenationa border = 2 points israel
Ajaminajab (iranian lunny) and Nasrella call to wipe out israel = 2 points israel
civilian casulties = 2 point hizbolla
picture of katusha launcher in residential area = 2 points Israel
Oil= 4 point Any Arab 6 points for French and Russians
Holocaust = 2 points Israel (4 points from germany) (0 points UK)
Fear of radical Islam Nukes = 2 points Israel from US and UK 2 points Hizbolla from French
On and On and On.
The media simplistic approach is unrealistic for this complex layered story. Yes, Hizbollah has a grip over access for media and imagination. Remember the Jenin Massacare

Posted by: mike | August 2, 2006 04:02 PM

How come no one in the media is addressing the following entirely likely take on the Israeli offensive? That is, that the "accidental" (put in quotes as a hypothesis that it is not that at all) is a deliberate attempt to drive a wedge between Hezbollah and the people of Lebanon?

It's pretty simple, I think:

1. Create collateral deaths.

2. Remind the world that Hezbollah "brought this on Lebanon".

3. Sit back and watch the infighting.

4. Repeat till Hezbollah's support in Lebanon bottoms out to its essential base.

Posted by: B2O | August 2, 2006 04:03 PM

Israeli will deny any atrocities that their armed forces has will commit in Lebanon in order to justify their brutal tactics. This is similar to the moms of the US marines who refuse to accept that their "angel" sons could do anything wrong in Iqar, like the Haditha massacre of whole family. Despite glaring facts in the face, some people who have blood on their consciences need to resort to childish explanation so that they can sleep at night. Simple fact is that Israeli army has admitted that they knew there will civilians in the Qana buidling and that they atill went ahead and bombed it because it was being used by Hezbollah fighters to launch rockets at Israel. If this happened in Pitsburgh, then whoever gave orders would face murder charge and fry in electric chair.

Posted by: John | August 2, 2006 04:06 PM

Where is the Arab / Muslim outrage at the bombing at the soccer field in Iraq today? Or at any of a million other atrocities that have silently passed? The selective outrage and political posturing is clear as day!

Posted by: J | August 2, 2006 04:07 PM

Some web sites show photos of rescue workers digging these dead bodies out of a mound of dirt(...DIRT!!!) in the basement of the "collapsed" building. There was a mound of dirt, with some soft-ball sized peices of concrete mixed in it. If these childern were killed by the re-inforced concrete building having "collapsed" on them, why were they they shown being dug out of a mound of DIRT?
The photos showed a hole in the room's ceiling, proving the building was constructed of re-inforced concrete. The hole in the ceiling also proved that, since there was still a ceiling, the building had not "collapsed".
Also, not only was there no blood on any of the dead childern, but there was NO sign of any trauma. No punctures, no contusions, no broken bones, not even a bruise or a scrape! How did they die, malaria? I thought a re-inforced concrete building "collapsed" on them ?


Posted by: Rdx | August 2, 2006 04:08 PM

Many of you seem to use the argument that since Israel kills more people than Hezballah, that they are the "terrorists." How does that make any sense? Israeli military capability is far superior to the band of savages that make up Hezballah, and they will show that in order to take them out. What school of military thinking teaches that since your enemy just can't measure up to your ability, but continues to *purposely* attack civilians, that you should go easier on them? The point is to eliminate Hezballah as a threat, even while they hide amongst civilians for maximum carnage. Have any of you people whose hearts bleed for Hezballah scum ever thought about why we hold the Israelis to a higher standard? Maybe it is because their aim isn't to wantanly murder civilians, but when it happens, it is actually a tragedy. Hezballah AIMS for civilians and rejoices in the carnage, like the sadistic psychopaths they are. I am no fan of conspiracy theories, but I have zero problem assuming the worst of the subhumans who make up the Hezballah ranks. Israel isn't a perfect angel, but they don't make a habit of fighting dirty like the terrorist enemies they face. I also trust the transparency of Israeli society much more than I trust the compulsive lying, exxageration, and utter lack of objectivity that pervades Arab society as a whole. and Is there any reason why the world doesn't call for Hezballah restraint? Or why the world has come to expect the most vile behavior from its followers? Are we that cynical that we have become so accustomed to Islamic terrorist horrors, that we just shrug our shoulders? For all of you who glibly criticize Israel and the West for that matter, you should thank whatever deity you believe in that you live under the influence of the Western values system. Life according to Hezballah and other Islamic terror groups would be hell on earth for most of you. Israel is doing the dirty work for the rest of us, and is in the process fighting a battle for its own existence. Civilians are dying, yes. It is tragic, yes. But civilians die in wars, especially when fighting an enemy with no conscience.

Posted by: SC | August 2, 2006 04:10 PM

how did the dead rapidly develop rigor mortis?

by being dead for longer than portrayed.

Posted by: ams | August 2, 2006 04:10 PM

Maybe you should check the offical count from the Red Cross.

Posted by: Aliv | August 2, 2006 04:12 PM

To Thom

I recognize the paste\copy editing you made by copying the remark on Yesha from the lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com website. I will pose the same question I posed to the original writer of this comment, Mojgan, who still has not provided a reasonable explanation for it:

If you do believe that the Yesha Rabinical Council has such a hold on Israeli policy, then how do you explain last summer's disengagement from Gaza executed by Ariel Sharon? Yesha stands for "Judea, Someron and GAZA" and I assure you that they were not for that move one bit.

I am looking forward to your response on that. Hopefully you will have a little more guts than Mojgan who originally posted the comment and decided to shy away from a response due to a justifiable fear of adhering to a famous Jewish quote: It is better to be silent and be considered a fool, then speak and prove it".

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 2, 2006 04:13 PM

With the invasion of Lebanon, both the IDF and Hizbollah will attempt to degrade each other to the best of their ability. However, i believe Qana, the destruction of a ten story apartment building, and southern Lebanon generally is an attempt to degrade the population that supports Hizbullah.
In his book the Iron Wall, Avi Shlaim quotes Moshe Dayan a supporter of the Policy of Reprisals. "As early as 1950 he defended at a meeting of the Mapai Secretariat and members of the Knesset the policy of collective punishment against Arab villages suspected of harboring infiltrators and saboteurs. Harassing the the village, including women, children, and elderly people, he said, " is the only method that has proved effective, not justified or moral, but effective, when Arabs lay mines on our side."
Certainly Southern Lebanon, in a general sense, supports Hizbollah. While Hizbullah may not have conducted operations out of all the communities bombed does not matter under the Policy of Reprisal. As supporters of Hizbullah, they qualified for an attack.
As a young major in the IDF, Ariel Sharon lead the reprisal massacre of the village of (K)Qibya in the 1953. He would later replace satchel charges with Bulldozers, hense his nickname. Unit 101, which he commanded in this and later operations resembled the Einsatzgruppen,without the ethnic cleansing aspect, used by the Germans in World War II.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | August 2, 2006 04:15 PM

What happened to "Thou Shalt Not Kill"? how can any Christian, Muslim or Jew kill in the name of religion - when they all acknowledge the old testament and the 10 commandments?

One this is for sure - No member of Hezbollah, the Israeli army, their leaders (or George Bush for that matter) is going to heaven, paradise or any other similar place. I hope they are all happy blowing each other up in hell for eternity.

Posted by: David P | August 2, 2006 04:18 PM

One of the saddest things about America today is how out of touch with any semblance of reality the average American is: Saddam attacked us on 9/11. He was in league with Al Qaida. We found WMD in Iraq. The people fighting the Iraqi Civil War have Topeka next on their terrorist agenda. Global warming is a hoax. Gays are out to ruin my marriage. The estate tax will apply to me. Israel can do no wrong.

That these lies are engineered, cultivated and propagated by the GOP and its media outlets is pretty obvious to any educated adult. What to do to get this country to wake up to the reality that the rest of the world sees is a more difficult question. I want my country to return to cognitive sanity, but am a loss as to the prescription. Any suggestions?

Posted by: B2O | August 2, 2006 04:19 PM

"APS,
AND where did you read that Jenin wasn't a massacre? "

From two of the most anti-Israel organizations out there - the UN and the BBC. Even they had to admit it. Here's the link.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2165272.stm

Posted by: APS | August 2, 2006 04:22 PM

Palestinians and Hizbollah always target civilians. Get it? They aim to kill women and children--non combatants. They are carrying on in the grand tradition of Arab militias such as the Janjaweed in Durfar targteting, killing, raping hundreds of thousands of helpless civilians--mostly women and children. In Iraq they target civilians at prayer in their houses of worship. Hizbollah rockets are not capable of being aimed at anything imparticular like the Nazi buzz bombs of WWII--so every rocket is aimed at a civilian. When you fly civilian airplanes into office towers whom are you targeting?
The Israeli's could wipe their enemies like Iran off the map in minutes; they could kill every person in Lebanon; they could target women and children all day everyday just like their Hammas and Hizbollah enemies. But they never do and they never will because they are civilized people facing some of the most barbaric fighters on the planet. Ask the Shiia in Iraq or the Africans in Darfur or the women in Arab countries such as Afghanistan who have been brutalized by their medieval laws and traditions. Israel is amazing for its restraint. If the U.S. was for years bombarded by suicide bombers and rockets from Cuba, how long would it take to wipe out the Cuban forces and who would tell the U.S. that the response is disproportinate.

Posted by: Mark | August 2, 2006 04:23 PM

Anon:

"theocratic islam versus western culture"

We have the same struggle here in this country. It's just that because conditions here are generally decent (rather than desperate) it does not usually take a violent form.

Our struggle is between theocratic pseudochristianity (the evolution deniers who choose the law of Leviticus over that of modern America) vs the liberal modernists who realize what century it is.

Posted by: B2O | August 2, 2006 04:26 PM

APS,
AND where did you read that Jenin wasn't a massacre? But I'm glad someone brought it up. Accumlating rage. What else didn't Israel do? Keep it up, keep it up.

Posted by: | August 2, 2006 04:30 PM

"I'm not saying I believe in this idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if Hezbollah staged the entire Qana tragedy. They knew exactly how the world would respond."

Change some of your words a little and you sound just like the conspiracy nuts who would blame 911 on the Jews.

I'm not saying I believe in this idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if Israel staged the entire 911 tragedy. They knew exactly how the world would respond. (i.e the anti- Muslim/Arab backlash we are still dealing with today).

The body count may change, but it still does not change the fact that Israel has been bombing indiscriminately and has killed 600 plus civilians, one third children.
There were always alternatives that could have been used by Israel to disarm Hizbullah but it decided to show off its military muscle in a sadistic display of collective punishment. The aim is not simply to degrade hizbullah's capabilities, it is to make an example out of Lebanon for those who do not play by Israel's rules and on their timetable.

Hizbullah could have been disarmed without resorting to this brutality.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 04:30 PM

I'm not saying I believe in this idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if Hezbollah staged the entire Qana tragedy. They knew exactly how the world would respond.

Remember - - - every death by the Israelis is a tragedy while every death by Hezbollah is a victory. Israel will get blamed either way.

I urge those of you who support Hezbollah to read up on how they routinely hide in hospitals, schools and mosques, putting innocent civilians in harm's way. That's not a conspiracy theory. It's the truth.

Posted by: SM | August 2, 2006 04:32 PM

"I'm not saying I believe in this idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if Hezbollah staged the entire Qana tragedy. They knew exactly how the world would respond."

Change some of your words a little and you sound just like the conspiracy nuts who would blame 911 on the Jews.

I'm not saying I believe in this idea, but it wouldn't surprise me if Israel staged the entire 911 tragedy. They knew exactly how the world would respond. (i.e the anti- Muslim/Arab backlash we are still dealing with today).

The body count may change, but it still does not change the fact that Israel has been bombing indiscriminately and has killed 600 plus civilians, one third children.
There were always alternatives that could have been used by Israel to disarm Hizbullah but it decided to show off its military muscle in a sadistic display of collective punishment. The aim is not simply to degrade hizbullah's capabilities, it is to make an example out of Lebanon for those who do not play by Israel's rules and on their timetable.

Hizbullah could have been disarmed without resorting to this brutality.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 04:34 PM

Hopefully, once this tragic stupidity is over, Israel/western world will be able to finance the recontruction of infrastructure and aid for Southern Lebanon. Help Lebanon and Palenstine authority to provide services to poor instead of allowing Syria and Iran perhaps even Venezuela to help provide it. They have all the oil money and a lot of hatred towards the west with a taste for power and greatness. "Whatever"

To allow them to continue to provide services in this area will be nothing more than start the problem over again.

Love God but hate religion...

"The path of the rightous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyrany of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is trully his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is "The Lord"( Shiva, Alah or whatever the name for God your religion provides),
when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

version of Ezekiel 25:17

Dont like to quote the bible but it I say it is a wise and rightous passage no matter what religion it comes from.

This problem is nothing more than the side effect of the poor who are in arms against a common enemy, as made out by local islamic governments and religious interests.

If the Lebanese and Palesting governments were able to provide to their poor and have prosperous economies with plenty of jobs to go around, these people will not have the time or will to engage in all this hatred and constant accusation of the Jews s the cause of their dispair.

Damn all the islamic extremists! damn all the populists such as JAJAGABOURAJAD or whatever the Iranian thug they have for presidents name is. Damn The Syrian presdent with his presumtious attitude of greatness and superiority. Damn Fidel Castro and HUgo Chavez.

And DAMN George Bush for being such an imbecil and ignorant.

Posted by: Anti Populist | August 2, 2006 04:38 PM

From Mendy:

"If I had the authoriy, I would have destroyed the entire village togehter with all its "innocent civillians".

Precisely why the only solution is for America to declare a war of annihilation against Israel while concommitantly rounding up every last Jew in America and giving them the Zyklon-B treatment.

And throw in every Evangelical, Rapture-loving Christian in the 'showers' with them.

A born-again Anti-Semite

Posted by: Chad | August 2, 2006 04:38 PM

To the guy addressing his comment to APS (sorry no better address, you posted no name). I have no idea where APS read that Jenin wasn't a massacre but I can tell you where I read it: In the UN report on the events in Jenin Section paragraph 43. You can get it out of the UN website. I do not remember the address but if you type Jenin in Wikipedia there is a direct link to it

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 2, 2006 04:39 PM

Zain:

"When you talk about choosing between Israel and Lebanon, please do not leave out that Israel is a Jewish theocracy that does not afford the gentiles (non Jews) the same rights as Jews."

That's not entirely true. There are Christian Arabs and Druze who live peacefully side-by-side with Jews in Israel, especially in Haifa and other ares in the north. I'm sure you already know that the Druze serve in the Israeli army. This says a lot about the trust that Israel puts into these "gentiles." The Christian churches and areas of Jerusalam are open to everyone, tourists and residents alike. They are maintained well and given respect.
By the way, this was not the case during the period of 1948-1967 when Jews were not allowed access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. The area that Jews find so holy, the outer wall to the Second Temple, was desecrated by piles and piles of trash.

Posted by: SM | August 2, 2006 04:42 PM

Jefferson:

I have no doubt that people were killed in an Israeli airstrike. But you are structuring a straw man and knocking it down.

There are questions about these photos that you haven't bothered to ask, here.

And bloggers are right to ask them.

Posted by: saxyboy | August 2, 2006 04:53 PM

Mr. Morley -

With all due respect (since this is your blog)... I take offense at what you wrote.

"My question is: What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?"

There is nothing wrong with questioning what actually occurred at Qana. The Israeli army is conducting their own investigation, as is the entire world, for that matter. It's a known fact that Hezbollah and other such organizations routinely position themselves among civilian populations in schools, hospitals, mosques and apartment buildings. There could be a possibility that Hezbollah staged this tragedy, and it's worth analyzing.

Your opinions about this situation are obvious. Certainly, since it's your blog, you are entitled to express those opinions. I guess I just expect more from a Washington Post columnist. As a former student of journalism, I was always taught that the purpose of a newspaper was to report the news, not make it.

Posted by: SM | August 2, 2006 05:05 PM

Jefferson:

Human Rights Watch is reporting that the death tole at Qana was much less than reported (though it's still tragic any innocents were killed).

Are they buying into a fantasy, too, or is your eagerness to stand with critics of Israel going to block out that piece of information?

Posted by: saxyboy | August 2, 2006 05:16 PM

The Middle East, that eminently unique region where people of all religions come together to kill each other. Let us all repair to the Brookings Institution for a more tailored discussion on how to save the Doha round.

Posted by: Reynolds | August 2, 2006 05:21 PM

Whether Qana was orchestrated or not, it's sadly not the turning point of this war. Propaganda in all its forms is part of any war/military tatics. Just today and yesterday, PM Olmert said that hizbollah infrastructure has been cruched and then you see that 190 rockets were launched at Israel today, the most since the begining of this conflict, you just wonder if what PM Olmert said is true or not? Propaganda? and there is many more examples of "propaganda" on both side. However, if Qana was indeed stagged then it's propaganda to its extreme.

But the question that should be on anyone's mind is: what next? where is this war heading to? are the Israelis going to win? would Israel be able to crush to rubbles its own demon that she help gave birth to in 82?

Are the Israelis leaders that stupid to start a war that they knew they will not win?

Everyone before them failed: the French in Indonesia and Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam and Iraq... Who, here, can tell me, with a humble tone, that the Israelis will succeed? How?

Is this conflict just a reason to draw Syria and Iran in this mess? to give the US a reason to be involved as well?

I am confused

Posted by: ADP | August 2, 2006 05:32 PM

To The Middle East News Addict:

Two things:
1) The purpose for my post about the Rabbinical Council (follows below) was not to prove or disprove how much power the council has. In fact I couldn't care less how much power they have. The reason I posted it was to allow people in this country (and around the world) to see something they might not have otherwise seen regarding the mentality of a whole country who will slaughter innocent civilians, appologize for it, and then claim that "IN FACT THERE ARE NO INNOCENTS ON THE OTHER SIDE, ONLY WE HAVE CIVILIANS, SO KILL AWAY."


Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents

The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."

All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)"

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283720,00.html

2) "decided to shy away from a response due to a justifiable fear of adhering to a famous Jewish quote: It is better to be silent and be considered a fool, then speak and prove it."

Talk about mangling a quote, and wrongfully attributing it! The quote is "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

Oh yeah, the famous Jew who started that proverb was Socrates. NOT A JEW!

Posted by: Thom | August 2, 2006 05:38 PM

Your questions can be answered very simply. The Mossad's (Israeli Secret Intelligence Services) central moto is:

"By way of deception we shall wage war"

Israeli's/Zionists are indeed masters of deception and propaganda. Those who fall for it are either gullible or stupid.

Whenever the IDF, Mossad, IAPAC, JINSA and their other minions in the U.S. open their mouths we should just tune out. They are all trained professional liars. The bloggosphere is just another Mossad front which does not not deserve the publicity or any amount of cyber space.

Posted by: Patricia | August 2, 2006 05:40 PM

Morley would be a lot more credible if (a) he'd acknowledge that the DOCUMENTED body count is 28; (b) that most of the questions raised have not been conspiracy theories that Qana didn't happen, but that some of the most dramatic photos were staged; (c) that the reason incredible conspiracy theories have gained some currency is that the Palestinians, in particular, have manufactured news before--see the phony "Jenin massacre" in which the body count went down from hundreds, or even thousand s of civilians, to 58, mostly terrorists. Instead, he takes the most extreme statements he could find, and creates a strawman.

Posted by: Deliotb | August 2, 2006 05:53 PM

How can you defend yourself against the obvious evidence presented by the Zionists. And you according to your enemy you are using your women and children as shields, but are you not fighting to protect them and their future.
You lovers of israel do you not wish for peace and prosperity with your neighbors or are you still enslaving the people with your insidious ways.
You both are strong people, Some of you even believe you have the same Patriarch, the same Father of a people. Is this not an example of the dueling brothers prebiblical story from ancient time before the land was traveresed by the parents of Abraham himself. This fight is still going on with neither side ever learning the lessons they were meant to teach. What of Isaac and his brother ishmael. The mother of isaac sentenced the mother and ishmael to death by demanding that they be driven into the wilderness to die, but your god saved her and built a nation from them!!! Has he not also built a nation from you???
And your continued squabbling like onto children who misbehave is at an end. Both of you need a time out and a spanking. Believe me your not the only ones. Now your dreams of conquest shall cease. Do you really want your children dead, your neighbors, your all brothers and sisters. Infantile naivety is no excuse to destroy eachother or us in the process and neither is a command from (whatever mental y disease d self-important leader)
I also live here on this planet and I would like my children to live in this place with peace prevailing.

Posted by: Questing | August 2, 2006 05:59 PM

It's good to see this finally emerge. Sites like seconddraft.org do show that Palestine uses the Western media strictly for it's own propaganda, and Hezbollah is no different.

I would not doubt that Hezbollah took a group of children, put them in a building, and blew it up, blaming Israel afterwards. They are murderers, and they have no qualms with using the media to win over opinion. I feel sorry for the children whose lives were ended for such a evil and fascist ideology.

Posted by: Matt | August 2, 2006 06:01 PM

I find many of you posters that write hateful statements like "zionist propaganda" disgusting. You Jew haters are so jealous of Jews and love terrorists. I guess I should have let them kill your baby as my child was killed by muslims - shot in the head - because they THOUGHT we were Jews.

You all sicken me. When I read comments like this - I just wish it was your child - not mine - that suffered and died for hate by people like you. But one never knows, it could be you that are the next victim of Islamofascism hate!

Posted by: Jack Henderson | August 2, 2006 06:05 PM

I saw a survior on the news say the bombs hit at between 12:00 and 1:00am.

Posted by: Neil Nelson | August 2, 2006 06:06 PM

From Dick Johnson:

"Perhaps the question most justly directed at Mr. Morley, and the little Hitler, Angus, and others like him, is: what is it about Jews that makes you so angry when they defend themselves?"

So Mr Johnson - so I am I am a "little Hitler" because I dare to criticise the israeli government and its zionist attack dogs -

As for defending themselves that is laughable - there is a term for it in the law whereby if someone attacks me I can use reasonable force to defend myself - but there is a point at which I cannot continue under penalty of breaking the law - any other government in the world would have been censured and its leaders charged with war crimes had they committed some of the barbaric acts of revenge perpetrated by various israeli governments over the past 40 years or so.

If you read some of my posts from other blogs I am critical of HB - as I have said many times that any one who sends another to blow up children - or rains missiles down on civilians is a worthless piece of sh*t - does this exonerate israel - NO!! The fact is that israel seems to kill civilians with far greater efficacy than any other group in the area - the HUGE problem I have with it is how you and your ilk come out and defend them - in fact you seem to feel that these are acts of great morality.... Bovine excrement....they are just as bad if not worse as this is state sanctioned terror and murder.

I note with interest your constant referrals to G-d and Christianity - so while you are such a good friend to the Israeli's now - what are your plans for those Jewish Israelis who will not convert to Christianity after the "end of days".

Personally I dont particularly want to share any afterlife with people like dershowitz and schumer and I suspect I won't have too.

And to finish I believe this is a quote (paraphrase) from Jesus which you may wish to remember.

"Whatsover you do to the least of my Children you do unto me"

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 06:12 PM

Yeah, sounds like evil Israel started this conflict so it can kill some innocent Lebanese.

Posted by: Truth | August 2, 2006 06:16 PM

For your viewing pleasure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HlaVpqUXF0

What does everything think of this?

Posted by: SM | August 2, 2006 06:23 PM

Please tell me what everyone things of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HlaVpqUXF0

Posted by: SM | August 2, 2006 06:24 PM

Ah, yes, Dershowitz, that vile propagandist who promotes torture, makes excuses for Israeli crimes against humanity and still has the gall to call himself a human-rights lawyer.

This man belongs behind bars, not at Harvard.

That anyone still listens to him is beyond me.

Posted by: Wilson | August 2, 2006 07:07 PM

"Richard Johnson" asks: "what is it about Jews that makes you so angry when they defend themselves?:
Answer: Nothing. What makes me, and the rest of the world, very angry indeed is when Israel goes far beyond defending itself and instead massacres innocents by the hundreds, flattens villages and commits countless other atrocities that have absolutely NOTHING to do with self-defense.

Posted by: Tony | August 2, 2006 07:12 PM

Israel blocks 2 Belgian planes carrying medical aid to land on Lebanon's own airport in Beirut:

http://english.people.com.cn/200608/01/eng20060801_288693.html

Posted by: Karim | August 2, 2006 07:15 PM

I don't know the author purposely write this article or he is unknowingly fall into pro-israeli media proproganda. Actually this is exactly same as at Sunday TV talk show claimed by an attendend. Did you do any of independent investigation? This is incredible.

Looks, I immigrated to U.S from China. I am used to hate biased news report. Now I am really disapointed. I don't know if you have watch the video study about Pro-israeli influnce US media to shape American public opinion. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=propoganda+israel

This video interviewed a lot of scholars, even some people of Jewish peace movement revealed how Pro-Israeli lobby effect the US media.

Posted by: Zhou Zihuai | August 2, 2006 07:16 PM

The world has gone mad, and stupid!

The media and people in the West side with terrorists who specifically target civilian populations, shooting 1900 missiles into Israeli population centers so far, bombs packed with ball bearings and fragmented metal for maximum body damage, and go against Israel who just wants to be left alone, and now trying to defend itself from such atrocities, and while doing so, conscientiously trying to minimise civilian deaths on the terrorists' side.

Where have our sense of morality gone? Why are we supporting the terrorist and blaming the victim for defending herself? Why are we allowing ourselves, stupidly, to become mouthpieces for these terrorists' propaganda and con jobs. It is clear as day that they do not care for their own civilians. They are actively trying to increase their civilian deaths, for propaganda, by drawing fire to these peoples' residences by firing from their midst, and not allowing them to leave when leafletted by the Israelis. They also attack in civilian clothes -- when these terrorists are killed, they say you've killed another civilian.

It seems like a madness in the Western mind, siding with the criminals and blaming the victims. Mad and stupid.

Posted by: emi | August 2, 2006 07:29 PM

This article is the worst I have seen. I am amazing how Pro-Israeli propogada machine works. They can shape public opinion here, and further drag US into undefendable war. We already paid price 9/11 what those people what to do?

See a very informative document video for youself, you will know how Pro-Israeli propoganda at work in America.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=propoganda+israel

Posted by: | August 2, 2006 07:34 PM

QUOTE: Added: Saturday, 29 July, 2006, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
I fully support Israel's actions in Gaza and Lebanon. As for the civilian casualties, you cant make an omlette without breaking a few eggs. If nothing else, it serves as a warning to anyone else who thinks about attacking us. Behatzlacha Israel!
Gavri, Tel Rumeida, Israel
RECOMMEND
Recommended by 719 people END QUOTE

The above I snapped from the BBC this pm. Truly discusting how Israel thinks about innocent people they just murdered. And we in the Western World still don't understand why Israelis are getting killed by suizide bombers, etc. Israel just doesn't belong there.

Posted by: Anagadir | August 2, 2006 07:52 PM

SC:

"the point is that there is a difference of intent in the bombing between the two countries"

Ahh... so as long as I say that I am not trying to kill civilians, it is ok for me to do so. That is exactly what Israel is doing. These are not isolated incidents that you could excuse away (such as those committed by U.S forces in Iraq), these are civilian deaths that are happening every single day! Families wiped out, children decapitated. Your reasoning is flawed.

The U.S military (while not perfect) has shown an excellent example of restraint while hunting down terrorists in a civilian population. The British Army faced a similar situation in Northern Ireland, but instead of leveling Dublin, and creating more enemies, they chose patience and eventually a political solution.

It had barely been a year since Syria left Lebanon. There was a ground swell of support for anti Syrian politicians and that would have eventually translated to sentiment against Hizbullah and its disarmament. The fact that in the beginning of the conflict Arab leaders and ordinary Lebanese were criticizing Hizbullah is fair indication that they were losing popular support, within Lebanon and outside. Israel could have used several diplomatic channels to convey that the process of disarming Hizbullah needed to be accelerated. The Lebanese government would have sided with Israel in trying to recover the soldiers. Israel, as has been its wont, never gave diplomacy a chance. It decided to show off its military might in a sadistic display of collective punishment while telling the Lebanese that it was to help them. Lebanese criticism for Hizbullah is all but gone, Arab criticism outside of Lebanon is gone, no matter what the ending of this conflict, Hizbullah will emerge with its reputation enhanced and Israel will have planted seeds of hatred against it in another generation.

To pro-Israeli supporters;

1. Why was there no attempt made to resolve this diplomatically with a Lebanese government (and public) that had just thrown off the shackles of Syrian interference and would have therefore not looked too kindly upon Hizbullah (as a Syrian and Iranian supported organization).
2. Why were surgical strikes against Hizbullah leadership not considered first?
3. Why react with such fury at the kidnappings of the two soldiers when Israel itself had shown a willingness to negotiate prisoner swaps on such terms before?
4.
Nasrullah was correct in saying that Israel was changing the rules of the game. Israel had no qualms about conducting airspace violations and assassinations in Lebanes and Syrian territory, but cried "sovereignty violation" when its own "rules" went against it.
.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 07:52 PM

SC:

"the point is that there is a difference of intent in the bombing between the two countries"

Ahh... so as long as I say that I am not trying to kill civilians, it is ok for me to do so. That is exactly what Israel is doing. These are not isolated incidents that you could excuse away (such as those committed by U.S forces in Iraq), these are civilian deaths that are happening every single day! Families wiped out, children decapitated. Your reasoning is flawed.

The U.S military (while not perfect) has shown an excellent example of restraint while hunting down terrorists in a civilian population. The British Army faced a similar situation in Northern Ireland, but instead of leveling Dublin, and creating more enemies, they chose patience and eventually a political solution.

It had barely been a year since Syria left Lebanon. There was a ground swell of support for anti Syrian politicians and that would have eventually translated to sentiment against Hizbullah and its disarmament. The fact that in the beginning of the conflict Arab leaders and ordinary Lebanese were criticizing Hizbullah is fair indication that they were losing popular support, within Lebanon and outside. Israel could have used several diplomatic channels to convey that the process of disarming Hizbullah needed to be accelerated. The Lebanes government would have sided with Israel in trying to recover the soldiers. Israel, as has been its wont, never gave diplomacy a chance. It decided to show off its military might in a sadistic display of collective punishment while telling the Lebanese that it was to help them. Lebanese criticism for Hizbullah is all but gone, Arab criticism outside of Lebanon is gone, no matter what the ending of this conflict, Hizbullah will emerge with its reputation enhanced and Israel will have planted seeds of hatred against it in another generation.

To pro-Israeli supporters;

1. Why was there no attempt made to resolve this diplomatically with a Lebanese government (and public) that had just thrown off the shackles of Syrian interference and would have therefore not looked too kindly upon Hizbullah (as a Syrian and Iranian supported organization).
2. Why were surgical strikes against Hizbullah leadership not considered first?
3. Why react with such fury at the kidnappings of the two soldiers when Israel itself had shown a willingness to negotiate prisoner swaps on such terms before?

Nasrullah was correct in saying that Israel was changing the rules of the game. Israel had no qualms about conducting airspace violations and assassinations in Lebanes and Syrian territory, but cried "sovereignty violation" when its own "rules" went against it.

Posted by: Zain | August 2, 2006 07:55 PM

Emi - I agree with you wholeheartedly. There is some sort of psychological self-loathing phenomenon at work here, when people willfully ignore the difference between savage murder (Hezballah) and self-defense and painstaking effort to target criminals (Israel). The problem is that some people want to assume that we are dealing with people who have the same values as we do, and who are as civilized as we are, when, sadly, this is not the case. Go ahead and call me racist. I don't really care, because that word has somehow lost its meaning when thrown around to shut up anyone who doesn't drag the PC, multi-culti party line. We hold Israel to a higher standard because we know that they are not the kind of bloodthirsty barbarians who think nothing of throwing children in harm's way in order to look like the victim. Have any of you no condemnation for the vile people who do that? Try and think logically for a second. When bombs rain down on you from an enemy who was supposed to be disarmed by the international community, i.e. UN, and they continue to come down, all the while there are UN "observers" doing nothing, why in God's name should you sit back and not do anything about it? Because your enemy has no conscience and routinely uses human shields, that should cause you to stop taking action? Is it really your responsibility that your enemy doesn't care at all for humanity? That is suicidal, and against all human instincts of self-preservation. The UN has proven impotent and useless in the Middle East, by issuing resolutions and "strongly worded statements," but having no way of backing them up. I wouldn't rely on them for anything. Hezballah terrorists initiated this fight, and now are using the stupidity and naivete of the world community to try and make themselves look like victims. It is pathetic and stupid that so many of you would fall for that.
It is horrible that civilians are dying, but they are dying as a direct result of Hezballah and its disgusting leaders who couldn't care less about civilian casualties.

Posted by: SC | August 2, 2006 08:12 PM

A name changers wrote:

"Thanks to hateful idiots like Angus the israeli point of view will always triumph in the US.

Posted by: Concerned | August 2, 2006 02:25 PM "

You think your pov prevails - I think not -Israels slow genocide of the Palestinians and its destruction of lebanon is evident, We're tired of supporting you with our tax dollars.

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 08:19 PM

"bombs packed with ball bearings and fragmented metal for maximum body damage"

what are the israeli bombs composed of - cotton candy and feathers?

Posted by: SayWhat | August 2, 2006 08:21 PM

To those who have a hard time believing the Qana massacre took place,

I would ask you to look at the quotes that are in the Buchanan piece near the top of this forum.
Here they are again:

"Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hezbollah," roared Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon on July 27.

"Every village from which a Katyusha is fired must be destroyed," bellowed an Israeli general in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

"One who goes to sleep with rockets shouldn't be surprised if he doesn't wake up in the morning," said Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman.

These are the stated views of Israeli officials and military people. Are we not to take them at their word? Why exactly is it hard to accept that they simply did just as they said they would do in Qana?

The documented civilian causalities are already at a 30 to 1 ration, just because the Israelis killed 57 of them (37 children included) at one time seems less the point than that they would wage a campaign such as this at all. It seems highly likely that this will happen again.

I suppose the reason that you want to deny that the men quoted above are simply making good on their promise is because the thought of having the blood of so many innocent children and other innocent civilians on your hands (they are on the hands of any Israeli or American who supports a war fought this way) is sickening to any normal person. It is a sign that despite your desire to back this monstrous campaign, your conscience simply cannot accept the consequences that the Israeli officials and Military leaders have set about to create.

If you dispute the veracity of the statements quoted above, then say so, although they come directly from Israeli publications. Otherwise, why not simply accept the truth that they obviously imply?


J


Posted by: J | August 2, 2006 08:38 PM

J-
I don't think anyone denies that the Qana massacre took place. Israel has acknowledged it and has offered deep regrets. Israel is doing a full investigation into what happened.

What's at dispute here is whether or not the people in that building were placed there by Hezbollah. It's not hard to believe based on their previously documented tactics.

Of course, it's a horrible tragedy when innocent people, ESPECIALLY children, are killed. Did Hezbollah do an investigation into the two ARAB brothers who were killed last week in Qana? No, there was a hastily sent apology and then it was business as usual. There are plenty of Christian Arabs and Druze living in the northern part of Israel. Do you see Hezbollah concerned about their thousands of rockets hitting those people?

Is it so incomprehensible to believe that a group that is so consumed with killing wouldn't actually sacrifice a few people so Israel could take the blame? It's certainly a possibility.

Please take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HlaVpqUXF0

Posted by: SM | August 2, 2006 08:50 PM

Hezbollah, the Party of Allah, is an Islamic Fascit organization. Islamic Fascism is by far the gravest threat to the West.

Unless you're muslim who thinks everyone else should be a muslim too you should support the destruction of Hezbollah.

Posted by: Destroy Hezbollah | August 2, 2006 08:56 PM

Sound the moral equivalency alarms!! While the loss of life among Lebanese civilians is no less tragic than the loss among Israelis, the point is that there is a difference of intent in the bombing between the two countries. Hezballah aims to kill, kill, kill as many civilians and innocent non-combatants as possible. Israel aims to pinpoint Hezballah targets, and even warns civilians of impending attacks. Can any of you see the difference? What Hezballah does to Lebanese civilians is not the problem or fault of Israel. Why are so many of you willfully ignoring that? Do you people not realize that if, collectively, the Arab world decided to stop the worn-out and self-defeating loathing of Israel, Jews, Zionists, blah blah, etc., that there would finally be peace between them & Israel? There would be also the chance for a Palestinian state. However, here's the crux of the matter. If Israel bowed down to the ignorance of "world opinion," and laid down their arms, there would be no more Israel. The Arab world does not wish to coexist with Israel. They don't want any part of our Western ideal of "peaceful coexistance between people of different faiths and ethnicities." For God's sake, morality police pervade certain Muslim societies, where people, mostly women, are treated like children on a daily basis, or murdered for having been raped. You can get arrested for having a Bible in Saudi Arabia. Muslim children are taught in schools to hate Jews and that they are the sons of apes and pigs. And we expect Israelis to surrender to this type of depravity? By the way, Angus, there is no "genocide" taking place by Israelis. If anyone is committing genocide against Arabs, it's Arabs, who find new reasons to kill each other every day. Stop glibly trying to make a statement by saying something that cannot be proven. I've read so many of your posts, and you appear to lack the ability to remain objective and focused. You are always trying to appeal to emotion rather than reason, and your use of tired and insipid PC rhetoric is quite boring and predictable. Just my two cents!

Posted by: SC | August 2, 2006 09:01 PM

sc wrote:

"Israel has acknowledged it and has offered deep regrets. Israel is doing a full investigation into what happened."

a full investigation that only involves israelis - hmm I wonder what there conclusion will be!!

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 09:36 PM

Just quote from another post, end of discussion -- Israeli amry murdered the people, that is what they want to do.

"Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hezbollah," roared Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon on July 27.

"Every village from which a Katyusha is fired must be destroyed," bellowed an Israeli general in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

"One who goes to sleep with rockets shouldn't be surprised if he doesn't wake up in the morning," said Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman.

ZZ

Posted by: | August 2, 2006 09:49 PM

"And we expect Israelis to surrender to this type of depravity? By the way, Angus, there is no "genocide" taking place by Israelis. If anyone is committing genocide against Arabs, it's Arabs, who find new reasons to kill each other every day. Stop glibly trying to make a statement by saying something that cannot be proven. I've read so many of your posts, and you appear to lack the ability to remain objective and focused. You are always trying to appeal to emotion rather than reason, and your use of tired and insipid PC rhetoric is quite boring and predictable. Just my two cents!"

Great debunk sc (shumer,charles?) - so why can't I have my two cents? In my less than humble opinion the Israeli treatment of Palestinians for nearly 60 years has amounted to a slow genocide, killing hopes, dreams, children and any chance of a normal life.....

As for PC insipid rhetoric how about yours ..."While the loss of life among Lebanese civilians is no less tragic than the loss among Israelis "...of course this is followed by a long rant using "reason" to explain why all the dead civilians should be laid at the feet of hb and not the bomb droppers....


And more of your tirade..."I've read so many of your posts, and you appear to lack the ability to remain objective and focused. "............hello pot to kettle ..pot to kettle...


So if you don't like my posts don't read them - trust me I won't lose any sleep - but as long as you are using my tax dollars to support illegal settlements and as long as our government is held captive by groups like AIPAC I WILL have an opinion.

Posted by: Angus | August 2, 2006 09:52 PM

SC and SM,

You are still evading the point I am trying to make. Hezbollah is incapable of doing the type of damage that israel is capable of. Israel has killed civilians at a ratio of 30 to 1. Two thirds of the casualties caused by Hezbollah are Israeli Military. Israel's cities are relatively unharmed. their population is relatively safe. business and life in most of the country is going on as usual. Lebanon is in shambles and will take many years to recover. Before this is over, thousands may have died, and yet, as has already been admitted by Israel, the goal of wiping out Hezbollah, given at first as a very lame rationalization of this brutal campaign, is impossible. In fact, it could be asserted that with an 87% approval rate in Lebanon, way up from before the war, that Israel has caused hezbollah to prosper in both recruits and funding from sympathetic countries throughout the ME, and hardened the hearts of many more lebanese people against Israel.

So the question remains; The Israelis are doing just as they promised they would, that is, punishing the poeple of lebanon brutally just as they very explicitly promised that they would. What is the point of arguing about Qana when the entire campaign is an Ill conceived fiasco that will accomplish little else than further inciting radicalism and terrorism pointed at Israel and the US?

Could it be that Israel is deperatley trying to inspire the WWIII that FOX commentators constantly imply is now starting? could they see this as their last ditch effort to Ispire a war which would serve their interests completely (at least in the minds of the Radical nutjob settler movement type that run AIPAC and the portion of the Likud that remains in teh Knesset) While costing the US more than it ever should be asked to bear for such a lousy cause?

Certainly, if you want o illicit a really awful response from radicals and other symathizers, the best method to use would be something so over the top and unjustified that it is almost certain to get a response which would serve as pretext for a greater war with regional powers in the ME.

Finally, SC, if you read these forums carefully, you will see that Angus provides a great deal of factual information with sources for his info with just about every one of his posts. If your going to complain about his POV, why not have the guts to actually bring up an actual fact he has stated and take issue with it based on other facts you bring to the table rather than just attempting to discredit him through baseless implication? I suppose that is a great deal more difficult to do, though, isn't it.

J

P.S.

Stop the Bombing, tear down the wall, raze the settlements, end the occupation and watch the violence in the ME trail off to almost nothing.

Posted by: J | August 2, 2006 09:53 PM

Well, Israelis accept it was a mistake. Stop trying to twist and decit the world.

Israelis are behaving 10 times more cruel than helpless hezbollah. What do you expect? Hezbollah to stand on open field infront of apache helicopter?

Their only defense is hiding behind building against this massive force and weapons supplied by america.

I see blood on the hands on america in qana massacre.

I know it is a war. There are lots of people going to be killed.

What i don't agree is Israelis are intend on killing civilians to make them flee and occupy the empty land.

That is pure evil.

I don't buy the idea of Hezbollah are terrorists or hamas are terrorists no longer.

I believe they are foighting the occupation adn illegal raids against them by evil israelis.

It is pity there is not one soul in america dare to critcize Israel. What a pity.

America has gone down to lowest level.

It lost its moral leadership. What we go here an idiot who can be manipulated by evil jews.

I know not all jews are evil but there are some section of jews who are gaining power that will eventually destroy humanity.

Posted by: Alex | August 2, 2006 09:55 PM

See how Pro-Israeli properganda machine here (in US) at works:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=propoganda+israel

Some of intervewer are actually Jewish peace movement people. So there are still many noble, good Jewish people!!

- ZZ, A Chinese American

Posted by: Zhou Zihuai | August 2, 2006 10:00 PM

To J,

Great post! you said very well.

I agree Israeli try to draq US into this conflict further. I hated to see their lobby here to hijact American interest for their purpose. Why we have 9/11? we (US goverment) are biggest sucker to have pay our tax money to finiance their brutallity and then take hit for them!

-ZZ, A Chinese American

Posted by: Zhou Zihuai | August 2, 2006 10:16 PM

Jefferson Morley and Mel Gibson, separated at birth?

Posted by: Jimmy | August 2, 2006 10:28 PM

The thing I find interesting is this. Only some people from both sides want peace. And only some people from both sides want the destruction of the other. One side, has puny rockets that barely do any killing but kill civilians nonetheless. The other side has an advanced military that says it is not targeting civilians but innocent civilians are being killed nonetheless.
Is it convinient that israel looks like it is always defending itself against the evil terrorists. Yes or No?
These terrorists in the area are fighting against an ocupying force. Is israel an occupying force in the area? Does isreal hold the keys of peace? I am uncertain as to the impulse of isrealy will. Are they still trying to overcome the cannanites and take the land away from the ancient land holders before it was promised to them by (...). Does israel really want peacefull coexistance? It's been about 50 years since this new israel was created by a world community body did they ask the previous inhabitants whether or not they wanted them there as neighbors? And regardless of that they are there. So it is any wonder that those who lived there before feel like they've been cheated. Sure some jews came in and bought land but c'mon this is rediculous. I understand that a people want to call aplace there own but it was someone elses. Nowonder the palestinians knows that the israelis are threatining them and there homeland, well they no longer can go home can they. The point to this little rambling is that the place now called israel and palestine should be combined with a new name and new flag. The people displaced by aggresion should have their homes returned to them and their jobs and so forth, there is no true reason why these two peoples should not live peacably together. Remember that extremists do not catagoricaly represent their people as a whole. You should be good to eachother. I know you cannot disregard history but for a moment can you realize the truth that you must live together or you can live in a prison of your own making, with high walls, barbed wire, and guard towers.

Posted by: Questing | August 2, 2006 10:32 PM

I think you've got the so-called conspiracy wrong. Or, at least, you missed the more interesting version? It goes like this: Hezbollah brought the live kids as hostages to the building etc etc and then fired rockets from that same residential apt bldg, well the roof. Israel retaliates and voila, many dead Lebanese children and a PR nightmare for Israel. Is anybody here talking about THAT?

Posted by: Zora | August 2, 2006 10:39 PM

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer in the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John 8:44

I'm not a Christian. Mel Gibson "speaketh" of "the house of Israel." But Mel Gibson was far too polite. Seems that Christ knew the truth about the Zionists long ago.

Posted by: Dave | August 2, 2006 10:43 PM

I really have a great deal of admiration and respect for this guy Jonathan Tasini!

Check out this article where he lays the blame for the US complicity in this massacre right where it belongs (at least in part), right at Hillary's feet!

"Hillary Clinton's primary opponent lashed out at the senator over Israel yesterday, blaming the deaths of 37 children in Qana on her refusal to push for a ceasefire.
"She, and a broad segment of our political leadership, bear responsibility for the deaths ofthese children," Democrat Jonathan Tasini said in a statement. The youngsters were among about 60 civilians killed in Israel's weekend strike on the southern Lebanese town of Qana.

"Rather than call for restraint, Hillary Clinton stopped just short of declaring, 'Let the bombs fall.'"

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson called Tasini's statement "outrageous and beyond the pale" but didn't engage further.

In intensely personal terms, Tasini, who is Jewish and has lived in Israel, also branded Clinton a pandering chicken hawk.

"I know what it is like to sit in a bomb shelter or touch the body of a person killed by war," Tasini said.

He said his father fought in the Jewish underground that helped found Israel in the 1940s, a cousin was killed in the 1973 war and an elderly relative was axed to death by a Palestinian while sitting on a park bench.

"Has Hillary Clinton or other so-called 'friends of Israel,' who have cheered for armed conflict and death and destruction, ever spent one night in fear from war or sobbing in sorrow because of the death of a loved one in war?" he asked. "For them, it is all about political calculations, pandering and votes."

Tasini, a former president of the National Writers Union, has been struggling to gain traction against his monumentally better known and better funded opponent.

Clinton has ignored his attempts to get her to agree to a League of Women Voters debate Sept. 6 ahead of the Sept. 12 primary. "

That just about says it all.

J

Posted by: J | August 2, 2006 10:48 PM

To Questing,

"[QUOTE]...The point to this little rambling is that the place now called israel and palestine should be combined with a new name and new flag. .."

You are right on! That is the key. We always heard claim Israeli is only modern democrate country in ME w/ western value. But in fact, it is ruthless racist goverment in the whole world. If they think they peace loving why not let refuge go back their home live togather AMONG them.

The truth is if that way the demogrphics will be minority, they can not keep the Jewish identity any more. AND it is why they pull back from Gaza and West Bank settlement, because even without palistan refuge, due to own higher birth rate of their own Arab Israeli, Jewish people will be minority after some 50 years!

-ZZ, A Chinese American

P.S. I'm not a Muslin, I don't hate Jewish people, but the Israeli goverment, and those lobbist, who try drag US in for their unjusted cause.

Posted by: Zhou Zihuai | August 2, 2006 11:04 PM

Some of the posters on this thread claim:


"how did the dead rapidly develop rigor mortis?

by being dead for longer than portrayed.

Posted by: ams | August 2, 2006 04:10 PM

Maybe you should check the offical count from the Red Cross.

Posted by: Aliv | August 2, 2006 04:12 PM

From APS: I used to gullibly believe the Arab claims, but then I read about the JENIN "MASSACRE". I remember Arab leaders like Saab Erekat trying to spin the lie that hundreds upon hundreds of Palestinians had been wantonly "massacred" in the city of Jenin.

But it turned out to be a complete falsehood. It turned out that maybe 50 people had been killed during warfare."

The following excerpt is from Wikipedia regarding Auschwitz:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz

For many years, a memorial plaque placed at the camp by the Soviet authorities stated that 4 million people had been murdered at Auschwitz. The Polish communist government also supported this figure. In the west, this figure was accepted, but some historians had their doubts.[6][7] After the collapse of the Communist government in 1989, the plaque was removed and the official death toll given as 1.1 million. Holocaust deniers have attempted to use this change as propaganda, in the words of Nizkor: "Deniers often use the 'Four Million Variant' as a stepping stone to leap from an apparent contradiction to the idea that the Holocaust was a hoax, again perpetrated by a conspiracy. They hope to discredit historians by making them seem inconsistent.

So the Holocaust never happened??????

Shame on YOU and the holocaust deniers for denying truth and human tragedy.

Posted by: RB | August 2, 2006 11:05 PM

For anyone who is not convinced that Hillary Clinton is not just as prepared to bring us into WWIII as any of the current administration, check out this article.

She lays the groundwork for the road towards war with Iran, syria, and anyone else that gets in Israel's way.

I'm just curious how she's going to break it to the people of the US that "we need your children to fight for the Israeli setter movement". I pray I never live to see it.


BUFFALO, NY (2006-08-01) While visiting Western New York on Monday, United States Senator Hillary Clinton weighed in on the rising crisis in the Mid-East.

Senator Clinton described the conflict as a tragic situation that will require an international effort to reach an agreement.

But she was emphatic that the United States needs to take the lead in protecting Israel from what she called ruthless, unprovoked attacks by Hezbollah.

She said reaching such an agreement would require good faith from all parties. But she acknowledges that is a problem since Syria and Iran have a different agenda.

And Clinton called Hezbollah the instrument of that agenda.

Senator Clinton said Hezbollah must be disarmed. And, despite other military commitments, Clinton said the United States can not shy away from the job.

Clinton also spoke without hesitation on other matters of national policy, ranging from trade issues to health care.

But the Senator dodged a question about whether or not she would complete a second term if re-elected. She said right now her focus is reaching out to voters for the November Senate campaign.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

© Copyright 2006, WBFO

Posted by: J | August 2, 2006 11:25 PM

Some of the posters on this thread claim:


"how did the dead rapidly develop rigor mortis?

by being dead for longer than portrayed.

Posted by: ams | August 2, 2006 04:10 PM

From APS: I used to gullibly believe the Arab claims, but then I read about the JENIN "MASSACRE". I remember Arab leaders like Saab Erekat trying to spin the lie that hundreds upon hundreds of Palestinians had been wantonly "massacred" in the city of Jenin.

But it turned out to be a complete falsehood. It turned out that maybe 50 people had been killed during warfare."

The following excerpt is from Wikipedia on Auschwitz:

For many years, a memorial plaque placed at the camp by the Soviet authorities stated that 4 million people had been murdered at Auschwitz. The Polish communist government also supported this figure. In the west, this figure was accepted, but some historians had their doubts.[6][7] After the collapse of the Communist government in 1989, the plaque was removed and the official death toll given as 1.1 million. Holocaust deniers have attempted to use this change as propaganda, in the words of Nizkor: "Deniers often use the 'Four Million Variant' as a stepping stone to leap from an apparent contradiction to the idea that the Holocaust was a hoax, again perpetrated by a conspiracy. They hope to discredit historians by making them seem inconsistent.


So the Holocaust never happened because the number MURDERED was reduced from 4Mil to 1.1M?????

So we don't have pictures of 6 MILLION murdered at the hand of the Nazis - does that give us license to deny this despicable atrocity?


Shame on YOU and the holocaust deniers for denying the truth and human tragedy.

Posted by: RB | August 2, 2006 11:25 PM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the truth

http://www.ussliberty.org/

from US Navy veterans.

With every massacre, more people all over the world are opening their eyes...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: Benoit Breton | August 2, 2006 11:36 PM

"That question has been definitively answered in the mainstream press."

Not quite, Mr. Morley. The news services and press organizations need to publish the EXIF files for the photos published to definitively answer the questions of their "orchestrating false photo opportunities".

The "mainstream press" is not trustworthy anymore. You are not trustworthy any more.

By the way, an Israeli bomb is a "What" not a "Who".

Posted by: Dusty | August 2, 2006 11:37 PM

moshiach is on the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: sammy | August 2, 2006 11:42 PM

The Executive Branch of the United States Government undertook no further review
of the attack. Similarly, the United States Congress has never investigated the attack, making it the only attack on a United States Navy ship, involving significant loss of life, that has not been so investigated. Compounding the harm done to survivors was the task given to them to bring all human remains and classified materials out of the research spaces that had been destroyed
by the torpedo explosion.

The survivors assigned to this task were further traumatized by having to secure the remains of their shipmates, men they knew and had lived and worked with.

In the years that followed the attack, almost all of the evidence pertaining to the attack remained, inexplicably, highly classified. Starting in the late 1970s, heavily redacted documents began to be released as a result of FOIA requests. To this day, many USS Liberty related documents, including the CIA report referenced by Director
Helms, remain classified.

A number of individuals and groups, some directly in the employ of the Israeli government,
others self-appointed, have attempted to convince the public that the attack on
USS Liberty was but an "innocent mistake."51 In furtherance of this goal they have fabricated and repeated demonstrably false allegations - the most notable fabrication being
that there have been "thirteen official investigations (including five Congressional investigations)"
- all of which concluded that the attack was a "tragic error." These allegations
are wholly and demonstrably false.Worse, in some instances, deliberately falsified
evidence has been proffered in support of this argument.

As a result of the public relations campaign undertaken on behalf of Israel, the USS Liberty survivors have been vilified for their assertions that the attack was deliberate and for their ongoing quest for justice. They are characterized as "neo-Nazis", "anti-
Semites", and "conspiracy theorists" for wanting nothing more than an honest, open i nvestigation of the attack on their ship and themselves.

Posted by: Does this seem familiar? | August 2, 2006 11:50 PM

dead muslim children=okay

dead jewish children=tradgedy

same thing as dead Irish Catholic children=okay

Dead Irish Protestants/English=tragedy.

All of America doesn't think it's okay to kill women and children.

Posted by: | August 2, 2006 11:56 PM

As a conservative Christian, I am just sick to my stomach that Israel-firsters would stoop to such a disgraceful level.
It is beyond my comprehension that any decent human being, on either side of the aisle, in any country, would not be completely outraged and sickened by this filthy propaganda.

Posted by: Cindy | August 3, 2006 12:11 AM

As America sleeps, Asia is awake, and eventually Europe will awaken. Good day and good morning, to our fine colleagues (in humanity) across the Pacific Ocean and across the Atlantic Ocean.

As the conflict between the Israeli military and the Hezbollah Islamic thugs continues, you absolutely must get the facts. Visit the following link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

Wikipedia is fair and unbiased. The articles are backed by quality references. Most importantly, Wikipedia prevents the numerous Islamic thugs and the occasion Israeli extremist from defacing or destroying the articles.

The Wikipedia article accurately describes the current situation. (1) Hezbollah Islamic thugs (who are well supported by the Lebanese people) initiated the current conflict by launching a military attack against the Israelis and kidnapped 2 Israelis. (2) The Israelis then responded aggressively. (3) the controversy is whether the Israelis have used excessive force.

Point #3 is a morality judgment. To accurately assign a moral assessment to the situation, frame the situation in your local context. Suppose that you are living in San Diego, California. A Mexican vigilante group called La Raza II insists on liberating California from the USA. La Raza II is tightly integrated into Mexican society, and the Mexican government refuses to disarm La Raza II.

La Raza II periodically fires missiles at San Diego. One missile blows up a house in your neighborhood. Then, La Raza II successfully kidnaps two teenage girls from the house next to your house. La Raza II drags both girls to Mexico and repeatedly rapes and tortures them.

What would you expect Washington to do? What would you do?

I know what I would do. I would demand that Washington use overwhelming and disproportionate force to invade Mexico, kill all the members of La Raza II, and de-capitate the Mexican government.

In other words, the Israelis are justified in exterminating Hezbollah.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 12:28 AM

As an American I am completely willing to admit that this administration, and many before, have made some serious foreign policy errors in regards to the Middle East. That being said I also have to stand up and say that my country, this country is also one of a very few, if not the only where both Jew and Muslims are allowed to emmigrate, become citizens and have an equal say in their government. Not only that, but those families can (and do) actually live right next to each other in a state of peace and prosperity in many cases. So I find it very difficult to listen to the haters and the speech makers who quote old dead guys and claim that studying history will somehow explain why there has to be this conflict. Maybe you are the problem, maybe you need to study some "recent" history and see how its actually possible for people to get along. It isn't perfect, it never is, but its better that what you have and you might actually learn something if you were willing to open your mind. So what if you own a piece of dirt at the end of the day when everything else is dead. Big deal, good for you.

Its a shame we can't isolate all the haters and let the rest of us who actually just want to live a life (what a concept), live in peace.

Posted by: asta | August 3, 2006 12:30 AM

J-

I don't believe I am evading any points that you are trying to make. Hezbollah has done plenty of damage despite the fact that the Israeli casualties are lower than those of Lebanon. While the physical damage to Israel is not nearly as severe as it is in Lebanon, psychological damage is occurring on both sides.

"Israel's cities are relatively unharmed. their population is relatively safe. business and life in most of the country is going on as usual."

You couldn't be more wrong about that. Businesses have shut down in the entire northern part of Israel almost down to Tel Aviv. People cannot go to work anyway. The Israeli government has warned people to stay off the roads and to stay home. The only retail outlets open are the grocery stores during part of the day. Children are at home as all activities have been curtailed. Missile sirens go off 15-20 times per day, and people run into shelters in case their homes are hit. What are you talking about?

"In fact, it could be asserted that with an 87% approval rate in Lebanon, way up from before the war, that Israel has caused hezbollah to prosper in both recruits and funding from sympathetic countries throughout the ME, and hardened the hearts of many more lebanese people against Israel."

If Hezbollah has an 87% approval rate in Lebanon, which is not what I've read on several news outlets, then Israel really does have a problem on its border. Thus, it is justified in its attempt to stop the terrorist buildup on its northern border. Of course, in a perfect situation, there would be NO civilian casualties.

There are many Christian Lebanese who have not supported Hezbollah for years but were powerless to do anything about Hezbollah's infiltration into Lebanese government and society. Now, of course, they are justified in their sentiment towards Israel. But, every day, I read articles about Lebanese who want it known that they are glad that Hezbollah is being rooted out.

Why would Israel want to start WWIII as you questioned? This is a country that has peaceful relations with both Egypt and Jordan. Doesn't that mean anything? Remember the 2004 tsunami? Israel was one of the first countries to offer assistance. There's too much information to post here about it, but please read how much Israel donated despite that fact that Sri Lanka refused some of their help. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarian_response_to_the_2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake) Is that the behavior of a country that wants to start a world war???

No, this conflict is about Hezbollah and similar groups inflicting their reign of terror on innocent people not just in Israel but all over the world. They may have a just cause, and depending on which side you're on, you can support or denounce it. But, for years, their tactics have been ruthless. There is just no way to justify the type of violence that they have perpetuated for the past decade or more.

Posted by: SM again | August 3, 2006 12:35 AM

J, just to make sure, I skimmed over Angus's posts and didn't see those "sources and facts" of information you mentioned. But that's ok. He has an opinion and spins things the way he wants them to be, i.e. - evil Israel vengefully killing kids, it supposedly being a "crime" to be Palestinian, the "genocide" apparently going on in the Pal territories, etc. These are baseless accusations glibly lobbed out because the accuser wants to make a statement. How many times does the fact that terrorists don't play by the rules need to be mentioned? And what about Arabs killing Arabs? I'd say that's more of a genocide than Angus's pseudo-kinda-sorta-not really genocide he mentioned earlier? I guarantee they have killed more of each other than the West or Israel has. Since terrorists don't seem to care about kids' futures and seem more than happy to use them as cannon fodder, what can be done? If depravity such as this exists in that society, is it the responsibility of their enemies to go easier on them? Do you suggest Israel do absolutely nothing in response? Frankly, what has Israel got to lose? I hear the argument all the time of "it will radicalize more people against them!" I'd say it's already too late. There already are people radicalized against them, and it didn't take this current fight to start that. The mere mention of "Jew" is enough to drive some Muslims berserk. To those of you who suggest the possibility of a prisoner swap, well, that is blackmail. I cannot imagine supporting that option. The Israeli soldiers were kidnapped in their own sovereign territory by Hezballah militants. The prisoners Hezballah wants have committed crimes, i.e. they are dangers to society. One of those men, in fact, is imprisoned because upon storming an Israeli appartment complex with a group of Hezballah thugs(so many combatants living there, you know!) he murdered an Israeli father in front of his 4-year old daughter, before rifle-butting her head into a rock, killing her also. This "freedom fighter's" name is Samir Qantar. Read up on him. The bottom line is, Hezballah did not have to kidnap those soldiers and ignite this war. It has long been established that Israel is a tough country and will not suffer fools lightly. If Israel wanted to completely destroy Lebanon and wantonly slaughter its civilians, it would have already happened. Israeli restraint and systematic targetting of Hezballah militants is a far cry from the murderous rampages against all things Jewish/Israeli of Hezballah. There is indeed a difference between the two, although the moral equivalence crowd would tell you otherwise. It's horrible that civilians are caught in the middle of this, but the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of those who decided to pick a fight with a stronger and more formidable foe.

Posted by: SC | August 3, 2006 12:35 AM

J-

To continue because I wasn't able to post all of this in one entry:

And about the tragedy in Qana... take a look:

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=123&art_id=qw1154562480313R131

"On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch questioned the death toll in the Qana attack. The international group listed the names of 28 known dead from the attack and said that 13 others were missing and might still be buried under the rubble. The discrepancy was attributed to an assumption that only nine of the people who took shelter in the basement of the building survived, but it emerged that at least 22 escaped, the group said."

And this:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1675290/posts

"A Lebanese Shia explains how Hezbollah uses Human Shields
Der Tagesspiegel ^ | 7/30/06 | Dr. Mounir Herzallah

Posted on 07/31/2006 1:49:58 PM PDT by abu afak

In a letter to the editor of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel a Lebanese Shia explains how after Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon, Hezbollah stored rockets in bunkers in his town and built a school and residence over it.

""I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajun that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to have the say in our town and all other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters, they appeared armed to the teeth and dug rocket depots in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers!

A local sheikh explained to me Laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rocket depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.""

Dr. Mounir Herzallah Berlin-Wedding

(translated from the German by David Ouellette)"

Now tell me, can you not condemn this practice and hold Hezbollah at least partially accountable for deaths of innocents???

Posted by: SM again | August 3, 2006 12:36 AM

Another thing... Israel doesn't take kidnapping of its soldiers lightly. Have any of you heard of Ron Arad? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Arad) He's been missing since 1986, although no one knows if he's even alive. Where is he? What happened to him? When is he going to be released? Do you people who absolve Hezbollah really expect a country to sit by idly and allow their soldiers to be treated this way? Especially soldiers who were kidnapped in their own territory??? Is a prisoner exchange of 1000 prisoners fair trade for the two kidnapped by Hezbollah?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 12:46 AM

Thank God for Rush Limbaugh. He put the truth out about this Hezbollah propagandy stunt on his program. Millions heard the truth because of Rush. Not so many will read the Washington Post's attempt to smear the truth.

The old media is dying because of crap like this article. Good.

Posted by: DemocraticUnderground | August 3, 2006 12:52 AM

You have failed in the most basic journalistic task: present the fact.

I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, but the EU referendum site doesn't just rely on "gut" instinct, it also presents facts.

in this case there is a compendium of photos, and those photos raie questions. Why is the smae recuer, holding the same poor dead girl, dressed differently in two photographs? Did the press take a picture, then he put the girl down,, took off his evst and flak jacket, pick her back up and pose for another picture?

What is frustrating is that the "press" has the answers -- it's employees were there. What is the timimg of the photos? Why is the rescuer wearing different clothing?

How about finding out factual answers -- and either faulting the theories or substantiating them,. instead of giving us opinions?

Posted by: johnl | August 3, 2006 01:05 AM

One thing, and one thing alone, raised my suspicions. That they showed the same poor child, over and over and over, in nearly every picture. First carried by "green helmet," then carried by another, then held up for display, then in an ambulance.

Perhaps this was the first body recovered from the ruble, so all the cameras jumped on it...

Perhaps, as is often the case, multiple news agencies taking multiple pictures make the scene seem like there was staging when there really wasn't...

Perhaps it is acceptable in Shia culture to lift the poor broken body of an innocent child up like a trophy fish for to give the cameras a better shot...

Perhaps the sequence is out of order, and the pacifier was on as she came out of the rubble and later fell off, and that ambulance picture was really taken last...

Perhaps this is a relative of "green helmet," which would explain why he spends so much time with this one dead child rather than helping dig others, possibly living, out of the rubble...

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

No one, NO ONE questions that a tragedy took place. There are dead children! What could be more tragic!? (Though we may affix the blame to different entities).

But I also know that photogs look for a great picture accompany an article and provide editors and writers with lots of them, that editors look for a picture that supports their story, and that just the sensationalism alone could account for less that totally accurate visuals of this event, to say nothing of possible slant.

If the mainstream media who had photogs in Qana want to clear the air, there is a simple way to do so: show ALL the pictures shot that day, including the "inconsequential" ones, and tell us what order they were shot. Then the evidence will be entirely self evident.

Posted by: sts | August 3, 2006 01:46 AM

Robert Fisk: Entire Lebanese family killed in Israeli attack on hospital
Published: 03 August 2006
An attack on a hospital, the killing of an entire Lebanese family, the seizure of five men in Baalbek and a new civilian death toll - 468 men, women and children - marked the 22nd day of Israel's latest war on Lebanon.

The Israelis claimed that helicopter-borne soldiers had seized senior Hizbollah leaders although one of them turned out to be a local Baalbek grocer. In a village near the city, Israeli air strikes killed the local mayor's son and brother and five children in their family.

The battle for Lebanon was fast moving out of control last night. Lebanese troops abandoned many of their checkpoints and European diplomats were warning their colleagues that militiamen were taking over the positions. Up to 8,000 Israeli troops were reported to have crossed the border by last night in what was publicised as a military advance towards the Litani river. But far more soldiers would be needed to secure so large an area of southern Lebanon.

The Israelis sent paratroopers to attack an Iranian-financed hospital in Baalbek in the hope of capturing wounded Hizbollah fighters but, after an hour's battle, got their hands on only five men whom the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, later called "tasty fish". The operation suggests what Hizbollah has all along said was the purpose of the Israeli campaign: to swap prisoners and to exchange Hizbollah fighters for the two Israeli soldiers who were captured on the border on 12 July.

Hizbollah continued to fire dozens of missiles over the border into Israel, killing one Israeli and wounding 21, with Israeli artillery firing shells back into Lebanon at the rate of one every two minutes. For the first time, a Hizbollah rocket struck the West Bank as well as the Israeli town of Beit Shean, the longest-range missile to have been fired so far. Yet still the West seems unable to produce an end to a war which is clearly overwhelming both Hizbollah and the Israelis.

Hizbollah obviously has far more missiles than the Israelis believed - there is not a town in northern Israel which is safe from their fire - and the Israeli army apparently has no plan to defeat Hizbollah other than the old and hopeless policy of occupying southern Lebanon. If Hizbollah had planned this campaign months in advance - and if the Israelis did the same - then neither side left room for diplomacy.

The French have wisely said they will lead a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon only after a ceasefire. And to be sure, they will not let this become a Nato-led army. France already has a company of 100 soldiers in the UN force in southern Lebanon, whose commander is himself French, but Paris, after watching the chaos in Iraq, has no illusions about Western armies in the Middle East.

Outside the shattered Dar al-Hikma hospital in Baalbek yesterday stood two burnt cars and a minivan, riddled with bullet-holes. Hizbollah, it seems, fought the Israelis there for more than an hour. The hospital, which includes several British-manufactured heart machines, was empty when the Israeli raid began and was partly destroyed in the fighting.

The Lebanese army, which has tried to stay out of the conflict - heaven knows what its 75,000 soldiers are supposed to do - was attacked again by the Israelis yesterday when they fired a missile into a car which they claimed was carrying a Hizbollah leader. They were wrong. The soldier inside died instantly, joining the 11 other Lebanese troops proclaimed as "martyrs" by the government from a logistics unit killed in an Israeli air raid two weeks ago.

The obscene score-card for death in this latest war now stands as follows: 508 Lebanese civilians, 46 Hizbollah guerrillas, 26 Lebanese soldiers, 36 Israeli soldiers and 19 Israeli civilians.

In other words, Hizbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas. The Lebanese Red Cross has found 40 more civilian dead in the south of the country in the past two days, many of them with wounds suggesting they might have survived had medical help been available.

An attack on a hospital, the killing of an entire Lebanese family, the seizure of five men in Baalbek and a new civilian death toll - 468 men, women and children - marked the 22nd day of Israel's latest war on Lebanon.

The Israelis claimed that helicopter-borne soldiers had seized senior Hizbollah leaders although one of them turned out to be a local Baalbek grocer. In a village near the city, Israeli air strikes killed the local mayor's son and brother and five children in their family.

The battle for Lebanon was fast moving out of control last night. Lebanese troops abandoned many of their checkpoints and European diplomats were warning their colleagues that militiamen were taking over the positions. Up to 8,000 Israeli troops were reported to have crossed the border by last night in what was publicised as a military advance towards the Litani river. But far more soldiers would be needed to secure so large an area of southern Lebanon.

The Israelis sent paratroopers to attack an Iranian-financed hospital in Baalbek in the hope of capturing wounded Hizbollah fighters but, after an hour's battle, got their hands on only five men whom the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, later called "tasty fish". The operation suggests what Hizbollah has all along said was the purpose of the Israeli campaign: to swap prisoners and to exchange Hizbollah fighters for the two Israeli soldiers who were captured on the border on 12 July.

Hizbollah continued to fire dozens of missiles over the border into Israel, killing one Israeli and wounding 21, with Israeli artillery firing shells back into Lebanon at the rate of one every two minutes. For the first time, a Hizbollah rocket struck the West Bank as well as the Israeli town of Beit Shean, the longest-range missile to have been fired so far. Yet still the West seems unable to produce an end to a war which is clearly overwhelming both Hizbollah and the Israelis.

Hizbollah obviously has far more missiles than the Israelis believed - there is not a town in northern Israel which is safe from their fire - and the Israeli army apparently has no plan to defeat Hizbollah other than the old and hopeless policy of occupying southern Lebanon. If Hizbollah had planned this campaign months in advance - and if the Israelis did the same - then neither side left room for diplomacy.
The French have wisely said they will lead a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon only after a ceasefire. And to be sure, they will not let this become a Nato-led army. France already has a company of 100 soldiers in the UN force in southern Lebanon, whose commander is himself French, but Paris, after watching the chaos in Iraq, has no illusions about Western armies in the Middle East.

Outside the shattered Dar al-Hikma hospital in Baalbek yesterday stood two burnt cars and a minivan, riddled with bullet-holes. Hizbollah, it seems, fought the Israelis there for more than an hour. The hospital, which includes several British-manufactured heart machines, was empty when the Israeli raid began and was partly destroyed in the fighting.

The Lebanese army, which has tried to stay out of the conflict - heaven knows what its 75,000 soldiers are supposed to do - was attacked again by the Israelis yesterday when they fired a missile into a car which they claimed was carrying a Hizbollah leader. They were wrong. The soldier inside died instantly, joining the 11 other Lebanese troops proclaimed as "martyrs" by the government from a logistics unit killed in an Israeli air raid two weeks ago.

The obscene score-card for death in this latest war now stands as follows: 508 Lebanese civilians, 46 Hizbollah guerrillas, 26 Lebanese soldiers, 36 Israeli soldiers and 19 Israeli civilians.

In other words, Hizbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas. The Lebanese Red Cross has found 40 more civilian dead in the south of the country in the past two days, many of them with wounds suggesting they might have survived had medical help been available.

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 01:50 AM

See how Pro-Israeli properganda machine here (in US) at works video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=propoganda+israel

This high quality documentry video (close to PBS film level) It last about one hour. Some of intervewer are actually Jewish peace movement people. So there are still many noble, good Jewish people!!

I think this author is either unknowing fall or actually willing participater.

Posted by: Zhou Zihuai | August 3, 2006 01:51 AM

Some of the posters on this thread claim:


"how did the dead rapidly develop rigor mortis?

by being dead for longer than portrayed.

Posted by: ams | August 2, 2006 04:10 PM

From APS: I used to gullibly believe the Arab claims, but then I read about the JENIN "MASSACRE". I remember Arab leaders like Saab Erekat trying to spin the lie that hundreds upon hundreds of Palestinians had been wantonly "massacred" in the city of Jenin.

But it turned out to be a complete falsehood. It turned out that maybe 50 people had been killed during warfare."

The following excerpt is from Wikipedia on Auschwitz:

For many years, a memorial plaque placed at the camp by the Soviet authorities stated that 4 million people had been murdered at Auschwitz. The Polish communist government also supported this figure. In the west, this figure was accepted, but some historians had their doubts.[6][7] After the collapse of the Communist government in 1989, the plaque was removed and the official death toll given as 1.1 million. Holocaust deniers have attempted to use this change as propaganda, in the words of Nizkor: "Deniers often use the 'Four Million Variant' as a stepping stone to leap from an apparent contradiction to the idea that the Holocaust was a hoax, again perpetrated by a conspiracy. They hope to discredit historians by making them seem inconsistent.


So the Holocaust never happened because the number MURDERED was reduced from 4Mil to 1.1M?????

So we don't have pictures of 6 MILLION murdered at the hand of the Nazis - does that give us license to deny this despicable atrocity?


Shame on YOU and the holocaust deniers for denying the truth and human tragedy.

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 01:55 AM

Yet more holyhoax propaganda from a "holocaust" industrialist!

Posted by: printer | August 3, 2006 02:08 AM

Zhou Zihuai-
The documentary you cited has some good underlying points, but it is a completely one-sided portrayal of the situation there. Beware of media you're pushing as propoganda - - - the other side can claim it's propoganda as well.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 02:14 AM

Printer-
Did you tear yourself away from your beloved JewWatch site? Have you cleansed your polluted mind yet? Hate to break it to you, buddy, but you're in the minority in the world. Most intelligent, well-educated and civilized people know and accept that the Holocaust occurred. Go back to your JewWatch site and bury your head in that sand, pal.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 02:16 AM

It is official:

the ICRC and Human Rights Watch dispute Lebanon and Hezbollah's death toll number in Qana placing it at 28 people rather than the claimed 53. The Organization said no evidence of Hezbollah presence. It is ok. Remember the "Jenin Massacre" path: 5000 civilians, 500 civilians, and finally 57 casualties out of which 27 were Hamas terrorists. Just give it a few days and as usual it will turn out to be that there were Hezbollah terrorists there as well.

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 3, 2006 02:36 AM

"Most intelligent, well-educated and civilized people know and accept that the Holocaust occurred." SM

Yeah, I bet these people include yourself and just about anyone who would blindly agree with you.

Anyone who does not agree with your propaganda is either uneducated, bigot, an anti-semite, etc.etc. etc.

You made an industry of atrocities committed against a very small number of jews
in germany. Not only do you ignore the atrocities committed against those who are not jewish but you also inflate the number of Jews killed beyond what any "educated" person with an ounce of common sense would find (of it)any more than a pathetic and cheap tool that you do not think twice about using constantly to milk the treasury of western nations and to instil false guilt in everyone of us.
The true holocaust is the millions of christians that you murdered in russia and now the christian (americans) that your are murdering on daily basis in your failed jewish/ zionist war in iraq. How about those whom you have been killing in palestine and lebanon for decades? How about the millions of iraqi children killed because of your deceipt and treachery? If the holocaust is such a valid "truth" as you like us to believe, why do you have to keep pushing the truthfulness of its occurence? If it were, I am sure people would see to it without such unending propganda to validate it.

Posted by: printer | August 3, 2006 02:41 AM

Despite the fact that this is two weeks old, I'm posting it for the people who claim that Hezbollah doesn't have weapons that can do much damage.

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/18/lebano13760.htm

******************************************
Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Attacks on Haifa Designed to Kill Civilians
Anti-personnel Ball Bearings Meant to Harm "Soft" Targets

(New York, July 18, 2006) - Hezbollah's attacks in Israel on Sunday and Monday were at best indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas, at worst the deliberate targeting of civilians. Either way, they were serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In addition, the warheads used suggest a desire to maximize harm to civilians. Some of the rockets launched against Haifa over the past two days contained hundreds of metal ball bearings that are of limited use against military targets but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property. The ball bearings lodge in the body and cause serious harm.

Hezbollah has reportedly fired more than 800 rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon over the past five days, killing 12 civilians and wounding many more. The vast majority of these rockets, as in past conflicts, have been Katyushas, which are small, have a range limited to the border area, and cannot be aimed with precision. Hezbollah has also fired some rockets in the current fighting that have landed up to 40 kilometers inside Israel.

"Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime," said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. "Hezbollah's use of warheads that have limited military use and cause grievous suffering to the victims only makes the crime worse."

On Monday, Human Rights Watch researchers inspected a three-story apartment building in Haifa's Bat Galim neighborhood after it was struck by a rocket around 3:00 p.m., causing extensive damage to the top two floors and wounding six residents, one of them seriously. They collected metal ball bearings that had pierced the walls of the apartment building across the street and car windshields up to one block away.

An Israeli ordinance removal expert at the scene told Human Rights Watch that the rocket used in the attack had a 240mm warhead. According to media reports, Hezbollah announced that it had fired dozens of Raad 2 and Raad 3 anti-tank missiles into Haifa in response to "aggressions against various Lebanese regions." An Israeli military official told the press on Sunday that Hezbollah had fired at least three Syrian-made Fajr-3 missiles.

On Sunday, a Hezbollah rocket killed eight workers in Haifa's main railway depot. Doctors who treated the wounded told Human Rights Watch that the rockets contained metal ball bearings. The ball bearings have increased the number and seriousness of injuries from rocket fire, the doctors said.

"In my medical opinion, they [these rockets] are supposed to injure as many people as possible," said Dr. Eran Tal-Or, director of the Surgical Emergency Room at Haifa's Ramban Hospital. "If you wanted to bring down a building, you would make a weapon with a heavier blast. And you wouldn't bother with the balls inside that don't do much harm to buildings; just to people."

Human Rights Watch interviewed three railway workers at the hospital wounded by the ball bearings in Sunday's lethal blast.

"There were three loud booms and I started running out of the depot," said Alek Vensbaum, 61, a worker at the Israel Train Authority. "One of the guys, Nissim, who was later killed, yelled at everyone to run to the shelter. The fourth boom got me when I was nearly at the door, and I was hit by shrapnel ... I was hit by ball bearing-like pieces of metal in my neck, hand, stomach and foot."

Sami Raz, 39, a railway electrician, said a ball bearing pierced his lung and lodged near his heart. "I had terrible difficulty breathing after I was hit," he said.

Twelve people were wounded in the attack, four of them seriously.

Under international humanitarian law, parties to an armed conflict may not use weapons in civilian areas that are so inaccurate that they cannot be directed at military targets without imposing a substantial risk of civilian harm. Such attacks can constitute war crimes. Deliberately attacking civilians is in all circumstances prohibited and a war crime.

Human Rights Watch has called on both Hezbollah and the Israeli military to respect the absolute prohibition against targeting civilians or conducting indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas.

Since fighting began on July 12, Israeli attacks have reportedly killed 209 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians. On Monday, Human Rights Watch called on the Israeli government to provide details about a bombing on July 15 that killed 16 civilians in a convoy near the village of Marwahin.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 02:47 AM

As America sleeps, Asia is awake, and eventually Europe will awaken. Good day and good morning, to our fine colleagues (in humanity) across the Pacific Ocean and across the Atlantic Ocean.

As the conflict between the Israeli military and the Hezbollah Islamic thugs continues, you absolutely must get the facts. Visit the following link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

Wikipedia is fair and unbiased. The articles are backed by quality references. Most importantly, Wikipedia prevents the numerous Islamic thugs and the occasion Israeli extremist from defacing or destroying the articles.

The Wikipedia article accurately describes the current situation. (1) Hezbollah Islamic thugs (who are well supported by the Lebanese people) initiated the current conflict by launching a military attack against the Israelis and kidnapped 2 Israelis. (2) The Israelis then responded aggressively. (3) the controversy is whether the Israelis have used excessive force.

Point #3 is a morality judgment. To accurately assign a moral assessment to the situation, frame the situation in your local context. Suppose that you are living in San Diego, California. A Mexican vigilante group called La Raza II insists on liberating California from the USA. La Raza II is tightly integrated into Mexican society, and the Mexican government refuses to disarm La Raza II.

La Raza II periodically fires missiles at San Diego. One missile blows up a house in your neighborhood. Then, La Raza II successfully kidnaps two teenage girls from the house next to your house. La Raza II drags both girls to Mexico and repeatedly rapes and tortures them.

What would you expect Washington to do? What would you do?

I know what I would do. I would demand that Washington use overwhelming and disproportionate force to invade Mexico, kill all the members of La Raza II, and de-capitate the Mexican government.

In other words, the Israelis are justified in exterminating Hezbollah.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 03:00 AM

athiest,
You don't sound like an athiest. Its very clear what you are: a deranged, hateful, subhuman zionist.

I actually found your picture online after doing a little search.


Here it is, take a look:

http://christianparty.net/jews.htm

Posted by: Gibson for President 08 | August 3, 2006 03:12 AM

Hey Gibson for President 08 -

Your post isn't clever or funny. In fact, it's downright disgusting. I hope that in the future your ability to post on this blog is blocked due to completely inappropriate material. You are the one who is deranged. Get back to your facility and don't forget to take your meds.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 03:34 AM

In addition to the following link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

also visit the additional link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Scroll down to the middle of the page, and you can read the history of other Islamic groups that have used Lebanon as a launching pad to attack the Israelis.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 03:47 AM

In addition to the following link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

also visit the additional link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Scroll down to the middle of the page, and you can read the history of other Islamic groups that have used Lebanon as a launching pad to attack the Israelis.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 03:50 AM

Angus,

you seem very angry. Why don't you come clean and tell us are what you are. Oh, wait, I think you already have.

Posted by: tom | August 3, 2006 03:53 AM

In addition to the following link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

also visit the additional link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Scroll down to the middle of the page, and you can read the history of other Islamic groups that have used Lebanon as a launching pad to attack the Israelis. The fair and unbiased Wikipedia article accurately describes what the Islamic thugs did and demonstrates that these thuggish military attacks ultimately forced the Israelis to respond aggressively.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 03:57 AM

In addition to the following link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

also visit the additional link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Scroll down to the middle of the page, and you can read the history of other Islamic groups that have used Lebanon as a launching pad to attack the Israelis. The fair and unbiased Wikipedia article accurately describes what the Islamic thugs did and demonstrates that these thuggish military attacks ultimately forced the Israelis to respond aggressively. The Israelis were 100% justified in occupying Lebanon in order to kill the Islamic thugs.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 04:01 AM

In addition to the following link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

also visit the additional link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Scroll down to the middle of the page, and you can read the history of other Islamic groups that have used Lebanon as a launching pad to attack the Israelis. The fair and unbiased Wikipedia article accurately describes what the Islamic thugs did and demonstrates that these thuggish military attacks ultimately forced the Israelis to respond aggressively. The Israelis were 100% justified in occupying Lebanon in order to kill the Islamic thugs.

Next, feast your eyes on the article at this link.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 04:27 AM

Next, feast your eyes on the article at this link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

Scroll down to about the middle of the page. You see a reference to a fair and just compromise that Washington proposed for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The compromise would give 100% of the Gaza Strip and 94% (yes, 94%) of the West Bank to the Palestinians to create an independent state. It would have a population density that is roughly the population density of Japan.

Jerusalem accepted the compromise. The Palestinians rejected it and, then, promptly proceeded to launch a series of brutal attacks against the Israelis.

How should you, an astute reader of this blog, deal with this nonsense? Look closely at the articles in this forum. Compare the information in those articles to the information in the Wikipedia articles. Notice how the information in the pro-Islam articles in this forum differs markedly from what the Wikipedia articles are stating. These pro-Islam articles are not being written by some freaks who are atypical of most Muslims. These pro-Islam articles represent what most Muslims believe.

Though the pro-Islam articles may have numerous fake names for the authors, ignore the names. They indicate nothing. The authors are all Muslims -- usually, ethnic Arabs.

Copy these articles. Show them to your children. Teach your children that Islamic morality differs radically from Western morality. Teach your children that the typical Muslim -- especially, an ethnic Arab Muslim -- acts and thinks in a way that is radically different from a non-Muslim. Do your best to instill this lesson in your children. Only in this way can you prepare future generations with the best mindset for dealing with the Islamic menace.

Posted by: atheist | August 3, 2006 04:31 AM

a couple of notes:
The jew/ zionist here who is trying to deceive us by pretending that he is an "athiest" must know that as much as he likes to bark, the true enemy of christians and christianity is israel and the world jewry.

athiest , aka (SM)..you will only be able to fool yourself!
Take a look at some of the hateful teachings of your judiasim...see how much hate towards christians is in your eveil talmud and hateful religion..
"Today the Talmud is the highest religious and ethical authority for observant Jews.

The Jewish Encyclopedia tells us Jesus was a bastard. 1 The Talmud says Mary, mother of Jesus, was an adulteress who "played the harlot with carpenters." 2 It says He was a fool who was excommunicated for the thought of seducing a woman. In His ensuing grief and confusion fell down and started worshipping a brick. 3 He was executed because He was a sorcerer and apostate. 4 He is now in hell, wallowing amid boiling hot excrement. 5 Jews are encouraged to denigrate the name of Jesus and "lecture upon it to his disadvantage." 6 Such clearly encourages the kind of anti-Christian propaganda emanating from the Jewish media today.

..."So, how should we respond this Easter as the Jewish media foxes sneaks into the sacred garden of Christian truth?

Give 'em both barrels!

End Notes:

1 Jewish Encyclopedia article on Jesus, p. 170.
2 Sanhedrin 106B.
3 Sanhedrin 107B.
4 Gittin 56B.
5 Sanhedrin 106B.
6 Foxman, p. 72.


Posted by: christian | August 3, 2006 04:56 AM

To Printer:
I'm kicking myself for even responding to your blatant nonsense regarding the Holocaust, but I'm going to do it anyway. This isn't even what this blog is about, but I feel compelled to respond to you.

"Anyone who does not agree with your propaganda is either uneducated, bigot, an anti-semite, etc.etc. etc.

Huh? The Germans documented EVERY detail of the war effort as well as their atrocities against Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and other groups during their ethnic cleansing campaign. The Germans freely admit their role and have paid reparations for years. If you're able to read and actually comprehend what you read, let me direct you to a site so you can educate yourself (although maybe you won't believe what you read there either):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial#Laws_against_Holocaust_denial
************************
Laws against Holocaust denial

Holocaust denial is illegal in ten European countries: Austria (article 3h Verbotsgesetz 1947), Belgium (Belgian Negationism Law), the Czech Republic under section 261, France (Loi Gayssot), Germany (§ 130 (3) of the penal code) also the Auschwitzlüge law section 185, Israel Law 5710-1950, Lithuania, Portugal Article 240 (2) thrown out at the same time as Spanish law, Romania, Slovakia, Spain (article 607) though this is now suspended as tribunal investigating the law's validity found it was a clear insult to civil rights and Switzerland (article 261bis of the Penal Code).

The following punishments are used with regards to Holocaust Denial Laws: Austria (min: six months, max: twenty years (violent), ten years (non-violent)), Belgium (min: fine, max: one year), Czech Republic (min: six months, max: two years), France (min: fine/one month, max: two years), Germany (min: fine/six months max: five years), Israel (min: one year, max: five years), Lithuania (min: fine/two years, max: ten years (violent), Poland (min: fine/three months, max: three years), Romania (min: six months, max: three years (public offender), five years (public servant offender), Slovakia (min: fine/one month, max: three years) and Switzerland (min: fine/one year, max: fifteen months).

Many of these countries also have broader laws against libel or inciting racial hatred, as do a number of countries that do not specifically have laws against Holocaust denial, such as Canada and the United Kingdom. The Council of Europe's 2003 Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber Crime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems includes an article 6 titled Denial, gross minimisation, approval or justification of genocide or crimes against humanity, though this does not have the status of law.

Of the countries that ban Holocaust denial, a number (Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, and Slovakia) were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and many of these also ban other elements associated with Nazism, such as Nazi symbols. Additionally, scholars have pointed out that countries that specifically ban Holocaust denial generally have legal systems that limit speech in other ways, such as banning hate speech. In the words of D. Guttenplan, this is a split between the "common law countries of the US, Britain, and former British colonies from the civil law countries of continental Europe. In civil law countries the law is generally more proscriptive. Also under the civil law regime the judge acts more as an inquisitor, gathering and presenting evidence as well as interpreting it"[46]
************************

So, it looks like, in your case, it's a good thing you don't live in those countries or you wouldn't be free to post these horrific rantings.

"You made an industry of atrocities committed against a very small number of jews in germany."

First of all, the Jews exterminated in Europe were from other countries besides Germany. Poland donated 3 million alone. Jews from Austria, France, Denmark and many other countries were rounded up and marched off to camps. I don't think 6 MILLION people is "a very small number." I'd like to see you collect 6 million of anything, and then we can talk about how small that number is. Add in the millions of others that the Germans killed, and you can count that until you drop dead.

"The true holocaust is the millions of christians that you murdered in russia and now the christian (americans) that your are murdering on daily basis in your failed jewish/ zionist war in iraq."

Huh? Do you want to provide a source for your comment about the "millions of christians that you murdered in russia?" Are you on drugs???

"If the holocaust is such a valid "truth" as you like us to believe, why do you have to keep pushing the truthfulness of its occurence? "

Because it's a motto of the remaining Jews on the planet and future generations of Jewish people to "NEVER FORGET."

I wish you would find another online outlet for your insane hatred against the Jewish people. This blog is for people who are (mostly) discussing the current Israel-Lebanon conflict in an informed and intellectual way. People who think as you do and who live in blind ignorance and hatred are a disgrace to the human population. You should be mighty ashamed of yourself and embarassed, too. I have nothing more to say to you as you don't rate as a member of the civilized world.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 04:59 AM

Christian:
First of all, athiest and I are two different people. Sorry to disappoint you. I guess detective work isn't your specialty. You know what they say about making assumptions.

Second, would you like to post a source for your ranting nonsense from the "Jewish Enclyclopedia?" There is absolutely NOTHING in the Talmud that speaks of those insane points you've posted. I think you need to study your own religion a little harder.

Geez - I wish you people would get some help!

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 05:05 AM

You keep insisting on the 6 mil number. First, that is a complete myth (as you well know in your heart). The number is much smaller..a few thousands that is. how that number mushroomed to 6 millions is just beyond fiction.

Second, your talk about holocaust denial laws and reparation..percisely confirms the point I made earlier..that your people made an industry of the suffering of a few thousand jews..by which you have succeeded in blackmailing the western nations for money, arms..and other anti-western laws.
Only people like you could pull of something like that.
Question: How long can the jews perpetrate the holocaust myth?
Answer: not much longer


Posted by: printer | August 3, 2006 05:39 AM

thanks for pointing out the lack of facts to these conspiracy theories. till facts itself reveal itself they should be taken as heresay..or pure spin

Posted by: www.xanga.com/kevkay | August 3, 2006 06:54 AM

[You keep insisting on the 6 mil number. First, that is a complete myth (as you well know in your heart). The number is much smaller..a few thousands that is. how that number mushroomed to 6 millions is just beyond fiction.]

Here in Germany, your average Nazi-sympathizer says it was 2 Million and not 6 Million.

This is because actual records show the killing of 2 Million Jews. The other 4 Million were added in to the figures by pro-Jewish journalists because they were only processed into the camp system and never heard from again.

So I agree with the Holocaust deniers on a point: those Jewish PR people are lying!! There is a big difference between being processed into camps and never heard from again...and actually being listed as shot and gassed and cremated.

These Zionist bastards are pretending that the other 4 Million were also shot, gassed or cremated when there is no direct evidence of that! The Germans kept excellent records and the Germans only recorded that the other 4 Million were processed into the camps (and never heard from again, but hey, maybe they wanted to get away from bad marriages so they changed their names).

Everyone knows the Germans couldn't kill people without documenting it officially.

So these excellent record keepers couldn't possibly have killed the other 4 Million or they would have said so with documents.

Sheesh. The pro-Jewish community just doesn't understand the need to back up their claims with hard evidence.

And to claim victim status when only 2 Million of them were killed insted of 6 Million...how outrageous.

Posted by: Jack Donaldson | August 3, 2006 07:29 AM

Current articles from the AP suggest that Israel takes responsibility for the Qana Massacre. The numbers are disputed, but the difference between 30 or 60 seems quite irrelevant. How many dead children and innocent civilians do you think it takes to make a Massacre. Does it really matter?

As I had suggested earlier, the statements that the Israeli government and Military made long before this happened indicated clearly that this type of thing was going to happen.

That the brave US senate actually TOOK OUT the language from the resolution they all signed that might have discouraged Israel from such wanton bloodlust only serves to spill the blood of those childred on our Governments hands as well.

with 600 civilians dead in lebanon and the entire country in shambles, doomed to struggle for decades before they can even return to their previous meager level of recovery from the last time this was done to their country by Israel, one has to wonder how long it will take our Image to recover in the eyes of the world. Will it ever be restored in the eyes of the lebanese people?

SM, you can not seriously be suggesting that people having to shut down businesses in some parts of Israel and having to sit in bomb shelters is in any way equivalent to having their entire infrastructure destroyed, a huge swath of land taken for the forseeable future by a multinational force, and casualties in the high hundreds and heading towards the thousands before this is over.

750,000 people displaced. ensured Chaos for many years to come. Israel Will recover in a few months after this ends.

regarding Angus,

heres a quote he provided to make a point,

"As Golda Meir once said about her Arab enemies: "We can perhaps forgive them for killing our children, but we can never forgive them for making us kill their children." How prescient."

So unforgivable that you have continued to kill "their" children for another 40 plus years....

See what I'm saying? It is not his opinion that Golda Meir spoke in such a manor, it is a fact. It indicates an attitude that has persisted in certain circles in Israel and the US that deserves to be criticized harshly.

In other similar forums, Angus has supported his opinions with a great many facts and references. If you can't find tehm you are simply not trying or not really interested.

Regarding WWIII, a good portion of the reason that I feel that Israel is pushing for it is because Israel's politicians come on fox news and essentially beg us to start it. talking about how dangerous Iran and Syria are and using the same lame rhetoric that Israel and the US are fighting the same fight. Look at Netanyahu's interviews. or those of the Israeli ambassador. It is as transparent as it could possibly be.

It is also the stated objective in the Clean Break paper that was created by feith,perle, ect, for the Israeli government. It also mentions this little move in Lebanon as well.

Please don't try to dazzle us with Israel's humanitarian record when it is simultaneously destrying the live of Millions of Palestinians and Lebanese.

Honestly, It is quite apparent that you simply cannot accept the obvious facts about Israel because it is too hard for any person with a conscience to swallow.

Read the clean break paper. watch fox news for a few nights, and then get back to me about whether Israel and the Neocons are trying to drag this country into WWIII.

One would have to be quite dim to ever believe that this action in lebanon could have a positive outcome regarding terrorism. Rather, it sets the stage for a great deal more bloodshed in the region, just like the Iraq war, which was also mentioned in clean break, and will only serve to justify wars against Iran and Syria. wars which do not serve the interests of the US at all.


J

Posted by: J | August 3, 2006 07:47 AM

Jack Donaldson,

I agree with much of what you say in your post- however, the 2 million number still seems a bit too high.

Here is a link to an excellent site with "real" info about those who were supposedly holocausted and those who escaped holocaustation so that they get to do the actual busness of holocauting of children in lebanon, palestine, iraq, etc.

http://www.ihr.org/

Posted by: jews-for-allah.org | August 3, 2006 07:58 AM

It is astonishing how, blinded by egalitarian ideals, contemporary Europe and America are unable to read through the diabolism of demagogue Islamic fundamentalists, who are gnawing at the very socio political fibre of these societies.

It is imperative that Islam be ransomed from the radicals by the ordinary Muslim who has been sub-humanly beaten to submission. Only if the average Muslim rises to condemn such religious bigotry, will there be peace in the Middle East.

The western media, swayed by an ill conceived philosophy of human rights and bizarre cosmopolitanism, is playing its cards all wrong.

S. Immanuel
# 5 Balar Kalvi Nilayam Avenue,
Vepery, Chennai - 600 007
India

Posted by: S. Immanuel | August 3, 2006 08:41 AM

"The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."


All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)"


Could have come right out of Goebbels mouth!

Posted by: Tom | August 3, 2006 08:52 AM

Rabbi S. Immanuel,

Do you have anything better to contribute than just this distorted, one-sided and bigotted view of yours? I am sure there is only one side to the M.E. conflict as far as you're concerned. We have plenty of one-sided views here in the U.S, courtesy of the zionist/jewish controlled "american" media, zionist-run government, and a few deranged theologians. So take my advice rabbi and keep your filth to yourself. Thanks for nothing.

Condom Leeza Lice
U.S. Secretary of State & Criminal Israeli Conspirator

Posted by: Condom Leeza Lice | August 3, 2006 08:59 AM

It's obvious that the world is dividing into two camps: The forces of Haqq (Truth) and the forces of batil (falsehood).

Posted by: Shaharazed | August 3, 2006 09:05 AM

Shaharazed,

I completely agree!


A true jew (jew for allah)
"the arab is our brother, there is no other"

Posted by: true jew | August 3, 2006 09:17 AM

Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents


The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."


All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)

(07.30.06, 17:37)


http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283720,00.html



Posted by: Thomas | August 3, 2006 09:22 AM

And things just keep getting more complicated for those who think that the Qana air strike is a cut-and-dried case of Israeli war crimes against an innocent population.

It seems that we've caught AFP photographers--including one of the ones accused of staging photos of the dead at Qana--in what appears to be other staged photos on that day and the day after the air strike.

The media's credibility in this matter is thin, and getting thinner. I'll be quite interested to see the final IDF and International Red Cross reports triggered by the questions that the blogging community has raised, and I'm ashamed for a press that couldn't find it within itself to dig a little deeper to answer these questions on their own.

Anderson Cooper has already admitted that his crew has been handled by Hezbollah media minders, and CNN's Nic Robertson has openly admitted his coverage on July 18 was stage-managed by Hezbollah from start to finish. Times' Christopher Allbritton has said that Hezbollah has copies of every journalist's passport, and has "hassled many and threatened one" to cover-up what journalists have seen of Hezbollah's rocket launching operations. CBS's Elizabeth Palmer admits to being handled by Hezbollah, and being allowed to only see what Hezbollah wants them to see. They are the voices of a few, expressing the experiences of the many. All of this is documented at http://web.israelinsider.com/

The problem seems to be that the world's media is Hezbollah's al-too-willing accomplice, echoing CNN under Eason Jordan, covering only what terrorists and madmen want covered under the treat of not being able to post anything at all.

The truth of what happened in Qana is still very much in doubt, but the "truthiness" of a complicit media seems already exposed.

Bob Owens
Confederate Yankee Blog
http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/
Former Washingtonpost.com guest blogger

Posted by: Bob Owens | August 3, 2006 10:01 AM

Picking at straws are we? You people are sick.

I use to be a supporter of Israel, until this recent conflict. After the Qanna murders, I began to reflect, straddling both sides, but now the above outrage by Morley, has put me on the side of the Arabs.

Now the world begins to see what the Palestinians have had to put up with for over 50 years. You have just lost my support you monsters!!!

Posted by: Alice | August 3, 2006 10:12 AM

Yeah, and I suppose it might be the Qana deaths were staged. You might be right.

While were on conspiracy theories maybe the UN observers who died was also staged.

Maybe even the whole Lebanon conflict was staged.

In fact, there is no war going on right now.

Posted by: Gary Steele | August 3, 2006 10:16 AM

I can see that bringing up the Jenin "Massacre" hoax has ruffled some feathers. However, the organizations that debunked the "Massacre" claims weren't some crazy fringe outfits; they were the UN and the BBC - two organizations that are in fact extremely Anti-Israel.

Yet even they had to admit that there was no "massacre" in Jenin. (see link below).

So, I think its fair to view Qana with a healthy degree of skepticism. After all, why should Hezbollah be any less likely to try and create a PR event than the Palestinians did with Jenin?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2165272.stm

Posted by: APS | August 3, 2006 10:16 AM

I guess all those weeping family were acting while they were pulling out their dead love ones from the rubble as the missile were raiining over their heads.


STEP ASIDE, TOM CRUISE!!!

Posted by: Jose | August 3, 2006 10:21 AM

"Unfortunately it was never even reported that way. There were NO families pulling these children out. Only rescue workers. There appears to have been no missile strike on this building but there was an Hezbollah arms cache that exploded."

Are you serious??? Maybe there weren't any parents pulling these children out because they were in the rubble themselves. We can all sit back and point accusations, and come up with theories about how it went, but there are still people suffering here.

Posted by: qasim | August 3, 2006 10:30 AM

"The Yesha Rabbinical Council announced in response to an IDF attack in Kfar Qanna that "according to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy."


All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians," the statement said. (Efrat Weiss)"


Could have come right out of Goebbels mouth!

Posted by: Tom | August 3, 2006 12:05 PM

Well then I hope for a lot of similar stages in Isreal with jews getting picked out of the rubble then.

Posted by: beef | August 3, 2006 12:06 PM


beef,
I share your sentiment, fully!

chicken

Posted by: chicken | August 3, 2006 12:09 PM

Jewish degenerates fabricate arguments to promote Israeli expansionism and inhumane cruelty that no enlightened or humane Jew would ever tolerate. The degenerate Jews - here and in Israel - have altogether too much visibility in our media and in our political landscape. I'll take Amira Haas, Gideon Levy, Tom Segev, Uri Avnery, and Gerald Kaufman any day over the Jewish degenerates who argue that the children at Qana were not killed by American bombs dropped by Israel.

Posted by: TimothyL | August 3, 2006 12:15 PM

Well then I hope for a lot of similar stages in Isreal with jews getting picked out of the rubble then.

Posted by: beef | August 3, 2006 12:06 PM

SICK SOB

__________________________________

I guess all those weeping family were acting while they were pulling out their dead love ones from the rubble as the missile were raiining over their heads.


STEP ASIDE, TOM CRUISE!!!

Posted by: Jose | August 3, 2006 10:21 AM

Unfortunately it was never even reported that way. There were NO families pulling these children out. Only rescue workers. There appears to have been no missile strike on this building but there was an Hezbollah arms cache that exploded.


_____________________________________


Picking at straws are we? You people are sick.

I use to be a supporter of Israel, until this recent conflict. After the Qanna murders, I began to reflect, straddling both sides, but now the above outrage by Morley, has put me on the side of the Arabs.

Now the world begins to see what the Palestinians have had to put up with for over 50 years. You have just lost my support you monsters!!!

Posted by: Alice | August 3, 2006 10:12 AM


What a load of poop. Fake comment by a fake poster. Why would someone who "suddenly" changes sides start talking about 50 years of Palestinian suffering. Liar. Fake.

Posted by: | August 3, 2006 12:52 PM

"What a load of..... Fake comment by a fake poster. Why would someone who "suddenly" changes sides start talking about 50 years of Palestinian suffering. Liar. Fake."

Get real and wake up! you have no idea what you are talking about, none! One can always "suddenly" realize that (s)he has been wrong, mislead, or on the wrong side of things for a very long time. That does not make a faker or a liar of anyone. Has it ever occured to anyone (you think) that after "suddenly" seeing the truth...that they say.."Oh! I have been wrong all that time! I must have been mislead, misinformed...etc.etc.etc. all those years..." Don't get too upset, but many people the world over are becoming aware of the savagery of your terrorist, illegal, child-killer zionist regime (aka ISRAHELL).

Posted by: american | August 3, 2006 01:07 PM

Now the world begins to see what the Palestinians have had to put up with for over 50 years. You have just lost my support you monsters!!!

Not talking about herself, talking about the world. How can that be fake?

Posted by: | August 3, 2006 01:38 PM

Tom wrote: (interestingly enough in the middle of a bunch of Athiest posts in the middle of the night)??

Angus,

you seem very angry. Why don't you come clean and tell us are what you are. Oh, wait, I think you already have.

Posted by: tom | August 3, 2006 03:53 AM

Ok Tom - I am very angry - it makes me angry to watch the news every day and see dead Women and Children - this morning I wake up and hear about a 13 year old boy killed by the IDF in Gaza last night - probably just one of the many deaths that occured yesterday.

It makes me angry that instead of taking responsibility for their actions they use aipac et al attack dogs to scurry around looking for anything and everything to discredit, disinform, blame shift, justify their latest outrage.

It makes me angry that this is a problem that could have been resolved years ago - the Saudis put an offer in the table 4 years ago!! 1967 Borders full acceptance and recognition - so why no shouts of joy from the Israeli side?

Could it be that the likudists(Kadima too) and their supporters in the US don't want peace?

Could it be that they really don't care what happens to their own people let alone their neighbours?

Could it be that there is so much money to be made of this ongoing conflict that they would rather keep it going ad nausem?

Could it be that they realise that if peace breaks out the armaments/financial gravy train ends?

Could it be that the angry old men of israeli politics realise that if peace breaks out they will be redundant?


Or could it be that they simply hate Arabs so much that they will never agree to having a vibrant, secular Palestinian state by their side?

For the record I believe that after WWII the founding of A homeland for the Jewish Diaspora was a moral imperitive unfortunatly the methods and founding of THE current homeland was an immoral disaster that still resonates in all our lives today.

Having said that it is too late to change that but certainly 1967 borders should be considered by all as a potential resolution.

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 01:51 PM

from a young age jewish children are taught their history...the massive suffering they have endured all the way back, to the present holocaust...they learn all these things from a young age...that the world does not like them.

i think if we understand it like that, then we can understand why there reaction is to deny qana. the think the world is trying to hurt them again.

the world is not out to get you israel...but at least admit to your mistakes...you killed some children. say you are sorry and that's it and don't do it again. trying to deny it doesn't make you look any better. the more you continue down this path, the more you lose credit...now i know there are jews and israeli's out there who don't agree with what is going on...make your voice heard because people's opinion of you is changing.

i was very concerned when i read the above article. from the beginning of this tragedy, israel has been putting forth different excuses...it is time to say the truth...

Posted by: concerned citizen of the world | August 3, 2006 01:58 PM

This is a dispositive and absolute rebuttal of EU Referendum's conspiracy theory, that proves their whole "timestamp" argument false. Try to get Richard North to comment on this, particularly ask him if he intentionally tried to deceive the public, because he must have definately seen that the timestamps were Eastern Time Zone.

http://kabobfest.blogspot.com/2006/08/slamming-israels-apologists.html

Posted by: Fadi | August 3, 2006 02:09 PM

Angus wrote: "Ok Tom - I am very angry - it makes me angry to watch the news every day and see dead Women and Children - this morning I wake up and hear about a 13 year old boy killed by the IDF in Gaza last night - probably just one of the many deaths that occured yesterday."

I agree with you completely. While the world has turned its attention to lebanon, we have forgotten about gaza. Another boy was shot in the head just while on his roof.

The Israeli's call up the homes in danger and give them a minute or two to evacuate before they do their destruction. A Palestinian American woman who was pregnant and visiting her family was shot at a checkpoint and killed. Another family while on the beach were murdered. This is not even skimming the surface.

Read a good article by Chris Hedges on Israel's Wall of Horrors:
http://www.alternet.org/story/39715/

Posted by: khaled | August 3, 2006 02:10 PM

Could you mentally ill people who deny the Holocaust find another blog to issue your rants? It's not the point of this blog. You people are disgusting.

Posted by: We know who you are | August 3, 2006 02:18 PM

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/745185.html

"As the Israel Air Force continues to investigate the [Qana] air strike, questions have been raised over military accounts of the incident.

"It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time.

"The Israel Defense Forces had said after the deadly air-strike that many rockets had been launched from Qana. However, it changed its version on Monday.

"The site was included in an IAF plan to strike at several buildings in proximity to a previous launching site. Similar strikes were carried out in the past. However, there were no rocket launches from Qana on the day of the strike."

Posted by: Ghandi | August 3, 2006 02:21 PM

Hey "Anger" -

Since you claim to be upset about innocent people being killed (especially women and children), are you upset about this?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746077.html

"Four people killed in Acre, three in village near Tarhisha
Seven people killed in rocket strikes in northern Israel

A barrage of Hezbollah rockets slammed into northern Israel on Thursday, killing at least seven Israelis. Three people were killed when a rocket crashed directly into a house near the northern town of Tarhisha, and another four were killed when a rocket exploded near their vehicle in Acre.

Three people were wounded in the strike on Acre, and another four were wounded when rockets hit the town of Horfesh. At least three more people were wounded in Kiryat Shmona and Tiberias. "

Your double standard for death is disturbing.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 02:24 PM

I neither accept nor reject the "conspiracy theory". At first I rejected it. But there is one question that defies explanation. In my opinion Jefferson Morley avoided asking it. Whether intentional or subconscious his ommission of a central question exposed that he is more interested in supporting his beliefs than discovering the truth. I have grown used to this from the media and now accept it as their S.O.P. The blogs are no better, but their variety is so much broader that it is possible to uncover more nuggets of truth underneath the layers of bias. Media still doesn't get that. The blogs aren't popular because they reflect a single point of view. The blogs are popular becuase they express the entire tapestry.

Anyway, back to "the conspiracy". Until this one question is answered those who rush to condemn Israel are being just as illogical as those who rush to defend them. The question is simple. "Why are there no men?"

Posted by: Richard | August 3, 2006 02:25 PM

Angus your recent post sounds like you might be questioning whether Israel really wants peace.

The more you analyze it, the more it appears to be a negative.

After they have finished putting Lebanon back another 20 years or more, the Hezbollah will come again to the forefront, the people will support them all around, and their will be fury to contend with. The Israeli's already have angry neighbors and this is not going to help the situation.

And it all started after 2 soldiers being held hostage. If Israel really wants peace, why didn't they do a trade? Because it is not that simple.

And if Israel doesn't want Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO and other terrorist groups to terrorize them, then they need to understand the source of such terror groups.

In reality these groups were born, because people's land were taken in Palestine, people lost their homes when Jewish settlers came to take them, people lost their livelihoods, some of them their family, some people lost their children. You don't think that is going to make people angry.

While Israel says they are fighting a war to exist, these groups are also defending the rights of their people to live, and survive.

Most people cannot understand this because they are not going through this.

If Israel wants peace truly, then act with more compassion and mercy to your neighbors and the palestinians. Don't kill children unprovoked? Don't take over more of people's homes and land?

Jewish people have a right to have a home, but build it in a way where you won't have these terror groups menacing you. Admit to some mistakes in going about it.

Some Palestinian are just looking for an apology about what happened. Just a simple apology by the Israeli government.

Posted by: an arab | August 3, 2006 02:35 PM

This was from SM (who I now recognise as Voice of Reason from another blog):

"Hey "Anger" -

Since you claim to be upset about innocent people being killed (especially women and children), are you upset about this?"

The simple answer is yes I am upset about this. I've said many times that people who kill civilians especially women and children are worthless.

It's not a double standard its just that the Israelis are killing hundreds more civilians than the hbs are.

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 02:39 PM

Why is there such a problem with moral equivalency for people who write in on this blog? Despite the tragic deaths of innocent civilians by Israel, Hezbollah is the main target. On the other side, Hezbollah is predominantly targeting civilians. It's been said repeatedly, and I cannot fathom why you people who support Hezbollah and condemn Israel cannot get that information through your heads. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that Hezbollah doesn't care if it hits the population of Christian Arabs and Druze who live in northern Israel? Anyone? Or is your rant just about the Jews because killing Jews is justified?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 02:44 PM

Because we went through the holocaust, we should know not to do that to another human being. Have we completely forgotten what happened to us? When I read posts that justify what is going on, I feel very sad.

You are marring the memory of the millions who were murdered.

That is why we have insane people saying the holocaust never happened. It's time to stop this.

Posted by: Jacob | August 3, 2006 02:45 PM

Yes, but Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians. The tragic death of these people is horrible. On the other hand, Hezbollah IS targeting civilians. How is that morally equivalent?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 02:46 PM

SM (aka: voice of reason, athiest, etc.)wrote:

"Despite the tragic deaths of innocent civilians by Israel, Hezbollah is the main target. On the other side, Hezbollah is predominantly targeting civilians"

How interesting: and sepite all of that nonsense of yours, you have over 900 lebanese civilians murdered by your zionist regime compared with a total of about 50 zionist israelis more than two thirds of which are zionist soldiers. I guess its those damn "smart" bombs designed to specifically target civilains.

Posted by: printer | August 3, 2006 02:50 PM

"Yes, but Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians. The tragic death of these people is horrible. On the other hand, Hezbollah IS targeting civilians. How is that morally equivalent?"

Israel doesn't say it is targetting civilians but anyone who has been watching the news can see that they are. Not everyone is honest though. Hezbollah says it, but Israel lies.

If Israel wasn't targetting civilians then why were ambulances and red cross trucks bombed. Why were people fleeing their homes, after Israel told them to evacuate, bombed? You tell me, whether Israel is targetting civilians. They can't be that blind not to see an ambulance, and why exactly would they target UN people.

Posted by: sharon williams | August 3, 2006 02:53 PM

mel gibson was right-wars and everything else revolves around jews-the whole world revolves around us jews-i love it. cant wait for moshiach to come

Posted by: sammy | August 3, 2006 03:15 PM

We did no wrong - What a shocker!!

"Also Thursday, the Israeli military announced it had completed an inquiry into the airstrike Sunday on the Lebanese town of Qana that killed dozens of civilians--most of them children-- huddled in a three-story building.

In a statement, the military expressed regret for the incident but blamed Hezbollah for using civilian areas to facilitate attacks, including in Qana. The statement said the building was targeted in accordance with military guidelines, but that authorities mistakenly believed no civilians were inside and would not have authorized the attack had their information been accurate.

Although the Lebanese government said 57 people died in the airstrike, a Human Rights Watch report published Wednesday said the confirmed death toll thus far was 28 people, 16 of them children. Thirteen people are still missing, the report said.

The watchdog group labeled Israel's inability to distinguish between civilians and combatants a "systematic failure," and said that failure cannot be blamed on "wrongful Hezbollah practices."


Interestingly I see no mention here of conspiracy either.

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 03:20 PM

It occurs to me that the best way to shut down and rob the legitimacy from a serious criticism of Israeli policy would be to start filling any forum that might be making a few good points with completely off topic and over the top vile racism and holocaust denial. It would make any new readers think that this whole line of discourse is not worth pursuing and is somehow anti semitic in nature.
It would be like willingly providing all the material necessary for a "guilt by association" job.

So if's that's your intention, keep it up your doing a really great job.


J

Posted by: J | August 3, 2006 03:29 PM

From the AP, Insights from king Abdullah, regarding the current Israeli offensive in Lebanon:


Jordan's King Abdullah II, a key U.S. ally, issued an ominous warning to America and Israel that the prolonged battle in Lebanon has weakened moderates all across the Mideast. Even if Hezbollah is destroyed, the hostility toward Israel is so high that another such group may pop up in Syria, Egypt, Iraq -- or even his own country, King Abdullah II, a key U.S. ally, said, according to published reports.

"The Arab people see Hezbollah as a hero because it's fighting Israel's aggression," he said. "This is a fact that the U.S. and Israel must realize: As long as there is aggression, there's resistance and there's popular support for this resistance."

Israel is creating an environment of war without end at the expense of the US.

I wonder how much this will inspire recuitment and support of the insurgency in Iraq? I think it can be reasonably asserted that Israel has made the job in Iraq even harder than they had made it before.

What ever happened to winning the hearts and minds of the Arab and Muslim world?


J

Posted by: J | August 3, 2006 03:32 PM

They are being won. Just like prizes at a shooting gallery. Kill a Muslim, keep his heart and mind.

Posted by: | August 3, 2006 03:33 PM

That is very funny. . . except that it really isn't.

Posted by: tom | August 3, 2006 03:34 PM

J-
Interesting question you asked. Why does the entire world NEED to win the hearts and minds of the Arab and Muslim world? About what other ethnic or religious group would you ask that question? Do we need to win over the Chinese? The Venezuelans? The Mexicans? I'm really not trying to be sarcastic. I am trying to understand your point.

Aside from Israel handing over the West Bank, I am curious to know exactly what the world population of Arabs and Muslims really wants. While I don't group all Muslims into the category of radical Islamists, you can't deny that these groups of fundamentalists are on the rise. What is it that they want from the rest of the world?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 03:36 PM

What is it that they want from the rest of the world?

Better treatment of the Palestinians for one.
Acceptance of their own mistakes, instead of blaming others, for another.

Posted by: | August 3, 2006 03:40 PM

Better treatment of the Palestinians rests with the entire Arab world as well as with Israel. Are you familiar with how Palestinians are treated in many of the other Arab nations? Lebanon has reportedly treated them the worst of the Arab nations.

Read below from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_refugee#Treatment_in_Arab_countries):

Jordan

After the 1967 Six-Day War, during which Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan, Palestinian Arabs living there continued to have the right to apply for Jordanian passports and live in Jordan. Palestinian refugees actually living in Jordan were considered full Jordanian citizens as well. In July 1988, King Hussein of Jordan announced the severing of all legal and administrative ties with the West Bank. In practice, what this meant was that any Palestinian domiciled on Jordanian soil would remain to be considered Jordanian. However, any person domiciled in the West Bank would have no right to Jordanian citizenship.

Jordan still issues passports to Palestinians in the West Bank, but they are for travel purposes only and do not constitute an attestation of citizenship. Palestinians in the West Bank who had regular Jordanian passports were issued these temporary ones upon expiration of their old ones, and entry into Jordan by Palestinians is time-limited and considered for tourism purposes only. Any Jordanian citizen who is found carrying a Palestinian passport (of the sort issued by the Palestinian Authority and registered by Israel for validity) has his/her Jordanian citizenship revoked by Jordanian border agents.

More recently, Jordan has restricted entry of Palestinians from the West Bank into its territory, fearing that many Palestinians would try to take up temporary residence in Jordan during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. This has caused many hardships for Palestinians, especially since 2001 when Israel discontinued permission for Palestinians to travel through its Ben Gurion International Airport, and traveling to Jordan to fly out of Amman became the only outlet for West Bank Palestinians to travel.

Saudi Arabia

An estimated 500,000 Palestinians are living in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as of December 2004. They are not allowed to hold or even apply for Saudi citizenship, as the new law passed by Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers in October 2004 (which entitles expatriates of all nationalities who have resided in the kingdom for ten years to apply for citizenship, with priority being given to holders of degrees in various scientific fields ) has one glaring exception: Palestinians will not be allowed to benefit from the new law because of Arab League instructions barring the Arab states from granting them citizenship in order "to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland".

Discrimination in Lebanon

Lebanon barred Palestinian Arabs from 73 job categories including professions such as medicine, law and engineering. They are not allowed to own property. Unlike other foreigners in Lebanon, they are denied access to the Lebanese healthcare system. The Lebanese government refused to grant them work permits or permission to own land. The number of restrictions have been mounting since 1990.[23] In June 2005, however, the government of Lebanon removed work restrictions from all Lebanese-born Palestinians, enabling them to apply for work permits and work in the private sector. [24]

Where is the world outcry about these abuses towards Palestinians by their Arab brethren? Why are these issues ignored? If you're going to hold Israel responsible, you must hold the other Arab nations accountable as well. Espcially the oil rich nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that would certainly be able to provide better circumstances for the Palestinians in terms of education and reducing the cycle of poverty.

Does anyone care to comment?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 03:52 PM

Middle East News Addict, you need to get your stuff from better sources. Your sources are obviously cutting and adulterating.

Posted by: Gus | August 3, 2006 03:54 PM

"Where is the world outcry about these abuses towards Palestinians by their Arab brethren? Why are these issues ignored?"

The Palestinians are treated better in any Arab country than any Arab (including those with American Citizenship) is treated in Israel.

The Arabs are not worried about their treatment of other Arabs, what they see is the terrible things the Israeli's have done.

Let's try an example: If your children are misbehaving in a public place, you would discipline them in the manner you see fit.
Now imagine you are in the same place with the same occurance, and a person with whom you have had bad faith in the past walks past and begins to discipline your children. How do you feel? How do you respond?

Another example: When the Israelis took the blood that had been donated by Ethiopian Jews and poured it into the gutters, because they (the Israelis) did not consider it pure Jewish blood, there was little to no outcry, because it was Jews treating other Jews badly. Now what would have happened if the Ethiopian Government had done the same things for the same reasons? Can you see the outcry of Anti-Semitism that would result?

Posted by: Thom | August 3, 2006 04:09 PM

Starting right off with his first paragraph, Mr. Morley's facts are just plain wrong. Where is he getting his "facts" - Hezbollah HQ? What used to be the Fourth Estate is now the Fifth Column.

Posted by: Catttt | August 3, 2006 05:20 PM

In response to Thom | August 3, 2006 04:09 PM

The Ethiopian Jews/donated blood issue was handled badly - more than 10 years ago. That does not change the fact that anyone from Africa falls into a high risk group for AIDS, as far as the Red Cross is concerned.

The Red Cross of the United States not only will not accept the blood of anyone who is from Africa - they will not accept the blood of anyone who has ever been to Africa or who has ever had sexual relations with anyone who has ever been to Africa. This is not a racist thing on the part of the Red Cross - it is the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Posted by: Catttt | August 3, 2006 05:34 PM

"Starting right off with his first paragraph, Mr. Morley's facts are just plain wrong."

Instead of sweeping statements, how about presenting the specific facts you dispute, so the rest of us can have an oppurtunity to analyze them?

P.S: Try and present evidence contrary to the "plain wrong" facts we can analyze as well.

Posted by: Zain | August 3, 2006 05:39 PM

It's fine if Jefferson Moreley wants to scrutinize what Israel or blogs say, as they seek the truth. But he should have at least as much scrutiny for the words and pictures of proven pathological liars like Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Queda or their "stringers" who work for the AP, Reuters, or AFP.

Posted by: One_American | August 3, 2006 05:42 PM

Wow, media gets exposed AGAIN and digs in it's heels for CYA AGAIN. Big shock.

Why not address the substance of the charges?

Here is the actual charges that you keep ignoring and CYAing

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21918_Washington_Post_Echoes_Lefty_Talking_Points_on_Qana&only

Posted by: Mark | August 3, 2006 05:43 PM

I'm greatly concerned as to how many thousands of future Bush'es (God bless the fearless leader) and Howards (even more fearless) were created by 9/11 and how many MORE such God-blessed-fearless- leaders are being created across the productive, ingenious, free, tolerant, industrious, civilized, infidel world , by

a) stubborn islamist arrogance and indifference to the infidels' suffering everywhere, and the infidels' human rights and right to live in peace according to their own beliefs.

b) islamists' repeated and amusing threats - innuendos, insinuations aimed at intimidating the infidel world into submission ("Islam" means submission...not "peace") - of "thousands of more bin ladens".

Looking at the kind, just-wannabe-rich-and-happy nebraskan, albertan, indian, chinese, Filipino, Thai farm boys of today, it makes one wonder just what this kind of UNRELENTING islamic provocation and bullying tactics they read about in their newspapers..EVERY DAMN DAY...will turn THEM into?

Potentially somewhat inconvenient for the islamic world, etc.

Posted by: Infidel | August 3, 2006 05:45 PM

So the conspiracy theories and lies start to fall apart.

J btw I think you are right - there is definately a pattern to these blogs - first of all there is a large number of people (usually the same ones with different "names") attacking the message - when that starts to fall apart they attack the messenger - then there is an effort to parse the argument into minutia spinning away from the real topics - then there seems to be a batch of nazi types and most people tune out - interestingly today the lies that were being spread are starting to fall apart as the following article from International Herald Tribune shows:

Also I appreciate the support against the aipac shills - I've been busy the past couple of days and have not had time to respond in detail.

The Article"

The voice of Mohammed Shalhoub, 61, a farmer from Qana, still quivers with shock and exhaustion. He was in a basement shelter with more than 60 relatives when two Israeli bombs hit, killing at least 28, including 16 children. As I interview him in hospital, relatives arrive with more news of the victims. A woman starts screaming as she looks at the pictures of the dead and Mohammed's eyes well up with tears.

But his voice turns cold with impotent fury when I ask if there were Hezbollah fighters near the home when the bombs fell. "If the Israelis really saw the rocket launcher, where did it go?" he asks. "We showed Israel our dead; why don't the Israelis show us the rocket launchers?"

The world doesn't seem to put much credence in the testimonies of Lebanese civilians, preferring to buy generic Israeli statements about Hezbollah using civilians as human shields, "precision strikes" at terrorist targets, and a "proportionate" bombing campaign. But after days of contradictory statements about Qana, the Israeli military was reported as saying it had no indication of rocket fire or Hezbollah presence in Qana on the day of the strike, and had bombed the area in retaliation for rockets launched days earlier.

Israel's claims about pin-point strikes and proportionate responses are pure fantasy. As a researcher for Human Rights Watch, I've documented civilian deaths from bombing campaigns in Kosovo and Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. But these usually occur when there is some indication of military targeting: high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's regime present in a house just before it is hit, for example, or an attack against militants that causes the collateral deaths of many civilians.

In Lebanon, it's a different scene. Time after time, Israel has hit civilian homes and cars in the southern border zone, killing dozens of people with no evidence of any military objective.

My notebook overflows with reports of civilian deaths. On July 15, Israeli fire killed 21 people fleeing from Marhawin, including 13 children; no weapons, no Hezbollah nearby. On July 16, an Israeli bomb killed 11 civilians in Aitaroun, including seven members of a Canadian-Lebanese family on vacation; again, no Hezbollah, no weapons. On July 19, at least 26 civilians were killed in Srifa when Israeli bombs flattened an entire neighborhood; no evidence of military targets. On July 23, at least seven civilians were killed when Israeli warplanes bombed dozens of cars trying to flee the south after receiving Israeli instructions to evacuate immediately; no indication of weapons convoys in the vicinity. The list goes on, with about 500 civilians killed so far.

Israel says the fault for the massive civilian death toll lies with Hezbollah, claiming its fighters are hiding weapons inside civilian homes and firing them from civilian areas. But even if the Israeli forces could show evidence of Hezbollah activity in some civilian areas, it could not justify the extensive use of indiscriminate force that has cost so many lives.

Not only has Israel failed to distinguish between military and civilian targets; its own officials suggest that they have decided any civilian still in the south is fair game. Last week, Justice Minister Haim Ramon reportedly said, "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah."

So if you are too frightened to flee southern Lebanon, or are sick, injured or too poor to pay the more than $1,000 it now costs to get out, you are a "terrorist" and eligible for attack. As for those who heeded the Israeli warnings to flee, the roads are littered with bombed civilian cars, many with white flags still attached to their windows. After all, the Israelis tell us, they could have been transporting arms. Israel is prefabricating excuses to justify killing civilians.

Tragedies happen in the fog of war, but Israel's strikes on civilians can't all be excused as accidents or mistakes. The unacceptably high death toll is the natural result of Israel's failure to distinguish between civilian and military targets, and Israel is responsible for the deaths.

Israel must target its fight on Hezbollah, not Lebanese civilians. To do otherwise is not only wrong, but may very well be criminal, and Israel's leaders, and its friends elsewhere in the world, must face up to this harsh reality.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, is co-author of the report "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon," released Thursday.
TYRE, Lebanon The voice of Mohammed Shalhoub, 61, a farmer from Qana, still quivers with shock and exhaustion. He was in a basement shelter with more than 60 relatives when two Israeli bombs hit, killing at least 28, including 16 children. As I interview him in hospital, relatives arrive with more news of the victims. A woman starts screaming as she looks at the pictures of the dead and Mohammed's eyes well up with tears.

But his voice turns cold with impotent fury when I ask if there were Hezbollah fighters near the home when the bombs fell. "If the Israelis really saw the rocket launcher, where did it go?" he asks. "We showed Israel our dead; why don't the Israelis show us the rocket launchers?"

The world doesn't seem to put much credence in the testimonies of Lebanese civilians, preferring to buy generic Israeli statements about Hezbollah using civilians as human shields, "precision strikes" at terrorist targets, and a "proportionate" bombing campaign. But after days of contradictory statements about Qana, the Israeli military was reported as saying it had no indication of rocket fire or Hezbollah presence in Qana on the day of the strike, and had bombed the area in retaliation for rockets launched days earlier.

Israel's claims about pin-point strikes and proportionate responses are pure fantasy. As a researcher for Human Rights Watch, I've documented civilian deaths from bombing campaigns in Kosovo and Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. But these usually occur when there is some indication of military targeting: high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's regime present in a house just before it is hit, for example, or an attack against militants that causes the collateral deaths of many civilians.

In Lebanon, it's a different scene. Time after time, Israel has hit civilian homes and cars in the southern border zone, killing dozens of people with no evidence of any military objective.

My notebook overflows with reports of civilian deaths. On July 15, Israeli fire killed 21 people fleeing from Marhawin, including 13 children; no weapons, no Hezbollah nearby. On
TYRE, Lebanon The voice of Mohammed Shalhoub, 61, a farmer from Qana, still quivers with shock and exhaustion. He was in a basement shelter with more than 60 relatives when two Israeli bombs hit, killing at least 28, including 16 children. As I interview him in hospital, relatives arrive with more news of the victims. A woman starts screaming as she looks at the pictures of the dead and Mohammed's eyes well up with tears.

But his voice turns cold with impotent fury when I ask if there were Hezbollah fighters near the home when the bombs fell. "If the Israelis really saw the rocket launcher, where did it go?" he asks. "We showed Israel our dead; why don't the Israelis show us the rocket launchers?"

The world doesn't seem to put much credence in the testimonies of Lebanese civilians, preferring to buy generic Israeli statements about Hezbollah using civilians as human shields, "precision strikes" at terrorist targets, and a "proportionate" bombing campaign. But after days of contradictory statements about Qana, the Israeli military was reported as saying it had no indication of rocket fire or Hezbollah presence in Qana on the day of the strike, and had bombed the area in retaliation for rockets launched days earlier.

Israel's claims about pin-point strikes and proportionate responses are pure fantasy. As a researcher for Human Rights Watch, I've documented civilian deaths from bombing campaigns in Kosovo and Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq. But these usually occur when there is some indication of military targeting: high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's regime present in a house just before it is hit, for example, or an attack against militants that causes the collateral deaths of many civilians.

In Lebanon, it's a different scene. Time after time, Israel has hit civilian homes and cars in the southern border zone, killing dozens of people with no evidence of any military objective.

My notebook overflows with reports of civilian deaths. On July 15, Israeli fire killed 21 people fleeing from Marhawin, including 13 children; no weapons, no Hezbollah nearby. On July 16, an Israeli bomb killed 11 civilians in Aitaroun, including seven members of a Canadian-Lebanese family on vacation; again, no Hezbollah, no weapons. On July 19, at least 26 civilians were killed in Srifa when Israeli bombs flattened an entire neighborhood; no evidence of military targets. On July 23, at least seven civilians were killed when Israeli warplanes bombed dozens of cars trying to flee the south after receiving Israeli instructions to evacuate immediately; no indication of weapons convoys in the vicinity. The list goes on, with about 500 civilians killed so far.

Israel says the fault for the massive civilian death toll lies with Hezbollah, claiming its fighters are hiding weapons inside civilian homes and firing them from civilian areas. But even if the Israeli forces could show evidence of Hezbollah activity in some civilian areas, it could not justify the extensive use of indiscriminate force that has cost so many lives.

Not only has Israel failed to distinguish between military and civilian targets; its own officials suggest that they have decided any civilian still in the south is fair game. Last week, Justice Minister Haim Ramon reportedly said, "All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah."

So if you are too frightened to flee southern Lebanon, or are sick, injured or too poor to pay the more than $1,000 it now costs to get out, you are a "terrorist" and eligible for attack. As for those who heeded the Israeli warnings to flee, the roads are littered with bombed civilian cars, many with white flags still attached to their windows. After all, the Israelis tell us, they could have been transporting arms. Israel is prefabricating excuses to justify killing civilians.

Tragedies happen in the fog of war, but Israel's strikes on civilians can't all be excused as accidents or mistakes. The unacceptably high death toll is the natural result of Israel's failure to distinguish between civilian and military targets, and Israel is responsible for the deaths.

Israel must target its fight on Hezbollah, not Lebanese civilians. To do otherwise is not only wrong, but may very well be criminal, and Israel's leaders, and its friends elsewhere in the world, must face up to this harsh reality.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, is co-author of the report "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon," released Thursday.

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 05:47 PM

Hey, Anus-

Stop posting entire articles of baseless screed and wasting bandwidth. A link will do.

Posted by: One_American | August 3, 2006 05:56 PM

Angus, you're an anti-Semitic swine. GFY.

Posted by: Anti-commie | August 3, 2006 05:57 PM

This was nothing but a Hezbo-wood production.

After starting out by crowing about Hezbollah's `growing support' - a self hating and absurd position for any American to take, considering how many Americans Hezbollah has murdered - Morley bases his `debunking' of the Hezbo-wood story on the following: ... that a number of the civilians killed were from two extended families the Hashems and the Shalhoubs, who lived in the area and therefore could not have been `trucked in' by Hezbollah.

He then asks the following questions:

`Who killed the Hashems and Shalhoubs, if it wasn't an Israel bomb?

How did Hezbollah truck in bodies to the Qana site without the pervasive Israeli aerial surveillance catching it on film? '

And finally `What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?'

First of all, Morley has no proof that it WAS an Israeli bomb. The building collasped eight hours after being hit. Why were the civilians prevented from leaving, a natural reaction? Why no Hezbollah fighters or equipment found in the rubble? Were they removed and the building detonated by Hezbollah afterwards? Why were there no rescue operations mounted until the photographers arrived, after an early morning wakeup call by Hezbollah? Why was the roof intact if the building was hit by an air strike?

Why no mention of the grotesque use of the dead bodies of children for hours in various poses as Hezbo-wood props..something borne out by the date stamps on the photos?

Why no mention of the warcrime of Hezbollah using civilians as human shields?

And finally..what is it about Jews defending themselves that makes Morley uncomfortable?

Posted by: Joshuapundit | August 3, 2006 05:59 PM

It's so odd that this article would condemn Israel for accidentally killing civilians ("...Hezbollah wins support throughout the Middle East in the aftermath of the Israeli airstrike that killed at least 57 Lebanese civilians") while not saying a word against Hezbollah, which purposely kills as many civilians as it can. It really makes it appear that Mr. Morley is biased in favor of the intentional killers of civilians, Hezbollah.

Posted by: Vik Rubenfeld | August 3, 2006 06:05 PM

Thom-
"The Palestinians are treated better in any Arab country than any Arab (including those with American Citizenship) is treated in Israel."

You're comment is incorrect. You obviously haven't researched this issue very much. There are plenty of examples of Palestinians being denied basic rights in Arab countries.

And your comments about Ethiopian Jews is totally off the mark. How about reading a little more before you post here?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 06:17 PM

Hallelujah! The French Foreign Minister criticizes Iran. To all of you who agree that Israel should be obliterated...

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525799132&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

"Days after calling Iran a "stabilizing" force in the Middle East, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy issued a statement harshly criticizing Iran's call on Thursday to destroy Israel.

"I totally condemn these words," Douste-Blazy said on France-Inter radio, in response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statement Thursday that the solution to the current Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel.

"Peace and security in Lebanon and its borders has to be preserved by the Lebanese government and people. Deployment of foreign forces is not acceptable in any shape unless it is just, based on UN rules and preserves the unity and territorial integrity of Lebanon," he said.

The words are "absolutely unacceptable on anyone's part, especially from a head of state," Douste-Blazy said.

Douste-Blazy said that the crisis had presented an opportunity for Iran to "show that it can play a positive and stabilizing role in the region," but added that Ahmadinejad's statement "confirmed that this is not the case." "

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 06:25 PM

Thom -
One more thing after re-reading your post...
"If your children are misbehaving in a public place, you would discipline them in the manner you see fit.
Now imagine you are in the same place with the same occurance, and a person with whom you have had bad faith in the past walks past and begins to discipline your children. How do you feel? How do you respond?"

So, it looks like you think it's perfectly appropriate how poorly Arab countries treat the Palestinians. But, if Israel treats them in an unfair way, that deserves more criticism. Very interesting double standard there. Don't think I don't see the underlying issue at hand here.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 06:33 PM

Gutless is Seattle wrote:

Hey, Anus-

Stop posting entire articles of baseless screed and wasting bandwidth. A link will do.

Posted by: One_American | August 3, 2006 05:56 PM


Wow your word play is so clever - good work - I guess you feel all better now you have - guess I could drop to your level and call you a gutless little worm but I'll resist the urge.....but since you ask for the link here it is ...


http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/03/opinion/edbouck.php


and anti-commie whats with the "swine" bit?? also didn't anyone tell you the 80s and communism are done ...find a new horse to flog (somehow I can imagine thats up your alley - so to speak)

I recommend you both try zoloft - I hear it works wonders for zero personality disorder...

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 06:40 PM

"Meanwhile, the Israeli military inquiry said that intelligence had indicated the building was being used by Hezbollah and was "not inhabited by civilians."

"Had the information indicated that civilians were present in the building, the attack would not have been carried out," it said."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/02/qana.inquiries/index.html

The Israeli's have accepted that they carried out the attack and Lebanon has accepted the new casualty figures released by the Red Cross. Where is the conspiracy when Israel itself has accepted it bombed Qana?

The question now revolves around how much time (weeks, days..) had passed since the alleged Hizbullah activity took place (is it ever did).

Posted by: Zain | August 3, 2006 06:53 PM

Please watch THIS from FR2 - notice the guy shown after 4 mins and 27 seconds:

http://jt.france2.fr/20h/index.php3?jt=3

This is what Mr. Morley wrote:
"On another site, British bloggers asserted that a "Hezbollah official" http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2006/07/who-is-this-man.html took control of the scene to orchestrate false photo opportunities with the dead bodies. "

As shown in the video, where he gives a tour of his home, u see numerous hizbollah posters of Nazrallah as well as Hizbollah diplomas.

The very same man carrying one of the children, is with Hizbollah !!!!!

Posted by: Mr. News | August 3, 2006 07:00 PM

Methinks Mr. Morley ought to address the arguments of those with whom he disagrees rather than insult them, as the editor's note appended to his article suggests.

It is foolish to assume that Hizballah would not stage civilian deaths as propaganda. The terrorists launch attacks while embedded among civilians in order to achieve precisely the same ill-gotten media attention.

Posted by: David B. Greenberg | August 3, 2006 07:12 PM

"To Israel's south, in the second front of its offensive against Islamic militants, Israel sent dozens of tanks into the Gaza Strip as aircraft fired at clusters of militants. The heavy clashes killed eight Palestinians, including an 8-year-old boy."

of course this is more staging to sway world opinion against israel - right?

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 08:07 PM

Hypothesis: Israel is morally superior to Hezb and Hamas and Fatah.

Thought experiments and facts that prove the above:

1. If Jews had Katyushas and rifles against Moslems with jets and tanks, I am sure the Moslems would be overjoyed to bomb and murder every Jew in sight without regard to civilian/soldier distinctions. (And let's have a laugh at whether the UN or EU bodies would condemn the Moslems' indiscriminate slaughter).

2. If Israel were targeting civilians, a lot more than 900-1000 would be dead after 2+ weeks.

3. When Jewish civilians are murdered, officials of the Israeli gov't do not parade dead bodies in front of collaborating and sympathetic AFP/AP/Reuters stringers.

I doubt the above arguments will sway the committed anti-Israel bigots.

Yes Israel is killing civilians in southern Lebanon, but I do not consider those to be war crimes.

I do not believe anything the toads from Human Rights Watch say given that they are just a bunch of anti-American and anti-Israeli activists.

Posted by: John | August 3, 2006 08:20 PM

Angus,

I hope you remember that if you factor out the actual nutjobs, and then all of the Sybil posters (I laughed the first time I saw you use that term) you actually are in the company of many like minded people here. I really enjoy your contributions and urge you to keep in mind that when you start getting personal attacks that sound as though they originate in a gym locker room for remedial and slow jr high school students, it is a sign that your really pissing off people who realize that they have absolutely no moral or factual ground to stand on and therefore simply work to tear down the credibility of people making real arguments, such as yourself. Keep up the good fight. Remember they are only trying to create as much noise as possible to drown out any reasonable voices that criticize US-Israeli policy.

J

Posted by: J | August 3, 2006 08:29 PM

"The Palestinians are treated better in any Arab country than any Arab (including those with American Citizenship) is treated in Israel."

Fascinating theory, but somewhat unsupported by fact. The Israelis have even helped the Palestinians collect their taxes, mainly because Hamas and Fatah are too corrupt to do it themselves. Where do homosexual Palestinians go to seek asylum to avoid being stoned to death? Not Egypt or Syria.

"The Arabs are not worried about their treatment of other Arabs, what they see is the terrible things the Israeli's have done."

Rather telling, don't you think?

"When the Israelis took the blood that had been donated by Ethiopian Jews and poured it into the gutters, because they (the Israelis) did not consider it pure Jewish blood..."

Good God. I've stayed out of some of the other ignorant comments here but this is over the top.

The blood was disposed of because Ethiopian Jews constituted fully a third of the AIDS cases in Israel at the time. As you probably realize, there are many African countries which, if you were born there, visited there since 1977, or had sexual contact with anyone from those countries, you are forbidden from donating blood in the United States and Canada , because in Africa a strain of HIV is more common that is very difficult to test for.

The Israelis certainly could've handled it more sensitively, especially given the special significance the matter held for Ethiopian Jews, but to claim that it has something to do with "racial purity" is a hysterical and bigoted falsehood, completely unfounded in anything resembling fact, and I'm confident you knew that when you wrote it. Kindly retract your false statement.

Posted by: Aaron | August 3, 2006 08:34 PM

Why would anyone read the WOPO anyway. Their reporting for many years has proven that they are anti semetic. Most of these blogs prove that the WOPO is read by Jew haters. In addition to being anti semetic Morley proves here that he is quite naive and worthy of expressing his opinion on a paper worthy of wrapping FISH. How can ANYONE beleive a freakin word or photo that comes out of Lebanon? Are ANY reporters allowed free access - NO. Everything is staged for the Jew hating media. I canceled my subscription many years ago and once again - I AM GLAD.

Posted by: Gary Glaser | August 3, 2006 08:38 PM

SM,

If your really Interested in why the US needs to win the hearts and minds of Arab and Muslim countries, I will give you a few examples.

1) President Bush, In a internationally televised speech, apologized to the entire Middle Eastern and Arab and Muslim community for the many greatly flawed US policies that have been enacted in the Middle East.

We have not found it necessary to apologize to Israel, certainly. Nor have we apologized to China, the EU, Australia, south eastern asia, or any other group of people, because no where else in the world have our policies and actions been so flawed, cruel, and ultimately counter productive.

In Iran, we installed a Dictator. He was intensely brutal and hated by the people there. When they overthrew him, We armed Saddam with conventional weapons and WMD , (after taking him off the terrorist list so that we could give him support) and instigated a war that caused one million casualties on both sides. During that time, we also sold arms to Iran ( in the Iran Contra scandal) because we really didnt want either side to win, we just wanted to weaken them both.

We then later attack saddam, almost take him out, pull back, give people in his country the impression we would support them in overthrowing him, and then allow saddam to massacre them when they attempt it without lifting a finger to help them.

In Israel, we have actually paid for the settlements and the Occupation that supports them by giving Israel 3 to 6 billion dollars a year in direct financial aide and in the form of loans which have all been forgiven . We have not seen a single dime of principle for the 140 billion dollars we have given Israel.

If we would not lend this support and the vetos in the UN that defy the will of virtually the rest of the world, the settlements and occupation would have to have been abandoned long ago because the financial shortfall they cause is too crushing. why do think we have to send an otherwise completely capable country that kind of money every year for 40 years?

Of course the palestinian situation is the thorn in the heel of the entire arab world, just as it would be for us if someone occupied, brutalized and stole land from, say, canada.

Then there is Afghanistan. We funded and trained the Mujhadeen (read the taliban and al qaeda, and then left them to rot after the mission (to weaken russia) had been accomplished.

Saudi Arabia? we support a brutal and hated regime there because they do good business with us.

all of this has served to radicalize large portions of people there in a way that is counterproductive for us (read 9/11) and for them (read poverty and hopelessness)

There is a great deal more, but that should give you a good over view.

We need to win the hearts and minds to prove that we are capable something other than brutality and treachery in the name of securing the flow of oil.

Of course, bombing the fledgling democracy we "supported", right after syria left(who said they were there keeping peace and protecting them from attack from Israel) does not advance this cause.

So razing the settlements, tearing down the wall and ending the occupation to allow a free Palestinian state to emerge seems like an excellent start.

That situation creates more hatred and paranoia in teh ME than just about anything else and it would do more to reduce radicalism than just about anything else we could ever do at this point.

Hope that helps clarify the situation for you.

J

Posted by: J | August 3, 2006 09:07 PM

The article does NOTHING to refute the details for the exagerations by Hezbollah, and your "questions" are easily answered;

Who killed the Hashems and Shalhoubs, if it wasn't an Israel bomb?

Answer: dead brought from the nearest hospital in Tyre by the same relief workers that were in Tyre the day before with dead, in the same trucks they brought to Qana to bring BACK TO TYRE to show to the press.


How did Hezbollah truck in bodies to the Qana site without the pervasive Israeli aerial surveillance catching it on film?

Answer: Hezbollah did fire, but the trucks were the same "ambulances" that came from Tyre.

So many discrepancies, and you add NOTHING to a reasonable concern. Did you SEE THE PHOTOS? See the relief worker staging them? Notice the time stamp?

Posted by: Bill in LA | August 3, 2006 09:11 PM

Yet more holyhoax propaganda from a "holocaust" industrialist!

Posted by: printer | August 3, 2006 02:08 AM

I was just trying to make a point to die-hard pro-Israel supporters on this blog about not denying Israel's role in Qana tragedy.

I am not a zionist nor a "holocaust" industrialist!

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 09:12 PM

"At a time when American and Israeli public opinion of the war diverge radically from the world opinion elsewhere, the emergence of a right-wing equivalent of the Sept. 11 conspiracy theories is worth noting."

Morley, it has been said that one should not attribute to malice what could be explained by ignorance.

This right-wing conspiracy theory you have hatched in your own mind as the equivalent to 9-11 conspiracies is, in fact, the polar opposite.

After 9-11 the mindful media minimized exposure of thousands of corpse to avoid inflaming public opinion.
After Qana, the mindful media has over-dramatized the images of a couple of corpses where supposedly dozens were killed specifically to inflame public opinion.

Whose side are you really on, or are you just another useful idiot?

Posted by: [deleted] | August 3, 2006 09:12 PM

Also, perhaps someone noticed this already, but why has the Washington Post's URL for this post changed? It was here:

the_qana_conspiracy_theory.html

It has now been appended with a "_1", meaning that the Editor's Note and comments subsequent to the correction (as well as Morley's announcement that he's on vacation for the rest of the month, since the navigation sidebar on that original post apparently does not update anymore) are invisible to people coming in from links created earlier, who would never know that there is new information.

I'd think the Washington Post's content management system is capable of handling revisions without changing the URL, and I'm sure that Morley, given that he was clearly interested in engaging the blogosphere in a contest of ideals would want everyone to see what's up. Yet, comments from the old post are actually redirected here. I'm sure this is just a technical glitch, which will be corrected by the WaPo's IT team in short order.

Posted by: Aaron | August 3, 2006 09:18 PM

War crimes and Lebanon

Thursday August 3, 2006
The Guardian


The US-backed Israeli assault on Lebanon has left the country numb, smouldering and angry. The massacre in Qana and the loss of life is not simply "disproportionate". It is, according to existing international laws, a war crime.
The deliberate and systematic destruction of Lebanon's social infrastructure by the Israeli air force was also a war crime, designed to reduce that country to the status of an Israeli-US protectorate. The attempt has backfired. In Lebanon itself, 87% of the population now support Hizbullah's resistance, including 80% of Christian and Druze and 89% of Sunni Muslims, while 8% believe the US supports Lebanon. But these actions will not be tried by any court set up by the "international community" since the US and its allies that commit or are complicit in these appalling crimes will not permit it.

It has now become clear that the assault on Lebanon to wipe out Hizbullah had been prepared long before. Israel's crimes had been given a green light by the US and its loyal British ally, despite the opposition to Blair in his own country.

In short, the peace that Lebanon enjoyed has come to an end, and a paralysed country is forced to remember a past it had hoped to forget. The state terror inflicted on Lebanon is being repeated in the Gaza ghetto, while the "international community" stands by and watches in silence. Meanwhile, the rest of Palestine is annexed and dismantled with the direct participation of the US and the tacit approval of its allies.

We offer our solidarity and support to the victims of this brutality and to those who mount a resistance against it. For our part, we will use all the means at our disposal to expose the complicity of our governments in these crimes. There will be no peace in the Middle East while the occupations of Palestine and Iraq and the temporarily "paused" bombings of Lebanon continue.
Tariq Ali
Noam Chomsky
Eduardo Galeano
Howard Zinn
Ken Loach
John Berger
Arundhati Roy
London

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 10:37 PM

J-
I appreciate your comments with regard to my question. I even agree with some of your points.

I still question whether or not offering land to the Palestinians will bring a true peace to the Middle East. It seems as though there will always be factions that denounce Israel's right to exist. As long as Israel has even the tiniest bit of land, these groups will not rest. I ask you why Israel must be forced to give land (as they already tried to do in Gaza) when the Palestinians have refused to officially change the wording against Israel in their charter/covenant?

While I understand how the situation with the territories might feel like a thorn in the heel for the Arabs, I feel that the diplomatic solutions should be GIVE and take. There are a great number of Israelis who support handing the territories over to the Palestinians, but they are still concerned about the safety of their country. The Palestinians, by refusing to change the mere wording that calls for the destruction of Israel, do not appear to be offering any assurances of future peaceful relations with Israel.

Which brings me to my final point. I still maintain that the Arab's truest obstacle towards peace in the Middle East is the mere existence of Israel as the Jewish homeland. The "land for peace" deal is like a short-term salve on the wound, but it won't be a long-term fix. The Arabs in that region do not want to accept the Jews living in their midst. This is the root of the problem for the Arab populations, and no amount of land is going to solve it. This is the elephant in the room in all of the media discussions about this issue. Only recently have I heard experts referring to this idea.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 10:39 PM

SM wrote:

"The Arabs in that region do not want to accept the Jews living in their midst."

This is pure Israeli propaganda - there is no factual basis for this statement. Jews have lived with Arabs for centuries in peace in ME. Perhaps, the problem lies with the zionist Ashkanazi Jews from Eastern Europe who developed the vile concept of Zionism even before Holocaust (1897)- that is taking away forcefully the natives' land and expelling/exterminating them.

Even with decades of Israeli aggression and terrorism against the Arabs, most Arab and Muslim gov'ts are ready to recogzine Israel if it decides to live peacefully with its Arab neighbors. What more do you want - a Greater Israel?

SM, SC and atheist - no matter how many times you repeat your propaganda in this or other blogs, the facts will not change.

IT IS UP TO ISRAEL TO DECIDE WHETHER IT WANTS TO LIVE PEACEFULLY WITH ITS NEIGHORS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 11:00 PM

Thom:

You said,

"The Palestinians are treated better in any Arab country than any Arab (including those with American Citizenship) is treated in Israel."

That's not true.

The only Arab country that has given Palestinian Arabs citizenship is Jordan.

Arabs in Israel are allowed to own land and vote. Palestinians in Lebanon are not.

Palestinians in Iraq also face discrimination. Thousands have been expelled from Baghdad and are living in refugee camps with awful living conditions.

40,000 Palestinians were expelled from Kuwait.

In Syria, 1/4 of the Palestinian population lives in refugee camps.


Posted by: saxyboy | August 3, 2006 11:06 PM

HRW: Israel Guilty of War Crimes

Human Rights Watch, after extensive investigation, has concluded that the Israeli military is guilty of war crimes. HRW says:


Israeli forces have systematically failed to distinguish between combatants and civilians in their military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Human Rights Watch said in report released today. The pattern of attacks in more than 20 cases investigated by Human Rights Watch researchers in Lebanon indicates that the failures cannot be dismissed as mere accidents and cannot be blamed on wrongful Hezbollah practices. In some cases, these attacks constitute war crimes.

The 50-page report, "Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon," analyzes almost two dozen cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles. Of the 153 dead civilians named in the report, 63 are children. More than 500 people have been killed in Lebanon by Israeli fire since fighting began on July 12, most of them civilians.

"The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli military's disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "Our research shows that Israel's claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does not explain, let alone justify, Israel's indiscriminate warfare."

HRW's investigations do not bear out the excuse that the high civilian casualty rate is because of Hizbullah hiding among civilians:


' Human Rights Watch researchers found numerous cases in which the IDF launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military objectives but excessive civilian cost. In many cases, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some instances, Israeli forces appear to have deliberately targeted civilians.

In one case, an Israeli air strike on July 13 destroyed the home of a cleric known to have sympathy for Hezbollah but who was not known to have taken any active part in the hostilities. Even if the IDF considered him a legitimate target (and Human Rights Watch has no evidence that he was), the strike killed him, his wife, their 10 children and the family's Sri Lankan maid.

On July 16, an Israeli aircraft fired on a civilian home in the village of Aitaroun, killing 11 members of the al-Akhrass family, among them seven Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals who were vacationing in the village when the war began. Human Rights Watch independently interviewed three villagers who vigorously denied that the family had any connection to Hezbollah. Among the victims were children aged one, three, five and seven.

The Israeli government has blamed Hezbollah for the high civilian casualty toll in Lebanon, insisting that Hezbollah fighters have hidden themselves and their weapons among the civilian population. However, in none of the cases of civilian deaths documented in the report is there evidence to suggest that Hezbollah was operating in or around the area during or prior to the attack. '

SM - would you not agree that Israel respects Arab life/blood.

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 11:07 PM

saxyboy wrote:

"Arabs in Israel are allowed to own land and vote."

Why shouldn't the Arabs be allowed to own land and vote in Israel - their OWN COUNTRY which the zionists hijacked from them? Try again, saxyboy.

Regarding the rest of your absurd post - why should the Arab countries clean up the zionist mess?

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 11:15 PM

No, RB. I have to disagree with you. What I wrote is not "pure Israeli propoganda." Arabs and Jews did not always live in harmony.
Please read below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands#History_of_Jews_in_Arab_lands_.28Pre-1948.29

*****************************************
Jewish exodus from Arab lands
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Jewish exodus from Arab lands refers to the 20th century emigration of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from majority Arab lands. Typically, this emigration followed discrimination, harassment, persecution, and financial confiscation on the part of the majority population and/or government agencies.

Also from the same source:
History of Jews in Arab lands (Pre-1948)

Excluding the region of Palestine, and omitting the Biblical account of the Jews' slavery in Egypt, Jews have lived in what are now Arab states at least since the Babylonian captivity (597 BCE), about 2,600 years ago.

After the conquest of these lands by Arab Muslims, Jews, along with Christians and Zoroastrians, typically had the legal status of dhimmi. As such, they were entitled to limited rights, tolerance, and protection, on the condition they pay a special poll tax (the "jizya"), which exempted them from military service, and also from payment of the Zakat alms tax required of Muslims. As dhimmi, Jews were typically subjected to several restrictions, the application and severity of which varied by time and place: residency in segregated quarters, obligation to wear distinctive clothing, public subservience to Muslims, prohibitions against proselytizing and marrying Muslim women, and limited access to the legal systems. Some Jews sometimes attained high positions in government, notably as viziers and physicians. Jewish communities, like Christian ones, were typically constituted as semi-autonomous entities managed by their own laws and leadership, who carried the responsibility for the community towards the Muslim rulers. Taxes and fines levied on them were collective in nature."

*****************************

So you see that Jews in the Arab countries were always treated as second-class citizens even in the best of times.

You might also want to read about the 1929 Arab attack on Hebron when 67 innocent Jews were killed, almost as many were wounded and many women were raped. The 1929 attacks occurred almost 20 years before the State of Israel was created.

There have always been conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews.

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 11:34 PM

"Why shouldn't the Arabs be allowed to own land and vote in Israel - their OWN COUNTRY which the zionists hijacked from them? Try again, saxyboy."

"Hijacked"? Given that Jewish majorities already existed in the four major cities of the territory of Palestine (encouraged by the Islamic government of the day), that the Arabs were given the vast bulk of it outright by the British, and then collectively started a massive and unprovoked war because the remaining Palestinian Arabs were unwilling to accept the UN's proposal for the scrap that was left, and that they subsequently *lost* their share of said scrap in that war, I'd be interested in your definition of that word. If it hadn't been the 1948 invasion, the Arabs would've gotten a lot more land than they ended up with, but they had to go and get ugly about it. This is what many would refer to as "tough noogies".

I'm just fascinated by this notion that it was "their" country, since the Turks would've been quite vocal in their disagreement during the time you must surely mean. (The people known as the Philistines on the other hand, were likely Greek colonists and had no relation to modern day Palestinian Arabs.)

However, I think "saxyboy"'s point was that Palestinians aren't allowed equal rights with other Arabs *in Arab countries*. This has been outlined previously.

Posted by: Aaron | August 3, 2006 11:39 PM

"You might also want to read about the 1929 Arab attack on Hebron when 67 innocent Jews were killed, almost as many were wounded and many women were raped. The 1929 attacks occurred almost 20 years before the State of Israel was created."

RB would rupture something if he read up on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini.

Posted by: Aaron | August 3, 2006 11:42 PM

RB:
Since you're quoting Human Rights Watch, I'll do the same:

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/18/lebano13760.htm
***********************************
Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Attacks on Haifa Designed to Kill Civilians
Anti-personnel Ball Bearings Meant to Harm "Soft" Targets

(New York, July 18, 2006) - Hezbollah's attacks in Israel on Sunday and Monday were at best indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas, at worst the deliberate targeting of civilians. Either way, they were serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In addition, the warheads used suggest a desire to maximize harm to civilians. Some of the rockets launched against Haifa over the past two days contained hundreds of metal ball bearings that are of limited use against military targets but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property. The ball bearings lodge in the body and cause serious harm.

Hezbollah has reportedly fired more than 800 rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon over the past five days, killing 12 civilians and wounding many more. The vast majority of these rockets, as in past conflicts, have been Katyushas, which are small, have a range limited to the border area, and cannot be aimed with precision. Hezbollah has also fired some rockets in the current fighting that have landed up to 40 kilometers inside Israel.

"Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime," said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. "Hezbollah's use of warheads that have limited military use and cause grievous suffering to the victims only makes the crime worse."

On Monday, Human Rights Watch researchers inspected a three-story apartment building in Haifa's Bat Galim neighborhood after it was struck by a rocket around 3:00 p.m., causing extensive damage to the top two floors and wounding six residents, one of them seriously. They collected metal ball bearings that had pierced the walls of the apartment building across the street and car windshields up to one block away.

An Israeli ordinance removal expert at the scene told Human Rights Watch that the rocket used in the attack had a 240mm warhead. According to media reports, Hezbollah announced that it had fired dozens of Raad 2 and Raad 3 anti-tank missiles into Haifa in response to "aggressions against various Lebanese regions." An Israeli military official told the press on Sunday that Hezbollah had fired at least three Syrian-made Fajr-3 missiles.

On Sunday, a Hezbollah rocket killed eight workers in Haifa's main railway depot. Doctors who treated the wounded told Human Rights Watch that the rockets contained metal ball bearings. The ball bearings have increased the number and seriousness of injuries from rocket fire, the doctors said.

"In my medical opinion, they [these rockets] are supposed to injure as many people as possible," said Dr. Eran Tal-Or, director of the Surgical Emergency Room at Haifa's Ramban Hospital. "If you wanted to bring down a building, you would make a weapon with a heavier blast. And you wouldn't bother with the balls inside that don't do much harm to buildings; just to people."

Human Rights Watch interviewed three railway workers at the hospital wounded by the ball bearings in Sunday's lethal blast.

"There were three loud booms and I started running out of the depot," said Alek Vensbaum, 61, a worker at the Israel Train Authority. "One of the guys, Nissim, who was later killed, yelled at everyone to run to the shelter. The fourth boom got me when I was nearly at the door, and I was hit by shrapnel ... I was hit by ball bearing-like pieces of metal in my neck, hand, stomach and foot."

Sami Raz, 39, a railway electrician, said a ball bearing pierced his lung and lodged near his heart. "I had terrible difficulty breathing after I was hit," he said.

Twelve people were wounded in the attack, four of them seriously.

Under international humanitarian law, parties to an armed conflict may not use weapons in civilian areas that are so inaccurate that they cannot be directed at military targets without imposing a substantial risk of civilian harm. Such attacks can constitute war crimes. Deliberately attacking civilians is in all circumstances prohibited and a war crime.

Human Rights Watch has called on both Hezbollah and the Israeli military to respect the absolute prohibition against targeting civilians or conducting indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas.

Since fighting began on July 12, Israeli attacks have reportedly killed 209 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians. On Monday, Human Rights Watch called on the Israeli government to provide details about a bombing on July 15 that killed 16 civilians in a convoy near the village of Marwahin.
*************************************
Please take note of the first paragraph from the article above:

"Hezbollah's attacks in Israel on Sunday and Monday were at best indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas, at worst the deliberate targeting of civilians. Either way, they were serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today."

And I do think overall that Israel respects Arab life. War is war. It's horrible any way you look at it. There are going to be casualties because there is no clean way to fight an enemy. It's all a tragedy, and world peace is something I wish for regularly.

Having said that... does Hezbollah care about the Christian Arabs and Druze who might be hit by the thousands of rockets they've shot into northern Israel? I'll ask you, RB, do the Arabs that comprise Hezbollah respect the blood of other Arabs? Maybe Arabs who are not Muslims?

Posted by: SM | August 3, 2006 11:44 PM

Human rights watch has pretty well debunked Israeli claim that the Hezbollah uses civilans as human shields.The report is posted on their website. There is however strong evidence that Israelis have used Palestinians as human shields. Don't forget that the car bombs were introduced to the middle east by early zionists. Remember King david hotel bombing.

Posted by: rocky | August 3, 2006 11:48 PM

SM,


Regarding the 1929 Arab attack that you mentioned - by this time Arabs knew the true intentions of the zionist european jews(the jewish immigration from Europe) to take over the Arab lands without their consent. You don't expect them to give up their homes without a fight to outside invaders, do you?

Jews committed plenty of violence against the native Arab population during and since that time.

"There have always been conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews."

Please explain why the Jews have always been persecuted in history. According to published reports in America, the Jews were discriminated against by the Christians, Romans, Muslims, etc - you name it. Could it be that the Jews expect preferential or special treatment because they are "The Chosen People".

Posted by: RB | August 3, 2006 11:56 PM

I do believe you are right J - and yes it only encourages me to keep going - the funny thing is when I discuss this stuff with my friends its almost total agreement on the rights and wrongs of the whole ME situation....and the true belief that all can live together with the right solution...

As you say 1967 borders - move the settlers back to Israel proper - maybe even encourage them with one last payment of our 3 billion bucks!!

I would add one more thing though - I always thought Jerusalem should be an International protectorate.

Posted by: Angus | August 3, 2006 11:59 PM

"The report is posted on their website."

URL? What HRW says is that they don't believe that Hezbollah's practice explains all the civilian deaths. Nowhere do they claim that it doesn't happen or that it isn't a widespread practice. (Hezbollah's use of both UN positions and civilian locations as refuge has been *photographically* documented.)

"Don't forget that the car bombs were introduced to the middle east by early zionists."

1947 isn't "early", and it was specifically by a splinter group (in fact, a splinter group of a splinter group) of radical Nazi collaborators, completely disconnected from the rest of the movement. British deserters fighting with the Arabs did the same. Your point?

"Remember King david hotel bombing."

Remember that it was also the headquarters of the British military and police operation there.

Posted by: Aaron | August 3, 2006 11:59 PM

Rocky:

Would you like to take a look at this?

***************************
A Lebanese Shia explains how Hezbollah uses Human Shields
Der Tagesspiegel | 7/30/06 | Dr. Mounir Herzallah

Posted on 07/31/2006 1:49:58 PM PDT by abu afak

In a letter to the editor of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel a Lebanese Shia explains how after Israel's withdrawal from South Lebanon, Hezbollah stored rockets in bunkers in his town and built a school and residence over it.

""I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajun that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to have the say in our town and all other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters, they appeared armed to the teeth and dug rocket depots in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers!

A local sheikh explained to me Laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rocket depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.""

Dr. Mounir Herzallah

(translated from the German by David Ouellette)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1675290/posts

*************************************

Hezbollah's tactics for using civilians as human shields have been well-documented for years. You'd have to be in a coma to have missed out on that information.

Posted by: SM | August 4, 2006 12:04 AM

"Regarding the 1929 Arab attack that you mentioned - by this time Arabs knew the true intentions of the zionist european jews(the jewish immigration from Europe) to take over the Arab lands without their consent."

Actually, the attacks were caused by the Grand Mufti claiming that the Jews had violated an old Ottoman law by setting up chairs at the Wailing Wall. Please don't speculate.

"You don't expect them to give up their homes without a fight to outside invaders, do you?"

While the Arabs were killing Jews, Most of the Arabs killed were killed by the British in a desperate attempt to maintain order. The Haganah did not become a major player until it was needed as a direct response to Arab aggression and British failures in 1929.

"Please explain why the Jews have always been persecuted in history. According to published reports in America, the Jews were discriminated against by the Christians, Romans, Muslims, etc - you name it. Could it be that the Jews expect preferential or special treatment because they are "The Chosen People".

This is tantamount that arguing that the reason blacks were enslaved is that they were acting too "uppity". It's plainly racist.

Christians, Scots, Catholics, Muslims, blacks, Asians, Irish, Italians, pretty much every group in history has faced discrimination or enslavement anywhere where they were a minority. Even the Visigoths were persecuted by the Romans when they finally tried to settle down. The Jews are unique in that they spent the bulk of their history as a minority dispersed throughout the Western world, and thus enjoyed the unique trouble of being discriminated against everywhere and having no home of their own.

It's a shame that some people still hold on to ancient bigotry.

"As you say 1967 borders - move the settlers back to Israel proper - maybe even encourage them with one last payment of our 3 billion bucks!!"

Heck, what about the 1921 borders?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transjordan

We can give the three billion to the Palestinians.

"I would add one more thing though - I always thought Jerusalem should be an International protectorate."

Who's going to guard it?

Posted by: Aaron | August 4, 2006 12:11 AM

RB wrote:

"Why shouldn't the Arabs be allowed to own land and vote in Israel - their OWN COUNTRY which the zionists hijacked from them? Try again, saxyboy."

Try what again? Posting facts about Arab mistreatment of Palestinians?

I'm confused as to why you're attacking what I wrote.

And I never said Arabs shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Perhaps you're mistaking me for someone else who said that...

"Regarding the rest of your absurd post - why should the Arab countries clean up the zionist mess?"

I don't know what's so absurd about my post. All I did was list facts that are readily available on the internet, pro-Palestinian websites included.

Many Palestinians; however, would most likely quarrel with your giving the Arab governments a free pass. Edward Said, perhaps the most outspoken intellectual on Palestinian nationalism and a vociferous critic of Israel, was tireless in his criticism of Arab governments' treatment of Palestinians. Palestinians generally deplore the mistreatment they've suffered in Iraq, Kuwait, and Lebanon.

So, if you want to make the ridiculous argument that the Arab governments are justified in their racist policy of throwing Palestinians into squalid refugee camps rather than give them citizenship and treat them like human beings, be my guest.

Posted by: saxyboy | August 4, 2006 12:14 AM

Aaron,

You repeat the Zionist verion of the facts - which only 300 American (out of sheer ignorance and zionist propaganda) and 5M Israelis blieve. The rest of the world knows the truth.

I wonder if you would be willing to read the rebuttal written by Gary Malone, Fuming for Israel, to Alan Dershowitz's book called A Case for Israel.

Here are some excerpts from Malone's paper:

"Israeli colonization

A foreign people arrive in another land in large numbers and begin to take it over. They develop their own army and institutional structures and announce their intention to turn the land and its resources into a state belonging to them. Is this colonialism? According to Alan Dershowitz, no. The reason is obvious: the profile of such a regime exactly matches that of the Zionists, who publicly declared that they were going to impose their own state down on top of an indigenous population who were openly opposed to them doing so. So this chapter is Dershowitz's effort to find some loophole in the definition of colonialism which will get Israel off.

To interpolate briefly, it's worth noting that around the time of World War I, roughly 90% of the population of pre-mandate Palestine were non-Jewish and the bulk of even those that were Jewish were opposed to the Zionist project. The irksome presence of the natives and their entitlement to the land the Zionists craved was acknowledged even by the first two emissaries sent to Palestine following the first Zionist Congress in 1897, who cabled back that: 'the bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man'. No colonial regime, however, has ever been put off by the presence of, or resistance from, an autochonous population: the Zionists were no exception. Ze'ev Jabotinsky, when confronted with the moral problems immanent in giving practical expression to the Zionist enterprise, fashioned a rickety rationale: if all were agreed that Zionism was a moral cause, then it followed from this that it must be carried out, 'without regard to the assent or dissent of anyone else.'

More to follow in my next post.

Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 12:15 AM

RB-

No, the Jews do NOT nor have they ever expected preferential or special treatment. To say so borders on ignorance. One of the reasons that I believe the Jews are a group of people who has been singled out throughout history is that their strict religious practices (i.e., dietary laws, keeping of the Sabbath, daily prayer, etc.) have caused them to have limited contact with outside influences. As a result, I believe they have appeared arrogant and exclusive to other groups of people. Then, of course, is the idea that the Jews are "the Chosen People." This phrase has numerous interpretations.

Here is something you can read from Wikipedia:

"Rabbinic Jewish views of chosenness

The idea of chosenness has traditionally been interpreted by Jews in two ways: one way is that God chose the Israelites, while the other idea is that the Israelites chose God. Although collectively this choice was made freely, religious Jews believe that it created individual obligation for the descendants of the Israelites.

Crucial to the Jewish notion of chosenness is that it creates obligations exclusive to Jews, while non-Jews receive from God other covenants and other responsibilities. Generally, it does not entail exclusive rewards for Jews."
(Did you read that last line? Read it again.)

The Jews were discriminated against by the Christians because they didn't willingly subject to conversion. Christians throughout history discriminated against many groups of people during their concersion attempts.

The ancient Romans were conquerors, and again, they subjugated everyone under their rule. The Roman Empire discriminated against the Jews because they were invaders and then rulers in that region. The Jews were in constant rebellion against Rome.

I could go on and on, but it's nothing you can't read for yourself. I'm sure you have your own ideas as to why Jews have been persecuted throughout history. I'm certainly not going to change your mind. Just be careful about making uninformed statements that have no basis in fact or reality.

Posted by: SM | August 4, 2006 12:24 AM

Aaron,

My 2nd post from Malone's paper:

"Dershowitz circumvents the 'colonialism' accusation with a not particularly imaginative tactic which he employs more than once throughout the book: specifically, he narrows the definition or context of this accusation down to a compass-point from which he has at least a chance of rebutting it. Thus we learn that:

Those who absurdly claim that the Jewish refugees who immigrated to Palestine in the last decades of the nineteenth century [note the earliest, most innocuous redefinition of 'colonizers', quietly narrowing the definition further] were the "tools" of European imperialism must answer the following question: for whom were these socialists and idealists working? Were they planting the flag of the hated Czar of Russia or the anti-Semitic regimes of Poland and Lithuania?
Plaintive but equivocal. The Zionists were, as everyone knows, the one colonial regime that did not have a mother country. But wasn't that the very thing that gave rise to Zionism in the first place? Dershowitz seems to be squirreling the motion here. Since this is the entire basis on which Dershowitz denies that the Zionists were colonizers, it's plain that he has purposively located one difference and pretended that it makes all the difference. In his claustrophobically narrow interpretation, a single exception turns into an unbreakable rule.

In any case, he's accidentally correct in that this is the only respect in which Zionism differs from classic colonialism. All of the other features are there: land expropriations; population expulsions (more on that later); first-world cunning and technology used to defeat third-world tribalism; callous disregard for the political and national rights of the indigenous population; self-serving alignments with regional powers; exploitation of power struggles among the native population, and so on. But in Dershowitz's reformulation, the absence of a sponsor country is conveniently the one factor which disqualifies Israel from being a colonial state. It is the trapdoor through which Zionism escapes morally unsullied. As though the turpitude of driving the natives off their land was somehow mitigated by the fact there was no king somewhere directing the orders. Moreover, the fact that the Zionists certainly used an empire (Britain) to get what they wanted out of the Levant is surely a great inconvenience to those who deny that they were 'the "tools" of European imperialism.' As Finkelstein has observed: 'without the "foreign bayonets" of the British Mandate, the Zionist movement could not have established a toehold, let alone struck deep roots, in Palestine.' Chaim Weizmann himself stated in 1917 that '[u]nder the wing of this Power [Britain], Jews will be able to develop, and to set up the administrative machinery which ... would enable us to carry
out the Zionist scheme.' And with respect to this issue the historian Arnold Toynbee was certainly in no doubt:

All through those thirty years [of the mandate], Britain lived from hand to mouth, admitting into Palestine, year by year, a quota of Jewish immigrants that varied according to the strengths of the respective pressures of the Arabs and Jews at the time. These immigrants could not have come in if they had not been shielded by a British cheveaux-de-frise. If Palestine had remained under Ottoman Turkish rule, or if it had become an independent Arab state in 1918, Jewish immigrants would never have been admitted into Palestine in large enough numbers to enable them to overwhelm the Palestinian Arabs in this Arab people's own country.

Their own country? Dershowitz denies even this. 'After all', he tells us, 'there had never been a Palestinian state in this area. A Jewish homeland would not be carved out of a preexisting Palestinian state.' I'm inclined to think of this rationale as a kind of verbal shell game for the exceedingly slow-witted. By reductively bringing an entire people under the category of a 'state' and then observing that such a thing did not exist, somehow it is adduced that their rights to a state also cease to exist. Finland, to take just one counterplot, was continuously populated by Finns since before the birth of Christ but never became a state until May 1918. Prior to this, it had been a kind of fiefdom of Tzarist Russia since 1809, and even before that had been under Swedish suzerainty from at least 1323. By Dershowitz's rationale, the purely incidental 'statelessness' of the Finns would equally have qualified them for Zionist dispossession. The fact of a people continuously populating a region for centuries seems - in his mind - to present no moral obstacle to the 'rights' of foreigners to turn up in their land and at short notice simply make up their own country inside someone else's. All of this is fine, apparently, as long as it's not done inside a 'state'.

Already I can heard the sound of breaking glass as the emergency rationale is yanked from its wall-mounted box - the Finns did not have 22 other states of their own from which they were not dispossessed, and so on. I find it difficult to believe that the Palestinian evictee living in his squalid camp on foreign soil, preserving the rusting key of the house he had been forbidden to return to and which (in many cases) had been given to someone else, was comforted by the fact that this fate had only befallen him, and not a Moroccan or a Yemeni. Note that the dreadful conditions in which many Palestinian refugees lived for decades are somehow always adduced to be the fault of the receiving country, and never of the expelling country. This rationale, as far as I can tell, is unique in the discourse of refugee crises. In fact, many of Israel's apologists fume that Arab countries did not oblige the Israelis by cleaning up the Zionists' mess and absorbing their refugees, and thus generally make their crime more photogenic and forgettable. Thus Dershowitz informs us that in the beginning '[t]he refugee issue of 1947-1948 was deliberately left unresolved by the Arabs as a tactic designed to destroy the new Jewish state' (forgetting, presumably that the refugee problem was the direct result of a destroyed Palestine) and that even now the Palestinians have been 'kept in refugee camps for more than half a century to be used as pawns in an effort to demonize and destroy
Israel.' It ought to be beneath us to respond to an argument which suggests that the impoverished wretches living in the flavellas of south Lebanon and elsewhere pose some kind of existential threat to the world's fourth largest military power.

But Dershowitz's claim that Israel was not a colonizing power is belied even by Zionists themselves. As early as 1897 the Zionist Congress in Basle were planning what they called 'the colonization of Palestine by Jewish agricultural and industrial workers'. Jabotinsky, in the aforementioned essay, was just as candid:

Zionist colonisation, even the most restricted, must be either terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonisation can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population - an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.

His acolyte, the Revisionist Zionist Eliahu Ben-Horin, while suggesting that 'the Arabs of Palestine and Transjordania be transferred to Iraq, or a united Iraq-Syrian state', added: 'If the transfer and the colonization project are well planned and systematically carried out, the Palestinian fellah will get better soil and more promising life conditions than he can ever expect to obtain in Palestine.' Similarly, in 1936 Moshe Beilinson proposed seeking British funding for 'a large development plan, which would enable the evacuation of large Arab tracts of land for our colonization, through an agreement with the fellahin.'

So Dershowitz finds himself in the odd position of denying what Zionists themselves were saying openly. He also attempts to paint these early colonizers as mere innocent agrarians. To wit: 'They brought with them few guns or other means of conquest. Their tools were rakes and hoes. The land they cultivated was not taken away from its rightful owners by force or confiscated by colonial law'. But strangely, there seemed to have been some local Palestinians who at the time took the view that this was all too innocent to be true. And it's difficult to believe that there were not plenty of non-locals who had no illusions about the direction in which these delightfully lawful land purchases were taking them. To quote Asher Ginzberg, after a visit to Palestine as early as 1893:

The Arabs, especially the town dwellers, see and understand what we are doing and what we want in Palestine, but they do not react and pretend not to notice, because at present they do not see in what we are doing any threat to their own future. ... But if we ever develop in Palestine to such a degree as to encroach on the living space of the native population to any appreciable extent, they will not easily give up their place.

Again, we find that on matters like this even the worst demagogues can be more forthcoming than Alan Dershowitz. Here's some advice Menachem Begin once gave to just such a harmless agrarian:

My friend, take care. When you recognise the concept of 'Palestine', you demolish your right to live in Ein Hahoresh. If this is Palestine and not the Land of Israel, then you are conquerors and not tillers of the land. You are invaders. If this is Palestine, then it belongs to a people who lived here before you came.

A 3rd post will follow, Aaron.

Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 12:24 AM

Aaron,

"I must say that while reading this chapter I was gripped by a kind of suspense. Could the author make it to the other side of his own argument without stepping on an inconvenient historical truth? In Dershowitz's self-conscious writing one constantly perceives the dangerous minefield of facts he's trying to tiptoe safely through. There is, however, the occasional slip. For example, as part of his narrowed-down argument that the Jews of the first Aliyah (1882-1903) were not colonists, he avers that 'these Jewish refugees were far more comparable to the American colonists'. The faux pas aside, it's fair to say that anyone familiar with the American colonists' slaughter of the native Indian population will recognise that this comparison would be as chilling for the Palestinians to hear as it would be unflattering to their Israeli conquerors. After about two pages, Dershowitz drifts away from a critique of the argument that 'Israel is a colonial, imperialist, settler state, comparable to apartheid South Africa' (his own definition) and into digressions on Jewish in-migration that matter little to the substantive issues. Apartheid South Africa, part of the point he set out to refute, is never again mentioned. It's easy to see why. As soon as one begins to compare Israel with a well-armed, European-settler-based state lording it over an indigenous population which it corrals into increasingly shrinking bantustans, it's difficult to thereafter issue a denial of the obvious with a straight face. And the relationship was not merely an ideological one: Israel is known to have assisted the apartheid regime in circumventing sanctions and thus helped prolong the life of a decaying racist oligarchy. Plus the two states have collaborated on a nuclear program, the most conspicuous evidence of which became available in September 1979 when an American VELA satellite detected a massive explosion in the Indian ocean which turned out to be a joint Israeli / South African nuclear test. Neither of these rogue states were exposed or reprimanded, however. The coziness was, as Jeffrey Blankfort has noted: 'a natural alliance; two societies that had usurped someone else's land and saw themselves in the same position, "a civilised people surrounded by threatening savages". The relationship became so close that South Africa's Sun City became the resort of choice for vacationing Israelis.' Or, as a former Israeli official once told Seymour Hersh: 'there is a certain sympathy for the situation of South Africa among Israelis. They are also European settlers standing against a hostile world.'

The whole of chapter two is also a straw man. Asking the question 'Did European Jews displace Palestinians?', it bifurcates immediately into two rotten limbs. The first argument defines displacement exclusively in terms of (i) land theft that (ii) occurred pre-1948, for which of course there is no strong evidence. So Dershowitz wastes several pages discussing lawful land purchases and knocking down an argument nobody erected in the first place. Fully five passages are cited from 'the accusers' and none of them argue the point he energetically rebuts. (Even though the formulation of 'the accusation' is all Dershowitz's, he still can't seem to find mouths in which to place these words.)

When denying the seldom-mooted argument that the Zionists 'stole' their land from the locals, therefore, it's important for Dershowitz to be as literal-minded as possible. Allowing that much of the land was legally purchased from absentee landlords does not prohibit us from pondering the effect that purchases such as this had upon the local fellahin who had been tenants or labourers on the land for generations, and suddenly found themselves unable to compete with the purchasing power of the comparatively affluent, and aggressively acquisitive, new European colons. Absentee landlords such as the Sursock clan, for example, sold all of their vast tracts of land to the Zionists over a thirty-year period. Perhaps the most notorious sale took place in 1920, impacting 22 villages comprising 8000 peasants who lived off this land. According to David Hirst, '[t]he tenants among them - but not the labourers - received "compensation" of £28,000, precisely £3.50 for the lot. The Sursock sale was a famous and much-deplored transaction. But there were many others.'

By the eve of the 1935 Arab Rebellion, the situation had become intolerable:

Legal - not to mention illegal - Jewish immigration had reached the record figure of 61,844 a year. Land sales were increasing; in 1933 there had been 673 of them, 1,178 in 1934. More and more peasants were losing their livelihood; yet already, in 1931, it had been estimated that 30,000 peasant families, 22 per cent of the rural population, were landless. Their average per capita income was £7 a year, compared with £34 for the Jewish farmers who replaced them. And the peasant families average indebtedness - £25 to £30 - was about the same as its average earnings. Driven from the land, the peasants flocked to the rapidly growing cities in search of work. Many of them ended up as labourers building houses for the immigrants they loathed and feared. They lived in squalor. In old Haifa there were 11,000 of them crammed into hovels built of petrol-tins, which had neither water-supply nor rudimentary sanitation. Others, without families, slept in the open. Such conditions contrasted humiliatingly with the handsome dwellings the peasants were putting up for the well-to-do newcomers, or even with the Jewish working men's quarters furnished by Jewish building societies. They earned half, or just a quarter, the wage of their Jewish counterparts, and Hebrew Labour exclusivism was gradually depriving them of even that. By 1935, an economic crisis, partly the result of uncontrolled immigration, produced Arab unemployment on a catastrophic scale.

It appears that the Zionist population were utterly insensitive to the effects that their land purchases and encroaching presence had upon the dignity of the indigenous Arabs, and the delicate fabric of their simple society.

Aaron, I hope you can digest another "version" of ME conflict.

Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 12:39 AM

"You repeat the Zionist verion of the facts - which only 300 American (out of sheer ignorance and zionist propaganda) and 5M Israelis blieve. The rest of the world knows the truth."

What, that the Arabs were secretly the *real* power, and the Sultan was just some kind of puppet? That Jordan was never carved out of the Palestine territory for the Arabs to have a home, a home far larger than the home that had been promised to the Jews? That the Arab League, refusing to tolerate any Jewish presence on what they fantasized was their soil, didn't unilaterally invade Israel the day after it was recognized by the UN with the open goal of erasing Israel?

I read what you posted in your first post, and I see no point in arguing against Malone's paper from that. Did Jewish nationalists consciously migrate to establish a state in the easternmost 20-25% of Palestine? Absolutely. Virtually every nation in history was formed that way, whether we're talking about Japan, Canada, or Scotland, and circumstances will continue to be so.

What you haven't established is that the Arabs have any claim to it that should override the rather more ancient Jewish claim.

If you're arguing that the Arabs should have it because it belonged to their ancestors, it certainly belonged to Jewish ancestors first. If you're talking about the refugees, the bulk of those were driven out after the 1948 war and those people you see waving keys of homes of their grandfathers are waving keys to houses that probably don't even *exist* anymore. The world has moved on without them.

If you want to look recently, where's the cutoff point? One generation? Two? Ten? A thousand? Because Muslim Arabs, no matter how you slice it, were not the original inhabitants of Palestine, they were not the Philistines, and they did not move in after the Jews were driven out. Instead, the Aramaic-speaking residents were Christianized, enough to probably be a majority in the time of Diocletian.

The Arab majority didn't come until the middle ages, and even they were just serfs for the Caliphs, Mamelukes and the Crusader Kingdoms (who controlled the area to various degrees for about two centuries). A few wars later, and the Turks finally settled in as rulers of the Arabs there, who not only allowed, but *encouraged* Jewish migration, because they wanted the tax revenue, but lost the whole place to the British.

So I'm hard pressed to believe that the Arabs have any right to govern the joint (especially seeing the cushy deal they got to split the place up between their Jewish neighbors and themselves, the most generous lot they'd gotten since they arrived ten or twelve centuries earlier), and all too many of them simply threw away their ability to live there in peace with their failed wars.

It's really a matter of where you want to draw the line: What authority, precisely, do you believe gives current Palestinian Arabs the right to control Israel? Be specific.

Posted by: Aaron | August 4, 2006 12:45 AM

SM psoted:

"Hezbollah's tactics for using civilians as human shields have been well-documented for years. You'd have to be in a coma to have missed out on that information."

As if the Israelis have never used the Palestianian civilians as human sheild? You must have just woken from your coma to have missed these facts.


Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 12:50 AM

Parts I feel the need to mention:

"By reductively bringing an entire people under the category of a 'state' and then observing that such a thing did not exist, somehow it is adduced that their rights to a state also cease to exist."

No such thing is being declared. They have one. They just decided it wasn't good enough. Same as they decided for the large swath of the remaining land given to them in the UN deal.

"Finland, to take just one counterplot, was continuously populated by Finns since before the birth of Christ but never became a state until May 1918."

The same cannot be said of Arabs in Palestine.

"My friend, take care. When you recognise the concept of 'Palestine', you demolish your right to live in Ein Hahoresh. If this is Palestine and not the Land of Israel, then you are conquerors and not tillers of the land. You are invaders. If this is Palestine, then it belongs to a people who lived here before you came."

Quite true. The notion of a Palestinian nation is a complete myth. There has never, in the history of man, been a nation called Palestine. The people for whom the Romans named their territory, the Philistines, were not Arabs and no longer exist at all. The land on which Israel now sits (itself a tiny portion of what was called Palestine) bore a similar relationship to "the Arabs", during the interludes during which they had a secure hold on it, as Alsace-Lorraine does to the Germans. (One might cite Northern Ireland, but given that the Jews predated the Arabs and always had a population there, Northern Ireland would have to be associated with the British for the role to even start to work in comparison to the Arabs, and it's still fraught with logical problems, not that Alsace-Lorraine is perfect, either.)

"It appears that the Zionist population were utterly insensitive to the effects that their land purchases and encroaching presence had upon the dignity of the indigenous Arabs, and the delicate fabric of their simple society."

Well Good God, they were *insensitive to a delicate, simple society*. I guess that clearly justifies the whole thing. Let's airlift the Jews out and turn Jerusalem over to Hamas *right now*.

Posted by: Aaron | August 4, 2006 12:57 AM

RB-

Would you please provide a source for your comment about the Israelis using Palestinians as human shields?

Posted by: SM | August 4, 2006 12:59 AM

Aaron, you wrote the following in response to my earlier post inquiring about why the Jews have been a persecuted people throughout history.

"This is tantamount that arguing that the reason blacks were enslaved is that they were acting too "uppity". It's plainly racist.

It's a shame that some people still hold on to ancient bigotry."

I am sorry if my question offended you. Aren't you making assumptions that the whole world should be well-versed in Jewish history? Even asking questions to learn more about Jewish grievances are now off limits and are categorized as racist?

I have nothing against Judaism but am opposed to zionism as practiced by the current Israeli regime.

Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 01:12 AM

"I am sorry if my question offended you. Aren't you making assumptions that the whole world should be well-versed in Jewish history? Even asking questions to learn more about Jewish grievances are now off limits and are categorized as racist?"

I think that asking whether a people who were rounded up by a fascist regime into slave labor camps and executed by the millions "brought it on themselves" has quite heavily racist overtones, yes, and is based on completely absurd and ignorant notions.

I'm not Jewish, but I find this kind of thought process offensive to human intelligence in general.

"I have nothing against Judaism but am opposed to zionism as practiced by the current Israeli regime."

Wait, are you opposed to Zionism as practiced by the *current* Israeli regime, or the pre-Israeli regime that was allegedly insensitive to a delicate, "indigenous" Arab society? Or the one that cynically took advantage of Ottoman tolerance and diversity out of ignorance of the sinister Jewish plot against the noble Palestinian nation?

I just want somebody to nail down a single version of reality here, a single concrete rationale to explain their position.

Posted by: Aaron | August 4, 2006 01:20 AM

RB-
If you look over all the topis in this blogosphere, you'll see that there are people who have defended both groups. There have been excuses made because of the desperation that these groups feel that justifies their terrorist tactics.

Posted by: SM | August 4, 2006 01:29 AM

Aaron,

"Let's airlift the Jews out and turn Jerusalem over to Hamas *right now*."

Let's not exaggerate. To my knowledge, no one has defended hamas or hizullah on this blog.

Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 01:30 AM

RB-
If you look over all the topics in this blogosphere, you'll see that there are people who have defended both groups. There have been excuses made because of the desperation that these groups feel that justifies their terrorist tactics.

Posted by: SM | August 4, 2006 01:31 AM

"Let's not exaggerate. To my knowledge, no one has defended hamas or hizullah on this blog."

Since the Palestinians elected them, it seems pretty clear that you're arguing that they're the legitimate government of Israel.

Posted by: Aaron | August 4, 2006 01:36 AM

Aaron,

Please show me my post where I wrote that the Jews "brought it on themselves" or anything that remotely denies or questions the holocaust.

It seems to me that you have pre-conceived ideas about me.

Regarding your comment about zionism - are you an American, if yes, then how can you support a state where by law, one religion must have a preference over all the other religions in the country. The bottom line is - Israel is a theocratic state where Judaism is the state religion.


Posted by: RB | August 4, 2006 01:48 AM

SM:

I could not get back to you with a rebuttal to your rebuttal of my statement, that Israel is theocracy that does not afford equal protections to non-Jews. Here is some of the information I have found that that does show that discrimination.

"In a single day, 27 July 2005, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) passed two new laws, the Civil Wrongs/Civil Torts (Liability of the State) Law and the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, whose effect is to take discrimination against Palestinians to a new level.

In their current form both laws violate Israel's obligations under international law, including human rights treaties to which Israel is a state party and which it is bound to uphold.

According to the new Civil Torts (Liability of the State) Law, some three and a half million Palestinians who live under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are considered "residents of a conflict zone". As such, they are denied the right to claim compensation for death, injury, or damage to property inflicted on them by Israeli forces.

The law, which applies retroactively to incidents going back to September 2000, applies only to Palestinians - not to Israelis who reside in the Occupied Territories in violation of international law.

Previous amendments to the original Civil Torts law had already significantly restricted the ability of Palestinian victims to claim compensation. To date, the overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands of Palestinians who - through no fault of their own - have been injured, or whose property was destroyed or damaged, or whose relatives were killed as a result of unlawful actions by Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories, have received no reparation. In fact, most cases are not even investigated by the Israeli authorities and Israeli soldiers responsible for killings and other abuses of Palestinians' rights have not been brought to justice.

The 54 Israeli Knesset members who voted in favour of the new law on 27 July took a deliberate step that discriminates against Palestinian victims. Its effect will be to deny a fundamental right to victims such as the ten children of Noha Maqadmeh, who became orphans and were rendered homeless after their pregnant mother was killed in her bed when her home collapsed as Israeli soldiers blew up a neighbouring house in the al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on 3 March 2003. Six nearby houses were also destroyed in the blast, leaving some 90 other people homeless and now with no prospect of any reparation for the wrong done to them.

An amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Family Reunification Law) was also approved by 59 Israeli lawmakers on 27 July. It bars family unification for Israelis who are married to Palestinian women aged under 25 and to Palestinian men aged under 35. "

Posted by: Zain | August 4, 2006 07:59 AM

SM:

And continued...

"This law discriminates explicitly against Palestinians and also implicitly against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who constitute some 20 percent of the Israel's population, and against Palestinian Jerusalemites,1 as it is they almost exclusively who marry Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. This law formally institutionalizes a form of racial discrimination based on ethnicity or nationality. As such, it violates the absolute prohibition on discrimination set out in international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Israel has ratified all of these treaties and is obliged to implement them."

Posted by: Zain | August 4, 2006 07:59 AM

Oops, forgot to include the link for the website;

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE150422005?open&of=ENG-ISR

Also from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesty_International

"Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization with the stated purpose of promoting all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards."

"Amnesty International has a long history of pursuing neutrality within the context of its campaigning for the protection of human rights. The organization officially describes itself as "independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights."[2]"

Posted by: Zain | August 4, 2006 08:02 AM

SM:

Some info about the IDF using civilians as human shields.

http://www.btselem.org/english/Human_Shields/20060720_Human_Shields_in_Beit_Hanun.asp

"B'Tselem's initial investigation indicates that, during an incursion by Israeli forces into Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 17 July 2006, soldiers seized control of two buildings in the town and used residents as human shield.

After seizing control of the buildings, the soldiers held six residents, two of them minors, on the staircases of the two buildings, at the entrance to rooms in which the soldiers positioned themselves, for some twelve hours. During this time, there were intense exchanges of gunfire between the soldiers and armed Palestinians. The soldiers also demanded that one of the occupants walk in front of them during a search of all the apartments in one of the buildings, after which they released her."

SM:

I am not suggesting that Hizbullah does not deliberately use civilian infrastructure for conducting their operations (you could argue that as a guerilla force they have no other option). The criticism is (once again) that pro-Israelis refuse to assign ANY blame to Israeli policies. The Israelis have used excessive force, they have used it without any consideration for civilian casualties. Making a statement, that it is not your "intent" to kill civilians, is worthless when the military turns a blind eye, or offers a slap on the wrist as punishment, towards the incidents that occur on the ground.

What I gather from pro-Israeli commentators and posters is this idea of complete blamelessness and besiegement. It is a process and aim that seeks to psychologically push Arabs and their supporters (do not mistake with supporters of suicide bombings) on the back foot and by taking the absolute moral high ground, restrict the room they have for making legitimate demands during negotiations. You yourself have made statements that illustrate this. When you question the very possibility of ever having lasting peace with the Arabs you are implying that they are incapable of doing so, another means of trying to absolve Israeli policies of having any role in the violence and take the moral high ground. Israel is trying to show the world that they have no legitimate partner for peace. They have accomplished much, by completely eroding Abu Mazens stature in negotiations, refusing to show restraint, retaliating with excessive force, and refusing to allow for time and diplomacy in changing the position of Hamas politicians WRT Israel. This would allow the Israelis to unilaterally draw the boundaries of the two states (essentially making no compromises on their part and giving the Palestinians a solution that they have already rejected).

What is needed is a recognition that both Arab and Israeli policies have contributed to the violence. We need to recognize that the occupation itself is the fuel for the fire of extremism and violence. Israel needs to withdraw to the 67 borders and give the Palestinians at least a modicum of self authority and work with them and through them for eliminating the radical groups who will never see reason. Concrete steps like these will give the Palestinians hope that they are close to having a homeland and a future THEY can work and build toward. The Arab states have already offered full recognition in lieu of a withdrawal to 67 borders. Whether Iran accepts Israel or not does not matter. The initial reaction against Hizbullah by Arab leaders has indicated that the majority of the Arab and world community will not tolerate the Iranians throwing a spanner in the works of a solution to this long lasting problem.

Posted by: Zain | August 4, 2006 09:18 AM

RB posted

"As if the Israelis have never used the Palestianian civilians as human sheild? You must have just woken from your coma to have missed these facts."

RB check out this:
http://www.btselem.org/english/Human_Shields/20060720_Human_Shields_in_Beit_Hanun.asp

Posted by: Ben | August 4, 2006 09:36 AM

guess no one cares or expects the muslims to not intentionally fire rockets desgined to kill civillians. what a sad commentary indeed.

Posted by: Permagrin | August 4, 2006 09:50 AM

everyone seems to feel bad when someone who looks like them or believes like them is hurt or killed in war. The really compassionate care as much about suffering everywhere and not just when it looks like them. Where is all the sympathy for the starving and militia abused victims in Darfur?

Posted by: | August 4, 2006 10:04 AM

Why there are still civilians in Southern Lebanon....


by Robert Fisk in Beirut
The Independent, London July 28, 2006

It was supposed to be a routine trip across the Lebanese killing fields for the brave men and women of the International Red Cross. Sylvie Thoral was the "team leader" of our two vehicles, a 38-year-old Frenchwoman with dark brown hair and eyes like steel. The Israelis had been informed and had given what the ICRC likes to call its "green light" to the route. And, of course, we almost died.

Trusting the Israeli army and air force, which are breaking the Geneva Conventions almost every day, is a dodgy business.

Their planes have already attacked - against all the conventions - the civil defence headquarters in Tyre, killing 20 refugees. They have twice attacked truckloads of refugees whom they themselves had ordered from their villages.

They have already attacked two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances in Qana, killing two of the three wounded patients inside and injuring all the crew - a clear and apparently deliberate breach of Chapter IV, Article 24 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

But the ICRC must put its trust in the Israeli military and so off we sped from southern Lebanon for Jezzine to the sound of gunfire, under the crumbling battlements of the crusader castle at Beaufort, through the ghostly, shattered streets of Nabatiyeh, bomb craters and crushed buildings on each side of us.

To cross the Litani river, we had to drive through the water, listening for the howl of airplane engines, one eye on the road, one on the sky. Sylvie and her comrades - Christophe Grange from France, Claire Gasser from Switzerland, Saidi Hachemi from Algeria and two Lebanese colleagues, Beshara Hanna and Edmund Khoury - drove in silence.

There were fresh bomb craters on the highway north of Nabatiyeh - the attacks had come only a few hours earlier, a fact we should have thought more about. Pieces of ordnance littered the roads, shards of wicked shrapnel, huge chunks of concrete. But we had had that all-important "green light" from Tel Aviv.

The ICRC teams may be the only saviours on the highways of southern Lebanon - their reticence in criticising anyone, including the Israelis and Hizbollah is a silence worthy of angels - although their work can attack their emotions as surely as an air strike. Only a day earlier, they had driven to the village of Aiteroun scarcely a mile from the Israeli army's disastrous assault on Bint Jbeil. In each "abandoned" village on the way, a woman would appear, then a child and then more women and the elderly, all desperate to leave.

There were perhaps 3,000 of them and, last night, Sylvie Thoral was trying to arrange permission for an evacuation convoy. The Israelis are promising the Lebanese much worse than the punishment they have already received - well over 400 Lebanese civilians dead - for Hizbollah's killing of three Israeli soldiers and the capture of two others. But still the Israelis have suggested no "green light" for Aiteroun.

"They were begging us to take them with us and we had no ability to do that," Saidi says with deep emotion. "Their eyes were filled with tears."

ICRC workers in Lebanon travel without flak jackets or helmets - their un-militarised status is something they are proud of - and driving with them in the same condition was an oddly moving experience.

They live - unlike the Israelis and their Hizbollah antagonists - by the Geneva Conventions. They believe in them when all others break the rules. But yesterday, when we reached the town of Jarjooaa, the ICRC in Beirut told us to turn back. The Israelis were bombing the road to the north and so we gingerly reversed our cars and started back down the hills to Arab Selim. The highway was empty and we had almost reached the bottom of a small valley.

I was reflecting on a conversation I had just had on my mobile phone with Patrick Cockburn, The Independent's correspondent who has just left Baghdad. Our guardian angels were working so hard, he said, that he was fearful they would form a trade union and go on strike.

That's when five vast, brown, dead fingers of smoke shot into the sky in front of us, an Israeli air-dropped bomb that exploded on the road scarcely 80 metres away with the kind of "c-crack" that comic books express so accurately, followed by the scream of a jet. If we had driven just 25 seconds faster down that road, we would all be dead.

So we retreated once more to Jarjooaa and parked under the balcony of a house where two women and three children were watching us, waving and smiling.

Sylvie was silent but I could see the rage on her face. The Israelis, it seemed, had made an "error". They had misread the route - or the number - of our little convoy. "How can we work like this? How on earth can we do our work?" Sylvie asked with a mixture of anger and frustration. On all the roads yesterday, I saw only three men whom I suspect were Hizbollah - no respecters of the Geneva Conventions they - driving at high speed in a battered Volvo. They can cross the rivers of Lebanon at will - just as we did - by circling the bomb craters and crossing the rivers. So what was the point in blowing up 46 of Lebanon's road bridges?

An old man approached us carrying a silver tray of glasses and a pot of scalding tea. Generous to the end, under constant air attack, these fearful Lebanese were offering us their traditional hospitality even now, as the jets wheeled in the sky above us. They asked us in to the house they had refused to leave and I realised then that these kind Lebanese people - unarmed, unconnected to Hizbollah - were the real resistance here. The men and women who will ultimately save Lebanon.

But before we abandoned our journey and before Sylvie and her team and I set off back to their base in the far and dangerous south of Lebanon, a man carrying a bag of vegetables walked up to Beshara Hanna. "Please move your cars away from my home," he said. "You make it dangerous for us all."

And the shame of this shook me at once. The Israeli attack on the Qana ambulances - their missiles plunging through the red crosses on the roofs - had contaminated even our own vehicles. He was just one man. But for him, the Israelis had turned the Red Cross - the symbol of hope on our roofs and the sides of our vehicles - into a symbol of danger and fear.

The laws of war

The laws of war, as the Geneva Conventions are sometimes known, often may seem like a lesson in absurdity. But for centuries countries have adhered to central principles of combat.

At the start of this conflict, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said: "Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians."

The rules of war state:

* Wars should be limited to achieving the political goals that started the war (and should not include unnecessary destruction).

* Wars should be ended as quickly as possible.

* People and property should be protected against unnecessary destruction and hardship.

The laws are meant to :

* Protect both combatants and non-combatants from unnecessary suffering.

* Safeguard human rights of those who fall into the hands of the enemy: prisoners of war, the wounded, the sick and civilians.

* Prohibit deliberate attacks on civilians. But no war crime is committed if a bomb mistakenly hits a residential area.

* Combatants that use civilians or property as shields are guilty of violations of laws of war.



Posted by: Angus | August 4, 2006 10:42 AM

I am sorry to admit that I struggle to understand either side in this current/ongoing conflict. For Israel, the Jewish holocaust seems to still be imbedded deep within the psyche of their culture. Could the fear of a repeat at the hands of those that make no bones about wanting to bring it about again (or worse, total annihilation), have anything to do with the average Israeli struggling to forgive and forget? For the Arab, a meager existence with little hope of advancement in life and the search for who is "really" to blame. Even in Istanbul, Turkey, I have a good friend named Esma, (age 15) who has "lessons" in one of the many homes of her group of peers about once a week. Here she is taught misinformation about Israel and the West. History is rewritten and truth suppressed. I'm not talking about current events still under investigation like the Qana bombing. I can't even give her links to investigate on her own as the Turkish government has blocked access to most of them. So I copy web pages and email them along with our many discussions and relationship building that takes place as we learn about each others lives and cultures. Now, I wonder if this still goes on in Turkey, what takes place in the learning institutions of youth in more conservative Muslim environments? The only solution I can think of is the one I am attempting at present... one life and one mind at a time through mutual respect and trust. To Esma I say, "thank you" for opening a world that would otherwise remain shrouded in mystery and suspicion for me. I hope I have done the same for you Little One.

Posted by: Glenn | August 4, 2006 10:58 AM

Glenn,

You sound to me like a deranged evangelical christian. A soft-spoken devil who is trying to mislead and poisin young minds. Be careful you don't get you head chopped off in one of these moslem countries. I don't think anyone would feel sorry for you then.

How much are you paying this little (15 year old) friend of yours to convert him to your nonsense? and what precisely are those sites you are trying to have this child access? Porn? or some wicked evangelical sites trying to buy new members your dwendeling community of deranged evangelical vermins? And by the way, Turkey is a secular (pretty much western style) country...so I am disturbed that- by your own admission- the sites that you are promoting to children are being blocked.
So get a life you worthless devil and go to LA or NY and try to lay your crap there, not in Turkey. Keep your corruption to yourself and your people...dont bring it to us.

Posted by: Turkish | August 4, 2006 11:33 AM

Zain -

I will not always apologize for Israel. I'm not saying Israeli society is perfect. Or that Israeli policies are always just. I don't doubt that Israel has at times used excessive force against Palestinians. But, there are guilty people on both sides.

"When you question the very possibility of ever having lasting peace with the Arabs you are implying that they are incapable of doing so, another means of trying to absolve Israeli policies of having any role in the violence and take the moral high ground."

The reason that I question the very possibility of lasting peace with the Arabs is due to the extremists. I believe that the average Palestinian man/woman on the street wants what every other human being on the planet wants...equality, human rights, education, respect, security and the chance to better his or her situation. And I believe that ALL people on the planet should have those things.

Unfortunately, the extremist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas (and many others) are not just calling for the territories to be given to the Palestinians. These groups ultimately want to destroy the entire country of Israel. These are the same groups that chant "Death to America." These are the groups that the underprivileged and desperate masses of Palestinians and other Arabs around the world support because of their belief that these groups will deliver them from their impoverished situations. In my opinion, these groups sabotage their attempts to help their people. It's not because of their cause; it's their tactics.

That is why I am concerned for Israel. People on this blog who support terrorism as a means to achieve a result need to be brutally honest and admit that it's Israel's mere existence in the Middle East that is the problem.

When the Palestinian people voted Hamas, a renowned terrorist organization, into power, it appears to undermine their determination to make a lasting peace with the Israelis. Why can't the suicide bombings stop first as a gesture of peaceful negotiation? Why can't the governing Palestinian body actually change the wording regarding the destruction of Israel in their covenant? The diplomatic process should be one of give and take. Each side must be willing to give and concede something. In good faith, Israel retreated from Gaza only to have rockets still fired into Israeli land afterwards.

So, ultimately, what's the answer? Who's going to take the moral high ground first? Who's going to be the "bigger person?"

Posted by: SM | August 4, 2006 11:42 AM

"[we]need to be brutally honest and admit that it's Israel's mere existence in the Middle East that is the problem." by SM

You said it better than anyone of us could. Thanks for that!

You still have a way to go, though..
"..Why can't the suicide bombings stop first as a gesture of peaceful negotiation?

How about: Why can't the criminally illegal Israeli policy of land confiscation, settlement expansion, and theft of palestinian natural resources stop first as a gesture of peacful negotiation?

Lastly, How about changing your racist and hateful zionist ideology, get a grip and set your mind clear and straight? Or may be you just can't help it..??

Posted by: printer | August 4, 2006 11:59 AM

"So, ultimately, what's the answer? Who's going to take the moral high ground first? Who's going to be the "bigger person?""

SM:

I think you know my answer to that. It has to be Israel because Israel is the occupying power; Israel is arguably the fourth strongest military in the world. Israel holds all the cards. Without Israel taking the first steps, violent groups will always be able to point towards the "land for peace" policy of Israel as a diversion while it continues to unilaterally demarcate boundaries that are unacceptable to the Arabs. It will be hard to remove the settlements, but they must go.

What is the alternative after all? That we continue with the current "Land for peace" policy? It just is not working. From a moral perspective, if Israel agrees to a two state solution, then it agrees that the land belongs to the Palestinians. Its refusal to not hand it over until its conditions are met can be considered blackmail. Withdraw to the 67 borders. The Arab world supports it. The 'prisoner's document' implicitly refers to it (for a first step from a group that wants the destruction of Israel you have to admit that's pretty big.); Fateh and Mahmood Abbas agree to it. The signs for a peaceful solution are all there so long as Israel drops its policy of brutal retaliation and stops the cycle of violence. Work with and through the Palestinians to get rid of the violent elements. It has to be seen as their fight and choice and not Israel's.

The Palestinians are the underdogs and disadvantaged party in this conflict. It is not realistic to ask that they should put their trust in the hands of the occupying power. Israel holds all the cards. It MUST be the one to break the stalemate. The opportunity may still be there.

Posted by: Zain | August 4, 2006 12:38 PM

It has been very interesting and stimulating having exchanges with the posters on this blog (at least the rational and logical ones). School starts back up again in September, so I am now going to officially start weaning myself off of this addiction. J and Angus, I do appreciate the efforts you have put in to provide a more balanced view into the conflict. The word "terrorism" has completely hijacked any rational debate that can occur on a variety of issues. There should not be any reason for any party to refuse talking to another party.

Wssalam.

P.S: I will pop in to check your response SM.

Posted by: Zain | August 4, 2006 12:55 PM

The Italians are planning beaches for Arab and Muslim women. Most of Europe struggles
to accomodate reality and justice.
The Bush administration continues to arm Israel's landgrabbing massacre, the rampage to take over or kill anything Arab, and waits to please the neocons campaign to bomb Iran.
Justice and decency aside, who do you think will prevail a very few years down the road. We've alreay lost our soul, and respect in the world...a big measure of safety. And it's not getting better.

Posted by: Disgusted | August 4, 2006 01:25 PM

The obscene score-card for death in this latest war now stands as follows: 508 Lebanese civilians, 46 Hizbollah guerrillas, 26 Lebanese soldiers, 36 Israeli soldiers and 19 Israeli civilians.

In other words, Hizbollah is killing more Israeli soldiers than civilians and the Israelis are killing far more Lebanese civilians than they are guerrillas.


-Robert Fisk
Indepedent UK

Posted by: Chris | August 4, 2006 02:01 PM

RB said:

"The bottom line is - Israel is a theocratic state where Judaism is the state religion."

RB, you like to rant at people who don't agree with you.

Don't you?

Posted by: saxyboy | August 4, 2006 02:38 PM

"It makes me angry that this is a problem that could have been resolved years ago - the Saudis put an offer in the table 4 years ago!! 1967 Borders full acceptance and recognition - so why no shouts of joy from the Israeli side?" - Angus

Oh? And you believe that both Hamas and Hezbollah, both groups who have pledged the complete destruction of Israel, will listen to the Saudis? How many supposed final solutions will be signed and rebuked before both groups' actual Final Solution is recognized?

It has become nice to recognize Oslo, but too few know what Yassir Arafat actually said in Oslo after signing a peace accord. Does jihad ring a bell anyone?

This is not a 20th Century problem, it's lasted centuries. To try to believe that the problem can be wrapped up by borders is sheer lunacy. Pre-Israel regional Palestine didn't have any borders, yet there was the same type of problem. No borders designating a Palestinian state under the Ottoman Empire, yet the problem still persisted in terms of oppression. A jizya is not a 20th Century concept.

"The Palestinians are treated better in any Arab country than any Arab (including those with American Citizenship) is treated in Israel." - Thom

Right, which is why there's a freaking wall keeping Palestinians out of Egypt and that's why other nations in the direct region don't want Palestinians to assimilate into their nations. Last I checked, we in the U.S. don't have walls keep Arabs out of our lands nor do we force Arabs to live in camps and not to assimilate.

Posted by: Chris | August 4, 2006 04:18 PM

And not the other Chris above, but in a question to the Chris above. Heh. I hope that isn't too confusing.

If Hezbollah's military victory is determined by minimizing their own casualties and hyping up the other sides casualties, how could you possibly expect the Hezbollah figure that you quoted to be accurate? Israel has stated they believe at least 400 Hezbollah have been killed, but even if that is overblown and we see your figure of 47, that's still a considerable gap.

To take the Hezbollah figure supplied by Hezbollah at face value is to not understand the way guerilla militaries operate. It is widely known that Hezbollah has controlled reporting in Lebanon in terms of this current war. Do you honestly believe Hezbollah will come out and give a fair representation of the numbers of their own deaths? They don't want to win militarily, they know they can't, but they want to convince people like you and everyone else that they are the noble fighters. Do noble people hold mass ceremonies yelling out "Death to America" or "Death to Israel?"

Some of you people above have seriously been eating up the Hezbollah misinformation campaign with a spoon, and it's sickening. Hezbollah is the same group that has murdered more Americans than all other terrorist groups with the exception of Al Qaida. William Buckley anyone?

Posted by: Chris | August 4, 2006 04:24 PM

As the story unfolds from my previous post here, the number of casualties in Qana has dropped to 28. Apperantly some "returns from the afterlife" have occurred there or as the ICRC, Human Rights Watch and now the Lebanese government adimit, they never occurred. The Lebanese government has so far blamed the inflated initial number of 57 on the chaos that was at the scene, but I think we can all agree as to why the "mistake" happened: to achieve the maximum effect from gullible people such as the writer of this colom and some of the coments made here. Indeed this is the most cynical use of civilians' death aided by Western self rightous people I have seen
to date... and so has the UN humanitarian aid coordinator to Lebanon Yan Egeland who has warned about it before the Qana incident after his return from Lebanon

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 4, 2006 04:28 PM

Addict.


Props to the iaf - they "only" killed 28 women and children at Qana and not 57 -

Interesting in how you see that is something to gloat about!!

Posted by: Angus | August 4, 2006 04:48 PM

"It makes me angry that this is a problem that could have been resolved years ago - the Saudis put an offer in the table 4 years ago!! 1967 Borders full acceptance and recognition - so why no shouts of joy from the Israeli side?" - Angus"

"Oh? And you believe that both Hamas and Hezbollah, both groups who have pledged the complete destruction of Israel, will listen to the Saudis? How many supposed final solutions will be signed and rebuked before both groups' actual Final Solution is recognized? "


Yes I do believe that - unfortunately since the israelis dismissed the proposal we shall never know!

Posted by: Angus | August 4, 2006 04:52 PM

Angus, there's a long history of both Hamas and Hezbollah accepting temporary peace offerings and proposed solutions then going back on what was signed. It's in the Hamas charter that there is no Israel. Palestinian children are taught in schools that we help fund that there is no Israel.

I mean no disrespect, but you are entirely too optimistic and unrealistic that what you and I might call simple logic could possibly be adapted by a group that is based upon the destruction of Israel. Hamas is an extension of The Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt from back in the early 20th Century, and the MB was not founded upon anything regarding Israel. It sought out the complete removal of all things "Western" from Egypt and expanded throughout the region.

The so-called problem is much, much bigger than just Israel and borders, and it behooves me that some people just don't get that. You can criticize Israel all you want, and you have, but without the most basic of understanding of what radical Islam is and what it actually wants every single one of your arguments comes accross as extremely naive.

Posted by: Chris | August 4, 2006 05:04 PM

RB,

Saxyboy's entire mission here is to dissuade any one who is critical of Israel's policies from continuing to post here. He may start with what seem like respectful questions, but once those questions are answered in the same very factual way they have been answered many times before by many other people, he will move to personal attacks. He may begin to insinusate that you are arguing in an ineffective or offensive manor. He then may begin to insinuate that you are anti semitic, just just inches away from it. One of his favorite routines is to suggest that you are somehow pathetic for spending so much time here, even though his presence here appears to substantially predate my own. He accused me and a number of other people of just that quite some time ago. He will then act really disgusted and say "I'm out of here!" , which he has done many, many times before. But he always returns, to pull the same dirty tricks.

Nor should you be taken in by his attempts to appear to be so interested in the facts and innocently defending Israel. When he's really frustrated by people who know what they are talking about or who simply don't respond to his tactics, he is quite happy to start throwing around racial slurs, as he did with Karim, a poster who is from the ME and who is very (respectfully) against Israeli Policy. After Saxyboy tried his best to use endless circular reasoning and veiled insults that ended up going nowhere, he simply began to refer to him as things like, and I quote a "camel jockey".

Please also keep in mind that a good number of other posters here use exacly the same techniques and it is quite possible they are all the same person or few people, posting under different names.

So, welcome back saxyboy, and RB, pay absolutely no attention to this guy. He is not sincere, honest, or worth your time to argue with.

J

Posted by: J | August 4, 2006 05:13 PM

Balfour looked at the success of his forefathers and there ability to wipe out north American natives.He was keen to see that the army was fully capable of keeping the survivors on reserves.It spawned his idea of uprooting the palestinians and putting them in refugee(reserves)camps.He was well aware that all those that opposed the settlers were terrorists(savages).So when Americans are supporting Israel we are not surprised.Yesterdays savages are todays terrorists,its your world we just live in it.

Posted by: Billy Jack | August 4, 2006 05:37 PM

Billy Jack,

"The Balfour Declaration was a letter dated November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation, a private Zionist organization. The letter stated the position, agreed at a British Cabinet meeting on October 31, 1917, that the British government supported Zionist plans for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine, with the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities there."


Taken From Wikipedia.


Note the last sentence. It was the "nothing should be done to prejudice the rights of the existing communities"
part which has been violated and which has led to most of the current problems.

America's crime is not standing up and acting on our stated longtime priciple that the Settlements should be removed and a Palestinian state should be instituted.

It is not too late. It would still be the beginning of the end of ME terrorsim.

J

Posted by: J | August 4, 2006 06:16 PM

Well Chris - in the past 20 years or so we have seen the end of apartheid in South Africa - the fall of the Berlin Wall - the outight collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union - and rudimentary capitalism take hold in China - all those things were once though impossible -

I firmly believe that most people want the same simple things out of life - mainly the ability to be somewhat upwardly mobile and try to ensure that their children's lives are an improvement on their own - Generations of Palestinians for the last 60 years have been left in a never ending cycle of despair and destruction - and yes there is a lot of blame to go around - the Palestinians and their cause have been used by almost all the ME players - but by far the greatest responsibility lies with right wing Israeli governments.

My ideas may seem naive to you but I find your blanket dismissals too simplistic - sort of they bad - we good.

I know many Palestinians in the US who have no interest in any Muslim Brotherhood - they have taken advantage of the opportunities available to them here and are interested in the same things as most of us are.


As J, Zain and some others have suggested and I also believe - if Israel removes its settlements and goes back to 1967 borders then they also remove a catalyst for the radicals to fire up and militarize its people.

Surely it's worth a try - whatever is in Hamas' charter they clearly don't have the ability to "drive Israelis into the sea" - also as most people without a pre-determined prejudice understand Hamas was making "concilliatory" noises until Olmert and his right wing cronies began its latest bout of extra-judicial assasinations.

My conclusion is that a large segment of Likud/Kadima and the military types don't want a peace by negotiation - they prefer a dictated fealty.

Seems interesting that a couple of weeks before Abbas referendum war breaks out - is it possible that the israelis did not want the world to see a large percentage of Palestinians voting overwhelmingly for recognition of Israel?

I wonder.

Posted by: Angus | August 4, 2006 06:37 PM

Angus - Not only was the number only 28, but (a) none of the victims was an adult male and (b) the Lebanonese themselves are reporting that several of the victims were apparently beaten to death. It is more than even odds that Hizbolla fanatics murdered the memebers of these two families in cold blood, simply for a photo op. That it was successful shows the intelectual and moral bankruptcy of much of the Arab world.

Posted by: An Amercian Liberal | August 4, 2006 07:29 PM

"(b) the Lebanonese themselves are reporting that several of the victims were apparently beaten to death. It is more than even odds that Hizbolla fanatics murdered the memebers of these two families in cold blood, simply for a photo op."

Where are these "Lebanonese" (sic) reports - and where are you getting your odds from ? Street bookie ?

I especially like the "only 28" - make you feel better?

Posted by: Angus | August 4, 2006 08:01 PM

And what's the "spin" going to be on these dead people? Perhaps they were rushing to the front lines to pepper the idf with peaches? sharpened Kiwi fruit? dum dum tomatoes?

"Israeli aircraft on a mission to destroy weapons caches hit a refrigerated warehouse where farm workers were loading fruit, killing at least 28 near the Lebanon-Syria border."

Posted by: Angus | August 4, 2006 08:10 PM

A nice list (not conclusive of course)for some of the israeli terrorist jewish state.

Enjoy!

http://www.soundofegypt.com/palestinian/adult/massacres.htm

Posted by: tea | August 4, 2006 09:41 PM

A nice list (not conclusive of course)for some of the israeli terrorist jewish state massacres.

Enjoy!

http://www.soundofegypt.com/palestinian/adult/massacres.htm

Posted by: tea | August 4, 2006 09:42 PM

Now Angus. Don't be too harsh on the savages. They're INVESTIGATING VERY HARD...the poor dead farmers,Qana, the UN bombings 1,2, and 3 and whatever, when...
Jenin, Sabra, Chatila, (tho the Butcher of Sabra and Chatila is in a coma), Beruit and all the obscenities to come next. The Israelis might rather investigate why the Israeli Army is successful only against women and children. Usually sleeping. But they ARE investigating.

Posted by: disgusted | August 4, 2006 10:10 PM

Israel and the U.S. are losing the Three-Front War
Patrick Seale Al-Hayat - 04/08/06//

In a word of wise advice to pig-headed political leaders, Denis Healey, a former British Defence Secretary, used to say, 'When you're in a hole, stop digging!' The U.S. and Israel are in a deep and dangerous hole. They urgently need to 'stop digging' before the hole swallows them up.
They are fighting, and losing, on three fronts -- Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. It seems that this is not enough for the more insane and hysterical among them who are clamouring to extend the war to Syria and Iran, and to the whole of what they like to call the 'Islamo-Fascist' world.
Israel denies it is involved in the Iraq war. But, in fact, it is as much part of that conflict as the U.S. is now part of the wars in Lebanon and Palestine. Israel participated in the strategic planning for the Iraq war, which was designed to remove any threat to it from the east. Its neocon friends in Washington egged America on to fight and fabricated the phoney intelligence which persuaded a gullible President that smashing Iraq was necessary for America's security.
Three years later, the U.S. is up to its neck in the Iraqi quagmire, squandering billions of dollars and losing men at the rate of about one a day, but without the good sense or the will to hoist itself out of the hole.
The wars in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon are all inter-linked, with U.S. abuses in Iraq providing a model for Israel's indiscriminate violence against civilians, and its breach of international humanitarian law. Israel is merely doing what the U.S. pioneered. When the world's superpower creates conditions of international anarchy by destroying the checks and balances of the international system, lesser powers feel free to follow suit.
The pro-Israeli ideologues in Washington are still apparently driven by the fantasy that the entire Middle East can be restructured by military force to suit U.S. and Israeli interests - and the President, worried about the looming mid-term elections in November, is too stubborn and too ignorant to call a halt to this madness.
The wars in Lebanon and Palestine are U.S.-Israel wars, pre-planned jointly and waged in close strategic coordination. The Israelis do the fighting while the U.S. provides the funding, the weapons, and the political and diplomatic cover. It has delayed a ceasefire to give Israel time to 'finish the job.'
But the wars are not going their way. In both Lebanon and Gaza, Israel might achieve some tactical gains - like this week's commando raid on Baalbek -- but a strategic victory is almost certainly unattainable.
Hizballah and Hamas are not conventional armies which can be wiped out on the battlefield, nor are they 'terrorist organisations' with no claim to recognition or respect. They are national resistance movements deeply rooted in the local population whom they represent, and whose rights and lives they seek to defend against Israel's repeated aggressions.
In Lebanon, Israel's immediate war aim appears to be to drive Hizballah and the local civilian population out of a 30 kilometre-wide stretch up to the Litani river, in the hope that an international force will then step in to disarm Hizballah and protect Israel from further rocket attacks. This is a pipedream.
Occupying south Lebanon will not protect Israeli forces from further guerrilla attacks - such as drove them out in 2000 - and no country will send troops to fight Hizballah on Israel's behalf. As the French have made clear, an international force can be deployed only with the consent of all the parties, Hizballah included, and only when peace is restored.
In the meantime, the villages of south Lebanon are being devastated by intense bombardment, while their panic-stricken inhabitants flee north as best they can -- if they have not been killed and buried in the rubble of their homes.
The moral and political cost to Israel of this ethnic cleansing and state terrorism is exceedingly high. Israel's contempt for Arab life and the laws of war has eroded the legitimacy it managed to achieve in its brief 58 years of existence. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of outraged and radicalized Arabs are itching to attack it.
This is the fundamental contradiction at the heart of Israel's policy. By seeking to restore its dented deterrent capability by brutal means - by demanding the freedom to attack its enemies while denying them the freedom to hit back - Israel has created a host of bitter and vengeful enemies. Its vulnerability to asymmetrical warfare will be increased not reduced by its pitiless campaigns on both fronts.
The wider U.S. and Israeli aim of destroying Hizballah and removing all trace of Syria or Iranian influence from Lebanon, is another unattainable fantasy, which flies in the face of local realities. For historical, confessional and social reasons, because of a dense network of family and other ties, and because of shared strategic and security interests, Syria and Iran will always have far greater sway in Lebanon than Israel or the U.S. can ever hope to have.
Whatever military surprises the next week or two may bring, it is already clear that hatred for Israel and disillusion with America will know no bounds, while Hizballah will emerge stronger from the battle. By setting themselves impossible aims, Israel and the U.S. have guaranteed their own failure.
The United States is now at an important crossroads in its dealings with the Arab and Muslim world. Will it sink deeper into hostility or can it find the wisdom to correct its aim? There are experienced men in Washington who know what needs to be done - men like Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George Bush senior, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser - but their voices are not heard in George W Bush's White House.
Bush's 'Global War on Terrorism' (GWOT), and his unconditional support for Israel, have made him a host of enemies. No U.S. President in modern times has been more reviled. The U.S. even seems incapable of disciplining its unruly Israeli protégé, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice learned to her cost this past week. She thought Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had promised her a 48-hour ceasefire, but Israel continued its bombardment unabashed. She told Shimon Peres, Israel's deputy premier, that a ceasefire could be obtained in days, but he contradicted her publicly saying Israel needed weeks.
Where then is America's global leadership? It has been flushed down the drain in what Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called a 'culture of violence.'
The choice facing President George W Bush is stark. It is between continuing his backing for Israel's disastrous wars in Lebanon and Palestine, and perhaps even extending the conflict to Iran and Syria, or calling a halt to such folly and asserting his leadership for peace.
This is Bush's unique chance to rescue his presidency from failure. He must put America's great weight and his personal prestige behind the search for a comprehensive regional settlement. It can be done and he has the time to do it. But to succeed, he will need to make a clean sweep of advisers who have put America in danger.
The problems of the region must be tackled frontally and together, because they are interlinked.
*The Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved with the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
*The Israeli-Syrian conflict must be resolved with the return to Syria of the Golan.
*Lebanon must be rebuilt with a massive injection of aid and international guarantees for its future security.
*The U.S. must start a bilateral dialogue with Iran aimed at restoring diplomatic relations and recognising Iran's regional interests and security fears.
*Israel must give up its vain ambition to dominate the region militarily and should instead, safe within its 1967 borders, conclude peace treaties with the entire Arab world based on mutual respect and good neighbourliness.
Is this utopian vision the greatest pipedream of all? In the meantime the killing goes on, and everyone is a loser.

Posted by: | August 5, 2006 12:22 AM

Can anyone possibly understand why the United States and Israel are concerned about the growing threat from extremists? How can anyone actually justify this hatred?

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060804/D8J9LMVG0.html

Iraqi Shiites Chant 'Death to Israel'

Aug 4, 10:35 AM (ET)

By MURTADA FARAJ

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of Shiites chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" marched through the streets of Baghdad's biggest Shiite district Friday in a show of support for Hezbollah militants battling Israeli troops in Lebanon.

No violence was reported during the rally in the Sadr City neighborhood. But at least 35 people were killed elsewhere in Iraq, many of them in a car bombing and gunbattle in the northern city of Mosul.

The demonstration was the biggest in the Middle East in support of Hezbollah since the Israeli army launched an offensive July 12 after a guerrilla raid on northern Israel. The protest was organized by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose political movement built around the Mahdi Army militia has been modeled after Hezbollah.

Al-Sadr summoned followers from throughout the Shiite heartland of southern Iraq to converge on Baghdad for the rally but he did not attend.

Demonstrators, wearing white burial shrouds symbolizing their willingness to die for Hezbollah, waved the group's yellow banner and chanted slogans in support of its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who has attained a cult status in the Arab world for his defiance of Israel.

"Allah, Allah, give victory to Hassan Nasrallah," the crowd chanted.

"Mahdi Army and Hezbollah are one. Let them confront us if they dare," the predominantly male crowd shouted, waving the flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Iraq.

Many walked with umbrellas in the searing afternoon sun. Volunteers sprayed them with water.

"I am wearing the shroud and I am ready to meet martyrdom," said Mohammed Khalaf, 35, owner of a clothes shop in the southern city of Amarah.

Al-Sadr followers painted U.S. and Israeli flags on the main road leading to the rally site, and demonstrators stepped on them - a gesture of contempt in Iraq. Alongside the painted flags was written: "These are the terrorists."

Protesters set fire to American and Israeli flags, as well as effigies of President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, showing the men with Dracula teeth. "Saddam and Bush, Two Faces of One Coin" was scrawled on Bush's effigy.

Iraqi government television said the Defense Ministry had approved the demonstration, a sign of public anger over Israel's offensive and of al-Sadr's stature as a major player in Iraqi politics.

"I consider my participation in this rally a religious duty. I am proud to join this crowd and I am ready to die for the sake of Lebanon," said Khazim al-Ibadi, 40, a government employee from Hillah.

Although the rally was about Hezbollah, it was also a show of strength by al-Sadr. Many people worried the presence of so many Shiite demonstrators - most of them from the Mahdi Army - would add to sectarian tensions in the city, which has seen almost daily clashes between Shiite and Sunni extremists.

The sectarian violence escalated after the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra unleashed a wave of reprisal attacks on Sunnis nationwide.

On Thursday, Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, told a Senate committee in Washington that sectarian violence in Iraq "is probably as bad as I have seen it" and that if the spiral continued the country "could move toward civil war."

In the latest violence, at least 12 people were killed Friday when Iraqi security forces fought gunbattles with suspected insurgents in Mosul after a suicide car bomber attacked a police patrol, said the provincial police commander, Maj. Gen. Withiq al-Hamdani. He said that the bombing killed four policemen and that eight insurgents died in the subsequent gunbattle.

On Thursday evening, a suicide bomber drove into a soccer field in the town of Hatra near Mosul, setting off a blast that killed seven spectators and three policemen police Col. Abdul Karim Ahmed Khalaf said. Six civilians and nine policemen were injured, he said.

On Friday, three mortar shells hit a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, killing two people, wounding four and damaging some stores, police Lt. Bilal Ali Majid, said.

An engineer was shot dead and an unidentified body, showing signs of torture, was found in western Baghdad.

Separately, gunmen shot and killed four people and wounded eight from a Shiite family late Thursday in Dujail, 50 miles north of Baghdad, police Lt. Hussam al-Dujeili said.

The U.S. military said in a statement that coalition forces killed at least three "terrorists" during an air strike and multiple raids southeast of Baghdad on Thursday.

Posted by: | August 5, 2006 01:21 AM

Posted to provide some perspective here....

**********************************

A sustainable peace only
By JAMES ARBUTHNOT

I'm a supporter of Israel. Nowadays that seems to be rather a shocking thing to say, but I remain a supporter of Israel.

Why? I'm not Jewish. I've been to Israel only a couple of times. And yet... Israel is a democracy. It believes in and practices the rule of law and freedom of speech. Its values of independence, self-reliance, hard work and looking after others are values I admire.

And some of its neighbors - and many of its inhabitants - want to destroy it.

In one way I suppose that is not surprising. When a state is artificially created, as Israel was in 1948, many people will be angered by the change. Yet we cannot and should not now revisit that decision. It is settled, and several wars have failed to overturn it.

Yet the players in the current conflict, Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran and Syria - the new "Axis of Terror" - all reject Israel's right to exist and the state's legitimacy. All repeatedly call for Israel's destruction.

We cannot ignore what Iranian President Ahmadinejad says about wanting to "wipe Israel off the face of the map." We cannot pretend from our Western perspective that he never said it, or that he was joking.

And we cannot just hope that he doesn't get nuclear weapons in order to achieve it. As the former Iranian president, the "moderate" Rafsanjani, said in 2001: "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the... application of an atomic bomb, it would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damage in the Muslim world."

So the wars the Arabs have been fighting against Israel have been to achieve its destruction. And having lost those wars, over many years they have been doing their best to achieve it by guerrilla tactics, by firing rockets and sending suicide bombers to kill as many civilians as they can.

ISRAEL HAS every right to protect its citizens from this. Being a democratic country, Israel finds that if it fails to be robust in that protection, its leaders are voted out of office. And it has taken actions that we in the West often disagree with - the security fence, the occupation of Southern Lebanon in 1982, and many other things. But we are not faced with these constant threats, nor with the implacable enmity of our neighbors.

Despite that, Israel withdrew from every inch of Lebanon in May 2000, and from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. Israel might have expected some benefit from this; but instead Lebanon and Gaza became launching pads for rocket attacks onto Israeli soil.

Since 2000, Hizbullah has sporadically attempted the kidnapping of soldiers and fired Katyusha rockets over the internationally recognized border. Since August 2005, Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups have launched over 1,000 rockets from Gaza onto shops, restaurants, schools and community centers within Israeli territory, and sent potential suicide bombers with instructions to hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

And then, a few weeks ago, Hamas tunneled into Israeli territory and killed and kidnapped soldiers, and Hizbullah in a move condemned even in Arab countries joined in. Why?

THE ANSWER is twofold. First, the discussions between the Israeli government and moderate Palestinians were beginning to look as though they might bear fruit. We might even have seen peace. But peace would have further cemented in place the continued existence of Israel, so it had to be disrupted by the Hamas action.

The second part was given to us by Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. After Hizbullah's attack, which the British foreign secretary rightly described as "pouring petrol onto a bonfire," he said: "For more than a year, I've been saying that we want to kidnap soldiers in order to exchange prisoners... we've been preparing for this since Israel left Lebanon."

Indeed they had. In six years the Iranian regime, through its strategic alliance with Syria, armed Hizbullah primarily through shipments of rockets and missiles through Damascus. They helped Hizbullah develop a complex infrastructure of secret underground bunkers and stockpile an estimated 13,000 missiles for an eventual battle with Israel.

Now Hizbullah is using them.

WHAT EXACTLY do we expect the Israelis to do? To leave open the route to restock Hizbullah? To negotiate with kidnappers and thus create more kidnappers? To let out of jail people who have been murdering their neighbors? Yet it is ghastly for us to see the human cost of these harsh decisions. Any innocent life lost is a tragedy that stands alone.

Israeli soldiers try hard, sometimes at the cost of their own lives, to avoid killing Lebanese civilians. Sometimes they fail, and in a war like this Israel will certainly make mistakes.

I wish I understood what happened in relation to the UN observers, but I don't. I know it is hard to argue both that Israel is conducting pinpoint attacks and that it did not target the UN observers - although it seems perfectly obvious that Israel would not set out to kill UN observers, so it must have been another awful mistake.

By contrast, however, it is the purpos of Hizbullah to kill and terrorize civilians. Hizbullah, like Hamas, has embedded its infrastructure, personnel, munitions and military positions among civilians. As the foreign secretary confirmed in the House of Commons on July 25, many Hizbullah rockets are launched from private homes, with Lebanese families residing inside.

As the eminent Harvard law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz wrote recently, Islamist terrorists "have mastered the harsh arithmetic of pain... Palestinian casualties play in their favor and Israeli casualties play in their favor."

The intended and achieved consequence of all this is that the world's attention has been diverted away from Teheran's resolve to acquire nuclear weapons, and its hegemonic regional aspirations. Also, many have lost sight of Syria's continued interference in Lebanon and the Assad regime's complicity in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

SO THAT'S why I support Israel. Israel is our front-line ally in the fight against terrorism.

Of course I want to see a cease-fire and a sustainable peace in the Middle East, with an end to state-sponsored terrorism. But any cease-fire would have to be credibly agreed by all sides. And it could be built only on the conditions agreed by G-8 leaders: the return of kidnapped soldiers, the total end of missile attacks against Israel, and the fulfillment of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for Hizbullah to be disarmed and the deployment of the Lebanese army to the border with Israel.

We cannot waver from these conditions, or from Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from within or without its borders.

The writer, a senior Conservative UK parliamentarian, is former defense minister and currently chairman of the House of Commons Defense Select Committee, and Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel.

***************************************
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1154525797583&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Posted by: | August 5, 2006 01:33 AM

"When a state is artificially created, as Israel was in 1948, many people will be angered by the change. Yet we cannot and should not now revisit that decision. It is settled, and several wars have failed to overturn it."

Settled? Thanks JUDGE! Who are you to settle it? Did you lose your land and your freedom by the illegal creation of this aparthied, terrorist and illegal state of yours? Has your family and friends been killed or became homeless because of this artificial creation- as you put it (correctly)? If so,lets have an honest debate here. Otherwise, shut up and go back to your TV screen and continue listenning to your deranged, hateful,anti-american spies on the israeli propaganda machine (aka Faux News). You sound like a dirty, subhuman savage zionist to me so don't pretend to be an outsider here.

Posted by: printer | August 5, 2006 01:57 AM

Religion is evil. No wonder idiots are in both sides. Both sides wants to kill civilians. hey know it pressure the other side.

With all the talk about Hebollah attacking civilians , it is Israelis who killed more civilians with pin point accuracy.You may say Hezbollah is hiding among civilians. hat is bunch of bull. he idea is Kill as many civilians and make Hezbollah accept defeat.

The pity thing is america is going along with nonsense. But who is american policy amkers ? bunch of jews running america. So there is no surprise here.

I believe Israel is a bad idea. The evil will grows and kill many many Millions of muslim with nukes. I know it is going to happen. Who killed most innocent civilians? America. So America supporting israel to kill civilians is no surprise.

Muslims may kill civilians here and there with theiur guerilla attacks. Thats about it. AM i defending muslims and islamic freedom fighters? (You may call terrorist but it is always other side calls the enemy terrorist).

We all know islam is evil. It has been proven throughout the history. It is offensive and aggresive religion. It has to be modernized to suit the 21st century.

I disagree with the methods Israel and america is taking. They intend to kill many civilians to occupy the land and wipe them out. Why you may ask? America does n't need another country. True. America may not need the land but it wants to control the region. Just like its bases in Iraq, germany japan and south korea to control the region.

Then why America and israel want to kill civiliand in big number? Well it is israels idea. They wanted to expand Israel. And expand it in such a way that there is no muslims left.

I can see evil. Jews killed jesus christ and they have been cause for all wars from start of the history. They are always wanted to make jew super power. And now they are using america to achieve it. it is happening. I am the only one seeing it. No one can stop it. May be it is your time to convert yourself to a jew. Hahahaha.

It is astonishing that no one in the world see through the plan and pattern of jews behaviour. Either they see it and afraid to tell.

I will be wrong when Israel stop torturing palestenians and give them their state back. Most of the attacks on Israel is done with help of mozzad to influence the worlds decision.

you have to understand the Jews mental psyche. Every jew has to scarfice for greater goal of Greater Israel.

All i can say is america is duped. Jews will backstab america when the time comes.

Posted by: Alex | August 5, 2006 07:11 AM

Printer-
You're the one who's deranged with your Holocaust denial and all your other idotic, unintelligent comments. You have yet to write one insightful comment. None of your rantings are based in any fact. You really have no business calling anyone anything until you look long and hard at yourself in a mirror and see what a poor excuse for a human you really are.

Posted by: Outsider | August 5, 2006 12:41 PM

To Gus

I am taking my sources from the same sources Hezbollah propaganda would use if it liked the numbers better (i.e. more causalties): Human Rights Watch, the UN, the ICRC and now the government of Lebanon who admitted 28 people killed in Qana and not 57 as previously claimed (somebody in Hezbollahès media apparatus is going to pay dearly for the leak).

To Thom:
You do not care how much influence Yesha rabinical council in Irseal has yet you characterize it as representing the whole country! It is similar to me saying that all Lebanese support Hezbollahès actions and as such declared war on Israel even though I know that Shia are 40% of Lebanon and the rest, Marunite, Druze and Sunni, are not interested in fighting for Syria and Iran.

You do not care what is the negligable affect of Yesha Rabinical Council in Israel (as proven by the disengagement) simply because it does not serve or fit your bias account of Israel. Which is too bad. Perhaps you should read the colom of Lebanese presidential candidate Chilbi in the NYT to get a better picture.

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 5, 2006 02:07 PM

To Angus

You have completely missed the point about me putting the numbers which are now official. My point was not the numbers of civilians killed. Any death of a civilian in this conflict, be heàshe Israeli or Lebanese, should be regretted. My point was that the changing facts on the ground seem to be following the Jenin case.

In Jenin the story started with Israel refuting the Palestinian exagerated number of casualties and the fact that the place was not used by Hamas. Both these claims by Israel have turned out to be true according to UN, ICRC and HRW.

In the Qana case we are seeing the ebgining of the same pattern: Hezbollah puts forward an exagarated number for the media, the real number is exposed and then Israel releases the videos of the rockets being fired from Qana as filmed by one of thei drones.

The point is that something very fishy is going on there and that is supported by both the time difference between the attack and the building's collapse; and UN humanitarian aid coordinator Jan Egeland's words that he has never seen something like Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon who cheer at the high civilian casualties number compared with Hezbollah fighters as a PR weapon!

I urge you and every reader here to think about this and engage in something that I can say out of experience is not permitted in many Arab countries: ask questions

Posted by: The Middle East News Addict | August 5, 2006 02:27 PM

To anonymous, who posted:


"Israel and the U.S. are losing the Three-Front War
Patrick Seale Al-Hayat - 04/08/06//

In a word of wise advice to pig-headed political leaders, Denis Healey, a former British Defence Secretary, used to say, 'When you're in a hole, stop digging!' The U.S. and Israel are in a deep and dangerous hole. They urgently need to 'stop digging' before the hole swallows them up"

Absolutely no pipe dream at all!
It just probably won't happen in the Bush administration. If people are sickened enough by this current, completely usesless violence, They may sweep out the congress and repopulate it with people who have real backbone, resolve, and who at least might consider acting in the interest of the US as opposed to their own
meager political futures.

It would also be helpful if the entire democratic party sent a very strong message to Hillary by inviting her to run for Prime Minister of Israel and never again as a democratic presidential hopeful.

In order for any of this to happen, there meust be real political pressure put on candidates by teh voters. stronger pressure than Aipa is capable of delivering.

It would also be helpful to finally label AIPAC as the agent of a foreign nation and never allow tehm to send political support money or lobby our government again.

I really do believe that this is coming in some form or other. I speak to a wide variety of poeple about our policies concerning Israel and no one that I speak to shares the sentiments that our government and the media claims that we all share. These forums are an excellent example of that! We as a nation are not being adequately represented in government or in the media. They need to start feeling our displeasure!

Thanks for the great post and please, use some sort of moniker that allows people to delineate you from other anonymous posters.

J

Posted by: J | August 5, 2006 02:29 PM

TO NEWS ADDICT:
I saw the news interview (thousands did) of the young man who ran outside the house in Qana when the bombs began. The house fell immediately. What is this crapp about eight hours later? How many lies, how much obscene blabbering from the defenders of the Israeli savages is bearable? Enough. Or keep on....you're fomenting hatred. Not too smart, one would think.

Posted by: Detest | August 5, 2006 03:49 PM

DEAR J,
Want to know something sickneing? Our president doesn't even care much for Jews, or Irael. (check his backgrond, friends).His ruinous actions re Israel come from the fact of his father's losing his second election... i.e. At the height of his popularity Geo HW Bush and Sec.State James Baker decided to finally rein in Israel, tackle the problem of and middle east peace. They said so. Immediately Sharon and company began their own campaign. With the vile AIRPAC, with the American Jewish owned and operated media, the Times the Post, etc. Bush was a "wimp", etc. It was horrific, everyone saw it and it worked. Clinton won. HIllary and Bill aren't dumb, every one of their counselors and every major cabinet post was filled with Jews. Except Sec.Justice, went to Reno only after two Jewish women proved to be unconfirmable, illegal nannies, etc. Imagine Dennis Ross, who has always worked for right wing jewish organizations between administrations, being an 'honest broker' , the middle east envoy, etc. Was that supposed to be funny, or what?
Young Georgie was beset with his Fathers' failure. Along came the neocons, (jewish neocons is an oxymoron ) Sharon, right wingers, worked him like a puppet. Some say threatened, some promised, but there it was. He saw the light, all right. He was and is the the puppet of, Israel. First he was too stupid, now too stubborn and in any case helpless to change. How dangeorus is it? You've read Walt and Meirshemier, are being read, and hopefully history. Worth reading about post revoluation in Russia in 1917, the attempt in Germany in the
30s, etc. It is an old story.

Posted by: worried | August 5, 2006 04:24 PM

Worried,

Save the anti semitic, "jews trying to take over the world" crap for someone who might be gullible enough to buy it.

You denigrate the work of the authors of the "Israel Lobby" and weaken the credibility of every one else here that has legitimate criticisms of US-Israel policies when you attempt to equate your own ridiculus, hateful ideas with normal people's opinions on the matter.

In fact, It seems that your opinions are so ugly and ill conceived that it may in fact be your intention to smear other normal pro US, anti settlement posters here by trying to create some "guilt by association". It certainly would not be the first time it's happened.

Do me a favor. Please take the time to read through my posts here and on the previous ME related WaPo forums. My position is quite clear on Israel, the Settlements and on Nutjobs such as yourself who only serve to make a bad situation worse by using hateful, logically ridiculus arguments that only serve to add credibiltiy to people who "pull the race card" endlessly as cover for Israel's internationally condemned behavior.

Also, take the time to reread the "Israel Lobby". you will see that the authors take on the situation is radically different from the one you insinuate and that they would, obviously, find your position disgusting and without merit of any kind.

P.S.

Stop the Bombing, tear down the wall, end the occupation, raze the settlments, and watch terrorism in Israel and the US drop down to almpst nothing.


J

Posted by: J | August 5, 2006 05:42 PM


http://youtube.com/watch?v=jS1fX3b-gpk

Posted by: SM | August 5, 2006 05:44 PM

Saying Israel has the right to "defend itself" is like saying The Mafia has a right to defend itself. It may be some kind of right, but not a legal one. One forfeits protection from the law when one lives outside the law.
The House of Israel has NEVER lived within the law. It re-invents the law to serve its' own.

Posted by: Dave | August 5, 2006 06:26 PM

Dave-
Do you want to explain what you just wrote? It made absolutely no sense. After all, Israel is a legitimate country that was created under the auspices of the United Nations. And what exactly are you referring to when you write "the House of Israel?"

I suppose that you don't comprehend a country's right to defend itself from sporadic rocket attacks (ongoing since 2000) and the kidnapping of its soldiers from within its own territory. Please try not to strain yourself while using your limited thinking skills and try to acknowledge that Hezbollah provoked this situation. You may not agree with Israel's response, but Israel most certainly does have the right to defend itself and its citizens from a group whose stated mission is the destruction of Israel.

Posted by: SM | August 5, 2006 06:54 PM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli airstrikes early Saturday killed four Palestinians and wounded five more in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, officials said.

In the first strike a 16-year-old girl and her brother, 15, were killed said Dr. Ali Musa, the director of the local hospital. Their mother Huda, 50, died later of her wounds.

Four other people, all civilians, were also seriously wounded, he said. Earlier he had said the dead were a woman in her 60s and her son.

Posted by: Angus | August 5, 2006 07:06 PM

To addict -

No I did not miss your point - whether the number is 28 - 47 or 600 the fact remains these were civilians - I understand your attempts to mitigate this slaughter by jumping up and down about the original number and spinning it out into a "conspiracy" ...in fact one of your fellow enablers "an American Liberal" (which I supect is about as valid as calling OJ a "woman's rights advocate")...is trying to sell us on official "Lebanonese" reports that HB actually beat these people to death and placed them at Qana in an attempt to gain world sympathy.....0f course he has yet to provide any source ...even your own government is not peddling this conspiracy theory - so why are you? Does it lessen your sense of shame and guilt at what the idf is doing on your behalf? Does it make it easier to accept if you point the finger at anyone and everyone?

As for this staement you made earlier....

"Indeed this is the most cynical use of civilians' death aided by Western self rightous people I have seen
to date..."


Do I really have to explain how ludicrous this statement is? Think about it and let me know?

Posted by: Angus | August 5, 2006 07:24 PM

Doesn't Hezbollah care who's getting hit by their missiles in their attempts to attack as many CIVILIANS as possible? Hezbollah's missiles don't discriminate...

***************************************
Israeli war deaths go largely unnoticed

Hours after mother and two daughters are killed in Hizbullah rocket attack, media outlets around world fail to report deaths; meanwhile, British press continues anti-Israel tirade
Yaakov Lappin

Media bias? Hours after 60-year-old Fadia Jumaa and her two daughters, Samira, 31, and Sultana, 33, were killed by a Hizbullah rocket attack on their home in the Israeli-Bedouin village of Arab al-Aramshe, the international media has so far largely ignored their deaths.

Reuters was alone among non-Israeli media outlets to report the deaths, according to a Google news search, a number of hours after the first reports of the attack surfaced.

The lack of coverage of the Israeli civilian war casualties stands in marked contrast to the swift response by many sections of the international media to reported Lebanese casualties.

Story is continued at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3286880,00.html

Posted by: SM | August 5, 2006 11:27 PM

John McCarthy: Israel and the art of sophistry


What is 'brave' about giving back something you have stolen?

Published: 06 August 2006


In Tony Blair's speech in Los Angeles last Tuesday, he said he was sickened by what was happening in Lebanon but went on to effectively absolve Israel of responsibility for the devastation there. He urged: "Just for a moment, put yourself in Israel's place."

In that one phrase, our Prime Minister summed up everything that is wrong with our policy for the Middle East. In that one statemen, he gave credence to all the so-called Islamic extremists who claim the British and American governments care nothing for Arabs. His protestations of sympathy were profoundly offensive, two days after the attack on Qana. If he had really wanted to help he should have been shouting long and loud for an immediate ceasefire to stop the killing of innocents, rather than opting for diplomatic sophistry, important though the proposed UN deal will be in the long term.

Mr Blair ignored the carnage of Israel's rampage through Lebanon and attacks on Gaza. He blamed all the horror - indeed all the world's ills - on what he described as an "arc of extremism" stretching across the Middle East. Amazingly, his "arc of extremism" formed, among others, by Hizbollah, Hamas, Iran and Syria, failed to include Israel. He said: "We need to make clear to Syria and Iran that there is a choice: come in to the international community and play by the same rules as the rest of us." The sort of rules that accept Israel's wanton destruction of Lebanon as a reasonable response to the killing of four soldiers and capture of two more by Hizbollah?

Israel is out of control. A craving for physical security (unsurprising with the post-Holocaust generation's attitude of "never again"), together with secular Zionist ideals and the Jewish fundamentalist belief of being God's chosen people, has allowed Israel to believe it can do as it will. Anything, it seems, is legitimate, and Mr Blair has backed the US in rubber-stamping actions in Lebanon and Gaza which surely will be looked back on as crimes against humanity.

Groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas have said they want the destruction of the Israeli state. This obviously unacceptable ambition is shared by Iran and others. At times, such statements appear largely rhetorical; at others, they are backed by suicide bombings and rocket attacks. But, even now, no one can sensibly claim that Israel faces a real threat of destruction or occupation. Israel, on the other hand, is actively engaged in the destruction of a nation, bombing Lebanon back "by 20 years", as the military put it, and in the occupation of Palestinian land.

Look at the events leading to the crisis on Israel's other fighting front, Gaza. Gaza is Palestinian territory, occupied by Israel until last September and still dominated by Israel's military might. On 25 June, Palestinian fighters crossed into Israel, attacked an army post and returned with their captive Cpl Gilad Shalit.

Like many, Mr Blair sees this as the start of Israel's (not Palestine's) "crisis in Gaza". The action was widely reported in our media as being "an escalation" by Palestinian "militants", and Israel's aggressive response was only to be expected. What Mr Blair and other observers will not admit is that the day before Cpl Shalit's capture, Israeli forces went into Gaza and kidnapped two Palestinians whom Israel claims are Hamas militants.

Tony Blair should put himself in the Palestinians' place for a moment. Israel kidnaps your citizens from your territory and no one takes a blind bit of notice. A tit-for-tat raid justifies an onslaught that has cost more than 140 Palestinian lives, many of them civilians. Whose "arc of extremism" is in action here?

The UN says 63 Palestinians were killed and 142 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza in May and June this year. These attacks included more than 3,000 artillery shells and almost 50 air strikes. In the same period, Palestinians fired 369 rockets, nearly all home-made and inaccurate Qassams. Fourteen Israelis were injured. Two Israeli soldiers died trying to rescue Cpl Shalit.

Doubtless the people of towns such as Ashkelon and Sderot - within range of Palestinian rockets - are terrified and angry. But what about the terror of the people of Gaza? It is one of the most densely populated places on earth; 1.4 million people live in an area smaller than the Isle of Wight. In the past month, Israel has turned Gaza back into a ghetto, bombing the power station so homes are often without electricity or clean water. Aid agencies say Israel is allowing in only just enough food to stop the population from starving. The UN says Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

Mr Blair did acknowledge the core need to "put a viable Palestinian government on its feet". But there was the usual caveat. The Palestinian state must be "democratic and not threaten Israel's safety". The Palestinians have a democratically-elected government. It is led by Hamas, but because Hamas has not recognised Israel formally the Hamas government will not be recognised. If one is being balanced, or "proportionate", one has to ask: Why would Hamas recognise Israel? Why should Hamas bow before the guns of Israel and say they will stop fighting for their freedom?

Israel has been occupying Palestinian land, in defiance of UN resolutions, for almost 40 years. Instead of insisting on Israel leaving all Palestinian territories, Mr Blair spoke of the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's "brave step of disengagement from Gaza" last year. What is brave about giving back something you have stolen, still keeping the rightful owners in a virtual prison? Until the safety and human rights of Palestinians - and of all people in the region - are valued as much and put on an equal footing with those of Israelis, there is no hope for a peaceful settlement.

The LA speech was vintage Blair but he seemed undecided which of his two favourite roles he was playing, world leader or preacher. Ultimately, his words, though full of sound and fury, signified nothing. The Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis - all of us - deserve better and more honest leadership.

John McCarthy was kidnapped in Lebanon in 1986 and held for five years

In Tony Blair's speech in Los Angeles last Tuesday, he said he was sickened by what was happening in Lebanon but went on to effectively absolve Israel of responsibility for the devastation there. He urged: "Just for a moment, put yourself in Israel's place."

In that one phrase, our Prime Minister summed up everything that is wrong with our policy for the Middle East. In that one statemen, he gave credence to all the so-called Islamic extremists who claim the British and American governments care nothing for Arabs. His protestations of sympathy were profoundly offensive, two days after the attack on Qana. If he had really wanted to help he should have been shouting long and loud for an immediate ceasefire to stop the killing of innocents, rather than opting for diplomatic sophistry, important though the proposed UN deal will be in the long term.

Mr Blair ignored the carnage of Israel's rampage through Lebanon and attacks on Gaza. He blamed all the horror - indeed all the world's ills - on what he described as an "arc of extremism" stretching across the Middle East. Amazingly, his "arc of extremism" formed, among others, by Hizbollah, Hamas, Iran and Syria, failed to include Israel. He said: "We need to make clear to Syria and Iran that there is a choice: come in to the international community and play by the same rules as the rest of us." The sort of rules that accept Israel's wanton destruction of Lebanon as a reasonable response to the killing of four soldiers and capture of two more by Hizbollah?

Israel is out of control. A craving for physical security (unsurprising with the post-Holocaust generation's attitude of "never again"), together with secular Zionist ideals and the Jewish fundamentalist belief of being God's chosen people, has allowed Israel to believe it can do as it will. Anything, it seems, is legitimate, and Mr Blair has backed the US in rubber-stamping actions in Lebanon and Gaza which surely will be looked back on as crimes against humanity.

Groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas have said they want the destruction of the Israeli state. This obviously unacceptable ambition is shared by Iran and others. At times, such statements appear largely rhetorical; at others, they are backed by suicide bombings and rocket attacks. But, even now, no one can sensibly claim that Israel faces a real threat of destruction or occupation. Israel, on the other hand, is actively engaged in the destruction of a nation, bombing Lebanon back "by 20 years", as the military put it, and in the occupation of Palestinian land.

Look at the events leading to the crisis on Israel's other fighting front, Gaza. Gaza is Palestinian territory, occupied by Israel until last September and still dominated by Israel's military might. On 25 June, Palestinian fighters crossed into Israel, attacked an army post and returned with their captive Cpl Gilad Shalit.

Like many, Mr Blair sees this as the start of Israel's (not Palestine's) "crisis in Gaza". The action was widely reported in our media as being "an escalation" by Palestinian "militants", and Israel's aggressive response was only to be expected. What Mr Blair and other observers will not admit is that the day before Cpl Shalit's capture, Israeli forces went into Gaza and kidnapped two Palestinians whom Israel claims are Hamas militants.
Tony Blair should put himself in the Palestinians' place for a moment. Israel kidnaps your citizens from your territory and no one takes a blind bit of notice. A tit-for-tat raid justifies an onslaught that has cost more than 140 Palestinian lives, many of them civilians. Whose "arc of extremism" is in action here?

The UN says 63 Palestinians were killed and 142 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza in May and June this year. These attacks included more than 3,000 artillery shells and almost 50 air strikes. In the same period, Palestinians fired 369 rockets, nearly all home-made and inaccurate Qassams. Fourteen Israelis were injured. Two Israeli soldiers died trying to rescue Cpl Shalit.

Doubtless the people of towns such as Ashkelon and Sderot - within range of Palestinian rockets - are terrified and angry. But what about the terror of the people of Gaza? It is one of the most densely populated places on earth; 1.4 million people live in an area smaller than the Isle of Wight. In the past month, Israel has turned Gaza back into a ghetto, bombing the power station so homes are often without electricity or clean water. Aid agencies say Israel is allowing in only just enough food to stop the population from starving. The UN says Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

Mr Blair did acknowledge the core need to "put a viable Palestinian government on its feet". But there was the usual caveat. The Palestinian state must be "democratic and not threaten Israel's safety". The Palestinians have a democratically-elected government. It is led by Hamas, but because Hamas has not recognised Israel formally the Hamas government will not be recognised. If one is being balanced, or "proportionate", one has to ask: Why would Hamas recognise Israel? Why should Hamas bow before the guns of Israel and say they will stop fighting for their freedom?

Israel has been occupying Palestinian land, in defiance of UN resolutions, for almost 40 years. Instead of insisting on Israel leaving all Palestinian territories, Mr Blair spoke of the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's "brave step of disengagement from Gaza" last year. What is brave about giving back something you have stolen, still keeping the rightful owners in a virtual prison? Until the safety and human rights of Palestinians - and of all people in the region - are valued as much and put on an equal footing with those of Israelis, there is no hope for a peaceful settlement.

The LA speech was vintage Blair but he seemed undecided which of his two favourite roles he was playing, world leader or preacher. Ultimately, his words, though full of sound and fury, signified nothing. The Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis - all of us - deserve better and more honest leadership.

John McCarthy was kidnapped in Lebanon in 1986 and held for five years

Posted by: Angus | August 5, 2006 11:49 PM

Israeli bomb attack kills 33 as aid effort suffers

By Donald Macintyre in Kyriat Shimona
Published: 05 August 2006

The Israeli air force killed at least 33 people in north-east Lebanon yesterday when it attacked a farm near Qaa in the Bekaa Valley where workers, mostly Syrian Kurds, were loading plums and peaches on to trucks.

It was the second deadliest strike of the 24-day conflict after Sunday's air raid on the village of Qana that killed up to 54 civilians and sparked global protests.

Despite growing outrage at Israel's continuing violation of humanitarian law, fighter aircraft went into action to destroy four bridges on the main coastal highway north of Beirut, further disrupting aid convoys for the civilians trapped by the conflict. An Israeli spokesman said the air strikes in the Bekaa Valley were aimed at buildings used by Hizbollah as a weapons store. Television footage showed bodies of what appeared to be farm workers lined up near the ruins of a small building in fruit groves. Strewn around were baskets for fruit.

As the civilian death toll mounted, diplomacy remained at a standstill at the UN. Israel carried out more than 150 air strikes across south Lebanon yesterday and its artillery bombarded the border where Hizbollah were trying to prevent Israeli forces from holding a zone containing 20 villages up to four miles from the border. In response ,Hizbollah guerrillas fired 195 Katysuha rockets into northern Israel, killing three Arab-Israelis and wounding several, medics said.

The UN said the bombing of bridges in the Christian heartlands north of Beirut had severed its "umbilical cord" of aid to Lebanon. The bridge at Maameltein, north of Beirut, was split by a huge crater. Further north, another bridge lay in ruins in the valley. "The whole road is gone," said Astrid van Genderen Stort of the UN refugee agency. "It's really a major setback because we used this highway to move staff and supplies into the country." Israel said it had destroyed the bridges to prevent Syria sending more arms to Hizbollah.

The European Commission also said Israeli bombing of routes north of Beirut had made it harder to deliver humanitarian aid.

"We will need guarantees for the safety of our people on the ground if we are to successfully continue the provision of aid," said European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel.

The UN World Food Programme called off planned convoys to the southern port city of Tyre after air raids on a Beirut suburb prevented drivers from reaching the assembly point.

The largest single group of Hizbollah rockets fell on Kyriat Shimona where, late yesterday afternoon, a huge pall of smoke rose from brush fires on the overlooking hills. Residents who have not travelled south to escape the rockets stayed indoors in secure rooms or public shelters.

Meanwhile, two more Israeli soldiers, were killed in fighting with Hizobollah guerillas outside the southern Lebanon village of Markaba. They were hit by an anti-tank missile.

Posted by: Angus | August 5, 2006 11:50 PM

From an article in the UK Guardian...

"These revelations raise further serious questions about the airstrike in Qana last Sunday that left dozens dead, which continues to arouse international outrage. From the outset, the Israeli military's version of events has been shrouded in ambiguity, with the army releasing a video it claims shows Katyusha rockets being fired from Qana, even though the video was dated two days earlier, and claiming that more than 150 rockets had been fired from the location.

Some IDF officials have continued to refer vaguely to Katyushas being launched 'near houses' in the village and to non-specific 'terrorist activity' inside the targeted building. In a statement on Thursday, the IDF said it the air force did not know there were civilians in what they believed was an empty building, yet paradoxically blamed Hizbollah for using those killed as 'human shields'.

Human rights groups have attacked the findings as illogical. Amnesty International described the investigation as a 'whitewash', saying Israeli intelligence must have been aware of the civilians'.

One Israeli commander from a different squadron called the Qana bombing a 'mistake' and was unable to explain the apparent contradiction in the IDF's position, although he insisted there would have been no deliberate targeting of civilians. He said he had seen the video of the attack, and admitted: 'Generally they [Hizbollah] are using human shields ... That specific building - I don't know the reason it was chosen as a target."

Posted by: Angus | August 6, 2006 12:54 AM

Here is an excellent article from an ezcellent site!


The Case for Boycotting Israel
Boycott Now!

By VIRGINIA TILLEY
Johannesburg, South Africa.


[It is finally time. After years of internal arguments, confusion, and dithering, the time has come for a full-fledged international boycott of Israel. Good cause for a boycott has, of course, been in place for decades, as a raft of initiatives already attests. But Israel's war crimes are now so shocking, its extremism so clear, the suffering so great, the UN so helpless, and the international community's need to contain Israel's behavior so urgent and compelling, that the time for global action has matured. A coordinated movement of divestment, sanctions, and boycotts against Israel must convene to contain not only Israel's aggressive acts and crimes against humanitarian law but also, as in South Africa, its founding racist logics that inspired and still drive the entire Palestinian problem......]

Read full article at:

http://counterpunch.org/

(article is on front page)


Posted by: lori bitterman | August 6, 2006 03:44 AM

Lori bitterman,

I read the article. While I disagree that a single state solution is a possible first step (Although I do think that Israel as a predomoninantly Jewish state is demographically simply not going to last, in that their own existing Arab population will eventually become the majority anyway)I still think that a boycott is a spectacular idea regardless of one's views as long as the people backing it are not, as the author makes very clear, anti semitic in any way.

It would help a great deal if the Palestinian resitance would adopt a nonviolent approach such as this as a goal as well, but Israel's actions of late have been so heineous and obviously pointed at maintaining the violence instead of reducing it that it still might fly regardless of what else happens.

I still think that if enough people knew how much money the US government simply gives Israel every year and what that money is actually being used for, they would demand that it stop immediately. Part of this whole campaign to create lasting peace in the ME must include adequatly educating the public about what the settlements are, how much the US has spent to maintain them, and the degree to which how they are reponsible for inspiring ME terrorism.

When I do a google search on "Boycott Israel", I see that this idea has already gained a great deal of traction world wide, which is encouraging.

J

Posted by: J | August 6, 2006 01:16 PM

At noon today we hear of people trapped in a bombed building in Haifa. And of ll Israeli soldiers killed (hiding among/behind civilians!!) in a kibbutz. How, do you suppose, the Israelis like getting back some of what that have given out in other countries regularly? Ah, Such screeching.

Posted by: what is justice | August 6, 2006 01:56 PM

PS... at least the Israeli wounded are getting medical attention. In Lebanon the Israeli army won't let the international
medic teams GET to the starving and wounded. But of course.

Posted by: PS | August 6, 2006 01:59 PM

"Israeli commandos staged a daring raid the other night on the ancient Lebanese town of Baalbeck, catching Hassan Nasrallah asleep, bundling him into a waiting helicopter, and spiriting him back to Israel.

But as the dust settled and reports from the ground began to emerge, it turned out that the Hassan Nasrallah that Israel's most elite military unit had captured-with the assistance of the formidable intelligence capabilities of the legendary Mossad-was apparently not Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizballah, but rather Hassan Nasrallah, the owner of a small toyshop on the dusty outskirts of Baalbeck. They also nabbed his son, another relative, and a neighbor for good measure. Israel claims that the men are members of Hizballah, albeit not the ones they were hoping for. Their relatives and neighbors, and Hizballah itself, deny this.

The raid was focused on the Dar al Hikma hospital, which was heavily damaged by the Israeli raiders and supporting fire from aircraft. The hospital, however, was found to be empty. The kidnapped men were, according to local sources, taken from their homes.

To provide cover before and during the raid on the hospital, Israeli aircraft subjected residential neighborhoods of Baalbeck and neighboring towns to a withering bombardment, in which seventeen people, almost all of them civilians, were killed. The dead included the son of the mayor of al Jamaliyeh, his brother, and five other relatives. The mayor of al Jamaliyeh, incidentally, held a distinctly anti-Hizballah position in local politics.

Israel's aerial torment of a population entirely lacking in air defenses and even proper air raid shelters has now killed some 900 people, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, and about a third of them children. It has displaced almost a million people from their homes. It has devastated Lebanon's civilian infrastructure. It has reduced entire towns in the south-including Bint Jbeil, once home to 30,000 people-to rubble. And it has left block after block after block of Beirut in total ruins. (All this while Israel is at the same time holding the 1.4 million destitute people of the Gaza Strip in the world's largest prison, bombarding them day and night, and sadistically depriving them of sleep at night by by repeatedly breaking the sound barrier at low altitude)."

Posted by: Angus | August 6, 2006 02:52 PM

"The Black Flag
By URI AVNERY

Presented at mass anti-war rally. Tel-Aviv, Magen David Sq.
August 5, 2006

The black flag
Of illegality
Flies over this war.
The black flag
Of mourning
Hovers over all of us.

It is being said
That we are a marginal group.
That we are outsiders.
That the huge majority
Opposes all that we are doing.

And I say: Indeed.
We are outsiders. We are the few
Facing the masses that thirst for war.
But next month
Or next year
Every one of us will proudly proclaim:
I was here!
I called for a stop
To this accursed war!

And thousands who are cursing us now -
Next month, next year,
Will claim that they, too, were here,
That they, too, opposed
This mad war.

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to Ehud Olmert:
Stop this madness!
The war has gone to your head!
You are intoxicated by it!
You are a junky of war!
A war from which
Nothing good will come.
Stop, before it is too late!

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to Amir Peretz:
Many of those here
Have voted for you.
You have lied to them!
You have cheated them!
You pretended to be a social reformer,
You promised to take money from the army
And invest it in education and welfare.
Now you have become
A man of death and destruction,
You have become a monster!
Stop, before it is too late!

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to Hassan Nasrallah:
You have carried out a dangerous provocation,
You have provided the warmongers with a pretext,
You have played their game.
Let us stop this right now!
Let us begin to negotiate -
Israel, Lebanon and Syria -
To exchange the prisoners,
To put an end to bombs and rockets.

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to
Our Palestinian partners:
We have not forgotten you!!!
We know about the atrocities
That happen every day in Gaza
And the other occupied territories.
We must cooperate
In order to put an end to this war,
To exchange the prisoners,
To make peace between our two peoples.

From here,
On behalf of this demonstration,
I say to the Lebanese people:
As an Israeli,
I feel deep shame
For what we are doing to you!
For the devastation we have brought on you.
Deep shame!

When this madness
Is finally over,
We shall struggle together -
Israelis and Palestinians,
Syrians and Lebanese,
Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel -
So that we can live a normal life,
Each in his free state,
Side by side
In PEACE!"

Posted by: Angus | August 6, 2006 03:04 PM

re: The Black Flag,

Amen.

J

Posted by: J | August 6, 2006 04:36 PM

Wow! What a surprise that something like this might happen...

**************************************
Reuters drops Lebanese photographer over doctored image

LONDON (Reuters) - Reuters, the global news and information agency, told a freelance Lebanese photographer on Sunday it would not use any more of his pictures after he doctored an image of the aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Beirut.

The photograph by Adnan Hajj, which was published on news Web sites on Saturday, showed thick black smoke rising above buildings in the Lebanese capital after an Israeli air raid in the war with the Shi'ite Islamic group Hizbollah, now in its fourth week.

Reuters withdrew the doctored image on Sunday and replaced it with the unaltered photograph after several news blogs said it had been manipulated using Photoshop software to show more smoke.

Reuters has strict standards of accuracy that bar the manipulation of images in ways that mislead the viewer.

"The photographer has denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image, saying that he was trying to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under," said Moira Whittle, the head of public relations for Reuters.

"This represents a serious breach of Reuters' standards and we shall not be accepting or using pictures taken by him," Whittle said in a statement issued in London.

Hajj worked for Reuters as a non-staff freelance, or contributing photographer, from 1993 until 2003 and again since April 2005.

He was among several photographers from the main international news agencies whose images of a dead child being held up by a rescuer in the village of Qana, south Lebanon, after an Israeli air strike on July 30 have been challenged by blogs critical of the mainstream media's coverage of the Middle East conflict.

Reuters and other news organizations reviewed those images and have all rejected allegations that the photographs were staged.

Posted by: | August 6, 2006 09:16 PM

Anyone care to comment?
*********************************
Remarks of Brigitte Gabriel

Delivered at the Duke University
Counter Terrorism Speak out
October 14, 2004

I'm proud and honored to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of
the Arabic world.

I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.

When the Moslems and Palestinians declared Jihad on the Christians in1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17 without electricity, eating grass to live and crawling under sniper bullets to a
spring to get water.

It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Moslem shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Moslems, Palestinians, Christian Lebanese and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injuries. They treated my mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn't see religion, they didn't see political affiliation, they saw people in need, and they helped.

For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments.

I spent 22 days at that hospital; those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized I was sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel that was so far from reality. I knew for fact that if I was a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown over to the grounds as shouts of joy of Allahu Akbar (God is great) would echo through the hospital and the surrounding streets.

I became friends with the families of the Israeli wounded soldiers; one in particular Rina, her only child was wounded in his eyes.

One day I was visiting with her, and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started waking out of the room, and this mother holds my hand and pulls me back in without even looking at me. She holds me crying and says: "it is not your fault". We just stood there crying and holding each other's hands.

What a contrast between her, a mother looking at her deformed 19-year- old only child, and still able to love me, the enemy, and between a Moslem mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.

The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism versus civilization. It's democracy versus dictatorship. It's goodness versus evil.

Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian "armed struggle." However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized everywhere in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of God.

Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York,
from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.

They blame suicide bombing on "desperation of occupation." Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred ten weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel 's independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed, and hundreds were wounded. Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by the "desperation" or "occupation," but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.

So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and
intolerance. It's time to all stand up and support and defend the state of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.

Thank you.

Posted by: SM | August 6, 2006 10:23 PM

SM,

RE:Remarks of Brigitte Gabriel

Delivered at the Duke University
Counter Terrorism Speak out
October 14, 2004,


James Woolsey (NeoCon, ex director of the CIA, defender of the settlements Seasoned Puller of the race card) is
on the board of advisers of the ACT group, for which this woman is a spokesperson. Their agenda seems, well, right in line with AIPACs. I think that simply speaks for itself. How may US politicians, who have caved to Aipac funding or pressure (such as Hillary Clinton) are guilty of the same thing that this woman is, that is, somehow insinuating that Israel knows whats best for her country, that what they provided in the 80's, 90's and the present is "helping" Lebanon. With friends like that, who needs enemies?


I can't help wondering what all of the Lebanese christians I have seen interviewed who absolutley oppose this carnage would think of ms. Gabriels comments. Why do you suppose so many of them stayed instead of coming to the US as she did.

J


Posted by: J | August 6, 2006 10:52 PM

Anonymous, Re: doctored pictures.

So Rueuters canned a guy who tried to make the smoke look more dramatic or darker or something. The darker smoke would in turn somehow make the Israel bombing seem capable creating a "darker" smoke and therfore would unfairly bias the world against Israel, whose bombings apparently only make.... lighter smoke?!!!?!?!?!

Well, you've convinced me. It's all a sham.
my world is spinning and I'm so confused.
Are the Israelis even bombing at all? Has anyone died? Are they in lebanon actually building new power stations, airports, communications sites, roads, and child care centers? which direction is up? is black white? can I trust FOX news, who regularly runs pictures of incredible destruction with really dark smoke pouring out of shattered buildings?

Seriously, though, you really have my sympathy. If I had to stick up for the actions of Israel regarding lebanon and the occupied territories, I too would be pathetically grabbing at any ragged straw that might indicate that their actions are not quite as monsterous as they actually are.


J

Posted by: J | August 6, 2006 11:18 PM

J-
First of all, I don't think Ms. Gabriel's point was that Israel knows what's best for her country. She provided a story, a snapshot of an experience. It was an experience that changed her perspective after years of indoctrination against Israel. I find that interesting.

By posting this article, I was hoping to point out another perspective of this complicated issue. A number of articles and quotes by Uri Avnery have been posted here. He's often quoted on this blog as if to make the point, "Look, if an Israeli feels this way...." I believe there are so many angles on BOTH sides of this conflict, as there are on BOTH sides of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

Brigitte Gabriel had an experience, and this is her opinion. Her opinions are just as valid as anyone else's opinions about Middle East affairs. Many of her beliefs are valid. Is it so terrible that she's against terrorism and violence? Christians and other non-Muslims (including Jews) do have a right to be concerned about the recent spread of fundamentalist Islam. And again, I am not referring to all Muslims. I am referring to the radical groups that have as their stated missions the destruction of the entire country of Israel as well as the liberation of land all over the world from non-Muslims. The settlements may be one reason for terrorism, but they are not the sole reason for worldwide terrorism by these radical groups.

I believe that Brigitte Gabriel learned things about Israel and about herself that surprised even her. And these were things that were actual positives about a country she was reared to hate. I believe there are other Lebanese Christians and maybe even Muslims who have not supported the hijacking of their country by Hezbollah. But you'll never hear from them because they are silenced.

Can you even acknowledge one single positive thing about Israel as Ms. Gabriel did in her speech?

Posted by: SM | August 6, 2006 11:22 PM

SM,

I am against Terrorism. Jonathan Tasini is against terrorism. Colin Powell is against terrorism. Conversely, Ms. Gabriel is associated with a group of people who
are actively working to INSPIRE terrorism, in that it helps them acheive their goals.

The current events are an excellent example. Israel has conceded that wiping out hezbollah, as they originally suggested they could do, is impossible and now are only trying to contain them, which they were never able to do in all the years that they occupied lebabnon

They have destroyed the country twice now, and only have succeded in encouraging Hezbollah and it's supporters.

Apparently, Ms. Gabriel believes that Israel has destroyed her country in a compassionate and understanding way, and that the US supports this type of compassion and understading.

The overwhelming majority of Lebanse christians would now certainly disagree with her assessment.

This is not to mention what Israel has done in the occupied territories.

It can be safely asserted that Israel has inspired a great deal of ME terrorism and one ex pat Lebanese christian (teamed up with a crew of neocons) on the US lecture circuit does not change that fact.

So, stop the bombing, tear down the wall, raze the settlements, end the occupation and let a free Palestinian state emerge, and Israel and the US might actually see the reduction in ME terrorism that Mr.Woolsey (and his mouth peice, Ms. Gabriels) talk so much about but never seem to acheive.

Rather, If Woolsey and his crew get their way, we will be at war with Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran simultaeously, and I don't suppose the nuclear armed pakistan will be able to keep the lid on it's extremists when all of that begins to happen, so we will probably have to attack them as well, all to keep the very compassionate Israeli settler movement safe. This, I'm sure, will be done in an extremely compassionate and understanding way that I'm sure 1 or 2 people from each of those countries will really appreciate, just as Ms. Gabriels did.

J

Posted by: J | August 7, 2006 01:34 AM

"By posting this article, I was hoping to point out another perspective of this complicated issue. A number of articles and quotes by Uri Avnery have been posted here. He's often quoted on this blog as if to make the point, "Look, if an Israeli feels this way...."


I posted the Black Flag poem because it is well written and poignant - not to show "if an Israeli feels this way"...on the contrary Ms. Gabriel's piece is racist and inflamatory reinforcing a stereostype that all Arabs are bloodthirsty savages.

Posted by: Angus | August 7, 2006 10:07 AM

I thought Gabriel was a jewish/ hebrew name? What happened?

If not, this demented woman is belongs to the zionist christians militias who committed the massacres of sabra and shatilla. In either case, your posting of these comments indicate how bankrupt your case is. Talking about desparation!

Posted by: printer | August 7, 2006 10:41 AM

..and by the way, if arabs are bloodthirsty saveages as this woman (mossad spy/ AIPAC agent) insinuates (and as angus noticed and indicated in his post) does not that make here a bloodthirsty savage- as she is also an arab?
You wouldn't look too good associating yourself and your cause with such a person, would you?

How desparate!

Posted by: printer | August 7, 2006 10:46 AM

Yup, did a quick search on her..and indeed she is a jew. Indeed she speaks hebrew!!!

Take a look at here pic, as she doesnt even look lebanese (lebanese women are renouned for their beauty, style and elegance).

Take alook at her picture and other info- see below.

http://christianparty.net/jews.htm

Posted by: printer | August 7, 2006 10:50 AM

J-
You still didn't answer the question at the end of my last post.

"Conversely, Ms. Gabriel is associated with a group of people who are actively working to INSPIRE terrorism, in that it helps them acheive their goals."

I find that a ridiculous statement. Making that statement about "inspiring" terrorism implies to me that you believe that some words and actions are justifications for terrorism (even though you claim that you don't support it). Why can't you see that there is NO EXCUSE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES for any acts of terrorism EVER? Do the terrorists take ANY SHARE of the BLAME for their actions? There is nothing that SHOULD "INSPIRE' terrorism.

Feel free to label me a pro-Israel apologist or whatever other name you want to call me, but you have made excuses for barbarians committing terrorist acts by blaming Israel. Israel had nothing to do with the train bombing in Mumbai. Nor did it have anything to do with countless other terrorist attacks around the world. Yet, you INSIST that the settlements are the root of all terrorism in the world. I am going to say it again as I've written countless times before... THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS LAND FOR PEACE when you're dealing with "people" who call for an entire country's destruction! If Israel hands over the territories, as I believe it will eventually, you can watch and see how little peace it will bring to that region. Did handing over Gaza bring peace to the area that borders Israel? No, instead rockets were fired into Israeli land.

I am really tired of all of you with your anti-Israel sentiments blaming Israel for every evil in the world. Israel has made concessions on many occasions, but it's all been one-sided. Perhaps the Palestinians and any other groups calling for Israel's destruction might try FOR ONCE to offer something as a gesture of peace instead of offering smithereens of body parts caused by their martyrs.

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 11:21 AM

SM (aka athiest, word of wisdom, etc.)

You clearly are a deranged zionist. You expect the whole world to shower israel with praises, etc. everytime it returns something it has stolen. Get a grip, and stop being such a crying hyena.

The palestinians need a truly free and sovern country of their own and on their own land followed by reperation from israel and the US for what they have been put through since 1948. Withdraing the IOF (israeli occupation forces) to the outskirts of their towns while keeping them inclosed by a wall, controlling their air/ sea space, thier natural resources and every other aspect of their life is not something anyone should be so thankful for your israhell for - as you so derangely seem to expect. As a typical racist zionist, you expect the palestinians to be happy with whatever israhell throughs their way. The absolute minimum requirement for peace in the region is a full and unconditional withdrawal for the lands israhell occupied since 1948- erzinf of all the illegal zionist colonies, return of palestinian refugees to their original homes, paying reparation for the palestinain people, proscuting (and hanging) jewish leader terrorist for their crimes against humanity, and destroying israhell's nuclear weapons..

Do I thin that would work? NO! WHY?? because the only practical and just solution is to undo the evel, immoral, and illegal creation of israel. It will take a long time to achieve this (may be even a very long time..) but it WILL eventually happen. Nothing stays the same and its coming, baby!

Posted by: printer | August 7, 2006 11:40 AM


a couple of quick minor corrections:

"As a typical racist zionist, you expect the palestinians to be happy with whatever israhell [throws] their way"

"The absolute minimum requirement for peace in the region is a full and unconditional withdrawal for the lands israhell occupied since 1948- [erazing) of all the illegal zionist colonies, return of palestinian refugees to their original homes, paying reparation for the palestinain people, proscuting (and hanging) jewish leader terrorist for their crimes against humanity, and destroying israhell's nuclear weapons..

Posted by: printer | August 7, 2006 11:44 AM

Printer-

Blah blah blah. What you write has absolutely zero credibility when you direct people to the hate sites that you've posted here. You come across as a lunatic, and I hope that one of these days you'll get the treatment you so clearly need.

And by the way, I am not "atheist" or "word of wisdom" so direct your insane rantings at them next time. I'm not wasting any more time responding to someone who is so completely intellectually and mentally unarmed.

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 11:48 AM

A nice article (from my favorite site)

Goliath Pretending to be David
The Deadly US-Israeli Shell Game at the UN

["If there were any remaining illusions about the purpose of Israel's war against Lebanon, the draft United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a "cessation of major hostilities" published at the weekend should finally dispel them. This entirely one-sided document was drafted, the Hebrew-language media have reported, with close Israeli involvement. The top adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, talked through the resolution with the US and French teams, while the Israeli Foreign Ministry had its man alongside John Bolton [yet another of Israel's men, Eds ] at the UN building in New York.

The only thing preventing Israeli officials from jumping up and down with glee, according Aluf Benn of the daily Haaretz newspaper, was the fear that "demonstrated Israeli enthusiasm for the draft could influence support among Security Council members, who could demand a change in wording that may adversely affect Israel." So no celebration parties till the resolution is passed.

Instead, in a ploy familiar from previous negotiating processes, Israel submitted to the US a list of requests for amendments to the resolution. When Israel agrees to forgo these amendments, it will, of course, be able to take credit for its flexibility and desire to compromise; Lebanon and Hizbullah, on the other hand, will be cast as villains, rejecting international peace-making efforts......]

Please read the full article (by By JONATHAN COOK) at:

http://counterpunch.org/


Posted by: lori bitterman | August 7, 2006 11:56 AM

SM,

Let's be very clear. I don't support terrorism. Neither, I assume, did Bill Clinton when he said during a Charlie Rose interview that a fair resolution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict would "remove the philosophical underpinning for terrorist recruitment in the ME" (After he left office).

So if the POTUS is not a good source of info on the matter for you, I'm not sure your really interested in hearing the truth. Furthermore, that Israel's actions, especially in the occupied territories has caused a great deal of the support for terrorist groups (OBL talks about it all the time an attributes the inspiration for 9/11 plan to the fisrt Israeli bombing of the towers in beruit.) is a commomnly accepted idea amoung a large number of ex government people (Carter, Clinton, Buchanan, Powell, brzezinski, ect.) and analysts.

Taxation without representation inspired the American Revolution. What's happening in the occupied territories and Lebanon, will, whether you or I like it or not, cause terrorism, that is to say, the formation of highly motivated grass roots insurgencies that have a great deal of sympathy from like minded or similar ethnic or religiuos groups abroad.

I never said Israel is responsible for inspiring terrorism world wide, only the large majority of it that occurs in the ME. It's action and policies do, however, also work as a recruiting tool for other Islamic terror groups world wide to some extent.

Please keep in mind that the entire arab and Islamic world is outraged by the occupation and settlements and rightly so. It has persisted now for more than 40 years. The vast majority of the resistance to it is non-violent. Some small percentage of that very large group of people regrettably, but predictably, especially after such a protracted period of humiliation and violence, resort to terrorism. It directly helped to escalate matters in Lebanon the first time, and it is highly related now.

The Walt and Mearshiemer paper, The Israel Lobby, maintains this basic idea as well.

So cry foul all you like, but don't take it up with me, take it up with Bill Clinton, and virtually every other country in the world with a few obvious exceptions, who all have arrived at exactly the same conclusion.

J

Posted by: J | August 7, 2006 12:01 PM

SM....your vocabulary is very limited! All those childish little invectives over and over are simply silly. It is good, however, to see you (all) reduced to screaming incoherently and whining. Not winning over there?

Posted by: csonsider | August 7, 2006 12:56 PM

You know this is a complete waste of time. Firstly the so called newspapers are meant to report the news, but they give vague and often unclear pictures of the truth. They ruin the lives of innocent bystanders all the time and then there are the so called Blogsites that are meant to also give us the truth. Well please tell me how can I tell the truth about what's being said? One says one thing and somewhere else it's reported differently. I think all media is rubbish to the point of being offensive. They only thing they're good at is lying to the public to make them buy newspapers and magazines. Only we the public buy it all and accept what they say, especially here on the net. If they could actually tell the truth for once may be that would make a difference, only thing is they've been lying to us for so long would they know the difference and would we???

Posted by: T | August 7, 2006 01:32 PM

T,

I share your sentiments (re: the media).

There are a couple of nice sites (with extensive coverage and anylysis of what happens in our world..) that you might want to visit. They are free!
However, truth lovers would sure contribute to such work- as the average american would never see such honest coverage on the "american" main stream media, which is jewish/zionist owned and opertaed as the whole world now knows. No wonder you only see/ hear the same boring old and biased reporting.

The sites are:

counterpunch.org

&

antiwar.com

Posted by: american | August 7, 2006 02:07 PM

American -
Yeah, you must be right about the jewish/zionist owned and operated media. That's why Reuters has had to pull at least two doctored photographs recently. The world-dominating Jews must want photos doctored to show they're even worse than they are. I'm so glad you cleared that up for everyone. I was worried that some other religious or ethnic group might take over the media and ruin the world for everyone else. Good you're on top of it!

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 03:06 PM

Hey csonsider-
Israel, as well as the rest of the MODERN, CIVILIZED world will prevail in the end against these barbaric terrorists. They are going to have to learn the hard way that their methods will not be tolerated. And by the way, I don't see you posting anything of remotely intellectual value here.

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 03:08 PM

Here's another example of the twisted realities occurring in the ME right now. Watch and see how a supposedly NEUTRAL UN ambulance picks up Palestinian fighters in Gaza after an explosion. These fighters are NOT wounded.

This is footage from Reuters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqGjz7iJTns&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efriendsofm

Imagine that - -- ambulances used to transport armed fighters and possibly terrorists as well. Hmmm... where have we seen that before??? The UN proves its usefulness once again.

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 03:17 PM

SM,

Why make such a fool of yoursel trying to dispute the undisputable? You yourself know the the "american? media (seen and heard) is owned and operated by the jewish/ zionsit mafia.

No only do your people own and control the media the also run our government.

How about hollywood? who ownd that?

Amazing how you boast about these things when you think its convenient for you..and how quickly you deny them when its not that convenient.

Posted by: american | August 7, 2006 03:20 PM

SM....
EXCUSE ME. Are you supposing that any of your little writings are intellectual? Good grief, little fella. Worth a chuckle. If things are going so well with your heros, why are they whining? Heard one of your military finest complaining about how angry they were that 12 soldiers were killed. They think war is only Israli tanks running over
children and women in Palestine. HMMMMM?

Posted by: csonider | August 7, 2006 04:18 PM

American-
First of all, who are "my people?" You should really refrain from making your assinine assumptions. You have no idea who I am or why I support what I support. I'm going to assume that you and "printer" are either the same person or really good buddies. Maybe I'm right or maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I don't care one bit what you think or write on this blog. You are obviously full of hatred towards a particular group of people. I can't comprehend your primitive way of thinking in any way.

I would really like you to tell me why you hate Jewish people so much. Let's see if you can come up with some reasons that you're willing to share with the online community.

If not, keep your hatred to yourself. We don't need to hear it.

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 04:28 PM

SM,

as much as you try to hide it, you must be a bloodthirsty zionist of some kind or another. It does not make a difference to me if you are a demented christian zionist or a flatworm israeli/jewish savage zionist. So these are "your people"! There is also a slight possibilty that you could be a brainwashed goy who has been fed zionist/jewish propaganda by the "bottle" from the zionist/ jewish controlled "american" media-ever since you opened your eyes- and grew up thinking that israel = america.

As for me hating jews- the only think I care to say here is tha I do NOT hate jews. Thats your cheap shot at me- a desperate attempt by you to divert attention and change the subject. What I do hate is what the zionist (and a number of jews) do. So get your act together and start accepting the fact that people in this country are beginning to recognize the fact that you are running this country (U.S.) to the ground. We are (and will be) at endless wars (for israel) and hated by the whole world because of you and your
people.

You facilitated ( and largely carried out) 9/11 so that this country is at constant war with the arab and moslem world for your own zionist ends**

** http://www.apfn.org/apfn/WTC_STF.htm

Have you heard about the Lavon affair?

how about the USS liberty?

Not only that, but your zionist people at AIPAC and the zionist Israeli mossad, spy on this country (politially, militarily, economically...etc..) and sell our secrets to our worst enemies (e.g. china, russia, etc..). you have used our money, our good name, and our strength to conquer, subjocate, and humiliate the palestinians, lebanes, etc. for decades.You have created so much agony for so many people for for so long in our name and by our tax dollars...so you should not be surprized that we become sick (and puke) at the mention of your name. We have given you so much and now you bite us for it as hard as you can. Truly "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies." (John 8:44).

Posted by: american | August 7, 2006 04:59 PM

American-

All I'm going to say in response to your post (through my hearty laughter, of course) is that your most recent post just confirms to me how truly insane you are. Thanks for making it abundantly clear! :-) I really have trouble believing that you can even take yourself seriously. Believe me, I'm going to share your nonsense with dozens of people I know because it's darn good comic material. If only you could be objective and hear yourself. You'd be laughing, too.

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 05:47 PM

SM,

Glad to know that my posts make you ecstatic- or do they??

I am 'sure' you are going to tell your zionist friends about the zionist atrocities gainst this country.

Posted by: american | August 7, 2006 05:52 PM

SM,

Please pay no attention to the Nazis. They obviously are trying to smear The M-W paper, CounterPunch.com and Anti war.com, which are fairly far left, and are in no way anti semtic. Not even in the least tiny bit.In fact it seems laughable that people such as american and printer, who share those sentiments about Jewish people would recommend sites that have Jewish contributers all the time and the staffs of which would be horrified to be associated in any way with these Skin head types. It really makes no sense that they would be recommending these sites except to knowingly smear them by association with their reprehensible anti semitic rhetoric in an effort to reduce other readers here from actually checking them out.

In the future, don't even waste your time responding to these guy's in that they are probably not even what they appear to be.

J

Posted by: J | August 7, 2006 06:07 PM

J -

Thanks. I appreciate your comments. :-)

Posted by: SM | August 7, 2006 06:09 PM

SM,

I did fail to answer one part of your post.
I find Ms. Gabriels overall message disturbing, her affilliations with people such as Woolsey very suspect and her place on the lecture circuit indicative of a clear profit motive for a delivering a message that people with a great deal of influence and money would like ohter people to hear, even if it is patently false and quite bigoted and anti muslim in content.

Regarding Israel, I have many good things to say about Israel, as with many other countries and people.

Israeli is a great and productive nation who has managed to create a vibrant economy in the midst of a often chaotic region. Unfortunately, out of an overblown sense of fear (and in some cases an inflated sense of entitlement, as in the case of the entire settlement movement and those who support them) they have contributed greatly to that chaos.

Israel has an open enough society to allow a free debate about all of the issues that they must deal with. Nothing indicates this more clearly than the Israeli supreme courts condemnation of the apartheid wall, and the raging debate that has ensued.

In fact, as the Walt and Mearsheimer paper the Isreal lobby indicates, many of the issues covered in the Israel lobby are routinely and openly debated in Israel while they are virtually taboo in the US for some very bizaare reasons.

I am confident that the majority of the Israeli people are kind, intelligent, and thoughtful people. Unfortunatly, the settler movement ( a minority in Israel) is excluded and very regrettably wields a disproportionate amount of influence in both Israel and the US as their goals happen to very strangly and improbably overlap with other rather disparate (and non-jewish or Israeli) powers in the US.

The power that the settlement movement weilds in Israel has led to more than 40 years of suffering and a grave reduction in Israels potential productivity (the loss in tourism alone over this time is simply staggering) while in no way benefiting Israel either in the short or long run. The settlements have proven to be a crushing financial weight around Israel's neck while also inspiring terrorism and anti Israeli sentiments throughout the entire region. In the mean time it has finally been agreed that the settlements are such a total failure that Israel has agreed to pull out of the majority (and probably eventually all)of them, but the settlers themselves will drag their feet until the bloody end, regardless of how many Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese or American lives are lost in the mean time. It is my ardent hope that the Majority of the Israeli people, who are good and principled people,
will finally take steps to force the remaining settlers out of the occupied territories and end the occupation. It is, I believe, possible for them to find the inner resolve necessary to accomplish this, and I feel it is one of the last steps that they must face to find real healing as a people from the Psychic wounds caused by the holocaust, in that the palestinian people were, at one time, their fellow countrymen and were in no way responsible for their earlier sufferings, and deserve the same opportunities in life that everyone else in the world deserves.

J

Posted by: J | August 8, 2006 03:42 AM

"Distributed propaganda effort
In response to international criticism, Israel has brought to bear its permanent hasbara propaganda campaign to explain its actions. Israel's Foreign Ministry has reportedly ordered trainee diplomats to track websites and chatrooms so that networks of groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can post messages and automatically flood internet polls in support of Israel. The World Union of Jewish Students has distributed so-called "megaphone software" as part of its efforts.[44]"

This is from Wikipedia - In the paragraph "Distributed propaganda effort" -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Israel-Lebanon_conflict

Rings some alarm bells perhaps!!

Posted by: Angus | August 8, 2006 11:15 AM

Reminder: Israel has slain 10 times as many civilians as Hezbollah in this conflict.
So who, exactly, are the 'terrorists'?

Posted by: John | August 8, 2006 11:57 AM

There is far more reason to worry about the Israeli military purposely allowing rockets to land in Israel than anything Hezbollah could possibly stage. Extremists in Israel have already resorted to murdering their own Prime Minister. They then attempted to start a war with Syria a few years later based on phoney intelligence. The extremists in Israel who want a wider war and are looking for excuses to start one are the ones to be very concerned about.

Posted by: Peter | August 9, 2006 12:17 AM

J, Angus,(or anyone for that matter);

Would you be able to provide some tips on books (authors) related to the Arab-Israeli conflict? The local bookstore has a ton but its sort of hard to discern which ones are objective and balanced.

Posted by: Zain | August 9, 2006 10:09 AM

zain,

I can recommend a couple of excellent books by the late Edward Said and by Norman Finlestein.

These are:

1. The Question of Palestine (by Edward said)

2. IMAGE AND REALITY OF THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT (Second edition) by Norman Finlestein

Posted by: lauren | August 9, 2006 12:58 PM

zain,

I can recommend a couple of excellent books by the late Edward Said and by Norman Finlestein.

These are:

1. The Question of Palestine (by Edward said)

2. IMAGE AND REALITY OF THE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT (Second edition) by Norman G. Finklestein

Posted by: lauren | August 9, 2006 12:59 PM

Zain -

I have posted this link before so you may have seen it

http://www.obelus.org/category.php?catID=3

It contains an excellent rebuttal to Dershowitz - Case for Israel - I believe there is also a newer debunk out but I have not read it yet.

In addition to both books posted by Lauren I would also add any of Robert Fisk's books - he has a unique viewpoint because he has usually "walked the ground" of that which he writes about.

Enjoy and trust me you are going to be shocked at what one group can achieve vis a vis revisionist historianism if they are willing to put an organized effort into it!!

Posted by: Angus | August 9, 2006 01:32 PM

angus,

If you're referring to "The Case Against Israel" by Michael Newman..yes its a great read and is right on the money. I enjoyed it greatly and- naturally- I would strongly recommend it.

I had initially heard about it from the following site:

counterpunch.org

which is also a great site and very rich with information and has a good number of books on the conflict.

As is the site:

antiwar.com

P.S.

In case you have'nt, I would also recommend the following book:

BEYOND CHUTZPAH
On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History

By Norman G. Finkelstien
ISBN: 0-520-24598-9


Posted by: lauren | August 9, 2006 02:03 PM

Zain,

My main concerns are the security and world standing of the US, avoiding this "WWIII" insanity, "winning" the war on terrorism and maintaining America's long term goal of remaining a leading force of democracy and innovation in the world.

If you want to bog yourself down with the history of the settlements, have at it, but in my opinion, the very idea of settlements is reprehensible and out of step with the current american moral lexicon, regardless of which camp you may come from.

Rather, you may want to read the book Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer.
As head of the CIA unit in charge of intelligence concerning Osama Bin Laden, He has little reason to be misleading and the book makes the very strong case for dramatically changing the way that we deal with Israel and the disasterous effects that our policies regarding the settlements have had.

You could read Jimmy Carters latest book and look online for the many articles and and statements he has made regarding how our interests would be best served by forcing the settlers out of the occupied territory, both from a moral and security perspective.

You could read anything by Noam Chomsky on the subject (www.chomsky.info).

You could read many things by Pat Buchanan:
www.theamericancause.org, his current book makes quite a compelling case.

Here's a little teaser from the website,

"From Pat Buchanan-"Why do they hate us?" So stunned Americans asked, after 9/11, when we learned that across the Arab world, many were saying, "The Americans had it coming."For a textbook example of why we are hated, consider Gaza and the West Bank. There, a brutal Israeli/U.S.-led cutoff in aid has been imposed on the Palestinians for voting the wrong way in a free election."

You can read Cornell West's recent book,
Democracy Matters: Winning the fight against imperialism.

I urge you to go to Jonathan Tasini's Website, and read about his views regarding how the settlements effect on US security and politics. He is Jewish, lived in Israel, has family there, and has parents who worked to help found Israel, yet he demands the end of the Occupation and the settlements and has the guts to do it while campaigning against Hillary Clinton for her senate seat. She refuses to debate him and believe me, she will bring as to WWIII just as fast as the current administration would if given even half a chance.

These are people from all over the political spectrum that have one thing in common: changing US policy regarding Israel and ending the settlements, from both a moral and security perspective.

Otherwise, it's fairly simple. If you believe that colonialsm and ethnic cleansing are wrong, then you must condemn the settlements. Why do you think they are called "the settlements", as opposed to say, just calling them, say, Israel? (not that that has not been tried many times, despite it's laughable truth value)

Furthermore, If Irsrael has deciced in theory at least, that they are going to abandon the settlements because they have been a total ecnomic, social and moral failure, can you come to any other conclusion than one that maintains that they were always wrong from the start, on almost every level?

J

Posted by: J | August 9, 2006 05:03 PM

Here is an excellent video clip !!
Re: situation in Lebanon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pe_UewMnAI&eurl=

Posted by: sean | August 10, 2006 01:15 AM

***GILDER, you're so typical. Always startring out how you're not Jewish (in your case "neutral") then giving the old
stinking line. Why do you thnk no one gets it? 'Course who can blame you for not wanting to be who you are...

Posted by: tired | August 10, 2006 07:02 PM

Thank you Lauren, Angus and J.

Posted by: Zain | August 10, 2006 07:36 PM

J,
I recognize the fact that the way to a peaceful settlement is to focus on the present and what can be accomplished in the future. Inevitably, every time I have a discussion with someone who is pro-Israel, the argument gets dragged into this process of justification of each side's position by virtue of historical wrongs; who attacked whom first, who killed whom first, and the issue gets lost in a haze of accusations and counter accusations. My attempt to brush up on the history of the conflict is so I can myself have better context for the arguments I make as well as correcting some of the incredibly inaccurate information people spout at me.
My attempt has always been to approach the conflict from a moral perspective; how can you justify settlements and the annexation of Arab land (similar arguments to what you have presented), what is the moral justification behind denying the Palestinian refugees (or their descendants) the right to return to their lost homes and reclaim what is rightfully theirs, if not at least be compensated for their loss (Id like to hear your opinions on this). The argument that Israel will cease to exist, if the refugees are allowed to return, is fallacious from a moral, ethical and humanistic standpoint. While I can understand and accept the creation of Israel as a nation, I cannot accept the purging of a people from its land so as to maintain a Jewish majority. Is this not hypocrisy of the highest order by those who purport to brandish the banner of freedom and liberty for the world? Will the world silently stand by and endorse this ethnic cleansing?

Posted by: Zain | August 10, 2006 09:37 PM

Today the Times reports Israel is asking for a missile that has cluster bombs, "wide area" specifically a civilian killer. Gosh, the US says, we gave them to you in l982 with the promise you'd use them only for an invasion on Israel, and you used them on civilians in Lebanon. Promise, cross your heart you won't use them in Lebanon again? Okay you can have them". Paid for in American taxes. your blood doesn't boil over that...
As far as the world learning to hate Israel...don't be silly. The Europeans have always known. The polls show universal detestation now, only more furious than before.

Posted by: arms | August 11, 2006 09:51 AM

DO BE AWARE. Some of the only good news this morning is the Israelis bloody fight among themselves about losing. But mostly, of course, they want to fight more, with more blood, except for their own. But of course, Isreal loves rampage and massacre. (But only the weak who cannot fight back...stone throwing children, and refugees in Jenin, etc. Never happy otherwise.

Posted by: Detests | August 11, 2006 09:54 AM

"Today the Times reports Israel is asking for a missile that has cluster bombs, "wide area" specifically a civilian killer."

Israel has already used these in Lebanon during this invasion. The use of cluster bombs is specifically proscribed and is considered a war crime and a crime against humanity. (too bad the lebanese aren't considered human)

Did you see the quote in the comPost yesterday from the Israeli Trade Minister (paraphrased), "we should utterly destroy any village about which we have information that a missle was fired." Not intelligence, or concrete evidence, but information.

It's as if the Israelis are exterminators dealing with a pesky ant problem, as opposed to actual human beings.

Posted by: Thom | August 11, 2006 12:15 PM

Zain Wrote:

Inevitably, every time I have a discussion with someone who is pro-Israel, the argument gets dragged into this process of justification of each side's position by virtue of historical wrongs; who attacked whom first, who killed whom first, and the issue gets lost in a haze of accusations and counter accusations."

The issue here is no longer who had what when. It is who has what now.

Israel - Hugely powerful military, air force and navy. Great economy, democratic government, and huge amounts of foreign aid.

Lebanon - A loosely organized, poorly equipped military that has to be complemented by a loosely organized, poorly equipped militia. Economy just recovering destroyed again, fledgling democratic government without much power or leverage, little foreign aid.

Israel also has pieces of every country with which it shares a border.

Lebanon can't even keep invading armies out of her own territory.

As Golda Meir one said, "the test of morality does not come when you are weak. It comes when you are strong."

Posted by: Thom | August 11, 2006 12:34 PM

Zain,


The 67 war was pre-emptive, as were many Israeli pretexts for their actions related to expanding Israel. The notion of a greater Israel is no secret, (except here in the states) and it is the primary motivation for the settlement movement.

perhaps when you are asked about your veiws concerning the settlement movement, you should ask a question in return: What plans do the settlers have for the west bank and jerusalem and what do they propose the Palestininians do? What should their fate be if tomorrow they just gave in and did what ever the settlers asked of them?

The answer is: Leave. go to Jordan. ie ethnic cleansing. This is precisely what is happening, but very slowly and excruciatingly. the numbers of settlers since 67 has increased from a few thousand to 450,000 today. The areas that they now occupy have been cleansed of palestinians and they intend to continue if given the chance, despite the will of many of and perhaps a majority of the Israeli people who oppose it.

What we are seeing now in Lebanon is simply the death throws of the settlement movement. They have desperatly worked to undermine further pullouts by attempting to literally starve and bring destruction and mayham upon gaza. Before the current situation in Lebanon, they had killed 30 innocent civilians in Gaza with indescrinant shelling while cutting off all money and supplies to the area. 1.4 million people were put on the brink of a major humanitarian crisis while also being shelled. This was done to help undermine abba's effort to get a referendum from the Palestinian people that would have stated clearly that they were committed to a two state solution and would recognize Israel, which would have exploded the settlers entire pretext for their own existance (that they somehow "protect" isreal as opposed to bring terror down upon it and the US).

The powers that be in Israel turned the pressure up to 10 until they got their pretext to act, and when Hezbollah also took they bait, they made the mistake of destroying lebanon again in response. This has backfired, by infuriating average american citizens, and the cry for Boycotting and cutting Israel off from aid is louder and stronger than ever. Joe Leiberman just got the message, and I think many other people in congress are about to get the same message.

In the end, you can argue with pro settlers all you like and you will never arrive an acceptable end to the arguement because what they are suggesting is, at the end of the day, simply morally wrong and completley in opposition to America's most deeply held principles, and they know it. Don't waste your time having the argument. Act. Vote your conscience. speak out against it in the same way that people spoke out against apartheid in South Africa. Would you have wasted your time aguing with a white south african who maintained that they also had some god given right to consign black people there to 3rd class status forever? People who had many of the same arguements that the settlers use? people that, by the way, Israeli and the US politicians supported right up until the international and finally US boycotts became so strong that politicians here became too embarrassed to back them anymore?
And why did they continue to back them in the first place? because they were Racist? No in most cases. Simply greed and cowardice. Same thing with the settler movement. It will end forever when US politicians become more afraid of being associated with the settler movement than they are of losing AIPAC money and support or of being branded an anti semite for simply insisting that israel do for the palestinians what our constitution demands that we do for for our own people, regardless of race, religion, or creed.

J


Posted by: J | August 11, 2006 01:10 PM

Well said J.

I would like to add one thing to your post.
Instead of calling what Israel did in 1967 a pre-emptive strike, use a synonym, "ATTACK"

Posted by: Thom | August 11, 2006 01:15 PM

Out of interest does anyone feel (as I do) that Lieberman's loss could have been a form of "voter nullification" in that he holds his Iraq war position more from an Israeli perpective than a US persepctive?

Posted by: Angus | August 11, 2006 01:54 PM

An excellent (and intelligent) point/ question Angus !

I agree perfectly with your point. Many people became painfully aware of the fact that Sore Loserman's support for the war was and has been from a zionist/Israeli(judeo) perspective. But of course, no one dares to say such a thing openly for fear of being called anti-semite (a career suicide).

Posted by: zeu | August 11, 2006 02:42 PM

Also- Thumbs up for a nice post, J.

Posted by: zeu | August 11, 2006 02:49 PM

An hour ago we find Isreael taking into Lebanon. They don't like the agreement that might come out of the UN. Who doesn't think Iran is a better member of the 'family of nations' than the
constantly rampaging, killing Israelis? WHo'd you rather live next to?
As for Lieberman...do you not read between the line? His war position was of course about Israel. He's a neocon. It can't be said? IT is being said, and more, every day now.

Posted by: between lines | August 11, 2006 03:17 PM

Has anyone onthis post, obviously well read and linking...noted anything bout the AP lately? The Associated Press, heretofore impeccible, sounds more like Israeli propoganda lately. Might be time to sound an alarm. THAT takeover would be of cricial importance...
There's a glowing story in th Times today,feature, about how Israelis are moving their lifestyle business to New York now, and making everything better, etc. Pure ad.

Posted by: journalism 501 | August 11, 2006 03:32 PM

Re: 502 above. The Post has a story tonight that the far right evangelicals were "called twice a day" by the Israeli embassy when the war broke out, asking them to support Israel. But they have declined. Therefore, lost a major, very major source of support here. That's News.
And it was an AP story...

Posted by: not yet | August 11, 2006 06:10 PM

"not yet"-
could you please provide the link to the stor? I would appreciate it!

Posted by: zeu | August 11, 2006 06:52 PM

'not yet'-

never mind, I got it! Thanks very much for drawing my attention to it!!

Posted by: zeu | August 11, 2006 06:57 PM

Zeu...good. On WaPo internet opening page, very bottom, under Religion (in red) for anyone else interested.
Very important story, strange to be found there...or perhaps not. Major change, their not supporting Israel. Looks like a break from Bush et. al. too. All in all a headliner hidden at page bottom! You'll hear more of it.

Posted by: not yet | August 11, 2006 07:46 PM

'Not Yet'-

Yeah, I too can very clearly see the significance of this story.

Notice that the importance of this story is actually two folds:

1) Not only are they refusing to come out and support them (at least publicly) But more siginficantly-perhaps- is: 2) that they are refusing to do so even at their begging and insistance.

You know that your case is morally, ethically bankrupt when those who are usually closest to you distance themselves from you!

People are beginning to wake up- always a good thing!

Take alook at this awsome video clip regarding the lebanese issues and see how things are changing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pe_UewMnAI

Posted by: zeu | August 11, 2006 08:36 PM

Let me actually post the link to the article so that people can easily reach it.

Re: Evangelicals Quiet About War


By RACHEL ZOLL
The Associated Press
Friday, August 11, 2006; 3:24 PM
Wahsington post (under "Religion" section)

Here is the link to the article:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/11/AR2006081100537.html

Posted by: zeu | August 11, 2006 08:43 PM

From High Wycombe to Nazareth
How I Found Myself with the Islamic Fascists
By JONATHAN COOK

Nazareth.

It occurred to me as I watched the story unfolding on my TV of a suspected plot by a group of at least 20 British Muslims to blow up planes between the UK and America that the course of my life and that of the alleged "terrorists" may have run in parallel in more ways than one.

Like a number of them, I am originally from High Wycombe, one of the non-descript commuter towns that ring London. As aerial shots wheeled above the tiled roof of a semi-detached house there, I briefly thought I was looking at my mother's home.

But doubtless my and their lives have diverged in numerous ways. According to news reports, the suspects are probably Pakistani, a large "immigrant" community that has settled in many corners of Britain, including High Wycombe and Birmingham, a grey metropolis in the country's centre where at least some of the arrested men are believed to have been born.

Britain's complacent satisfaction with its multi-culturalism and tolerance ignores the facts that Pakistanis and other ethnic minorities mostly live in their own segregated spaces on the margins of British life. "Native" Britons like me -- the white ones -- generally assume that is out of choice: "They stick to their own kind". Many of us rarely come into contact with a Pakistani unless he is serving us what we call "Indian food" or selling us a packet of cigarettes in a corner shop.

So, even though we may have been neighbours of a sort in High Wycombe, my life and theirs probably had few points of contact.

But paradoxically, that changed, I think, five years ago when I left Britain. I moved to Nazareth in Israel, an Arab -- Muslim and Christian -- community on the very margins of the self-declared Jewish state. In the ghetto of Nazareth, I rarely meet Israeli Jews unless I venture out for work or I find myself sitting next to them in a local restaurant as they order hummus from an Arab waiter, just as I once asked for a madras curry in High Wycombe. When Israeli Jews briefly visit the ghetto, I suddenly realise how much, by living here, I have become an Arab by default.

Living on the margins of any society is an alienating experience that few who are rooted in the heartland of the consensus can ever hope to understand. Such alienation can easily deepen into something less passive, far more destructive, when you find yourself not only marginalised but your loyalty, rationality, even your sanity, called into question.

As we approach the fifth official anniversary of the "war on terror", the foiled UK "terror plot" has neatly provided George W Bush, the "leader of the free world", with a chance to remind us of our fight against the "Islamic fascists". But what if the war on terror is not really about separating the good guys from the bad guys, but about deciding what a good guy can be allowed to say and think?

What if the "Islamic fascism" President Bush warns us of is not just the terrorism associated with Osama bin Laden and his elusive al-Qaeda network but a set of views that many Arabs, Muslims and Pakistanis -- even the odd humanist -- consider normal, even enlightened? What if the war on "Islamic fascism" is less about fighting terrorism and more about silencing those who dissent from the West's endless wars against the Middle East?

At some point, I suspect, I joined the Islamic fascists without my even noticing. Were my name different, my skin colour different, my religion different, I might feel a lot more threatened by that realisation.

How would Homeland Security judge me if I stepped off a plane in the US tomorrow and told officials not only that I am appalled by the humanitarian crises in Lebanon and Gaza but also that I do not believe the war on terror should be directed against either the Lebanese or the Palestinians? How would they respond if, further, I described as nonsense the idea that Hizbullah or the political leaders of Hamas are "terrorists"?

I have my reasons, good ones I think, but would anyone take them seriously? What would the officials make of my argument that, before Israel's war on Lebanon, no one could point to a single terrorist incident Hizbullah had been responsible for in at least a decade? Would the authorities appreciate my comment that a terrorist organisation that doesn't do terrorism is a chimera, a figment of the President's imagination?

Equally, what would they make of my belief that Hizbullah does not want to wipe Israel off the map? Would they find me convincing if I told them that Israel, not Hizbulalh, is the aggressor in the conflict: that following Israel's supposed withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000, Lebanon experienced barely a day of peace from the terrifying sonic booms of Israeli war planes violating the country's airspace?

Would they understand as I explained that Hizbullah had acted with restraint for those six years, stockpiling its weapons for the day it knew was coming, when Israel would no longer be satisfied with overflights and its appetite for conquest and subjugation would return? Would the officials doubt their own assumptions as I told them that during this war Hizbullah's rockets have been a response to Israeli provocations, that they are fired in return for Israel's devastating and indiscriminate bombardment of Lebanon?

And what would they say if I claimed that this war is not really about Lebanon, or even Hizbullah, but part of a wider US and Israeli campaign to isolate and pre-emptively attack Iran?

Thank God, my skin is fair, my name is unmistakenly English, and I know how to spell the word "atheist". Chances are when Homeland Security comes looking for suspects, no one will search for me or be interested -- not yet, at least -- in my views on Hassan Nasrallah or the democratic election of a Hamas government for the Palestinians.

My friends in Nazareth, and those Pakistani neighbours I never knew in High Wycombe, are less fortunate. They must keep their views hidden and swallow their anger as they see (because their media, unlike ours, show the reality) what US-made weapons fired by American and Israeli soldiers can do to the fragile human body, how quickly skin burns in an explosion, how easily a child's skull is crushed under rubble, how fast the body drains of blood from a severed limb.

Sitting in London or New York, the news that Gaza lost 151 souls, most of them civilians, last month to Israeli bombs and bullets passes us by. It is after all just a number, even if a high one. At best, a number like that from a place we don't know, suffered by a people whose names we can't pronounce, makes us pause, even sigh with regret. But it cannot move us to anger.

And anyway, our news bulletins are too busy to concentrate on more than one atrocity at a time. This month it is Lebanon. Next month it will probably be Iran. Then maybe it will be back to Baghdad or the Palestinians. The horror stories sound so much less significant, the need for action so less pressing, when each is unrelated to the next. Were we to watch the Arab channels, where all the blood and suffering blends into a single terrible Middle Eastern epic, we might start to make connections, and maybe suspect that none of this happens by accident.

But my Arab friends and High Wycombe's Pakistanis have longer memories. Their attention span lasts longer than a single atrocity. They understand that those numbers -- 151 killed in Gaza, and in a single incident 33 blown up in a market in Najaf, Iraq, and at least 28 crushed by rubble from an Israeli attack on Qana in Lebanon -- are people, flesh and blood just like them. They can make out, in all the pain and death currently being inflicted on Arabs and Muslims, the echoes of events stretching back years and decades. They see patterns, they make connections, and maybe discern a plan.

Unlike us, they do not sigh, they burn with fury.

This is something President Bush and his obedient serf in Britain, Tony Blair, need to learn. But of course, they do not want to understand because they, and their predecessors, are responsible for creating those patterns and for writing that epic tale in blood. Bush and Blair and their advisers know that the plan is far more important than the rage, the "red" alert levels at airports, or even planes crashing into buildings and plunging out of the sky.

And to protect that plan -- to preserve the Middle East as a giant oil pump, cheaply feeding our industries and our privileged lifestyles -- those who care about the suffering, the deaths and the wars must be silenced. Their voices must not be heard, their loyalty must be questioned, their reason must be put in doubt. They must be dismissed as "Islamic fascists".

One does not need to be a psychologist to understand that those with no legitimate way to vent their rage, even to have it recognised as valid, become consumed by it instead. They seek explanations and purifying ideologies. They need heroes and strategies. And in the end they crave revenge. If their voice is not heard, they will speak without words.

So I find myself standing with Bush's "Islamic fascists" in the hope that -- just possibly -- my solidarity and that of others may dissipate the rage, may give it meaning and offer it another, better route to victory.

Posted by: | August 11, 2006 10:56 PM

B20:
I completely agree that narrow agenda of most of the GOP and some Democrats to just stay in power. I guess its going to take really long time to change the propaganda mission in this country. But i think it's possible to stop them or atleast to certain extent nullify their virulent campaign, you have to understand they are being powered by major corporations and the only way is to start at the grass roots level, that is to educate young americans through painfully slow process. The saddest thing would be before all this can be done, more innocent lives will be lost due wars and suspicion these people create in order to stay in power.

Posted by: concerned | August 11, 2006 11:47 PM

Did you see the front page Post story this orning. The ISraeli army walking back across their border, stealing a cow. Sort of the last straw isn't it.

Posted by: the end | August 12, 2006 10:14 AM

Take a look at the following two video clips and see the zionist/ israeli jewish terror.

aslo see how the coward zionist troops are being pulverized by the hizballa champs!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1-_JmXQt0&eurl=


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfrYZBjw3Q&eurl=

Posted by: stend | August 12, 2006 01:27 PM

GOOD GOD, THE GARBAGE ABOVE! The silly little boy egoists acting out. Everyone knows the Israelis are savage. They cannot get along with themselves nor with anyone else. Love to plunder and rampage and play "eye for eye". Never stop warring. Now as ever. Hated and reviled whereever they have appeared, every country, every century punctuated again now and for the last 10 years by Palestine and Lebanon.
No? Well, the rest of the world is wrong, then?
The childish yacking by the same two or three defenders above is childish yacking. Do us all a favor and don't pay any attention. AND NEVER FORGET it is all too true that Jews in Germany felt very secure and very much integrated there until l930. Hope prayerfully that history doesn't repeat itself here. The world is very angry and edgy. No great prognosis on hand.

Posted by: worried | August 12, 2006 05:40 PM

Worried -

Would you like to talk about savages???

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

"The childish yacking by the same two or three defenders above is childish yacking."

There's plenty of "yacking" from your position as well. You might want to keep your hateful comments in check...

Posted by: More worried | August 12, 2006 11:59 PM

"more worried":

Take a look at the following nice two sites:

1) Jewwatch.com

It lists a small list of zionist's atrocities. It also has a few links to many of the inhumane actions of the savage terrorist israelis.

2) http://www.serendipity.li/zionism.htm

Has some info (+ links) about the ugly face of the movement and about the nature of its subhuman, bloodthirsty followers.


Posted by: printer | August 13, 2006 01:03 AM

To the bigots above who argue endlessly about which race or religion we should all hate most:

The current conflict (the last 40 years of the ME) is somewhat complex and is progresses at the rate that it does due to a number of factors. Here are some of the factors which play almost no role in the conflict: Judaism, Jewish people, Islam, Islamic or Arab people.

Here are some factors that play a much larger role in the conflict: Simple minded, myopic people such as yourselves, who are (thankfully)a small subset of all groups of people, Geopolitical gamesmanship, a small subset of Zionism that includes the concept of a greater Israel, a tiny fraction of arabs/muslim people who resort to terrorsim to attempt to right a wrong that has persisted for more than 40 years, a small portion of the American christian right that has convinced US politicians that they are greater Israel zionists as well, and the politics of greed, fear, and cowardice, both in the US and Israel.

Your ridiculus arguments about Judaism, Islam, Arabs and Jews, ect. does little more than reveal your own inability to correctly decode the world around you.

The sites jewwatch and thereligionpfpeace are both equally offensive and are obviously aimed at trying to sway the opinions of people with smallest of intellects. That anyone who has looked at them would: A) be convinced of anything other than their utter lack of truth value and B) would actually go out of their way to promote them, is only indicative of that persons questionable mental capacity.

J

Posted by: J | August 13, 2006 01:00 PM

J
If it weren't so serious, it'd be funny. Better clean your room or get some sun. Have your daddy take you for a ride.

Posted by: Tired | August 13, 2006 01:45 PM

http://caughtacting.blogspot.com

Parody site, poking fun at the conspiracy theorists and massacre deniers

Posted by: Nedd Hunter | August 13, 2006 04:09 PM

"What is it about the photos from Qana that made Israel's supporters prefer fantasy to fact?" the writer asks. Well my answer is look at the pictures posted in your paper on Monday the 31st of Jul with the headline "Israel is moves to suspend...", you will see a person rising from the dead there. This proves not only that the conspiracy theory might be true it also shows how badly you edit your news paper! Don't you think perceptiveness is one of the most important qualities a reporter should have? I hope people who subscribe to your paper will stop their subscriptions cause after such fiasco you can hardly expect people to be paying you for your reports

Posted by: Naralie | August 14, 2006 07:33 AM

Naralie and her ilk want us to believe that Israel has done no wrong, that the Arabs are all bad.
So she and the rest of the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd resort to trying to find evidence that wire service photos were doctors.
Wake up, friends!
According to all independent assessment, Israel has killed approximately 10 times as many civilians as Hezbollah in this conflict.
It really takes a lot of grasping at straws to avoid that ugly truth.
Remind me: who is the aggressor in this conflict, anyway?
Any unbiased assessment, looking at the number of people maimed, killed and displaced on either side of the border, would have to conclude that it is Israel.

Posted by: Saul | August 16, 2006 08:35 AM

CORRECTED VERSION:
Naralie and her ilk want us to believe that Israel has done no wrong, that the Arabs are all bad.
So she and the rest of the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd resort to trying to find evidence that wire service photos were doctored.
Wake up, friends!
According to all independent assessment, Israel has killed approximately 10 times as many civilians as Hezbollah in this conflict.
It really takes a lot of grasping at straws to avoid that ugly truth.
Remind me: who is the aggressor in this conflict, anyway?
Any unbiased assessment, examining the number of people maimed, killed and displaced on either side of the border, would have to conclude that it is Israel, with full backing from the U.S. of A., that has been by far the most vicious aggressor in this war.

Posted by: Saul | August 16, 2006 08:37 AM

Saul -

Since you asked... I'll be glad to remind you of the aggressor in this conflict. It was your beloved Hezbollah, a TERRORIST group that crossed another country's borders (that would be Israel's) and killed 8 soldiers and kidnapped two others. In addition, sending rockets into northern Israel for the past SIX years might be interpreted as aggressive behavior on the part of Hezbollah.

No one said that the Arabs are all bad... just the bad ones. There are plenty of good people in the Middle East, but unfortunately, their voices are not heard. They're usually either killed or forced into hiding by the radicals.

Also, no one ever said Israel can do no wrong. It can and it does, but at least it's a country that is honest and moral enough to admit mistakes and offer its regrets. Can the same be said for Hezbollah? Have we heard ONE apology from Hezbollah for risking the lives of the Lebanese citizens by using them as human shields (something that has been done for years!)? How about for running its terrorist killing machine from Lebanon, a country that was attempting to rebuild itself? Any regrets at all? No, of course not. Because the "freedom fighters" are always operating with just cause and are never wrong.

Hezbollah will attempt to polish its filthy and tarnished image by using Iran's money to rebuild Lebanon. This will, of course, help Hezbollah emerge from this conflict victorious and shining . . . until the next time they kill innocent people as TERRORISTs usually do.

Posted by: SM | August 16, 2006 02:59 PM

Go Hezbolla!

Posted by: Dan | August 16, 2006 03:01 PM

bxaeeyxrruadfhp4e9sirek2e81gef87fapcqeqzf2

Posted by: g0mokw7 | August 17, 2006 10:47 AM

So, Lebanon is bombed to rubble once again
as the result of the Israeli settler movements refusal to give up the ghost, and pull out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

And what has this accomplished? Hezbollah is stronger than ever. The Israeli soldiers that were taken prisoner are still being held.

If the pretext for this war was to get the soldiers back, Israel has failed. If the Pretext was to disarm Hezbollah, Israel has failed. If the pretext was to destroy Hezbollah, Israel has not only failed, they have actually improved Hezbollahs standing in Lebanon and the Arab and Muslim World. And by supprting this brutal and pointless behavior, the US has failed and lost more credibility in the worlds eyes as well.

Israel itself is starting an investigation of the war. This is due to the fact that many people there utterly disaprove of the whole affair and the results that it has produced.

We here in the states need to start an investigation ourselves. First, shut down Aipac, by accuratly labeling them as the agent of a foreign nation. Send the entire current administration packing along with their democratic twins like Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman (who has already got the message loud and clear) and all the other senate and house members who caved to Aipacs will regarding this fiasco.

You can take it to the bank when people maintain that this country is less safe now than it was before 9/11. We are still supporting the Israeli settler movement, even as they are in the midst of their death throes. This whole debacle was used as a method of stopping Abbas from getting the referendum that he was literally days away from acheiving that would have maintained once and for all that the palestinian people, despite having elected Hamas as their leaders, recognize Israel and would accept a two state solution. This would have forced Israel to the bargaining table to pull out of the WB and EJ much more quickly and completely than they were anticipating.

So Israel stepped up the starvation and bombing campaign in the Gaza, killing 30 innocent people in the several weeks leading up to the first kidnapping while still preventing funding or the free flow of the Palestinians own tax money.

When even mild provocation took place Israel jumped, scuttling Abbas's ability to even have the referendum and destroying lebanon in the process.

So here we sit, with nothing acheived except the settlers having gained the ability to sit on someone elses land to inspire even more terror, terror which will plauge innocent Israelis and US and other world citizens as a result.

When will the American people finally get the messge: we can stop this anytime we want by forcing the Israelis (financially, diplomatically, and strategically) to end the settler movement and give up all occupied territories while redoubling our promise to keep green line Israel safe from real threats.

It's the right thing to do for US security, world standing and it is simply the morally correct thing to do as well.


J

Posted by: J | August 17, 2006 02:44 PM

J,

As usual, thanks for great commentary! I admire your decency and persistence - in keeping our national interest first.

Posted by: RB | August 17, 2006 10:00 PM

Apologists for Immorality
By James Zogby
Posted on Monday August 14, 2006

There appears to be a direct relationship between the increasing ugliness and immorality of this war and the extreme lengths to which Israel's supporters will go to justify it.

This was brought home to me this week in three separate debates, one in print, two on television. What I clearly saw at work in these exchanges was how Israel's apologists use verbal overkill paralleling Israel's use of overwhelming military force. They will admit no wrong. They attempt to bully opponents into submission. They deny history and morality. And, maybe most disturbing of all, they seek to present this war (as they have sought to present many of Israel's previous wars) in exaggerated and near apocalyptical terms.

One of my antagonists, Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, objected to a piece I had written charging the Bush Administration with "criminal negligence," for not acting quickly and decisively to end the carnage in Lebanon. I went further in my piece noting that this Administration's policies and/or neglect had made a mess of much of the Middle East, resulting not only in catastrophe for the Arab World, but in a deepening of anti-American sentiments throughout the region.

Ignoring my point, Foxman deliberately miscast my views, accusing me of standing by while Hizbollah and Iran armed themselves and became a threat to the entire Middle East. After absolving Israel from all blame in the killing of hundreds of Lebanese civilians, Foxman weirdly concluded that, "[i]n the end, though Zogby won't admit it, the Arab world needs an Israeli victory over Hizbollah and Iran as much as Israel and the US. Maybe then, Lebanon can truly become one nation and be rebuilt and the region can begin to change for the better."

In my rebuttal I noted that it was not I who stood by while Iran and extremists were strengthened in the Middle East. It was the policies pursued by this Administration that are responsible for the nightmare unfolding before us. It was the disastrous war in Iraq that empowered and emboldened Iran, creating a new haven for terrorists and the dangers of civil war. And it was the US's abandonment of Lebanon and the Palestinians, followed by support for the Israeli onslaught against both that is making the Middle East more dangerous and more anti-American--with Iran sitting on the sidelines "licking its chops." Unlike Foxman's apocalyptical fantasy, I see no cheering in the Arab World for Israel's behavior and I do not see how any compassionate or sane person can argue that the outcome of an Israeli "victory" will leave Lebanon better or whole.

My two televised exchanges, one with noted criminal attorney Alan Dershowitz and the other with magazine publisher Mort Zuckerman, were debates that focused on issues of morality and war. Both of my antagonists claimed that Israel always fought its wars using moral means. When Arab civilians were killed, it was because: these civilians forfeited their rights by not fleeing as they had been told to; or because they were terrorist supporters; or because they were deliberately used as shields; or because...and on and on. The point being that Israel is never guilty, someone else always is.

This is such madness. Denying history and morality in the defense of atrocities is, however, par for the course for Israel's apologists. It took Israeli historians four decades to admit that they deliberately falsified the history of the '48 war and to acknowledge that it was their ethnic cleansing campaign in 1948 that produced the first wave of Palestinian refugees.

Now only four weeks into the Lebanon war and they want us to forget that from the first days of this conflict Israeli military leaders were warning that they would "turn Lebanon's clock back 20 years," or that nothing and no one south of the Litani River would be safe. And this is precisely what they have done. Not only have entire swaths of the southern suburbs of Beirut and much of Tyre and Bint Jbail and other smaller communities been reduced to rubble, but the airport and oil depot and ports, north and south, and much of the infrastructure of the country have been destroyed as well. In the process, thousands of homes have been leveled, and hundreds have been killed, by "smart bombs" that "repeatedly miss" their targets. The moral justification? "Hizbollah made us do it."

What is galling is that the Israelis said what they were going to do, they did it, and now they send forth their minions to deny their responsibility for their actions.

In the end, my opponents fall back on hyperbole to buttress their defense. For Zuckerman the argument becomes Israel fighting for its survival--this, presumably, justifying any and all atrocities. More disturbing, Dershowitz argues, "[t]his is the beginning a world war in which this kind of terrorism will be used against democracies. And the question is are democracies going to be impotent in the face of this or will the international community finally say to Hezbollah and others 'You cannot hide behind civilians. You cannot use civilians as a shield. If you do, you are responsible for every death...."

I grew up in an environment where I was taught that "you reap what you sow," that you were responsible for the consequences of your actions, that the means you use shape the end result. For that reason, while I have supported Palestinian rights and opposed the occupations of Palestine and Lebanon, I have never been an uncritical apologist when terrorist acts against civilians were used in the name of resistance. I, therefore, am outraged by the immoral apologetics of those who uncritically excuse all of Israel's behavior. It is a dangerous game.

When my antagonists see only their history and deny that of their adversaries, and when they insist that morality and humanity are defined exclusively by their needs and behavior, they become dangerously solipsistic. Defending a guilty client only serves to legitimate bad behavior, guaranteeing that it will continue. Worse still is attempting to fantasize some larger good coming out of evil--the consequences of all this denial will haunt us for generations to come.

Posted by: RB | August 17, 2006 11:42 PM

RB,

That was a great article. Where were these debates televised? I guess I need to google Zogby. Thanks.

J

Posted by: J | August 18, 2006 02:24 AM

Great article. Have always admired Jim Zogby, but I had not idea he was so eloquent.

Posted by: Thom | August 18, 2006 02:54 PM

Excellent article - I would especially like to see the dershowitz debate as I find him an obnoxious excuse for a human being - particularly his transparent attempts to equate criticism of Israel as anti-American...

Posted by: Angus | August 18, 2006 04:35 PM

J,

Here is the link to Jim Zogby's AAI and his archived artiles.

http://www.aaiusa.org/washington-watch/archive

Posted by: RB | August 18, 2006 10:11 PM

Angus,

Jim Zogby's debate with Alan Dershowitz CNN:


James Zogby on CNN's "Larry King Live"
CNN Transcript
Posted on Tuesday August 8, 2006

KING: Now to look at the Israeli situation we call on Alan Dershowitz. He's in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, the Harvard law professor and author of "The Case for Israel." And, in Washington, James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, he's a Lebanese American.

Alan, in your blog yesterday posted in today's Huffingtonpost.com you write, "We must stop viewing Lebanon as a victim and see it as a collaborator." What do you mean?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: That's the great tragedy that 88 percent of Lebanese today say they support Hezbollah. The president of Lebanon says he supports Hezbollah and its leader. The Lebanese Army has begun to collaborate with Hezbollah. Many, many Lebanese civilians are allowing their homes to be used for Hezbollah launching.

It's a terrible tragedy but Lebanon is becoming like Austria was in the Second World War. They are not Hezbollah's first victim. They are Hezbollah's major collaborator. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be very sympathetic to the civilians who are caught up in this.

But the Lebanese government is making a terrible, terrible mistake. They're picking the wrong side in the beginning of a major war between democracies and terrorism. They're supporting the terrorists for whatever reason and understandable maybe but they're on the wrong side and tragically their citizens are paying a heavy price.

KING: James.

JAMES ZOGBY, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Well my sainted mother would say "Aye" (ph). In Arabic that means shame on you, Alan. And I read that blog and the one that preceded it where you argued that there were degrees of being a civilian.

And the point you were making was not dissimilar to the point that terrorists always make and that is that in a war there are no civilians. Everyone on the enemy side is culpable.

The fact is, the simple fact is, is that one-third, almost 300 of those killed in Lebanon, have been children under the age of 13. I saw a funeral march in Tyre today where 13 people were killed because Israel bombed a funeral march. The fact is, is that why people in Lebanon say they support Hezbollah today is because they oppose the barbarism of this war.

And, frankly, I think that we ought to be able to speak out and say "We're not going to return to the law of the jungle. We're not going to support killing civilians. We're not going to target the government of Lebanon. We're going to play by different rules."

But frankly, Israel hasn't played by the right rules and they've taken a terrible consequence here, both in terms of civilian life but I think also in terms of their own morality.

KING: Alan.

DERSHOWITZ: Well this is a war, this is a prelude to the future unfortunately. What's happened is this is a surrogate war, much like the Spanish Civil War was, a surrogate prelude to the Second World War. It's a new kind of warfare in which terrorist armies, like Hezbollah, hide among civilians and challenge democracies, either to do nothing or to fire back in which case civilians are killed.

I shed as many tears as you did over the children of Tyre and all the others but every one of those deaths is blamable only on Hezbollah. Israel doesn't want to hit civilians. It wants to hit military targets.

If the greatest generation of Americans who fought the First World War had--Second World War, rather, had to live by the standards that Jim Zogby understandably imposes on Israel, we would have lost that war.

The United States attacked military targets and in the process killed many, many civilians. That was necessary to win a war and that's going to be necessary to beat terrorism here too.

KING: James.

ZOGBY: Day after day after day where Israel continues to say "We intended to hit and we missed" the fact is, is that at some point you have to hold yourself to a moral standard. Those are the rules after World War II that we actually imposed on ourselves and on others.

If this is the new kind of war you talk about, if this is the war for a new democracy and a new generation in the world, we ought to be setting a higher standard, not returning to the law of the jungle.

The fact is, is that if we are to hold ourselves to this higher standard and say "We want you to be like us," then what lesson are we teaching the world? We're teaching the world that the law of the terrorists is the law we'll use is that we will hit civilians with impunity and frankly you will like it or you--we don't care if you don't like it because you're going to pay the price anyway." That is disgusting and I think most people share my outrage that you would make that argument.

KING: Alan, is Israel losing worldwide except in places like maybe Great Britain and the United States the perception battle?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, of course, and that's Hezbollah's great weapon. Hezbollah hides among civilians in order to elicit attacks from Israel on its military targets hoping, Hezbollah hopes that many Lebanese civilians will die and then they win.

They win because the media and international public opinion turns against Israel. And when international opinion turns against Israel, it only encourages Hezbollah to do more and more hiding among civilians.

ZOGBY: Oh, Alan.

DERSHOWITZ: As Golda Meir once said "We can forgive you for killing our children but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children." And what would any democracy do if rockets were being rained down?

KING: By the way...

DERSHOWITZ: Last week Jim Zogby called them a joke. He said it was a joke these Katyusha rockets. We know somebody from Newton who was killed with a Katyusha rocket. Twelve Israelis were killed yesterday. Three Arab Israelis were killed yesterday.

Any democracy would go after the Katyusha rockets after saying in advance and warning the civilians "leave town." Anywhere a Katyusha rocket comes from has to be a military target.

KING: And, James, shouldn't Israel--what does Israel do if Hezbollah keeps attacking them, not retaliate?

ZOGBY: Look, Larry, we can start this history at any point you want and I agreed already at the very beginning that the action that Hezbollah took to kidnap these two Israeli soldiers was a provocative one. It shouldn't have happened outside of the Lebanese government as they acted and they were repudiated by the Lebanese government.

But the barbaric bombardment of Lebanon that began shortly thereafter are what started the Katyusha rockets flying. The fact is, is that there is at this point a war being fought by both sides with wanton disregard for civilians.

Lebanese have paid the price ten times to one and the infrastructure of Lebanon has been totally destroyed. But, for Alan to make the case that this is what Hezbollah wants that they win a victory when these children die is gross.

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely.

ZOGBY: It is a way of absolving...

DERSHOWITZ: It's true. It's gross and it's true.

ZOGBY: ...a guilty client. It's something he's done time and time again. But the fact is, is that saying "I didn't mean to rape her but she had a short skirt on" doesn't cut it. You at some point have to say "stop the madness." You cannot be killing these children, these innocent people and saying "It's your fault. I didn't mean to do it." That's total racism to use that argument. I'm sorry.

DERSHOWITZ: Jim, I expect better from you than to make the argument that I'm a defense lawyer. Let me make my argument.

ZOGBY: I expect better from you, Alan, than you...

KING: One at a time--Alan.

DERSHOWITZ: This is not--this is not about--let me make my point please.

ZOGBY: Yes.

DERSHOWITZ: This is not about excusing crime. This is about saying there is crime and the crime is being committed by Hezbollah. It's a crime against humanity deliberately to hide behind civilians and to say to a democracy "We're either going to kill your civilians or you will have to kill our civilians."

We must put an end to this type of warfare. This is the beginning of a world war in which this kind of terrorism will be used against democracies. And the question is are democracies going to be impotent in the face of this or will the international community finally say to Hezbollah and others "You cannot hide behind civilians? You cannot use civilians as a shield. If you do, you are responsible for every death caused by that." That is the law today in the United States and should be the international law as well.

KING: Alan, hold it. Alan, hold it. James, you have one minute. It's yours. Go ahead.

ZOGBY: And what you're saying, Alan, is that we will use every barbaric means at our disposal to stop you, which makes us no better--which makes us no better than those we claim to fight against. At the end of the day here, there are lessons that we have to learn.

DERSHOWITZ: They try not to kill civilians.

ZOGBY: Alan, I didn't bother you. Please stop.

KING: Alan, let him finish.

ZOGBY: The fact is, is that this is a war that is being fought by illicit means and it's not the first time in the Middle East. I lived through 1982 and I saw what Israeli did then. The Lebanon that is being destroyed today is one that took years to rebuild.

Frankly, no good will come of this. And I think we need to listen to the Lebanese government. We need an immediate cease-fire and the Lebanese need to be able to patrol the south. Israel needs to withdraw. We cannot allow the Lebanese government to fall. We need an immediate cease-fire. The best way to end this is simply to end it.

KING: I thank you both very much. We'll be calling on you again. Alan Dershowitz, hold it, the Harvard law professor and author of "The Case for Israel" and James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, Lebanese American, great to have them both with us expertly presenting each side of the case.

As we go to break the results in Connecticut are still not yet known. Ned Lamont the challenger, there's the headquarters of Joe Lieberman, the incumbent. The winner will get the Democratic nomination to go to the United States Senate. And we still don't have a result but we're going to check in on both sides right after this.
e is the

Posted by: RB | August 18, 2006 10:29 PM

It's time for Jewish dissenters to challenge Israeli policies


Email this article
Printer friendly page

By Henri Picciotto, San Jose Mercury News
August 11, 2006

I grew up Jewish in Beirut. Although I left nearly 40 years ago, my memories of Lebanon -- vibrant and multicultural -- have stayed with me. And so, my wife and I had started talking about taking a trip there.
I would show her the neighborhood where I grew up, the beaches where I swam in the warm Mediterranean waters and the small mountain hotel we loved to stay at in the summer. I would also show her my school, where Jewish, Christian and Muslim children learned and grew together.

After the past few weeks, we may never be able to take this trip. Israeli bombings have killed more than 700 Lebanese civilians. Hundreds of thousands -- more than one-fifth of the population -- have become refugees, uprooted from their homes. Lebanon's civilian infrastructure has been systematically destroyed.

We, as Americans, bear a special responsibility for this carnage. If Washington would withhold its unconditional military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel, the Israeli government would waste no time in starting genuine negotiations. Current U.S.-backed cease-fire proposals are so unfair to Lebanon that the Lebanese government has already indicated it cannot accept the terms, which do not even include a full Israeli withdrawal.

This one-sided U.S. policy is the result of a combination of factors, but it thrives on the myth that all American Jews stand uncritically behind the Israeli government.

Many believe that American Jews unanimously and unconditionally support the Israeli government. That what we learned from the Holocaust is to shoot first and ask questions later. That our commitment to justice and equal rights is a quaint feature of our past.

There is a saying ``two Jews, three opinions.'' Now we are told ``1 million Jews, one opinion.''

In fact, our community is profoundly divided:

• Hundreds, if not thousands, of Jews all over the country have demonstrated to demand an end to the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon. In one of these demonstrations, 17 Jewish protesters were arrested in an act of civil disobedience.

• In the past few days, thousands of Jews have signed a petition demanding that the United States intervene to stop the wanton killing of Lebanese civilians by the Israeli war machine.

• Jewish organizations that sponsor such demonstrations and petitions, such as Jewish Voice for Peace (on whose board I serve), are experiencing exponential growth. Jews are looking for ways to express their outrage at the actions of the Israeli government, and of the blind support accorded by the Jewish establishment in this country.

We are appalled by the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities, just as we were the earlier attacks by Israel on Lebanese cities. We mourn the loss of Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese lives equally. We are outraged by the destruction of Lebanese airports, roads and bridges, the bombing of homes and private cars, the killing of children, and the other horrors visited by the Israelis on their neighbors.

It is this kind of past Israeli behavior that gave birth to both Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that have strengthened immeasurably in recent weeks. Israeli intransigence has made Israel a pariah state, and is the biggest enemy of all the people of the Middle East -- Arabs and Israelis alike.

Jewish American leaders work tirelessly to promote the myth of Jewish consensus. Their tactics include refusing to rent space to dissenters, threatening funding cuts when Jewish institutions question Israel's actions and canceling meetings when they suspect debate might occur. Their most ubiquitous weapon is the hurtful charge of anti-Semitism, hurled at both dissenting Jews and Gentiles.

Many Jews question Israel's policies, but are afraid to speak out in their congregations or even to their families. But the time has come for Jewish dissidents to challenge the policies of the Israeli government. In the short run these policies kill Arabs, mostly innocent civilians; in the long run, they can result only in disaster for Israelis and Jews worldwide. Our silence in this time of crisis is complicity. We need to help bring about the peace that would one day make my visit to Beirut -- and the visit of all Jews -- possible.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HENRI PICCIOTTO of Berkeley is a mathematics educator and chairman of the board of Jewish Voice for Peace (jewishvoiceforpeace.org). He wrote this article for the Mercury News.

Posted by: RB | August 18, 2006 11:39 PM

SM,
It may gratify you to dismiss Hezbollah as "TERRORISTS" but all the capital letters in the world cannot change the fact that by far the greatest source of terror in this conflict, as measured by civilians killed, has been Israel.
Ah yes, but I suppose in your books, state terrorism is okay.
When Arabs do it, it's "terrorism." When Israel does it, it's "self-defense."
Sorry, I'm not buying it, and neither is most of the world.
Through its brutality and war crimes, Israel has lost all moral standing.

Posted by: Saul | August 19, 2006 09:58 PM

Hey RB - thanks for the dershopieceof*itz transcript...when I read about him "crying as many tears" for the children of Tyre I almost lost my lunch.....I can't believe James Zogby didn't nail him on that (although overall he did a good job)....so in reading through that post while I was watching a program on moronic skinheads who seem to hate anyone and everyone who's not like them - it occurs to me that dershopieceof**itz is just like them the only difference being that he just happens to be more eloquent....the founders of Harvard must be spinning in their crypts.

Does anyone honestly believe that he is talking as an American when he talks about this stuff?

Posted by: Angus | August 22, 2006 11:36 PM

Clearly, the Hashem and the Shalhoub families were imaginary people whose lives weren't real. Their love, hopes and dreams for a good life for themselves and their children blasted into pieces were also invent. See all those Lebanese who were murdered were imaginary as well just like the Palestinians were murdered and driven from their homes by the original Israeli terrorists.

Posted by: Simon, Miami | August 30, 2006 09:28 PM

Clearly, the Hashem and the Shalhoub families were imaginary people whose lives weren't real. Their love, hopes and dreams for a good life for themselves and their children blasted into pieces were also invent. See all those Lebanese who were murdered were imaginary as well just like the Palestinians were murdered and driven from their homes by the original Israeli terrorists.

Posted by: Simon, Miami | August 30, 2006 09:36 PM

pmugd [link http://akhmkic.com]test4[/link]

Posted by: John S | August 31, 2006 06:47 PM

I don't trust your coverage anymore. I read both sides on Qana and after seeing other clearly staged photos from Reuters and others, I would not put this past them. Where is the outcry over Hezbollah firing rockets from civilian areas so that retaliation by Israel will be construed as deliberately killing civilians all the while Hezbollah DELIBERATELY targeted civilian areas of Israel and no outcry from your paper? Apparently an Israeli Jewish civilian has less human value than a Lebanese Muslim civilian and there is a clear double standard for behavior here. The most recent event with the Pope's visit says it all...I read his passage and their response is barbaric behavior. Yet the press vilifies him...I had to search on the internet to find his actual words since no one printed it and it was not at all the way it was represented by the press. The liberal press is getting more untrustworthy by the day and is going to get people in this country killed due to creating sympathy for an enemy who is hellbent on destroying the US and any hint of Western culture and over and over again promoting this double standard and accountability. I am sick to death of the double standard being applied by the press over and over with an enemy who uses every opportunity the press gives them to lie and distort. If we are attacked again, the press has blood on their hands for your complicity in distorting the truth and swaying public opinion so that this enemy is misrepresented and underestimated.

Posted by: Cindy Anderson | September 16, 2006 05:31 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2006 The Washington Post Company