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A U.S.-Israel Test of Wills
In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, US President Barack Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, during their meeting in the White House in Washington, Monday, May 18, 2009. The leaders of the United States and Israel tackle an array of Mideast issues on which they disagree: U.S. overtures to once-shunned Iran and Syria and pressure on Israel to support a Palestinian state. (AP)

President Barack Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, May 18, 2009. (AP)

Nobody expected a shouting match in the Oval Office. But there is wide speculation that the agendas of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu may ultimately put the U.S. and Israel on a path to tough tensions.

Tensions over Iran, and whether to talk or attack. Tensions over a “two-state solution,” and whether to push forward.

Observers joke, grimly, of a “yes, we can” Obama versus a “no, we won’t” Netanyahu — and don’t joke at all about a potentially very real U.S.-Israeli test of wills.

This hour, On Point: Obama, Netanyahu, and the way forward in the Middle East.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from Washington are:

Gerald Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal, where he writes the Capital Journal column. He’s co-author with John Harwood of “Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power.”

Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. From 1978 to 2003 he advised six U.S. secretaries of state on Mideast policy and Arab-Israeli negotiations. His latest book is “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace.”

Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His most recent book is “Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands.”

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  • Mike

    I doubt Netanyahu is going to or try and make peace or a 2 state solution. He campaign against it, along with his lovely racist PM Lieberman stating on day one he was against a 2 state solution. While campaigning Lieberman even pushed forcing all arabs within israel to leave and be part of pallistian and be strip of there citizenship, along with force constript, and a disbandment of arab politicians within israel due to being against the war(slaughter) in gaza.

    I love to here from the Israeli jews who protested the war in gaza and treatment of arabs as second class citizens, who are actually fighting for peace and understanding have a voice in the outside world,without being attacked or called self-hating jews.

    Could onpoint every have chomsy, or norman F. on?

    I found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cMs0nai4JQ
    that the western media did not report

    Instead pushing for a swiss cheese models where they will continue to build settlements(like the 20 new houses approved to be built where a isreal army base was) and box in pally’s and arabs while expanding and taking more land and resources and are slowly trying to do what the u.s. did to the American Indians. with this swiss cheese model trying to be pushed it will allow israel to confine and control political power of arabs. Just as hamas does not reconize the state of israel, israel does not recognize hamas, nor the pallys right to have there own home and freedom to grow.

    along with Netanyahu statement that all pally’s have to recognize a jewis state of israel, not state of israel but jewis if so enabling the denial of the right to return for former pallys and he knows that, also enabling them to back out of any peace deal if they feel it does not suit them.

    I assume Netanyahu told obama there were going to attack iran by the end of the year if he did not say anything, since by u.s. intelligences thinks iran could make a nuke in a few years yet israel thinks in 6 to 8 months. Also logically Libermann would not back stopping settlements since his base are those settlers and would probaby break from the coalition if Netanyahu tried to curve or stop it. Even when israel states it is not occuppying the west back article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states otherwise

    “a party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty’. As such, Israeli reliance on local law does not justify its violations of its international legal obligations”

    in full
    it is of no relevance whether a State has a monist or a dualist approach to the incorporation of international law into domestic law. A position dependent upon such considerations contradicts Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 which states that: “a state is obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purposes of a treaty when it has undertaken an act expressing its consent thereto.” The Treaty, which is substantially a codification of customary international law, also provides that a State “may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty” (Art. 27).[26]

    We are Americans and we have the right to express our views, opinions and debate, along with criticize others, so dont let people try to silence u, scare u, or intimidate u, open debate is what make us great and is where we can find the truth.

    until illegal settlements,democratic countries of Israel acting inhumanly to another race,one sided debates, intimidation,using anti-Semitic as a political weapon, inter faith marriages, is address then peace in the middle-east is very unlikely since most on the others side will not see a fair broker.

  • MIke

    also for the people who believe hamas broke the cease-fire last decemeber CNN broke the story that commandos assinated some hamas leaders sparking the hamas actions, lending to israel attack on gaza.


    u can also find this in some israel newspapers, it was started nov 4th during the u.s. election was concluded when the eyes of the world was on the u.s., even with the blockade was not lifted, hamas did curve rocket fire.

    I hope obama can stand up to the neo-cons in the u.s. and the hard-liners in israel

  • wavre

    Why do i have the feeling that in this “political game of poker” Obama versus Nyatanahu, the israeli prime minister have a better hand?(AIPAC ect…)

    The Big USA seems unable to tell his special friend.”I’m with you all the way, i will help protect your existence, but be fair,stop land grabbing,dismantle the settlements, tir down this wall and let’s find a better way,our support can no longer be unconditionnal!”

    Change versus Statu quo…..to be continued!

  • Joe B.

    Obama will more than likely set up diplomatic relations with terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah (he has called for negotiating with the Taliban). How insane is that?

  • R.M.
  • R.M.

    BBC gets it right for once

    The BBC got it right here, but probably for the wrong reasons. Very funny !

    See below for the usual BBC / Channel 4 / Sky News guidelines for Israel….

    1. always accept the Palestinian version without question

    2. interview at least 8 Palestinian supporters to every Israeli supporter

    3. assume the UN is impartial, and a shining beacon of justice in a dark world

    4. assume any video / photos provided by Palestinians are always reliable – never question their veracity. It’s probably not worth bothering viewers with the fact that much of the media is doctored or staged – this will only confuse them

    5. gloss over the last 60 years of history (never mention how 6 Arab armies tried to destroy Israel in ’48, ’67, and ’73)

    6. don’t report how Hamas (etc) bully, torture and murder their own people, or misappropriate aid/finance (or if you do, play it down)

    7. NEVER mention that Iran / Hamas / Fatah have vowed to destroy Israel and kill every Jew in the world (if you do mention it, assume they don’t really mean it)

    8. Report only the words that Fatah say in English, never what they say in Arabic

    9. if you interview an Israeli (or misguided supporter such as Colonel Kemp, Mark Regev), make sure you interrupt them frequently. If you’re coming off second best, tell them you’re running out of time

    10. if interviewing a Palestinian (or Annie Lennox, Alexei Sayle), make sure you ask them lots of really open questions, allowing lots of time to air their views without interruption – nod frequently to show your support. Don’t interrupt them, as this is disrespectful

    11. above all, the tone of your voice should exhibit disapproval towards Israel, and sympathy towards Palestinians

    12. ensure you use the word “occupation” as much as you can (don’t get involved in meaningless discussions concerning how Israel either paid huge sums for swamps / wilderness in ’48, or won it when arabs declared war on them)

    13. never report anti-semitic attacks/incidents from the UK or elsewhere (we are unsure as to why these are increasing, but certain it has nothing to do with how we are portraying the situation)

    14. don’t report Pro-Israel activity such as marches – nobody cares, and these people are misguided anyway. If the politicians from all parties turn a blind eye, why shouldn’t we ?

    15. if you get the facts wrong (Israel murders 1000’s in Bethlehem), never issue an apology or retraction

    16. It is probably more news-worthy if you paint Israel as the aggressor – so don’t mention that Hamas launched over 6,000 rockets into Israel after Israel had vacated the Gaza strip

    17. On proportionality, probably not worth mentioning comparisons with civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, or WW2 Germany (this will only confuse people). The fact that Hamas deliberately booby-trapped civilian homes and made people go into them, we are sure, has nothing to do with civilian casualties….

    15. probably not worth mentioning the Bible – Jesus, a Jew, born in Bethlehem, visiting the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (this is only 2000 years of history anyway….)

    Note to Producers – make sure that when interviews are taking place that you loop some video showing ultra-left wing Norwegian doctors running after ambulances performing chest compression on live patients, and female Hamas supporters screaming uncontrollably about how their terrorist husbands were mercilessly martyred by the IDF. Remember, it really doesn’t matter what the interview says because people will remember the images

    Neil Turner , Watford, UK (01.24.09)

  • R.M.

    Freedom of speach at the UN.


  • R.M.

    sorry I meant “speech”

  • Mike


    Im sure u are aware that the bush admin, as well as Gen P. found that trying to work with the moderates in afgans and pealing them away from the extermist part works far better and has a better chance of sucess than killing them all. This was done in iraq remember “sons of iraq” cease-fires with shia, and sunny groups, and accross the board pardons for thoses who lay down there weapons.

    not all people in hamas/Hezbollah are crazy racial extremist just as not all peoples views in israel are in support of there government action, far more logical to work with the moderates or cannon-faddler if we can who can have there minds change instead of attacking them all and promote the extremist side.

  • Putney Swope

    Here we go another forum with people taking the extreme sides if an issue and no consensus is reached.

    The Israeli Palestinian conflict has been done to death on this forum, it has the usual suspects who comment here.
    I have an idea can we try and keep this in the realm of civility and at least attempt to make comments that are rational and not inflammatory.

  • Mike

    if u have not seen this, some

    non-violence Resistance meet with violences from israel


    if u have not this was this was befell gazans


  • Lilya Lopekha


    If you post something on this board criticizing the state of Israel – from its illegal founding to the way it treats its non-jewish population (racist), you will automatically be labeled as “anti-semite” and “self-hating”, etc.

    This is a good thing. That means you are on the right side of the issues. The more you are called names, the better. If you are flamed in CAPS, it is even better.

    The goal is to be labeled by the defenders of Israel who have immoral connection to that country.

    Just another anti-semite who favors justice to injustice in the Middle East

  • R.M.

    There are 70 conflicts worldwide, so why do we focus on just one?
    By Stephen King

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009:


  • Putney Swope

    Lilya you prove my point. Personally I think the On Point producers should shut this down now.

  • dianna g

    Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings is a LIAR?


    When a prominent American political figure speaks boldly about Jewish-Zionist power, that’s news. So the remarks by South Carolina’s senior Senator in May 2004 that Iraq was invaded “to secure Israel,” and that “everybody” in Washington knows it, are indeed remarkable.

    Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, a Democrat who has represented his state in the US Senate since 1966, is now serving his final term in Washington. That fact may also help explain why he’s now willing to defy the pro-Israel lobby and speak candidly about its power.

    It began with an essay, headlined “Bush’s Failed Mideast Policy is Creating More Terrorism,” which appeared in the Charleston daily Post and Courier, May 6, 2004.

    “With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country?,” he wrote. “The answer: President Bush’s policy to secure Israel. Led by [Paul] Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, for years there had been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area.”

    Several Zionist organizations, as well as some prominent Jewish political figures, quickly chastised Hollings, and his remarks were denounced as anti-Semitic.

    But he didn’t back down. Instead, he rose in the Senate on May 20 to defend and explain his essay.

    “I don’t apologize for this column,” he said. “I want them to apologize to me for talking about anti-Semitism.” President Bush went to war in Iraq “to secure our friend, Israel” and “everybody knows it,” Hollings declared.

    Senator Hollings is either a liar or he should lose his seat in the next elections. Oooops, he is NOT running in the next elections.

    Get it? He had the freedom to criticize US Foreign Policy, just because he had no fear of losing his seat as an elected “American” Senator, by us and for us.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Two state solution is not the real answer.

    Israel should have all the land, after “buying” it.
    This is the only solution and it is easy. Very Easy.

    Please distribute this link, add suggestions and make the only feasible solution better:

  • Kara

    Why are we still having this conversation? The Israeli policies towards the Palestinians are draconian and (frankly) racist.

    The US needs to pull back support of Israel and then maybe we’ll find more support for our efforts in bringing stability to Iraq.

  • dianna g

    What is wrong with OnPoint?

    Why can’t they get one single Peace Activist from ISM or International Action. They will come and speak for “freeeeeeeeeeeeee”.

    How about, Ramsey Clark or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Churchill

  • david

    Why do we keep trying to support the Palestinians? They elected thugs, stole the relief money given them over the years, keep attacking Israel. It’s just a group of people that can’t be trusted.

  • Putney Swope

    Lilya you keep spinning like a broken record.
    your idea is condescending towards the Palestinians by the way. Indeed, offer them money buy them off.

    dianna; How was the invasion of Iraq helpful for Israel?
    In retrospect it seems to have created more of a problem for them and did more to destabilize the Middle East.

    Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings did what a lot of senator’s do, he made a lot of hay.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Kara is Racist and Anti-Semite.

    Don’t worry Kara. I am saving keystrokes for R.M and Joe, et. al.

    I am sure they were going to call you names.

    Good Job, you are on the right side of the issues.

    I guess, this is the only way of forcing to pick another method to attack us.

  • R.M.

    someone is talking to herself ..

  • Sojourner

    After all these years and dozens if not hundreds of times at bat, can someone please inform Tom Ashbrook of the correct pronunciation of ha-AH-retz?

  • R.M.
  • Putney Swope

    Poor Lilya Lopekha your such a victim. The right side of the issues? Are you kidding? so anyone who wants a two state solution is on the wrong side of the issue.

  • Kara

    I don’t think any theocracy has a place in the modern world. Israel needs to transition to a secular state and incorporate the refugees it created into the mainstream society.

    That will defuse so many tensions!

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Let’s play another game of “180 degrees”.

    Benjamin Netanyahu today spoke in Israeli Knesset yesterday on the issue of Iran. He said: “Countries like Iran, who are founded on unjust principles and who pursue racist policies against the real owners of the land, will one day destroy themselves and cease to exist from the map.”

    Because the State Department does not have a single Hebrew translator and Condi does not know Hebrew, Condalisa Rice criticized Netanyahu for saying “Israel will wipe Iran off the face of the map”.

  • Damien

    I agree with the late Edward Said who advocated for a one state solution wherein Jews, Muslims, and Christians would live together in a secular state with equal right afforded to all. Separation walls, barriers, check points do not provide sustainable security to any side in this conflict.

    A two state solution is a fantasy and will never happen so long as the U.S. grants Israel carte blanche to do what it likes in the region. I cannot take seriously any talk of a two state solution, which I consider no more sustainable than reversing the course of a river.

    The U.S. has bankrolled the illegal occupation of the West Bank for decades and its high time it started demanding more from Israel.

    [I also agree with Kara on May 19th, 2009 at 9:13 am EDT]

  • Putney Swope

    Kara they are a secular state in theory. Arabs are in the Knesset. However there is a two class system in play which is a huge problem and this needs to be resolved.

    Lets remember that in our own country African Americans lived in a two class system until the later part of the last century. Now we have an African American president.

    Speaking of two class systems, Jews were not allowed into Ivy league Universities in the past. There were quotas, some had a quota of 10% some less. In the the 1920′s on through to the 50′s it was common to see signs saying no Jews allowed on restaurants and hotels all around this country.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Putney, Putney, Putney

    Of course, two state solution is another bed-time story invented to put people to sleep. It ain’t going to happen.

    Who will determine the rules? Who will decide how many bread crumbs the Palestinian should have? How about how many drops of water per Palestinian?

    Please, be realistic.

    Tell us, what is wrong with Israel buying all the land that they took over by force, to the extend that money is coming out of Palestinians’ ears. Everybody is happy, justice done. Do you see anything wrong with that? …except Israel is so used to getting everything for free.

  • dianna g

    I sort of agree with Liliya. The documents could have been written better, but it has one practical solution with idealistic merits that can work.

    If you put on this solution on the table (Israel buying the land “generously”, at least it will make people think constructively and rationally and talk about the real tangible solution instead of the usual endless rhetoric.

  • R.M.

    Why always the Palestinians and silence about the jewish refugees?
    The silent Exodus of 1 million jews from Arab lands :


  • Putney Swope

    Ask the Palestinians if they want to be bought out.

    This is not a solution, it’s silliness.

    Just as I said before this forum spins the same arguments by the same people saying the same tired things, myself included. Not one person here has added anything except to point to there political positions.

  • James in Providence

    A tempest in an online teapot. I find it healthy in my personal life to empathize with others’ views. Just when I have it all figured out is when I look to the opposite viewpoint. I hate when I see the disproportionate killing of Palestinians. However, I don’t know what it’s like to be surrounded by enemies as is Israel.

    An idea for another show: Have the Dalai Lama on when he visits Boston. A panel of peacemakers may add light.

  • george

    Aaron David Miller has nothing to say except for well planned words and phrases patterned after that other “delicate genius”, Thomas Friedman, the sage of the New York Times. On Point could have done a lot better.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Ask the Palestinians if they want to be bought out.

    Putney, you are coming along…. one more try.

    Yes, let’s ask the Palestinians, but not to the comfortable ones who are here in the US. Put the money (open check) on the table.

    Husseyin: “You will surrender your parents land (now in Haifa) and your right-to-return for $100K per person in your family.
    Not enough? How about $200K and Sweden wants all of your family. Or $280K per person.”

    Can it be more simple than this?

  • R.M.

    name one secular democratic country in the Arab world.

  • R.M.

    how about money for the 1 million Jewish refugees kicked out of Arab lands? Why one and not the other?

  • Peter Casey

    A member of the panel today said that there could be no peace in Jerusalem because there had never been peace between the Arabs and Israelis. This is an argument I hear often. But I would contend that, instead of thinking in terms of history, we should perhaps think in terms of contemporary economics. Many are blaming the current financial crisis on the fact that futures were predicted in terms of past trends. While the past can be an indicator of future trends, it is in no way determinate. The past is merely a collection of causal factors that determine future events. In which case, it is incumbent upon us to develop a present that can lead to a more peaceful future in the Middle East.

  • Peter Casey

    I don’t mean to abuse the forum with two messages in a row, but I noticed, R.M. message and I wanted to respond. It is true that the existence of a secular democratic state is rare in the Arab world. In fact, it is rare in the Middle East. While truly democratic, Israel itself is not truly secular. The only country I can think of that may fit the bill, though quite arguably and under outstanding circumstances, is Iraq. Iraq is a very new democracy and has not yet consolidated, however it has real democratic institutions, and its leaders are making decisions through those institutions. They have already democratically elected regional governments twice. It is not under the control of a single religious sect and so far has respected minority rights, albeit under the United States’ watchful eye. This may sound crazy, but I see hope in Iraq. The next few years, especially the next democratic power transition at the national level, will be very telling of its future.

  • L. Bushkin

    Mr. Ashbrook’s strongly held personal views on this subject are clearly evident. He has every right to his own opinion. However, if he is to be the “moderator”, then at the very least he should be required to state his position at the beginning of the broadcast. His one sided hostile approach to questions and answers of his guests as well as to comments from listeners is a travesty of fair and equal broadcasting one expects from public radio. His angry treatment of the female caller from Providence RI was appalling. I have heard him politely terminate a long winded caller when he is of a mind to, but his almost shouting angry dismissive shut-off of the the woman was an embarrassment for Public Radio. He is the wrong person to be handling this difficult sensitive complex issue on NPR.

  • sept1

    Once again NPR’s range of opinion is from right wing to right of center. How about trying to have a guest on who understands that israel doesn’t want peace (or at least a just peace), that understands that Hamas HAS agreed to negotiate for a two state government and that it is israel that refuses to do so, that it is israel that constantly uses military attacks to prevent peace and that israel will only allow the palistineans to have bantu settlements in the west bank.

    Once again you have presented the same old tired wahsingtonian spin commentators who do nothing but present the same old Israel lobby arguments that whitewash and launder the actions of israel.

    NPR attempting to get our money by claiming that it presents a wide range of opinion is similar to Fox news self referencing it self as “fair and balanced”.

  • millard-fillmore

    Lilya and dianna g:

    Please walk your talk – go live in a Muslim-majority country in the Middle East for a few months and then let us know how “secular” these countries are and what status is given to non-Muslims (I’m assuming you’re non-Muslims, but correct me if I’m wrong) as compared to Muslims – whether all have equal rights or not. (If you’re white, you may have a slight advantage.)

    While you’re at it, also try your hand at expressing your views that are critical of certain misogynistic laws that are still in force. Or try discussing the rights of gays.

    Let us know how successful you are in openly discussing these issues and of your experiences with living under Hudud.

    Good luck!!

  • Putney Swope

    “You will surrender your parents land (now in Haifa) and your right-to-return for $100K per person in your family.
    Not enough? How about $200K and Sweden wants all of your family. Or $280K per person.”

    Your joking right? Why Sweden and where did you get the idea that Palestinians want to go there?

    I still say this idea is condescending and I would like to know what a Palestinian from Jaffa thinks about this.

  • Damien

    sept1, on May 19th, 2009 at 10:22 am EDT

    Well put. NPR is a disgrace.

  • R.M.

    Sept1 must be from “Bizzaro world” …..Where do you get your information? From Electronic intifada?

  • Lilya Lopekha


    Sweden was an example. Jordan will take any palestinian with $314K in their pocket. Or, Brazil.

    For that guy in Jaffa, give him $328K, whatever amount that will make him happy.

    You wouldn’t surrender your house to Airport construction for $23 only, right? Same principle. What is good for you, should be applied to the guy who lost his house to White European guys in 1948.

    Let’s have Israel and Europe pay for the cost of Land, so that we, the Americans, can get on with our lives and scientific R&D, before we go broke on paying for the bombs and the bombers.

  • Mike

    anwser one of r.m. questions, as to a arab//middle east country that is secular democratic country is turkey.

    your welcome.

  • sept1

    RM’s comments about my comments beg for a response because it typifies a larger problem.

    1. I live in the US not “bizzaro world”. Is that a shopping mall soemwehere?

    2. I have never seen the “electronic infitida”. I don’t even know what it is let alone where it is.

    3. Please explain what part of asking for a diverse range of opinion on the radio station that I’m forced to support my thru taxes makes you think that I am part of something called either the electronic infitida or bizzaro world?

  • R.M.

    Someone forgot the 1 million jewish refugees kicked out of Arab lands…..

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Last comment for Putney:

    Another reason why the solution proposed at HumanGenome.org is that property ownership is a civil right vs. a civic right. Meaning the fact that you own your own house has nothing to do with your government.

    Therefore, whatever they discuss and agree in Wash or Oslo, legally does not and cannot bind anybody. If Isreal want to strike a deal with Hamas or the government pf Palestine, it is fine. But Isreal should pay up individually to the owners of the land, one by one, so that they will give up their ownership and move on to their new countries.

    Look at this guy: Alexander Rybak
    He was from Belarus, and moved to Norway and he is a very very happy Norwegian now.

    People are all the same; japanese, australian, palestinia, israeli – same feelings, same aspirations, same dreams.

  • Putney Swope

    Lilya Jordan already kicked out the Palestinians, and did so with extreme prejudice. I think your comments are only meant to provoke people, as for having any merits, I would like to see some Palestinians comment on the idea of being “bought out”.

  • R.M.

    So where do you get all your false information?

  • Mike

    though i cant take credit for these wording i agree with the person who posted it

    Israel is not singled out. I did not see one example of how Israel is singled out for blame where others get away with it. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Israel is paid. The real problem, in my view as a US citizen, is that my tax dollars bankroll the injustice, the conquest of land by force, the uprooting and destruction of the natives in the West Bank and Gaza. If the US did not subsidize the whole operation (expansion and facts on the ground), then I would still care but would not feel responsible, and thus would not care so much. And I will point out that if the US did not subsidize Israel to the tune of many BILLION $$$ per year, the operation would cease. This is not chump change. So yes, we are responsible, unlike Congo or Sudan, we are not paying for the aggression.


  • R.M.

    answer for mike ….Turks are not Arabs just like Iranians are not Arabs …..now go back to school.

    your welcome

  • Mike

    hench the /middle-east

  • R.M.

    yes tell the writers sent to jail for “insulting the Turkish nation” that it is democratic….I dare you to also go and talk about the Armenian genocide .

  • Mike

    don’t forget Lebanon, i surprise r.m. didnt try posting his twisted bbcwatch site for a references like he normally does.

    also israel is not a secular democracy but a theoretic one where religion trumps secularism, hench the tried argument that it was israel home land given by god, yet leaving out the kainaites where there were there before them, and as the policy of jousha to ethically cleanse natives 3k years ago(history channel bible battles).

    or jesus was a jew, yet he rejected most of their beliefs to form what is now today Christianity. or that jews, Muslims, and Christians lived in relative peace until the crusaders came, or when jews were prosecuted by Europeans in the black plague they went to muslim counties to escape as well. nor the actions and expelling and cleansing by extremist on the israel side before its founding which lead the arabs not to agree to the 1940 founding of israel, nor after the 1967 war where arab countries recognized Israel and its borders as such. yet israel disregarded it and still went on to expand it’s boarders,nor in spain before the spainish Inquisition control by a smaller muslim empire, jews, muslim and Christians were afforded equal rights. nor after the plo became what is now fatah and renounce there past ills for peace with israel giving up more of there land to do so israel supported hamas as a tool to make fatah weaker, which backfired. Nor Hamas was elected democratically btw and fatah president, yet political assassinations still went on by israel.Nor that israel a democratic county tortured until 1980′s which was stopped than stated in the late 90′s, Nor can we see the people within israel that are protesting against its governments actions, are often censored, nor do we hear how the IDF edits videos and images and has a final say on what the Israeli news stations report.

    I hope for the world and israel stake that a leader within israel can rise to the task and bring a fair peace for both sides and not stick to the weak talking points that are always presented.

    maybe someone of Jewish mother/father and muslim mother/father even know both sides (sadly) disallow this to be able to see both sides point of view. Kind of like obama

  • Barbara Moore

    At least the issue of the settlements has been put out there right away. For so many years it always seemed to me like the elephant in the room. With honesty it feels like there’s a chance.

  • One State Solution

    How about a one-state solution, with European Jewish colonists living side by side with the indigenous Arab population, with everyone having equal rights?

  • mr.independant

    The very nature of this statement “European Jewish colonists” is done to provoke.

    A little history lesson there are also indigenous Jews.

    When people make comments like this all bets are off as far as I’m concerned.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Lilya Jordan already kicked out the Palestinians, and did so with extreme prejudice.
    Putney and R.M.

    I was giving a example. Of course, Jordan will not want millions of Palestinians with $0 in their pockets. But what if Israel gives them $317K per person. If not Jordan, Japan will love 3000 palestinians with $434K in their pockets, each.

    If you love Israel that much, would you donate some money for the Buyout For Peace? You should.

    Please stop taking stabs at the details and litter the forum by innocent looking fake questions/postings.

  • dianna g

    dianna; How was the invasion of Iraq helpful for Israel?
    In retrospect it seems to have created more of a problem for them and did more to destabilize the Middle East.

    Not really. Do you have any idea how much money was transferred from US Treasury to Israel through Military and Security contracts – just because of Iraqi Invasion.

    But that part is small detail. Here is a counter question for you:
    The proponents of Iraqi invasion were out of jobs at the very beginning of 1993. They were promoting overthrow of Saddam. Can you show me one earliest article (1992-1996) that is written by one of the Architects of Invasion of Iraq, that mentions about overthrow of Saddam for a reason other than Israel’s security. Just one.

  • sam

    Since the peace process began ,the world was optimestic that pease was at hand. My father who have lost his home , along with every thing esle, was not so eager to endorse the pease process, He said on every ocasions the subject came up saying that” the Israeli has no intentions of ever giving up the west bank not in his life time or any ones life time” I thought my Dad was cynical, low and behold he was right , he passed away and and many generations will pass away and dreaming of two state solutions, now we all know that the Israeli government playing ttheir game, get rid of Saddam will make peace, now get rid of Iran Nuclear program and will make peace ,chasing peace in middle east like chasing your own shadow.keep chasing it until eternity.

  • Lilya Lopekha


    Don’t you wish, others see the path to peace the way you are seeing; which is None, if we show the same naivite that we did for decades.

    If Israel does not want every single square inch of West Bank, I will change my name to George Bush.

    Please tell us if the only solution is the following suggestion or not:

  • dianna g

    There was a question about Democracies and Islam

    This is what those Islamic Democracies can create, “when they are left alone” by out outside fingers

    Here is Azerbaijan:

    and here is what Turkey can do:

  • R.M.
  • R.M.

    I am still waiting for an answer: …..how much will the 1 million jews kicked out of arab countries get in your little skim ?

  • dianna g

    Goooood Job R.M.

    You are keeping up with your pop propaganda culture.

    Human Rights Activists in Israel, is disgusted with Israel’s song in the competition, because it is a cover up of the realities on the ground.

    For those of you who are not familiar with Eurovision Song Contest 2009 from Moscow, Israel participated with a singer duo Mira Awad (arab) and Noa (Israeli) singing a Hope song: There Must Be Another Way.

    Unfortunately, peace activists were not fooled with another attempt for Israel to fool the world again.

    Would love to see Israel boycotted from the event, until (just like Lilya said above) Israel buys the land with proper compensation.

    ps. check Sam’s posting above.

  • R.M.

    ?????????????? should I get it ?……

    How sad ,there are some pretty sick people in this world ….Hate is a terrible thing…..

  • dianna g

    Mr. RM

    If those words are directed towards me…
    “pretty sick” and “hate”;
    they are only in your poisonous imagination.

    You should be ashamed of yourself by labeling everybody in this forum.

    You are a hate monger yourself; which explains why you are defending the unexplainable and indefensible.

    I am very angry.

  • Human Rights Are Universal

    Mr. Independent wrote:

    “The very nature of this statement “European Jewish colonists” is done to provoke.

    A little history lesson there are also indigenous Jews.

    When people make comments like this all bets are off as far as I’m concerned.”

    You’re absolutely right that there are indigenous Jews. However, until the late 1940s they were a very small percentage of the population of Palestine – in the single digits. The great majority of Israelis today are, or are descended from, immigrants from Europe in the latter half of the 20th century.

    How do you think that Jews came to dominate in a place already occupied primarily by another ethnoreligious group?

  • ben.b.emerick

    Will On Point will feature guests of moderate and extreme Palestinian persuasions to balance tonight’s (05/19/09) program? I hope the criticism will be no more sharp or dull than that of this evening’s program.

  • Novia

    Hello I am a recent listener to your show, and I was turned off by the fact that none of the guests on the show tonight Arab Middle East experts or political writers who could discuss the actions by Muslims, Arabs and the Palestinian leadership that will also influence American Policy.

    Everyone on the show talked about the feelings and perspective of US and Israel and the effects on israelis and americans, as if those ‘Palestinian refugees’ and ‘terrorist suicide bombers’ are not people too regardless of their actions. This show disappointed me when it only represented two of the sides and interests in a conflict that involves a whole region.

  • Peter Pjecha Jr.

    “Golda Maier was right—‘There’s no such thing as “Palestinians”—or for that matter “Palestine”. The great pretenders of the “Palestinians” like “Palestine” itself, are a de facto invention of the ancient Roman Caesar Hadrian in A.D. 135, and like Japanese Bunraku puppets dancing on the cords of their Arabic masters and Moslem puppeteers; the faux people of the “Palestinians” can be found squatting and performing daily in—The Inherited Land of Judea, and the Jewish State of Israel. And the reason the whole world is so spellbound and in such a quandary over what should be a ludicrous non issue, is because for some inexplicable reason, none of us, not our leaders, nor we that follow, seem to care any more or at all, about explicit human history.

  • ben.b.emerick


    I’m pretty sure there was and is a Palestine. I’m not sure what you would call a philosophy that ignores 10 million people. What would you call it?

  • R.M.

    dianna g. or is this lyla …up to your old tricks again …how angry are you ? tell us , see if we care…..

  • dow

    It is time to stop giving so much attention to the Israeli-Palestinian situation — until they want to live in peace no cajoling or number of peace conferences will work. The Arab League has offered full recognition of Israel in exchange for them going back to the original borders — what more do they want? That is the solution — end of story — if Israel won’t accept it then the US should just TOTALLY disengage — our relationship with Israel brings us nothing but grief — and we have far more important problems to worry about than this small state. And Israel just thumbs its nose at the US by continuing to build settlements despite agreements to the “Road Map”. The biggest mistake in the history of the UN was to recognize the state of Israel — that area should always have been kept as a multicultural/multiethnic/multireligious entity as it was for centuries!

  • Putney Swope

    I rest my case. This forum can’t debate this issue in any rationality.

    For the record there was never a country called Palestine. It is a name which has been widely used since Roman times to refer to the region that was earlier called Canaan, which spreads between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

    In its broader meaning as a geographical term, Palestine can refer to an area that includes contemporary Israel and the Palestinian territories, parts of Jordan, and parts of Lebanon and Syria.In its narrow meaning, it can refer to either the area within the boundaries of the former British Mandate of Palestine (1920-1948) west of the Jordan River, or to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, claimed as the territory of the partially recognized State of Palestine.

    –Thank you Wikipedia.

  • Putney Swope

    I should have said “with any rationality”.

  • mr.independant

    Human Rights Are Universal, I have to disagree with your numbers, but it’s most likely a pointless argument as you post stuff like this as a distraction from the realities of the situation.

    There were millions of Jews living in in the area of the Middle East before WW 2 stretching from Morocco all the way to Turkey. A lot of them were killed by Arabs before WW2 and during the war. After with the rise of pan-Arab nationalism these killings and expulsion of Jews from these countries roes significantly. One cannot over look this part of the history here in conjunction with the Holocaust of WW2. The two went hand in hand. Look up the Muslim Brotherhood and Hajj (Muhamed Effendi) Amin al Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

  • R.M.

    Rockets have not stopped

    Before pressing Israel, world must address continued rocket attacks

    Jacob Shrybman Published: 05.17.09, 12:26

    A few days ago I was relaxing in my first-floor apartment in Sderot when there was a loud knock on my door. The government contractor tasked with building private bomb shelters attached to each unit in the building came to check my apartment. All across the city, private bomb shelters are popping up like spring flowers and are being utilized as the Color Red alarms continue to sound.

    As Netanyahu gears up for his monumental visit to discuss the Middle East peace process with US President Barack Obama, are international leaders aware that terrorist rocket fire against Israeli civilians has not stopped?

    As southern Israel prepares for the next barrage of rockets, the international media and leaders hype this visit to be of vital importance to a peace agreement. On May 4th The New York Times ran an article titled “Addressing US, Hamas Says it Grounded Rockets,” noting that only six rockets were fired at Israel in April. On May 5th Ynetnews ran an article titled “Dramatic Drop in Qassam Fire,” reporting that only 8 rockets were fired in April.

    However, with a simple phone call to the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson, the only in-the-field source, I was given the official military count of 23 rockets and 3 mortar shells for the month of April, significantly more than what was reported in the media. The world is being led to believe that the rockets have stopped when in fact there have been over 200 rockets since the ceasefire began on January 18th.

    Working in Sderot for the Sderot Media Center, I knew that there were more than eight rockets last month. I began to track down the statistics and their sources. The reporter at Ynetnews cited the Shin Bet as its source.

    So why is there is such a discrepancy between what I and the army see on the ground and report day-to-day, and what some Israeli officials and the news media are reporting to the world? Are Israeli and international politicians suggesting that Operation Cast Lead completely thwarted the threat from Hamas and Iran in the Gaza Strip?


    Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the so-called moderate Fatah, which proudly paint their rockets yellow to distinguish them from Hamas’ red and green, announced in the last week of April that he would never recognize Israel as a Jewish State. With such a definitive proclamation against a peaceful solution, with whom are Israeli and international leaders pushing the Jewish State to come to an agreement?

    The rockets fired at Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip by the Iranian-funded terrorist organization Hamas have not stopped. International leaders and the news media need to stop presenting statistics that foment this fallacy in the effort to force an agreement that will not bring shalom or salaam, but rather, be a mere piece of paper. All one needs to do is come to my first floor apartment in Sderot to be awakened to this continued reality of rockets.

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  • Lilya Lopekha

    Here is another revisionist story…

    Rumsfeld decorated all Iraq Invasion papers with references for the eyes of George Bush The Crusader.

    Bunch of BS.

    Between 1992-1996 the war drums for Iraq were being played by Wolfowitz, Wurmser, Pearle Faith and other guys who had nothing to do with Bible; they were not even Christian. Even Dick EVil Cheney did not make a single comment about toppling Saddam during those years. Rumsfeld was in the private sector and ripping off people against God’s wishes. Bush was in Texas, busy with screwing Texas Politics without knowing where the hell Iraq is.

    Again and again, they are trying to distract our attention from the fact that punishing Saddam had only one purpose: geopolitical safety and security of a little country in the Middle East; and then doing Iran.

    It had nothing to do with 9/11. It had nothing to do with Bible. It was all about Israel and what is best for Israel.

  • Lilya Lopekha


    1996. Report: why removing Saddam is crucial to Israel.
    Written by Feith, Wurmser and Fairbanks.
    Delivered in person by Perle to the Israeli Prime Minister.

    1997. PNAC’s founding “principles” signed by necons:
    Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, Abrams.

    1998. PNAC letter to Clinton: removal of Saddam … military efforts
    signed by: Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bolton, Abrams
    Bombing Iraq Isn’t Enough (NY Times) / A way to Oust Saddam (“the Wolfowitz plan … US military might”) —PNAC

    1999. The Neocons’ book on US/Israeli strategic interest in Iraq
    “Iraq also has large, proven oil reserves, water, …” —Wurmser
    PNAC Memo: “Above all, only ground forces can remove Saddam.”

    2000. Talk of war with Iraq was discontinued during the election.

    2001. War planning by neocons’ PNAC.
    Liberate Iraq—PNAC “At minimum, 50,000 troops.” “Thousands of Iraqi soldiers would likely change sides and fight.” “Chalabi may be ideal man to lead the opposition. He is rich and upper class.”

  • William Stewart

    Boy, that R.M. has a lot to say that is destructive… Let us NEVER forget that Isreal is an illegal State…. It was created in 1947 by a passage of an Act by the then, young, United Nations, and only on the one day that the Russian and the Chinese Delegate were not in attendance at the Security Counsel (then, only five Countries)for the vote which passed…. The “Ship of Fools” was the name given to a liner with 10,000 jews which sailed from port to port for two and a half years because no one wanted to assimilate jews into their populations…. Palestinians were given $3.00 per acre for their land to make up the new state of Isreal which was expropriated from the State of Palestine… If the Palestinians refused to move or relocate, they were shot dead…. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lived in tent camps for at least twenty years awaiting resolution of their greivances over the expropriation of their lands… It never was resolved and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lost, good livelihoods for the sake of the World’s guilt over their refusal to naturalize the jews on the ship….
    Simple,… yet truth is harsh, lies are salve for the sheep….

  • Frederic C.

    Lilya, what’s up with your website Human Genome? You couldn’t get a biotech to pay for the name so you use it to list your fantasy of a middle east without jews?

    Lilya, I still think that you are a jew in Tel Aviv posing as an antisemite just to get people to react to your over the top racist comments.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Wow, what a blessing to have William Stewart. Where have you been hiding.

    All it takes is max 10 min of research to figure out what the facts are. The history and facts cannot be changed and disputed.

    Well, maybe not. If you bomb the hell out of people, you may beat them into submission recognize an illegal state. Yes, it is completely, utterly and totally illegal for “three” different reasons. Just read the UN papers. UN = Law of the Land

  • david

    Israel has done more good for the world than the other guys. The two state solution is a nice goal, but with only one state being committed to peace (Israel) it won’t work very long.

  • http://www.planetisrael.blogspot.com Evan

    As an Israeli myself, I have been pleasantly surprised by Obama’s apparent lack of interest in meddling with our lives.


    Sadly, the Arabs will never peacefully accept living side-by-side with a non-Muslim people without dominating and oppressing them. Trying to shove secular-liberal values like nationalism down their throats is a recipe for disaster. Hope Obama focuses on fixing his own country rather than screwing up the Middle East as the previous three presidents did.

  • millard-fillmore

    “Boy, that R.M. has a lot to say that is destructive… Let us NEVER forget that Isreal is an illegal State…. It was created in 1947 by a passage of an Act by the then, young, United Nations, and only on the one day that the Russian and the Chinese Delegate were not in attendance at the Security Counsel (then, only five Countries)for the vote which passed..”

    William Stewart, and how was the nation of USA created? Would you apply the same logic to USA and let us know whether USA’s creation was illegal or unethical, or whatever yardstick you use?

    Bottom-line: your assertion of Israel being an illegal State is a non-starter and irrelevant to the conversation, and doesn’t contribute one bit to a solution. Good luck to you if you want to go chasing rabbits down that hole.

  • millard-fillmore

    “The real problem, in my view as a US citizen, is that my tax dollars bankroll the injustice, the conquest of land by force, the uprooting and destruction of the natives in the West Bank and Gaza.”

    Mike, your tax money also pays Egypt to maintain its stranglehold on that country. Your tax money also maintains and perpetuates the American military-industrial complex. Going by your moral/ethical standards, I could come up with many more instances where your tax money is used to bankroll injustices.

    Do you take the same stance against all those injustices, or pick-and-choose whichever injustice you want to pick? In other words, is your stance consistent? If so, please share with us how?

  • millard-fillmore

    Lilya and dianna:

    Still waiting for your response to my comment from yesterday. Any thoughts? If you would like some help with packing up your bags for your 4-5 month stay in a Muslim country in the Middle East so that you can come back and report to us how was your experience, let me know.

  • R.M.

    and don’t forget your burkas…..

  • Lilya Lopekha


    >>> Mike, your tax money also pays Egypt to maintain its stranglehold on that country. <<<

    That is just not true. Simply not true. Egypt was given the bribe, so that they will “recognize” the illegit country. But the aid comes with strings that serves both the US (neo-zion side) and the corrupt dictatorial sect in Egypt, squashing the nationalist uprising against corrupt government.

    Don’t know who Dianna is. Obviously a gal with a brain and concience. I did not “live” in a muslim country, but I am familiar with the darkest corners and most powerished areas. Never felt more respected as a jew. They used to call me the Blond Sister they never had.

    In general, people are all the same. Squeezed between religious messages, lavish life-styles of the Hollywood and the rich/famous and the modern settlements in Israel, while they are hit by 90% unemployment and raw sewer around their feet. And being treated unjustly as “terrorist” just because they want freedom.

    Would you live under occupation for six months and then come back and tell us how it feels, OK?

  • Mike


    yes i will complain when my money is spent bankrolling injustices. as for the military im sure u understand that our country needs one and we can vote for our commander in chief to change the direction of the military or curve there complex. Would u sugest that we say nothing about the u.s. torturing people because someone that was in on it says it anti-American to care. question, critize?

    . Also when the u.s. has the power to cut the purse and change such disgraceful behavior than yes again,which it can in israel and egypt. The issue is not as complex as some would make it, it just a excuse used to build more settlement and keep the status quo

    Millard whats your answer to the israel/pally conflict it seems u wish for the status quo?

    or do u have the assumption like some on the post arab bad/ jew good no matter what the facts

    The arguement that if u criticize israel u have to go on a tangent about other nations is just plain dumb.

    Millard did u do that when u criticize iran, africa, than go back and add israel? of course not. Africans where discriminated and enslaved solely by there skin color and treated just as bad if not worst by germans, yet are u going to criticize israel every time u talk about africa? no because its dumb and to try and tell others they must is plain silly

    It seems one thing that israel wishes or fails at is debate and debating the facts on the ground. instead using anti-Semitic as a political weapon.

    Millard would admit that onpoint did not have someone from the left and someone from the right debating israel action yet center-right and right? I understand u try are of the green party.

    As we seen on the dublin event instead of making its case and debating it decline and cry foul.

    i recommend u read this link


  • Lilya Lopekha

    Poor Mike.

    We are wasting our time and energy with these people.

    They are the unconvincable supporters of lies. With usually some eastern european blood (not generalizing, please don’t hate me for this, because I am one of them) mostly relocated to the US and their p-t job is to protect and benefit from the status quo. Don’t believe that they are religious though. If my religion has been used and abused this much to oppress certain people, I would have denounced my religion in a heart-beat; and I did!!!

    No matter how many times you show the color pure pink, they will still call it yellow. Not giving up, but we cannot win this argument.

  • Putney Swope

    Lilya I say your wrong, you and the other anit-Israel bunch just keep twisting things for your argument.

    Your a Jew and a woman, the bottom line is to your friends in Hamas your a target.

    It’s interesting how you cherry pick from history, not one of you has even mentioned the Ottoman Empire and the influence it’s demise after WW1, which lead to WW2 and destruction of European Jews. To say all these things don’t relate is a fools errand. There never was a country called Palestine. What happened to the Palestinians after the formation of Israel was a tragic event. Countless solutions have been brought to the table from day 1 and every time the Palestinian leadership has rejected it.

    Israel is in trouble, I can see that, any one with half a brain can see it. However this constant diatribe by you is not only an act of redundancy. it is also shows me that your an irrational person when it comes to this subject, you make it personal. You call imply that people are idiots who disagree with you and then, if you get called out you cry foul and complain. Your a real piece of work.

  • millard-fillmore

    Would you live under occupation for six months and then come back and tell us how it feels, OK?

    Lilya, I would if I were a proponent of it – you’re using the wrong logic here. I’m all for a peaceful solution to the issue, but I don’t see how Islamic ideology with unequal rights and God-mandated second rate treatment for non-Muslims, and the deeply abhorrent sharia law, which is incompatible with human rights and is still followed, will bring that about.

    Besides, you’re a fan of this messed up Islamic ideology, not I. I prefer to live in a modern and secular society – and would invite others to do the same – with equal rights for all instead of different tiers of rights based on one’s religion, where gays get equal rights and women aren’t mandated to walk 5 feet behind their men and can’t venture out on their own. Besides, I know enough about Hudud to realize it’s not for me – good luck to you if you enjoy living under it.

  • millard-fillmore

    In general, people are all the same.

    Lilya, if people are all the same, then you should have no problem living in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Afghanistan. Talk is easy and cheap, walking it takes guts. Why is it that the people making such lofty statements – while ignoring the ground realities – always make these statements while living in western/modern democratic societies where there are equal rights and rule-of-law, and they have freedom of expression/freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution which allows them to criticize without any penalty from the state?

    As a lover of freedom, a non-Muslim and someone who believes in equal rights for all, I have no problem stating that I prefer living here in the US than in a Muslim-majority society/country. That’s the plain and irrefutable fact.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Before the end of WW2 and UN, there were no laws. You get on your sail ship, find a land (don’t forget your cannons) and it was yours. With UN, we have “laws”.

    I apologize for mentioning about you living under occupation. The point is people do strange things when they are pushed around too much, too long. Things that they would not imagine that they would do becomes something very natural and logical.

    >>Islamic ideology with unequal rights and God-mandated second rate treatment for non-Muslims<<
    That is just not true!!! Go to any poor, deeply Islamic country with no motives; knock-on any random door as “gavour” (slang for non-islamic person) in the middle of the night, and if the family does not “force” you to sleep in the Master Bed(room) as God’s Guest, I will name my dog, Carl Rove. Don’t forget, they are doing this royal treatment in an extremely poor environment. The richer and more westernized they are, like the Gulf Countries, the tolerance level goes down.

    The more religious they are the more tolerant they are.

    Please, people who visited religious Islamic Countries, back me up.

    Our perception is totally screwed up by keeping innocent villagers and goat shepards in Cuba against their will for years. Enough is Enough.

    People are all the same!!!

  • R.M.

    still waiting for an answer: How much will the 1 million jews kicked out of arab countries get in your little racket?

  • R.M.

    “The more religious they are the more tolerant they are.”

    Go tell that to Daniel Pearl or the Gays executed in Iran….are you for real? how old you are you?…..you sound pretty young and immature ….

  • millard-fillmore

    “>>Islamic ideology with unequal rights and God-mandated second rate treatment for non-Muslims<<
    That is just not true!!! Go to any poor, deeply Islamic country with no motives; knock-on any random door as “gavour” (slang for non-islamic person) in the middle of the night, and if the family does not “force” you to sleep in the Master Bed(room) as God’s Guest, I will name my dog, Carl Rove.”


    You seem to be unable to draw a distinction between cultural traditions and religion-sanctioned state laws — I’m discussing the latter, not the former. Sure, that poor person will offer me the best in his house, but will he (or rather his state) be willing to give me the freedom to build a church or a synagogue or a gurudara or a temple? Will his state allow me to have consensual relationship with someone of the same sex? You’re confusing and conflating people with the state. Again, and I have to keep repeating this which should be so obvious – I’m discussing Islamic ideology, not Muslims.

  • millard-fillmore

    The more religious they are the more tolerant they are.

    Please, people who visited religious Islamic Countries, back me up.


    Here you go – a link for each. But don’t believe me – you are welcome to do your own research on the following issues and decide for yourself.

    1. Persecution of Ahmaddiyas in Pakistan and B’desh.
    2. Jaziya imposed on Sikhs in Pakistan. [To their credit, many Pakistanis did criticize it.]
    3. Hindus forced to wear yellow arm-bands in Afghanistan by Taliban. (reminds you of something similar?)

    It sure gives confidence to non-Muslims on how they will be treated in an Islamic state.

  • Putney Swope

    Before the end of WW2 and UN, there were no laws. You get on your sail ship, find a land (don’t forget your cannons) and it was yours. With UN, we have “laws”.

    Your not serious, your being sarcastic, right?

    There have always been laws, and in the context to the US there were quotas in the late 19th century and early 20th. Especially towards Jews from Eastern Europe which became stiffer in the 1920′s and 30′s.

  • R.M

    how about destruction of beautiful Buddhist statues

  • Dave

    From the pro-Israeli to the flaming anti-Semite, you’re all missing the same point that Ashbrook & his guests missed yesterday: Netanyahu (which is pronounced as spelled, not as “Ne’anyahu”) was Israeli Prime Minister once before. In 1996, 20 years after his brother’s death at the hands of terrorists at Entebbe, he looked Palestinian Arab terrorists in the face–and gave them more land. Dishonoring the memory of the Jews murdered in Arab pogroms in Hevron in the 1920s (when there was no Jewish State, BTW), he split that Jewish holy city with Yasr Arafat’s gang of thugs. It was bad for Israel and bad for the US, but he probably would have given up more if he hadn’t had corruption problems and been forced out of office (His successor offered Arafat even more). “[C]homsy, or norman F.” (by which I assume is meant Noam ChomSky or Norman Finkelstein) would keep this info from the public as much as was actually done yesterday, so no point to having them on.

    Every indication is that Netanyahu will continue in the long tradition of Israeli leaders by trying to give up as much as he can for some illusory “peace” settlement with the Palestinian Arab terrorist mainstream. That effort for peace, foolish as it is, probably helps explain Israel’s wall-to-wall support in the US–~60-70% versus ~9-15% for the Arabs in most polls. Ashbrook was wrong in his intro to call Israel a “controversial” ally–it’s only controversial in the press, including NPR. Liberal Democrats should give Netanyahu and his liberal democratic country a chance.

  • millard-fillmore


    While this survey may not be scientific, it does give some food for thought – http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=70673

    By the way, this survey was carried out in UK’s universities, not some random, poor family in an Islamic country – just to forestall any comeback from you regarding poverty fostering terrorism.

  • Nicola Tesla

    Hey, Millard-Fillmore, Nicola here, a blanchard of William Stewart. Seems Columbus discovered “Amerika” and gave it Validity with the Catch-Phrase of the time : “Manifest Destiny” Seems they tried to “legitimize” their stake in the new State of Amerika by giving smallpox-laden blanckies to the natives as a sighn of good faith… Uhhh,… Does that make Amerika l-e-g-a-l ???????????

  • millard-fillmore

    Hey Nicola,

    Yes, I know all that, and exactly my point.

    All nation-states have this kind of constructed identity, so what’s the point in talking about just Israel’s beginning as a nation-state and calling it illegal? How about United Kingdom and the Irish? And how far in the past do we go to make a nation-state “legal”? Whether you and I like it or not, nation-states are a reality today and no amount of wishing them away will change that.

    I prefer to live in the present and not in the past, and while such intellectual exercises are nice, they don’t really contribute anything in the way of a solution. I mean, after finding out about US’s history, did you burn your passport and social security card in disgust and refuse to call yourself an American (assuming you’re an American citizen)? Are you not going to pay taxes to the American state anymore now that you know about small-pox blankets? It’s useless to sweat over actions that took in the way, way past and over which I didn’t have any control (which is not to say that I ignore the issue of Native-American rights). I could make a long list of injustices from the past (colonialism, Conquistadoras, slavery, racism), but what does that have to do with me today and why should I feel guilt over it? If feeling guilty serves some useful and constructive purpose, then please share and I will start feeling guilty 24 x 7. Should I boycott Spain and start hating Spanish people because of what happened in the past?

  • Mike

    btw for all if u miss this about settlements still being built and Netanyahu stance on a 2 state.

    straight from the horses mouth

    In talks at the White House earlier this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama called for an end to Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to build their independent state.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeated the U.S. position while testifying Wednesday before a Senate panel. “We made it very clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu, as you know when he was here, that our government favors a two-state solution — that is the goal of our efforts, and the president was explicit in calling for a stop to the settlements,” Clinton said.

    Many Israeli politicians, including the previous prime minister, Ehud Olmert, have called for the handover of most of the West Bank in exchange for keeping several large settlements around Jerusalem.

    But Netanyahu leads a new, largely right-wing government that is in favor of expanding Jewish settlements.

    An estimated 250,000 Jewish settlers are living on territory captured by Israel in 1967. They claim they have a right to be on the land, but their presence is a major point of contention in efforts to achieve Middle East peace.

    Settlers Say Expansion Will Continue

    In Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement that spreads over the tops of several stark brown hills near the West Bank city of Hebron, the sentiment is clear, and leaders are unconcerned about pressure from Washington.

    Despite an earlier Israeli government attempt to ban new settlement construction, Elyakim Haetzni says the reality is that existing West Bank settlements are expanding.

    “There is no freeze. You know that there is no freeze. We are building all the time,” says Haetzni, 82, a German-born former lawyer and one of the founders of the settler movement. He says the Jewish population continues to expand in the West Bank, known to Israelis as Judea and Samaria.

    “In all those years of so-called freeze, the growth in population in Judea and Samaria was two or three times more than in any other part of the country,” Haetzni said.

    It is a rare point of agreement among settlers and anti-settlement groups.

    “There was never a real settlement freeze. And unfortunately in the last year, starting in the end of 2007, there’s been an increase in settlement expansion,” says Hagit Ofran, who monitors settlement growth for the Israeli activist group Peace Now. “In general, they build a lot, and there are a lot of new settlers every year coming to live in the West Bank.”

    Settler groups contend that a settlement freeze would limit their ability to expand their communities, stopping successive generations who grew up on settlements from building homes near their parents.

    Israelis Eye Settlements As Affordable Housing Option

    But recent figures from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics show that demand for settlement housing comes primarily from Israelis migrating to settlement communities, where housing is often cheaper.

    In Nokdim, where Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lives, settlers say there is a waiting list of up to 50 families eager to move in.

    “People all the time [are] calling to check if there are houses to come and see. More people are moving in here regularly,” says Susie Cohen, who lives in Nokdim with her husband and four children.

    Cohen says a new road that shortens the drive to Jerusalem was opened recently, which has made the settlement more attractive for commuters.

    Michal Kupinski, who organizes cultural events in Nokdim, says the settlement is now home to 170 families — secular and religious Jews — and it could be even bigger.

    “The community could use new energies and new people. And there are beautiful things happening here in the community, and a lot of people want to be part of it, and it’s a pity that they can’t,” she says.

    In Kiryat Arba, Haetzni says settlements are growing, and Israeli government restrictions have limited growth.

    “Both are true. In other words, if there were no freeze, we would have built three or four times more. And yet the other thing is also true — it is not a freeze,” he says. “I can give you an example: In Kiryat Arba, we brought recently 20 caravans. And then we have places, I won’t tell you where, where houses were built illegally.”

    He says that even if Netanyahu bows to Washington’s demands to stop settlement expansion, settlements will slowly continue to get bigger.

    “The authorities are fed up. They have no money. They have no forces to waste on this. Anything they destroy is built again,” he says. “The government doesn’t have the power to prevent it.”


  • Ralph Malph

    Congratulations on another “balanced” NPR program about the Israel-Palestine issue featuring a well-rounded panel consisting of two pro-Israel neoconservatives.

  • Mike

    just to get a feeling of Netanyahu stance and party

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on April 6.

    THE formation of a coalition government in Israel headed by an avowed hawk, Benjamin Netanyahu, more than a month after the election results were announced is more bad news for the region and the world. For the first time in the history of the Jewish state, individuals and parties with fascist ideas have seized important levers of power. The coalition government, led by the right-wing Likud Party, has as its major partner the Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) Party led by the racist demagogue Avigdor Lieberman.

    In order to give the government a secular mask and make it more palatable to the international community, the Labour Party, under the leadership of Ehud Barak, has also been co-opted. In the words of the veteran peace activist and former Cabinet Minister Uri Avnery, by making a deal with Labour, Netanyahu has in one stroke “turned a government of lepers, which would have been viewed by the whole world as a crazy bunch of ultra-nationalists, racists and fascists, into a sane and balanced government of the centre. All this, without changing its character in the least.”

    Lieberman, who was born in Moldova, has been given charge of the Foreign Ministry. He is currently under investigation in Israel for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. One of his first statements after being named Foreign Minister was to debunk the United States-sponsored Annapolis peace process.

    His party’s manifesto calls for the 1.5 million Palestinians in Israel to be subjected to a loyalty oath to the Jewish state. If they fail to submit, the manifesto emphasises, Palestinians should be booted out of Israel to join the millions of stateless Palestinians living in refugee camps. Just before Israelis went to the polls, there was a Lieberman-inspired move in the Knesset (parliament) to bar Palestinian parties from fielding candidates. Lieberman himself resides in an illegal settler colony, outside the internationally recognised borders of Israel.

    The move was supported by the so-called centrist parties, including the Kadima Party led by Tzipi Livni. The move could have succeeded but for the intervention of the Israeli High Court, which termed it illegal. Lieberman had on a previous occasion called for the execution of Knesset members who met the elected Hamas leadership in Gaza. He told an Israeli newspaper that his priority was “entrenching of the Jewish state”. He went on to add that if there was a contradiction between democratic and Jewish values then “the Jewish and Zionist values are more important”. In his book My Truth, Lieberman writes that the Arab minority, which today constitutes one-fifth of Israel’s population, poses the greatest threat to the future of Israel. This opinion has been voiced by the leaders of the Left parties in a more diplomatic manner. They prefer to refer to the Palestinians inside Israel as a “demographic problem”, which needs to be addressed urgently.

    Lieberman, who was a night club bouncer in Moldova, is not known for diplomatic niceties. In 1998, he advised the Israeli government to bomb the Aswan Dam because Egypt supported the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and its chief Yasser Arafat. More recently, he told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “to go to hell”. In January, during Israel’s war on the civilian population of Gaza, Lieberman said that Israel “must continue to fight Hamas just like the U.S. did with the Japanese in the Second World War”. He was no doubt suggesting that Israel drop nuclear weapons on Gaza as the Americans did over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Lieberman’s extremist views are no doubt alarming to the rest of the world but they do have a receptive audience in Israel. His party got around 10 per cent of the votes polled in the last general elections. The outgoing Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has voiced support for Lieberman’s idea of forcibly expelling the Palestinian population.

    In an interview to Haaretz, Olmert said that if Jews did not separate from the Palestinians, then Israel would cease to be a Jewish democracy. The Israeli political establishment, cutting across the political divide, has concluded that the only way to retain a Jewish state is by instigating even more violence and repression against the Palestinian majority, which just refuses to accept defeat.


    Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

    Netanyahu, who is close to the American “neoconservatives” who shaped the U.S. policy during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, was one of the most vocal opponents of the Oslo accords. This time, he ran for the elections on a pledge of giving a proper burial to the peace process.

    During his first stint as Prime Minster in the mid-1990s, he speeded up the illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. But it was the Labour government under Ehud Barak, which succeeded the Likud government, that further accelerated the settlement programme under the benign gaze of Washington. In fact, the “Centre-Left” Labour-led government was responsible for the building of more settlements in the West Bank than even the Likud government.

    Recent history shows that no Israeli government has been serious about statehood for Palestinians. Yitzhak Rabin had told close colleagues after the signing of the Oslo accords that there was no provision for a separate state in the document. In a way, Rabin was correct. The Palestinian side, in a hurry to sign the Oslo accords, did not bother to look at the fine print. There was no mention of “self-determination” or “independence” for Palestinians in the accords.

    All the same, the international community remains committed to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue. U.S. President Barack Obama told the Turkish Parliament during his recent visit to the country that the U.S. remained “strongly” committed to Israelis and Palestinians living side by side “in peace and tranquillity”. In a message obviously intended for Tel Aviv, Obama demanded that both sides adhere to the goals laid out in the Road Map (the international peace plan signed in 2003) and the one (creation of Palestinian state) at the Annapolis Conference. The incoming Israeli Foreign Minister had in his induction speech in the last week of March said that Israel was no longer bound by the commitments made at Annapolis and was changing its policies vis-a-vis the peace process.

    “Israel does not take orders from Obama”, was the reaction of Gilad Erdan, a senior Cabinet Minister belonging to the Likud Party, to Obama’s speech in Ankara. Erdan said that the people of Israel, by voting for Netanyahu, had sent a message that “they will not become the 51st State of the U.S.”. Israel is the biggest recipient of U.S. military aid every year. But for American munificence along with diplomatic and political support, Israel would not have survived in its present incarnation.

    The Israeli establishment is worried about the course the new U.S. administration is going to take in West Asia. The Obama administration has promised a “new relationship” with the Muslim world in general and the Arab region in particular. Washington knows that the resolution of the Palestinian problem is the surest way to achieve this goal. To the chagrin of the Israeli establishment, Obama has already shown a willingness to engage with Iran at a time when Netanyahu is threatening to bomb the country. The Israeli Prime Minister continues to maintain that Iran is a clear and present danger to the very existence of the Jewish state.

    There are strong indications that Obama is giving the Palestinian issue much more importance than the previous administration. At the same time, Israel and its powerful domestic lobby in the U.S. are working overtime to stall any meaningful new peace initiative from Washington. The case of the former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles Freeman, is an illustration. Obama had named him to the important post of Chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). He would have been in charge of summarising the intelligence reports of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, which employ around 100,000 people.


    A Palestinian protester argues with an Israeli solider during a demonstration against the barriers in Maasara village near Bethlehem.

    His appointment was immediately met with strong protests from lawmakers, academics and prominent columnists having strong ties with Israel. Freeman was wrongly accused of being in the pay of Chinese and Arab business interests. Though his immediate boss, Admiral Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, defended him, Freeman chose to resign in the face of unremitting hostility from influential sections of the political establishment. Admiral Blair was of the view that Freeman was just the kind of man the Obama administration needed to revitalise America’s intelligence services, which were highly politicised during the Bush years and skewed in favour of Israel.

    Freeman’s guilt, in Israeli eyes, was that he was an expert on West Asia and the Israel-Arab conflict. In a speech in 2005, he criticised Israel’s “high-handed and self-defeating policies” originating in the “occupation and settlement of Arab lands”. He described Israel’s policy of occupation as “inherently violent”. In another speech, in 2007, Freeman said that the U.S. had “embraced Israel’s enemies as our own” and that Arabs had retaliated by “equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies”. He charged the previous administration with backing Israel’s “efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoised Arab populations” and to “seize ever more Arab land for its colonists”. Freeman also rightly concluded that the terrorism the U.S. faced was to a great extent because of “the brutal oppression of the Palestinian population by an Israeli occupation that has lasted over 40 years and shows no signs of ending”.

    Obama did not come out in support of Freeman as he came under the sustained attack of the powerful Jewish lobby. The President has still not found the confidence to challenge the pro-Israel lobby. In fact, during the campaign for the presidency, he openly pandered to it, going to the extent of saying that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel. The Washington Post wrote that the Obama administration “suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the President vowed to keep in their place”. Freeman stepped down with all guns firing. He said that “unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country” were behind his ouster.

    After the barbaric attack on the civilian population of Gaza and now with the election of a rabid right-wing government, public sympathy for Israel in the U.S. is waning. In the middle of March, nine former senior U.S. officials and one current adviser to the Obama administration urged Washington to start a dialogue with the Hamas leadership. The bipartisan group includes economic recovery adviser to the Obama administration Paul A. Volcker and former National Security Advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    Talking to Hamas would be a dramatic turnaround for the White House. Hamas has been classified as a “terrorist” organisation by the U.S. The group wants the White House to push hard on the Palestinian peace process. The new government, on the other hand, is trying its best to see that the peace process is not put back on track. The U.S. could finally end the policy of issuing blank cheques to Israel and may even rethink its “special relationship” with the Jewish state.


  • Lilya Lopekha

    Mike, Stewart, Ralph

    Does not matter what we write or think or what the facts are. These guys (mostly from Eastern Europe) will lie until their keyboards does not function anymore.

    Just like my parents, years ago, the only privildge way of leaving the soviet block was by being a jew. They are so used to reep advantages of their identity, they just will not give in to truth.

    Don’t know how we are going to find a solution before America goes bankrupt. The solution is to force Israel to buy the land, but how are we going make them. If Obama plays a little bit hardball, they will pull another Kennedy on him.

  • Putney Swope

    So much for a rational thought and critical thinking.

    Lilya, do reread your comments? You sound like a 16 year school kid in a bad debating class. Your arguments are not backup by any logic. It’s all emotion and reactionary.

    Your last statement; “These guys (mostly from Eastern Europe) will lie until their keyboards does not function anymore.” This speak volumes about who your are your real colors fly here. I have said this before, you need help, find a good shrink and deal with your anger issues.

    and this ones a chestnut;

    “Just like my parents, years ago, the only privildge way of leaving the soviet block was by being a jew. They are so used to reep advantages of their identity, they just will not give in to truth.”

    Pissed off at Mom and Dad are we? Along with the ex, and his parents there is a pattern here. Some advice, try to keep your personal life out of this, it’s not helping your arguments and your not reaping any advantages either.

    This is getting interesting. Watch out our you’ll end up like Frank Collin. Google him, this guy was a real piece of work.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    IQ Test for the supporters of the wrong side in the Middle East:

    Republicans now call Obama – Socialist.
    Socialist is a positive term. Social – for the good of the “all” vs. non-all.
    Right? In its roots Socialism is a good thing (of course, without corruption, and without the lack of Market forces, etc.)

    How about Terrorism.
    Down in its roots, is terrorism a good thing or a bad thing?
    Any comments?

  • Putney Swope

    Grow up Lilya. With every post like this you keep digging a larger hole.

    The world can not function without a market, it’s as old as civilization.

    Speaking of IQ”s…

  • Mike

    why nNetanyahu does not what 2 states solution or peace btw

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Jerusalem will never again be divided, at a ceremony marking 42 years of annexation.

    “United Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided,” he said.

    The US has always said Jerusalem’s fate should be negotiated as part of a peace plan with the Palestinians.

    Earlier, Israeli police demolished illegal settlements in the West Bank.

    Mr Netanyahu spoke at a ceremony commemorating 42 years since Israel captured East Jerusalem.

    Israel took the whole of Jerusalem in 1967 and extended the city’s municipal boundaries, putting both East and West Jerusalem under its sovereignty and civil law.

    The city’s status remains disputed, with Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem considered illegal under international law.

    Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal
    Palestinians are seeking to establish their capital in East Jerusalem under a two-state solution.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said: “Such declarations [by Israel] defy the idea of a two-state solution.”

    On Thursday, a small illegal settler outpost camp of Maoz Ester in the occupied West Bank was destroyed by Israeli police. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and widely considered a barrier to peace.

    On returning from Washington, Mr Netanyahu had said that Israel was ready “to immediately begin” peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria.

    But he insisted that any peace settlement “must find a solution to Israel’s security needs”.

    At the talks on Monday, Mr Netanyahu was pressed by President Barack Obama over US plans on a two-state solution.

    But the Israeli leader – who also came under pressure to rein in Israeli settlement-building – refrained from endorsing the idea.

    Instead he said Israel was ready to live “side by side” with the Palestinians.

    this issue is not complex, very simple stop stealing land and the issue to move forward.


  • mike

    will come much faster

  • R.M.

    The Italian newspaper “Corriere Della Sera ” was right ….:

    Report: Most Hamas ‘officers’ killed in Gaza were terrorists

    Independent research refutes Hamas’ claims about number of innocent people killed during Gaza war

    Roee Nahmias Published: 05.24.09, 18:37

    An independent research company revealed Sunday that 90% of the Palestinian “security personnel” killed in Gaza during the IDF offensive there in January were members of terror organizations.

    The IDF says 709 gunmen were killed in the fighting, of which Hamas has claimed 343 were innocent police officers.

    But the independent Israeli ‘Orient Research Group’, hired by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to investigate the identities of those killed, has released a report challenging Hamas’ claim.

    The report says 286 of the 343 “police officers” killed were members of terror organizations, the vast majority of them belonging to Hamas’ military wings.

    It also states that the official list of names provided by Hamas includes one traffic officer, who was a member of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and 27 members of various forces trained to battle Israel.

    “The statement that Israel attacked innocent policemen was apparently rushed and made without an investigation by the organizations into the identities of the slain policemen,” the report says, adding that the organizations did not wait until the publication of the IDF’s report on the matter, “which relies on intelligence regarding the targets that were struck”.

    The report also refers to the claim that the first Air Force strike of the Gaza offensive hit a ceremony attended by members of a Hamas traffic police training course.

    It says almost 88% of those present were terror operatives, many of them belonging to the al-Qassam Brigades. Altogether they numbered 78 of the 89 Hamas reported dead.

    ‘Terrorists given security posts’
    The report also goes into detail regarding the names published in Hamas’ report. For example Mohammad al-Dasuki, said to have served as a “naval police officer”, was also a member of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and was suspected to have been involved in a terror attack against American security guards in Gaza in October 2003.

    Another victim mentioned, Khamza al-Khaledi, who was listed as a “captain of police”, was also active in an al-Qaeda affiliated terror organization.

    “The claims against the IDF, by which it had killed ‘traffic officers’ and ‘innocent’ officers fulfilling civilian roles, are incorrect,” the report says. “The vast majority of the Palestinian ‘officers’ were active in the military wings of Palestinian terror organizations and warriors who underwent military training.”

    It adds, “The enlistment of al-Qassam Brigades operatives to official security positions allows the Hamas government to pay their wages with the government budget, thus increasing

  • Mike

    R.M. heres your terrorist


    your such a fool, all other sources, independent, human rights watch, even news articles in israel says otherwise. since you probaby dont know this someone supporting hamas is not a terrorist like someone firing rockets as the same as someone supporting the IDF ethic cleansing and collected punishment campaign against arabs in gaza and west bank is not racist, supporter of nazi type thinking, but theres always some that do(R.M)

    independent but no names of the people who provided it to the newspaper and how they came to there conclusion even against all the evidences(pictures, videos, eye witness, journalist) just a random Italian newspaper,or is it in your twisted mind u cant trust arabs or muslim so u discredit it and anyone else u does not agree with u?

    nice try did bbcwatch provide that for u i mean it took you a few days to comment again? you are the type of person u who takes 10 percent of evidences thats been proven to be tainted and say its 100 percent right. I’ll go with the 90 percent of reporting that says otherwise.

    p.s. white phosphorous is a crime when used in crowded areas which has been documented as well.

  • Mike

    also so much for equal rights in israel,and racist laws actually bring talked about in the state thanks to Lieberman

    Anger over Palestinian Nakba ban proposal
    Israeli Arab men take part in a ceremony to mark what Arabs call the Nakba, or the catastrophe, the Arabic term used to describe the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with the 1948 creation of the state of Israel, near the northern Israeli Arab village of Kfar Kanna, Friday, May 15, 2009.
    Nakba Day, as Palestinians call it, is an important date in the political calendar

    Israeli campaigners and left-wing lawmakers have condemned moves to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the Nakba – the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation.

    On Sunday a government panel backed putting the bill, proposed by the party of far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, before the Israeli Knesset.

    A Labour minister opposed it; Hadash, a mainly Arab party, called it “racist”.

    Some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes in the 1948 war after Israel declared independence.

    About 20% of Israel’s population are descended from Arab citizens of British Mandate Palestine who remained on the territory that became Israel.

    Strengthening unity

    Along with Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and around the world, Israeli Arabs mark the yearly Nakba anniversary on 15 May with mourning and commemoration events.

    The bill could impair freedom of expression and freedom of protest and achieve the opposite goal
    Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog

    Israelis celebrate their Independence Day, marking the creation of their state, at the same time of year, although according to the Hebrew calendar.

    Under the proposed legislation, people caught marking the Nakba could be jailed for up to three years.

    Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, says the bill is “intended to strengthen unity in the state of Israel”.

    The Hadash MK Hanna Swaid called it “racist and immoral” and “a fierce insult on democratic and political rights”.

    Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog, said it “could impair freedom of expression and freedom of protest and achieve the opposite goal – increasing alienation and strengthening extremists”.

    He is a member of the Labour party, which is part of the right-leaning governing coalition, together with Yisrael Beiteinu party and led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

    Legitimate right

    Correspondents say that although there have been unsuccessful attempts to introduce similar bills in the past, the right-wing make-up of the current government gives this one more chance of passing – although it has many hurdles to clear yet.

    An Israeli rights organisation, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, (Acri) said the committee’s initial approval of the bill was “a sign of a democracy losing its bearings”.

    “Marking the Nakba does not threaten the safety of the State of Israel, but is rather a legitimate and fundamental human right of any person, group or people, expressing grief at the face of a disaster they experienced,” said Acri president Sammi Michael.

    Mr Lieberman’s party also wants to introduce a loyalty pledge, which would demand that Israeli-Arabs swear allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish, Zionist and democratic” state, before they can be issued with their ID papers.

    Israel Beiteinu spokesman Tal Nahum said the measure would be discussed by the cabinet on Sunday and the first parliamentary vote would be the following Wednesday.

    Avigdor Lieberman raised concerns during Israeli military operations in Gaza in January and December that some Israeli-Arabs were opening expressing sympathy with Hamas – which controls Gaza and which launches militant attacks on Israel and which, in its charter, is sworn to the state’s destruction.


  • Mike

    along civil rights group within israel

    Demolitions build Jerusalem tension

    By Katya Adler
    BBC News, Jerusalem

    Ihdaidoons outside thier destroyed home in East Jerusalem
    Samia Ihdaidoon says she and her family were given five minutes to vacate their home

    Five young children cling to their mother. All of them are crying. This morning, without warning, Israeli bulldozers came to destroy their home in Jabal Mukabar area of East Jerusalem.

    Speaking amongst the mangled remains of her house, Samia Ihdaidoon says she was still sleeping when Israel’s police arrived.

    “They came pounding on the doors and climbed in through the bedroom window as if it was a raid. They said I had five minutes to put on my scarf and collect our valuables, then I had to get out. It’s a shock for the children. Look at their faces. I’m in despair.”

    We’re not going to leave. Why should I leave for the Israelis? This is our land. Even if we have to put up a tent and live in it
    Samia Ihdaidoon

    Israel says the Ihdaidoon’s house was demolished because it was built illegally.

    Angry neighbours congregate in the rubble.

    Osama Zahaika told us Israel makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to get building permits in East Jerusalem.

    “As a Palestinian I know why they do it. Israel doesn’t want us here. My house, most of the Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem are illegal. Not granting us construction permission, demolishing our houses. It’s a form of quiet transfer,” Mr Zahaika says.

    “People like to talk of human rights. Where are human rights here? If you destroy a family home in winter, it’s cold. In summer, it’s hot. At the same time Israelis can build and live in East Jerusalem without being disturbed. Is it one rule for us, one rule for the Jews, the Israelis?”


    Eviction in battle for East Jerusalem
    Clinton concern over demolitions
    W Bank building ‘bias’ condemned
    Israel ‘lax on demolition orders’

    More to come

    Israel’s Association for Civil Rights says Jerusalem’s municipality uses planning regulations to curb Palestinian construction.

    Although Palestinians make up an estimated one third of the Jerusalem population, according to ACRI, only 7.25% of the city’s land is designated for their building projects.

    Hundreds of East Jerusalem Palestinians have lost their homes over the past few years, thanks to demolition orders.

    Israeli NGO’s, such as B’Tselem, warn that close to 2,000 could face the same fate over the next months.

    If current demolition orders are carried out, this would be the largest loss of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem since Israel captured the territory just over 40 years ago.

    At the same time, Jewish Israeli citizens are moving in to the area. This is illegal under international law as East Jerusalem is occupied territory, though Israel disputes this and has annexed the area.

    Katya Adler follows the UN’s Middle East peace envoy as he investigates the demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem

    Palestinians fear this could mean the end of a dream – to one day have East Jerusalem as the capital of their own state.

    The international community’s Middle East envoy Tony Blair told me this cannot be allowed to happen.

    “The only two-state solution which will work is one that is fair and that will mean East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. It will also mean that it is a state that is viable in terms of its territory.”

    ‘Hot air’

    The issue of home demolitions is now attracting widespread international attention.

    As we stood, hot and dusty, amongst the Ihdaidoon’s rubble, four smart, shiny United Nations cars powered towards us.

    Even if we are talking about a few buildings that have been pulled down, this is not expulsion. When there is illegal building, we have to enforce the law but nothing will be done without the co-operation of the residents.
    Naomi Tsur
    Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem

    Robert Serry, the UN’s Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, stepped out.

    It was a surprise visit. He offered his sympathies to the family. They thanked him politely but asked for action, not just words.

    Mr Serry said he’d spoken about the East Jerusalem demolitions to Israel’s new right-wing government.

    “Of course, if these kind of things which I’m now seeing here continue they will not help any peace process. I know how much Jerusalem is dear to many Israelis but it is also dear to Palestinians,” Mr Serry said.

    “We have to find a solution to that but we, as the international community, expect from the parties – in this case from the Jerusalem authorities here – not to make our work even harder.”

    New plan

    At Jerusalem’s municipality, the new Deputy Mayor, Naomi Tsur, said there was a lot of hot air surrounding the issue, that all Jerusalem residents are treated equally. Illegally built houses are demolished in West Jerusalem too.

    Ihdaidoon family with the remains of their belonging after their house was destroyed
    The Ihdaidoon family have salvaged some of their belongings

    “Even if we are talking about a few buildings that have been pulled down, this is not expulsion. When there is illegal building, we have to enforce the law but nothing will be done without the co-operation of the residents,” Ms Tsur insists.

    “Jerusalem is a city for all its citizens, north, south, east and west. No group that asks to meet myself or the mayor is refused.

    “We are looking into affordable housing projects in east Jerusalem for young Muslim couples, young Christian couples. We have a new city plan. The first in Jerusalem since 1959.”

    Back at the Ihdaidoon’s, father of the family, Amar, began replanting two trees uprooted by Israel’s bulldozers almost as soon as they had left. He wants to rebuild the family home as soon as possible. Jerusalem, he told me, is Palestinian.

    “We’re not going to leave,” his wife Samia insists. “Why should I leave for the Israelis? This is our land. Even if we have to put up a tent and live in it.”

    The Ihdaidoons have opted for quiet resistance but other Palestinians warn growing frustration in East Jerusalem could spark violence.


  • R.M.

    Why Is Britain the “Center Point” of Anti-Semitism?

    British media had taken an almost universally anti-Israel bias, especially but not exclusively on the BBC, with context removed from description of Israeli military actions, and Islamic jihadist activity such as suicide bombing never connected to ideology.

    “Under no circumstance will a Palestinian act of terrorism be referred to as terrorist, They are militants similar to the floor-shop dispute in Liverpool whose workers have decided to go on strike,” he said.

    “Palestinian terrorism is portrayed as a minor pin-prick compared to ‘massive’ retaliation of this ‘rogue’ state [Israel],” he said.

    “You cannot read a British newspaper without encountering a variant of the libel that Zionism is racism or Zionism is Nazism,” he said, describing a culture of “barely disguised hatred” when the subject of Zionism of British Jewry or Anglo-Israel relations is broached, unless they are “the good anti-Zionists.”

    With the media and the elites skewed against Israel – aided by former Israeli academics who routinely condemn the Jewish state and who have attained “historic dissident status and are listened to as the authentic voice of Israel” – the whole discussion of anti-Semitism had become distorted in Britain, with the accuser becoming the accused.

  • R.M.

    Why don’t you go join your friends the Talibans …..Those freedom fighters….

  • R.M

    More talibans:The greatest of mothers, in US social services would have taken these kids away from this brainwashed nutcase ….


  • Mike

    aww r.m. you losing your spin war, so sad that u have to even attack israelie that dont agree with your twisted views.

    zionism in itself was considered racist since it says there are the chossen people above others, like nazism stated the same type of thinking until if was reverse in the 90′s.

    it seems people has seen though your and some of the pro-israel use of anti-semitsm or term (self hating jew) as a politcal weapon and way to silience disent, critism.

    u cried wolf to many times and people quite honesty dont believe the garbage u been spewing much like rush l, sean hanity and the far-right has done.

  • R.M.

    that’s supposed to be an intelligent answer ? what’s the matter , the talibans got your tongue ?

  • http://twitter.com/DraimanForMayor Yj Draiman

    Moral and ethical bankruptcy

    Americans are finding a grotesque echo in the moral – ethical bankruptcy and worse of a substantial sector of American society.

    The “moral depravity” of “the Arabs” who kill innocent civilians. It is more than moral depravity. It is a culture that teaches, educates and breeds hate toward other societies that are not like them as they say “infidels”.

    There is no way this situation should be handled with kid gloves – when a poison strikes your body, you remove it and destroy it completely, leaving no trace of such poison.

    History has shown that these types of atrocities and acts of barbarism have increased in the past half a century and getting worse by the day.

    With today’s advancement in technology and telecommunications, the world has shrunk, events on the other side of the world affect everybody (like the Japanese Nuclear reactor fallout etc.) it affects our health our economy brings fear and uncertainty to our lives.

    The financial crisis we are facing today is the price we pay for years of neglect and government abuse of power.

    Is today’s society heading toward annihilation, you be the judge?

    YJ Draiman

    The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people

    Every time there is a terrorist act, Israel should vacate an Arab village and raze it.

    In most lives, I suppose there comes a time when one has to make a supreme effort that calls for every morsel of more and more endeavor and more than not that effort has to be sustained.

  • Delmar

    “Your such a fool”
    My, my! You’d think that Dave is illiterate; ‘en then again he is a victim of those who control the entertainment industry ( CNN, Fox News, BBC etc.. included) and are Hell bent on rendering North Americains’ brains to a a slimy mush.

    Does it not occur to Ashbrooke that Netenyahu’s dressing down of “the leader of the Free World” was a humilation of …

    ECKARD Reason why he’s pullin’ ah pants down. SPIVEY Gonna paddle ah little bee-hind. ECKARD Ain’t gonna paddle it; he’s gonna kick it real hard. With his mouth forming an O around his dropping cigar, Pappy looks sadly from one to the other, like a spectator at a particularly boring tennis match. SPIVEY No, I believe he’s a-gonna paddle it. ECKARD Well now, I don’t believe assa property scription. SPIVEY Well, that’s how I characterize it. ECKARD Well, I believe it’s mawva kickin’ sichation. SPIVEY Pullin’ ah pants down…

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 28, 2014
Some of the hundreds of earthquake damaged wine barrels cover and toppled a pair of forklifts at the Kieu Hoang Winery, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California's wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them and toppling wine bottles in vineyards around the region. (AP)

Drought in California, earthquake in Napa. We look at broken bottles and the health of the American wine industry.

Aug 28, 2014
Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

The message that will last out of Ferguson with New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

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