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Israel, Palestine And A Region On Edge

Israel and the Palestinians go to hot conflict again, this time in a region in turmoil, from Gaza to Baghdad.

Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel. (AP)

Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel. (AP)

Three Israeli teens, kidnapped and killed.  A Palestinian boy, apparently burned alive in revenge.  And suddenly, it’s rockets out of Gaza, and bombs in.  Forty thousand Israeli Army Reservists authorized for call-up.  Warplanes hitting Gaza.  Dozens of dead there.  Palestinian rockets flying.  As far as northern Israel.  It seems like a terrible drama we’ve all seen again and again.  But the surrounding region has changed this time.  In Syria, in the so-called “Islamic State,” in Iraq, in Egypt.  And the US, lower profile.  This hour On Point:  Israel and the Palestinians, squaring off in a region of fire.

– Tom Ashbrook


Michele Dunne, senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Middle East Program. Former Middle East specialist at the U.S. Department of State. (@MicheleDDunne)

Rashid Khalidi, professor of Modern Arab studies at Columbia University. Author of “Brokers of Deceit,” “The Iron Cage” and “Palestinian Identity.” Editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.

Alan Elsner, vice president for communications at J Street. (@alanelsner)

Nicholas Burns,  professor in international relations at the Harvard Kennedy School. Former US Ambassador to Greece and NATO. (@RNicholasBurns)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Israel Steps Up Airstrikes in the Gaza Strip — “Israel stepped up its attacks against the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in what it called the beginning of a prolonged assault on Palestinian militants and their infrastructure in the coastal enclave. Israeli warplanes hit 50 purported militant sites and the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized the call-up of some 40,000 reservists, as Israel mobilized for its third large-scale military operation against the Gaza Strip in five years.”

NPR: Israel Expands Attacks On Hamas In Gaza – “”Israel called up some 1,500 reservists, which seemed to mean that Israeli officials believe the tensions with the Islamist Hamas in Gaza will continue. An Israeli army spokesman said that in the Israeli airstrikes overnight, Israel destroyed the homes of several senior Hamas military men. Palestinian medics reported that at least nine people were wounded, including seven children.”

The Guardian: Israel steps up Gaza offensive and prepares for possible ground invasion — “Despite the continuing rocket fire, Israel’s prime minister, Binyanim Netanyahu, had shown a marked reluctance to be drawn into a military operation, offering Hamas ‘quiet for quiet’ despite increasing political pressure from hardliners in his cabinet. The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on Monday formally announced his party was leaving the Netanyahu coalition over the Gaza issue.”

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  • Fredlinskip

    I think I’ve seen this movie before.
    It didn’t have to get escalated to this level- Israel did that.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      Grown ups don’t always act like grown ups.

      Religions are tribes. Religious conflicts are tribal conflicts. Tribal conflicts tend to last forever because there’s nothing like a common enemy that unites people within a tribe. The flip side of being within warm, affectionate, close-knit group is that outsiders cannot be treated with the same amount of warmth, affection, or empathy.
      The goal in human social settings is to “fit in”. If you don’t fit in you will get hammered by those loyal to the conventions of a particular group.

      • Fredlinskip

        That’s a problem, because it seems unlikely that the Palestinians will take up the Jewish faith.

        I would have thought Israelis might have learned a LITTLE about the tolerance of other’s faith from their experience in WW II.

        • Arkuy The Great

          I am sure the Jews in WWII were very tolerant of the Catholics and Protestants who were gunning them down into ditches.

          • Don_B1

            I see you got your SNARK in.

            A great contribution to the discussion.

          • Arkuy The Great

            Indeed. Snark is exactly what was called for in response to the utterly ignorant comment above. It is so far removed from reality it isn’t even wrong.

        • geraldfnord

          I doubt changing religions would help at this point: all religions in play both provides mine-able resources justifying fanaticism and by denying the reality of death.

          As for tolerance: some may get that, others instead have their scales reset such that anything below mass and systematic slaughter doesn’t seem as bad as it would if reality had continued to look civilised, instead of demonstrating that yes, that can happen to you, and no, not very many people outside your group will bother to try to stop it.

          This is not an excuse, but an explanation…for all the good that will do.

      • anon

        It’s not as much a religious conflict as you’re making it out to be. Not all Jews support Netanyahu and his policies; many of the most well-known Zionists were – and are – not religious at all, and many of the most Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist. On the other hand, Palestinians are mostly Muslims, but many are also Christian (and atheist and everything else), and they are harassed and killed, too.

        • Don_B1

          The only thing you missed in an otherwise great comment was that many Muslims do not support the terrorists of Hamas (or other such groups), but they do not have as much freedom of speech as there is in Israel to express that non-support.

          But note the reaching out of the Israeli mother and father, of one of the Israeli teens who was killed, to the Palestinian parents of the Palestinian teen killed. Note also how the Palestinian parents responded in kind, hoping to help tamp down the growing violence.

          • anon

            Yes – I was very moved by the comments of the parents of that Israeli teen. All of the parents experienced something that I can’t even imagine, and those parents showed a lot of dignity.

            (And just a note that on average, the Israeli ‘Defense’ Forces kill one Palestinian child every three days. They also detain, beat and harass them – which is more clear than ever now that many witnesses have cameras and post the videos.)

    • Human2013

      I have tried to be completely objective about the situation, but the more and more I learn about the conflict, Israel just appears to be a big bully.

      • anon

        That’s why the most important thing for the Zionists is to make sure people don’t hear the truth – because the more one learns, the more clear it is… and the US is the place where you’re least likely to hear about the reality on the ground in the occupied territories. Even the Israeli media publishes a wider range of opinions; in Israeli newspapers you can find people like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, who report what really goes on. And you can hear from all the Israeli soldiers who are disgusted with what they did while serving in the occupied territories.

        I’m sure we’ll find plenty of hasbara trolls in the comments here, playing their assigned roles…

      • F.Y.I.

        I seriously doubt that you live in an area where missiles being fired at your city is a daily occurrence, as most Israelis have to contend with.

        • 65noname

          and I seriously doubt that you live in an area where the occupying power carpetbombs at will, including schools and hospitals, destroys whole neighborhoods to make political points, imprisons without hearing tens of thousands, including pre-teens, takes your home in order to build occupying settlements, I could go on but you get the picture

        • Don_B1

          The missiles are being used as instruments of terror, and terror pushes rational thinking out of the emotional response that such terror inspires.

          What is particularly disturbing and which leads to avoiding any permanent solution is this inflammation of emotions.

          While it was not written explicitly for this type of problem, this weekends article in The New York Times:


          could well illuminate at least some of the problem here. There certainly are ideologues on both sides and with different reactions even within groups, at least in Israel if not here, where with some distance (geography), which isolates at least some from the direct costs of their ideological policies, the unity can be more easily enforced.

          • F.Y.I.

            I get what you are saying. My point is that if the Palestinians want a state of their own, then they are going to have to convince Israel and the US that they can govern and act responsibly. Kidnapping and murdering Israeli teens, as well as firing rockets into Israel on a daily basis, indicates that the Palestinian Authority cannot be trusted to govern a state of their own.

        • Human2013

          No, I don’t and Im very grateful.

  • William

    It looks like that “Land for Peace” strategy did not work.

    • 65noname

      you have to actually offer “land” before “land for peace” can work.

      • William

        Bill Clinton got 90 percent of what the Arabs wanted but the Arabs back out.

        • 65noname

          actually, wrong. palestine wanted the west bank and gaza, its own borders without any israeli presence, east juereslem as the capital and the right of return. clinton offered a greatly reduced, non-contingent land mass with the israeli army contolling movement within the area, israeli control of the borders, the right of the israeli army to raid and arrest at will, no east jeruslem, do you want me to go on? and who decides the relative worth in percentage values of any particular offer? Israel? the US? the israel lobby?

  • Ed75

    Hamas has thrown hundreds of rockets into Israel, obviously Israel can’t live with this. When they target the arsenals or launch sites, people get killed. It’s a no win situation for either side.
    The presence of IS in the area has increased tensions in the whole region, it seems.
    I recall what Paul said, ‘We fight not only against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities’ (i.e. powers of spiritual darkness).

    • brettearle

      There you again, Ed, depicting the complexity of a cultural, political, religious, and historical problem–as if the Heroes and the Villains are so easy to identify.

      Once, again, through Ed’s Christian Fundamentalist perceptions, we are led to believe that one large class of people are at fault, while the other large class of people are, simply, Angels.

      Way to go, Ed….

      • J__o__h__n

        He is more of an extreme Catholic than a fundamentalist.

      • Ed75

        You’re right, it is very complex. It just seems to me that Hamas’ bombing, to which Israel has to respond, isn’t producing any good results. I guess Israel, if it doesn’t stop, will occupy Gaza, which Israel doesn’t want to do.

    • J__o__h__n

      Just what that Israel needs, a third religion to add to the mix.

  • skelly74

    Israel and Palestine are pathetic states. The whole Middle East region is an out of control “Frankenstein” gone amuck. The poking and prodding of the “diplomatic scientists” is redundant and useless to outsiders, but pragmatic to the experiment.

    But scientists don’t want to admit that they love their Frankenstein, despite the terror and destruction it creates. They have instead focused on containing the monster in the most inhospitable environment possible to observe the monster respond to its suffering, so as to learn, to polish and cultivate.

    And the data continues to accumulate…

  • John Cedar

    I caught a few minutes of the great Doctor Savage’s radio show last week. He made the point that when a Palestinian child was murdered in revenge, the Israeli government arrested those responsible.

    But those who kidnapped and murdered the Israeli children will not be punished by Hamas and those murders will cause more dancing in the streets.

    • jefe68

      You mean Michael Savage, the extremist right wing shock jock? The one who is banned in GB?
      Do tell how relevant he is to having any meaningful discourse?

    • TFRX

      Michael Whiner?

      I’m spelling his name right, IIRC.

    • Fred

      The same sentiment has been uttered on NPR. Point being, the government of Israel condemns terrorism, going after murders even if Israeli, and has a policy, even if flawed, of acceptance of Arab Israelis. Hamas, and the PLO before, has encouraged terrorism, and has a policy of demonizing Israelis, and Jews, within school curriculum aimed at children starting at 3 or 4 years of age. Plenty of videos on the web of this: translations of schoolbooks paid for with U.N. funding, little kids brandishing Kalashnikovs. This has been in place for decades, and traces to the demand to “drive the Jews into the sea” made by the
      Arab League in 1947.

      • 65noname

        the only question is: do you actually read this stuff before you copy it from the zionist propaganda websites? or do you simply copy and paste?

        • Fred

          Don’t be lazy. Go look for yourself.

          • 65noname

            I take that mean that whetehr or not you actually read the stuff before hand, you do copy and paste from zionist propaganda websites. after reading the stuff you posted above, couldn’t really blame you for not actually reading it.

          • counterT
          • 65noname

            oh. you mean the article from the rightwing zionist propagandist who also claims that oil companies are “ethical”.
            like I said fred seems to simply copy and paste from zionist propaganda websites. but even assuming the accuracy of the article, what does protests in canada have to do with the israeli policies of murder, home destruction, inprisonment without trial of pre-teens, carpet bombing of gaza, etc

      • anon

        Palestinian children don’t have to be taught to hate Israelis. They live under Israeli occupation. They walk to school with Israeli settlers harassing them while Israeli soldiers stand by. They watch their relatives get beaten up, harassed, arrested, evicted, bombed and killed. Now that everyone has cameras, there is plenty of video available of the daily, routine humiliation of their lives (many taken by Christian and Jewish human rights organizations). Watch it and get an idea of what they see every day – or read what Israeli soldiers with a conscience have to say. And if you have an open mind, ask yourself how you would react.

        • Fred

          I’d be upset.
          But that begs the question.
          In the mid-90s, in the years after the 1st Clinton-brokered agreement, 100,000 or more Palestinians daily came into Israel to work, no harrasment, no border crossing lines. Commentators in the U.S. saw the end of the conflict; the two people were inextricably bound in commerce and social intercourse.
          Then came the Arafat-planned 2nd Intifada, as discovered at PLO headquarters. A rash of bus bombings, terror attacks on civilian cars and homes, inside and outside the ’48 border.
          Whatever trust had built up on the Israeli side was being destroyed. Much of the perceived harrassment now comes at border crossings, but that is where ambulances have blown up, and suicide vests have been hidden under robes. Scary stuff for a 19-year-old border policewoman.
          And yet, a substantial and vocal portion of the Israeli electorate has been advocating for peaceful accommodation since 1948, and no Israeli government has vowed to exterminate all Arabs who live in the West Bank. Arabs living within Israel’s ’48 border were offered citizenship. Contrast that with continuing calls for extermination from the other side, including those who now hold power in Gaza. No Jews allowed in any part of Israel/Palestine, where there has been a Jewish population for 3500 years, Judenrein. Can a Palestinian in Gaza publicly suggest accomodation today without risking assasination by Hamas?

          It’s all very simplistic to some – just get out. That’s what Israel did in Gaza in 2005. Could have been a productive tourist and agricultural area with great beaches and, among other assets, a thriving floral greenhouse business which the Israelis had developed. The greenhouses were looted and tunnels dug to store munitions.

          • anon

            Yes, Gaza should be Singapore by now, right? As I keep hearing the Israeli Economy Minister say. (Naftali Bennett – the guy who said, ““I already killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there is absolutely no problem with that.”)

            You neglect to mention that Gaza is a small, crowded area containing mostly refugees. And that after Israel withdrew their actual soldiers, they still controlled every aspect of life there.

            You forgot to mention the blockade that Israel maintained. A long list of items was banned – including constructions materials such as cement, wood and iron, so even the construction projects sponsored by the UNRWA couldn’t go on. (And the thousands of homes destroyed ior damaged couldn’t be repaired.) Yet you and others ask why they didn’t turn themselves into Singapore?

            The fuel that was allowed in was not enough, so they had electricity for less than 12 hours a day. There was raw sewage flooding the streets – not because the Palestinians are ignorant animals who wanted to live like this, but because the only power plant was shut.

            The blockade was supposedly only to prevent weapons from getting in, but the banned items originally included soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy. (They later allowed these after international pressure.) Also musical instruments and notebooks…In any case, there are alarming rates of malnutrition.

            Israel controls the fisheries industry by controlling how far out the fishermen can go.

            So Palestinians built tunnels and imported some things that way. It’s an expensive and dangerous undertaking (they often collapse); they didn’t do it for fun. But their circumstances didn’t exactly allow them to build another Singapore.

            They also weren’t getting $3 billion worth of aid from US taxpayers.

  • geraldfnord

    Hamas extended their rockets’ range far enough to kill:
    0.) people in Haifa,
    1.) people in Tel Aviv, and
    2.) any chance that more moderate Israelis will have any sort of influence for at least five years.

    This is exactly as desired.

    • brettearle

      Political Extremism often drives militant policy–especially in the Middle East.

    • Don_B1

      From Mr. Khalidi’s comment on some segments of Hamas trying to tamp down the response of other groups using the missiles would seem to indicate that at least some in Hamas recognize that a continuing stalemate might not be in their interest, which in itself is interesting if true.

      But never fear, the Israelis never miss an opportunity to achieve peace either, as PM Netanyahu’s ratcheting up of emotions and responses has demonstrated. He did have to react, but what he has done is a big overreaction.

  • Matt MC

    I feel like neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis have really done much to deserve the Holy Land. Why are you always, incessantly, tiresomely, irksomely in conflict ALL the time? Because you just have to have your blood vengeance. Someone killed your kid because someone killed their kid or brother or aunt, and now you just have to kill someone else to get your blood vengeance. See a pattern? Any pattern? Just stop killing each other for a few generations. It is so predictable and tiresome and stupid. Just. Stop.

    • brettearle

      It doesn’t work that way–and you know it.
      I wish it did work that way. But it doesn’t.

      • Matt MC

        It doesn’t work that way because people need to take their blood vengeance. That is a choice. Stop taking your blood vengeance and your children will not need to.

        • Don_B1

          Blood vengeance is the emotional response taking charge over the rational response, which happens when there are no responsible leaders or when there are enough leaders who are willing to use that emotional response to get people to do things that are not in their interest, but which can be framed to be in their interest. It is only later, if then, that the people can see that they have been deceived.

          But that is all too often too late.

        • brettearle

          You believe that extremely complex conflict can broken down into simple or simplistic terms.

          It can’t be.

          The people are too filled with ugly and radical emotion that….


          Is THE Point.

    • geraldfnord

      The only way that’s ever appeared to work has been when people are seduced from the Holy Old Ways by an actually decent-er life and the realistic prospect of that’s getting even better…food, water, heating or cooling, affordable consumer basics, better education, relaxed sexual morés, mass entertainment, and the seeming unlikelihood of losing them (important!)…these have been much better at keeping keeping peace in Europe than the Congress of Vienna or the Treaty of Versailles.

      Add in cheap, powerful, weapons, and you get a world that will make a much ‘softer’ life possible for nearly everyone (at least) or be very violent, maybe terminally so.

      • Matt MC

        I’m lamenting the stupidity of it. I know it will go on and on and on. Although, there are glimmers of hope in this younger generation. Or perhaps a catastrophic global event will distract them long enough to stop killing each other.

        • Don_B1

          The big “weapon” that either forces them to agree to stop or pushes them into a steep vortex into cataclysm, will be climate change, which is already put agriculture in big decline due to lack of water. Nothing like lack of food to either anesthetize one or enrage one.

      • counterT

        That is what is good about Israeli companies working in Judea and Samaria. It gives the Arabs there work which means money which means they can buy things that will keep them peaceful. All anyone wants is to live a normal life with all the luxuries of life (house, car, tv. etc)

    • geraldfnord

      In unreflective moments, I go for the ‘Stop it or we’re giving you all back to the Turks.’ plan.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Maybe the Jews should give the whole place back to Yahweh.
    And move en masse to Miami.*

    * Before it’s inundated in Noah’s 2nd flood. {they’ve got experience in that rising waters scenario}

    • Don_B1

      I am told that after WWII ended but well before 1947, a wealthy individual offered to buy Baha Mexico as a home for the diaspora Jews rather than force the British to allow them to return to Palestine.

      Clearly it was a nonstarter, but …

  • geraldfnord

    Ignore the inflammatory title*: this
    is probably as apposite as one can get. Basically: oppression doesn’t generally evoke the better angels of our nature, it often brings out our stupidest and worst modes of thought. This does not excuse anyone, but sets the bar low enough that we have a realistic starting-point….

    *”Why Oppressed People Suck”…that more might still read the piece despite, here are that piece’s caveats to that harsh verdict:

    Before going on, however, it is important to distinguish what oppressed people sucking does not mean. It does not mean the oppressors are justified in their oppression. It does not mean the oppressed group is inferior in any intrinsic way. It does not mean they are guilty for conditions they did not set up. Nor are they guilty for having the same, if more concentrated, flaws as the rest of humanity. Nor does it mean they are incapable of “breaking the programming” that traps them.

    And it does not mean that oppressors do not suck more, at least in being oppressive.

    • Don_B1

      It is an analogy for (or vice versa) the child being a child abuser when grown up when the parent was a child abuser.

      Oppression, like abuse, gets passed down in societies as in generations. Being the subject of either in some way allows the breaking of the restraints in all too many that keeps most of us from acting out the oppression of others or the abuse of our children.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    It’s not really “news” if nothing changes in 20 years. Wake me when both sides stop acting like children.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If folks who live and work within 50 miles of the D.C. Beltway didn’t profit handsomely off of this regional tug of war — would it even be an issue in the national consciousness?

    • Arkuy The Great

      The Mideast Conflict; keeping more people alive than it kills for 70 years!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Perhaps the Deutschland World Cup football team should tour the region. And show the inhabitants what excellence looks like.

  • F.Y.I.

    Is the Palestinian leadership truly serious about having a state of their own, or is the destruction of Israel their ultimate goal?

    • J__o__h__n

      Neither side is serious.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I think they are both serious, but they both think that they can win by violence.

        War is not the answer.

      • Don_B1

        On the issue of achieving a real peace, at least.

        Mr. Khalidi got it right when he asserted that the Israelis, particularly Prime Minister Netanyahu and the hard right, welcomed a way to continue putting pressure on the Palestinians to prevent a unified Palestinian politics demanding a full state for concessions on terrorism.

    • geraldfnord

      I think most Palestinians care more about getting a state and either can put up with an Israel or just put off getting rid of it for an indefinite future; unfortunately, acting like you’re destroying Israel is a lot easier than building a viable state…though Hamas evidently have a region-good record at being relatively uncorrupt, relatively decent at getting traffic directed, garbage picked-up, schools operating (gender-segregated?- – - I don’t know), and at least _trying_ to kill more enemy civilians than their own, really all the stuff you expect from a State…

      • F.Y.I.

        I seriously doubt that Israel or the US would allow or recognize a Palestinian state to be ruled by Hamas, especially since both Israel and the US have labeled Hamas as a terrorist organization.

    • hennorama

      PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The entity [FYI] is also the various and sultry entities:

      X Y & Z
      and others.

  • toc1234

    has any place on the earth improved since Obama was given his nobel peace prize? didn’t the world listen when Obama said he’s heal the planet and declared that we are all citizens of the world? I don’t imagine Obama himself believed anything his teleprompter was instructing him to read, but liberals who crowned the community organizer/faculty lounge denizen president must be feeling a bit silly at this point…

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Visionaries like Obama don’t do heavy lifting or hard work. It’s that special DNA, you see. Hoober Doober

      • geraldfnord

        Obviously true, otherwise it might be that heavy lifting and hard work, even if strategy and tactics are as good as they can get—which never is the case—aren’t enough, the world might not be completely under our control, one might (for example) be a decent person and end up poor, and that never happens.

        It looks all the worse when compared to the previous president’s gruelling schedule and attention to detail, bespeaking his very practical consciousness of always being liable to error.

    • hennorama

      toc1234 — actually, one can easily argue that was conservative voters who were responsible for President Obama’s popular vote victories in 2008, and especially in 2012.

      According to exit polling reported by the Roper Center at the University of Connecticut, in both elections the percentage of conservatives who voted for Barack Obama was more than enough to assure his victory over Sen. McCain and Mr. Romney, respectively.

      In each election, per the Roper Center, conservatives comprised about one-third of the electorate, and about one out of five or six of them voted for Barack Obama. This translates to 6.8%, and 5.95% of the electorate in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

      As a refresher, President Obama beat McCain by 7.28%, and Romney by 3.86%


  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Jewish Strategy in the Homeland.
    * Breed like flies.
    * Make a big noise.
    * Demand US $Billions.
    * Whine; sulk; moan. Claim victimhood.
    * Don’t evolve & go onto greater things.

    Palestinian Strategy in the Homeland.
    * Breed like flies.
    * Make a big noise.
    * Demand US $Billions.
    * Whine; sulk; moan. Claim victimhood.
    * Don’t evolve & go onto greater things.

    We have a winner!

    • counterT

      The People of Israel are highly evolved. All the breakthroughs they make in:

      The medical industry
      Humanitarian Aid

      If you believe they have not then you should stop using many devices that make your life better. Including going to a normal doctor that uses advanced methods of medicine.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Huh? I don’t see what this has to do with HLB’s post.

        • counterT

          “Jewish Strategy in the Homeland.
          * Breed like flies.
          * Make a big noise.
          * Demand US $Billions.
          * Whine; sulk; moan. Claim victimhood.
          * Don’t evolve & go onto greater things.”

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            That’s what he posted. About both sides.

          • counterT

            Except one side does evolve while the other takes all the aid money it receives and pays the families of terrorists who kill innocent civilians. Making no effort to build infrastructure or make the lives of their civilian population any better.

            I have seen the dirt roads. I have been there. All the money is used on is to fight against Israel instead of making the peoples lives better which would then stop all this violence. But that is not possible while the charter said and still says that they will destroy Israel and the Jews

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So, the side you support is intelligent humans, and the other side is less intelligent sub-humans?

          • counterT

            Did I call them sub-human. Or was my point that their government is not giving them the lives they deserve where they can prosper. Maybe you should open up your eyes and see what it is I am writing instead of calling the Arabs sub-human. Its sad that you see them that way

          • anon

            The Palestinian government does not havecontrol over their economy, their borders, their resources, or anything else. And occupied people are the responsibility of the occupier anyway.

          • counterT

            You are correct they are the responsibility of the occupier. The occupier being the Arab people occupying Israeli lands

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You called them less-than-the-others. That is categorically wrong. You are blaming them for the poverty that Israel imposes on them. They are under siege, and to blame them for it is adding insult to injury.

          • Arkuy The Great

            One side builds a first-world economy and becomes a technology leader in the midst of never-ending war, preparing its youth to be similarly dominant in the next generation. The other wallows in centuries-old blood feuds and sacrifices its youth on the altar of said violence. It is becoming hard to counter the argument that certain societies and cultures are defective and, yes, inferior.

          • anon

            To the extent they’ve built their economy – how well would they have done without all the US aid (while the American people are struggling themselves)? Let them stop taking those billions from the US then.

          • counterT

            The billions of dollars of our tax money is used to fund the Arabs all over the world.

            Israel is given a few million which it has to spend 75% back in the US. So technically they are getting maybe 2 million in actual aid.

          • anon

            Are you serious? You need some more hasbara training before they let you out commenting.

            In fact, the US gives Israel more than THREE BILLION dollars a year. Yes, much of it goes to American defense contractors because it’s used to pay for the bombers and other weapons that they’re using now to attack Gaza.

            Aid to Arab countries – which is much less – is only to pay off dictators not to mess with Israel.

            Israel is a tiny country with a tiny population, whose supporters claim it is a model of democracy and technology. Why are Americans sending it $3 billion a year while their own country is falling apart?

          • Arkuy The Great

            I agree with that assessment fully. Let them drop US aid, especially now that US foreign policy is in shambles and that US “special relationship” is an anchor instead of a boost. A now $130 billion economy can live without it and would be freer to make beneficial economic, political and military alliances that better serve their interest.

          • anon

            I wish they would. But you know that if they lose that special relationship with the US, they’re on their own. The rest of the world already knows the truth.

          • Arkuy The Great

            India, Russia and China are shaping up as more reliable alternative partners right now. And Europe will definitely be interested in becoming a customer for Leviathan field oil and gas in the coming years. The EU and Israel have just signed a multi-billion euro technology sharing and transfer arrangement.

            There is a world without the US walls. Too bad Israel’s enemies, both of the red and green variety, remain too addled by hate and fantasy to see this.

          • anon

            “Except one side does evolve while the other takes all the aid money it receives and pays the families of terrorists who kill innocent civilians. Making no effort to build infrastructure or make the lives of their civilian population any better.”

            Good description of Israel. You don’t expect us to believe that the Palestinian government is rolling in money? Israel prevents them from building infrastructure, getting fresh water, controlling their own borders… and the occupying force is supposed to take care of the civilians anyway.

          • counterT

            Again Have you been there? Have you seen what people live like there? Have you talked to people there?

            Where is your information from?
            What Organization are you with? Is it BDS is it Hamas? Al Quida? maybe ISIS or maybe your with the homegrown American terrorists who had done the Chicago bombing

          • anon

            That’s quite a leap. A brief and very partial description of the occupation and I’m a terrorist? Surely you can do better than that, but obviously you have nothing of substance to say.

          • Bill O’Brien

            wow. someone disagrees with you and he’s a terrorist? you expect anyone other than a fellow fanatic to take you seriously?

  • John_in_VT

    Perhaps at a break you should play ‘Eve of Destruction’ a song that sounds the same today as it did in 1968 when it came out.

  • 65noname

    the israeli propogandist, nick burns, states that of course israel should be reigning death on gaza because any country should protect its citizens. oops, he forgot to mention the right of palestinians to protect themselves. it was, of course, the israelis who first started missle attacks on gaza, as well as mass arrests of young people and the destruction of whole neighborhoods as part of its collective punishment policies.
    we’re waiting for burns and his ilk to advocate the mass bombing of settlements as collective punishment for the buringing to death of a palestinian youth.

    • counterT

      What are you even talking about? Where are you getting your information? Are you listening to Hamas news? If so you should be going out and killing Jews left and right as they have stated.

      The Arabs have been launching rockets at Israel even when peace agreements are signed. The Arabs want nothing to do with Israel. Any agreement that is signed is not worth the paper it is written on when it comes to the Arabs.

      Talking about settlement.
      Settlement building stoppage was not a prerequisite for the peace talks. Israel never said it would stop building.

      The only occupation that is in Israel is the Arab occupation of the land of Israel!

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Do you think it only takes one side to have a war? Israel is not blameless, nor are they totally at fault.

        Where would you have Palestinians live?

        • counterT

          It does take two sides. What I find ridiculous is that the rest of the world is always blaming Israel for it. Making it seam as though they had started it. If any other country got attacked as Israel has been attacked no one would say a word (unless its Russia)

          If this was happening to another country they would have brought in troops and wiped the people attacking them off the face of the planet.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So we agree that there is plenty of blame to go around – to all sides.

            Where would you have the Palestinians live?

          • anon

            The lie that Israeli is the poor, weak victim while Palestinians are some mighty military existential threat to Israel is wearing thin. Even the American people are finally realizing it.

            How do you compare a few rockets to the theft of Palestinian land, destruction of their homes, killing of their people (incuding an average of 1 child every 3 days), arrests. bombing, restriction of their fishing rights, fresh water, and freedom of movement…?

          • counterT

            What 1 child every day… Have you even been there? Where are you getting your information even? You clearly have no idea what is going on and are being feed information buy Anti west/ Islamic sites.

          • anon

            I used to buy the line we got in the US media until I actually went to the Middle East, got my news from other media organizations (like the BBC – not exactly al-Qaeda), and met many Palestinians and heard their stories.

      • 65noname

        wow!!!! feel better after getting that out?? its not true but since when is truth been part of the zionist game plan? However, you forgot to mention that in the bible your imaginary friend “promised” palestine to the jewish people.
        By the way, you are right about one thing: israel never said that it would stop building settlements in palestine. and thats how palestinians and the world know that israel has no intention to negotiate a two state solution.

      • geraldfnord

        Jewish people run much of Hollywood, but ‘The Jews’ don’t control Hollywood. Jews were prominent in the Russian Revolution, but ‘The Jews run the Soviet Union.’ wasn’t true for a moment.

        ‘The Jews’ exists in the heads of people who dislike or hate or are just very ignorant of actual, Jewish, people; as an actual, Jewish, person, a little warning flag is raised whenever I read or hear someone reference ‘The Jews’.

        I am no less sceptical when I see a reference to ‘The Arabs” wanting or doing something.

  • Ed75

    Well, either they get along, or they will destroy each other. How can two countries right next to each other, bomb each other? To what possible end?

  • toc1234

    zzzzzz… Tom should’ve just reran an earlier show on Israel/Palestine and went out and did some fund-raising for Liz Warren or whatever he does on his free time…

  • Ed75

    It might be said that the problem is in man’s heart: they hate each other, both sides. The rest is details. And it’s not the only place where this is the case.

    • anon

      Whatever hatred the Palestinians have is a result of the Israeli policies towards them in the occupied territories. 100 years ago, Palestinians and Jews lived alongside each other.

      • wjre

        Not true. Non-Muslims in Muslim lands were Dhimmies and Jews were the lowest of the Dhimmies. That’s part of the problem. Muslims can’t stand the shame of being defeated by lowly Jews.

      • Ed75

        Whatever the source of the hatred, it seems to me that the bombing that Hamas is carrying out is just causing Palestinians to be killed, there must be another strategy.

  • refwards1

    Tom, great show, love your realism. Please however, it is AYXXX OWN PROVANCE. Also, has anyone pointed out that Gaza is the modern Sparta? It is a completely-military-oriented land. Children are trained to be future killers of Israelis. How can you negotiate with that?

  • adiggins

    Reasonable, cool, mature heads must take charge on both sides.
    1. Join forces across cultures to call out and thoroughly investigate and prosecute the criminal acts of individuals as such; refuse to label them as acts of war, or punish the other group with military acts.
    2. Use the media to frequently and regularly feature individuals who sincerely regret the criminal acts of their compatriots (on both sides).

  • keruffle

    Rockets land
    Settlers expand
    Hatred fanned
    Out of hand

    Shared land
    In command

    AT keruffle

    • Arkuy The Great

      Is that coming out on a new ME-themed hip-hop album?

  • spiral007

    Some one please challenge this caller for repeating a lie about ‘wiping israel’…

  • S Mack Mangion

    Seems to me that Tom cut off the point being made about Foreign Aid to Israel. This is reminiscent of what the TOTN guy did as well….

  • M S

    Congratulations to the Israelis and Palestinians for the murders of the young men…truly Biblical events…we should abandon them all.

  • skelly74

    Who let the dogs out?

    The Untied States needs to put s leash on their dog and Saudi Arabia needs to leash theirs.

  • refwards1

    Right on Tom, Kerry went here, there, and yon and every place erupted, or continued to fester. We have no credibility because of the personalities, the exceptionalist attitude, the confused priorities. Pro Iran and anti-Assad? No brainers.

  • cefran

    It’s “Ex-en-Provence” not “Ay-en-Provence” for Aix-en-Provence. Great talk!

  • Peter

    Will they tear down the homes of the people who burned that child to death?

    • Arkuy The Great

      Will the PA prosecute the people who murdered those yeshiva students? Or will they name streets after them and praise their names in youth propaganda?

  • refwards1

    Burns should have been Secretary of State but never mind, he needs to sound diplomatic anyway. Truth is, two state solution means new borders the Caliphate can cross, what a prize for Monsieur Baghdadi on his merry trip to the banks

  • jimino

    Who are we mere humans to interfere with what is obviously God’s will?


  • Ed75

    We should simply cry. This is the center of the world religions, God’s holy city in Jerusalem.


    Just wondering if there has been an actual effort to identify the kidnapper/murderers of the three Israeli teens or if both sides just continue with the usual assumptions. Hamas has denied that “they” had anything to do with it. Where is evidence that they are even trying to find out who is to blame? Why are the Israelis bombing Hamas targets? Do they KNOW who is responsible? Everything will continue to escalate in these cultures of vengeance. What is needed is a culture of Justice. Identify the actual perpetrators of the original crime and deal with them.

  • HonestDebate1

    What is Obama’s clear vision and strategery in the Middle East? Even JimmyCarter had one.

  • William

    They could give peace a chance.

    • Joy Gonnerman

      Sure, but peace without justice is only another concession. It is Israel that must stop and dismantle settlements, tear down the wall, return lands to the Palestinians, give them a chance to return to their homes… then, maybe, they might be workng for justice. Israel gives nothing because they want to make it look like they are not the problem but even during peace “negotiations” Netanyahu went ahead with more settlements.

  • Fred

    Where did you read history? All the “refugee” camps in the West Bank and Lebanon were under total Arab control for 19 years, and, as I understand it, have not been under Israeli control since they ceded control to the PA.
    Question – Are there any other “refugee” camps in existence in other countries 66 years after a war, even one where land has changed hands permanently? No, the residents get resettled in the new host country or other places.
    Are there “refugee” camps for the One Million Jews who were forced out of Arab and Islamic countries from 1948 to 1980? No. Many fled for their lives, leaving everything behind. They also were resettled in Israel, Europe and the Americas.

  • William

    Rome ruled that area so isn’t Jesus a Roman Jew?

    • Arkuy The Great

      A woman?

      No, a Roman. [SLAP!]

  • hypocracy1

    It seems ISIS is trying to achieve what the State of Israel already has.. They both seem like terrorist organizations to me.

  • http://batman-news.com Caffite

    OMA_OPINES: This is related to Hamas firing rockets into Israel, casued by inflamed tensions over what’s transpired the last few weeks…not directly due to the kidnapped teenagers

  • pm05

    For the people who burned that child alive – Is Israel going to plow down their homes? Is Israel going to bomb their homes? Doubt it! Israel is horrible! They have to stop settlements, stop stealing territory, stop the concentration camps! Israel is horrible and nothing will happen until Israel stops being so inhumane. Nothing! Israel with just keep oppressing and killing innocent people.

    • Arkuy The Great

      Nice job repeating the same PLO talking points that have infested the region’s politics for the past 50 years. You have slightly updated them but I can find similar statements with a mint date of about 1970 pretty easily. About the only thing you omitted was something about the Jew-owned Roshchild banking empire owning the US Federal Reserve or some other such helpful insight.

  • tbphkm33

    Rightly or wrongly, much of the world sees Israel as a puppet colony of the United States. After all, it is U.S. donated and financed F-16 fighters and Abrams tanks that bomb Palestinians who are herded into slums on ever shrinking slice of their own land.

    Religious fanatical Americans who support Israel looked at how the genocide and subsequent confinement to reservations had worked so well to deal with the Native American’s, they figured it might as well be applied to the Palestinians.

    Not only are the reservations confining the Palestinians shrinking, but their resources are being further stolen. Israel has for decades drilled sideways under Palestinian lands to steal water. Why do you think you see desolate and dusty Palestinian slums across a militarized wall from well manicured green grassed housing developments and golf courses built by the Israelis on stolen lands?

    Back to my main point – it does the United States no good to be seen as the benefactor and ultimate controller of the Israeli colony. It is time Washington cuts Israel lose. Shape up and make friends not enemies of its neighbors, or have the United States end the $6+ billion in aid.

    No where else in the world is military hardware deployed against civilians without the United States declaring the aggressor a terrorist organization or a rouge state. Why is Israel not declared a rouge state and the Israeli military a terrorist organization?

    • William

      The IDF does not use the Abrams tank to attack the Islamic Terrorists. They use their own tanks that they designed and built. However, they do use the Hellfire missles and Apache Helos we sold them with to attack the Islamic Terrorists. Did you happen to see the 5 Islamic Terrorists that waded ashore into Israel yesterday but refused to surrender and were taken out with American designed and built Apache helo’s? It is unfortunate that those five Islamic Terrorists did not surrender but such is the nature of war.

      • tbphkm33

        Did you see the 40,000 Jewish Terrorist that have been mobilized by Israel?

        • Arkuy The Great

          You misspelled “soldiers”.

          You’re welcome.

        • jefe68

          Flagged. Try to use some common sense instead of absurd rhetoric.

    • brettearle

      Your comments are utterly outrageous.

      To accuse Israel of implied genocide is pathetic and, quite likely, bigoted.

      The American Indians are entitled to their land and had no right to be driven out and to be slaughtered.

      The State of Israel is not only NOT committing Genocide, BUT it is exercising its historical RIGHT to the land.

      The Americans NEVER had an historical right to the land, here,in North America..

      But Israel DOES have an historical RIGHT to their Land.

      And so do the Palestinians. The Palestinians have EVERY right to the same land that Israel has the right to.

      And there lies the true Issue….






      DO YOU?




      • jefe68

        It’s best to not get too upset when dealing with this kind ill-informed rhetoric. He’s posting this to get a reaction, and it’s trendy for some of the left to view Israel as the villain. This one sided BS is all the rage in some segments of the left wing.

        It’s trendy to support the Palestinians and they get to wear the PLO scarf and think their being righteous. Make that self righteous.

        It’s a complex problem that this chap is ignoring as it’s easer to make lame ass comments then to try to figure out how to deal with it.

        It starts with a two state solution, but you can’t have that until all the extremist on both sides are somehow convinced to back down.
        I don’t’ see this happening in the near future.

    • jefe68

      You’re way off base here pal.

  • Gato Pardo

    These conflicts I see as farms of death. The political persuasions involved only add flavor. Behind scenes armament industries and corporate dictators are raking millions.
    Does it surprise anyone that those wars happen on r against the poorest marginalized people? The dehumanization of society thru proxy violence which blurs the line between a game and a real drone attack will only create more death. This is the fertilizer, neutralizes any possible resistance to this process. any analysis of the forces involved which focus mostly on the politics involved and religion color are but a smoke screen….

  • marygrav

    Why doesn’t the American State Department realize that as long as Israel is rule by Netanyhu and his Right-wing Government, fully backed by AIPAC controlling the US Congress, there will never be a Two-State Solution. Neither party cares about the Israeli peoples; only about power.
    At base it is not about the murder of the students, but about disrupting the Peace Process and the formation of a Two-State Solution. Hamas always kidnaps Isrealis because they are worth more to the Palestian cause alive than dead. Dead, they are not a bargaining chip. For Netanyahu to accuse Hamas of murdering the 3 students was propaganda to whip up the fear in the Israeli peoples.

    The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a proven lie. But the likes of Netanyhu and all the Others that have historically prevented a Two-State solution including Ariel Sharon himself, have strived to make this narrative fake come true. Between the Neocons working here in the U.S. and the Right-wing in Israel, I am in favor of the United States exiting out of the Middle East.
    It was the colluntion of Condolezza Rice and Ariel Sharon that brought Hamas to power in Gaza as a plot to weaken the PLO. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. It was Israel plotting to dely the Two-State that gave Hezbollah power. Now it is facing the most devestating enemy of all, ISIS because it is stateless. If it had left its neighbors alone, including Gaddafi in Libya, Saddam in Iraq, and Assad in Syria, and stay out of Lebannon’s bussiness, then this monster called ISIS would not exist.

    When you try to warn Israel that it is important to get along with its neighbors, it is always taken as Anti-Semitism. The US is becoming energy independent and that should be a warning. Israel is becoming a burden because of its intransigence. And as quiet as its kept, Eric Cantor’s lost is a very bad sign that AIPAC is loosing its influence.

    Israel needs to stop insisting that Hamas needs to recognize its right to exist. Mexico and Native Americans have never recognized the United States Right to exist. We still exist. This old dodge to peace is over. And I hope for the sake of the existing American peoples that no American Ambassador mentions a Two-State Solution and let Israel exist on its own. I am tired of war for a lost cause.

  • ExcellentNews

    Kabam! Look guys, every time one of these shells goes off, YOUR personal tax bill is incremented as follows:

    + $1,000 to our military
    + $2,000 in aid to Israel
    + $4,000 to King Abdullah
    + $8,000 to assorted foreign cronies … sorry, I mean allies
    + $16K to private contractors “helping” with the war on terror
    + $4,000 in subsidies for the oil cartels
    Total: $35,000 (before interest, taxes and surcharges).

    Don’t forget to tip the Tea Party! Kabam! Badaboum! Oh, isn’t the world wonderful for our Republican hawks and their billionaire pals! Badaboumbing!

    Now, return you your work stations. Work harder, because our Chinese bankers want to make sure you pay your bill.

    • Museich

      My sentiments – exactly.

    • AMartin123

      Money well spent in fighting Islamic terrorism.

      • ExcellentNews

        Darn right! And where there are no terrorists but simply hapless peasants, the money is even better spent killing Muslims in the name of Jesus. After all, our God is much better than their God. Remember, he spoke to George W Bush. And does he speak to Obama? No. So there.

        Kabam! Charge another $50,000 to this American taxpayer for every dead Arab peasant.

  • Cacimo

    Pretty astounding that President Obama has the gall to write a op-ed advising Israel. To date his foreign policy has been a disaster on every front.

    Burns notion that Kerry kept the peace seems completely off base. Most analysts seem to feel he stirred up a hornets nest with no real hope of achieving progress.

    With friends like J Street, Israel better watch its back.

  • Martin_Edwin_Andersen

    To better lives of the children of the Holy Land, a new roadmap is needed … See “Indigeneity: Opening the Door to Path of Peace Between Jewish State of Israel and Palestinians” @ http://goo.gl/wAJgOJ

  • Cacimo

    Really tired of islamic apologists like Khalidi blaming everything for islamic terrorism EXCEPT islam. So if the US does not force Israel into a deal the Palestinians find acceptable, then we will have more terrorists. What is the excuse in every other country. Bosnia, Chechnya, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, etc etc etc. Any place there are muslims we have terrorists and extremists. Is there even ONE peaceful muslim country??

    • brettearle

      You raise a good point about the Malcontent of the Islamic Political Soul–across the board.

      Khalidi’s bias–and it’s a big bias–is that he can’t separate the general plight, of Islamic Unrest, from the conflict that his people are embroiled in.

      Khalidi’s very sad–and I mean very sad remark–was how the PLO and Fatah [he did not say Fatah, but I believe he implied it] had been willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, for years.

      And, in the same breath, he did NOT mention that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad feel precisely the opposite.

      It is also unfortunate that Tom Ashbrook let Khalidi get away with it–without confronting Khalidi, about it.

  • Arkuy The Great

    Anyways, too bad for Israel’s enemies; the world just doesn’t care about you anymore. http://news.yahoo.com/israel-weapon-against-hamas-international-indifference-192833408.html

  • wjre

    I respect Tom Ashford and enjoy his show. I think he was trying to be balanced today but please do not be fooled into thinking that J-Street is a pro-Israel organization. You actually had 2 people on the show defending the Palestinian point of view. The J-street representative started off with a quote blaming Israel for everything. Almost no one has been that one-sided about this current conflict.

  • wjre

    Read your history. The original territory was partitioned by the British. Arabs got 2/3rds which is now Jordan. Palestinians = Jordanians. 750,000 Palestinians left Israel proper and 800,000 Jews were kicked out of Muslim countries and are now settled in Israel. The Palestinians have a country – it’s called Jordan. A tiny percentage of Arab oil money could have set the Palestinian refugees up quite nicely anywhere in the middle east. Jews risked their lives to fly impoverished Ethiopian Jews to Israel. It’s such lies that Arabs care so deeply about the Palestinians.

  • AMartin123

    Why was the Israeli point of view not represented on your program? Deeply disappointed with your hugely biased group of guests…none able to articulate the Israeli view…especially Khalidi.

  • AMartin123

    Arabs blowing up Arabs in Iraq? And the world says nothing.

    Arabs blowing up Arabs in Lebanon? Still nothing.

    Arabs blowing up Arabs in Syria? Nothing again.

    Arabs blowing up Arabs in Libya? Not a word.

    Arabs blowing up Arabs in Tunisia? Silence.

    Arabs blowing up Arabs in Egypt? No matter.

    Arabs blowing up others throughout the world? No reaction.

    Jews living in their historic homeland? And the world cries no, no, no!!!

    Jews fighting to defend themselves? How dare you!!

    Height of hypocracy? Yup.

    And so tragic for all the victims — Arab and Jew.

    • OnPointComments

      This sums up the reporting succinctly.

      • Fredlinskip

        I think you may have hit upon a solution!
        If we arm the Palestinians with weapons of equal caliber, then neither side will be so quick to go to widespread War for the misdeeds of a couple people!
        We can give them a nuclear bomb or 2, lots of helicopters, more accurate missiles, tanks.
        then we could have a fair fight.
        What’s the matter with that?

    • Fredlinskip

      Why all the destruction for the acts of a couple of people, I wonder?
      Because they can?
      Israel had enough “revenge” without their government even becoming involved. How many have to die for the act of a couple people. Israel has now created another generation of hate. Congratulations.

      Honestly all the killing by Israel will Make it better?
      I thought Israel was supposed to be somewhat civilized.
      They could have gone after the people who killed the teenagers. It was a crime. It should have been handled like one.

      Why don’t you live with Palestinians for a year or so- maybe you’ll gain some perspective.

  • X-Christian

    What Israel is doing – it is like bombing Mexico because a Mexican killed someone in New York City.

    Meanwhile, there is no Jewish God, no Christian God and no Islamic God.
    It is all hogwash and nonsense.

    • aar_nr

      with many “gray area” problems we say.. take X or Y to its logical extreme.. and then in reality we have the I/P conflict, which in my opinion is something close the logical extreme case for why religion is so dangerous.

  • X-Christian

    we could have peace in the middle east in 10 minutes if everyone just agreed that God is nonsense.

    • Jack

      Sure, because that’s the solution to everything…

  • ce373

    Gen 12:1

    Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

    Gen 12:2

    And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

    Gen 12:3

    And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

    In the highly documented book, “Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel,” by William R. Koenig (i.e. White House Correspondent), these major record-setting events have things in common:

    1. The ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history. 2. The twelve costliest hurricanes in U.S. history Like the Perfect Storm, Storm of the Century, Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. 3. Three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history. 4. The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history … etc.

    All of these major catastrophes and many others occurred or began on the very same day or within 24 to 48-hours of U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for “peace and security,” sponsoring major “land for peace” meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel’s covenant land and /or calling for a Palestinian state. More documented events have happened during the Obama Administration as documented in the sequel of “Eye to Eye.”

    Each one of these major record-setting events are signs that God is actively involved in the affairs of Israel. God does use the weather to demonstrate His Wrath/Will. Documented weather events helped America win the Revolutionary War

    In this book, Bill Koenig provides undeniable facts and cronolized evidence showing that the leaders of the United States and the world are breaking the Abrahamic Covenant!

    “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9)

    God’s Covenants cannot be broken!

    Gen 15:18

    In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

    The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15) can not be broken. The land that Nations want to divide was given to the Descendants of Isaac by the God of the Bible:

    Gen 17:19

    And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

    Gen 17:20

    And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

    Gen 17:21

    But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

    The Abrahamic Covenant is for the descendants of Isaac; other land was given for the descendants of Ishmael!

    • hypocracy1

      If some dusty book says so then it must be true. Cool story Bro.

  • Erik Brunar

    The blame game, wishing people didn’t believe what they believe, wishing people would just pack up and go: none of these do much good. You have to deal with a situation as it exists.

    Israel deserves to flourish as a Jewish democracy but it is shooting itself in the foot with this “status quo”. Israel’s choice to militarily maintain the current settlement arrangement also means that Americans will have to keep paying: in coin, in good will, and probably again some day in lives.

    That’s why the US diplomatic effort is important. It’s not about telling Netanyahu what to do, but about making it obvious to everyone that de-escalation is worth fighting for. Fight the decades of fear and distrust, the sentiments of disdain and frustration and futility on all sides.
    I had a vision of Michelle Obama taking on a role in getting everybody to calm down and make some progress towards common goals.

    • brettearle

      The current Settlement policy by Israel is a disaster and utterly unacceptable.

      But Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s and Islamic Jihad’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist is even worse.

  • Geheran1958

    The difference between civilized man and the savage is Israel telephones the occupants of a Hamas houses targeted for destruction before being attacked while Hamas urges women and children to populate the rooftop so as to maximize civilian casualties. “Hamas Spokesman Encourages Gazans to Serve as Human Shields: It’s Been Proven Effective,” MEMRI, July 8, 2014:

    Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on July 8, 2014:

    Interviewer: “Are people still going up to the rooftops?”

    Ayad Abu Rida (Reporter) : “Witnesses told us that there is a large gathering, and people are still going to the Kawari family house, in order to prevent the Zionist occupation’s warplanes from targeting it.”

    Interviewer: “What is your comment about this? People are reverting to the (human-shield) method, which proved very successful in the days of martyr Nizar Riyan…”

    Sami Abu Zuhri: “This attests to the character of our noble, Jihad-fighting people, who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood. The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation. Also, this policy reflects the character of our brave, courageous people. We in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy, in order to protect the Palestinian homes.”

  • hypocracy1

    Why is it every time Israel is portrayed in a negative light they act like it’s the Holocaust all over again? JESUS CHRIST.

  • Nick Babcock

    Great program. Really great to hear from Rashid Khalidi.

  • Dave_in_RI

    Mr. Khalidi: Why don’t the Palestinians in Gaza have any bomb shelters? What kind of government–what kind of nation–doesn’t use it’s resources to protect its citizens, and then goes and fires rockets at their neighbor who they know will eventually retaliate? The Palestinian fatalities were totally predictable, and yet they do nothing to prevent them! Hamas has been in control in Gaza for how many years now?? What have they done to safeguard their people? They’ve dug bunkers to protect their missiles, but not a single bomb shelter to protect their children. That says it all, really.

    • OnPointComments

      I saw an NBC News report today on a difference between Israel and Hamas. According to the report, Israel provides shelters for its citizens so that they can escape the bombing by Hamas. Hamas provides shelters only for its terrorists, and places innocent civilians on and around the shelter so that innocent civilians are killed if Israel retaliates, in the hopes that this tactic will dissuade attacks from Israel.

  • Jack

    Oh, they want their own state, just not one living in peace with Israel as a neighbor.

  • Baron Groznik

    Here’s my peace plan: Move the Israelis to Antarctica, and move the Palestinians to the Arctic region.

  • Geheran1958

    Rather than posing the superficial and mostly irrelevant questions to your guests regarding possible answers for the never-ending violence perpetrated by the likes of Hamas and PLO, try examining the words in the charters of such organizations instead. Then compare those words to the exhortations concerning Jews contained in Islamic sacred texts, ahadith and the contemporary preachings of many Muslim clerics. You will not find it difficult to see the root cause of the problem.

  • Zvi Halevi


    I am a huge fan of Onpoint and Tom Ashbrook. Usually I finish my gym around 8 in the evening and as I drive home I listen to Onpoint. I have to say that I was very disappointed with this program. My friends told me that NPR is very unfair to Israel I never found that to be the case with Onpoint until this program. I have no problem with having two sides presenting their opinions, but you need two sides. This program did not have any of this. J-street is aligned a tiny minority in Israel(the Meretz party).It would be nice if you would have someone who represents the majority of Israeli’s view point. It seemed everyone on this program was aligned with the peace now movement and left to that.

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

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Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

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Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

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