James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

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  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Barak and Barack, Israel and America

Posted by James McPherson on December 29, 2008

With Israel continuing its attack on targets in Gaza for a third day, Defense Minister Ahud Barak says Israel is now in an “all-out war” with Hamas. In the meantime, various countries with sympathies toward one side or the other are trying to provide aid to the areas hardest hit.

President Bush–whom Condi Rice predicts the American people will soon “start to thank” (and not just for leaving office)–sides with Israel. Barack Obama also has previously supported Israel as strongly as any other American politician; one might argue that he wouldn’t be president-elect, if he hadn’t.

Perhaps now, as Obama ponders yet another crisis that he’ll have to deal with when he takes office in about three weeks, he’s wondering if not being president-elect would be such a bad thing. Obama has promised to focus on Middle East issues right away (as if he had a choice) and to try to boost America’s image with Muslims. He undoubtedly will have more credibility among Palestinians than Bush does.

Among other potentially promising signs are the names of the people involved. Barack Hussein Obama’s first name is nearly the same as the Iraeli defense minister’s last name, while his middle name–as we were reminded many times during the election–is an Arabic name that he will use when he takes his oath of office.

In addition, the full name of Obama’s proposed White House chief of staff (a Jew whose father was born in Jerusalem and whose last name means “God is with us”) is Rahm Israel Emanuel.

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40 Responses to “Barak and Barack, Israel and America”

  1. truth said

    Quite a nice story, i’m definately looking forward to seeing how this turns out, and thank you for sharing this exciting story of events.

  2. Flamur said

    Israel may be in war against Hamas, but killing civilians is going to fire back at them. They are contributing to an unreserved support to Hamas by the Palestinians. A family that lost 3-4 men will have nobody else to turn to.
    Everybody understands that when it comes to the military power this is a war of David against Goliath…and Goliath wants all the Davids to know that.
    This is brutal and it is not humane.

  3. ochakne said

    If rockets where raining down on San Diego Ca from the boarder of Mexico, the US would respond with a massive attacke that would make the invasion of Iraq look like a walk in the park. We would set up an area that would prevent any rockets from reaching our country. We would occupy the zone created. Israel has the right to live without rockets raining down on there people. Hamas is the ones who started this, the Palestinians will pay the price, one of these days Hamas has to stop attacking Israel. If Hamas doesn’t then they are in for a rude awakening.

  4. Great White North said

    Hamas targeted Israeli civilians with over 3000 rockets this year. They have the legitimate right to respond in self defense.

  5. Jared said

    Let’s hope Obama remembers he is the President of the United States not of Gaza. It’s time to focus on the U.S. I don’t mean to sound heartless but my main concerns are the economy and the school system. Someone else may have different concerns but I would think Gaza would rank very low on most of the citizens of this countries concerns.

  6. Samir said

    Israel’s attack against the Palestinians and hamas is a crime against humanity, that is being sanctioned by the U.S. government, and then we wonder why America is not liked around the world and especially in the Middle East. This double standard towards aggression targeting a civilian population especially when Gaza doesn’t have any form of a military force except for a rag tag team with the equivalent of fire crackers fighting the Israeli Goliath sponsored and funded by Uncle Sam. This is ludicraous that the U.S. continues to be blind and blames Hamas for all of this destrution. This has to stop America would have mobilized a well equipped army if it was an oil rich nation being attacked in such a barbaric fashion, as we well witnessed when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Let’s hope we remember all of this state sponored terrorism and what it’s doing for Al-Quaeda recruitment.

  7. Willie said

    No matter how Olmert and Barak attempt justifying their attack it is simply not reasonable. The worse part of the situation is that the U.S. has been complicit in Israeli aggression from the very start. Of the more than seven UN Resolutions directing Israel to abide by the two state solution, each and every time the UN Security Council takes a vote to force Israel to comply the U.S. has vetoed the measure. And, in contributing the sophisticated weaponry Israel uses against a people crowded into a virtual ghetto, which by contract are to be used in their nations defense, our nation is partner to the genocidal crimes Israel inflicts upon Palestinians. How can any sane people even think that the use of modern weapons against a people who have no military can be justified is just banal. Our nation needs to cease All Foreign and Military Aid to Israel. Further, it needs to stand with justice and allow the UN Security Council to take immediate action by voting in the affirmative to force Israel into compliance with every UN Resolution outstanding since 1947. I’m sick and tired of western nations talking about “peace proceses, when what they are really attempting is to stall and wear the Palestinians down. Down to a point where they’ll forego the UN Resolutions and accept terms partial to Israel. We’ve watches this continue for better than sixty years… time to give it a break. Were I a palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian, Afghanistanian who’ve lost family under such reckless conditions, my life would be dedicated to only one purpose… taking any action I could against those who inflicted the pain and suffering. Time is running out on our nations current Foreign Policy (woven from the tatters of the League of Nations,” outmoded since the late thirties), but like our economy, our politicians cannot see the error of their ways. Simply tell Israel… “You’re own your own from here on, we’ll not veto any actions the Security Council takes…

  8. JackOfHeart said

    Once again, we see how this fucked up world is being run by a bunch of “gangs” in D.C. Ever wonder why America is the only nation supporting Israel? Its because America is “OWNED” by pro-Israel jew lobbiest in D.C that are more loyal to Israel than to America and thats why America is going against any natural humain reasons to blindly support Israel. BUSH issued a $30 billion grant for Israel while our economy here in America is hanging by a straw. Its another unjustified and “leaching” relationship that deserves a shoe thrown at it. Well, no matter how long this tayrany lasts, it will come to an end when the hands of God interfer and cast Israelis and their supporters in the Hell fire. Once again, Hitler was so right about jews.

  9. JackOfHeart said

    THis is exactely what Israel is good for; total destruction of humanity, lives, buildings, even olive grooves destruction for the building of their selfish terrorist promise land. Killing children on Christmass is a “fuck-you” message to the entire world. People that claim to be once victims of the terrible holocausts are doing the same terrible thing to the Palestinians. It seems like Hitler was right, The only peacefull and free world is a world free of jews….

  10. JackOfHeart said

    Israel is the reason why everyone hates us. Because of our blind and unjust support for those “real” terrorists. But what goes around comes around. And God is watching!

  11. Terry Chapman said

    Israel has fallen for a political trap. While the missiles launched by Hamas are deadly if they fall near people, on the larger picture, they are very ineffective tactical weapons. Their main purpose is politically strategic. I would guess that Hamas wanted stronger Arabic support within and outside Gaza. Israel accommodated them with their overwhelming and inappropriate response. Israel missed a good opportunity to work with other Arab countries to stop the attacks and paint Hamas as a criminal organization.

  12. James McPherson said

    Thanks again, folks, for your participation–though I would ask you to keep it clean even if you can’t keep it sane. Being a big believer in free expression I’ve never blocked anything other than spam–but a few of the folks commenting here the past couple of days (typically anonymously, of course) are pushing the limits and may force me to change my position on that.

  13. gali said

    I am sick and tired of seeing comments about “poor israel gets attacked by evil hamas rockets” (did anyone even get killed? ). But nobody mentions in what conditions the Palestinians have lived for past decades. About no electricity, endless check points, not enough food and medications… There was a story on CNN about woman delivered a baby on the checkpoint, as she wasn’t able to cross to the hospital and the baby died. Hamas as government and Arab support for hamas and Hasbullah is far not accidental!!!! I mean what do israeli expect? That they can take someone’s house and to be loved for that?
    Ochakne, say tomorrow Palestinians who don’t have place to go, will come take your home and send you someplace in mexico. How would you like that?
    Anyways, the only thing that israelis achieved is escalated hatred towards them from all over the world. They are just slowly digging their own hole.
    America knows better than that! Politics have always been dirty games, but American people stand for peace and respect for others!

  14. Flamur said

    Samir,
    Don’t forget that Hamas’ rockets are not really falling on the water either. Please don’t mistaken the intentions of either side.
    Hamas wants to promote fear by firing rockets onto jewish settlements. Again, those are people two and any innocent life lost by waging war is not a collateral damage anymore – it is a crime. As per rag-tag teams you’ve mentioned they would not exist if people don’t need them.
    What is questionable is the Israeli’s response to all of this. In my opinion any slightest chance we might have had to see peace in Middle East is pushed back by another ten years.

    JackOfHearts – You are an idiot and God is watching you too. Only imbecils like you think they are superior against another faith, nation or race. You should be ashamed of yourself!

  15. Camillus said

    Missiles and rockets flying over Gaza; in the meantime the new product of the american political marketing, the “messiah” Barack Hussein Obama chooses the dog-pet he will be moving with him into the White House. Nothing new, this man has not magic wand or new ideas ! It is all the old empty rethoric that with the great press conspiracy and the brilliant strategy of the cabal Kennedy, Reid, Pelozzi made possible to inflate a big bluff sprayed with the sweet talking of the expert politics derived from the corrupted Chicago political machinery.

  16. Tony said

    I read this blog and don’t see what the supporters of Hamas are saying, besides that the attack on them is non-humane, non-civilized, … , but do they have a solution to propose. The fact is that Hamas was firing rockets in Israel, Hamas wants Israel destroyed, and the “innocent” people there voted for Hamas. Is the solution that the Hamas supporters want, Israel to just sit and suffer while being bombarded with rockets?

  17. Steve Campbell said

    JackoffOfHearts sounds and talks like one of those slimy Nazi worms slithering from under rocks. I am neither a Jew nor an Israeli, but I find it despicable and hypocritical that those bleeding-heart liberals cry ‘wolf’ when Israel strikes back at the scurrilous Hamas who has been provoking and needling the Israelis all along with rockets. Israel, or any other country, has the right to retaliate and deflect aggressors. Jack’s hero, Hitler, is an example who should have been stood up to by the world early on. I am sure JackOfAlltrades has not had a rocket land on his house or home. How would those naysayers decrying Israel feel if their neighbors denied them the “right to exist”? Think about that?

  18. Marc said

    jackofhearts is the reason for all the wars and massacres that exist today. you have complete baseless hatred against an entire nation of people-even the way you write, full of swearwords, displays your vulgarity and obviously disgusting personality. your hero is hitler??!!!! an animal that murdered SIX MILLION people?? are you even a human being? instead of commenting on the worlds state of affairs, go blow up aliens on a xbox or something, its clearly the only thing your miniscule brain capacity is capable of!

  19. JackOfHeart said

    Let me, and for the record, say that I don’t support Hamas either. I support saving peoples lives at any cost, which is against the Israeli morals. Actions prove it! Besides, if Hamas fighters are terrorists as agroup, then Israel is a terrorist country as a whole.

  20. marc said

    thats actually pretty funny. “i support saving peoples lives at any cost..” but you believe that an entire nation should be wiped out?! either you have a multiple personality disorder or you are like i thought, a complete brain dead idiot. you cant believe in both things-it’s a paradox! and since you’re clearly a hateful pro-violence person you don’t give a S*** about saving lives. i think the appropriate name for you is jack-ass! gosh, for the sake of the preservation of humanity, i hope you’re one of a kind. well, you and the natzis, of course.

  21. Bob said

    Gazans knew that Hamas program includes a war with Israel until its elimination exactly the like Germans knew when they voted Hitler. Both Hamas and Hitler have genocidal ideas and both earned their destruction. Germans made right conclusions and became a civilized nation again. Arabic Islamists are still on their holy war path and represent a major danger for the world.

    Gali armies set checkpoints to find suicide bombers, this measure is used world-wide in places of conflict. If palestinians would not force mentally sick or troubled people to blew up, there would be no need in check points. You may be sick and tired from reading coments, but you would were sick and tired much more if some rockets fell close to you home, not talking for killing someone from your family for nothing. Think about that.

  22. JackOfHeart said

    So 6 million jews got killed in the holocaust? and that makes it ok for the jews to do it to other people? Israel is nothing more than a bad neighbor that when pissed off turn into a reckless killing machine. in 2006 how many thousand innocent children got killed by the Israeli bombardments on Lebanon? Where does the death toll stand as we speak in Gaza? 375!!! Why dont you live and let others live? And by the way, it was the Pro-israel lobbiests that supplies the evidence (from the israeli mosad) for the non-existing WMD’s which led to the invasion of Iraq, for the security sake of Israel. Our idiot president, Bush, granted Israel $30 billion in free money while our economy is about to collapse. What kinda relationship is this? Its a relationship that deserves a shoe! THanks to Israel, we, in the US, lost our leadership in the world because of Israel! P.S: Ever think what the heck the Israelis are doing in the middle of 23 countries that cant stand them?

  23. JackOfHeart said

    Yeah, Imagine if it was your wife and your four daughters in those body bags, how would you feel?

  24. Abe said

    Since Israel’s complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, 6000 mortars and rockets have been fired into Israel. With no more than a handful of possible exceptions, all attacks have been aimed specifically at civilian targets such as kindergartens and hospitals. Many Israeli cities have borne the brunt of Palestinian terrorism, but the hardest hit is without a doubt Sderot, which has been bombarded on average more than twice daily for the last two and a half years. Aside from the dozens of citizens of Sderot killed or injured in these attacks, more than 3/4 of the town’s children aged 7-12 suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. While gali may be sick of hearing about the rocket attacks, the children of Sderot are no doubt sicker of having to live (hopefully) through them.

    Hamas justifies its attacks by claiming that it is waging a “legitimate” resistance to Israeli “occupation.” Under international law, however, Gaza is not “occupied” by Israel. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, two conditions must be met for a territory to be considered “occupied”: (1) the territory is of another Higher Contracting Party (i.e., a state party to the convention), which Gaza is not, since it use to belong to Egypt, but no longer does; and (2) the occupier exercises “the functions of government,” which Israel does not – the de facto Hamas government claims exclusive governmental authority over the region. Military superiority over one’s neighbors does not constitute occupation; if it did, the U.S. would “occupy” Canada and Mexico.
    The rocket attacks are not “legitimate resistance,” indeed they violate dozens of provisions of international law. One of the most basic rules of international humanitarian law is known as the Rule of Distinction. This rule requires combatants to aim attacks at enemy combatants or objects that contribute to enemy military action (See, e.g., the The Conduct of Hostilties Under the Law of International Armed Conflict at 82 (2005)). Attacks that DELIBERATELY target civilians because of the effect such actions will have on the attacked nation are war crimes. Moreover, international law prohibits the use of weapons that, under the circumstances in which they are used, are incapable of being properly aimed at civilian targets. The crude projectiles used by Palestinian militants meet this definition, and thus, each of the 6000 rocket attacks that has occurred since 2005 is a separate violation of international law; a separate war crime. Hamas, as the de facto government of Gaza (since it seized control of Gaza in a bloody 2006 coup, killing scores of its own people) bears responsibility for these attacks under several provisions of international law, including UN Security Council Resolutions 1566 and 1373, which require states to deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, or commit terrorist acts. In contrast, Israel’s response HAS followed the rule of distinction, in that Israel has not deliberately targeted civilians or “protected objects.” Indeed, the relatively fair shake that Israel has gotten in the media has surprised me. For example, the BBC has reported that Israel has targeted “key sites linked to militant group Hamas,” and that of the 312 killed in Gaza, “57 were civillians.”

    Finally, gali’s complaint that Israel fails to freely open its borders. There is no international law requiring any sovereign nation to open its borders at all, let alone to a hostile territory. The fact that Egypt frequently closes its border with Gaza underscores the pretextual nature of this criticism – although Gaza’s Arab neighbor engages in the same conduct your vitriol is reserved exclusively for Israel. The only caveat on a nation’s absolute sovereignty over its borders is the general humanitarian law of blockades, which Israel abides by, even though it is not required to (since the conflict is not covered by Article 23 of the Fourth Geneva Convention).

  25. Sailingwindward said

    How do you have a full scale war against a civilian population that has no army, no air force, no navy, what a bunch of girlie men the Israelis are, I guess since Hizballah kicked their asses in 2006 with no air force, no navy, just a small army of men, the Israelis look scared and confused, typical cowards.

  26. Sotticlia said

    The only solution, as i see it, is to unite the people of that shared land. Unite them by having the Palestinians share in the governance of Isreal.
    Give the Palestinians seats in the Knesset. ( Isrealies, calm down at that idea). Think about it for a bit. Both Isreali’s and Palestinians are not leaving the land they are born in. They both already share each others fate, why not share in governing it?

    Give the Palestinians a few seats in the Knesset, not enough where they could ever take control of all of Isreal, but enough that they can have some influence.
    They would eventually be wooed by even Isreali political parties when they could use the votes for whatever matter in exchange for favors. In those times when Palestinian votes could be deciding, their influence for change in their regions would take form.
    As the quality of life improves for the Palestinians, anger, hate, will eventually fade.

    In short , i am saying , make the Palestinian territories, provinces of a united Isreal.
    Why does religion dictate that there should be a political border?

  27. Charles Regner said

    As a Jew born 10 years after the holocaust, I have never ceased to contemplate what holocaust victims might contemplate if they were to revisit the world with its present-day conflicts.

    At issue for me is the trend of believing that some precedent of violence on one side justifies counter-violence on the other. Would a Jew, or a Pole, or a Russian, etc. look at the slaughter of Palestinians today , each of these groups having undergone the horror of Nazi abuse, and say of the War against Palestine, ” Well,at least it’s not our people”? I mean, you have to be LIKE A NAZI to either look away from whole communities being attacked, populations humiliated, and glibly comment that it’s all part of the war on terrorism. What manner of unfeeling robot are you?

    Do you, who advocate the present war, have children? If so, are they more special than Palestinian children? Are they special because they are YOURS? If so, consider. If by some remote chance you lived under the rule of a government that was hostile to the other people in some other place, would you philosophize and say, ” well, yeah, I see their point’ as their rockets demolished your house, murdered or permanently disabled your beloved family, destroyed your life, should you have been so “lucky” to have survived?

    Is an eye for an eye the culmination of 5000 years of civilization, or are we missing something?

    You pundits of war: have you been to war? Have you seen the terrified looks on mothers, on children, on old people, and yes, even adult males? If you have, has it not moved you to forswear this form of ‘conflict resolution’?

    Those who advocate the current campaign against the Palestinians are either truly brutal in their nature- in which case they are quite similar to the Nazis- or they are in a chronic state of denial, namely the denial of Israel as a culpable figure on the world stage.

    The true traitors are the traitors to humanity. All ideological or religious rationales for acts of carnage are transparently political charlatanism, and opportunism

  28. Abe said

    Salingwindward,
    Just because you don’t wear a uniform or because you hide behind civilians, does not make you a civilian – in fact, it makes you a coward (it also makes you a war criminal under Art. 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention). Through suicide attacks ALONE Hamas has killed over 480 Israeli CIVILIANS. One of the most infamous of which, the so-called Passover Massacre, was carried out on one of the most sacred Jewish holidays; the target of the attack: a crowded hotel dining hall full of children and the elderly who had no place else to celebrate the holiday. Now THAT’S cowardice. By the way, the IDF managed to defeat Egypt, Jordan, and Syria when those nations SIMULTANEOUSLY attacked Israel in 1967 – Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco all contributed troops to aid those three countries. You can call the IDF many things, but attacking them for cowardice just belies your ignorance of history.

    Scotticlia,
    Arab-Israelies DO have representation in the Knesset; in fact there are three major Arab parties: Hadash, Balad, and the United Arab List. It is also worth noting that a very strong minority of Arab-Israelis actually vote for the Zionist parties (about 30% in the 2006 elections). Arab-Israelis are guaranteed full and equal rights under Israel’s constitutions. The only difference between Arab and Jewish citizens is that Arab citizens are actually EXEMPT from military service. On a personal note, most of the Arab-Israelis that I’ve talked will tell you how much they love living in Israel.

  29. Abe said

    Oh, Scotticlia. I forgot to mention that the main problem with your proposal is that Hamas officially does not, and has said repeatedly that it will never, recognize Israel’s right to exist. I suppose it’s axiomatic that in order to participate in a county’s government the very idea that the country exists should not be anathema to you.

  30. Willi said

    The only solution to the Middle East violence is that the U.S. cease contributing upwards of $70 billion annually in Foreign and Military aid to Israel. The UN Security Council issues Resolutions which clearly stated: 1. Israel must repatriate Palestians to their homes and farms; 2. That Israel must abide by a two state solution with equal portions of the land mass making up Palestine distributed between the two people and, that Jarusalem would become an open International City. Nobody should have any doubts about any of this when they can simply go to the UN Security Council site and read the Resolutions. Israel has determined that it wants to claim over eighty percent of the land. And, it wants to divide the sections that it’s willing to see the the Palestinians with; The purpose of this is that it allows Israel to claim a right to create check points, and weaken any state the Palestinians create. This tactic is taken from the British playbook when it went about creating its empire. “Divide a people, or nation and you can more easily control it. It’s sad that our tax dollars have been contributed to this brutal occupation and evading of International law. The U.S., in being complicit in this, subjects every citizen of our nation to terrorism, within or outside the U.S. Israel is no democracy, never has been and even as I write this is planning to expel the few Palestinians living within its borders. As well, the African Jews who relocated to Israel are treated as second class citizens… why they, or the Palestinians remain is questionable. Their remaining has only provided Israel opportunity to use them as fodder in its propoganda campaign, stressing its democratic nature. Israel must comply with the outstanding UN Resolutions. To say they’ve given Gaza or the West Bank back is a moot point becasue they’ve failed complying with the Resolutions. It is not their place to interpret the Resolutions as they see fit to their ends. We’re speaking here of a legal issue, not bobby sox massages. Anyone who stands on the side of Israel are simply wrong… dead wrong. As well, Iran has not been shipping weapons to Hamas as Israel claims. Israel made similar claims against Syria and Iraq, which werefound to have been incorrect. Israel will attempt anything to draw attention away from it not being in conformance to UN Resolutions. Everyone is wrong but… ISRAEL. Sounds like statements coming from people in a nut house…

  31. marc said

    willi-ever heard the joke about the man who’s driving the wrong way but thinks everyone else is? That comes to mind when i read your response. Israel is NOT wrong. they’ve been subjected to terrorism for far too long and its gratifying to see them finally stand up for themselves. If the Palestinians were good peaceful people, their dwelling amongst the Israelis wouldn’t be a national disaster. as it happens, they are very violent people and will not be happy until they overtake Israel, then other parts of Europe and eventually America. Their goal is complete world domination. Don’t be so naive! Regardless, America and Israel are allies. Its their JOB to help out each other during times of war. And since you seem a little confused, let me clarify something. Israel is not seeking “to expel the few palestinians s living within its borders” it’s actually retaliating against the palestinians who’ve been terrorizing them and bombing all parts of israel ( civilians among the casualties) for quite some time now, so in essence its not the Israelis who are out to get the Palestinians but the other way around. Keep up with the news or you risk sounding frankly, unintelligent. Oh, and by the way, Iran is probably the biggest threat to Israel and eventually America out there so don’t kid yourself..

  32. Steve said

    You can’t expect Israel to sit back and let its citizens be bombed by Hamas and not respond. As sad and tragic as the whole situation is the Palestinians have no one to blame except Hamas. You freely elected a terror group…..what did you expect would happen?

  33. usmc vet said

    Hamas started it now they wanna cry victim. Israel defends itself and happens to be one of the best at it and they are evil. My advice for hamas is to dig in and hunker down and maybe they will learn their lesson this time. Israel has shown great restraint, obviously, look what they could have done. Iran better take heed. Oh yeah, if you think BO will back Israel when he gets in office, your extremely delusional. Just read his book Audacity of Bull****. He clearly states if it comes down to it he will side with the muslim world. Thanks to all who voted for him, I guess the world wouldn’t be the same without our 60,000,000 or so morons.

  34. Dantos said

    Some times war is neccisary to protect one’s nation. Civilians die frequently in wars, that is and always will be a fact. If Israel was purposely targeting civilain populations rather than Hamas run orginizations and buildings then I might feel differently but they are doing their best to avoid this colatoral damage because it doesnt help their cause. But Civilains will die its the way of war, just as german and English civilians and many others died in WW2.

    The people of palestine do bear some responsibility for this. We cannot really look at Hamas in a vacuum, a totally seperate entity of Palastine, they are the elected representatives of the Palastinian people, similarly to the Nazi’s representing the germans. The representatives of the palastinian people are attacking the Israelies, the Israelies respond by attacking Hamas, the governing body of Palestine, trying as best as technology allows to avoid casualties amoung the civilians. Unfortunately there is no magic bomb that can determine the intent of the people it explodes around. As long as Hamas hides and builds its instalations around civilian areas, civilians will die.

  35. James McPherson said

    Sometimes war may be necessary to protect one’s nation, though I don’t think most wars are waged for that reason. And there is no doubt that civilians die in wars–for example, 100,000 to a million in Iraq, since we invaded that nation. Thanks for the thoughtful comments, folks.

  36. Willie said

    Despite the illegal nature of Israeli and U.S. posturing, regarding Irael’s occupation of Palestianian territory, people in the U.S. continue assuming they have nothing to do with the current conflict. The best thing that incoming president Obama could do would be – simply cease all military and foreign Aid to Israel adninform Israel that it would immediately comply with the existing seven UN Resolutions or face immediate economic sanctions and possible military action. Israel is no ally of the U.S., we’ve never needed an ally in the region. Iran represents no threat (Iran threw off the British and U.S. yoke which angered U.S. and British corporate interests. I cannot imagine any citizen of this, or any other, nation accepting another individual entering their home and claiming right to manage their family and property. We, the people of the U.S., need to step back and take a long look at why we allow our elected officials to continue insisting upon a yearly $600 billion plus military budget referred to as a defense budget. It’s not defense to maintain a military presence in 132 nations and a naval presence on every ocean and sea of the world. We’ have no business attempting to manage the worlds affairs. To attempt such certainly will lead to conflicts, as we’ve seen during the past sixty-eight years.

  37. Willie said

    Marc… Yea, I suppose you also are one of those people who only regard legal issues when they are in your interest. As I’ve stated, Israel is in violation of seven UN Resolutions. Only possible becasue the U.S. has (for sixty years) continuously veto’s every UN vote to take action to bring it into compliance. My country is wrong in supporting Israel in its illegal quest. And, every citizen whose lives were lost in the World Trade Center attacks are attributable to our continuous support of Israel. This is not “The Taking of the America’s,” After sixty years of conflict I don’t see any resolution other than Israel complying with the UN resolutions. I stand with the Palestinians because they have right on their side…

  38. Willie said

    Talk about a twist… “I ain’t done nothing governor.” Give it a break, Israel has created a ghetto where they’ve confined the Palestinians. As a result of UN 242 adn other resolutions, athe Palestinians are entitled to half the existing territory that originally made up Palestine. ISrael has refused complying with seven UN Resolutions, totally rejecting them. Let’s be honest… it took only thirty-seven days for the so called western democracies to launch an attack against Ygoslavia adn less to initiate the Gulf War against Iraq. Yet the first of seven UN Resolutions against Israel were passed in 1948 and have yet to be acted upon… but only because the U.S. uses its veto to prevent action. This is nothing less than criminal on the part of our nation.

  39. Willie said

    Let’s be real for a moment – If someone took possession of my property by force you could bet that I’d not be idle of thought or deed until I’d claimed my retribution, or were killed or died. I think this is the purpose of Hamas as well as Hezbollah. Fatah was working towards accepting an alternative to the terms specified in the various UN Resolutions. This latter is what Israel and the U.S. have held out to attain for the past sixty-years. From the view point of Hamas and Hezbollah Fatah has become nothing less than a lap dog for Israel adn the U.S. I cannot but stand with those who resist such banal nonsense. Further, there is no way Israel can survive another twenty years in its present state. The cards are stacked “naturally” against it, even with U.S. support. I certainly want my tax dollars to cease going to Israel for all purposes. India began trade relations with Israel and what happened… Mumbai, which was no accidental attack. India has set itself up as a proxy of Israel adn the U.S. As such it can certainly expect more of the same. Here at home, how much are we willing to spend -“to keep the nation safe?” We’re bleeding the citizens of our country dry. How much will they endure prior standing an rioting in protest. A Russian professor, ten days past, projected the failure of the U.S. by 2010. We really need to get our own house in order.

  40. Wili said

    Well, the death toll from Israel’s continued attack against Hamas in Gaza has reached one thousand civilians. Every time I see one of the guided munitions exploding I’m reminded that our nations elected representatives voted to provide them to Israel FOC at taxpayer expense. Obviously, as the net supplier of weapons to Israel, we’re indirectly responsible for the tragic destruction, maiming and death Israel is visiting upon the Palestinian people. Worse still, these same elected representatives are mum, speechless, they dare not speak against Israel for fear that the Jewish Lobbyist will not support their next campaign. How tragic that our nations representatives have allowed themselves to stoop to such a low point. I suppose their positions mirror the economic situation we’re having to now deal with. And, I imagine they’ve already approved shipments of replacement munitions to Israel that they can continue their murderous rampage. Don’t think of shifting blame to Hamas, they’ve done nothing but responded to an unacceptable situation Israel created for their people. It’s too bad that Fatah and Abbas were not strong enough to stand up and be counted. I place them in the same grouping as G.W. Bush, he rejected an invitation by Saddam Hussein to meet and talk about their issues. How many innocent Iraqi lives would have been spared should Bush have been brave enough to sit down and talk… I supported president elect Obama, I’m very curious as to how he’ll approach the Israeli, Palestinian issue, Iran and Syria. Will he be strong and morally honest enough to take the high road, or sulk into the clutches of a senate who’s locked into yesterday??? Thank God for Hamas, after all the Palestinian people elected them to represent them, that’s a credible statement of what the people strive for and I think both Israel and our representatives need to consider this. Hamas attained its right to govern in a fully free democratic manner, it was the U.S. who rejected the Palestinian people’s choice.

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