Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

The Vatican  released a working paper during Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Cyprus to prepare the way for a crisis summit of Middle East bishops in Rome. What I take away from this- along with the Holy See’s call for lifting the blockade of Gaza- is something of a vindication for my more raw views urging for a sea change in American Catholic opinion and action regarding the overall situation in the Middle East, and in Israel-Palestine in particular.

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14 Responses to Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

  • We really need to get even-handed if we even want to have credibility in the larger Arab world- something the polls indicate we are sorely lacking- to be it mildly.-Tim Shipe

    “Even-handed” in relation to the Arab world of progrom-states and their target is… what, exactly?

    Hamas and extremist Jewish settler movements…

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

  • Bravo. There won’t be peace in the Middle East until Americans, including Catholics, stop spoiling Israel and start treating it like we treat every other nation.

    I think this is the one area of Obama’s presidency where I think Obama has been more positive than negative-though he still does too little.

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

    The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military. If they need force, they don’t strap on a bomb; they have the planes drop a bomb instead. It is unquestionable that settlers, at the behest of the government, have continued to expand and continued to take Palestinian land. This is clearly not a motive of peace but one of a desire to usurp and it ought to be opposed.

  • “The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military.”

    The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians. In regard to umbrage at the Settlers, I am a bit puzzled. I have heard some people here at AC condemn Arizona’s law against Mexican illegal aliens as Nazi-like. Perhaps any moral difficulty with the Israeli Settlers could be cured if we simply consider them to be illegal aliens on the West Bank?

    Of course I believe the preferred term would be undocumented immigrants. Someone else on the net has already taken the Israeli Settlers as undocumented immigrants concept and ran with it:

    http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=12393

  • Tim, the political leadership in the West Bank, Gaza, and the camps want no settlement that is not constructed on the ruins of the Jewish state. Deal with it, please.

  • The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians.

    Don:

    Here is an opposing view which objects to the stats you and your favorite paper, the NYT, toss about.

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/nyt-report.html

    Statistics are like “you know whats”. Everybody has one.

  • Art Deco – I agree with your post whole-heartedly.

    The Pope is wrong here. Israel can give up its blockade after he sends the Swiss Guard home. Before this flotilla stunt, did anyone know that Gaza was being blockaded? A response like this from the Holy See indicates that the stunt has worked.

    The Jews have built a beautiful, thriving country in the desert within the span a 50 years. A feat the Arabs have not managed to do in their own countries for centuries. This whole thing is about envy.

    Arab Christians are being routed by whom exactly? This is not a difficult question to answer.

  • Fuji, your calling the New York Times my favorite newspaper is almost as humorous as your citing If Americans Knew, an organization which is bitterly hostile to Israel. Paul Findley is on its board. Findley was the pro-abort and pro-PlO Republican Congressman from Springfield in my state of Illinois. Thanks to my efforts, along with the efforts of many others, he became an ex-Congressman in 1982.

    I would as soon accept a press release from Hamas as a credible source, as I would anything put out by If Americans Knew.

  • The ADL has some interesting information linked below on Alison Weir who runs If Americans Knew.

    http://www.adl.org/Israel/anti_israel/alison_weir/anti-Semitism.asp?m_flipmode=3

  • Fuji,

    You’ve completely misunderstood the purpose of the If Americans Knew “study” — it doesn’t deal at all with whether the statistics which the NY Times publishes about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are accurate, it deals with how often deaths on each side are mentioned in the headline or the first paragraph of an article. Its claim is not that the NY Times presents false information, but that it talks more about the deaths of some people than those of others.

    An example of this would be, if one news story said, “A Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up in a shopping center, killing three Israeli adults and two children.” and then the next day another story began, “The Israeli defense minister promised to take ‘strong action’ in retaliation for the attack Monday which killed five Israelis, including two children, at a crowded shopping center,” this ‘study’ would consider that to be reporting 200% of the number of Israeli dead, since they were mentioned in two separate stories.

    Nor is the statistic that Palestinians kill more Settlers than Settlers kill Palestinians inconsistent with the fact that overall far more Palestinians have died in the conflict than Israelis, since obviously not all Israelis are settlers and not all Palestinians killed (indeed, very few) are killed by settlers.

  • You can take your rose-colored spectacles off when viewing Israel and still conclude that Hamas and other Islamofascist groups are evil. Not blindly supporting Israel is not a tacit approval of all things Arab and/or Muslim.

    In regards to this so-called peace flotilla – it is obvious that it was a false flag operation designed to denigrate Israel and it is working. In regards to Israel – they are a far better friend than Arab/Muslim states – but they are not a very good friend.

    Israel has a right to exist and to defend herself and I would argue to occupy territories the UN and the British gave to Egypt and Jordan for her defense. Who constantly gets screwed as Muslims and Arabs use the Palestinian Arabs as a tool to beat the West with? Not Israel – the Palestinian Arabs do. The people, especially the children and most especially the Christians suffer at the hands of so-called Palestinian leadership, a secular Jewish state that engages in horrible behavior and the UN and other Arab states.

    Now that we have allowed the Isalmofascists to indoctrinate generations it is practically impossible to work for peace and no one wants it anyway – no one save for possibly the Pope and the poor Christians who live in the Holy Land.

    Can peace be brokered – we can hope – but it is doubtful until the King returns. Muslims specifically never enter a permanent peace with anyone in Dar Al Harb (the House of War). They certainly won’t enter a permanent peace with Jews – Mohammad practically built his religiology on capture of booty, imperialism and slaughter of Jews. Not to mention copious copies of the Torah and Nestorian heresies.

    Strategically speaking, the USA would be fools to turn our backs on Israel – but having blind support for her is just as foolish. I don’t necessarily fault Israelis for their bad behavior, historically speaking – they were coming from a very frightening place and fear makes you do stupid things – they are nevertheless, still responsible but that does not absolve the British for solving their Jewish-problem with better PR than the Nazis. Instead of killing the Jews, the British shipped them out of England to their own homeland – neglecting to tell them they promised the same land to the Arabs that had lived there since the 7th century.

    What did they think was going to happen? Had a different and more balanced solution been developed between 1917 and 1947 – the current mess could have been avoided. I doubt that is what those who want a weak and unstable mid-East wanted. Lebanon and Palestine had the best chance for Christianizing the rest of the Arab and Muslim lands – however, just like the Crusader Kingdoms – the West dropped the ball on supporting them and the price is war and the shrinking of the Christian population and the ascendancy of Islam. Make no mistake – Islam is an imperial totalitarian ideology and will align with the subversive Left in the West to gain entry and then turn on their tolerant, peace-loving, pot-smoking friends.

    If anyone can broker an honest peace in the Middle-East it would be the Pope, but he may need American guns.

  • How would the gallant Turkish (NATO member) army/navy respond to the following? A bunch of Armenian-Americans (two Israeli humanitarian groups already are planning such) get up a couple tons of humanitarian aid and stage a huge guerrilla theater propaganda extravaganza of bringing it to the six Armenians not yet murdered in Turkey. Or better analogy, do it for the Kurds fighting for their independence.

    Hamas, Hizbollah, etc. will end the terror war against Israeli civilians, women and children (and the Arab women and children they use as human shields) when the last Israeli is either murdered or driven into the sea.

    The Pope ought to denounce the Holy See bureaucRAT that came up with this hateful paper.

  • I don’t think you can figure out the justice of a conflict simply by counting up bodies. However, it is a fact that far more Palestinians than Israelis have died in the conflict.

  • I’ll take the Vatican seriously on matters concerning the Middle East, if they would express themselves in the same forthright manner on other wars and conflicts that plague the globe, in particular those that concern Catholics and Christians. The Catholic Church’s hollowness in these matters could be seen most clearly at work in early 2009. In December of 2008 the Israelis invaded Gaza to put an end to the constant rocket barrage, and my how the Catholic press and heirarchy waxed eloquent, counterpoising each other with elavated talk about ‘just war’, ‘human rights’ and the rest of it, not stinting to blame the Israelis by name for all manner of wrongs real and imagined. The bishop here in Singapore (where I live) got on the bandwagon and launched an appeal for Gaza.

    Three months later, in March the Sri Lankans launched their final push into Jaffna, when the dust settled more than 20,000 civilians were dead. Given the proportion of Catholics in Jaffna, it is reasonable to surmise that the number of Catholic dead alone exceeded the total death toll in Gaza. Yet where was the Vatican in all this? Why was no appeal launched for them? Does the criteria of ‘just war’ not apply to the darker nations? Apart from generalised handwringing, nothing much was heard from our Vatican friends. No one tagged the Sri Lankan army with brutality. Their reticence doubtless owed much to the restraining hand of Msgr Malcolm Ranjith, himself a Ceylonese and thus in a position to know that the government would take out any displeasure on the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.

    This in essence is the well established pattern of Vatican hypocrisy; when it comes to Israel, break out the tomes on jus ad bellum and set them terms that no nation in history has been able to follow, and thereby not incidentally burnish the Vatican’s own street cred with the Muslims at the expense of Jews. On the other hand, when it comes to countless attacks against Christians, from Nigeria to Pakistan to Indonesia, put out a pro forma declaration hoping that the problem goes away.

  • An aside. But perhaps an example of how diplomacy doesn’t work, or at least works poorly:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/08/AR2010060805406.html

Farfour Mouse is Dead

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

Farfour Mouse was a popular character on the Tomorrow’s Pioneers show on the Hamas Al-Aqsa network in Gaza.  I say was, because as you can see in the above video an “Israeli” killed off the Mickey Mouse clone.  This kiddie-prop  reminded me of a real Disney cartoon, Education for Death, which appeared in 1943 and illustrated how the Nazis educated a child to grow up to be one of their Aryan supermen destined for death on one of the battlefields in Hitler’s War.

I will have to hand the Nazi’s one thing, their propaganda tended to have better production values.  The Hamas version definitely is hate propaganda for youngsters done on the cheap.  Here we have Farfour, before his “martyrdom”, telling his kiddie viewers of the necessity of fighting the Jews.  

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2 Responses to Farfour Mouse is Dead

  • Is it a surprise that a fascist/socialist movement uses the same techniques as its predecessors? Hamas uses quite bit of Nazi symbolism. This is not unusual among pagan/pederast cultures. If America truly wanted to ‘spread democracy’ across the globe – how about liberating children from this kind of psychological warfare – and I’m not just talking about the Palestinian children – I am including all those poor kids in America’s government schools too.

  • This is the type of thing you would hope would be an SNL sketch – akin to Jeff Dunham’s dead terrorist bit. It being genuine only demonstates the pathology of that culture. It wrenches the heart when you think of the innocence lost to a generation or more of children and the despair of there ever being peace in that region. Nothing but an endless cycle of violence and death.

Hearst Stands Behind Anti-Semite Helen Thomas

Sunday, June 6, AD 2010

Breaking News: The USA Today is reporting that Helen Thomas has retired following her anti-Semitic comments from last week (Biretta tip to TAC reader Phillip)

The Hearst Corporation, which owns Hearst Newspapers, continues to stand behind their ‘news reporter’ the anti-Semite Helen Thomas despite video evidence of her anti-Semitic remarks.

In her anti-Semitic remarks she called on Jews in the Middle-East to ‘get the hell out of Palestine’ and go back home to ‘Germany’ and ‘Poland’.  Apparently forgetting that they have been inhabiting the Holy Land for several thousands of years.

The Hearst Corporation, Helen Thomas’ employer, continues to stand behind her, but are saying her comments do not represent the values of the Hearst Corporation.

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49 Responses to Hearst Stands Behind Anti-Semite Helen Thomas

  • Fire the bigot. She has shamed herself, her profession and any organization she represents. Her apology rings hollow. She has revealed her true face and no mealymouthed apology can take that away.

  • The bigot should be fired. I am so sick of there being a double standard in our society. Liberals can get away with pretty much anything, while conservatives have to walk around treating every situation, every person, and everything with kid gloves for fear of being taken out of context or being falsely accused of something. She has violated journalistic integrity, ethics, and needs to go.

  • A bigot is a bigot, whether liberal or conservative! While I am personally left of center on political and social issues, I have no tolerance for racism. With respect to this issue, Hearst Corporation needs to fire Helen Thomas for her ignorant and inflammatory words and quickly distance themselves from this pitiful person.

  • GaryS,

    I tweaked my post just a bit to be more balanced.

    Bigots come from all parts of the political spectrum.

    It’s our duty as New Media journalists to call for fairness in reporting and even our columns.

    Helen Thomas may be a liberal, but that’s not the reason why she’s a bigot.

    She’s a bigot because she’s ignorant.

  • ISRAEL HAS DIRESPECTED AMERICA AND THE CATHOLIC RELIGION LONG ENOUGH WE HAVE SEEN ENOUGH KILLING ITS TIME TO STOP AND BY NOT STANDING UP TO THEM MAKES THE PROBLEM LAST. OBAMA IS AMERICAS #3 BEST IN HISTORY GET IT RIGHT

  • What Helen said is true,then why that much hullabaloo..
    It seems even “The American Catholic” is sleeping over the hubris of total silence which prevails here,so much so that speaking about zionist barbarism and holocaust is taboo.Lets break this shield and make this country free from the grip of zionist menace.

  • The Jew haters are crawling out from beneath their rocks Tito, which is completely unsurprising. Anti-Semitism is an interesting example of how fools project their own failings in life upon some “devil” group. Similar headcases can be seen among the ranks of Catholic haters and among those who today fear that the Masons are behind all things evil. For these type of loons, evil is personified in the group they hate and fear and reasoned debate with such idiots is as futile as attempting to debate a forest fire.

  • Liberalism is a pathology.

    God bless freedom loving-people everywhere. God bless the gallant Israel people courageously building their nation under constant rocket attacks from Gaza and south Lebanon.

    ATG: Who were the other two great POTUSes? Carter and Clinton?

    If nothing else (and there are other reasons to support Israel, including it’s our ally in the global terror war on us), Isreal is the only democracy in the entire Mid East. Seems you rats hate Jooooos more than you love freedom.

    Get out of the way. There is a war on, morons.

  • I agree, Donald. How about like debating a robot or a brick wall?

  • It’s amazing that people would come out defending such bigotry Don.

    I agree on projecting. If they would only turn to God and pray they will find relief from the grip of hate they are in.

  • Not to defend Helen Thomas in ANY way (she’s always been an overrated gasbag in my opinion), but perhaps Hearst Corp. fears that they will get MORE flak from the MSM if they throw the almost 90-year-old “dean of the White House press corps” under the bus. Perhaps a bit of reverse sexism is at work here also… they can’t bring themselves to treat a woman, especially an elderly woman, with the same harshness that would certainly be meted out to a young or middle-aged man who said the same thing?

  • Elaine,

    Playing devil’s advocate is tough.

    But in that case, then it would be reverse ageism.

  • For what its worth,

    The recent ‘go back to Poland’ remarks of Helen Thomas did not come out of the blue. She has made literally hundreds of remarks over the past 30 years that come from the same mind set.

    Anybody who considers themselves shocked at her latest remarks hasn’t been paying attention.

  • I apologize in advance.

    Jim Treacher, “Remember: You’re a Nazi for saying we should enforce our own immigration laws… But not for telling the Jews to beat it.”

  • Beat you to the punch by seconds Phillip!

    That’s an interesting crowd.

  • I support Helen Thomas.

    Helen, keep speaking your mind. You are an inspiration.

  • Though Mike gives needed perspective. Like pro-abort nuns show that some Catholics voted for Obama because he is pro-abortion, Mike shows that some who oppose any and all Israeli actions do so because they want Jews to abandon Israel.

  • WOW, I see Hamas has their media commenting here on politico, how about let’s try this. I say, “All Muslims should leave America and go back home to the middle east, I guess Mecca” put on your burkes, take off your socks, put on your crocks, and start doing some pushups to the black stone” let’s try something else, Muhammad was a evil devil, and the Muslim religion runs on blood, like a car runs on gas, Muslims survive on blood, you kill, you slaughter, even your own children if they dear take off the burke, you choke them with your own hands, and then you go to mecca, take these big iron chains and you bang yourself up until you see yourself standing in a blood bath. My point is, get out of America and do some more of that iron chain bloody banging thing.

  • Thanks Phillip for that update.

    Need/want a job that doesn’t pay anything?

  • Always looking for non-paying jobs.

  • My message is of support for Helen Thomas. Helen Thomas spoke a truth and she should be thank for her frankness. She is right – Israel should get out of Palestine. After WW II, Germany should have been required to provide the land for the Jewish home state – not the Palestinians.

    The pressure of a few Zionists changed the course of Middle East history. According to President Truman, “The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders — actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats — disturbed and annoyed me.”

    AIPAC continues that pressure and propaganda today and the White House continues to do their bidding. It’s irrational and unbalanced.

  • Germany should have been required to provide the land for the Jewish home state

    Germany, home of the Jews. Not like, say, Judea or any place near there.

  • She had de facto tenure like Strom Thurmond in the Senate and the old man who changes the toner at work. They shouldn’t be there anymore but nobody has the heart to throw them out.

    Question: When was the last time you read her column? I honestly never have.

  • RR,

    I don’t disagree, but I’d point out that the old man changing the toner is not mean and even Strom mellowed a lot with age, but HT was famous for her wicked tongue, acid pen, and unabashed anti-Semitic views. Most companies would not tolerate a toner-changer who lapses into chronic bigoted commentary.

    Also agree that no one read her though.

  • RR,

    Thurmond is elected.

    Helen Thomas is employed.

    Big difference.

  • Helen is right to tell the right-wing killer state of Isreal to get out of Palenstine!

  • “Isreal to get out of Palenstine”

    Isreal and Palenstine? If you are going to spew hate at least adjust the tin foil hat to spell check mode.

  • “The archeological record indicates that the Jewish people evolved out of native Cana’anite peoples and invading tribes. Some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan.”

    So, why should the Jews be forced to leave Israel?

  • I don’t really care what the reason is, I’m glad she isn’t propagandizing, er, ah, I mean reporting from the White House.

    As for her being a bigot – It is an odd thing since she is of Lebanese descent that makes her as Semitic as Sephardic Jews. Of course, Karl Marx hated Jews too and he was born Jewish – go figure. She isn’t necessarily wrong that Ashkanazi Jews are of European stock (for the most part). Nevertheless, lefties tend to take a small kernel of truth and arrive at a severely erroneous conclusion. Perhaps she forgot what happened to Jews in Germany and Poland.

    She’s anti-Jewish for the same reasons most people who hate Jews are – Jews represent the spoken Word of God. Jesus was a Jew. Usually when it is unfashionable to attack Christians because they represent a political majority then it is better to attack Jews. Hitler attacked Jews because most Germans were Christian (nominally in most cases in the decadent Wiemar Republic – huh – seems familiar). He didn’t want the Christians to feel threatened – yet. Of course, Hitler, like all lefties was a pagan and wanted a racist-nationalistic-pagan (probably homosexual) ethos to rule. Christ had to be evicted without upsetting the Christians. So evict his origins – Salvation comes from the Jews. Once the Jews were demonized and paganism unleashed – Catholic priests were next in line and then more and more Christians of all stripes.

    I don’t know who is surprised by her statements – they are nothing new, nor are they unique. Most ‘Arabs’ feel that way. Sadly, I have to state that I share a common heritage with Thomas – I am of Levantine descent born in Lebanon with roots from Jerusalem, Palestine. Incidentally, Palestine has never been a country so I am not sure how Israel can occupy it. Palestine is an ancient Roman province and has been occupied as such by various regimes most notably the Ottomans and the British. Most other Arabs, Muslims and liberal opportunists use the Palestinians (many of whom are truly suffering) as tool to beat Israel with. They don’t care about the people who live in Gaza and the West Bank anymore than liberal opportunists (racists) cared about the plight of American Negros in the 60s – blacks were just a convenient tool with which they beat the Man, the establishment. Liberals have done nothing to help blacks – in fact, liberals are responsible for the holocaust of 15 million blacks in this country. As usual when your scheme is based on a victim class – you cannot allow that class to ever stop being victims.

    If the Palestinians had welcomed the Holocaust survivors things may be very different today. Nevertheless, Israel played a hand in the animosity – many atrocities were committed (then again I love America and we slaughtered Indians and enslaved Africans so we can’t all be proud of everything our nation does/did). Additionally as inhospitable as Muslims are to Christians, Israel hasn’t been much of a friend either. The true victims of this Palestinian/Israeli conflict are the minority of Christians whose roots go back to the time of Christ in His land and most notably in the city He conquered with His own Blood. Don’t confuse Jews with Israel and don’t confuse the modern-nation state with ancient Israel and certainly not with the inheritors of the promise as most of our Protestant brothers do.

    Nothing good ever comes from anti-Jewish expressions because once the demon of bigotry is unleashed he attacks the source and we all know the source is God.

    Since liberals (lefties) are godless, it goes to follow that they will hate Jews and by extension the Church. Nothing new under the sun.

  • Many Americans feel the same way! She was an easy target to push away! I remember when I attended a lecture at USC by President George H W Bush with my ex girlfriend who was a USC Student and Jewish. She was upset by the comments by the former president when he said that “one of the problems in America is that that Jews have too much power and influence in Washington”. I could not believe my ears, all the board of trustees were there, the university president, and the notable members of the Jewish community of Los Angeles, President Bush knew that they were present because we had attended a diner and got photographed. Yet he did not care to upset them and the event when without further incident. The tapes released about president Nixon and many other presidents show that they all have issues with Israel and Jewish people.

  • I suspect Mr. Paterson that you are lying not only about what former President Bush said, but also about ever having a girlfriend who was Jewish. As to the comments by Bush, link to a news account of them.

  • In reply to Tito – Ignorance is a lack of education not understanding. Thomas is a bigot not out of ignorance, for she is certainly what society would call an educated person; she is an anti-semetic loon whose bigotry and hatred of President Bush finally emerged. There are few things worse than closet bigotry. I can’t agree with Obama’s racism but at least he is out in the open about it. (Read his book.)
    Thomas on the other hand hid hers and probably effected many aspiring Jewish writers before she fortunately lost her control and spouted forth her true feelings.
    Remember this absolute truth about the Middle East: When the Arabs lay down their arms there will be peace; when the Israelis lay down their arms there will be a slaughter that will make the Holocaust pale in comparison.

  • Well stated American Knight ! I was thinking of composing the same message until I read your post 🙂

  • Donald & Erik,

    I doubt that even Mr. George “NWO” Bush (41) would have been stupid enough to make comments like that, even if he believed them. Of course, his anti-Jewish feelings could have been inherited from his Nazi-supporting father – but I don’t know of any evidence that indicts George H. W. of this directly.

    As for Jews having too much power and influence in the U.S. I totally agree that they do. Of course that can only be true if by Jews we mean liberals of Jewish origin that hardly practice a tenet of the Hebrew faith and are represented in larger percentages than the Jewish population at large in Hollywierd, the press (so-called), and academe. Of course, if one were to really ask these ‘Jews’ about their Jewishness – it would be a cultural identity and not a religious conviction. I’d suspect a properly catechized Catholic knows more about the Hebrew religion than the average, secular, lefty-loony ‘Jew”. These people can hardly be Jewish – even just culturally – after surviving the extermination of as much as 85% (Germany and Poland – Ms. Thomas) of your population, how can you abort babies at such high percentages – something is very, very wrong and sadly most Hebrews are making sacrifices to Moloch and not following Moses and the Prophets.

  • “from his Nazi-supporting father”

    Prescott Bush was not a support of the Nazis AK. That is simply another meme of the tinfoil hat brigade. He served in WWI as an artillery officer and participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

    The Anti-Defamation League years ago addressed the vile conspiracy allegations against Prescott Bush:

    “Rumors about the alleged Nazi ‘ties’ of the late Prescott Bush … have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated. Despite some early financial dealings between Prescott Bush and a Nazi industrialist named Fritz Thyssen (who was arrested by the Nazi regime in 1938 and imprisoned during the war), Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathizer.”

    Prescott Bush did have close ties with Planned Parenthood which of course makes him persona non grata for me. However, fair is fair, and conspiracy nuttiness is conspiracy nuttiness.

  • Perhaps ‘Nazi-sympathizer’ is a bit extreme; however, he was indifferent to the evils of Nazism. He made a fortune and continued to work with the Nazi financiers after the war started and after the nature of Nazism and the atrocities committed by them was known.

    Perhaps Nazism isn’t what Sen. Bush wanted, but it is pretty clear that he desired some form of totalitarianish society and he most certainly was a Eugenicist. Fellow-travelers are just as guilty as those they travel with.

    This is not conspiracy nuttiness (although there is much of that out there). This is conspiracy fact, although it would be foolish not to admit that since conspiracies are secret it is often difficult, but not impossible, to discern the proper context.

    Republicans are not infallible and the party has been controlled by those not loyal to orthodox conservatism far more often than it has not. Not every attack on a ‘Republican’ is from the left and many of the attackers are legitimate conservatives. Perhaps if more Republicans were orthodox conservatives, America would not be in the state she’s in and people like Helen Thomas would not have voices to spread propaganda and maybe even BHO would not be the chief executive – of course, neither would John McCain.

    Ignore conspiracies at your own peril Mr. McClarey – King Louis certainly did and so did the residents of the Wiemar Republic.

  • “He made a fortune and continued to work with the Nazi financiers after the war started and after the nature of Nazism and the atrocities committed by them was known.”

    Complete baloney AK.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,100474,00.html

  • Fox News isn’t exactly the source I would go to for this. The declassified (with some redaction) papers indicate that many American capitalist/industrialists were involved with the Nazis and also the Bolsheviks – including Sen. Bush. Profiting from war is not a new activity and it hasn’t gone away. The Soviets, the Nazis, the Chi-Comms and many others would not have ever been able to come to the level of power they achieved without the financial help of trans-national financiers – many of them ‘Americans’. For that matter Saddam and the opium warlords couldn’t survive for long either and when they get taken down who profits again?

    Some of these men were perhaps just interested in making money, some may have been misled, but at some point they knew what they were involved in and either didn’t care, chose to ignore or were complicit in the atrocities committed by the regimes they were supporting and profiting from.

    Just to be clear – I don’t transfer Prescott’s guilt to his son, although I suspect that G.H.W. had a sinister agenda and was placed in the Reagan camp to undermine orthodox conservatism – I don’t ascribe Nazi sympathies to him – and certainly not to W. But, I also don’t accuse J.F.K of the guilt of his father either.

    Believe what you want, but I would strongly suggest a little more skepticism toward the duo-opoly propaganda that is designed to manage the way we think. By creating an us vs. them, we are right they are wrong paradigm – there are powers that seek to manage outcomes while giving us the false impression of choice. We are fools if we confuse the GOP with authentic conservatism. If one is a Republican party member with a my party right or wrong attitude, one is hard-pressed to call themselves a conservative.

    John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Nelson Rockefeller are all Republicans – non of them are conservatives – at least one of them is an honorable man who loves his country – but that doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t conservative. Wake up – the time to play party games has passed. Blindly defending everything Republican is almost, but not quite, as foolish as Thomas blaming Israel and Jews for all the world’s evils. This is not a personal attack – it is a fraternal correction. I believe that all orthodox Catholics are conservative by nature – but we shouldn’t be Republicans and we can’t be Democrats.

  • ATG insists that Israel disrespects America and the Catholic “Religion”. This borders on paranoid delusion. It is true that many actions and policies taken by the modern state of Israel were not enacted in order to better adhere to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The same could be said about many of the actions and policies of our own bishops- particularly here in the good ol’ US of A.

    As for Israel and the Catholic religion, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Catholic shrines and orders in the Holy Land have taken a bit of abeating recently at the hands of the Israeli government in matters relating to immigration and visas. Given the absolute trash spewed out by some who were authorized (or at least allowed) to speak from Peter’s See, had I been in charge of Israeli INS operations and policy, I would have zeroed out visa requests from the Vatican not tied to diplomatic necessity.

    I would have to say that a fair measure of the maltreatment of Church officials and interests in Israel was richly earned; not by Church teaching, but often by those expected to teach it.

    There are many seemingly even handed statements that can have no other political effect than to morally equate attempted mass murder (burka bombers, rocket attacks) with any reasonably effective steps available to prevent it. When church mouthpieces have uttered these statements, they have done willful violence to the truth and have brought shame on the Body of Christ.

  • Fox News isn’t exactly the source I would go to for this. T

    AK, though your intentions are honorable, you have this nasty habit of simply dismissing any piece of evidence that contradicts your worldview. Donald has now provided a couple of links to discredit your position, and yet you just charge ahead based on nothing more than supposition. Do you have any evidence to back up your claims that Prescott Bush was a Nazi sympathizer.

    If one is a Republican party member with a my party right or wrong attitude, one is hard-pressed to call themselves a conservative.

    Talk about a non sequiter, the only person making a partisan point is you. I don’t think Donald or anyone else here is defending Prescott Bush because he was a Republican – indeed Donald indicated disliking him because of his associations with Planned Parenthood. I couldn’t care less about salvaging the reputation of anyone with the last name Bush. But what’s fair is fair, and accusing someone – even a person long dead – of being a Nazi sympathizer is a pretty serious charge that should be backed up with something resembling real evidence.

  • What Paul said.

  • Paul I accept the criticism fairly – I will admit that I take the com boxes to be more a casual conversation than a master’s thesis and my inflection, etc. doesn’t translate into writing – I don’t think I am particularly good writer. I am also aware that I tend to be a velvet hammer in debating – please accept my apologies for the nasty habit – I meant no harm – I like y’all. Please also accept my apologies for not listing all the source documents. I can list one or two – only due to lack of time; however, my technological capability isn’t any better than my writing so the link probably won’t work.

    As for my world view, I try to make sure it is a Catholic world view – I am sure I fail often. I will admit that I am extremely skeptical of government power and see numerous conspiracies in history – I assume that there are numerous conspiracies now – although, I am sure I don’t know about them all and may have some incorrect information about some of them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t occurring. I am not referring to aliens, Area 51, and other nutty ideas; rather, things like Jacobins, Masons, Nazis, Bolsheviks, etc.

    Here is a facsimile of the Federal Register listing Prescott Bush as one of seven owners of Union Banking Corp, which handled financial interests for Fritz Thyssen – an early supporter of the Nazis. Assets seized by the US government for supporting enemies of the USA.

    http://www.mbpolitics.com/bush2000/Vesting.htm

    Also, see an article by John Buchanan in the New Hampshire Gazette – I think it was October 2003.

    There is no question that there are some in power who wish to manage the whole globe and the lives of every human – although not every human currently living because they want to reduce our numbers – they are eugenicists after all. It is also clear that they are using psychological warfare to manipulate our thinking because they prefer to set up totalitarianism on the Brave New World – happy slavery model; rather than the 1984 forced slavery models used in the past. It seems that Sen. Bush was one of those men, or at least willing to go along with their designs even if he didn’t agree or couldn’t see the whole conspiracy.

    This is not a reflection on both presidents Bush – although H.W. was certainly leaning in the new world order direction.

  • Here is an unbiased article on the accusation that Senator Prescott Bush was a Nazi sympathizer.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

  • Here is a good overview of why the accusations against Prescott Bush are firmly in the realm of the deranged:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2434/was-president-bushs-great-grandfather-a-nazi

  • Deranged?

    “So, did Bush and his firm finance the Nazis and enable Germany to rearm? Indirectly, yes.”

    That last word is YES – indirect? So what – it was still done. If he is such a good banker how could he not have seen it?

    “But they had a lot of company. Some of the most distinguished names in American business had investments or subsidiaries in prewar Germany, including Standard Oil and General Motors. Critics have argued for years that without U.S. money, the Nazis could never have waged war. But American business has always invested in totalitarian regimes–witness our dealings with mainland China.”

    So that makes it OK, because most of the other American big wigs have been and continue to invest in totalitarian regimes. This sounds more like a support for my ‘theory’ than a refutation.

    “Loftus tells me there’s more to it than that. He says that the value of German industrial assets in which Bush and friends invested increased during World War II, in part due to slave labor, and that Bush benefited from this increase when the assets were returned–supposedly he got $1.5 million when UBC was liquidated in 1951. I’ll buy the claim that Bush got his share of UBC back–it was an American bank, after all–but the idea that his German holdings increased in value despite being obliterated by Allied bombs is ridiculous.”

    Actually most ‘American’ assets in Germany, especially Rockefeller/IG Farben structures were specifically not bombed. Much like all the targets that our Naval aviators were not allowed to bomb during Vietnam. Does anyone think that we couldn’t have won in Vietnam and for that matter Iraq in less than a decade – how about a couple of months? That is unless our military is specifically not allowed to bomb certain things because certain politicos backers have interests in prolonged wars.

    Read Ephesians 6 and tell me that St. Paul is a conspiracy theorist.

Son of Hamas Founder Converted to Christianity, Helped Israel

Friday, February 26, AD 2010

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef has a just written a book, Son of Hamas which is surely going to cause some controversy. Mosab, who now resides in California, writes about how starting in 1996 he became an informant for Israel, passing information about suicide bombers and terrorist attack to Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, from the innermost circles of Hamas.

He tracked down suicide bombers and their handlers from his father’s organisation, the Haaretz newspaper said.

Information supplied by him led to the arrests of some of the most- wanted men by Israeli forces, including Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah leader tipped as a potential president, who was convicted of masterminding terrorist attacks, along with one of Hamas’s top bombmakers, Abdullah Barghouti, who is no relation of the jailed Fatah chief.

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10 Responses to Son of Hamas Founder Converted to Christianity, Helped Israel

  • A wonderful story Darwin. He of course will now be a marked man by Hamas, unless the influence of his father can protect him.

  • Now who could doubt a French communist paper? No Karlson, although it is an article of faith of the Israel hating Left, the Mossad did not create Hamas.

  • I’m not entirely clear what your point is, Henry. Yes, there are persistent rumors that Mossad initially gave some covert support to Hamas in hopes that they would weaken other Palestinian nationalist organizations. However, even if one accepts that as entirely correct, it doesn’t change the fact that Hamas is in fact run by Palestinian nationalists and religious radicals, and that it is in no way controlled by Israel or doing what Israel wants at this point. This is like when people point to the fact that the US supported Islamist insurgents against the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the 80s and then make the irrational leap from there to suggesting that Al Qaeda is in some sense US controlled or doing what the US wants.

    If anything, it’s a good example of why governments should be very leery of helping nationalist insurgent movements in hopes of some pragmatic gain. But I’m not clear what bearing it’s supposed to have on the story of Mosab Yousef, either his work against terrorism or his conversion to Christianity.

  • Let’s look at this clearly:

    The son himself is more or less admitting the family work with Hamas is all as informants for Israeli intelligence. That it has been suggested, with good evidence, that his father was indeed doing that from the beginning, and we see him saying he was doing it, there is a good case that the whole Hamas was indeed just that. And if we see that is the formation, then it is not hard to see further actions, even now, are in line with the Mossad and at their orders. Something is fishy with his story (as with many other “former Hamas” who then create all kinds of legends about Palestinians which are false).

  • No, Henry, that’s not looking at it clearly, that’s looking at it nonsensically.

    If there’s serious evidence which seems credible to those in Gaza that Sheikh Yousef works for Israel, why does he continue to be revered by Palestinian nationalists and elected to the Palestinian Parliament, even as he’s imprisoned by the Israelis?

    He in no way says that his whole family are informants for Israel, in fact he says the _opposite_. Where are you getting that?

    I mean, seriously, what are you trying to suggest here? That Israel is fighting a proxy war against itself through Hamas just to keep the Palestinians in Gaza down and have an excuse to cause trouble? And that in the process, the totally innocent populace, which would on its own have no interest in such a movement unless provoked by the evil Israelis, were in the process duped into elected Hamas as their dominant political party in Gaza? Surely that’s not where you’re going. That makes about as much sense as the old Protocol Of The Elders of Zion narratives, and probably springs from roughly the same instincts.

    Seeing defectors from violent and despotic regimes join the other side is hardly unusual. There was, for instance, a steady trickle of defections (some of them fairly high level) from the communist bloc countries to various Western nations throughout the height of the Cold War. And exactly what “legends about Palestinians which are false” are being spread here?

    I get that you have a strong dislike of Israel, but don’t lead that into accepting every crack-pot theory you run into on the “internets”. That way lies madness (or at least extreme conversational tedium.)

  • Lovely case of the apple not only falling far from the tree, but being an entirely different type of fruit.

    Hope the guy has a CC license.

  • I think that the historical record is pretty clear that the geo-politics of the U.S. and also that of Israel- was from the 50’s well into the 80’s, that the threat to the status quo was found in Arab/Persian secular nationalist movements- this led to many decisions to support in mostly covert ways- the Islamist movements- which they hoped would be ultimately controllable much like the conservative but radical House of Saud- just keep a lid on the people redirecting them from concerns over foreign dominance in the economy and so forth. Fromkin’s treatise on the history from after WWI – A Peace to End all Peace- is necessary reading.

    Of course, I don’t find too many on the Right here in America willing to accept the fact that the causes of many of America and Israel’s current problems of security are found in the geopolitics of the past decades- just as not many are fond of looking squarely at the question of just what are America’s “interests” that have defined our collective governmental and corporate behavior towards other nations and lands over the past decades. I am a Catholic and an idealist- I don’t accept the philosophical premises of Pragmatism or Real Politick- so I took Pope John Paul II’s advice and looked at the root causes of Middle Eastern terrorism and Palestinian violence, and found many unsavory partnerships, historical patterns of imperialism/neo-imperialism, and flaws all around. The choice to try to quell, disrupt or destroy nationalist movements across the Middle East- before the Islamists were dominant- similar to the way the U.K. decided to deal with the Irish Catholics by way of overwhelming force and dehumanization- these approaches led to more rage and temptation to violence- that much is certain in my mind.

    If one wants to box in the Left as America haters, then I would return the favor and declare that the Right is the group of ideologues that loves America but could care less for the rest of the world. Of course, since I am not a Leftist ideologue I don’t believe that either statement above is true- but the true Left and Right believers seem to really believe that all criticisms coming from the Left or Right are always wrong- never right- and that approach to things is decidedly one-sided, ideological, and definitely contrary to the life and teaching example of our Magisterium/Holy See on matters related to global politics. I want to be defined by my love of Truth, not by my hatred to one or another ideological group that will soon change, fade or die off.

    For the record- I don’t support or condone Hamas terror attacks, I don’t support Israel’s rejection of Palestinian rights to a true independent nation, I don’t support the huge flow of American tax money and political clout to support Israel’s rejection of the Palestinian case according to international law and UN resolutions- as well the Holy See and Holy Land Hierarchical positions on such. I do support the positions of the Holy Land’s Catholic Hierarchy- and I reject the idea that American Catholics know better than Palestinian Catholics, the situation dealing with Muslims and Israelis in Israel/Palestine. I spent 3 months living with Palestinian Catholics to research some of this at the ground level. Not many who have actually spent time with the people and the clergy there in the Holy Land come away from the experience and fall all over themselves praising the U.S. and Israeli policies- quite the contrary- so either the palestinian Catholics are excellent brain-washers, or the facts on the ground just scream the truth which only a brute could ignore.

  • I’m not clear that it is the case that conservatives reject the notion that the problems in today’s Middle East are to a great extent the result of the machinations of the Western powers after the Great War and WW2. It’s fairly obvious that the fact that the Allies helped bring European ideas of ethnic and cultural nationalism to the Middle East in order to undermine Turkey, and in the process ended up promising multiple groups the same territory, would result in nationalist strife. Indeed, both Israelis and Palestinians can rightly feel aggrieved in that the European powers had at various time promised both Arabs and Jews control over the entire region.

    However, I think what conservatives (rightly) reject is that the fact that the Middle East was infected with ideas of ethnic nationalism and then forced into a highly compromised set of borders somehow means that the behavior of nationalistic groups in the region is somehow justified.

    At this point, it’s been a very, very long time since the ’48 and ’67. I think the best and most Catholic outcomes would be either:

    – For the West Bank and Gaza strip to cease thinking of themselves as temporary camps until they’re able to return to lands within Israel’s current borders, and instead focus on building a stable and peaceful country where they are now

    – Even better, for people to get past that nationalistic idea that each ethnic/cultural group should have its own exclusive state. Israel has, at least, made more progress in this area than any other country in the region, in that it has had throughout its history Arab Muslim and Druze members of the Knesset. While I would see it as better if Israel was simply a “state” rather than a “Jewish state”, it is by far the freest and most egalitarian country in the region to live in — so long as one isn’t bent on blowing up its citizens.

A Suggestion for Israel

Wednesday, January 7, AD 2009

Over at Human Events, Ben Shapiro has an article about how Israel will lose the conflict in Gaza again.  His initial premise states that we keep seeing an essentially endless cycle repeated: Hamas strikes Israel, Israel retaliates, the world comes down hard on Israel, Israel retreats and gives Hamas another chance to strike Israel. Elsewhere, the debate about how justified Israel is in its current cycle of retaliations continues heatedly and almost unanimously denounces Israel’s actions.

As a personal opinion, I believe that Hamas, despite claims to the contrary, is directly responsible for its strikes into Israel.  I believe that Hamas deliberately hides behind civilian shields in order to protect themselves from retaliation and to milk the public for sympathy when Israeli attacks kill those civilian shields.  I believe that Hamas is single-mindedly dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and that Israel is justified in trying to defend herself against Hamas’ attacks.

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11 Responses to A Suggestion for Israel

  • Interesting take

  • It isn’t about money or economic development Ryan. It is all about the fact that the vast majority of arabs in Gaza and the West Bank are ashamed that they were beaten militarily by Jews and that Jews rule in arab lands. The Israelis and the rest of the world could provide a terrestrial paradise for the Arabs, and it would not diminish one iota the desire of almost all Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank to drive the Israelis into the sea. The US and the West have sent tens of billions of dollars to the arabs in Gaza and the West Bank in the form of humanitarian aid, monetary grants, development funds, etc. It has made no difference at all.

  • A very well-written and thought out point, and it makes a lot of sense.
    However, I just don’t know that it would appeal to a country that has to “sit still and take it,” so to speak, while at the same time providing aid to the perceived enemy. No doubt while Israel would attempt to pour money and resources and good will into Gaza, Hamas would still be attacking.

    I know this is an imperfect analogy, but if Mexico were firing into Texas, do you think the American public would accept a similar course of action?

  • Ryan,

    One must understand hatred and recognize the fallen nature of man. Many Palestinians hate Jews, not because of any wrong the Jews have committed against them, but because they are taught that by their religion, by their parents and by LIBERALS.

    Bribing them with goodies will do nothing but allow them to use all of their other means to build up and attack Israel again. Besides, Iran already pours massive amounts of money into the Gaza and we know what they spend it on.

    The only reasonable course of action in the interest of Israel, the innocent Palestinians and peace in the Middle East is for Israel to complete the destruction of Hamas and deny Iran it’s satellite regime.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • This past Friday, the Hamas television show Pioneers of Tomorrow (a child-indoctrination version of “Sesame Street”) depicted the bunny Assoud dying in a Gaza hospital after an Israeli attack. Assaud the Jew-eating Bunny was introduced to Gazan children in February 2008:

    The Pioneers of Tomorrow children’s series produced by Palestinian group Hamas and made famous by a Mickey Mouse-looking character declaring jihad on Israel and the US, introduced Assud the Bunny.Assud – who said in his first episode that he would “get rid of the Jews, Allah willing, and… will eat them up” – replaced his brother, Nahoul the Bee, according to the translation from the Middle East Media Research Institute.

    […]

    In an interview with the program’s host, a young girl purportedly named Saraa Barhoum, Assud talked about becoming martyrdom.

    “We are all martyrdom-seekers, are we not, Saraa?” Assud said on the show.

    Saraa said: “Of course we are. We are all ready to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our homeland. We will sacrifice our souls and everything we own for the homeland.”

    Assoud will join Farfour, Hamas’ copycat version of Mickey Mouse, in Paradise. (
    Farfour was “martyred” by an Israeli on May 11, 2007).

    Yes, I wish I was joking.

    I’d bet you can plumb the channels of Israeli television and wouldn’t be able to find an equivalent of Hamas’ television show — not even in the town of Sderot, subject to over 3,000 rocket attacks this year alone.

    Ravishing Gazans with economic luxuries won’t change their minds — not while infants are raised from birth in this kind of hatred.

  • Even if one did this, how would one get the truth to the Palestinian people. Many, (most), Palestinians are illiterate. Who’s to say the aide comes in and Hamas tells the people that it was their work?

    As you point out, in this conflict propaganda is important and perhaps decisive. It could also be so in the scenario you propose.

  • Just to clear the record, I am well aware of the militant hatred that a vast swath of Muslims, not just in the Gaza, have for Israel. I am well aware that that hatred is difficult, bordering on impossible, to sway. I also understand the vast propaganda campaign going on (thanks Chris for the heads-up on the despicable TV show) to keep the regular populace both ignorant and seething. I also don’t believe you can ask a nation to sit quietly and accept thousands of rockets being fired across the border, especially when the self-appointed authorities not only will not do anything to help that nation, but also blatantly cheers the aggressors on.

    I would cheer on military aggression against Hamas (and now Hezbollah) except for one thing: Israel isn’t going to wage a campaign for victory. And if there is no reasonable expectation of success (and I suppose we could argue that there could be, I would disagree from recent trend lines), then the war cannot be just.

    But I disagree with Donald and others who claim that making the Gaza an economic paradise won’t change anything. Citing the billions that have been poured into Gaza won’t sway my opinion on this, either, because those billions obviously have been redirected to, oh, rockets and whatnot, not to fixing Gaza. Frankly, I think if Israelis are willing (and this either cold of me to say, or just insane, take your pick) to risk their lives to come into Gaza and build schools and power plants and waste management systems and power lines and so on, and hire on many Gazans to aid the construction, then at least Israelis will be visibly helping the Gazan communities. That has a chance of swaying your average Muslim. So I guess talking about spending money on Gaza isn’t the key, but spending money wisely and effectively is the key.

    How to actually make sure that Israeli contractors can flood Gaza and start a massive reconstruction campaign, I have no idea. Which is probably why no one has ever tried to implement it. Indeed, the death toll could be just as high on both sides with my idea.

    But I’m willing to believe that even years of indoctrinated hatred can be swayed with a consistent display of charity.

    I know this is an imperfect analogy, but if Mexico were firing into Texas, do you think the American public would accept a similar course of action?

    Let me answer your question with a question. Who did we just elect president this past Nov 4?

  • Ryan,

    I think a deeper analysis would find that the Israeli counter-offensive into Gaza is clearly just, perhaps material for a new thread.

    What you’re suggesting is akin to the US activity in Iraq and Afghanistan… the problem is that such nation-building requires security to be effective. Kind of a chicken-egg situation. Military defeat of Gaza is a necessary precursor to rebuilding it, regardless of who sponsors the rebuilding.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Are you still defending the state terrorism of Israel?!!
    Israel kills Palestinians in their homes, in the fields and in mosques. It kills whole families as well as children with their mothers. Arab countries can – if they want – withdraw the Arab Peace Initiative. But they lost the will; therefore, the Israeli war machine keeps on killing Palestinians.
    The Israeli government, gathering the remaining Nazis around the world, is trying to squeeze the last useful drop from the Bush Administration before it departs. Once again, if Arab countries want, they can pressure the US Administration in many available ways. However, they do not. The reason is that they have lost that same will.
    The Palestinians are responsible, before Arabs, for this tragic situation in Gaza Strip. The division weakened them further; the policy of Hamas killed more than 500 Palestinians in nine ominous days.
    Yet I started with our responsibility, so people would not say I am denying it. In the ongoing crime, Israel appears as a Nazi, military, expansionist nation that has no right to exist in the Middle East.
    Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak are terrorists. She is a terrorist born to two terrorist members of the Argon gang, which imported terrorism to Palestine and the Middle East. She worked in the Mossad to complete her family’s terrorism heritage. Now she is saying that all Israel wants is for Hamas to stop firing rockets. This is also the excuse of Barak, who practiced terrorism as a soldier and is still practicing it as a minister. Both of them say that war on Gaza has nothing to do with next month’s elections. This means that it definitely has something to do with it.
    Then you have the biggest liar in Israel or any other place: “President” Shimon Peres; I heard him say that Israel had the most powerful weapon in the world…Justice.
    Israel is a Nazi state that has no right to exist. The Christian West sought to establish it as a means to repent of its crime at our expense. There was never a Smaller or Greater Israel. The history of the Torah is fiction and not history. The same goes for Peres justice.
    George Bush, who promised a Palestinian State by the end of 2008 and lied or failed, is a full accessory in Israel’s murder. His administration killed a million Muslims in eight years; therefore, it is not hard for him to support the killing of 500 – or even 1000 – Palestinians. He accuses Hamas of terrorism. Yet, with his help, Israel is the terrorist nation. He also said that Hamas did not want the interest of Palestinians. Who wants it then? He or his VP Dick Cheney?
    On a rare occasion, I heard Cheney say the truth. He proclaimed that Israel did not ask for permission from the US Administration to attack Gaza. Why would it ask for permission when the whole administration is under its control and shares its war on Arabs and Muslims? But Cheney, leader of the war gang, cannot stay honest for long: he went on to say that Israel, a UN member state, was attacked by a terrorist organization. The opposite is true. Israel is a terrorist nation that has no right to join any international organization, while Hamas is a national liberation movement. What is also true is that Cheney is a wanted war criminal.
    I would like to add Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy. They both support a cease-fire, but the British PM eventually supports the US administration. As to the French President, he says one thing and does another. On the eve of the attack on Gaza, Israel was offered EU membership, one which is better than that of the original six countries that started the EEC in Rome. Israel was given all privileges without any financial or any other responsibility towards the EU. Even though the Czech Republic was deliberately held responsible, France was the country that spearheaded the campaign. Sarkozy hands it the EU Presidency then comes to us for mediation.
    After this tour of Israeli terrorism, with US-EU connivance, I go back to the Palestinian and Arab responsibility. We are so weak that we cannot win a military confrontation, not even a media confrontation. Israel has been killing, occupying and destroying for four decades, yet it managed to focus on Hamas rockets, blacking out the Nazi occupation, Hamas’ raison d’être. What does Israel expect after a long occupation? To be welcomed by Palestinians with roses and wedding rice?
    Many Israelis, including Livni, evoke the Transfer (Palestinian displacement). In return, we demand a transfer that would send the Israelis back to the countries they came from. Only original Arab Jews, who were in the lands before the establishment of Israel, would remain.
    What I am trying to say is that extremism breeds extremism. If we see a Palestinian extremism and refusal, it is because the other party’s extremism has undermined the moderates among Palestinians, Arabs and others. It made a peace seeker like me call for the withdrawal of the Arab initiative.

Thoughts on Israel's war with Hamas

Tuesday, December 30, AD 2008

On December 27th, 2008, Israel launched a series of air strikes on Hamas training camps, headquarters, weapons storehouses, underground missile silos and command-and-control centers in Gaza — the start of an open-ended offensive to stem the increasing barrage of rocket-attacks that have plagued Southern Israel in the past months.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shaleb defended the operation:

“Israel is taking the necessary military action in order to protect its citizens from ongoing terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza Strip and carried out by Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” Shalev said, adding that Hamas “holds the sole responsibility for the latest events.”

Israel, she continued, “has exhausted all means and efforts to reach and maintain quiet and to respect the state of calm… Israel’s response is aimed solely against the terrorists and their infrastructures in the Gaza Strip. It is not intended against the civilian population. Israel is committed to prevent a humanitarian crisis.”

Shalev asserted that “No country would allow continuous rocketing of its civilian population without taking the necessary actions to stop it.”

Commenting on the three-day air assault by Israel on Hamas, Deal Hudson states “Bombing Gaza Won’t Make Israel Safer”. It’s a good post and, if anything, certainly jeopardizes Hudson’s standing as a member of the cabal of “Catholic neocons” beholden to Israel and the Republican Party (see Robert Sungenis and other tirades from the fringe-right). That said, I wish to register some thoughts in reaction, both to Hudson and our fellow critics at Vox Nova:

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39 Responses to Thoughts on Israel's war with Hamas

  • The only peace Hamas will ever make with Israel is the peace of the grave. The sad truth is that they are supported in this position by the overwhelming majority of the population of Gaza. Diplomacy is of little use when one side has as its ultimate aim the destruction of the other side.

    From the Charter of Hamas:

    “Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences
    [Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the implementation of this or that condition, as a prerequisite for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam. Since when did the Unbelievers do justice to the Believers? “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120 There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game. As the hadith has it: “The people of Syria are Allah’s whip on this land; He takes revenge by their intermediary from whoever he wished among his worshipers. The Hypocrites among them are forbidden from vanquishing the true believers, and they will die in anxiety and sorrow.” (Told by Tabarani, who is traceable in ascending order of traditionaries to Muhammad, and by Ahmed whose chain of transmission is incomplete. But it is bound to be a true hadith, for both story tellers are reliable. Allah knows best.)”

    http://www.palestinecenter.org/cpap/documents/charter.html

  • This is my own brief take on the conflict:

    Iran fuels Gaza conflict to increase oil prices – http://vivificat1.blogspot.com/2008/12/iran-fuels-gaza-conflict-to-increase.html.

    -Theo

  • Key quote in the Catechism: “The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason . . . ” This teaching is not about the holiness of killing. It is about the holiness of defending life.

  • Q: Is there any such thing as a “just war”?

    Cardinal Ratzinger: This is a major issue of concern. In the preparation of the Catechism, there were two problems: the death penalty and just war theory were the most debated. The debate has taken on new urgency given the response of the Americans. Or, another example: Poland, which defended itself against Hitler.

    I’d say that we cannot ignore, in the great Christian tradition and in a world marked by sin, any evil aggression that threatens to destroy not only many values, many people, but the image of humanity itself.

    In this case, defending oneself and others is a duty. Let’s say for example that a father who sees his family attacked is duty-bound to defend them in every way possible — even if that means using proportional violence.

    Thus, the just war problem is defined according to these parameters:

    1) Everything must be conscientiously considered, and every alternative explored if there is even just one possibility to save human life and values;

    2) Only the most necessary means of defense should be used and human rights must always be respected; in such a war the enemy must be respected as a human being and all fundamental rights must be respected.

    I think that the Christian tradition on this point has provided answers that must be updated on the basis of new methods of destruction and of new dangers. For example, there may be no way for a population to defend itself from an atomic bomb. So, these must be updated.

    But I’d say that we cannot totally exclude the need, the moral need, to suitably defend people and values against unjust aggressors.

    — Cardinal Ratzinger, Interview with Vatican Radio. November 2001.

    Citing the above is not to defend this or that action taken by the U.S. or Israel as automatically justified or “holy”; but I think there is the clear recognition — even by our current Pope, co-editor of the Catechism — that, in the defense of life against unjust aggressors, “proportional violence” may be an obligation.

    I would also suggest that those charged with the obligation to defend and protect the lives of its charges, in Ratzinger/B16’s example “for example that a father who sees his family attacked is duty-bound to defend them in every way possible”, or to speak of a nation obligated to defend its citizens, that the refusal to employ ‘proportional violence’ [Ratzinger’s words] in the defense of life would constitute a sin.

    Nate Wildermuth, circa April 2008:How could the Pope repeat United States propaganda, and express admiration for US bloodshed? I racked my mind for ways to interpret his words in another way, but I couldn’t. …

    I have so much to learn.

    After a great deal of reflection and prayer, my heart has moved, my neck has bent. I have seen something startling: we live in a society where “defense of life” and “nonviolence” are mostly mutually exclusive, and because the defense of life must take priority over a commitment to nonviolence, most Christians are duty-bound to defend life with the least amount of violence possible.

    Did I just write that? I did. But only after three days of gut-wrenching prayer!

    I am not suggesting that violence is good, or even Christian. I am suggesting, however, that the circumstances of our society require us to choose defense of life over nonviolence. In other words – if the only way I can defend life is to use a gun, then I must use a gun.

    Strikes will not stop robbers from breaking into our homes. Nonviolent communication will not stop those who do not wish to communicate. We have no nonviolent alternatives to police forces or militaries. We have no nonviolent alternatives to courts and prisons. Nonviolent means of defending life are mostly confined to idealistic exhortations to “love your enemy and trust in God’s grace to work miracles.”

    Nonviolent means of defending life must be reasonable, passing the common sense rule, being as readily available as the gun in Target, or a call to 911. To criticize those who use violence to defend life when there are no other ways to defend life is . . . well . . . possibly scandalous.

    I believe we’ve had this conversation before?

  • At the risk of beating a dead horse 😉 I’ll reiterate what I said then as well, responding to your post:

    Just as Catholic tradition makes a distinction between ‘killing’ and ‘homicide’, it seems to me that rather than condemning any and all use of armed force as “violence” [= evil], the Catholic tradition rather evaluates the use of force, judging its worth according to moral criteria.

    The former has often been dubbed the “‘dirty hands’ tradition” (whereby to pick up a gun, even defensively, is to unavoidably involve one’s self in sin), the latter the “just war tradition” of moral-reasoning and a moral evaluation of armed force. (My father examined this in an essay “War and the Eclipse of Moral Reasoning” back in 2002).

    None of this discounts the witness of pacifists — who by their actions and adherence to nonviolence anticipate and manifest in this reality a time where the lion will truly “lay down with the lamb”, where all swords will be “beaten into plowshares.”

    Probably no movie illustrates this ongoing debate between the two traditions than one of my favorite movies, Robert Bolt and Roland Joffé’s 1986 film The Mission.

  • I confess I’ve never understood Pacifism other than non-resistance to martyrdom. How does anyone familiar with a history book object to the idea, for example, that governments have an obligation to defend their citizens or parents a responsibility to protect their children? Granted, this principle can be (and often is!) easily misapplied, which means it is similar to….every other moral principal.

    I think that pacifists perform a valuable service in reminding people of the horrors of conflict, and in balancing out the the tendencies of some people to view military action as the hammer for which every problem is a nail. But I do not understand the position that violence in all situations is immoral.

  • As Warren Carrol says in his wonderful history of Christendom when Jesus drives the money-changers from the temple the first time,

    “Nor did He (Jesus) hesitate to use physical force, thereby establishing once and for all, contrary to modern pacifists, that the use of physical force is not always evil in itself. The teaching of love would come when men were prepared to listen. But first they must know that One had come among them with a power which was God’s.”

  • “The teaching of love would come when men were prepared to listen. But first they must know that One had come among them with a power which was God’s.””

    And how different from worldly power was that “power which was God’s”…

  • I think pacifism at bottom rests on the modernist moral error of thinking (probably subconsciously) that the physical body is the most important (or perhaps the only important) fact about human beings. Hence the one moral absolute is that you can’t do something that hurts someone’s physical body, even by accident, not even for the most pressing of reasons. Pacifism, in this respect, is similar to the modernist tendency to think that spanking your children is morally worse than instilling in them a desire for material success (one that is ultimately devastating to the soul).

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  • I sense a Catch-22.

    Hamas needs Israeli attacks to keep its people riled up, but Israel can’t simply let assaults continue unchecked.

    Are the Hamas attackers launching rockets from their own neighborhoods? A true Machiavel would launch attacks from areas where enemy retaliation is likely to kill off his local opposition, and not his friends and family.

  • Proportionality includes not only the methods used but also the consequences of those methods. While I acknowledge the right to self-defense and the use of force in that defense, I question whether it is really possible to ensure that the force used doesn’t produce evils graver than the evil to be eliminated. The structure of the world today, marked by its interconnectedness and interdependency, opens the whole world to the consequences of a local act of violence, and therefore renders the knowledge that one is using proportional violence difficult if not impossible to acquire. Deal Hudson rightly points to likely unintended consequences of Israel’s strikes, but how many other unintended consequences remain beyond our foresight? Too many to speculate accurately, I’d say.

  • “I question whether it is really possible to ensure that the force used doesn’t produce evils graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

    Then proportionality merely becomes an argument for pacificism, something that no nation which wishes to continue to exist in this world will ever embrace. The Jews in Europe in World War 2 were slaughtered like flies because they had no military to fight for them. I cannot blame the Israelis for not wishing to follow their example. Catholics are not quakers and I cannot think of a Catholic nation that ever existed that chose to embrace pacifism rather than to fight for national survival.

  • Kyle,

    Well said. I am in absolute 100% agreement of all that you’ve said. I personally think that a sense of reluctance in this matter has been too easily dismissed as pacifism, when I think that is an oversimplification of the position being presented.

    I, as any good Catholic, believe in the “just war” doctrine of the Church. However, I do think that doctrine, even in the last ten years, has been glossed over casually and the tenets not really examined by those not necessarily opposed to any of the armed conflicts occuring in the Middle East.

    Even if there is such a thing as “Catholic pacifism,” I think it is profoundly different than that of secular pacifism. Dorothy Day comes to mind and her thinking in regard to nonviolence does not necessarily echo the immediate or familiar arguments of modernist secular humanists who really base their convictions on an agnostic metaphysical view of reality.

    I think a Catholic can on good grounds be a pacifist. It does not require others to follow in suit by obligation. I believe, just as Dorothy Day did, that war is the perfect breeding ground for imperialism, militarism, and nationalism. These sociological errors of modern society live off human vices and perpetuate division and in many ways presents barrier to any sort of peace or meaningful dialogue. All these “-isms” symbolize the false gods of modernity that I believe we should be resisting, not appeasing.

    Pope Benedict XVI once said in an interview that “…given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a ‘just war’.”

    I think the Holy Father here makes a profound insight into the nature of war. War is sometimes a necessary evil, but it is one that evolves and this evolution has created a horror that was hardly imaginable even over a century ago. War is no longer a matter confined to a battlefield where those in immediate danger are those within confinement of the space in which combat is being engaged in. Modern warfare and military weapons are indiscriminate in whom gets killed.

    But this is not the bulk of my point. Pope John Paul II warned that “humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remain standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it.” War by its very nature destroys precisely what it intends to create — that is freedom, peace, and reconciliation. War strikes at the very heart of civilization: the family. Regardless of perspective of who is right and wrong in such matters, men die, women die, and children die. Hurt, anger, bitterness, and division is written on a new page of history. I have never read of any war or act of violence that paved the way toward justice and peace, but rather eliminated perhaps one challenge only to give birth to a host of others.

    Gandhi asked mankind, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” It is not merely the fact that innocent people who’s livelihoods, little do they know, might be altered permanently in a matter of moments; it is rather that this violence only more deeply entrenches the hatred and division that the war is trying to, in some ways, heal.

    This is what Kyle was getting at when he talked about the connection of the international community in our modern circumstances — there is much interdependentness. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his day saw this: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” We cannot be what we ought through the means of violence. I don’t and can’t believe that even remote material cooperation in evil — for war itself is not of the nature of God — will bring humanity where it needs to be.

    I don’t think you must be a “pacifist” to be a Christian. But, I do think (rightly or wrongly) that many Christians quickly gloss over Jesus’ “hard sayings” to love your enemies — they are impratical and senseless — even though the Lord, for some reason, decided to hold us to this standard. Pope Paul VI declared “No more war!” Pope Benedict XVI so beautifully described the vengeance of the God of Israel. “True vengeance” is the healing goodness of God. The definitive explanation is found in the one who died on the cross: in Jesus, the Son of God incarnate. His ‘vengeance’ is the cross: a ‘no’ to violence and a ‘love to the end.’

    Perhaps, this is silly idealism. I’m certainly not arguing that a State does not have the God-given duty to defend the lives of its citizens; however, the manner and strategy of exercising that duty in given circumstances is a matter of prudence. There is an old saying that “in times of war, the laws are silent.” I think for some reason this includes moral laws. Man has found himself capable of terrible things in times of war and I cannot see how war brings no more war. Yes, this is a fallen world, but the Christian call is to transform not get behind the status quo of sin.

    Yes, there is a right to self-defense and yes, there is such a thing in theory as a “just” war; however, I think we oversimplify what it takes to make that call. In all truth, the matters of war do not immediately impact us. We continue our daily lives and in many ways take our countless blessings for granted. It is hardly clear to us what it is we may or may not be saying is morally licit. I’m personally of no position on the matter of this armed conflict, except that my prayers are with all involved and I hope this conflict ends as soon as possible and an all out war is not waged.

    Again, I think Kyle nailed it on the head. I don’t think it is fair to say a reluctance in this matter and/or asking the question of whether this is something that should be engaged in with its potential consequences on many levels is necessarily pacifism; I think it’s taking the “just war” doctrine very seriously. As Catholics, we are called to be in opposition of unjust war and I think the modern reactionary tendency leads more to the latter than the former.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Eric,

    Beautifully said and excellently argued.

    Just an afterthought: even if a potential military action does meet all of the just war criteria in Catholic social thought, this does not mean that the issue is over. The exhausting of all alternative means to dispell conflict are still strongly, strongly advised.

    I hate to say it, but some of your cohorts here seem to have a minor devotion to military violence, and it is rather sad.

    I

  • While I would to an extent share the fear that Israel’s current offensive will do little to make Israeli citizens safer from Hamas’ daily rocket attacks (in that I fear they would have to reduce Gaza to the 1943 condition of Stalingrad or the 1945 condition of Berlin to thoroughly remove Gaza’s ability to operate — and neither they nor the international community have the willingness to allow such a thing to happen) I’m hesitant to condemn Israel loudly as some are going either.

    Eric says:
    Yes, there is a right to self-defense and yes, there is such a thing in theory as a “just” war; however, I think we oversimplify what it takes to make that call. In all truth, the matters of war do not immediately impact us. We continue our daily lives and in many ways take our countless blessings for granted. It is hardly clear to us what it is we may or may not be saying is morally licit. I’m personally of no position on the matter of this armed conflict, except that my prayers are with all involved and I hope this conflict ends as soon as possible and an all out war is not waged.

    I think in some sense I agree, but with the difference that while I fear the unleashing war on Gaza will do little to help Israel, I do not feel that we in the US have the standing to tell Israel: Sure, you’re suffering daily rocket attacks with ever increasing frequency, going farther and farther into your country, targeting civilians. But we’re really not sure if attacking Hamas would resolve that, so you better just grin and bear it.

    I really can’t say what decision I would make if I were the prime minister of Israel (since that is thankfully not my duty) but seeing as Israel has decided to attack Hamas (which is, after all, the duly elected government of Gaza right now) I don’t see it as my place to blame them for the decision at this time.

    Certainly, one does not want to use the just war criteria too casually — yet at the same time, one must recall that the just war criteria are generally used in determining if one may start a war, not whether one may defend oneself against an already ongoing attack. Given that Hamas had already decided to attack Israel via indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas, it strikes me that Israel’s right to strike back is pretty clear — though its duty to behave proportionally obviously remains.

  • Mark, I would object to your addendum on one minor technicality (so you can brain me if you feel I’m being too nit-picky), but exhausting the alternatives is a criterion for just war. I’d offer instead that even in the cases when all criteria are met, there argument is not over because we can still choose not to go to war.

    The problem, I feel, is indeed in judging the consequences of taking military action. Because we cannot know the future, working with the purest utilitarian ideal of whether or not to engage in war is impossible. We cannot know that taking action will indeed make things better or worse, and we cannot know–not with any certainty–that not taking action will make matters better or worse. I think judging the lasting harm of a war is like predicting the weather, only slightly more complicated because now we’re trying to predict over a body of thinking, reasoning beings (I almost said rational, but I think that might draw objections) instead of a highly chaotic, but largely deterministic system. We can predict immediate consequences fairly easily and with a moderate degree of accuracy, but long term is much harder.

    Where does that leave us? The gravity of going to war should always, always, always make us think thrice. There’s no question there. And we certainly shouldn’t be chafing at the bit to go and fight. In that regard, Mark, I would not say that people here have a devotion to military violence. Instead, we may be a little too blase about using military force. But unless you’re truly prepared to state that military force is never justified in any circumstance, i.e. a complete blanket prohibition, then all we’re arguing about is when to go to war.

    Eric, I certainly would not call what you said “silly idealism”. What you’ve said is really where we all need to be starting from when we contemplate the notion of war. However, I think there’s an aspect of war–what justifies us in taking action if we choose to do so–that you’ve glossed over. Perhaps I’m just making this up, and I’m certain that not many will agree with me, but I believe that war can be waged in full love of the enemy, and can be a corrective measure for the enemy as much as a defensive measure for the assailed.

    In the treatment of war, just as with the treatment of law, we have to keep in mind the fallen, sinful nature of man. Just as some are tempted to steal, murder, commit adultery, and commit other crimes, so too are leaders tempted to wage war for one purpose or another. When there is no threat of retaliation, no threat of punishment, then sooner or later someone caves and commits a crime. That’s why we have our laws and our penal system, and that’s why we endeavor to ensure that the criminal is always caught. In the same way, a standing army acts to deter war, but it only works as a deterrent as long as there’s the very real possibility that the army will be called to action. And when someone does choose to unjustly engage in war, calling the army forth to combat the aggressor is not partake in bloodshed, but instead enforce on the aggressor that his actions are wrong and need to be changed. Keep in mind, of course, that this stands as the final safeguard against unwarranted aggression, and that there are other means that can be employed first to prevent war or even de-escalate it once it has started.

    The corrective part of war, blunt as it may be, is showing the aggressor that cost of his aggression far outweighs the benefits. Of course, the biggest problem with this view of war is actually best exemplified in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The blunt weapon of war may be simply too much, just as a SWAT team is too much for a shoplifter, and a lifetime imprisonment too much a first-time, single count drug offense. But this is exactly what Hamas is counting on, so that they can continue their aggression with impunity.

    So what is Israel to do? I waffle. Some days, I want to say, every citizen in Gaza that condones the actions of Hamas by allowing them to fire rockets from civilian neighborhoods and so on is complicit with evil and has made himself a combatant. Fortunately, I know that such thoughts are a thinly disguised “Kill-em-all-and-let-God-sort-em-out” mentality, which is very, very, very wrong, so I tend to keep that on a tight leash.

    Other days, I think, “only a few dozen have been killed, a fun hundred injured, so that’s not a huge deal. Israel should just stand firm and teach those terrorists that a few thousands rockets each year isn’t going to faze the Israeli people.” But then, I feel strongly that the Hamas terrorists are of the mentality that if they can get away with sending more rockets or worse into Israel, they will do so. And this is where the unforeseen consequences come into play. Who can honestly say what will, indeed, happen? I could speculate that the terrorists will eventually get bored with having little effect and will either a) go home or b) escalate. I could speculate that the Israeli people, seeing their government doing nothing to protect them will a) face martyrdom bravely b) overthrow the current government and install one that will wage war with Hamas or c) take matters into their own hands and start firing rockets into Gaza. So what will it be?

    As a final point, where I think you’re wrong, Eric, is in talking about the negotiating table. Wars are ended at the negotiating table, true, but waging war sometimes is the only thing that forces one side or the other to the negotiating table. Certainly it would be better if nations talked out their differences instead of declaring war, and if you look at the diplomatic measures we engage in today, it should be heartening. We have embassies to and from most of the nations in the world, or at least the ones we deal with regularly. We spend vast amounts of time in diplomacy so that we never come to combat. But when one power is bent and determined to wage war and refuses to sit down to negotiate, then the negotiating table has no power.

  • Ryan,

    I don’t disagree with you. I believe that the State has a right to defend itself and in doing so is delivering justice by means of a remote as possible material cooperation in evil — an evil that the State wishes to end not perpetuate and did not intend in using as a means of bringing justice until compelled to do so.

    As Darwin said, proportionality and the extent to which one can exercise the right of just defense or fighting justly to stop a growing evil before getting carried away is a very fine line. Not to mention, as Pope John Paul II repeatedly reiterated, that war undermines itself; the end one may try to achieve is contrary to the means that are being used and I, rather, emphatically think that reality gets very little attention. I don’t believe much good will come from this, quite the contrary.

    On a tangent, I was watching the FOX news today and there was a black and white video recorded by an Israel aerial target-tracking camera showing men inside of a building loading long tubes or cylinders on a flatbed truck. These were supposedly “terror operatives” loading crude rockets. Nevertheless, the air pilot fired and destroyed the building.

    It turns out that the rockets, in fact, were salvaged oxygen tanks from a welding shop being moved by civilians — in a building next to a building that a previous Israeli airstrike destroyed.

    The group had loaded several oxygen tanks before the missile hit. Eight people were killed and little did many of their families know that their livelihoods were going to change forever. They showed photos of the truck and the charred oxygen tanks. They weren’t rockets — they certainly would have gone off upon impact. This case highlights the complexity of targeting in urban areas.

    On a separate note, Israel has hit more than 400 targets since the airstrikes began. Some 400 Palestinians have been killed and 2,000 wounded and its been estimiated that a quarter are civilians. I’m not sure of the accuracy of these figures, of course, but if they are somewhat accurate I think it’s horrible enough in itself.

    Not to mention, Israeli strikes have targeted mosques because they believed they were storing rockets there. I’m not certain of whether they are or not. But blowing up places of religious worship, especially that of Muslims, in this region, with these circumstances…God help us.

    It is an unfortunate situation and I pray they stop fighting.

  • Israel never seems to learn and time is running short.After a brutal 18 year occupation of South Lebanon in the 1980’s,it was forced to withdraw leaving a more radical Hizbollah foe that did not exist prior to invasion. Israeli forces in lebanon slaughtered over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians(most non combattants,Christians and Moslems).Israel’s overwhelming use of US supplied cluster bombs against civillians(a violation of the US Arms export act)resulted in the birth of suicide bombing.It is yet to be seen how long the unwitting US taxpayer will supply Israel with unlimited arms with no strings. Israel’s 2006 war against lebanon saw Israel request millions of dollars in emergency munitions and aviation fuel from the US to enable it to maintain it’s bombing campaign on civilian infrastructure.

  • Hezbollah is sitting this one out. I wonder if they would have done so without the 2006 war?

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g8NBzCeqjOYluefJPYG3U9AliW3w

    Israel isn’t the problem. The problem is the jihadist movement throughout the Islamic world that views us as enemy number one and Israel as a minor threat.

  • Israel is still occupying Gaza and the West Bank, contrary to what some people think or want us to think.
    I am an Iraqi Jew and I know what occupation, siege, starvation and suffering mean.
    So pls. stop blaming the victim and trying to find excuses for the bullying murderers. This is totally immoral and inhuman. If you are not able to say the truth, just keep silent and do not add salt to the wounds of the helpless Palestinians.
    Try to watch TV images from Gaza. Stare in the faces of the Gazan children and women, for you may come out with a clear and just conscience.
    I wish I ll see the day when Palestine is freed from its occupiers and the Palestinian people live in peace and security in their own land.
    May this be achieved either with Hamas or any other Palestinian freedom fighters.
    Thanks.

  • “I wish I ll see the day when Palestine is freed from its occupiers and the Palestinian people live in peace and security in their own land.”

    Hey Rami, I’ll perhaps believe you are actually Jewish when you give a real e-mail address. Until that time I think you are as Jewish as the members of Hamas.

  • “40 years after 1967 and 58 years after 1948, why is the occupation not yet over?
    Because Israel does not want it to end. Because Israel wants the land and the resources without the people. Because you have to eviscerate a culture in order to maintain total control over it. Because the United States says that’s just fine with us, you serve our purpose well. You help make the war on terror convenient. You help fit Iraq into the scheme. You’ll help us with Iran as well. Who the hell cares about a million and a half poverty-stricken Gazans and their dust, their sand, their stinking, crumbling heap of a disaster area homeland?
    What a terrible shame it is that Gazans have not yet attained the status of human in the eyes of the Western powers, for the resistance there will continue to be an enigma until this changes. For now, however, the slaughter will continue unabated.”>>

    The above is just an excerpt from an article on one of the many massacres perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians.
    Try to read the article in full. The writer is professor Jennifer Loewenstein. She is also a Jew, but with a human compassion and clear conscience plus a thoughtful insight into the history of the warfare in the region.
    Read what Jennifer Loewenstein wrote carefully and thoroughly if you want to know the true character of the state you are defending its genocide war.

    How Gaza Offends Us All:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17050.htm

  • Hi Donald,
    Believe me I am a JEW. And I am proud to be so.
    But, unlike you, I hate injustice, murder and prejudice.
    Being a Jew does not mean that I should ignore or tolerate the suffering of other people just because my coreligionists are the bad guys who have been inflicting misery and suffering on helpless people.
    Our humanity should prevail over our narrow affiliations and inherent prejudice.
    Thanks my dear.

  • Believe me I am a JEW. And I am proud to be so.

    A rude question to ask, I am sure, but out of curious, when’s the last time you attended Sabbath services?

  • Rami,

    the highest reported totals from Israel’s defensive action in Gaza is about 700. 3/4 are military by all accounts. Do you have the foggiest clue how many civilians would be killed if a single F15 where to deliberately attack an occupied civilian target? If Israel wanted to destroy the UN school that Hamas was using to shield it’s rocket attacks, there would have been nothing but a pile of rubble, just on 1000 lb bomb would have killed everyone inside. Clearly that IS not the objective.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Still haven’t given me a real e-mail address Rami. Until you do so I think you are a supporter of Hamas flying a false flag.

    “But, unlike you, I hate injustice, murder and prejudice.”

    Coming from the supporter of an organization that specializes in cowardly attacks on civilians, I assume you are attempting to be humorous with that statement.

  • Rami,

    check this video out, and then get back to us:
    Hamas in their own voices

  • Dear Crankycon,
    How are u doing?
    Do u mean I can not be a true Jew without attending Sabath?
    Who say that, my dear?
    It seems this is a new theory on the identity issue. So, if u do not pray you are not a true Jew or Christian!
    Being a Jew goes deeper than ritual things. It is about culture, psyche, self fulfillment and how you look at yourself.
    If I do not attend prayer, that does not necessarily mean I am not a real Jew.
    Thanks my dear.

    Dear Matt,
    There could be no more cowardly than the Israeli soldiers who kill innocent children and women in cold blood. There is no honor or heroism in killing children, I guess. It is pure cowardice. There is no other name befitting their evil and inhumane deeds. The Israeli military establishment has rubbed the honor of their soldiers in the blood of Gaza’s children. But who knows, we may see their leaders at the Hague very soon for the war crimes they are committing in our name.

    Dear Donald,
    Believe me I am not fond of Hamas. I know they are violent sometimes. But they are not more violent than the Israeli soldiers. Whether we like Hamas or not, we can not deny the fact that they are resistance group wanting to liberate their land. Resistance is a legitimate right for all peoples under occupation. Now remember what I am saying: it won’t be long till we see the Israelis and their benefactors, the Americans, indulged in some sort of dialogue or negotiations. Hamas will remain there, believe me. Israel could fight for ten years from now and it will reap the wind. Hamas remains the difficult figure in the equation.
    Thanks.

  • “Believe me I am not fond of Hamas. I know they are violent sometimes. But they are not more violent than the Israeli soldiers. Whether we like Hamas or not, we can not deny the fact that they are resistance group wanting to liberate their land.”

    No rami, the Israeli military attempts to minimize civilian casualties, while the terrorists of Hamas attempt to maximize civilian casualties. Hamas wants to destroy Israel and to make all of Palestine Judenfrei.

  • There could be no more cowardly than the Israeli soldiers who kill innocent children and women in cold blood. There is no honor or heroism in killing children, I guess. It is pure cowardice. There is no other name befitting their evil and inhumane deeds.

    This is all of course true, but it’s a red herring. If this were even marginally frequent then there would be 100’s of thousands of dead Palestinians every year. Instead, the whole history of the conflict (50 years) about 70,000 have died. By contrast more mohammedans than that are killed by their co-religionists every year.

    I notice you failed to answer my question? How many Gazan’s could Israel kill with a single bomb if they wished to annihilate them? You know the answer, it is in the 1000’s, far more than in the number that have been killed in 2 weeks of air attacks against military targets.

    I know they are violent sometimes. But they are not more violent than the Israeli soldiers. Whether we like Hamas or not, we can not deny the fact that they are resistance group wanting to liberate their land.

    Violence is neither good nor evil under Jewish, Christian or Islamic law (which I believe is your actual religion). Violence is only evil when it is directed at the INNOCENT. When Hamas “resists” it is not usually against the IDF, but against innocent men, women and children.

    Did you check the video? They do not deny their approach, why would you?

  • ps. Rami, you should be aware that Hamas seeks to maximize civilian casualties ON BOTH SIDES in order to garner sympathy. In doing so they are responsible for the bloodshed on both sides.

  • Do u mean I can not be a true Jew without attending Sabath ?

    Yes, that is what I am saying. Just as you cannot be a true Catholic without attending Mass. I understand that there is a cultural aspect to Judaism, but to me that is precisely why Judaism is dying. Especially in the US, too many Jews treat the spiritual aspect of their faith as merely a secondary (if at all) aspect to their religion. I’ve even encountered several Jewish friends who think it is not at all a contradiction to be considered an atheist. Ummm, excuse me?

    And unless you’re my wife, please do not call me dear. Thanks.

  • Then again, maybe I’m off and that whole “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy thing” was optional.

  • rami,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7816417.stm

    more evidence of Hamas terrorism, violating the ceasefire that Israel permitted to allow humanitarian aid.

  • Absolutely not true. Even the CNN itself said today that Israel, not Hamas, is to blame for braking the ceasefire.

    Anyway, here is another link that will take you to another free Jewish thinker,

    Dr. Norman Finkelstein, who also provides a great insight into what is really happening in Gaza.

    Remember! Dr. Finkelstein is a Jew not a Palestinian or an Arab “a smiling face here!”.
    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com

  • rami,

    CNN? They are the shoddiest news organization in the world (next to the reuters perhaps). Just because a self-hating jew like Finklestein and you want to spew lies doesn’t make them true. Are you going to respond to my earlier posts? Or do you accept that Hamas is responsible of all civilian casualties as I have demonstrated?

  • CNN is almost ludicrously bad in regard to the Gaza story. They had to pull a fake Hamas video about an alleged atrocity by the Israelis.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/08/cnn-stung-by-fake-atrocity-video/

    Ted Turner’s vanity news network is the last news source I would ever turn to, and that includes the New York Times!