Carlos Alberto Montaner at PostGlobal

Carlos Alberto Montaner

Madrid, Spain

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a Cuban-born writer, journalist, and former professor. He is one of the most influential and widely-read columnists in the Spanish-language media, syndicated in dozens of publications in Latin America, Spain and the United States. He is also vice president of the Liberal International, a London-based federation devoted to the defense of democratic values and the promotion of the market economy. He has written more than twenty books, including Journey to the Heart of Cuba; How and Why Communism Disappeared; Liberty, the Key to Prosperity; and the novels A Dog's World and 1898: The Plot. He is now based in Madrid, Spain. Close.

Carlos Alberto Montaner

Madrid, Spain

Carlos Alberto Montaner is a Cuban-born writer, journalist, and former professor. He is one of the most influential and widely-read columnists in the Spanish-language media, syndicated in dozens of publications in Latin America, Spain and the United States. more »

Main Page | Carlos Alberto Montaner Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Gaza's True 'Disproportion'

Israel's critics decry the disproportionality of the war's casualties - but they forget the asymmetries that point in the other direction.

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All Comments (314)

Ahem Author Profile Page:

If Israel had intelligence as to the extent of the tunnels and feared continued rocket attacks, why didnt they submit this to the UN for consideration of intervention, or perhaps just drone-bomb the tunnels? The type of weaponry against a largely trapped civilian area, the incompetent targeting, the wasteful destruction, the obscene words of force and domination are all insanely bloodthirsty.
The sick and injured, the heartbroken and disadvantaged are always closer to God.
There is no more righteous and deserving people and God is with them.
Israel has much lost more than respect this time.
They have lost their way.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

The type of weaponry against a largely trapped civilian area, the incompetent targeting, the waasteful destruction, the obscene words of force and domination.
The sick and injured, the heartbroken and disadvantaged are always closer to God.
There is no more righteous and deserving people and God is with them.
Israel has much lost more than respect this time.
They have lost their way.

seeff Author Profile Page:

Aman1,

What are sources of these claims. Pallywood? (If you don't know the term look in up on Google and while you about it, look up the Al-Dura hoax too. use.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232100169292&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull
Thi article explains what you should have read before inciting agianst Israel/Jews.

Mary_Cunningham Author Profile Page:

Sr. Montaner writes about ===>the rain of rockets that for years has been constantly falling on the heads of Israeli civilians.<====

But he doesn't enumerate. Let me help. More Israelis have died in DYI accidents than from these rockets. If you really want to save Israeli lives then shut down Home Base!

amani1 Author Profile Page:

IF U ARE CONVINCED THAT ISRAEL IS NOT GUILTY IN HER WAR ON GAZA, PLZ SEE THIS VIDEO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkH936h6uew&feature=related

drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

sme49b1

Please pardon the late response. Work and school devour my time.

In response to my first paragraph, you wrote “In January 2004, senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year hudna in return for complete withdrawal from all territories captured in the Six Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.” I don’t want to nitpick on what may be just wording, but you originally said that Hamas only advocated "a long term 'hudna' or truce, preconditioned on Israel's withdrawal to 1967 borders BEFORE IT COULD EVEN BE NEGOTIATED.” What would be left to negotiate in order to implement the hudna? Do you have any evidence that further negotiations were necessary and requested? If not, I think you may be trying to make Hamas’ offer seem more demanding than it really was.

Your response to my second paragraph displays the differences between us rather well. You begin by admitting that the “concept” of the inadmissibility of acquiring territory by war “is nothing new,” citing UNSC 242. I would add to that Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter, and General Assembly resolution 2625, in which the Assembly emphasized that “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” See also Intl’ Court of Justice, Summary of the Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004, which reaffirmed “the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force” pursuant to Article 2, and advised that Israel’s separation wall in the West Bank violates Intl Law.

Despite these basic principles of Intl Law, you seek to avoid their applicability to Israel based on two arguments. The first is the all too familiar “everybody’s doing it.” Suffice it to say that Libya and Morocco should return any land that they acquired by war, and we should push our government to do what they can about it (I am assuming you are a US citizen as well, so correct me if I’m wrong). You and I, however, have very little moral responsibility for what Chad and Libya do, whereas we have much greater moral responsibility for what Israel and the US do. As you know, the US provides aid to Israel at every level (diplomatic, economic, military), and for some time now Israel and the US have been blocking a two state settlement roughly along the pre june 1967 borders, with almost the entire world in opposition. See http://menac.org/2008/12/03/the-latest-vote-on-resolving-the-israel-palestine-conflict/ for the yearly UN general assembly votes on this issue. Given the unique amount of freedom we have in this country, we have the capacity, and thus the moral responsibility, to do something about this. And just because other states do not follow Intl Law (including the US), that does not suddenly make Israel’s actions either legal or moral.

drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

sme49b1 Contd

Your second argument is that UNSC 242 was “rendered moot” as to the West Bank because: 1) the 1994 peace treaty “effect[ed] the return of the land to the previous sovereign power – Jordan” and 2) “Jordan's renunciation of their right to the West Bank freed Israel of any obligation to return the land.” Accordingly, you conclude that “Hamas has no right to this land under international law,” and instead the land is Israel’s “to dispose of” as it pleases. The International Court of Justice does not agree with your assessment of international law. Recalling the UN Charter principle that it is inadmissible to acquire territory by war, the International Court of Justice’s 2004 opinion stated very clearly that Israel's settlements in the West Bank were on “OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY" and the wall being built to annex them to Israel were illegal under international law. Crucially, the opinion also stressed the legal responsibilities of the international community:
“all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. They are also under an obligation not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction. It is also for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end.”

Finally, you pointed out that the article I linked to actually stated that “the Israeli raid was IN RESPONSE to a threat to their soldiers - a tunnel dug with the intent of using it to kidnap another member of the IDF.” That is not entirely true, though I will admit my quick assessment of the article was inaccurate as well. The author of the article did not say definitively (based on personal observation) whether the tunnel existed or whether Hamas really had plans to kidnap Israeli soldiers, but rather relayed what “THE ISRAELI ARMY SAID.” Governments lie all the time, including our own, so isn’t it possible that the Israeli government lied on this occasion? We cannot know for sure, and other respectable sources do suggest that Israel broke the truce, not Hamas. See http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/gaza-ceasefire-at+risk-20081105. In my opinion, our attention should not be focused on this issue, but rather on a peaceful settlement that will have some hope of ending the conflict. Denying the Palestinians their rights to statehood and continuing the occupation will only make a peaceful settlement more difficult to achieve than it already is.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"No, France is a Country, and has existed for centuries. The Palestinian AND ISRAELI mandate, Bla Bla Bla, it's obvious that YOU don't understand the essential facts!"

That made no sense at all.

timothy2me Author Profile Page:

Propaganda Francisco Franco would be proud of. The thing about anyone who sees it differently being "anti-Semitic" gives it a nice touch.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

RANTZI

AKA SALAFY12123

Playing the game of two persons only weakens your nonsense more.

rantizi Author Profile Page:

AP News: By ibrahimb@apnews.org

Yesterday in Jerusalem, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon heard testimony from human rights campaigner in Gaza, detailing the harrowing experience of dozens of Palestinians who were forced to kneel on gravel for hours and beaten on the soles of their feet with iron bars during interrogations by Hamas Security services.
Some witnesses displayed horrific wounds to their kneecaps made by pegs driven into holes deliberately made by electric drills. "my neighbors have done this to me" Shaffiq El Battuti was heard crying, "because i did not attend one demonstration." These and other horrific testimonies against Hamas members were gathered by UN representatives in an apparent effort at further investigation of Human rights violations.

Hundreds of Gaza Palestinians including dozens of teenage girls with disfiguring acid burns on their faces are in protective custody in Israeli hospitals; victims of atrocities by Islamic Squads of Hamas who view these young girls as "public property" if they do not conform to strict Islamic laws. The mother of one of these girls who was undergoing intensive reconstructive plastic surgery was heard crying "God will punish us for killing his chosen people, Islam should rise up and protect the people of the book"

Zargon Author Profile Page:

GUUU1

They love their children, I told you the love their children, and they do love their children!!!

Remember Mary and Joseph? She was, what 12-14 yr.
old. Joseph we 70-80 yr. old. For and old cat a tender mouse, eh? Guess they love their children too.

Oh. and what became of this child, Son of GOD who came to save humanity? Give us Barabbas they said. Since then Israelis insist on steeling other peoples property. as for the son of GOD, they crucified him.

Still, that's Judaism for you, see it recognize it...is what it is!!!!!

Zargon Author Profile Page:

CLF1968

No, France is a Country, and has existed for centuries. The Palestinian AND ISRAELI mandate, Bla Bla Bla, it's obvious that YOU don't understand the essential facts!

As for your opinion, I really don't care, since you obviously don't know what your talking about.

Yusuf_Islam Author Profile Page:

How dare you profane the name of Allah and his prophet Muhammad the fragrant? may the fire of hell consume you, you traitor to Islam; you worshiper of the Satanic Ayatollah. How dare you suggest to us - the TRUE ISLAM the abomination you wrote? I, Yusuf Islam, father to 34 martyrs proclaim and declare a fatuah against the Satan from Iran, may the fire of hell consume him and his barbaric race of ugly infidels; he is worse than the Jews, worse than the Christian Baptists, worse even than the Catholic pedophiles!!

الله أكبر

Yusuf-Islam Author Profile Page:

how dare you GLSRINI! and YOU might replace the holy name of Muhammad the magnificent with the ugly portrait of one of the limp dicks Satanic Ayatollahs...
here, in Palestine, we love our Muhammad... why if it weren't for him who taught us where in the mosque to stash all those explosive rockets, how to produce more babies and treat our women as sows where would we be? He, may the light shine on his ass and warm it until soft and tender with an inviting fragrant smell and texture, taught us to douse little girls faces with sulfuric acid if they don't wear a veil; and who could forget all the Arab virgins that we are going to get as soon as we blow ourselves up? hmmm? not me!

we love our Muhammad, we just need the Israelies to adopt some of his ways and there will be no Palestinians left to cry over... just like we dealt with the Kurds

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Concerning compensation and what is "basic":
Things divided equally, each man one life, one heart, one piece of bread, one bed and one wife. What is owed is what is equal.
God might just take everything until this is recognized.
Christ may not be your tradition, Mohammed might not be your tradition.
We share one God. Equally.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

Zarg,

"Are you suggesting that France should have compromised withe the Nazi invasion and occupation, and not resisted?"

France was a country. The palestine mandate was a group of pieces of former ottoman turk territories. It is clear from the comparison that you tried to make that you don't understand the basic facts.

In the broadest possible sense, just consider it a case of 'eminent domain' where the arabs got over 80% of the land, and the jews the rest. Since then in aggressive wars made against her by those with sour grapes about the whole thing, Israel has gained additional territory. This territory was actually intended for the jewish state anyway at the same time transjordan was designated an arab homeland.

This whole thing should be settled through resettlement and compensation so that both arabs and jews can live side by side in viable states. Again, in broad terms, I do not see the need for an additional palestine beyond the one arleady designated (i.e. jordan), although borders may be adjusted a bit.

Then the world - especially the arabs and jews, can move on with peaceful lives.

Ahem Author Profile Page:


Some here are concerned with promoting or justifying one or another politico-religious cause or ideology.
Some are concerned with the past, or with history.
Some are focused on who started the agression and what they believe might justify military action..
Some are concerned with dates and times.
Some here focus on coersion, necessity, duty, balance of power or force.
There is focus on the accuracy of weapons, the accuracy of words and the intentions of groups, what is written in their law, their constitutions, what past leaders have promised or threatened..
Some choose to focus on laying blame for the results of violent acts, or talk of the appropriateness of targets.
Some count the casualties.

In a perfect world each and every individual word and act would be weighed and measured according to its intent, according to good and evil.
Arter life, God will.
Thou Shalt not Kill.
Some might argue the difference between murder and killing and the interpretation of The Word..
Some might argue what has happened in the past, even events in the Bible.
Pretend you are God and you know the answers.
You know what is expected of you and you know what to say.

GUUU1 Author Profile Page:

Hey ZARGON, you would like this...

By IBRAHIM BARZAK (the israeli collaborator)

Hamas AP News: Israeli forces shell UN headquarters in Gaza killing 79 children, 232 of the dead children were pregnant with other children...
The explosion engulfed a compound and a warehouse in a big fire that destroyed thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian children pregnant with other children... and fathered by Palestinian officials... they do like their children!!!

U.N. workers and "Palestinian firefighters", some wearing bulletproof jackets, to protect them from the constant israeli fire aimed at the children, struggled to douse the flames and plant flowers to protect the children while buggering other children (i told you they like their children...)
"we need those children" one Hamas official was heard yelling "the suicide vests are just too small for most of Palestinian Hamas members... who love the children"

the inhumanity!!!

still, that's Islam for you, see it recognize it... it is what it is!!!

Zargon Author Profile Page:

CLF1968

Are you suggesting that France should have compromised withe the Nazi invasion and occupation, and not resisted?

How is Israel at fault? When even Ray Charles, may he rest in peace, could see that Israel is,

1 Invading and occupying someone else's land.
2 Building in someone else's land.
3 Violating all International norms of Law,
Justice, and Humanity.
4 Assassinating all their leaders who disagree
and resist the occupation of their lands.
5 Committing Genocide on their women and
children, after placing them in a Ghetto
style Concentration camp.
6 Violating their own God's commandments of
A. Thou shalt not steal.
B. Thou shalt not kill.
C. Thou shalt not bear false witness against
thy neighbor

Look, Israel can fool some people, all of the time, or it can fool some people some of the time.
But, Israel cant fool all people all of the time.

But , listen, you don't have to convince me or anyone else. If the Israelis truly believe in their God, it is he that they will have to answer to and convince. Israelis need be careful, what you say, because, I understand that he is not a schmuck, and will punish them if he so judges.

tac-12 Author Profile Page:

Dear all,

Israel has the advantage of the victim status from World War II. I have the impression that people explore this fact as an argument against Israel's adversaries or whose opinions go against Israel's interests.

When the author says "(...) from whom an anti-Semitic stench often rises (...)" I have the impression that the author explores this victim privileged status of Israel against people who shares different opinions.

We cannot say anything against Israel or disagree with its strategies that we are automatically labeled as anti-Semite. Very convenient!

In the same portion of the text the author ironically states "Tel Aviv's critics(...)do not say whether Israel should increase its quota of cadavers or if it must reduce the Arabs' quota to achieve the reasonable proportion of blood". It makes me sick reading such comment ...

I haven't read until the end ...

ronishni Author Profile Page:

Hamas is a Nazi organization.

www.talktail.com

Linda-Owens Author Profile Page:

dear rizvisqa... its hard to generate sympathy for people who strap explosive vests on their children and send them to die in the name alla... or for gangs of islamists who rape little girls who do not wear the veil and then persuade them that the only way they can redeem their family honor is to blow themselves up at isreali border crossings... you would need to logic of some ayatolla to figure this up... don't get me wrong! i kind of like the ayatolla (i mean looking like the devil and all...) he could fit very well in my S&M sex club... do you think he is gay?

rizvisqa Author Profile Page:

The question regarding the aftermath of the current Israel's offensive in Gaza,seems yet very devious and incertain since in this emerging humanitarian crisis in Gaza,if indifference still remains the Israeli policy, one may daresay that by creating such crisis in Gaza,it appreciates to be an unworkable proposition that the ideological/political power of Hamas would be weakened.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

kjohnsons3

Your comments appear to be well thought out and logical and I agree with most of them.

The only one I find fault with is your comaprison of the human cost to Israel as opposed to the human cost to Gaza.

One of the major reasons for the difference is the extensive preparation by the Israeli government of reinforced shelters for its civilian population. Even the shelters at bus stops are built of reinforced concrete. On the other hand, Hamas made no such preparation for Gazan civilians, despite the extensive time and effort they devoted to the construction of tunnels and military bunkers (it should be noted that while Gazan civilians literally have nowhere to hide, the Hamas leadership immediately went to ground and have not been seen in public since the beginning of the Israeli attack).

Any explosives, no matter how primitive you might think they are, still have a sizeable capacity to cause casualties. One of the major reasons for the disproportionate numbers of civilian casualties is that the Israeli government sees the most value in keeping its constiuents alive and well while Hamas sees the most value in presenting its citizens to the world as a mass of dead and injured.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

shepehrdmarilyn

"Hamas did not break the truce you fruit cake, Israel did. And another thing. Israel is an occupier and they are always wrong in law."

Unfortunately, your link doesn't quite support your position the way you would like people to think it does. Here's what else it says...

4. ii) On November 4 the IDF carried out a military action close to the border security fence on the Gazan side to prevent an abduction
planned by Hamas, which had dug a tunnel under the fence to that purpose. Seven
Hamas terrorist operatives were killed during the action. In retaliation, Hamas and the
other terrorist organizations attacked Israel with a massive barrage of rockets. Since
then, 191 rockets and 138 mortar shells have been fired. The attacks have been
continuous and some were carried out by weapons not previously used, such as
122mm standard Grad rockets and 120mm mortar shells. Hamas has been directly
involved in the attacks in cooperation with the other terrorist organizations

6. During the first period the crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip were open most
of the time (Israel closed them for short intervals in response to rocket fire). Scores of trucks delivered large quantities of consumer goods through the Karni and Sufa (and later Kerem
Shalom) crossings on a daily basis, including supplies of commodities Israel had previously
not permitted into the Gaza Strip, such as cement and iron. Hamas leaders admitted that
there was an improvement in the supply of goods and that civilian life was returning to
normal. Life also returned to normal in the western Negev towns and villages for the first
time in the period preceding the lull.

7. With the escalation in rocket and mortar shell attacks which began on November 4, Israel
began closing the crossings for longer periods. That led to shortages of basic goods in the
Gaza Strip and to disruptions in the supply of various types of fuel (although electrical power
was not cut off, since the plant in Ashqelon, which supplies 65% of the Gaza Strip’s
electricity, provided an uninterrupted flow of power).

8. Hamas did nothing to stop the attacks against Israel, preferring to deal with the problem of
the closed crossings by instituting a propaganda campaign in the international media.
Hamas hoped it would exert pressure on Israel (and Egypt) and force it to open the
crossings, even while the rocket and mortar shell attacks continued. At the same time, Hamas
found alternatives to the crossings, institutionalizing the tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border
and setting up a maritime delivery service from abroad. The alternatives have eased the
shortages but have not provided an appropriate solution for the problem of the closed
crossings.

http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e017.pdf


CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

Zargon,

Hamas/Hezbo, etc. have in their charters a call to destroy Israel and liquidate the jews. That's pretty cut and dry. For them it is a zero sum game and no compromise. Having 'peace' as a strategic goal, rather than liquidating the jews, might be a good first step.

What makes you think Israel is at fault here?

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

Drainey32798

"...You next write that Hamas only advocated "a long term 'hudna' or truce, preconditioned on Israel's withdrawal to 1967 borders before it could even be negotiated..." What is the "it" you are referring to? If "it" = the long term truce, what evidence do you have that negotiating it had to take place after withdrawal to the 1967 borders?...

**In January 2004, senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year hudna in return for complete withdrawal from all territories captured in the Six Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.**
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudna

" And even if this were a precondition, I do not see how it's unreasonable for Hamas to first demand what they are entitled to under international law. Israel acquired the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem by war, and therefore they cannot occupy that land according to the UN Charter/Geneva Accords"

If you are referring to UNSC 242 the text states that it "emphasizes" the inadmissiblity of force of arms as a means of acquiring territory. In other words, this concept is nothing new. However, it does not mean that every instance of acquiring territory via armed belligerence is unacceptable. About 3 years after this resolution passed, Libya invaded Chad and seized a sizeable piece of northern Chad. In 1979, Morocco used force to acquire the former Spanish Sahara (which ignited a guerrilla war with the Polisario Front). In neither of these instances was there a demand on the part of the UN that the land acquired be relinquished. Assuming for the moment that this provision of UNSC 242 was meant to apply only to Israel, it was renedered moot when the Jordan River was recognized as the common boundary between Jordan and Israel in their 1994 peace treaty. Since there was no reference at all, implicitly or explicitly to the Palestinians or the PLO in the resolution, the point was to effect the return of land to the previous sovereign power - Jordan. Jordan's renunciation of their right to the West Bank freed Israel of any obligation to return the land, meaning that it was theirs to dispose of (or not) as they wished. Put another way, Hamas has no right to this land under international law, the Geneva Accords or any other instrument.

With regard to your contention that it was Israel that violated the truce, apparently you didn't read the entire story you linked to. The Israeli raid was IN RESPONSE to a threat to their soldiers - a tunnel dug with the intent of using it to kidnap another member of the IDF. Why do you think that Hamas' kidnapping attempt is not a truce violation while the Israeli response to it is?

Zargon Author Profile Page:

Israels war on the Palestinians is totally misconceived and neither the West nor Israel can kill their way out of it. War costs huge amounts of money. As the money tightens, it's every Country for themselves, just cause or not.
The money coffers in the U S A and the rest of the world are going down in flames. People are breaking and committing suicide. The future is not a pretty picture. Israel needs to see the writing on the wall before it is to late and really and realistically reach out to make peace withe their brothers, before the window of opportunity closes. What Israel is doing now will only adversly effect their future.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Some here are concerned with promoting one or another politico-religious cause or ideology.
Some are concerned with the past, with history.
Some are focused on who started the agression.
Some are concerned with dates and times.
Some here focus on balance of power or force.
There is focus on the accuracy of weapons, the accuracy of words and the intentions of groups.
Some chose to focus on laying blame for the results of violent actions.

In a perfect world every individual word and act would be weighed and measured according to its intent, according to good and evil. In the afterlife, God will.
Thou Shalt not Kill.
Some might argue the difference between murder and killing.
Some might argue what has happened in the past, even in the Bible.
Pretend you are God and you know the answers.

pbobrow Author Profile Page:

Next to some good commentary in the National Post by Johnathon Kay, this is an excellent analysis, and long overdue.

p.bobrow

merleman Author Profile Page:

Zagrom, you are right in noting that no nation is perfect. The quest for justice must needs be flawed. America spilled the blood of 1,600,000 of it's own young men in a civil war searching for it. It was waged over four long years until the weight of blood and exhaustion of battle declared freedom the winner and slavery defeated. We also had misguided terrorist (John Brown and company) who believed that slavery should be abolished at any cost, including murder and mayhem. Americans of all persuasions rejected him. What a different nation we would be today had terror prevailed or the South had not been forced to their knees. Perhaps we too would be lobbing rockets at each other.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

MERLMAN,

We can not pretend that we will be unaffected by terrorists and others that promote their ideology trough cohesion and force justifying any measure, no matter how barbaric or primitive to advance their cause.
Does this also apply to the Invasion of Viet Nam, remember the domino theory? How about Somoza, replacing a democratically elected Government? How about the American Indians, The African slaves. Practice what you preach, stop pretending,
Don't just cherry pick some countries, hang out the whole dirty laundry for all civilized nations to see and judge for themselves.

waPoId1 Author Profile Page:

ahhh, so the political hack starts moderating comments. And suddenly the conversation becomes a bit more one-sided.

Goodbye

merleman Author Profile Page:

When the terror weapons of bitterness and rancor has expended themselves on the graves of their people, and hope for the future outweighs the need for revenge, then those who are oppressed will raise up and refuse to any longer be used as shields and pawns in this deadly game.

Until that day arrives, the terrorist demands must be paid in the only currency they will accept; the blood of innocent people, women and children, and purveyors of hate the world over.

kjohnson3 Author Profile Page:

"This demand for 'proportionality' can only be called surprising. Until this conflict began, history books everywhere always expressed great satisfaction and a certain chauvinistic pride when a nation's army inflicted on the enemy a large number of casualties..."

This is a deliberate misreading of the "proportionality" argument. No one is saying that the killing should be "adjusted" to guarantee equal casualties to each side. That is a willfully naive suggestion.

The point being made regarding "disproportionate" losses is that the very fact of the disproportion demonstrates how mismatched the two sides are. Israel has made clear that it is capable of bombing Gaza into oblivion, while Gazans have few resources -- militarily and otherwise -- to protect themselves.

Despite all the rockets fired from Gaza, comparatively few Israelis have been injured; even fewer have died. There is, after all, nothing particularly sophisticated about Hamas's firepower. But the retaliation is pure civilian carnage. Israel, after all, has very sophisticated firepower.

As to Montaner's charge of an anti-Semitic stench, yes, it's one of the most frustrating things about this issue for non-anti-Semitic people. So many bigots and racists have latched onto these discussions and poured out their venom that it begins to seem as if all critics of Israel must be part of the same repugnant persuasion.

Nothing could be further from the truth. For many of us, it is difficult to criticize Israel because of our consciousness about Jewish history in the modern world. But that doesn't mean that we should support and enable "man's inhumanity to man" just because Israel is one of the players. Israel can do wrong -- and has done so. We need to be willing to censure its crimes while still supporting its people.

merleman Author Profile Page:

It is naive to believe we are safe as long as we personally are not suffering. Civilized people understand the rule of law. Each of us are citizens of the world too. We can not pretend that we will be unaffected by terrorists and others who promote their ideology through coercion and force justifying any measure, no matter how barbaric or primitive, to advance their cause. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, the West's studied ignorance of Hitler's ambitions; Rwanda, Darfur, Sudan, Mozambique, Uganda, Cambodia, September 11, 2001...how long a list do you need to convince us that bad people do not simply go away when ignored. Genocide, racism, bigotry, terrorism, and other forms of tyranny require active opposition if civilized nations are to survive or if a broader conflict is to be avoided. History is proof.

kenny5 Author Profile Page:

"Excerpts from HAMAS covenant (puts things in perspective)

"Peace initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility." (Article 13)

'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.' (Article 7)

Now ask yourself honestly, would any human being with even just a shred of intelligence, suggest that Israel sit by idly and wait for Hamas to reach a point where they can make good on their threat? I think you know the answer "

Zargon Author Profile Page:

Everyone either says, screw the Arabs, or screw the Jews. Fact is that, the Middle East is one big domestic problem created by THEIR FATHER ABRAHAM. Yes they are brothers killing brothers, tooth for tooth ect. We the rest of the world would be better of just minding our own business.

1 We don't have to (play their game) pick sides.
2 We will save a lot of well needed money here
for our own people in the U S A.
3 They run out of sponsors and have to come to
A solution all on their own, without our money,
that we have better thing to spend on, and
without our support, they haven't listen to
anyway for over 40 years. So why waste any
more effort. We have our own problems, we
don't need someone else's.

oded1227 Author Profile Page:

first of all if you wanna know how it feels on the israeli side, the one that kept getting shelled for the last 8 years, listen to this: http://www.myspace.com/kendogkeds , or watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6y2-3QC1Yw

now, Well let's study a little history with some basic facts:
1. there was never a state called Palestine. it was a territory ruled by different countries all through history and was inhabited by arabs and jews.
2. 1948 - the UN decides to split the land between the jews and the arabs. the jews accept, declare a democratic state and go dancing in the streets. the arabs start a war in which they lose.
3. 1967 - after many provocations by the arabs the 6 day war breaks. israel wins again against all odds.
4. never in the history of israel has its army targeted civillians. on the other hand palestinian (and other islamic groups) had always targeted civillians, schools, buses and kindergartens.
5. Hammas is teaching children the language of terror since they are 3 years old (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8) and uses civillians and kids as a human shield.

what is my point? there's a difference between shooting back at the source of fire trying to kill terrorist and hurting the civillians they use as a shield and targeting whole cities trying to kill childern (over 8,000 rockets!!).

furthermore - as i said before, whenever the arabs started a war against israel they lost. now they think they can also set the rules to an agreenment on their terms - show me one example in the worlds history when the side that provoked, started a war, used terror and then lost thaught it could get 100% of its demands in a truce/peace agreenment.

I really feel for the innocent civillians in gaza. but they elected a terror organization (declared by the UN as a terror organization) and now they deal with the unfortunate outcome. did you ever wonder why israel does not bomb hebron or jennin in the west bank? maybe because Abbas's people keep the peace there and build a proper economy.. think about that.
Oded

AbeAriew Author Profile Page:

How long would YOUR country tolerate rockets launched by your neighbors toward populated cities? One week? Two weeks? One month?
How about EIGHT YEARS, as Israel suffers it? How about more than 3500 rockets in 2008 (the year of HUDNA, another version of ceasefire from the Arab culture..)? Would YOU accept situation where over million of your citizens are rocketed on a daily basis, having some 15 second alert to run to a close shelter? We've build shelters for every home, every school, every kindergarten, every store… For how long would you expect Israel to tolerate such conditions? Israel has warned time after time, that those attacks must end; Israel tried several other activities to try to stop it – for EIGHT YEARS!
In order to understand a conflict, one should go after the goals and heading of each side:
Israel wants peace, with all its neighbors . They say it. They write it. They sing it. With political, economical, cultural relations. If not acceptable – without it. But violence and genocide goals will not be tolerated.
What does the Hamas want?
Hamas goal is to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. They say it. They write it. They sing it. They pump their young children with it (so called "education system", where even Mickey Mouse is fighting the Jews and ask to become a Shahid, where school children are promised to have 72 virgins in heaven if they kill Jews, where all songs lyrics admires the Shahids [martyr] and preaches for Jihad [holly war]..)
Why don't you just read the Hamas Covenant?
The HAMAS Covenant holds more than 10,000 words: more than 90% of them are focused on the destruction of the state of Israel and the extermination of Jews!
Few examples are :"..our war with the Jews is pan-Islamic…the goal is JIHAD [holly war] by any Muslim in the world against the Zionists…. The war will end until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them all, until Jews will hide behind a rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will say "oh Muslim, the sun of God, there's a Jew behind me, come over and kill him…… the land is holly and belongs only to Muslims, and we'll fight until it is returned to Muslims and mosques all over it will announce the Islamic state……
Even the Nazis used "clean" terms, such as "final solution" for genocide: the Hamas does not need that-they say clearly and loudly that their goal is to destroy Israel and kill all Jews: Are you sure we should accept it as 'internal use'? Would you?

go_cat_go1 Author Profile Page:

"Concerns of civilian deaths rise in Sri Lanka" Jan 5, 2009 - Associated Press

Has anyone noticed that while the Israelis launched their invasion of Gaza, the Sri Lankans have been engaged in a major military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. I dont really find it suprising that this gets little news coverage. But what is amazing, is the extraordinary amount of world focus on the Israelis by comparison, and specifically attention to the level of civilian casualties. Here, you have a similar conflict with roughly similar casualties; and yet, the Sri Lankan conflict is virtually non-existant in the world media, non-existant in anguish projected, non-existant in protests, non-existant in peace initiatives, and above all in the level of criticism that the more powerful military and country is receiving.
Why is this? What explains the microscopic critical attention received by the Israelis, and the complete lack of interest received by the Sri Lankans? Is it because the Israelis are perceived as a white people oppressing a non-white peoples? Is it because they are Jewish? Is it because they are backed by the Americans (who are evil themselves)? Is it because there are more than 1 billion Muslims world wide whose main focus on injustice concerns the Palestinians and no other people anywhere else in the world? Is it because leftists the world over have a special place in the their hearts for Israel hating? Is it because Europeean nations now have the own large Muslim populations that have to be appeased?
Or is it simply that the Israelis are in fact worse than the Sri Lankans? or the Russians in Chechnya? or the Sudanese in Darfur? or the various warlords running rampant in the Congo? (3 million dead in 15 years) In other words, do the Israelis receive this special attention because they have killed more people and have conducted their army more brutally than any of these other places (and countless military conflicts unreferenced)? And obviously, if this the case, the Israelis must have not simply been worse but, to justify the attention, they must be unfathombly worse. I mean they must commit atrocity after atrocity with mind numbing numbers of dead and with a brutality that knows no bounds. Because thats about what it would take to rationally explain this disparate media attention.


shmuelix Author Profile Page:

Some people ask:
Why is the response is disproportionate, BUT what they are really asking is:
"Why there are no more dead man women and children on the Israeli/Jewish side ?"

Here is my answer to "Why children die in Gaza":

http://shmuel.ahdut.com/2009/01/why-children-die-in-gaza.html

Please read..

shepherdmarilyn Author Profile Page:

Hamas did not break the truce you fruit cake, Israel did. And another thing. Israel is an occupier and they are always wrong in law.


http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hamas_e017.pdf

16. Networks belonging to Fatah/Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were the most prominent and
central in violating the lull arrangement. Their motivation was the desire to show themselves
as the standard bearers of the “resistance” (i.e., terrorism) and to send a message of
defiance to Hamas, their rivals, even though Fatah in Judea and Samaria renounced the
attacks.5 In certain instances the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other organizations fired
rockets. In most instances they did not publicly claim responsibility. Such attacks were
motivated by deep internal Palestinian rivalries, especially between Fatah and Hamas, and not
responses to “violations” on the part of Israel.
17. During the first period Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire and its operatives
were not involved in rocket attacks. At the same time, the movement tried to enforce the
terms of the arrangement on the other terrorist organizations and to prevent them from
violating it. Hamas took a number of steps against networks which violated the arrangement,
but in a limited fashion and contenting itself with short-term detentions and confiscating
weapons. For example, a number of times Hamas’s security services detained Fatah/Al-Aqsa
Martyrs Brigades operatives, including Abu Qusai, an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades spokesman,
who claimed responsibility for rocket fire (June 29). Detained operatives were released after a
short interrogation and no real measures were taken against them. However, it was clear that
throughout the first period Hamas sought to avoid direct confrontations with the rogue
organizations (especially the PIJ) insofar as was possible, lest it be accused of collaborating
with Israel and harming the “resistance.” Hamas therefore focused on using politics to
convince the organizations to maintain the lull arrangement and on seeking support for it
within Gazan public opinion (including issuing statements by its activists regarding the lull’s
achievements).
5

MargieinTelAviv Author Profile Page:

One wonders what symmetry is demanded. Should we sacrifice one man for one man, one child for one child?
Should Israel have shot rockets back at Gaza over the eight years, rocket for rocket? Should we have compromised our morality and shot at civilian populations as they did?

Every death is the loss of a whole world. How can you pay for one with another?

flowergirl1 Author Profile Page:

don't be silly SUSTING, they will not stop... but it will be interesting to see how they will rout it next...

why don't just bomb these ass hols back to their fu*** alla i wonder?

did you see the "ayatolla" ? satanic, isn't he?

Obama, they want to see their virgins... lets show them their f*** virgins...

merleman Author Profile Page:

Islam is a relative new comer in the community of world religions. The Jewish presence far predates the prophet Mohammad's appearance on the scene 600 years after the death of Jesus Christ, and nearly 1600 years after the Jewish King David established Jerusalem as his capital. Muslim's claim to Jerusalem by right of their occupation only arises after the dispersion of the Jews under Roman and subsequent Islamic and so called Christian persecution, an oxymoron if there ever was one. Even so, a Jewish remnant remained until the Zionist movement saw displaced Jews all over the world return to the homeland of their ancient past propelled by the Nazi Holocaust and a desire to escape antisemitism. If historical roots give Hamas the right to claim the land of Israel for Muslims, then the Jewish claim is much more ancient.

francis51 Author Profile Page:

Hey i got the same thing! they are spooling through hamburg germany... whats "crens^5$#" ?

but why would the Iranians perpetrate such a silly trick pretending to be arabs?

drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

SME49b1"

Ok, let's take apart what you have written, piece by piece. You begin by writing that "Hamas came to power in Gaza by means of violence not the ballot box." Like CFL 1968, you insist on a short blanket statement instead of evaluating the relevant facts and background preceding Hamas' takeover of Gaza. This reflects your unwillingness to talk seriously about this issue.

You next write that Hamas only advocated "a long term 'hudna' or truce, preconditioned on Israel's withdrawal to 1967 borders before it could even be negotiated..." What is the "it" you are referring to? If "it" = the long term truce, what evidence do you have that negotiating it had to take place after withdrawal to the 1967 borders? I am not aware of any evidence for this precondition. And even if this were a precondition, I do not see how it's unreasonable for Hamas to first demand what they are entitled to under international law. Israel acquired the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem by war, and therefore they cannot occupy that land according to the UN Charter/Geneva Accords. Incidentally, almost the entire world agrees with this basic tenet of international law, as evidenced by yearly UN general assembly votes on the issue. See http://menac.org/2008/12/03/the-latest-vote-on-resolving-the-israel-palestine-conflict/.

Finally, you write that "a truce is only good when Israel observes it. Hamas does not see itself as being bound by the same requirements." See the source below as to how Israel broke a truce with Hamas to a four month cease fire. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/05/israelandthepalestinians

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

For those of you willing to consider that hamas might be some sort of charity organization, here are a few excerpts from its charter. Gosh I hope I didn't take anything out of context...:

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it"

Arab countries surrounding Israel are asked to open their borders before the fighters from among the Arab and Islamic nations so that they could consolidate their efforts with those of their Muslim brethren in Palestine.

Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. "May the cowards never sleep."

the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.

***These people are just plain nuts:

The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups.

*** Ah yes - the evil rotarians - it makes one shudder...

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

Drainey32798

Hamas came to power in Gaza by means of violence not the ballot box. They never advocated a permanent settlement with Israel, only a long term 'hudna' or truce, preconditioned on Israel's withdrawal to 1967 borders before it could even be negotiated (and then only through intermediaries). As we have seen, a truce is only good when Israel observes it. Hamas does not see itself as being bound by the same requirements.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

Amani1

"...does it make it legitimate for a nation to take over another nation..."

First this assumes that there was an existing "Palestinian" national identity prior to the initial wave of Jewish migration. There was not. As a matter of fact, the representation of local Arab notables to the US King-Crane Commission created by US President Woodrow Wilson to conduct an inquiry into events in the Middle East (actually to establish a US presence) petitioned for their inclusion inot a forthcoming Syrian state. Even after the establishment of the mandate, most local Arabs considered themselves to be Syrian rather than Palestinian.

Truth be told, it wasn't the average Arab fellah that was interested in a Palestinian national identity, but the local Arab elite, who saw the end of their power and privilege with the arrival of the British. More to the point, it was a group of early Islamic fundamentalists led by the Husseini clan (Amin al Husseini, the head of the Arab Higher Committee that fomented so much of the violence in the mandate was an early member of the Muslim Brotherhood) that encouraged active hostility toward the Jews and advocated their expulsion.

colon-cleanser Author Profile Page:

look here, its amazing to read how much compassion and care the Arabs have for their women and children... really touching!!! and almost convincing...

by the way, for the network savvy among us, 90% of the anti-American, anti-Israel BS you read here is coming from Iran... run a trace, you'll be surprised!

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

J2Hess

"Montaner simply lies. He accuses Hamas of breaking the cease-fire. Israel imposed a blockade - an act of war - while the ceasefire was presumably in effect. Israel continued assisinations. Israel invaded Gaza on November 4th."

You forgot to mention that the Israeli incursion inot gaza was the result of a Hamas tunnel that extended under Israeli soil and was apparently built with the intent of conductiong another kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. That's not an act of war?

The blockade (and it was not a complete one) was implemented to slow down the flow of weapons into Gaza, especially since the EU monitors had left their posts with the overhtrow of Fatah.

Amazing how these little details seem to get lost.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

maher1

"Anyone who supports Israel in this war has no conscience, or defiantly misinformed. I have been watching what is going on in Gaza, and I am already having a nightmare I would like to summaries it with the following, Imaging you are inside your house and someone demolish it on top of you and your family. As a result you lose half of your loved one, and guess what the perpetrator would say “this is because of your president and his foreign policy”. For the love of god people, most of the killed are women and children more than 971 killed and 4500 badly injured as we speak, whatever justification those pro-Israel are trying to sell is pure crime. We defiantly should speak up."

What would yo have done to prevent this? Would you have told Hamas that it was probably in the best interests of the people of Gaza not to fire rockets into Israeli cities because there might be an armed response? If you weren't able to convince Hamas to stop firing rockets, would you have then demanded that they at least prepare shelters for Gazan civilians so that they had a place to go that was relatively safe (say like the safe rooms in Israeli homes, or the reinforced bus shelters and bomb shelters found in Israeli cities) to escape the bombing and shelling that Hamas rocket fire was sure to elicit from Israel? Would you have tried to explain to Hamas that it was probably in the best interest of the people of Gaza that they find some kind of modus vivendi with Israel that would lead to the pssibility of a better life instead of the possibility of death and destruction?

Then again, maybe you're much like Hamas in that you only care about the people of Gaza to the extent that their pain and suffering can be used against the Israelis.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

SME49B1,

Oh , I get it it wasn't this fellow land that the Israelis were stealing , it was someone else's land that they were stealing. Oh and all those historical notes make it so muck better to accept the crime.

Thanks for the info. The world understands and feels better now.

colon-cleanser Author Profile Page:

its amazing to read how much compassion and care the Arabs have for their women and children... really touching!!! and almost convincing...

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

Aman1

"To those who believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization, you have been -intentionally- misinformed. Hamas, just like Fateh and all other palestinian liberation organizations, is nothing but a political movement devoted to give back the palestinians their stolen land from their oppresser -Israel. If u can go back 60 years in history, you may -or may not- have heard of the palestinians who were massacred and kicked out of their homes by gun force upon which the state of Israel enforced its existence. Some were killed, others survived and ended up living in refugee camps in countries all over the world. There are now about 4.6 million Palestinians living outside their homeland Palestine (more than half of its population are refugees!). And let me tell u this: the quality of life they are living in exile sucks! Most are under the line of poverty with not enough food or money to fullfill their needs."

Several things here. First,both the Fatah and Hamas Charters call for Israel's destriuction. The idea of a Palestinian Arab national idnetity did not exist before WWI,never mind that there might have been a sovereign Palestinian state; so the idea of Israel 'stealing' Palestinian land has no basis in fact.

It has long since been established, not only that most Arabs fled their homse in what is now Israel, but that they were to a great extent encouraged by Arab leadership. A majority never saw an armed Israeli, much less were they forced out at gunpoint. Even revisionist Israeli historians such as Segev and Morris acknowledge as much.

That so many Palestinians are still in refugee camps some 60 years after the fact, speaks more about the exclusionary policies of their host countries than Israeli cruelty. It's as if they are afraid these people would forget they were Palestinian if they were accorded citizenship and property rights.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

SME49b1

Well then if a handful of Israelis can do all that then what do you need all those Jet fighters ,Helicopter, Artillery, Tanks and over 250 Nuclear Bombs for. Just gather up another handful of Soldiers and get the job done Rambo.

Oh , you forgot to mention that these handful of men were stealing someone else's land. It may be important to mention. As to what Israeli soldiers choose to do today, fact is women and children are being massacred. Here in the USA police are not allowed to fire into crowds,for fear of innocent being hurt, but that is O K with you, you call women and Children Collateral damage. We call it something else.
As for the laxative, it's you Elephant, you clean it up! We are getting really tired of you mess.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

zargon

"You cannot peacefully coexist with someone who want to kill you. Right, especially if you have just stolen their land are occupying it, killing their leaders, women ,children, using bullets and bombs that are prohibited under International law, and defying the U N."

Palestinians have never had any land to be stolen from them. Before 1948, both Arabs and Jews living in mandatory Palestine were known as Palestinians. Before the mandate, what is now (erroneously) called by some 'historic Palestine' were parts of Ottoman administratvie districts known as sanjaks. Not a single one of them went by the name Palestine. The concept of a Palestine that went from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea reuslted from the British turning the eastern two thirds of the mandate awarded them by the League of nations to the Hashemites, who had been spurned by the Brits in favor of their Saudi rivals on the Arabian Peninsula and were threatening to march on Damascus. In other words, this 'historic Palestine' existed for little more than 25 years. Prior to the mandate, the term 'Palestine' had not been used to describe a political unit since before the Crusades (and then it was a subdistrict of the province of Shams, aka Syria). Until the British decided to use it to describe their mandate, the term 'Palestine' was no more than a geographic place name, in much the same way as Silesia or the Saar describe geographic areas in Europe.

Israelis are not intentionally targeting women and children, simply becuase there is no precentage in it for them. On the other hand, Hamas and Fatah have not only targeted women and children, but consider those who do as heroes.


drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

CFL 1968:

You have ignored my main arguments regarding international law and the assymetrical political treatment of the Palestinians, and instead wish to talk about the Hamas/Fatah civil war. I am happy to do so. Note - I do know about the war, an important event that deserves more than your 1 sentence summary.

The punishment of Palestinians for the crime of voting the wrong way was severe. With US backing, Israel withheld funds it was legally obligated to transmit to the Palestinian Authority, tightened its siege, and even cut off water to the arid Gaza Strip. The US and Israel rejected Hamas' call for a long term cease-fire to allow for negotiations on a 2 state settlement along the internationally recognized borders (pre-June 1967). Meanwhile, Israel stepped up its settlement programmes in the West Bank (held illegal by the World Court), always with US backing and funding. Most importantly, the US and Israel began arming and training Fatah to win by force what it lost at the ballot box. Despite the military aid, Fatah forces in Gaza were defeated in a pre-emptive strike, primarily targeting the security forces of the brutal Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan. Thus began the US/Israeli economic sanctions and fencing in of Gaza that we see today.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

kohsar240

"Too many moral justification for Israel, but it is the Palestinians that bleed for over 50 years. Where do you fit this simple truth in your moral equation for Israel??? No matter what and everything has been done, in terms of violating human rights and committing crimes against humanity, Israel will still be victorious in western media particularly Washington Post, Netwrok News and New Channel. Just the numbers of Jews controlling New Media gives a very clear picture of where Israel would stand. Imagine if Israel wasn't a Jewish state, what would you think? Would it get away so much crime for 50 years. Palestinians are wrong once, twice....but for 50 years? There is something fundamentally wrong with timing and placing of Israel on Palestinian soil."

What you forgot to mention is exactly why the Palestinians are bleeding. They could have had a state of their own in 1947 had they accepted the UN partition, but their leadership chose to reject it. Heck, they could have had a state of their own in 1938, had they chosen to accept the recommendations of the Peel Commision, but they rejected that too, despite the fact that it would have given them over 70% of mandatory Palestine and the Jews about 20% (the Brits would have gotten Jerusalem and a corridor to the sea). The primary reason for the rjection was that Jews were getting anything at all. Since that time, the Palestinians have opted for violence instead of accepting that Jews are also entitled to the same national rights that they themselves aspire to.

If Jews control the media, how is it we don't see any photos of the Hamas rockets that have hit Israel? How about videos of Israeli wounded being carried into Israeli hospitals? On the other hand, we get more footage of injured Gazans and destroyed Gazan buildings in an hour of news than we do of the upcoming inauguration.

Be careful when you go to sleep tonight - there could be a Jew hiding under your bed.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

zargon

"Israelis hide behind their Fighter jets, Tanks, heavy Artillery. and over 250 nuclear bombs and cry helpless victim. Palestinians who are all cramped together, Ghetto style, and have nowhere to hide use, primitive missiles, small arms, and stone throwing to defend their occupied lands.
As spectators, the rest of us need only to watch what the Israeli's do and not what they say. While Israel continues to plays the role of used car salesman to the rest of the world, we need be weary for we have already been deceived by the many institutions that have caused this global meltdown."

I guess you forgot about the handful of Jews who, in 1948 had little more than small arms and homemade mortars to defend themselves against professional armies from Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon. The difference between them and today's Hamas is that they chose to target the soldiers who attacked them instead of civilians (note: there were more than just civilians at Deir Yassin, otherwise there would have been no resistance to the Irgun attackers, and the King David Hotel was also British military HQ). Apparently you had no problem with the Arabs who "hid" behind their planes, tanks and artillery in those days. And you don't seem to have any problem with present day Hamas fighters who like hiding behind civilians.

If Hamas was really worried about the Gazan population they would have devoted at least a little effort to building bomb shelters for them, or maybe even throwing a few sandbags their way. The plight of the people of Gaza is a tragedy, no doubt about it. But blaming their plight solely on the Israelis is like feeding an elephant a laxative and leaving your brother to clean up the mess.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"Hamas came to power in free, democratic elections"

So they win a legislative majority, then decide to stage bloody coup and kill off fatah leaders in other branches of government and executive authority to seize total control of gaza.

Nice.

But you probably didn't know that.

This is ridiculous. Its kinda like a sweet 6 year old girl who sees a fuzzy stray dog and wants to take it home. Unfortunately, the dog is rabid. But in your heart its just oh so cute and your dad is just the meanest for not letting you keep him.

Hamas are killers people. They use their arab brothers like fodder as they cynically foment war with israel. There will be no peace until these extremists are neutralized. I wish there was an easy way to do it.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

msiddiqu :

"Hamas does not recognize Israel, but PLO does. So what does PLO has to show. We need to create facts on the ground not by killing but provide tangible non-occupational results."

I'm not a fan of Fatah, but a case can be made that the lives of Palestinians in parts of the West Bank have improved over the last year.

PA police have taken over security responsibility for several major West Bank cities, most notably Jenin, once a hotbed of terrorism. As a result there has been an increase in infrastructure investment, (e.g., upgrading Jenin's sewage treatment facilities) as well as job opportunities (establishment of an industrial park, a substantial increase in permits to work in Israel). Depending on the performance of these units, further deployments are scheduled.

That being said, the PA still has a long way to go before it can be considered competent to govern responsibly.

As far as Gazan deaths creating a desire for vengenace against Israel, the surest way to prevent furhter such fatalities is for the Palestinians to realize how closely their opportunity for independence is tied to Israel's fortunes. (If not for Israel and the Zionist movement the West Bank and Gaza would be a part of Egypt, Syria or Jordan (or even Suadi Arabia) and the idea of a separate Palestinian state would have most likely never seen the light of day.)

Looking for excuses to spill Jewish blood or for reasons why Israel should not exist does nothing to expedite the creation of a free and independent Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza.



drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

Montaner writes "Israelis are being accused of suffering too few casualties," "[w]hile...close to a [1000] Arab Palestinians have died or been wounded." This is not the primary argument of the critics. The "assymetry" we are concerned about pertains to the political situation of the Palestinians. Hamas has not militarily occupied Israel in violation of Intl law, nor has Hamas fenced Israel in and imposed economic sanction on Israel, nor does Hamas prevent humanitarian aid to Israeli citizens. I am afraid it's the other way around. Hamas' rocket fire is obviously wrong, but if we are interested in stopping it, we should pay attention to the legitimate grievances underlying those immoral acts and do something about them, regardless of Hamas terror.

Furthermore, the fact that Hamas came to power in free, democratic elections monitored by the UN should give advocates of the Israeli government some pause when they proclaim the righteousness of their cause. Also, the fact that Hamas has publicly supported a 2 state settlement on the June 1967 borders should give them pause, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/970807.html, when Israel and the US routinely reject that sensible proposal, supported by virtually the entire world, because Hamas has refused to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel. Although i do not agree with Hamas position here, anyone with their brain screwed on can see why they do it; namely, they do not want to recognize Israel when Israel refuses to recognize their legal rights to statehood. If Montaner brings up "anti-semitism" in response to these arguments, it only reveals the weakness of his own.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"Given how Jews are treated by Arabs, would you agree then that Palestinians are regarded as only good for cannon fodder against the Jews by their Arab "cousins"?"

Here is a nice quote from a member of the PLO executive committee:

"There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel."

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

Timothy 2me

"Hamas won elections because they provided food and medical care for their constituants where Fatah was seen as corrupt."

To a degree you are correct. However one of the other reasons Hamas won was because Fatah thought that the more candidates it fielded the better it would do. As a result, there were instances where there were several Fatah candidates standing for the same seat against only one Hams candidate. I believe Hamas won with something like 40-45% of the popular vote, with Fatah candidates winning nearly all the rest.

Coupled with the disgust over Fatah's incompetence was the fear (mostly in the West Bank) of Hamas' religious extremism.

That said, what does your response have to do with my statement that "Hamas spends a small fortune importing arms and preparing for war with Israel without spending a single penny on the protection of its constituents."? Running charities and clinics is a lot different than exposing those who voted for you to the dangers of war without any thought for their safety.

" ...Palestinians are the Jews of the Arabic speaking world..."

Given how Jews are treated by Arabs, would you agree then that Palestinians are regarded as only good for cannon fodder against the Jews by their Arab "cousins"?

"Iran and Syrian leadership are Shiites where Hamas is Sunni. Shiites will not give up their lives to protect Sunni while Sunni kill Shiites at every chance."

Actually, the Syrian leadership is Alawite, not Shiite, and despite what you say, 70,000 Iranian Shiite Muslims signed up to fight in Gaza against Israel. It was the Iranian government that prevented them from going.

"The only reason Iran stepped into the financial void created by Israel and the US with their blockade was to return a poke in the eye of Bush, not for some love of Hamas."

As I documented in my previous post, Iran has been involved in providing material and financial support to Hamas since the early 90's. They see Hamas as a relatively cheap means of sticking it to their rivals for leadership in the Arab world, namely Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as a way to spill Israeli blood without spilling a drop of their own. I agree that their relationship with Hamas is a marriage of expediency, not borne out of any particular affinity, but that is precisely my point - that they have no problem sacrificing the lives of others to further their own agenda.

"More than happy to clear up your befuddled mind."

If only you could separate fact from fiction.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"give me 20% of ur land"

They both lived there. It was both of their lands. They weren't getting along so well. An 80/20 split is not so bad. You know what they say about good fences.

"that they would never attack Israel again?"

Anyone can attack Israel. But they might not like the results. They shouldn't complain when they lose. It is not a game. There are no 'do overs.'

Israel IS a sovereign nation and the fact we are having this debate at all is absurd.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

Timothty2me

It's been a long time Timmy... since the days of the NYT forums, right?

You said...

"Yes Hamas is a violent organization that calls for the destruction of Israel but it is an organization that Israel supported, nurtured and protected to undermine Fatah."

Is that why Israel arrested Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder and leader of Hamas until his death in 2004, in 1984, three years before the formation of Hamas' political wing? He got into trouble as soon as Israel found him to be involved in activities other than the charitable work Hamas was ostensibly created to involve itself in. Arresting and incarcerating the leader of an organization is not my idea of supporting, nurturing or protecting it.

"Yes Iran funds Gaza but that funding didn't start until the Israel and the US started an economic blockade on Gaza because Hamas won elections."

Iran has been funding Hamas saince the early 1990's -

'...Iran's ties to Hamas grew stronger after October 1992, when a Hamas delegation led by Dr. Musa Abu Marzook visited Tehran for meetings with key Iranian figures, including the Islamic Republic's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameinei. According to some reports, Iran pledged an annual $30 million subsidy to Hamas, in addition to a promise of weapons and advanced military training at revolutionary guard facilities in Iran, Lebanon, and Sudan. The following year, Hamas opened an office in Tehran, proclaiming that Iran and Hamas shared an "identical view in the strategic outlook toward the Palestinian cause in its Islamic dimension."...
http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=5167

"Yes Hamas broke the cease fire with their rockets but that cease fire also required and end to the physical blockade that was only increased in scope over 18 months."

There were no provisions to the ceasefire other than both sides commiting to not firing on each other. Israel was under no obligation to end economic sanctions.


jre253 Author Profile Page:

Comparing Israel's operation to the Nazi's genocide is a gross perversion of history. Hamas is a TERRORIST organization that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Hamas has invested all of its finances and efforts in attacking Israel and has used terror and violence against Palestinian dissenters. Hamas has ignored the Security Council Resolution 1850 which calls upon it to cease its terrorist activities and recognize Israel. Moreover, it has ignored similar requests from the international community. Israel's military operation is an act of self-defense, a right enshrined in Article 51 of the the United Nations Charter. Israel is doing what every nation is entitled to do: acting against those who willfully are attacking its citizens. The loss of innocent Palestinian lives is PAINFUL. But the unfortunate reality is that the casualties incurred among uninvolved Palestinians are the direct result of the cynical Hamas policy of using them as human shields by placing its bases, command posts and arms caches in the heart of population centers. How is Israel suppose to defend its citizens? Should it aimlessly pound rockets at innocent civilians as Hamas does??? Israel is making every effort to avert a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip by supplying fuel, food, medical supplies and other humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, despite Hamas attacks on Israel civilians. The IDF is acting with care while waging war against Hamas by warning the people with flyers, telephone calls and other methods. Before one uses words such as 'genocide', 'holocaust', or 'terrorism' to describe Israel's military operation, he/she should reflect DEEPLY on his own knowledge of history as well as on his own humanity.

marknesop Author Profile Page:

First, what in blazes is all the flap about "recognizing Israel's right to exist"? Does that mean that if you crushed the Palestinians until they were completely broken and cried "Uncle!!" by affirming Israel's right to exist, that they would never attack Israel again? If it's meaningless, why insist on it, what kind of red herring is that?

Second, please stop with all the dopey comparisons that begin with, "Imagine if...". None of them so far bear any resemblance to the actual situation.

playa_brotha Author Profile Page:

First, a former gang banger Sam Rodriguz, and now this idiot. Where are these stupid wetbacks coming from? Have jews gotten so lazy that they now need to pay beaners to do their propaganda, as well as clean their houses and work on their gardens?

amani1 Author Profile Page:

CFL1968:
"'Palestine' W A S the british mandate. They invented it. There was no country of palestine."

Yes there was. Im not going to argue about historical facts here but let us assume for a moment that what u say is true, does this change anything? does it make it legitimate for a nation to take over another nation. I studied about the horrible history of discrimintaion the jews had suffered from in the last century, I actually visited a museum in Germany about the holocaust and the concentration camps, believe me i have every respect for those who suffered and tolerated all that unimaginable torture.
But please understand that this does not justify establishing a state over a nation already living there and against their own will! If u own a land, i cant come and tell u give me 20% of ur land against ur wish, not even 10 or 5%. It's about the principle.

In fact, if a nation is to torture another, the jewish nation of all others is the least expected to do so.

j2hess Author Profile Page:

Any time someone starts by waving the "anti-Semite" flag you can predict they will hold one-sided views. And when you consider only one side of the issue, you cannot logically talk of proportionality because you have eliminated any basis of judgement.

Montaner simply lies. He accuses Hamas of breaking the cease-fire. Israel imposed a blockade - an act of war - while the ceasefire was presumably in effect. Israel continued assisinations. Israel invaded Gaza on November 4th.

Israel can negotiate with Hamas. Hamas offered all sorts of negotiations and concessions after winning the elections in Gaza. Israel and the US refused to negotiate with Hamas.

You can gauge the injustice of Israel's attack by the number of apologists they trot out to defend it.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"While Palestine was under the british mandate"

'Palestine' W A S the british mandate. They invented it. There was no country of palestine. The brits just decided to call the territories it acquired from the ottoman turks the palestine mandate. They could have called it 'bob's acres.' Do you then expect me to believe the myth of the nation of the 'bob's acrevites?' The vast majority of the people were immigrants from other countries anyway. The only time palestine was a sovereign nation was when it was called judea.

Seriously. People were displaced - both arabs and jews. That is terrible. But Israel does exist. There is no way the jews will put themselves at the mercy of people who have oppressed them for millenia and to this day vow to destroy them - or anyone else for that matter. I can appreciate that historical fact.

The 'palestinians' have their homeland. Its called Jordan. An 80-20 split of the palestine mandate is not really that unfair as things go.

If Israel's right to exist isn't accepted, then there will be perpetual war. And war doesn't seem to be helping the people in gaza very much.

Step back and think about it. If you provide any support for those who want war with israel, dont complain when you get war.

amani1 Author Profile Page:

To Homesower :

"Hamas is a political movement. Its also a terrorist organization. If the Democrats, or the Tories, or the Chrisian Socialists packed dynamite around their youth and sent them to blow up their enemies they would be terrorists too. Their grievances may be legitimate. Their methods are not".

Can we say the same about Israel who is bombing hundrends of civilians esp women and children at this very moment?

amani1 Author Profile Page:

CFL1968 wrote:

"Israel is about 1% of the the arab world. Arabs have plenty of land."

so wut's ur point? let's just kick out palestinians from their homeland to make room for jews bcz arabs have "plenty of land"?!


Your reference of information has probably modified the facts to decieve u into thinking that things were so simple and obvious so u can accept it more readily i presume.

How would you react if someone told u u have to leave ur home and find another place to live in it or they're gonna blow it up with u in it?! Seriously try to imagine.

While Palestine was under the british mandate, a non-righeous promise to enforce a state for the jews on the western part of the PALESTINIAN mandate was given by non-righeous members; the british! (Belfour's declaration in 1947) It was never their land to "give" it to the jews or any body else in the first place. Try to understand this please. Imagine ur neighbour sells out ur house to a new family and asks u to leave. Try to imagine telling the people living there to leave their homes because the occupiers (the british) were going to replaced by new occupiers (the jews). Would you agree to that? Of course not. No one would. It was either this or they fight.
It is not like how they make u picture it as if Palestinians wanted to kill the jews. On the contrary, they were living peacefully side by side with them (the original jews who were living in Palestine for decades not the ones who migrated from all over the world later on).


You said: "Hamas and other terror groups are trying to 'liberate' a country that never existed and displace a un member state"

U said it urself, PALESTINE Mandate. Just because a land is occupied does not mean it does not exist! They made it seem like a land with no people is given to a people with no land. But that was not true. Palestinians were living there for centuries. It doesn't matter what name u give it, it is their land, the one they loved and grew on it. Period.

If u call those who stand up for their right to defend their country terrorists, then Israel is the biggest terrorist in the world.

amani1 Author Profile Page:

CFL1968 wrote:

"Israel is about 1% of the the arab world. Arabs have plenty of land."

so wut's ur point? let's just kick out palestinians from their homeland to make room for jews bcz arabs have "plenty of land"?!


Your reference of information has probably modified the facts to decieve u into thinking that things were so simple and obvious so u can accept it more readily i presume.

How would you react if someone told u u have to leave ur home and find another place to live in it or they're gonna blow it up with u in it?! Seriously try to imagine.

While Palestine was under the british mandate, a non-righeous promise to enforce a state for the jews on the western part of the PALESTINIAN mandate was given by non-righeous members; the british! (Belfour's declaration in 1947) It was never their land to "give" it to the jews or any body else in the first place. Try to understand this please. Imagine ur neighbour sells out ur house to a new family and asks u to leave. Try to imagine telling the people living there to leave their homes because the occupiers (the british) were going to replaced by new occupiers (the jews). Would you agree to that? Of course not. No one would. It was either this or they fight.
It is not like how they make u picture it as if Palestinians wanted to kill the jews. On the contrary, they were living peacefully side by side with them (the original jews who were living in Palestine for decades not the ones who migrated from all over the world later on).


You said: "Hamas and other terror groups are trying to 'liberate' a country that never existed and displace a un member state"

U said it urself, PALESTINE Mandate. Just because a land is occupied does not mean it does not exist! They made it seem like a land with no people is given to a people with no land. But that was not true. Palestinians were living there for centuries. It doesn't matter what name u give it, it is their land, the one they loved and grew on it. Period.

If u call those who stand up for their right to defend their country terrorists, then Israel is the biggest terrorist in the world.

pilgrim701 Author Profile Page:

Dear Mr. Montaner,
Thank you for writing this article—like some other posters I think it’s “the truth that needs to be told”, and told over and over again. I truly feel sorry for the Israelis, who want to live their lives in peace and harmony and cannot. And I truly feel sorry for the Gazans and other Palestinians who want to live their lives free of the terror of the thugs holding them hostage—thugs who thrive on terror, injuring/killing Israelis, Gazans, anyone who (shudder) disagrees with them or who gets in their way. Mind you, one doesn’t even have to get in their way to be wiped out—they hide amongst their own civilians because it will make Israel look bad when “innocents” are killed. Imagine: a Middle East that thrives, where people live reasonably happy and productive lives, valuing life and holding it precious, contributing art, poetry, music, science to the world. When and how are Palestinians going to turn off the terror/fear/hate/death-mongers and start down the road to life, living harmoniously, pursuing human kindness, and nurturing life. I only wish it were possible without bloodshed, but I think much more will be spilled, and more lies created and promoted to maintain the death-idolatry of hamas, hezbollah and their ilk.

mharwick Author Profile Page:

The left wingers always attack any writer that supports our best ally Israel and writes the truth about Hamas or other terrorists. They use such trite tired expressions as he is off his meds, what has he been smoking, he is employed by AIPAC, he is delusional, but they never, ever come up with anything approaching an intelligent argument.

Hamas has no defense. Israel has the right to wipe them out. They are terrorists and have killed innocent people in Gaza, put them in harms way and in Israel they killed innocent civilians. They are evil incarnate.

coverfruit Author Profile Page:

No topic of modern history is as complex as the Israel Arab interrelationship. Religious, political, international justice and military science play certainly in this chronic and sad scenario. As a foreign citizen I would suggest to the UNO a review of its role as an antiwar organization.
No country of the world should sponsor any side and by the nature of this situation peace negotiations should continue.
Both countries deserve better living standards that never result from bullets interchange.
If a country or countries are unable to configure a peaceful environment, UNO can definetely help for some time to administer security. This universal government knows deeply what is the matter there and how to get peace finally.

homesower Author Profile Page:

To Amani1:
"To those who believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization, you have been -intentionally- misinformed. Hamas, just like Fateh and all other palestinian liberation organizations, is nothing but a political movement devoted to give back the palestinians their stolen land from their oppresser -Israel"
Hamas is a political movement. Its also a terrorist organization. If the Democrats, or the Tories, or the Chrisian Socialists packed dynamite around their youth and sent them to blow up their enemies they would be terrorists too. Their grievances may be legitimate. Their methods are not.

arirugger1 Author Profile Page:

Last time I checked, Gaza had a border with Egypt as well. What obligation does Israel have to interact with the Palestinians? Why is there no pressure on the Egyptians? They are complicit in this as well.

homesower Author Profile Page:

To Faithemanus:

Do you understand what indiscriminate means? Indiscriminate is what Hamas has been doing with their rockets. The Israel attacks are targeted at military threats. That Hamas houses its weapons in urban areas makes it nearly impossible to take them out without also hurting civilians.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

faithemanus,

what you are saying would make sense if the idf were deliberately targeting civilians. hamas, whose core belief is the destruction of israel, definitely targets civilians. this is not in dispute. they are a terror orgaization. they staged a bloody coup and took over gaza dragging the bloodied bodies of their palestinian brothers through the street. they violate international law by hiding among civilians and using civilian facilities for military purposes. this is not in dispute. israel must restrict the flow of weapons to hamas and yes it places immense burdons on the people. hamas knows this.

do you think for one moment that if hamas officially renounced violence and accepted israel that any of this would be happening?

israel already pulled out of gaza years ago and would love to be done with them.

maher1 Author Profile Page:

Anyone who supports Israel in this war has no conscience, or defiantly misinformed. I have been watching what is going on in Gaza, and I am already having a nightmare I would like to summaries it with the following, Imaging you are inside your house and someone demolish it on top of you and your family. As a result you lose half of your loved one, and guess what the perpetrator would say “this is because of your president and his foreign policy”. For the love of god people, most of the killed are women and children more than 971 killed and 4500 badly injured as we speak, whatever justification those pro-Israel are trying to sell is pure crime. We defiantly should speak up.

faithemanus Author Profile Page:

Montaner,
How much would you celebrate or (cry) if this was turned around? Assume Hamas is doing the indiscriminate bombing and killing of children, women and elderly. Assume Hamas is blockading Israel and preventing medicine, food and electricity. Then you must support Hamas's killing much the same as you are supporting this inhuman massacre. Dare you do that? If not you are a hypocrite.
Humanity in war dictates fighting warriors, not killing children to pressure the warrior to surrender. That is terrorism and that is exactly what Israel is practicing in this war and in 2006. Israel must be stopped as its leaders have lost any sense and must be tried for war crimes.

StanislasGrudzielski Author Profile Page:

This article is really disgusting. The author does not seem to have a human brain. Who the hell has asked that Israel should have more casualties ? All we demand is to stop the massacre of innocent civilians. How is it possible to write that killing as many people as possible is the normal course of a war ? Are you crazy ?

insider99 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Montaner is eloquent and wise. No nation in history has fought as humanely as Israel, and none has fought as savagely as Hamas.


alincoln3 Author Profile Page:

The author of this op-ed is ignorant.

Israel broke the cease-fire not Hamas. Most importantly, Israel violated the truce with the blockade of Gaza. A blockade is an act of war. Israel also violated the truce with their attacks on the 4th of Nov.

drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

Montaner writes "Israelis are being accused of suffering too few casualties," "[w]hile...close to a [1000] Arab Palestinians have died or been wounded." This is not the primary argument of the critics. The "assymetry" we are concerned about is the political situation of the Palestinians. Hamas has not militarily occupied Israel in violation of Intl law, nor has Hamas fenced Israel in and cut off their capital flow, nor does Hamas prevent humanitarian aid to Israeli citizens. I am afraid it's the other way around. Hamas' rocket fire is obviously wrong, but if we are interested in stopping it, we should pay attention to the legitimate grievances underlying those immoral acts, and do something about them. Why? Because they are legitimate. Furthermore, it should give advocates of the Israeli government some pause about the righteousness of their position when Hamas succeeded in free democratic elections monitored by the UN. Also, the fact that Hamas has publicly supported a 2 state settlement on the June 1967 borders should also give them pause, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/970807.html, when Israel and the US routinely rejects that sensible proposal, supported by virtually the entire world, because Hamas has refused to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel. Although i do not agree with Hamas here, anyone with their brain screwed on can see why they do it; namely, they do not want to recognize Israel when Israel refuses to recognize them. If Montaner brings up "anti-semitism" in response to these arguments, it only reveals the weakness of his own.

amani1 Author Profile Page:

A large number of commenters seemed to be confused and struggling with what they call the goal of Hamas to "demolish" Israel. So let me clear up this confusion for u:

To those who believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization, you have been -intentionally- misinformed. Hamas, just like Fateh and all other palestinian liberation organizations, is nothing but a political movement devoted to give back the palestinians their stolen land from their oppresser -Israel. If u can go back 60 years in history, you may -or may not- have heard of the palestinians who were massacred and kicked out of their homes by gun force upon which the state of Israel enforced its existence. Some were killed, others survived and ended up living in refugee camps in countries all over the world. There are now about 4.6 million Palestinians living outside their homeland Palestine (more than half of its population are refugees!). And let me tell u this: the quality of life they are living in exile sucks! Most are under the line of poverty with not enough food or money to fullfill their needs.

http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/index.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVCY-CKTW50&feature=PlayList&p=A9377B2C9F8A5CDA&playnext=1&index=22

You say Israel has the right to defend its civilians? But don't the Palestinians also have the right to defend their existence, their right to live peacefully on their stolen away country?

zmar2 Author Profile Page:

Dear Mr. Montaner, thank you for your reasoned and thoughtful article.

It boggles the mind that nobody critical of Israel remembers 2000 and the smiling and joking Arafat and Ehud Barak with Bill Clinton -- seemingly on the eve of brokering a Palestinian state! It went nowhere because, well, the Palestinian leadership "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity."(Abba Eban) The "why's" of this are clear -- the leadership has always had their own agenda -- at the complete and utter expense of their own people.

People should read Jeffrey Goldberg's blog.He is thoughtful and even-handed, with a perspective gained by living in different "worlds".

One comment from January 6, 2009 is quite illustrative of some of what is going on in this present situation. He says, "It's absolutely astonishing to me how interested the world is in Israel's failings. This is the source of a bitter but hilarious observation I once heard a Kurdish leader make: He was complaining to me that his people were cursed, and I asked him what he meant: Cursed by geography, cursed by their proximity to Kurd-hating Arabs, what? He said the Kurds were cursed because they didn't have Jewish enemies. Only with Jewish enemies would the world pay attention to their plight."

I, as a Jewish American mother, become terribly upset and cry when seeing the Palestinian children who have been hurt and killed, as much as for an Israeli child (although I know many of the posters will not believe this, it is true.)

But honestly, where is the world's same outrage and "righteous" indignation over the situation in Darfur, or Zimbabwe, or for that matter, where was it during Rawanda . . .

cvm1 Author Profile Page:

"Israelis are being accused of taking too few casualties." What a disgusting and false accusation, and in the very first sentence! No one is calling for more death, except Israel and Hamas.

If you can't tell the difference between sympathy for civilian casualties and imaginary calls for Jewish blood, you are so blind to the humanity of your enemies that you have become what you despise.

kohsar240 Author Profile Page:

Palestinians are unfortunate to have the legacy resistance forced upon them by world powers. And now Israel claims to have high moral ground? It is inherent human weakness.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

@Mearleman
You cannot peacefully coexist with someone who want to kill you. Right, especially if you have just stolen their land are occupying it, killing their leaders, women ,children, using bullets and bombs that are prohibited under International law, and defying the U N.
Civilized people who respect Humanity, love freedom, and respect the law also believe that all others, including Israel should do likewise.
If you disagree then , Bla Bla Bla .Oh grow up and stop with your childish nonsense, it' getting a bit old.

kohsar240 Author Profile Page:

Israel has inherent sense of insecurity. The design is greater Israel and Hamas is a God Given Gift for Israel to build the strongest army in the world at the expense of American money, honor and blood. What the heck, we should no longer sacrifice over one billion people for five million Jews. Let them face the reality and adjust accordingly. Too much American power and prestige is sacrificed for a strip of land.

merleman Author Profile Page:

You can not peacefully coexist with someone who wants to kill you. Unless Israel has a death wish there can not be peace with Hamas. Either Israel must accede to Hamas's demands, and their own destruction, or Hamas must cease to exist as a terrorist threat.

Civilized people, who respect humanity and love freedom, believe the second option is the only one which offers hope. If you disagree you are, by definition, anti-Semite, hateful, and a bigot. Unfortunately, you have lots of company. Bigotry and hate insures that there will continue to be, by necessity, "wars and rumors of wars" for a very long time to come.

kohsar240 Author Profile Page:

Too many moral justification for Israel, but it is the Palestinians that bleed for over 50 years. Where do you fit this simple truth in your moral equation for Israel??? No matter what and everything has been done, in terms of violating human rights and committing crimes against humanity, Israel will still be victorious in western media particularly Washington Post, Netwrok News and New Channel. Just the numbers of Jews controlling New Media gives a very clear picture of where Israel would stand. Imagine if Israel wasn't a Jewish state, what would you think? Would it get away so much crime for 50 years. Palestinians are wrong once, twice....but for 50 years? There is something fundamentally wrong with timing and placing of Israel on Palestinian soil.

Fatherof2 Author Profile Page:

Then to be proportional Israel should fire one indiscriminate missile into Gaza for every rocket the animals of Hamas has fired into their country for the last 3 years.
Is this really what you think? That would cause many more casualties then you are complaining about now, the only difference would be more Hamas people would be dead than civilians. I hope the Israelis finish the job this time and let Hamas know they can live in peace or be buried.

themick Author Profile Page:

"Proportionality" whatever else this is it is a waek Straw man argument. For another European opinion from a columnist familiar with such equivocation.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0113/1231738220178.html

Dady1 Author Profile Page:

Why do Israel fight Hamas?
Hamas is an extremist islamic movement. Like Al-Quaida and Hizbulla they are against democracy, against the western cutlure and they don't value human rights.
Hamas captued Gaza with armed forces, slaughtering the non-radical Fatach palestinians. A lot of Hamas rivals - palestinian people- were executed recently in cold blud by Hamas.
According to Hamas, Israel has no right to exist at all. This organization is so extreme that it refuses any sort of peace with Israel.
Israel doesn't want to conquer Gaza. Peace is much better. But daily missile fire on Israeli civilians forced the operation. It is the right of any coutry to defend it's civilians. A lot of the distrucion and dead civilians in Gaza is caused by Hamas, which sets explosives in schools and traps houses.
Israel is very concerned about the humaniterian situation in Gaza and enforces a daily cease fire in order to enable the palestinian civilians get food, which Israel provides.
Palestinians in the west bank live in relative peace with Israel. Even their leader, Abu Mazen, accused Hamas for it's responsibility for the war and killing of civilians. Amazing? not. He realizes that Hamas is a threat to the peace process and to the chance to have normal ilfe in both sides.
Israeli citizens hope that the war would end soon and we can have a normal and peaceful life with the palestinians.

blimfark Author Profile Page:

Having read carefully through many of the comments here, I have to ask how familiar pro-Hamas / anti-Israel posters are with the history of Palestinian violence? There's a reason why *Egypt* keeps *its* border closed and doesn't want Israel to dump the "Gaza Problem" on it. Just ask the Jordanians:

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

No, most of Palestinian's outraged Arab brethren are like a number of posters in this thread: glad to bask in the warm glow of Israel-bashing sanctimony -- not so eager to actually do anything meaningful about it.

Awhile back, a columnist (name escapes me) wrote that, if the Palestinians were to employ the creative non-violence of Dr. King or Ghandi, they would have had a successful state years ago. I've yet to see anyone who supports Hamas argue for the benefits of provocation against civilian targets as a strategy. Instead, the arguments seem to rest largely on "disproportionality" that apparently places a great deal of value on the Hamas's lack of ability -- not intent -- to destroy Israel.

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL1229777020070312

What is happening in Gaza is tragic and the Israelis are by no means blameless... but (to have any credibility) any opinion about how horrible Israel is would have to begin with some sort of acknowledgement that Hamas is SWORN TO DESTROY ALL OF ISRAEL. Perhaps you could, e.g., come up with an analogy in which someone with a history of violence has sworn to kill you and all your family but you're somehow OK with it?

rnoble11 Author Profile Page:

The first fact is that Israel was a nation built out of despaeration. When the Jews returned to the "holy land," the British in the area at the time actually tried to stop them, right after WWII actually. Furthermore, the Isrealies were already under a barage of attacks from fanatical Arab nations all over. The Palistinians, in my opinion, were dooped by the surrounding countries to flee, even when the Jews begged them to stay and fight with them. The Yom Kippur War and the 1964 war were tremendous victories against the Arab states. Even with the Peace Accords between them and Egypt and Jordan, other Arab countries still vow to destroy them. I do agree that the treatment of these refugees is horendous. But, why should the Israelies be the only ones who rely have to deal with them, when clearly the mass emigration is the fault of Isreal's hateful neighbors? Israel is defending herself now, as it has been since its very existence. Hamas is and will always be an illigitimate government in my eyes, just like Hezbolla and the Iranian governments because it is built on the premise to destroy not just another country or civilization, but race in all terms. Isreal should go in all the way to Gaza, protect its refugees and totally and effectively oust and destroy these fanatical groups. Furthmore, all clerics should realize that Islam and Christianity stem from Judaism and therefore be held in reverence and not contempt. The Jews have had enough predujice aimed at them, it is now their turn to act on what is most important. Their mission is not to only stablize their country and regions, but to save her populations, survive, and prosper, as every other country in that region has done for more than a millenium. I just wish that the Palestinians would be albe to merge with the Israelis and create a new state with out fanactism and make sectarian. Religion is the cause for many many wars and injustices. Start from scratch, keep a premanent peace force from multiple nations, and educate love and tollerance, not hate and ignorance.

maddymappo Author Profile Page:

To me what is disproportionate is the illogical, senseless, mindlessness hatred of Israel as compared to any criticism whatsoever of Hamas. The accusations that Israel is starving the Palestinians etc makes me furious. Voting for Hamas as a government is tantamout to the people of East LA voting for the Cryps or the Bloods gangs to govern them. But even worse because of the nature of religious fanaticism and holy war which makes the idea of a secular peace an affront to god.

I hear Hamas, and these vacuous bleeding heart Euro phonies cry out and wring their hands that the Palestinian people are starving and have no clean water while these insane Hamas hypocrits manage to transport into Gaza tons of Kassam missles via underground tunnels. Somehow it never occured to them or Israel's critics that these same tunnels could be used to bring in water and supplies during the seige that would necessarily follow their attacks. Hamas continuously attacks Israel and yet does not lift a finger to guard and make provisions to have a safe harbor area for their people, and instead use their mosques and schools as launch sites!

However, that all goes unnoticed. Instead of the world crying out that Hamas must take care of its people responsibly and absolutely recognize Israel and make peace to end the people's suffering at long last, the world condemns Israel as being vicious and blood thirsty and demands that Israel look out for the Gazan's well being!

I am so fed up with the sanctimonious outrage of the so called international community, that I could scream. Egging on, sympathizing and finding excuses for the violent actions of these extreme fanatical groups can very possibly lead to a complete annihilation of the Jewish state and its people just as Hamas has said over and over and over again that it plans to do. What will the clueless peaceniks and jew haters have to say about proportionality then?

mharwick Author Profile Page:

Did the United States make a proportional response to the attack on Pearl Harbor? We did not. Hamas is a terrorist organization that took Gaza by force killing Palestinians by the hundreds to do so. That they have killed Israelis and their tourists for years with bombs on buses and other public places makes them unfit for further existence. They kill Palestinians who have music played at their weddings. They hide behind and sign up children to kill Israelis and they have a Charter defining their lust for blood from every Jew and declining any negotiated peace. This from the Los Angeles Times today. I am not surprised. The women of Gaza danced in the streets to celebrate the deaths of 3000 innocent people on 9/11:

January 13, 2009

Reporting from Tyre, Lebanon — Hiba Qassir dreams of making movies. She's ambitious and precocious enough. At 18, she's taught herself how to edit video and sound on a computer, and has her sights set on directing gripping social and psychological dramas.

But if the movie business doesn't work out, that's OK. She has other dreams: perhaps to become a cop or a pilot. Or maybe a suicide bomber.

"Martyrdom is the shortest way to heaven, and the history of martyrdom is not like any history," Hiba says. "It made victory. We wouldn't have achieved victory without these martyrdoms."

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

These forums are very enlightening in that they show the depths of hatred and ignorance humans hold. Very few if any people who have commented want to engage in discussion - rather, they prefer to vomit out their half digested propaganda based on misinformation. It would be interesting to have a discussion where there were at least a few base line facts were agreed upon.

But it could probably be boiled down to one camp not believing that Israel should (or does) exist, and one camp believing that, at least as a fait accompli, it should and does exist.

This was revealing:

"But now we get Israelis filling the posts, the bloodthirsty...uncivilized ranting. Sneering and snide, no conception of decenty. Or humanity.
From a group that's been hated in every century, in every country they ever set foot. And anti-semitism is raging again all over the world, every European country, tens of thousands anti Israel demosntrations. (they are all stupid, don't know the truth, right?)"

Can't you feel the hatred? For every misguided 'kumbaya let's save the cute rabid stray dog hamas,' there are other more sinister forces. Mass rallies against the jews. The truth finally comes out. You can be sure that Israelis see this.

You will have to pry their guns from their cold dead hands because they will not put their security into the hands of a capricious world that is all too ready to let the mob savage them.

I am not jewish nor israeli, but understanding a little bit of history I can appreciate their position.

whistling Author Profile Page:


This guy is a syndicated writer in Spain?

Spain, by the way, put out 30,000 anti israeli
demonstrators last weekend. Was one of the angrier demonstrations. Though they all were, petty much.

merleman Author Profile Page:

Hamas hates Jews! Their sole purpose in existence is to destroy them by any means possible. Their indiscriminate killing by rockets and suicide bombers prove it. For the Israeli it means irreconcilable differences. You can not peacefully coexist with someone who has an stated and expressed desire to kill you. Some seem not to get this, so let me state the obvious for clarity. Unless you have a death wish there can not be peace with Hamas. Either Israel must agree to Hamas demands, and die peacefully, or Hamas must be compelled to quit trying to destroy them. Most Israelis will find the second option as the more desirable solution. If you disagree, that makes you an anti-Semite, a hater, and a bigot. Unfortunately, you have lots of company which also means there will continue to be "wars and rumors of wars" for the foreseeable future, until one or the other succeeds.

noweakcoffee Author Profile Page:

Montaner is a life-long CIA political hack. His writing "credentials" and "journalist" credentials are fully, 100% Agency-created. He has been a mouthpiece for Agency disinformation, propaganda, and manipulations since 1962. His credibility is zero.

dncthm1 Author Profile Page:

I keep reading about Hamas desire to destroy Israel and we know this will not happen. The problem is Hamas is considered a terrorist organization that was elected in a democratic process with the US blessing. Instead of the uS talking with Hamas they put stiulation on them that they had to abide by before we the US would talk with them, yet at the same time Irsael is in violation of several UN resolution and the US says nothing.

Israel hands are not clean in this war. Israel has no intention of being fair with the Palestians or else they would stop building settlements in the West Bank. One other thing: why would Israel want peace when we have equiped them with the lastest and greatest weapons to take what they cannot negoiate away?

NBPat Author Profile Page:

I am sorry but Israel does want to kill Palestinians. To try and claim that Israel's military goons are somehow higher, more moral characters is just not realistic.

The shelling of helpless civilians in Gaza is not the moral highground. That would be if IDF soldiers stopped and refused orders to kill the innocent.

Look at how Israel has acted before, Qana, Sabra and Chatilla. Do you think anything is different this time? Oh yeah! There are cameras filming everything.

alexsuh Author Profile Page:

Hamas has openly stated that's its goal is extermination of the state of Israel.
In addition since Israeli withdrawal from Gaza strip Israeli border town been bombarded daily from Gaza side.
During that time Israel continued to provide electricity, fuel and humanitarian aid to Gaza strip.
The key to stop the violence is in HAMAS hands.
All the Palestinians have to do is stop bombarding Israel.
But apparently HAMAS prefers keep shooting and, hide behind civilian population and steal its food and supplies.

LarryL1 Author Profile Page:

I don't think anyone is using the disproportionate number of Palestinian casualties as the sole reason for questioning Israel's response. The numbers are simply a barometer of the level of response and begs the question as to whether Israel is going too far.

I find it stunning that, as usual, any questioning of Israel suddenly means anti-Semitism. Get real. I am sick of Israel and its supporters expecting everyone to accept all they do at face value. No country or people should expect that. Ever.

And we have to question the writer's bias. I did not see him mention spending any time in Gaza but he has obviously spent time in Israel. If that is true, what he says must be evaluated for bias to Israel. I don't care that he says what he says but everyone who reads his work must also be aware of any leanings and it's important that it is questioned publicly.

No one expects Israel to be happy about rockets from Gaza. And Israel should not expect many to happy about the number of deaths of Gazans (Hamas or not) when compared to Israel's in this situation.

This situation was made more complicated by the election that put Hamas in power. Just another in a long list of things to thank Bush and friends for...

Zargon Author Profile Page:

Israelis hide behind their Fighter jets, Tanks, heavy Artillery. and over 250 nuclear bombs and cry helpless victim. Palestinians who are all cramped together, Ghetto style, and have nowhere to hide use, primitive missiles, small arms, and stone throwing to defend their occupied lands.
As spectators, the rest of us need only to watch what the Israeli's do and not what they say. While Israel continues to plays the role of used car salesman to the rest of the world, we need be weary for we have already been deceived by the many institutions that have caused this global meltdown.

chucky-el Author Profile Page:

So now Pope Benedict XVI says Israel has turned Gaza into, "a big concentration camp." A lowly act similar to Bush's performance in Iraq.

Dead UN workers, women and children by the hundreds. No food, no water, no electricity, no medical care, no where safe.

Everyone knows what God wants:
"Thou shalt not kill,"
Not an idea, not a request, but a COMMANDMENT from God to the Jews.
Thou Shall Not Kill!

So start with not killing.
Add in a little justice and compassion.
Love thy neighbor as one's self.
Then the God of Muslims, Jews, and Christians will create peace and justice for Israel and the Palistinians.

agapn9 Author Profile Page:

What you said is true Carlos however the Palestinians are still an oppressed people nonetheless with 50% unemployment and with the US, the UN, or the Arab league for that matter unwilling to provide the basic essentials for hope and reconciliation.

saberman1 Author Profile Page:

I agree with the analysis of Mr.Montaner. Israel takes exceptional care to avoid civilian casualties. Rarely do other nations take such care. And rarely are nations as justified in their actions as the Israelis are at present.

The world in general, and even the United States, is far from being dominated by Jewish opinion as the anti-Semites so loudly proclaim. Rather, it is the Islamists, overempowered by bloated oil revenues, who have gotten the world to swallow parts of their distorted view of reality in their quest for world domination. If the Islamic imperialists who are now using the Palestinian refugees as a tool to get rid of Israel ever succeed, this will just free them up for further attacks on Democratic "Western" institutions.

I applaud Israel for fighting back and I hope and pray that Israel will continue until she has completely destroyed the military power of Hamas.

msiddiqu Author Profile Page:

We must do one thing, NEVER equate Criticism of Israeli to anti-semitism. If we do that then anti-semitism will become a fair game all over.

Many readers feel that killing disproportionate Palestinians is justified to keep Israel safe. Well, are we approaching a "Final Solution" for Isareli security. Killing more Palestinian will eventually make Israel less secure. Because if it is the Final Solution, then it is just the begining. We have not seen anything yet. Watching the killing of family members, does not breed love for Israel but in fact a desire for revenge is born.

Why don't we find a civilized solution to the problem and egos and prides need to be swallowed. Arrogance must take a back seat. present a hope to the Palestinians not words but actions.

Hamas does not recognize Israel, but PLO does. So what does PLO has to show. We need to create facts on the ground not by killing but provide tangible non-occupational results.

timothy2me Author Profile Page:

"Could it be that Hamas and its sponsors in Tehran and Damascus consider Palestinians to be subhuman?"

Iranian financial support didn't start until the financial blockade of Gaza where Israel froze Palestinian assets and the US cut off all aid. Palestinians are not absorbed into Lebanese, Syrian or Egyptian populations because they are a foreign people.

"Hamas spends a small fortune importing arms and preparing for war with Israel without spending a single penny on the protection of its constituents."

Hamas won elections because they provided food and medical care for their constituants where Fatah was seen as corrupt.

"Syria forbids its Palestinian residents, or anyone of Palestinian ancestry from obtaining Syrian citizenship."

That is because Palestinians are the Jews of the Arabic speaking world. Jews are Palestinians and vice versa.

"Iran recently forbade Iranian 'volunteers' from going to Gaza to fight the Israelis. At the same time both countries are pressuring Hamas not to accept a ceasefire."

Iran and Syrian leadership are Shiites where Hamas is Sunni. Shiites will not give up their lives to protect Sunni while Sunni kill Shiites at every chance.

The only reason Iran stepped into the financial void created by Israel and the US with their blockade was to return a poke in the eye of Bush, not for some love of Hamas.

More than happy to clear up your befuddled mind.

timothy2me Author Profile Page:

Yes Hamas is a violent organization that calls for the destruction of Israel but it is an organization that Israel supported, nurtured and protected to undermine Fatah.

Yes Iran funds Gaza but that funding didn't start until the Israel and the US started an economic blockade on Gaza because Hamas won elections.

Yes Hamas broke the cease fire with their rockets but that cease fire also required and end to the physical blockade that was only increased in scope over 18 months.

Terror is how the weak wage war and war is how the powerful wage terror.

edbyronadams Author Profile Page:

"Soothe the peculiar itch for parity" is just a great phrase and wonderful writing. Israel's detractors seem unable to explain it, so they fume. If they had any dignity, they would fume quietly but they can't control their anti Semitic hate, so they blast away hereabouts.

Garak Author Profile Page:

Montaner is giving us more Zio-fascist drivel.

If Hamas didn't exist, Israel would have to invent it. Wait a minute, I'm sorry, Israel really did help invent Hamas!

Israel wants Hamas to represent the Palestinians. That would make it easier to implement Israel's Final Solution, mass ethnic cleansing. Israeli MK and political leader Avigor Leiberman explicitly advocates such a Final Solution to the Palestinian Problem.

And pathetically, he's welcome here in the USA. We do coddle terrorists, as long as they're the right terrorists.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:


To Soulflair158...

" One has to be impressed with your analytical/mathematical abilities, and your precise logic. I am sure this was the mind set that allowed people to design Zyklon chambers and prepare this turkey shoot in Gaza. Are you sure you understand that we are talking about CHILDREN here, or Palestinian children are subhuman and do not count?"


I don't consider any human to be better than the next, but you raise an interesting point... Could it be that Hamas and its sponsors in Tehran and Damascus consider Palestinians to be subhuman? Hamas spends a small fortune importing arms and preparing for war with Israel without spending a single penny on the protection of its constituents. Syria forbids its Palestinian residents, or anyone of Palestinian ancestry from obtaining Syrian citizenship. Iran recently forbade Iranian 'volunteers' from going to Gaza to fight the Israelis. At the same time both countries are pressuring Hamas not to accept a ceasefire.

Apparently it's still in fashion for other nations to fight Israel until the last drop of Palestinian blood.

BTW, comparing me or the Israelis to Nazis doesn't win you any debating points. What it does show is that, lacking any substantive evidence to support your argument, you feel the need to resort to insults.

timothy2me Author Profile Page:

In the eight years prior to 2009 the rockets killed thirteen Israelis. Over those same eight years Israeli security forces have killed 634 Palestinian children.

Now you may preemptively brand me an anti-Semite for taking note of these facts and maybe that will ease your conscious, assuming you have one, but it doesn't change those facts.

It may also make you feel better to change the facts and deflate the numbers of Palestinian killed and wounded. You put that number “close to a thousand “ but that is telling a lie when you know better. It may narrow that disproportion by reducing Palestinian casualties by 75% but even with that reduction the casualty difference is overwhelming.

Facts are things like of the 13 Israelis killed; 4 were killed by rockets and 4 were killed by friendly fire.

It isn’t the disproportion of the casualties that I question but the disproportionate military responses that generate those casualties. Remember, in 1967 Israel used the blockade of the Strait of Hormuz as a casus belli to start the Six Day War.

go_cat_go1 Author Profile Page:

Hamburgers and hot dogs

People who insist on calling a cooked beef patty on bread a "hamburger" are stupid. Obviously, its a beef burger. I challenge anyone of these idiots to order a burger at McDonalds that has ham on it. You can't do it.

And as for hot dogs. That, too, is dumb. They aren't made from dogs. And besides, they don't have to be hot, you can eat them cold.

Likewise, my stereo system has six speakers. How can that be called a stereo? Its more like a "hexereo".

Kidnapping? What if you abduct an adult? Is it really still kidnapping?

But really, people are even stupider than you think. Hamburgers, even if they are made of ham, should never be called hamburgers because the word derives from a city in Germany. Why are we calling cooked beef between two slices of bread after city in Germany. It makes no sense I tell you.

And kidnapping? I mean even if you abduct a child, you arent napping with the child, unless you're a child molester. Again, people are using these words in the wrong way.

And the stupidest word by far is the word anti-semitism when it is used to mean Jew hater. The word Semite refers to speakers of a language group that generally includes both Hebrew and Arabic. So Semites include both Jews and Arabs. How can Arabs be labeled "anti-Semetic"? Are they against themselves? People who use this word to mean Jew hater are just dumb. Honestly, how can they get Jew hater out of anti-Semite when the biggest Jew haters in world nowadays are the Arabs? It makes no sense I tell you.

ttraub Author Profile Page:

Thank you, Mr. Montaner, for a well written and reasonable analysis of the Middle East situation. Of course Israel's response to continued aggression by Gazans is proportionate. If anything, it is insufficient. Israel should obliterate Gaza--transfer the people to Egypt which is where their tribes are from, and remake Gaza into a prosperous and productive part of Israel. But instead they just keep tolerating this violent and barbaric group on their border which is sworn to destroy them.

What most people don't know is that Hamas is armed and funded now by Iran and Syria. It has become little more than a forward base for the Iranians and they have been supplying them with increasingly sophisticated weapons that can have only one purpose--to destroy Israel. Meanwhile, Gaza's economy flounders and poverty only increases there. The Gazans have wasted an opportunity to build a strong, independent state within their current borders and have sold their souls instead to the devil, trusting these outside entities to have their best interests at heart.


Ahem Author Profile Page:

The doctor has the best tools but he is using a jackhammer to remove a tooth.
Burn the forest to flush the fox.
Disgusting.
Burn all the books, there might be subversion in there.
Throw them in the ring with the lions as an example, slay all the firstborne...
Bring them to their knees, for you are Pharoah.
Off with their heads, you are queen.
Peel their skin, hold their beating heart in your raised hand, oh great one, show your limitless power...
The lessons of brutality, of going beyond subduction and control, going beyond legitimate police action are all throughout history.
There is one example of true righteousness that you all know.
FOLLOW IT.
He carried no weapon.


CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

Whoknows, Are you one of those people under the impression that there was a country called Palestine that was invaded by jews?

Seriously.

Just about every one of your assumptions is flat wrong.

"part or all of your country"

There was no country of Palestine. The unfortuitously named Palestine Mandate was a mish mash of former Ottoman Empire territories (poorly?) administered by the Brits after WWI. They split off a chunk 75-80% of the territory as land intended for the arabs. It was pretty clear to them that jews and arabs don't mix very well. Its a place we now call Jordan. The rest was intended as a jewish homeland (like it or not).

"all the citizens of your country"

Gaza was run by the Egyptians, and the West bank by the Jordanians, until they attacked Israel and lost the territories. These arabs in gaza or the west bank have big countries they could go back to if they wanted.

"banned any food or medicine from entering"

Well that isn't true and you know it. Israel of course is obligated to try to restrict the flow of weapons that are used against it by hamas, an organization whose very charter puts it at war with Israel.

Do any of you recall the irony of hamas complaining that Israel was reducing power deliveries to gaza when they were firing rockets at Israel?

To make a long story short, hamas wants war. If it made peace with Israel there would be no reason for it to exist. You might consider it a sort of institutional inertia that keeps hamas and other militants from letting gaza develop peacefully.

Its a tough situation to be sure.

fr33gaza Author Profile Page:

CFL1968, all your justifications are false. Nothing prevented Israel from committing war crimes, Israelis don't really give a dam for any Palestinians whether he/she was a child, a women etc.

The Israeli army saw four kids around the bodies of their mothers and yet did not allow any aid workers to rescue them for four days. This is just a mini picture on how much Israel really care about human lives.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

I don't care what was passed or overlooked at Geneva.
I don't care for any written rules of engagement or rhetoric from anywhere but from common sense.
You dont fight fire with fire in a house full of children.
Guilty.
Period
End of Subject.

fr33gaza Author Profile Page:

WhoKnows1, if a country occupied part or all of your country, put all the citizens of your country in one big prison, and banned any food or medicine from entering to this prison, Who Knows what will you do?

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"the brave Israeli army has not dared set foot inside Gaza City?"

I'm not sure how clear you are on the nature of urban combat, but it is pretty bloody and there is a lot of smoke and confusion. Your snide comments betray your ignorance. This is typical of you people. You shed crocodile tears for the civilians killed as hamas laughs all the way to the bank, and you incite further bloodshed.

What would happen to the arabs in gaza if the IDF stormed in and started clearing apartment blocks?

It is much safer for everyone that they pick and choose their targets carefully. It may come to an all out assault, but it is not something you should wish for if you care about the civilians there.

fr33gaza Author Profile Page:

RandomGuy,

The majority of Spanish people are against this holocaust against Gaza.

I just want to add a comment to your comment about the Israeli hospital saving a Palestinian child (Who may got shot by the Israelis). The father of a Palestinian child who was killed by the Israeli army donated his child organs to save 6 or so Israeli children. But mentioning this does not support Carlos analysis or even washingtonpost support to Israel.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"Palestinians in Gaza are under occupation"

Um, well, actually, Israel pulled out several years ago.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

Ah - thats great. I wonder what these esteemed lawyers have published regarding hamas et al and their war fighting methods? I wonder if we compared the two which side would be found straying further from international norms?

And if, it turns out that it is hamas and their buddies who are in gross violation every moment of their existence, then why are you complaining about Israel?

Eh?

Wars is a terrible thing and hamas should think hard about starting them.

al55 Author Profile Page:

Soulflari58,

Please get your facts straight. Hamas is funded by Iran and uses machine guns, rockets, IED's, and other bombs against the Israelis. And anywhere near Hamas? What do you think the IDF grond troops are doing? Most countries would not risk their own troops to save Pal civilians. The Hamas cowards are hiding under a hospital. They need to learn to fight like men

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Sick sick sick.
Insane, disgusting, apalling.
Horrific and obscene.
The child throws a knife at daddy
so daddy declares war.
Daddy is an obnoxious, demanding, fat, loudmouth on welfare.

fr33gaza Author Profile Page:

CFL1968, you are an alias so your interpretation to the international law are BS. All the following accused Israel of committing war crimes and breaking the international law:

Ian Brownlie QC, Blackstone Chambers

Mark Muller QC, Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales

Michael Mansfield QC and Joel Bennathan QC, Tooks Chambers

Sir Geoffrey Bindman, University College, London

Professor Richard Falk, Princeton University

Professor M Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul University, Chicago

Professor Christine Chinkin, LSE

Professor John B Quigley, Ohio State University

Professor Iain Scobbie and Victor Kattan, School of Oriental and African Studies

Professor Vera Gowlland-Debbas, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

Professor Said Mahmoudi, Stockholm University

Professor Max du Plessis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

Professor Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College

Professor Joshua Castellino, Middlesex University

Professor Thomas Skouteris and Professor Michael Kagan, American University of Cairo

Professor Javaid Rehman, Brunel University

Daniel Machover, Chairman, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights

Dr Phoebe Okawa, Queen Mary University

John Strawson, University of East London

Dr Nisrine Abiad, British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Dr Michael Kearney, University of York

Dr Shane Darcy, National University of Ireland, Galway

Dr Michelle Burgis, University of St Andrews

Dr Niaz Shah, University of Hull

Liz Davies, Chair, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyer

Prof Michael Lynk, The University of Western Ontario

Steve Kamlish QC and Michael Topolski QC, Tooks Chambers

And a lot more.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"instead bombing from a safe distance and killing everything?"

Thats rich! As the hamas militants shoots another rocket blindly into Israel - or the Hamas leader drinks tea in Damascus...

Why are you people such fools?

fr33gaza Author Profile Page:

al55:

Palestinians in Gaza are under occupation go read international law. Palestinians don't have army they are all civilians. The resistance in any country is part of the people, go read about the French resistance if the Nazis bombarded a neighborhood would you say the French resistance used the people in the neighborhood as human shield, if you are sane you wouldn't, and further more you will call the Nazis bombardment as a war crime.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Insane article full of inflamatory falsehoods.
If there were no wayward bombs, there would be no civilian casualties.
This is a torturing trapped people.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

To all of you geniuses out there accusing the IDF of committing war crimes, you obviously have never bothered to read the geneva conventions. If you had, you would realize that is is hamas that day in and day out violates the conventions - not the IDF.

Oh but wait, they are not signatories to the conventions so it doesn't apply to them. I see your logic now. Clever.

fr33gaza Author Profile Page:

The writer of this article is so ignorant (Or just pro-Israel apologist).

First of all your comparison is invalid because Gaza is an occupied territory not a country and Israel is an occupation force. Anything Palestinians do is self-defense anything Israel does is a war crime.

As for the ceasefire it is Israel who broke the ceasefire on Nov 4th not the Palestinians. Former president Carter and Israel chief of internal intelligence both said Hamas is willing to renew the truce on Dec 21. Israel does not want a truce.

The war on Iraq was based on lies, and the war on Gaza is based on lies too, and writers like Carlos are supporting such wars. Shame on you.

al55 Author Profile Page:

Oustanding article. Israel is doing the world a great service. If the Hamas cowards did not hide behind women and children, there would be no civilian casualties.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

My mother is Jewish, my father not. Hard drinking, swearing US military decorated vet, laborer/builder. Not a genius.
Mom had the brains. She is pro-Israel.
She is wrong - Israel has stepped over the line again.
Israel should not take ONE STEP without UN support from here on. The US is now too far in debt to keep paying Israeli welfare.
I am apalled at the disregard and incompetence.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

The word "Semitic" refers to the language spoken in the Middle East region, including Arabic, therefore any accusations of Arabs being anti-Semitic is as ludicrous as it is inaccurate, so let this be the end to the anti-Semitic accusations once and for all.

Tozalik Author Profile Page:

This Zionist propagandist and failed journalist, who claims to have been a professor in his previous life, has recently received messages and media packages from the Israeli foreign ministry instructing him to come to the rescue of other failed hasbara brigade cyber insurgents planted everywhere in Europe and America. This article originated from the Israeli ministry of information.


The role of the hasbara brigade is to gain positive sentiments from American readers through media manipulation and propaganda efforts designed to brainwash ordinary Americans who, thanks to the internet and overseas TV channels, now have first-hand knowledge of what’s going on in Gaza and of the outrageous crimes Israel is committing there in breach of international law and the articles of the Geneva conventions.

Israel knows that it cannot buy every American’s silence with money, since most of the $ 3 billion it receives every year from the USA government is spent on the weapons it murders Palestinian women and children with, but Israel will do anything to recruit the likes of Carlos Alberto to manipulate American public opinion which is beginning to shift. The email that the Israeli foreign ministry sent out recently to its cyber insurgents, of whom Carlos is one, speaks volumes for the kind of dirty tactics Israel deploys – see below:

Dear friend,
We hold the [sic] military supremacy, yet fail the battle over the international media. We need to buy time for the IDF to succeed, and the least we can do is spare some (additional) minutes on the net. MFA are concerned with public opinion. So please identify yourself as a local resident and focus your efforts on internet battle-grounds and use the material attached below.
World governments are still patient with Israel's justified operation in Gaza. The [sic] public opinion, on the other hand, is impatient, to say the least. This gap will soon close – it always does.
It is our goal to shift the public opinion, as conveyed in the internet; avoiding, or at least minimizing, sanctions by world leaders. We need to buy the IDF enough time to achieve its goals.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

to Jeff41

Thank you.
Precisely put.
Inflammatory language is rampant here.
Jesus taught to favor the sick and the poor.
It is clear who is disadvantaged here if one must "take sides".
Indians are not still tossing arrows from the reservations.
But if they did, the response should be APPROPRIATE, HUMANE and PRECISE.
Not this madness.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

If Israel was engaged in the 'carpet bombing' of Gaza, densely populated as it is and totally lacking in any civilian bomb shelters, don't you think there would be a lot more than 200 children among the dead? There are probably 500 or more Gazans in a single apartment building. I would imagine there would have to be several thousand such buildings throughout Gaza. An Israeli carpet bombing would have to level at least 1000 of them. A 50% casualty rate would result in roughly a quarter million killed or injured.

According to the Palestinians there are a total of about 10,000 casualties, civilian and military. That's a lot of people, but certainly not evidence of Israeli 'carpet bombing'.

Miron1 Author Profile Page:

"gleeful count of Palestinian dead"

being inebriated in front of the computer does not excuse luck of basic intelligence.

sme49b1 Author Profile Page:

I would just like to make a couple of points here...

With all the death and destruction in Gaza, has anyone stopped to wonder why, even though they built miles of tunnels and bunkers for use against a probable Israeli attack, they did not build a single shelter for Gazan civilians? The failure of Hamas to afford any kind of shelter from attack to its population is in itself a war craime.

To all those who rail against Israel's blockade of Gaza - until the advent of the most recent intifada in 2000, literally tens of thousands of Gazans worked in Israel, goods flowed freely between the two, Gaza had its own international airport and there was talk of building a major seaport, as well as hotels and resorts to take advantage of the beautiful beaches there. Indeed, many PLO leaders had villas overlooking the Mediterranean. It was violence initiated by Arabs against Israel that caused Gaza to be cut off from Israel.

The sanctions imposed by Israel 18 months ago (bear in mind that it was not a total economic cutoff) were the result of Hamas' refusal to accept minimal Israeli conditions - e.g., acceptance of Israel's right to exist and observance of previous PA - Israel agreements.

Israel is no longer Gaza's 'occupying power' and as such does not have any responsiblity under international law to care for Gaza's citizens. Moreover, when faced with attacks on its own population, it has a higher obligation to protect that population. According to some of you, Israel should have waited until Hamas had the ability to fire larger and more powerful rockets with a greater range, so that they could cause a greater number of casulaties. This in turn would have given Israel more leeeway in the proportionality of force it could have used. Then again, you still would have shed your crocodile tears about the plight of the poor Palestinians. Most of yuo care as little (or less) about them as you do about Israeli Jews.

Finally, while we're on the subject of Palestinians and Jews, let's talk a bit about those who have questioned how an Arab (a Semite) could be anti-Semitic. The origination of the term 'anti-Semite' has its roots in the hostility toward Jews (it was coined by a 19th century Austrian politician). It has nothing at all to do with Arabs. As such, Arabs can indeed be anti-Semitic. Playing semantic games with the word 'Semite' only tells me that those engaging in such behavior are themselves anti-Semites, or if you like, Jew haters.

RandomGuy Author Profile Page:

edbyronadams Author Profile Page:

With less than a thousand dead after 17 days of total military domination, the goal could hardly be genocide. Give it a rest.
__________________________

Sure I wish you and your zionist murder loving friends were part of the 'less than a thousand dead'. That would have been fine with me.

But I'm sure your safe fat a** is sitting in a nice New York suburb playing video games.

When's the last time you had a chat with your holocaust surviving grandmother? I'm sure she would love to hear about your gleeful count of Palestinian dead.

RandomGuy Author Profile Page:

This nut case Carlos needs to go back to writing in Spanish where only the poor Spaniards will be subjected to his vitriol.

I'm sure he is a big supporter of what his ancestors did to the native South Americans.

Perhaps he can lobby the Spanish govt to move the fake state of Israel to Spain and bring some peace to the Palestinians.

jeff41 Author Profile Page:

This is a poorly written and one-sided commentary.

Terms such as "anti-Semitic stench", "Hamas terrorists", "fanatical gang", and "drunk with violence" do not suggest that the author approached the subject with any objectivity.

The Israeli blockade of Gaza is never mentioned. The issue of "proportionality" is misconstrued. And it is certainly not clear that Hamas is responsible for breaking the ceasefire in the first place.

Or this one - "I know of no other nation that announces where and when it will drop its bombs, thus enabling civilians to evacuate the territory." Well, that's great, but how many other nations are currently involved in bombing campaigns against civilian areas? Not so many.


Zargon Author Profile Page:

Enough already, Israel is defying the U N, and committing war crimes. Even the Pope has come to comparing Gaza to a Ghetto. It is now time for all people of good conscience to begin Boycotting the State of Israel, just as was done to South Africa. Since Israel imports most of it's goods from other countries a Boycott would stand a good chance of working. With the word wide economies in recession, people can no longer afford the Billions of Dollrs wasted on endless drivel of Israel with their talk , talk, talk, peace. Nothing but yada, yada, yada and their continued intransigence of getting nowhere,and demanding more money, for what? The time is now, lets all just do it.

BrianEP Author Profile Page:

I think this piece hits the nail on the head and has an important element of nuance lacking in most of what you read and see this week in the media.

I think the author really understands why watching all this fighting play out -- even while strongly supporting the defense and survival of Israel -- makes me so sad. I am sad to see Hamas love killing and the necessity to risk civilian lives to put down Hamas.

I cannot see a viable way for Israel to come out of this without using military destruction of the missiles and armaments that Hamas has prioritized getting, having and using as a main mission. All this effort on offensive armaments instead of spending their time and energy on social support.

I would like to see the real losers of this conflict, the Palestinians, emerge with an interest in their own well-being, education and health. But that will necessitate having leaders interested in that above terrorism.

Sending their own kids into suicide missions with happiness is a pathetic telltale sign of trouble for Hamas. The Palestinians should be standing up to that.

manning120 Author Profile Page:

GO_CAT_GO1 makes an interesting comment. Given the rhetoric of Hamas and its supporters concerning the destruction of Israel, and the willingness to provoke Israel into killing Palestinian civilians by causing rockets to fly, relatively harmlessly, into Israel, I agree that if Hamas or Hezbollah had anywhere near the firepower the U.S. supplies to Israel, the death toll would be much higher on the Israeli side. But it's impossible to really know, because with that kind of parity, both sides might act with more restraint, and Hamas might be inclined to use the threat of real force, rather than pinpricks, to win concessions.

But so much for idle speculation. Two things are painfully obvious: the current "disproportionality" works in favor of Hamas and its allies, since they're winning the propaganda war; and non-violent resistance is the last thing on the mind of anyone in the Middle East. Is it really impossible for a Gandhi or Martin Luther King to be heard in that area?

edbyronadams Author Profile Page:

With less than a thousand dead after 17 days of total military domination, the goal could hardly be genocide. Give it a rest.

Even under these horrible conditions, I would venture that total Gazan population has increased in the last 17 days since each woman has an average of 5.19 children.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

What is now happening in Gaza is genocide.

The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

Intent is different from motive. Whatever may be the motive for the crime (land expropriation, national security, territorial integrity, etc.), if the perpetrators commit acts intended to destroy a group, even part of a group, it is genocide.

The phrase "in whole or in part" is important. Perpetrators need not intend to destroy the entire group. Destruction of only part of a group (such as its educated members, or members living in one region) is also genocide. Most authorities require intent to destroy a substantial number of group members – mass murder. But an individual criminal may be guilty of genocide even if he kills only one person, so long as he knew he was participating in a larger plan to destroy the group. *

Nobel Wole Soyinka (Reith Lectures, delivered at Oxford, “Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World”):

“… the doctrine of “There are no innocents” must be strategically and morally repudiated. To do less is to surrender our self-esteem, deny ourselves all dignity, diminish our own humanity, and indeed forgo our fundamental right to existence.” **


*
http://www.preventgenocide.org/genocide/officialtext.htm

**
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2004/lectures.shtml

ravisingh Author Profile Page:

OK, so the gas fields will be Israel's just compensation for its part in the War on Terror, including the elimination of potential future terrorists.

Zahwa Author Profile Page:

to ravisingh :
you view clearly reflects contemporary ignorant or idiot, you chose

Zahwa Author Profile Page:

proportionate, you buy me a beer I retun in kind with a glass of wine.
Disproportionate, I buy you beer you serve me with Chivas.
in conflict these two terms do not exist. there is war or peace, fire or cease fire, winners and whinners.
Liberal interpretation of proportionate is in proportionate stretch of imagination which had we follow it humanity would still be in the cave. however, still many adopt this view like talibans, sudanees other like these two. there the rule works, they either live in caves on making a progress toward reaching a cave

ravisingh Author Profile Page:

It's all about the gas fields off the Gaza coast. From the Israeli point of view, God didn't put that gas there for goyim.

Zahwa Author Profile Page:

here is a link of hamas representative. please see what achmad has to say
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwOL4rB-go

Miron1 Author Profile Page:

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""
Please chose one, rockets or "like Carlos"
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Wake up - they are NOT LIKE CARLOS.

They are certainly humans, and 10,000 well armed IDF soldiers managed in 15 days to kill 500 rocket throwers and 400 civilians. Is it a terrible price, yes... Mr. Olmert said it from the outset. The moment Palestinian people affirm that they are "just like Carlos" IDF will stop hostilities.

So, when is

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""
"we are just like Carlos"
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""

will grace our deathly Earth from the mouth of Palestinian people? Not UN, not TV, not enraged protester on the street, out of luck and out of job, but those who threw the tockets and now enjoy the show from under Shifa hospital.

Miron1 Author Profile Page:

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
Call those who speak in their defense what you want, Carlos...but Palestinians ARE human beings...maybe, just maybe...just like you.
"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Ok my dear fried. What you advocate is everyone is "just like Carlos" only Palestinians need to be permitted to throw rockets when they feel like it.

Please chose one, rockets or "like Carlos"

jgogek Author Profile Page:

With each new paroxysm of hideous violence between Israelis and Palestinians, I become more convinced that the rest of the world will not put up with this insanity forever. At some point, supporters of each side will say, it’s just not worth it.

The arrogance and presumption of Israelis and Palestinians is that they believe they can do whatever they want and their supporters will not turn away from them. It never dawns on them that the world will get fed up with their act. Through their actions, Israelis and Palestinians show that they don’t care about the rest of the world. Why should the rest of the world care about them?

The best policy toward both Israelis and Palestinians is to stop the enabling, to throw up our hands and walk away. Then, the only options left to them will be peace -- or mutual destruction.

telsawy1 Author Profile Page:

"Tel Aviv's critics -- from whom an anti-Semitic stench often rises --" he writes. The oft-used canard is tired and lost its potency. If the sobriquet of anti-Semitism is contorted, twisted and bastardized to signify its clamor for human rights, dignity, freedom, return of illegally stolen land for the Palestinians, then so be it...let it be called that...but decent and moral people should never be silenced by intimidation and insult. Palestinians breathe just like Jews, Palestinians have eyes just like Jews, Palestinians laugh just like Jews, Palestinians sneeze just like Jews, Palestinians make love just like Jews, Palestinians eat just like Jews...and like Jews during WW2, they do not deserve to be put in ghettos nor in concentration camps. Call those who speak in their defense what you want, Carlos...but Palestinians ARE human beings...maybe, just maybe...just like you.

amani1 Author Profile Page:

What amazes me the most is the number of respones applauding this very discriminate, murder-justifying article!
It is time for the human side of every reader now to speak up and to put aside your different views of the ongoing arab-israeli conflict for a moment. Before we discuss and fight over any subject, we have to first agree on one thing: it is not justified to kill innocent lives for any reason!
Is it justifieable to KILL OVER SIXTY people including women and children EVERY DAY for SEVENTEEN continuous days now?! Is it justifiable to MURDER 277 CHILDREN while hiding fearfully in their homes with no food and water for 3 days?! Is it justifiable to bomb a mosque during the maghrib prayer and KILL 10 PEOPLE just PRAYING there?!...

Come on people, where is your conscience?!! Don't let your disagreement with any political movement blind you from seeing the terrible massacres happening in Gaza EVERY DAY with the whole world WATCHING it happen. Be effective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWsv4-_UX4g

ZZim Author Profile Page:

Interesting to see people briniging up Sri Lanka. In terms of Human suffering and levels of violence, the war in Sri Lanka is vastly more important than the events going on in Gaza.

I care nothing about whether the Jewish Palestinians control Palestine or if the Muslim Palestinians control Palestione. Because it means nothing to me, I can see clearly that Sri Lanka is far more important. I am looking forward to the final defeat of the Tamil Tigers and the establishment of a peaceful society in Sri Lanka. It will make the world a better place.

Now if only the world would pay attention to the war in the Congo, which is 100 times in real terms as important than the one in Palestine.

waPoId1 Author Profile Page:

@go_cat_go1:
sorry for the snarky start to my post. Was unnecessary and usually what I try to avoid. Besides the condescending attitude at the beginning I stand behind the rest.

czar_returns Author Profile Page:

An interesting point of view. Which of course inspires arguement from both sides of the conflict. Not so amazing is that most dont have a clue beyond what the media tells them.

I am pro-israel in this, Hamas declared war and committed acts of war against Israel. Even calling for its total destruction (wouldnt that constitute genocide?) Israel in my opinion has every right to defend itself including a total occupation of the Gaza Strip to gain security for their country. The elimination of Hamas should be what ends that war. Maybe then Palestinians can find peace with their neighbors.
The UN and international community have done nothing to end the attacks against Israel for years, ignoring the problem has only made it worse. Maybe the UN will step in and do what it was created for - maintain peace.

Strange that HAMAS doesnt want that to happen.
but then Hamas is a terrorist group isnt it.

Im puzzled, Why doesnt foreign aide travel thru Egypt into Gaza?

Civilian casualties are the fault of Hamas which has proven to be as beneficial to Palestine as the plague would be. Any acts of generosity on their part has been calculated to win support, the ultimate goal of the organization is not to improve Palestinian lives - its destruction.


waPoId1 Author Profile Page:

One final point in relation to Sri Lanka.

The Indian government has sided with and is quite vocal in it's dealings with Kashmir and disputed regions. Now kashmir is a very very different situation - and my point is not a discusion of the history of the subcontinent. But simply this, Sri Lanka is not talked about much, because it has and will have limited impact outside it's border's. It's a local issue. If hindu's as a whole decided to "adopt" the Sri Lanka issue as one of it's own there would be plenty of voices.

Personally, I don't believe their is this big "world opinion" one way or the other. If there was one, I wouldn't know it. Despite the internet, I still get most of my news from "western" sources. And I am tired of hearing any dissent or discussion of the issue starting with cries of antisemitism, as in the first sentence of the second paragraph in this story.

Personally, I think the people in charge on both sides are power hungry vindictive people who use the centuries long animosity to fuel their pitiful struggle for personal power on the graves of their friends and enemies alike. But somehow nobody says I must hate muslems when I say that about Amhedenijad (not even going to learn to spell his name) or Hamas. The bias flows both ways and it's always ugly.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

We pay more attention to the Israel/Arab conflict preceisely because for decades terrorism has worked. It has captured our attention.

Sad but true.

Leerandhanover Author Profile Page:

n

MichaelNJ Author Profile Page:

Excellent post from Go-cat-go which unfortunately will not change any minds, because it is rational thinking addressed to irrational people.

All the reasons listed play a part. As far as the hysterical anti-Israel protests in the West are concerned, white guilt definitely plays a big part. But to my mind, the main driving force behind the behavior of that creature called "World public opinion" is the numerical one. Unfortunately for the Tamilis in Sri-Lanka, they are not surrounded by a billion more Tamilis who could stir up a huge storm around the world. Vox Populi. We are raised to believe in democracy, which is good, and our knee-jerk reaction when wighing the opposite sides of an issue is to side with the majority, which is not good. Is it possible that 5 million people are right and a billion people are wrong? Of course it's possible, but if we know nothing else about the issue - and most people don't - we just follow the crowd like lemmings. It's so much easier.

markgross1 Author Profile Page:

Carlos Montaner's analysis of the Gaza situation is one of the more sensitive and sane ones that I have seen in the international press. He clarifies in very stark terms why proportionality is a ridiculous concept, and that instead the focus needs to be on where the aggression really comes from, and only then is there a chance to end this conflict

kevinlarmee Author Profile Page:

" Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties"

Total BS! That's like saying the suicide bombers don't want to kill civilians, just the soldiers.

You drop bombs from the air on civilian populations, you cause causualties.Period! You drop bombs on a captive civilian population (captive by Israel) and you have war crimes. period. What Israel is doing is war crimes. Period!

waPoId1 Author Profile Page:

@go_cat_go1

As a thinking person, I have a pretty obvious answer: The geo-political importance of Sri Lanka, and the tamil terrorists there are largely viewed as only of regional importance.

There are no major resources that the world is fighting over (ie. oil) in that region. Foreign governments are not arming either side.

As a person of Tamil descent, I'm not aware of my Indian family having any real sympathy with the Sri Lankan tamils.

Oh and Sri Lanka doesn't have nukes - India is not giving them to the tamil tigers.

So let's see -
1) Nothing of any real value to the world (i know this sounds horrible, but in reality - Sri Lanka just isn't that important to the rest of the world)
2) Limited risk of violence escalating beyond the intial actors. While it's horrible for the Sri Lankan's nobody is worried about Tibet attacking India in some sort of wierd religious escalation

3) The one point, I think does play in though. Western Media doesn't really care what brown people do to other brown people. But factors one and two are probably a lot more about it.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Another silly diversion from the issue at hand.
The answer to the focus is popular and govt support.
America has a huge stake in the middle east.
Billions in foreign aid, to protect billions in resourses and to protect a democratic hope.
Hope is diminished by careless agression and wayward bombs.

ah145 Author Profile Page:

It is easy for everyone to comment. Raise your hand if you live in Israel or Gaza. Those are the opinions that i will read, the rest of you are talking from your bun holes.

go_cat_go1 Author Profile Page:

"Concerns of civilian deaths rise in Sri Lanka" Jan 5, 2009 - Associated Press

Has anyone noticed that while the Israelis launched their invasion of Gaza, the Sri Lankans have been engaged in a major military offensive against the Tamil Tigers. I dont really find it suprising that this gets little news coverage. But what is amazing, is the extraordinary amount of world focus on the Israelis, and specifically attention to the level of civilian casualties, by comparison. Here, you have a similar conflict with roughly similar casualties; and yet, the Sri Lankan conflict is virtually non-existant in the world media, non-existant in anguish projected, in protests, in peace initives, and above all in the level of criticism that the more powerful military and country is receiving.
Why is this? What explains the microscopic critical attention received by the Israelis, and the complete lack of interest received by the Sri Lankans? Is it because the Israelis are perceived as a white people oppressing a non-white peoples? Is it because they are Jewish? Is it because they are backed by the Americans (who are evil themselves)? Is it because there are more than 1 billion Muslims world wide whose main focus on injustice concerns the Palestinians and no other people anywhere else in the world? Is it because leftists the world over have a special place in the their hearts for Israel hating? Is it because Europeean nations now have the own large Muslim populations that have to be appeased?
Or is it simply that the Israelis are in fact worse than the Sri Lankans? or the Russians in Chechnya? or the Sudanese in Darfur? or the various warlords running rampant in the Congo? (3 million dead in 15 years) In other words, do the Israelis receive this special attention because they have killed more people and have conducted their army more brutally than any of these other places (and countless military conflicts unreferenced)? And obviously, if this the case, the Israelis must have not simply been worse but, to justify the attention, they must be unfathombly worse. I mean they must commit atrocity after atrocity with mind numbing numbers of dead and with a brutality that knows no bounds. Because thats about what it would take to rationally explain this disparate media attention.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

To Israel, Hamas and Mr Bloodletting:
Insults will not win any argument nor will bombs and blood.
These things go on for centuries, from generation to generation.
It never ends with brutality, only with righteousness.

"Retarded" is any other path.

njfriend Author Profile Page:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/12/mideast/israel.php?page=2
"The writer A.B. Yehoshua, who opposes Israel's occupation and promotes a Palestinian state, has spent the past two weeks trying to explain the war to foreigners. "Imagine, I tell a French reporter, that every two days a missile falls in the Champs-Élysées and only the glass windows of the shops break and five people suffer from shock," Yehoshua told a reporter at Yediot Ahronot newspaper. "What would you say? Wouldn't you be angry? Wouldn't you send missiles at Belgium if it were responsible for missiles on your grand boulevard?""

njfriend Author Profile Page:

until palestenians (as they are calling themselves) will continue to hide behind 'civil population" and until they will continue to fire missiles from schools and hospitals - those schools and hospitals will be bombarded with extreme precision.

Israel is doing a remarkable job on pin-pointing the trouble spots and hitting them one after another. Enough for Israeli kids - Jews and Arabs alike - to study in the bomb shelters. Enough for people to live in constant expectation of a new missile attack.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

Ahem...I applaud Israel's decision to protect it's civilians from the idiocy of Hamas...as I stated before...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.
Once more for your retarded self...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Mr "Bloodletting"s comments are an example of the insane one sided demands that prolong agression. "Do this or else..."
As long as there is this kind of thinking and speaking, the world will never know a true "civilization".
Mistakes occur and cannot be reacted to with brutality.
Power often falls into the wrong hands.
Everyone must think and act according to Gods direction.
Evil is always close.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

@BillGant:

Apparently, you did not read...Once more...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.
And Again....stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.


One more time....stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

BillGant Author Profile Page:

In the last year the Hamas rockets didn't kill more than 10 Israelis. Does that Justify killing 900 palestinians in return.

They could have easily bombed all the suspected weapon warehouses and the tunnels, and called it a night. Or they could have targeted the leaders of Hamas before they hide, thereby decapitating the organization.

This is just a stunt by Livni to win the Elections in Israel, while there is a power vacuum in the U.S, and palestinian civilians are paying the price.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

The great crime in all of this is the Israeli arrogance in not asking for UN assistance or a denouncement of indiscriminate bombings.
There is no widespread support for the methods here.
2 wrongs dont make a right.
This kind of military action is barbaric.
The definition of brutality is when a stronger force goes beyond subduction.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

Again...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

Once more...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.


Please get this through your thick skulls...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

fortmutj Author Profile Page:

It is interesting, to say the least, to read the blog comments, news stories and political commentary on this conflict between Israel and Hamas. It seems most people equate Palestine and Hamas, when in fact the two are not the same. Palestine is a geographical region that *includes* Israel. Palestine is not a country, it does not have a government. It is an area of land much like in the US where you have The South or The North or The Midwest.

Israel is not fighting Palestine or Gaza. Israel is fighting a cowardly terrorist organization that hides itself in heavily-populated areas such as the Gaza Strip. If you are angry at the (questionable) number of "civillian" deaths, then Israel is the wrong target of your anger.

If someone told you that they hated the fact that you existed, then threatened you that they would not rest until you, your family and your friends were all dead, would you try to negotiate a peace treaty with them? Still, folks just seem to be treating Hamas terrorists as the victims here.

Thank you, Mr. Montaner, for this healthy dose of common sense.

denris Author Profile Page:

With such precise tools at their disposal, Israel should certain use them.

The bandwagon is the refusal of Americans to question what the Israelis do. I made no mention of IDF "murdering" anyone. The point is simply that civilian casualties are dramatic and showing no signs of abating.

I will not brush off deaths of Palestinians OR Israelis as easily as everyone who unilaterally supports the IDF's offensive.

MichaelNJ Author Profile Page:

Nice to see that even within the Arab-induced hysteria now gripping Spain, some people have not lost perspective, few as they might be. One thing Mr. Montaner has not mentioned: When Israel notifies the Gazans where it is going to strike so they could evacuate (indeed the only nation in the world who has ever done that), Hamas rushes civilians to those spots to serve as human shields and provide fresh pictures for al Jazeera. Interesting little contrast here: Israel is doing its utmost to minimize the number of civilians killed on BOTH sides of the border, while Hamas is doing its utmost to maximize them, again on both sides of the border.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"ought to consider using more targeted strategies"

I am quite surprised at how well IDF does its targeting - regularly taking out invidividual cars, homes, etc., where militants are working. They obviously have excellent humint.

Try not to jump on the bandwagon and fall for hamas propaganda that IDF soldiers are murdering civilians, etc. Its probably not true.

If some experienced military tacticians have suggestions on how the IDF could accomplish goals of neutralizing militants and reducing collatoral damage, I am sure they would listen.

Feel free to post. Maybe they are watching...

Leerandhanover Author Profile Page:

My name is Dr Rand, and I am here to testify that I too have witnessed first hand countless times and over many years the incredible solicitude, compassion and care Israeli medical providers have shown even to captured would be suicide bombers!!! I am here to tell you that I have personally witnessed Israeli Doctors (which in their respective fields are among the world’s best) save the lives of countless Arab dignitaries from across the Middle East. The tragedy of the story, however, is that all Arabs know this, yet they continue to allow their media to incite violence through fabricated lies against the Israelis.

go_cat_go1 Author Profile Page:

If the shoe were on the other foot... A previous commenter supposed that Montaner would say exactly the opposite if it were the Israelis who were suffering disproportionate causualties. If the shoe were on the other foot and the Israelis were suffering 900 deaths and the Palestinians 12, well.... the Israelis wouldnt be suffering 900 deaths. Or even 9000. No, they would be suffering 900,000 deaths. Any Hamas, Arab or Iranian army capable of such an overwhelming advantage wouldnt hestitate to use it without mercy. There would be no mercy shown, and there would be no distinction between civilian and military. A Muslim or Arab army would proceed with a real genocide. Of course, the whole of the Muslim world would jubiliant. It would be a day of everlasting joy. They day they eliminated all of the Jews. So the hypothetical of the shoe being on the other foot is unrealistic in the extreme. It would simply never happen.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

God spared Nineveh out of his great compassion when the people turned from their agressions.
Hamas needs to restate their goals and Israel needs to harness their machines in order to gain the favor of both God and of a dusturbed world.
To discuss "disproportionality" or "the right to defend" is oversimplification and a diversion.
The river of support flows between the 2 nations and must be diverted equally.

david123123 Author Profile Page:

This is braindead simple.

If someone relentlessly fires missiles and rockets at your home where your children sleep, you stop it.

You hand-wringing armchair judges, enlightened as you are, would willingly give up your child's life while you wait for "the world" to stop the rockets.

But the only thing you would end up with is a UN resolution, possibly a report also, and dead children.

You may never understand why other men protect their families, but it doesn't matter. No one is asking your permission.

denris Author Profile Page:

This article is quite insightful, but a previous comment suggested that disproportionate is not meant in the general use of the term. Disproportionate are the tactics that Israel uses, even in light of its superior military technology.

Casualties mean something, regardless of which side of the conflict they belong. If Hamas is resorting to the cowardly maneuver of hiding amongst Palestinian civilians, I simply find it hard to believe that Israel's only recourse is to attack with disregard to the high probability of civilian casualties.

I just think that a country with Israel's military strength ought to consider using more targeted strategies to reach its objectives.

Echoing the sentiments of a previous poster, disproportionate is not that more Palestinians have died than Israelis. It's destroying an entire civilian building in the hopes of killing one or a few Hamas militants.

laboo Author Profile Page:

It's certainly easy to see why the writer is a "former" professor. He's currently nothing more than a propagandist and apologist, and the truth is not in him.

drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

Montaner writes "Israelis are being accused of suffering too few casualties," "[w]hile...close to a [1000] Arab Palestinians have died or been wounded." This is not the primary argument of the critics. The "assymetry" we are concerned about is the political situation of the Palestinians. Hamas is not militarily occupying Israel in violation of Intl law by fencing them in and freezing their capital flow, nor does Hamas prevent humanitarian aid to Israeli citizens. I am afraid it's the other way around. Hamas' rocket fire is obviously wrong, but if we are interested in stopping it, we should pay attention to the legitimate grievances underlying those immoral acts and do something about them. If Montano brings up "anti-semitism" in response to this argument, it only reveals the weakness of his own.

eliscott Author Profile Page:

I love how anyone pointing out an injustice perpetuated by a minority group that has been the victim of injustice in the past makes you some kind of racist.

Isreal might be trying, but it is clear that they are not trying hard enough. I remember hearing one of the commanders at some news conference talking about limiting the loss of life-but it was clear from the context that what he meant was limiting the loss of Isreali life. He did not once mention Palestinian life. It is almost as if he considered all Palestinians as acceptable casualties.

Frankly I believe that Israel has a right and an obligation to protect her citizens, but I find the blatant disregard for the sanctity of Palestinian civilian life shocking and outrageous.

I remember hearing one of the commanders at some news conference last week talking about limiting the loss of life. It was clear from the context that what he meant was limiting the loss of Israeli life and I remember wondering if he considered all Palestinians as acceptable casualties. From the tactics in use I feel that it is clear that the Israeli army is willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred Palestinian civilians in order to save the life of one Israeli solder. It is one thing to have that attitude toward an opposing army, but a civilian population??!!

I do believe that the old adage "two wrongs don't make a right" applies in this situation.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"If Mexico stole most of the land in the USA and built a fence around the major cities..."

What is with these sophomoric, ignorant analogies???

Israel represents about 1% of arab territory - not 'most.' Arabs already received over 75% of the Palestine Mandate. If you add gaza and west bank to that, I think it is closer to 85%.

Do you know what that 75%+ piece of land is called? Do you? It starts with a J.

Oh and by the way, the USA is a country. Your mythical 'palestine' is not. The land was not stolen from palestine.

Until people get the basic facts straight, this debate will never progress.

Peartree1 Author Profile Page:

There are without a doubt a plethora of Israelis who are most compassionate and wary of the policies of their government. One may recall the 400,000 strong protest against the first war in Lebanon.
This war is filled with tragic ironies. 3 hour medical and food breaks allowed by Israel followed by attacks on many of the same people who were possibly the intended recipients of the assistance.
While Hamas is reprehensible, one cannot forget the number of hapless victims including children who have died frightening deaths. The terror in Gaza is great and just as terrible as a bombing in Jerusalem. And with this the survivors may respond with even greater violence in the direction of their Israeli neighbors.

Miron1 Author Profile Page:

There is a real trouble here.

It seems to me that people have lived up to the point where they can agree that rockets are good way to resolve a question if one can not pay monthly bills for the car, for the home, to put it in general, for what everyone feels entitlement.

Well, Gazans do not want to be losers in the vanity fair of our lives... ok. But the next step they say, we will send 10,000 rockets unto our neighbor, just so that the neighbor does not feel too well about doing better.

They can blame Hamas for the deed, or Iran for that matter. But the cause of it was foreknown election by Palestinian people of a group, who they knew will attack on Israel without any remorse. It was not a question of "if" it was only a question of "when".

I do not want some minds who do not shy away from duplicitous trickery to seize this thought as attempt to hold entire Palestinian nation in account by means of cast lead. But had the nation of Palestine clenched its hope on peace and coexistence _they_ should find a way to express it, so it seems to me. Not the other way around, where UN and everybody in the world work day and night to find in admittedly perplexed Palestinian soul a spot of light from whence they can secure peace of mind that Palestinians can live in peace with Israel.

jhimmi Author Profile Page:

Here's a better analogy:
A Sioux tribe that formerly inhabited Minnesota seeks to form an independent nation in Northern Minnesota and southern Ontario. The UN votes and, over the objections of the US and Canada, agrees to give the the Northern half of Minnesota, and an adjacent strip in Southern Ontario, to the new country of Siouxvania.

Millions of Americans and Canadians living in the new Siouxvania are outraged, and flee into other
American or Canadian states/provinces.

The Americans and Canadians that remain in Siouxvania begin protesting, rioting, and finally attacking the Siouxvania government and their people. Canada invades Siouxvania from the North, America invades from the South. Siouxvania kicks both of their asess, signing peace treaties with both.

The Americans and Canadians still living in Siouxvania could have just moved to Canada or the US, but having come from a long line of Minnesotans, refuse to leave, and instead continue their attacks on Siouxvania, engaging in Guerilla warfare, blowing up government and military targets, as well as randomly blowing up civilians. Canada and the US, despite their peace treaty, continue assisting the dissidents by smuggling in weapons, guns, missiles, and explosives. Both governments also encourage its citizens to sneak into Siouxvania to commit acts of terror, destabilizing the Siouxvania government.

The two largest concentrations of American and Canadian dissident in Siouxvania live in Fargo and Duluth. These two cities then embark on decades of suicide bombings and missile attacks against Siouxvania, which then constructs walls around both cities and sets up blockades to stop the flow of weapons and missiles into Siouxvania.

The stated goal of both Fargo and Duluth is the destruction of Siouxvania, or, as they call it, 'occupied Minnesota'. They attempt to swing world opinion against Siouxvania by showing how their citizens are hurt by the blockade, ignoring the fact that the main reason they want the blockade lifted is so they can accomplish their goal of destroying Siouxvania.

At first, world opinion is with Siouxvania, since they are descendants of Native Americans who were persecuted by the evil American empire's colonists. However, after 40 years, they are able to obscuring their real motivation : their Christian faith is telling them to kill the savage godless Indians, and drive them off of Christian American soil.

The rest of the world can't believe religion could make Fargo and Duluth terrorists so deluded and fanatical and violent, and so conclude Siouxvania must have made them that way.

Eventually, the rest of the world sides with Siouxvania and calls for the destruction of Siouxvania.

Symber_Gwenza Author Profile Page:

@ AHEM
"Israel is NOT defending itself."
-- Yes, it is.

"It could have - by asking for UN help in disarming Hamas."

-- The UN is most incompetent in doing this. The Israelis know this.

"This is offense, not defense."

-- Sometimes, a good offensive is the best defense.

"This is a largely military action effecting a largely civilian population."

-- It can't be done elsewhere, as Hamas has no conventional army & they cache weapons & ammo among civilian facilities.

"Do not lose yourself in a discussion of war or peace.
Concentrate on the methods of engagement.
No brutal force has ever attained its goals and never will."

-- It was brutal force that stopped the advancing Nazi army into Stalingrad. It was brutal force that defeated imperial Japan in WWII. Unfortunately, it does work sometimes.

"Christianity grew in the world through love and tolerance."

-- And also through barbarous conquest, murderous crusades, forced conversions and ethnic cleansings and inquisitions.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

@geosibley:

Right On!!!!!

You have nailed it as well as Carlos!

Ahem Author Profile Page:

"This is Israel recreating the Warsaw Ghetto."
I like this analogy.
Rome against the Christians and David against Goliath.
Dont give me this crap about Israel/Hamas defending themselves.
Israel is not the gentle opressed nation of disposessed.
Palestine is.
When the world rises up in defense of the disadvantaged, then we have a civilized world, a truly Christian world.
There are obviously insane, raging maniacs on both sides.
When each side has earned their posessions, they will be equal and satisfied.

mick_t Author Profile Page:

If Mexico stole most of the land in the USA and built a fence around the major cities, then slowed the movement of supplies in to the point of near starvation what would happen? I guess we would all become "terrorists" by building rockets to fire over the wall.

Of course it would be only fair for Mexico to start dropping 1 ton bombs on us for having the audacity to fire those rockets and they would make sure we knew they were doing it in self defense. With 4,000 people per square mile we would probably also be guilty of placing ourselves amongst the civilians instead of standing in the open where we could be slaughtered nice and cleanly.

geosibley Author Profile Page:

History Of Current Israeli War With Hamas

HAMAS: Let's send rockets into Israel and kill some innocents.

ISRAEL: Hey world, get Hamas to stop killing our people with rockets.

WORLD: Tsk, tsk. Hamas is only playing. After all, boys will be boys.

ISRAEL: If the UN won't help us, we will be forced to defend ourselves.

WORLD: Israel, don't take things so seriously.

HAMAS: We have the right to kill all Israelis, because they have no right to exist. We won't stop.

ISRAEL: OK, UN, this is our last request for help.

UN: Ah, Israel, don't provoke Hamas with threats to defend yourself.

ISRAEL: OK, let's defend ourselves .

HAMAS: Oh, look at the violent, murderous, savage, uncivilized Israeli. Can you imagine? They are attacking just because we kill them. World, UN, rise up and denounce this savagery.

WORLD: Israel, stop your aggression. Be good. We will have protests, parades, rallies, demonstrations, and violent happenings to show we want Israel to stop defending itself.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

These pro-Hamas supporters are so typical in their responses. It's simple, you simpletons....stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

Must I repeat? OK...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

Still don't get it? Once more...stop tossing rockets at Israel and you won't get your butts handed to you on a silver platter.

Idiots.

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

"Imagine for a moment a gang in LA in a neighborhood of approximately 20 square blocks."

Except that 'gang' receives training, weapons and money from other enemy countries, was elected to power by the locals, launches hundreds of mortars and rockets into the surrounding civilian population, and refuses to accept the existence of the USA. They entrench themselves deliberately among the civilians, and use children as human shields (this is on video by the way). Their goal is to murder as many citizens as possible and they act on that every opportunity they get.

It sure is a tough situation - but don't make such foolish analogies.

waPoId1 Author Profile Page:

Considering this article is filled with typical rhetorical fallacies...
I was wondering is it a double fallacy when you use an ad-hominem attack - and you're wrong about the name you called them?

Arab = Semite!!! - please please learn basic terms if you are going to discuss race.

Therefore unless he's a self hating arab, he is not an anti-semite.

So 1 - stop calling anyone who wants a legitimate debate an anti-semite. And 2 - if you're going to use an ad-hominem attack, at least use an accurate one.

Of course, Carlos at least doesn't put arab next to anti-semite in the same sentence unlike many commenters.


rafstar Author Profile Page:

For those who understandably say that it is not that they want more Israelis to die, but for Israel to STOP THE BOMBING, please remember your rage in the future when rockets are being fired into Israel, the north or the south.

REMEMBER to rage against these acts, not because they might harm Israelis, for which your absent voices in the past have proven a lack of concern, but because the Israelis might once again harm innocent Palestinians in their response to these acts.

REMEMBER to rage against the next intifada that comes in response to an unsatisfactory political process, not because the fragmented Israeli left won't be able to defend their hopeful positions anymore, but because it will completely shut down the Palestinian economy, borders, etc... and once again lead to a new round of increasing rage and bloodshed on the streets.

REMEMBER your passion and your rage as the Palestinians continue to treat the threat of violence like a bargaining chip in a political process.

REMEMBER your rage when the arab world stands silent and calls this violence "acts of national aspiration", because you know it only pushes Israelis further away from embracing this dream and guarantees that they will prepare for war again, for another disproportional war.

It takes a lot for Israel to gather it's forces for such an effort, and I guarantee you that they do not enjoy it. There is only one reason for them to do this... and YOU SHOULD REMEMBER, that it was YOUR SILENCE AND TACIT ENCOURAGEMENT that made their military response all the more necessary.

Sensi23 Author Profile Page:

@ jabberwolff
"For those arguing about an Israeli incursion into the west bank that broke a truce with hamas"

Mouhahahaha, FYI there are Hamas members in the West Bank too, and I have been in Israel and the West Bank in 2002 while you certainly never have, thus I can at least speak of what I have seen of the reality -grossly misrepresented by the US "free" press- while you can't, like I guess the propagandist author of this ludicrous drivel...

http://www.btselem.org/English/

phreejazz Author Profile Page:

Withdraw from lands considered illegally occupied by the U.N. and the international community in general. Then feel free to respond as disproportionately as you want when you're being attacked as a sovereign nation defending its unquestioned right to exist within its own un-questioned boundaries.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

@CJensen1: "bet your bottom dollar I will be calling my congressman demanding that we not send Israel another dime."

That's good, because I've already called mine and told him NOT to waiver in his support for Israel and to help Israel stomp the scum Hamas into the ground.

mkobi Author Profile Page:

Let me just repost this one, it was just too good:
SanDiegoD:

Over and over again we are told that Israel is occupying the Palestinian nation, as if that ever existed. The West Bank was taken from Jordan and the Gaza strip taken from Egypt during the Six-Day War in 1967. The Palestinian people have never had their own nation, and do not have the right to one under international law. Once Israel is finished with the west bank border fence, they should give the West Bank back to Jordan and let them deal with the problem or set it free if it chooses (which it certainly did not do for twenty years between 1947 and 1967). Likewise with the Gaza strip and Egypt (who by the way, also has a blockade and closed borders with Gaza, so stop blaming all of the problems in Gaza on Israel, as the Egyptians have always been able to open that border to supplies and emigration for work at any time and have not done so).


Hear, hear!

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Israel is NOT defending itself.
It could have - by asking for UN help in disarming Hamas.
This is offense, not defense.
This is a largely military action effecting a largely civilian population.
Do not lose yourself in a discussion of war or peace.
Concentrate on the methods of engagement.
No brutal force has ever attained its goals and never will.
Christianity grew in the world through love and tolerance.

rickmc11 Author Profile Page:

Imagine for a moment a gang in LA in a neighborhood of approximately 20 square blocks. The cops have had enough of them so with the aid of the National Guard, they surround this 20 square block area and seal it off to incoming and outgoing traffic.

Now, to eradicate the gang members, they begin bombing apartments, houses, and businesses. But, that's okay because they've been dropping leaflets in the area telling everyone where they are going to bomb so the citizens who are not gang members can run to safety.

Now say they have a 3 hour ceasefire to allow the Red Cross and other aid authorities to go in and try to get relief to the citizens. But, several of the Guardsmen get trigger happy during the ceasefire and fire on the Red Cross and Other aid authorities, killing one and wounding others, not to mention violate the ceasefire.

Would we as citizens of the US cry fowl? You bet we would. There would be rioting in the streets and rightly so. There is no difference here. Israel is as much at fault, if not more, that the Palestinians. They are supposed to be the more mature nation and they are supposed to know better. THEY have broken the ceasefire, THEY have broken UN resolutions, THEY continually push the Palestinians out of their homes, THEY are initially the aggressors.

It's time the rest of the world stood up to Israel and put THEM in their place. I know of no other group of people who have a name for others who do not agree with them or let them have their way like the Jews do. The term anti-semitism is only a way for them to not have to look at their own mistakes.

CJensen1 Author Profile Page:

As an outraged American, I hope Israel gets what its got coming to it...oh yeah, and bet your bottom dollar I will be calling my congressman demanding that we not send Israel another dime.

mick_t Author Profile Page:

Israel and the USA have been pursuing a flawed strategy. You cannot punish a people and then expect them to help you settle a dispute. However backing away from a failed strategy of starving out people isn't easy; the US tried the same thing with Iraq and found the easiest was out was to start dropping bombs. Looks like Israel followed the same play book. Can't have our democratic officials looking weak can we.

This is Israel recreating the Warsaw Ghetto.

I am not anti-jewish, however Israel is talking like its the adult, but is acting like the terrorist.

geosibley Author Profile Page:

What would the people who denounce the article say if their homes were being attacked with explosives on a daily basis by an enemy that claims they have no right to exist? Where were their voices of protest during the time the innocents of Israel were being bombed and killed...but before Israel struck back?

jabberwolff Author Profile Page:

For those arguing about an Israeli incursion into the west bank that broke a truce with hamas?

This just shows the utter ignorance of those wanting to jump on a political bandwagon, without even looking at a map.

Hamas represents GAZA not the West Bank!!

Please know your subject before deciding to side with terrorists!

redsox11 Author Profile Page:

Excellent article. Thank you.

SanDiegoD Author Profile Page:

Over and over again we are told that Israel is occupying the Palestinian nation, as if that ever existed. The West Bank was taken from Jordan and the Gaza strip taken from Egypt during the Six-Day War in 1967. The Palestinian people have never had their own nation, and do not have the right to one under international law. Once Israel is finished with the west bank border fence, they should give the West Bank back to Jordan and let them deal with the problem or set it free if it chooses (which it certainly did not do for twenty years between 1947 and 1967). Likewise with the Gaza strip and Egypt (who by the way, also has a blockade and closed borders with Gaza, so stop blaming all of the problems in Gaza on Israel, as the Egyptians have always been able to open that border to supplies and emigration for work at any time and have not done so).

CFL1968 Author Profile Page:

Nihilistic arab terrorists continue to foment war and sacrifice their children with the only tactical goal of maintaining the cycle of violence.

Their strategic goal is the elimination of Israel, not peace. But since that cannot be achieved (yet - they hope), they keep the conflict alive for the future.

This is not tough to figure out people.

There is no group more bloodthirsty and cynical than hamas et al terrorists.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Israel should have asked for a UN peace keeping force or commission to go into Gaza and disarm the rockets.
THIS WAS STUPID ANBD BRUTAL.

Eshel7 Author Profile Page:

Don't forget that Israel returned the Sinai, a landmass half the size of the entire country, for nothing more than a promise of peace from Egypt. And what happened? Anwar Sadat was murdered by some of his own people. Israel has proven on as large a scale as possible that it is willing, as a country, to return occupied land for peace. What happens, though, if the other side is not willing to give peace in return?

divotcas Author Profile Page:

I agree! I always find it strange that the statement "Israel doesn't really want peace" when it defends itself yet where are the peaceful voices that say nothing as rocks fall from the sky. We the people would demand protection by our government from attacks but we would not allow those among us to throw rocks across our borders.
Palestine must be peaceful to receive peace. Palestine has a right to exist as long as they agree that others have the same right.

richardb1 Author Profile Page:

Carlos Alberto Montaner shows his complete ignorance of history when it comes to the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Israel. with the complicity of the United States, has promulgated a lie when it comes to their justification for military action, and a further lie in claiming the territory that they displaced the Palestinians from, as well as the settlements in the West Bank. Sycophants such as Mr. Montaner only add to the gravity of these lies. He also makes mention of anti-semitism, that tired old excuse that discredits people who are anti-Zionists (such as myself), but not anti-semitic; I could hardly be that, since I married a Jewish woman. Mr. Montaner would have done well as an apologist for the Spanish conquest of South and Central America.

CJensen1 Author Profile Page:

If israel so kindly told the civilian people of the west bank that they were going to be attacked then why did so many stay? Perhaps because they are trapped there and had nowhere to go to. Why is it that anyone who ever disagrees with the Israeli's risks being called an Anti-Semite? There are many American Jews here against the war, are they anti semite too?

garymaxwell1 Author Profile Page:

The real terrorists are the Israelis. For decades they have systematically stolen the land from the Palestinian people and then killed them when they resisted. What Israel is doing is nothing less than a slow genocide while the rest of the world watches, or in the case of the US, helps by providing Israel weapons.

The people in the Gaza strip cannot make a successful society because Israel has cut them off from their farms or any other means of earning a living. What is left is a ghetto where people have little reason to have any hope. Under such hopeless conditions I can see why they are willing to volunteer to be a suicide bomber.

Sadly, peace will come when the Israelis finish killing the last of the Palestinian people.

petersuares Author Profile Page:

For any country other than Israel, the points Mr. Montaner is making would be obvious. But Israel is held to a different standard: a double one. That is why in its case the obvious is ignored or denied. And that is why we need more articles like Mr. Montaner's.

human2 Author Profile Page:

The discussion is hopeless, everyone continues to stick to their opinion. People already mentioned the Gazan majority supports Hamas (or are they suffering Hamas rule in silence? If that's so then the world need to do something to end Hamas rule), but why no one here mentioned that the Hamas principle is to never coexist with an Isreali state? If you're an Israeli what can you do? Suffer rockets until eternity? My only conclusion is that in this situation we need to settle it once and all with a total war and stop wailing like babies.

nmcdc Author Profile Page:

Isn't "proportionality" also referred to as a "law of equivalency" or "lex talionis" in Latin? Doesn't one of its most venerable antecedents come from the Old Testament (Ex. 21:23, 24; Lev. 24:19, 20; and Deut. 19:21)?

Has now "a life for a life, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" become the more ruthless expedient of "ten lives for one life" or "an eye, a tooth, a leg, an arm and a head for any injury whatsoever?"

kunanibeach Author Profile Page:

I definitely feel the author's point of view is valid and understated, especially in the Arab world. Having said that, that particular region of the globe has known no peace because of only one reason: religion. No single group, not Muslim, not Christian, not Jews, is either fully responsible nor completely absolved. All have claimed ownership at some point, and all feel a divine right to "own" the land.

As an agnostic, I find the source of all this conflict stems from land ownership. I don't have sympathy for Palestinians who call for Israel's destruction or promote the haphazard bombings of Hamas, in the same way I don't condone an Israeli blockade or killings of civilians, accidental or not.

But until aggression stops from both sides, there can be no end. You cannot fault Israel for attacking while Hamas continues to launch rockets at no end and vow their destruction...it is a double standard no nation would submit to, nor should they.

Solution? If I had one, I'm sure someone has long ago tried it out and failed. Religion may save some, but centuries of blood spilt in His name has doomed the Middle East since the dawn of time.

Ahem Author Profile Page:

The article completely twists a discussion of the concept of fairness into a whitewash of propoganda.
Look at the resources that have been pumped into israel for 30 years compared with the blockade, poverty and pillage of the Palestinians.
Rome against the Christians.
David and Goliath.
The Israelis only make more enemies.

HorseManToo Author Profile Page:

I intended to read your full story, however, I had to stop upon reaching the last sentence of the second paragraph, and I just could not read any more of your JEWISH propaganda.

You stated: “Nor do they specify the morally permissible number of casualties to end the rain of rockets that for years has been constantly falling on the heads of Israeli civilians.”

According to the Jewish State of Israel there were approx “300 rockets” fired upon Israel from Gaza before they started bombing and there were no casualties and very little property damage. Your statement does not make any sense. If according to your statement of 300 rockets landing “on the heads of Israeli civilians” how come there were no casualties?

You are obviously writing to appease your Jewish boss.

davidpbfeder Author Profile Page:

Comment on the comments: Will all the pro-Palestinian respondents please explain why you blame Israel for any "blockade" of Gaza's border when Gaza shares a border with Egypt? Gaza had it within its capacity to be self-sufficient -- Israel even left behind greenhouses and farms that were instantly razed by the Arabs. What I gather is, Gaza wanted to continue to suckle Israel's teat for sustenance while stabbing it. It would stagger the Arab mind if they could truly grasp how deeply and sincerely pained Israelis are at being forced to spill your blood because you hide behind the skirts of your women and the prams of your children when you shoot your Iranian guns and fire your Iranian rockets.
Here's a novel idea: Perhaps "Palestinian" men could actually act like men and care for their families and protect their children.
I can guarantee you, you will find not one Israeli who would stockpile bombs and missiles under his child's bed, in his hospitals or in a synagogue.
Golda Meier said it best: There never will be peace with the Arabs until they love their children more than they hate Jews. She also said, "I can forgive the Arabs for killing our sons; but I cannot forgive them for turning our sons into killers." You pro-Arab commentators, where is your shame?

FrederickFeied Author Profile Page:

This is an example of the most outrageously callous and specious thinking, comparable to that of the white settlers who shot the native American population like vermin or the behavior of the British in Australia who, having transported their prison population into Australia, set about transferring the native black population out - to Tasmania to starve or die without food or water. It is also reminiscent, if one dare say it without inciting ill considered fake outrage, of the criminal acts of genocide against the Jewish population in the ghettos of Warsaw.

Here we have a case of a people invaded, terrorized by groups like the Stern Gang, the Irgun and others in the lead up to the declaration of Israeli statehood in 1948. Whole villages were wiped out like Lidice of Nazi infamy without so much as a protest. Now these people, driven from their homes, beaten, jailed, cut off from one another, cantonized by walls dividing up the land like a Berlin enclave are pilloried in the Spanish and related media for fighting to the death to regain their property and the homeland from which they have been evicted.

Those misinformed or uninformed persons posting their biased and one sided support for Carlos Montaner's wholly unacceptable comments on proportionality of blood, suffering and death should Google such Jewish groups or media as Jewish Voice for Peace, or The Other Israel or read the pronouncements of that distinguished spokesman Uri Avenery, soldier, statesman and former member of the Knesset before venturing dangerous and prejudicial opinions based on nothing more than personal bias.

Frederick Feied, Ph. D.

T-Prop Author Profile Page:


The whole thing is like the kids in the back seat fighting - each convinced of their own rightness.

Frankly, both sides should each annihilate the other. Perhaps then there will be some peace.

johnsonc2 Author Profile Page:

Not a very impressive or convincing argument, Sr. Montaner. Of course Israelis have an interest in causing casualities in Gaza. That is the whole point of this invasion - hoping that indiscriminate slaughter and collective punishment will turn the Gazans against Hamas. It is the same thing Israel has been attempting since the beginning without success. But they can do it with very little loss of Israeli life and it makes politicians look tough around election time. The US and tools like yourself support this corrupt killer system. Justice for Palestinians is a better way and will, in the long run, bring peace.

thebloddletting Author Profile Page:

Carlos,

Thank you for providing such a succinct synopsis to this tragedy that continues to unfold. I wish the Palestinian people would kick the bum Hamas group out. They could easily know peace by having the cowardly Hamas stop rocket attacks, but noooooo....the wussies hide in with the civilian population. There's love of your own poeple for ya! ;-)

Anna76 Author Profile Page:

Thank you so much for being intelligent enough to print the truth! I am so sick of the media portraying Israel as being overly aggressive or not looking out for civilians. For all of you who are saying this, let me say: HAMAS IS USING ITS PEOPLE, ITS SCHOOLS, ITS GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, AND ITS PLACES OF WORSHIP to hide weaponry and bombs. They do not respect human life, not even that of their own people. Palestinian does not equal Hamas. They are in a different category that they themselves created: Terrorists. They were handed the opportunity to build, educate, and prosper and they chose to keep firing rockets on the heads of Southern Israel. For all you blathering anti-semitic people...look around your home...how many rockets would have to land on top of your head or the heads of your family before you retaliated? Oh...right...diplomacy should be respected. Did anyone tell Hamas that when they were smuggling weapons and building tunnels with the full intent of destroying Israel? Maybe we should bring all our troops home from everywhere in the world, tell Bin-Laden he can come out now because the cost has been too high...but this time he has to be a good boy. Please...!

waPoId1 Author Profile Page:

This is a classic straw-man argument. I'm not going to try and address who is right or who is wrong in the Israel/Gaza conflict, but it's not hard to see a fallacy at work.

I don't think anyone engaged in legitimate debate, is arguing that proportionality is "fair" or that an even number of deaths is necessary for Israel to defend itself.

I have not heard anyone demand proportionality, so this entire argument is based on misrepresenting the actual argument. From most discussions I've been involved in, proportionality is discussed in terms of evidence of self defense.

ie. I am an adult male. If I am attacked by a four year old with a letter opener and I kill or severely injure that child, most people would question my defense of "It was in self defense" alternatively if I am attacked by an armed adult, less would question a self defense argument. Now whether the terrorists in Gaza are equivalent to the 4 year old with a letter opener, compared to Israel's military would be fair game. Or in my contrived example, a four year old with a handgun, does that change things? I bet it does.

Perhaps, it would be better to engage in an intellectually honest discussion of the "proportionality" issue, the self defense issue, etc. This whole piece is a bit of sloppy rhetoric, with little to no value in looking at the real issues. I think it is safe to say, that disproportionate response is an indicator that we need to look more closely at the issue, and validate that legitimate self defense is occurring.

Personally, I am not there, I don't have any family living there, I am an outside observer who would like to understand the situation better, and hopes for a peaceful resolution sometime in my lifetime. This type of "discussion" is not helpful, not conducive, and should not sway the mind of any rational human being. If you argue for a point I agree with, but your arguments are fallacious, it starts to make me doubt my initial agreement.

Zargon Author Profile Page:

Occupation is occupation and no Country in the real world accepts being occupied. Furthermore countries being occupied have a right to resist by any means necessary. If Israel really want peace then they need to stop occupying Palestine,and give it back, it' that simple.

FrederickFeied Author Profile Page:

This is an example of the most outrageously callous and specious thinking, comparable to that of the white settlers who shot the native American population like vermin or the behavior of the British in Australia who, having transported their prison population into Australia, set about transferring the native black population out - to Tasmania to starve or die without food or water. It is also reminiscent, if one dare say it without inciting ill considered fake outrage, of the criminal acts of genocide against the Jewish population in the ghettos of Warsaw.

Here we have a case of a people invaded, terrorized by groups like the Stern Gang, the Irgun and others in the lead up to the declaration of Israeli statehood in 1948. Whole villages were wiped out like Lidice of Nazi infamy without so much as a protest. Now these people, driven from their homes, beaten, jailed, cut off from one another, cantonized by walls dividing up the land like a Berlin enclave are pilloried in the Spanish and related media for fighting to the death to regain their property and the homeland from which they have been evicted.

Those misinformed or uninformed persons posting their biased and one sided support for Carlos Montaner's wholly unacceptable comments on proportionality of blood, suffering and death should Google such Jewish groups or media as Jewish Voice for Peace, or The Other Israel or read the pronouncements of that distinguished spokesman Uri Avenery, soldier, statesman and former member of the Knesset before venturing dangerous and prejudicial opinions based on nothing more than personal bias.

Frederick Feied, Ph. D.

mwalla23 Author Profile Page:

Thank you for this thoughtful article. All we want is to live in peace and for people to follow the rule of law.

ike4 Author Profile Page:

Thank you so much for expressing this point so clearly; this sick idea about 'proportionality' when it comes to Israel has always nauseated me. You can't complain to Israel for having a superb army which knows how to protect itself. On the other hand, you can't complain to Israel for protecting its citizens even if it, unfortunately, means harming foreign civilians. I think it is natural for a country to put its own people before others.

broono Author Profile Page:

Why no mention of ISRAEL blocking every route and rationing the supplies for the last 2years...may be you should introspect....who and what is anti-semetic....to subject 1.5 million people to those horrible conditions and still expect to be treated royally is disgusting to say the least....

Used Author Profile Page:

I read this article and sigh. I really do not care about free Palestine or Israel. However I do find it funny that the American People forget how this country was built and how we have defended ourselves in the past wars. We used overwhelming force to stop Japan several times in WWII and used it in other wars as well.

quark4 Author Profile Page:

Canada comes and blockades Minnesota. Minnesota is barred from importing food, baby formula, medicines, construction equipment and fuel. Minnesotans are not allowed to use outside materials for manufacturing these items. They cannot export anything they manage to make, to earn a living. Their kids cannot become doctors, scientists, engineers, because there are only 2 universities. If someone develops a tumor, there's only one option: die. Because of the blockade, Minnesotans cannot even go to Wisconsin to find work.

This carries on for 40 years. What do you think the Minnesotans would do? (BTW, this would not carry on for 40 years. This wouldn't even carry on for 40 hours before there's armed rebellion in the streets of St. Paul.)

Some very good questions have been asked by others. For answers to those questions, I would recommend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SbjAanvUqs

drainey32798 Author Profile Page:

Montaner writes "Israelis are being accused of suffering too few casualties," "[w]hile...close to a [1000] Arab Palestinians have died or been wounded." This is not the primary argument of the critics. The "assymetry" we are concerned about is the political situation of the Palestinians. Hamas is not militarily occupying Israel in violation of Intl law, fencing them in and freezing their capital flow, nor does Hamas prevent humanitarian aid to Israeli citizens. I am afraid it's the other way around. Hamas' rocket fire is obviously wrong, but if we are interested in stopping it, we should pay attention to the legitimate grievances underlying those wrong immoral acts and do something about them. Responding solely with bombs (that will predictably kill large numbers of civilians) is not the answer, and will only exacerbate the militant/fanatical elements in Gaza. If Montano brings up "anti-semitism" in response to this argument, it only reveals the weakness of his own.

limejunction Author Profile Page:

Once again we have a pointless article. First it labels critics of Israel as anti-semitic. But the term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern people originating in southwestern Asia, including Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Ethiopian Semites. So calling Arabs anti-semitic is like me calling my Irish relatives racists when they call me a mick. The author throws out anti-semitism as a buzz phrase to protect Israel and Jews who support Israel from critiscism.

Secondly, and far more important, Gaza does not matter in the long run. Israel could flatten the entire place, turn it into complete dust and it would not matter in the long run. Hamas does not matter either. What matters is the same thing that has mattered since 1947.

Israel was imposed on Arabs and Muslims by Christians, Jews and Western Europeans using western law and policy instruments. It has managed to hold its grip and even expand for a time based primarily on military technology advantages. With the proliferation of nuclear weapons and cruise missile technolgies that advantage is fast disappearing. Israel must find an accomodation with its neighbors.

There are 1 billion Muslims who are mostly pissed off and the technology that is proliferating will allow launch from virtually anywhere. We do Israel no favors by ignoring this oncoming holocaust. It is the only important issue.

Israel must find an accomodation or it will vanish in a firestorm that comsumes much of the Middle East with strike and counter-strike. This is the problem with religious states like Israel and Iran, they are irrational and in time they destroy themselves and all around them.

Israel must find an accomodation, the apartheid must end, it must be the Palistinians who go eyeball to eyeball with Iran and others and tell them to back off because they and the Israelis are now one. And, if you go to any household in Tel Aviv they will nod at the need and do nothing.

njfriend Author Profile Page:

Great article!

Ever since the moment of Declaration of

Independence it is Arab world that is attacking and it is Israel that is defending itself. My aunt was killed on the first day of Israel's independence during one of the first bombardments of Tel Aviv... She was only 5, she was just drinking tea at the roof of her house with her parents...

Mr. Montaner is MORE objective then most of the mass media together.

Just simply ask why Egypt is not allowing "poor Palestinian refugees" to pass through its border? Ask why, when the Jewish State was created by the UN Arabs were not expelled from Israel like Jews were expelled from Jordan (even both countries were a part of the same mandate, were designated as a Jewish and Arab states, and as far as I can understand, Jordan's territory is somewhat larger then Israel...)

Why Arab and liberal world is not demanding justice when Jewish teenagers were killed in disco club in Tel Aviv? or when buses are blown?

All what I can say - is to repeat the words of Golda Meir, the great daughter of Israel, that it will be no peace until Arabs will learn how love their kids more then they do hate Jewish kids.

Until somebody will stop hiding behind kids and women - stop disproportionally talking about disproportional losses.

athletik Author Profile Page:

I witnessed a pro Palestinian demonstration yesterday in San Jose, California. It felt disturbingly anti-Semitic. Why weren't the demonstrators calling for Eygpt to open the Gaza borders to allow free trade. Doesn't Eygpt bear responsibility for Gazas' economic distress.

Where were the protesters when Sadam Husseim murdered Kurds and Shiites? Where was their anger when Syria murdered Rafik Hariri.

Arab anger seems selective to suit an agenda that smells too much of anti-Semitism, rather than in response to anything to do with attaining peace and justice for the people in Gaza.

jowewo Author Profile Page:

After over 2 weeks of fighting in Gaza, this is the first breeze of fresh air the media has given us. Mr. Montaner is making a strong statement and goes against the general idea that Israel is an evil entity.

Israel does not hate the Arab and protects the Muslim population wherever and whenever possible. Would/could an Arab/Muslim country show any respect to any other religion or culture other than Islam? Can you really say that the Muslim fundamentalists care about their own when they take their children hostage of their dogma and political agenda?

Thank you Mr. Montaner for your comments which are not only courageous but also free of passion, hate and anger.

Sensi23 Author Profile Page:

I am amazed at the read of this propagandist drivel, full of the usual falsehoods and voluntary misrepresentations. You are such a joke mister Carlos Alberto Montaner: shame on you!

FYI Hamas do have a political branch, which was democratically elected in 2006 and which with a six months ceasefire was reached, for later being broken not by the Hamas but by the Israeli army, when it killed several militants in the West Bank...

For those who want a few facts to contradict the aforementioned Goebbels' disciple:

http://www.btselem.org/English/

debbiekr Author Profile Page:

This post is just so typical and blinded. I do not wish harm upon Israeli's or the state of Israel. But must we be reminded that the population of Gaza is crammed into a small strip of land that is regulated and controlled by Israel, whom by international law are supposed to care for the people that they are governing, whether or not that governing is concerned for those people or not. Which it clearly is not. First of all, I as a mother am really tired of hearing the excuse that Hamas is using all these women and children as shields. I do not know any parent, Muslim, Christian, Jewish or otherwise that would use thier mother, sister, child or the like as a shield to protect themselves. This is a ridiculous accusation. And if the accusation even were true, wouldn't it then fall on the Israeli Army in this situation to consider the innocent civilian's it was going to harm? I don't see any loving consideration? This is so disproportionate. What ever happened to humanity?
Can we please remember that proportion of children in that tiny strip of land is 60% or over. Those poor babies! They didn't ask for the starvation that has been incurred on them during the blockade. The blockade that during this so called truce was supposed to be removed. It seems to me that the truce was broken by the Israeli's broke the truce in one fashion or another about 190 times before Hamas fired a single one of their crude rockets into Israel. Which by the way is no excuse, I wish they had not.
I wish justice and human dignity for the Palestinian people, rather than war games that kill innocent civiliansin Palestine and Israel too, just so a certain party can become elected in Israel. Let us not forget that it is election time in Israel.

Debbie Rosenkranz

likeitis2 Author Profile Page:

The imbalance here is that the international community has failed to try Hamas leaders for war crimes. Elected by the Palestinians and responsible for governing Gaza, they wage war against a neighbor and deliberately sacrifice the lives of innocents to further their political interests. With each rocket they launch they hope for maximum deaths among their population in an Israeli response. How can men live with such shame?

Ahem Author Profile Page:

Do you think 2 wrongs is right?
Do you think after 40 years of 6 to one deaths, things are equal?
Do you think this type of phosphoros bombing of civilians is acceptable?
Do you think the killing of little girls by modern weaponry is justifiable??
Do you think Palestinians have the time and resources to protect each other??
The bible is clear on who to heal and protect.
The Palestinians are disadvantaged by every measure..
The Palestinian people have been crushed, just like Rome crushed the Christians.
You disgust me with your childish words.
Israeli policy is apalling and brutal.

broono Author Profile Page:

Are you sure...HAMAS broke the truce.....ISRAEL broke the truce on NOV 4th.....I know most people does not want to accept that fact....this war was never about trying to stop the rocket attacks....if you think that's the case good luck to you...independent news sites....unlike you supporting ISRAEL for every evil thing it does...HAMAS fired less than 5 rockets during the period between June and Nov....I am indian...I have issues with terrorists....in this case my conscious is quite clear....ISRAEL is not the victim....its the killer...

In turn, Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties......This is the most funniest sentence I read in a long time....

TheStatement Author Profile Page:

"Israel is the only country expected to behave differently and, in fact, it does; I know of no other nation that announces where and when it will drop its bombs, thus enabling civilians to evacuate the territory."

I recall in November 2004 US marines encircling Fallujah in Iraq and allowing corridors for those who wished to flee in advance of the attack the opportunity do so, saving countless lives and probably avoiding a measure of increasing civil unrest. Would Israel do the same? Have they done the same?

The US eventually took to negotiating with the Sunni insurgency with successful outcomes and a drop in violence. The US has been quite careful in handling it's occupation by truly mitigating civilian causalities. We were(are) in a battle for the hearts and minds. Israel certainly doesn't win hearts and minds given the excessive number of civilian deaths and the continued building of settlements, i.e. occupation of Palestinian lands. Israel needs to step off the high horse and start accepting some culpability for the rage directed towards them, then perhaps we can see some pragmatic solutions begin to take shape.

WCitizen Author Profile Page:

"F" for this article Mr. Carlos Alberto Montaner.
Next time have more respect for your readers’ intellectual integrity.

jeffdiver1 Author Profile Page:

By any objective standard Israel is not targeting civilians, otherwise there would be far more. Why do those who think hamas is justified not answer that hamas only targets civilians, 100% of the time. How can Israel possibly negotiate with hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to the elimination of Israel. The cease fire was hardly that it was a "lull" hamas did not stop the shelling and Israel didn't abandon her military targets. If hamas wants to be treated like a state, especially by Israel, then it should start acting like a state- it must recognize Israel's right to exist, it must stop shelling indiscriminately, it must allow the Red Cross access to Gilad Shalit. Israel left gaza with infrastructure and means to create a peaceful coexistence -the palestinians have once again proved that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

jabberwolff Author Profile Page:

People do not get it!
Palestinians do not want peace.
Their idea of peace is no more Israel!

People simply do not understand that dealing with Hamas and the palestinian issue isnt the same as dealing with those in Europe or any other place in the world!

You'd think compromise and a chance for peace would be obvious. But you have to understand in that region compromise is shown as a sign of weakness. When Israel pulled out all the settlers from Gaza to show a compromise, and give palestinians self rule, what did they do?
They elected Hamas with the platform to destroy Israel.

Palestinians would rather have their children and civilians killed rather than help Israel catch Hamas members. They have been taught anything is better than assisting Israel, even if it saves their lives!

Hamas is hiding among a very dense population and for people to claim they do not know where Hamas is, is a flat out LIE!! They simply are harboring and assisting Hamas, and are paying the consequences for it. They show their children in funerals and TV as fuel for their propaganda but do nothing to prevent it.

Yes, there is disproportion. Humanity is taught, not born with. And unfortunately you cant fight a group who hides behind willing innocence, without them getting killed as well.

June9191 Author Profile Page:

Palestinians were never religiously radicalized as they are now with Hamas. But the extreme oppression and continuous atrocities from the brutal Israeli occupation and the especially in the last 3 years with the complete blockade and the attempt for starving the people of Gaza leaves no way out; either slavery or resistance .. it is unbelievable that there are any decent human being who would not choose resistance!! Stop the stupidity, it is not stopping the home made rockets!! It is the complete submission that Israel wants.

cccoughlin Author Profile Page:

Compare the Gaza Ghetto with the Warsaw Ghetto. Determined resistance opposes overwhelming odds. Total air and land superiority inflicts great casualties on defenders. Agressors complain of underhanded tactics of defenders. The only stench that rises is that of a complacent world that does cancel all financial and military aid to both tribes of semites, Arabs and Jews, until they make peace among themselves. Shut off money and weapons and impound all foreign accounts! The United States has provided Israel with roughly $100,000. in aid for every Jewish victim of the Holocaust. Enough is enough.

erickelton Author Profile Page:

The leader of Hamas had stated that Isreal will never remove Hamas, because Hamas is in every home, as EVERY person in Gaza is Hamas. By that reasoning, everyone is a valid target, yet the IDF still shows restraint.

The IDF is finding schools, mosques and homes that are booby trapped with explosives. How many of the victims are actually killed by these Hamas death traps when they go to seek shelter? Yet the blame for all civilian casualties is placed squarely on the IDF? Besides, Hamas uses women and children to do their dirty work, so why wouldn't they be legitimate targets? The fact that they do not have uniforms doesn't means that they weren't combatants when fired upon. That's how guerilla warfare is structured.

If Hamas won't adhere to the Geneva Convention (eg. no fireing weapons from hospitals, no shooting paratrooper in the air, etc), then why should Isreal be held to a different standard?

If Hamas cared about it's people, then they wouldn't hide among civilians and use them as shields. There's only so long that you can poke a bear with a stick before it comes after you. That bear took it on the cheek for far to long, and they have one angry bear to deal with.

Some advice to Hamas: If you didn't start any trouble, there wouldn't be any trouble.

roguecroc_2000 Author Profile Page:

Thank you for a sane news story, just when it seems that every news outlet has bought into Hamas's PR war.

mkobi Author Profile Page:

Thank you for SAMTHEWISEs comment:
"they wish that the IDF would think twice before blowing up an apartment building full of civilians in order to kill one Hamas member."

So at least here partially admittance that yes, Hamas members are hiding/living amongst civilians. I haven't seen anybody respond yet to the truth that yes they are hiding weapons in houses of worship and hospitals and civilian apartments.

This alone shows they are terrorists, besides that they use their weapons to shoot blindly at civilians in Israel, they count on the eventual strike back to cause more damage by killing the innocent.

As nobody was helping Israel keep the rockets of (and what were those Gazans/Hamas folks doing when they were killed during the "truce" which was never held up by Gazans due to constant rocket fire? They weren't getting ready to shoot, where they? oh..my...) during that "truce", Israel should do the bloody deed and rid Gaza of Hamas.

I wonder....why don't the civilians rise up and do an Intifada on the terrorist thugs that hide weapons under their homes and mosques and even worse, SHOOT from their homes and mosques basically painting a huge target on their neighbors?

Why don't the gaza civilians rise up and correct the mistake they helped make by voting for the radicals?

rmmiller44 Author Profile Page:

While I find the author's sarcastic response to the cries of Israel's critics highly amusing, the issue of "proportionality" has been GROSSLY misrepresented.

The concept originates with the Geneva Convention which states that civilian casualties must not be disproportionate relative to the MILITARY OBJECTIVE a belligerent power wishes to achieve. It has NOTHING to do with the relative number of casualties on each side nor does it have anything to do with the methods or modes of waging warfare.

Israel has clearly been "proportionate" in its response. When terrorists are hiding in and amongst civilian populations, it is THEY who are committing war crimes, not the Israelis.

DavePatterson Author Profile Page:

I really have to thank you for writing this article--its the truth that needs to be told, even if its not the popular story. The misinformation, cultural and racial hatred that surrounds all, but specifically middle-eastern realted issues often clouds people's judgement. Not enough people look at the logical issues, the reasoning behind decisions, and the reasons why events occur-they simply look at the outcome, compare the statistics and place blame without any backing. I frequent many internet political forums, and popular opinion is often turned against the "Western" nations...sadly enough, going as far as to support of legitimize the actions of terrorist organizations--people like Hamas who execute people "conspiring with Israel" in midnight raids, support bombings and killings of innocents, and profit from racial hatred and anti-semetism. It really is sad that they can so easily draw the support of the media and the world.

tqmek1 Author Profile Page:

"In turn, Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties. All it wants is to stop Hamas' attacks the only way it can:"
Wow, look at anti Muslim lashing out, Bomb all population and you call it self defense ?
no wonder there will never be a peace over there ? so stop claiming that your are civilized.

c_w_milazzo Author Profile Page:

Nice way to pre-emptively call anyone who disagrees with the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians anti-Semitic. That's the standard operating procedure for Israel and it's sympathizers, isn't it? For the record, I have nothing against Jews, in fact part of my family is Jewish. I have problems with the Israeli leadership, which is completely different! Meanwhile as long as Bush says it's okay, Israel drops hundreds of cluster bombs into heavily populated cities while Hamas sends a couple of badly aimed rockets that do basically no damage. If Israel really wanted peace they would go in and selectively kill the Hamas members, not indiscriminately murder civilians. They don't want peace though, they want to eliminate all of the Palestinians so they can take over their land just like they've been doing for the past 4 decades.

jcmsdaf Author Profile Page:

What's that smell? It must be my Anti-Semitism. Here I was thinking I was on the side of humanity for hoping for an end to occupation and oppression, but it just turns out I'm a bigot. Thanks for making me see the light Senor Montaner! Could I borrow a bit of your eau de toilette, a striking blend of anti-Arabism and Islamophobia?

bdevin01 Author Profile Page:

All sycophantic echoes in the comments here aside, Mr. Montaner could be a bit more objective in his rhetoric and honest in his writing. First of all, his use of the term "antisemitic stench" is misleading and exclusionary. Should a Semite who hates another Semite be considered antisemitic? It's an absurdity. Arabs are every bit as Semitic as Jews, so the term really has very little meaning except to import a feeling of victimization that is inappropriate and misleading.

The author hails Israel for announcing where they are going to bomb, and thus enabling Ghazans to escape, but what enabling has really occurred in this conflict? Where can Ghazans go? They can't escape Ghaza because the borders are sealed, and they can't take refuge in homes, schools, hospitals, religious facilities, or any place which would normally be off-limits for the types of strikes Israel is conducting.

The truth is that Israel's actions have been shameful. Maybe no more so than those of the United States or other powerful countries, but they can hardly be justified by the use of alliterative exaggerations like "rain of rockets."

smallzi Author Profile Page:

Carlos! You're deluding yourself buddy.

"The Jews build underground shelters in all houses near the border; they close the schools and hide the children at the least sign of danger; they treat the death of a single soldier as a national tragedy; they do everything possible to rescue their prisoners, and protect the civilian population from the consequences of war"

The palestinians on the other hand, are choking under the economic warfare waged by israel and the west. The resources available to the respective factions are quite disproportionate indeed.

Why doesn't Israel view the death of Palestinian civilians as a national tragedy? Why do IDF soldiers exclusively enjoy human rights?

Furthermore, I am sick of this rhetoric about IDF/IAF forces exercising restraint to avoid civilian casualties. While on one hand it might sound noble for the Israelis to announce the areas they're targeting, there's simply no place for these people to flee. If you start firing a weapon in a crowded theater, someone WILL be hit by a stray bullet. If you launch bombing raids in a densely populated area such as Gaza, large civilian casualties ARE inevitable. By targeting Hamas, Israel is targeting civilians. There is no way of separating the two.

The fact is that human life is seen as cheap in Gaza, and that's a real shame. Until Israel begins to treat the Palestinians as human beings, rockets will continue to land in border towns. It's a natural reaction to years of iron-fisted oppression by the Israelis.

WhoKnows1 Author Profile Page:

By all tha comments, a person would assume the ones who don't like what is happening are Muslims. Surprise, surprise who would have thought that you can attack someone and not have to pay the price.

chritz Author Profile Page:

From my understanding, the issue isn't about not killing as many of your enemies. It's about killing mostly civilians; including babies & children.
If you know the 'terrorists' are hiding in a school or hospital, you shouldn't bomb it, if you have any morals about killing the innocent.
March your soldiers in and fight like real soldiers, not 'nintendo pilot-style'.

davidpbfeder Author Profile Page:

Of the -- literally -- hundreds of editorials, blog posts and letters I've read on the Gaza war, yours is among the most succinct and eloquent, and I thank you for it. I also thank the Washington Post for waking up and smelling the coffee when it comes to reporting on the Arab/Persian war against the Jews and Christians. At least I hope they have woken up and your editorial is a sign the Post has turned toward truth instead of drinking deep at the well of Muslim propaganda as it has in the past.
In its 1,400-year history, Islam has let no non-Muslim neighbor live in peace. Ever. And as 9/11/01 proved, the entire globe is now "neighbor" to any Islamic country that wishes to strike. Let us never forget the "Palestinians" dancing in the streets and flinging candy in cities around the world (not just Gaza) on 9/11.

TeriB Author Profile Page:

Killing is killing, and all this rationalization doesn't change the fact that there are human beings who cease to exist, families who feel loss. Children who are orphaned.

I'm so darn sick of all this. If it were ANY country but Israel doing this over and over again, it would not be tolerated.

Israel is now bombing 1.5 million people, into the stone age so that Israel can hang onto it's holy, blood-soaked clump of dirt. People that it has been subjecting to terrible conditions under this soul-crushing blockage for over a year. Yet we're supposed to forget the cost, forget the inhumanity, because some inept terrorists are ineptly firing a few missles, which rarely even hurt anyone, into our favorite victim's seized lands.

When Israel starts WWIII, who will stand with them? ONLY the US, and we won't be very helpful with our oil supply shut off. Perhaps that's what we deserve for enabling this horror show for so long. I'm just amazed that George nixed Israel's request to start bombing Iran as well.

jhimmi Author Profile Page:

Don't you know? Palestinians only want to 'end the occupation'.

Close your eyes and imagine, for a moment, citizens and leadership in Gaza and the West Bank working to build a successful society, rather than blowing up themselves and their children in order to gain instant access to dark-eyed houris.

Imagine all the assistance - financial, technical, physical, that would pour into Palestine from every corner of the globe, if Palestinian leadership suddenely renounced violence, recognized Israel, and focused on improving the lives of its citizens.

I believe the relief, the outright joy, this sort of announcement would evoke would probably translate into donations of many billions of dollars from governments and individuals, as well as tens of thousands of idealistic, skilled volunteers offering to travel to Palestine to help rebuild. Banks,

Individuals, corporations, and governments would be climbing over one another trying to help Palestine, if they were condfident in Palestine's desire for peace.

Flabberghasted Author Profile Page:

I guess saving a 5 day old Arab girl makes the Israelis feel better about killing a 5 year old Arab girl.

They're targeting civilians not soldiers. By using the same logic, I suppose it would be okay to annihilate all inner city housing projects just to eliminate a few gang bangers. Unbelievable.

lmiller3 Author Profile Page:

I was reasonably sure that no one in the media had caught the full truth of what was going on in Gaza, or at least was unwilling to speak it...until I read this article. Stated concisely with absolute accuracy and eyes wide open. It's about time somebody called it like it is. If anyone thinks these fanatics will stop with Israel should the world be willing to sacrifice them to appease them, they'd better think again. Is it possible that recognizing Israel's right to exist and stopping the quest to "push them into the sea" would have prevented all this? But that would be "religiously" impossible ....right?

mjr1007 Author Profile Page:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful article. It is truly a breath of fresh air.

The disproportional comment is particularly strange. It can only be assumed that it is made by people with no military background. In the States there is a man by the name of Collin Powell. He is probably best known in the world as a former Secretary of State (Foreign Minister). Before that he had a very long a illustrious military career. During that career he formulated the Powell Doctrine.

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

"Powell expanded upon the Doctrine, asserting that when a nation is engaging in war, every resource and tool should be used to achieve decisive force against the enemy, minimizing US casualties and ending the conflict quickly by forcing the weaker force to capitulate."

While some may decry the use of overwhelming force it is by almost any standard the correct use of a military.

It is clear that those lamenting the disproportional response just don't get it. The only question remaining is, "is it a God given dullness, or is it something they have had to work hard and strive for?"

GregCleveland Author Profile Page:

We do not seek more Israeli casualties, just fewer Palestinian civilian ones. We are impressed when a powerful military defeats a weaker one--and repulsed when it murders civilians. I am disgusted when terrorists blow up buses as well as when they blow up apartment buildings and schools.

Where are Palestinians to flee? Their egress to Egypt or the West Bank is blocked by Israel.

It took you all of two paragraphs to accuse us of anti-Semitism. I'm glad my Jewish wife and family isn't so simple.

This is a crime against humanity. Blood is on the hands of the Israeli government and anyone that supplies them funding and/or weapons, like my country, the United States. I'm ashamed.

dmann48 Author Profile Page:

BRAVO Mr.Montaner!
Finally one reporter who is not angry for not entering and reporting from a war zone and courageous enough to state the truth.
Israelis are by law requiered to have a "secure room" to save lives when Terrorist Muslims decide to send rockets. That is why there are less Israeli casualties.
And for those who claim Gaza residents were isolated and were subject to blockades, please contact UNRA (and many other UN agencies) and ask them to relaese ABSOLUTE HONEST FIGURES of how much money, food and aid were poured into Gaza over the last 60 (YES SIXTY!) years. All those resources and donations by MANY world nations were wasted by Gaza residents while used to arm terrorists, allowing uncontrolled population growth and sponsering hatred in Gaza schools.
BRAVO Mr. Montaner for stating that war was waged on Israel and the response, after years of patience, is proportional. adequate and effective.
No one like to see children, women AND MEN get hurt, but those "victims" made a deadly choice chasing Mr. Abas from Gaza and applading militant Hamas while watching them arm and plan terrorist activities.
Gaza could have been a paradise... and still can be - unless the residents there look up at Lebanon and choose war and destruction.

merleman Author Profile Page:

Thanks for your beautiful insights. The media seldom contemplates how malicious the idea of "proportionality" is. Pretending that casualties of the conflict, to stop the terrorizing, overshadow the depravity of those who would terrorize women and children, their own included. The media has become the fuel by which this vulgar engine against civilization continues to maintain itself.

samthewise Author Profile Page:

This is the true nature of the Israeli government: They are cowards, hiding behind their army rather than sitting down to negotiate an end to the embargo on Gaza. Those who accuse Hamas of violating the ceasefire are confused. First, the ceasefire ended and Hamas chose not to renew it. Second, Israel broke the ceasefire by killing 6 Hamas members in November during an incursion into Gaza.

JakeG Author Profile Page:

Join us for two live chats about the Middle East conflict on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com.

The host, Gary Baumgarten, would like to hear your opinion about the situation in the Middle East in a special two part series. Today (Monday, Jan 12), Paltalk will chat with the Israeli Consul General Asaf Shariv at 5pm EST.

Tomorrow, Tuesday Jan 13 at 5pm EST, Paltalk will have Hussein Ibish, the executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership join the show.

For more info go to http://blog.paltalk.com/paltalkblog/2009/01/join-us-for-two-live-chats-abo.html

jeremystark Author Profile Page:

"Tel Aviv's critics -- from whom an anti-Semitic stench often rises -- do not say whether Israel should increase its quota of cadavers or if it must reduce the Arabs' quota to achieve the reasonable proportion of blood"

Actually, the critics do say. They say that Israel should stop. They say that the UN should step in mandate a Palestinian state free from Israeli tampering. They say Israel should cease the settlement program, wall of shame, closing of the borders, bulldozing homes and other acts of aggression and violations of human rights.

The call for proportionality is not an equation seeking a solution. It's a commentary on the asymmetry of power in the despicable situation we call the Middle East conflict. Israel holds all the cards. The only card they are not holding is the complete genocide of the Palestinian people.

Israel needs to support a fully independent Palestinian state or have one forced upon it.

sarvesh01 Author Profile Page:

Finally someone in the media who is brave enough to highlight the truth of the terrorists. Everyone they kill is justifiable. Anytime one of them or theirs is killed it is unjust. I agree wholeheartedly with the earlier 3 comments.

bkuykend Author Profile Page:

this is exactly the kind of nonsense i would expect to hear from mainstream media. i find this article not only poor in taste, but insulting to the suffering peoples of palestine.

its not that israel needs to suffer more casualties, its that they need to stop targeting palestinian civilians. i don't care that hamas militants have been firing rockets at israelis. attack hamas, not the civilians surrounding them. the UN, amnesty international, and the red cross all agree that israel is committing atrocities. and you say you're surprised by their reaction? after israel has killed hundreds of innocent men, women, and children in a matter of days?

spare me your heartwrenching stories of israeli kindness. where are your israeli doctors now, when so many palestinians are suffering? are they in gaza treating the wounded. they certainly are not.

and please check your facts. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center concluded that hamas was not responsible for violating the truce, and the escalation in violence only happened after israel killed six hamas members on November 4 without provocation and then placed the entire strip under an even more intensive siege the next day.

oh, and by the way, how are palestinians supposed to flee gaza, when israel forbids palestinians in gaza from leaving?

abushnaq Author Profile Page:

This article is so ridiculously one-sided that is almost isn't worth responding to, but I will respond anyway.

Mr. Montaner, nobody is asking Israel to suffer more casualties. What they are being asked to do is stop using naval, air, and ground bombardment against crowded cities and refugee camps which they had continued to do with total disregard to civilian casualties. They bomb a clearly marked UN school, then turn around and claim Hamas fired at them from it, and then two days later retract the story. Even if Hamas fired from it, international law and human decency oblige Israel to consider the human toll of any individual strike. They keep saying Hamas fighters use people as human shields and that's why there are so many civilian casualties. I wonder how people in this country would feel if in a given hostage situation or armed robbery, the police responded by blowing up the building on the heads of both the armed person and his hostages. Think about that.

Also, I'm getting REALLY sick and tired of Israel supporters crying anti-semitism every time someone dared oppose something their darling does. Opposing Israel is not anti-semitism, and Israeli should not be above reproach and above criticism. To imply otherwise is just absurd.

And about that so-called Truce you refer to. What truce? Israel killed at least 36 Palestinians during that truce. Not to mention the crippling blockade that reduced most of the people of Gaza to total dependence on foreign aid organizations and destroyed the local economy. One of the conditions of the truce was opening the border crossings to remove the blockade, which Israel completely failed to do. Some truce.

Your attempt to conclude with a touching story rings hollow when I see all the pictures of the dead and burnt children. When I hear of little children clinging to their dead mothers for FOUR DAYS because the Israeli army would not let the Red Cross go into an area, and when I hear of Israel attacking a UN convoy and killing a driver, even though all sources point out to them being fully aware of it being a UN convoy and its location.

I'll conclude in a similar fashion: Since the war erupted, I've wondered whatever became of human decency.

amrohamzawi Author Profile Page:

The only asymmetry I see, Mr. Montaner, is that when Hamas launches rocket attacks against Israel, you call it terrorism, but when Israel bombards Gaza for over two weeks, killing over a thousand people, you call it self-defense.

What does one have to do to qualify as a terrorist organization anyway? With this operation, the state of Israel has shed more innocent blood than Hamas has. But perhaps to you a Palestinian life is not worth the same as an Israeli life?


donald6 Author Profile Page:

I wonder whether we would hear the same criticisms of the proportionality argument from Mr. Montaner and his ilk if a dozen Palestinians and 900 Israelis had died in the conflict. The fact is that it isn't anti-Semitism that's at work here as much as it is a blatant disregard for the value of the lives of Palestinians.

WhoKnows1 Author Profile Page:

It is amazing to me that everyone seems to be against Israel. This is a well written account of how the Jewish people are. Even in the middle of being attacked they have sympathy. No I am not Jewish before tyou think that.If this was our country and someone was attacking us daily. I wonder how we would react. It is time the we allow Israel to finish this. Who cares what the Europeans or others say. What is right is right.

rnd1 Author Profile Page:

Israel broke the truce when they blockaded food and medicine from Gaza throughout the "cease fire." Their justification for the blockade was the garage-manufactured, unguided Qassam bottlerockets that have only killed 16 Israelis since they started launching them in 2001. I do not attempt to justify the rocket attacks -- they are inexcusable. But how many Palestinians did the blockade kill last year alone? The blockade was as inexcusable as the rockets -- its target was innocent women and children. Your attempt to portray Israel holding the moral high ground is ridiculous. There are no clean hands in this situation. You acknowledge the Israelis have a great deal more power and resources than the Gazans. When will they start using all that power for peace rather than retaliation?

OldBoldPilot Author Profile Page:

The contrast between the way the Israelis conduct warfare and the the way the Arabs conduct terrorist strikes is entirely a function of their respective cultural and religious values. When a culture values death more than life, the martyring of their children for the sake of the "cause" is indeed reason for firing machine guns into the air. For the other side, in contrast, the death of one is the death of all.

To paraphrase something that American General Schwartzkopf once suggested, if it is the Arabs' devout wish to become martyrs and meet Allah, the Israelis should consider it their mission to do everything possible to facilitate those meetings.

epmurphy Author Profile Page:

Bravo Carlos! Frankly I'm surprised the Post/Newsweek even published this, let alone Google News...

saelij Author Profile Page:

When the British left Palestine in 1948, according to James Michener, author of The Source, four British frigates were put off the coast of Haifa to pick up any Jews who survived the Arab massacre. There is no doubt radical Arabs or Iranians would welcome a similar solution for the Jews. I get amused over the fact that Hamas leaders are all riding out the war in Lebanon while letting their people take the full force of the war. These dispicable leaders are hoping that the world will impose by force an Israeli withdrawl from Gaza. That is the only way Hamas wins. In the meantime, their citizens are of no consequence. Israel should continue until Hamas is defeated. If nothing else so the people of Gaza can elect responsible leaders.

lmiller3 Author Profile Page:

I was reasonably sure that no one in the media had caught the full truth of what was going on in Gaza, or at least was unwilling to speak it...until I read this article. Stated concisely with absolute accuracy and eyes wide open. It's about time somebody called it like it is. If anyone thinks these fanatics will stop with Israel should the world be willing to sacrifice them to appease them, they'd better think again. Is it possible that recognizing Israel's right to exist and stopping the quest to "push them into the sea" would have prevented all this? But that would be "religiously" impossible impossible....

samthewise Author Profile Page:

No one has accused Israel of suffering too few civilian casualties (3 since Operation Cast Lead began) due to Hamas rockets. Those who accuse the IDF of reacting disproportionately do not wish for more Israeli dead; rather, they wish that the IDF would think twice before blowing up an apartment building full of civilians in order to kill one Hamas member. Further, no army in history earns pride in inflicting civilian casualties. Israel's critics simply wish it would engage Hamas before unleashing its US-made weapons on a defenseless population. (Maybe if Israel allowed cement into Gaza, it's people could build bomb shelters. But it doesn't.)

loren0913 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Montaner,

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful and accurate piece that captures the true essence of the conflict. I wish that there were a thousand more journalists like you that report based off of firsthand observations, not just poitical momentum. Kudos.

mbuchpe Author Profile Page:

Great article - truly puts the situation into perspective for those that are not informed or are misinformed. The key message from here for me was that one side values life while the other does not.

kirkwall Author Profile Page:

It's refreshing to hear the other side of the story. The world press seems to lack a basic understanding of cause and effect. If you choose to fire thousands of missiles on someone you need to be prepared to face the consequences.

burf Author Profile Page:

Wow, Carlos, strange seeing a media report that actually addresses, this bizarre *disproportional response* stuff.
One of the keys to me, in this whole sorry mess, is that these same people who are criticizing Israel, used to lambaste Israel for occupying Gaza.
Well, Israel left and how has that worked?
Did they celebrate their independence, by building a strong foundation to help Gazans?
Nope... they've turned it into a rocket base... nothing to improve the lives of Gazans. But everything is Israel's fault.
One can't help but think, there's an anti-Semitic constituent, to all the anti-Israel criticism.
Why else is there always a double-standard?
Good job, Carlos... thanks for offering some rationality, to the conversation!

manning120 Author Profile Page:

The forbearance of the Israelis is the only way they can hope to survive as a nation. "Disproportionate" should be understood in terms of what threatens the survival of Israel in the Arab/Muslim world; it's different from the mere comparison of Israeli and Palestinian deaths and injuries in the Gaza skirmish. At this point, one has to fear that the Israeli actions are disproportionate in that sense.

Israel's forbearanceas is a badge of humanitarianism. Israeli humanitarianism thus far remains unrequited by the Palestinians. I only wish someone could devise a way to preserve the humanitarianism and do away with the disproportion. That's the true dilemma here.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.