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December 29, 2008
U.S. calls for Hamas to stop rocket attacks

Israel’s air force has bombarded the Gaza Strip for three full days. The country’s defense minister is calling it “a war to the bitter end” against Hamas, the Palestinian militant movement that has ruled Gaza for two years and whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction.

Hamas fighers provoked this Israeli offensive by firing rockets and mortars into Israeli border towns in recent weeks.

So far, more than than 300 people have been killed and 1,400 wounded in this Gaza war, making it Israel’s deadliest campaign against Palestinians in decades.

The Bush administration renewed its call for Hamas to stop its rocket attacks on Israel. The Gaza offensive may make the Middle East an even greater priority for the incoming Obama administration.

For more on the violence in Gaza, listen to Worldfocus interviews with experts on the ground in Gaza and surrounding regions.

Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies speaks with Martin Savidge about the military situation on the ground, including the potential for Hamas to re-arm itself and for the war to escalate.

 

Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Sallai Meridor, joins Martin Savidge to discuss Israel’s military objectives going forward, the effectiveness of Israel’s attacks and prospects for a new truce.

 

Edward Kaufman, a senior research associate at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland, speaks with Martin Savidge about the role the U.S. can and should play in the Gaza conflict.

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Comments

8 comments

#8

Interesting, the AP is saying that Israeli leaders rejected the truce.

well, there goes the news – that makes people unsure who to trust!

#7

The prospect of a cease fire is offerred and Hamas declines. Hamas was asked to cease firing rockets into Isreal and it continues. Iran and Jordan were asked not to supply Hamas with weapons and rockets yet they continue. The Isreali have been reluctant to respond to Rocket attacks and when it finally does Isreal is condemned. None of the parties arming Hamas are interested in peace. They are interested in keeping a conflict going for political and support purposes. Isreal will not send all of it’s people back to Europe and other parts of the world to return this land back to Palistinians and others before them. Other Nations in the Middle East could have easily taken up the Plistenain cause and created factories, peaceful coexistance, peaceful negotiations. Instead they distribute war materials and hatred. This should be clear at this point. Eventually, the middle east will be forced to war over natural resources (again). Palitenian and Isreali blood is being spilt for Political reasons. A shameful propositions for all parties. What Isreal or the Palistenians did in the past has nothing to do with refusing to a cease fire to find a better way of coexisting. Surely the reasoning is easy to read and understand?

#6

I am so amazed at the people accusing this program of being slanted towards Israel.

This program is anything but slanted. It is better than the BBC, it is better than any program on television and cable.

It’s time the truth about Gaza to be known. It’s time the people see the horrific conditions the Palestinians are living in. We’ve seen the Israeli side due to the U.S. being pro-Israel.

Thanks World Focus.

You are doing what should have been long ago – give everyone a voice.

#5

I continue to be fascinated by the many who maintain the long, carefully cultivated, pro-Israeli point of view that provides cover for anti-Palestinian policy.
Years of observation and reflection on the Isreali government’s words in contrast to its deeds, including the attack on an a U.S. warship, the U.S.S. Liberty during the 60’s, has severely deluted my respect for their policy and U.S. support of it. A considerable amount of cruel, vengeful, aggressive, inhumane actions and reactions have been and continue to be perpetrated under cover of sympathies and guilt engendered by Jewish mistreatment at the hands of Europe in the last century that peaked in WWII.
Having worked for years in corrections and long term care, it has been frustrating for me to watch this long standing conflict so lacking in an honest and rational process of conflict resolution because those with power and might favor a particular side so obviously ~ and pull the strings to assure preferred outcomes rather than fairer balanced brokering.
Rightness and wrongness is truely more often in the ” mind of the beholder” than in “the eyes of the beholder.”
When one and a half million people are being held in virtual captivity (imprisoned) at their expense for the benefit of another, the tendency is to be confrontational and resist. Did the English Colonies not fight a revolution to free themselvesfrom England based on such a justification ? The dominant party, of course, typically does whatever is can to maintain control and dominance, justifying its interest and intent ~ often through increasing levels of denial.
I am troubled by how overt violence and its aftermath is covered so much more readily than the underlying non-violent, but hurtful behaviors that provoke individuals and groups to the point of violence ~ like the continuing subjugation of Gazians by Isrealis with the blessings of the U.S. who provides the means of domination ~ attacking aircraft, bombs, tanks, artillery, and strong political and economic pressure against governments that do not fall into lockstep.
I am sad that the United States, a secular country, that early on recognized a problem with entertwining politics and religion, supports Israel, given its religious basis and bias. I believe that the military aid we provide to them is especially unwise. This is like giving one of two people engaged in a fight you are claiming to want to stop ~ a gun.
I do not believe that a two state solution is a fair or viable solution for Palestinians and Isrealis in the long run either. A more fair and long term practical one would be voting ~ ” One person one vote” ~ which is not an option that the U.S. gave to the original inhabitants of North America either.
Without freedom to vote for leadership, Palestinians will perpetually feel and perceive themselves to be being treated as second class citizens in their own historical land.
What do you think would happen if Israeli and Palestinian adults were allowed to vote on political leaders collectively?
The complexion of things would oviously change.
The present Israeli assult is ever so reminiscent of the Sioux Indians being massacred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota as that frustrated, captive people forced by arms onto a reservation, feeling surrounded, unhappy and betrayed, and lacking basic needs and rights, put up some marginal, almost futile resistance to make a statement and ~ out of fear by the perpetrators ~ were slain in great numbers in what then and now resembles a turkey shoot.

#4

Martin, again, thanks for your show.

If it weren’t for your show, I’d still be pro-Israel.

Yes, I know that Israel supplies the Palestinians with food, water, fuel…However, they are still suffering from being rationed necessities when Israel deems it necessary.

The Palestinian people are treated like prisoners and children. There are adults there, why do they have to ask when they need food…

The refugee camps are nothing less than a concentration camp.

I’m not justifying the the rockets sent to Israel, however, does Israel expect them to behave like toy soldiers? They are under complete police supervision, and every move they make is on caught on cameras. Is this democracy?

The thing is, when people are hungry, and obviously degraded, and hopeless, they will do whatever it takes to eat. That happens here in America, hungry people do whatever it takes to eat.

#3

First I thank you for giving some time for Israel’s position. However, the background reports and the issues slanted against Israel.

All reports indicate that the overwhelming casualties have been Hamas operatives. In any event, the casualty count in Gaza does not reflect culpability. Hamas started this war and is not interested in peace. Its goal is not a Palestinian state, but the destruction of Israle

There is an intense focus on the Israeli “blockade” of Gaza. Yet it is Egypt that keeps its Rafah border crossing tightly shut and refuses to provide supplies. Why is Egypt never held repsonsible for this? Even as it is being fired
on, Israel is supplying electricity and water, to much of the strip, and sending in food as well.

There has been precious little coverage of the effects of months (indeed years) of rocket
attacks on southern Israel. Israel can simply not continue to allow its southern cities
to be paralyzed with citizens sitting in bomb shelters. There was no mention that Israeli
casualties were kept low by early warning sirens and bomb shelters.

While Israel has tried to protect its citizens, Hamas has been only too happy to expose
Palestinian civilians by firing from homes and schools. It scores propaganda points when
Palestinian civilians are killed – and celebrates publicly when Israelis are killed.

I hope and pray for peace, and wish that Israel did not need to respond. Israel’s tragedy
is that it faces an unreasonable enemy that loves death more than life, and whose goal is
not a Palestinian state, but the destruction of Israel, and the murder of all its
citizens.

#2

I agree with Roberto Elder 100%. However, a political blog I like to frequent here in the good ol’ U.S. of A, alot of the bloggers had no clue of what’s been happening in Gaza.

In fact, some were saying, I have no clue about the Middle East….

Thanks Martin for bringing an informative news program to America. I have repeatedly tried to tell others of your website and the show. But, it seems they are still more interested in Sarah Palin.

Interestingly though, the Americans wonder why the economy is in the tank – well, if they take time to try and learn about issues instead of Sarah Palin (she’s a has been), Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, maybe the news media will give us the news we need to know.

I’ve had to go on a search of my own to try to get information on the world – especially the Middle East, because the news, as well as the schools, don’t teach us or prepare us for the world at large. Yet, Americans get offended when they travel our of the country and hear someone refer to them as, “Stupid American or Dumb American.” I still think they are clueless to this.

For years, the schools, media, and everyone would teach us that the Palestinians were the cause of problems. Through my own research, I saw the way Palestinians were treated, example, living in refugee camps, no true identity, being held up at check points or turned away, I learned so many things that made me cry.

#1

It’s hard to take the spin of Meridor about Israel not also being a terrorist organization on account of its bombing of infrastructure in Gaza, such as the Islamic University and police stations. Israel is just as much a terrorist as Hamas. What does it think is going to result? It is reducing Gazan streets to ruins, destroying mosques and schools, killing Hamas civic officials. Its bombing and missile strikes strike fear into the hearts of Gazan civilians, most of whom are children. Having failed to kill off the Palestinians by its food and fuel blockade, now Israel wants to incinerate them all by its bombs.
Anthony Cordesman was a disappointment. He talks only about Palestinians firing rockets into Israel, which I also condemn. But Cordesman says nothing about Israel’s war crimes. Furthermore, he says nothing about the danger to the U.S. by having quasi government officials like himself express unqualified support for the cruel Israelis. There will be no successful outcome from Israel’s reliance on bombs and missiles to punish the Palestinian people. Bombing people never makes them like the bomber. Israel’s aggression will only super-heat the hatred for Israelis and make them less safe. Cordesman behaves as if he supports Israel against the oppressed Palestinians. Please, Barack Obama, don’t take any advice from Anthony Cordesman.

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