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March 6, 2009
Week in review: Recession, the Middle East and Mexico

Peter Eisner, Worldfocus editorial consultant and the former deputy foreign editor of the Washington Post, and Gideon Rose, managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, join Martin Savidge to discuss the week’s top stories.

They discuss the global recession, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attempts to revive the Middle East peace process and how Mexico’s drug war is impacting the United States.

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26 comments

#26

Dear, terrorist defender, David Hoffman: I am still on the same position and arguments: Arabs occupy the Holy Land and we came to liberate it from them. But, you are again avoiding answering (because it’s true!) about Armenian Genocide and how many Millions native were killed by Arabs since 8 century. Liberman didn’t start yet but you already put him on trial. I am sure that Haniny (boss in bunker) will be first face Justice. Liberman will be my hero if he will realize his promises. Are you sure that by using suicide bombers you will scare us and we will run to Russia. You should like Russians they supply Arabs army with thousand tanks, jets and now helping Iran build nukes. I am not that rude and nervous and not sending you to Arabian Desert.

#25

Russian Boy is getting angry and running out of arguments. You should go and reclaim your home in Russia where you belong not in Palestine. Soon the whole world will demand that many of your leaders be put in jail especially your hero Avigdor Lieberman

#24

Dear, terrorist’s defender, David Hoffman: Your defendants, Muslim Arabs are engaged in Ethnic Cleansing for Centuries they colonies dozen countries and kill Millions. You even denied Armenian Genocide by Muslims. You are the biggest Lier!!
I am glad to say you again: we came to liberate the Holy Land from Arabs not to occupy.

#23

Russian Boy: This the truth, you are not defending yourselves as all of you having been saying, you are engaged in Ethnic Cleansing. I am glad that you have said that. Russian Boy is becoming more honest that his maters JGE, Dorn, and M.Levy

#22

For me, Dorn and JGE, there is Huge difference and it was discussed many times. I just want to tell you Mr. David Hoffman. Yes, we will use F-16 as much time as we need to liberate Holy Land from Arabs occupation. For me Arabs are “only colonials on earth” not Israel.

#21

Russian Boy: What is the latest update on the last bombing by an F16 of a Palestinian house. How many innocent people have been killed. In Russia this was called Pogroms in Gaza people like you and (Just Got Educated) call it self-defense. Just read what are your own Soldiers (THUGS) are saying. There no need to dehumanize anyone. It is not easy to defend apartheid, but its more difficult to continue to lie. You and JGE, Dorn, M. Levy have been laying since you began blogging. All of you are racists. Russian boy, what is he difference between a sucide Bomber who kills civilans and an F16 pilot who kills civilians……. I am sorry one is defending and the other is a terrorist. Great Logic, by the only colonials on earth

#20

June 1, 2001.
20 people were killed and 120 were injured when a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated his bomb outside a Tel Aviv Dolphin disco. Most of the victims of the bomb attack were teenage Olim from the former Soviet Union.
Dear terrorist’s defender, David Hoffman, this coward attack did not scare Russian boys and we still remember that “poor Palestinians” still owes us.

#19

DisHonest, DH, your dyslexic disability is whatever you read means hatred towards Israel.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that manifests itself primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction.[1] Evidence suggests that dyslexia results from differences in how brain processes written and spoken language
Poor Palestinians, with a defender like DisHonest, DH, they are made more and more miserable.

#18

Boris: So the Russian boy is citing God now. Great. You are talking about God, Lovely. What is your next project to Settel in Jerusalem and force an Arab family out, because God told you so!!! Make sure to have a palce for (JGE) and Dorn

#17

May 4, 2004, near Gaza:
After spraying the station wagen with bullets, the Palestinian terrorists walked up to the 4 terrified little girls and shot each one of them twice in the head. The 8-month-old pregnant mother was shot in her belly at point blank range as she tried to cover her children.
Palestinian celebrate and call killing “heroic”.
G..d sew everything and now Pelestinians get His Judgement.

#16

403/18/2009 :: 02:34:16 PM
David Hoffman Says:

Another story worth your focus, Worldfocus. Do not worry about sponseres you will get many people to give you money if you tell the truth. Just Got Educated (JGE) I suggest you go and study law instead of medicin, because ISrael is going to need many lawyers after this
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Last update – 21:13 18/03/2009
Haaretz reveals: IDF testimonies paint grim picture of Gaza war
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

Initial testimonies given by Israel Defense Forces soldiers and officers who fought in Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year paints a grim picture of civilian deaths, deliberate destruction of Palestinian property and loose orders to open fire.

Dozens of combat soldiers, graduates of the Oranim pre-military institute, gathered at their alma mater last month relate their experiences during Operation Cast Lead.

Their on-the-ground testimonies are different from the army’s official statements, in which the IDF insisted its forces paid heed to high moral conduct in every sector.

In one testimony, a soldier describes an incident in which an IDF sniper killed a Palestinian woman and her two children.

“There was one house with a family in it… we put them into some room. Afterward, we left the house and another company went in, and a few days after we went in there was an order to release the family. We took our positions upstairs.”

“There was a sniper position on the roof and the company commander released the family and told them to take a right,” said the soldier. “One mother and her two children didn’t understand, and they took a left. Someone forgot to notify the sniper on the roof that the family had been released, and that it was okay, it was fine, to hold fire, and he… you can say he acted as necessary, as he was ordered to.”

More soldier testimonies will be published in Haaretz over the coming days.

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#15

The Palestine/Isreal complex was established after the events since WW II. The situation that exists there is untenable and is sure to cause suffering that will vibrate over the whole globe.
Those who do no see others as social equals can never build a just society. This seems to a common trait among all humans groups. It is magnified when conflicts are fanned by scriptural disagreements.

#14

The Palestine/Isreal complex was established after the events since WW II. The situation that exists there is untenable and is sure to cause suffering that will vibrate over the whole globe.
Those who do no see others as social equals can never build a just society. This seems to a common trait among all humans groups. It is magnified when conflicts are fanned by scriptural disagreements.

Those who do no see others as social equals can never build a just society. This seems to a common trait among all humans groups.

#13

DisHonest, DH, your dyslexic disability is whatever you read means hatred towards Israel.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that manifests itself primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction.[1] Evidence suggests that dyslexia results from differences in how brain processes written and spoken language
Poor Palestinians, with a defender like DisHonest, DH, they are made more and more miserable.

#12

Just Got Educated (JGE) I debated you on Feb 5, 2009 and we went through all you cheap shots, I need an informed blogger not a brain washed one. You two choices either you stop blogging or you go read. I invite all people to go the show of Feb, 4, and 5th to see the limits of your knowledge and intelligence. I never doubted you racism regarding the Arab and Muslim cultures. The roots of the conflict are cultural. I think no Israeli and no jew accepts the Palestinians and the Arans as humans

#11

Poor Palestinians, they have DisHonest (DH) hiding behind a Jewish name spreading his hatred towards Israel. The vote is in DisHonest should go back to his narguila, black coffee, water his camels and donkeys and enjoy the belly dancers. Poor Palestinians, with friends like DisHonest they are more and more miserable.

#10

Proximity to civilians during warfare
During the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, the Israeli government and military criticized Hamas for blending into or hiding among the Palestinian civilian population.[163] The Israeli government published what it said was video evidence of human shield tactics by Hamas.[164] Israel also claimed that Hamas frequently used mosques as hideouts and places to store weapons,[165][166] and that Hamas paramilitary soldiers stored weapons in their homes, making it difficult to ensure that civilians close to legitimate military targets are not hurt during Israeli military operations.[167] Former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter has claimed that Gaza’s Shifa Hospital is used as a meeting place and hiding place for Hamas.[168]

#9

JGE: The Palestinians are not poor and are not in need for any to protect them. All they need is people like you to stop killing them. You are a product of the Colonial spin machine that began convoluting the Jewish mind after 1948, and 1967. Your ultimate objective is to spin facts under very cheap covers. You moved from anti-Semitism, to anti Israeli and who knows what is next. I invite bloggers to read or old blogs that I have answered all your spins with historical facts. You have a serious problem as a supporter of the only apartheid state on earth. You coming back to factions and states in the Middle East that have nothing to do with the question of Palestine and your shameful legacy of killing children is the biggest proof of it. In the West Bank and Jerusalem there is no resistance to Israel, can you explain why is Israel building settlements and ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem. Look what is happening in Silwan, and Shik Jrah, Hebron the old city, Nablus the hills and many more where Jews move as if it is the Wild West demolish Arab homes or evict native citizens from their homes, just because they are Arabs (Christians and Muslims). You cite the Alwi regime of the Assads who are learning from you how to kill. All your points have been answered before, all what you have to do is go read history I think your name stands for (Just Got Educated) is not good enough for me. Go learn and then blog and you should teach this Russian boy Boris with you and you may get M. Levey and Dorn to join in a seminar at the Israeli Foreign Ministry for talking points. Usually they teach you to keep repeating three to five points. You have done a bad job so far.

#8

DisHonest (DH) has dyslexia anti-Israel. Whatever DisHonest cites only history anti-Israel Hey Islamic fanatics don’t exist, massacres by the Arabs never happened, well DisHonest even denies the existence of the Palestinians. Poor DisHonest he is drowning in his own venomous saliva. And worst of all he hides behind a Jewish sounding name. Hamas and Hezbollah kill their own civilians and DisHonest finds it to mbe OK.

DisHonest (DH) you have a hard time puting your brain in gear. Your hatred of Israel is your only metric. You lie, deceive and hate. Palestinians will go nowhere with dishonest defenders. Hamas has been killing their own civilians, just check with the people in Gaza. Hezbollah uses the same tactics. Israel will defend itself from criminals. Poor Palestinians that can not defend themselves from their masters Iran, Syria, and they become more miserable with inept defenders like DisHonest. Have you read any Arab free press? There is none. When DisHonest reads Israeli free press he uses it for his hatred of Israel.
Take hold of yourself, Israel will defend itself, explain it to your masters: Hams, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and the other gangs.

#7

JGE: I have debated you before, I know the limits of your knowledge and intelligence. You are a brain washed individual. You should never compare two wrongs. You must always compare between the good and the better. All Jews who have been writing on this website: Boris, M.Levey, Dorn, you and many more who do not have the courage to use their full names have been comparing between bad and worse. Syria is bad, Israel is worse, Iran is bad Israel is worse. I feel your pain after you have exposed by an Israeli newspaper, too bad you can not use anti-Semitism against her. Imagine holding five people the youngest is 60 under the cover of self defense for so many days and not allowing them any normal life. You have the Chutzpa to blog after that

#6

DisHonest (DH) have you documented any Arab free press (???) describing the massacres of fanatic Islamic criminals killing not only their own people but Israelies also. Your distortions and lies don’t convince anybody. Israel has a free press, the Arabs don’t. If you try to criticize Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran you will be killed. Palestinians are doomed by their own corrupt and murderer leaders. And they are even more doomed by defenders like DisHobnest (DH) that keeps distorting the thruth. Poor Palestinians.

#5

JGE: I am not spreading any lies, I am bringing facts from your own newspapers. There is a huge difference between protecting yourself and occupying and killing another people. Israeli conducts are war crimes by all means. Haaretz is not a Hamas or a Fatah news paper, it’s the oldest Zionist newspaper in Israel. This is one single investigation. We will wait and see when the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court, begin hearing more cases. Thank God for technology, all documents on cell phones and cameras, not like Dire Yassin, Kfour Kasem, Samoou, Falouja, Qtmoon, Hebron, and many more massacres that the Jews have been committing against the native Palestinians. I am dishonest but reporting facts and your honest but spreading lies, great colonial logic.

#4

Edi savage: Have you heard hhow the fanatic slami leaders of the palestinians kill their own people because they do not agree of their treatment? How they give them arms and not food? How when Israel defends itself those corrupt leaders go into hiding in schools and hospitals
while their own people kill and are killed. Do you have any free press in Gaza? Of course not. And in Lebanon a leaders was against Syria and got assasinated. That is the law in these fanatic islamic countries. Hey the New york Times and Worldfocus may be4 careful not to publish these news, their correspondents will bve killed. So think why the palestinians are so poor and getting poorer, because they have DisHonest attacking Israel all the time. Comprnde?

#3

DH stands for DisHonest. DH spreads lies at every chance. He has never exposed the palestinians and their corrupt and fanatic leaders ane sponsors. Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and other criminal organizations DisHonest never heard of them. Poor palestinians they are decieved by DisHonest. Then gets loud and loud when Israel defends itself. Poor palestinians and poor DisHonest. With friends like these the palestinians are poorer and poorer.

#2

thank you david for informing us about these war crimes. The NYtimes and worldfocus will never publish or air a story like that

#1

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The most moral army on earth is being exposed,by none but an Israeli newspaper. I hope that the Dorn,s and the Levy’s of the world face the truth once in their life time about the occupation and its war crimes.
Last update – 20:04 06/03/2009
Pots of urine, feces on the walls – how IDF troops vandalized Gaza homes
By Amira Hass

GAZA – We had already visited this house, belonging to the Abu Eida family. It is the only one of the family’s nine large houses that remained standing at the eastern edge of the city of Jabalya following Operation Cast Lead. The demolition of the family’s houses and its four cement factories spells the loss of 40 years of hard work.

One Hebrew word scrawled on a wall tells the story of the 10 days when young Israeli soldiers became the ostensible prison wardens of five people. The youngest is Suheila Masalha, 55; the eldest is her mother Fatma, who is perhaps 85 or 90 or older. The only man is her brother Mohammed, 65, who is paralyzed and dependent on the women of his family. And there were two more women from the Abu Eida family – Rasmiya, 70, who owns the house, and her sister-in-law Na’ama, 56, who is blind.

“Jail” (“mikhla’a” in Hebrew), wrote the soldiers on the wall of the room where they kept the man and the four women. They did not allow them to use the toilet, but forced them to use all kinds of plastic containers kept in the room, for nine of the days.

From other graffiti you can conclude that it was the soldiers of the Golani Brigade – who were drafted in August 2007, and in January and March of 2008 – who sketched orientation maps on the walls of nearly every room. For example, “Position: entry. Direction: southeast,” and a few squares that indicated the houses in the area. “Us,” or “We are here,” or just an X marked on square No. 5 – Rasmiya Abu Eida’s house that became an Israel Defense Forces base.

The soldiers kept kosher, judging by the words “meat” and “dairy” scrawled in red on the kitchen cabinets. Maybe someone was kidding around, or maybe someone thought this was going to be their base for several more months, because they also wrote “Kosher for Passover” on one of the cupboards. Also in red.

White flags

The Masalha family lived in a kind of tin shack and raised their sheep near the Abu Eida family (the shack and the sheep were destroyed). On the evening of Saturday, January 3, when the Israeli ground incursion began, they fled the shelling and sought refuge with the neighbors in concrete houses that seemed safer. But the shells and shooting from close range only increased and the children were scared; they cried and screamed and members of the extended family decided to head west, on foot, with white flags.

The adults carried the children – without suitcases and clothing, and even without ID cards. There was no one to carry Fatma Masalha and her son Mohammed, who remained behind. Na’ama and her sister-in-law Rasmiya decided to stay with the guests who had sought shelter. That was on Sunday, January 4, at around 3 P.M.

A spacious, well-kept, generously furnished home awaited the soldiers on the following morning, when they arrived. There are other houses like this in Gaza, especially on the agricultural lands in the outskirts, which over the years have become bourgeois areas. These are exactly the places where the signs of shelling and the fires caused by the phosphorous bombs made clear to the civilians that they should leave if they held their lives dear.

On January 18, when the forces pulled out, similar sights awaited people whose homes had become military bases in their absence. There were bullet-pocked walls, ripped-up sofas and armchairs, smashed televisions and computers, shards of glass and porcelain dishes and broken wooden thresholds. Clothing was ripped up. And there were mountains of very Israeli garbage – empty tin cans, cardboard boxes, empty bags of potato chips and chocolate, and full bags of sugar and raspberry-flavored drinking powder. Everything was kosher for Passover under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate. And there were Hebrew newspapers, including the January 9 issue of the army magazine Bamahane.

In one house they left behind lots of unopened canned goods. The local people assumed that commanding army officers had stationed themselves there, as well as in other houses where there was no racist graffiti and family belongings hadn’t been vandalized. Remnants of ammunition and IDF equipment were also found in and around many houses, as well as books of Psalms, the “Wisdom of the Sages” and “Hafetz Chaim,” which is about rabbinical laws concerning slander and gossip.

Like ants

In the midst of all of this were plastic bottles of urine and many closed bags – in some houses, olive-colored ones – of excrement. People assumed that the commanders stayed there. There are houses where excrement was smeared on the walls, or where dry piles of it were found in corners. In many cases, the smells indicated that soldiers had urinated on piles of clothing or inside a washing machine. In all the houses the toilets were overflowing and clogged, and there was filth all around. When the Abu Eidas returned to house No. 5 in Jabalya, they discovered pots of urine and excrement in the refrigerator.

“Like ants, so many of them,” says Na’ama, an Arabic teacher, of the soldiers who came into their home on January 5. She recalls that the soldiers had to be told that Mohammed could not put his hands up, and that they ordered the residents to strip. (Na’ama refused and one soldier made do with prodding and probing; they told Suheila to strip because they thought she was wearing an explosives belt.) The soldiers were amazed that the house was so large – “For just five people” – and kept saying that “this is Hamas money.” They also asked, “Where are the tunnels, where is Hamas, if everyone left why didn’t you leave?”

The soldiers ordered the five people to go into one room and stay there. They let them take some food: bread, olives, oil, water. They confiscated the mobile phones when they saw Na’ama holding one: “You want to call your brother to come with Hamas, to shoot at us,” said one of the soldiers. “Liar,” they said a lot, as well as “shut up, you donkey,” in broken Arabic. They imitated her mockingly when she said “Ya Rab” (“Oh God”). The five prisoners could not pray, as they were not allowed to clean themselves up before prayer and were forbidden to stand up. They were given two blankets, which were not enough, especially because the windows were smashed and the door was always open. A soldier always sat next to the door aiming his rifle at them. All five still have colds.

“You’ll come out when we leave,” was the answer given to Na’ama after she asked them to contact the Red Cross. Apparently, one soldier spoke fluent Arabic, another could speak some and others knew a phrase or two.

Was there anyone among the soldiers who was a little bit nice? “To my regret, no,” Na’ama says. In a number of other houses or neighborhoods people who preferred not to flee encountered some soldiers who were somewhat courteous. In none of the other houses were people forbidden to use the toilet, but the men’s hands were bound for two or three days. There are houses where the captives had no food for two or three days or no water for hours. “We don’t have food either,” said the soldiers in Izbet Abed Rabbo.

Soldiers broke down doors of grocery stores and helped themselves to candy and snacks. There were some who handed out candy to children; sometimes soldiers asked a child whom they forced to accompany them, as a human shield, to hand it out.

On the morning of January 14, the Red Cross came to pick up the five inhabitants of the “jail” in house No. 5. A short while beforehand, the soldiers had brought a portable gas burner in so Rasmiya could make hot tea, which they had not let her do before. “Maybe because the officer came,” Na’ama says.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in response that soldiers in Gaza were instructed in advance not to harm personal property unless there was a need to do so for operational purposes. “Not only did the soldiers not prevent the Palestinians from eating,” the office said, “but they shared their army rations with them. The IDF has not received any reports about breaking into grocery stores. Concerning the claims about graffiti, the IDF sees this as a very serious matter, which contradicts the values and norms in which the soldiers are educated.”

Related articles:

Amira Hass / Gaza burn victims exhibit possible signs of white phosphorous wounds

Amira Hass / Life in Gaza is not ‘back to normal’

Amira Hass / Gazans say IDF troops ignored white flags and shot at them

Amira Hass / Palestinian doctor killed by IDF while treating Gaza wounded

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